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gociation, as calculated to humiliate over the administration, which (subject his royal highness in the eyes of the to the view of parliament) was charged country.'
with the fate and the interests of the Mr Ponsonby denied that the inten- country. The address was uncalled tion of the household officers to resign for by any message from the crown. had been intimated to his noble friends; It could lead to no practical result. and, in defence of their conduct, en Its only effect would be to bring the tered into a full account of the nego- administration under the insinuation, ciations. Mr Sheridan, however, in founded on its external structure, and the course of an explanatory speech, not on its conduct, that it was not which he delivered to refute some likely to possess the confidence of the groundless accusations made against country. He trusted, therefore, that him in the public newspapers, confirm the honourable gentleman would withed the statement of Lord Yarmouth; draw his motion for he could not and confessed, that the determination conceive it possible that the House of the officers of the household to re would sanction it for no other pursign so soon as a new administration pose but to disqualify the govern. should be formed, had been communi- ment from executing the arduous task cated to him.-Lord Castlereagh, in in which it had engaged. With the following manly and statesman-like respect to that administration, whatspeech, explained his grounds for op- ever might have been their public serposing the motion ; defended the con- 'vices, they certainly had not shewn duct of himself and his colleagues, and any disposition to stand between the touched on all the most interesting crown and the people.-All parties, it points connected with the late trans was confessed, had acted, during the actions. “ In commenting on trans- late transactions, with the greatest li'actions of such a delicate nature, he berality. Three or four distinct negowould be cautious," he said, “not to ciations had failed, and the crown was aggravate the differences of publicmen, obliged to call on the present adminisor to widen breaches, injurious to the tration to charge itself with the affairs welfare of the state. With respect to of the country. It was his consolation the motion, the expressions which it that while on the one hand he and his
contained were unexceptionable. In colleagues had never stood between | the first place, the thanks to the Re- the crown and the people, so on the
gent for his gracious attention to the other hand they had never shewn a express wishes of the House ; in the disposition to shrink from the dissecond, the regret that his royal high- charge of public duties, deterred as ness had not found it possible to form they otherwise might be by the accu. a more comprehensive administration, mulated difficulties which the late were stated in the motion. To all transactions had occasioned. Ministhis he would have no hesitation in be. ters were ready to do all that was re: ing a party, and to the further expres- quired of them, trusting that parliasion of hope, that his royal highnessment would give them fair and full would avail himself of any opportunity confidence. They wished their conthat might occur for strengthening his duct to be judged by their acts, in orpresent administration. But when it der that they might receive the supcame to be asked, with what motive port of parliament, if they were deserthis address was moved, be put it to ving of it, and if they were not, that the House, if the obvious import of it they might bow to the decision of the was not calculated to throw a shade House. He hoped that the late trans
actions would induce the House not subject of that vote ; and from that again to push the principle which they night, till he and his colleagues were had so strongly asserted. Those must recalled to their offices, excepting in be blind who could not see the cala- the circle at the levee, he had never mitous consequences which the occur. seen the prince. He had only been. rences of the last three weeks were connected with the negociations when calculated to produce on our foreign the Marquis Wellesley invited the and domestic relations. For although members of the late cabinet to form the sentiments manifested in the vari. an administration. It was a painful ous negociations had been honourable task for him to speak on this subject, to all parties, he could not help think. but he disclaimed every thing like ing that the mode which seemed to be personal animosity to the noble marin practice in modern times of forming quis. He trusted it was not necessary an administration, was most injurious, to go through the whole of the detail, and might be fatal to the interests of as the circumstances must be fresh in the country. Never, in ancient times, the
memory of the House. The
paper had a negociation between public men which had been published, he underbeen exhibited to the eye of parlia. stood to have been published without ment and the country at large, and ex the consent of the noble marquis ; but posed to all the invidious comments after such a paper had appeared, dewhich the malignity and the ignorance scribing the late minister and those of mankind passed upon them. For who had acted with him, as the paper his
