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creatures, and indissolubly fastened their interests to each other, will fill my heart with more pleasure than all the fame with which the most ingenious paradox ever crowned the most eloquent sophist.”
Will it hereafter be believed, that a task undertaken through so much labour, and with such virtuous intention, would have been opposed by some of the benchers of Lincoln's Inn, [men we must suppose of liberal minds and liberal education under the false. and futile pretence that their hall should not be prostituted to the purposes of jacobinism. Fortunately for himself and for the public, Mr. Mackintosh had other judges. Lord Rosslyn, then lord high chancellor, sent an authoritative mandate to open the hall, and the malignity of this insignificant cabal was silenced and confounded. Never was a course of lectures of any sort so illustriously attended. Twenty-five peers, and about fifty commoners were among the most assiduous in their attendance, together with nearly all the metropolis contained of men conspicuous for their talents or their learning. It will be for them to pronounce whether jacobinism, and its parent, the new philosophy, found in Mr. Mackintosh a partizan and a preacher of their principles, or whether, on the contrary, the pernicious system which they have endeavoured to erect against the altar and the throne, against every thing that is feeling, moral, and rational in the nature of man, bas not sustained an eternal overthrow from the vigour of his arguments and the thunder of his eloquence:
furialia monstra Fulmine compescit linguce.
Never were the energies of a mind more forcibly or more variously exerted-never was greater affluence of intellectual wealth displayed. Scarcely is there a topic of literature but some of his lectures touched upon, or a department of science which they have not surveyed. The copious stores of his memory constantly supplied him with authorities and quotations from philosophers, orators and poets, of every age and country, to establish his positions and variegate his matter. What was intricate, he disentangled; he confirmed what was doubtful; embellished what was dry; and
illustrated what was obscure. Like the splendour of the golden bough that bore the Trojan hero through the darksome regions of the nether realms, the luminous glance of his genius darted through all the branches of the tree of knowledge, and gilt with a new light every leaf upon which it shone:
Ameaque ingenii per ramos aura refulsit. We have dwelt longer upon Mr. Mackintosh's lectures than upon any other of his intellectual efforts, not only because it was the most useful, as well as the most splendid, that he, or any other man of genius, could have made, but more particularly because they can be but little known to the public, as they could only have been attended by, comparatively, a few. It is, however, our anxious hope, that though the public may never behold them in the shape in which they were delivered, the spirit of them, at least, may be embodied in the form of an essay or a treatise on the principles of mo. rals and of politics, which they have laid down so distinctly, and so clearly ascertained. Both the late and the present administrations were deeply struck with their excellence and usefulness, and were not backward to acknowledge that they gave Mr. Mackintosh very strong claims, not only to the admiration, but the gratitude of his country. They accordingly made him several offers of lucrative and honourable appointments, and, very recently, that of under secretary of state in the home department: but he declined accepting them, as too exclusively connected with parties and politics, and, as rather unsuitable with his professional character and avocations. No sooner, however, did the recordership of Bombay become vacant, than an unsolicited offer of it was made to him, as a thing not liable to the same objections. Even this office, though highly desirable in many other respects, we cannot well suppose him to have undertaken, without a severe effort of resolution and self-denial;--for his acceptance of it removed him from the only sphere in which the powers of his mind seemed destined to move, and from the only theatre where their variety and extent could be fairly judged, and worthily exhibited. In this reluctance on his part, if any such he felt; the regret of his country must naturally sympathise; for the light of his genius and the powers of his pen
can be but ill-spared in these dark, doubtful, and exigent times. But the feelings of a father prevailed over every other consideration, and he determined not to expose himself to any future reproach for having left unimproved so fair an opportunity of competently providing for his numerous family, which has been con: siderably increased since his second marriage, with Miss Allen, of Cressella, in Pembrokeshire: a lady much distinguished for her mental accomplishments and literary acquirements, and in whose converse, now that he is widowed of the intellectual intercourse he so eminently enjoyed, his understanding, as well as his heart, cannot fail of finding congenial and inexhaustible resources.
