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likewise to be numbered among the more chosen of his associates.
Among the nobility who were more particularly honoured with his countenance were the dukes of Norfolk, Bedford, Devonshire, Portland, and Northumberland; the earls of Derby, Cholmondeley, and Fitzwilliam; and lords St. John, Ponsonby, Craven, and Southampton. Among the commoners of distinction were Mr. (since Lord) Erskine, who on the formation of his royal highness's establishment was appointed to the post of attorney-general to the Prince, and Messrs. Burgoyne, Coke, Crewe, Fitzpatrick, Francis, Grey, Honeywood, Knight, Lambton, Newpham, Plumer, Pigot, Taylor, Windham, and many more equally respectable in their principles and fortune.
A work which we shall not so far honour as to name, which, under a ridiculous title, professes to give memoirs of the heir apparent, enumerating the friends by whom his royal highness was surrounded at this period of his life, has, by every sort of distortion and malignity, endeavoured to impress the public with unfavourable sentiments of the Prince's friends. Ridiculous nicknames or stupid allusions to professional pursuits furnish this wretched scribbler with his epithets, while no ten times repeated calumny, ten times applied to as many different persons is too gross for his taste, no foul and self-refuted scandal is unacceptable to his nauseous, adulterous imagination.
It is the character of devils to hate the virtues which they cannot imitate. Who were the friends whom the Prince of Wales gathered round him on attaining the years of manhood, but the very men whom the hopes and the
wishes of the nation pointed out as fit associates for the heir apparent of the crown? Was it of Jenkinson, of Pitt, or of Dundas that he was likeliest to recieve
pure lessons on the genius and spirit of the English constitution ? Were these the fittest luminaries of the House of Commons to teach a young prince how to value the rights of the people? Were these the paragons of virtue, independence, integrity, and public spirit to whom Burke, and Fox, and Sheridan ought to have given way? Common sense laughs at the mere suggestion; but the indignation of honest virtue is roused at seeing such creatures as these, the tools of the basest intrigues, and the meanest sycophants of power, put for a moment in competition with such men as a Burke, a Fox, or a Sheridan.
Where among the descendants of the ancient nobility of England could the Prince of Wales have chosen associates more worthy of his rank and of the principles which seated the Brunswick family on the throne than among the Howards, the Russels, the Cavendishes, the Percies, the Stanleys, the Wentworths, and the Keppels of the age? Or where, among the commons of the land, where was he to look for more virtue, patriotism, or public spirit than in that firm and united band of whigs, whose persevering efforts put an end to the disastrous war with America ? Was it from among place-menor place-hunters, jobbers and contractors, East and West India plunderers, and the offals and scummings of office that the prince was to draw his associates, and from the exhibition of their virtues to model his conduct? Yet this is what we must believe, if those writers are to be credited who have represented the Prince as surrounded by none but men immoral in their lives, destitute of abilities, profligate in their principles, and, in a word, needy adventurers, of such insatiable rapacity, that they would wade to power through the dirtiest paths of political turpitude and corruption.
Oh, hallowed names of Burke and Fox! oh transcendent genius of Sheridan! are ye the men who have reflected so much lustre on your country, that needy and impotent scribblers thus seek to vilify! Oh! degradation of that sacred and perennial stream of light and freedom, the British press, that pens so unworthy and malignant should be found, to blacken the fair honours of the noble Howard, of the illustrious descendants of the virtuous Lord William Russel, of the generous lines of Cavendish, Stanley, Fitzwilliam, and the other noble associates whom the Prince has gathered round his stand