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[351] referred to by Denman! After dinner the conversation turned upon politics, and upon Canadian affairs in particular. His Lordship seemed to exult over Lord Durham, and to think that he had him ‘on the hip.’ He praised Roebuck as a person of great talent; and spoke of Erskine as a very great man. When I asked who at the bar now was most like him, he said: ‘Nobody: there is a degenerate race now; there are no good speakers at the bar, except Sir William Follett and Mr. Pemberton.’ He spoke of Lord Langdale as a person who had never done any thing, and who never would do any thing, and who was an ordinary man. He said that Mr.Austin and Mrs. Austin,1—who had just returned from Malta, where Mr. Austin went to reform the law,—would probably cease to be reformers, having experienced the practical difficulties of reform, and would retire disheartened from the cause. In making this remark, he obviously intended to allude to a supposed want of perseverance and resolution on the part of these persons. A dinner at Lansdowne House, he said, was a great cure for radicalism. He thought Ballantyne had refuted Lockhart, and that the latter as well as Scott would suffer in reputation. Money affairs were Scott's weak point. The illness of Lord Derby, of which we received the intelligence to-day, and his expected death, he characterized as great news; ‘for,’ said he, ‘Ned Stanley2 goes into the Lords.’ It was thus that he passed from topic to topic, expressing himself always with force, correctness, and facility unrivalled; but, I must say, with a manner not only far from refined, but even vulgar. He had no gentleness or suavity; neither did he show any of the delicate attentions of the host. He professed an interest in America, but did not seem to care to speak about it. He said that he should certainly visit us, for, with the present facilities of intercourse, it were a shame in an Englishman to be ignorant of the practical working of our institutions. ‘I am a republican,’ said he; ‘or rather, I am for entrusting to the people the largest possible degree of power.’ I doubt if he knows much about our affairs or our public men. When I mentioned Webster's name, he said, ‘Yes, I have understood that Webster is a clever man;’ and Clay's did not seem to call up any particular idea. Of Judge Story he spoke more at length than of any other, and expressed the strongest regard for him; and yet I do not think that he is aware of the Judge's position among us, and I know that he is ignorant of several of his works. He did not speak of the law, though when I saw him at his house in Belgrave Square he said, ‘Come and see me, and we will talk about codification and the law;’ though I had never opened my mouth to him about either.

I have not sketched the foregoing lines in the hope of tracing the conversation of this remarkable man; but simply to give you by flashes, as it were,

1 John Austin, 1797-1860; author of ‘The Province of Jurisprudence Determined;’ and Mrs. Sarah Austin of the Taylor family of Norwich, the translator of Ranke's ‘History of the Popes,’ and other German works. Mrs. Austin died in 1867. Their daughter, Lady Duff Gordon, well-known in literature, died in Egypt, in 1869.

2 The fourteenth Earl of Derby, 1799-1869; eminent as statesman and scholar, serving many years in the House of Commons before entering the Peers in 1844 as Baron Stanley; three times Premier; and the translator of the ‘Iliad.’ His father survived till 1851.

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