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the twenty-sixth of February, probibiting the directors of the Bank from paying in specie till the sense of parliament should be taken. The measure was bold and decisive; but it met with the support of the monied interest of the kingdom, whose confidence in Mr. Pitt had been always unbounded, and it saved the country from all the confusion which might have arisen from so serious a state of things.
and of the prime minister of a great nation. In 1793, the spirit of commercial speculation and enterprise, which had for many years been so rapidly increasing, did not find in the circulating medium at that time afloat, means sufficient to answer the highly augmented demands of trade. In consequence of the distress and alarm caused by this stagnation, and to enable the merchants to make good those engagements which were amply secured by the value of their property, but which in the state of pecuniary negociation at that time surpassed their convertible effects, Mr. Pitt proposed that government should advance money on the security of mercantile commodities, by issuing exchequer bills to be granted to the merchants, on the requisite security for a limited time, and bearing legal interest, in consequence of which the temporary embarassment was removed, and manufactures and trade again became flourishing.
The year 1797 was clouded by two events, which threatened consequences still more alarming. From the great advances which the Bank for a considerable time had been in the habit of making to government-from the amount of the remittances in specie which were about this period sent abroad, in the form of subsidies to foreign powers, from a dread of invasion, which had spread a sort of momentary panic over the kingdomand, perhaps, we may add, from a deficiency in the circulating medium, which had by no means been increased in proportion to the vast and rapid extension of commerce-a run commenced upon the country banks which soon reached the metropolis, and created such a demand for cash on the Bank of England, that their stock, in all probability, would soon
ted had not ro
But circumstances which only af fected the credit of the country, however alarming and important they might appear, were sunk in the terror and dismay which pervaded every class of society, when, on the thir teenth of April of that year, a mutiny broke out on board the fleet at Portsmouth, which on the twentysecond of May manifested itself at the Nore, and which afterwards communicated itself to several ships both of the North Sea and Cadiz fleets. This was an event which made the empire tremble on it base, and which deprived ordinary men of all power of reflection. Mr. Pitt, however, was not shaken even then. The measures adopted by him, lord Spencer, lord Grenville, and Mc, Dundas, manifested at once prudence, moderation, and vigour; and the splendid victories which since that eventful period have been gained by our fleets are much more than sufficient eternally to wipe off the stain which such irregular proceedings left for a time on their cha
It was in the same year that Mr. Pitt adopted a new plan of finalice, founded upon the principle of raising a great part of the supplies with in the year. With the view of preventing the increase of the perma nent debt, from which the enemy expected the downfall of our credit,
to a tax of about ten per cent. upon income, which he afterwards subIstituted for this tax. This plan was followed up by the redemption of the land-tax, by which the revenue gained an accession, of 400,000l. a year; and the effect of the whole financial system has been manifest in the high and undiminished state of public credit, notwithstanding the burthens of a war unprecedented both in expence and duration.
In the month of January 1799, Mr. Pitt proposed a plan for the union of Ireland with Great Britain, by placing the three kingdoms under the same legislature, as they were already governed by the same prince. In developing the importance of this measure, he displayed, perhaps, more than at any other time his commanding eloquence, his profound and extensive acquaintance with the political interests of the country, and his accurate knowledge of the human heart and character. He had many difficulties to encounter in carrying through this plan, arising from local prejudices, from contracted notions, from the violence of party spirit, and from the interested views of individuals; but to a mind like his difficulties never act as discouragements, but as stimulants to greater exertions. He surmounted all the obstacles which were opposed to him both in Ireland and this country, and at last successfully carried his project into effect.
In the discussion on the union, Mr. Pitt and his supporters repeat edly mentioned the satisfaction of the catholics as more practicable under
was understood, however, that the king, who uniformly acts from moral principle, and agreeably to the dictates of his conscience, conceived that he could not enter into the views of his minister consistently with his coronation oath. Mr. Pitt, on the other hand, attaching much importance to the measure, thought fit to resign his office, on finding that he could not carry it into execution.
