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a paper which had been sent to him by Mr Pitt, and was desired to deliver my opinion on the subject. The paper contained a plan for the sale of the tithe of the country, on the same principle that the land-tax had been offered for sale in the preceding session of Parliament. It was proposed, that the money arising from the sale of the tithe should be vested in the funds in aid of public credit, and the clergy were to receive their income from the funds : the income, however, was not to be a fixed income which could never be augmented, but was to be so adjusted as, at different periods, to admit an increase according to the advance in the price of grain. This plan was not introduced into Parliament: it met, I believe, with private opposition from the bishops, though I own it had my approbation ; but that approbation was founded on very different principles from that of aiding public credit; I did not indeed clearly see how, if the full value was given for the tithe, that credit would be assisted thereby. I remember having said to Mr Arthur Young on the occasion, that I for one never would give my consent, and that I thought the Houses of Parliament never would give theirs to the sale of the tithe, unless its full value was paid for it. “ Then,” said he, “ there is an end of the whole business; for unless the people in the west, who are now most clamorous against tithe, are allowed to purchase at the price they now pay by composition, they will on their knees beg Mr Pitt to let things continue as they are. p. 306, 307.
The share which Bishop Watson, in common with the best friends of their country, and the soundest constitutional lawyers, bore in the Regency Question, is well known. It did not fail to draw down upon him the indignation of the Court and the Ministry, whose trick it was upon this, as upon all occasions of importance, to mix themselves up with the Constitution, and to represent every opposition to their measures, or attempt to de. prive them of power, as an act of disaffection to the King, and a direct invasion of the existing form of government. The following passage on this subject, is among the number of those which have given peculiar offence in the present publication, probably because it speaks serious and undeniable truths. We will add, that no individual connected with any party was more the object of foul and undeserved abuse on the occasion in question, than the illustrious personage whose rights were then so unconstitutionally violated, and who, after a similar attempt to give him an elective and new-moulded crown, after an interval of twenty years, has since held the place of Regent. The calumnies of more recent times sink into nothing, when compared with those which the Ministerial press poured forth against the Prince of Wales in those days, under the immediate patronage of Mr Pitt, and for the purposes of his ministry.
· The restoration of the King's health soon followed. It was the artifice of the minister to represent all those who had opposed his measures; as enemies to the King: and the Queen lost, in the opinion of many, the character which she had hitherto maintained in the country, by falling in with the designs of the minister. She imprudently distinguished by different degrees of courtesy on the one hand, and by meditated affronts on the other, those who had voted with, and those who had voted against the minister, insomuch that the Duke of Northumberland one day said to me, “ So, My Lord, you and I also are become traitors."
She received me at the drawing-room, which was held on the King's recovery, with a degree of coldness, which would have appeared to herself ridiculous and ill placed, could she have imagined how little a mind such as mine regarded, in its honourable proceedings, the displeasure of a woman, though that woman happened to be a Queen.
· The Prince of Wales, who was standing near her, then asked me to dine with him, and on my making some objection to dining at Carlton House, he turned to Sir Thomas Dundas, and desired him to give us a dinner, at his house, on the following Saturday. Before we sat down to dinner on that day, the Prince took me aside, explained to me the principle on which he had acted during the whole of the King's illness, and spoke to me, with an afflicted feeling, of the manner in wbich the Queen had treated himself. I must do him the justice to say, that he spoke, in this conference, in as sensible a manner as could possibly have been expected from an heir apparent to the throne, and from a son of the best principles towards both his parents. I advised him to persevere in dutifully bearing with his mother's ill humour, till time and her own good sense should disentangle her from the web which ministerial cunning lad thrown around her.
· Having thought well of the Queen, I was willing to attribute ber conduct, during the agitation of the Regency question, to her apprehensions of the King's safety, to the misrepresentations of the King's minister, to any thing rather than to a fondness for power.
Before we rose from table at Sir Thomas Dundas's, where the Duke of York and a large company were assembled, the conversation turning on parties, I happened to say that I was sick of parties, and should retire from all public concerns“ No," said the Prince, e and mind who it is that tells you so, you shall never retire ; a man of your talents shall never be lost to the public.” I have now lived many years in retirement, and, in my seventy-fifth year, I feel no wish to live otherwise.' p. 225-227.
When the French Revolution had swept away, at one mighty blow, all the abuses of feudal tyranny, and seemed to promise certain liberty and prosperity to twenty-four millions of people, Bishop Watson, as may well be imagined, hailed the triumph of his favourite principles with generous enthusiasm. He was of the number of those who were led away by this feeling, and induced to shut their eyes to dangers which might certainly have been foreseen from a very early stage of its progress. It is unnecessary to add, that those sanguine views which he at the beginning indulged, soon gave way to the mournful realities that followed; and that no man more nobly opposed the torrent of revolutionary phrenzy. But we extract part of a letter to the Duke of Grafton on this subject, as it does him infinite credit.
““ I have not heard from you since the Birmingham riots. At the time they happened I sat down to write to Your Grace, and to say, that even my littleness would stretch itself to an hundred pounds subscription, if the friends of Dr Priestley should think of consoling him, in that way, for the loss he had sustained, and the chagrin any mind less elevated than his own must have experienced from such harsh and unmerited treatment. On second thoughts I put the letter I had written into the fire, lest such a proposal, coming from a bishop, should have tended to infiame matters, by increasing the unchristian choler of High-church men, which has already produced much mischief.
«“We live in singular times. No history, ancient or modern, furnishes an example similar to what has happened in France; an example of a whole people (the exceptions are not worthy of notice) divesting themselves of the prejudices of birth and education, in civil and religious concerns, and adopting the principles of philosophy and good sense.
