Sheridan pp 73-78 | Cite as

Recollections of Sheridan

  • Elizabeth Lady Holland


Sheridan was expected to have made a capital speech in the H. of Commons on the Union last week, but it was reckoned very inferior to his usual style of excellence. He offended the seceders by announcing that the standard of Opposition would soon be unfurled.1 He introduced it at the conclusion of an attack upon Ld L[ansdown], who had, he said, ‘cut a clumsy caper over the grave of party’. (In his speech at the beginning of the session, he said, ‘Thank God, party is dead and buried.’) He pursued a strain of irony, apparently levelled at Ld L., but, in fact, intended for [George] Tierney, who had, in a late speech, declared that he considered himself as an individual belonging to no set of men. Sheridan said, he did not wonder party was denied, for it required strong intellect to command, and great virtues to attach for a man to become the leader of party, and great humility and sense to fall as a subaltern into the ranks of party. Sheridan hates Tierney. That hatred was roused at T’s making a most excellent speech on ye Income Bill. It was so good that everybody praised it. S. was at Brooks’s, and was so incensed at the applause that he went to Tierney’s house, whom he found just getting into bed, insisted upon seeing him, and then said he was quite shocked to hear that a part of his speech had given great offence, that part where he hinted at the necessity of squeezing the corporations, who were ‘wallowing in wealth’. This was said to worry Tierney, who is weakly alive to all unpopularity. T. told me this himself.


Great Virtue Late Speech Tolerable Character Macmillan Publisher Convivial Ability 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

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  • Elizabeth Lady Holland

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