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tection of legal rules, nor could have any just concern with the question in dispute. The cause at last became complicated, by these means, with so much of what was extraneous, as to confound common minds, and to perplex even men of business who had not much time to spare for it. If there were in this claim no real grounds of perplexity, much less such difficulties as occurred in the celebrated Douglas cause, of which an ample account has been preserved in a former part of these volumes, yet many persons seemed at last to heat their minds into doubts and intricacies almost as violent as in that extraordinary question. But this is not the place to enter into full details of this cause : and it would be prejudicial to give them imperfectly, and without the full statements and proofs, which those who are intimately acquainted with it can furnish.

In truth after the lapse of eight years since the claimant's death was announced; after the irritation, which the recency of the cause then produced on the writer's mind, has been in some degree softened by the course of events, and the new current of other important subjects, he conceives he should debase himself by repeating defences and indignations, which, natural as they were at a moment of unjust and unprovoked attack, it would have been a virtuous elevation, almost more than human, then to have borne in total silence; but which it would now be not only unnecessary, but highly unbecoming to renew. The writer's babits, the parents from whom he draws his being, his education, his character, his station, place, him above being suspected by the candid, the virtuous, or the wise, of seeking the inheritance even

of the highest honours by dishonourable means, or without a previous conviction of his right to them. Cruel and unfounded calumny is among the bitter evils of this world, for which there is too often no remedy. He who stabs in the dark, who dares not exhibit himself in his own person, can only be instigated by the deepest and most unqualified wickedness. To suppose it possible that the highest tribunals may sometimes be led into error in their decisions, and to express that supposition in decent and not disrespectful language, free from the charge of imputing bad and corrupt motives, surely neither is, nor ever was, in this free country, a great and flagrant crime: nor can it for a moment form a justification or even apology for the vindictive and malignant abuse of every one who exercises this freedom. Mr. Brydges had an indignant and elevated spirit, and his disappointment in losing an object, of which he believed his right to be unquestionable, was much aggravated by the manner in which he had been opposed. He had even a morbid sensi. bility; and a liveliness to dishonour, reproach, or even neglect, which amounted almost to disease. During his father's life he resided principally at Cambridge, where he enjoyed a Fellowship at Queen's College ; and where he cultivated a literary acquaintanee, by whom he was much cherished and beloved. Gray the poet, in particular, was pleased with his polisbed and gentle manners, and his taste for elegant literature. Perhaps however he had never been a severe student, and his acquirements. were rather those in the walks of sentiment and imagination, than of severe thinking. About his

thirtieth year he took possession of two family livings; and about two years afterwards removed to the family mansion, which he made his principal abode for the remainder of his life: interrupted however hy long residences in London during the many years' prosecution of his claim.

Mr. Brydges's father had passed his whole life, after leaving the University of Cambridge, as a country gentleman, in the bosom of a large family. The son therefore was not likely in his early age to contract habits which would peculiarly fit him for the management of any concern which requires strict and attentive powers of business, acute knowledge of mankind in the most conflicting intercourses of society, and an uncommon application of worldly skill. Frank, ductile, unsuspicious, and unguarded, he continually fell into the snares of those, who meant to betray his confidence, and make a perverted use of his sentiments or expressions. In any case therefore, which might involve a great quantity of complex intrigues and prejudices, from whatever quarter they might come, or by whatever motives of opposition, whether interest, or envy, or malice, or revenge, they might be stimulated, Mr. B. was ill qualified to contend. In the bitterness and indignant feelings of long-protracted litigation, by which his spirits were exhausted, and his expences cruelly aggravated, he sent at last a printed circular letter to the Members of the Upper House, soliciting their attendance as a matter not of favour, but of justice; and marked perhaps but too evidently with the tone of an injured man, rather demanding right with-held, than conveying notice

untinctured with a suspicion of wrong. It was the emanation of a gentlemanly and high 'spirit, decisively proving his conviction of the rectitude of his own cause ; and so far, recorded as it is on the Journals of the Lords, will always do honour to his memory. But it was so palpably injudicious, so obviously dangerous to the success of his own cause, that it can only be accounted for by those weaknesses of his character, which have been here perhaps too frankly delineated. Had he consulted those, whose judgment was least likely to mislead him, before he took that most unlucky step, they would to the utmost of their influence have prevented it. The instant it became known to them, though perhaps they neither did nor could anticipate the extent of the mischief, they were struck with wonder and dismay at the useless imprudence of such an act.

It was instantly seized upon as an attempt to canvass the Lords. A motion was made on it: and several Peers expressed themselves warmly on the occasion, urging it, if the writer's memory does not fail him, as amenable to the privileges of the House: of which of course they are highly jealous, as it behoves them to be. Even the illustrious Peer, who sat on the Woolsack, and whose mildness, patience, and justice, so eminently distinguished him, who, in his minute, impartial, yet luminous summing up of the case, a few days before, had shewn his leaning towards the right and truth of the cause, now grew angry and almost vehement on this incidental point. The opponents of the claim, out of doors, saw at once the tide thus turned by this accident in their favour. In this unpropitious temperament a decision, which had been delayed from month to month, and year to year, now took place; and on a division in a thin House, it was resolved by the majority, that the proof which the claimant had yet offered was not sufficient to establish his right. He took this resolution deeply to heart, perhaps more deeply than would have become a very firm and exalted spirit. In July of this year (1803) he fell dangerously ill, and lingered, with short intervals of ease, for more than four years, when the grave released him from his mental mortifications, and dreadful bodily sufferings; for the stone had long agonized him, and was the immediate cause of his dissolution. He left no surviving child; but his widow enjoys a jointure out of the family estate of near 30001. a year. In addition to the claims of descent in the male line, which centered in him, he was of most illustrious blood on the female side. His mother was an heiress of a very well-allied branch of the great family of Egerton; and he thus quartered, unmingled with any stain, as well the arms of the royal houses of Plantagenet and Tudor, as of a large portion of the most ancient and powerful of the old nobility. If he now and then dwelt with a little more display on these subjects than seems to be allowed to the wise or the prudent, there were peculiar circumstances which provoked it, and may almost apologize for it. This branch of his great Baronial family had been long separated from their head. Two centuries, and a distant county had long taken from them all. community of connection and kindness. The male derivatives of two elder branches had at one period

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