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shows the high estimate put upon Mr. Pitt, that, when he had not as yet opened his lips in Parliament, he should be selected to second the motion, in preference to some of the most able and experienced members of the House. His speech was received with the highest applause, and shows that Mr. Pitt's imposing manner and fine command of language gave him from the first that sort of fascination for his audience, which he seemed always to exert over a popular assembly. The speech, which will be found below, if understood literally, is only a series of elegant and high-sounding compliments. If, however, as seems plainly the case,

there runs throughout it a deeper meaning; if the glowing panegyric on “ the filial virtue of the Prince, and “the tender paternal delight” of the King, was intended to reflect on George II. for his harsh treatment of his son—and it can hardly be otherwise—we can not enough admire the dexterity of Mr. Pitt in so managing his subject, as to give his compliments all the effect of the keenest irony, while yet he left no pretense for taking notice of their application as improper or disrespectful. Certain it is that the whole speech was wormwood and gall to the King. It awakened in his mind a personal hatred of Mr. Pitt, which, aggravated as it was by subsequent attacks of a more direct nature, excluded him for years from the service of the Crown, until he was forced upon a reluctant monarch by the demands of the people.

Sir Robert Walpole, as might be supposed, listened to the eloquence of his youthful opponent with anxiety and alarm; and is said to have exclaimed, after hearing the speech, “We must, at all events, muzzle that terrible Cornet of Horse.” Whether he attempted to bribe him by offers of promotion in the army (as was reported at the time), it is impossible now to say; but finding him unalterably attached to the Prince and the Opposition, he struck the blow without giving him time to make another speech, and deprived him of his commission within less than eighteen days. Such a mode of punishing a political opponent has rarely been resorted to, under free governments, in the case of military and naval officers. It only rendered the Court more odious, while it created a general sympathy in favor of Mr. Pitt, and turned the attention of the public with new zest and interest to his speeches in Parliament. Lord Lyttleton, at the same time, addressed him in the following lines, which were eagerly circulated throughout the country, and set him forth as already leader of the Opposition.

Long had thy virtues marked thee out for fame,
Far, far superior to a Cornet's name;
This generous Walpole saw, and grieved to find
So mean a post disgrace the human mind,
The servile standard from the free-born hand

He took, and bade thee lead the Patriot Band.
As a compensation to Mr. Pitt for the loss of his commission, the Prince appoint-
ed him Groom of the Bed-chamber at Leicester House.

Thus, at the age of twenty-seven, Mr. Pitt was made, by the force of his genius and the influence of concurrent circumstances, one of the most prominent members of Parliament, and an object of the liveliest interest to the great body, especially the middling classes, of the English nation. These classes were now rising into an importance never before known. They regarded Sir Robert Walpole, sustained as he was in power by the will of the sovereign and the bribery of Parliament, as their natural enemy.

Mr. Pitt shared in all their feelings. He was the exponent of their principles. He was, in truth, “ the Great Commoner." As to many of the measures for which Walpole was hated by the people and opposed by Mr. Pitt, time has shown that he was in the right and they in the wrong. It has also shown, that nearly all the great leaders of the Opposition, the Pulteneys and the Carterets, were unprincipled men, who played on the generous sympathies of Pitt and Lyttleton, and lashed the prejudices of the nation into rage against the minister, simply to obtain

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his place. Still the struggle of the people, though in many respects a blind one, was prompted by a genuine instinct of their nature, and was prophetic of an onward movement in English society. It was the Commons of England demanding their place in the Constitution ; and happy it was that they had a leader like Mr. Pitt, to represent their principles and animate their exertions. To face at once the Crown and the Peerage demanded not only undaunted resolution, but something of that imperious spirit, that haughty self-assertion, which was so often complained of in the greatest of English orators. In him, however, it was not merely a sense of personal superiority, but a consciousness of the cause in which he was engaged. He was set for the defense of the popular part of the Constitution.

In proceeding to trace briefly the course of Mr. Pitt as a statesman, we shall divide his public life into distinct periods, and consider them separately with reference to his measures in Parliament.

