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Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. Volume 2 by Henry Hunt

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barrels, with _small beer_, in order to deceive him, and make him
believe that it was strong beer. At this he stared a very incredulous
stare, and said that he would look into it, but he delayed it so long
that, when he did join me in taking decisive measures, the whole
property sold for about two thousand pounds, so that we were minus about
five thousand pounds; and every shilling of this loss I attribute to
my quaker uncle's obstinacy--a failing, notwithstanding all their good
qualities, to which this sect is very subject.

I had contracted a great predilection for the son, with whom I had
had an intimacy for some years; and, notwithstanding the loss I had
sustained by his father, he prevailed upon me to join him in a brewing
concern at Clifton, near Bristol: as he had not a shilling of his own, I
was to find the cash, and he judgment. I did this mainly to set him
up in business, although I was not without expectations that it might
ultimately become a profitable concern. I therefore engaged to find a
capital of six or eight thousand pounds; from two to three of which
was to be sunk in building a brewery, the erection of which I was to
superintend, and complete the fabric after my own plan. As soon as this
was done, I was only to find the money, and my young friend was to
manage and conduct the brewing concern. I agreed to all this upon one
condition only, which was, that there should be nothing brewed in our
brewery but genuine beer and porter, made of malt and hops alone. After
some parley upon this point it was at length assented to.

The brewery was built upon the site of an old distillery, at the rising
of a spring called Jacob's Well, at the foot of Brandon Hill, and
immediately below Belleview, at Clifton. The whole was soon completed
under my own eye, and finished entirely on my own plan. I took advantage
of the declivity of the hill, on the side of which the premises were
situated, to have it so constructed that the whole process of brewing
was conducted, from the grinding of the malt, which fell from the mill
into the mash-tun, without any lifting or pumping; with the exception of
pumping the water, called _liquor_ by brewers, first into the reservoir,
which composed the roof of the building. By turning a cock, this liquor
filled the steam boiler, from thence it flowed into the mash-tun; the
wort had only once to be pumped, once from the under back into the
boiler, from thence it emptied itself, by turning the cock, into the
coolers; it then flowed into the working vats and riving casks, and from
the stillions, which were immediately above the store casks into which
it flowed, only by turning a cock. These store casks were mounted on
stands or horses, high enough to set a butt upright, and fill it out of
the lower cock; and then the butts and barrels were rolled to the door,
and upon the drays, without one ounce of lifting from the commencement
of the process to the end. This was a great saving of labour. I left the
concern in the hands of my young friend, with every prospect of success,
and I then returned to my farm at Chisenbury; having, as I was taught
to believe, laid the foundation of a lucrative concern, from which I
expected to derive a liberal interest for the money I had advanced,
which was about eight thousand pounds, and at the same time afford a
handsome income for my young friend. But such is the uncertainty and
precarious state of all speculative concerns of this nature, and such
the inconstancy of friendship, that, instead of ever receiving one
shilling from this concern, I found it still continue to be a drain upon
my purse. Bills were coming due, I was told, and they must be provided
for, or the credit of the firm would be blasted. Duty, to a large
amount, was to be paid every six weeks, and as often I was called upon
to assist in making up the sum. I now began, although much too late, to
curse the hour that I became connected with trade. I, however, did not
despair. I met all the demands, till, having called in a considerable
sum of money, which I had lent to a friend, an attorney, upon his note
of hand, he gave me bills, payable at _one, two_, and _three_ months,
for the amount. These were all absorbed at the brewery, and paid away
in the course of trade, for malt, hops, &c. but the first, second, and
third, all the said bills, were as _regularly dishonoured_ as they
became due. So much for friendly attorneys! and though I had a
sufficient sum in my bankers' hands, Stuckey and Co. to meet the
deficiency, with some exertion of my own, _yet_, such a ticklish thing
is _credit_, and particularly in the illiberal city of Bristol, that I
found my bankers always looked shy at any bills that were carried to
them afterwards. My friend, the attorney, renewed the bills, with a
solemn promise that they should be regularly paid when they became due;
but the word and honour of an attorney, at least of this attorney, was
good for nothing. Fortunately, I only paid one of them away in the
trade; for that and the others were as _regularly dishonoured as

To meet and overcome such treachery, I was obliged to reside a great
portion of my time at Clifton; and I soon found that, instead of my
receiving regular interest for the money which I had advanced, I was in
a fair way of being drained of every shilling I possessed, if I did not
make a stand. My old friend, Waddington, came to visit me; he was a man
of business and of the world, and I begged of him to look into the
books and advise me. He did so, and at the end of a couple of hours
he returned, and informed me that I had been egregiously deceived,
plundered, and robbed, and that he had not the slightest hesitation in
declaring, that my young friend, in whom I had placed such unlimited and
implicit confidence, was a _great villain!_ I was thunderstruck, and
inquired how he meant to substantiate his charge; his answer was, invite
him to dine with us to-day, and after dinner send for the books, and
I will make him confess his villainy before your face. I followed his
advice, invited him to dine, and after dinner I sent for the books,
under the pretence of explaining something to Mr. Waddington. The books
came; Mr. Waddington turned to a particular account, which he had
investigated in the morning, pointed it out to him, and begged to know
how he could account for such and such entries. My gentleman turned pale
and equivocated. Mr. Waddington turned to another and another, upon
which my protege stood confessedly a most complete hypocrite; and having
thrown himself on my mercy, he at once obtained my forgiveness, upon a
solemn promise of never being guilty of a similar offence again. Mr.
Waddington expressed his astonishment at my forbearance in not having
him committed, and ridiculed my folly in continuing to place any
confidence in him; adding, "I hanged one clerk and transported two more,
for much less offences than he has been guilty of, and in which I have
clearly detected him."

The young man shewed the greatest contrition, and after he had vowed
reparation in the most solemn terms, he took his leave. The moment his
back was turned, Mr. Waddington declared, that he had not the least
doubt in his own mind that, notwithstanding all the protestations which
I had heard, he was gone away determined to commit some more desperate
act of fraud; and, to convince me of the correctness of his judgment, he
got up at four o'clock the next morning, and stole down to my brewery,
and there he detected him in the fact of practising upon me a fraud
similar to that of which he had been previously convicted by his own
confession. Mr. Waddington came back to breakfast, and informed me of
the fact, and urged my taking immediate criminal proceedings against the
offender. I, however, preferred giving him an opportunity to escape, and
having ordered my curricle I called at the brewery, to say that I was
going to Chisenbury for a few days. He inquired as follows--"_Pray,
Sir, what day shall we have the pleasure of seeing you back again?_" I
replied that it would be in about a week. These were the last words I
ever heard from him. When I returned I found, as I expected, that he had
sailed for America, bag and baggage, two days: after I left Bristol.

I discovered that the concern was in a most wretched state; the debts
had been collected to a shilling, where they were good for any thing.
The cellars were filled with bad beer, although he had had the unlimited
control of the best malt and hops. I had sent my own best barley down
from Chisenbury, and had made fifty quarters of malt a week, for two
whole seasons, for which I had no return, and the amount of my losses
in this concern is incalculable. When he first began brewing I made him
make oath, before the Mayor of Bristol, that he would use only malt and
hops in the brewing of the beer and porter at the Jacob's Well Brewery.
Some time after this, I had some ground of suspicion that the brewer
purchased some small quantity of copperas, to assist his faults in
brewing. I, therefore, ever afterwards made the brewer, as well as his
master, take the oath before the Mayor, that they would use nothing but
malt and hops in brewing.

When the act was passed, making it a penalty of two hundred pounds to
use any _drug, ingredient_, or _material_, except malt and hops, in
the brewing of beer, Alderman Wood obtained a patent for making of
colouring, to heighten the colour of porter. This colouring was made of
scorched or burnt malt, and it was mashed the same as common malt, which
produced a colouring of the consistency of treacle, and having nearly
its appearance. As this patent was very much approved of, almost every
porter brewer in England used it in the colouring their porter; and
amongst that number I was not only a customer of the worthy alderman for
colouring, but I was also a considerable purchaser of hops from the firm
of Wood, Wiggan & Co. in Falcon Square. I had just got down a fresh
cask of this colouring, and it was standing at the entrance door of the
brewery, where it had been rolled off the dray, when news was brought me
that the new exciseman had seized the cask of colouring, and had taken
it down to the excise office. I immediately wrote to Wood, Wiggan & Co.
to inform them of the circumstance; upon which they immediately applied
to the board of excise in London, and by the return of post I received
a letter from Messrs. Wood, to say, that an order was gone off, by the
same post, to direct the officers of excise in Bristol to restore the
cask of colouring without delay; and almost as soon as this letter had
come to hand, and before I could place it upon the file, one of the
exciseman came quite out of breath to say that an order had arrived from
the board of excise in London, to restore the cask of colouring, and it
was quite at my service, whenever I pleased to send for it. I wrote back
a letter by the fellow, to say, that as the exciseman had seized and
carried away from my brewery a cask of colouring, which was allowed by
the board of excise to be perfectly legal to use, as it was made of malt
and hops only, unless, within two hours of that time, they caused it to
be restored to the very spot from whence it was illegally removed, I
would direct an action to be commenced against them. In less than an
hour the cask of colouring was returned, and the same exciseman who had
seized it came to make an apology for his error. His pardon was at once
granted, and so ended this mighty affair; and I continued to use the
said colouring, as well as did all the porter brewers in Bristol,
without further molestation, as long as I continued the brewery; never
having had any other seizure while I was concerned in the brewery.

