Page images


racter of the late Duke less correctly and generally known than that of his father, who filled for so many years a conspicuous part in the public eye. We therefore insert, as a tribute to his memory, the following particulars, which are derived from an authentic source.

The late Duke so far differed from his father, Duke Henry, that his temper was more quick, and, for the moment, more easily susceptible of resentment, when undeserved injury was offered to him, or an ungrateful return made to his fa

He had perceived, with indignation, that his father's kindness did not uniformly meet with a suitable return; and he placed, or rather desired to place, (for he sometimes forgot the restriction), the noble and generous disposition which he derived from him, under the regulation of reciprocal justice. He was, upon principle, an enemy to that species of beneficence which has its source as much in negligence as in philanthropy, and gives, merely because it is painful to withhold. His first anxiety in every case was to discover what the party with whom he transacted had a right to expect; his next was not only to render him his full due, but to make those additions to it which his own bountiful nature suggested. In a settlement of accounts which had become somewhat perplexed by the illness and death of an ancient friend of the

family, the Duke first employed himself in minutely ascertaining the amount of the balance due to him, which was considerable, and then, by a stroke of his pen, carried a similar sum to the credit of the family of his deceased friend. The accuracy he thought was due to himself, the liberality to the memory of a most excellent man, long attached to his family. As no man's heart was ever so readily opened by an appearance of attachment and kindness, the Duke never, on the other hand, permitted his sense of indifferent usage to hurry him into vindictive measures. At the close of a contested election, in which the usual subjects of irritation had occurred, his first expression was, that “everything was now to be forgotten, excepting the services of his friends.” Owing to the same sense of justice, we know it has happened more than once, that when applied to for his influence with government to grant pensions in cases of private distress, the Duke declined to recommend the imposition of such burden on the public, and himself made good the necessary provision. His acts of well-considered and deliberate generosity were not confined to the poor, properly so termed, but sought out and relieved the less endurable wants of those who had seen better days, and had been thrown into indigence by accidental misfortune; nor were they who received the relief always able to trace the source from whence it flowed.

As a public man, the Duke of Buccleuch was, like his father, sincerely attached to the principles of Mr Pitt, which he supported on every occasion with spirit and energy, but without virulence or prejudice against those who held different sentiments. He was of opinion that honour, loyalty, and good faith, although old-fashioned words, expressed more happily the duties of a man of rank than the newer denominations which have sometimes been substituted for them. He was a patriot in the noblest sense of the word, holding that the country had a right to the last acre of his estates, and the last drop of his blood ; a debt which he prepared seriously to render to her, when there was an expectation that the country would be invaded. While Lord Dalkeith, he sat in the House of Commons : we are not aware that he spoke above once or twice in either House of Parliament ; but as president of public meetings he often expressed himself with an ease, spirit, and felicity, which left little doubt that his success would have been considerable in the senate. His Grace was for many years Colonel of the Dumfries-shire regiment of militia, the duties of which situation he performed with the greatest regularity, showing a turn for military affairs, as well as an attachment to them, which would have raised him high in the profession had his situation permitted him to adopt it. That it would have been his choice was undoubted, for the military art, both in theory and in practical detail, formed his favourite study.

The management of the Duke's very extensive estates was conducted on the plan recommended by his father's experience, and which is peculiarly calculated to avoid the evil of rack-renting, which has been fraught with such misfortune to Scotland, and to secure the permanent interest both of tenant and landlord. No tenants on the Buccleuch estate, who continued worthy of patronage, were ever deprived of their farms, and scarce any have voluntarily relinquished the possession of them. To improve his large property by building, by plantations of great extent, by every encouragement to agriculture, was at once his Grace's most serious employment, and his principal amusement. The estate of Queensberry, to which he succeeded, although worth from £30,000 to £40,000 yearly, afforded to the Duke, owing to well-known circumstances, scarce the sixth part of the lesser sum. Yet he not only repaired the magnificent Castle of Drumlanrig, but accomplished, during the few years he possessed it, the restoration, with very large additions, of those extensive plantations, wbich had been laid waste during the life of the last proprietor. We have reason to think, that the Duke expended, on this single estate, in repairing the injuries which it had sustained, not less than eight times the income he derived from it. He was an enthusiastic planter, and personally understood the quality and proper treatment of forest timber. For two or three years past, his Grace extended his attention to the breed of cattle, and other agricultural experiments—a pleasure which succeeded in some degree to that of field sports, to which, while in full health, he was much addicted. Such were the principal objects of the Duke's expense, with the addition of that of a household suitable to his dignity; and what effect such an expenditure must have produced upon the country may be conjectured by the following circumstance :-In the year 1817, when the poor stood so much in need of employment, a friend asked the Duke why his Grace did not propose to go to London in the spring ? By way of answer, the Duke showed him a list of day labourers, then employed in improvements on his different estates, the number of whom, exclusive of his regular establishment, amounted to nine hundred and forty-seven persons. If we allow to each labourer two persons whose support depended on his wages, the Duke

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »