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unabated ardour. Thus, a few weeks before his death, he ad- CHAP, dressed the Duke of Grafton: Cxlviii.
"I am more restored than I ever expected to be, and, if I His last can combat this winter, perhaps may recover so much strength tcybe as to pass the remainder of my days with cheerfulness: but Grafton. I do not believe it possible ever for me to return to business, and I think your Grace will never see me again at the head of the Council Board. It is high time for me to become a private man and retire. But, whatever may be my future condition, whether in or out of office, I shall remain with the same respect and attention,
"Your Grace's most faithful Friend," &c.
Finding his health seriously affected by the severity of the His death, season, he soon after removed from Camden Place, in Kent, to bis town residence in Hill Street, Berkeley Square. Here he gradually sunk, more through the gentle pressure of time than any particular disorder. He quietly breathed his last on the 13th of April, 1794, in the eighty-first year of his age,— exactly thirteen months after the decease of his great rival, Lord Mansfield, who had attained the more venerable age of eighty-nine.
His remains were deposited in the family vault, in the His burial.
parish church of Seal, in Kent. A monument has there been
erected to his memory, with an epitaph, tfhich, after stating
his awe and the various offices he held, thus concludes in lanes
guage which, though dictated by the piety of an affectionate son, posterity will re-echo.
"Endowed with abilities of the highest order, with learning deep and extcn- His episive, with taste discriminating and correct, with talents in society most instructive taph. and agreeable, and with integrity universally acknowledged, he lived beloved by his family and friends, respected and venerated by his country, and died universally regretted by all good men."
Among all the Chancellors whose lives I have written, or His charaewho are yet in prospect before me, there is no one whose virtues have been more highly estimated than Lord Cam- Walpole. den's. We may conceive how he was regarded in his own age, from the character of him by Horace Walpole, ever anxious, by sarcasms and sneers, to lower even those whom he professed to exalt. "Mansfield had a bitter antagonist
Chap, in Pratt, who was steady, warm, sullen, stained with no
^ reproach, and a uniform Whig. Nor should we deem less
highly of him because private motives stirred him on to the contest. Alas! how cold would public virtue be if it never glowed but with public heat! So seldom, too, it is that any considerations can bias a man to run counter to the colour of his office, and the interests of his profession, that the world should not be too scrupulous about accepting the service as a merit, but should honour it at least for the sake of the precedent."
By another A contemporary writer says: — " He was blessed by rary.emp°" nature with a clear, persuasive, and satisfactory manner of conveying his ideas. In the midst of politeness and facility, he kept up the true dignity of his important office: in the midst of exemplary patience, (foreign to his natural temper, and therefore the more commendable,) his understanding was always vigilant. His memory was prodigious in readiness and comprehension; but, above all, there appeared a kind of benevolent solicitude for the discovery of truth, that won the suitors to a thorough and implicit confidence in him." * Asa Judge. I find nothing hinted against him as a Judge, except "that he was a little too prolix in the reason of his decrees, by taking notice even of inferior circumstances, and viewing the question in every conceivable light." The same objector adds: —" This, however, was an error on the right side, and arose from his wish to satisfy the bar, and his own mind, which was, perhaps, to a weakness, dissatisfied with its first impressions, however strong."f Both as an Equity and Common Law Judge, his authority continues to be held in reverence by the profession. As a poli- As a politician, he is to be held up as a bright example of consistency and true patriotism to all future generations of English lawyers, and the high honours which he reached should counteract the demoralising effect of the success
* Almon's Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 38-1.
f Another grave charge brought against him was that " he wore a tic wig in Court instead of a full bottom, and that he had been frequently observed to garter up his stockings while the counsel were most strenuous in their eloquence."— Almon's Anecdotes, vol. i. 384.
which has too often attended tergiversation and profligacy,— CHAP, when these calculations are aided by the recollection that CXLVI11such success, however brilliant, will neither secure permanent admiration nor real happiness.
