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that estimable nobleman. The public paid | the date when his friend was Chancellor of dear for the whistle of the "learned Canary the Exchequer under Lord Shelburne, WilBird." It was in thus standing aloof from berforce says, " We found the fruits of Pitt's party that Pitt continued to concentre on earlier rising in the careful sowing of the himself the hopes of the country, with which garden-beds with the fragments of a dressevery party had lost ground. Had Pitt hat, in which Ryder had over-night come avowedly become leader of an Opposition in down from the Opera." The acquaintance which the former supporters of the North between these two young men had comadministration-angry with the Coalition menced at Cambridge, had become more in-made the more prominent section, he timate in the gallery of the House of Comwould have taken from his position that mons, where both often sat as observant character of independence and liberality strangers before they became actors of such which rendered it so popular. He must mark upon the stage. They grew yet more have foreseen that when the occasion came intimate at Goosetree's Club, while Pitt yet for concert, the various malcontents would played with "intense earnestness" at games rally round him. All wrecks come to the of chance; or at the Boar's Head, Eastcheap, shore-but only in crumbling away can the in memory of Shakspeare, where Pitt was shore drift to the wrecks. Thus, still stand-" the most amusing of the party." Wilbering alone, Pitt was the better enabled to appear before the public as the adviser of practical reforms emanating from himself, and unembarrassed by complaisance to the antecedents of these who had supported abuses under previous Governments. He introduced a bill for the more economical regulation of the public offices, which the Whig Chancellor of the Exchequer opposed upon the ground, "that if abuses did exist, the heads of the offices might reform them." Ministers did not, however, dare to divide against the bill in the Commons; but they united to throw it out in the Lords. Decidedly in the Coalition the old North principles had a full proportion of influence. But Mr. Fox, who had complained so much of Cabinet dissensions when acting with Shelburne, is silent as to any differences in Wilberforce had already distinguished acting with North; on the contrary, he himself as a speaker in Parliament. He had speaks only of the gratitude due to Lord seconded Pitt on the address to the throne unNorth's "very handsome conduct," and of der the Shelburne government; he had dethe concord between himself and that distin-nounced the Coalition with a vehemence guished High Tory upon all practical ques-equal to his friend's. Of all Pitt's associtions.
force entered the House as member for Hull, at the general election, a few months before Pitt. Lord Rockingham had declined the overtures of the one; he strained all his interest in Yorkshire against the other. The decided action and popular sentiments of Pitt often separated them on divisions; and it was not till the Shelburne government that they became politically united. During that administration, Pitt, "to whom it was a luxury even to sleep in country air," frequently visited Wilberforce at his villa; and thither did he joyously repair when he resigned his residence in Downing Street to the Coalition Ministry. "Eliot, Arden, and I," wrote Pitt one afternoon," will be with you before curfew, and expect an early meal of peas and strawberries."
ates there was not one who at that time appeared more likely, from congenial character, sentiments, and intellect, to share in the honors of his political career. But Providence destined them to promote noble ends, in directions that diverged by the way: the one advancing human interests in the more exclusive service of his country; the other adorning his country and elevating its moral standard by a more special devotion to the cause of catholic humanity.
Parliament, prorogued on the 16th of July, left the coalition unscathed, and in September Pitt went abroad for the first and only time of his life; his companions were Eliot and Wilberforce. With the more eminent of these two accomplished men Pitt had formed a friendship which at that period in the lives of both was endeared by congenial habits and kindred sympathies. They were of the same age-born within three months of each other, both accomplished scholars, The three travellers crossed over to Calais, neither of them professedly a book-man. and proceeded straight to Rheims, " to gain Both had high animal spirits; though Pitt's some knowledge of the language before they finding their usual vent in political conflict, went to Paris." The intendant of the poWilberforce had more ready gayety to spend lice regarded them as very suspicious charin general society. Mirth in each had a acters. Their courier represented them as singular character of freshness and innocence" grands seigneurs;""and yet," said the almost feminine with Wilberforce, at shrewd functionary," they are in a wretched times quite boyish with Pitt. Speaking of lodging, and have no attendance. They one of Pitt's visits to him at Wimbledon, at must be des intrigants." Fortunately these
unfavorable impressions were communicated community soldiers appear in proportion to a French abbé, “a fellow of infinite hu- as aristocracy recedes. And just it is, in mor," who was secretary to the Conseil refutation of the charge of inconsistency d'Etat, under the Archbishop of Perigord. brought against Pitt at a subsequent period, "Satisfied," as the abbé said, "with their to state that it was at this date, when he appearance," he offered them every civility most favored Parliamentary reform, that which the politeness of his nation could sug- Franklin, conversing with him on forms of gest; made them acquainted with the no- government, was equally surprised by his blesse in the neighborhood; and introduced talents and his anti-republican opinions. them to a familiar footing at the episcopal palace. Pitt here evinced that remarkable quickness of perception which gave to his youth the advantages usually confined to experience. Though no master of the French Vocabularly, he caught readily the intonations of the language, and soon spoke it with considerable accuracy."
