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to them from various parts of the kingdom, expressive of the gratitude of the persons by whom they were sent for the assertion which had been made by the House of Commons of their right of providing for the present deficiency.
On the 16th of January Mr. Pitt opened his propositions to the House of Commons. He began by observing, that he should make no alteration in what he had intended to suggest, and stated as the ground of their proceedings, that the King's recovery was more probable than the contrary, and that the greatest length to which the malady was ordinarily known to extend was a year and a half or two years, the shortest three months, and the average five or six. Such was the decisive opinion of Dr. Willis, who of all the King's physicians was most entitled to credit, as having had the greatest experience in this particular disorder, and being most constant in his attendance upon his patient. Mr. Pitt adverted to the regency bills of Queen Ann, of King George I. and King George II. where, the circumstance in contemplation being a minority, the prospect of a more certain and longer delegation of power was afforded than in the present instance. In each of these cases, the powers of the crown had been lodged not in a single hand, but in a great variety of persons. He had himself considerable doubts whether these bills were well adapted to the circumstances of the times in which they had passed, and, according ly, was firmly of opinion, that the political power should be intrusted by parliament to one individual. But as the delegated authority had been in former instances restricted by the mode in which it was distributed, so he deemed it more especially right in the present, that it should have certain limitations. He reasoned particularly upon the limitation respecting the pcerage, and contended that it could scarcely be maintained, that the want of such an incentive for a few months was likely to deprive the country of the service of its meritorious citizens. The prerogative of creating peers was of a very delicate nature, since an honour of this sort was permanent, and when once bestowed could not be revoked. As an instance of its possible abuse, Mr. Pitt desired to make the supposition of such a confederacy and cabal (the minister here evidently alluded to the coalition) being formed, as had been convicted a few years since, of a design to overthrow the constitution, alleging, that by such persons they might expect the regent to be advised to create so great a number of peers, as would considerably embarrass the crown in carrying on the government, when the King should again be restored to his regal capacity.
The last proposition, Mr. Pitt said, was not the less important and indispensible. Without investing the queen with the controul of the liousehold, she could not properly discharge the guardianship, which they were unanimously disposed to commit to her care. It was impossible to suppose that the influence arising from this patronage could operate to the disadvantage of the regent's administration. moment to harbour the idea would be equally romantic and indecent. He believed no man would venture to charge blame of
upon sonage, who had lived almost thirty years in the country a pattern of domestic affection, tenderness, and virtue, against whom the breath of calumny
this great per
had not dared to utter a whisper, and who could not merit it at a moment of such complicated affliction. The master of the horse indeed, the lord chamberlain, the lord steward of the household, and others were by many thought high officers of state; but the fact was otherwise. They were the menial servants of the crown, essential to its dignity and splendour. He urged it to the house as a natter of humanity and loyalty not to interfere with the King's domestic arrangements. What, he asked, must that great personage feel, when he waked from the trance of his faculties, and asked for his attendants, if he were told, that his subjects had taken advantage of his momentary absence of mind, and stripped him of the symbols of his personal elevation ? Mr. Pitt added, that he was sensible of what was due to the regent, who ought to have