Lord Viscount St. Clair
LORD Viscount St. Clair had been bred at Eton, and afterwards at Cambridge. At the first of these he learned to construe most of the odes of Horace ; at the last, he took an honorary degree. He afterwards travelled into Greece and Italy, with a gentleman whose expenses he paid, and who published his tour in a thick quarto, in which my lord’s name was mentioned not less than seven or eight times. On his return, he began to collect a library, and filled a large room with curious editions, and specimens of the antique from Athens. Being of an active disposition, he had not time to cultivate his literary taste, but made up for it by a very laborious attention to politics, and for the first three months of his first session in the House of Commons never missed a division, in which he voted always with the ministry, and was more than once appointed a teller. Emboldened by this success, he the next session volunteered moving the address ; but being of very independent principles, and moreover having been rather impertinently rallied by his companions at the clubs in St. James’s Street (to all of which he belonged,) on his devotion to the court, he the very next day voted against his friends, to shew his independence, and continued to do so ever afterwards.
It is seldom that a person dedicated to ambition, literature, and the arts, embraces amusements requiring violent personal exertion; but being of a very versatile genius. Lord St. Clair became a member of the Leicestershire hunt, and at length (having entered several horses at Newmarket) of the Jockey Club.
He was handsome, and with that thorough look of gentlemanly nonchalance, which, like the fine breeding of the Somersets, must be born with a man, and is not to be acquired.
My lord, whose ease never left him, was delighted. He attributed it all to the dazzling nature of the intimation he had made ; thought it the best proof of success ; and could almost have expressed a rapture on the occasion, but that the effort of feigning what one does not feel is too much for real dandyism to undertake.