The three friends proceeded to Paris and thence to the Court at Fontainebleau. At this time Horace Walpole is said to have tried " to get up a match" between William Pitt and Necker's daughter, afterwards so famous as Madame de Staël. It is even asserted that the Genevese offered to endow the young lady with a fortune of £14,000 a year. Happily, perhaps, for his domestic peace, Pitt was not tempted. He replied, probably in jest, that he was already married to his country. The subsequent entries in Wilberforce's diary are curious:
"Introduced to King, Queen, Monsieur, Madame, Comte, and Comtesse d'Artois, and two aunts. Pitt stag-hunting! Eliot and I in chase to see the King-clumsy, strange figure, in immense boots! Dined. Marquis de la Fayette pleasing, enthusiastical man. They all, men and women (writes Wilberforce to Henry Bankes)," crowded round Pitt in shoals, and he behaved with great spirit, though he was sometimes a little bored when they talked to him about the parliamentary reform."
Two of his reputed sayings at this time are worth citing. "I am greatly surprised," said the abbé, that a country so moral as England can submit to be governed by a man so wanting in private character as Fox. It seems to show you to be less moral than you appear." "C'est que vous n'avez été sous la bagueete du magicien," was Pitt's happy reply; "but the remark," he continued, "is just.' Another time the abbé asked him, in what part the British Constitution might be first expected to decay. Pitt, musing for a moment, answered, "The part of our Constitution which will first perish is the prerogative of the King and the authority of the House of Peers." The answer is profound; and though the circumstances of that time might favor the conjecture more than those of the present, yet, no doubt, in the ordinary progress of civilization, the vitality of the moving body endures longer than the checks on its action. Rarely does the bridle last as long as the horse! But this reply, made at the time when Pitt was a parliamentary reformer, and desired, by the mode of his reform, to give more preponderance to the conservative scale in the balance of representative government, may serve to explain the motives of his policy in later life when he deemed it necessary to all his genius to the preservation of the weaker powers in the State. For though Crown and Peers may go first, if ever the harmonious elements of the English constitution are condemned to dissolution, popular freedom may go very soon afterwards. "The King has no inclination to do anything In states highly civilized the fears of prop- to serve us or to hurt us; and I believe that he erty soon determine any contest between has no view to any other administration which political liberty and civil order in favor he means to substitute in lieu of us. of the last. Remove a king, and the odds lasting out the summer will prove that his disare that you create a dictator; destroy *Lord Holland's Memoirs of the Whig Party, Vol. II. p. an aristocracy, and between throne and mob-between wealth and penury-between thief and till-what do order and property invoke to their aid? The answer is brief-an army! In every European
In the midst of these courtly gayeties Pitt was recalled to London, by a special messenger, despatched by whom or for what object does not appear. Assuming the latter to be political, it seems evident that Pitt on his return to England did not see the probability of his own speedy accession to power; for at this period he seriously determined to resume the profession of the law, as the only plan he could adopt to preserve "that independence which he had resolved never to forfeit." Indeed, the Coalition Administration had gained strength merely by living on. Though the discontent of the King remained unsoftened, it assumed the character of despondency. He said in private that "though he disliked ministers he would give them fair play." In a confidential letter to Lord Northington, Fox writes that—
. . Our
of his refusing to marry Mademoiselle de Necker rests on a
Tomline's Life of Pitt, chap. II.
like is not such as to proceed to overt acts. Parliament is certainly our strong place; and if we can last during the recess, I think people will have little doubt of our lasting during the session. When I look over our strength in the House of Commons, and see that all hopes of dissension are given up even by the enemy, while on the other hand Shelburne, Temple, Thurlow, and Pitt, are some of them quite unmanageable, and have, to my certain knowledge, hardly any communication with each other, I cannot help thinking the fear of our being overturned in Parliament is quite chimerical."
