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AUSKISSON'S COMPLETE LETTER-WRITER.*
We do not remember ever to have and gloomiest weather would proba. seen the country looking more beauti- bly, to a person of our political tem. ful than it did during the month of perament, have felt warm and bright, May, or than it continues to do now as the Liberals were seen slinking bethat it is Midsummer. It was al hind the horizon-nothing left of them together such a month of May as we but so many jellies, which are popularly read of in the old poets. Dædala Tel. supposed to be shot-stars. Politics lus is an expression of which we now are a subject on which we never speak thoroughly understand and feel the --seldom think and still seldomer beautiful spirit. Thomson's Seasons write. But it would appear that when by no means do justice to Spring and we do think on politics we think deepSummer-at least those of 1828 have ly; and as deep thoughts generally are far transcended his richest descrip- allied to deep feelings, our emotions tions, which absolutely seem poor, on the late “occasion” have been protame, and wishy-washy, when comfound-partly tragic and partly copared with the glowing and glorious mic, such as are beautifully expressed originals. Our face and frame have by those two fine lines: . undergone a change most pleasing to
“ Says a smile to a tear ourselves and others; the crowfeet at On the cheek of my dear!” the corner of our eyes have disappear. Perhaps not one of all our many huned; spectacles we have laid aside; dred thousand readers had ever seen our forehead is without a wrinkle ; a gentleman kick himself out of a cheeks full-complexion clear-lips company. They may, one and all of ruddy-nose not so-pricked-up ears them, have seen a gentleman kicked quite pinky-and our queue, or tail, out of a company by another gentlebobbing upon our shoulders (not so man; but there is nothing particunarrow as many suppose) as we walk larly laughable in that on the conalong, with all the vigour and alacrity trary it is, what the Americans would of a Jack-Tar's tie in a jig. As we call, tedious. Mr Huskisson has prowalk along? Yes! For, would you ved himself a man of a very original believe it, for the first time these twen, mind-a man of genius-by anticipaty years, the gout has left his card, ting and preventing, and improving « pour prendre congé," at our feet; upon, the ancient practique. He fore. We have kicked our cloth-shoe to the saw the foot of Wellington slowly devil and over the back-of-beyond, uplifted; turned suddenly and shortlike an old bauchle; our crutch is ly round upon himself, and with now at this blessed moment not for pump applied to his own posteriors, use but ornament; we can shew a toe absolutely kicked himself out of the with any man of our years, weight, Cabinet, with apparently the most perand inches, in all Britain ; and intend fect resignation. accompanying that active old Irish. Of all things in this world, the most woman, Mrs M‘Mullan, on her next difficult to us is the writing of a letter. match of a hundred miles within the Yet, when we have occasionally overtwenty-four hours. No such instance come the difficulty, and got through a of the renewing of youth has been ex. letter, we find it the easiest thing in hibited by any other Eagle of modern the world to understand what we, the times.
writer, would be at ; nor does it ever With all possible affection and ree enter our heads to maintain that yes spect for the seasons of spring and sum- means no, that we have said no when ner, candour obliges us to confess that we said yes, or that black and white the effects on our health and happiness are convertible terms. Not so with little short of magic, to which we have Mr William Huskisson. He is as bad now alluded, have, we verily believe a letter-writer as you may meet with it, been produced partly by the change during the 22d of June; but though in the atmosphere, and partly by the clumsy, he is clear; intelligible to change in the Cabinet. The coldest all mankind but himself; and his text
• London, 1828.
can be understood without a commen- stead of such Christian course of contary, by all men, women, and children, duct, nothing would satisfy the Sesaving and excepting the late Colonial cretary but to keep prancing about the Secretary. His late correspondence parlour, with his tail cocked like that with the Duke of Wellington must of a nag under ginger, his eyes fiery be included in all subsequent editions as a ferret's, lips pale and quivering, of the Complete Letter-Writer. sallow cheeks, discoloured with crim.
