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FOR JANUARY, 1807.
MEMOIRS of the LIFE of the late Right Honourable WILLI ILLIAM PITT.
(With his Portrait, elegantly engraved.)
WILLIAM PITT was the youngest son of the illustrious earl of Chatham, and was born on the twenty-eighth of May 1759, when his father's glory was at its zenith; and when, in consequence of the wisdom of his counsels and the vigour and promptitude of his decisions, British valour was triumphant in every part of the globe. On the accession of his present majesty, that great statesman retired from the situation which he had so honourably filled; and consigning his two eldest sons to the care of others, devoted the whole of his time to the education of William, on a strong, and, as the event shewed, a well-founded persuasion, that, to use his own words, he would one day increase the splendour of the name of Pitt.'
His classical knowledge Mr. Pitt acquired under the care of a private tutor at Burton-Pynsent, the seat of his father; and the earl took great pleasure in teaching him while yet a youth to argue with logical precision, and to speak with elegance and force. He himself frequently
cease to press him with difficulties, nor would he permit him to stop till the subject of contention was completely exhausted. By being inured to this method, the son acquired that quality which is of the first consequence in public life-a sufficient degree of firmness and presence of mind, as well as a ready delivery, in which he was wonderfully aided by nature.
At between fourteen and fifteen years of age, he was placed under the care of a very worthy and enlightened clergyman. Mr. (now Dr.) Wilson, and sent to Pembroke college, Cambridge; where he was admitted under the tuition of Messrs. Turner ard Prettyman (the former now Dr. Turner, dean of Norwich; the latter bishop of Lincoln). These able men seconded to the utmost of their power the intentions of his father. In Cambridge he became a model to the young nobility and fellow-commoners; and it was not doubted that if the privileges of his rank had not exempted him from
the usual exercises for his bachelor's
or even to dwell on the great qualities of his father; for the eyes of the university were fixed on the youth, the enraptured audience as sented to every encomium, and every breast was filled with the liveliest presages of his future greatness.
Mr. Pitt was afterwards entered a student of Lincoln's-Inn, and made such a rapid progress in his legal studies as to be soon called to the bar with every prospect of success. He went once or twice upon the western circuit, and appeared as junior counsel in several causes. He was, however, destined to fill a more important station in the government of his country than is usually obtained through the channel of the law.
In the year 1781 he was returned a member of the house of commons for the borough of Appleby. Some of his friends at Cambridge had proposed that he should stand a candidate for representing that university; but he declined the honour, except it were unanimously offered to him. His first speech in parliament was delivered on Mr. Burke's motion for financial reform, and in the division on that question he voted with the minority. In fact, he might be considered, though he spoke and voted independently, as having joined the party which had opposed the minister lord North and the American war, and who regarded him with a degree of veneration, recognising in his person the genius of his illustrious father revived, and as it were acting in
When lord North was succeeded by the marquis of Rockingham in 1782, Mr. Pitt did not form any connection with the new administra
constitution. He saw that, notwithstanding the excellence of the system, various corruptions had arisen, and many abuses introduced, which it was of high importance to correct, and which he conceived to emanate from a want of equipoise of the component estates, and à consequent derangement of the balance.
Like other young men of lofty genius and grand conceptions, accustomed to generalisation, and not yet acquainted with the practise of affairs, he formed theories at that time which experience taught him afterwards to renounce. He brought forward a motion for a committee to enquire into the state of representation in parliament, and to report their sentiments; in which he was supported by Messrs. Fox and Sheridan.
On the death of the marquis of Rockingham, lord Shelburne was appointed to succeed him as first lord of the treasury; and Mr. Pitt accepted the office of chancellor of the exchequer, the duties of which he performed with great merit and distinction, but without taking any very active interest in the party politics of the time.
He resigned his office on the thirty-first of March 1783, when a coali tion formed by Mr. Fox with lords North and Thurlow forced lord Shelburne to retire, to make way for his opponents. On the seventh of May of that year, hr again brought forward a motion, for a reform in parliament, in a less general form than he had done in the preceding year. Instead of moving for a committee of inquiry, he proposed specific propositions, the object of which was to prevent bribery at elections, to disfranchise a borough
The motion was negatived by a large majority.
The next occasion which Mr. Pitt had of displaying his knowledge was on the introduction of Mr. Fox's India bill, which he attacked with much force of language and splendour of eloquence, as annihilating chartered rights, and creating a new and immense body of influence unknown to the British constitution.'
Notwithstanding his opposition, in which he was powerfully supported by Mr. Dundas, the measure was carried through the house of commons with a very large majority. The efforts which he had made on this occasion were not, however, fruitless. Petitions were sent in from all quarters against the bill, and on the motion for its commitment in the house of peers it was finally thrown out; in consequence of which the coalition ministry was dissolved by the king, who was always under stood to have been hostile to the measure in his individual capacity.
