Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 Castile 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 bird ing 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 Junius says: “ Private credit is wealth; at the expense of a single iota of these rights. public honor is security. The feather that Junius (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 CAATHAM.— 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 | bnt 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 bad 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,"_s0 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 manner. 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 CHATIAM.—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-I ville knew the secret—perhaps Woodfall

did, also. It is impossible to think Burke did | denunciations of him in 1767; and that not suspect of whom he was speaking, when Junius was, at first, desirous of making a he thought an anonymous writer for the false impression for purposes of secresy and Public Advertiser worthy of an emblazon- safety. Junius is singularly and suspiciously ment in the House of Commons, such as is inconsistent as regards Chatham and Camconveyed in the following very Irish mob of den. This “ apostate lawyer” (Pitt's lifemetaphors: “How came this Junius to have long friend, and the executor of his will) broken through the cobwebs of the law, and receives a cordial recognition of his greatness to rage uncontrolled, unpunished through and goodness in Junius's last letter. The the land ? The myrmidons of the Court | irreverent Wilkes seems to look with reveliave been long and are still pursuing him | rence upon the veiled eidolon. He says, in vain. They will not spend their time in reply to a private letter from Junius in upon me, or you, or you. No, they disdain 1771: “I do not mean, sir, to indulge the such vermin when the mighty boar of the impertinent curiosity of finding out the most forest that has broken through all their toils important secret of our times—the author is before them. But what will all their of Junius. I will not attempt with profane efforts avail ? No sooner has he wounded hands to tear the veil from the sanctuary. one, than he lays another down dead at his I am disposed with the inhabitants of Attica feet. For my part, when I saw his attack to erect an altar to the unknown God o upon the King, I own my blood ran cold. our political idolatry, and will be content to I thought he had ventured too far, and there worship him in clouds and darkness." In was an end to his triumplis. But while I another letter he says: "After the first letter expected in his daring flight his final ruin and of Junius to me, I did not go to Woodfall to fall, behold him rising still higher, and com-pry into a secret I had no right to know. jag down souse upon both houses of Parlia- The letter itself bore the stamp of Jove." ment. Yes, he did make you his quarry, As regards Woodfall, we see that he also and you still bleed from the wounds of his approaches his correspondent with the protalons. In short, after carrying our royal foundest respect. The sagacity of these men eagle in his pounces and dashing him against could not be completely baffled in a case a rock, he laid you prostrate. King, Lords like this; and we hold that, like the man and Commons are but the sport of his fury.” | betraying the stag to the hunters in Æsop, Horne Tooke also shows that he suspects though they do not speak, they point truly who Junius is. He says: “ The darkness in the direction of Junius. in which Junius thinks himself shrouded has Having considered the salient features of not concealed him. Because Lord Chatham the likeness we perceive, we would mention has been ill-treated by the King and treacher- a few apparent objections against it. It is ously betrayed by the Duke of Grafton, the thought Junius must have been somebody latter is the pillow on which Junius will rest in the War Office, because his knowledge of his resentments, and the public are to oppose military men and matters is so remarkably the measures of Government from mere minute. But Chatham, who during his own motives of hostility to the sovereign !” This ministry disposed of armaments like figures is almost laying his hand upon Chatham. on a chess-board, and organized victory from It was in reply to it that Junius wrote the his arm-chair, (while Carnot was yet in his curious panegyric on Lord Chatham in his first petticoats,) knew the business of the War fifty-fourth letter. This eulogy has every Office almost as well as the best clerk in it. appearance of a feint, and an uneasy desire and could easily learn the current history of to mislead those who came too near identify- it from Francis and others who were bound ing him with the gouty old Earl. Like the to him for favors conferred. Junius's asfirst invective of Poplicola, this praise is saults on Lord Hillsborough were provoked conditional. He who was a black villain by the dismissal of Chatham's friend, Genand deserved the gibbet, conditionally, is a eral Amherst, from his government of Virman around whose monument recorded ginia, to give it to Lord Botetourt. Those honors shall gather, conditionally! It will on Lord Barrington, Secretary of War, are be safely concluded that the man who accounted for principally by the fact that could write as Junius did in 1771 of Lord Legge, Pitt's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chatham, could not be very sincere in his was turned out to make room for him, on

the accession of George the Third. The I breathed his last in an effort to hinder the general military policy of government, which independence of the colonies. An average had counteracted his own and displaced of Chatham's and Junius's American opinmany of his friends, would naturally urge ions, respectively, reads alike ; showing that Pitt to denounce the mistakes and abuses of the early invectives of the latter on this subthe War Department.

