Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/272

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236 THE CECILS

" In grace of person and demeanour," says Wraxall in his Diary, "no less than in mental attainments, Lady Salisbury yielded to few females of the Court of George III. But she wanted, nevertheless, two qualities eminently contributing to success in such a struggle, both of which met in her political rival. The first of these was youth, the Duchess numbering scarcely twenty-six years, while the Countess had nearly completed thirty-four. The Duchess of Devonshire never seemed to be conscious of her rank : Lady Salisbury ceased not for an instant to remember and to compel others to recollect it. Nor did the effects fail to correspond with the moral causes thus put into action. Every day augmenting Fox's majority, it appeared that on the i6th of May, to which period the contest was protracted, he stood 235 votes above Sir Cecil [Wray] on the books of the poll."

In 1789 the Earl was advanced to the rank of Marquess, 1 and four years later was invested with the Order of the Garter. It is characteristic of the Marchioness that she looked upon this honour as hers, and immediately had herself painted by Cosway, decked with the insignia of the Order.

Lord Salisbury filled no more offices except a minor one, that of Joint Postmaster-General in the Ministry of 1816, but he played his part with dignity and distinction, and George Ticknor, who saw him in 1819, describes him as " seventy years old and well preserved, and a specimen of the gentleman of the last generation, with easy elegant manners, and a proud, graceful courtesy." 2

1 On this occasion the King is reported to have said " Now, my Lord, I trust you will be an English Marquess, and not a French Marquis." Sir M. Grant Duff, Notes from a Diary, June aist, 1898.

4 Life of George Ticknor, I. 268.

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