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taken up and pursued, such a step could not have appeared so evidently desperate as now it is. So far from pursuing Mr. Pitt, I know that then, and for some time after, some of Mr. Fox's friends were actually, and with no small earnestness, looking out to a coalition with that gentleman. For years I never heard this circumstance of Mr. Pitt's misconduct on that occasion mentioned by Mr. Fox, either in publick or in private, as a ground for opposition to that minister. All opposition, from that period to this very session, has proceeded
upon the separate measures as they separately arose, without any vindictive retrospect to Mr. Pitt's conduct in 1784. My memory, however, may
fail me. I must appeal to the printed debates, which (so far as Mr. Fox is concerned) are unusually accurate.
52. Whatever might have been in our power, at an early period, at this day I see no remedy for what was done in 1784. I had no great hopes even at the time. I was therefore very eager to record a remonstrance on the journals of the house of commons, as a caution against such a popular delusion in times to come; and this I then feared, and now am certain, is all that could be done. I know of no way of animadverting on the crown. I know of no mode of calling to account the house of lords, who threw out the India bill, in a way
not much to their credit. As little, or rather less, am I able to coerce the people at large, who behaved very unwisely and intemperately on that occasion. Mr. Pitt was then accused, by me as well as others, of attempting to be minister without enjoying the confidence of the house of commons, though he did enjoy the confidence of the
That house of commons, whose confidence he did not enjoy, unfortunately did not itself enjoy the confidence (though we well deserved it) either of the crown or of the publick. For want of that confidence, the then house of commons did not survive the contest.
Since that period Mr. Pitt has enjoyed the confidence of the crown, and of the lords, and of the house of commons, through two successive parliaments; and I suspect that he has ever since, and that he does still, enjoy as large a portion, at least, of the confidence of the people without doors, as his great rival. Before whom, then, is Mr. Pitt to be impeached, and by whom? The more I consider the matter, the more firmly I am convinced, that the idea of proscribing Mr. Pitt indirectly, when you cannot directly punish him, is as chimerical a project, and as unjustifiable, as it would be to have proscribed Lord North. For supposing, that by indirect ways of opposition, by opposition upon measures which do not relate to the business of
1784, 1784, but which on other grounds might prove unpopular, you were to drive him from his seat, this would be no example whatever of punishment for the matters we charge as offences in 1784. On a cool and dispassionate view of the affairs of this time and country, it appears obvious to me, that one or the other of those two great men, that is, Mr. Pitt or Mr. Fox, must be minister. They are, I am sorry for it, irreconcilable. Mr. Fox's conduct in this session has rendered the idea of his power a matter of serious alarm to many people, who were very little pleased with the proceedings of Mr. Pitt in the beginning of his administration. They like neither the conduct of Mr. Pitt, in 1784, nor that of Mr. Fox, in 1793; but they estimate which of the evils is most pressing at the time, and what is likely to be the consequence of a change. If Mr. Fox be wedded, they must be sensible, that his opinions and principles, on the now existing state of things at home and abroad, must be taken as his portion. In his train must also be taken the whole body of gentlemen who are pledged to him and to each other, and to their common politicks and principles.--I believe no king of Great Britain ever will adopt, for his confidential servants, that body of gentlemen, holding that body of principles. Even if the present king or his successor should think fit to take that step, I apprehend a general discontent of those, who
wish that this nation and that Europe should continue in their present state, would ensue; a discontent, which, combined with the principles and progress of the new men in power, would shake this kingdom to its foundations. I do not believe any one political conjecture can be more certain than this.
53. Without at all defending or palliating Mr. Pitt's conduct in 1784, I must observe, that the crisis of 1793, with regard to every thing at home and abroad, is full as important as that of 1784 ever was; and, if for no other reason, by being present, is much more important. It is not to nine years ago we are to look for the danger of Mr. Fox's and Mr. Sheridan's conduct, and that of the gentlemen who act with them. It is at this very time, and in this very session, that, if they had not been strenuously resisted, they would not merely have discredited the house of commons (as Mr. Pitt did in 1784, when he pursuaded the king to reject their advice, and to appeal from them to the people), but in my opinion, would have been the means of wholly subverting the house of commons and the house of peers, and the whole constitution actual and virtual, together with the safety and independence of this nation, and the peace and settlement of every state in the now christian world. It is to our opinion of the nature of jacobinism, and of the probability, by
corruption, faction, and force, of its gaining ground every where, that the question whom and what you are to support is to be determined. For my part, without doubt or hesitation, I look upon jacobinism as the most dreadful, and the most shameful evil, which ever afflicted mankind, a thing which
goes beyond the power of all calculation in its mischief; and that if it is suffered to exist in France, we must in England, and speedily too, fall into that calamity.
54. I figure to myself the purpose of these gentlemen accomplished, and this ministry destroyed. I see that the persons, who in that case must rule, can be no other than Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Grey, the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord Thurlow, Lord Lauderdale, and the Duke of Norfolk, with the other chiefs of the friends of the people, the parliamentary reformers, and the admirers of the French Revolution. The principal of these are all formally pledged to their projects. If the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam should be admitted into that system (as they might and probably would be), it is quite certain they could not have the smallest weight in it; less, indeed, than what they now possess, if less were possible: because they would be less wanted than they now are; and because all those who wished to join them, and to act under them, have been rejected by the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam