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be extremely absurd, indecorous, and unfeeling. It, however, in the alarm during the calamity and the joy at the recovery of the personage whom it had pleased Heaven to afflict, manifested how highly he was prized by his people.
On its being ascertained that a temporary incapacity existed for exercising the functions of Government, Mr. Fox's idea was, that during this incapacity there was virtually a demise of the Crown; that therefore the next heir should assume the
powers of government whilst the incapacity continued. Mr. Pitt's opinion was, that in such a case it rested with Parliament to supply the deficiency, as in other circumstances not before provided for by the existing laws. *
Great ability was displayed on both sides ; but as the necessity for its exertion on that subject soon ceased, I shall not enter into its details. An in
* This subject is discussed in a Life of Fox. See Historical Magazine for October, 1799.
genious gentleman compared Burke's efforts on this and other occasions. He was a true Procrastes; whatever argument came in his way, he forced, by cutting and stretching, to his instant purpose. The proposal of making the Heir Apparent assume the Government without consent of Parliament, was, doubtless, a very long stretch of inference from the Act of Settle
Much obloquy was attached to Burke on account of the violence of his conduct, and still more, of his expressions. Impartial truth obliges me to acknowledge that his language was very intemperate ; it was indeed so much so as to excite the blame of his friends and associates. In estimating character, however, we must take. THE WHOLE of action, not PART of expression. Burke conceived that it was the intention of Ministry to make the Regent dependent on a party, of which they were the heads; and certainly displayed very extraordinary abilities in opposing their plans, whether they were selfish or patriotic. · There was, he said,
' a partition of power, in which
the Prince was destined to have an official, a mere nominal character; while all the places and real dignities were given to another. This partition was more odious and offensive than the famous. Partition Treaty, relative to the succession, on the death of the last Prince of the house of Austria. It was a partition founded on the most wicked and inalicious principle: every thing that was degrading and restrictive, every thing that could stamp suspicion and indignity on the Prince's character, was implied in what the bill withheld from him; while, on the other hand, all that was graceful, all that was calculated to hold up a character as great, as virtuous, and meritorious, was given where an opposition was set up to courteract the Executive Government.' Burke's intemperance in debate appeared, perhaps, more during the Regency discussion than at any other time. Once, when he was called to order, he made the following reply: Order is an admirable thing, perfect in all its limbs, only unfortunately it squints, and wants the aid of some expert oculist to enable it to see
straight. I also wish to preserve the utmost delicacy; but Delicacy, though a being of perfect symmetry like the former, is only a subsidiary virtue, and ought always to give way to truth, where the case was such, that the truth was infinitely of more consequence than the delicacy. Burke drew up the questions addressed to Mr. Gill, the Lord Mayor, containing very bitter invectives against Administration. He also wrote an answer to Mr. Pitt's Letter to the Prince of Wales. Indeed he, however reprehensible in the violence of his expressions, displayed his talents during the Regency bills fully as much as at any other period of his life. The view he took of circumstances and proceedings was great and comprehensive, whether just or not; if there were too frequently sallies of passion, there was always effusion of genius.
While the Regency was the subject of serious consideration in Parliament, it occasioned several very humorous compositions out of doors. Of these, the Regency
Cauldron,' in imitation of that of Macbeth's witches, was the most distinguished. So forcible, indeed, was its humour, and brilliant its wit, that by many it was imputed either to. Courtenay or Sheridan. There were, indeed, a number of very laughable and ingenious writings subsequent to the • Rollia l' and · Birth-day Odes;' such as the · Cabinet Stud, · Royal Recollections, and many others. One the side of Opposition there was certainly greater versatility and variety of powers than on the side of Ministry. For Administration there were extensive knowledge, comprehensive understanding, strong reasoning, masculine and dignified eloquence; there were industry and practical ability in the conduct of affairs. In the other party, there were, besides the materials and powers of serious reasoning and eloquence, the materials and powers of sportive exhibitions. From the one you could derive information and instruction : from the other, information, instruction, and entertainment. , In both you met with the equals of Cicero and Demosthenes. In