Having no room for a Noctes this son, dilated nostrils, and clenched month, our readers must be contented fists, big with inflating self-importwith a laugh at Mr Huskisson in his ance, as an elderly matron with what epistolic character. Not to mince the she vainly imagines to be a child, but matter, no man ever made of himself known to all the rest of the wise, but such a fool, (at the least,) as our late wicked world, to be but wind- and Atlas, on whose shoulders was thought then pulling a chair with great vio. to repose, in succession, the weight of lence to his escritoire, down with a the last half-dozen administrations. thud on his hurdies, determined to In the first place, who in his senses demolish, by one magnanimous episwould dream of writing a letter on tle, the poor helpless creature, scarce, business at two o'clock in the morn- ly known by any greater achievement ing? You might as well write an than having had the good fortune to article for Maga after ten tumblers. win Waterloo ! It won't do. Mr Huskisson had been Surely there was a sad want of bothered, and badgered, and bitten judgment in all this, betokening a for hours; and yet nothing would sa diseased mind, that must have ren. tisfy him, before going to bed, but to dered its owner unfit for a place in the indite an epistle to the Duke of Wel, Cabinet. Hear the words of his vain lington, at that moment, it is to be regret, his imperfect penitence, and hoped, in a sound, strong, snoring his angry remorse" For that state, sleep, Had Mr Huskisson felt disin- ment I am sure I shall receive the clined to tumble in, we should have indulgence of every gentleman, when had no objection whatever to his sit. I say it was made under a state of ting up all night long, and cruel, health far from good, and after six, ly braying Lord Sandon, with un, teen hours toil of mind between offi. sparing pestle, in the mortar of his cial business in Downing-street and imagination. After a few broiled attendance in the House of Commons: chickens, and pots of porter, the lan- under these circumstances I wrote guor, and irritation, and excitement, that letter, which I now acknowledge a the frail and feverish being of an it would have been better to postpone hour,” would have given place to ala- till next morning." crity, composure, and strength of Let us have a look at the letter. mind ; his yote on the East Retford
“Downing-street, Tuesday Morning, question,
Two a. m. May 20. " In his flowing cups freshly remember. “MY DEAR DUKE,-After the vote
which, in regard to my own consistency would have been dismissed with a and personal character, I have found my. chuekle or a hiccup; the sour looks of
self, from the course of this evening's defriends with forbidding faces, which
bate, compelled to give on the East Ret. he complains frowned on him at the
ford question, I owe to you, as the head of
the administration, and to Mr Peel, as the close of the debate, “ however unim, leader of the House of Commons, to lose portant in itself the question which no time in affording you an opportunity of had given rise to that appearance," placing my office in other hands, as the would have risen before him through only means in my power of preventing the the misty vapours of the hot toddy, injury to the King's service, which may clothed in the tenderest effulgence of ensue from the appearance of disunion in their wonted smiles ; pen, ink, and
his Majesty's councils, however unfounded paper, would have appeared things not
in reality, or however unimportant in itself of use, but ornament; and he would
the question, which has given rise to that ultimately have lain down to balmy
ic Regretting the necessity of troubling slumbers, with his fine countenance you with this communication, believe me, placid beneath its tufted night-cap, my dear Duke, ever truly yours, as the face of a child asleep in its sim.
(Signed) “W. Huskisson." plicity, after its lisped prayers. In
This is the only good letter of the tle; for all parties have unanimously whole batch-and is as plain as any pronounced it the very best letter he pike-staff, Neither does it betray any ever wrote during the course of his symptoms of having been written at pretty long, active, and miscellaneous two o'clock of the morning, after 16 life." hours' toil, in a state of bad health, Well-off went the letter in a box bastily, or under theinfluence of strong by itself—to the Duke of Wellington. feelings. It is an honest looking episa It had not far to go-only a few yards tle--and good for sore eyes. But we -but the more hurry the less speed; have Mr Huskisson's own word for it and though written at two, it did not - that it did not express his real sen- meet the eyes of his Grace till ten timents, wishes, and intentions. It is, o'clock of the morning. For eight be bas himself told us, a piece of mere hours it enjoyed a private and confia humbug. It was not intended to be dential nap in its cabinet-box. Did it is not a resignation.
Mr Huskisson expect that the Duke Now, gentle and hungry reader, was to be wakeped out of his sleep at suppose that you had been engaged to two or three o'clock of the morning? dine with a friend in his own house That would have been most unreason, day and hour distinctly specified, and able indeed ; and if he knew that the that you had, on the morning of the Duke seldom sat down to the dispatch feast, written a letter to himself or of public, till he had finished private lady, expressing your sorrow that it business-say about ten o'clock-after would not be in your power to appear a hearty breakfast—why not wait for before your plate, what would you now a few hours--why all this strangely think of yourself, and what would the mingled impatience and resignation : whole world think of yourself, had Mr Huskisson has not favoured us you complained that your chair had with a detailed account of his medita, been occupied by another bottom tions between the hours of two of the that it never had been your foolish in morning and one of the forenoon of tention to lose your dinner--and that May 20, 1828. He must have thought had Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom, in great the Duke of Wellington a very dila, alarm and consternation at your inti tory correspondent. Eleven hours had mated absence, written, conjointly and elapsed, and no reply to his letter. severally, calling upon you for Godsake Lord Dudley, it seems, had mean, not to leave their table desolate at such while called upon the Secretary, about & crisis, you would have been prevailed one o'clock; and after transacting some on to eat in your words, as well as business connected with his depart, their turtle-soup and venison-pasty, ment-business which occupied about and played a knife and fork to the ad. an hour-Mr Huskisson "observed to miration of all beholders ?
