« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Lord Chatham, and no friend ever rises to, in a letter signed “Mnemon,” “ revived the take his part. Is it possible such a man doctrine of dispensing power, State necescan be friendless ?" Thus, his cabinet in sity, arcana of government, and all that the confusion of Agramont's camp, bis ene- machinery of exploded prerogative that mies loud, his friends silent, and his body bad cost our ancestors so much toil and tormented with disease, it is not to be treasure and blood to break to pieces." wondered at if Lord Chatham would neither But the warfare was to be, like that of see nor speak to any body at Bath at the Palafox in a later day, “to the knife,” close of 1767. His situation was disastrous waged with all the unleavened hatred of and desperate in the extreme. In the mean his disappointed heart; and he saw that to time General Conway had left the ministry, strike effectually, he must do so anonyand Lord Weymouth was made Secretary mously. He accordingly took his resoluin his place. Lord Hillsborough was made tion, which, being so much at variance with Secretary of State for the Colonies, and in the open controversy which is ever conconsequence of several resignations, Chat- sidered the most honorable, shows how deep ham was obliged, as we have said, to make must have been the bitterness of soul that overtures to the Bedfords. His cup of dis- set him on such a course. He began it in gust and disappointment was nearly full
. the beginning of 1767; and during the Being compelled by his gout to stay at eight months in which Chesterfield says he Hampstead on his way to London, he re- was invisible to the world, he was directing ceived while there a letter from His Majesty, with a heated brain the first assaults of his who, either apprehensive of farther resigna- cunningly devised hostility. In January, tions, or anxious to impair the Earl's adminis- 1768, Lord Chesterfield says: “Lord Chattration as much as possible, declared his in- ham is at his repurchased house at Hayes, tention of making more changes, and asked but sees no mortal. Some say he has å fit the advice and assistance of his Lordship. of the gout, which would probably do him To this the stern old man sent a verbal mes good; but many think that his worst comsage to say, that such was the state of his plaint is in his head, which I am afraid is health, the King must not expect from him too true." Chatham's was not the mind 10 any farther aid or counsel in the matter. grow inert in solitude, or All these things show what must have
-“ like a sword laid by, been the state of Chatham's mind on this
To eat into itself and rust ingloriously.” occasion. He saw that in the cabinet and in a corrupt Pafliament, he was obstructed It was stung into fierce energy by every and out-generalled by the Tories and parti- circumstance of political and bodily suffersans of the Court. There was little or no ing in the midst of which he stood; and the hope on that side; all his enemies, the gout thought must have been a gratifying one, included, had left him a baffled man, with that he could wreak his vengeance on his an angry, impatient, but still unvanquished adversaries, even from his sick couch or spirit. The cause of Whiggery and the arm-chair, just as he formerly did on the Constitution was not to be given up. The enemies of England. We must not omit Earl of Chatham had more weapons in his to mention here a curious circumstance armory than even Horace Walpole had dis- quoted by Dr. Waterhouse, which gives covered. Wilkes in his “North Briton" strength to wbat we consider a true hypohad established a precedent, which would not thesis. In a work styled “ An Estimate of be lost upon our able and exasperated poli- the Manners and Principles of the Times,” tician,
published in London by the Rev. Dr. Brown Chatham was now resolved, as we are in 1757, the following remarkable passages disposed to conclude, from the new ground occur.
The writer states it to be his opinof the public press, to continue the war of ion that nothing but the power of some constitutional liberty and of his own ambi- great minister could avail to save the countion, (for the latter must form a prominent try; and then goes on to say:
" There feature in any portraiture of this great man,) another character in a lower walk of against the strength of the Crown and that life, which might be no less strange than policy which, to quote the words of Junius | that which has been delineated; I mean the character of a political writer. He To assail the Cabinet of England and all would choose an untrodden path of politics, the measures of the Ministry, was a daring where no party man ever dared to enter. piece of strategy, and a dangerous for a Lord The undisguised freedom and boldnes of his Privy Seal to perpetrate. Discovery would manner would please the brave, astonish the ruin the splenetic old assaulter-would cerweak, and confound the guilty.” It is highly tainly tarnish the laurels he had already probable that Pitt's character, in all its traits gathered in a celebrated career. The risk and propensities, was very well known to was great indeed; not in the handwriting this reverend pamphleteer, who could thus, and the conveyancing, but in the style of ten years before the political writer came, the letters. He could no more change this företell his appearance.
to any purpose, than he could his mind or Passing on, we come to the consideration his face. Hence the last necessity for someDr. Waterhouse shrunk from. Here, in the thing which should neutralize his well-known Miscellaneous Letters, we have the fierce manner; and hence his indirect but intellihearted old statesman of '59 opening his gible attack on Chatham. This attack is masked battery, in revenge of all his defeats calculated to give the curious investigator and disappointments, against the King of pause. It must seem strange that the England, his policy, and his friends; and in scribe in the mask—a Whig and a man of the first place, as the matter touched him popular principles chould begin his undernearest and deepest in his disgusts, he turns taking by abuse of the greatest Whig and his rage against the Cabinet of which he most popular person in England, as if there himself was a part! Very extraordinary was not a Tory of any sort to flesh his this; but not more extraordinary than Wil- maiden sword upon! This falling foul of the liam Pitt himself
. But what a perilous grand and gouty old Earl has a very inconsistundertaking it was for the Lord Privy Seal ent and incredible appearance—is unaccountto fall upon the King's Council with his able, in fact, except under our hypothesis. crutch! The style of Chatham would be “Wo be to you," says Voltaire, “ if you palpable to every eye, and then the exposure say on a subject all that can be said
it!” would follow, such as he himself said would We are less disposed to incur the wo thus procure his attaintment by bill
, or kill him denounced than merely to suggest the chief in three days. His first aspiration in these points in our view of this authorship. In circumstances would be, the reverse of considering the Miscellaneous Letters which Cowley's :)
assail Chatham, we see the first is condi“What shall I do to be for ever unknooon ?"
tional throughout, depending on an if. The
vagueness of it, so unlike the bareness and But he took his precautions with consum-particularity of the author's general style, mate subtlety and forethought. He kept seems to show some secret design. “ Poplihimself secluded at Bath and Hayes, and cola," in the first letter, 28th April, 1767, let the report go abroad that he was in the says: " But if, instead of a man of common jowest state of sickness and incapacity, tot- mixed character, whose vices may be retering on crutches or touched in the head, deemned by some appearance of virtue and thus warding off the suspicion that the viva- generosity, it should have unfortunately cious and forcible letters of “Poplicola," happened, that a nation had placed all their “Veteran," and the rest, could come from contidence in a man purely and perfectly him. But he did fr more than this. bad, what security would the nation," &c. " Poplicola" began the series of letters by a "As the absolute destruction of the Constimeasured and high-sounding denunciation tution would be his great object," &c. "He (conditionally conveyed, however) of Lord must also try how far the nation would bear Chatham himself! Nothing was now to be to see the established laws suspended by said. After such feints as these, the acutest proclamation, and upon such occasions he political critie could not mention the Minis- must not be without an apostate lawyer, ter's name in connection with this authorship. weak enough to sacrifice his own character, Lord Chatham, in spite of sentiment and and base enough to betray the laws of his style, was safe from public imputation and country. But the master-piece of his treachits consequences; and his power to continue ery would be, if possble, to foment such his mighty strokes from behind a mask | discord between the mother country and her remained unimpeded and unquestioned. colonies, as may leave them both a prey to
his own dark machinations !!" All this, may mention one, the slightness of which would pass for very good hostility; but is only seems to show that the writer thought amusingly disproportioned to the truth of nothing too trifling to help his plan. The the matter, if not palpably groundless. It first letter called forth a defense of Chalwould only suit the rabid Tories and the ham, signed W.D.-William Draper-who secret purpose. During his whole career, afterwards crossed swords with Junius in the war-cry of Pit was, the Constitution; the affair of the Marquis of Granby. But he fought for it on all occasions. The “sus- Poplicola paid so little attention to the depension of the laws” was a proclamation fense of the Earl, it interested or concerned issued by him and Camden, preventing the him so little, that in alluding to the writer exportation of corn at a time of scarcity; in the next letter, he called him C. D.and neither of them, in issuing it, attempted Mr. C. D.; he did not know who the man was to defend its strict legality. Even Junius- in fact. We think this cunning negligence Poplicola, in the second letter, admits it was worthy of observation. Junius seems to a necessary act; but the treason which de- have taken care of the smallest accessories, served the gibbet, as the Tarpeian Rock was as well as the most prominent appearances. not at hand, was, not admitting the uncon- Having thus secured his line of march stitutional nature of the business! This was by these passing charges against Chatham, “an outrage upon the common sense of and by others, growing feebler as he got mankind." He goes on to say, (and the along, the unknown writer directed all praise of the Grenvilles, the brothers of his his fierceness against his real objects—the amanuensis, is remarkable in all Junius has King and his Ministers. The business of written,) that George Grenville deserved government had fallen by degrees into the high honor for confessing the illegality of hands