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He was frequently insensible; and during that time, the words, "Spain, Portugal,” were constantly on his lips.
During these six days of agony and trial his wife was with him, and, we believe, neither took rest in bed, nor undressed, throughout the whole time. Her distress and despair, when all was over, were equal to her devotion during the struggle. It is said that the physician declared it necessary for her life, or reason, that she should obtain the relief of tears; for she had not wept once, either before or after his death ; and this relief came to her when she saw her son. At eleven o'clock at night, she left that house of mourning, and went to the Duke of Portland's, in Cavendish Square. We never pass that dull and melancholy building, known as Harcourt House, with its dead wall and gloomy court-yard, without figuring to ourselves the scene of that night, when the heavy gates opened to receive the widow of one whom genius had so gifted, and ambition had so betrayed.
For some time before he died, Mr. Canning's countenance had betrayed signs of the toil and the exhaustion he had undergone. But, after death, these had vanished, and that beautiful and eloquent countenance seemed, in the coffin, unutterably serene and hushed.
CHISWICK HOUSE._DEATH OF FOX.
Chiswick House is memorable for the death of two statesmen. Below, in a little dark chamber, covered with tapestry, Charles Fox breathed his last. The greatest pupil of his great rival, after tacitly veering towards the main foundations of the same principles Fox had professed, came to the same roof to receive the last lesson ambition can bestow.
Lady Holland, though possessing greatness and strength of mind, well informed, without pretension, and decidedly incredulous, was accessible to presentiments. M. Guizot relates that "she had been slightly ill, was better, and admitted it.
Do not speak of this,' she said to me; “it is unlucky.' She told me that, in 1827, Mr. Canning, then ill, mentioned to her that he was going for change and repose to Chiswick House, a country seat of the Duke of Devonshire. She said to him, “Do not go there. If I were your wife, I would not allow you to do so. “Why not ? asked Mr. Canning. “Mr. Fox died there.' Mr. Canning smiled; and an hour after, on leaving Holland House, he returned to Lady Holland, and said, in a low tone, ‘Do not speak of this to any one; it might disturb them.' And he died at Chiswick,' concluded Lady Holland, with emotion.”
It is related that, one day, on the breaking up of a meeting of the Council, Mr. Canning undertook to guess the thoughts of any of those present in less than twenty questions. Eighteen or nineteen questions had been asked, when Canning had guessed rightly, “The wand of the Lord High Steward.” “The success of the question,” says Notes and Queries, No. 274, “depended upon his power of logical division, and, with this aid, it rarely required even twenty questions to arrive at the object thought of.”
EPITAPH BY MR. CANNING ON HIS ELDEST SON.
In the churchyard of St. Mary's, Kensington, to a son of George Canning, is a headstone by Chantrey, with these beautiful verses by Canning, now barely legible :
Though short thy span, God's unimpeached decrees,
TRIBUTES TO CANNING'S GENIUS. The following lines, written soon after Mr. Canning's death, by his dear friend the Right Hon. John Hookham Frere, appeared in the John Bull newspaper :
“While sister arts in rivalry combine
For Canning's honour-Sculpture and Design
Verse claims her portion ; a memorial line
Omen of Europe's danger, and the worst."
J. H. F.
“ These are the themes thus sung so oft before,
Methinks we need not sing them any more ;
Nay, not so much ; they hate thee, man, because
Byron's “ Age of Bronze.”
Byron's “ English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.”
MR. CANNING’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS. In person, Mr. Canning was favoured by nature, being of a good height, of a strong frame, and of a regular, and remarkably intelligent countenance. The glance of his eye when excited, and the smile of his lip when pleased, were often noted by his contemporaries :
“And on that turtle I saw a rider,
A goodly man, with an eye so merry,
“ A Dream of a Turtle.”—T. Moore. Charming in manner, constant in attachments, it was observed of him at one period that he was as dear to his friends as odious to the public.—(Sir James Mackintosh.)
Ever ready to praise his subordinates, and to consult the taste of his associates, he was honoured as a chief as much as he was enjoyed as a companion. His accomplishments were various, and of a kind which may lead disputes open as to the degree of their excellence; but they were all of that brilliant and genial description which were sure to attract admiration and procure sympathy. How many must have chuckled over the following light-class piece of satire :
“I am like Archimedes for science and skill,
I am like the young prince who went straight up the hill;
you ask why the eleventh of June I remember
The roof which o'ershades this respectable court
PORTRAIT-SKETCH OF MR. CANNING.
No imaginative artist, fresh from studying his career, would sit down to paint this minister with the broad and deep forehead, the stern compressed lip, the deep, thoughtful, concentrated air of Napoleon Buonaparte. As little would the idea of his eloquence or ambition call to our recollection the swart and iron features, the bold and haughty dignity of Strafford. We cannot fancy in his eye the volume depth of Richelieu, the volcanic flash of Mirabeau, the offended majesty of Chatham. Sketching him from our fancy, it would be as a few still living remember him, with a visage rather marked by humour and intelligence than by meditation or sternness ; with something of the petulant mingling in its expression with the proud ; and with much of the playful overruling the profound. His nature, in short, more of the genial fancy and the quick irritability of the poet who captivates and influences an audience than of the inflexible will of the dictator who puts his foot on a nation's neck, or of the fiery passions of the tribune who rouses a people against its oppressors. Still, Mr. Canning, such as he was, will remain one of the most brilliant and striking personages in our historic annals. As a statesman, the latter passages of his life cannot be too