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with the king. Instead, therefore, of making | offices in the government. One of these, Mur ray, was successively Solicitor-general and At torney-general. This distinguished person far surpassed Pitt in correctness of taste, in power of reasoning, in depth and variety of knowledge. His parliamentary eloquence never blazed into sudden flashes of dazzling bril liancy; but its clear, placid, and mellow splendour was never for an instant overclouded. Intellectually he was, we believe, fully equal to Pitt; but he was deficient in the moral qualities to which Pitt owed most of his success. Murray wanted the energy, the courage, the all-grasping and all-risking ambition which make men great in stirring times. His heart was a little cold; his temper cautious even to timidity; his manners decorous even to formality. He never exposed his fortunes or his fame to any risk which he could avoid. At one time he might in all probability have been Prime Minister. But the object of all his wishes was the judicial bench. The situation of Chief Justice might not be so splendid as that of First Lord of the Treasury; but it was dignified; it was quiet; it was secure; and therefore it was the favourite situation of Murray.

their new ally Secretary of War, as they had intended, they appointed him Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, and in a few months promoted him to the office of Paymaster of the Forces.

This was, at that time, one of the most lucrative offices in the government. The salary vas but a small part of the emolument which he Paymaster derived from his place. He was allowed to keep a large sum-seldom less than £100,000-constantly in his hands; and the interest on this sum, probably about £4,000 a year, he might appropriate to his own use. This practice was not secret, nor was it considered as disreputable. It was the practice of men of undoubted honour, both before and after the time of Pitt. He, however, refused to accept one farthing beyond the salary which the law had annexed to his office. It had been usual for foreign princes, who received the pay of England, to give to the Paymaster of the Forces a small per centage on the subsidies. These ignominious vails Pitt resolutely declined.

Disinterestedness of this kind was, in his days, very rare. His conduct surprised and amused politicians. It excited the warmest admiration throughout the body of the people. In spite of the inconsistencies of which Pitt had been guilty, in spite of the strange contrast between his violence in Opposition and his tameness in office, he still possessed a large share of the olic confidence. The motives which may lead a politician to change his connections, or his general line of conduct, are often cbscure; but disinterestedness in money matters everybody can understand. Pitt was thenceforth considered as a man who was proof to all sordid temptations. If he acted ill, it might be from an error in judgment; it might be from resentment; it might be from ambition. But, poor as he was, he had vindicated himself from all suspicion of covetousness.

Eight quiet years followed-eight years during which the minority, feeble from the time of Lord Granville's defeat, continued to dwindle till it became almost invisible. Peace was made with France and Spain in 1748. Prince Frederick died in 1751, and with him died the very semblance of opposition. All the most distinguished survivors of the party which had supported Walpole and of the party which had opposed him were united under his successor. The fiery and vehement spirit of Pitt had for a time been laid to rest. He silently acquiesced in that very system of Continental measures which he had lately condemned. He ceased to talk disrespectfully about Hanover. He did not object to the treaty with Spain, though that treaty left us exactly where we had been when he uttered his spirit-stirring harangues against the pacific policy of Walpole. Now and then glimpses of his former self appeared, but they were few and transient. Pelham knew with whom he had to deal, and felt that an ally so little used to control and so capable of inflicting injury might well be indulged in an occasional fit of waywardness.

Two men, little, if at all, inferior to Pitt in wers of mind, held, like him, subordinate

