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loyalty by granting every requisition, even for doubtful purposes ; at the same time, it asked for the pictures of Lynch, Gadsden, and Rutledge; and, on the motion of Rawlins Lowndes, remitted a thousand pounds towards a statue of Pitt. Still they felt keenly that they were undeservedly distinguished from their happier fellow-subjects in England by the unconstitutional tenure of their judges during the king's pleasure. They complained, too, that ships laden with their rice for ports north of Cape Finisterre were compelled, on their outward and return voyage, to touch at some port in England ; and they prayed for modifications of the navigation act, which would equally benefit Great Britain and themselves.
At New York, on the king's birthday, the bells rang merry peals to the strains of martial music and the booming
of artillery; the Fields near the Park were spread for feasting; and a tall mast was raised to George III.,
William Pitt, and Liberty. At night, enormous bonfires blazed ; and all was as loyal and happy as though freedom had been brought back, with ample pledges for her stay.
The assembly came together in the best spirit. They passed over the claims of Colden, who was held to have been the cause of his own griefs; but resolved by a majority of one to indemnify James, who had given impartial testimony before the house of commons. They also voted to raise on the Bowling Green an equestrian statue of George III., and a statue of William Pitt, twice the preserver of his country. But the clause of the mutiny or billeting act directing colonial legislatures to make specific contributions towards the support of the army, placed New York, where the head-quarters were established, in the dilemma of submitting immediately and unconditionally to the authority of parliament, or taking the lead in a new career of resist
The rescript was, in theory, worse than the stamp
For how could one legislative body command what another legislative body should enact? And, viewed as a tax, it was unjust, for it threw all the burden on the colony where the troops chanced to be collected. The requisition
of the general, made through the governor, “agreeably to the act of parliament,” was therefore declared to be unprecedented in its character and unreasonable in its amount; yet, in the exercise of the right of free deliberation, every thing asked for was voted, except such articles as were not provided in Europe for British troops which were in barracks.
The general and the governor united in accepting the grant; but, in reporting the affair, the well-meaning, indolent Moore reflected the opinions of the army, whose officers still compared the Americans to the rebels of Scotland, and wished them a defeat like that of Culloden. “My message,' said he, at the end of his narrative, “is treated merely as a requisition made here; and they have carefully avoided the least mention of the act on which it is founded. It is my opinion that every act of parliament, when not backed by a sufficient power to enforce it, will meet with the same fate.”
From Boston, Bernard, without any good reason, chimed in with the complainers. “This government,” said he, “ quickened and encouraged by the occurrences at New York, cannot recover itself by its own internal powers.” “The making the king's council annually elective is the fatal ingredient in the constitution. The only anchor of hope is the sovereign power, which would secure obedience to its decrees, if they were properly introduced and effectually supported.” And he gave himself no rest in soliciting the interposition of parliament and the change of the charter of Massachusetts.
COALITION OF THE KING AND THE GREAT COMMONER AGAINST THE ARISTOCRACY. THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHATHAM.
THE obnoxious clauses of the billeting act had been re
newed inadvertently by ministers, who had designed to adopt a system of lenity. They proposed to remove
Bernard from Massachusetts, in favor of Hutchinson, whom Conway had been duped into believing a friend to colonial liberty. Reviving against Spain the claim for the ransom of the Manillas, they suggested in lieu of it a cession of the island of New Orleans; though the Spanish ambassador took fire at the thought, saying: “New Orleans is the key to Mexico." With equally vain endeavors, they were forming new and milder instructions for the government of Canada, in the hope to combine respect for the municipal customs and religion of its old inhabitants with the safeguards of the English criminal law. The conquest of New France subjected to England one more country, whose people had not separated from the church of Rome; and the British government was soon compelled to take initiatory steps towards Catholic emancipation. Canadians, without altering their faith, were permitted to serve as jurors; and it was proposed to make them eligible as justices of the peace and as judges. But Northington, in very ill-humor, thrust forward vague objections; and, as his colleagues persevered, he repaired to the king to advise their change.
The time was now come for the eclipse of the genius and of the glory of William Pitt. Unrelenting disease and the labors of the winter session had exhausted his little strength,
and irreparably wrecked his constitution. Had he remained out of place, and appeared at intervals in the house of commons, he would have left a name needing no careful and impartial analysis of facts for his apology. As it is, I have to record how unsuccessfully he labored to diminish the aristocratic ascendency in England; to perpetuate colonial liberty; to rescue India from the misrule of commercial cupidity; how, as he rose to guide the destinies of a great people in the career of freedom, he appeared
Like one who had been led astray
Through the heaven's high pathless way. Farming, grazing, haymaking, and all the charms of rural life in Somersetshire, could not obliterate from his mind the memory of days of activity, when, as he directed against the Bourbons the treasure and the hearts of the united empire, his life was the life of the British people, his will was their will, his uncompromising haughtiness the image of their pride, his presumptuous daring the only adequate expression of their self-reliance. His eager imagination bore him back to the public world, though to him it was become a riddle, which not even the wisest interpreter could solve.
While he was in this tumult of emotions, a letter was brought from the king's own hand, reminding him that his last words in the house of commons had been a declaration of freedom from party ties, and inviting him to form an independent ministry. The feeble invalid, whose infirmities inflamed his constitutional hopefulness, bounded at the summons of his sovereign, and flew, as he expressed it,“ on wings of expedition, to lay at the king's feet the poor but sincere offering of the remnant of his life, body, heart, and mind.”
He arrived in London on Friday, the eleventh of July, by no means well; but his feverishness only bewildered his judgment and increased his self-confidence. On Saturday, he was barely able to have a short interview
July. with the king, and obtain consent to take the actual administration as the groundwork of his own, even though Newcastle and Rockingham should retire. True to his affections, he next invited Temple, the beloved brother of his
wife, the head of her family, and their common benefactor, to become the first lord of the treasury. But Temple, who had connected himself with Grenville and the party of Bedford, refused to unite with the friends of Rockingham; and, having told the king “he would not go into the ministry like a child, to come out like a fool,” he returned to Stowe, repeating this speech to the world, dictating a scurrilous pamphlet against his brother-in-law, and enjoying the notoriety of having been solicited to take office and been found impracticable. The discussion with Temple and its issue aggravated the
malady of Pitt. He was too ill, on the eighteenth, to see the king, or even the Duke of Grafton; and
yet, passing between all the factions of the aristocracy, he proceeded to form a ministry. Grafton, to whom, on the nineteenth, he offered the treasury, without consultation went directly to Charles Townshend, by whose assiduous court and rare abilities he had been “captivated,” and found him “eager to give up the paymaster's place for the office of chancellor of the exchequer,” which must have seemed to him “the readiest road to the upper seat.” When informed of this proposal, Pitt said every thing to dissuade him from taking such a man as his second, warning him of the many unexpected disappointments which he was preparing. But “I was weak enough, very unwisely, to persist in my desire,” Grafton afterwards wrote, more anxious to manifest the integrity of his intentions than to conceal the consequences of his advice. Pitt loved to oblige those in whom he confided, and at last gave way, though much against his inclination, as well as his opinion; insisting, however, that Townshend was not to be called to the cabinet. On learning this exclusion, Townshend hesitated; but finally, on the twenty-sixth, pleading “the express commands” of the king, he acquiesced. “I sacrifice,” said he, “ with cheerfulness and from principle, all that men usually pursue.” Affecting to trust that this merit would be acknowledged by posterity, he pledged himself, in every measure of business and every act of life, to cultivate Pitt's confidence and esteem; and to Grafton he said : “My