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is advanced to Point Barrow. We have no intelligence of M'Clure since, under a press of canvas, he stood for the packice off Icy Cape, in August, 1850; nor from Collinson since he passed Behring's Strait in July of the following year. Our consul at Panama indeed writes that Collinson had been spoken by some whalers, but, without details, we know not what credit is to be attached to the report. M'Clure supposed he should be able to reach England by way of Barrow's Strait some time in this year, either by navigating his vessel through the unknown sea which stretches north of the American continent, or by quitting his ship and making for Melville Island, or some point nearer home. Stirring tidings of some kind will most likely reach us in the course of a few months. The search, so long and so ardently prosecuted, continues not only to interest the scientific and enterprising, but to carry with it the sympathies of the whole nation. The public mind is made up that the fate of the missing ships shall be determined, if human energy can determine it-and the resolve is as wise as generous. To our Navy, under God, we owe our greatness and safety; and, in sending forth our gallant seamen on hazardous enterprises, we are bound by every possible obligation to inspire them with a full confidence that they are under the eye and guardianship of their country, and that its resources will be exerted to the utmost in their behalf. The pecuniary cost of the search is not to be regarded in comparison with its object; and it is better for a thousand lives to be perilled in the discharge of duty than for one to be sacrificed through neglect.
ART. VI.-Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, from Original Family Documents. By the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, K.G. 2 vols. 8vo. 1853.
HAT we deny! They are neither Memoirs, nor by the Duke of Buckingham! From the ridicule and, we will even add, blame of the editorial manipulation of these Family Documents, we will venture at once to exonerate the Duke of Buckingham. The evidence, we admit, of the title-page seems conclusive against our opinion; and not less so the following statement-one of those newspaper notices of new books which, though appearing to speak the journalists' own sentiments, are understood to be mere advertisements furnished to them by the publishers :
'In this very remarkable and valuable publication the Duke of Buckingham has HIMSELF undertaken the task of forming a history from the papers of his grandfather and great uncle, the Earl Temple (first Marquis of Buckingham), and Lord Grenville, of the days of the second William Pitt, extending over an interval commencing with 1782, and ending with 1800. . . . From such materials it was not possible to form a work that would not possess the very highest interest. The Duke of Buckingham has, however, moulded his materials with no ordinary ability and skill. The connecting narrative is written both with judgment and vigour-not unfrequently in a style that comes up to the highest order of historical composition-especially in some of the sketches of personal character.'- Standard, 19th Feb., 1853. All this seems very strong-but, in spite of the title-page and newspaper puff, it is our own deliberate convictionand we think it will presently be that of our readers-that it is absolutely impossible that the Duke of Buckingham can have had any further concern in the affair than his having unluckily confided to other and most incompetent hands the publication of a few of his family papers. How this could have happened-how the Duke's name could be prefixed to pages which we shall prove he never saw, and how such an editor as they have been intrusted to could be found, we have no means of knowing, or even guessing:-all we can do is to show that the narrative portion of the work thus attributed to the Duke cannot be his; and we are bound to do so not only in justice to his Grace, but for the sake of historical truth, as the narrative affects to decide, in a very dogmatical style, several personal and political points, which are not merely apocryphal, but sometimes in direct contradiction to the documents which the editor professes to copy.
In ordinary cases the ignorance or incompetence of an editorgenerally exhibited in the absence or the errors of marginal notes-though they may obscure, cannot very seriously impair the original writer's meaning; but in the present case the penman is more adventurous, and puts himself forward, not as an editor, but as an author, and even an authority, as if he were really the Duke of Buckingham writing, by the help of his family papers, the Memoirs of the Court and Cabinet of George the Third-a designation not merely pretentious, but absolutely deceptive; for the substance of the work is, we repeat, nothing like Memoirs, but only an irregular and desultory collection of letters, good, bad, and indifferent, addressed to the first Marquis of Buckingham-the greatest portion being from the pen of his brother William (Lord Grenville), and that eminent person's letters, whatever other value they may have, being as unlike to what is called memoirs as an epic to an epigram.
Every step of this affair is strange and, to us, inexplicable. The Introduction' commences with these words:
In the selection and arrangement of the correspondence contained in these volumes, the intrusion of unnecessary commentaries and political opinions has been carefully avoided. The letters themselves are so lucid and complete that the interest of the publication has been left to rest upon their details as far as possible.'
Now, any one who opens the book will see that the very reverse of this is the fact. There is no text that we can call to memory in which the 'intrusion of unnecessary commentaries and political opinions' is more flagrant, and in which the accompanying letters are so little left to speak for themselves; nay, in which the clear statements of the letters are so frequently contradicted by the commentary. We are not here considering whether a connecting narrative is better in such a work than occasional annotations; we only notice in limine this inconceivable contradiction between the editor's principle and his practice.
We may here, though a little out of chronological order, give a striking exemplification of both the points which we have just stated the idle and inaccurate style of the commentary, and the impossibility that it could have been written by the Duke of Buckingham. We reproduce it in the capitular and imposing form in which the editor chooses to make his blunder the more conspicuous :
'MR. W. W. GRENVILLE JOINS MR. PITT'S ADMINISTRATION.
