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gling under the deadly-precious load of genius, and taking his steps, perforce. unsteady, over the burning marle of statesmanship, at a time when politics swayed the hearts of men with the firmness of a principle, and the fervour of a passion, I confess that I cannot discover his failings; and before I have finished his majestic apologies for his errors, I have already forgotten what they
It has been his misfortune that there are few persons who have been capable of representing him justly ;" for those who admired his politics were sure to abhor his philosophy. The eunuch-mind of the younger Walpole could as little taste the strong and rasping sense of the moralist, as his filial tenderness could tolerate the contemptuous energy of the politician. This variety of quality which made his character inconsistent, entered likewise into his genius, and made it copious. He partook of the best essence, and was tinged with the distinct peculiarities of many of those distinguished persons by whom he was companioned and courted. He had much of the steel-toothed sagacity of Swift, all of the moral purpose, mild fancy, and untrembling judgment of Pope, the severe taste of Atterbury, and the rich scholarship of Arbuthnot. I think that his power of sarcasm was by nature both stronger and more delicate than that of his poetical friend; but the latter had so educated his mind in bitterness, that he had become, like Lot's wife, a pillar of salt. His sneer is often savage, but it is never the sneer of jealousy or hate; it seems to proceed from conscientious contempt. More usually he flashes the stings of satire under the cover of a graceful irony, and like the panegyrist of Harmodius, Jinking an energetic purpose with a classic elegance, he wreathes his dagger in myrtle. He unites the full compass of English sense with the pointed vigour of the wits of France. His style has a corresponding breadth and liberality, and lies between the high cathedral style of Milton and the sauntering grace of Addison. He exhibits a fresh and ever-springing life of mind. Every sentence rays distinct and vivid
thought. He is not a formal reasoner; he does not deal in technical argumentation ; he plays no tunes with his ponderous, hammer. He tears down systems with the naked hand of masculine sense; and like a moral Milo, he rends the aged trunks of philosophic theories with the bare arm of unschooled force. He confronts the gowned professors of philosophy, in the natural majesty of unrobed reason. His manner most felicitously seconds his purpose. His sentences are not rich nor highly wrought: it is their tone, rather than their structure which gives them their weight. Burke builds up his style with a laborious carpentry beneath your eye, and it is clear that the author is below his character ; he has put on his stage robes, and is mounted on a platform. Bolingbroke's manner, though lofty, is not stilted. His sentences have all the natural joints of lively thought. He wears no pasteboard limbs. In his paragraphs every member tells ; in every sentence, and the tiniest part of it, you see the force and shaping of a serious mind. He never writes for display, but, in an earnest way, to communicate his thoughts. His stately tread is the accustomed princely step of one who has ever moved on marble, reposed on velvet, and breathed the air of palaces. The grave procession which rests in the spectator's mind as a passing dream of splendour, is the daily condition of his life. There is nothing dreamy or scholastic about Bolingbroke: he is always fresh with the hourly interests of life. He examines theories of metaphysics with the closeness and seriousness of one discussing measures in council. He states his system with the air of a man ready to furnish an estimate, or to embody his sentiments in resolutions. - Without dreaming of comparing the magnificent moral force of the patriot with the merely intellectual vigour of the partisan, I must say, that as a stylist, as a communicator of thoughts, I prefer the well-laced sobriety of Bolinghroke to the Persian prodigality of Burke. Bolingbroke shapes his thoughts into ornament; Burke weaves decorations around his. Beauty, with one, is
the form of the conception; with the other, it is the garniture of the apparel. Bolingbroke's entertainments are like the European banquets on silver plate, where what is showy, is also useful; Burke reminds us of that Asiatic prince who breakfasted his friends on stacks of roses."
When hope displays its magic art
The way of life to clear;
Like solid joys appear.
And cares the soul involve,
I weed all bitterness from out my breast ;
LAMENT OF Tasso,
On the following morning I called again at Mr. Wilson's house to see Emily. The circumstance of my last repulse had dwelt in my mind as a matter of some astonishment, though not of any apprehension. To what inotive it was to be assigned I could not guess; still I could scarcely persuade myself that it arose from intention, or was dictated by any change of feeling on her part towards me. When, therefore, I again presented myself at the door, it was without any doubt that if Emily was really at home I should be admitted at once. My surprise and alarm may easily be conceived when the same answer was again returned to my inquiry, that Miss Wilson was engaged.
Determined to know at once whether the refusal was so strongly personal to myself as this repetition of the same reply seemed to indicate, “ May I inquire,” said I, to the attendant who appeared at the door, " whether you have received explicit orders not to admit me ?"
“ I am directed,” he replied, “not to admit Mr. Stanley whenever he calls."
I had walked several squares before the tumult of indefinite emotions which this unexpected rejection in a quarter where I had dreamed of nothing but kindness and regard, had excited, before I was calm enough to ask myself the meaning of so inexplicable an occur
But three days had passed since Emily had received me with good-will and even tenderness, and had herself assured me of the warmth of her feelings towards me. Could it be possible that offended by my previous long neglect, she had chosen again to draw me to her feet only in order to repulse me the more decidedly, and to enjoy the cruel triumph of wounding my wishes and destroying my peace? Unworthy as seemed the adoption of so cold a policy, I could not help, in the first bitterness of irritated feeling, imagining that some motive of that kind must be the cause of such signal inconsistency; but when the soft and gentle countenance of Emily rose before my calmer mind, in the peaceful image of its sweet benignity, the suggestion dropped from my thoughts as a scheme too alien from her artlessness. I felt convinced that she was labouring under some false impression, arising either from accidental mistake, or occasioned by the wilful misrepresentation of some third person. When I called to mind the circumstances discovered to me by the recent letters of my father, and added to them the occurrences at the sea-shore which had so much surprised me at the time, but now seemed in all probability a part of the same system, it became manifest that I and my family had some dark and formidable enemies, the ruthless ingenuity of whose proceedings it was not easy to fathom. That some portion of this mysterious influence which had acted so fatally upon the fortunes of my father, had been brought to bear on this present matter for the destruction of my plans and the ruin of my happiness, was an opinion which, strange and improbable as in many respects it appeared, I was strongly inclined to entertain. The incident by which my con