Fox, the father of that great man whose mighty efforts in the cause of peace, of truth, and of liberty have made that name immortal, was secretary at war. He was a favourite with the king, with the Duke of Cumberland, and with some of the most powerful individuals of the great Whig connection. His parliament ary talents were of the highest order. As a speaker he was in almost all respects the very opposite of Pitt. His figure was ungraceful; his face, as Reynolds and Roubiliac have pre served it to us, indicated a strong understanding; but the features were coarse, and the general aspect dark and lowering. His manner was awkward; his delivery was hesitating; he was often at a stand for want of a word; but as a debater-as a master of that keen, weighty, manly logic which is suited to the discussion of political questions-he has perhaps never been surpassed except by his son. In reply he was as decidedly superior to Pitt as in declamation he was inferior. Intellectually, the balance was nearly equal between the rivals. But here, again, the moral qualities of Pitt turned the scale. Fox had undoubtedly many virtues. In natural disposition as well as in talents he bore a great resemblance to his. more celebrated son. He had the same sweetness of temper, the same strong passions, the same openness, boldness, and impetuosity, the same cordiality towards friends, the same placability towards enemies. No man was more warmly or justiy beloved by his family or by his associates. But unhappily he had been trained in a bad political school-in a school the doctrines of which were, that political vir tue is the mere coquetry of political prostitu tion; that every patriot has his price; that government can be carried on only by means of corruption; and that the state is given as a prey to statesmen. These maxims were too much in vogue throughout the lower ranks of Walpole's party, and were too much encou raged by Walpole himself, who, from contempl

of what is in our day called humbug, often ran | nigher secrets of state, but obeyed implicitly the directions of his superior, and was, to use Doddington's expression, merely Lord Sunder land's man. But times were changed. Since the days of Sunderland the importance of the House of Commons had been constantly on the increase. During many years the person who conducted the business of the government in that house had almost always been Prime Minister. Under these circumstance it was not to be supposed that any person who pos sessed the talents necessary to the situation would stoop to accept it on such terms as Newcastle was disposed to offer.

extravagantly and offensively into the opposite extreme. The loose political morality of Fox presented a remarkable contrast to the ostentatious purity of Pitt. The nation distrusted the former, and placed implicit confidence in the latter. But almost all the statesmen of the age had still to learn that the confidence of the nation was worth having. While things went on quietly, while there was no opposition, while every thing was given by the favour of a small ruling junto, Fox had a decided advantage over Pitt; but when dangerous times came, when Europe was convulsed with war, when Parliament was broken up into factions, when the public mind was violently excited, the favourite of the people rose to supreme power, while his rival sank into insignificance.

"Cutler saw tenants break and houses fall
For very want; he could not build a wall."

Early in the year 1754, Henry Pelham died unexpectedly. "Now I shall have no more peace," exclaimed the old king when he heard the news. He was in the right. Pelham had succeeded in bringing together and keeping together all the talents of the kingdom. By his death the highest post to which an English subject can aspire was left vacant, and at the same moment the influence which had yoked together and reined in so many turbulent and ambitious spirits was withdrawn.

Pope has said of that wretched miser, Sir John Cutler

Within a week after Pelham's death it was determined that the Duke of Newcastle should To these conditions Fox assented. But the be placed at the head of the treasury; but the next day every thing was confusion. New. arrangement was still far from complete. Who castle had changed his mind. The conver was to be the leading minister of the crown insation which took place between Fox and the the House of Commons? Was the office to be duke is one of the most curious in English his intrusted to a man of eminent talents? And tory. "My brother," said Newcastle, "when would not such a man in such a place demand he was at the treasury, never told anybody and obtain a larger share of power and patron- what he did with the secret-service money. No age than Newcastle would be disposed to con- more will I." The answer was obvious. Pel cede? Was a mere drudge to be employed? ham had been not only First Lord of the Trea And what probability was there that a mere sury, but manager of the House of Commons, drudge would be able to manage a large and and it was therefore unnecessary for him to stormy assembly abounding with able and ex- confide to any other person his dealings with perienced men? the members of that house. "But how," said Fox, "can I lead in the Commons without in formation on this head? How can I talk to gentlemen when I do not know which of them have received gratifications and which have not? And who," he continued, "is to have the disposal of places?" "I myself," said the duke. 'How then am I to manage the House of Commons ?" Oh, let the members of the House of Commons come to me." Fox then mentioned the general election which was ap proaching, and asked how the ministerial burghs were to be filled up. "Do not trouble yourself," said Newcastle, "that is all settled." This was too much for human nature to bear. Fox refused to accept the secretaryship of state on such terms, and the duke confided the management of the House of Commons to a dull, harmless man, whose name is almost forgotten in our time--Sir Thomas Robinson



