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sued Walpole as its cause, betokened any thing rather than greatness of soul.
That the genius which he displayed in the senate, his wisdom, his address, and his resources in council, should, when joined to fascinating manners and literary accomplishments, have made him shine in society without a rival, can easily be comprehended. So great an orator, so noble a person in figure and in demeanour one so little under the dominion of the principle which makes men harsh, and the restraints which tend to render their manners formal was sure to captivate all superficial observers, and even to win the more valuable applause of superior minds. To do that which he did so well, naturally pleased him; to give delight was itself delightful; and he indulged in the more harmless relaxations of society, long after he had ceased to be a partaker in the less reputable pleasures of olished life. He probably left as high a reputation behind him among the contemporaries of his maturer years for his social qualities, which remained by him to the last, as he had gained with those who remembered the eloquence that in his earlier days had shook the senate, or the policy and intrigues that had also shaken the monarchy itself. The dreadful malady under which he long lingered and at length sunk-a cancer in the face-he bore with exemplary fortitude, a fortitude drawn from the natural resources of his vigorous mind, and unhappily not aided by the consolations of any religion; for having early cast off the belief in revelation, he had substituted in its stead a dark and gloomy naturalism, which did not even admit of those glimmerings of hope as to futurity, not untasted by the wiser of the heathens.
Such was Bolingbroke; and as such he must be regarded by impartial posterity, after the virulence of party has long subsided, and the view is no more intercepted either by the rancour of political enmity, or by the partiality of adherents, or by the fondness of friendship. Such, too, is Bolingbroke, when the gloss of trivial accomplishments is worn off by time, and the lustre of genius itself has faded beside the simple and transcendant light of virtue. The contemplation is not without its uses. The glare of talents and success is apt to obscure defects which are incomparably more mischievous than any intellectual powers can be either useful or admirable. Nor can a lasting renown-a renown that alone deserves the aspirations of a rational beingever be built upon any foundations save those which are laid in an honest heart and a firm purpose, both conspiring to work out the good of mankind. That renown will be as imperishable as it is pure.
ART. VI.-Physical Theory of Another Life. By the Author of Natural History of Enthusiasm.' 8vo. London : 1839.
N a series of volumes of later birth than that from which the author of the Natural History of Enthusiasm' takes the title of his literary peerage, he has bent his strength to the task of revealing to itself the generation to which he belongs. A thankless office that of the censorship! A formidable enterprise this, to rebuke the errors of a contentious age, while repelling the support of each of the contending parties! To appease the outraged selfcomplacency of mankind, such a monitor will be cited before a tribunal far more relentless than his own. Heedless both of contumely and of neglect, he must pursue his labours in reliance on himself and on his cause; or, if fame be the reward to which he aspires, he must content himself with the anticipation of posthumous renown. It is not, however, easy for the aspirant himself to find the necessary aliment for such hopes. The writer of these works will therefore indulge us in a theory invented for the aid of his and our own imagination. Let it be supposed, that, instead of yet living to instruct the world, he was now engaged in bringing to the test of experiment his own speculations as to the condition of mankind in the future state. He re-appears amongst sublunary men under the auspices of some not unfriendly editor; who, however, being without any other sources of intelligence respecting his course of life and studies, has diligently searched his books for such intimations as may furnish the materials for a short Introductory Notice' of him and of them. The compiler is one of those who prefer the positive to the conjectural style of recounting matters of fact; and has assumed the freedom of throwing into the form of unqualified assertion the inferences he has gleaned from detached passages of the volumes he is about to republish. With the help of this slight and not very improbable hypothesis, the author of these works, while still remaining amongst us, may suppose himself to be reading, in some such lines as the following, the sentence which the critic of a future day will pass on his literary character.
One of those seemingly motionless rivers, which wind their way through the undulating surface of England, creeps round the outskirts of a long succession of buildings, half-town, half-village, where the monotony of the wattled cottages is relieved by the usual neighbourhood of structures of greater dignity;—the moated grange, the mansion-house, pierced by lines of high narrow windows, the square tower of the church, struggling through a copse of lime-trees,-the grey parsonage, where the conservative
Rector meditates his daily newspaper and his weekly discourse,the barn-fashioned meeting-house, coeval with the accession of the House of Hanover, and near it the decent residence, in which, since that auspicious era, have dwelt the successive pastors of that wandering flock,-fanning a generous spirit of resistance to tyrants, now happily to be encountered only in imagination, or in the records of times long since passed away. Towards the close of the last century, a mild and venerable man ruled his household in that modest but not unornamented abode; for there might be seen the solemn portraits of the original confessors of Nonconformity, with many a relic commemorative of their sufferings and their worth. Contrasted with these were the lighter and varied embellishments, which bespeak the presence of refined habits, female taste, and domestic concord. There also were
drawn up, in deep files, the works and the biographies of the Puritan divines, from Thomas Cartwright, the great antagonist of Whitgift, to Matthew Pool, who, in his Synopsis Criticorum, vindicated the claims of the rejected ministers to profound Biblical learning. This veteran battalion was flanked by a company of recruits drafted from the polite literature of a more frivolous age. Rich in these treasures, and in the happy family with whom he shared them, the good man would chide or smile away such clouds as checkered his habitual serenity, when those little nameless courtesies, so pleasantly interchanged between equals, were declined by the orthodox incumbent, or accepted with elaborate condescension by the wealthy squire. The democratic sway of the ruling elders, supreme over the finances and the doctrines of the chapel, failed to draw an audible sigh from his resolute spirit, even when his more delicate sense was writhing under wounds imperceptible to their coarser vision. He had deliberately made his choice, and was content to pay the accustomed penalties. A sectarian in name, he was at heart a catholic, generous enough to feel that the insolence of some of his neighbours, and the vulgarity of others, were rather the accidents of their position than the vices of their character. Vexations such as these were beneath the regard of him who maintained in the village the sacred cause for which martyrs had sacrificed life with all its enjoyments; and who aspired to train up his son to the same honourable service, ill requited as it was by the glory or the riches of this transitory world.
