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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 877 pages of information about Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1.

Chatham sleeps near the northern door of the Church, in a spot which has ever since been appropriated to statesmen, as the other end of the same transept has long been to poets.  Mansfield rests there, and the second William Pitt, and Fox, and Grattan, and Canning, and Wilberforce.  In no other cemetery do so many great citizens lie within so narrow a space.  High over those venerable graves towers the stately monument of Chatham, and from above, his effigy, graven by a cunning hand, seems still, with eagle face and outstretched arm, to bid England be of good cheer, and to hurl defiance at her foes.  The generation which reared that memorial of him has disappeared.  The time has come when the rash and indiscriminate judgments which his contemporaries passed on his character may be calmly revised by history.  And history, while, for the warning of vehement, high, and daring natures, she notes his many errors, will yet deliberately pronounce, that, among the eminent men whose bones lie near his, scarcely one has left a more stainless, and none a more splendid name.

LORD CLIVE

(January 1840)

The Life of Robert Lord Clive; collected from the Family Papers, communicated by the Earl of Powis.  By major-general sir John Malcolm, K.C.B. 3 vols. 8vo.  London:  1836.

We have always thought it strange that, while the history of the Spanish empire in America is familiarly known to all the nations of Europe, the great actions of our countrymen in the East should, even among ourselves, excite little interest.  Every schoolboy knows who imprisoned Montezuma, and who strangled Atahualpa.  But we doubt whether one in ten, even among English gentlemen of highly cultivated minds, can tell who won the battle of Buxar, who perpetrated the massacre of Patna, whether Sujah Dowlah ruled in Oude or in Travancore, or whether Holkar was a Hindoo, or a Mussulman.  Yet the victories of Cortes were gained over savages who had no letters, who were ignorant of the use of metals, who had not broken in a single animal to labour, who wielded no better weapons than those which could be made out of sticks, flints, and fish-bones, who regarded a horse-soldier as a monster, half man and half beast, who took a harquebusier for a sorcerer, able to scatter the thunder and lightning of the skies.  The people of India, when we subdued them, were ten times as numerous as the Americans whom the Spaniards vanquished, and were at the same time quite as highly civilised as the victorious Spaniards.  They had reared cities larger and fairer than Saragossa or Toledo, and buildings more beautiful and costly than the cathedral of Seville.  They could show bankers richer than the richest firms of Barcelona or Cadiz, viceroys whose splendour far surpassed that of Ferdinand the Catholic, myriads of cavalry and long trains of artillery which would have astonished the Great Captain. 

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