Now, let the reader look at this circumstance, and compare it with the
account, the malignant account, given of it in the Mock Times, which, I
think, was given to the public while I was in solitary confinement in
the New Bailey, at Manchester, upon a charge of high treason. That was
the time chosen by the cowardly scoundrel, the editor of the Mock Times,
to state "that I had formerly been a brewer at Bristol, and, that I had
made oath that my beer was genuine, and brewed solely from malt and
hops; but that, in turning to the excise books, they found that, at such
a period (mentioning the term) Henry Hunt was exchequered, for using
deleterious drugs in the making the said genuine beer." This was the
time chosen to propagate this infamous, this cowardly, this barefaced
falsehood; the very time when I was locked up in solitary confinement,
in a dungeon, under a charge of high treason; and this is the hypocrite
who pretends never to attack private character. This fellow, Slop, I
never yet saw to know him; but I hope I shall live to look the coward
scoundrel in the face.

In the latter end of the year 1803, an insurrection broke out in
Ireland, and the Habeas Corpus Act was in consequence suspended. Lord
Kilwarden, Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland, was put to
death by the insurgents in Dublin. War had also commenced once more
between England and France. The English proceeded to seize all the
French ships they could find at sea; making the people on board
prisoners of war. In retaliation for this act of aggression, Buonaparte
seized upon the persons of all the English in France, and treated them
as prisoners. This was blazoned forth as a tyrannical act of injustice,
in all the public newspapers, the venal editors of which contrived to
keep out of sight the provocation which France had received, and that
she only seized the English, and made them prisoners in retaliation.
Addington's peace was now, indeed, proved to be what Mr. Fox had
anticipated, in his speech upon the occasion in parliament, "a hollow
truce;" for, to use the minister's own expression, "he had entered into
the treaty of Amiens _merely as an experiment_." A bill called the
Defence Bill was passed; an army of reserve was raised; volunteer corps
were again established all over the country; and every measure was
used to repel the threatened invasion of the enemy. This defence bill
compelled every parish or district to raise a certain number of men, as
volunteers, or pay a fine if it failed to do so. Having endeavoured in
vain to raise their quota, many parishes paid the fine (which by the bye
was not unacceptable to the Government).

Amongst the number of defaulters on this occasion was the parish of
Enford, the farmers of which had used every means to raise the men;
being, in the first place, loth to part with their money, and in the
next, not relishing the disgrace of not having influence enough with
their labourers to induce them to volunteer. They had already held two
meetings, at which officers were appointed, but no men came forward to
put down their names, although they were earnestly exhorted to do so by
the vicar of the parish, the Reverend John Prince, who was generally
liked by his parishioners. One of my servants, my bailiff, I believe,
wrote to me at Clifton, to inform me of the state of the politics of the
parish, which was, that the men were willing enough, but they did not
like their officers, and that they wished me as an officer. My bailiff
added, that if I would come to the meeting, on the following Sunday,
which was the last intended to be held, and give in my name as their
captain, the number, which was to be sixty, would be volunteered in an
hour. Agreeable to this suggestion I drove to Enford on the following
Sunday, and, as I was late I drove up to the church door in my curricle.
I was welcomed as usual by the kind and friendly salutations of my old
neighbours; but when I came to the church-yard all was solemn silence,
and as still as death itself; not one of the parishioners appeared as
usual upon such occasions. I supposed that the meeting was over, and
was about to return, when one of the farmers came out of the church
and invited me into the vestry, where all the heads of the parish were
assembled, as he informed me, with the vicar in the chair. I followed
him into the vestry room, where I found them all in solemn, sober,
deliberation, brooding over their disappointment, in not having obtained
the names of any of the labourers of the parish. One of them shortly
addressed me, inveighing against this disloyalty and disaffection, and
he informed me, that they had just came to an unanimous resolution to
pay the fine, and not trouble themselves any farther about it, unless
I could suggest some plan to avoid the disgrace and the expence to the
parish. I submitted the propriety of making a proper appeal to those
whom they wished to come forward. They replied by producing a hand-bill,
to which they said they had added their personal entreaties; but all
in vain, as not one man had come forward, although three persons had
volunteered as officers. I hinted that that was beginning at the wrong
end; that the men should have been first enrolled, and then allowed to
choose their own officers.

At this moment the sexton came in, to say that the church-yard was full
of men; women and children; that the whole parish had assembled when
they saw Mr. Hunt drive up to the church; and that the men all said, "if
Squire Hunt would be their captain they would enroll their names, and
would follow him to any part of the world." It was proposed that we
should go out to them, and hear what they had got to say. As soon as
we reached the door, the cry was raised of Captain Hunt for ever!
accompanied with three cheers. This was a most gratifying spectacle to
me; I was surrounded by all those with whom I had been bred up, those
amongst whom I had been born, and with whom, and under whose eye, I had
passed my whole life, with the exception of the time which I had spent
at school. I could do no less than address them, and accordingly I
mounted on a tombstone (an excellent rostrum)--I spoke to them in a
language that they well understood, the language of truth and not of
flattery. I kindly thanked them for the honour they intended me, and the
unqualified confidence they appeared disposed to place in me; I recalled
to their recollections the happy days that we had spent together in
the alternate and rational enjoyment of useful labour and cheerful
recreation; we had worked, we had toiled together in the field; we had
mingled together in the innocent gay delights of the country wake; I had
been present, and had never failed to patronise their manly sports, at
the annual festivals of Easter and Whitsuntide; I had contended with
them, while yet a boy, in the foot race, at the cricket match, or at the
fives court; I had entered the ring with the more athletic, struggled
foot to foot for the fall, and had borne off many a wrestling prize for
the day, which I had never failed to give to some less powerful or
less fortunate candidate for the honour: I had always mingled with and
encouraged their innocent sports, but I had never countenanced any
drunken revelry. In fact, I was so well known amongst the young and the
old, that they all with one accord exclaimed, if Mr. Hunt will be our
captain we will follow where he leads, if it be to the farthermost parts
of the earth. At the same time that I thanked them for, and was highly
delighted with this predilection, I endeavoured to prevail upon them to
accept those who had offered themselves as their officers; and I pointed
out to them the distance at which I should be from them, and the
inconvenience it would be to me to attend to instruct them in their
duty. But all would not do; not one man would put his name to the paper;
not one female urged her relation on to volunteer. I must own that I
felt a conscious pride in their partiality, and particularly upon this
occasion, because a few envious persons had hinted that my family
misfortunes, and my separation from my wife, had in a great measure
weaned the affections of some of my neighbours from me.

At length, after having tried their sincerity fairly, and found it
invincible, I yielded to their wishes, and in an impassioned tone,
I announced _that I would be their captain_; this I did amidst the
enthusiastic shouts of the whole assembled multitude, men, women, and
children; every man pressing forward to sign his name as a volunteer.
But, having obtained silence, I seriously admonished them as
follows:--"My kind-hearted, generous, zealous, neighbours and friends,
recollect what you are about to do, and pause a little before you sign
your names; for I solemnly declare, before God and my country, that I
have no other object in becoming your captain, but a sincere desire to
serve my country; and, as I should be ashamed to become a volunteer, if
I were not ready to lay down my life in defending her shores against the
invasion of a foreign enemy, I shall, therefore, not tender my services,
or accept of yours, upon any other terms than these: _That we volunteer
our services to Government, to be ready at a moment's notice, to march
to any part of the united kingdom, whenever we may be called upon,
and wherever we may be wanted_. Upon these terms, and these alone, I
consent to become your captain."

