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XXXII.

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other hand, powerful as he is in force, is extremely CHA P. circumspect and discriminate, as to the extent and bounds of operation most conducive to the purpose. comport.com Mr. Fox, adopting a principle in itself right, often of the two adopts it too implicitly, and carries its application to a fulting from greater extent than the exact case justifies. Mr. Pitt much more accurately fixes the line of demarcation, authors. which the principle with the existing case requires. The India bill of 1783, considered in relation to certain ends, was ably, skilfully, and effectually den vised; but attending to efficacy, its author neglected control. The wheels strongly constructed, but wanting the drag, by the force and rapidity of their motion, might have overturned and crushed the constitution. The plan of 1784, in forming a power for specific use, guarded more cautiously against eventual abuse.

During this session, the Westminster election oc- Debate on cupied considerable attention; a scrutiny having minder liecbeen granted by the high bailiff, at the instance of tione fir Cecil Wray, the unsuccessful candidate, its legality was questioned by Mr. Fox: according to that gentleman, the election ought to have been referred to a committee, under Mr. George Grenville's bill. The discussion produced an astonishing display of legal ability and knowledge, both from Mr, Pitt and Mr. Fox; when the question was put, arguments of the former were found to have

prevailed, and the scrutiny was ordered to be continued.

A very humane and equitable measure was this Mr. Dundas selfion proposed by Mr. Dundas, indeed equally restoration meritorious as a scheme of individual justice and perhette

national

put, the

feited estates.

C4

XXXII.

A law is passed for

CHAP: national policy: this was the restoration of the

estates forfeited in the Scottish rebellions to 1984. the representatives of the sufferers. He enlarged

on the wisdom and justice of the principle, and adducing the opinion of a Chatham as an authority in favour of his arguments, he quoted the celebrated paffage in one of that illustrious orator's speeches, which describes the merits of the Scotch highlanders. He drew an auspicious omen from reflecting, that the first blow had been given the profcription by the earl of Chatham; and

trusted, that the remains of a system, which, that purpose.

whether di&tated at first by narrow views or by
sound policy, ought certainly to be temporary,
would be completely annihilated under the admini-
stration of his son.
He made the panegyric of persons under this

pre. dicament, who had distinguilhed themselves in the last war. He said there was not one of those fami, lies, in which some person had not atoned for the errors of his ancestors, and spilt his blood in his country's cause; and he would boldly affert, that the spirit which had rendered the inhabitants of the highlands disaffected to the present government, had long fince disappeared, and that the king had not at this moment a set of more loyal subjects in his dominions. It would be magnanimity to treat them like true and faithful subjects, and cancel for ever the offences of their ancestors ; nor would the liberality of the proceeding be greater than its policy: The spirit of emigration in the highlanders was such, that nothing could extinguish it but the return of their long lost patrons, and the affection and reverence

XXXII,

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which the inhabitants of that part of the island felt, CHAP., for their natural lords. It was obvious, that a pro

1784. perty held for the benefit of the public, was not so well managed as if possessed by private proprietors: the restoration of the estates would tend very much to the improvement and prosperity of the country. The bill experienced some opposition in the house of lords; the objections proceeded not from the substance, but the lateness of the season, and the form in which it was introduced; all these, however, were over-ruled, and it was passed into a law.

Mr. Pitt found himself necessarily engaged in the Labours of laborious business of winding up the accounts of the investigating

the public war, and was compelled, by the burden of floating debt, and the general state of the national finances, to negociate a loan, though in time of peace; but as this measure was obviously unavoidable, in order to make the terms as favourable as poslible, instead of granting enormous profit to private or political favourites, he disposed of it to the best bidders. The fum borrowed was fix millions : Supplies. the taxes were chiefly upon articles of accommodation and ornament in dress, furniture, and equipage, or postage, by the restrictions of franking, with some additional duties on liquors. The principle of impost with which he set out, was to bear as lightly as possible on the poorer classes : besides Loan and this loan, there was a large debt unfunded, chiefly in navy and exchequer bills, and ordnance deben

Of these fix million fix hundred thousand pounds were funded, and the rest necessarily deferred to the following year. On the 2d day of August, the session was ended, by a speech from the

taxes

throne;

tures.

XXXII.

CHAP. throne, in which his majesty expressed his warmest

thanks for the eminent proofs exhibited by parliament 17840 of zealous and diligent attention to the public service.

The happiest effects were declared to be expected from the provision made for the better government of India, and from the institution of a tribunal so peculiarly adapted to the trial of offences committed in that distant country. The sovereign observed with great satisfaction, the laws which were passed for the preservation and improvement of the revenue. He applauded the zeal and liberality with which the house of commons had provided for the exigencies of the state, though he felt and regretted the necefsity in which their exertions originated. A definitive treaty, the king informed the house, was concluded between Britain and the States-general; and the aspect of affairs, as well as the positive assurances from foreign powers, promised a continuance of general tranquillity.

CHAP. XXXIII.

Britain resumes her attention to the affairs of the continent.me

State of foreign powers.-Situation and views of Catharine. -Character and conduct of the emperor Jofeph.-Catharine courts his alliance.Treaty between these princes. -Catharine's invasion of the Crimea.-Seizure of that country.--Measures of internal improvement. It is the interest of Rufia to cultivate amity with Britain.-Catharine's conduct to Britain not consistent with her usual wisdom.-Reforming projects of the emperor.-Suppression of religious orders.--Schemes of naval and commercial aggrandisement.-Dismantles the fortresses of the Nethere lands.- Proposes to open the Scheldt.-The emperor prefers his claims.--Arguments on both sides. Foseph's allegations entirely contrary to justice.-The Dutch prepare to defend their rights.-Ruffia supports the pretensions of the emperor. -Prufia and France unfriendly to the emperor's demands. -Britain disposed to protect Holland. Britain's speedy recovery from the evils of war. -Flourishing commerce. Miscellaneous occurrences.-Death of doctor Johnson, and a short view of literature and science at his decease.--Improvements of the present age in natural philosophy and chemistry.- Invention of air-balloons.- Ascent of Lunardi from the Artillery-ground.General astonishment of the

metropolis at this phenomenon. FOR the last twenty years, England had been so CHA P.

XXXIII, much engaged in her own intestine and colonial diffenfions, and afterwards with the American war 1784. and its consequences, that the bestowed much less furnes her attention on the general concerns of Europe, than the affairs of at any former period of her history since the revo

Britain re

to

lution.

the contio nent.

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