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was soon afterwards caused by the proclamation against seditious writings. Mr. Fox, Mr. Whitbread, and Mr. Grey condemned the proclamation, as designed to discredit the Friends of the People and to disunite the opposition. On the other hand, Lord North, Lord Tichfield, Mr. Wyndham, and Mr. Powys, thought the proclamation necessary, and supported the government. Whether Mr. Pitt designed it or not, no measure could have been more effectual for dividing the Whig party.
An attempt was now made, through Mr. Dundas, Lord Loughborough, Lord Malmesbury, and the Duke of Portland, to arrange a coalition between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox. Both were, at this time, agreed in viewing the revolutionary excesses of France with disgust; and both were alike anxo ious for neutrality and peace: but the difficulties of satisfying the claims of the different parties, the violent opposition of Mr. Burke, the disunion of the Whigs, and little earnestness on either side, insured the failure of these overtures.? Their miscarriage had a serious influence upon the future policy of the state. The union of two such men as Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox would have insured temperate and enlightened counsels at the most critical period in the history of Europe. But Mr. Fox, in opposition, was encouraged to coquet with democracy, and proclaim, out of season, the sovereignty of the people; while the alarmist section of the Whigs were naturally drawn closer to Mr. Pitt.
1 Lord Holland's Mem., i. 15; Parl. Hist., xxix. 1476, 1514. Before the proclamation was issued, “Mr. Pitt sent copies of it to several members of the opposition in both Houses, requesting their advice.”- Lord Malmes. bury's Diary, June 13, 1792; Tomline's Life of Pitt, iii. 347; Lord Stanhope's Life of Pitt, ii. 156.
2 Lord Malmesbury's Corr., ii. 425-410. Lord Colchester's Diary and Corr., i. 13. “It was the object of Mr. Pitt to separate Mr. Fox from some of his friends, and particularly from Sheridan. He wished to make him a party to a coalition between the ministry and the aristocratical branches of the Whigs. Mr. Fox, with his usual generosity, declined the offer."— Lord Holland's Mem., ii. 46. Lord Campbell's Life of Lord Loughborough — Lives of Chancellors, vi. 221, et seq.
The advancing events of the French Revolution, — the decree of fraternity issued by the French Convention, - the execution of the king, - the breaking leading Chigo out of the revolutionary war, — and the extrava- Pitt. gance of the English democrats, completed the ruin Jan. 28th, of the Whig party. In January, 1793, Lord 1793. Loughborough passed from the opposition benches to the woolsack. He was afterwards followed, in the House of Lords, by the Duke of Portland, - the acknowledged leader of the Whigs, — Lord Spencer, Lord Fitzwilliam, and Lord Carlisle; and in the Commons, by Mr. Windham, Mr. Thomas Grenville, Sir Gilbert Elliot, many of the old Whigs, and all the adherents of Lord North, who were henceforth the colleagues or firm supporters of Mr. Pitt. Even Mr. Grattan and the Irish patriots sided with the government." The small party which still clung to Mr. Fox numbered scarcely sixty members; and rarely mustered more than forty in a division. In the Lords, Lord Derby, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Stanhope, and Lord Lauderdale, constituted nearly the entire opposition. Mr. Burke, having commenced the ruin of his party, retired from Parliament when it was consummated, — to close his days in sorrow and dejection.
The great Whig party was indeed reduced in numbers
1 Lord Malmesbury's Corr., ii. 452; Mem. of Fox, iii. 24; Lord Holland's Dem. of the Whig Party, i. 5, 22-25; Lord Stanhope's Life of Pitt, ii. 212; Lord J. Russell's Life of Fox, ii. 309.
2 Lord Holland's Mem., i. 73-77.
8 Feb. 18, 1792; 44 to 270; 43 to 284 on Parl. Reform; 40, on the breaking out of the war.- Lord Holland's Mem., i. 30; Parl. Hist., XXX. 59, 453, 925. They mustered 53 against the third reading of the Seditious Assembly Bill, Dec. 3, 1795; and 50 in support of Mr. Grey's motion in favor of treating for peace, Feb. 15, 1796. — Lord Colchester's Diary, i 12, 33: 42, on Mr. Fox's motion on the state of the nation with regard to the war, May 10, 1796. - Tbil., 57.