The Ministry indeed were strong by union within the Cabinet, by a large majority in the Commons, by the motley and divided nature of the opposition, and above all by the apparent impossibility to form any other Government. The Whigs thought the Coalition had ceased to be unpopular; that supposition, as events proved, was incorrect. But we have seen in our time how disposed our practical countrymen are to acquiesce in a Government they disapprove, if they see no elements for the permanent formation of a better. There is no question on which Administrations more depend for continuance than this" If out, who are to come in ?"
North voting one way sincerely, and Mr. Fox another way with little faith in the wisdom of his vote, was out of the question. The safety of the Whigs really lay in the abeyance of Whiggery. But there was one question on which it was impossible not to stir. Reform in England might be shelved-reform in India could brook no longer delay. Not to be evaded was the dire necessity" of doing something" to rectify or terminate a system of misgovernment which, Lord John Russell justly says, "had alarmed and disquieted English statesmen of all parties." If the Ministry had dallied with this subject, it would have been taken out of their hands by the Opposition. Dundas, indeed, whose knowledge of Indian affairs was superior to that of any public man (unless Burke alone be excepted), had already, in the previous April, taken the initiative on the question by the introduction of a "Bill for the better regulation and government of the British possessions in India; " and Mr. Fox had on that occasion declared his intention of taking up the whole question early the next session. Fox had sufficient sagacity to suspect that the measures devised by himself and his Cabinet for the remedy of evils universally acknowledged were of a hazardous nature; but that sagaAnd during this short interval of power city did not go far enough to foresee the Fox himself appears to brilliant advantage. amount of the hazard, the nature of the With the firmness which Rockingham had objections his bill would provoke, nor the wanted, he insisted on excluding Thurlow means of preserving its efficiency but removfrom his Cabinet. He turned out the Lord ing its more obnoxious provisions. He Advocate Dundas, who would have stayed seems to have supposed that the Opposition in if he could, though he had before emphat- would only be formidable, inasmuch as they ically declared his resolve" to adhere to the would be joined "on the grounds of personal fortunes of Mr. Pitt." Fox wavered, it is attachment to this or that director, or to true (from one of his most fatal faults-fa- this or that governor." Never more did he cility to the advice of friends whose intellect show his want of what the present Emperor was far inferior to his own), in the course of France has called "the electric sympathy of the summer as to the restoration of the between the successful statesman and public grim Lord Chancellor. But some negotia- opinion," than in his imperfect perception tions to that effect failed. His policy with of the real danger to which his measure regard to Ireland was on the whole sound would expose the Ministry. On the whole and vigorous. He showed temper and judg- he was sanguine of success: "the question," ment in smoothing over a difficulty as to the he hoped, "would be over by Christmas, allowance to be made to the Prince of Wales, and Government safe for the session." Thus which at one time gravely threatened to apparently strong, Ministers met Parliament place the people on the side of the King; on the 11th of November, 1783. They anand the unanimity that prevailed in a Cabi-nounced in the King's speech the conclusion net so composed must have been owing not of definitive treaties of peace. The situamore to Lord North's exquisite good humor tion of the East India Company, and the and epicurean philosophy, than to Fox's necessity of providing for the security and frank and cordial temper, and masculine improvement of the revenue, were the reasons knowledge of the world of gentlemen. assigned for calling Parliament together at Only in one quarter danger to the Govern- so early a period. Pitt spoke on the address ment could be discerned. Ministers were with the moderation of a man who saw no strong for the transaction of ordinary busi- opening for assault. He said, it is true, and ness; they must necessarily be weak the in- with justice," that the principle of the peace stant they began to legislate on a grander proposed was the same as that which the memscale, and admit the principles of reconstruc-bers of Government, when in opposition, had tion. Parliamentary reform, with Lord rejected," and that the vote was the pane