ject, directed against the Earl, are palpably Again, the idea of Lord Chatham seems, hollow. at first glance, at variance with Junius's in We have already spoken of Chatham's terest in the politics and civic doings of the hatred of Bedford. Le bated Grafton for metropolis. But that is a mistake. Whig- his desertion and ingratitude. The Duke gery and William Pitt could always boast had been a worshipper of the Earl, under a strong fortress and defense in London; whom he said he would serve in any capathe citizens of which held the latter in high city ; honor, and gave him several tokens of it

“Been his sworn soldier, bidding him depend one of these being a bridge dedicated to his

Upon his stars, his fortune, and his strength;'' name and glory, in a document that lies in copperplate at the bottom of the Thames, but, in 1767, had fallen over to Bute and under what was intended to be Pitt's Bridge, the court foes of the name of Pitt. “If the and is now Blackfriar's. And it must be Duke of Grafton," says Mr. Heron,“ had remembered, that to the remonstrance of the remained faithful to the Earl of Chatham, city of London, backed by Wilkes, Tooke, and scorned all political alliance with the Sawbridge and the rest, Chatham looked Bedfords as with the King's friends, the with solicitude for aid in overthrowing the union of Pitt and Grenville, the NewcasTory Ministry in 1770, and reinstating Whig- tle and Rockingham Whigs, would have gism in triumph. The disappointment of been triumphant, and the King would have Junius at the failure of this and other schemes surrendered the government to them on is irritably expressed in his last note to their own conditions." Grafton's defection Woodfall.

was a grievous disaster; and grievously cid It has been said that Chatham and Ju- Junius avenge it. Chatham's dislike of the nius differed with respect to the treatment King is very intelligible. George enterof the American colonists. But it is plain tained a hereditary aversion from William they only seemed to differ a3 much as was Pitt. The latter, in effect, said in the House necessary to keep up the deception and to of Lords in 1770, that the King had duped carry out the desire of Junius, so palpable him; whereupon Grafton started up with, in all his letters, to be taken for Grenville-“I rise to defend the King !" Wilkes, who to lead the curiosity of the world in the suspected to whom he wrote, tells Junius in direction of the Grenvilles. Junius, in the one of his letters, “ The Earl of Chatham told first letter, Poplicola's, denounced Chatham me ten years ago, that [the King] was the for encouraging the recusant Americans ; yet falsest hypocrite in Europe.” The haughty afterwards he admits (in the first of the Earl had sufficient motive to hold in scorn Junius series) that the question of taxation the ignorance, bigotry, and hypocrisy of had been revived, which should have been George the Third ; and Junius has inter

buried in oblivion." And again in 1771, preted the feeling in a personal manner, he

says he considers the right of taxing the which is not to be mistaken. Chatham decolonies by an act of the British Legislature, tested Mansfield as the most subtle, constant, a speculative right merely, “ never to be ex- and powerful of his Tory opponents. The erted, and never to be renounced." These estate which Sir W. Pynsent left to William opinions of Junius seem vacillating or in- Pitt was litigated, and Lord Mansfield favored sincere, seeing he had denounced Chatham the claims of the Pynsent family, against for something similar. Chatham, too, seem- the great Commoner. And such a circumed to hold undecided opinions on the mat- stance as this would naturally embitter the ter. He was at first disposed, with George hostility felt by the Earl towards Mansfield, Grenville, to tax the Americans, if they on account of their great political differences. would quietly permit it. As they would As regards the conveyancing part of this not, he opposed taxation. He next “ rejoiced mystery, Lord Chatham's wealth gave