That hope, however, was not to be fulfilled. The youth had inherited his father's magnanimity, his profound devotion, his freedom of thought, and his thirst for knowledge. But he disclaimed the patrimony of his father's ecclesiastical opinions. His was not one of those minds which adjust themselves to whatever mould early habits may have prepared for them. It was
compounded of elements, between which there are no apparent affinities, but the reverse; and which, for that reason, produce in their occasional and infrequent combination, a character substantive, individual, and strongly discriminated from that of other men. Shrinking from the coarse familiarities of the world, he thirsted for the world's applause-at once a very libertine in the unfettered exercise of his own judgment, and a very worshipper of all legitimate authority-alternately bracing his nerves for theological strife, and dissolving them in romantic dreams-now buried in the depths of retirement, that he might plunge deeper still into the solitudes of his own nature; and then revealing his discoveries in a style copied from the fashionable models of philosophical oratory:-the young man of whom we tell might be described as a sensitive plant grafted on a Norwegian pine, as a Spartan soldier enamoured of the Idylls of Theocritus, or as an anchorite studious of the precepts of the cosmetic Earl of Chesterfield. Nature and accident combined to produce this contrast; integrity and truth gradually blended it into one harmonious, though singular whole. The robust structure of his understanding might have rendered him a rude dogmatist, if the delicate texture of his sensitive or spiritual frame had not forbidden every approach of arrogance. Exploring with intrepid diligence the great questions debated amongst men regarding their eternal interests, he recoiled with disgust from the unmannerly habits, the sordid passions, and the petty jealousies which proclaim, but too loudly, that while we dispute about the path to heaven, we are still treading the miry ways of this uncelestial world. Angelic abodes, and holy abstractions, and universal love, were the alluring themes; but, handled as they were by polemics in the language of Dennis, and in the spirit of the Dunciad, our theological student was sometimes tempted to wish that the day on which he was initiated into the mysteries of the Hornbook might be blotted from the Calendar. Thrown into early association with the depressed and less prosperous party in the ecclesiastical quarrels of his native land, the asperities of the contest presented themselves to his inquisitive and too susceptible eye, unmitigated by the graceful and well-woven veil, beneath which sophistry and rancour can find a specious disguise when allied to rank and fortune and other social distinctions. Episcopal charges and congregational pamphlets might vie with each other in bitterness and wrong; but there rested with the mitred disputant an unquestionable advantage in the grace and dignity and seeming composure with which he inflicted pain and quickened the appetite for revenge. By the unsullied moral sense of the young divine, either form of malevolence might be equally condemned; but to his fastidious taste the
ruder aspect which it bore amongst the advocates of dissent was by far the more offensive.
Feelings painfully alive to the ungraceful and the homely in human character, invariably indicate an absence of the higher powers of imagination. To a great painter the countenance of no man is entirely devoid of beauty. To one worthy of the much prostituted name of poet, no forms of society are without their interest and their charm. But he whom the gods have not made poetical may be kind-hearted and wise, and even possessed by many a brilliant fancy, and by many a noble aspiration; and so it fared with this scion of a Nonconformist race. From the coarseness of a spiritual democracy, from the parsimonious simplicity of their sacred edifices, from the obtrusive prominence of the leaders of their worship, and from their seeming isolation in the midst of the great Christian commonwealth, his thoughts turned to those more august communions, where the splendours of earth symbolize the hierarchies of heaven-where the successors in an unbroken lineage of apostles and martyrs are yet ministering at the altar-where that consecrated shrine echoes to the creeds and the supplications of the first converts to the faith -and where alone can flourish those arduous but unobtrusive virtues, of which an exact subordination of ranks forms the indispensable basis. Already half-diverted by such yearnings as these from his hereditary standard, his return to the embrace of the Episcopal Church was further aided by a morbid dislike, unworthy of his powerful intellect, of falling into commonplace trains of thought or language. Educated in a body through which religious opinions and pious phrases but too lightly circulate, his instinctive dread of vulgarity led him into speculations where such associates would be shaken off, and to the use of a style such as was never employed by the dwellers in tabernacles. Of a nature the most unaffected, and irreproachably upright in the search of truth, he conducted his enquiries with such elaborate fineness of speech, and with such a fear of acquiescing in the bare creed of the school in which he had been bred, that his fellow scholars must have formed an unjust estimate of their companion, had he not been withdrawn in early life to other associations, and to far different studies from those which they had pursued in comFrom his parental village, the future author was transferred to the remote and busy world in which our English youth are instructed in the unjoyous science of special pleading, and trained for the dignities of the Coif.
By the unlearned in such matters, more distinct evidence of this passage in his life may perhaps be demanded than the indications which his writings afford of a technical acquaintance with