Newcastle's love of power resembled Cutler's
love of money.
It was an avarice which
thwarted itself--a penny-wise and pound-fool-
ish cupidity. An immediate outlay was so
painful to him, that he would not venture to
make the most desirable improvement. If he
could have found the heart to cede at once a
portion of his authority, he might probably
have insured the continuance of what re-
mained; but he thought it better to construct
a weak and rotten government, which tottered
at the smallest breath and fell in the first
storm, than to pay the necessary price for
sound and durable materials. He wished to
find some person who would be willing to ac-
cept the lead of the House of Commons on
terms similar to those on which Secretary
Craggs had acted under Sunderland five-and-
thirty years before. Craggs could hardly be
called a minister. He was a mere agent for
he minister. He was not trusted with the

Pitt was ill at Bath; and had he been well and in London, neither the king nor Newcastle would have been disposed to make any overtures to him. The cool and wary Murray had set his heart on professional objects. Negotiations were opened with Fox. Newcastle behaved like himself--that is to say, childishly and basely. The proposition which he made was, that Fox should be Secretary of State, with the lead of the House of Commons; that the disposal of the secret-service money, or in plain words, the business of buying members of Parliament, should be left to the First Lord of the Treasury, but that Fox should be exactly informed of the way in which this fund was employed.

When Pitt returned from Bath, he affected great moderation, though his haughty soul was boiling with resentment. He did not complain of the manner in which he had been passed by; and said openly, that in his opinion, Fox was the fittest man to lead the House of Commons. The rivals were reconciled by their

The elections of 1754 were favourable to the administration. But the aspect of foreign affairs was threatening. In India the and the French had been employed ever since the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in cutting each other's throats. They had lately taken to the same practice in America. It might have been foreseen that stirring times were at hand -times which would call for abilities very different from those of Newcastle and Robinson.

common interests and their common enmities, always considered as his tools. Legge, the and concerted a plan of operations for the next Chancellor of the Exchequer, refused to sigu session. “Sir Thomas Robinson lead us!" the treasury warrants which were necessary said Pitt to Fox; "the duke might as well to give effect to the treaties. Those persons send his jack-boot to lead us." who were supposed to possess the confidence of the young Prince of Wales and his mother, held very menacing language. In this perplexity Newcastle sent for Pitt, hugged him, patted him, smirked at him, wept over him, and lisped out the highest compliments and the most splendid promises. The king, who had hitherto been as sulky as possible, would be civil to him at the levee; he should be brought into the cabinet; he should be consulted about every thing; if he would only be In November, the Parliament met; and be- so good as to support the Hessian subsidy in fore the end of that month the new Secretary the House of Commons. Pitt coldly declined of State had been so unmercifully baited by the proffered seat in the cabinet, expressed the the Paymaster of the Forces, and the Secre- highest love and reverence for the king, and tary at War, that he was thoroughly sick of said that if his majesty felt a strong personal his situation. Fox attacked him with great interest in the Hessian treaty, he would so far force and acrimony. Pitt affected a kind of deviate from the line which he had traced out contemptuous tenderness for Sir Thomas, and for himself as to give that treaty his support. directed his attacks principally against New-"Well, and the Russian subsidy?" said Newcastle. On one occasion, he asked in tones castle. "No," said Pitt, "not a system of of thunder, whether Parliament sat only to subsidies." The duke summoned Lord Hardregister the edicts of one too-powerful subject? wicke to his aid; but Pitt was inflexible. The duke was scared out of his wits. He was Murray would do nothing, Robinson could do afraid to dismiss the mutineers; he was afraid nothing. It was necessary to have recourse to promote them; but it was absolutely neces- to Fox. He became Secretary of State, with sary to do something. Fox, as the less proud the full authority of a leader in the House of and intractable of the refractory pair, was pre- Commons; and Sir Thomas was pensioned ferred. A seat in the cabinet was offered to off on the Irish establishment. him, on condition that he would give efficient support to the ministry in Parliament. In an evil hour for his fame and his fortunes, he accepted the offer, and abandoned his connection with Pitt, who never forgave this desertion.

