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three weeks hence, when he would lie there, and I would not fail to drink a pot with him.'-pp. 470, 471.
At length the royal fugitive reached Brighton, and effected his escape in a small vessel, the captain of which instantly recognised him, as well as the landlord of the inn at which he supped. What would have been the effect of their discovering him to the authorities it is now vain to inquire. The nation required the bitter experience which was learnt between 1660 and 1688. It was to be disgraced, and to feel itself disgraced, before the eyes of Europe. The iron was to enter into its soul, and its noblest spirits to be cast out, imprisoned, and beheaded. For all this the life of Charles was needful, and it was therefore preserved as the disgrace and curse of the empire. We have happily outlived some of the follies of our fathers. Others yet survive, but let us hope that such another lesson will never be again required.
The narrative from which we have extracted is fraught with the deepest romance, and will be read at all times, and by all classes, with more than the interest of the strangest fiction. Mr. Bohn would do wisely to separate the 'Memoirs' from the other contents of the volume.
happirved as the lite of the case
Art. IX.-The Miscellaneous Works of the Right Honourable Sir James
Mackintosh. In 3 vols. 8vo. London: Longman and Co. These volumes belong in part to the recent series of splendid republications from the Edinburgh Review, and will be received with favour and thankfulness by a numerous class of readers. The separate publication of review articles has, till lately, been deemed too hazardous a speculation even for our most adventurous booksellers; and the consequence has been that a large mass of profound philosophy, accurate scholarship, varied literature, and splendid rhetoric, has lain entombed amongst the almost numberless volumes of our older periodicals. We are glad at the new order of things which has arisen, and hope the success of the reprints of Smith, Jeffrey, Macauley, and Mackintosh, and of our own Hall and Foster, will lead to similar selections from other journals. Such productions deserve a longer and more fruitful life than the ephemerical existence of a periodical, however eminent, can secure. A large portion of English literature, after serving a temporary purpose, has hitherto been lost, the preservation of which would have been productive of the largest and most useful results.
The author of the present volumes possessed a higher reputation amongst his contemporaries than he will probably have with posterity. Few men of his day was thought of more highly, or had larger credit given to them. There were few things within his vocation, of which he was deemed incapable. What he accomplished received a generous interpretation, and was regarded as an earnest of the much greater things he could do. Men did not nicely weigh and measure the actual production, but looking at its kind and character, they concluded that he who had done a few things so well, was destined to achieve for himself a high name amongst the ornaments and instructors of his country. Nor was this feeling confined to any clique, however much indebted it may have been in its early stage to such patronage. It was more general than in almost any other case. Men of all grades, and of various shades of political opinions concurred in it; and it continued, without serious diminution, to the close of life. Now it is vain, it is mere folly, to allege, as some are obviously inclined to do, that all this was delusion, a common consent on the part of his compeers, to invest inanity, or even mediocre talent, with attributes incomparably above its nature. It was far too general an opinion to be based on the dictum of any coterie, or to have sprung out of the partialities of any political association. What Sir James Mackintosh did, though very limited, and disproportioned alike to his capabilities and his intentions, is yet sufficient to disprove the disparaging criticism in which some of our contemporaries are disposed to indulge. We could wish he had done more. We are ready to admit his culpability in having so far neglected the gift that was in him; but it is alike ungenerous and untruthful to allege on this account, that he was unworthy of his fame, and does not merit a bigh place amongst the literati of his day.
There are few public men for whom we entertain a more profound respect. His qualities were adapted to inspire it, and to mingle with the reverence due to intellect, the confidence awakened by integrity, and the attachment which candour and benevolence constrain. His varied knowledge and constitutional lore, the large and liberal views he entertained, his generous sympathy with English freedom, the soundness and impartiality of his judgment, his candour as a controvertialist, the scrupulousness with which he weighed conflicting evidence, and the obvious regret with which he drew unfavourable conclusions, all combined with his amenity and self command to secure a far larger share of esteem and attachment than falls to the lot of most men. He was one of the most upright and clear-headed of our statesmen, and, amongst the followers of literature, was unsurpassed for candour and generous sympathy. Whatever may be thought of his individual judgments, no man doubted his solicitude to decide right.
It is not difficult to account for the high reputation of Sir James Mackintosh. It had its origin no doubt in the opportune service which he rendered to a powerful political party at a critical period of their history, or rather, to speak more correctly, such service secured him what he might otherwise never have had, a fair occasion for the exhibition of his powers. We sball presently have to speak of the circumstances under which his Vindiciæ Gallica' was published. At present we simply remark that the Whigs were staggering under the fierce onslaught of Mr. Burke, and were not slightly injured in the esti. mation of the more opulent and timid, by their supposed identification with the rough, masculine vigour, and democratic principles of “The Rights of Man.' The appearance, at such a moment, of an advocate who could combine a logic as superior to that of their assailant, as his principles were sounder, and more constitutional, and whose style, though less splendidly imaginative, was at once lucid, chaste, and nervous, fit for 'ears polite,' and yet level to the apprehension of the popular mind, was an event calculated to awaken their gratitude, and to lead to the temporary apotheosis of their champion. What might have been expected, actually ensued. Mackintosh emerged from obscurity, and stood revealed a man of distinguished and noble parts. But for this, he might have remained unknown. His natural indolence would probably have prevented his forcing himself into notice, and he would have passed off the stage respected and admired by a contracted circle, but unknown beyond its limits. So much he owed to what men call fortune, but his meridian would soon have been attained, and an early decline have followed, had there been no inherent powers equal to his position. These were elicited by the occasion, and the estimation in which they were held up to his decease, by the most discerning of his contemporaries, may be safely taken as evidence of their rank.