This was again answered by three more cheers, and a general cry of
"_wherever you, our captain, choose to lead we will be ready to
follow!_" The first men who pressed forward, and placed their names at
the head of the list, were those very men whom, a few years before, I
had caused to be prosecuted for a riot and rescue, at Netheravan. I
never witnessed a more gratifying flattering scene than the village
church-yard of Enford exhibited. Old women were encouraging their sons,
others their husbands, young maidens were smiling their willing assent
to their sweethearts and brothers, and although there was not a single
instance where the men required any of these to urge them on to do their
duty in the defence of their country, yet the approbation and smiles of
the females gave such a zest to the act, and stamped such a sanction
upon the whole undertaking, that one and all burned with the most lively
enthusiasm to become willing agents to stem the threatened irruption
of the invader, and to repel his aggressions even at the risk of their
life's dearest blood. With the exception of two individuals, who had
taken some pique, every man in the parish capable of bearing arms
enrolled himself on that day or the following morning; upon the
completion of which I wrote the following letter to Earl Pembroke, the
Lord Lieutenant of the County :----

_Chisenbury House, August_ 15, 1803.


Having observed, with infinite regret, in the public newspapers, that
when a general meeting of the various parishes in this neighbourhood
took place, the inhabitants exhibited great apathy with regard to
the situation of the country, and that only a small portion of the
inhabitants of the parish of Enford had signed their names to act as
volunteers in defence of their country in case of an invasion, I was
induced, yesterday, from a sense of public duty, to come amongst them;
and, at their particular and unanimous request, I accepted the offer to
command them, agreeable to the provisions of the late act of parliament.
I have the pleasure now to inform you, that all the men in this parish
capable of bearing arms, with the exception of two, have voluntarily
enrolled their names to act as a company of volunteers, to be at the
command of the Government, to march at a moment's notice to any part
of the united kingdom, where our services may be required. I also beg
leave, in addition to the foregoing, to renew the offer which I made
through your Lordship two years back, of my life and fortune, without
any reservation, to oppose the daring views of our enterprising enemy.
Sir John Poore, your Deputy Lieutenant, has expressed himself much
pleased with the zeal and the alacrity with which the people of Enford
have come forward, and I have to solicit your Lordship's early attention
to this corps (in case our services should be accepted), as I feel
particularly anxious to render their services available as speedily as

I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's obedient Servant,


_To the Earl, of Pembroke._

Having dispatched my servant off with this letter, enclosing a list of
the names of the volunteers, I appointed to meet them at my house at
Chisenbury on the following Sunday, by which time I expected I should
be able to give them the answer of the Lord Lieutenant; and in the mean
time I returned to look after my brewing concern at Clifton. In a few
days after, I received a palavering letter from my Lord Pembroke, as
follows:---- _Lower Brook Street, Aug_. 18, 1803.


I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 15th, enclosing a
list of persons who have volunteered in the parish of Enford. The offer
is most liberal and handsome on your part, as well as on the part of
those who have joined you in tendering such unlimited service, which,
although it far exceeds the limits of the Defence Bill, yet I shall feel
it my duty to lay it before the Secretary of State, that it may receive
that attention which your patriotic offers merit. There will be a
meeting of Deputy Lieutenants in a few days, when your offer shall be
taken into consideration, and receive my early attention.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient Servant,


_To Henry Hunt, Esq_.

_Chisenbury House_.

I could easily see that there was a shuffle meant here; and I
anticipated that our services were much too zealous and disinterested
to meet with the sanction of his Lordship, and so it proved; for when
I reached Chisenbury House, on the following Sunday, I found a letter,
written by Lord Pembroke to Sir John Melburn Poore, Bart, left for my
perusal, as underneath:----

_Margate, August_, 1803.


I find that it will not be in my power to forward the offer from
Enford, in your division, which was communicated to me by Mr. Hunt,
of Chisenbury House. I must beg that you will state to him, for the
information of the members of the proposed company, that I am sorry they
cannot be included in the county quota, in consequence of there having
been a sufficient number already volunteered from that district; but
that, in justice to their marked zeal and loyalty, I shall think it my
duty to state the offer that they have made, to the Secretary of State,
and I shall point it out as an instance of great devotion to the
service, to the notice of his Majesty's ministers, &c. &c. &c.

I am, Sir,

Your very obedient Servant,


_Sir J. M. Poore, Bart._

When I drove into my front court, at Chisenbury House, I found these
brave and zealous fellows drawn up in as good line as I ever in my life
saw in a company of regulars, and they instantly saluted me with three
cheers. They had employed a drill serjeant, and had met to perform their
exercise two or three evenings during the week, and they could already
march and wheel with considerable facility and address. However, as soon
as I had read the letter which had been forwarded by Sir John Poore,
from the Lord Lieutenant, I did not keep them a moment in suspence. I
formed them into a hollow square, and having briefly addressed them,
I next proceeded to read the letter aloud, which appeared to excite
mingled feelings of regret and indignation; every one seemed to feel
that zeal and devotedness were not the qualities that were sought for by
the Lord Lieutenant. We had, however, the great consolation of knowing
that our promptitude and patriotism, not only saved the parish of Enford
from the fine which had been threatened, but also saved the whole
district from the fines that would no doubt have been levied to a
shilling: for the Lord Lieutenant having said that he declined to
forward our offer in consequence of a _sufficient number_ of men in our
district having already volunteered their services, they could not after
that, with common decency, fine any parish in our district for not
offering to volunteer.

I now caused a hogshead of good old strong beer to be rolled out upon
the lawn, and, although our services were not accepted in defence of our
country, yet that did not prevent us from drinking to her success, and
prosperity to her people. My neighbours, when they had finished their
old stingo, were about to depart in peace; but, as is frequently the
case, when men have made free with the glass, reason and liberality
forsake them, so it was here, for some of them wished to proceed
immediately to the house of the miller, who, with his servant, in
consequence of some pique against me, had declined to place their names
in our list of volunteers. Elated with liquor, they proposed to inflict
summary punishment upon these persons, by giving them a sound ducking
in their own mill pond; but this course of proceeding I immediately put
down, by justifying the men in their conduct, and contending that they
had an equal right to withhold their services as we had to volunteer
ours; and thus they escaped the threatened unjustifiable punishment. The
men, however, one and all, renewed their offers to me, that they would
be ready and willing at all times to come forward, to undertake any
service that I might propose to them; and they added the assurance of
their belief, that I would never propose any thing to them that I would
not join them in accomplishing. Thus ended our meeting, and at all
events we had the satisfaction of having done our duty to ourselves and
our country.

Some time after this, I was informed of a very curious circumstance,
relating to this affair. As soon as I sent in this offer to the Lord
Lieutenant, he called a meeting of his Deputy Lieutenants, and laid it
before them; pointing out the unlimited and extensive nature of the
tender of our services, and expressing a doubt whether he should be
justified in accepting it under the provision of the Defence Bill,
without some reduction in the numbers, and modification as to the
extension of the service tendered. This, I understood, caused a very
long discussion; all of them disapproving of the example set by offering
such extensive service; none of the other corps having volunteered to go
farther than their military district, Wilts, Hants, and Dorset. One
of these wiseacres exclaimed, in very boisterous language, against
accepting the offer, and for this sapient reason--"because," as he said,
"two hundred men out of one parish had volunteered to march to any part
of the kingdom to hazard their lives in the defence of their country,
provided they were commanded by an officer of their own choice; _ergo_,
it was highly improper to trust arms in the hands of such a body of
men." Though this was very properly laughed at by some of the more
rational members of this divan, yet they came to an unanimous resolution
to exempt the whole district of Enford from their quotas rather than run
such a desperate risk. Well! I had all the credit of the offer, without
any of the trouble and expence of putting it into execution. I have
detailed these facts as another proof of my enthusiasm. I never acted
from any cold calculating notions of self-interest. If I thought it
right to perform an act of public or private duty, having once made up
my mind, I never suffered any selfish considerations to interpose to
prevent my carrying it into effect.

After all, the troops of Napoleon never landed, and consequently
the mighty heroes of the volunteer corps escaped with whole skins.
Buonaparte, nevertheless, persisted in playing off the bugbear of the
French flotilla at Boulogne, by which John Gull was kept in a complete
state of agitation and ferment. Addington's majorities fell off every
day, in the House of Commons; and by Pitt's intrigues and management he
was at length left in a minority; and, as it was considered much too
disgraceful a thing even by Addington to hold his place after he had
been left in the minority, he resigned, and William Pitt once more
wielded the destinies of England, he being appointed prime minister
on the twelfth of May, 1804. The British navy was unsuccessful in its
attempts to destroy the French flotilla at Boulogne; and three trials to
set fire to the shipping at Havre also proved abortive.

