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tagonists with the Sovereign, and the majority of 1801. an affrighted people, and setting at nought the powers of their now dwindled phalanx, he chose the embarrassing moment of public difficulty and dismay to resign the reins, when he wanted resolution to drive down the precipice, and had too much pride and too little experience to retrace the old or gain a new track. His craft impelled bini to the subdolous expedient of making his stand upon the only principle* of liberal policy, which he had ever publicly avowed, and this he did for the purpose of deception. He was fully aware, that if the question arising out of it, had ever proceeded to discussion, he would have been warmly supported in it by Mr. Fox and his adherents, and at the same time, not opposed by any of his own dependants, except such (and too many they were) as professedly renounced the right and duties of independent judgment.

No ordinary cause prevented bis Majesty from Meting of attending the Imperial Parliament on the day of meeting. Whether the Speech from the Throne were on that awful occasion deferred on account of the indisposition of the Monarch, or the dis

Parliament.

• Mr. Pitt was ensnared by some of his parliamentary supporters into a pledge to abolish the slave trade; à measure always supported by Mr. Fox. As Mr. Pitt's power and influence for 17 years enabled him to ride with ease over the parliamen. tary course on every Government question, it is evidence of his insincerity to his pledge, that no efféctual step was taken during his life to forward that liberal object. It was effected by his colleague and successor Lord Grenville.

1801.

union of his Cabinet is uncertain. It was not however until the breaking up of the Council, which sat in the presence of his Majesty on the 30th of January at the Queen's House, that it was publicly reported, that Mr. Pitt had been outvoted in Council on the Catholic question : and consequently meant to give in his resignation, with the other Members of the Cabinet, who sided with him. Mr. Pitt's tender of his resignation on the 11th of January was still known to few. Had there been sincerity or authority in the offers and prospects holden out to the Catholics by Mr. Pitt, something would have been mentioned in the King's Speech to encourage or confirm their expectancies. The subject was not even glanced at. The Duke of Montrose in the Lords moved the address, which was seconded by the Earl of Lucan, to which Earl Fitzwilliam moved an amendment, importing a determination in the House to enquire into the conduct of Ministers. On the same day in the Conimons the address was moved by Sir W. Williams Wynne, and seconded by Mr. Cornwallis; when Mr. Grey moved an amendment of a similar tendency with that of Lord Fitzwilliam, In the very outset of his speech, he made some pointed observations on the state of Ireland; which he did in reply to the mover and seconder of the address, who had warmly panegyrized the Union, lest his silence should be construed into a revocation of his opinions, which still continued, as they always had been determinately adverse to that measure. He ridiculed the boast, that the quiet

1801.

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of Ireland would be the immediate effect of the Union, when it was notorious, that rebellion had been quelled before, and Ireland was perfectly quiet, when the Union was proposed, If any good effect could result from a measure so brought forward, and so supported, he hoped it would be the extension of the British Constitution to the Catholics of Ireland, and their restoration to all the rights of British subjects. This they had been taught to expect, and this was the least they were entitled to in return for that measure having been forced upon them by England, Mr. Pitt in replying to Mr. Grey, studiously avoided even remote reference to Ireland. He resorted to his old craft of anti-jacobinism, concluding his speech with a warna appeal to the majority of the House, whether all the public calamities of this, and all the other nations of the Continent were not occasioned by those principles, which the gentleman opposite to him had uniformly supported, and which he and the gentlemen on his side of the House had as uniformly combated*.

The Duke of Portland, and such of Mr. Pitt's Affected adherents, whose judgment and influence he considered too insignificant to add consequence, or give plausibility to his pretext for retiring from office on the Catholic question, affected to denounce the unconstitutional efforts of Mr. Pitt and Lord Grenville in forcing the King's conscience, by placing him in a situation of violating his coronation oath,

zeal of Mr. Pitt's friends.

Only 17 in the Lords, and 63 in the Commops, were for enquiring into the conduct of his Majesty's Miaisters.

1301. by assenting to a bill for removing all ċivil disabili

ties affecting the Roman Catholics, and other disa senters from the establishment. Bv way of adding plausibility to their new born zeal for Chureli and State, they ineptly blended the question of repealing the Corporation and Test Acts, which affected the English Protestant Dissenters in cohimon with the English Catholics, with the repeal of the remainder of tlie Popery code in both countries. In Ireland, notwithstanding the coronation oath, the Protestant Dissenters had been relieved from the sacramental test, and all other civil incapacities since the year 1782, whilst the Duke of Portland himself represented Majesty in that country, and must have as well understood the conscientious obe ligation of that oath, as he did when dropping into drivelling dotage at the distance of 19 years, from the period, ať which-hie" fully enjoyed the slender powers, with which Nature liad gifted liin. When Mr. Pitt and liis selected confidants, who formed the strength of the Cabinet, sent in their resignations, they accompanied them with assurances, that they would continue to discharge the duties of their respective stations, until his Majesty should call to his Councils men, in whom he could place plenary confidence, and who liad not the same feelings with themselves upon the question of Catholic Emancipation : in plainer words, who felt not the necessity of approving the measures, for the execution of which they were responsible. The motion, which stood for the 5th in the Commons, was by Mr. Pitt's desire put off under pretext of

1801.

ville.

an attack of the gout, and upon that day the dissolution of his administration may be said to have taken place.

The first public and authentic ecclaircissement to Cause of this mysterious secession was given by Lord resignation Grenville in the house of Peers, on the 11th of Lori GrenFebruary, upon Lord Darnley's motion on the state of the nation. Lord Carlisle had risen to urge Lord Darnley not to bring forward the motion, for which the Lords had been summoned, in so alarming a situation of the country, which was greatly aggravated by the reported grounds of the minister's resignation. The agitation of the Catholic question, to which he allucled, should be religiously avoided; certain persons had, said

his Lordship, proposed to do that, which the " boldest ministers shrunk from. The dreadful

state of Ireland required the utmost caution, “ with respect to the administration of its affairs, " lest circumstances should arise, that would ren“ der that, which their Lordships had seen with " regard to that Country, nothing in comparison “ of what they might see.” Upon this subject, Lord Grenville assured the house, that he was

impressed with the most lively feelings of per“ sonal duty to himself and to the house, to come " forward and state some important circumstances “ relative to the situation, in which he then stood, " and in which his imperious sense of duty to his “ Sovereign, his God, and his Country had placed “ him. He deprecated all premature discussions

VOL. I.

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