In estimating the living reputation of Sir James Mackintosh, his conversational powers must be taken into account. To judge of it by his writings merely, is manifestly erroneous, and can only lead to false conclusions. It was based on the whole man,-on what he said, as well as on what he wrote, the philosophy he propounded in the company of the learned, the history he talked in the social circle, as well as the disquisitions, the biography, and narratives which he communicated to his
countrymen, through the press. Of the former, little survives him; but the report of those who knew him well goes far to justify the reverence in which they held his wisdom. 'In his most familiar talk,' remarks a friendly critic, whose admiration is equalled only by the keenness of his perception and the felicitous beauties of the sketch he has furnished, 'there was no wildness, no inconsistency, no amusing nonsense, no exaggeration for the sake of momentary effect. His mind was a vast magazine, admirably arranged. Every thing was there, and every thing was in its place. His judgments on men, on sects, on books, had been often and carefully tested and weighed, and had then been committed, each to his proper receptacle, in the most capacious and accurately constructed memory that any human being ever possessed. It would have been strange, indeed, if you had asked for any thing that was not to be found in that immense storehouse. The article which you required was not only there. It was ready. It was in its own proper compartment. In a moment it was brought down, unpacked, and displayed. If those who enjoyed the privilege-for a privilege indeed it was—of listening to Sir James Mackintosh, had been disposed to find some fault in his conversation, they might perhaps have observed, that he yielded too little to the impulse of the moment. He seemed to be recollecting, not creating. He never appeared to catch a sudden glimpse of a subject in a new light. You never saw his opinions in the making, still rude, still inconsistent, and requiring to be fashioned by thought and discussion. They came forth, like the pillars of that temple in which no sound of axes or hammers was heard, finished, rounded, and exactly suited to their places*.'
It is no uncommon thing for contemporary fame to exceed that which is posthumous, even in the case of minds of a distinguished order. Many things may prevent genius from leaving permanent memorials of its power; and whenever this is the case, coming generations will be destitute of the materials on which alone high fame can permanently rest. To go no further than our own times and circle, we may adduce the case of Robert Hall, than whom there has rarely visited our earth a more profound and expansive intellect,-a genius, before whose subtle glance germs of ethereal beauty and of recondite truths were more distinctly unveiled. Yet what will a coming generation know of the splendour and beauty of his intellect, com
• Macauley's Essays, ii., p. 206. A similar opinion is recorded by another distinguished contemporary and friend. His mind,' said the Rev. Robert Hall, referring to Sir James, is a spacious repository, hung round with beautiful images, and when he wants one, he has nothing to do but reach up his hand to a peg, and take it down. But his images were not manu factured in his mind, they were imported.'-Hall's Works, vol. vi. p. 122.
pared with the revelation vouchsafed to those who gazed on his impassioned countenance as he delivered God's message of mercy to man, or who listened to his varied and profound philosophy when he met with kindred spirits in the social circle. Now so it was we affirm-without meaning to assert any close resemblance between their intellects-with Sir James Mackintosh. He wrote much, but he talked more, and his fame rested on the latter conjointly with the former. The men of his day, therefore, estimated him more highly than coming generations will do. This was inevitable. It grows out of the circumstances of the case, and ought not to be hurriedly dismissed as another proof of the world's unfairness.
It must not however be supposed, that Sir James did little with his pen. This was not the case; and the character of what he did, goes far to justify the opinion which his contemporaries formed of his powers. Considering his strong disinclination to the manual labour of writing, the necessities of his early position, the part he took in politics, his judicial occupation, and his broken health, we rather marvel at his doing so much, than at his not doing more. There were many excuses at hand to palliate, if they could vot justify, his indolence; and the better elements of his nature must have struggled manfully to have achieved what they did. The contents of the volumes before us were the result, and we hasten to acquaint our readers with their character.
The advertisement of the editor informs us that, with the exception of the History of England, 'these volumes contain whatever is believed to be of the most value in the writings of Sir James Mackintosh. They commence with the ‘Dissertation on the Progress of Ethical Philosophy,' originally prefixed to the Britannica Encyclopædia, and contain, in addition to various articles reprinted from the Edinburgh Review, and speeches delivered in the senate on various important questions,
A Discourse on the Law of Nature and Nations, the “Life of Sir Thomas More,' 'Review of the causes of the Revolution of 1688' — previously published under the more ambitious title of History of the Revolution of 1688,'—and “Vindiciæ Gallicæ.''
The last of these works was published first; and as it had much to do with the position and subsequent career of its author, it seems fairly entitled to priority of notice. It marks distinctly his political creed and party, and brought him into notice with more rapidity and effect, than his most sanguine moments had probably anticipated. It was published in April, 1791, and, as his son and biographer remarks, ' at once placed its author, at the age of twenty-six, in the very first rank of the