Sir Thomas, assisted by Fox, contrived to get through the business of the year without much trouble. Pitt was waiting his time. The negotiations pending between France and England took every day a more unfavourable aspect. Towards the close of the session the king sent a message to inform the House of Commons, that he had found it necessary to make preparations for war. The House returned an address of thanks, and passed a vote of credit. During the recess, the old animosity of both nations was inflamed by a series of disastrous events. An English force was cut off in America; and several French merchantmen were taken in the West Indian seas. It was plain that war was at hand.

The first object of the king was to secure Hanover; and Newcastle was disposed to gratify his master. Treaties were concluded, after the fashion of those times, with several petty German princes, who bound themselves to find soldiers if England would find money; and as i was suspected that Frederic the Second had set his heart on the electoral dominions of his uncle, Russia was hired to keep Prussia in


When the stipulations of these treaties were made known, there arose throughout the kingdom a murmur, from which a judicious observer might easily prognosticate the approach of a tempest. Newcastle encountered strong pposition, even from those whom he had

In November, 1755, the House met. Public expectation was wound up to the height. After ten quiet years there was to be an Opposi tion, countenanced by the heir-apparent of the throne, headed by the most brilliant orator of the age, and backed by a strong party through out the country. The debate on the address was long remembered as one of the greatest parliamentary conflicts of that generation. It began at three in the afternoon, and lasted till five the next morning. It was on this night that Gerard Hamilton delivered that single speech from which his nickname was derived. His eloquence threw into the shade every orator except Pitt, who declaimed against the subsidies for an hour and a half with extraor dinary energy and effect. Those powers which had formerly spread terror through the majori ties of Walpole and Carteret, were now dis played in their highest perfection before an audience long accustomed to such exhibitions. One fragment of this celebrated oration remains in a state of tolerable preservation. It is the comparison between the coalition of Fox and Newcastle, and the junction of the Rhone and the Saone. "At Lyons," he said, "I was taken to see the place where the two rivers meet-the one gentle, feeble, languid, and though languid, yet of no depth, the other a boisterous and impetuous torrent; but dif ferent as they are, they meet at last." The amendment moved by the Opposition was rejected by a great majority, and Pitt and Legge were immediately dismissed from their offices. Lyttleton, whose friendship for Pitt had, during some time, been cooling, succeeded Legge as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

the throne? What if a hostile House of Com mons should be chosen?

At length, in October, the decisive crisis came. Fox had been long sick of the perfidy and levity of Newcastle, and now began to fear that he might be made a scape-goat to save the old intriguer, who, imbecile as he seemed, never wanted dexterity where danger was to be avoided. He threw up his office. Newcastle had recourse to Murray; but Murray had now within his reach the favourite object of his ambition. The situation of Chief Justice of The war began in every part of the world the King's Bench was vacant; and the attorwith events disastrous to England, and even ney-general was fully resolved to obtain it, or more shameful than disastrous. But the most to go into Opposition. Newcastle offered him humiliating of these events was the loss of any terms-the Duchy of Lancaster for life, a Minorca. The Duke of Richelieu, an old fop, tellership of the Exchequer, any pension that who had passed his life from sixteen to sixty he chose to ask, two thousand a year, six thouin seducing women, for whom he cared not sand a year. When the ministers found that one straw, landed on that island, with a French Murray's mind was made up, they pressed for army, and succeeded in reducing it. Admiral | delay; the delay of a session, a month, a week, a Byng was sent from Gibraltar to throw suc-day. Would he only make his appearance once cours into Port Mahon; but he did not think more in the House of Commons! Would he fit to engage the French squadron, and sailed only speak in favour of the address? He was back without having effected his purpose. inexorable; and peremptorily said, that they The people were inflamed to madness. A might give or withhold the chief-justiceship; storm broke forth, which appalled even those but that he would be attorney-general no longer. who remembered the days of "Excise" and Newcastle contrived to overcome the prejuof "South Sea." The shops were filled with dices of the king, and overtures were made to libels and caricatures. The walls were cover- Pitt, through Lord Hardwicke. Pitt knew his ed with placards. The city of London called for power, and showed that he knew it. He devengeance, and the cry was echoed from everymanded as an indispensable condition, that corner of the kingdom. Dorsetshire, Hunting-Newcastle should be altogether excluded from donshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, So- the new arrangement. mersetshire, Lancashire, Suffolk, Shropshire, The duke was now in a state of ludicrous Surrey, sent up strong addresses to the throne; distress. He ran about chattering and crying, and instructed their representatives to vote for asking advice and listening to none. In the a strict inquiry into the causes of the late dis-mean time, the session drew near. The public asters. In the great towns the feeling was as excitement was unabated. Nobody could be strong as in the counties. In some of the in- found to face Pitt and Fox in the House of structions it was even recommended that the Commons. Newcastle's heart failed him, and supplies should be stopped. he tendered his resignation.