gyric of the late Ministers upon the very point contracts for freights-these, and various on which they were then censured; but he other sources of patronage connected with agreed that the affairs of India and the state such enormous establishments, such extensive of the revenue demanded the immediate at- trade, so large a dominion, and so ample a tention of Ministers, in terms so far from revenue, must have constituted a degree of hostile, that Fox" thanked him for his sup- influence which, when opposed to Ministers, port. All thus went on smoothly till, on might have impeded the necessary functions the 18th, Fox, with a dazzling and fatal of executive government, and when friendly, eloquence, introduced his " India Bill" and might have enabled them to carry any meascondemned his Government. All which ures, however injurious to the interests of must render the measure adverse alike to the people or the prerogative of the Crown."* Crown and people- all which the elaborate Thus argued the opponents to the bill; and survey of its framers had overlooked-Pitt poor indeed seems Lord John Russell's ansaw with his usual rapidity of glance, and swer, that the dictatorship of the commission denounced with a vehemence the result could would only last for four years. For if the not fail to justify. The enemy with their patronage thus given to the Coalition could own hands had led the fatal horse into Ilion, secure a continuunce of four years to that and Fox but decked with pompous trappings government, the same cause would prolong the engine that contained his destruction. power to the same dispensers of the patronage. And in the very speech in which Fox "Venit summa dies, et ineluctable tempus Dardaniæ: fuimus Tröes, fuit Ilium, et ingens that the influence of the Crown in its most moved for leave to bring in the bill, he said Gloria Teucrorum: ferus omnia Jupiter Argos Transtulit!" enormous and alarming state was nothing compared to the boundless patronage of the East Indian government, if the latter was to be used in the influence of that House." But all this patronage was to be placed in the hands of commissioners chosen by Mr. Fox.
The noble editor of the Correspondence we have so largely quoted somewhat startles us by the panegyric he devotes to the measure he exhumes from its grave. We are willing to respect the pious reverence with which he handles its cold remains. We will grant As the Bill proceeded, new alarms were they are not the bones of a monster, but we created. Its defenders, especially the Attorcannot enshrine them as the relics of a saint. ney-General, used arguments that threatened Let us allow, if he pleases, that this ill- the charters of every Company in England. starred India Bill contained much that was Thus vested rights, popular opinions, royal excellent, and that the mischievous part of prerogative, were all combined in one oppoit was exaggerated by its opponents. But sition, not to Reform in India, but to proafter all that can be said in its defence, it posals that seemed to transfer to a governdoes not the less exhibit a lamentable failure ment at home, whose very existence was an in practical statesmanship. When a reform outrage on all creeds of political integrity is necessary, two considerations should be hitherto received, the corruption of Indian paramount with a Government seriously patronage and the audacity of Indian rapine. anxious to carry it: firstly, the plan pro- But though the clouds might be seen collectposed should be one which the people willing from each point in the sky, their distance support; and secondly, one that its opponents cannot with effect ascribe to corrupt and sinister motives. Mr. Fox's plan (and to him, and not to Burke, Lord John insists on ascribing the honor of its conception) combined every element of unpopularity, and gave every excuse to the charge that it was sought less to govern India well than to seoure, by the patronage of India, the duration of the Whig Ministry. "The transfer of a power, the vastness and the abuse of which had been duly impressed on the public mind, to seven commissioners named by the Whig Government, with the disposal of the military commands and commissions in the armies of the Indian empire; the annual nomination of cadets and writers to the different settlements; the purchase of merchandise and stores to the amount of five or six extraordinary millions a year; the taking up ships and
from each other made the storm slow in forming. Fox saw that his danger lay in discussion, his safety in despatch. He availed himself of his majority to hurry his measure through its successive stages in the Commons, in spite of all that William Grenville and Pitt could do to arrest its progress. On the 9th of December it was carried up to the House of Lords, by Mr. Fox and "a great body of the House of Commons." Meanwhile the King had risen from his inert despondency-the Lord had delivered his ministers into his hands. He had not hitherto openly proclaimed his hostility to his government; his government now declared war upon him, and placed him in the position most favorable to monarchical power, and that in which it has ever most excuse for measures- -the defensive. *Tomline's Life of Pitt.
