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their pride restrained them from retali-a Scot. All the hatred which flowed ation. Like the princess in the Ara- | from these various sources soon minbian tale, they stopped their ears tight, gled, and was directed in one torrent and, unmoved by the shrillest notes of of obloquy against the treaty of peace. abuse, walked on, without once looking The Duke of Bedford, who had neround, straight towards the Golden gotiated that treaty, was hooted through Fountain.
the streets. Bute was attacked in his Bute, who had always been consi- chair, and was with difficulty rescued dered as a man of taste and reading, by a troop of the guards. He could affected, from the moment of his ele- hardly walk the streets in safety withvation, the character of a Mæcenas. out disguising himself. A gentleman If he expected to conciliate the public who died not many years ago used to by encouraging literature and art, he say that he once recognised the fawas grievously mistaken. Indeed, vourite Earl in the piazza of Covent none of the objects of his munificence, Garden, muffled in a large coat, and with the single exception of Johnson, with a hat and wig drawn down over can be said to have been well selected; his brows. His lordship’s established and the public, not unnaturally, as- type with the mob was a jack boot, a cribed the selection of Johnson rather wretched pun on his Christian name to the Doctor's political prejudices than and title. A jack boot, generally acto his literary merits : for a wretched companied by a petticoat, was somescribbler named Shebbeare, who had times fastened on a gallows, and somenothing in common with Johnson ex-times committed to the flames. Libels cept violent Jacobitism, and who had on the court, exceeding in audacity stood in the pillory for a libel on the and rancour any that had been pubRevolution, was honoured with a mark lished for many years, now appeared of royal approbation, similar to that daily both in prose and verse. Wilkes, which was bestowed on the author of with lively insolence, compared the the English Dictionary, and of the mother of George the Third to the Vanity of Human Wishes. It was mother of Edward the Third, and the remarked that Adam, a Scotchman, Scotch minister to the gentle Mortiwas the court architect, and that Ram mer. Churchill, with all the energy say, a Scotchman, was the court pain- of hatred, deplored the fate of his ter, and was preferred to Reynolds. country, invaded by a new race of Mallet, a Scotchman, of no high lite- savages, more cruel and ravenous than rary fame, and of infamous character, the Picts or the Danes, the poor, proud partook largely of the liberality of the children of Leprosy and Hunger. It government. John Home, a Scotch- is a slight circumstance, but deserves man, was rewarded for the tragedy of to be recorded, that in this year pamphDouglas, both with a pension and with leteers first ventured to print at length a sinecure place. But, when the author the names of the great men whom of the Bard, and of the Elegy in a they lampooned. George the Second Country Churchyard, ventured to ask had always been the K- His for a Professorship, the emoluments of ministers had been Sir R- W - , which he much needed, and for the Mr. P , and the Duke of Nduties of which he was, in many But the libellers of George the Third, of respects, better qualified than any man the Princess Mother, and of Lord Bute living, he was refused; and the post did not give quarter to a single vowel. was bestowed on the pedagogue under It was supposed that Lord Temple whose care the favourite's son-in-law, secretly encouraged the most scurrilous Sir James Lowther, had made such assailants of the government. In truth, signal proficiency in the graces and in those who knew his habits tracked him the humane virtues.
as men track a mole. It was his nature Thus, the first lord of the treasury to grub underground. Whenever a heap was detested by many as a Tory, by of dirt was flung up it might well be many as a favourite, and by many as suspected that he was at work in some foul crooked labyrinth below. Pitt storm which was about to burst. Yet turned away from the filthy work of was he a person to whom the court, opposition, with the same scorn with even in that extremity, was unwilling which he had turned away from the to have recourse. He had always been filthy work of government. He had regarded as a Whig of the Whigs. He the magnanimity to proclaim every had been the friend and disciple of where the disgust which he felt at the Walpole. He had long been connected insults offered by his own adherents to by close ties with William Duke of the Scottish nation, and missed no op- Cumberland. By the Tories he was portunity of extolling the courage and more hated than any man living. So fidelity which the Highland regiments strong was their aversion to him that had displayed through the whole war. when, in the late reign, he had attempted But, though he disdained to use any to form a party against the Duke of but lawful and honourable weapons, it Newcastle, they had thrown all their was well known that his fair blows weight into Newcastle's scale. By the were likely to be far more formidable Scots, Fox was abhorred as the confithan the privy thrusts of his brother-dential friend of the conqueror of Culin-law's stiletto.
