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employing the summer of his life in gathering honours for his name, and garlands for his grave !' p. xiv.
of the ten Speeches contained in this volume, five were delivered at dinners and other public meetings, and five in courts of justice ;— But the style of all is exactly the same; and indeed, there is nothing more to be remarked in Mr Phillips's composi. tions, than their surprising uniformity. It almost amounts to repetition ; it is so very perfect and exact, that you can always tell beforehand how he is to go on when he has begun with a topic. He proceeds as if he worked by a particular receipt, mechanically ; and the worst of it is, that he uses the same receipt whatever be his object. The perfection of oratory, he seems to think, consists in pouring out, without any selection, a multitude of images, in language always epigrammatic, whether the ideas it conveys be so or not. The object which ought to be in view is perpetually sacrificed to what is no doubt the real purpose of all these Speeches--the saying something gaydy or striking; and Mr Phillips has but one way of saying it. We may open the book at random. Thus, of the Pope he says, .
Placed at the very pinnacle of human elevation, surrounded by the pomp of the Vatican and the splendours of the Court, pouring the mandates of Christ from the throne of the CÆSARS, nations were his subjects, kings were his companions, religion was his handmaid ; he went forth gorgeous with the accumulated dignity of ages, every knee bending, and every eye blessing the prince of one world and the prophet of another. Have we not seen him, in one moment, his crown crumbled, his sceptre a reed, his throne a shadow, his home a dun. geon !' p. 22, 23,
Of Buonaparte • The goal of other men's speed was his starting-post ; crowns were his play-things, thrones his footstool ; he strode from victory to victory ; his path was ' a plane of continued elevations.' p. 84.
Oi Ferdinand• A wretch of even worse than proverbial princely ingratitude ; who filled his dungeons, and fed' his rack with the heroic remnant that braved war, and famine, and massacre beneath his banners; who rewarded patriotism with the prison, fidelity with the torture, heroism with the scaffold, and piety with the Inquisition ; whose royalty was published by the signature of his death-warrants, and whose religion evaporated in the embroidering of petticoats for the Blessed Virgin!!
Of a bigot generally, we are told that he is - a wretch, whom no philosophy can humanize, no charity soften, no religion reclaim, no miracle convert; a monster, who, red with the fires of hell, and bending under the crimes of earth, erects his murderous divinity upon a throne of skulls, and would gladly feed, even with a bro:her's blood, the cannibal appetite of his rejected altar,' p.30. Of Bigotry--that • She has no head, and cannot think ; she has no heart, and cannot feel; when she moves, it is in wrath ; when she pauses, it is amid ruin ; her prayers are curses, her communion is death, her vengeance is eternity, her decalogue is written in the blood of her victims; and if she stoops for a moment from her infernal flight, it is upon some kindred rock, to whet her vulture fang for keener rapine, and replume her wing for a more sanguinary desolation !' p. 54. here, can mean nothing but nature. In the next sentence, the sense is again sacrificed to the point. Not only unnatural, but unnational ;' for the conclusion from what precedes is, that unnatural and unnational are here the same. We say nothing of the figures- schoolboys of the heart '-and
Again, of Bigotry (we believe, but are not certain), in the same speech
- in form a fury, and in act a demon, her heart festered with the fires of hell, her hands clotted with the gore of earth, withering alike in her repose and in her progress-her path apparent by the print of blood, and her pause denoted by the expanse of desolation.' p. 59.
Of a Catholic sending his son to the wars• Suppose he sends his son, the hope of his pride and the wealth of his heart, into the army; the child justifies his parental anticipation ; he is moral in his habits, he is strict in his discipline, he is daring in the field, and temperate at the board, and patient in the camp; the first in the charge, the last in the retreat : With an hand to achieve, and an head to guide, and a temper to conciliate, he combines the skill of Wellington with the clemency of Cæsar and the courage of Turenne,' p. 64.
Of ditto sending ditto to the bar • He has spent his nights at the lamp, and his days in the forum ; the rose has withered from his cheek mid the drudgery of form; the spirit has fainted in his heart mid the analysis of crime; he has foregone the pleasures of his youth, and the associates of his heart, and all the fairy enchantments in which fancy may have wrapped him. Alas! for what ?- Though genius flashed from his eye, and eloquence rolled from his lips ; though he spoke with the tongue of Tully, and argued with the learning of Coke.' de. p. 64.
It is the less necessary to multiply instances, because every passage which we may extract in the course of these observations is sure to exemplify the same thing.
