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appear that he understood what they the direction of the national councils said, or was the least affected by in the most difficult times, displayed their conduct. The sentence of the powers of mind fully adequate to his law was soon executed upon him ; the arduous duties. To the ascendancy crowd speedily began to disperse, and of his genius his political antagonists the tranquillity of the metropolis was were forced to submit ; they submitre-established.
ted with reluctance and murmuring, it Thus perished, in the 50th year of is true ; but still they were compelled his age, the Right Honourable Spencer to yield to the voice of the nation Perceval; a man who was not more which proclaimed his superiority.distinguished by the singular variety The singular versatility of his talents and extent of his talents, than by the had full employment even during the possession of almost every public and short period of his political career. He private virtue. Descended of an an first came forward after the death of Mr cient and honourable family, and dis- Pitt, and during the short administracovering in his youth the marks of tion of the whigs, as a speaker on the those high qualities which afterwards side of opposition ; his pointed wit and became so conspicuous, he was better severe sarcasm rendered him useful to entitled than most of his contemporaries his friends, and formidable to his ene. 'to indulge the hopes of an honourable mies. He was soon called to fill an ambition, and to look forward to the office of high trust and power in the most gratifying distinctions to which government, and was afterwards elevaa great and vigorous mind can aspire, ted, by the favour of his royal master, The state of his fortune, however, re to the chief direction of the public quired that he should be educated to councils. The talents for which he some profession ; and he was accord- had become so remarkable in opposiingly called to the bar, where he rose tion were now of less service to him ; to great eminence, and attained the but he had other and higher resources highest reputation. The practice of at command :-An easy and ready elothe law, as a preparation for public life, cution,-a quickness and penetration alhas its advantages and inconveniences most unrivalled,-unwearied industry, while it invigorates some of the facul. --great powers of combination,--wisties, it has a tendency, perhaps, to dom in planning, and resolution in exnarrow the
range of the intellect, and ecuting the measures which he thought is more propitious to acuteness of rea the most beneficial for his country, soning and brilliancy of wit, than to were among the eminent qualities depth of understanding, comprehen- which he displayed as chief minister. siveness of views, and energy of cha. He had not been long in power when racter. Such, certainly, was the opi- a great national calamity placed him nion of a great orator and statesman, in circumstances the most embarrasswho admitted, however, that there are ing, when he was called upon to promen so happily born that they can pose measures in which his feelings as triumph over the obstacles presented a man, and his sense of duty as a miby the narrow habits of a professional nister, were both put to severe trial, life, to the full development of the and when he had to expect from the highest qualifications of the mind. past disappointment of his enemies and Among the most distinguished of these their newly-raised hopes, an opposiexceptions, we may justly rank the late tion at once violent and formidable. Mr Perceval, who, although brought His conduct on this singular occasion, almost immediately from the bar to which so well reconciled the most de
voted and respectful tenderness to his shew in what that safety consisted, sovereign, with the most conscientious · foiling his antagonists, and often exdischarge of a great public duty, torting from them an acknowledgment which united the firmest and manliest of those talents which so unequivo. perseverance in that course which the cally established his character, and constitution of the country appeared raised it to a level with that of the to him to prescribe, with the utmost greatest men of this or any other age.” mildness and candour towards adversa His enemies have acknowledged the ries, who tried every method of dis. vigour and penetration of his mind; turbing the gentleness of his mind, will but they have charged him with narbe long remembered with gratitude row and unphilosophical views,-illiand admiration. With reference to beral maxims-and ignorance of mo. these memorable transactions, it has dern science. If by science they mean been well remarked, by one who had that barren system of metaphysical suba near view of his character, that “ in tleties which has been so well applied the critical situation in which he stood, by the professors of the present day his enemies might have expected to to obscure the most obvious truths, find him timid, but they found him which seeks to shelter impiety and firm ; weak, and he shewed them his crimes, while it would fain cast ridi. strength ; wavering, and he was faith. cule on the sentiments of virtue, which ful; off his guard, and he was never under pretence of liberality, would exdisconcerted ; out of humour, and no tinguish alike the ardour of patriotthing could disturb the suavity of his ism and of piety; if this be what they manner; possessing a genius at once mean by modern science, there can be deep, solid, and extensive, aided by a no doubt that Mr Perceval despised penetration which let nothing escape; it. It can be no reproach to him with displaying a great legal knowledge, those whose opinion can be of any vaand a perfect comprehension of the lue to his memory, that he neglected magnitude and importance of the part what the great Lord Chatham would he had to act, with an upright mind, have abhorred,--that he did not pa. and an inflexible determination to do tronise the followers of a creed which his duty. Not for a moment did he Mr Pitt had spent his life in resisting. lose sight of the interest of his sove But Mr Perceval, although uniniti. reign ; but although his opponents ated in the mysteries of modern phiwere strong, and the task he had to losophy, was well skilled in the prin. perform difficult, he confirmed and ciples which were professed by the established the rights of the crown in greatest of his predecessors ; he knew such a manner as best supported its the constitution of his country, and he true dignity, secured the ease and com was determined to preserve it unimfort of the declining monarch, and sa- paired. He sincerely and ardently lotisfied the spirit and feelings of a great ved his native land; he knew that and generous nation Yei his efforts with all her imperfections, England presented no struggle ; he was quick was still the great model of political in reply, strong in argument, never excellence, and he needed not the aids embarrassed, but always taking the of a shallow and presumptuous philodeepest and most comprehensive view sophy to tell him, that she possessed of the subject in debate, and displaying energies in herself which would yet as much firmness in support of the enable her to take vengeance for the measures he adopted for the public crimes of her neighbours. In his desafety, as talents and understanding to termination to persevere in the mighty
