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of insubordination which may serve at the lowest to illustrate the high tone of independence, at that time participated in by few. Under the overruling and encroaching system of castle or council supremacy, which pervaded every institution in that day, it was not easy for such a man to continue long in any connexion with the administration: while, at the same time, his commanding powers and high reputation rendered it impossible that he should be passed over in the official appointments of his profession. In 1757, he was appointed chancellor of the exchequer, but was dismissed in 1760, on which he again assumed his barrister's gown. He soon after obtained a seat in the privy council, and a patent of precedence at the bar, before any of the legal officers of the crown,-"a precedence,” says Archdall, “as was justly observed at the time, which nature had given him before, and which the king could not take from him.”
In the latter periods of his career, it will be inferred from his more close connexion with government, that he must have attached himself to the policy of an administration, of which he cannot be presumed to have approved. But the condition of the country was then very peculiar; the time had, in fact, not arrived for effective opposition. There was no general spirit of resistance, and no strong phalanx of independence, and genius, to resist. A person (like Lucas for example,) of strong zeal, with a fiery spirit, and a breast impatient in the vindication of national rights, without a wide comprehension of constitutional workings, their causes and tendencies, would be led on to take his stand on local abuses, and partial questions, and waste much industry, acuteness, zeal, and courage, in a hopeless war of outposts. But the sagacity of a great constitutional lawyer was not so to be deceived. Malone soon began to measure, with a clear insight, the true forces which were at work, and to compute with precision, what the true value of opposition was likely to be. He saw how far off the period really was, when a resistance, which must depend on a combination of circumstances and talents not then existing, could have any prospect of success. He never doubted that all efforts, which might tend to promote and keep alive the spirit of constitutional resistance, must tend, however remotely, to good effects. But he saw where, and how, he could himself be most serviceable to his country. He saw, what was universally apparent, that there existed no effectual opposition; and that the only consequence which followed from an unavailing resistance was, that it wholly neutralized the talent and public virtue of those by whom it was offered: and he most wisely conceived that his own influential and authoritative abilities ought to be disposed where alone they could have any weight. It seemed to him, and justly, that, by obtaining weight and authority in the Irish government, he might enlighten and moderate its councils; and thus, in some degree, temper the measures of a power which he saw it was vain to resist. That these were mainly his actuating sentiments, appears strongly suggested by a passage which we shall here extract from Archdall. “Having found, by observation and experience, that, in all the contests between Ireland and England, Ireland was finally the sufferer, he thought it most prudent-as he has more than once observed to the writer of this account-to make the best compromise that could be made with our
powerful neighbours; and, on all great occasions, to conciliate rather than to exasperate.” With such views he supported the measures of government, while he endeavoured in the privy council, and often with success, to turn away, in the beginning, such councils as he saw likely to lead to prejudicial results.
His honesty was never called in question; it was so conspicuous a portion of his character, and so distinctly indicated in every part of his public conduct and private conversation, that it could never occur to the most fastidious observer, to refer his actions to any motive but the most honourable. He scrupulously abstained from seeking those favours from the government, to which every public man who supports its main policy has a just claim, and may both ask and accept without reproach. The principle of his public conduct was perfectly understood; in council he uniformly withstood such measures as he considered in any way detrimental to the interest of Ireland, and thus in numerous instances succeeded in obtaining important modifications of measures, which he was in consistency as well as prudence obliged to support in public; a rule of conduct which, it is allowed, is the obligation of every public man who has any weight; but at that time more especially necessary on distinct grounds. “On many great occasions," writes his panegyrist, “ did he successfully oppose in the privy council, measures which he considered prejudicial to Ireland, and unjustifiable; choosing rather to benefit his country, by crushing baneful projects while yet in agitation, than to snatch at a fleeting popularity, by opposing them when matured and submitted to the decision of parliament.”
Even in his practice as a barrister, there was a very general impression that his advocacy was, in a very unusual manner, governed by a fastidious natural equity. On the wrong side of the argument, much of his power was repressed; he stated the arguments fairly in behalf of his client, but he disdained to adorn false claims with the specious falsehood of sophistry. On such occasions he discharged his duty, but no inore; and it was considered as an unfavourable sign of the event of a suit, when at the close of his statement he left the court.
