Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 1

By Lord Henry Brougham | Go to book overview

MR. WINDHAM.

AMONG the members of his party, to whom we have alluded as agreeing ill with Mr. Sheridan, and treating him with little deference, Mr. Windham was the most distinguished. The advantages of a refined classical education, a lively wit of the most pungent and yet abstruse description, a turn for subtle reasoning, drawing nice distinctions and pursuing remote analogies, great and early knowledge of the world, familiarity with men of letters and artists, as well as politicians, with Burke, Johnson, and Reynolds, as well as with Fox and North, much acquaintance with constitutional history and principle, a chivalrous spirit, a noble figure, a singularly expressive countenance -- all fitted this remarkable person to shine in debate; but were all, when put together, unequal to the task of raising him to the first rank; and were, besides, mingled with defects which exceedingly impaired the impression of his oratory, while they diminished his usefulness and injured his reputation as a statesman. For he was too often the dupe of his own ingenuity; which made him doubt and balance, and gave an oscitancy fatal to vigour in council, as well as most prejudicial to the effects of eloquence, by breaking the force of his blows as they fell. His nature, too, perhaps owing to this hesitating disposition, was to be a follower, if not a worshipper, rather than an original thinker or actor; as if he felt some relief under the doubts which harassed him from so many quarters, in

-219-

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Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • States Men of the Times of George Iii. 1
  • George Iii. 5
  • Lord Chatham. 17
  • Lord North. 48
  • Lord Loughborough. 70
  • Lord Thurlow. 88
  • Lord Chief Justice Gibbs. 124
  • Mr. Burke. 142
  • Mr. Fox. 178
  • Mr. Sheridan. 210
  • Mr. Windham. 219
  • Mr. Dundas. 227
  • Mr. Erskine. 236
  • Mr. Perceval. 246
  • Lord Grenville. 254
  • Mr. Grattan. 260
  • Sir Samuel Romilly. 290
  • Franklin 314
  • Fredkric Ii. 320
  • Gustavus Iii. 346
  • The Emperor Joseph. 359
  • Appendix. 387
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