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them would, upon any occasion, be pushed to extremity; a sure guarantee, that the system“ would not be assailed, and that, to secure themselves against all assaults, they had nothing to do but tread in the steps of "the great statesman now no more.”

These were the grounds opon which the present men went in supplanting the last ; and experience has fully verified all their expectations.

While Lord Grenville is in the opposition what have they to fear; at least while he is the acknowledged head of the opposition ; and of course, while the whole party have an eye to him in all their words and actions ? While this is the case, the ministers do not, I warrant it, feel any apprehensions of a rude attack. They may have to encounter now and then a question of a diplomatic, or commercial kind, or relating to general policy, or to the wisdom or folly of an Expedition ; but, in THE SYSTEM they are safe. There may be some very able manæuvring upon the plain ; some fine regular combats, in which the ministers may be pushed to the glacis, with the loss, perhaps, of their outworks ; but, in the SYSTEM, in the body of the place, covered by the name of "the great statesman now no more,” they are safe ; for that is a rampart that Lord Grenville will never consent to scale or to batter. The opposition, under Lord Grenville, do, and always must, fight in muffles, while their opponents come at them with good bony fists. It has always been regarded as a great thing to have a friend in the enemy's camp; what must it be, then, to bave for that friend the enemy's Commander-in-Chief ?

How fearful must the odds, then, be? Yet, it is with an odds of this kind against them, that the Foxites have been carrying on the political warfare ever since January 1806. No wonder that they have had such an abundance of " negative success.

I do not impute to Lord Grenville any double-dealing. On the contrary, he appears to me to have acted, all along, a very open part. He will join in endeavours to put out the ministry and get into their places, if he can do it with certain means; if he can do it without going beyond certain lengths; if he can do it without violating any of the principles of the Pitt System; if he can do it, and be at the head himself, and make all those under him laud the Gods for having given birth to William Pitt, he will do it, but he will not do it upon any other conditions. There is nothing at all unfair in this ; it is natural in him to exact the conditions on which he intends to co-operate ; the only thing to be astonished at is, the folly (to say nothing worse of it) of the Foxites in supposing that they will ever obtain power by yielding to such conditions.

I know well, that Mr. Fox had no stomach to the ministry that was formed in 1806. He was decidedly against its being composed as it was. He wished to be left oụt of it personally, and would have given it support where he could. He was, after a great deal of persuasion, prevailed upon to take office; but, I take upon nie to assert, that he did it with extreme reluctance. This I know to be true. He must have foreseen the consequences. They soon began to make their appearance; and, there can be no doubt, that they hastened his death ; which, for his own sake, should have happened one year sooner than it did.

Such is the true history of the late ministry; and, after this retrospect, is it possible for any one to suppose, that the Prince Regent could, if he wished it, have gone on with a ministry composed in the same way, starting with a majority against them in both Houses, and having such small means of intluence as the Restrictions had left in the hands of the Prince? I repeat my opinion, that the Regent had no great liking to a ministry with Lord Grenville at its head, notwithstanding what has been said to the contrary. There were many reasons for his not liking such a ministry; and, it cannot be supposed; it is to contradict the voice of human nature to suppose, that he could like to take as his prime minister, the man who had been the principal cause of imposing the restrictions upon him. It was Lord Grenville and his immediate connections who decided the question in both Houses. If they had joined in the vote for Address and not Bill, it would have been carried, and the Prince would have been Regent without any Restrictions two months ago. Lord Grenville laid most manfully on upon the ministers; but it was with respect to points of comparatively trifling importance. He laid on upon them with great force with regard to inferior points ; the greater part of his speeches were very much against them; but, upon all the material points, he gave them his vote. He might have prevented the Restrictions ; he and his immediate connections turned the scale. It was owing to them, therefore, that the Restrictions were imposed; and, indeed, that the Houses proceeded by Bill instead of Address.

I shall be told, perhaps, and so, I dare say, the Prince was, that this line of conduct was necessary to preserve the consistency of Lord Grenville, who had taken the same line in the time of the “great statesman now no more.” To which, had I been in the Prince's place, I should have answered, “ Very well; that may be very right in Lord Grenville ; “ but, let him, then, keep his consistency to himself, and let me exercise “ what little power he has left me under the advice of another.”