bim that America had resisted;" and ultimately I ample means to insure the safe transit of

the correspondence with Woodfall. Money 1 gracious sovereign is as callous as a stockconquers the mightiest difficulties. Further- tish to every thing but the reproach of cowmore, and accounting almost conclusively / ardice; this alone is able to set the bumors for the successful concealment of this extra- afloat, and after a paper of that kind he won't ordinary business, he had amanuenses, at eat meat for a week;" that the King used to least an amanuensis, in his own household. live on potatoes only for several days; the His wife was sister of Richard, Earl Tem- statement that the Duke of Bedford had ple, and George Grenville, a woman of tal- rated him in the closet and "left him in ent and accomplishments. The Rev. Mr. convulsions ;" the quick notice taken of GarThackeray, biographer of Lord Chatham, rick's communication to Mr. Ramus, at Richsays: “She possessed a very powerful un- mond palace, (Peter Pindar's "Billy Ramus,") derstanding, combined with great feminine that Junius would write no more; all these delicacy. The ease and spirit with which things are naturally accounted for by the her ladyship wrote, rendered her letters very residence of Mrs. Anne Pitt in the heart of delightful to her friends, and enabled her the royal household. Apropos of David to assist Lord Chatham during his attend-Garrick, the bitter letter which Junius wrote ance in Parliament or his attacks of the to him shows how much the concealed gout, in answering many of his correspond-writer feared his prying inquiries. Chatham ents." Chatham's sister, Mrs. Anne Pitt, would greatly dread the curiosity of this a spinster, was just such a woman as her eminent plaver, seeing that the latter was brother was a man. Bolingbroke used to once on very intimate terms with himself call her Divinity Pitt, naming her brother and his family, and would be very likely to Sublimity Pitt; and Horace Walpole said make a shrewd guess at the handwriting. she and William were as much alike “ as He might have recognized Lady Chatham's : two drops of fire.” With such an amanu- he certainly knew his Lordship's; for, seveensis as his wife, and perhaps, occasionally, ral years previously, when Garrick was on his sister, the writing, copying, and trans- a visit to Mount Edgecombe, overlooking mitting his letters would not be the difficult Plymouth harbor and the sea, William Pitt matter which a man differently situated wrote to him an invitation to his own place, would have found it. And we perceive how in some verses which may read curiously in the chances of discovery would be excluded the present connection :by such means. Lady Chatham's feig ned

“Leave, Garrick, the rich landscape, proudly gay, hand may well banne the critical sagacity of Docks, forts and navies, brightening all the bay; all who tried to trace it home. All they To my plain roof repair, primeval seat; could make out was that the writing was Yet there no wonder thy quick eye can meet, like the hand used by ladies at the begin- Save should you deem it wonderful to find

Ambition cured and an unpassioned mind. ning of the century, with one exception. The

A statesman without power and without gall, letter to the King seemed to have been Hating no courtiers, happier than them all; traced heavily with a pen over pencilled | Bowed to no yoke, nor crouching for applause, letters. Wilkes said Junius's usual hand Votary alone of freedom and the laws. resembled that of Lady Chatham's mother, which he had seen. While the character Come, w and abilities of his wife enabled Junius to

to Great Nature's proxy, glass of every age,” &c. say, with something near enough perhaps Very different all this from “Now, mai to the truth, under the circumstances, “I me, vagabond !" But this quotation exhibam the sole depository of my secret,” the its the versatility of Pitt's pen. If he had accuracy and minuteness of his information not been a great statesman, he would have of the doings at the palace would cease to been a great literary man. be surprising, seeing that Mrs. Anne Pitt | To return to Junius's court informawas Privy Purse to the King's mother, and tion. What an idea does it not give of the as much the centre of English court gossip amazing audacity which we assume to have as Madame Dudevant was of the French. been Chatham's, in laying about him so The assurance to Woodfall in 1771 that the desperately on the highest people in the Princess Dowager was in the habit of “suck- realm, with whom he and his family were ling toads from morning till night” for the in the habit of mingling in the daily intercure of a cancer in the breast; that “our course of society! He might very well

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »