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The engaging and graceful perfuafion of a Murray CHAP. yielded to the commanding force of a Pitt. But as a judge he earned the highest fame, by combining philofophy and detail, by inftantaneoufly and completely apprehending the cafe; and by accurate difcrimination, which, though deviating fomewhat from the letter of the laws, bounded his conftructions by the lines of equity and justice. In him you could not always find his precedents in the law reports, or his rules in the ftatutes at large, when neither would apply; but you must recognize his principles and criteria of determination in the immutable laws of reafon and rectitude. Lord Mansfield's procedure on the bench was, on the whole, the best that could be adopted by himself, or any other judge of confummate wifdom: how far, as a general model, it ought to be followed by all judges, might be a matter of doubtful inquiry. Perhaps, on the whole, unless a judge be uncommonly fagacious and able, literal interpretation, keeping as closely as poffible to precedent and ftatute, if in fome cafes it may be an obstacle to what is completely right, yet in a much greater yariety is a preventive of wrong.

land, at the inftance of lord Grosvenor, that the rank or condition of the defendant did not entitle the plaintiff to any increase of damages. It was alleged by party writers, that lord Mansfield wifhed to fcreen a prince of the blood: but the real and fair interpretation is, that in a civil action the plaintiff applies for the redrefs of a certain injury; that the injury done, and that only, is to be confidered in an award of damages.



CHAP. IIis lordship was fucceeded by Lloyd Kenyon, who, by profeffional ability and induftry, had rifen to be mafter of the rolls; and 'now, being chief juftice of the king's bench, was called to the house of peers by the title of lord Kenyon.


Diftemper of the king-affumes an alarming appearance.-Peers and commons affemble on the day appointed for the meeting of parliament.-Adjourn for a fortnight till the fact be af certained.-Phyficians being examined, agree that a temporary incapacity exifts.-Houfes meet to prepare for a supply. -Mr. Pitt moves an inquiry into precedents.-Mr. Fox declares, that in fuch circumftances the heir apparent has a right to exercife the executive power.-Mr. Pitt contends that the right of fupplying the deficiency is in the people, through their reprefentatives.-Lord Loughborough, with fome diftinctions, agrees with Mr. Fox.-Mr. Fox explains his doctrine, which Mr. Pitt fill controverts.—Question brought to iffue.-Determined that the supply of the deficiency refts with the houfes of parliament.—Mr. Pitt propofes that the chancellor fhall be empowered to put the feal to a commiffion for opening parliament.-After a violent debate, carried.-Frederick duke of York oppofes adminiftration. Mr. Cornwal dying, Mr. Grenville is chofen Speaker.-Mr. Pitt's plan of regency—is fubmitted to the prince of Wales.-His highness expreffes his difapprobation and reafons, but deems it incumbent on him to accept the office.-Second examination of the phyficians.-Hopes of his majesty's speedy recovery.-Mr. Pitt's plan of regency laid before parliament.-Principle; that the power delegated fhould anfwer without exceeding the purposes of the truft.Details and reftrictions.-Scheme reprobated by oppofition. Arguments for and againft.-Princes of the blood all vote on the fide of oppofition.-Warm praise and severe cenfure of, by the respective parties throughout the nation.—Impartial eflimate of its merits.—Irish parliament addresses the prince





to affume the regency of Ireland.-Favourable turn of his majesty's diflemper.-Convalescence.-Complete recovery.— Univerfal joy throughout the nation.—His majesty goes to St. Paul's to return thanks.-Feftive rejoicings.—Renewed application for the repeal of the test and corporation acts.-Chief fects and most eminent men of the diffenters.-Propofed relief from the penal laws against non-conformists— oppofed by the bishops.-Refufed.-Slave trade.-Mr. Wilberforce's motion for the abolition.-Arguments for, on the grounds of religion and humanity.—Confideration postponed to the next feffion.—Mr. Grenville appointed fecretary of ftate,—Mr. Addington speaker of the house of commons. Financial fcheme.-A loan required (according to the minifter) from a temporary cause.-Mr. Sheridan difputes his calculations.-Bill for fubjecting tobacco to an excife.-Po pular clamour against this bill.-Paffed into a law.-Progreffive prosperity of India frated by Mr. Dundas.-Slow progress of Mr. Haftings's trial.-Motions refpecting it in the commons.-Seffion rifes.


HE clofe of the present year was marked by a fignal calamity which befel this nation; but, dreadful as was its first aspect, terrible and afflicting the fears of its continuance, proving only temporary, grief and difmay for its exiftence were fpeedily overwhelmed in joy for its removal.

The vigorous conftitution and temperate habits of the king of our fovereign, now in the prime of his life, appeared to promife to his people the long duration of a reign directed to their happiness: contemplating his countenance and form, with natural health, invigorated by exercife, and fecured by regularity of living, his people confidently expected, that the paternal goodnefs, which for twenty-eight years

years they had experienced, would, after twentyeight years more, be ftill exerting itself for their benefit; but the profpect was now overcast.

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In the latter end of autumn all ranks were alarmed by a report that his majefty was feriously indifpofed. On the twenty-fourth of October refolved, notwithftanding illness, to perform the functions of his royal office, he held a levee; and though it was obvious to every one present, that his majesty's health was very materially affected, yet no fymptoms indicated any definite fpecies of malady. On the king's return to Windfor, his diftemper affumed a very alarming appearance; it was found that it affumes an had formed itself into a brain fever, attended with a delirium, fo often refulting from that dreadful diforder. The mental derangement having continued to the beginning of November, without any intermiffion, at length became public; and the intelligence diffused grief and confternation among his loyal and affectionate fubjects. The prince of Wales repairing to Windfor to the queen, thefe perfonages were attended by the lord chancellor, and concerted measures for the management of his majefty's domeftic affairs in the present emergency. Meanwhile, all those who, by their rank and fituation in the state, were required to take a part in fo new and unexpected an exigence, affembled in the capital. Mr. Fox had spent part of the recefs in Switzerland; to him, as a man from whofe extraordinary abilities moft beneficial advantage was expected, an exprefs was immediately dispatched, and he hurried to England. The twentieth of No- The peers vember was the day on which the prorogation of

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and com. mons af femble on the day ap pointed for

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