For the first twenty years, according to the custom in Ireland, he practised in all the courts,-a custom which we believe still exists, and must continue to exist, in a country in which it is impossible that, to a junior at least, the business of any one court could afford a sufficient share of employment. During the last thirty years of his life he confined himself to Equity business.
His style is described as a model of forensic eloquence-plain, flowing, perspicuous, and uniformly adapted to his subject; deriving force as well as clearness from a masterly arrangement of his arguments and topics; and, such at the same time was the fulness of his statement, that he left the impression that there could be nothing more said upon the subject. He seems to have merited the description of Antony which is given by Cicero, “ Omnia veniebant Antonio in mentem; eaque suo quæque in loco ubi plurimum proficere et valere possent,”—Mr Grattan, giving that testimony which is of all praise the most valuable, has preserved the following recollections,
which we give entire with his own comment. “Mr Malone, one of the characters of 1753, was a man of the finest intellect that any country ever produced.” “ The three ablest men I have ever heard were, Mr Pitt (the father), Mr Murray, and Mr Malone. For a popular assembly, I would choose Mr Pitt; for a privy council, Murray; for twelve wise men, Malone.” This was the opinion which lord Sackville, the secretary of 1753, gave to a gentleman from whom I heard it. “He is a great sea in a calm,” said Mr Gerrard Hamilton, another great judge in men and talents; “ Ay,” it was replied, “ but had you seen him when he was young, you would have said that he was a great sea in a storm, and, like the sea, whether in calm or storm, he was a great production of nature.”
Mr Malone has been praised for the sweet serenity of his temper, for the grace of his manner, and for the lofty composure with which he ever looked down superior on slight causes of irritation or disappointment.
He continued to take a part in public proceedings, and was in the fullest exercise of his profession to the time of his death, which occurred on 8th May, 1776.
A writer who has given in the first number of the Dublin Penny Journal, a brief sketch, which is apparently drawn from the same source which has supplied the chief part of the foregoing memoir, has remarked with great propriety-" Though our task is to record the characters of those whom death has placed beyond the reach of flattery, and not to eulogize the living generation, we cannot avoid remarking the strong resemblance which the above sketch bears to a distinguished member of the same profession in our own times. The peculiar modesty of that individual would feel hurt by the coupling of his name with so high a panegyric, but the members of his profession will find no difficulty in identifying him with the picture.” We extract this sentence, because it contains a most just and appropriate comparison, of which -if the main features of this memoir have any truth—the propriety is so striking as to demand no addition of a name. The combination of faithful service with proud integrity; of rational patriotism with scorn of popularity; are not the profuse production of any period of history. The peculiar style which derives perspicuity and power from order, from the due subordination and the masterly arrangement, is not the characteristic of many Irish orators of the best periods of our senate or bar. When we but remotely advert to the high spirit and delicate sense of honour which has ever shrunk from the shadow of imputation, and even kept the public man subordinate to the high-spirited Irish gentleman; the picture is as complete as if it came from the hand of Cregan or Rothwell, Burton or Lawrence.
James, Earl of Charlemont.
BORN A.D. 1728.—DIED A.D. 1799. THE life of James, earl of Charlemont, has been through various channels placed before the public, with an unusual degree of detail. And we should hold ourselves exempt from the obligation to enter minutely, or at length, into statements which have been so often and so variously repeated, were it not for the peculiarly central station which his lordship occupied during the most important interval of our
The ancestors of his race have been already noticed in these pages.* His grandfather, the second viscount Charlemont, took a forward and distinguished part in the wars which preceded and led to the revolution of 1688; and was visited with attainder and sequestration by the parliament of James II. He was restored to his honours and possessions by William, from whom he obtained several promotions, and that ancient honour of his family, the government of Charlemont fort. He served under the celebrated earl of Peterborow in Spain. At the siege of Barcelona he won signal honour, in the command of the first brigade, at the head of which he forced an entrance. And immediately after, he obtained still higher distinction by his conduct in an attack upon the citadel of Monjuich. On this occasion he was presented by lord Peterborow to the king of Spain, as one whose services merited special notice, and received his majesty's thanks accordingly. Advancing by a rapid ascent in the career of military distinction, he rose by merit to the rank of major-general, and was made governor of the counties of Tyrone and Armagh. He married the only daughter of primate Margetson, and by her had five daughters and seven sons; of whom James, the second son, and father to James the subject of the following memoir, was the third viscount.
