Page images
PDF
EPUB

ment. After dinner, a little boy, named William, came up to his Lordship, got strawberries from him, and shewed great fondness for him. Afterwards, at tea, his Lordship proposing to renew their acquaintance, William turned his back upon him. • Ah! William,' said Lord North, ‘ you are not the only one that paid court to me while I could give them strawberries, but turn their backs upon me when I have none to give them

Although, no doubt, Lord North's Administration was in many points objectionable; although his indulgence to his friends led him to too great profusion of donative, his own private integrity stands unimpeached. Fox and Burke, as the leaders of a party, might. inveigh against his continuance in office; as patriots of extraordinary ability might censure some of his measures; but ncither they, nor any one, ever accused him of applying the public money to his own use. As public men, they opposed his public conduct; as private, they could not personally dislike a man whose open and amiable dispositions and manners resembled their own.

The first measure proposed by Fox as Minister, and supported by Burke, appears to have been somewhat precipitate:-an offer of peace to the Dutch, which they received very coldly.

[ocr errors]

: Mr. Fox brought a message from the King, recommending the adoption of a plan for the retrenchment of expences. The object of this was to pave the way for the revival of Burke's reform bill, which, after several modifications, passed. Several popular propositions were made by the new Ministry or their adherents, and adopted. The resolution of 1769, respecting the Middlesex election, and against which Burke had displayed such eloquence, was punged from the journals of the house. Such measures were proposed as tended to satisfy Ireland, by rendering the Parliament of that country independent of that of

ex

, Great Britain. The only party measure with which this Administration was chargeable was the appointment of Admiral Pigot to supersede Rodney, who had, on the famous 12th of April, gained a most celebrated naval victory. July 1, 1782, the Marquis of Rockingham died.

Burke wrote the following inscription for the mausoleum erected to the Marquis's memory in Wentworth Park, in which Lord Fitzwilliam has also placed a bust of the author.

Charles, Marquis of Rockingham;-a statesman, in whom constancy, fidelity, sincerity, and directness, were the sole instruments of his policy. His virtues were his arts,

A clear, sound, unadulterated sense, not perplexed with intricate design, or disturbed by ungoverned passion, gave consistency, dignity, and effect to all his measures. In Opposition, he respected the

[ocr errors]

principles of Government; in Administra. tion, he provided for the liberties of the people. He employed his moments of power in realizing every thing which he had

proposed in a popular situation. This was the distinguishing mark of his conduct. After twenty-four years of service to the public, in a critical and trying time, he left no debt of just expectation unsatisfied.

• By his prudence and patience, he brought together a party, which it was the great object of his labours to render permanent, not as an instrument of ambition, but as a living depositary of principle.

· The virtues of his public and private life were not, in him, of different characters. It was the same feeling, benevolent, liberal mind, which, in the internal relations of life, conciliated the unfeigned love of those who see men as they are, which made him an inflexible patriot.

He was devoted to the cause of liberty, not because he was laughty

and untractable, but because he was benefia cent and humane.

[ocr errors]

· Let his successors, who from this house behold this, monument, reflect that their conduct will make it their glory or their reproach. Let them be persuaded that similarity of manners, not proximity of blood, gives them an interest in this statue.

REMEMBER, RESEMBLE, PERSEVERE.'

I have already said that it was generally understood that the Marquis of Rockingham advanced to Mr. Burke ten thousand pounds, on a simple bond, never intended to be reclaimed. * Whatever the precise amount was, that it never was intended to be reclaimed has, since the publication of the first edition, been ascertained to the writer on the following grounds. On Saturday, June 30th, 1782, Mr. Counsellor Lee was sent for by express

* See page 166 of this edition,

« PreviousContinue »