contest which he had to conduct for the measures were unquestionably just ; the liberties of the world, he was firm that they had been provoked by the lawbut not arrogant,--calm and conside- less violence of the enemy; that neurate,-seldom betrayed into boasting, trals, by acquiescence, had made thembut never sinking into despondency. selves parties to the outrage, and that He saw that the unhappy circumstan- it concerned the national honour (a ces of Europe would compel England point which is dearer than all others to become for a time a great military to a virtuous and high-minded man,) nation; but he was also aware that so to repel the aggression. A portion serious a change must, in the present of the community was, no doubt, exstate of society, be attempted with posed to severe suffering; and some caution, and with as small a deduction of the lower orders not only made vioas possible from the comforts of civil lent complaints, but proceeded to acts life. He knew that the British army little short of rebellion. The people under its illustrious commander, must of Rome, in the most dreadful extreon all occasions cover itself with glory; mity of the republic, would not have that discipline and experience would acted thus when the question was add to its triumphs, and diffuse a mi. about avenging the insults of an enelitary, spirit throughout the nation; my; and perhaps it would be well, and that the application of the resour not for the memory of Mr Perceval, ces of the country to the prosecution but for the national character, if a veil of the war, could never be difficult, could be drawn over these disgraceful · when seconded by the enthusiasm of scenes. the people. In the oppressed state of Even the more respectable advocates the continents
in the personal charac. of catholic emancipation may have been ter of the chief who had usurped a induced by recent events to applaud controul over its destinies, his penetra. the sagacity of this great minister, tion discovered the chances of that who at all times shewed a firm resolu. general spirit of resistance which was tion to concede nothing to violence afterwards to re-establish the indepen- and disaffection. Those who imagined dence and secure the repose of Europe. that in the refusal of Mr Perceval at
The measures of commercial vio. once to concede the catholic claims, lence to which the enemy resorted, they had found an apology for the were answered by Mr Perceval with bitterest reproaches, may be somewhat the same firmness which he displayed more moderate in their censures when on all other occasions; and notwith. they reflect, that the impolicy of his standing the clamour which was raised views on this subject has never yet on this subject, posterity will perhaps been proved by the only unerring test discover no other fault in the measures in political affairs,--the test of expeadopted by this great man, than that rience. they were of a character somewhat If Mr Perceval's public virtues above the feelings and temper of the commanded the admiration of his age in which he lived. That the or country, his private character secured ders in council produced commercial him the love of all who had the hapdistress, although to a much less de. piness of knowing him.-Mild, affable, gree than has been generally suppo. sincere, a tender husband, an affecsed, may be admitted by the admirers tionate parent, a kind and faithful of this eminent person, without detract- friend, it may, perhaps, with more ing in any way from his reputation. truth be said of him than of
other Let it be recollected, however, that great name in history, that he possess
ed all the virtues which are at once the singular fortune of this great and good
State of the Administration after the Death of Mr Perseval. Mr Stuart
Wortley's Motion in the House of Commons for an Address to the Prince
of the Negociation, and Resignation by Marquis Wellesley of his Powers. Discussions in Parliament on this Subject. Lord Moira is entrusted with Powers to form an Administration, but fails. Debates and Explanations in Parlia. ment. The Colleagues of the late Mr Perceval are confirmed in Power.
The death of Mr Perceval threw the to some men of distinguished abilities country into the utmost consternation; who had once formed part of the ad. and as a very high opinion was enter- ministration ; and who, although re. tained of his talents, a belief prevail. moved by untoward circumstances, still ed that his colleagues could not, with- maintained a general conformity of out some accession of strength, con- political sentiments. Overtures were tinue to conduct the affairs of govern- accordingly made by Lord Liverpool ment. That this opinion was ill-found. to Marquis Wellesley and Mr Can. ed subsequent events have very clearly ning; and the terms proposed by him demonstrated ; but the ministers them were such as the honour of both parselves, whether from a feeling of mo. ties demanded. He stated, in his comdesty, which is not always a proof of munication to them, that the Prince slender talent, or from a wish to gra. Regent, although determined to contify the supposed inclinations of the tinue his administration on its prepeople, seemed anxiously to desire that sent basis, was desirous of strength. accession of strength of which they ening it by the aid of such persons as were believed to stand in need.
agreed most nearly and generally in In fixing on the quarter to which the principles on which public affairs they should apply for assistance, they had been conducted ; that, with this could not long hesitate; with the lead. view, his royal highness naturally look. ers of opposition, who had declared ed to Lord Wellesley and Mr Canso lately, that they differed with mi- ning ; that the arrangements should nisters on every point of policy, it was be made honourable and satisfactory to impossible that they could coalesce, them; that the friends of both should and their views were too sincere and be included ; and that while he (Lord honourable to permit them to make an Liverpool) should be placed at the attempt, which they knew well must head of the treasury, Lord Castlereagh have proved unsuccessful. They na- should retain the situation which he turally looked for support, therefore, then held, both in the government and