This important change in the administration of the country, which now devolved on Mr. Addington, took place in February 1801. Mr. Pitt was understood to have recommended Mr. Addington to his majesty as his successor, and he retired from office, giving the new administration a promise of hearty support, as did those of his colleagues who resigned along with bim. Lord Grenville and his friends became disgusted with the measures of their successors much sooner than Mr. Pitt, who continued to support them after the conclusion of the peace of Amiens, during the peace, and till the commencement of the present war, when he joined his old friends, who were now leagued with the former opposition, and by their united efforts compelled Mr. Addington to resign his office in May,
The country being thought to be in such imminent danger, that unanimity founded upon a coalition of partics could alone save it, it was ardently desired that an administration should be formed upon a broad basis, embracing all the most dis
appearance of going off with a regular fit. He was well enough after this to go out in his carriage. In about three weeks time, however, the left foot was laid up, attended with a good deal of inflammation and excessive pain. The latter he would never confess; and even when large drops were trickling down his face, from torture, he said, smilingWe who have got the gout, must expect to suffer something; but if this be all, I can bear it very well, and much more.'
be insurmountable. Lord Grenville refused to join any administration from which Mr. Fox was peremptorily excluded. Mr. Pitt was thus obliged to form an administration composed of his own particular friends; and if, in consequence of its confined organisation, he did not enjoy the benefit of the most splendid talents, this loss was, perhaps, in some degree counterbalanced by the advantage of one mind pervading and animating all the departments of government, unshackled by those differences of sentiment and opinion which rival powers so frequently beget.
In the prosecution of the war which was now entered into, England was, as before, eminently successful in her individual efforts by sea. The glorious victory of Trafalgar almost annihilated the French and Spanish navies. But the coalition on the continent, from which so much had been expected, and the formation of which was considered as reflecting so much honour on the political talents of Mr. Pitt, was to the last degree unfortunate. The surrender of the Austrian army under general Mack at Ulm, and the defeat at Austerlitz, compelled the emperor of Austria to sign the peace dictated to him at Presburg. These disastrous events could not but make a deep impression on the mind of Mr. Pitt, whose health about this time began visibly to decline. For its recovery he went to Bath, where on his first arrival he drank the waters very freely, twice a day, saying, that he knew he must have a tit of the gout, in order to be well; that he came there two years before, and tried to bring it on then, but could
Before the attack came to its height, he went, one day, in a chair, to the pump-room, to take a glass of water. As he limped across the floor, a good-natured quaker came up to him, and said-''Thou seems't rather lame, friend; wilt thou permit me to assist thee?' With a good-natured smile, but peculiar energy, Mr. Pitt, replied. No, thank you, sir; I can stand alone upon my legs yet.'
About the same time, he has a few friends to dine with him, among whom was a general officer who had been wounded in the service. Gneral,' said he, if I were lame from the same cause that you are, I might shoulder my crutch, and shew how fields were won. But it is my fate only to shew by what damnable treachery they have been lost.Come', said he, I am the youngest man in the company, and will be gayest man in the gout you ever met with yet.' This he amply verified, for not one of the company ever recollected him so jocular or facetious.
In a few days, however, his appetite totally left him, for the first time, under any circumstances of his life;
immediately. Sir Walter declared that the Bath waters had produced a greater tendency to gout than his constitution had strength to bear; but would not undertake the responsibility of removing him from Bath, without the sanction of two other physicians. Drs. Haygarth and Parry were therefore called in, and they concurred in the necessity of a change of air, to try if it would restore his appetite, more particularly as the house which had been chosen for him in Bath was in a very low, damp, and exposed situation, from which he sustained material injury.
The violence of the gout had now partly left him, and nothing appeared to remain but extreme debility. Sir Walter Farquhar having seggested that if he preferred staying
Bath, a house more convenient For him might be procured, and that he had no doubt but arrangements might be made for postponing all business in parliament, and partly hinting that he was authorised to make overtures for that purpose, Mr. Pitt replied- No, I will not consent to a moment's delay, when my conduct is in question. I will go to the house, though I should be carried to it in a litter. I feel from the strength of my own mind that I shall be well enough for that.'
