Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

ADDRESS

TO THE PUBLIC.

ANOTHER year having revolved, it becomes our pleasing duty to express our most grateful acknowledgments to the public in general, and our fair patronesses in particular, for the very liberal and constantly increasing encouragement with which our Miscellany is honoured. Our exertions for its improvement have been unremitted, and with the greatest pleasure and gratitude we avow that we are sufficiently convinced they have not been in vain.

The original plan of the Lady's Magazin E has been uniformly adhered to since its first establishment. It was intended to be, and we trust has been, a repository for the fugitive productions and first essays of genius, especially fe. male genius, and pleasing and instructive selections from the most approved and entertaining publications of the times; at once avoiding what might be dry and abstruse, and what might be frivolous and trifling, amusement and improvement being equally its object. The utmost care has been at all times taken to exclude from its pages every thing in the least degree tending to indelicacy or licentiousness; it has ever been devoted to the promotion of morality, virtue, and religion.

To our Correspondents, to whose invaluable assistance much of the praise we have received is certainly due, we owe the most sincere and grateful acknowledgments. We earnestly solicit the continuance of their numerous favours.

B 2

[ocr errors]

And here we cannot but repeat what we have observed in some former addresses to them, that if we are sometimes under the necessity of suppressing some of the contributions of the younger and less experienced among them, to give them an opportunity to revi e and reproduce them in a more correct form, that ought rather to stimulate them to make new exertions for improvement than to discourage them from future attempts. Our readers will at the same time perceive that we have lately been favoured with several truly valuable communications, especially of the novel class, from Correspondents of superior abilities. We are possessed, likewise, of several others, which have not been begun, but which will be given in the course of the present year.

We now enter on the THIRTY-EIGITH VOLUME of the LADY's MAGAZINE, inspired with gratitude for past favours, and ardour to merit their continuance; confidently'trusting that our attention and exertions will be found to merit the same flattering approbation and encouragement which we have experienced from a candid public, and our amiable and generous patronesses, during a period of seven-and-thirty years.

THE

LADY'S MAGAZINE.

For JANUARY, 1807.

Memoirs of the Life of the late Right Honourable William Pitt.

(1?ith his Portrait, elegantly engraved.)

WILLIAM PITT was the youngest cease to press him with difficulties, son of the illustrious earl of Chatham, nor would he permit him to stop and was born on the twenty-eighth till the subject of contention was of May 1759, when his father's glory completely exhausted. By being was at its zenith; and when, in con- inured to this method, the son acsequence of the wisdom of his coun- quired that quality which is of the sels and the vigour and promptitude first consequence in public life-a of his decisions, British valour was sufficient degree of firmness and pretriumphant in every part of the sence of mind, as well as a ready globe. On the accession of his pre- delivery, in which he was wondersent majesty, that great statesman fully aided by nature. retired from the situation which he At between fourteen and fifteen had so honourably filled; and con years of age, he was placed under sigring his two eldest sons to the the care of a very worthy and encare of others, devoted the whole of lightened clergyman. Mr. (now Dr.) his time to the education of William, Wilson, and sent to Pembroke col. on a sirong, and, as the event shew- lege, Cambridge ; where he was aded, a well-founded persuasion, ibat, mitted under the tuition of Messrs. to use his own words, he would Turner ard Prettyman (the former one day increase the splendour of the now Dr. Turner, dean of Norwich; name of Pitti'

the latter bishop of Lincoln). These His classical knowledge Mr. Pitt able men seconded

the ut. acquired under the care of a private most of their power the intentions tutor at Burton-Pynsent, the seat of of his father. In Cambridge he behis father; and the earl took great came a model to the young nobility pleasure in teaching him while yet and fellow-commoners; and it was a youth to argue with logical pre not doubled that if the privileges of cision, and to speak with elegance his rank had not exempted him from and force. He himself frequently the usual exercises for his bachelor's entered into disputations with him, degree, he would have been found and encouraged him to converse among the first competitors for aca. with others upon subjects far above demical honours. On his admission, what could be expected from his according to custom, to his master's years. In the management of these degree, the public orator found it arguments his father would never needless to search into genealogy,

to

[ocr errors]

or even to dwell on the great qua constitution. He saw that, notwitha lities of his father; for the eyes of standing the excellence of the system, the university were fixed on the various corruptions had arisen, and youth, the enraptured audience as many abuses introduced, which it sented to every encomium, and every was of high importance to correct, breast was filled with the liveliest and which he conceived to emanale presages of his future greatness. from a want of equipoise of the Mr. Pitt was afterwards entered

component estates, and a consequeni a student of Lincoln's-Jnn, and made derangement of the balance. such a rapid progress in his legal Like other young men of lofty studies as to be soon called to the genius and grand conceptions, acbar with every prospect of success. customed to generalisation, and not He went once or iwice upon the yet acquainted with the practise of afwestern circuit, and appeared as fairs, he formed theories at that time junior counsel in several causes. He which experience taught him afterwas, however, destined to fill a more wards to renounce. He brought important station in the government forward a motion for a committee to of his country than is usually ob- enquire into the state of representtained through the channel of the ation in parliament, and to report law.

their sentiments; in which he was In the year 1781 he was returned supported by Messrs. Fox and Shea member of the house of commons ridan. for the borough of Appleby. Some On the death of the marquis of of his friends at Cambridge had Rockingham, lord Shelburne was proposed that he should stand a. appointed to succeed him as first candidate for representing that uni- lord of the treasury ; and Mr. Pitt versity; but he declin-d the honour, accepted the office of chancellor of except it were unanimously offered the exchequer, the duties of which iv him. His first speech in parlia- he performed with great merit and ment was delivered on Mr. Burke's distinction, but without taking any motion for financial reform, and in very active interest in the party potbe division on that question he litics of the time. voted with the minority. In fact, He resigned bis office on the thirtyhe might be considered, though he first of March 1783, when a coali-, spoke and voted independently, as tion formed by Mr. Fox with lords having joined the party which had North and Thurlow forced lord Shelopposed the minister lord North burne to retire, to make way for his and the American war, and who opponents. On the seventh of May regarded him with a degree of vene of that year, hi again brought for ration, recognising in his person the ward a motion, for a reform in pargenius of his illustrious father re liament, in a less general form vived, and as it were acting in than he had done in the precedhim.

ing year:

Instead of moving for When lord North was succeeded a committee of inquiry, he proby the marquis of Rockingham in posed specific propositions, the ob1782, Mr. Pitų did not form a!y ject of which was to prevent bribery connection with the new administra at elections, to disfranchise a borough tion.'. He was then assiduously oc which should be convicted of gross cupied in the study of political phin corruption, and to augment the nalosophy, and in investigating the his- tional representation by the election cory, detail, and spirit of the British: of one hundred additional members,

[ocr errors]

The motion was negativend by a

neral confidence and support, he had large majority.

no other means of standing secure The next occasion which Mr. Pitt against attacks of his adversaries. had of displaying his knowledge was Instead, in these circumstances, of on the introduction of Mr. Fux's shrinking from the assaults of his India bill, which he attacked with opponents, he attacked them on much force of language and splendour their own ground, and on January of eloquence, as annihilating char- the fourteenth, 1784, introduced a tered rights, and creating a new and bill into parliament for the better immense body of influence unknown management and regulation of the to the British constitution.'

affairs of the East India company. Notwithstanding his opposition, in The leading difference between this which he was powerfully supported and Mr. Fox's plan was, that Mr. by Mr. Dundas, the measure was

Pilt left the charter of the company carried through the house of com untouched, and the commercial conmons with a very large majority. cerns of this corporation of merThe efforts which he had made on chants under the sole management this occasion were not, however, fruit of the proprietors themselves, and less. Petitions were sent in from directors of their choice; whereas all quarters against the bill, and on Mr. Fox had wished to make an enthe motion for its commitment in' tire transfer of the company's affairs the house of peers it was finally to commissioners nominated in parthrown out; in consequence of which liament, with a duration of auiho- , the coalition ministry was dissolved rity for the term of four years. This by the king, who was always under- bill

, which resembled in many parstood to have been hostile to the ticulars that which had proved the measure in his individual capacity. ruin of Mr. Fox, laid the foundatioa

On this event the places of chan- of the permanence of Mr. Pitt's ad-. cellor of the exchequer and first lord ministration. Parties, however, conof the treasury were immediately tinued to run so high, that a numconferred on Mr. Pitt. Raised to ber of impartial and independent this elevated situation at the early men employed themselves in enage of twenty-five years, he had new diavours to bring about a coalition, and unprecedented difficulties to with a view of forming an admin combat. Mr. Fox, his opponent, nistration from the two contenring had still a large majority in the house sides, of which Mr. Pitt and Mr. of commons, without the support of Fcx were to be the pillars. A meetwhich no ministry can be of long ing was held at the St. Alban's taduration. Mr. Pitt had no family vern, on the twenty-six of January influence, no extended political assve 1784, in which an address was signciation, no one of those adventitious ed by fifty-three members of the props which often supply the place house of commons, recommerding of real advantages; he rested solely a union to this efiect, which was upon his own abilities, aided by these presented to the duke of Portland whose admiration and confidence his and Mr. Fitt. The latter expressed intellectual and moral character had a willingness to enter into the views secured, without any means of ex of the committee ; but the duke of

tending his influence and increasing Portland insisting, that, as a preli· his friercs but those to be found in mirary, he should resign his place,

his own head and heart. }f talents the pegociation was suspended. The and conduct could not create a ge- duke was afterwards invited to a

« AnteriorContinuar »