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risings of 1715 and of 1745. He was scriptions, which perfidy, oppression, innocent of the blood of Derwentwater ingratitude, could not weary out, was and Kilmarnock, of Balmerino and now transferred entire to the House of Cameron. Born fifty years after the Brunswick. If George the Third would old line had been expelled, fourth in but accept the homage of the Cavaliers descent and third in succession of the and High Churchmen, he should be to Hanoverian dynasty, he might plead them all that Charles the First and some show of hereditary right. His Charles the Second had been. age, his appearance, and all that was The Prince, whose accession was thus known of his character, conciliated hailed by a great party long estranged public favour. He was in the bloom from his house, had received from of youth ; his person and address were nature a strong will, a firmness of pleasing. Scandal imputed to him no temper to which a harsher name might vice; and flattery might, without any perhaps be given, and an understandglaring absurdity, ascribe to him many ing not, indeed, acute or enlarged, but princely virtues.
such as qualified him to be a good It is not strange, therefore, that man of business. But his character the sentiment of loyalty, a sentiment had not yet fully developed itself. He which had lately seemed to be as had been brought up in strict seclusion, much out of date as the belief in The detractors of the Princess Dowager witches or the practice of pilgrimage, of Wales affirmed that she had kept should, from the day of his accession, her children from commerce with sohave begun to revive. The Tories in ciety, in order that she might hold an particular, who had always been in- undivided empire over their minds. clined to Kingworship, and who had She gave a very different explanation long felt with pain the want of an idol of her conduct. She would gladly, she before whom they could bow themselves said, see her sons and daughters mix down, were as joyful as the priests of in the world, if they could do so withApis, when, after a long interval, they out risk to their morals. But the prohad found a new calf to adore. It was fligacy of the people of quality alarmed soon clear that George the Third was her. The young men were all rakes ; regarded by a portion of the nation the young women made love, instead with a very different feeling from that of waiting till it was made to them. She which his two predecessors had in- could not bear to expose those whom spired. They had been merely First | she loved best to the contaminating inMagistrates, Doges, Stadtholders; he fluence of such society. The moral was emphatically a King, the anointed advantages of the system of education of heaven, the breath of his people's which formed the Duke of York, the nostrils. The years of the widowhood Duke of Cumberland, and the Queen and mourning of the Tory party were of Denmark, may perhaps be quesover. Dido had kept faith long enough tioned. George the Third was indeed to the cold ashes of a former lord ; she no libertine ; but he brought to the had at last found a comforter, and re-throne a mind only half opened, and cognised the vestiges of the old flame. was for some time entirely under the The golden days of Harley would re- influence of his mother and of his turn. The Somersets, the Lees, and Groom of the Stole, John Stuart, Earl the Wyndhams would again surround of Bute. the throne. The latitudinarian Prelates, The Earl of Bute was scarcely known, who had not been ashamed to corre- even by name, to the country which he spond with Doddridge and to shake was soon to govern. He had indeed, hands with Whiston, would be suc- a short time after he came of age, been ceeded by divines of the temper of South chosen to fill a vacancy, which, in the and Atterbury. The devotion which middle of a parliament, had taken had been so signally shown to the place among the Scotch representative House of Stuart, which had been proof peers. He had disobliged the Whig against defeats, confiscations, and pro- ministers by giving some silent votes with the Tories, had consequently lost, proud German court where there is his seat at the next dissolution, and had nothing to do.” never been reelected. Near twenty Scandal represented the Groom of years had elapsed since he had borne the Stole as the favoured lover of the any part in politics. He had passed Princess Dowager. He was undoubtsome of those years at his seat in one of edly her confidential friend. The inthe Hebrides, and from that retirement fluence which the two united exercised he had emerged as one of the house- over the mind of the King was for a hold of Prince Frederic. Lord Bute, time unbounded. The Princess, a woexcluded from public life, had found man and a foreigner, was not likely to out many ways of amusing his leisure. be a judicious adviser about affairs of He was a tolerable actor in private state. The Earl could scarcely be said theatricals, and was particularly suc- to have served even a noviciate in cessful in the part of Lothario. A hand-politics. His notions of government some leg, to which both painters and had been acquired in the society which satirists took care to give prominence, had been in the habit of assembling was among his chief qualifications for round Frederic at Kew and Leicester the stage. He devised quaint dresses House. That society consisted prinfor masquerades. He dabbled in geo- cipally of Tories, who had been remetry, mechanics, and botany. He conciled to the House of Hanover by paid some attention