* * I speak only of the general outline of their constitution ; piddling objections may be made to particular parts, and experience will point out the necessity of reconsidering many things. But notwithstanding all the ridicule which apostate Whigs have attempted to throw on the rights of man, such rights are founded in nature ; they exist antecedent to and independent of civil society ; and the French constitution is the only one in the world which has deliberately asserted these rights, and supported them in their full extent.
• • In England we want not a fundamental revolution, but we certainly want a reform both in the civil and ecclesiastical part of our constitution : men's minds, however, I think, are not yet generally prepared for admitting its necessity. A reformer of Luther's temper and talents would, in five years, persuade the people to compel the parliament to abolish tithes, to extinguish pluralities, to enforce residence, to confine Episcopacy to the overseeing of dioceses, to expunge the Athanasian Creed from our Liturgy, to free Dissenters from test acts, and the ministers of the Establishment from subscription to human articles of faith.— These, and other matters respecting the Church, ought to be done. I want not courage to attempt doing what I think ought to be done, and I am not held back by considerations of personal interest; but my temper is peaceable, I dislike contention, and trust that the still voice of reason will at length be heard.
* " As to the civil state, it cannot continue long as it is. One
senate, and it soon became subservient to his will : public liberty was swallowed up by private profligacy. The first Lord Chatham was a Cato when he declared that Hanover was a millstone about the neck of Great Britain ; but he became a supple courtier when he boasted of having conquered America in Germany; and he forfeited the esteem of good men when he attempted to adorn the sepulchre of his patriotism by a pension and a peerage. Since his tinie, for one Cato, one Rochingham, one Saville, one Chatham (in his honourable days), we have had, and have, and probably always shall have (as long as we remain an opulent and luxurious nation, hundreds resembling him in the decline of his political virtue. p. 459-461.
Our general opinion of the value of this work may be gathered from the foregoing pages. As a mere literary performance, it ranks very high, from the excellence of the language. It is good, pure, elegant English; free from affectation of every sort, and always adapted to the subject.
to the subject. To the specimens which we have already given, may now be added a letter to Mr Harley, on a variety of topics, of a miscellaneous nature, and written with peculiar ease and gracefulness.
• I sit down to account to you for a long seeming neglect, and to beg you to accept the narration as an excuse for it. When your letter (I am ashamed to look at the date) of June the 23d arrived at Calgarth Park, I was visiting my diocese ; after my return, a good deal of business, and an incessant flux of Lakers (such is the denomination by which we distinguish throse who come to see our country, intimating thereby not only that they are persons of taste, who wish to view our lakes, but idle persons who love laking-the old Saxon word to lake, or play, being of common use among school. boys in these parts), left me for several weeks no time to think of any thing but hospitality; and your letter lay hidden among a mass of papers which overspread my table. When I discovered it about a month ago, I was labouring with hands and knees to get rid of the gout which had seized both-another guest, you will suppose, of my hospitality. This is the first fit that I have had ; it has not yet quite left me. I am not conscious of having deserved it by any intemperance, yet I blush for having introduced so great a malady into my family.
• I think Cowper's works are his best monument, and most of the subscribers will probably be of the same opinion. But as you desire me to speak frankly, I must say, that I think many of them will not be pleased with your change of purpose. Your intention of doing something for Mr Rose's family is highly laudable, and of a piece with your general philanthropy ; but a subscriber may justly say, If my subscription is to go in charity, I myself have many objects as deserving, and more connected with me than any godson of Mr Cowper. As to my own subscription, I beg it may go, should you print no part of Milton, to the orphans you so kindly protect,
man, and had, ever since the coalition in 1784, estranged himself particularly from the Whigs as a body of statesinen, though he retained his attachment to their principles.
· The ostensible reason of their dismission was, the King's dislike of a measure which they had brought forward in parliament respect ing the Irish Catholic officers. The ministers were wisely moved, by a liberal and prospective policy, to endeavour to consolidate as much as possible the strength of the empire, by opening to Catholic officers in the army and navy the same road to honour and emolument which had always been open to Protestants. They were sensible that almost every. Gazette which announced the success of our enterprises, made distinguished mention of the gallantry of the inferior Catholic officers; and they wished to confirm the loyalty, and to stimulate the ambition, of such men, by putting them on a level with their fellows in arms.
· Unfortunately the King did not see this measure in the same light that his Whig ministers did, and he required them to give him a pledge that they would never more bring forward the question of granting further indulgence to the Irish Catholics. This requisition was not only unprecedented in the annals of the house of Brunswick since its accession to the throne of Great Britain, but it was considered by many as of a tendency dangerous to the constitution; and to me it appeared to be, not in words but in fact, a declaration of a sic volo. Had His Majesty dismissed his ministers because he disliked their measures, no one would have denied such an exertion of his prerogative to have been perfectly constitutional, (how much soever he might have individually questioned the discretion of using it in such a crisis); but to require from privy councillors, and much more to require from confidential servants of the Crown, that they would at any time cease to advise His Majesty for what they esteemed the public good, was to brand them as unprincipled slaves to the royal will, and traitors to the country. The ministers refused to cover themselves with the infamy which would justly have attended their submission to such a demand: they refused, and were dismissed: such sort of ministers would have lost their heads at Constantinople; at London, they, as yet, only lose their places. Whilst there remained a competitor of the Stuart family to the throne of Great Britain, the kings of the house of Brunswick were perhaps afraid of the competition ; and were satisfied with having been elevated, from an arbitrary dominion over a petty principality in Germany, to the possession of a limited monarchy, over the most enlightened and the most commercial nation in the world. That competition being now exnished, it could not be thought unnatural were they to indulge a eman -themselves from the restraints of Parliament :
ting this, so secret, safe, and obvious, as
e possessed the empire of the world, f corrupting the integrity of the whole