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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, who had now become head of the government, opened a negotiation for a union with Mr. Pitt and the dismissal of Carteret. The terms 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, tem. porized, and at last yielded. Mr. Pelham formed a new ministry in November, 1744, with the understanding that Mr. Pitt should be brought into office at the earli est 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
e 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 com. pelled to go back to Mr. Pelham, and to take Mr. Pitt along with him ; he stipu lated, 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 cus. tom, that £100,000 should constantly lie as an advance in the hands of the Pay. master, 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 ca. lamity, the Paymaster might be unable to realize his investments, and would thus becoine a public defaulter. This actually happened during the rebellion of 1745, when the army, on whose fidelity depended the very existence of the government wax for a time left without piy Mr. Pitt, therefore, on assuming the duties of Pay
master, 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 otal 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 amass ing wealth. Well might George II. say, when he heard of Mr. Pitt's noble disin terestedness, “ 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 lofty 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 Min ister, 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, l'ox, 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 him 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. ders which provoked the stern animadversions of Pitt, or the more painful irony ol 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. An opportunity 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 mcre 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 con Juct“ 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 officc 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 Mur ray 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 Par liaments 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 Stor mont 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 toe 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, an'l espoused the interests of the reigning family. There was no reason to doubt his sincerity; but Newcastle found it impossible to go on without adding to his strength in lebate. He therefore bought off Fox in April, 1755, by bringing him into the Cabinet, while Pitt was again rejected with insult. To this incongruous union Mr. Pitt alluded, a few months after, in terms which were much admired for the felicity of the image under which the allusion was conveyed. Newcastle, it is well known, was feeble and tame, while Fox was headlong and impetuous. An address, prepared by the ministry, was complained of as obscure and incongruous. Mr. Pitt took it up, saying, “There are parts of this address which do not seem to come from the same quarter with the rest. I can not unravel the mystery." Then, as if suddenly recollecting the two men thus brought together at the head of affairs, he exclaimed, clapping his hand to his forehead, “ Now it strikes me! I remember at Lyons to have been carried to see the conflux of the Rhone and the Saone—the one a feeble, languid stream, and, though languid, of no great depth; the other a boisterous and impetuous torrent. But, different as they are, they meet at last; and long,” he added, with the bitterest irony, “long may they continue united, to the comfort of each other, and to the glory, honor, and security of this nation!” In less than a week Mr. Pitt was dismissed from his office as Paymaster.
This was the signal for open war-Pitt against the entire ministry. Ample occasion for attack was furnished by the disasters which were continually occurring in the public service, and the dangers resulting therefrom-the loss of Minorca, the defeat of General Braddock, the capture of Calcutta by Sujah Dowlah, and the threatened in. vasion by the French. These topics afforded just ground for the terrible onset of Mr. Pitt. " During the whole session of 1755-6,” says an eye-witness, "Mr. Pitt found occasion, in every debate, to confound the ministerial orators. His vehement invectives were awful to Murray, terrible to Hugh Campbell ; and no malefactor under the stripes of the executioner, was ever more helpless and forlorn than Fox, shrewd and able in Parliament as he confessedly is. Doddington sheltered himself in silence.” With all this vehemence, however, he was never betrayed into any thing coarse or unbecoming the dignity of his character. Horace Walpole, writing to Gerard Hamilton, says of his appearance on one of these occasions, “ There was more humor, wit, vivacity, fine language, more boldness, in short more astonishing perfection than even you, who are used to him, can conceive.” And again, " He surpassed himself, as I need not tell you he surpassed Cicero and Demosthenes. What a figure would they make, with their formal, labored, cabinet orations, by the side of his manly vivacity and dashing eloquence at one o'clock in the morning, after a sitting of eleven hours!" The effect on the ministerial ranks was soon apparent. Murray was the first to shrink. The ablest by far among the supporters of the ministry—much abler, indeed, as a reasoner, than his great opponent, and incomparably more learned in every thing pertaining to the science of government, he could stand up no longer before the devouring eloquence of Pitt. On the death of Chief-justice Ryder, which took place May 25th, 1756, he instantly demanded the place. Newcastle resisted, entreated, offered, in addition to the profits of the Attorney Generalship, a pension of £2000, and, at last, of £6000 a year. It was all in vain. Nothing could induce Murray to remain longer in the House. He was accordingly made Chief Justice.
these early events of his life gave Mr. Pitt immonse advantage over him in such attacks. Juplus cast them into his teeth sixteen years after. “Your zeal in the cause of an unhappy prince was expressed with the sincerity of wine and some of the solemnities of religion."