neral confidence and support, he had no other means of standing secure against attacks of his adversaries. Instead, in these circumstances, of shrinking from the assaults of his opponents, he attacked them on their own ground, and on January the fourteenth, 1784, introduced a bill into parliament for the better management and regulation of the affairs of the East India company. The leading difference between this and Mr. Fox's plan was, that Mr. Pitt left the charter of the company untouched, and the commercial concerns of this corporation of mer◄ chants under the sole management of the proprietors themselves, and directors of their choice; whereas Mr. Fox had wished to make an entire transfer of the company's affairs to commissioners nominated in parliament, with a duration of authority for the term of four years. This bill, which resembled in many par ticulars that which had proved the ruin of Mr. Fox, laid the foundation of the permanence of Mr. Pitt's administration. Parties, however, continued to run so high, that a number of impartial and independent men employed themselves in endeavours to bring about a coalition, with a view of forming an administration from the two contending sides, of which Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox were to be the pillars. A meeting was held at the St. Alban's tavern, on the twenty-six of January 1784, in which an address was signed by fifty-three members of the house of commons, recommending a union to this effect, which was presented to the duke of Portland and Mr. Fitt. The latter expressed a willingness to enter into the views
On this event the places of chancellor of the exchequer and first lord of the treasury were immediately conferred on Mr. Pitt. Raised to this elevated situation at the early age of twenty-five years, he had new and unprecedented difficulties to combat. Mr. Fox, his opponent, had still a large majority in the house of commons, without the support of which no ministry can be of long duration. Mr. Pitt had no family influence, no extended political asso ciation, no one of those adventitious props which often supply the place of real advantages; he rested solely upon his own abilities, aided by these whose admiration and confidence his intellectual and moral character had
conference with Mr. Pitt, at the express desire of the king, for the purpose of forming a new administration on equal terms, which never took place, from Mr. Pitt refusing to come to an explanation of the word equal; and here the negociation was finally terminated.
This parliament, which had witnessed more changes in the executive power of the country than perhaps any parliament before or since, was dissolved on the twentyfourth of March. On the sixteenth of May following the new parliament met, and from that period may be dated the commencement of Mr. Pitt's efficient administration. (To be continued.)
IDLENESS, says lord Monboddo, is the source of almost every vice and folly; for a man who does not know what to do will do any thing rather than nothing and I maintain, that the richest man who is haunted by that foul fiend (as it may be calted) is a much more unhappy man than the day-labourer who earns his daily bread by the sweat of his brow, and who therefore only submits to the sentence pronounced upon our first parents after their fall, and which, if it be understood (as I think it ought to be) of the labour of the mind as well as the body, we must all submit to, or be miserable if we do not. And accordingly those who have no
the following fact:-A young man, some short time back, arrived at a certain inn, and after alighting from his horse, went into the traveller's room, where he walked backwards and forwards for some minutes, displaying the utmost self-importance. At length he rang the bell, and upon the waiter's appearance gave him order nearly as follows: Waiter!' the waiter replied, Yes, sir.' I am a man of few words, and don't like to be continually ringing the bell and disturbing the house; I'll thank you to pay attention to what I say. The waiter again replied, 'Yes, sir.'-'In the first place, bring me a glass of brandy and water, cold, with a little sugar, and also a tea-spoon; wipe down this table, throw some coals on the fire, and sweep up the hearth; bring me in a couple of candles, pen, ink, and paand let me know what time the post per, some wafers, a little sealing wax, goes out.-Tell the ostler to take. care of my horse, dress him well, stop his feet, and let me know when he is ready to feed. Order the chamber-maid to prepare me a good bed, take care that the sheets is well aired, a clean nightcap, and a glass of water in the room. Send the boots, with a pair of slippers that I can walk to the stable in; tell him I must have my boots cleaned and brought into this room to-night, and that I shall want to be called at five o'clock in the morning. Ask your mistress what I can have for supper; tell her
I should like a roast duck
and even terror. At length, the day so much wished for by the one and feared by the other arrived, and for, almost the first time the spirits of Mary were subdued. Her mother, availing herself of a moment of ten-` derness, led her daughter to the tomb of Mrs. Benson, and seating her on a flowery bank, cultivated by her own hand, spoke thus: My child on this sacred spot has been wont to listen to the precepts of her mo
Tro. Ne, but something may be done that ther, and oh! may the instructions
we will not:
By SOPHIA TROUGHTON. (Continued from Vol. XXXVII. p. 707.)
And sometimes we are devils to ourselves, When we attempt the frailty of our powers, Presuming of their changeful potency. TROILUS and CRESSIDA.
IT was something less than two years from the tragical death of Gayton when Gordon led his lovely daughter to the altar. They continued three months at the white Cottage, as Gordon did not wish to hastily to separate the mother and the daughter, especially as he found it impossible to draw the former from her retirement. Indeed, so much in love was he with that tranquil spot, that, had it been equally agreeable to his bride, he could have been well content to have passed the remainder of his life in its neighbourhood. But Mary sighed to see the metropolis; to be introduced to her husband's family, and ride through the gay streets of London in her own carriage. Gordon thought this cu riosity extremely natural in so young a person, and cheerfully acquiesced; not doubting but she would soon be more eager to return to her mother and those calm joys which are ever to be found in the domestic circle, and to which she waз accustomed.
The latter end of October was fixed for the commencement of their journey. This time was looked for
you have received in this place never be obliterated from your memory, never effaced from your heart! they were the axioms of experience, of virtue, of religion, and if followed they will lead you to comfort in this world, and to happiness in another. You are going, my daughter, to new scenes-to appear in a new character: the disadvantages you labour under are numerous. Uneducated, unpolished, unadorned by a single accomplishment so necessary to the woman of high fortune, and the mistress of a gentleman's family, L fear, my love, you will bear your blushing honours but awkwardly.
But would to "God these were the only difficulties, for study and observation might in some measure overcome these; but your appear ance in fashionable life will reive the almost forgotten story of the obscure, the mysterious birth of your mother, and the too, too flagrant death of your father. Some envious persona will affect to treat my innocent Mary as the child of infamy, the offspring of treason; but by the humbleness of your deportment, the rectitude of your conduct, disarm their malice, nor seek by recrimination to revenge yourself on them.
On the other hand, my dear girl! in every place of fashionable resort