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in his way.
nant to the resolutions of parliament and the gra- | What will it signify to have your ships all mancious promise from the throne. The complaints ned to their full complement? Your m n will of your despairing merchants, and the voice of have neither the courage nor the temptation to England, have condemned it. Be the guilt of it fight; they will strike to the first enemy that atupon the head of the adviser: God forbid that tacks them, because their condition cannot be this committee should share the guilt by approv- made worse by a surrender. Our seamen bare ing it !”
always been famous for a matchless alacrity and
intrepidity in time of danger; this has saved Pitt was now one of the acknowledged many a British ship, when other seamen would leaders of the opposition, and he gave the have run below deck and left the ship to the merenemy no respite. On the 19th of October, cy of the waves, or, perhaps, of a more cruel ene1739, war was dcclared against Spain; and my, a pirate. For God's sake, sir, let us not, by the reluctant minister having once drawn the
our new projects, put our seamen into such a consword, seemed resolute to wield it effective- dition as must soon make them worse than the ly. But here, again, Pitt stood like a rock cowardly slaves of France and Spain.” On the 27th of January, 1741,
Harassed by the ceaseless attacks of his Sir Charles Wager, First Lord of the Admi- eloquent opponent, and deserted first by one ralty, introduced into parliament a bill for and then by another of his ancient supporters, the encouragement and increase of seamen, Sir Robert Walpole accepted a peerage, and, and for the better and speedier manning of
as Earl of Orford, withdrew from the adminthe navy. The measure had more than one
istration. Mr. Pelham, Mr. Sandys, Lord very weak side, and they were all pounced Carteret, and their friends, now took the upon directly by the prince's groom of the chief management of affairs. But their pol
Among other arrangements icy, and in particular their system of contiproposed there was one which empowered jus- nental alliances, differed in nothing from that tices of the peace, upon application under the of Walpole, and they became, as he had sign manual, or by the Lord High Admiral, been, the objects of Pitt's vehement denunor the commissioners executing that office, to ciations. He attacked their inconsistency on issue warrants to constables within their ju- the 9th and 23d of March, 1742, when risdiction, to search either by day or by night Lord Limerick moved for an inquiry into for seamen; and for that purpose to enter the proceedings of the defunct cabinet; and and if need were, to force open the door of in December of the same year exposed, with any house, or other place, in which there equal bitterness and ability, the injustice and was reason to suspect that seamen were concealed. Pitt rose, as soon as the opportu- was proposed by the minister that England
extravagance of the Hanoverian alliance. It nity offered, and thus noticed the arguments should take into her pay 16,000 Hanoverian of the Attorney and Solicitor-general (Şir troops, in order that they might be emDudley Ryder and Sir John Strange), who ployed in the Netherlands, in support of had preceded him :
Maria Theresa, queen of Hungary. Pitt
rose immediately after Henry Fox, who had Sir, the two honorable and learned gentlemen who spoke in favor of this clause were pleased to spoken in support of the arrangement, though she w that our seamen are half slaves already, with a qualification, and said, and now they modestly desire you should make them wholly so. Will this increase your num
“ Sir, if the honorable gentleman determines to ber of seamen ? or will it make those you have abandon his present sentiments as soon as any more willing to serve you ? Can you expect that better measures are proposed, the ministry will any man will make himself a slave if he can avoid quiclky be deprived of one of their ablest deit? Can you expec. that any man will breed his fenders; for I consider the measures hitherto child up to be a slave? Can you expect that pursued so weak and so pernicious, that scarcely seamen will venture t'ieir lives or their limbs for any alteration can be proposed that will not be a country that has made them slaves ? or can you for the advantage of the nation.” expect that any seaman will stay in the country, if he can by any meins make his escape? Sir, He then went on, in a strain of fiery eloif you pass this law, you must, in my opinion, do quence, to expose the sophistry of men who with your seamen as they do with their galley did not scruple to seek the support of the slaves in France--you must chain them to their Crown at the expense of the people's burships, or chain them in couples when they are ashore. But suppose this should both increase
dens; and summed up his argument in these the number of your seamen, and render them more
words: willing to serve you, it will render them incapable. It is a common observation, that when a “ If, therefore, our assistance to the Queen of man becomes a slave, he loses half his virtue. | Hungary be an act of honesty, and granted in con
sequence of treaties, why may it not be equally re- | beyond the bare salary allowed; and at the quired of Hanover ? If it be an act of generos-period concerning which we now write, this ity, why shouid this conntry alone be obliged to deserves to be accepted as very high praise, sacrifice her interests for those of others? or why should the Elector of Hanover exert his for there was no man then in public life, liberality at the expense of Great Britain ? from the highest to the lowest station, but
" It is now too apparent, sir, that this great, this looked upon the appropriation of waifs and powerful, this mighty nation, is considered only strays as fair plunder. Chancellors and as a province to a despicable electorate ; and that prime ministers openly accepted presents, in consequence of a scheme formed long ago; not from foreign courts alone, but from priand invariably pursued, these troops are hired vate persons. Till Pitt's incumbency there only to drain this unhappy country of its money: had never been a paymaster who omitted to That they have hitherto been of no use to Great Britian or to Austria, is evident beyond a doubt; appropriate to his own use the interest on and, therefore, it is plain that they are retained public balances, or to exact a fee of oue-half only for the purposes of Hanover."
per cent. from moneys paid in the form of
subsidy to any of the Continental powers. In 1744 another change of administration Pitt refused from the first to enrich himself took place.
The Duke of Newcastle was by any such discreditable means. called to the chief management of affairs, the balances, as often as they accrued, into and proposed to the king that Pitt should the Bank of England, and declined the fee take office as Secretary at War; but George which his predecessors used to expect as a II. could not forgive Pitt's opposition to the matter of right. Pitt was arrogant, overHanoverian interests, and positively refused bearing, and very difficult to manage, but to receive him. Considerable inconvenience he was quite as disinterested as his son; followed, which was overcome chiefly by and we defy any man, in high life or in Pitt's disinterested entreaty to his friends low, to exceed either of them in that renot to refuse office on his account ; and the spect. Newcastle cabinet continued to hold the In November, 1754, Pitt married Hester, reins till the 10th of February, 1746. But daughter of Richard Grenville, Esq., of they had felt their own weakness from the Wootten, in the county of Buckingham, and first, and having again failed to overcome sister of Viscount Cobham, afterward Earl the king's disinclination to receive Pitt, they Temple, and of George and James Grenresigned. Mr. Pulteney, now created Earl ville. In 1755, he received an intimation of Bath, thereupon became First Lord of from the king that his majesty had no further the Treasury. His effort to form a cabinet occasion for his services; and, together with broke down, and Pitt's friends returning to Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, setheir places, brought him along with them; ceded from the cabinet. This was owing to first, as Vice-treasurer for Ireland, and then the disapprobation expressed by these two on the 6th of May as Paymaster to the statesmen of the subsidiary treaties with Forces, with a seat in council.
Hesse Cassel and Russia, into which the As the second son of a country gentleman, king, without consulting his council, had enWilliam Pitt had always been poor. Indeed, tered. But, though deprived of office, they it was the res angusta which alone induced did not enter violently into opposition. On him to accept office in the household of Fred- | the contrary, when a rupture with France erick Prince of Wales, and he seized the became inevitable, Pitt seconded the propovery first opportunity that presented itself sal of Viscount Barrington, Secretary at of resigning it. In 1744 the celebrated War, to increase the army, which was acDuchess of Marlborough died, and left him cordingly raised from about 20,000 to a legacy of £10,000, on account,” as her 35,000 men. In spite, however, of this indiswill expresses it, “ of his merit in the noble position unnecessarily to embarrass the coundefence he has made of the laws of England, cils of the Government, the war was not and to prevent the ruin of his country.” This well managed. Minorca fell into the hands fortune, though not great, was sufficient to of the French. Admiral Byng was sacrificed. place him in a position of comparative inde- Oswego in America, and Calcutta in Asia, pendence, and he immediately ceased to be were both lost. A panic seized the Duke groom of the bedchamber to the prince. The of Newcastle, and after vainly endeavoring emoluments of office as paymaster of the to bring Pitt back again he resigned. A forces proved, moreover, an acceptable ad- new cabinet was accordingly formed, with dition to his income; though, to his honor the Duke of Devonshire at its head, and Mr. be it recorded, he did not pocket a shilling Pitt and Mr. Legge formed part of it,—the former as Secretary of State, the latter as king's councils. On the 25th of October, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