In quoting from Butler, I have modified his statement in two or three instances. By a slip of the pen he wrote Festus for Felix, and Solicitor for Attorney. He also makes Pitt say “ Judge Festus,” when Murray was not made judge until a year later. It is easy to see how the title judge might have slipped into the story after Murray was raised to the bench; but Mr. Pitt could never have addressed the same person as judge and yet as prosecuting officer of the Crown.
o The eyes
in November with the title of Lord Mansfield; and on the day he took his seat upon the bench, Newcastle resigned as minister.
Nothing now remained for the King but to transfer the government to Mr. Pitt. It was a humiliating necessity, but the condition of public affairs was dark and threatning, and no one else could be found of sufficient courage or capacity to undertake the task. Pitt had said to the Duke of Devonshire, “ My Lord, I am sure that I can save this country, and that nobody else can.” The people believed him. of an afflicted and despairing nation," says Glover, who was far from partaking in their enthusiasm, were now lifted up to a private gentleman of slender fortune, wanting the parade of birth or title, with no influence except marriage with Lord Temple's sister, and even confined to a narrow circle of friends and acquaintances. Yet, under these circumstances, Mr. Pitt was considered the savior of England.” His triumph was the triumph of the popular part of the Constitution. It was the first instance in which the middling classes, the true Commons of Great Britain, were able to break down in Parliament that power which the great families of the aristocracy had so long possessed, of setting aside or sustaining the decisions of the Throne.
Mr. Pitt's entrance on the duties of Prime Minister in December, 1756, brings us to the fourth period of his political life, which embraces nearly five years, down to October, 1761. For about four months, however, during his first ministry, his hands were in a great measure tied. Though supported by the unanimous voice of tho people, the King regarded him with personal dislike ; Newcastle and his other oppo. nents were able to defeat him in Parliament; and in April, 1757, he received the royal mandate to retire. This raised a storm throughout the whole of England. The stocks fell. The Common Council of London met and passed resolutions of the strongest kind. The principal towns of the kingdom, Bath, Chester, Norwich, Salisbury, Worcester, Yarmouth, Newcastle, and many others, sent Mr. Pitt the freedom of their respective cities, as a token of their confidence and as a warning to the King. “For some weeks,” says Horace Walpole, “it rained gold boxes !" The King, in the mean time, spent nearly three months in the vain attempt to form another administration. It was now perfectly apparent, that nothing could be done without concessions on both sides. Mr. Pitt therefore consented, June 29th, 1757, to resume his office as Principal Secretary of State and Prime Minister, in conjunction with Newcastle as head of the Treasury, satisfied that he could more easily overrule and direct the Duke as a member of the Cabinet than as leader of the Opposition. The result verified his expectations. His second ministry now commenced, that splendid era which raised England at once, as if by magic, from the brink of ruin and degradation. The genius of one man completely penetrated and informed the mind of a whole people. “From the instant he took the reins, the panic, which had paralyzed every effort, disappeared. Instead of mourning over former disgrace and dreading future defeats, the nation assumed in a moment the air of confidence, and awaited with im. patience the tidings of victory.” In every thing he undertook,
“He put so much of his soul into his act
That his example had a magnet's force,
And all were prompt to follow whom all loved." To this wonderful power of throwing his spirit into other minds, Colonel Barré referred at a later period, in one of his speeches in Parliament: “He was possessed of the happy talent of transfusing his own zeal into the souls of all those who were to have a share in carrying his projects into execution; and it is a matter well known to many officers now in the House, that no man ever entered his closet who did not feel himself, if possible, braver at his return than when he went in." He knew, also, how to use fear, as well as affection, for the accomplishment of his designs “It will be impossible to have so many ships prepared so soon," said Lard