On the eighteenth of May, Buonaparte was declared Emperor of France,
under the title of Napoleon the First. This act was in fact hastened, if
not produced, by the discovery and detection of a real diabolical
plot against the life and government of Buonaparte; in which Moreau,
Pichegru, Georges, and others, were implicated, and were in consequence
arrested. Moreau was tried, found guilty, pardoned, and exiled. The
Duke D'Enghien, grandson of the Prince of Conde, was known to be on the
frontier, connected with these men, and some English agents, who were
concerned in the conspiracy. D'Enghien was urging them on, and zealously
endeavoring to raise a rebellion in the French territories. This he did
in a very conspicuous way, relying upon his own security, he being at
the time in Baden, a neutral territory; but Buonaparte, setting the Duke
of Baden at defiance, entered his territory, and caused the conspirator
to be seized and tried, and being found guilty, he was shot. The despots
of the north, Russia and Sweden, remonstrated against this violation of
neutral territory; but all the other powers of Europe displayed a more
tame and forbearing policy. As the trial and execution of this sprig of
the Bourbons, who was detected in a conspiracy to assassinate Napoleon,
and to produce the overthrow of his Government in France, caused a
universal howling of all the hireling editors of all the newspapers
in this country, against what they called the murder of this Duke
D'Enghien, I shall shortly state the charges on which he was unanimously
found guilty by the Military Court, which was appointed to try him; the
President being Citizen Hulin, General of Brigade. The FIRST charge was
"That of having carried arms against the French Republic."--SECOND, "Of
having offered his services to the English Government, the enemy of the
French people."--THIRD, "Of receiving and having, with accredited agents
of that Government, procured means of obtaining intelligence in France,
and conspiring against the internal and external security of the
state."--FOURTH, "That he was at the head of a body of French emigrants,
paid by England, formed on the frontiers of France, in the districts of
Friburg and Baden."--FIFTH, "Of having attempted to foment intrigues
at Strasburg, with a view of producing a rising in the adjacent
departments, for the purpose of operating a diversion favourable to
England."--SIXTH, "That be was one of those concerned in the conspiracy
planned by England for the _assassination of the First Consul_, and
intending, in case of the success of that plot, to return to France."
The court, composed of military officers, after a patient hearing,
unanimously found the prisoner _guilty_ of all the six charges. The
president of the court then pronounced the sentence as follows:--"The
Special Military Commission condemns unanimously to death, Louis Antoine
Henry de Bourbon, Duke D'Enghien, on the ground of his being guilty of
acting as a spy, of corresponding with the enemies of the Republic, and
conspiring against the external and internal security of the Republic."
However this young man might be pitied, however much we may have
lamented his end, yet he was tried and condemned by the known
and written law of France, which was expressed in the following
terms:--Article 2nd, 11th January, year 5--"Every individual, whatever
be his state, quality, or profession, convicted of _acting as a spy for
the enemy, shall be sentenced to the punishment of death_." Article 1st,
every one engaged in a plot or conspiracy against the Republic, shall
on conviction be punished with _death_. Article 3rd, 6th October,
1791.--Every one connected with a plot or conspiracy tending to disturb
the tranquillity of the state, by civil war, by arming one class of
citizens against the other, or against the exercise of legitimate
authority, shall be punished with _death_. Signed and sealed the same
day, month and year aforesaid. Guiton, Bazancourt, Revier, Barrois,
Rabbe, D'Autancourt, Captain Reporter; Molin, Captain Register; and
Hulin president.

After all the howling, and all that has been said, about this trial and
execution, this Duke D'Enghien had as fair a trial, a much fairer jury,
with an unanimous verdict of guilty upon _all_ the charges, and a much
more equitable, and ten times more just sentence, than I received from
the immaculate Court of King's Bench. _Hulin_ was much more justified,
by the law of France, in passing this sentence upon D'Enghien, than
_Bailey_ was in passing a sentence upon me of _Two Years and Six Months_
incarceration in this infamous jail. It is very true that _Bailey_ was
only the mouth-piece of the court, and I am ready to admit that, though
he passed the sentence upon me, yet, he was so far from concurring in
it, that he actually wrote down "not one hour," as the whole of his
share of the punishment that he thought I ought to receive. There was,
however, the _pure_ and _venerable judge_----, as he was denominated
by the amiable _Castlereagh_ alias _Londonderry_, when my Petition was
rejected by the Honourable House on the 15th instant, May, 1821, the
day when Sir Francis Burdett brought forward his long-promised,
long-delayed, frequently put-off motion, upon the Manchester massacre.
Oh! the _venerable Judge!_ I thank you kindly for that, my Lord--I will
always follow so good and worthy an example as that of your Lordship;
in future he shall always be designated by me as the _venerable Judge!
Jeffries_ was indeed also a _venerable Judge_, and Jeffries came to an
end the most appropriate for such a _venerable Judge_. Talk of _Hulin_
indeed! he was a paragon of justice, humanity and mercy, compared with
my Lord _Shift-names' venerable emblem of purity_. I think it was Mr.
Horne Tooke that used to say, that it was as difficult to know who and
what our nobility were, as it was to know a pickpocket or a highwayman,
the former changed their names as frequently as the latter; and really
the remark is a perfectly correct one! The famous Mr. Drake, the
notorious English plenipotentiary at the court of Munich, was at
the head of this conspiracy, while holding the situation of English
Ambassador to the Elector of Bavaria. Ten of his original letters were
seized by the police of the Republic, and in the report of Regnier, the
Chief Justice, the following extracts from Mr. Drake's letters were
introduced. In addressing one of his correspondents, an active
conspirator, as he thought, who had undertaken to assassinate the First
Consul, but who was nothing more or less than an agent of the French
Police, he writes with a brutal fury worthy of the part he plays. The
letter is dated Munich, December 9, 1803. "It is," says he, "of very
little consequence _by whom the Beast is brought to the ground_; it is
sufficient that you are all ready to join in the chace." There was also
another of these precious diplomatic agents of the British Government,
a person of the name of _Spencer Smith_, Minister from England at
Stutgard, acting as a conspirator against the person of the First Consul
and the Republic of France, who was wise enough to employ a Frenchman,
named Pericaud, as his confidential secretary. In one of his letters
Drake uses the following language: "_You should_," says he, "_offer the
soldiers a small increase of pay beyond what they receive of the present
Government_." In the report of the Grand Judge, he speaks of Mr. Drake
as follows:--"an English Minister such as Mr. Drake, cannot be punished
by obloquy--this can only mortify men who feel the price of virtue, and
know that of honour." He adds, "Men who preach up assassination and
foment domestic troubles, the agents of corruption, the missionaries
of revolt against all established governments, are the enemies of all
states and all governments. The law of nations does not exist for
them." In the second interview of Mr. Rosey with Mr. Drake, when he was
devising the plan for destroying Buonaparte, Mr. Rosey says, he, Drake,
spoke as follows, when speaking of the fall of Napoleon: "Profit, when
the occasion shall offer, by the trouble in which the rest of his
partizans will be plunged. _Destroy them without pity; pity is not the
virtue of a politician_." In fact it appears very evident, that the plan
was to assassinate the First Consul, and thereby to produce a fresh
revolution in France.

Soon after this, Captain Wright, who landed Georges, Pichegru, and their
accomplices, on the coast at Dieppe, was taken in a corvette by
the French gun-boats, and was sent off to Paris in the diligence,
accompanied by the Gendarmerie. This Captain Wright, after very urgent
negociations through the Spanish Minister at Paris, was ordered to be
given up to the English by Talleyrand; the French Government having
refused to exchange him as a prisoner of war on any terms. Having been
engaged in this plot to assassinate Buonaparte, he was treated as a spy,
and might have been tried by the law of France and executed as such. The
French Government, however, thought it a sufficient disgrace to him as a
man of honour, to refuse to exchange him, but to give him up as a boon
to the Spanish Ambassador. Wright, it is said by his keepers, cut his
throat in the prison; but the English hireling newspaper editors made a
great clamour against Buonaparte, to persuade John Gull that he had been
murdered in prison; though it would be difficult to find any good reason
for this, when he might have been tried and executed by the law of
France, upon the same principle that D'Enghien was convicted.

Mr. Cobbett, who had now become celebrated for his political works,
particularly his Weekly Political Register, had about this time began to
write very freely in the cause of Liberty. Being a most powerful writer,
he had attacked with great success the tyrannical measures of the Irish
Government, and he was, therefore, prosecuted for a libel upon the Earl
of Hardwicke, Lord Redesdale, Mr. Justice Osbourn, and Mr. Marsden. The
trial came on before Lord Ellenborough and a Middlesex special jury,
and he was found guilty, of course. He also had an action for damages
brought against him by Mr. Plunkett, Solicitor-General of Ireland; and
this action being also tried by a Middlesex special jury, he had, of
course, a verdict against him, with L500 damages.

