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but the most engaging woman, to whom I ever had the honour of being introduced. But if I descant upon every character, I shall trespass most unwarrantably upon your patience, and therefore I say nothing of the sagacious Herbert, the classic Wentworth, the arrogant Cleveland, and the timid Oldcastle, nor of the dignified Lady Eleanor, nor of the delightful Lady Clanellan. Cleveland's love for Constance is finely discriminated, and Oldcastle's interview with De Vere on the embassy is beyond praise. Such passages, however, as this last are caviare to the general; nevertheless, time and the cognoscenti will discover them. I mention no faults, which may surprise you; for what critic ever bored an author with so long a letter, without hinting at a few blemishes, merely to prove that his previous praises were sincere. Candidly, and upon my honour, I
When a man has himself a little acquaintance with the art of writing, he begins to grow a very temperate critic. He then discovers that, because an author has a peculiar way of conceiving his subject, it does not follow that that peculiar mode is a faulty one; but, on the contrary, that it is the author's style, a style or manner by which he is distinguished from other artists, and that unless he commit what the critic may consider faults, he never will produce what all agree to be beauties. All works are not to be written on the same principles, nor do I quarrel with the Flora of Titian, because her countenance is not that of the
Madonna of Raffaelle. Yet some men do; but, after all, there are some men who set the sundial by their own watches.
“One thing has peculiarly delighted me in 'De Vere,' and that is, that a writer who has proved himself conversant above all others of the age with the fascinations of courts and senates, should on all occasions, and in a manner so preeminently beautiful, have evinced his deep study and fervent adoration of Nature."
BREAK-UP OF THE LIVERPOOL GOVERNMENT. -EXTRACTS FROM
LETTERS OF THE LATE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM TO MR. WARD, AND FROM MR. WARD TO MRS. AUSTEN. MR. WARD'S MAR
RIAGE WITH MRS. PLUMER LEWIN. — OFFICE OF AUDITOR OF THE CIVIL LIST, HELD BY HIM, ABOLISHED. CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE LATE LORD ALTHORPE THEREON.
At this period the calm which had so long prevailed in the political world, only interrupted by an occasional squall, was to be finally and completely disturbed by the break-up of that ministry which, with few and exceptional modifications, had now subsisted without even an interchange of parts, for fifteen years. Even before the sudden seizure of Lord Liverpool, vague rumours of a contest between antagonistic principles had been scattered abroad. Mr. Ward was assured by a correspondent of high influence, that “though the cordiality between the Premier and the Chancellor is weaker than it has ever been, it as yet confines itself to D-mns on the one part, and sighs on the other.” The sudden prostration, however, of him who had so long kept his administration together by the joint influence of tact and character, brought matters to a crisis. The promotion of Mr. Canning appeared inevitable, though that necessity was but little acquiesced in by the majority of his colleagues. What might have been the consequence to England of the perma
nent establishment at that period of a “liberal Tory ministry,” it is useless now to discuss. Such a combination appeared at that period monstrous in conception, and impossible in execution. Could we have had those whose administrative ability had been matured by long practice, led by such men as Canning, Huskisson, and Peel (the latter with his present enlarged views), supported by the powerful aristocracy and landed gentry which had so long identified themselves with the Tory party, the advancement of England would have been earlier and also more gradually effected. The wear and tear of Canning's fine mind during the struggles of the next five months would have been spared, and, even if his life were destined to so early a close, the elements of vitality would have remained in his administration. Such speculations, however, were not doomed to be realised. It is well known that, for reasons which they explained more or less satisfactorily, almost the whole of his colleagues deserted him. The following extracts from letters addressed to Mr. Ward at this period, by his friend the late Duke of Buckingham, will show the difficulties under which Mr. Canning laboured. “ If the Whigs do not give active support, Canning will not stand; and they will not give active support unless employed. They will at first (as they did of old in the case of the dear Doctor) ; but remember how soon they deserted him: and, from particular circumstances, Canning has not half the strength that Addington had when he first started. Do you suppose the Catholics will leave Canning quiet possession of their
question ? Not they! You will find Canning and his Protestant friends brought into collision before the Government is a month old.
I agree with you that some of the Whigs will come in "and make the gruel thick and slab, but the charm will not be then wound up, for many adverse spirits will be brought into activity and life by the introduction of these potent ingredients.
The partial arrangement with the Whigs will at first bring strength like a glass of gin, but weakness will follow, as one glass of gin will lead to two, and so on until the bottle is empty.” “As to the delay on the Catholic question, I still think it most mischievous to Mr. Canning's views, that he has found out the danger of tampering with the Whigs, and to avoid it is playing a fast and loose game with the Catholic question, which may at first induce people to take office under him, but which cannot last beyond the first ten days after the meeting of Parliament, when Mr. Canning's sincerity in favour of the Catholic cause will be tried and put to the test, and the disposition of the Protestant part of the Cabinet to meet his views will be ascertained. This is so like the game of 1806, that I wonder Canning should not see the danger.” " As I now read the Government, it is singularly weak and cannot last; it is made up of several ranks and deputies, with no one powerful connection except the Duke of Devonshire." "A mixed Government under Lord Liver: pool is a different thing from one under Mr. Canning. Upon the former's honest ‘No Popery' opinions, the inoculation of ever so small a portion of Catholic