Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the conduct which Pitt has since ont reserve; and it is under this observed. It gives me great plea. persuasion that I enlarge so much to sure to see, that while my difference you on his opinions. The measure, with Addington becomes every day indeed, which he has lately adopted more marked, all the motives which (1 allude to his motion of adjournmade Pitt and me differ in opinion ment, on the vote of censure, ill and conduct, daily decrease. -We judged in itself, as I think it was, have not, however, yet been able to and unfortunate in its result, since assimilate completely our plans of it lessened his public influence), has, political condutt. Our situation, in- at least, the merit of expressing, in deed, in one essential point of view, an unequivocal manner, his disap. is entirely different.—Though he probation of the conduct of governdid not recommend Addington to ment. I will not hazard a conjec. his present employment (and, in. ture in regard to the new events deed, who is there that knows him which may take place before your would have done it?), he neverthe- arrival, and the only advice I wish less gave hini a certain portion of to give you is, what I have more influence, more active than my opic than once suggested, not to engage nion would have permitted me to for any thing until you return, but to grant, in the formation of the new retain the liberty of acting, accordadministration. He advised their ing to such motives as you shall measures a long time after I had judge proper to dircct your conduct ceased to have any intercourse with when you are on the spot, and acthem, and he approved of them in cording as the different relations different points, which appeared to between persons at the head of af. me the most criminal, and which fairs in the different subdivisions of were indeed so, as proved by the parties, shall have enabled you to erent. He is consequently more judge what suits you best. hampered in his conduct than I am, gard to the idea thrown out, in the and he does not at present enjoy the extract you have sent me from your inestimable advantage which I pos- letter to Mr. Addington, you ought, sess, of never having concealed nor in my opinion, to consider it only as cornpromised my opinion, in regard a possible, though remote event. to matters of so much political im- As for eternal enmity, I detest the portance; but, I believe that his idea; and, if I have an eternal en.' ideas on their political conduct are mity, it is against the partisans of a not much different from mine, if principle so detestable. But much they differ at all, and to all this must is due to public opinion, as well as be added a resentment justly merit. to the personal situation and cha. ed from the personal conduct of Mr. racter of individuals, which onght Addington towards him. lle does to be respected long after they have not endeavour to conceal his senti- ceased to have resentment, or to ments. If he has written to you take pleasure in giving proofs of it; (which he certainly must have done, and nothing appears to me less prohad he not contracted the bad habit bable than to see Pitt and me, at any of never writing to any one) he near period (perhaps I may say, at must have expressed to you, I am any period of our lives), reconciled, persuaded, all these sentiments with and disposed to re-establish with Ad.

dington

In re

You can

dington our former relations. The intimacy. I never did more for you papers,

if

you have them, will in. than you would have done for me, form you, that all our conversation on a like occasion; and if the inat present turns on invasion, and trigue planned against you is totally that we at length begin to take mea. without effect, and your measures sures for enabling us to face our have been approved before they enemies, if they should be able to were arraigned, I cannot flatter effect a landing, which, though very myself with having contributed to improbable, is not, certainly, in any this result by my efforts ;- but you manner impossible. To speak of may, in my opinion, consider the conquering, or subduing ten or affair as terminated. It does not twelve millions of men, if prepared appear that a single word of it was for the contest, and directed by a mentioned in parliament before government desirous and capable of Christmas, and I really believe that animating their efforts, would be you have nothing to fear. .completely ridiculous. But expe- now have uothing further to apprerience has shewn, that the number head on the subject, except perhaps of inhabitants alone, and even ad- the trouble and unpleasantness of a vantage of local situation, are no. controversy of this description. thing, if the direction of the defence " I remain, &c. &c. &c. remains in the hands of men distin. (Signed) 6 Grenville." guished only by their imbecility and of the view of political affairs, weakness. In Holland even, and presented in this letter, the result still more in Gerinany, Italy, and may perhaps shortly be stated to Swisserland, the countries were given be, that, while the sentiments both up by the weakness, not of the peo. of the “ old” and of the 66 new” ple, but of their governments; and opposition (as those parties were in like manner, if in this island, or termed, of which Mr. Fox and lord in Ireland, we should experience any Grenville were the chiefs) were considerable checks, we shall owe it avowedly unfavourable to the mea. not to the tinidity or ignorance of sures of the existing government, the nation, but solely to those of the predilection originally manifestgovernment. You must be already ed in their favour, by the late minienabled to judge to what a degree ster (Mr. Pitt) had gradually subthese qualities exist in the present sided, first into coldness and indif. government, if (as I suppose) you ference, then into an expressed dis. have, before you receive this letter, approbation of some parts of their read the correspondence of lord conduct; and, that at the period of Hawkesbury with Otto and lord which we are now speaking, he was Whitworth, and compared the dates supposed to entertain sentiments not of the different counter-orders in re. much less hostile to administration, gard to the Cape, during the course than those of the parties by whom of our communications with France. their ineasures were directly opIt would be superfluous to add to posed. the length of this letter, by expati. No material change appears to ating on the pleasure which I ex- have occurred in this respect in the perienced, on finding in your letter course of the autumn of the last those expressions of friendship which year; and, at the opening of the belong to our old and uninterrupted following session of parliament, the