Lord Camden's eloquence is not free from tinsel — but Hiselostill it is characterised by sterling vigour of thought, richness luenceof imagery, and felicity of diotion. Like most great English lawyers, and unlike most great French and Scotch lawyers, he never aimed at literary distinction. His only known printed production was "An Inquiry into the Process of Latitat in Wales." But he had a great taste for reading, which did not confine itself to legal and antiquarian lore. It is said that throughout life he was a devourer of His love of romances, including the interminable tomes of Scuderi,— and romai>ces, that the "Grand Cyrus" and "Philidaspes" furnished him many an evening's repast, for which his appetite was sharpened by the juridical labours which had occupied the morning. In his youth, he followed the example of Lord and of Chancellor North in devoting himself, as a relaxation from music" study, to music, — in which he seems to have made great proficiency; for, his friend Davies planning an opera to be set to music by Handel, we find him offering to assist with his advice respecting the genius of musical verse, the length of the performance, the numbers and talent of the singers, and the position of the chorusses ■— in the language of an accomplished adept in the science of harmony.
He was not a member (I should have been glad to have recorded that he was) of "the Literary Club," and he never seems to have been intimate with Johnson or Goldsmith, or any of the distinguished authors of his day. "Goldsmith, He slights in his diverting simplicity, complained one day, in a mixed Goldsmith' company, of Lord Camden. 'I met him,' said he, 'at Lord Clare's house in the country, and he took no more notice of me than if I had been an ordinary man.' The company having laughed heartily, Johnson stood forth in defence of his friend. 'Nay, gentlemen^ said he, 'Dr. Goldsmith is in the right. A nobleman ought to have made up to such a man as Goldsmith, and I think it is much against Lord Camden that he
Vol. v. A A
Chap, neglected him.' "*—However, we learn likewise from the inimiCXLVIII. taye BosweU that Lord Camden was on a footing of great His inli. familiarity with him "whose death eclipsed the gaiety of iTiacy with nations." "I told him," says this prince of biographers, arr" "that one morning when I went to breakfast with Garrick, who was very vain of his intimacy with Lord Camden, he accosted me thus: 'Pray now did you — did you meet a little lawyer turning the corner, eh?' 'No sir,' said I. Pray what do you mean by the question?' 'Why,' replied Garrick, with an affected indifference, yet as standing on tip-toe, 'Lord Camden has this moment left me. We have had a long vialk together.' 'JOHNSON. Well, sir, Garrick talked very properly. Lord Camden was a LITTLE Lawyer to be associating so familiarly with a player.'"^—But in another mood Johnson would have highly and deservedly praised the Little Lawyer for relishing the society of a man who was a most agreeable companion, and of high intellectual accomplishments, as well as the greatest actor who ever trod the English stage.
His habits. Lord Camden is said to have been somewhat of an epicurean — indisposed towards exertion, bodily or mental, unless when roused to it by the necessity of business or the excitement of strong feeling; —and to have taken considerable pains in supplying his larder and his cellar with all that could best furnish forth an exquisite banquet. It is certain that he was himself always extremely temperate, forming a contrast in this and other particulars with his immediate predecessor on the woolsack, — for his conversation was ever polished and
His old decorous. He seems to have been most amiable in private life, and to have had in a distinguished degree,
"that which should accompany old age —
Honour, love, obedience, troops offriends."
With many political opponents, he was without a personal enemy.
Portraits of Lord Camden was in stature below the middle size, but well proportioned and active. "VVe have several exquisite portraits of him. That painted for the City of London, by
* Bosw. Life of Johnson, iii. 336. f lb.
Reynolds, is one of the finest specimens of the English school, Chap. Judging from these, his physiognomy, without marked CXLV1Ufeatures or deep lines, was more expressive of gentleness of disposition and frank good-humour than of profound thoughtfulness or stern resolution.
With the exception of an occasional slight fit of the gout, he enjoyed uninterrupted health. He had never had the smallpox, and it is related of him, as a weakness, that he was always much afraid of taking that disorder — his terrors being greatly aggravated when his friend, Lord Waldegrave, died of it at the age of fifty. *
He left a son, John Jeffreys, who, in 1812, was created His deMarquis Camden and Earl of Brecknock, and who was not scendantsonly distinguished for his public services, but for the disinterested renunciation of the legal profits of his tellership beyond a very limited amount, —to the great benefit of the public revenue.
Lord Chancellor Camden is now represented by his grandson, the present Marquis, who out of respect for his own virtues, and for the memory of his ancestors, has been decorated with the garter which his father wore, f
* Nich. Lit. An. viii. 533. f Grandeur of the Law, 27.