The commission for the administration of the nies that surround the constitution, the conIndian empire was to be established without stitution itself is something more than a cerconcert with the sovereign, and irremovable emony. Its decorum may be shocked by except by an address from either House of pulling it out of the water, but that is betParliament. The King might well regard ter once in a way-than allowing it to and represent it as a transfer of the royal be drowned with apathetic respect. And the prerogative from himself to Mr. Fox. Nor question simply is, whether Fox's India Bill did he stand here without eminent advisers did not threaten the constitution with a men not stigmatized as the King's friends, worse evil than was inflicted by the nature but who had been the partisans of Rocking- of the King's interference to prevent it. ham, willing not only to sanction but to recommend his resort to every weapon of defence on which he could lay his grasp.
"Necessitate quodlibet telum utile est." But, though the King in practice may Even while the India Bill was passing have adoped a wise policy, in theory it was through its triumphant progress in the one that a constitutional statesman would House of Lords, Lord Temple had taken the hesitate to advise and be reluctant to defend. initiative in the strategy of resistance. A And the King thus tampering with a prinmemorandum dated Dec. 1st (eight days be- ciple so dear to England as liberty of debate, fore the Bill passed the Commons), which may Fox, if he had seen his true position with be found in the "Courts and Cabinets of wise discernment, and maintained it by George III." vol. 1. p. 288, is the key to the temperate firmness, might have carried the whole mystery of those transactions, which country with him, and left George III. no Fox naturally denounced as a back-door in- option between Whiggery in England or trigue. This memorandum, in stating the prerogative in Hanover. But here again reason that calls for the King's interposi- Fox contrasted his genius as an orator with tion against a plan that "takes more than his marked defects as a Parliamentary chief. half the royal power, and by that means On the day the Bill was thrown out by the disables the King for the rest of his reign," Lords he wrote word, "We are not yet out, sums up with masterly precision the course but I suppose we shall be to-morrow; howto be adopted for the defeat of the measure. ever, we are so strong that nobody can unThe King's refusal, if it passed both Houses, dertake without madness, and, if they do, I would be a violent means; the change of think we shall destroy them almost as soon his ministers immediately after the victorious as they are formed." With these convicmajority in the House of Commons, little tions on his mind, what was Fox's obvious less so. The easier way to remove the course? Lord John states it with clearness ernment would be when the Bill received and candor: first, to have forestalled disdiscountenance in its progress; that dismissal, to have resigned at once; secondly, countenance could not be anticipated in the to have moved resolutions against secret inCommons, in the Lords it might. But to fluence; and thirdly, in a collision between induce the Lords to take a decided part the two Houses, to have given the Crown against the King's government and in the every facility for dissolving Parliament. King's favor, it would be necessary to state Instead of this, Fox was still in the King's explicitly to those disposed towards his Maj- service, when he supported a resolution esty's aid the wishes he entertained. Thus brought forward by one of his party (Mr. the Bill thrown out of one legislative cham- Baker) the day the Bill was finally debated ber might leave his Majesty free to decide by the Lords-in censure of the King himwhether or not he would change the minis- self; that motion carried, one to take into try who framed it. The King seized upon consideration the state of the nation was anthe advice thus tendered. Lord Temple took nounced for the following Monday. It was care that there should be no doubt in the not then as an independent Member of ParUpper Chamber as to the royal mind. And liament that Fox defended the letter and on the 17th of December the India Bill or spirit of the constitution; it was as Minister rather Bills were rejected in the Lords by a of the Crown that he impeached his master. majority of nineteen. On the 18th at mid- Fox's speech on the question is admirable for night, Lord North and Mr. Fox received the its eloquence, but an eloquence such as Mirroyal message to send their seals of office to abeau might have thundered forth at the van his Majesty by the Under Secretary, "as a of revolution. "The deliberations of this personal interview would be disagreeable to night," said King George's Minister for Forhis Majesty. The course adopted by the eign Affairs, — King in bringing his direct influence to bear "must decide whether we are to be freemen or on the House of Lords was one of those ex- slaves! whether the House of Commons be the treme measures which extreme dangers can palladium of liberty or the organ of despotism." alone justify. Solemn though the ceremo- "We shall certainly lose our liberty when the