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deavouring to remedy those defects, in respect to education, which, unhappily, I could neither attribute to my college nor my instructors. I even aspired to become a man of letters. An acquaintance with a person so richly gifted, appeared to me, therefore, in no small degree desirable. I accordingly courted his acquaintance, and was not repulsed. I listened to his conversation, and was instructed; I followed his advice, and was benefited. A friendship of about fifteen years, was never once interrupted by any cloud; and, although I could not always subscribe to his political tenets, yet he kindly bore with a man, who differed from him in many essential particulars.
FROM 1801 To 1803.
Mr. Tooke obtains a Seat in the House of Commons-His Speeches there — Is excluded by Act of Parliament. Account of his early Friends.
IT is a well-known fact, that Mr. Tooke had always been a strenuous advocate for the purity of election and a reform in parliament, the latter of which he deemed essentially necessary to attain for the people that precise degree of influence in the house of commons, which they possessed at the period of the revolution. The "borough-mongers" were always represented by him as a powerful and rapacious class of men, equally hostile to the king and the nation; and he had twice endeavoured to obtain a seat for Westminster, chiefly with a view of exposing their arts, and overturning their usurped power and authority.
Notwithstanding this, it actually so happened, in the course of human events, that he himself was returned for Old Sarum, a miserable, deserted hamlet, the vestiges of which scarcely remain at this period.
For this singular occurrence, he was indebted to the nomination of the late lord Camelford, a nobleman, so oddly formed by nature, as to unite with a taste for science a most ungovernable spirit, in consequence of which he at length perished in a duel with a friend. Before the politician of Wimbledon would engage under his auspices, he determined to be better acquainted with this nobleman, whom he had lately seen, for the first time, through the medium of a neighbour. He accordingly sat up three days and three nights with him, and at the end of that period consented to become one of his members! At the same time he introduced him to all his friends, among whom were lord Thurlow, with whom he had renewed his former acquaintance, the earl and countess of Oxford, who then visited at Wimbledon, together with many other respectable persons. His patron, however, always preferred to be alone with him, and was accustomed to observe, that he had reaped more instruction, as well as more pleasure, from his conversation, than from that of
any other person whom he had seen, during the whole course of his life.
As it has been confidently asserted, that lord Camelford's butler and steward, at that period, nominated the two members for this borough, and Mr. Tooke himself appeared to me to feel tenderly on that subject, I have been at some pains to ascertain the facts, and am now enabled to give the following list of electors on that oc
1. James Burrough, esq. recorder of New Sa
2. The rev. Thos. Burrough, rector of Blanford St. Mary, Dorsetshire;
3. Mr. Cooper, of Salisbury;
4. H. Portman, esq.;
5. H. P.Wyndham, esq.; and
Mr. Tooke took the oaths and his seat for Old Sarum, on Monday, February 16, 1801. Apartments had been previously provided for him in Palace Yard, so that he had but to walk across Westminster Hall, and was therefore little incommoded as to distance. On this occasion, he was saluted by many old friends, and passed through the usual ceremony of shaking hands with the speaker. This singular incident must
have been painful to one, if not both the parties, and it is said to have attracted the particular notice of the house and the gallery: for but a very short space of time had elapsed, since the late solicitor-general, who now occupied the chair, had been obliged to labour officially to convict the new member of treason; and, in a speech of several hours' duration, had actually endeavoured to subject him to all the penalties incident to that crime. The association of ideas at such an unexpected meeting, and in relations so different from what they had experienced during their former interview, must have been poignant. But the urbanity of the present lord Redesdale, and the courtesy of the representa tive for Old Sarum rendered the scene less embarrassing, perhaps, than it would otherwise have been.
Mr. Tooke, now in the sixty-fifth year of his age, had thus suddenly become a member of the legislature; but it was at a time of life, and under circumstances not altogether satisfactory; for he had always been ambitious to represent some populous city, such as Westminster, and no one ever felt the force of ridicule on this occasion more than himself. His increasing infirmities, too, rendered a constant attendance difficult, if not impossible. In addition to this, lord Temple, now marquis of Buckingham, on