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thought, nor majesty in his elocution; but he was, clear and manly: there was a plain vigour about him. Thought started through his diction; it wanted roundness and colour, but it was muscular and strong. It was not "pinguitudine nitescens." If it were deficient in bloom and fulness, it had not a greasy and plethoric gloss; it derived advantages from the absence of decoration, for its nakedness became the simplicity of primitive truth.. Mr. Saurin obtained a well-merited popularity. His efforts were strenuous and unremitted; but what could they avail? The minister had an easy task to perform:-there was, at first, a show of coyness in the prostitute venality of the majority of the House; it only required an increased ardour of solicitation, and a more fervent pressure of the "itching palm." No man understood the arts of parliamentary seduction better than Lord Castlereagh. He succeeded to the full extent of his undertaking, and raised himself to the highest point of ambition to which a subject can aspire. But those who had listened to his blandishments, found, in the emptiness of title, and in the baseness of pecuniary reward, an inadequate compensation for the loss of personal consequence which they eventually sustained. In place of the reciprocal advantages which they might have imparted and received, by spending their fortunes in the metropolis of their own country, such among them as are now exported in the capacity of representatives from Ireland are lost in utter insignificance. Instead of occupying the magnificent mansions which are now falling into decay, they are domiciliated in second stories of the lanes and alleys in the vicinity of St. Stephen's. They may be seen every evening at Bellamy's digesting their solitary meal, until "the whipper in" has aroused them to the only purpose for which their existence is recognised; or in the House itself, verifying the prophetic description of Curran, by "sleeping in their collars under the manger of the British minister." The case is still worse with the anomalous nobility of the Irish Peer. There is a sorry mockery in the title, which is almost a badge, as it is a product, of his disgrace. He bears it as the snail does the painted shell elaborated from its slime. His family are scarcely admitted among the aristocracy, and, when admitted, it is only to be scorned. It requires the nicest exercise of subtle stratagem, and the suppression of every feeling of pride, on the part of an Irish lady, to effect her way into the great patrician coteries. The scene which Miss Edgeworth has so admirably described at the saloon of the Opera-house, in which the Irish countess solicits the haughty recognition of the English duchess, is of nightly recurrence. Even great talents are not exempted from this spirit of national depreciation. Mr. Grattan himself never enjoyed the full dignity which ought, in every country, to have been an appanage to his genius. As to Lord Clare, he died of a broken heart. The Duke of Bedford crushed the plebeian peer with a single tread. What, then, must be the case with the inferior class of Irish senators; and how must they repine at the suicidal act with which, in their madness, they were tempted to annihilate their existence !
I have dwelt upon the results of the Union, as it affected individual importance, because Mr. Saurin appears to have been sensible of them, and to have acted upon that sense. He has never since that event set his foot upon the English shore. He was well aware that he should disappear in the modern Babylon; and with the worldly sagacity by
which he is characterised, when his country lost her national importance, he preferred to the lacqueying of the English aristocracy the enjoy ment of such provincial influence as may be still obtained in Ireland. Mr. Plunket resigned the situation of attorney-general in 1807. It was offered to Mr. Saurin, who accepted it. This office is, perhaps, the most powerful in Ireland: it is attended with great patronage, emolument, and authority. The attorney-general appoints the judges. of the land, and nominates to those multitudinous places with which the government has succeeded in subduing the naturally democratic tendencies of the Bar. Every measure in any way connected with the administration of justice originates with him. In England, the attorney-general is consulted upon the law. In Ireland he is almost the law itself: he not only approves, but he directs. The personal character of Mr. Saurin gave him an additional sway. He gained a great individual ascendancy over the mind of the Lord Chancellor. In the Castle Cabinet, he was almost supreme; and his authority was the more readily submitted to, as it was exercised without being displayed. He was speedily furnished with much melancholy occasion to put his power into action. The Catholic Board assumed a burlesque attitude of defiance; the press became every day more violent; the newspapers were tissues of libels, in the legal sense of the word, for they were enve
nomed with the most deleterious truth. Prosecutions were instituted and conducted by Mr. Saurin: an ebullition of popular resentment was the result, and reciprocal animosity was engendered out of mutual recrimination. The orators were furious upon one hand, and Mr. Saurin became enraged upon the other. His real character was disclosed in the collision. He was abused, I admit, and vilified. The foulest accusations were emptied, from their aërial abodes, by pamphleteers, upon his head. The authors of the garret discharged their vituperations upon him. It was natural that he should get into bad odour: but wedded as he was to the public interests, he should have borne these aspersions of the popular anger with a more Socratic temper; unhappily, however, he was infected by this shrewish spirit, and took to scolding. In his public speeches a weak virulence and spite were manifested, which, in such a man, was deeply to be deplored. Much of the blame ought, perhaps, to attach to those who baited him into fury; and it is not greatly to be regretted that many of them were gored and tossed in this ferocious contest. The original charges brought against him were unjust; but the vehemence with which they were retorted, as well as repelled, divested them, in some degree, of their calumnious quality, and exemplified their truth. Mr. Saurin should have recollected, that he had at one time given utterance to language nearly as intemperate himself, and had laid down the same principles with a view to a distinct application. He had harangued upon the will of the majority, and he forgot that it was constituted by the Papists. On a sudden he was verted, from a previous neutrality, into the most violent opponent of Roman Catholic emancipation. I entertain little doubt that his hostility was fully as personal as it was constitutional. There appears to be a great inconsistency between his horror of the Union and of the Catholics. They are as seven to one in the immense population of Ireland; and when they are debased by political disqualification, it can only be justified upon the ground that it promotes the interests of the Empire.
But Mr. Saurin discarded the idea of making a sacrifice of Ireland to Imperial considerations, when the benefits of the Union were pointed I fear, also, that he wants magnanimity, and that his antipathies are influenced, in part, by his domestic recollections. His ancestors were persecuted in France, but his gratitude to the country in which they found a refuge, should have suppressed any inclination to retaliate upon the religion of the majority of its people. I shall not expatiate upon the various incidents which distinguished this period of forensic turmoil. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Saurin obtained verdicts of condemnation. But his high character and his peace of mind were affected by his ignominious success. He grew into an object of national distaste. His own personal dispositions, which are naturally kind and good, were materially deteriorated. Every man at the Bar, with liberal opinions on the Catholic question, was regarded by him with dislike. A single popular sentiment was a disqualification for place. But let me turn from the less favourable points of his character. This censure should be qualified by large commendation. His patronage was confined to his party, but it was honourably exercised. Those whom he advanced were able and honest men. The sources of justice were never vitiated by any unworthy preferences upon his part. Neither did he lavish emolument on his own family. In the list of pensioners the name of Saurin does not often bear attestation to his power. I should add to his other merits, his unaffected modesty. He has always been easy, accessible, and simple. He had none of the "morgue aristocratique," nor the least touch of official superciliousness on his brow.
Mr. Saurin, as Attorney-general, may be said to have governed Ireland for fifteen years; but, at the moment when he seemed to have taken the firmest stand upon the height of his authority, he was precipitated to the ground. The Grenvilles joined the minister. It was stipulated that Plunket should be restored to his former office. Saurin was offered the place of Chief Justice of the King's Bench, which in a fit of splenetic vexation he had the folly to refuse. The new local government did not give him a moment for repentance, and he was thrown at once from the summit of his power. There was not
a single intervening circumstance to break his precipitous descent, and he was stunned, if not shattered, in the fall. He might, however, have expected it; he had no political connexions to sustain him. He is married, indeed; to a sister of the Marquis of Thomond; but that alliance was a feeble obstacle to the movement of a great party. His official friends immolated him to exigency; but they would have sacrificed him to convenience. The only man in power, perhaps, who personally lamented his ill usage, was Lord Manners; and even his Lordship was aware, for six months before, of the intended change, and never disclosed it to him in their diurnal walks to the Hall of the Four Courts. This suppression Mr. Saurin afterwards resented; but, upon a declaration from his friend that he was influenced by a regard for his feelings, they were reconciled. He did not choose to warn him, at the banquet, of the sword that he saw suspended over his head.