of the King's friends. Chatham was the act which aimed at providing food for still in the cabinet, but a mere cipher. the people, while “the conduct of the Earl At last, towards the close of 1768, the of Chatham and his miserable understrap- Privy Seal, in consequence of his absence, pers deserved nothing but detestation and having been put in the hands of three insecontempt.” The apostate lawyer of the rior persons as commissioners, his Lordship foregoing was Lord Camden, the most con- flung it away in disgust. He sent it back stitutional jurist in England, a man of by Lord Camden, instead of surrendering popular principles almost approaching re- it with the etiquette practised on such occapublicanism, and the dear friend of Lord sions. This was three days before the 48th Chatham-one who would be consistently miscellaneous letter, in which he satirizes the struck at by any foe or pretended foe of the cabinet, all round, passing over Chatham latter. In the third letter the writer, sign- with : “Of the Earl of Chatham I had much ing himself “Anti-Sejanus," wonders why to say; but it were inhuman to persecute, Chatham's spirit or understanding could ever when Providence has marked out the exam.permit him to take office under a pernicious ple to mankind.” How admirably this sugcourt-minion, (but had he a control over gestion of the Earl's disease and imbecility the existing ministry ?) whom he himself saves abuse and serves the purpose of the had affected to despise or detest. “We will concealed writer! His soul being thus libnot condemn him for the avarice of a pen-erated, as it were, he prepared, at the ripe sion, or the melancholy ambition of a title. age of sixty-one, for the forlorn hope," an! They were objects which he perhaps looked the more terible assanlt on his enemies whicla up to, though the rest of the world thought they should not soon forget, and the counthem beneath his acceptance, (law-breaker, try would always remember. traitor, and Cataline as he was !) But to We think it perfectly conclusive that Jubecome a stalking-horse to a stallion—to nius was a man of high station; the lion is shake hands with a Scotchman at the hazard recognized by his foot-prints. He seems to of catching all his infamy; [the fierce ear- have played a predominating part on the nestness of Junius breaks out now! no stage of politics and statesmanship—to lrare feigning here!] to receive the word from a personal interest in all that the Letters him-Prerogative and a Thistle— by the refer to, such as could belong to no mere once respected name of Pitt! it is even literary Swiss, writing in the pay of a patron helow contempt!” Among the tokens of or a party. He talks to and of the greatest close design apparent in these Letters, we i men of England, as to and of those whom
he had met upon the level and confronted CHATHAM. It was therefore the higher in the debates of the day. There is an air intent and duty of the peers to watch over of sustained superiority about him which and guard the people ; for when the people seems innate and instinctive; and his fa- had lost their rights, the peerage would soon mous letter to the King shows him to have become insignificant. Dr. Robertson, in his been one who was no stranger to the person Life of Charles V., informs us that the peers and conversation of George the Third-one of Castilo were so far cajoled and seduced in whose presence royalty would feel or had by him as to join him in overturning that felt itself impaired; in fine, aut diabolus aut part of the Cortes which represented the Gulielmus Pitt.
people. In Almon's anecdotes of Lord Chatham JUNIUS (on the same subject).-Without will be found a vast number of passages insisting on the extravagant concessions made occurring in his Lordship's speeches similar to Henry VIII., there are instances in the to others which we find in Junius. His history of other countries of a formal and Lordship, in his great speech of January deliberate surrender of public liberty into 9th, 1770, in the House of Lords, said : the hands of the sovereign. “ I revere the prerogative of the Crown, CHATHAM.—Let us be cautious how we and would contend for it as warmly as for invade the liberties of our fellow-subjects. the rights of the people. They are linked The man who has lost his own freedom together and naturally support each other. becomes, from that moment, an instrument I would not touch a feather of the preroga- in the hands of an ambitious prince to tive. The expression, perhaps, is too light; destroy the freedom of others. but since I have made use of it, let me add JUNIUS.—We can never be in real danger that the entire command and power of until the forms of Parliament are made use directing the local disposition of the army is of to destroy the substance of our civil and the royal prerogative—the master-feather in religious liberties—until Parliament itself the eagle's wing; and if I were permitted to betrays its trust by contributing to establish carry the allusion a little farther, I should new principles of government, and employsay they have disarmed the imperial birding the very weapons committed to it by the the ministrum fulminis alitem. The army collective body to stab the Constitution. is the thunder of the Crown; the Ministry CHATHAM.—It were better for the people have tied up the hand which should direct to perish in a glorious contention for their the bolt."
rights, than to purchase a slavish tranquillity “ Private credit is wealth; at the expense of a single iota of these rights. public honor is security. The feather that JUXIUS (to the King).--I confess, sir, I adorns the royal bird supports his flight; should be content to renounce the form of strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the Constitution once more, if there were no the earth.”
