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CHAP. principle of the judgment appeared to be, that large and connected paffages copied from a literary work, tend to injure the fale of that work, and confequently leffen the value of the property to the rightful owner.

Return of

Mr. Haft

fubject of

temporary literature.

Peace having been now completely established ings, a great between the Eaft India company and Tippoo Saib, tranquillity was diffufed over British India. During the recefs, Mr. Haftings, the governor general, returned; and the periodical writings of the times teemed with attacks and vindications of his character.


Meeting of parliament.-King's Speech.-Views of Mr. Fox concerning continental alliances.-The duke of Richmond's Scheme for fortifying the dock-yards—fubmitted to parliament-Arguments for and against.-Speech of Mr. Sheridan on the fortifications —The bill is rejected by the cafting. vote of the Speaker.-Alteration in the mutiny bill.-Mr. Pitt's plan for appropriating an annual million to the payment of the national debt.—Mr. Sheridan takes the most active part in controverting the minifter's financial propofitions.-Farther measures of the minifter for preventing frauds against the revenue.-Proposes to subject foreign wines to the excife.-A bill for the purpose is paffed into a law. Bill appointing commiffioners to examine the crown lands.-The conduct of Mr. Haftings becomes a fubject of enquiry. Public opinion concerning Mr. Haftings.-Mr. Burke opens the subject.—His introductory Speech.—Proposes to proceed by impeachment.-Prefents a fummary of the alleged criminal acts.A majority, including Mr. Pitt, finds ground of impeachment in the proceedings against Cheyht Sing.—Mr. Dundas's bill for improving the government of British India. Supplies.-Seffion terminates.




Meeting of

N the 24th of January 1786, parliament was CHA P. affembled. The fpeech from the throne mentioned the amicable conclufion of the disputes which had threatened the tranquillity of Europe, parliament, and the friendly difpofitions of foreign powers to- and the wards this country: it expreffed the royal fatisfac- fpeech. tion, that his majesty's fubjects now experienced the growing bleffings of peace in the extenfion of trade, improvement of revenue, and increase




CHAP. of public credit. For the farther advancement of those important objects, the king relied on the continuance of that zeal and induftry which was manifested in the last feffion of parliament. The refolutions which they had laid before him, as the bafis of an adjustment of the commercial intercourse between Great Britain and Ireland, had been by his direction recommended to the parliament of that kingdom, but no effectual step had hitherto been taken, which could enable them to make any farther progrefs in that falutary work. His majesty recommended to the houfe of commons the establishment of a fixed plan for the reduction of the national debt; a measure which, he trusted, the flourishing state of the revenue would be fufficient to effect, with little addition to the public burdens.

Views of Mr. Fox concerning continental alliances.

The objects propofed by the fovereign for parliamentary deliberation, were evidently of such pri. mary importance, that the speech and correfponding address afforded little opportunity for animadverfion from oppofition. Without objecting to the address, Mr. Fox expatiated into a very wide field of continental politics. He went over the state and recent transactions of Ruffia, Germany, Holland, and France, and endeavoured to prove, that the acceffion of the king, as elector of Hanover, to the Germanic confederation, would disgust the emperor with this country, and indifpofe him to an alliance with Britain in any future war. Viewing the interefts and relations of the various ftates of the continent, he deduced from them the principles of alliance which he judged most expedient for this country to adopt. From the connection between France and Spain,




the emperor was the only power whofe co-opera- CHAP. tion could occupy the exertions of France by land, and thereby prevent her from directing to maritime contests fuch efforts as fhe had employed in the recent war. An intercourfe both commercial and political with Ruffia, was also an object of the higheft confequence to this country; a favourable opportunity had been loft, but still an advantageous alliance might be concluded. He understood that a treaty was on the point of being established between Britain and France; and he ftrongly reprobated the policy of fuch a measure, appealing to the experience of former times, which (he faid) proved that this nation had become powerful and flourishing, from the moment that the quitted all commercial connection with France. With ftrictures on the Irish propofitions and the India bill, he concluded a fpeech, which, as ufual with oppofition on the first day of the feffion, exhibited a statement of all the alleged errors and mifcarriages of minifters. In replying, Mr. Pitt made an introductory observation, deserving peculiar attention, as it very strongly exhibited a prominent feature in the eloquence of his opponent. "Mr. Fox (he faid) difcovered moft extraordinary dexterity in leaving out of a difcuffion* fuch parts belonging to the subject as did not fuit his purpose to be brought forward, and a fimilar dexterity of introducing, however foreign to the question, fuch matter as he expected would be favourable." By reverting to the course of Mr. Fox's oratory during the administration of Lord

* See Parliamentary Reports for 1786, Jan. 24.




CHAP. North, the reader will perceive this remark of the minifter not to be groundless. Mr. Fox had often allowed himself unbounded liberty of expatiation, and roamed at large in the wide regions of invective. Lord North had most frequently followed his adversary through the devious tracts, and much time was spent by both orators in contentions on fubjects which were foreign to the immediate bufinefs of the houfe. Forcible as Mr. Fox was in argument; dexterous, skilful, and ingenious, as lord North was in eluding a ftrength which he could not meet; the reasoning of both wanted closenefs, and compacted arrangement: befides, as of two very able combatants Mr. Fox was incomparably the fuperior, lord North in his tactics naturally imitated, in order to parry his affailant. Mr. Pitt was of a different caft, and character; he was far from being under the neceffity of fhifting blows that he could repel by equal force, and return with well-directed effort. Difciplined in reflection and argumentation, as well as powerful in talents, he thoroughly knew his own ground, and his ability to maintain it in any mode which he judged expedient; he was not therefore to be hurried away by the evolutions of his adverfary. Mr. Pitt at this time declared an intention, to which in the course of his parliamentary warfare he generally adhered, that let Mr. Fox range ever fo wide into extraneous fubjects, he should confine his answers to what he conceived relative to the purpose. In the present debate, he observed, various topics had been difcuffed by Mr. Fox, fuch as the politics of the emperor and the German confederacy, which were not within the


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