His second son James, of whom we are now to relate the history, was born in Dublin on the 18th of August, 1728.
From the delicacy of his constitution it was not thought advisable to send him to a public school, and he was accordingly educated at home by private tutors,-a method, of which we think we can trace the advantages and disadvantages in every part of his after life. The singleness and purity of his character, which render him an eminent model of all that is noble and high in the character of the perfect gentleman; the heart, without fear or reproach, may be in some measure traced to his fortunate isolation from the most sure working and swift of all moral contaminations, those which are infused at that age, when every impression imparts something to the growth of the character; while the want of that rough training, and those hourly collisions which arm the schoolboy with indifference and nerve, in the gaze of the public eye, may be in some degree detected in the reserve which kept his lordship silent in parliament. This may perhaps be refining overmuch; it may be admitted that it is easier to enumerate hundreds of home-bred roués or school-bred mutes, than a gentleman or statesman like the earl of Charlemont. Among his tutors, one was that Mr Murphy—whose name is so familiar to the schoolboy as the editor of the lesser dialogues of Lucian—a gentleman who acquitted himself so satisfactorily in his charge, that he earned the respect and friendship of his pupil, and was afterwards the companion of his travels.
In 1746, at the early age of eighteen, he had completed no incon
* Vol. II. p. 396.
siderable range of classical reading. It is mentioned by Mr Hardy that, having found his extreme deficiency in school attainments when the instructions of Mr Murphy were obtained, he then devoted himself to his studies with such close industry as to injure his sight. It must have been a seasonable relaxation to such assiduity, when in his eighteenth year he was sent to travel on the continent. Notwithstanding his youth, it is easy to perceive that his understanding was fully matured for the advantages of travel; he set out with a mind preeminently qualified to be instructed by a wide and various range of observation and intercourse. His first visit was to Holland, where he had the good fortune to be present during a political movement of considerable interest, terminated by the establishment of the prince of Orange in the government. From thence he visited the English army in Germany, where he was received with distinction by the duke of Cumberland, with whom, if we rightly understand Mr Hardy, he remained some time as a guest, and who was very kind to him ever after.
From the English camp he proceeded to Turin, eager perhaps to visit a place no less deeply interesting to the classical scholar for its historical recollections, than for its ancient and celebrated university. It must be considered as a highly characteristic incident of his life, that, immediately after his arrival, he entered as a student in the academy of Turin, which was, we believe, appropriated for persons of rank, and pursued his studies there for a year,-a step which indicates, most unequivocally, the order to which his frame of mind belonged; the study of self-improvement, and the eager and curious appetite for acquirement, frequent enough in those who have been taught the advantage of these attainments by their want; but only developed as the early and spontaneous growth of natural disposition in those who are constitutionally of an intellectual temperament. This reflection is indeed suggested by an impression of some undefined similarity between the subject of this memoir, and the hon. Robert Boyle, who, in circumstances something similar, displayed a similarly inquisitive activity of observation, and readiness of intercourse and address, though, in him, combined with some more profound and sterner attributes of character. It is probable that here lord Charlemont first began to show that most engaging combination of conversational qualities that continued through life to win respect and affection for him, to an extent which we have not often to record. Here he formed an intimacy with the prince royal, who was his fellow-student, and received the most courteous attention from the king of Sardinia and the royal family. The Sardinian court was then the resort of persons eminent for their literature and science, and his lordship availed himnself fully of the inestimable advantages which the intercourse of such men can only give, and which can only be fully imparted to those who are themselves competently endowed. Such an interval, to one whose taste and talents seem to have been so fitted to communicate and receive the fire of intellectual collision, must have been a school to fix and to complete the character in which he always after appears, and which was undoubtedly the character of his mind. Among others with whom he at this time formed an acquaintance, was Hume. It is