loden. He was, on personal grounds, Bute's heart began to fail him. The most obnoxious to the Princess Mother. Houses were about to meet. The treaty For he had, immediately after her huswould instantly be the subject of dis- band's death, advised the late King to cussion. It was probable that Pitt, the take the education of her son, the heir great Whig connection, and the multi- apparent, entirely out of her hands. tude, would all be on the same side. He had recently given, if possible, still The favourite had professed to hold in deeper offence; for he had indulged, abhorrence those means by which pre- not without some ground, the ambitious ceding ministers had kept the House of hope that his beautiful sister-in-law, Commons in good humour. He now the Lady Sarah Lennox, might be began to think that he had been too queen of England. It had been observed scrupulous. His Utopian visions were that the King at one time rode every at an end. It was necessary, not only morning by the grounds of Holland to bribe, but to bribe more shamelessly House, and that on such occasions, and flagitiously than his predecessors, Lady Sarah, dressed like a shepherdess in order to make up for lost time. A at a masquerade, was making hay close majority must be secured, no matter to the road, which was then separated by what means. Could Grenville do by no wall from the lawn. On account this? Would he do it? His firmness of the part which Fox had taken in this and ability had not yet been tried in singular love affair, he was the only any perilous crisis. He had been ge- member of the Privy Council who was nerally regarded as a humble follower not summoned to the meeting at which of his brother Temple, and of his bro- his Majesty announced his intended ther-in-law Pitt, and was supposed, marriage with the Princess of Mecklenthough with little reason, to be still burg. Of all the statesmen of the age, favourably inclined towards them. therefore, it seemed that Fox was the Other aid must be called in. And last with whom Bute the Tory, the where was other aid to be found ? Scot, the favourite of the Princess
There was one man, whose sharp and Mother, could, under any circumstances, manly logic had often in debate been act. Yet to Fox Bute was now comfound a match for the lofty and im- pelled to apply. passioned rhetoric of Pitt, whose talents Fox had many noble and amiable for jobbing were not inferior to his qualities, which in private life shone talents for debate, whose dauntless forth in full lustre, and made him dear spirit shrank from no difficulty or to his children, to his dependents, and danger, and who was as little troubled to his friends; but as a public man he with scruples as with fears. Henry had no title to esteem. In him the vices Fox, or nobody, could weather the which were common to the whole school less.
of Walpole appeared, not perhaps in the importance which he had lost, and their worst, but certainly in their most confront Pitt on equal terms. prominent form ; for his parliamentary The alliance was, therefore, soon and official talents made all his faults concluded. Fox was assured that, if conspicuous. His courage, his vehe- he would pilot the government out of ment temper, his contempt for appear-its embarrassing situation, he should ances, led him to display much that be rewarded with a peerage, of which others, quite as unscrupulous as himself, he had long been desirous. He undercovered with a decent veil. He was the took on his side to obtain, by fair or most unpopular of the statesmen of his foul means, a vote in favour of the time, not because he sinned more than peace. In consequence of this arrangemany of them, but because he canted ment he became leader of the House
of Commons; and Grenville, stilling He felt his unpopularity ; but he felt his vexation as well as he could, sulit after the fashion of strong minds. lenly acquiesced in the change. He became, not cautious, but reckless, Fox had expected that his influence and faced the rage of the whole nation would secure to the court the cordial with a scowl of inflexible defiance. support of some eminent Whigs who He was born with a sweet and ge- were his personal friends, particularly nerous temper; but he had been goaded of the Duke of Cumberland and of and baited into a savageness which was the Duke of Devonshire. He was disnot natural to him, and which amazed appointed, and soon found that, in adand shocked those who knew him best. dition to all his other difficulties, he Such was the man to whom Bute, in must reckon on the opposition of the extreme need, applied for succour. ablest prince of the blood, and of the
That succour Fox was not unwilling great house of Cavendish. to afford. Though by no means of an But he had pledged himself to win envious temper, he had undoubtedly the battle; and he was not a man to contemplated the success and popularity go back. It was no time for squeamof Pitt with bitter mortification. He ishness. Bute was made to comprethought himself Pitt's match as a de- hend that the ministry could be saved bater, and Pitt's superior as a man of only by practising the tactics of Walbusiness. They had long been regarded pole to an extent at which Walpole as well-paired rivals. They had started himself would have stared. The Pay fair in the career of ambition. They Office was turned into a mart for votes. had long run side by side. At length Hundreds of members were closeted Fox had taken the lead, and Pitt had there with Fox, and, as there is too fallen behind. Then had come a sudden much reason to believe, departed carturn of fortune, like that in Virgil's rying with them the wages of infamy. foot-race. Fox had stumbled in the It was affirmed by persons who had mire, and had not only been defeated, the best opportunities of obtaining inbut befouled. Pitt had reached the formation, that twenty-five thousand goal, and received the prize. The emo-pounds were thus paid away in a single luments of the Pay Office might induce morning. The lowest bribe given, it the defeated statesman to submit in was said, was a bank-note for two hunsilence to the ascendency of his com dred pounds. petitor, but could not satisfy a mind Intimidation was joined with corconscious of great powers, and sore ruption. All ranks, from the highest from great vexations. As soon, there to the lowest, were to be taught that fore, as a party arose adverse to the the King would be obeyed. The Lords war and to the supremacy of the great | Lieutenants of several counties were war minister, the hopes of Fox began dismissed. The Duke of Devonshire to revive. His feuds with the Princess was especially singled out as the victim Mother, with the Scots, with the Tories, by whose fate the magnates of England he was ready to forget, if, by the help were to take warning. His wealth, of his old enemies, he could now regain rank, and influence, his stainless private character, and the constant attach- His old friends could not conceive ment of his family to the House of what had possessed him. “I could Hanover did not secure him from gross forgive," said the Duke of Cumberpersonal indignity. It was known that land, “Fox's political vagaries; but I he disapproved of the course which the am quite confounded by his inhumagovernment had taken ; and it was nity. Surely he used to be the bestaccordingly determined to humble the natured of men." Prince of the Whigs, as he had been At last Fox went so far to take a nicknamed by the Princess Mother. legal opinion on the question, whether He went to the palace to pay his duty. the patents granted by George the Se. “ Tell him," said the King to a page, cond were binding on George the " that I will not see him." The page Third. It is said, that, if his colleagues hesitated. “Go to him," said the King, had not flinched, he would at once “ and tell him those very words.” The have turned out the Tellers of the Exmessage was delivered. The Duke tore chequer and Justices in Eyre.' off his gold key, and went away boil- Meanwhile the Parliament met. The ing with anger. His relations who ministers, more hated by the people were in office instantly resigned. A than ever, were secure of a majority, few days later, the King called for the and they had also reason to hope that list of Privy Councillors, and with his they would have the advantage in the own hand struck out the Duke's name. debates as well as in the divisions ; for
In this step there was at least cou- Pitt was confined to his chamber by a rage, though little wisdom or good severe attack of gout. His friends nature. But, as nothing was too high moved to defer the consideration of the for the revenge of the court, so also treaty till he should be able to attend : was nothing too low. A persecution, but the motion was rejected. The such as had never been known before. great day arrived. The discussion had and has never been known since, raged lasted some time, when a loud huzza in every public department. Great was heard in Palace Yard. The noise numbers of humble and laborious clerks came nearer and nearer, up the stairs, were deprived of their bread, not be- through the lobby. The door opened, cause they had neglected their duties, and from the midst of a shouting mulnot because they had taken an active titude came forth Pitt, borne in the part against the ministry, but merely arms of his attendants. His face was because they had owed their situations thin and ghastly, his limbs swathed in to the recommendation of some noble- flannel, his crutch in his hand. The man or gentleman who was against bearers set him down within the bar. the peace. The proscription extended His friends instantly surrounded him, to tidewaiters, to gaugers, to door- and with their help he crawled to his keepers. One poor man to whom a seat near the table. In this condition pension had been given for his gal- he spoke three hours and a half against Tantry in a fight with smugglers, was the peace. During that time he was deprived of it because he had been be- repeatedly forced to sit down and to friended by the Duke of Grafton. An use cordials. It may well be supposed aged widow, who, on account of her that his voice was faint, that his achusband's services in the navy, had, tion was languid, and that his speech, many years before, been made house- though occasionally brilliant and imkeeper to a public office, was dismissed pressive, was feeble when compared from her situation, because it was with his best oratorical performances. imagined that she was distantly con- But those who remembered what he nected by marriage with the Caven-had done, and who saw what he sufdish family. The public clamour, as fered, listened to him with emotions may well be supposed, grew daily stronger than any that mere eloquence louder and louder. But the louder it can produce. He was unable to stay grew, the more resolutely did Fox go for the division, and was carried away on with the work which he had begun. from the House amidst shouts as loud as those which had announced his ar- | received by the House with roars of rival.
I laughter. He had sense enough to be A large majority approved the peace. conscious of his unfitness for the high The exultation of the Court was bound- situation which he held, and exclaimed less. “Now,” exclaimed the Princess in a comical fit of despair, “What Mother,“ my son is really King.” The shall I do? The boys will point at young sovereign spoke of himself as me in the street, and cry, • There goes freed from the bondage in which his the worst Chancellor of the Exchequer grandfather had been held. On one that ever was.”” George Grenville point, it was announced, his mind was came to the rescue, and spoke strongly unalterably made up. Under no cir- (on his favourite theme, the profusion cumstances whatever should those Whig with which the late war had been cargrandees, who had enslaved his pre- ried on. That profusion, he said, had decessors and endeavoured to enslave made taxes necessary. He called on himself, be restored to power.
the gentlemen opposite to him to say This vaunting was premature. The where they would have a tax laid, and real strength of the favourite was by dwelt on this topic with his usual prono means proportioned to the number / lixity. “Let them tell me where," he of votes which he had, on one parti-repeated in a monotonous and somecular division, been able to command. what fretful tone. “I say, sir, let He was soon again in difficulties. The them tell me where. I repeat it, sir; most important part of his budget was I am entitled to say to them, Tell me a tax on cider. This measure was where.” Unluckily for him, Pitt had opposed, not only by those who were come down to the House that night, generally hostile to his administration, and had been bitterly provoked by the but also by many of his supporters. reflections thrown on the war. He
The name of excise had always been revenged himself by murmuring in a hateful to the Tories. One of the chief whine resembling Grenville's, a line of crimes of Walpole in their eyes, had a well known song, “ Gentle Shepherd, been his partiality for this mode of tell me where.” “If.” cried Grenville, raising money. The Tory Johnson“ gentlemen are to be treated in this had in his Dictionary given so scurri- way ~ ” Pitt, as was his fashion, lous a definition of the word Excise, when he meant to mark extreme conthat the Commissioners of Excise had tempt, rose deliberately, made his bow, seriously thought of prosecuting him. and walked out of the House, leaving his The counties which the new impost brother-in-law in convulsions of rage, particularly affected had always been and everybody else in convulsions of Tory counties. It was the boast of laughter. It was long before GrenJohn Philips, the poet of the English ville lost the nickname of the Gentle vintage, that the Cider-land had ever Shepherd. been faithful to the throne, and that all But the ministry had vexations still the pruning-hooks of her thousand more serious to endure. The hatred orchards had been beaten into swords which the Tories and Scots bore to for the service of the ill-fated Stuarts. Fox was implacable. In a moment of The effect of Bute's fiscal scheme was extreme peril, they had consented to to produce an union between the gen- put themselves under his guidance. try and yeomanry of the Cider-land But the aversion with which they reand the Whigs of the capital. Here- garded him broke forth as soon as the fordshire and Worcestershire were in a crisis seemed to be over. Some of flame. The city of London, though them attacked him about the accounts not so directly interested, was, if pos- of the Pay Office. Some of them sible, still more excited. The debates rudely interrupted him when speaking, on this question irreparably damaged by laughter and ironical cheers. He the government. Dashwood's finan- was naturally desirous to escape from cial statement had been confused and so disagreeable a situation, and deabsurd beyond belief, and had been | manded the peerage which had been