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homage they may pay to the eloquence of the gentlemen who choose to look down
them with scorn), are not their inferiours in any particular which calls for and obtains just consideration from the publick; not their inferiours in knowledge of publick law, or of the constitution of the kingdom; not their inferiours in their acquaintance with its foreign and domestic interests ; not their inferiours in experience or practice of business; not their inferiours in moral character; not their inferiours in the proofs they have given of zeal and industry in the service of their country. Without denying to these gentlemen the respect and consideration which, it is allowed, justly belongs to them, we see no reason why they should not as well be obliged to defer something to our opinions, as that we should be bound blindly and servilely to follow those of Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Grey, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Lambton, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Taylor, and others. We are members of parliament and their equals. We never consider ourselves as their followers. These gentlemen (some of them hardly born, when some of us came into parliament) have thought proper to treat us as deserters, as if we had been listed into their phalanx like soldiers, and had sworn to live and die in their French principles. This insolent claim of superiority on their part, and of a sort of vassalage to them on that of other members, is what no liberal mind will submit to bear.
49. The Society of the Liberty of the Press, the Whig Club, and the Society for Constitutional Information, and (I believe) the Friends of the People, as well as some clubs in Scotland, have indeed declared, “ That their confidence in, and attach“ ment to, Mr. Fox has lately been confirmed,
strengthened, and increased, by the calumnies “ (as they are called) against him.” It is true, Mr. Fox and his friends have those testimonies in their favour, against certain old friends of the Duke of Portland. Yet, on a full, serious, and, I think, dispassionate consideration of the whole of what Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan and their friends have acted, said, and written, in this session, instead of doing any thing which might tend to procure power, or any share of it whatsoever, to them or to their phalanx, (as they call it), or to increase their credit, influence, or popularity in the nation, I think it one of my most serious and important publick duties, in whatsoever station I may be placed for the short time I have to live, effectually to employ my best endeavours, by every prudent and every lawful means, to traverse all their designs. I have only to lament, that my abilities are not greater, and that my probability of life is not better, for the more effectual pursuit of that object. But I trust that neither the principles nor
exertions will die with me. I am the rather confirmed in this my resolution, and in this
wish of transmitting it, because every ray of hope concerning a possible control or mitigation of the enormous mischiefs which the principles of these gentlemen, and which their connexions, full as dangerous as their principles, might receive from the influence of the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam, on becoming their colleagues in office, is now entirely banished from the mind of every one living. It is apparent, even to the world at large, that, so far from having a power to direct or to guide Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Grey, and the rest, in any important matter, they have not, through this session, been able to prevail on them to forbear, or to delay, or mitigate, or soften, any one act, or any one expression, upon subjects on which they essentially differed.
50. Even if this hope of a possible control did exist, yet the declared opinions and the uniform line of conduct conformable to those opinions, pursued by Mr. Fox, must become a matter of serious alarm if he should obtain a power either at court or in parliament, or in the nation at large; and for this plain reason-He must be the most active and efficient member in any administration of which he shall form a part. That a man, or set of men, are guided by such not dubious, but delivered and avowed principles and maxims of policy as to need a watch and check on them, in the exercise of the highest power, ought in my opinion, to make every man, who is not of the same principles, and guided by the same maxims, a little cautious how he makes himself one of the traverses of a ladder, to help such a man, or such a set of men, to climb up to the highest authority. A minister of this country is to be controlled by the house of commons. He is to be trusted, not controlled, by his colleagues in office; if he were to be controlled, government, which ought to be the source of order, would itself become a scene of anarchy. Besides, Mr. Fox is a man of an aspiring and commanding mind, made, rather to control than to be controlled, and he never will be, nor can be, in any administration, in which he will be guided by any of those whom I have been accustomed to confide in. It is absurd to think that he would or could. If his own opinions do not control him, nothing can. When we consider of an adherence to a man which leads to his power, we must not only see what the man is, but how he stands related. It is not to be forgotten that Mr. Fox acts in close and inseparable connexion with another gentleman of exactly the same description as himself, and who, perhaps, of the two, is the leader. The rest of the body are not a great deal more tractable; and over them if Mr. Fox and Mr. Sheridan have authority, most assuredly the Duke of Portland has not the smallest degree of influence.
51. One must take care, that a blind partiality to some persons, and as blind a hatred to others, may not enter into our minds under a colour of inflexible publick principle. We hear, as a reason for clinging to Mr. Fox at present, that nine years ago Mr. Pitt got into power by mischievous intrigues with the court, with the dissenters, and with other factious people out of parliament, to the discredit and weakening of the power of the house of commons. His conduct nine years ago I still hold to be very culpable. There are, however, many things very culpable that I do not know how to punish. My opinion, on such matters, I must submit to the good of the state, as I have done on other occasions; and particularly with regard to the authors and managers of the American war, with whom I have acted, both in office and in opposition, with great confidence and cordiality, though I thought many of their acts criminal and impeachable. Whilst the misconduct of Mr. Pitt and his associates was yet recent, it was not possible to get Mr. Fox of himself to take a single step, or even to countenance others in taking any step upon the ground of that misconduct and false policy, though if the matters had been then