But, was the consistency of Lord Grenville so great, so mighty an object, that the consistency of the Prince was to be wholly overlooked ? It should be recollected, that, iņ 17,88, the Prince expressed certain opinions and principles, as well as Lord Grenville; the Prince then declared most decidedly, against such restrictions, as hostile to every principle of the constitution ; and, having again now repeated the substance of that declaration, in his Answer to the Deputation from the two Houses, would it have been very consistent in him to tuke Lord Grenville as his prime minister ? But, I dare say, that there are people, who think nothing at all of this, compared with the precious consistency of Lord Grenville.

The Prince has taken Mr. Perceval, I shall be told, who proposed those restrictions against which his Royal Highness had protested. But, there, is a great deal of difference in the two cases. He, in all probability, liked the one much about as much as the other ; but, the conduct of the two, though tending to the same point with regard to him, must be viewed in a very different light. Mr. Perceval was the minisier of the King, Lord Grenville was not; Mr. Perceval was acting, in appearance at least, in pursuance of his duty or attachment, towards another ; Lord Grenville was the champion of his own consistency.

Besides, there is a wide difference between the making of a minister, and the taking of a minister ready made to his hands. If Lord Grenville had become minister, it would have been the Prince's own act, and he would bave been looked upon as, in reputation at least, responsible for the measures and principles of the administration. He now merely suffers his father's ministers to go on as they were going on before, and as they would have gone on, if nothing had happened to his father.

Here are reasons more than sufficient to account for the Prince's preferring Mr. Perceval to Lord Grenville; but, if there were not, others would not be wanting ; for, I insist, that it would have been impossible for the Prince to have carried on the Government with Lord Grenville at the head of it. The ministry would have been made up of men, who would have had no part of the community cordially with them. All the old true Anti-Jacobin tribe, all the contractors, all the tax-gatherers, the restrained Bank people, the Eastern Empire people, the country Bankers, the Lloyd's and the Exchange people, a great majority of the Clergy and of the Justices of the Peace, and nine-tenths of the good old women of both sexes; all these are for the present ministers. If a Parliamentary Reforming ministry had been chosen, 33

they would have had all the active and independent part of the people of England and of the whole kingdom. But, a ministry with Lord Grenville at its head, would have had nothing for them but their stake," as Mr. PBRRY calls it ; nothing but their estates and their tenants; and that is not sufficient, think of it what they will.

So that, as I said in my last, leaving all likings and dislikings out of the question, the Prince had no other choice, than that which lay between the parliamentary reformers and the present men. Had I been in his place I should have chosen the former : but, men differ in their tastes ; and, at any rate, let not the most of those who composed the late ministry blame the Prince for taking MR. PERCEVAL, whom they supported and " rallied round" upon every occasion, when it was interesting to the people that they should be his assailants. They have now their reward for that: and, much good may it do them. They called the petitions of the people “popular clamour," they call the parliamentary reformers,

a low degraded crew :" they have recently flung Sir Samuel Romilly overboard for denying to Mr. Pirt the character of " a great statesman," and now they are flung overboard themselves, with the mortification of seeing not a single hand stretched out to save them, and of bearing millions of voices exclaim, Down! down ! down to the lowest deep, never to rise again!

They were prepared, I believe, to fling overboard some others besides Sir Samuel Romilly. Every one who had taken the side of Sir Francis Burdett. When Lord ARCHIBALD HAMILTON brought forward his motion about Lord CASTLERBAGH, last session, how did they then act ? Even then they " rallied round.” And is there, can there be any man beast enough to regret, that the Prince has rejected them? I trust not; and am quite sure, that all those who can make a retreat from them, will do it. They may attempt other coalitions ; but, they will not succeed. There is now no ground left for an opposition to stand upon, but Par. liamentary Reform; and, those who will not stand forward boldly for that great measure, may as well hold their tongues.

WM. COBBETT. State Prison, Newgate, Friday,

Feb, 8th, 1811.

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KING'S ILNESS. THE REGENCY.-Concluded.

(Political Register, February, 1811.)

This subject, as one of regular discussion, I shall here bring to a close, having, I think, borne my part in it from the beginning to the end. It was I, who, as the saying is, broke the ice, as to the proper mode of considering and treating the matter. Till I entered upon the subject, nothing was heard, through the channel of the public prints, but lamenting and weeping and wailing and snivelling and canting. There were, in all human probability, more lying and hypocrisy in England during that month, than ever have been witnessed in any other country in the course of a year. If I were to select any particular month of the history of my country as the most disgraceful, I should have no hesitation in selecting that. The Bank Restriction month, that is to say, the last week of February and the three first of April, 1797, had, in my opinion, theretofore the shameful pre-eminence; but, the folly and baseness then so conspicuous in the country, were surpassed by the folly and baseness of the first month of the King's illness. The venal writers, who dealt in such doleful strains had their object in view, and a very rational one it was, though very malignant and mischievous. Their object was, by the means of incessant lamentations and bowlings, to leave it to be clearly inferred, that if the kingly part of the government got into other hands, ruin, destruction, perdition, would come swiftly upon us all; and such has been the beastly stupidity of many of the people in this country since the year 1792, that I should not much wonder, if there were some of them who were, by these and the like means, made to believe, that even their natural lives depended upon that of the King.