As it is a rule with Mr Phillips that every sentence must look like an epigram ; that point and antithesis must for ever appear in the words, though none may exist in the meaning; we are fatigued to death with the alternations of this and that'-• the one and the other; -with jingling and alliteration-with words perverted to significations wholly foreign to their real meaning by the figure commonly called slip-slop, and of which Mrs Malaprop was so bright an example, until some of our journalists threw her into the shade and lastly, and very generally, with the figure of pure nonsense. Thus, take for a specimen of alliteration a miserable maniac in the content,
children of impulse;' but why is an Irish hovel, a 'bazaar of mud and misery'? Bazaar means a market. And why, but for the clink, are mud and misery coupled together? - Then follow an apparently distinctive enumeration of different qualities, with a superlative to each ; but it turns out, when we look into them, that the qualities are nearly the same, and that the epithets are affixed at random, being intended to look like characteristic additions; whereas they might be shuffled and distributed anew, without any material injury to the sense. The look and smile, the retort and remark, are liable to the same observation. • An acute observance,' is slip-slop ;-observ. ance is never used for observation. Neither do we elude those who are trying to outwit us, but to catch, or entrap us; still less do we elude by means of humour. What can be the meaning of rudeness being decorated and wild? The one epi. thet is a pleonasm, the other a contradiction. It would not be much more absurd to speak of an old, new novelty. The parallel attempted between the country and the people, is a complete failure; for the only point of resemblance is the rudeness, which is praised as the merit of the one, and, by the conclusion of the sentence, is allowed to be the defect of the other. Yet this passage is, as the reader will presently see, far more correct and chaste than most of Mr Phillips's fine writing. Nor have we, in the foregoing remarks, dwelt upon its principal vice; the strained, affected, and childish manner in which every thing is conceived, as well as expressed, -50 that there is nothing like natare and simplicity, or plain manly sense, to be traced either in the thought or the diction.
We have already noticed Mr Phillips's love of imagery; and all the greatest sins against good taste, to which this passion lcads its victims, are to be found committed by him in every part of his work. Confusion of metaphor-extravagance or violence, frequently exciting even disgust-absolute nonsense, and the de fect of meaning, so nearly akin to it. Thus, speaking of the • Burkes, Barrys and Goldsmiths,' he says, 'they wreathed the . immortal shamrock round the brow of painting, poetry and • eloquence.' Of some poor children, he observes, that they may have a soul swelling with the energies, and stamped with
the patent of the Deity; ' whereby it appears that this learned person confounds the letters patent with the seal appended 10
them. He adds, of the same soul, that it might bless, adorn, . immortalize, and ennoble empires;' an anticlimax not often exceeded, and into which Mr Phillips is clearly led, by his determination always to use four or more words to express the same idea. Again, of Mr Curran - When thrones were crumbled, and dynasties forgotten, he might stand the landmark of his country's genius, rearing himself amid regal ruins and national dissolution, a mental pyramid in the solitude of time, beneath whose shade things might moulder, and round whose summit
eternity must play.' (p. 17.) Surely the writer of this never saw a pyramid, or heard of the meaning of a landmark; but, when he talks about the solitude of time, and the playing of eternity, we cannot even conjecture his meaning. Then, what shall we say of such exclamations as this frantic parody upon the Scripture- Oh, Prejudice, where is thy reason? Oh, Bigotry,
where is thy blush? (p. 12.) Or of this other, Gospel of • Heaven ! is this tby herald? God of the universe ! is this thy .handmaid? Christian of the Ascendancy !' &c. (p. 59.) Or again, Shades of Heroic Millions, these are thy achievements !
Monster of Legitimacy, this is thy consummation !'-whereunto the printer has added, somewhat maliciously, three several marks of admiration. (p. 87.). In one short sentence (p. 67) we have God's apostle a court-appendage'_ God himself a
court-purveyor - Omnipotence a menial--and Eternity . a pander,'(whatever that may denote)--beside several terrestrial figures. But in one oration (O'Mullan v. M'Korkill), Mr Phillips exceeds himself; and we doubt not it is the peculiar favourite of Mr Finlay and himself. To give an adequate notion of the splendour of imagery which marks this finished specimen of modern eloquence almost from the beginning to the end, we must cite nearly the whole of it, from the very exordium in which we find something non constat what'poured upon the
patriot by the venom of a venal turpitude;' and are rather unexpectedly introduced into a place described as the charnelhouse of crime--the sepulchre where corruption sits enthron
ed upon the merit it has murdered.' But we fear our cold understandings are incapable of appreciating the beauties of this style. Let, then, a few specimens be presented to the reader; and if his imagination is naturally so ardent as to confound together all distinctions among ideas, or if, like those to whom some of the Speeches were probably addressed, he happens at the moment to have procured that voluntary confusion of the brain which may be superinduced by a simple process, he may be delighted with what follows. The venal writers of Ireland are thus depicted
- the worst foes of Government, under pretence of giving it as