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“Yours is a work as improving as delightful—one which must always be remembered with profit, as it must ever be recurred to with pleasure. The vein of unaffected philosophy, practical wisdom, and ennobling morality which pervades it, will render it an object of study, or a source of interest, when incidents however artfully contrived, and characters however skilfully delineated, must, from our previous acquaintance with them, cease to engage our attention, and excite our sympathies. I have read this morning, for the twentieth time, De Vere's first interview with Sir W. Flowerdale, and probably may read it every year of my life with unabated pleasure, since every year of my existence must afford a fresh commentary upon such views of human life. It is, indeed, admirable. The Man of Content and the Man of Imagination are a couple of cabinet pictures; the last is my favourite, and is highly coloured. 'Tis in truth richly fanciful. These episodes, too, are in the right vein, since they develop the philosophy of the work. Indeed, without them, the moral plot would be deficient. Clayton is excellently conceived, and admirably sustained. His sensibility was a grand hit. This character is, if I mistake not, original in literature, though not in human life. I, for one, have met with Clayton. Lord Mowbray's death is actually sublime, and his daughter becomes every page more delightful; but she will not supersede, in my most agreeable associations, the inimitable Georgina, whom I shall always uphold, as not only the most delightful heroine,

but the most engaging woman, to whom I ever had the honour of being introduced. But if I descant upon every character, I shall trespass most unwarrantably upon your patience, and therefore I say nothing of the sagacious Herbert, the classic Wentworth, the arrogant Cleveland, and the timid Oldcastle, nor of the dignified Lady Eleanor, nor of the delightful Lady Clanellan. Cleveland's love for Constance is finely discriminated, and Oldcastle's interview with De Vere on the embassy is beyond praise. Such passages, however, as this last are caviare to the general; nevertheless, time and the cognoscenti will discover them. I mention no faults, which may surprise you; for what critic ever bored an author with so long a letter, without hinting at a few blemishes, merely to prove that his previous praises were sincere. Candidly, and upon my honour,

I see none. When a man has himself a little acquaintance with the art of writing, he begins to grow a very temperate critic. He then discovers that, because an author has a peculiar way of conceiving his subject, it does not follow that that peculiar mode is a faulty one; but, on the contrary, that it is the author's style, a style or manner by which he is distinguished from other artists, and that unless he commit what the critic may consider faults, he never will produce what all agree to be beauties. All works are not to be written on the same principles, nor do I quarrel with the Flora of Titian, because her countenance is not that of the Madonna of Raffaelle. Yet some men do; but, after all, there are some men who set the sundial by their own watches.

“ One thing has peculiarly delighted me in 'De Vere,' and that is, that a writer who has proved himself conversant above all others of the age with the fascinations of courts and senates, should on all occasions, and in a manner so preeminently beautiful, have evinced his deep study and fervent adoration of Nature."

CHAP. V.

BREAK-UP OF THE LIVERPOOL GOVERNMENT. -EXTRACTS FROM

LETTERS OF THE LATE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM TO MR. WARD, AND FROM MR. WARD TO MRS. AUSTEN. MR. WARD's MARRIAGE WITH MRS. PLUMER LEWIN.-OFFICE OF AUDITOR OF THE CIVIL LIST, HELD BY HIM, ABOLISHED. CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE LATE LORD ALTHORPE THEREON.

At this period the calm which had so long prevailed in the political world, only interrupted by an occasional squall, was to be finally and completely disturbed by the break-up of that ministry which, with few and exceptional modifications, had now subsisted without even an interchange of parts, for fifteen

parts, for fifteen years. Even before the sudden seizure of Lord Liverpool, vague rumours of a contest between antagonistic principles had been scattered abroad. Mr. Ward was assured by a correspondent of high influence, that “though the cordiality between the Premier and the Chancellor is weaker than it has ever been, it as yet confines itself to D-mns on the one part, and sighs on the other.” The sudden prostration, however, of him who had so long kept his administration together by the joint influence of tact and character, brought matters to a crisis. The promotion of Mr. Canning appeared inevitable, though that necessity was but little acquiesced in by the majority of his colleagues. What might have been the consequence to England of the permanent establishment at that period of a “liberal Tory ministry,” it is useless now to discuss. Such a combination appeared at that period monstrous in conception, and impossible in execution. Could we have had those whose administrative ability had been matured by long practice, led by such men as Canning, Huskisson, and Peel (the latter with his present enlarged views), supported by the powerful aristocracy and landed gentry which had so long identified themselves with the Tory party, the advancement of England would have been earlier and also more gradually effected. The wear and tear of Canning's fine mind during the struggles of the next five months would have been spared, and, even if his life were destined to so early a close, the elements of vitality would have remained in his administration. Such speculations, however, were not doomed to be realised. It is well known that, for reasons which they explained more or less satisfactorily, almost the whole of his colleagues deserted him. The following extracts from letters addressed to Mr. Ward at this period, by his friend the late Duke of Buckingham, will show the difficulties under which Mr. Canning laboured.

“ If the Whigs do not give active support, Canning will not stand; and they will not give active support unless employed. They will at first (as they did of old in the case of the dear Doctor) ; but remember how soon they deserted him: and, from particular circumstances, Canning has not half the strength that Addington had when he first started. Do you suppose the Catholics will leave Canning quiet possession of their

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