The first period consists of nearly ten years, down to the close of 1744. During the whole of this time, he was an active member of the Opposition, being engaged for nearly seven years in unwearied efforts to put down Sir Robert Walpole, and when this was accomplished, in equally strenuous exertions for three years longer, to resist the headlong measures of his successor, Lord Carteret. This minister had rendered himself odious to the nation by encouraging the narrow views and sordid policy of the King, in respect to his Continental possessions. George II. was born in Hanover, and he always consulted its interests at the expense of Great Britain ; seeking to throw upon the national treasury the support of the Hanoverian troops during his wars on the Continent, and giving the Electorate, in various other ways, a marked preference over the rest of the empire. To these measures, and the minister who abetted them, Mr. Pitt opposed himself with all the energy of his fervid argumentation, and the force of his terrible invective. It was on this subject that he first came into collision, December 10th, 1742, with his great antagonist Murray, afterward Lord Mansfield. Mr. Oswald, a distinguished literary man who was present, thus describes the two combatants : “ Murray spoke like a pleader, who could not divest himself of the appearance of having been employed by others. Pitt spoke like a gentleman-like a statesman who felt what he said, and possessed the strongest desire of conveying that feeling to others, for their own interest and that of their country. Murray gains your attention by the perspicuity of his statement and the elegance of his diction ; Pitt commands your attention and respect by the nobleness and greatness of his sentiments, the strength and energy of his expressions, and the certainty of his always rising to a greater elevation both of thought and sentiment. For, this talent he possesses, beyond any speaker I ever heard, of never falling from the beginning to the end of his speech, either in thought or expression. And as in this session he has begun to speak like a man of business as well as an orator, he will in all probability be, or rather is, allowed to make as great an appearance as ever man did in that House."

Mr. Pitt incessantly carried on the attack upon Carteret, who, strong in the King's favor, was acting against the wishes of his associates in office. He exclaimed against him as “a sole minister, who had renounced the British nation, and seemed to have drunk of that potion described in poetic fictions, which made men forget their country.” He described the King as “hemmed in by German officers, and one English minister without an English heart.” It was probably about this time that he made his celebrated retort on Sir William Yonge, a man of great abilities but flagitious life, who had interrupted him while speaking by crying out “Question! Question !" Turning to the insolent intruder with a look of inexpressible disgust, he exclaimed, "Pardon me, Mr. Speaker, my agitation! When that gentleman calls for the question, I think I hear the knell of my country's ruin.” Mr. Pitt soon


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gained a complete ascendency over the House. No man could cope with him; few ventured even to oppose him; and Carteret was given up by all as an object of merited reprobation. Under these circumstances, Mr. Pelham and the other colleagues of the minister, opened a negotiation for a union with Mr. Pitt and the dismissal of Carteret. The terins were easily arranged, and a memorial was at once presented to the King by Lord Hardwicke, supported by the rest of the ministry, demanding the removal of the obnoxious favorite. The King refused, wavered, temporized, and at last yielded. Mr. Pelham became Prime Minister in November, 1744, with the understanding that Mr. Pitt should be brought into office at the earliest moment that the King's prejudices would permit. During the same year, the Duchess of Marlborough died, leaving Mr. Pitt a legacy of £10,000, “on account of his merit in the noble defense of the laws of England, and to prevent the ruin of the country.” This was a seasonable relief to one who never made any account of money, and whose circumstances, down to this time, were extremely limited. It may as well here be mentioned, that about twenty years after, he received a still more ample testimony of the same kind from Sir William Pynsent, who bequeathed him an estate of £2500 a year, together with £30,000 in ready money.

We now come to the second period of Mr. Pitt's political life, embracing the ten years of Mr. Pelham's ministry down to the year 1754. So strong was the hostility of the King to his old opponent, that no persuasions could induce him to receive Mr. Pitt into his service. On the contrary, when pressed upon the subject, he took decided measures for getting rid of his new ministers. This led Mr. Pelham and his associates, who knew their strength, instantly to resign. The King was now powerless. The Earl of Bath (Pulteney), to whom he had committed the formation of a ministry, could get nobody to serve under him; the retired ministers looked with derision on his fruitless efforts; and some one remarked sarcastically, “ that it was unsafe to walk the streets at night, for fear of being pressed for a cabinet counselor." The Long Administration came to an end in just forty-eight hours! The King was compelled to go back to Mr. Pelham, and to take Mr. Pitt along with him ; he stipulated, however, that the man who was thus forced upon him should not, at least for a time, be brought into immediate contact with his person. He could not endure the mortification of meeting with him in private. Mr. Pitt, therefore, received provisionally the situation of Joint Treasurer of Ireland. He now resigned the office of Groom of the Chamber to the Prince of Wales, and entered heartily into the interests of the Pelham ministry. A contemporary represents him as "swaying the House of Commons, and uniting in himself the dignity of Wyndham, the wit of Pulteney, and the knowledge and judgment of Walpole." He was "right (conciliatory] toward the King, kind and respectful to the old corps, and resolute and contemptuous to the Tory Opposition.” About a year after (May, 1746), on the death of Mr. Winnington, he was made Paymaster of the Forces, as originally agreed on.