There is a circumstance somewhat remarkable in the literary life of Mr. Mackintosh, which we had nearly omitted, and to which he himself frequently reverts with the fondest recollections, not, however, unmixed with sorrow and regret;—we mean his acquaintance with Mr. Burke. To his enthusiastic admiration of that great man we have already adverted; yet, widely as he was acquainted with all the other eminent characters of the day, it was but nearly at the close of Mr. Burke's life that he became personally acquainted with him. The interview was solicited by Mr. Burke himself, who sent Dr. LAWRENOE with a long letter of invitation to Mr. Mackintosh, requesting him to pass a few days with him at Beaconsfield. How eagerly such a request was complied with, by Mr. Mackintosh, will be best imagined by those who could discover the near resemblance which their minds bore to each other, and who have observed that strong attraction which operates so powerfully between congenial spirits. It is obvious to suppose that they mutually disclosed their respective opinions respecting the causes and consequences of the French revolution; and that, whatever abatement has since been remarked in Mr. Mackintosh's admiration of that great event, may, in some degree, be ascribed to the influence of Mr. Burke's remarks, together with the soberer observations of his own more ripened judgment.
It may now, perhaps, be expected that we point out the series of Mr. Mackintoshi's publications, the subjects of which they treat, the opinions passed upon them, and the familiar habits of the man, as well as the intellectual character of the writer. On these points we must be brief, and, wc fear very imperfect. The first essay
which Mr. Mackintosh committed to the press, was a pamphlet on the question of the regency in 1788, in which he asserted the policy of making the Prince of Wales sole regent. Several other political pamphlets, arising out of the events of the day, of which we do not now recollect the titles, preceded or followed the Vindiciæ Gallicæ: but this was the first production that bore his name and which swelled to the size of a legitimate volume. With the subject it discussed, and the favourable impression it made upon the public, our readers are already well acquainted. Since the publication of the work, every page of which glows with the purple light of youthful genius, nothing appears inscribed with Mr. MACKINTOSH's name, till we come to his introductory Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and of Nations, of which we shall only repeat, that the most distinguished statesmen and philosophers of the nation have declared it to contain a more recondite and comprehensive view of the subject than they had ever before met with in the course of their reading. His pen, however, did not remain wholly unemployed during that long interval. Many of its productions are to be found scattered throughout our different periodical publications, to which, however, we do not pretend accurately to refer. But among them our readers cannot fail to discover some of the most splendid specimens of sound and elegant criticism.*
His splendid oration in defence of M. Peltier is too widely known, and too generally admired, to require any mention or comment on our part. No where is there depicted so faithful, or a more horrific picture of the more prominent actors in the French revolution; no where can be acquired a juster insight into the present dark designs and ambitious projects of the consular government: (1804) nor has Mr. Mackintosh been backward to lend his literary aid towards rousing and animating the spirit and energy of the country, at this awful crisis of public affairs. The most pure and ardent patriotism runs through every sentence of his speech to the Loyal North Britons in which volunteer corps he was a captain, and in the Declaration of the Merchants, &c. read at the
* See the Critique on Mr. Burke's Regicide Peace, and on the Miscellaneous Works of Mr. Gibbon, in the Monthly Review. “
royal exchange, which is now known to have flowed from his patriotic pen. Mr. Mackintosh, were he to write no more, has already written enough to entitle him to rank among the very first of our most accomplished writers ; but, as his new situation must open new views to his keen and indefatigable observation, we may fairly expect still more solid and finished productions from the activity of bis powerful and prolific mind.
With respect to the character of his mind, it has pretty generally been observed, that judgment, acuteness, sagacity, comprehension and memory, constitute its principal powers; not that he is deficient in fancy and imagination, which his writings prove him to possess in a very eminent degree, but because they seem to be over-awed from any tbing like extravagant and wanton flights by the severity of his judgment, and the chasteness of his taste. There is another quality with which his mind is singularly gifted, and which naturally results from his taste and judgment, we mean a sort of elective attraction for whatever is sublime and beautiful in the expression and thoughts of other writers, and a felicity of assimilation, by which he instantly converts it into his own. We may fairly say his own; for when it is again re-issued, it appears clothed in such a variety of new lights and colours, that scarcely any particle can be traced of the original substance.
Mille trahit varios adverso sole colores.
If examined separately, it will be generally allowed, that the fa. culties of his intellect are of the most vigorous mould; but a nicely discriminating eye will contemplate, with more delight and ani. mation, the fair proportions of the general structure, and the happy manner in which they all amicably conspire, and so equally come forward in the performance of whatever he undertakes. Indeed it may as justly be said of intellectual as of corporeal beauty:
It's not a lip or eye we beauty call,
In social and domestic life, Mr. Mackintosh is generally ac knowledged to possess the most amiable and estimable qualities. He is a fond husband, an affectionate father, a faithful friend: and in gentleness of manner, equability of temper, and amenity of dis