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REIGN OF GEORGE III.
General election.Meeting of parliament—and commencement of Mr. Pitt's adminiftration.The King's fpeech.State of the empire when Mr. Pitt's miniftry commenced.Objects which he proposes to pursue.-First efforts directed to finance.-Bill for the prevention of fmuggling.—Commutation act.-Arguments against and for it.-Regulation on duties for British Spirits.-Preliminary motions for the relief of the Eaft India company.-Bill for the regulation of India.-Arguments against it.-Arguments for it.-Comparison of the two bills as refulting from the characters of their authors.-Debate on the Westminster election.-Mr. Dùndas propofes the restoration of the forfeited eftates.-A law passed for that purpose.-Labours of Mr. Pitt in inveftigating the public accounts.-Supplies-Loan and taxes.Seffion closes.
Y diffolving the parliament, his majesty virtually CHA P. afked the question, Did your late reprefentatives speak your sense, or not? If they did, you will re-elect them; if not, you will chufe others. election. Thus interrogated, the greater part of the people answered, No; and a very confiderable majority of members friendly to Mr. Pitt was returned. As far as popular opinion can be a test of either VOL. IV.
CHAP. merit or demerit, it was decidedly favourable to the minifter, and inimical to his opponents. The general conduct of Mr. Fox often has been erroneously estimated by those who confidered defects, without comprehending the excellencies of his plans, acts, and character; but never was he less popular than after his India bill and conteft with the fovereign. Still, however, he retained great favour in fome parts of the kingdom, efpecially in Westminster, and his election was the most noted of any that occurred for the new parContest for liament. The candidates were, lord Hood, who fter, and in- had fo eminently distinguished himself with Rodney, fluence of a Mr. Fox, and fir Cecil Wray; of whom the two laft were the late members. Wray had been originally chofen through the intereft of Mr. Fox, but now abandoned that gentleman and joined lord Hood. For feveral days, Mr. Fox was fuperior to either of his competitors; but his majority afterwards rapidly decreased, and he became inferior to fir Cecil Wray, who was far furpaffed by the naval candidate. On the 11th day of the poll he was three bundred and eighteen behind Wray; but an interference now took place that changed the face of affairs. A lady of very high rank, still more eminent for beauty than for condition, one of our lovely countrywomen, who demonftrate that, in celebrating a Venus or a Helen, poets do not exceed nature and experience, warmly interefted herself in the election of Mr. Fox, with a fuccefs far beyond the hopes of the favoured candidate. Animated by personal friendship, and inspired with an ardent zeal for what she conceived