part he could never augur well of to which he alluded did, he would put any negociation in which two men it to the House, if gentlemen situated could not approach each other in a as were his colleagues, could, without private room, although on public prin- degradation, meet such a proposition ciples, without coming armed with in any other way than that in which pen and ink, and prepared to allow it had been met. For the noble marevery thing they might utter to go quis he entertained the sincerest reforth immediately for the judgment of spect, with the highest admiration for the public. After the termination of his accomplishments and his talents ; such a negociation, it had been com all he felt in this respect was heighten, mon for something of the proceedings ed by the consideration, that he was to be made public, but never till of the brother of the greatest soldier this late had it been the practice of those country had produced. It was there. who were forming an administration, fore a peculiarly painful task for him to submit their propositions and inten to be called upon to decide on such a tions to the public
while yet they were question, as the propositions of the nobut in progress. The consequences of ble marquis brought before him ; but such conduct, as developed in the pre- the feelings of his colleagues were na. sent instance, would, he trusted, have turally such, that but one answer could the effect of preventing the recurrence be given. This he (Lord Castlereagh) of such scenes for the time to come. felt, and though he was not included He had now to speak to that part of in this description, yet the description the late transactions with which he given of his colleagues being unjust was connected. He had waited on his and inaccurate, according to his ideas, royal highness on the night of the he must have abandoned every sense 21st, to report to him the proceedings of duty if he had not been nxious in parliament, previously to his majes. to repel the charge. It was under ty's ministers giving their advice on the these circumstances that the answer
had been returned to the Marquis dual character on the catholic ques. Wellesley; but that the proposition tion ; but really he did not see that which he had made had been rejected there were any grounds for all the horwith any thing of personal animo. ror expressed by his right honourable sity, was an idea which he trusted the friend and the gentlemen opposite. The House and the country would dismiss gentlemen opposite who were so much altogether. Such an idea was now, struck with this arrangement, on look. he trusted, dismissed from the breasting more closely into the business of the noble marquis himself; for would find that it was only a plagia. as he (the marquis) had declared that rism on their own conduct. In Lord he would never again, under any cir Grenville's administration, though the cumstances, serve under his departed catholic question was a cabinet meafriend Mr Perceval, as well might he sure, it was allowed to two of the ca(Lord C.) accuse the noble marquis binet (Lords Sidmouth and Ellenboof having cherished a feeling of ani- rough) to defend their own opinions, mosity against that illustrious charac which were in opposition to the conter, as he (the marquis) could accuse cession ; and he hoped the present go. him (Lord C.) and his colleagues of vernment might be sheltered under the such a feeling from their recent con- wing of such a precedent from the duct. No feeling was more distant charge of venturing upon new princifrom their mind, nor more abhorrent ples. For himself he felt perfectly at to their nature, than a feeling like that liberty to take any course on the cawhich he had described on such an oc tholic question which his judgment casion. With respect to the late ne- might dictate ; and he had no hesita. gociations he would say, that if there tion in saying, he should be willing to were in the first instance difficulties in go into a discussion on that subject forming an administration, those diffi- with any man in or out of that House, culties must have been always increa. that seemed to promise to lead to any sed when the negociations were expo- practical and beneficial result. Advert:sed in their progress to the observa. ing to the point on which the last netions of the critic. Parliament had no gociation, that of the Earl of Moira, reason to be afraid of such negocia. had broken off, he would say, (though tions being privately carried on. he would be the last man to impute He declared, that in the English his- any thing of disrespect to the crown on tory, a proceeding so sudden, with so
the part of either of the noble lords,) short a notice, was not to be found that the point for which they had conas that which they had lately seen, tended, though he would never say that when the House decided, not against it ought to be placed on any footing disa government who by their own im tant from other political arrangements, mediate and direct conduct had proved had never been contended for as in the themselves unworthy of confidence, present instance, prior to the discusbut against an administration, of which sion of the other arrangements. It the formation was but in progress. He was clear Lord Moira had understood hoped their conduct, in this instance, this to be the subject of after considerwould form a precedent which future ation, as he had declared, that it was parliaments would never follow.-A impossible for him to concur in making great deal had been said of the uncon the exercise of power over the housestitutional conduct of the administra. hold officers, a positive and indispensation, because each member of the ca. ble condition in the formation of a gobinet would be left to act in his indivi. vernment.' The subject had unfortir
nately been taken up in a tone of ceding that as a preliminary, which harshness which the country would the noble lords well knew would at all never countenance in those who ap- events have followed as a consequence proached the throne.