The nation was in a state of angry and sullen despondency, almost unparalleled in history. People have, in all ages, been in the habit of talking about the good old times of their ancestors, and the degeneracy of their contemporaries. This is in general merely a cant. But in 1756 it was something more. At this time appeared Brown's "Estimate"-a book now remembered only by the allusions in Cowper's "Table Talk," and Burke's "Letters on a Regicide Peace." It was universally read, admired, and believed. The author fully convinced his readers, that they were a race of cowards and scoundrels; that nothing could save them; that they were on the point of be-tration would last but a very short time. It ing enslaved by their enemies, and that they lasted not quite five months; and during those richly deserved their fate. Such were the five months, Pitt and Lord Temple were speculations to which ready credence was treated with rudeness by the king, and found given, at the outset of the most glorious war in but a feeble support in the House of Commons. which England had ever been engaged. It is a remarkable fact, that the Opposition prevented the re-election of some of the new ini. nisters. Pitt, who sat for one of the boroughs which were in the Pelham interest, found some difficulty in obtaining a seat after his accept

During several months the contest in the House of Commcns was extremely sharp. Warm debates took place on the estimates, debates still warmer on the subsidiary treaties. The government succeeded in every division; but the fame of Pitt's eloquence, and the influence of his lofty and determined character, continued to increase through the session; and the events which followed the prorogation rendered it utterly impossible for any other person to manage the Parliament or the country.

The king sent for Fox, and directed him to form the plan of an administration in concert with Pitt. But Pitt had not forgotten old inju ries, and positively refused to act with Fox.

The king now applied to the Duke of Devonshire, and this mediator succeeded in making an arrangement. He consented to take the Treasury. Pitt became Secretary of State, with the lead of the House of Commons. The Great Seal was put into commission. Legge returned to the exchequer; and Lord Temple, whose sister Pitt had lately married, was placed at the head of the Admiralty.

It was clear from the first that this adminis

Newcastle now began to tremble for his place, and for the only thing which was dearer to him than his place-his neck. The people were not in a mood to be trifled with. Their cry was for blood. For this once they might ance of the seals. So destitute was the new be contented with the sacrifice of Byng. But government of that sort of influence without what if fresh disasters should take place? which no government could then be durable What if an unfriendly sovereign should ascend | One of the arguments most frequently urged

against the Reform Bill was that, under a sys- | power and his popularity to hazard, and spoke tem of popular representation, men, whose manfully for Byng, both in Parliament and in presence in the House of Commons was ne- the royal presence. But the king was inexocessary to the conducting of public business, rable. "The House of Commons, sire," said might often find it impossible to find seats. Pitt, "seems inclined to mercy." "Sir," anShould this inconvenience ever be felt, there swered the king, "you have taught me to look cannot be the slightest difficulty in devising for the sense of my people in other places than and applying a remedy. But those who threat- the House of Commons." The saying has ened us with this evil ought to have remem- more point than most of those which are rebered that, under the old system, a great man, corded of George the Second; and, though called to power at a great crisis, by the voice sarcastically meant, contains a high and just of the whole nation, was in danger of being compliment to Pitt. excluded by an aristocratical coterie from the House, of which he was the most distinguished

The king disliked Pitt, but absolutely hated Temple. The new Secretary of State, his majesty said, had read Vattel, and was tedious and pompous, but respectful. The First Lord of the Admiralty was grossly impertinent. Walpole tells one story, which, we fear, is much too good to be true. He assures us, that Temple entertained his royal master with an elaborate parallel between Byng's behaviour at Minorca, and his majesty's behaviour at Oudenarde. The advantage was all on the side of the admiral; and the obvious inference was, that if Byng ought to be shot, the king must richly deserve to be hanged.



