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CHAP. CXXVIII.

PRAISED BY POPE AND THOMSON.

155

memory of Lord Talbot. Soon after his death, there was printed and privately circulated the following Elegy, which shows at least a deep feeling of the virtues of the deceased :

“Magnos sæpe viros cecinit cum Musa, repente

Obstrepuit miseræ turba maligna lyræ.
Scilicet arguitur carmen, quia displicet heros,

Et mala, qnæ jactat fama, Poeta luit.
At vos securi Talbotum dicite Vates !

In quo nil livor quod male rodat habet.
Jura humana a se qui nulla aliena putavit *

Delicium humanæ gentis habendus erat.
Partium in hoc non est studio locus, omnibus idem

Ut vixit charns, flebilis interiit."
The most eminent English poets joined in the same strain.
Pope, in the early editions of his Epistle to Lord Bathurst,
s on the Use of Riches,” thus sang :-

“ The sense to value riches with the art
T' enjoy them, and the virtue to impart,
Not meanly nor ambitiously pursued,
Not sunk by sloth, nor rais'd by servitude.
To balance fortune by a just expense,
Join with economy magnificence,
With splendour charity, with plenty health,
O teach us, TALBOT ! thou 'rt unspoil'd by wealth,
That secret rare, between th' extremes to move
Of mad good nature and of mean self-love.
Who is it copies TALBOT's better part,
To ease th’ oppress’d, and raise the sinking heart?
Where'er he shines, 0, Fortune, gild the scene,
And angels guard him in the golden mean.
At Barrington shall English bounty stand,
And Hensol's honour never leave the land.
His glories in his progeny shall shine,

And propagate the virtue still divine.”y ; A most touching poetical tribute to the memory of Lord Talbot comes incidentally from the author of THE SEASONS, in lamenting the early death of a pupil who was thought destined to inherit the title and the virtues of an illustrious sire. The Chancellor, always eager to patronise literary merit, had formed an acquaintance with Thomson soon after

* Alluding to his motto, "Humani nihil and integrity are well known, but he repeatalienum."

edly expressed his disgust and his surprise at y For some reason which no commentato finding in later editions this Epistle awk. has explained, in the later editions of this wardly converted into a Dialogue, in which epistle the name of TALBOT is entirely ex he has little to say. And I remember he cluded, and it is turned into a dialogue be. once remarked that this line, tween the poet and Lord Bathurst. Warton, • P. But you are tir'd: I'll tell a tale. in his “Life of Pope,” in reference to Lord B. Agreed,' Bathurst, says_“I never saw this very ami was insupportably insipid and flat.”—P. able old nobleman, whose wit, vivacity, sense, xxxiii.

the publication of Winter, had appointed him to the office of “ Secretary of Briefs," and sent him to make the tour of Europe with his eldest son. This promising youth died of a fever soon after his return from his travels, and his sorrowing tutor and friend thus opens the poem on Liberty, which was to have been dedicated to him :

"O my lamented Talbot! while with thee
The Muse gay rov'd the glad Hesperian round,
And drew th' inspiring breath of ancient arts;
Ah, little thought she her returning verse
Should sing our darling suhject to thy shade.
And does the mystic veil, from mortal beam,
Involve those eyes where every virtue smild,
And all thy father's candid spirit shone?
The light of reason, pure, without a cloud ;
Full of the generous heart, the mild regard;
Honour disdaining blemish, cordial faith,

And limpid truth, that looks the very soul.” Thomson afterwards published a long poem to the memory of Lord Talbot, which is rather diffuse, but from which some passages may fitly be extracted :

“Let the low-minded of these narrow days
No more presume to deem the lofty tale
Of ancient times, in pity to their own,
Romance. In Talbot we united saw
The piercing eye, the quick enlighten'd soul,
The graceful ease, the flowing tongue of Greece,
Join'd to the virtues and the force of Rome.”

“ All his parts,
His virtues all, collected, sought the good
Of human kind. For that he, fervent, felt
The throh of patriots when they model states:
Anxious for that, nor needful sleep could hold
His still-awaken'd soul; nor friends had charms
To steal with pleasing guile one useful hour;
Toil knew no languor, no attraction joy."

" How the heart listen'd wbile be, pleading, spoke!
While on th' enlighten'd mind, with winning art,
His gentle reason to persuasion stole,
That the charm'd hearer thought it was his own."

“Plac'd on the seat of justice, there he reign'd,
In a superior sphere of cloudless day,
A pure intelligence. No tumult there,
No dark emotion, no intemperate heat,
No passion e'er disturb'd the clear serene
That round him spread. . ..
Till at the last, evolv'd, it full appear'd,
And ev'n the loser own'd the just decree.
But when in Senates he, to freedom firm,
Enlighten'd freedom, plann'd salubrious laws,
His various learning, his wide knowledge, then
Spontaneous seem'd from simple sense to flow.”

CHAP. CXXVIII.

HIS DESCENDANTS.

157

"I, too, remember well that cheerful bowl
Which round his table flow'd. The serious there
Mix'd with the sportive, with the learn’d the plain ;
Mirth soften'd wisdom, candour temper'd mirth;
And wit its honey lent without the sting."

Lord Talbot delighted in the society of eminent men in every department of literature; and Bishop Butler, of whom he was the friend as well as the patron, dedicated to him his celebrated Analogy between Natural and Revealed Religion.”