I 4

four

four parties into which the public present year, Mr. Pitt came for. men of the day were chiefly divided, ward, with a more decisive avowal namely, the supporters of govern- of his sentiments on this important ment, the friends of Mr. Pitt, the subject; and not only declared his “ old” and the “new” opposition, total disapprobation of the particuwere found nearly in the same rela- lar measures for the national de. tion to each other, as we have here fence, proposed by ministers, (and stated. A common sentiment, how- then under the consideration of parevor, of the inadequacy of the ad. liament) but also arraigned, in terms ministration, to whom, in the most of the bitterest sarcasm, and severest critical and alarming circumstances, inrective, their general conduct of the safety of the British empire was the public interests, both at home ñow confided ; confessedly to the and abroad; expressing, at the same exclusion of so many persons of all time, his absolute' conviction, descriptions, distinguished both by grounded on experience, that the experience and talent, appeared to safety of the country required the hare led to more intercourse than forination of a more ethicient governhad hitherto taken place between ment. This opinion, which had so the “of” and “new” opposition: Jong been urged by the other parties and it was generally understood, in opposition, was already very ge. that, without any compromise of nerally prevalent in the public; and their opinions, on points respecting the declaration now made, of the which they had formerly differed, accession of Mr. Pitt and his friends these parties were now disposed to to the same sentiment, was at onte unite their efforts, for the accom- decisive, upon the existence of Mr. plishing an object, on the necessity Addington's administration. It be. of which they both perfectly agreed, now manifest, that, with the that of the substitution of as vigor. cxception of the immediate adheous and efficient a government as the rents of that administration, all talents of the country could supply, other parties were agreed, both as in order to meet a danger, against to the necessity of a change, and as which no exertions could be consi. to the means by which that change dered as too powerful.

might most speedily be effected -The course of the discussions namely, those of a strong opposi. which took place in the earlier part tion in parliament, avowedly diof the session, will be found parti- rected to produce, by constitutional cularly stated under the head of our means, that great national object. parliamentary proceedings. From The strength of the government, most of these, Mr. Pitt was either on the one hand, and, on the other, absent, or took in them only such a that of the three parties thus united part, as did not convey any distinct for the purpose of compelling a pledge of his sentiinents respecting change of administration, were the great question on which the found, by repeated divisions in both public opinion was now so much houses of parliament, to be nearly agitated---that of the sufficiency of balanced : but the weight of public the government to meet the urgency opinion, in favour of the latter, left of so dilliculi a crisis. At length, no doubt which scale must ultihowever, early in the spring of the mately preponderate.

It

came

It is to the praise of Mr. Adding- that they also wished to bury in ob. ton, that to this state of things, livion the memory of past difie. with such an opposition ranged rences, and to unite in exertions for against him, as could leave no ques. the common security ; although they tion of the real sentiments of par- deemed it essential to the success of liament or the public, be yielded these exertions, that the direction of without hesitation, and instead of them should be entrusted to such attempting by a fruitless resistance, hands as might, in the general opi. to prolong a struggle, which, in a nion of mankind, be reasonably moment of so much difficulty the deemed adequate to such a task.public interests could but ill endure, The country at large rejoiced to see he gave to his sovereign, that, which, those great political leaders, by in such a case, was the only sound whose divisions the public mind had and constitutional advice-namely, so long been distracted, now united that a new ministry should, without in the same course of conduct, and delay, be formed, possessing more acting in parliament with that comof the confidence both of parliament manding effect, which was naturally and of the public; and declarations, to be expected from such a concuramounting in substance to this ef. rence. fect, although couched in terms of . Whatever private predilections some ambiguity and reserve, were were rumoured to prevail in ANY made both in the house of lords and QUARTER, no doubt was enter. house of commons.