4 Lord Holland's Mem., i. 32. — They were soon joined by the Duke of Bedford. - Ibid., 78.
6 Prior's Life of Burke, 489; MacKnight's Life of Burke, iii. 582, 604; Lord Stanhope's Life of Pitt, ii. 243, 320, &c.; Burke's Corr., iv. 430.
and influence; but all their ablest men, except Mr. Burke
and Mr. Windham, were still true to their prinof the opposi- ciples. Mr. Fox was supported by Mr. Sheridan,
Mr. Erskine, Mr. Grey, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Coke of Norfolk, Mr. Lambton, Lord John, and Lord William Russell ;? and soon received a valuable auxiliary in the person of Mr. Tierney. They were powerless against ministers in divisions; but in debates their eloquence, their manly defence of constitutional liberty, and their courageous resistance to the arbitrary measures of the government, kept alive a spirit of freedom which the disastrous events of the time had nearly extinguished. And the desertion of lukewarm and timid supporters of their cause left them without restraint in expressing their liberal sentiments. They received little support from the people. Standing between democracy on the one side, and the classes whoin democracy had scared, and patriotism or interest attracted to the government, on the other, they had nothing to lean
but the great principles and faith of their party. Even the Priuce of Wales abandoned them. His sympathies were naturally with kings and rulers, and against revolution ; and renouncing his friends, he became a fickle and capricious supporter of the minister. The great body of the people,
1 Lord Holland's Mem., 30; Lord J. Russell's Life of Fox, ii. 324, &c. 2 Mr. Tierney entered Parliament in 1796. 8 Lord Holland's Mem., i. 25.
· Fox's Mem., iii. 35; Lord J. Russell's Life of Fox, ii. 253-321; Cooke's Hist. of Party, iii. 366-452; Life and Opinions of Earl Grey, 22.
6“In 1795 the Prince was offended by Mr. Pitt's arrangement for the payment of his debts out of his increased income, upon his marriage, and his support of the government was weakened.”—Lord Hollan's Mem., i. 81.
March 28, 1797. “ The Prince of Wales sat under the gallery during the whole debate (on the Bank Committee), and his friends voted in the opposition.". - Lord Colchester's Diary, i. 88.
April 3, 1797. The Prince of Wales, not being permitted to undertake a mission to Ireland, which he had proposed," wrote to Lord Fitzwilliam, and also to Mr. Fox, offering to put himself at the head of their party at home, and to oppose openly all measures of the present administration. They all
whom the democrats failed to gain over, recoiled from the bloodthirsty Jacobins, and took part with the government in the repression of democracy.
If such was the prostration of the Whigs, what was the towering strength of Mr. Pitt? Never had any minister been so absolute, since England had been of Mr. Pitt's a constitutional state, governed by the instrumentality of parties. Never had a minister united among his
upporters so many different classes and parties of men. Democracy abroad had threatened religion ; and the clergy - almost to a man were with the defender of “ Church and King.” The laws and institutions of the realm were believed to be in danger; and the lawyers pressed forward to support the firm champion of order. Property and public credit were menaced ; and proprietors of the soil, capitalists, fund-holders, confided in the strong-handed minister. The patriotism of the nation was aroused in support of a statesman, who was wielding all the resources of the state in a deadly war.
Such were the political causes which attracted men of all parties to the side of the minister, whose policy was accepted as national. Motives less patriotic, but equally natural, contributed to the consolidation of his power.
Many of the largest proprietors of boroughs were now detached from the Whig party, and carried over their parliamentary interest to the other side. Their defection was not met by the minister with ingratitude. They shared his infuence, and were overloaded with honors, which he himself despised. Boroughs in the market also rapidly fell into the hands of the dominant party. To supporters of the government the purchase of a borough was a promising investment: to opponents it offered nothing but disappointment. The close corporations were filled with Tories, who secured the disguaded him from that line of conduct: but on Saturday, 25th March, Mr. Fox, Erskine, the Duke of Norfolk, &c., dined at Carlton House.” — Ibid.,
representation of their cities for their own party. None but zealous adherents of the government could hope for the least share of the patronage of the crown. The piety of a churchman brought him no preferment, unless his political orthodoxy was well attested. All who aspired to be prebendaries, deans, and bishops, sought Tory patrons, and professed the Tory creed. At the bar, an advocate might be learned and eloquent beyond all rivalry, eagerly sought out by clients, persuasive with juries, and overmastering judges by his intellect and erudition, but all the prizes of his noble profession were beyond his reach, unless he enrolled himself a member of the dominant party. An ambitious man was offered the choice of the fashionable opinions of the majority, with a career of honor and distinction, or the proscribed sentiments of a routed party, with discouragement, failure, and obscurity. Who can wonder that the bar soon made their choice, and followed the minister ?
The country gentlemen formed the natural strength of the Tory party. They joined it heartily, without any inducement save their own strong convictions; but their fidelity was rewarded by a generous monarch and a grateful minister. If a man's ambition was not entirely satisfied by the paternal acres, let him display zeal at the elections. If he would not see his rivals outstrip him in the race of life, let him beware of lukewarmness in the Tory cause. A Whig country gentleman could rarely aspire even to the commission of the peace : a dissenter could not hope for such a trust. Ambition quickened the enthusiasm of Tories, and converted many an undecided and hesitating Whig. The moneyed classes, as we have already seen, had been gradually detached from the Whig interest, and brought over to the king and the Tories; and now they were, heart and soul, with Mr. Pitt. If the people were impoverished by his loans and war taxes, they, at least, prospered and grew rich. Such a minister was far too “good for trade” not to command their will. ing allegiance. A vast expenditure bound them to him; and