Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III - Vol. 2

By Lord Henry Brougham | Go to book overview
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LORD LIVERPOOL.

THE eminent individual whom we have just been surveying* never rose to the place of ostensible Prime Minister, although for the last ten years of his life he exercised almost all its influence, and was the ministerial leader of the House of Commons. But Lord Liverpool was the chief under whom he served. He presided over the councils of England for a longer time than any other, excepting Walpole and Pitt, and for a period incomparably more glorious in all that is commonly deemed to constitute national renown. He was Prime Minister of England for fifteen years, after having filled in succession almost every political office, from under-secretary of state upwards; and passed his whole life, from the age of manhood, in the public service, save the single year that followed the death of Mr. Pitt. So long and so little interrupted a course of official prosperity was never, perhaps, enjoyed by any other statesman.

But this was not his only felicity. It happened to him, that the years during which the helm of the state, as it is called, was intrusted to his hands, were those of the greatest events, alike in negotiation, in war, in commerce, and in finance, which ever happened to illustrate or to checker the annals of Europe. He saw the power of France attain a pitch altogether unexampled, and embrace the whole of the continent, except Russia alone, hitherto believed safe in her dis

____________________
*
Lord Castlereagh.

-131-

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