The most important event of this short administration was the trial of Byng. On that subject public opinion is still divided. We think the punishment of the admiral altogether unjust and absurd. Treachery, cowardice, ignorance, amounting to what lawyers have called crassa ignorantia, are fit objects of severe | penal inflictions. But Byng was not found guilty of treachery, or cowardice, or of gross ignorance of his profession. He died for doing what the most loyal subject, the most intrepid warrior, the most experienced seaman, This state of things could not last. Early in might have done. He died for an error in April, Pitt and all his friends were turned out, judgment-an error such as the greatest com- and Newcastle was summoned to St. James's. manders, Frederic, Napoleon, Wellington, But the public discontent was not extinguished. have often committed, and have often acknow- It had subsided when Pitt was called to power. ledged. Such errors are not proper objects of But it still glowed under the embers; and it punishment, for this reason—that the punish- now burst at once into a flame. The stocks fell. ing of them tends not to prevent them, but to The Common Council met. The freedom of produce them. The dread of an ignominious the city was voted to Pitt. All the greatest death may stimulate sluggishness to exertion, corporate towns followed the example. "For may keep a traitor to his standard, may pre-some weeks," says Walpole, "it rained gold vent a coward from leaving the ranks, but it has no tendency to bring out those qualities which This was the turning point of Pitt's life. It enable men to form prompt and judicious de- might have been expected that a man of so tisions in great emergencies. The best marks-haughty and vehement a nature, treated so unnan may be expected to fail when the apple graciously by the court, and supported so en which is to be his mark, is set on his child's head. thusiastically by the people, would have eagerWe cannot conceive any thing more likely to ly taken the first opportunity of showing his deprive an officer of his self-possession at the power, and gratifying his resentment; for an time when he most needs it, than the know-opportunity was not wanting. The members 'edge that, if the judgment of his superiors for many counties and large towns had been should not agree with his, he will be executed instructed to vote for an inquiry into the cir with every circumstance of shame. Queens, cumstances which had produced the miscar it has often been said, run far greater risk inriage of the preceding year. A motion for in childbed than private women, merely because quiry had been carried in the House of Comheir medical attendants are more anxious. mons, without opposition; and a few days The surgeon who attended Marie Louise was after Pitt's dismissal, the investigation comaltogether unnerved by his emotions. Com-menced. Newcastle and his colleagues obpose yourself," said Bonaparte—“imagine | tained a vote of acquittal; but the minority that you are assisting a poor girl in the Faux- was so strong, that they could not venture to bourg St. Antoine." This was surely a far ask for a vote of approbation, as they had at wiser course than that of the Eastern king in first intended; and it was thought by some Arabian Nights' Entertainments," who shrewd observers, that if Pitt had exerted him. proclaimed that the physicians who failed to self to the utmost of his power, the inquiry eure his daughter should have their heads might have ended in a censure, if not in an chopped off. Bonaparte knew mankind well; impeachment. and, as he acted towards this surgeon, he acted towards his officers. No sovereign was ever so indulgent to mere errors of judgment; and it is certain that no sovereign ever had in his service so many military men fit for the highest commands.


the 6.

Pitt certainly acted a brave and honest part on this occasion. He ventured to put both his

Pitt showed on this occasion a moderation and self-government which were not habitual to him. He had found by experience, that he could not stand alone. His eloquence and his popularity had done much, very much for him. Without rank, without fortune, without borough interest, hated by the king, hated by the aristocracy, he was a person of the firs!

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