other way to obtain substantial justice. CHATHAM (of the American disturbances). CHATHAM (of Mansfield).-No man is - They ought to be treated with tender- better acquainted with his abilities and ness, * for they were ebullitions of liberty learning than I am, nor has a greater rewhich broke out upon the skin, and were a spect for them than I have. sign, if not of a perfect, at least a vigorous JUNIUS (to the same).—When I acknowconstitution, and must not be driven in too ledge your talents, you may believe I am suddenly, lest they should strike to the heart.” sincere. I feel for human nature when I see
JUNIUS.--No man regards an eruption a man so gifted as you are descend to on the surface when the noble parts are such vile practices. invaded, and he feels a mortification ap- CHATHAM (of the Commons,.in Wilkes's proaching the heart.
case).— I affirm they have betrayed their CHATHAM. --The Americans had pur- constituents and violated the Constitution. chased their liberty at a dear rate, since JUNIUS.—Let the people determine by they had quitted their country and gone in their conduct at a future election whether search of freedom to a desert.
or no it be in reality the general sense Junius says, “ They left their native land of the nation that their rights have been in search of freedom, and found her in a arbitrarily invaded by the present House of desert."
Commons, and the Constitution betrayed.
A crowd of other parallel passages, con- | bridge should obstinately refuse to commucerning Wilkes and the Parliament, may be nicate ; and even if the fathers of the Church, found by the curious.
if Saville, Richmond, Camden, Rockingham CHATHAM.—If the English freeholders and (set down the last !) Chatham should desert their own cause, they deserve to be disagree in the ceremonies of their political slaves. My Lords, this is not the cold opin- worship, and even in the interpretation of ion of my understanding, but the glowing twenty texts in Magna Charta. expression of what I feel. It is my heart Chatham.—The boroughs of the country that speaks; I know I speak warmly. have been properly enough called the rotten
Junius.—The formality of a well-repeated parts of the Constitution. Like the infirmilesson is widely different from the animated ties of the body, we must submit to carry expression of the heart. Forgive this pas- them about with us. The limb is mortified; sionate language. I am unable to conceal but the amputation might be death. it; it is the language of my heart.
JUNIUS.-As to cutting away the rotten CHATHAM (of Wilkes). -In his person, boroughs, I am as much offended as any though he were the worst of men, I contend man at seeing so many of them under the for the safety and security of the best. direct influence of the Crown. Yet I
JUNIUS.—But let Mr. Wilkes's character honestly confess to you, that I am startled be what it may, this is at least certain, that at the idea of so extensive an amputation. circumstanced as he is, with regard to the These and a number of other parallel public, even his vices plead for him. passages have been relied upon by Mr.
CHATHAM.—His Majesty will determine Taylor to prove that Sir Philip Francis was whether he will yield to the united petitions the author of the Letters ; because the latter of the people of England, or maintain the reported the speeches of Chatham in the House of Commons in the exercise of a House of Lords. But, as Lord Coningsby legislative power which heretofore abolished said in 1715, when Sir Robert Walpole the House of Lords and overturned the had accused Lord Bolingbroke of high monarchy.
treason—“the honorable gentleman accuses JUNIUS.-Though perhaps not with the the scholar, I the master; he impeaches the same motive, they, the Parliament, have hand, I the head,”—50 we turn from the strictly followed the example of the Long young stenographer to attack the mighty Parliament, which first declared the regal master of British statesmanship—from the office useless, and soon after, with little cunning hand to the noble head. Nothing ceremony, dissolved the House of Lords. like Pitt's oratory can be found in England The same pretended power which robs an but the Letters of Junius. Both are very English subject of his birthright may rob an much attached to the plain, powerful idioms English King of his crown.
of the nation. Chatham had an unerring CHATHAM (in the speech of 22d January, sense of the fine effect of a vernacular on Lord Rockingham's motion), -Rather mander. Idiomatic phraseology is usually than the nation should surrender their connected with those efforts of eloquence birthright to a despotic Minister, he hoped, which are liked and remembered best ; and old as he was, to see the question brought the impassioned earnestness of William Pitt to issue and fairly tried between the people stood in need of the racy vulgate of Engand the Government.
land. Whenever his blood gets up, be Junius.—Every measure of Government speaks in the barest and plainest figures of opens ample field for parliamentary disqui- common speech. It is the same with Junius, sition. If this resource should fail, our next who loves the homeliness of phrase which appeal must be made to Heaven.
carries a man's meaning soonest to a popular CHATHAM.—Magna Charta, the Petition aim. That tendency to metaphors and reof Rights, the Bill of Rights, form that code semblances, so common to both, shows a which I call the Bible of the English Con- likeness which, we think, cannot be misstitution.
taken. JUNIUS.—The civil constitution too, that When Junius's Letters were first publegal liberty, that general creed which every lished, Lord Chatham was certainly susEnglishman professes, may still be supported, pected. Camden, Temple, and George Grenthough Wilkes, Horne, Townsend, Saw-ville knew the secret-perhaps Woodfall