Mr. Pitt was now again in power, and he endeavoured to make the public
believe that he had assented to the wishes of the nation, by an union
with Mr. Fox, whom he professed to have recommended to his Majesty
to appoint one of the cabinet. This was one of Mr. Pitt's artful and
hypocritical shuffles; he contrived that the King should object to the
admission of Mr. Fox; while at the same time he managed so as to make
the nation think that he studied their wishes by recommending Mr. Fox to
the King; and thus he fixed upon his Majesty the odium of disregarding
the prayers of the people, and objecting to Mr. Fox from merely personal

I was living at Clifton at this period, and during the summer I visited
Cheltenham with my family. At the latter place I frequently met Mr. Fox,
who was drinking the celebrated waters, for his health, which had become
greatly impaired in consequence of his attending so incessantly to his
parliamentary duties. He was accompanied by Mrs. Armstead, the lady whom
he afterwards married, and to which lady the people of England have had
the honour to pay twelve hundred pounds a-year, ever since the death of
Mr. Fox. Mrs. Armstead appeared to be a very delightful woman, with whom
this great statesman and senator evidently lived in a state of the most
perfect domestic harmony. They were almost always together, seldom if
ever were they seen separate--at the pump-room in the morning; at the
library and reading-room at noon, when the papers came in; at the
theatre, or at private parties, in the evening; Mr. Fox and Mrs.
Armstead were always to be seen together. The Duke of Bedford was then
recently married to his present Duchess. Mr. Fox and his lady were
frequently of the Duke's party; in fact, they were as one family.
Cheltenham was then very full of gay company; amongst whom a great deal
of dissipation and intrigue were going on. It was frequently made a
subject of remark, that Mr. Fox and Mr. Hunt appeared to enjoy more real
happiness, more domestic felicity, than any of the married persons at
Cheltenham, with the exception of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, who
lived a retired domestic life at that time; and, from what I have heard,
have continued to do so ever since.

I remember sitting in the library with Mr. Fox, on the morning when
the news arrived by the post, that Sir Francis Burdett was elected the
representative for the county of Middlesex, by a majority of ONE. Mr.
Fox was greatly elated with this momentary success of the Baronet; but
he expressed his doubts upon the final issue of an inquiry before a
Committee of the House of Commons. This famous contest for Middlesex had
caused considerable anxiety throughout the country, and a party of us,
amongst whom was Mr. Fox, used to assemble daily on the arrival of the
post at the library, to hear the state of the poll. This election had
been carried on fifteen days with unabating enthusiasm. Sir Francis
Burdett was backed by all the men and women of the county possessing
liberal principles; he had besides an immensely long purse, the contents
of which were lavished upon his partizans with an unsparing hand.
_Ninety-four thousand pounds_ was the price of the two elections, which
came out of his own pocket; besides all the gratuitous assistance that
he received from his friends and partizans. Mr. Mainwaring was the
treasurer of the county; his father was the chairman of the County
Quarter Sessions. The father had been rendered by a committee of the
House incapable of sitting in that Parliament, he having been convicted
of treating during the previous election. The son, therefore, a mere
clerk to the magistrates, was set up against Sir Francis; this son being
a man without the slightest pretensions to a seat in Parliament for a
rotten borough, and much less for the county of Middlesex, either as a
man of fortune, a man of rank, or a man of talent. In fact, it was a
ministerial contest against Sir Francis Burdett; most of the partizans
of Mr. Mainwaring declaring, at the time, that they voted _against Sir
Francis_, and not for Mainwaring. I was one of those who thought that
this was a great triumph in the cause of liberty, and I was therefore
excessively rejoiced that Sir Francis Burdett should have been
successful against all the magistracy, and all the ministerial
aristocracy of the metropolitan county. But now, when I look back, and
read the speeches of the Honourable Baronet, I only feel surprised that
I could have been such a dupe as to expect that any real benefit would
ever arise to the people from his exertions. All his promises,
all his protestations, I now perceive to have been general; there was
nothing in them specific and tangible. The great cry raised against Sir
F. Burdett's principles at that time was, that he had been the associate
of the traitors _Despard_ and _O'Connor_. This was most infamous, and
was resented by every upright and honest freeholder in the county. The
Baronet was evidently the most popular candidate; but what gave the
greatest _eclat_ to his election was the lavish expenditure of his cash
to bribe the electors. Henry Clifford was his counsel, and he himself
was a host.

The newspapers of the next day, however, brought us an account which
blasted all the sanguine hopes that we had entertained the day before.
At the final end of the scrutiny the Sheriff declared the numbers on the
poll to be the same as they were the day before, at three o'clock, and
these were the numbers by which he ought to decide the election. They
were as follow: for Mr. Mainwaring, 2828--for Sir Francis Burdett,
2823--and Mr. Mainwaring was of course declared duly elected by a
majority of five votes. Thus ended this great political contest,
in which so much money was spent, and of which _drunkenness, riot,
bribery_, and _perjury_, were the most prominent characteristics. On the
29th of October, one of the most atrocious acts of tyranny, robbery, and
lawless plunder, took place, which ever disgraced the character of any
nation, namely, the British navy captured three Spanish frigates, with
upwards of _three millions_ of dollars on board. This unparalleled act
of aggression was committed upon the property of Spain, a nation with
whom England was at peace, and this plunder was what is called _Droits
of the Admiralty_, which is claimed by the crown; so that, when the
crown chooses to become a robber upon the high seas, and plunders a
state to enrich itself, the people of England are called upon to spill
their best blood in defending an act which, if committed in common life,
would entitle the robber to a halter.

Soon after this, by way of retaliation, Buonaparte caused Sir George
Rumbold, a British Minister, to be seized at Hamburgh, by a detachment
of French soldiers, who carried him off to France. The law of nations
was, in fact, set at naught by all the Belligerent Powers; in most cases
the weakest went to the wall. The English Ministers violated every known
and heretofore received principle of the law of nations. Buonaparte
always took care to retaliate in the most prompt and decisive manner;
and thus the subjects of both powers were at once rendered the sport
and the victims of their tyrannical rulers. There was no safety in
neutral territories, nor any safeguard in the hitherto acknowledged
law of nations. The conspiracy formed by the English Ministers to
assassinate Napoleon was detected, and all their agents, who were
concerned in so hellish a plot, were exposed and denounced by every
civilized state in Europe. Moreau was banished to America; Pichegru
strangled himself in prison; Georges and D'Enghien were executed; Drake
had a narrow escape with his life; Captain Wright cut his own throat
in a French prison; and thus the whole conspiracy was as completely
frustrated, and its agents as completely punished, as were the agents
of the Cato-street conspiracy: both of them were got up by the same
parties, and the only difference was, that the former was ten times more
atrocious than the latter.

The King and the Prince of Wales, who had been long at variance, had a
meeting on the 12th of November, 1804, when a reconciliation took place
between them. Every body now expected to hear that the Prince's Debts
were soon to be paid off. About this time there were great discussions
relative to who had the legal care and education of the Princess
Charlotte of Wales; and while in London the English Ministers and the
Opposition were squabbling about this mighty concern, the coronation of
Napoleon by the Pope, took place in Paris, where he was crowned Emperor
of France.

I trust that my introducing these events, as they occurred, will not be
deemed superfluous by the reader. I do it, because it is my intention,
as it has been all along, to give a brief history of the political
occurrences of my own time, and within my own recollection. It is, I
think, not unadvisable to put upon record some of the transactions of
the English Ministers for the last twenty years, and dispassionately
place them in their true light. At the period when these things were
done the public mind was in a state of heat and effervescence --it
was in such a fever of political delusion and delirium, that what was
written and published at the time, particularly by the diurnal press of
the day, instead of enlightening, was calculated only to mislead and
deceive the people. Far from recording fairly what was passing in the
world of politics, the principal object of the great mass of public
writers, and more especially of the conductors of public newspapers, was
to _disguise and conceal the truth_; they were all in the pay, or under
the influence, of the two great political factions, the Ins and the
Outs, the Tories and the Whigs, both interested in keeping the people
in the dark. They were both struggling for nothing but place and
power; their great end and aim were the same. The watch-word which,
notwithstanding their ostensible difference in principles, was common to
them, was this--"keep the people in ignorance, or neither of our parties
will be able to plunder them." Therefore, though to the superficial
observer, they appeared inveterately hostile to each other, yet I
repeat, that they had the same object in view, and this was proved
beyond all the possibility of doubt when the Whigs came into power. For
twenty long years had Mr. Fox and his party been inveighing against the
measures of Mr. Pitt; yet, the moment Mr. Fox and his friends came into
place, they not only adopted all the measures of Mr. Pitt, but they even
followed up the most obnoxious of those measures towards the people with
an unfeeling and arbitrary severity. This being the case, I shall take
leave, as I go along, to represent public events in their true colours,
in such as they must strike every rational, dispassionate, and
unprejudiced mind.