1760, George II. died. He was succeeded There was still on the part of the king a by his grandson, George III.; and Pitt's rooted dislike to his servant,-a feeling which days of influence and power became numwas carried to a still greater extreme by the bered. Negotiations for peace had been beDuke of Cumberland. The latter, indeed, gun on the side of France, and were prorefused to take command of the army which ceeding as favorably as an English minister was to protect Hanover unless Pitt were re- could desire, when Charles III. came to the moved from office; and once more Pitt, with throne of Spain, with feelings strongly preLegge, and this time with Lord Temple, judiced in favor of his relative, Louis XV. were sacrificed. But the disfavor of the Pitt was not long kept in doubt respecting court was more than compensated to the the formation of the “ family compact,” and two former by the respect and admiration of foreseeing that its consequences would be, the people. Numerous addresses of thanks not peace with France, but war with Spain, poured in upon them from all quarters; and and, perhaps, with Sicily likewise, he detercities and boroughs loaded them with deeds mined to anticipate the plans of both. He of freedom, each enclosed in a gold box. proposed in the cabinet that the negotiations The king's faction could not make head with France should be broken off, and that against this stream, the weight of which was England should take the initiative in the infurther increased by the abortive issue of evitable quarrel with them. To his great the Duke of Cumberland's military opera- surprise he found himself outvoted. He tried tions. Another change of administration be- a second appeal in the council chamber, and came necessary, and the Duke of Newcastle was again defeated ; whereupon he tendered assuming the post of First Lord of the his advice in writing to the young king, and Treasury, Pitt became again Secretary of there, likewise, met with a repulse. No State, and to all intents and purposes leader course now lay open to him except resignain the councils of the nation.
tion. He went with his seals of office to St. It is unnecessary to dwell at length upon James's, where the young king received him the great events which characterized the in- with such marks of kindness and respect, terval between 1757 and 1762. However that the heart of the proud statesman was averse he might be to war, Pitt threw him- touched. His resignation could not, of course, self into the contest which he found raging be withdrawn; but he accepted, in token of with wisdom and vigor. The navies of the gratitude of the Crown, a peerage for France were swept from the face of the his wife, and was not ashamed (he had no
Canada was conquered, and numer- reason to be) of becoming a pensioner to the ous islands and stations in the West Indies, extent of £3000 a year. in Africa, and in Asia, subdued. Nor was A retiring statesman, whose descent into his triumph over the prejudices of the Jaco- private life is softened by a pension, seldom bites either less striking or less creditable to fails to incur at least temporary unpopularity. himself. He conquered Canada, and sev- This was the case with Pitt; but the storm, eral of the West Indies, by bringing against though sharp for the moment, soon blew them the stout right arms of the very clans over, and he became again the idol of the which had followed Charles Edward to people. All that he had foretold as about Derby, and fought at Falkirk and Culloden. to happen in regard to Spain came to pass. It was a wise policy this which enlisted the On the 4th of January, 1762, war was demilitary spirit of the Highlanders on the clared against that power, under circumside of the established Government, and stances far less favorable to England than consummated by kindness the triumph which would have attended the measure had Pitt's Lord Hardwicke's terrible, but necessary suggestions been acted upon. On the whole, laws of proscription, had begun. But Pitt, however, the country had no cause to comthough a great and most successful minister, plain of the results of the contest. Several was intolerably overbearing in the cabinet; of Spain's most valuable settlements, of and showed no disposition to yield, even in which Cuba was one, fell into the hands of manner, to royalty itself. He ruled his col- the English, and the tide of success leagues with a rod of iron, and lost all hold flowing without a check, when negotiations except upon their fears. Hence a cabal for peace were entered into. Pitt heard of formed itself against him, at the head of these, and left his bed, to which he had which stood Lord Bute ; and the first oppor- been confined for several days, to protest tunity was taken to force him out of the against them. Unable to stand, he was per
mitted to address the House from the bench, the bowels of your countrymen ? on which he sat, but he fairly broke down quarrel with yourselves now the whole house of ere he could reach the pith of his argument. Bourbon is united against you? While France
fisheries in Newfoundland, embarHis speech produced a great sensation, though
