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of a similar nature, which he meant to call a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.' He issued a prospectus of it, but the booksellers did not approve of the plan, and the idea expired in embryo.
The close of a chequered life now drew near. He had for many years been affected by strangury, which increased upon him in violence and pain, as the repentant agitation of his mind was provoked by the embarrassment of his affairs. To such a pitch was the disorder thus aggravated, that he fell into a nervous fever, which affected him so poignantly, that he broke out into evident signs of remorse, and declared his disgust of life. In this state he consulted an old friend, Mr. Hawes, the apothecary, and expressed an eager desire to try James's fever powders. The visitor opposed the idea most urgently; and, when he found himself unlikely to prevail, begged that he would at least call in a physician. The request was complied with, and Mr. Hawes' opinion strongly confirmed by Dr. Fordyce; but, deaf to all entreaty and advice, Goldsmith persisted in his resolution. He took the medicine and died. Every attention was paid to him in his last moments, but no art could counteract the effects of his own obstinacy. An interment in Westminster Abbey, suitable to the reputation of the author, and the character of his friends, was projected, but hastily abandoned as soon as it was declared that he died in debt. It were well if the same moral principle were enforced upon all similar occasions. Goldsmith was meanly buried in the Temple church-yard, in the presence of a few private friends.
Oliver Goldsmith is an author justly entitled to the highest meed of praise. Whether in prose or poetry, he is equally excellent; and no better example of a pure style of English idiom and classical composition can be desired than the one furnished by his pages. With the gentlest heart himself, he never had any desire but to please ; he walks in one path, and as that is always flowery, he never seeks to astonish by unprecedented efforts, or to terrify by unusual dangers. Perhaps no writer was ever more felicitous in the measure of his art ; for he abounds in wit and humour, without ever verging on the asperities of satire; and is indefatigable in detecting faults, and exposing vice, without colouring crime. This is the mastery of art; for it not unfrequently happens that a glowing description of the delusive snares by which the wicked
are led into their excesses, induces others to tamper with dangerous pleasures, from a vain idea that the extremities of evil are, notwithstanding, far removed. It is needless to expatiate upon the many examples which prove that those extremities are often reached before their propinquity is even suspected. Such was the variety of his powers, and such the felicity of his performances, that he always seemed to excel in whatever he last attempted; and thus the generality of readers may be always allowed to doubt whether in poetry he rivalled the correct melody of Pope's numbers, more than in prose he emulated the elegant simplicity of Addison. But if a choice were of necessity to be made, perhaps the world would be best pleased to possess poetry rather than prose, even from the author of the Vicar of Wakefield.'
RIGHT HON. HENRY GRATTAN, M.P.
The life of Henry Grattan reveals the true history of a patriot ;-a simple statement, which includes the highest merits and the greatest praise, supersedes the ordinary forms of panegyric, and the arts of ornament and interest, and leaves the mere language of eulogy inexpressive. The worth of such a man is best discerned in the recital of his actions. Born in Dublin during the year 1751, he completed his education in the University of his native city, where he was early distinguished as the classical rival of Mr. Fitzgibbon, afterwards Earl of Clare, and Mr. Foster, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. His father was a barrister enjoying the place of Recorder to the Corporation of Dublin, and a competent practice at the bar, the just rewards of talent and integrity. To the same profession young Grattan was also destined : accordingly, after entering his name at the King's Inn of Court, in Dublin, he proceeded to London, and kept his terms in the Temple. While thus occupied, he formed intimate acquaintances with Hugh Boyd and Mr. Eden, afterwards Lord Auckland, -facts which are only mentioned here, because the letters of Junius were at one time attributed to this trio.
Being called to the Irish bar in 1772, he walked the hall of the four Courts in Dublin, with an empty bag, for some three or four years, and then gave up every regard towards a profession in which the most liberal minds are not generally the most likely to acquire the highest reputation. To this resolution the death of his father, who left him a competent fortune, in all probability materially contributed. About the same time, he was introduced to the late Earl of Charlemont, and by his influence was returned to the Irish House of Commons in 1775, for the borough from
which that admirable nobleman assumed his title. In this
capacity, the first of Grattan's speeches, that has been preserved, was delivered upon a motion made by the late Marquis of Londonderry, then Mr. Robert Stuart, relative to the public expenditure. It is in every respect a favourable earnest of his future fame.
In this place a short statement descriptive of the condition of Ireland at or about this conjuncture, (that country so proverbially notorious for persecution, want, and misery) seems absolutely necessary to a just comprehension of the mighty career for which Grattan now disciplined his spirit. The following, then, were the wrongs more loudly complained of:-The Irish Parliament, which had been established a distinct and independent authority by Henry IV. and Henry VI., was virtually ineffectual and inoperative; for an act of George the I. had subjected the people of Ireland to laws made in the English Parliament, whether those laws were or were not submitted to, or confirmed by, their own legislature. The staple trade of the country consisted of woollen and linen manufactures and provisions. Of these the woollen manufacture was totally prohibited ; that of linen was loaded with enormous duties, and confined to internal consumption ; and provisions--butter, bacon, cattle, &c, were shut in from the foreign market. No Irish merchant could trade to the Indies, or export or import goods in any but an English vessel. These restrictions affected every man in the country, and it is impossible to conceive measures more vexatiously calculated to exhaust the resources of the island, or beggar its population. But the Catholics, who at that and every other time constituted the great majority of the inhabitants, groaned under a penal law far more cruel. In truth, it is difficult to read of a state of things so outrageously tyrannical, and conceive that in the eighteenth century Great Britain could have been so immeasurably disgraced. No Catholic was allowed to marry a Protestant; if he sent his child to a foreign seminary, he forfeited his estates, while, to prevent the education of the offspring in the faith of its parent at home, it was declared a felony for any
Catholic to teach a school. Should the child turn a Protestant, he was permitted to wrest away the father's property unless he also apostatized. No Catholic could purchase land in fee-simple, or hold a lease for more than thirty years, or lend
money on mortgage, or even buy an annuity. Should be die intestate, the next of kin, who was a Protestant, became his heir at law, to the exclusion of his own wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, &c. &c. : and reversely when a Protestant died intestate, all the Catholic relations, to the tenth generation, were incapacitated from inheritance. Catholics were debarred from every civil office and privilege of honour or emolument, from the shrievalty of a county, and a seat on a jury, down to a petty constableship, or a vote at a vestry, or the election of a member of parlia
Such was the enervation of his country, and such the grievances of his countrymen, when, on the 19th of April, 1780, Henry Grattan first came forward in the Irish House of Commons, with a declaration of rights. The speech in which he pressed this motion has been considered the best he ever pronounced. Rapid and animated, keen and argumentative, it is at the same time grand and simple, admirable in conception, and complete in execution. But an extract will afford a better idea of its style, than any cri. tical analysis can give. th
“If I had lived when the 9th of William took away the woollen manufacture, or when the 6th of George I. declared this country to be dependant, and subject to laws to be enacted by the Parliament of England, I should have made a covenant with my own conscience to seize the first moment of rescuing my country from the ignominy of such acts of power; or, if I had a son, I should have administered to him an oath, that he would consider himself as a person separate and set apart for the discharge of so important a duty. Upon the same principle am I now come to move a declaration of right, the first moment orcurring since my time, in which such a declaration could be made, with any chance of success, or without aggravation of oppression.”
“See her military ardour (Ireland's), expressed not only in forty thousand men (the volunteers), conducted by instinct as they were raised by inspiration, but manifested in the zeal and promptitude of every young member of the growing community.