At this period invasion was still the general topic; it was in every
person's mouth, and nothing else was either thought of or talked of. It
was the subject of every one's almost hourly inquiry, both in London and
the country, even in the most remote parts. Mr. Cobbett well described
it at the time, "a state malady; appearing by fits and starts; sometimes
assuming one character, and sometimes another. At last, however, it
seems to have settled into a sort of hemorrhage, the patients in
Downing-street expectorating pale or red, according to the state of
their disease. For some weeks past it has been remarkably vivid; whether
proceeding from the heat of the dog-days, or from the quarrellings and
fightings, and riotings amongst their volunteers, it would be hard to
say, but certain it is, that the symptoms have been of a very alarming
complexion for nearly a month."

Notwithstanding all the terror which was felt, the fact is, that
Buonaparte never seriously intended to invade England; but he knew that
the gun-boats at Boulogne kept this country in a continual state of
tremor, and put it to an enormous expense; it was evidently the policy
of France to let us alone, provided that she could keep us in a state
of agitation and ferment. It is very curious to observe how well this
answered the purpose of Pitt as well as of Napoleon. Mr. Pitt had, in
the first instance, to raise the spirit of the country, or rather to
delude John Gull, created a false and unfounded alarm of invasion by
Buonaparte, long before the latter ever dreamed of it, and the trick
succeeded to a miracle. Pitt knew that he could not get such immense
sums from the pockets of the people, unless he could work upon their
fears; and this gave rise to the bugbear of invasion. John, as was
expected, took fright, and the whole country was in consequence thrown
into a violent ferment. Volunteer corps and voluntary subscriptions were
every where the order of the day; John opened his purse-strings widely,
and patiently suffered the rapacious and cunning Minister to dip his
griping fist into the treasure as deeply as he thought proper. Napoleon,
who had some of the most intelligent men in the world about him,
soon discovered the state malady of poor John Gull, and he and his
councillors lost not a moment to set about prescribing a dose, which
they were sure would increase the nervous fever that had taken
possession of the whole country. Their prescription was a very simple
one, it merely consisted in ordering gun-boats at Boulogne. Napoleon
played Pitt's own game off to such a tune as he did not expect. Pitt
created the alarm to raise taxes; Napoleon fell into the scheme, in
order to continue the call for taxes upon the pockets of Gull, and to
exhaust the resources, and waste the wealth of the country, which at
that time appeared to some people to be absolutely inexhaustible. This
Boulogne flotilla was therefore a mere playing upon the fears of the
people of England, but it was a most ruinous war upon the national

This was the time when the people of England were made drunk, and indeed
mad, by the deleterious potions that were administered by Pitt and his
colleagues, in the shape of Acts of Parliament, for raising volunteer
corps, catamaran schemes, car projects for conveying troops, &c. &c.
with every other species of folly and profligacy. The taxes raised this
year were little short of SIXTY MILLIONS.--In February the quartern loaf
was _eight-pence_; by December it had risen to _one shilling and four
pence halfpenny_. Those were rare times for the farmers and the
yeomanry; and they did not forget to make their poor neighbours feel
their power. This rise in the price of corn was caused by the CORN BILL,
which was carried through the House of Commons for the purpose; but its
operation was arrested in the House of Lords, till the 15th of November.
Mr. Cobbett was still one of the great advocates for war, and he wrote
some very able but very mischievous papers, to prove that war did not
operate to raise the price of bread, and that for the last fifty years
bread had been cheaper in war than in peace. This he did for the purpose
of discountenancing and reprobating the cry that had been raised of
"_Peace and a large loaf_." Mr. Cobbett's Register at this time became a
very popular work, and the great talent displayed by the author caused
it to be universally read. I, for one, became one of his constant
readers and zealous admirers, although I did not agree with many of his
doctrines. Notwithstanding the great talent he displayed, and the
knowledge in matters of political economy which it was very evident that
he possessed, I could never be convinced that war in any way either
promoted the freedom or happiness of the people, much less that it ever
produced cheap bread, or contributed to the comfort of the poor. I must,
however, do Mr. Cobbett the justice to say, that he condemned the Corn
Bill, and, in glowing language, boldly and ably pointed out the folly as
well as the injustice of Corn Bills, to raise the price of grain. I did
not know Mr. Cobbett at that time, but I own that I longed to become
acquainted with so celebrated a public writer, who had afforded me so
much pleasure in the perusal of his literary works. It will be but doing
common justice to him, as well as to myself, to observe here, that I
have never failed to read it from that day up to the present hour; and
that I have received more pleasure in reading his works, and have
derived more information from him, ten times ten-fold, in subjects of
political economy, than I ever derived from all the other authors I ever
read besides. Mr. Cobbett, at that time, censured in strong terms the
volunteer system, and ridiculed their pranks and squabbles with the most
cutting irony; for he was at that time the mighty champion of a standing
army. Mr. Cobbett had been a soldier, and a zealous, active, and
intelligent soldier; therefore, as such, it was not only excusable in
him to be an advocate for that system, with which he was so well
acquainted, and whose power he so well knew, but his predilection was
quite natural. He, however, then little thought what a monster he was
nourishing, in the shape of a standing army. Sir Robert Wilson also was
bred a soldier; and he also published a pamphlet, addressed to Mr. Pitt,
under the title of "An Inquiry into the present State of the Military
Force of the British Empire, with a view to its re-organization." This
pamphlet was in favour of a regular army, in preference to the
volunteers. In fact, the whole nation was mad; and as drunk with fear
now, as they had been in the commencement of the war with France with
folly and boasting. We long since began to feel the baneful effects of
that war, and we are now tasting its bitter fruits, with all their
appalling evils. We have now a standing army in good earnest; and now
that army is kept up, in the sixth year of peace, to compel John Gull to
pull out of his pocket the last shilling, to pay the interest of that
debt, which, in his drunken, insane folly, he suffered his rulers, to
borrow, in order, as they first told him, to humble the power of the
French Jacobins; a debt which was greatly enhanced to humble Napoleon;
and, lastly, it was brought to its climax to restore the Bourbons. The
people of England were drunk, wickedly drunk, when they went to war to
destroy the principles of liberty in France; for, be it remembered, to
their shame, that the people sanctioned this war--they were duped and
deceived, it is true, but it was certainly a popular war with the great
mass of the people of England.

Being now arrived at the summit of power, Napoleon became more than
usually anxious to secure that power. It was his interest, as it had
long been his object, to be at peace with England; and in order to
secure this desirable object, he wrote a letter to the king of England,
with his own hand, offering the fairest terms, and expressing a sincere
desire to put an end to the spilling of human blood, and to see the two
nations at peace with each other. Common courtesy, and the rules of good
breeding, entitled him to an answer. But, instead of this, the Secretary
of State merely informed the French Minister, that the King, by treaty,
was obliged to act in concert with his allies. As soon as this slight
was offered to the Emperor of France, preparations were immediately
renewed for invading England. Mr. Pitt finds that his difficulties have
increased since his former administration; he therefore makes an effort
to strengthen the Government by an union with the Addingtons, and the
late Prime Minister is raised to the peerage, by the title of Viscount

On the 24th of January, 1805, war was declared by England against Spain.
In fact, it was absolutely necessary to declare war against Spain, or
restore the three frigates and the three million dollars of which we had
robbed them; and not choosing to be honest, and do an act of justice to
that nation, war was inevitable. I have this moment found a copy of
the letter addressed by Napoleon to the King of England, which I will
insert, that the rising generation may be able to judge for themselves
of the characters and dispositions of the two monarchs, George the Third
and Napoleon the First. The letter is as follows:--

"SIR AND BROTHER, _January_ 2, 1805.

