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Mr. Lambton, Mr. Whitbread, Mr. Taylor, and oth
We are members of Parliament and their cquals. We never consider ourselves as their followers. These gentlemen (some of them hardly born when some of us came into Parliament) havo thought proper to treat us as deserters, -- as if wo had been listed into their phalanx like soldiers, and had sworn to live and die in their French principles. This insolent claim of supcriority on their part, and of a sort of vassalage to them on that of other members, is what no liberal inind will submit to bear.
49. The society of trio Liberty of the Press, tho Whig Club, and the Sociсty for Constitutional Information, and (I believe) the Friends of the Peoplo, as well as some clubs in Scotland, have, indecd, declared, “that their confidence in and attachment to Mr. l'ox lias 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 favor, 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 anything which might tend to 'procure power, or any share of it whatsoever, to ihem 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 importaut public duties, in whatsoever station I may bo placed for the short time I have to live, cffectually to employ my best endeavors, by every prudent and cvery 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 tho more cllectual pursuit of that object. But I trust that neither the principles nor exertions will lie with me. I am the rather confirmed in this my resolution, and in this my wish of transmitting it, because every ray of hope concerning a possible control or mitigation of the cnormous mischiefs which the principles of these gentlemen, and which their connectious, full aş dangerous as their principles, might receive from the influence of the Duke of Portland and Lord Fitzwilliam, on becoming their colleagues in oslice, is now entirely banished from the inind 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 diflered.
50. Even if this hope of a possible control did cxist, yet the declared opinions, and the uniforin line of conduct conformable to those opinions, pursued by Mr. Fox, must become a matter of serious alarm, if hic should obtain a power cither at court or in Parliament or in the nation at largc, and for this plain reason: he must be the most active and clicient member in any administration of which he shall form a part. That a man, or set of men, are guidcd 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
samo 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 bo controlled by the House of Commons. Ile is to bo trusted, not controlled, by his colleagues in oslice : if he were to be controlled, government, which ought to be the source of order, would itself become a sceno 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 sco what the man is, but how he stands related. It is not to be forgottcp that Mr. Fox acts in close and inseparable connection with another gentleman of exactly the same description as himself, and who, perlaps, 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 somo persons, and as blind an hatred to others, may not cntcr into our minds under a color of inflexible public principle. We hcar, 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 discrcdit and weak.
ening of the power of the Montse of Commons. Ilis conduct nine years ago I still old to be very culpable. There are, however, many things very culpable that I do not know how to punishı. 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 acteel, both in ollice and in opposition, with great conlidence and cordiality, though I thought many of their acts crim; inal ind 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 cren to countenance others in taking any step, upon the ground of that misconduct and falso policy; though, if the matters had been then taken up and pursued, such a step could not have appeared so cvidently desperate as now it is. So far from pursuing Mr. Pitt, I kuow that then, and for some time aster, some of Mr. Fox's friends were actually, and with no small carnestness, 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, cither in public or in private, as a ground for opposition to that minister. All opposition, from that period to this very session, has procccded upon the separate measures as they separately arose, without any vindictivo retrospect to Mr. Pitt's conduct in 1781. My memory, however, may fail me. I must appeal to the printed debates, which (so far as Mr. Fox is concerned) are unusually accurato.
52. Whatever might have been in our power at in carly period, at this day I see no remedy for what
was done in 1781. I had no great hopes even at the time. I was therefore very cager to record a remonstrance on the journals of the House of Commons, as a caution against such a popular delusion in times to comc; and this I then feared, and now am certain, is all that could be donc. I know of no way of ani. madverting on the crown. I know of no mode of calling to account the Ilouse 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 · IIouse of Cominons, though he did enjoy the confidence of thic crown. That House of Commons, whose confidence he did not enjoy, unfortunately did not itself enjoy the confidence (though we well descrved it) cither of the crown or of the public. 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 Ilouse of Commons, through two successive Parliaments; and I suspect that he has ever since, and that he docs still, enjoy as largo 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 cammot 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,