In entering upon his new office, Mr. Pitt gave a striking exhibition of disinterestedness, which raised him in the public estimation to a still higher level as a man, than he had ever attained by his loftiest efforts as an orator. It was then the custom, that £100,000 should constantly lie as an advance in the hands of the Paymaster, who invested the money in public securities, and thus realized about £4000 a year for his private benefit. This was obviously a very dangerous practice ; for if the funds were suddenly depressed, through a general panic or any great public calamity, the Paymaster might be unable to realize his investments, and would thus become a public defaulter. This actually happened during the rebellion of 1745, when the army, on whose fidelity depended the very existence of the government, was for a time left without pay. Mr. Pitt, therefore, on assuming the duties of Paymaster, placed all the funds at his control in the Bank of England, satisfied with the moderate compensation attached to his office.

He also gave another proof of his elevation above pecuniary motives, by refusing a certain per centage, which had always been attached to his office, on the enormous subsidies then paid to the Queen of Austria and the King of Sardinia. The latter, when he heard of this refusal, requested Mr. Pitt to accept, as a token of royal favor, what he had rejected as a perquisite of office. Mr. Pitt still refused. It was this total disregard of the ordinary means of becoming rich, that made Mr. Grattan say, “ his character astonished a corrupt age.” Politicians were indeed puzzled to understand his motives; for bribery in Parliament and corruption in office had become so universal, and the spirit of public men so sordid, that the cry of the horse-leech was heard in every quarter, Give! give! Ambition itself had degenerated into a thirst for gold. Power and preferment were sought chiefly as the means of amassing wealth. Well might George II. say, when he heard of Mr. Pitt's noble disinterestedness, “ His conduct does honor to human nature !"

In joining the Pelham ministry, Mr. Pitt yielded more than might have been expected, to the King's wishes in regard to German subsidies and Continental alliances. For this he has been charged with inconsistency. He thought, however, that the case was materially changed. The war had advanced so far, that nothing remained but to fight it through, and this could be done only by German troops. In addition to this, the Electorate was now in danger; and though he had resisted Carteret's measures for aggrandizing Hanover at the expense of Great Britain, he could, without any change of principles, unite with Pelham to prevent her being wrested from the empire by the ambition of France. He saw, too, that the King grew more obstinate as he grew older; and that if the government was to be administered at all, it must be by those who were willing to make some concessions to the prejudices, and even to the weakness, of an aged monarch. That he was influenced in all this by no ambitious motives, that his desire to stand well with the King had no connection with a desire to stand highest in the state, it would certainly be unsafe to affirm. But his love of power had nothing in it that was mercenary or selfish. He did not seek it, like Newcastle, for patronage, or, like Pulteney and Fox, for money. He had losty conceptions of the dignity to which England might be raised as the head of European politics ; he felt himself equal to the achievement; and he panted for an opportunity to enter on a career of service which should realize his brightest visions of his country's glory. With these views, he supported Pelham and endeavored to conciliate the King, waiting with a prophetic spirit for the occasion which was soon to arrive.

Mr. Pelham died suddenly in March, 1754 ; and this leads us to the third period of Mr. Pitt's public life, embracing about three years, down to 1757. The death of Pelham threw every thing into confusion.