"Called to the throne of France by Providence, and by the suffrages of
the senate, the people, and the army, my first sentiment is a wish for
peace. France and England abuse their prosperity. They may contend for
ages; but do their Governments well fulfil the most sacred of their
duties, and will not so _much blood, shed uselessly_, and without a view
to any end, condemn them in their own consciences? I consider it as no
disgrace to make the first step. I have, I hope, sufficiently proved to
the world that I fear none of the chances of war; it besides presents
nothing that I need to fear; peace is the wish of my heart, but war has
never been inconsistent with my glory. I conjure your Majesty not to
deny yourself the happiness of giving peace to the world, nor to leave
that sweet satisfaction to your children: for certainly there never
was a more favourable opportunity, nor a moment more favourable to
silence all passions, and listen only to the sentiments of humanity and
reason. This moment once lost what end can be assigned to a war which
all my efforts will not be able to terminate. Your Majesty has gained
more within ten years, both in territory and riches, than the whole
extent of Europe. Your nation is at the highest point of prosperity;
what can it hope from war? To form a coalition with some powers of the
Continent? The Continent will remain tranquil; a coalition can only
increase the preponderance and continental greatness of France. To renew
intestine troubles? The times are no longer the same. To destroy our
finances? Finances founded on a flourishing agriculture can never be
destroyed. To take from France her colonies? The colonies are to France
only a secondary object; and does not your Majesty already possess more
than you know how to preserve? If your Majesty would but reflect, you
must perceive that the war is without an object, without any presumable
result to yourself. Alas! what a melancholy prospect to cause two
nations to fight merely for the sake of fighting. The world is
sufficiently large for our two nations to live in it, and reason is
sufficiently powerful to discover means of reconciling every thing,
when the wish for reconciliation exists on both sides. I have, however,
fulfilled a sacred duty, and one which is precious to my heart. I trust
your Majesty will believe in the sincerity of my sentiments, and my wish
to give you every proof of it, &c.


Instead of his Majesty, George the Third, writing an answer to this
pacific letter from the Emperor Napoleon, a letter was written by Lord
Mulgrave, addressed to M. Talleyrand, the French Minister, couched
in equivocal terms, and which concluded by saying that his Britannic
Majesty had no power to act for himself, and that he could do nothing
without consulting with his allies upon the Continent. After this
conciliatory epistle from the Emperor of France, and the answer, or
rather the failure of an answer, from his Britannic Majesty, no one
that reads this letter of the Emperor Napoleon and the answer of Lord
Mulgrave will ever believe or say that Napoleon was the cause of the
continuance of the war. What oceans of blood might have been spared if
the King of England, if George the Third, had accepted this liberal
and candid offer of peace and reconciliation from Napoleon!

The reign of George the Third may, with the greatest propriety, be
called the bloodiest reign in the annals of history. If his Majesty felt
that he, having the power, neglected such an opportunity, that he
threw away the delightful pleasure of sparing the lives of his fellow
creatures, of stopping the effusion of human blood, if he felt this, I
for one do not wonder at his Majesty's illness--the bare reflection was
more than enough to drive any man out of his senses, to have distracted
the strongest brain. Oh God! what a reflection! The pages of British
history from that hour, that fatal hour, when the answer was written by
Lord Mulgrave, dictated by the hand of a cold-blooded policy, from that
hour, I say, the pages of history have been tarnished; blood having been
shed, which, by a more humane policy, might have been prevented.

Let us now return to our domestic politics. At length a Committee of the
House of Commons declared that George Bolton Mainwaring was not
duly elected, and ought not to have been returned for the county of
Middlesex; but that Sir Francis Burdett was duly elected, and ought to
have been returned. This was a sad blow for the saints, who were the
principal supporters of Mr. Mainwaring. Sir Francis Burdett now took his
seat, out of which he had been unjustly kept at the beginning of the
Sessions by the temporising and partial conduct of the sheriffs of the
county of Middlesex.

At this time, in March, 1805, the tenth report of the commissioners
of naval inquiry was laid before the House of Commons, which report
implicated _Lord Melville_ and _Mr. Trotter_ in the crime of defrauding
the public of the monies entrusted to them, intended to discharge those
accounts as connected with the office of Treasurer of the Navy, an
office held by my Lord Melville. Trotter, Lord Melville's deputy, who
had a salary of no more than 800_l_. a year, was found to have increased
his funded property since 1791, a period of fourteen years, to _eleven
thousand three hundred and eight pounds one shilling_ PER ANNUM!!--Lord
Melville, on his examination before the commissioners, being asked,
_upon his oath_, "whether Mr. Trotter had ever applied any of the naval
money for his (Lord Melville's) benefit or advantage?"--_he refused to
answer_, for fear of _criminating himself_. What came out upon this
inquiry before the _Commissioners_ of _Naval Inquiry_, now absorbed
the whole of the public attention, and caused an universal sensation
throughout the country. This said Lord Viscount Melville was that
Henry Dundas, Esq. who was formerly a Lawyer in Edinburgh, became Lord
Advocate of Scotland during the American war, and a strong supporter of
Lord North's administration; was then made Treasurer of the Navy at the
same epoch that Mr. Pitt first became Chancellor of the Exchequer, in
Lord Shelburn's administration; again became Treasurer of the Navy in
the administration of Mr. Pitt, in 1784; then became President of the
Board of Controul for India affairs, and afterwards Secretary of State
for the War Department, retaining all the _three offices_ in his own
person till the year 1800, when he gave up the Treasurership of the
Navy, still keeping fast hold of the other two offices till he resigned,
together with Mr. Pitt and the rest of that Ministry, in the month of
March, 1801. This same Henry Dundas, who was again brought into place by
Mr. Pitt, and put in greater power than ever, was, on the 8th of April,
1805, degraded by a censure of the House of Commons, inflicted by a
solemn vote, on the motion of Mr. Whitbread, who brought the affair
before them with great manliness, ability, and perseverance. The
eleventh resolution moved by Mr. Whitbread, and carried by a majority of
the House against all the influence and exertions of Mr. Pitt, was as
follows--"That the Right Honourable Lord Viscount Melville, having been
privy to, and connived at, the withdrawing from the Bank of England,
for purposes of private interest or emolument, sums issued to him as
Treasurer of the Navy, and placed to his account in the Bank, according
to the provisions of the 25th of Geo. III. chap. 31, has been guilty of
a gross violation of the law, and a high breach of duty."

Public meetings were on this occasion held all over the kingdom, calling
for a rigid inquiry into the conduct of Lord Melville, and petitions
were presented by the electors of Westminster, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen
and Citizens of London, the electors of Southwark, from Salisbury, from
the county of Surrey, city of York, the counties of Norfolk, Hants,
Hereford, Bedford, Berks, Northumberland, Cornwall, Essex, &c. &c.
against Lord Melville.

A county meeting was called for Wilts, at Devizes. I had myself written
to the old Marquis of Lansdown, proposing to sign a requisition to the
Sheriff, which his Lordship immediately complied with; but our High
Sheriff, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, took _that opportunity_ to take a trip
into Wales, or some part of the West, without leaving any orders at home
where his public or private letters were to be forwarded to him. In
consequence of this circumstance, our county meeting was delayed three
weeks or a month, and before it could be held, articles of impeachment
were exhibited and agreed to by the House of Commons against Lord
Melville. The meeting, however, having been at length advertised by the
High Sheriff, to be held at the Town Hall at Devizes, a great number of
freeholders assembled, and amongst that number were myself, Mr. Hussey
and Lord Folkstone, the two members for Salisbury. In consequence of the
decision of the House of Commons, to impeach Lord Melville, Mr. Hussey
and Lord Folkstone recommended, that there should not be any petition
sent up from the county of Wilts, because it would be prejudging the
question before the House. Finding that no petition was to be submitted
to the meeting, I sat down and drew up some resolutions, expressive of
the indignation of the freeholders at the conduct of Lord Melville,
and their approval of that of Mr. Whitbread. Amongst the number was a
censure upon the High Sheriff, for his delay in calling the meeting,
and his gross negligence in being absent from the county at such an
important period. It was here that, for the first time, I addressed my
brother freeholders at a county meeting. Mr. Collins, of Salisbury,
seconded my resolutions, and they were carried by acclamation; but in
consequence of the earnest entreaties of the venerable Mr. Hussey, who
was the father of the House of Commons at that time, backed by those
of his colleague, I, being young in politics, was prevailed upon to
withdraw my vote of censure upon the conduct of the Sheriff, after
having heard from him an explanation and an apology.

This was my first public entry into political life. I had always borne
the character of an independent country gentleman; but I had never taken
any decisive part publicly in politics till this occasion. I was very
successful in my maiden speech, as it might so be called, for which I
was highly complimented by Mr. Hussey and by Lord Folkestone. But, as I
said before, by compliments and by flattery they wheedled me out of the
main jet of my resolutions. The fact was, that my resolutions were
too sweeping, as they cut at the Whigs as well as the Ministers. They
contained a general condemnation of all peculations and peculators; and
Mr. Hussey, as well as Lord Folkestone, who was a very young man and a
very poor orator at that time, were neither more nor less than Whigs:
it was therefore necessary, by a _ruse de guerre_, to get rid of my
resolutions, which they found I was sure to carry, by a large majority
of the meeting. The public spirit evinced by the Wiltshire freeholders
was, however, an earnest of their future patriotic disposition to take
the liberal side of the question in public matters, whenever they might
again be brought upon the carpet.