He was not, however, able to enter the House of Commons again. About the middle of January 180), he returned from Bath to Putty, and though extremely fatigued by the journey, flattering hopes of his recovery continued to be for some time entertained. Parliament met on January the twenty-first, but the day before he had a very serious relapse. The next day his disorder seemed to have taken a more favourable turn, and the fever was ap
when the physician who chiefly at tended him paid his visit before taking leave of his patient for the night, he found that the fever had returned with increased violence, and every symptom was so aggravated that all hope was at an end. It became now necessary to declare an opinion, and to acquaint Mr. Pitt himself with the imminent danger.
The bishop of Lincoln, the oldest and fondest friend of Mr. Pitt, was called out of the room, and the following opinion was expressed to him, nearly in these words.
He cannot live forty-eight hours: the disorder has now taken a mortal turn; any attempt to rouse him from his present lethargy would be attended with instant death. He is not strong enough for medicine, or any, restorative application. If he lingers a few days more it will astonish me.'
The bishop of Lincoln now saw the necessity of intimating the danger to Mr. Pitt. He fulfilled this painful office with firmness. Mr. Pitt was hardly sensible; this dreaded shock had scarcely power to dissipate his lethargy; but after a few moments he waved his hand, and was left alone with the bishop.
He had desired that some papers should be brought to him to which his signature was necessary. He then desired to receive the sacrament from his venerable friend, and it was accordingly administered. In the most composed and collected state, he afterwards expressed to the bishop his perfect resignation to the will of Heaven; and his mind bore S up under his nearly exhausted body with such manly fortitude, that he entered into a conversation on religious subjects, speaking of himself with Christian humility, though with philosophic
ing sentiment in his mind. A long time, for such an awful crisis, was passed in the solemn duties of religion; and almost the last words he uttered signified that he died in peace and good-will towards all mankind. He had received no sus tenance from Tuesday the twentyfirst. His will* was made in a calm interval between that and the following day. He had signified a desire to write a few lines, but his exhausted condition deprived him of the power.
During the night his fever continued, and the strong convulsions in his stomach more than once threatened to break up his frame.
The bishop of Lincoln sat up with him. The physicians had discontinued medicine. On Wednesday the twenty-second in the morning, lady Hester Stanhope his niece, and Mr. James Stanhope, had an interview with him, and received his last adieu. His brother, the earl of Chatham, took his last farewell late in the afternoon; Mr. Pitt was scarcely sensible. He could speak nothing he could express affection, gratitude, and hope, only by signs. "The bishop of Lincoln continued with him all night. The mortal symptoms were now approaching to a crisis. His extremities were already cold, and his senses began to fail. As a last and desperate effort to protract life, blisters were applied to the soles of his feet. They restored him to something of life and recollection, but they could arrest nothing of the progress of death. It is said
observed, and apparently with justice, that had the same plans of finance which he carried into execution been adopted from the beginning of the seven years war till the present time, our debts would not have amounted to one-third of what they do; and had they not been be gun by Mr. Pitt, our debts would now have been at least one-third more than they are.-When consider his abilities in this respect, we admire them the more, since
nearly all the financial projects` attempted in other nations have failed: and we regret the loss of those abilities the more, that our having occasion for them again is far more than merely possible. Let us, however, hope that a system which has now been persevered in for twenty years has made so many converts to its advantage, that it will not be abandoned; and that if difficulties occur, men of abilities and genius will be found who will imitate the disinterested and firm conduct of William Pitt.
As a general politician and a minister, conducting the affairs of a nation during a most unprecedented period, opinions will be more divided with respect to the conduct of Mr. Pitt. The nature of things renders it impossible to appeal to facts and demonstrations in the same manner, be