1 AUGUST 1840, Page 12


THE announcement of Lord Demi NeS death, although unexpected, has excited a less lively emotion than it would have done soma years ago. His protracted ill-health may have had a share in this: he was probably looked upon RS permanently withdrawn from the active business of life. But there was something more behind. In this country the people will not move without a leader—they will follow a stuffed effigy rather than set about their own business without one. But still they prefer a real, energetic num, when they can get him. Amid thus it happened, that although Lord DURHAM wits neither a forward nor a perseveritig suitor for the favour of the public, nor by any means an unrcsting drudge in its service, yet as there was that in his every-day demeanour which at once attracted and kept at a respectful distance, and as he from time to time gave forth flashes of thought mind action indicating the 771C71.9 divinier within, the people once and again turned their eyes towards hint as to one able to help them, and by whom they would like to be helped.. Loyd Dvanam, however, although be sometimes gave ear to their solicitations, was in the main more accustomed to follow the bent of his own iticlinings. hence came an incessant alternation of hope and disappointment regarding him, that made him alter- nately over-estimated and under-estimated. Even before his illness assumed the character of permanence, disappointment bad begun to predominate. We suspect, therefore, that the prevailing ten- dency is, if any thing, to under-value the deceased statesman.. Let us endeavour to do film justice, without detraction as without panegyric ; speaking of him as he was, not as he appeared to men through the medium of their changeable moods and fancies. Those who had opportunities of closely observing Lord DURHAM for any length of time, knew that at the bottom of his character lay a refined benevolence, and a tenderness almost feminine. Akin to this, and harmonizimg with it, was a generosity of sentiment, at impatient of meanness and eager to acknowledge what was °II:re dly in any one ; and a bravery of temper which paused from no

waiere personal consideration. There was something about Lord

Donussi that conciliated, and won at. first sight ; and it must have had its basis in kindliness of disposition, for he was warmly and

devotedly loved by his family and intimate associates. Upon these dispositions was engrafted a strong, clear, and practical intellect. Lord DURHAM was not a profound, comprehensive, or original thinker ; nor was he a man of wit, or of impassioned imagination. But he was capable of taking a strong interest in questions of practical statesmanship ; within his range of vision he saw steadily and distinctly ; he had an unostentatious faculty of lucid exposi- tion of his thoughts; and he had a talent for devising and combin- ing means towards the working out of an end. Ile had also a felicitous instinct of divining the motives, talents, and general cha- racter of those with whom he came in contact. In seeking to know Lord DunnAm as he really was, there are two circumstances attendant upon the development of' his character which must not be passed unnoticed. The first was his valetudi-

nary state of health, To this we would attribute that excessive sensitiveness or irritability which has been laid to his charge, and

also that deficiency in the power of continuous application—that shrinking from perseveringly licting up to his own pithily-expressed senthnents—which so often occasioned disappointment to his ad- mirers. The other circumstance to which we alluded, was his social position. Lord DuRIIAsis fortune was great ; his tinnily one of those which, without bringing to its representative an hereditary title, ranked in the estimation both of Peers and Commoners above many titles of modern creation. His father died when he was a child ; and he was elected to represent his native comity in Parliament when

he had barely attained his twenty-first year. lie was, as for as rank and wealth are concerned, an important member of the English aristocracy ; and he was forced to know and feel this prematurely. The very graces of his character laid him open to an over-lively sense of these advantages. A nobleman is in part a thing of state—a national pageant ; and the qualifications which constitute the chivalrous it) man, are eminently serviceable to him. " It' ladies are but young and fair, they have the gill to know it"; and if a young man of rank possess those graces of character and de- portment which lend to his station a greater lustre than it lends to him, lie can scarcely escape the consciousness of his advantages or a certain degree of pride in them. Lord Dunn ANI felt himself qua- lified to shine in the circle of a court • he had a taste for splen- dour; and he clung to monarchy an its kindred institutions as much from a liking for the mere trappings, as from the political uses which some have attributed to them.

This analysis of Lord Dumwe's qualities, and the circumstances under which they were developed, will serve as a key to his public career, and will in return receive corroboration from the most marked events in it.