It is true, that this description of persons, would, in an hour of need, be of no more consequence than so many snails or caterpillars ; but, they count as to numbers, and they talk as much as the bale and the brave.

There seemed to be, in the hostile daily prints, a rivalship as to which should go farthest in the way of lying and canting ; so that it is not a subject of much wonder, that the public caught the disgraceful tone.

What must foreigners have thought of this ? The Americans, who say pretty freely what they think of us, do, to be sure, laugh most unmercifully at our despair. One of them, who seems to have got hold of the Morning Chronicle of about the beginning of November, breaks out into a pathetic apostrophe to us, does not expect us to survive the affliction, and calls upon us to repent before we depart, of our manifold sins and wickednesses, “ especially those committed upon the highway of the water.” In short, the cant, the incomparable cant, contained in our newspapers of the month of November last, seems to have convulsed the American continent with laughter. Some of the writers there put the case as it might have related to themselves. They suppose, for argument's sake, that they had still been subjects of the King. They ask what, in such a case as this, and with the doctrines of our newspapers in vogue, would have been their fate.

VOL. IV.

D

Then they turn to the memorable stories promulgated by the Morning Post, and laugh ready to split their sides. They repeat a great deal of the cant of our prints; they explain certain passages to their readers as they go on; they say what none of us would, for delicacy's sake, think of saying; they are not so refined a people as we are; they relate anecdotes; they state things in so many words, and when they insert the sham letters which the Courier publishes as coming from Windsor, they burst out into laughter in such a way that you almost fancy you hear them laugh as you read their columns.

One would think, that those who have brains enough to manage even the business part of a daily paper, would have too great a sense of shame to be content to live in the state of a laughing stock ; and, when they have got money, and are able to say, that they can live all their days without any thing more than they have ; that they have a plenty for all their purposes; when men are in this state, it really is astonishing, that they can voluntarily expose themselves to laughter and contempt for the sake of adding a few thousands to their gains. But, when men have lied and canted themselves into pelf, they are, I am afraid, generally found to persevere to the last. If such men were to become farmers, they would lie and cant to their labourers; or, in default of human beings to deceive, they would lie and cant to their horses or sheep.

I do not confound the MORNING CHRONICLE with the venal prints, which have so distinguished themselves upon this occasion ; but, I often meet with what I cannot approve of in that paper; an instance of which I have now under my eye, in a passage relating to the Speech of the Prince. In the passage I am alluding to the writer makes these remarks :

“ In one paragraph of it, at least, his Royal Highness will most cordially

concur in the sentiment which will be introduced ; namely, the expression of “ deep sorrow at the cause which has imposed upon him the afflicting duty of

supplying for a time the Regal Authority. No man in the King's dominions

can more perfectly sympathize in that expression than the Regent; for all those “ who have had the best opportunities of ascertaining the inmost feelings of his heart from his earliest infancy, assure us, that at no time, even when most em“ bittered by the effects of the mischievous misrepresentations made to his detri“ ment, was he ever known to manifest other than the most affectionate and pious reverence for his Royal Father. And we believe it has been well rewurded; for on the other side, we understand it has been remarked, and set “ down as an infallible symptom of the access of his Majesty's complaint, that “ his paternal confidence in the affection, virtues, and conduct of his Son and “ Heir, was loudly declared by him to be the chief source of consolation to his heart on every alarm of approaching malady. On this point at least the Com“ missioners will speak the sense of the Regent."

Now, in the first place, it is impossible that Mr. Perry can know any thing at all of this matter. He cannot know any thing about it. He can know, for certainty, no more about the thing than I do; and I know no more about it than any of the ladies, my near neighbours, who are upon the eve of a trip to Botany Bay, with intentions much less mischievous than those with which another description of ladies take a trip to India, the latter having riches derived from plunder in view, while the former confine their views to a bare existence.

It is silly affectation to pretend to know any thing of such matters. It throws general discredit over the contents of the paper.

But, suppose Mr. Perry to know all this to be true? What then ? What use is it of? What is there “rich or rare" in it? Are we to

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