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CH A P. fentment through the nation, until the state of the

perpetrator's mind was made generally known, and 1786.

the dreadful impression of the calamity threatened yielded to delight that it had threatened in vain. The exquisite pleasure that results from terrible

and impending evil avoided, poured itself in adCongratula- dresses of ardent and heartfelt loyalty from every tory ad

quarter of the kingdom. His subjects before knew the escape of that they loved and revered their king ; but now Lovereign. only felt the full force of these affections, when

the impression present to their minds was the imminent danger of their object.

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Mr. Pitt's enlarged views on the relation between this country

and France. Perceives that peace and amicable intercourse is the interest of both countries. Thinks past enmity not an unfurmountable bar to permanent reconciliation.Projects a commercial intercourse, to be mutually beneficial by a reciprocal exchange of surplus for supply.Seeks the best alistance, and employs the mof skilful agents. Principle and details of the treaty.Mpeting of parliament and the king's speech.- Treaty submitted to parliament.-Mr. Fox and his co-adjutors oppose the treaty.- Arguments.-France the analterable enemy of Great Britain.Mutual interest can never eradicate that sentiment.--Every commercial connection with France has been injurious to Britain.--For the treaty, denied that there is any unalterable enmity between France and this country.--Not always enemies.--The repeated discomfiture of France, warring against the navy of England, at length taught her the policy of peace.--The treaty supported by a great majority. Convention with Spain. - Consolidation of the customs. Application of the disenters for the repeal of the test act.-Number and respectability of the dissenters as a body.-- Distinguished talents of Some of their leaders. -Dissenters favourable to Mr. Pitt, and thence expect his support of their application.- Previous Steps to prepoffefs the public in their favour.-Mr. Beaufo, demonstrates their zeal for liberty and the present establishment.---Lord North, a moderate tory, opposes their application, as inimical to the church.--Mr. Pitt opposes it on the grounds of political expediency.---The test no infringement of toleration, merely a condition of admisibility to certain offices of truft.--Eminent disenters had avowed themselves deforous of subverting the church ;-therefore not expedient VOL. IV,


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to extend their power.

Application rejected.-Bill for the relief of insolvent debtors.-Lord Rawdon's enlightened and liberal policy.Bill negatived.Enquiry about Scotch peerages.--Magnanimous Sacrifice by the prince of Wales of Splendor to justice.- Situation of his highness.Satisfactory adjustments.Proceedings respecting Mr. Hastings. Writings in his defence.The nation long averse to his impeachment.-Hastings's caufe generally popular.-Eloquence gives a turn to public opinion.Celebrated speech of Mr. Sheridan on the Begum charge.--Its effects on the house of commons and the public. Singular instance of its impreffion on a literary defender of Mr. Hastings.

A committee appointed to prepare articles of impeachment. The commons impeach Warren Hastings as the bar of the house of lords. -Supplies.-Favourable state of the finances.Mr. Dundas brings forward the financial state of British India. Promising aspect of affairs.

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1786. Enlarged

Pitt on the relations be

tain and France.

TISTORY recorded that France and England had

been usually jealous, and often hostile: states

men on both sides acted upon an assumption, that views of air rivalry and enmity were unavoidable consequences

of their situation; and, therefore, that the chief tween Pric objects of external policy to both, were reciprocal

suspicion, and provision for probable enmity. The bold and soaring genius of Pitt was not to be trammelled by precedent: he investigated principle, and combining generalization with the experience of political systems and events, easily traced effects, either good or bad, to their causes; and could difcover in what cases and circumstances, continuance, or change of plan or of practice, was expedient or unwise. The fagacity of this minister analized the history and spirit of the wars which had been carried on between Britain and France, since trade and na


vigation became so much the objects of European CHAP: pursuits : and saw that they had .commonly arisen from a desire on the side of France.of equalling, and even surpassing, Britain on her peculiar element. He considered the event, as well as the origin : every endeavour of our neighbour to triumph by sea had diminished the riches and power which she sought to increase by a contest: both her commerce and naval force had been uniformly reduced by the very wars, through which she attempted their extension. The resources of Britain had risen in proportion to the power which she was compelled to combat ; and all the confederacies which her rival could form, were incapable of depriving this island of her maritime pre-eminence: hence it was evident, that no state which fought opulence and strength, through commercial efforts, acted wisely in provoking to conflict the mistress of the ocean, who could fo effectually destroy the trade of her foes: it was, therefore, the interest of France. to defist from that hostile policy which had so much obstructed the improvements of her immense resources. Peace with France was no less beneficial to Britain, which had so far consulted her advantage, as to abstain from offensive hostility against her neighbour : within the period of great commercial enterprise in northern and western Europe, England had never gone to war, but to repel aggreffion, direct or circuitous. Concord being the perceives mutual interest of the parties, Mr. Pitt conceived the noble design of changing the contentious system intercourse of policy which had so long prevailed ; and the ex- terett of ecution, though difficult, he had solid reasons not



that peace

and amicable


an unsurmountable bar to permanent reconciliation.

CHAP to believe impracticable. That hereditary enmity XXXVII.

was not an unsurmountable obstacle to reconcilia1786.

tion and close alliance, was clearly demonstrated from the former and recent, relations between France and Spain, and between France and Austria. Those powers, which had been the constant enemies of France throughout the feventeenth century, and one of them during more than one half of the eighteenth, were now her fastest friends; why might not per

manent amity be establifhed between Britain and her Thinks paft former rival? The molt effectual means of inducing enmity not

the two countries to pursue objects fo conducive to their mutual benefit, he thought, would be a commercial intercourse, which should reciprocally increase the value of productive labour. The minister derived his knowledge and philosophy from the purest sources : he fought information, either particular or general, wherever it was to be found authentic and important; and was peculiarly happy in arranging details, and, from either maffes or systems, selecting and applying what was best fitted for his purpose. Political economy and commercial science he learned from Smith: he agreed with that illustrious writer in his estimate of the reciprocal advantage that might accrue to industrious and skilful nations, from an unfettered trade, which should stimulate their respective efforts. Before he formed his scheme for promoting an intercourse between the two chief nations of the world, he made himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of facts, the actual productions, and the probable resources of the respective countries. The minister possessed that ability and skill in chusing co-adjutors,

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