I have only further to state, that Lord Talbot, soon after he was called to the bar, married Cecil, daughter of Charles Matthews, Esquire, of Castle-y-Menich, in Glamorganshire, and great-grand-daughter of the famous Judge Jenkins, who defied the tyranny of the Long Parliament, and from whom descended to the Chancellor's family the estate of HENSOL. With her he lived in a state of great connubial happiness, and she brought him a numerous offspring. The eldest son, of whom such hopes were entertained, the pupil of Thomson, died, as we have seen, before his talents and accomplishments could be of service to his country. William, the next brother, succeeded to his father's title, estates, and virtues. Of him it is related, that in the debate, in 1741, on the dismission of Sir Robert Walpole, being rudely called to order by Lord Cholmondley," he declared himself an independent Peer, a character which he would not forfeit for the smiles of a court, the profit of an employment, or the reward of a pension : he said, when he was engaged on the side of truth, he would trample on the insolence that would command him to suppress his sentiments.” 2 He was afterwards created Earl Talbot and Baron Dynevor, with a remainder of this barony to his daughter, an only child. She married the heir of the ancient family of the Rices, in the county of Caermarthen; and their son, Lord Dynevor, is the heir-general of the Chancellor. The earldom becoming extinct, the barony of Talbot descended on John Chetwynd Talbot, the Earl's nephew, who was himself, in 1784, created Earl Talbot and Viscount Ingestre. His son, the second Earl Talbot, who at a critical period filled the office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland with much ability, is the Chancellor's representative in the male line.

2 Smollett, ii. 397.

blame, I have been politely informed by a This venerable noblemau is in possession him that none of them are of any public of all the Chancellor's papers, but, after some interest. misunderstanding, for which he is not to

CHAPTER CXXIX.

LIFE OF LORD CHANCELLOR HARDWICKE FROM HIS BIRTH TILL HE WAS

APPOINTED ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

We now come to the man universally and deservedly considered the most consummate judge who ever sat in the Court of Chancery-being distinguished not only for his rapid and satisfactory decision of the causes which came before him, but for the profound and enlightened principles which he laid down, and for perfecting English Equity into a symmetrical science. He is at the same time to be honoured as a considerable statesman, co-operating powerfully for some years with the shrewdest minister this country produced during the eighteenth century, and after the fall of that chief being the principal support of his feeble successors in times perilous to the national independence, and to the reigning dynasty.

Yet the task of his biographer is by no means easy. Though he never said or did a foolish thing, he is not to be regarded with unmixed admiration. There were shades on his

reputation which ought to be delineated. Personally, he does not much excite our interest or our sympathy. His career is not checkered by any youthful indiscretions or generous errors. He ever had keen and steady eye to his own advantage, as well as to the public good. Amidst the aristocratic connections which he formed, he forgot the companions of his youth ; and his regard for the middle classes of society, from which he sprung, cooled down to indifference. He became jealous of all who could be his rivals for power, and, contracting a certain degree of selfishness and hardness of character, he excited much envy

and ill will amidst the flatteries which surrounded him. To do justice to the qualities and actions of so extraordinary a person would require powers of discrimination and delineation which I greatly fear I do not possess. However, after bespeaking the indulgence of my readers, I proceed, · resolved not to be sparing of praise, nor to shrink from censure, when I think the one' or the other is deserved.

It is curious to observe, that the three greatest Chancellors after the Revolution were the sons of attorneys, and that two

A.D. 1690.

HIS BIRTH AND EDUCATION.

159

of them had not the advantage of a university education. The illustrious Earl of Hardwicke was the son of a small attorney at Dover, of respectable character, but in very narrow circumstances. The family, though much reduced in the seventeenth century, is said anciently to have held considerable possessions in Wiltshire, of which county Thomas Yorke was thrice High Sheriff in the reign of Henry VIII. Philip, the father, was married to Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Richard Gibbon of Rolvenden, in Kent. They had three children who grew up

- two daughters and a son. They were glad to marry one daughter to a dissenting minister, and the other to a tradesman in a country town.

Philip the son, the subject of this memoir, was born at Dover on the first day of December, 1690. He never

AD. 1690. was at

any school except a private one, kept at Bethnal Green by a Dissenter, of the name of Samuel Morland, who is said to have been an excellent teacher. Here he won the good opinion of this worthy pedagogue, by displaying the quickness of parts and steady application which afterwards distinguished him through life.

When he had reached the age of fourteen, being noted as b Gibbon, the historian, being of this realm in erecting a grammar-school, who bad family, has given us a very pompous account caused printing to be used, and, contrary to of it-showing how, being settled in “ the the King, his crown and dignity, had built a great forest of Anderida,” now the Weald of paper-mill,-talking of a noun and a verb, Kent, they, in 1326, possessed lands which and such abominable words as no Christian still belong to them ; that one of them was can endure to hear."--Misc. Works, i. 4. "Marmorarius," or architect to Edward III.; Lord Hardwické, when Chancellor, erected that they had for arms “a lion rampant gar a monument to his father and mother, with dant, between three schallop.shells, argent the arms of Yorke and of Gibbon impaled on a field azure;” and that they were allied upon it, and with the following simplr • to Jack Cade's Lord Say and Seale, " who had scription, which he composer!. most traitorously corrupted the youth of the

“Here lieth the body of PHILIP YORKE, Gent.,
who married Elizabeth, the only child
of Richard Gibbon, Gent.

They had issue

three sons and six daughters,
of whom one son and two daughters are surviving.

The other six are buried near this place.
He died June 18th, 1721, in the 70th year of his age.
Here lieth also the body of the said ELIZABETH,

Wife of the above mentioned Philip Yorke,
who died October 17th, 1727, in the 69th year of her age.

QUOS AMOR IN VITA CONJUNXIT

NON IPSA MORS DIVISIT." The Gibbon arms are quartered in the Chancellor's shield in the Temple Hall, and in Charles Yorke's in Lincoln's Inn Hall.

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