He is now plain Mr. Saurin again, and he bears this reverse with a great deal of apparent, and some real fortitude. When he was first deprived of his office, I watched him in the Hall. The public eye was
upon him; and the onsciousness of general observation in calamity inflicts peculiar pain. The joyous alacrity of Plunket was less a matter of comment than the resigned demeanour of his fallen rival. Richard was as much gazed at as Bolingbroke. It was said by most of those who saw him, that he looked as cheerful as ever. In fact, be looked more cheerful, and that appeared to me to give evidence of the constraint which he put upon himself. There was a forced hilarity about him-he wore an alertness and vivacity, which were not made for his temperament ;-his genuine smile is flexible and easy; but upon this occasion it lingered with a mechanical procrastination upon the lips, which shewed that it did not take its origin at the heart. There was also too ready a proffer of the hand to his old friends, who gave him a warm but a silent squeeze. I thought him a subject for study, and followed him into the Court of Chancery. He discharged his business with more than his accustomed diligence and skill;-but when his part was done, and he bent his head over a huge brief, the pages of which he seemed to turn without a consciousness of their contents, I have heard him heave at intervals a low sigh. When he returned again to the Hall, I have observed him in a moment of professional leisure while he was busied with his own solitary thoughts, and I could perceive a gradual languor stealing over the melancholy mirth which he had been personating before. His figure, too, was bent and depressed, as he walked back to the Court of Chancery; and before he passed through the green curtains which divide it from the Hall, I have seen him pause for an instant, and throw a look at the King's Bench. It was momentary, but too full of expression to be casual, and seemed to unite in its despondency a deep sense of the wrong which he had sustained from his friends, and the more painful injury which he had inflicted upon himself,
If Rembrandt were living in our times, he should paint a portrait of Saurin his countenance and deportment would afford an appropriate subject to the shadowy pencil of that great artist. There should be no gradual melting of colours into each other-there should be no softness of touch, and no nice variety of hue; there should be no skyno flowers--no drapery-no marble: but a grave and sober minded man should stand upon the canvass, with the greater proportion of his figure in opacity and shadow, and with a strong line of light breaking through a monastic window upon his corrugated brow. His countenance is less serene than tranquil; it has much deliberate consideration, but little depth or wisdom; its whole expression is peculiarly quiet and subdued. His eye is black and wily, and glitters under the mass of a rugged and shaggy eye-brow. There is a certain sweetness in its glance, somewhat at variance with the general indications of character which are conveyed in his look. His forehead is thoughtful, but neither bold nor lofty. It is furrowed by long study and recent care. There is a want of intellectual elevation in his aspect, but he has a cautious shrewdness and a discriminating perspicacity. With much affability and good-nature about the mouth; in the play of its minuter expression, a sedate and permanent vindictiveness may readily be found. His features are broad and deeply founded, but they are not blunt; without being destitute of proportion, they are not finished with delicacy or point. His dress is like his manners, perfectly plain, and
remarkable for its neat propriety. He is wholly free from vulgarity, and quite denuded of accomplishment. He is of the middle size, and his frame, like his mind, is compact and well knit together. There is an intimation of slowness and suspicion in his movements, and the spirit of caution seems to regulate his gait. He has nothing of the Catilinarian walk, and it might be readily conjectured that he was not destined for a conspirator. His whole demeanour bespeaks neither dignity nor meanness. There is no fraud about him; but there is a disguise of his emotions which borders upon guile. His passions are violent, and are rather covered than suppressed: they have little effect upon his exterior-the iron stove scarcely glows with the intensity of its internal fire. He looks altogether a worldly and sagacious man— sly, cunning, and considerate--not ungenerous, but by no means exalted-with some sentiment, and no sensibility: kind in his impulses, and warped by involuntary prejudice: gifted with the power of dissembling. his own feelings, rather than of assuming the character of other men : more acute than comprehensive, and subtle than refined: a man of point and of detail: no adventurer, either in conduct or speculation : a lover of usage, and an enemy to innovation: perfectly simple and unaffected: one who can bear adversity well and prosperity still better: a little downcast in ill-fortune, and not at all supercilious in success : something of a republican by nature, but fashioned by circumstances into a tory: moral, but not pious decent, but not devout: honourable, but not chivalrous: affectionate, but not tender: a man who could go far to serve a friend, and a good way to hurt a foe: and, take him for all in all, an useful and estimable member of society.
I have mentioned his French origin, and it is legibly expressed in his lineaments and hue. In other countries, one national physiognomy prevails through the mass of the people. In every district and in every class we meet with a single character of face. But in Ireland, the imperfect grafting of colonization is easily perceived, in the great variety of countenance which is every where to be found: the notches are easily discerned upon the original stock. The Danic of Kildare is known by his erect form, his sanded complexion, his blue and independent eye, and the fairness of his rich and flowing hair. The Spaniard in the west, shews among the dominions of Mr. Martin, his swarthy features and his black Andalusian eye. A Presbyterian church in the north, exhibits a quadrangular breadth of jaw-bone, and a shrewd sagacity of look in its calculating and moral congregation, which the best Baillie in Glasgow would not disown. Upon the southern mountain and in the morass, the wild and haggard face of the aboriginal Irishman is thrust upon the traveller, through the aperture in his habitation of mud which pays the double debt of a chimney and a door. His red and strongly curled hair, his angry and courageous eye, his short and blunted features, thrown at hazard into his countenance, and that fantastic compound of intrepidity and cunning, of daring and of treachery, of generosity and of falsehood, of fierceness and of humour, and of absurdity and genius, which is conveyed in his expression, is not inappropriately discovered in the midst of crags and bogs, and through the medium of smoke. When he descends into the city, this barbarian of art, (for he has been made so by the landlord and the law-nature never intended him to be so,) presents a singular contrast to the