to antiquities and the civility with which the Prince had works of art, and was considered in treated them, and by the hope of obhis own circle as a judge of painting, taining high preferment when he should architecture, and poetry. It is said come to the throne. Their political that his spelling was incorrect. But creed was a peculiar modification of though, in our time, incorrect spelling Toryism. It was the creed neither of is justly considered as a proof of sor- the Tories of the seventeenth nor of did ignorance, it would be unjust to the Tories of the nineteenth century. apply the same rule to people who It was the creed, not of Filmer and lived a century ago. The novel of Sir Sacheverell, not of Perceval and Eldon, Charles Grandison was published about but of the sect of which Bolingbroke the time at which Lord Bute made his may be considered as the chief doctor. appearance at Leicester House. Our | This sect deserves commendation for readers may perhaps remember the having pointed out and justly reproaccount which Charlotte Grandison bated some great abuses which sprang gives of her two lovers. One of them, up during the long domination of the a fashionable baronet who talks French Whigs. But it is far easier to point and Italian fluently, cannot write a out and reprobate abuses than to proline in his own language without some pose beneficial reforms: and the resin against orthography; the other, forms which Bolingbroke proposed who is represented as a most respec- would either have been utterly ineffitable specimen of the young aristo-cient, or would have produced much cracy, and something of a virtuoso, more mischief than they would have is described as spelling pretty well for removed. a lord. On the whole, the Earl of The Revolution had saved the naBute might fairly be called a man of tion from one class of evils, but had at cultivated mind. He was also a man the same time-such is the imperfection of undoubted honour. But his under of all things human-engendered or standing was narrow, and his manners aggravated another class of evils which cold and haughty. His qualifications required new remedies. Liberty and for the part of a statesman were best property were secure from the attacks described by Frederic, who often in- of prerogative. Conscience was redulged in the unprincely luxury of spected. No government ventured to sneering at his dependents. “Bute," infringe any of the rights solemnly resaid his Royal Highness, “you are the cognised by the instrument which had very man to be envoy at some small called William and Mary to the throne.
But it cannot be denied that, under the to cure bad by worse. The proper renew system, the public interests and medy evidently was, to make the House the public morals were seriously en- of Commons responsible to the nation; dangered by corruption and faction. and this was to be effected in two ways; During the long struggle against the first, by giving publicity to parliamentStuarts, the chief object of the most ary proceedings, and thus placing every enlightened statesmen had been to member on his trial before the tribunal strengthen the House of Commons. of public opinion; and secondly, by The struggle was over ; the victory was so reforming the constitution of the won; the House of Commons was su- House that no man should be able to preme in the state ; and all the vices sit in it who had not been returned by which had till then been latent in the a respectable and independent body of representative system were rapidly constituents. developed by prosperity and power. Bolingbroke and Bolingbroke's disScarcely had the executive govern- ciples recommended a very different ment become really responsible to the mode of treating the diseases of the House of Commons, when it began to state. Their doctrine was that a viappear that the House of Commons gorous use of the prerogative by a pawas not really responsible to the na- triot King would at once break all tion. Many of the constituent bodies factious combinations, and supersede were under the absolute control of in- the pretended necessity of bribing dividuals; many were notoriously at members of Parliament. The King the command of the highest bidder. had only to resolve that he would be The debates were not published. It was master, that he would not be held in very seldom known out of doors how thraldom by any set of men, that he a gentleman had voted. Thus, while would take for ministers any persons in the ministry was accountable to the Par-whom he had confidence, without disliament, the majority of the Parliament tinction of party, and that he would was accountable to nobody. In such restrain his servants from influencing circumstances, nothing could be more by immoral means either the constituent natural than that the members should bodies or the representative body. This insist on being paid for their votes, childish scheme proved that those who should form themselves into combina- proposed it knew nothing of the nature tions for the purpose of raising the of the evil with which they pretended price of their votes, and should at cri- to deal. The real cause of the pretical conjunctures extort large wages valence of corruption and faction was by threatening a strike. Thus the that a House of Commons, not accountWhig ministers of George the First able to the people, was more powerful and George the Second were com- than the King. Bolingbroke's remedy pelled to reduce corruption to a sys- could be applied only by a King more tem, and to practise it on a gigantic powerful than the House of Commons. scale.