While the Marquis of Buckingham abstained from active participation in public business, he maintained the most friendly relations with Mr. Pitt, warmly supporting the Minister in all matters upon which his individual adhesion, advice, and local influence could add strength and character to his administration. That he persevered, however, in cultivating the retirement he had chosen, in preference to throwing himself personally into the ocean of action, may be inferred from the following letter, which announces the accession of Mr. Grenville to the Government as Vice-President of the Committee of Trade.' -vol. i. p. 312.
Our readers will smile at the exquisite logic of this commentary-that the younger brother's taking a subordinate office is a proof that the elder-the busiest and most ambitious man of his day-had resolved to cultivate retirement; but they will more than smile when we remind them that the whole is a series of the most egregious blunders. The preceding pages of even the editor's own narrative describe Lord Temple's retirement as exhibiting
exhibiting the very reverse of political cordiality, or even intercourse, with Mr. Pitt. It was, in fact, a sulky discountenance; and as to Mr. William Grenville's junction with Mr. Pitt at this period, the editor, if he had read and understood the letters which immediately follow his preface, would have seen—what the Duke of Buckingham must know as well as any event of his own life-that Mr. Grenville did not join Mr. Pitt's administration in 1786-that he had been a member of it from its first formation, having been appointed Paymaster of the Forces in January, 1784; and that the office to which the letters of 1786 refer was one which, by virtue of a new arrangement of the Board of Trade, was attached (without salary) to the already important and lucrative office of Paymaster. So ignorant is the editor, and so ignorant the Duke could not be, of the first and most important step of Lord Grenville's life, and so utterly astray would any reader be led who should trust these intruded commentaries.
In the account of the Grenville family, given in the few first pages, the commentator calls
Lady Hesther Grenville the mother of The Great Commoner? -p. 14.
The Duke of Buckingham must know, as well as his own name, that Lady Hester was the wife of The Great Commonera designation historically appropriated to the first William Pitt, originally by his admirers, but afterwards derisively-and by none more bitterly than by the Grenville family, when The Great Commoner left their party and was created Earl of Chatham.
The editor says
'the Earl of Surrey gave notice in the House of Lords of a motion to the effect that Ministers no longer possessed the confidence, &c.'—p. 24.
The Duke of Buckingham could not have been ignorant that the Lord Surrey of that day, like all the Lord Surreys of modern times, was a Commoner, and made that celebrated demonstration, 17th March, 1782, in the House of Commons.
The editor tells us that
the Marquis of Rockingham died 1 July (1782), and was succeeded in his title by his nephew the Earl Fitzwilliam.'-i. 48.
The Duke of Buckingham, who has sat for above thirty years in the Houses of Commons and Lords with Lord Fitzwilliam, and who never saw a Lord Rockingham, could, by no possible slip of memory, have made this mistake.
Several of Mr. Grenville's letters, towards the close of 1786, allude to some personal object of his own, which the editor thus brilliantly elucidates:
'The object dimly and cautiously alluded to in the annexed letters was that of a peerage, to which the high pretensions of Mr. W. W. Grenville justified him in looking forward; but which his prudence, holding his honourable ambition in check, made him desirous of postponing, until he had won even greater distinction as a statesman than he had already attained.'-i. 315.
If the object were really a mysterious one, no solution could be more improbable than that Mr. W. W. Grenville, after—according to the editor's reckoning-only five months' public service in a subordinate office, and at the age of twenty-seven, should have thought of a peerage. But the Duke of Buckingham must know perfectly, and any man of the most ordinary common sense, who reads the annexed letters,' will see, that the 'object' is no enigma -that Mr. Grenville was no more thinking of a peerage than of a bishopric-that the object was one for which, as he expressly states, he must wait till it could be vacated by a special arrangement for the present occupant-that, instead of prudently desiring' to postpone the matter, he was in the highest degree desirous of pressing it, and was very 'prudently' busy in devising modes by which the vacancy could be arranged; in short, as is frequently intimated and sometimes explicitly stated, the object was the seals of the Home Department, which Lord Sydney was to resign (when otherwise provided for), and Mr. Grenville to receive. Is it possible that the Duke of Buckingham could have been so ignorant of this remarkable portion of his family history?
If we have established, in any one instance, the impossibility of the Duke of Buckingham's being the author of the Commentary, our purpose is answered; but we think it as well to produce some instances of its improbability-so strong as would of themselves almost amount to certainty.
On the 27th of March, 1783, Mr. Grenville writes from London to Lord Temple, then Lord Lieutenant, in Dublin :
'Pray, communicate a little with Mornington about your resignation, &c. It will flatter him; and he is beyond measure disposed to you, both in Ireland and here, to which he looks in a short time.'-vol. i. p.211. Which the editor thus explains:
'The allusion to Lord Mornington (afterwards Marquis Wellesley) is not quite clear. We are left in some doubt as to whether his Lordship looked at this time to office in England, or to the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland.'-Ib.
It is, we say, highly improbable, if not quite impossible, that the Duke of Buckingham could have written this nonsense. The allusion to Lord Mornington must be quite clear' to any one who reads the subsequent letters. Lord Mornington-at