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contest which he had to conduct for the measures were unquestionably just ; the liberties of the world, he was firm that they had been provoked by the law. but not arrogant.--calm and conside- less violence of the enemy; that neu. rate,-seldom betrayed into boasting, trals, by acquiescence, had made thembut never sinking into despondency. selves parties to the outrage, and that He saw that the unhappy circumstan. it concerned the national honour (a ces of Europe would compel England point which is dearer than all others to become for a time a great military to a virtuous and high-minded man,) nation ; but he was also aware that 60 to repel the aggression. A portion serious a change must, in the present of the community was, no doubt, exstate of society, be attempted with posed to severe suffering ; and some caution, and with as small a deduction of the lower orders not only made vioas possible from the comforts of civil lent complaints, but proceeded to acts life. He knew that the British army little short of rebellion. The people under its illustrious commander, must of Rome, in the most dreadful extreon all occasions cover itself with glory; mity of the republic, would not have that discipline and experience would acted thus when the question was add to its triumphs, and diffuse a mi. about avenging the insults of an enelitary spirit throughout the nation; my; and perhaps it would be well, and that the application of the resour. not for the memory of Mr Perceval, ces of the country to the prosecution but for the national character, if a veil of the war, could never be difficult, could be drawn over these disgraceful when seconded by the enthusiasm of scenes. the people. In the oppressed state of Even the more respectable advocates the continent,--in the personal charac- of catholic emancipation may have been ter of the chief who had usurped a induced by recent events to applaud controul over its destinies, his penetra- the sagacity of this great minister, tion discovered the chances of that who at all times shewed a firm resolu. general spirit of resistance which was tion to concede nothing to violence afterwards to re-establish the indepen- and disaffection. Those who imagined dence and secure the repose of Europe. that in the refusal of Mr Perceval at
The measures of commercial vio. once to concede the catholic claims, lence to which the enemy resorted, they had found an apology for the were answered by Mr Perceval with bitterest reproaches, may be somewhat the same firmness which he displayed more moderate in their censures when on all other occasions ; and notwith- they reflect, that the impolicy of his standing the clamour which was raised views on this subject has never yet on this subject, posterity will perhaps been proved by the only unerring test discover no other fault in the measures in political affairs,ấthe test of expeadopted by this great man, than that rience. they were of a character somewhat If Mr Perceval's public virtues above the feelings and temper of the commanded the admiration of his age
in which he lived. That the or- country, his private character secured ders in council produced commercial him the love of all who had the hapdistress, although to a much less de. piness of knowing him.-Mild, affable, gree than has been generally suppo. sincere, a tender husband, an affec. sed, may be admitted by the admirers tionate parent, a kind and faithful of this eminent person, without detract. friend, it may, perhaps, with more ing in any way from his reputation. truth be said of him than of any Let it be recollected, however, that great name in history, that he possessed all the virtues which are at once the singular fortune of this great and good ornament and solace of private life. man, that his enemies vied with his Never, perhaps, was there so rare an friends in the panegyrics which they union of the qualities which inspire pronounced on his spotless and amiable respect, with those which create affec- character. tion for the individual, and it was the
State of the Administration after the Death of Mr Perceval. Mr Stuart
Wortley's Motion in the House of Commons for an Address to the Prince Regent on this Subject. The Prince entrusts the Marquis Wellesley with Powers to form a new Administration. Publication of the Statement of the Causes which had induced the Marquis to retire from Office. Failure of the Negociation, and Resignation by Marquis Wellesley of his Powers. Discussions in Parliament on this Subject. Lord Moira is entrusted with Powers to form an Administration, but fails. Debates and Explanations in Parliament. The Colleagues of the late Mr Perceval are confirmed in Power.
The death of Mr Perceval threw the to some men of distinguished abilities country into the utmost consternation ; who had once formed part of the ad. and as a very high opinion was enter- ministration; and who, although retained of his talents, a belief prevail. moved by untoward circumstances, still ed that his colleagues could not, with. maintained a general conformity of out some accession of strength, con- political sentiments. Overtures were tinue to conduct the affairs of govern- accordingly made by Lord Liverpool ment. That this opinion was ill-found- to Marquis Wellesley and Mr Caned subsequent events have very clearly ning; and the terms proposed by him demonstrated ; but the ministers them were such as the honour of both parselves, whether from a feeling of mo- ties demanded. He stated, in his comdesty, which is not always a proof of munication to them, that the Prince slender talent, or from a wish to gra. Regent, although determined to contify the supposed inclinations of the tinue his administration on its prepeople, seemed anxiously to desire that sent basis, was desirous of strength. accession of strength of which they ening it by the aid of such persons as were believed to stand in need.
