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advanced some observations calculated to make it appear that Lord Catham had
applied to Lord Bute. Mountstuart, a sensible, well informed, experienced man, on the one side, and Pitt, a youth of nineteen, on the other, entered into discussion of the subject. Pitt manifested a striking superiority in genius and reasoning.
In his speech on Burke's reform, Pitt acquitted himself so as to justify the anticipations of the public in his favour. He in some measure joined the party which Burke and Fox headed, but maintained the sentiments of his father respecting the independence of America.
One of the chief excellencies of Pitt's speeches is the clearness of the arrangement. This
appears to result from a comprehensive mind viewing the subject in all its parts and relations, and disposing them in such a way as, from that view, he perceives, will render them most effectual. In the former edition, and also in the Histo
rical Magazine of June 1799, I delivered an opinion, that, in several points, Mr. Pitt considerably resembles Dr. Robertson. Like that eminent historian, he displays great powers
of combination, of bringing together every circuinstance and argument that can elucidate his plans or evince his propositions. He sets before us a subject in all its parts, dependencies, and relations. The comprehensive view which he takes, enables him to clear his ground as he goes along, and precludes every necessity of repetition. He makes his hearer and reader perfectly masters of his reasoning and its foundation. This constant and habitual exertion of a comprehensive mind produces clearness of arrangement, as it enables him to dispose every part of his orations in such a way, as he perceives will render them most effectual. Eloquence naturally calls forward more forcible reasoning than history, from minds equally strong; but it does not naturally produce more profound reflections : greater depth, there-fore, must result from superior knowledge and superior powers. In the compass and
depth of his understanding, I think Mr. Pitt is doubtless superior to that great man to whom I have compared him above. Force of reasoning, however, he has in common with another 'extraordinary personage, Mr. Fox; profound observation and expanded views, with a still greater personage, Mr. Burke; but there is one point in which he excells these uncommon men'; that is, the appropriate appositeness of his arguments to the question at issue. We have not only before us every thing that is requisite, but nothing that is not requisite. If we consider the speeches of these three great men, Pitt, Fox, and Burke, as we should do a proposition in Euclid, enunciating a certain theorem to be proved true or false, and estimate the arguments of each by their exclusive tendency to prove the proposition enunciated, we must certainly give the preference to Pitt. The closeness of Pitt has converged the rays of Fox's genius; who- . ever peruses his speeches during Lord North’s Administration, and his speeches during Mr. Pitt's, will find that, excellent
as they were in the former period, they are
other orator, ancient or modern, as to
precision, he has not neglected rhetorical art. His language is proper, elegant, and harmonious.
About the same time another member appeared on the side of Opposition, also displaying talents very superior to those of the majority of parliamentary speakers. Mr. Sheridan having earned and acquired a character by his comic poetry, surpassing that of any writer since the time of Congreve, came to display in the senate a genius that had procured him such applause on the theatre. Penetrating acuteness of discernment, fertility of invention, variety, abundance, and brilliancy of wit, force and justness of humour, Sheridan possesses above most men. His powers he directs. with great dexterity, so as to give them all possible effect. He is an elegant classical scholar, and has an exquisite taste. His mind, however, is not enriched by knowledge equal to its capacity: hence his eloquence, though manifesting great ingenuity in occasional observation, seldom contains a