my noble friend, in a passing jocular This first letter of the series is cer- way, that I was guilty of a little act tainly what Mr Coleridge would call a of insubordination last night, in the “ Psychological curiosity,” Written East Retford Bill, but felt myself hastily and hurriedly, it is as cool as bound, in point of honour, to vote as a cucumber-produced at midnight, I did. Allusion to the subject began the very witching hour of night, it is and ended there, and my noble friend clear as day-penned at an hour when was still sitting with me when I re Mr Huskisson « could drink hot ceived from the noble Duke a letter” blood," it is mild as milk,-composed yes,-a letter which there can be no * after sixteen hours toil of mind, doubt Mr Huskisson snatched off the between official business in Downing- salver-for we are not told that it was Street, and attendance in the House in a cabinet-box-with an eagerness of Commons,” it has all the charac- that must have astonished his orderly, ter of a composition by an elderly gen- We shall suppose the letter read-once deman, sitting by the side of a purl -twice-thrice--that there inight be ing stream in literary leisure, and no misunderstanding of its contents, though the writer himself has the and on the close of the final perusal, amiable modesty to say that“ it would we think it will be granted, that a have been better had he postponed it sight of Mr Huskisson's face must till the next morning," we beg leave have been worth a trifle. As the to assure him that he, in saying so, Duke's letter is not long, we shall does injustice to himself and his epise quote it.
“ London, May 20, 1828. too, for a gentleman in his situation, “MY DEAR HUSKISSON,-Your letter or predicament. of two this morning, which I received at Recovering from the shock, but not ten, has surprised me much, and has given yet satisfied with Lord Dudley's comme great concern.
munication from the Duke, it is no “I have considered it my duty to lay it
mistake, it can be no mistake, and it before the King. “Ever yours, most sincerely,
shall be no mistake,” Mr Huskisson (Signed) “ WELLINGTON." shook hands with the noble Secretary
for Foreign Affairs - who took his Mr Huskisson persisted to the last
leave, with that elegance and amenity in maintaining, that his own letter that characterise his whole deporte was not a letter of resignation ; but ment in public and private life-and be never for a moment seems to have
then, after biting his nails and scratchdoubted the meaning of the Duke's.
ing his head for a quarter of an hour, Lord Dudley, however, who is well
he determined to employ Lord Palknown to be the most pleasant person
merston on the same mission. Lord possible, seeing his friend Huskisson
Palmerston went to the Duke-hard, much ruffled and discomposed, ex- ly expecting, we guess, as Lord Dudclaimed very good-naturedly, in a
ley had done, “ to explain the cir“ passing jocular way," “ The Noble cumstances, and settle it all ;" and Duke must labour under some mis. Lord Palmerston returned from the take-I'll go to him and explain the
Duke, and “ told me precisely what I circumstances, and settle it all.” No had already heard from my noble thing could be more obliging; yet it
vet it friend at the head of the Department occurs to simple people like ourselves of Foreign Affairs, namely, that it to ask, how my Lord Dudley could was a positive resignation, and could " explain circumstances,” of which. not be understood otherwise.” This from Mr Huskisson's account, it was was really a trial of temper harder to absolutely impossible he could know put up with than any recorded in anything whatever? The only two Mrs Opie's ingenious Tales; and we things that could require explanation are entitled, on general principles, and were Mr Huskisson's own letter, which reasoning a priori, from our knowLord Dudley had not seen; and Mr ledge of human nature, to affirm that Huskisson's motives for writing it, of Mr Huskisson toss
ives for writing it of Mr Huskisson tossed off, somewhat which Lord Dudley knew nothing
hurriedly, another-that is a thirdfor all that the former had as yet said calker. If he did not—then“ it was to the latter. was. “ I was guilty of a a mistake, it could not but be a mislittle act of insubordination last night." take, and it shall be a mistake.” and “ allusion to the subject began
Lord Palmerston now took his deand ended there ;” and yet off runs, parture, and poor Mr Huskisson, inat a round and high trot, one of the stead of sitting down to a good hot most accomplished peers of the realm, dinner, and a bottle of old port, began to «s explain the circumstances," of to puzzle his pate over a second letter which he was as ignorant as the man to the most obstinate Duke that ever in the moon, or more so-and « set. presided over a Cabinet-a precious tle it all” in a jiffey. Meanwhile Mr epistle it is indeed ! Huskisson, we may suppose, sought
“ Downing-street, May 20, 1828, to compose his nerves by a calker of
half past 6 P.M. “ summat ;” and after some time “My dear Duke,-Having under. “ my noble friend” returned, but to stood from Lord Dudley and Lord Palmertell him that he was not successful, as ston, that you had laid my letter of last the Duke said to him, “ it is no mis- night before the King, under a different take, it can be no mistake, and it impression from that which it was intendshall be no mistake.” On hearing
ed to convey, I feel it due both to you and this uttered by Lord Dudley, not in
to myself to say, that my object in writing “ a passing jocular way,” but with a
that letter was, not to express any inten
tions of my own, but to relieve you from sober tone and solemn aspect, Mr
any delicacy which you might feel towards Huskisson, we venture to say, moved me, if you should think that the interests towards the sideboard, and, turning of his Majesty's service would be prejudi. up his little finger, emptied the se- ced by my remaining in office, after giving cond calker--and all little enough, a vote, in respect to which, from the turn
which the latter part of the debate had ta. placed by Mr Huskisson. What his ken, a sense of personal honour left me no Grace would have done, had Mr Huse alternative.
