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AUSTERLITZ " A DEATH-BLOW."

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King; and when his first communication on the subject was unfavourably received, he endeavoured at a personal interview to overcome the royal repugnance. The interview lasted three hours; but finding the King impracti

; cable, the baffled Minister refrained from further pressure lest he should provoke an attack of his malady. This disappointment was followed by another, which foiled Pitt's gigantic efforts to arrest Napoleon's conquering progress by an European combination. The news of the surrender of General Mack and the Austrian army at Ulm (October 19th), affected him deeply. “Pitt and

" Lord Mulgrave,” says Lord Malmesbury, * " came to me with a Dutch newspaper in which the capitulation of Ulm was inserted at full length. As they neither of them understood Dutch, and as all the offices were empty, they came to me to translate it, which I did as well as I could; and I observed but too clearly the effect it had on Pitt, though he did his utmost to conceal it. This was the last time I saw him. The visit left an indelible impression on my mind, as his manner and look were not his own, and gave me, in spite of myself, a foreboding of the loss with which we were threatened.” The tidings, which arrived a few days later, of Nelson's crowning victory of Trafalgar revived the Minister's spirits; though saddened as that victory was by the great admiral's death, it awakened, so to speak, a double current of emotion.But this momentary gleam of

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* Lord Malmesbury, ‘Diaries and Correspondence,' iv. 340.

+ “One day in November, 1805," says Lord Fitzharris, “I happened to dine with Pitt, and Trafalgar was naturally the engrossing subject of our conversation. I shall never forget the eloquent manner in which he

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triumph was followed by the gloom of Austerlitz, the battle which crushed Austria beneath the iron will of Napoleon.* To Pitt's enfeebled frame this proved a death-blow. Had he been in stronger health, no doubt he might have withstood the shock; for, in spite of all that poets tell us, the robust intellect and the manly heart are seldom overcome by external adversities. But Pitt was already yielding to the effects of hereditary disease, and the excessive use of port wine as a remedy and a stimulant. He was at Bath, drinking the waters, when the news arrived; and the mental anxiety which it caused seems to have driven the gout from the extremities to attack some vital organ.

He fell into a debility, which rapidly increased ; so rapidly, that his journey from Bath to his villa at Putney occupied him three days. It it said that on leaving his carriage, and as he moved along the passage to his bedroom, he observed a map of Europe hanging from the wall. Turning to his niece, Lady Hester Stanhope, he mournfully said, “Roll up that map; it will not

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described his conflicting feelings when roused in the night to read Collingwood's despatches. He observed that he had been called up at various hours in his eventful life by the arrival of news of various hues; but whether good or bad, he could always lay his head on his pillow, and sink into sound sleep again. On this occasion, however, the great event announced brought with it so much to weep over as well as to rejoice at, that he could not calm his thoughts; but at length got up, though it was three in the morning."-LORD MALMESBURY, ‘Diaries,' iv. 342.

Previously, at the Lord Mayor's Dinner, Pitt had made a brief and striking speech :-“I return you many thanks,” he said, “for the honour you have done me; but Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.”

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HIS LAST DAYS.

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be wanted these ten years." The day after his return (Sunday, January 12th, 1806), he wrote to Lord Wellesley, so wholly unconscious was he of immediate danger :-“I am recovering rather slowly from a series of stomach complaints, followed by severe attacks of gout, but I believe I am now in the way of real amendment.” On the following day, Monday, he went out for an airing in his carriage, and again on Tuesday ;which was the last time he left his house alive. He was well enough also to receive a visit from Lord Wellesley, to whom his spirits appeared as high as he had ever seen them, and his understanding as vigorous and clear. But before the interview concluded he fainted away, and Lord Wellesley left him with the sad conviction that his end was at hand. His doctors, however, do not seem to have been so apprehensive, and thought he even might be able to attend to business in about a month. No considerable alteration took place in his condition from Thursday, the 16th, to Sunday, the 19th ; but on the Sunday an access of typhus fever considerably alarmed his physicians. On Tuesday, the 21st, the danger was evident; and, on the following morning, his old tutor and friend, the Bishop of Lincoln, informed him of his condition. He received the intelligence with firmness, and proceeded to dictate to the Bishop his last wishes. The tide of life then ebbed rapidly away. At times he expressed his thoughts aloud, and though often incoherently, it was evident that the mind was still occupied by its master-passion, and that its last feeble efforts were given to public affairs. He frequently inquired the direction of the wind, and, answering

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himself, would say: “East; ah ! that will do; that will bring him quick,” referring, it was supposed, to Lord Harrowby.

Occasionally he cried out “ Hear, hear!” as of old days in the House of Commons. From his moaning it appeared that he suffered much ; until about

; half-past two on Thursday morning he fell into a profound silence. After awhile, in a clear voice, but with a tone of poignant anguish, he exclaimed: “Oh, my country! how I leave my country !"* These were his last words, and words not unworthy of Chatham's son. About half-past four he expired, without a groan or struggle, life waning softly and silently, as the candle burns down in its socket.t

He died, we think, at a happy time for his own fame. It is impossible not to see that his Administration was confronted by difficulties which even his courage and fertility of resource could not have overcome. His Cabinet was too weak to have held its own against the attacks of Fox and the Grenvilles ; and it is evident that his popularity with the country had been greatly

* Lord Stanhope, 'Life of Pitt,' iv. 382. Lord Malmesbury was told by Sir Walter Farquhar, Pitt's physician, that his last words were: Oh, what times! oh, my country!”Diary, iv. 346.

+ Fox was much affected by his great rival's death. Francis Horner in his journal records, under the date of January 22nd, that “a few hours before going down to Westminster there was a meeting at Mr. Fox's house of a few of the principal persons of Opposition; [Lord] Cowper was there. Fox stated to them that he thought it impossible they could enter into the discussion; he would not while they had the idea that Pitt was in extremities—mentem mortalia tangunt,' he said. Cowper described him as appearing to feel very sensibly the calamity of his distinguished rival." _ Memoirs of Francis Horner.'

AN OPPORTUNE RELEASE.

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impaired. The disastrous failure of his military combinations, and the ever-increasing burden of taxation, would have more and more heavily weighted the scale against him. Reinforcements for his feeble Government he could nowhere have collected. Sidmouth was gravely offended ;* Fox was ostracised by royal prejudice; and the Grenvilles had made common cause with Fox. Beneath the pressure of so much discouragement, Pitt, indomitable as he was, must speedily have yielded. And, in fact, his star had been gradually sinking since the date of his resignation. His sacrifice of his principles to the obstinacy of the King; his failure to include men of mark and character in his second Administration ; his humiliating surrender to Addington, followed, as it was, by Addington's quick desertion; his inability to save Lord Melville from censure and impeachment; the collapse of his continental policy on the field of Austerlitz; such are the successive stages of a declension almost unexampled in the history of a great statesman. We are persuaded

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* Contemptible as were Lord Sidmouth's abilities, we must not underrate his influence. Dean Milman, in a letter to Sir George Lewis, points out that the country gentlemen, then of great political importance, were with him almost to a man. They disliked Pitt's haughtiness; they hated Canning, who openly laughed at them; Fox they dreaded as a Jacobin-and worse. The mediocrity of Addington suited their mediocrity. In the towns the “ No Popery” cry was dominant, had never sunk to rest, and Addington and his friends were the champions of Protestantism. The volunteer system, of which he was very proud, had spread with great excitement throughout the country, was violently popular with all orders, and no doubt some part of its popularity was reflected back on the advisers and organisers of the plan.”

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