Lord William Bentinck finally took over large administrative powers, seeing that Ferdinand, owing to his dulness, and Maria Carolina, owing to her very suspicious intrigues with Napoleon, could never be trusted.
His chief defects as a historian are want of imagination and an undignified familiarity of style, which, however, at least preserves his history from the dulness by which lack of imagination is usually accompanied.
He was not only dull, but the cause of dulness in others, and even Alexander Carlyle confesses that in conversation his illustrious countryman was "stiff and pompous."
In spite of their dulness many of his works are of considerable value, although Horace Walpole questioned his "parts, taste and judgment."
Producing, as he certainly has produced, work which classes him with the greatest names in literature, he has also signed an extraordinary quantity of verse which has not merely the defects of genius, irregularity, extravagance, bizarrete, but the faults which we are apt to regard as exclusively belonging to those who lack genius, to wit, the dulness, and tediousness of mediocrity.