"Now I shall have no more peace,” said the old King, when he heard the news. The event verified his predictions. The Duke of Newcastle, brother of Mr. Pelham, demanded the office of Prime Minister, and was enabled, by his borough interest and family connections, to enforce his claim. The “ lead” of the House of Commons was now to be disposed of; and there were only three men who had the slightest pretensions to the prize, viz., Pitt, Fox, and Murray, afterward Lord Mansfield. And yet Newcastle, out of a mean jealousy of their superior abilities, gave it to Sir Thomas Robinson, who was so poor a speaker, that “when he played the orator,” says Lord Waldegrave, “which he frequently attempted, it was so exceedingly ridiculous, that even those who loved hiin could not always preserve a friendly composure of countenance." "Sir Thomas Robinson lead us ?" said Pitt to Fox; "the Duke might as well send his jack-boot to lead us !" He was accordingly baited on every side, falling perpetually into blun

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ders which provoked the stern animadversions of Pitt, or the more painful irony of Fox. Robinson was soon silenced, and Murray was next brought forward. Mr. Pitt did not resign; but after this second rejection he felt absolved from all obligations to Newcastle, and determined to make both him and Murray feel his power. portunity was soon presented, and he carried out his design with a dexterity and effect which awakened universal admiration. At the trial of a contested election [that of the Dalavals), when the debate had degenerated into mere buffoonery, which kept the members in a continual roar, Mr. Pitt came down from the gallery where he was sitting, says Fox, who was present, and took the House to task for their conduct“ in his highest tone.” He inquired whether the dignity of the House stood on such sure foundations, that they might venture to shake it thus. He intimated, that the tendency of things was to degrade the House into a mere French Parliament; and exhorted the Whigs of all conditions to defend their attacked and expiring liberties, “ unless," said he," you are to degenerate into a little assembly,

“ serving no other purpose than to register the arbitrary edicts of one too powerful subject(laying, says Fox, a most remarkable emphasis on the words one and subject). The application to Newcastle was seen and felt by all. · It was the finest speech,” adds Fox, “ that was ever made; and it was observed that by his first two sentences, he brought the House to a silence and attention that you might have heard a pin drop. I just now learn that the Duke of Newcastle was in the utmost fidget, and that it spoiled his stomach yesterday.” According to another who was present, “ this thunderbolt, thrown in a sky so long clear, confounded the audience. Murray crouched silent and terrified.” Nor without reason, for his turn came next. On the following day, November 27, 1754, Mr. Pitt made two other speeches, ostensibly against Jacobitism, but intended for Murray, who had just been raised from the office of Solicitor to that of Attorney General. * In both speeches,” says Fox, “every word was Murray, yet so managed that neither he nor any body else could take public notice of it, or in any way reprehend him. I sat near Murray, who suffered for an hour.” It was, perhaps, on this occasion, says Charles Butler, in his Reminiscences, that Pitt used an expression which was once in every mouth. After Murray had “suffered" for a time, Pitt stopped, threw his eyes around, then fixing their whole power on Murray, exclaimed, “I must now address a few words to Mr. Attorney ; they shall be few, but shall be daggers.” Murray was agitated; the look was continued ; the agitation increased. Felix trembles !” exclaimed Pitt, in a tone of thunder; "he shall hear me some other day."" He sat down. Murray made no reply ; and a languid debate showed the paralysis of the House.”


" It is surprising that Charles Butler should insist, in his Reminiscences, that "it was the manner, and not the words, that did the wonder" in this allusion to Newcastle's overbearing influence with the King. Had he forgotten the jealousy of the English people as to their monarch’s being ruled by a favorite? What changed the attachment of the nation for George III., a few years after, into anger and distrust, but the apprehension that he was governed by Lord Bute? And what was better calculated to startle the House of Commons than the idea of sinking, like the once free Parliaments of France, “ into a little assembly, serving no other purpose than to register the arbitrary edicts of one too powerful subject ?

: It is not difficult to conjecture what were the “ daggers” referred to by Mr. Pitt. The Stormont family, to which Murray belonged, was devotedly attached to the cause of James II. His brother was confidential secretary to the Pretender during the rebellion of 1745; and when the rebel lords were brought to London for trial in 1746, Lord Lovat, who was one of them, addressed Murray, to his great dismay, in the midst of the trial, “Your mother was very kind to my clan as we marched through Perth to join the Pretender !Murray had been intimate, while a student in the Temple, with Mr. Vernon, a rich Jacobite citizen; and it was affirmed that when Vernon and his friends drank the Pretender's health on their knees (as they often did), Murray was present and joined in the act. When he entered life, however, he saw that the cause of James was hopeless, and used the interests of the reigning family. There was no reason to doubt his sincerity; but

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