How was the patriot Prince to govern If we are right as to the cause of in defiance of the body without whose these abuses, we can scarcely be wrong consent he could not equip a sloop, as to the remedy. The remedy was keep a battalion under arms, send an surely not to deprive the House of embassy, or defray even the charges of Commons of its weight in the state. his own household ? Was he to disSuch a course would undoubtedly have solve the Parliament ? And what was put an end to parliamentary corruption he likely to gain by appealing to Sudand to parliamentary factions : for, bury and Old Sarum against the rewhen votes cease to be of importance, nality of their representatives? Was they will cease to be bought; and, he to send out privy seals? Was he when knaves can get nothing by com- to levy ship-money? If so, this boasted bining, they will cease to combine. But reform must commence in all probato destroy corruption and faction by bility by civil war, and, if consummated, introducing despotism would have been must be consummated by the establish
ment of absolute monarchy. Or was the Whig aristocracy, combined with the patriot King to carry the House of the genius, the virtue, and the fame of Commons with him in his upright de- Pitt, would have been irresistible. But signs ? By what means ? Interdict- there had been in the cabinet of George ing himself from the use of corrupt the Second latent jealousies and eninfluence, what motive was he to ad- mities, which now began to show themdress to the Dodingtons and Winning- selves. Pitt had been estranged from tons ? Was cupidity, strengthened by his old ally Legge, the Chancellor of habit, to be laid asleep by a few fine the Exchequer. Some of the ministers sentences about virtue and union ? | were envious of Pitt's popularity.
Absurd as this theory was, it had Others were, not altogether without many admirers, particularly among men cause, disgusted by his imperious and of letters. It was now to be reduced haughty demeanour. Others, again, to practice; and the result was, as any were honestly opposed to some parts of man of sagacity must have foreseen, his policy. They admitted that he the most piteous and ridiculous of had found the country in the depths of failures.
humiliation, and had raised it to the On the very day of the young King's height of glory: they admitted that he accession, appeared some signs which had conducted the war with energy, indicated the approach of a great ability, and splendid success ; but they change. The speech which he made began to hint that the drain on the reto his council was not submitted to the sources of the state was unexampled, cabinet. It was drawn up by Bute, and that the public debt was increasing and contained some expressions which with a speed at which Montague or might be construed into reflections on Godolphin would have stood aghast. the conduct of affairs during the late Some of the acquisitions made by our reign. Pitt remonstrated, and begged fleets and armies were, it was acknowthat these expressions might be softened ledged, profitable as well as honourdown in the printed copy; but it was able ; but, now that George the Second not till after some hours of altercation was dead, a courtier might venture to that Bute yielded ; and, even after ask why England was to become a Bute had yielded, the King affected to party in a dispute between two German hold out till the following afternoon. powers. What was it to her whether On the same day on which this singu the House of Hapsburg or the House of lar contest took place, Bute was not Brandenburg ruled in Silesia ? Why only sworn of the privy council, but were the best English regiments fightintroduced into the cabinet.
