1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gerard Hamilton

Horace Walpole to H. S. Conway, 15 November 1755; Letters, ed. Cunningham (1906) 2:484.



Then there was a young Mr. Hamilton, who spoke for the first time, and was at once perfection: his speech was set, and full of antithesis, but those antitheses were full of argument: indeed his speech was the most argumentative of the whole day; and he broke through the regularity of his own composition, answered other people, and feel into his own track again with the greatest ease. His figure is advantageous, his voice strong and clear, his manner spirited, and the whole with the ease of an established speaker. You will ask, what could be beyond this? Nothing, but was was beyond what ever was, and that was Pitt! He spoke at past one, for an hour and thirty-five minutes: there was more humour, wit, vivacity, finer language, more boldness, in short, astonishing perfections, than even you, who are used to him, can conceive.