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turning round, took to his heels with all his might, and, running across several fields, took shelter in a farm house. His opponent eagerly pursued him, followed by the amazed seconds, who could by no means comprehend the cause of this mysterious chase.
When they arrived at the cottage, the gentlemen mounted the stairs, and searched all around for several minutes, but the redoubted hero was no where to be found : he had escaped by jumping out of a back window, at the very instant his antagonist had entered the house.
Soon after this occurrence, Fitzgerald fell a victim to his ferocious disposition, and perished by the hands of a common hangman. In his wardrobe, after his death, were found several cuirasses, constructed of iron or steel plates, lined with fannel : and several of his coats, &c. were found to be what is technically termed papered ; that is, wadded and quilted with sheets of that material. Thus, the whole conduct of his life confirms the opinion of a celebrated philosopher, “ That whatever may be the physical strength of a bully, he has no moral courage ; for, however fierce his demeanour, he is surely a coward at heart."
The probability of this account has been questioned in a popular Weekly Journal : the writer, however, assures the public that it is strictly and circumstantially true ; for which reason he has inserted the name of Fitzgerald's antagonist. As to the fact of Fitzger. ald's taking to his heels when Cunningham's sword was broken, that is easily accounted for by the shame of detection in his unfair and upgentlemanly practices.
NOCTES FOXIANÆ.—No. I.
Not only as the leader of Opposition, but likewise as a philosopher, a bon vivant, and a wit of the first order, was Mr. Fox esteemed by every gentleman who frequented Brookes's. His acuteness of observation, profundity of thought, and extensive knowledge of almost every subject, joined to his courteous and affable deportment, rendered him the revered oracle of the Club. The greatest deference was at all times paid to his opinions; and he himself was held in such general respect, that his presence often acted as a check to the occasional ebullitions of levity on the part of the junior members: so much, indeed, was this great statesman held in consideration, that though he had married the well-known Mrs. Armstead, respecting whom their remarks previously had often been pretty free; still, after that lady became Mrs. Fox, no man ever opened his mouth respecting her, even with the most qualified censure; nor did they even allude to the former passages of her life :-by becoming the wife of this illustrious man, her character became sacred,
Mr. Fox's conversation was on all occasions a great treat; for he displayed so much political sagacity and benevolent feeling in his observations, that, like those of the philosophers of old, they were listened to with grateful attention by all who could conveniently obtain
a seat near him. The Prince of Wales was his favourite pupil ; and to him were directed many useful and important observations on the duties of a sovereign, and the rights of a free people.
Brought up, as it were, at the “ feet of Gamaliel," the Prince enjoyed opportunities of imbibing instruction that fall to the lot of very few. During his father's reign, or rather until the Regency, being without any public employment, he had no means of displaying his talents or acquirements; and, unfortunately, at that period the existing ministry took care that the grand condition for intrusting him with power, should be, that, from that moment, he would withdraw himself totally from the Whigs, and implicitly submit himself to their own direction, where direction should be thought necessary.
This was the true cause of the appearance of ingratitude to his quondam friends and associates, on the part of an otherwise amiable man; and that he has always been so, every one who has had an opportunity of witnessing his actions in private life, can amply and conscientiously testify.
Of such conversations as are above mentioned, the reader shall now be presented with a specimen, and they shall be continued occasionally during the progress of this work.
The novel and surprising circumstances which every day transpired during the early years of the French Revolution, formed the interesting and common theme of conversation in every political circle ; and, of course, at Brookes's, the earliest intelligence of fresh events was anxiously listencd to by each member, and duly commented on, according to his particular views. Whilst the French were engaged in bursting the fetters of feudal tyranny which had bound them for ages ; when they levelled the Bastille, and put an end to the infamous Lettres de Cachet; and when they published their glorious Constitution of 1789, the heart and hand of every liberal Englishman responded sympathy
nd applause: but when they insulted, dethroned, and decapitated their Sovereign-whilst faction after faction spread terror, death, and ruin, throughout the kingdom ;—when the angel of desolation, who first personated, and then treacherously destroyed the goddess Liberty !-drunk, but not satiated, with the blood of her numerous victims, threw off the mask ;-when this democratic fiend exhibited, to the terrified nations of Europe, her disgusting and horrid aspect in all its native deformity ;-when, attired in a red night-cap, and in the ragged and filthy garb of a poissarde, she discarded even the appearance of decency and humanity:-when, thus accoutred, and armed with the still reeking axe of the guillotine, she expanded her pestiferous wings, and threatened a flight into the British Isles, -many of the friends of the Revolution recoiled with dread and horror, and with one voice reprobated that which they had once so much admired.
No one felt more keen disappointment at the terrible re-action which took place in France, than Mr. Fox. “The Tree of Liberty,” he said, more than once, “has been grafted on that of despotism ; and bitter and unnatural is the fruit that has been produced :—the soil, I fear, is not congenial to its growth; for, as Voltaire said of his countrymen, they combine the feroci
ty of the tiger with the mischievousness of the monkey. The French have been so long sunk in the abyss of misery, as to be rendered incapable of enjoying true liberty.”
When the news of the stoppage and capture of Louis XVI. at Varennes, arrived in London, universal consternation was spread among those who had fondly hoped that he had escaped the toils of his turbulent enemies, by passing the frontier. Mr. Fox was one of those; not that he wished the French king to become a rallying point to the emigrants, who were ready to invade their native country at the head of an army of foreigners, and to bring back the ancient order of things; but he felt pleased, that this good-natured, weak, and unfortunate monarch should thus have his life and liberty ensured; of which, whilst he remained in his own country, he was not certain for one moment.
“The die is cast," he exclaimed, when he heard of the capture:-“the King of France is a prisoner in the hands of his own subjects, and they will soon bring him to the block! Ah! poor King! Little did you think, whilst you were assisting the Americans to break their chains,—which pressed but lightly after all,—that you were forging fetters, from which you yourself will be freed only by death. The blow which you gave us in our colonies, now recoils upon yourself; for, your subjects, in fighting for the liberty of foreigners, have learned to appreciate its value to themselves.-Where it will end, God only knows !”
“But, Sir," said a gentleman present, “the French will not surely put Louis to death ?”.
“As surely,” replied Fox, “as our fanatical Parli