ing on the Main? Why were the PrusSoon after this Lord Holdernesse, sian battalions paid with English gold ? one of the Secretaries of State, in pur- The great minister seemed to think it suance of a plan concerted with the beneath him to calculate the price of court, resigned the seals. Bute was victory. As long as the Tower guns instantly appointed to the vacant place. were fired, as the streets were illumiA general election speedily followed, nated, as French banners were carried and the new Secretary entered par- in triumph through London, it was to liament in the only way in which he him matter of indifference to what exthen could enter it, as one of the six- tent the public burdens were augteen representative peers of Scotland.* mented. Nay, he seemed to glory in
Had the ministers been firmly united the magnitude of those sacrifices which it can scarcely be doubted that they the people, fascinated by his eloquence would have been able to withstand the and success, had too readily made, and court. The parliamentary influence of would long and bitterly regret. There
was no check on waste or embezzle* In the reign of Anne, the House of ment. Our commissaries returned Lords had resolved that, under the 23rd ar- from the camp of Prince Ferdinand to ticle of Union, no Scotch peer could be buy boroughs, to rear palaces, to rival created a peer of Great Britain. This resolution was not annulled till the year 1782. the magnificence of the old aristocracy
of the realm. Already had we bor- Temple into official and parliamentary rowed, in four years of war, more than life. He was supposed to be intimately the most skilful and economical go-acquainted with the whole fiscal sysvernment would pay in forty years of tem of the country. He had paid peace. But the prospect of peace was especial attention to the law of Paras remote as ever. It could not be liament, and was so learned in all doubted that France, smarting and things relating to the privileges and prostrate, would consent to fair terms orders of the House of Commons that of accommodation ; but this was not those who loved him least pronounced what Pitt wanted. War had made him the only person competent to suchim powerful and popular ; with war, ceed Onslow in the Chair. His speeches all that was brightest in his life was were generally instructive, and someassociated : for war his talents were times, from the gravity and earnestpeculiarly fitted. He had at length be- ness with which he spoke, even imgun to love war for its own sake, and pressive, but never brilliant, and genewas more disposed to quarrel with rally tedious. Indeed, even when he neutrals than to make peace with ene- was at the head of affairs, he somemies.
times found it difficult to obtain the ear Such were the views of the Duke of of the House. In disposition as well Bedford and of the Earl of Hardwicke ; as in intellect, he differed widely from but no member of the government held his brother-in-law. Pitt was utterly rethese opinions so strongly as George gardless of money. He would scarcely Grenville, the treasurer of the navy. stretch out his hand to take it ; and, George Grenville was brother-in-law of when it came, he threw it away with Pitt, and had always been reckoned childish profusion. Grenville, though one of Pitt's personal and political strictly upright, was grasping and parfriends. But it is difficult to conceive simonious. Pitt was a man of excitable two men of talents and integrity more nerves, sanguine in hope, easily elated utterly unlike each other. Pitt, as his by success and popularity, keenly sensister often said, knew nothing accu- sible of injury, but prompt to forgive; rately except Spenser's Fairy Queen. Grenville's character was stern, melanHe had never applied himself steadily choly, and pertinacious. Nothing was to any branch of knowledge. He was more remarkable in him than his ina wretched financier. He never be- clination always to look on the dark came familiar even with the rules of side of things. He was the raven of that House of which he was the brightest the House of Commons, always croakornament. He had never studied pub- ing defeat in the midst of triumphs, lic law as a system ; and was, indeed, and bankruptcy with an overflowing so ignorant of the whole subject, that exchequer. Burke, with general apGeorge the Second, on one occasion, plause, compared him, in a time of complained bitterly that a man who quiet and plenty, to the evil spirit had never read Vattel should presume whom Ovid described looking down to undertake the direction of foreign on the stately temples and wealthy affairs. But these defects were more haven of Athens, and scarce able to than redeemed by high and rare gifts, refrain from weeping because she could by a strange power of inspiring great find nothing at which to weep. Such masses of men with confidence and a man was not likely to be popular. affection, by an eloquence which not But to unpopularity Grenville opposed only delighted the ear, but stirred the a dogged determination, which someblood, and brought tears into the eyes, times forced even those who hated him by originality in devising plans, by to respect him. vigour in executing them. Grenville, It was natural that Pitt and Grenon the other hand, was by nature and ville, being such as they were, should habit a man of details. He had been take very different views of the situa. bred a lawyer; and he had brought tion of affairs. Pitt could see nothing the industry and acuteness of the but the trophies; Grenville could see