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any moment receive a sudden knock-down blow, and both Brougham and Lyndhurst more than once experienced this.
On the accession of the Queen in 1837, Lord Melbourne found himself suddenly placed in a most trying and most responsible position. This is the part of his career which is best known, and in which his conduct has been most appreciated ; and I do not think there is any other instance on record of the confidential and affectionate relations subsisting between a sovereign and a minister so interesting to dwell upon. It is difficult to say to which of the two these relations were productive of the greatest benefit. Her Majesty was indeed fortunate in finding such a counsellor. His large-minded fairness, his impartial appreciation of the motives and feelings of all parties in the State-that philosophical power of seeing both sides of a question, to which I have alluded, and which perhaps stood in his way as a party leader--were under present circumstances of unmixed advantage. His vast political and historical knowledge supplied him with ready information on every subject, which, I need hardly say, he imparted in the most agreeable manner; and his judgment, stimulated by the gravity of the situation, enabled him to give sound advice at least on all the deeper and more important matters which properly belonged to his position. To the Minister himself, this new stimulant was invaluable. His life had never quite recovered from the blight cast upon it in his early manhood. He had long suffered from want of an object for which he really cared ; his thoughtful temperament too much inclined him in his serious moments to realise the vanity of all things; but he now found a new interest, which animated his remaining years of activity, and which afterwards solaced him in illness and depression and intellectual decay.
Nobly also did the Queen repay this chivalrous devotion, and this unselfish solicitude for her welfare. Her clear intellect readily assimilated his wisdom, and her truthful and just nature responded sympathetically to his enlightened and generous views. And there was no ingratitude or subsequent neglect to mar the harmony of the picture; for to the last hour of his existence her kindness and attention were without a break. Her Majesty has been fortunate in many of her advisers—fortunate more particularly in her illustrious husbandbut such is the force of early impression, that perhaps no small part of the sagacity and the virtue which have signalised her reign may be traced to the influence of Lord Melbourne.
This little biographical notice must now be brought to a close. In 1841 his Administration came to an end. In the autumn of 1842 he had a paralytic stroke. He recovered and lived till 1848, and was able to take his place in the House of Lords and to appear in society. But his sweet temper was soured and his spirits became unequal; his bright intellect was dimmed, and his peculiarities assumed an exaggerated form. He had been so famous in earlier days
for the brilliancy of his conversation, that even after his illness people remembered and repeated what he said. This has done his reputation some injury, and the stories told about him do not always convey a correct impression of his ability and his charm.
The life which I have attempted to sketch was an eventful one ; and Lord Melbourne took no small share in the movements of his time. But it seems to have been the impression of all who met him that he might have done much more than he ever did, and that he was a far abler and greater man than many who have filled a larger space in history.
A TREATISE ON LOVE.
By ALGERNON SIDNEY.1
In writing one this subject I am very jealous of myself, having ever bin soe inclined unto this passion, that though my experience of the power of it may make me more knowing in it then thoes that have never felt the effects of it, yet I very much doubt my own weaknesse may shew itself in the discourse of Love (which I confesse hath with more violence transported me than a man of understanding ought to suffer himself to be by any passion) more evidently then in any other in which I am lesse concerned: but it is better to speake passionately and perhaps unadvisedly of what we do know, than universally darkly and ignorantly of thoes that wee feele nothing of, and thearefore what wee say must be what we heare from others, (that is to say, not our owne.
I could wish that all men would doe the like, write and speake what they know in themselves, and leave the judgement to others, wheareby we should come to a much more exact knowledge of our owne patures, then either we can attaine unto by reading the painted artificial writings of thoes that rather ayme at setting forthe what should be then what is, and speaking nothing of themselves but theire praises, doe rather desire to be thought wise men then to be good, and ayming at honour more then truth, disguizeing themselves, delude others : or those whoe Ixion-like embrace clouds, fill themselves with aery abstracted speculations, that please the fancy, but never informe the judgement; both seeking for applause, neither care to benefite themselves or others.
I am perfectly free from any consideration without myself, I write my thoughts at one time, that in perusing them at another I may come to the knowledge of myself, that by seeing without passion, that which I write in passion, I may know what I am, how I improve or impaire, as one that hath his picture drawne when he is emaciated by sicknesse, may in his recovery, by comparing that with his present countenance, judge in some degree of the state of his owne health. And wee are soe often transported by passion, that wee shall never judge rightly by the present sense of our condition, wee must
| From an original (unpublished) manuscript in the possession of James P. Ley, Esq.
see what wee weare in all accidents, how temperate in love, how strong against feare, and the like, by an impartiall consideration, when we are free from any disturbance, as all men are by intervals, and our memoryes will not soe exactly represent unto us what wee weare, as theis kinds of writings which are the representations of the present thoughts. But that I may noe longer swerve from my subject, I will now endeavour to examine the nature and the effects of it.
Love is the passion that hath passed all censures, as various as the kinds of it, or the effects. It is by all esteemed the most powerfull of passions, by most the best; some stick not to say it is the worst, because the least controuleable by reason.
It is of as many kinds as theare are objects in the world, and inclinations in men : but I intend at this time only to speake of that to beauty, the height of which we commonly call being in love. This consists of as many sorts as beauty, which are two, that of the mind, and that of the boddy ; the Platonicks adde a thirde, which is of sounds, and if any thing may be called beauty that hath proportion and correspondence of parts, that name may certainly agree with sounds, though they are to be judged neither by the eye, nor the understanding, which are generally esteemed the powers that distinguish betwixt beauty and deformity : but, howsoever, theis tow only will fall under my discourse, for what excellence soever is in sounds, that can only be an invitation, and not the object of love, unlesse a man could be fancied to be nothing but eare, as eccho is nothing but voice, (that is to say nothing at all, and so incapable of any thing, or of being. The Stoicks, generall enemyes to all passions, doe also reject this, as that which doth toe much soften the mind, depriving it theareby of that firmenesse of temper, which is that only in which reason delights and governes ; never the lesse storyes are full of thoes wise men whoe for all theire pretended austerity have fallen as deeply under the power of that passion as any other in the world, as if the Divine Power had made use of it to shew them the vanitye of theire principles. Epicureans allow soe much of it as conduceth to pleasure, but reject the transporting part; and to shew how well they make this good, Lucretius, one of the cheife fathers of that sect, for all his philosophy grew soe desperately in love with a young wench, whoe rejecting him for his old age, he in rage threw himself downe a steep rock into the sea. But the Platonicks are the perfect patrons of that passion, even to the degree of disliking hardly any thing that carryes that name.
Love is the most intense desire of the soule to enjoy beauty, and wheare it is reciprocal, is the most entire and exact union of harts. Divers reasons are given for the birth and groweth of it; some esteeme likenesse of natures, others like constellations ruling at the time of birth. For my owne part I can only conclude, that whatsoever pleaseth the eye and the fancye is beautifull, whatsoever we think beautifull we desire to enjoy, and that desire is love. Theare is also tow kinds of this love, the one perfectly spiritual which is called the celestial Venus, and having its seat only in the minde hathe the mind only for its object, delights in virtue and excellence of understanding, neglects the visible beauty, contents itself solely with that fruition which is to be had by conversation. The other is absolutely sensuall, makes the exterior part its object, and hath no other end than sensuall pleasure : the first is an affection for Angells, pure and contemplative, the other for beasts, filthy and sottish.
Man is a creature composed of both theis, a celestiall and angellical part, which is the soule, and of the terrestriall, fleshy, bestiall part, which is his boddy, soe that his affections ought to participate of both his natures, rejecting that which solely consists in the admiration of the soule, as that which he can very imperfectly judge of, and where the knowledge is imperfect, the desire must needs be very cold. Neither is he pleased with the other; thoes are but weak chaines which take hold only of our senses: the principall part in us challengeth a share in all our pleasures, and must have wheare with all to content itself, or else there is nothing fixed. Therefore a man, to love as a man, must have regard to both; and as long as he is in any degree reasonable, can fix his hart neither absolutely uppon that which is too high to be understood, nor too low to be approved : a mixed creature must have mixed affections, and can love only wheare he finds a mind of such excellency as to delight his understanding, and a boddy of beauty to please his senses: and the mind being by much the most considerable part in us, the principal care is for the pleasing of that ; for the mind being the only fixed power in us, fixed affections can only grow from thence. The eyes are wandering, the senses uncertaine, the desires that proceed from them must be soe allsoe ; the necessity of which appears in this : every thing acts according to a principle within itself. An Angell loves spiritually; a beast, that is all flesh, comprehends not spiritual things any more then an Angell tasts carnal things, and a man that is composed of reason and sense, rationally and sensually both together. Besides, every agent proposeth to itself enjoyment of good, that is pleasure) for all that is good is pleasant, and nothing ought to please but that which is good ; that is good only that satisfyes; that can never satisfye, which is agreeable only to one part of a composed creature. The soule disdains sensuall pleasures ; the senses tast not the spirituall, so that to please both the object must be such as both may joyne in the enjoyment.
I will conclude this point with this assertion; the spiritual affections are soé cold as hardly to have any being; sensuall are soe madde as to be unworthy of any thing that pretends to a reasonable soule; and the strong, lasting, high, and perfectly humane passions, are only those which proceed from the admonition of an excellent mind