agreed most nearly and generally in In fixing on the quarter to which the principles on which public affairs they should apply for assistance, they had been conducted ; that, with this could not long hesitate; with the lead- view, his royal highness naturally lookers of opposition, who had declared ed to Lord Wellesley and Mr Can. so lately, that they differed with mi- ning ; that the arrangements should nisters on every point of policy, it was be made honourable and satisfactory to impossible that they could coalesce, them; that the friends of both should and their views were too sincere and be included ; and that while he (Lord honourable to permit them to make an Liverpool) should be placed at the attempt, which they knew well must head of the treasury, Lord Castlereagh have proved unsuccessful. They na- should retain the situation which he turally looked for support, therefore, then held, both in the government and in the House of Commons. --Questions nions had not been allowed sufficient were immediately put by Lord Wel- weight in the cabinet ; that his senti. lesley and Mr Canning as to the opi- ments had always been in favour of nions of the ministers respecting the more extended operations in the pecatholic question and the war in the ninsula ; and that although Lord Li. peninsula. Lord Liverpool answered, verpool had alluded to recent circum. that the opinions of the cabinet on stances which might render it practi. these subjects remained unaltered ; cable to comply so far with his views, that the ministers were not aware of any he saw no reason to believe that they means by which they could extend the would be well executed by the miniscale of warlike operations, but that it sters. He expressed a firm conviction, was the wish of the government to also, that no administration adequate make the greatest efforts in the cause to the crisis could be formed without of Spain which the resources of the admitting some of those persons comcountry would permit. He added, monly designated as the opposition, that the members of the cabinet were, whose accession to power would alone with a few exceptions, to remain ; satisfy the wishes of the country. That that the distribution of offices should it appeared to him from the recent de. be left open for future arrangement, liberations of parliament, that such an and be regulated for the honour of all union was still practicable ; that a ca. parties; and that no principle of ex- binet might be formed “ on an interclusion was intended, although it had mediary principle respecting the Ro. not been thought fit to make any di.
man catholic claims,” equally secured rect proposal to the members of oppo. against the dangers of instant and unsition.-Lord Wellesley took an op- qualified concession and those of inportunity in the course of these com. considerate peremptory exclusion; and munications of expressing an earnest that the entire resources of the empire desire to be relieved from the task of might be applied to the great objects leading, as it is called, in the House of of the war, with the general consent, Lords; and he declared, that although on a full understanding of the real exino engagement subsisted betwixt him gencies of the crisis; while concord and and Mr Canning, he would not, under union at home would secure ultimate the present circumstances, accept of and permanent success abroad. office, unless a fair proposal were made Lord Liverpool having been dissato that gentleman. The result of this tisfied with the interpretation which first effort, and of the mutual expla- had been put upon his sentiments as nations which ensued, was, that Lord to the catholic question in Lord Wel. Wellesley and Mr Canning both posi- lesley's answer, addressed to him an tively declined to form part of the ad. explanatory letter, in which he soministration, assigning as their reason, lemnly protested against the inference, the avowed sentiments of ministers that it was or ever had been his opi. the catholic question. Lord Welles- nion, that under no circumstances it ley added, that the considerations would be possible to make any alterawhich had induced him to resign in tion on the laws respecting the Roman the month of February last, had ac- catholics. He added, that he had exquired additional force since that time, pressly declared his sentiments to this and would present an insuperable ob- effect in parliament. But the state of stacle to his acceptance of any situa- the opinions and feelings of the Roman tion in the ministry. He complained, catholics at this time, rendered it, in that while Mr Perceval lived his opi. his judgment, dangerous to take any
steps; and, in such circumstances, he Prince Regent, praying that he would had thought it right to resist any par- be pleased to take such measures as liamentary proceeding on the subject, might enable him, in the circumstances which could produce nothing but alarm of the country, to form a strong and among
protestants on the one efficient government. The grounds hand, and delusive hopes among the upon which this interference of pare catholics on the other. This explana. liament with the royal prerogative was tion, however, produced no effect on justified, were the following :- That the Marquis Wellesley, who still main- an administration was about to be tained, that his interpretation of Lord formed which no disinterested man Liverpool's sentiments had been cor- thought adequate to the exigencies of rect, since no indication had been gi. the times ; that it was better at once ven as to the time or circumstances in to resist the formation of such a mia which
any alteration of the system of nistry, than to look on while the arpolicy pursued towards the catholics rangements were going forward, and could be expected, while the very con. afterwards to commence a systematic sideration of the question was denied opposition to it ; that a distinct intito parliament, and not permitted to mation of public opinion might at once any other authority, He considered lead to the formation of a government the sentiments of the ministers on the in which the country could place catholic question to be perfectly pure confidence; that the motion did not and honest; but while he gave them pledge parliament to the support of credit for sincerity, he lamented the all the measures of any government erroneous foundation and dangerous how efficient soever, but that, at this tendency of their opinions. He con- crisis of affairs, an efficient governcluded, by declaring that his objec- ment, possessing the full confidence of tions to the system pursued in the the people, was absolutely required ; peninsula at the time of his resigna- that the government, as it stood, did tion applied to the whole of our per- not possess that confidence ; and that manent arrangements, both in Portu all had not been yet done to form an gal and Spain, which, in his opinion, efficient administration ; That the of. should have been corrected and ex- fers already made to the Marquis Wel. tended, not only with a view to the lesley and Mr Canning had been peradvantageous use of such means as fectly inadmissible ; that it was idle were then possessed in that quarter, to attempt to form a strong admini. but even of such extraneous aids as stration, unless something were proevents in other
arters might place posed to conciliate the catholics; and at the disposal of government. The that the abandonment of that great discussion here terminated ; and the question ought never to have been proMarquis Wellesley and Mr Canning posed as a preliminary condition; That persisted in their -refusal to support it was an object of the highest imthe administration.
portance, in the state of public affairs, The progress of this negociation to have a government formed on a lisoon became known to the public; and beral basis, calculated to comprehend as a strong desire was felt to see the the talents and influence of the coun. administration settled on a proper ba- try, and to promote its security and sis, a motion was brought forward in honour ; That the motion before the the House of Commons by Mr Stuart House involved no unconstitutional in. Wortley, that an address should be terference with the prerogative of the presented to his royal highness the crown ; that it is not only the prQr