kisson not written that or any other “ Believe me, my dear Duke, yours very letter, we do not pretend to know sincerely,
but we think it most probable that he (Signed) “W. Huskisson.”
would either have cashiered him, or Now, suppose for a moment, that imposed a thorough apology, and proMr Huskisson states the case here mise, under penalty of instant dismistruly and fairly, and that he had no sal, never again, while in his Majesother wish or intention, “scope or ten- ty's service, to vote with his Majesty's dency," in writing his first letter to the Opposition. Be that as it might, Mr Duke, but “ to relieve him from any Huskisson's letter, even had it been delicacy” he might feel, in thinking such a letter as be absurdly and inthat the interests of his Majesty's ser solently maintains it bona fide to be, vice would be prejudiced by Mr Hus -a letter written to “ relieve from kisson remaining in office,—this as- delicacy,"--would have been altoge sertion is in the teeth of everything ther unnecessary; for is the Duke of else contained in Mr Huskisson's ex- Wellington a Prime Minister of such planation in the House. For he ad. a feeble mind, as even for one single mits, that he wrote the letter when moment to dream of “ delicacy,” when fatigued, ill, sick, worried out of tone it is his duty to take care that the and out of temper—“in a state of ex. consistency, dignity, and honour of citement," as Lord Palmerston said his Cabinet, shall be preserved, or their disturbed and angry at the recollection violation punished ? of the black faces frowning on him, The Duke's reply to Mr Huskisand justly frowning,—from among his son's second letter, is necessarily rafriends; and yet in that admitted ther longer than his reply to the first, mood of mind he sat down to indite a but still concise and laconic. Nothing letter to the head of the government, can be better. for no other purpose but the sweet, soft, and amiable one, of “ relieving
“ London, May 20, 1828. the Duke of Wellington from delica
MY DEAR HUSKISSON, I have recei. cy,”-under which, it has since ap
ved your letter of this evening. I certainly peared, his Grace did not groan, and
did not understand your letter of two o'. which was not incumbent on any hu
clock this morning as offering me any op
tion; nor do I understand the one of this man being out of Sterne's Sentimen
evening, as leaving me any, except that of tal Journey. Delicacy is one of the
submitting myself and his Majesty's Go. prettiest things in this world, when vernment to the necessity of soliciting you exhibited by a young gentleman, in a to remain in your office, or of incurring the pair of well-cut inexpressibles, to- loss of your valuable assistance to his Mawards a young lady in a waltz, whose jesty's service. However sensible I may gossamery gown is ever and anon get- be of this loss, I am convinced that in these ting involved in inevitable entangle times any loss is better than that of chament with her partner's legs, requi.
racter, which is the foundation of public ring the utmost and promptest delica.
confidence. cy to be relieved during the airy evo
" In this view of the case, I have put lutions of that Dance of Danger. But
out of it altogether every consideration of
the discredit resulting from the scene of when an old stager of a Secretary opens last night; of the extent of which you his jaws in the House of Commons,
could not but have been sensible, when you and gives vent to the wrong monosyl. thought proper, as a remedy for it, to send lable,-to save what he chooses to call me the offer of placing your office in his honour,-at the expense of the dis- other hands.' credit of the Cabinet to which he be “Ever, my dear Huskisson, yours most longs-why distress himself about sincerely, such a purely imaginary evil as the (Signed) “WELLINGTON." delicacy of other people's situation ? The Duke of Wellington has relieved Mr Huskisson told the House, “I himself ere now, without permission will say that when I received this, I granted by anybody, from situations was in some degree surprised.". Why of far more delicacy, and difficulty, should he? The Duke's first letter and danger, than any in which he and should have prepared him for somehis government could ever have been thing of the sort. There is a grcat