rasses your slave-trade to Africa, and withholds it could not arrest the progress of events. from your subjects in Canada their property stipCuba, the most important conquest which ulated by treaty; while the ransom for the MaEngland had ever made, was restored to nillas is denied by Spain, and its gallant conSpain in exchange for Florida ; an arrange- queror basely traduced into a mean plunderer,ment of which, down to the present day, a gentleman whose noble and generous spirit England has good reason to regret the im- would do honor to the proudest grandee of the
country. The Americans have not acted in all providence. It was about this time, or rather in the things with prudence and temper. The Ameri
cans have been wronged. They have been early part of the following year, that Sir driven to madness by injustice. Will you punish William Pynsent, a Somerset baronet of an- them for the madness which you have occasioned ? cient family, died and bequeathed to William Rather let prudence and temper come first from Pitt the estate of Burton Pynsent, with a
this side. I will undertake for America that she rental of £3000 a year. The baronet bad will follow the example. There are two lines in
a ballad of Prior's, of a man's behavior to his no personal acquaintance with the legatee- wife, so applicable to you and your colonies, that it is doubtful whether he had ever seen him; I cannot help repeating them,but he was a great admirer of Pitt's public character, and seems to have had no near rela- • Be to her faults a little blind; tives. So considerable an accession to means
Be to her virtues very kind.' not previously abundant proved very acceptable to the recipient; but it did not abate Upon the whole, I will beg leave to tell the one jot of the mental activity of the man.
House what is really my opinion. It is, that the A martyr to gout, he still played a conspi- Stamp Act be repeile?, absolutely, totally, and imcuous part in parliament, though he steadily signed, because it was founded on an erroneous refused to become again a member of the principle. At the same time, let the sovereign cabinet which had so unceremoniously thrown authority of this country over the colonies be ashim overboard.
serted in as strong terms as can be devised, and From 1761 to 1766 Pitt remained ex
be made to extend to every point of legislation cluded from the king's councils. He was,
whatsoever. We may bind their trade, confine therefore, no party to the ill-judged Stamp whatsoever, except that of taking their money out
their manufactures, and exercise every power Act, which had well-nigh precipitated, by a of their pockets without their consent." year or two, the rupture with the North American colonies ; indeed, he opposed it
It was during this interval, likewise, that when first brought forward vigorously, and the famous disputes between the House of contributed largely, by the eloquence and Commons and John Wilkes occurred. Pitt power of his denunciation, in effecting its re- was no admirer of Wilkes; but he still less peal. The following extract from his speech admired the unconstitutional and impolitic on the latter occasion well deserves to be re- proceedings of those who, in their abhormembered :
rence of a demagogue and a libeler, forgot “ A yreat deal has been said without doors of what was due to the privileges of parliament, the power, of the strength, of America. It is a and the undoubted rights of the constituentopic that ought to be cautiously meddled with. cies. He spoke against the sentence of exIn a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of pulsion, which was, however, as is well this country can crush America to atoms. I known, carried into offect. know the valor of your troops; I know the skill of your officers. There is not a company of foot of the bondage in which the great Whig
The king was by this time heartily tired that has served in America out of which you may families seemed determined to keep him. not pick a man of sufficient knowledge and experience to make a governor of a colony there. His first attempt to emancipate himself, by But on this ground-on the Stamp Act—when so placing Lord Bute at the head of the adminmany here will think it a crying injustice, I am istration, had failed. He now endeavored, one who will lift up my hands against it. with the assistance of Lord Rockingham, to
" In such a cause, even your success would be shake them off; but Lord Rockingham poshazardous. America, if she fell, would fall like sessed small influence in parliament, and the strong man. She would embrace the pillars of the State, and pull down the Constitution along
was quite as much a member of the clique with her. Is this your boasted peace ?