tained, but that the general wish When the resignation of Mr. Ad. would be gratified by the formation dington was thus announced, there of a government, such as this new universally preraided throughout the state of things seemed to render country a greater degree of unanie practicable, and as all men felt to mity, as well of wish as of opinion, be desirable : a government, em. as to the steps to be next taken, bracing all thrat could be found in than has, perhaps, ever been wit- the country most eninent in talent nessed in any other case of a similar and consideration. description. The increasing dan . Such was the course, by which, gers of the country had produced a in former periods of public danger, general call for the union and co. (formidable at the period, though operation of all those, whose services little to be compared in magnitude could in any manner be useful to with that by which the country was the interests of the public. This now menaced,), the public spirft sentiment had been echocd by every had been raised from dejection and party, and by every description of despondency to the highest animapeople. The government had recom- tion and most vigorons exertion : and mended, that all political differences a train of disgraces and defcats had should be swallowed up in an uni. been followed by a long series of versal exertion for the common de. triumph and viétory. The hope of fence, to be made under their united a similar result, in the present inauspices. The three parties which stance, was strengthened by the had at length joined in opposition, pubic declarations of the most conhad successively shewn, both by siderable persons of every political their language and their practice, party, and by the uniform laoguage

of

of their friends and adhérents. ciple on which it is established ;-What the circumstances were which and that all idea of public responsiprevented its accomplishment, we bility would be overthrown, as well are unwilling too minutely to en. as the dignity of the royal station quire. It appeared, from repeated essentially compromised, is a minis. assertions made, in Mr. Pitt's vindi. ter were allowed to justify any part cation, both by himself and his of his conduct, either in forming or friends, that no man was more stre. conducting a government, not by nuous than himself in declaring in his own opinion and sense of right, EVERY QUARTER, that the for- but by a submission to predilections mation of such a government, com. and prejudices, which he may alprehending, without any exclusion ledge to have found in 66 the clo. whatever, all those who could best set,” and to have in vain attempted contribute to its efficiency and to combat. weight, was imperiously required Under these circumstances the by the present necessities of the public experienced the severest dis. country. But those who gire him appointment, when they found, that the fullest credit for entertaining of the three parties to whose union and urging this opinion, remarked, in their service it had looked with that by the constitution of this so confident a hope, one only, that country, a minister is answerable, immediately attached to Mr. Pitt,comnot for his private sentiments or posed the new administration; which secret counsels, so much as for bis was thought to be little strengthenpublic conduct;—that it is in the ed by the addition of two or three acis of government, that the advice individuals belonging to the govern. given by ministers to their sovereigns ment which he had overthrown, is to be loo ed for ;--that a public and in which they had held such man, who accepts any part in an stations as had particularly exposed administration, much more who un-' them to the bitterness of his sarcasm dertakes to form and direct it, and reproachful scorn.* pledges himself to his country for By those who wished to justisy his own conviction of the expedi- ' this step, it was universally said, ency and the rectitude of the prin- that it was not to be attributed to

Mr.

[ocr errors]

* Mr. Pitt was gazetter? First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, on the 12th day of May, in the room of Mr. Addington. For the dates of the other arrangements which took place, ride the “ Promotions” of this voli

Of Mr. Addington's alministration, the following Cabinet Ministers, viz.
The Duke of Portland, President of the Council.

Lord Eldon, Lord Chancellor.
Earl of testinorland, Lord Privy Scal.
Earl of Chuham, Alaster-General of the Ordnance. And

Lord Castlercagh, President of the Board of Control. Retained their several situations in the government formed by Mr. Pitt: Lord Hawkesbury, Secretry of State for Foreign Anidirs, under the late minister, also adhered to the present, but his oilice was changed to the home department, vice Mr. Yorke.

The

« PreviousContinue »