of their accession to power. The “ And now all I have to say for maintenance of the dignity of the soministers,” concluded the noble lord, vereign-the protection of the crown s. is, that they claim the constitutional against usurpation, is essential to the support of parliament, till their actions welfare both of the prince and the seem to speak them unworthy of it; people ; and the firmness and fidelity and though the present government of the Earl of Moira upon
this occamay not possess within itself all those sion, will entitle him to the lasting attributes which we have heard given gratitude of his country. The grounds to broad and extended administrations, upon which the whig lords refused to they liave at least one recommendation accept of office, after every thing poto public confidence (and it is not a litically important had been conceded small one,) that they have no disunion to them after an offer had been made among themselves. We have no pri- them of
ercise which vate ends to answer ; we are all anxious they deemed essential to the salvation to serve our country, to do our best, of the country, gave some countenance and to submit our conduct to the to charges which had been often made judgment of parliament."
against them by their enemies ; and This excellent speech had a great they were, without a murmur, except effect; the House and the country among their own adherents, allowed were tired of the late
proceedings ; the to betake themselves to retirement. motion of Mr Wortley was negatived The Marquis Wellesley stood in a by a great majority; and the ministers different situation. He had committed were fully established in power. errors ; he had pleaded guilty to a de
An impartial review of these trans. reliction in some degree of the duty actions will enable every man to form which he owed the public, by contian opinion as to the views and conduct nuing to act on principles which he of the different competitors for power. disapproved; he had vainly indulged We find Lords Grey and Grenville, the hope of uniting with men with in the first instance, breaking off the whom his whole political life had been negotiation with Marquis Wellesley at variance; he had, through neglibecause a sufficient share of influence gence, allowed a publication to appear, was denied them; yet, out of a cabinet which we have his own authority for of thirteen persons, they were to have saying that he deeply regretted ; and the recommendation of a majority, in- he had hastily charged to “ dreadful cluding Lords Moira and Erskine. personal animosities” sentiments which They afterwards refused to negociate were the result of the most honourawith Lord Moira, because he would ble feelings. But his character for not accede to their condition of dis- energy and talent stood high with the missing the household officers ; because country; and his exclusion from pow. he would not consent that his royal er was sincerely regretted. The refu. master should be deprived of the com sal of Mr Canning, whose brilliant panions of his private hours, on the talents were so highly admired, to acpretence of a secret influence, of which cept of office, was no less lamented by much had been said, but nothing pro- the ministers than by the country. ved ; and, finally, because he would The conduct of the ministers in the not submit to the humiliation of con course of the negociations seems de.
serving of approbation. They did not be unequivocally declared, and as the obtrude their services on the country, parliament was drawing towards its but retired with a modesty which natural termination, they wisely resolmight have been advantageously imita. ved on making an immediate appeal to ted in other quarters ; and so long as popular opinion in the manner which the negociations depended, they not is authorised by the constitution. The only, put themselves entirely out of parliament was accordingly dissolved : consideration, but gave every facility and while their enemies hailed this which their principles and feelings measure with shouts of triumph, the would permit to the arrangements so
ministers waited with silent confidence anxiously desired. A sense of duty, the result of the election. Their ophowever, called for a change of con ponents affected to see the overthrow duct on their part, when the negocia of the government in the issue of this tions had failed, and when it became experiment ; and resorted to every art apparent that without their interposi- for counteracting the general population the prince and the country must rity which the ministers were fast achave been exposed to great difficulties. quiring. But the hopes of the oppo
They knew when it was their duty to sition were still disappointed : Sir Sastep forward ; they hesitated not to muel Romilly was unfortunate at Brisencounter the awful responsibility tol, and Mr Brougham, after a warm which belonged to a crisis so momen- contest, was obliged to yield to Mr tous; they had no other object but Canning at Liverpool. The friends of the service of their country; and their the opposition had the same fortune in ton ability to serve it with advantage was various other quarters, and the influ. soon acknowledged throughout Eu ence of the whigs seemed to experience rope.
a rapid decline ; while the ministers They were in the meantime com derived a great accession of strength pletely successful at home, by obtain- from an experiment which it was preing the confidence and approbation of dicted would disappoint all their exparliament and of the country. As pectations, and prove fatal to the sta. they were anxious, however, that the bility of their power. general sentiment in their favour should