To at heart as many who followed more openly sheathe the sword, not in its scabbard, but in in the wake of the house of Russell. No
thing now remained, therefore, except to call, the enemy, gave up all for lost, and resolved upon Pitt to form an administration. He to have peace on any terms. This was quite did so, “and produced,” says Burke, “such a as much at variance with Lord Chatham's piece of diversified mosaic, such a tesselated sense of right as the original ground of the pavement without cement; here a bit of He resolved, therefore, to oppose the black stone, and there a bit of white-pat- motion; and rose from a sick bed, to which riots and courtiers, king's friends and Re- he had been long confined in the country, publicans, Whigs and Tories, treacherous that he might carry his design into force. He friends and open enemies; that it was, in-proceeded to London, and sat in the Lord deed, a very curious show, but utterly un
Chancellor's room till informed that the busafe to touch, and unsure to stand on. Nor siness of the debate was about to begin. Let would the state of his own health permit the editor of the work which we are here the framer of the cabinet to watch, as it reviewing tell the rest :was right that he should, over its proceed. ings. The business of the House of Com
“ He was then led into the House of Peers by mons was too much for him, and he passed two friends. He was dressed in a rich suit of into the Lords as Earl of Chatham. Had black velvet, and covered up to the knees in flanhe consulted his own fame more, and what nel. Within his large wig, little more of his he believed to be the best interests of the countenance was to be seen than his aquiline crown less, he would have retired from the its native fire. He looked like a dying man; yet
nose and his penetrating eye, which retained all cabinet as soon as the truth was forced upon
never was seen a figure of more dignity; he aphim that physical strength enough to guide peared like a being of a superior species. The its deliberations was wanting. He failed to Lords stood up, and made a lane for him to pass do this ; and cannot, therefore, escape his to bis seat, whilst, with a gracefulness of deportshare of responsibility for measures which ment for which he was so eminently distinguishresulted in the catastrophe which he had on ed, he bowed to them as he proceeded. Having former occasions contributed to postpone.
taken his seat on the bench of the earls, he lis
tened to the speech of the Duke of Richmond In the year 1767, Charles Townsend in with the most profound attention. troduced into the House of Commons a bill “ After Lord'Weymouth had spoken against the for taxing America, by levying duties on address, Lord Chatham rose from his seat slowly certain articles which the Americans were and with difficulty, leaning on his crutches, and not permitted to import, except from Great supported by his two friends. Taking one hand Britain. We need not so much as refer to
from his crutch, he raised it, and, casting his eyes the consequences of this measure; but it is been enabled to coine here this day to perform
toward Heaven, said, I thank God that I have due to Lord Chatham not to place out of my duty, and to speak on a subject which has so record, that, as the scheme was none of his, deeply impressed my mind. I am old and infirm he hastened, in 1768, to mark his disappro- |-have one foot, more than one foot, in the grave val of it by withdrawing from the Govern- -I have risen from my bed to stand up in the ment. It is just, also, to bear in mind, that cause of my country-perhaps never again to almost from the date of his return to power
speak in this house! till his resignation he labored under the the House was most affecting; if any one had
“ The reverence—the attention—the stillness of pressure of a malady, which though not, dropped a handkerchief the noise would have been perhaps, such as deserves to be described as heard. At first Lord Chatham spoke in a very an aberration of intellect, entirely unfitted | low and feeble tone; but as he grew warm, his him from taking part in public affairs. The voice rose, and became as harmonious as ever; portion of blame which attaches to him, as
oratorical and affecting, perhaps more than at any compared with that justly attributable to his former period, both from his own situation, and colleagues, is very small. But if he erred from the importance of the subject on which he in suffering himself to be made an involun- spoke. He gave the whole history of the Ameri
can war; of all the measures to which he had tary party to the beginning of the strife, he objected; and all the evil consequences which he more than made amends by the unwearied had foretold; adding at the end of each period, zeal which marked his efforts to heal the · And so it proved.' breach. In 1770, his health being somewhat " In one part of his speech he ridiculed the apre-established, he returned to public life; and prehension of an invasion, and then recalled the as a peer of parliament advocated measures invasion, a French invasion, a Dutch invasion,
remembrance of former invasions,— A Spanish of conciliation, which were unhappily reject- many noble lords must have read of in history ; ed. At last, as is well known, the Govern- and some lords (looking keenly at one who sat ment, which had repeatedly declined to en- near him) may remember a Scotch invasion.' tertain fair and honorable propositions from ". My lords, continued he, 'I rejoice that the