For a man who died in his forty-ninth year, Lord DURHAM'S public life has been a long. one. Ile entered Parliament in 1814 ; and his mission to Canada in 1838 may be looked upon as the ter- mination de facto of his political course. llis most prominent servhes to the cause of liberty and good government are—his opposition to Lord therms's Corn-Bill in 1815, and his opposition to the Bill of Indemnity in 1818 ; his denunciation of Ministers in the county of Durham meeting subsequent to the Manchester massacre in 1819, and his Parliamentary services at the same period ; the introduction of his Reform Bill in 1821, his share in the formation of Earl GREY'S Reform Bill, and his bold and stre- nuous advocacy of the Metropolitan boroughs in the House of Lords; his rebuke of Whig trimming at Edinburgh in 1834 ; his Canada mission in 1838. Had Lord DURHAM been a more com- monplace character, the enumeration of salient points like these, distributed at regular intervals over a Parliamentary life extending through twenty-lbur years, would be a sufficient voucher fir his consistent patriotism. But he was one who must be tried by a higher standard. We must look more narrowly into his partici- pation in public events. The first circumstance that strikes us is the growth of' his mind, as indicated by his public appearances, in matured information, practical judgment, and decision. his first speeches—neat enough, and generally in good taste—are little more than repetitions of the commonplaces of' his m part c. The introduc- tion of' his Refir Bill, and his active partieipat.ion in the framing and carrying of' Lord GREY'S, show that he was not a mere repeater of party catch-words, nor a mere indulger in a vague liberality of sentiment. The deep interest which he took in the progress of the Various commercial missions instituted of late years, 0

and in the establishment of the dew principles of coloniza- tion, show him to have had wide 11 • c ear insight into what constitutes the physical health and power of a nation. And lastly, his too brief trial as preparatory legislator in Canada, shows that he possessed the essentials of WI administrative talent,

contempt for mere routine, with a due high of necessary forms, and the tact for discovering men possessed of official apti- tude, of allotting them their appropriate spheres, and encouraging them in their labours. But, as a drawback upon so much of' good, we find his weaknesses also growing. We find him stand- ing aloof when his services were much needed, even after he had declared himself in such terms as warranted men to believe

him eager for action. Sometimes this seems to have been caused by physical lassitude—sometimes by too keen a con- sciousness of sonic slight offered to his self-esteem, the result of his aristocratical love of precedence raised to a morbid degree by disease—sometimes to the same jealous care of his appearance in the eyes of the world, played upon by the coarse raillery of more vulgar and selfish minds, with whom the affairs of life brought him into habitual contact. Thus do we find him losing the honour attaching to his own Reform Bill, by acquiescing in the trick by which CANNING defeated it. Thus do we find him failing to follow up in act his striking and successful protest against the re- trograde policy of the Whigs at the Edinburgh and Glasgow dinners. And thus, lastly, do we find him failing to strike his threatened blow at those who by treachery or incapacity had done what in them lay to frustrate his mission to Canada. With all his sincerity, clear-sightedness, generosity, and prompt indignation, an infirmity of purpose clung to him which " checked his thunder in mid- volley."

Entertaining these views of Lord DuanAst's character, we sin- cerely esteemed him, but had long ceased to expect much aid from him to the cause of' social progression. Had the chances of politi- cal warlitre thrown him into official station with adequate support, his matured judgment and detestation of baseness and humbug would probably have made him a valuable and efficient administra- tive reformer ; but he lacked the sympathies, the breadth of view, and the persevering industry requisite in a great organic improver. his kholness of' heart taught him to love the people ; his conscious sincerity gave him no reason to shrink from the gaze of the people; his personal courage made him always ready to thee—to mingle with the people. He respected the liberties he found the people possessed of, and was willing to grant them more. But he did not feel himself to be one of the people: he took pride in being their patron, their protector, and in not being their fellow. Ile would have " stood by his order :" he would have resisted encroach- ments on it which time has made unavoidable, lie loved it too, not only for the power it conferred upon him, but for the opportunities of personal display which it afforded him. The time which is dawning on us must be a time either of inaction or of miu•ked or- guide change. I lis generous spirit would have chafed in the former; his mind, cast in the mould of aristocracy, would have been re- volted by the latter. He would have found himself—unable to sympathize either with Conservatism or Democracy—impotent for good, and an object of' hatred and persecution to both parties. It is well for him that he has been spared participation in contests

which to him could have brought nothing but suffering. The popular cause has lost nothing in him, for it has reached a crisis

which is beyond the control of powers like his. Nay, his loss, if any thing can, may awaken our drowning graspers at straws to the necessity of relying upon their own exertions. The more rational

among this class have for some time admitted, that from no man at present in office do they expect any thing ; but then they soothed themselves by contemplating the contingent possibility of Lord DURHAM being taken into the Cabinet. That is now impossible: the materials out of which to frame a good working Whig Cabinet, no longer exist. In the party to which he belonged, Lord Dua-

lism was the only man who understood that the attainment of office brought duties along with it—that it was not a mere reward for professing certain opinions. Deprived of him, such men may be brought to see that there is no help but in themselves—that the true rule of' action is,

Aide toi et k Cid Caldera,