On the 25th of May, three men, who had falsely sworn themselves
freeholders of Middlesex, to vote for the popular candidate, were, upon
conviction, sentenced to seven years' transportation each. On the 26th
of May the Emperor Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at Milan.

On the 13th June, 1805, a resolution was passed by the House of Commons,
and that the fullest House that ever was known, for ordering the
Attorney-General to commence, in the Court of King's Bench, a criminal
prosecution against Lord Melville, for having used the public money for
private purposes. This resolution of the Honourable House gave universal
satisfaction to the people throughout the country. The examination of
Mr. Pitt before the committee excited general interest, and nothing
else was talked of or thought of in the political world. His shuffling,
equivocating testimony, so much resembles what has been going on,
during the last ten weeks, within these walls, that I will here insert
some of his answers before the committee. It will be recollected that
Mr. Pitt was a man who, whenever it suited his purpose, did, with a most
surprising power of memory, revert to all the arguments and opinions of
his adversaries, for a space of time, comprising his whole political
life; not with _doubt, hesitation, or embarrassment_, but with the most
direct, unqualified, and positive assertion. The following were his
answers before the committee.

Answers. Times.

He _thinks_, &c............... 6

He _rather thinks_........... 2

He _thinks to that effect_... 1

He _thinks he understood_. 1

He _conceives_ ............... 7

He _believes_ .................. 8

He _rather believes_ ......... 1

He _believes he heard_ ...... 1

He _understood_ ............ 3

He _understood it generally_ ..................... 2

He _was satisfied_ ......... 1

He _was not able to ascertain_ ........................ 1

He _can only state the substance_ ...................... 1

He _did not recollect_ (Non mi ricordo!) ............. 9

He _really did not recollect_ 1

Answers. Times.

He had _no recollection_... . 1

Did _not know_ from _his own knowledge_ ............... 3

Did _not know_ that it _occurred to him_ ........... 1

Was not in his _contemplation_ ........................ 1

Did not _occur to his mind_ 1

No _impression was _left on his mind_ ................. 1

He could _not say_ ......... 2

He could not _undertake to say_....................... 2

He could not _speak with certainty_ ................. 1

He could not _speak positively_ ...................... 1

He could not state the _substance very generally_.. 1


He did not at _present recollect_ .................. 2
He could not _recollect with precision_ ............ 2
He could not _recollect at this distance of time_ .. 1
He could not _recollect with certainty_ ............ 1
His _recollection did not enable him_ .............. 1
To the _best of his recollection_ .................. 4
As _well as he could recollect_ .................... 2
Could not _pretend to recollect_ ................... 1
Not able to _recollect at this distance of time_ ... 1
He had a _general recollection_ .................... 4
He could _not state with accuracy_ ................. 3
He could not state _precisely_ ..................... 3
He could assign _no specific reason_ ............... 1
He did not _know_ .................................. 2
Not that he _knew of_ .............................. 2
He had no means of _forming a judgment_ ............ 1
He did not _think_ ................................. 1
He had no _knowledge_ .............................. 2
He could not _judge_ ............................... 1
_Probably_ ......................................... 1
He was _led to suppose_ ............................ 1
He was _led to believe_ ............................ 1
He was _persuaded_ ................................. 1
He _learnt_ ........................................ 1
He _heard surmises_ to that effect ................. 1


He thinks, rather thinks, or thinks he understood ............... 10
He conceives .................................................... 7
He believes, rather believes, &c. ............................... 10
He understood, was satisfied, &c. ............................... 6
Not able to ascertain, could only state the substance ........... 2
Did not recollect, to the best of his recollection, &c. ......... 31
He could not say, speak with certainty, &c. ..................... 6
Did not occur to his mind, &c. .................................. 7
He could not state with accuracy, precision, &c. ................ 7
He had no knowledge, not led to believe, to suppose, &c. ........ 16
I am _perfectly convinced_ ...................................... 1
No, I believe it impossible ..................................... 1

Now it is almost impossible to imagine that a witness could have made
such answers to 104 questions, unless he deliberately and pertinaciously
meant to conceal and withhold the truth by equivocating.

Mr. Pitt's memory, be it observed, was equally bad and treacherous upon
the trial of poor old Hardy, the shoemaker, and Mr. Horne Tooke. He
_then_ could not recollect any thing that was likely to tell in favour
of the prisoners: when their exculpation was likely to be the result of
a plain honest answer, "_Non mi ricordo_" was his reply. That Mr. Pitt
had connived at the peculations of Lord Melville, was clearly proved;
and also that he had lent _Boyd and Benfield_, two ministerial Members
of the Honourable House of Commons, 40,000_l_. of the public money,
without interest. These transactions being made known by means of Mr.
Whitbread's exertions in Parliament, the public mind was in a violent
ferment. Petitions were poured in from all parts of the country against
the conduct of Lord Melville, and the people were delighted at the
resolution passed by the House, ordering the Attorney-General to
commence criminal proceedings against him in the Court of King's Bench.
But they were very much mortified at the notice of the motion given by
Mr. Leicester, on the 25th, for the rescinding the resolution passed
on the 13th of June, and thus to do away with the vote of the House on
that night, in order to substitute an impeachment of Lord Melville,
instead of the criminal prosecution.

On the twenty-sixth of June, an impeachment was ordered by a vote of the
House, instead of a criminal prosecution. This was considered, by every
honest man in the country, to be a measure adopted for the purpose of
screening the newly made _noble delinquent_. Mr. Cobbett took up the
discussion of these proceedings, with his accustomed zeal and ability;
and his Weekly Political Register was universally read, not only in
the metropolis, but all over the kingdom. His clear, perspicuous, and
forcible reasoning upon this transaction, convinced every one who read
the Register; he proved to demonstration that Mr. Pitt had been privy to
and connived at his friend Lord Melville's delinquency, and it was made
evident, to the meanest understanding, that the public money had been
constantly used for private purposes, and to aggrandize the Minister's
tools and dependants.

This was a mortal blow to Mr. Pitt, and it is with great truth said that
this was the primary cause of his death. His friends had always cried up
his integrity and disinterestedness, and his total disregard of wealth.
This was very true as to himself; but he aggrandized all his friends and
supporters; every tool of his ambition grew rich and fattened upon the
public money; and having carried on this trade for so many years, and
to be caught out in this barefaced fraud at last, I believe went far
towards breaking his heart; I am sure he never well recovered it. To
be detected in lending _Boyd and Benfield_, two Members of Parliament,
40,000_l_. of the public money, without interest, was bad enough: but
for that he had impudence enough to offer something like an excuse; and
lame as that excuse was, yet he obtained a bill of indemnity for his
violation of his duty. But to have connived at Sawney's tricks, and to
be detected in it, was too much for his proud spirit to bear! He was,
however, determined at all hazards to screen and protect him from
punishment; and hence the House was surprised into a vote, to rescind
the solemn decision of the House for Lord Melville to be criminally
prosecuted by the Attorney-General, little Master Perceval. Oh! what
shuffling and cutting there was amongst the Minister's tools in the
Honourable House; but Mr. Whitbread was made of too stubborn stuff to be
driven from his purpose!

In the meanwhile, the whole country was alive to the transaction, and
watched with a scrutinizing eye every step that was taken by the wily
Minister, who was beset in every quarter. Mr. Cobbett contributed more
than any other individual to bring this nefarious affair fully before
the public eye. As I had taken a conspicuous part at the Wiltshire
County Meeting, I called on Mr. Cobbett the first time that I went to
London after it had occurred, as I was desirous to obtain a personal
interview with a man who had afforded me so much pleasure by his
writings, and who had given me weekly so much useful information as to
politics and political economy. He lived in Duke-Street, Westminster,
where, on my arrival, I sent in my name. I was shown into a room
unfurnished, and, as far as I recollect, without a chair in it. After
waiting sometime, the great political writer appeared; a tall robust
man, with a florid face, his hair cut quite close to his head, and
himself dressed in a blue coat and scarlet cloth waistcoat; and as it
was then very hot weather, in the middle of the summer, his apparel had
to me a very singular appearance. I introduced myself as a gentleman
from Wiltshire, who had taken a lead at the county meeting, the
particulars of which I had forwarded to him. He addressed me very
_briefly_, and very _bluntly_, saying that "we must persevere, and
we should bring all the scoundrels to justice." He never asked me to
_sit down_; but that might have arisen from there being no other seat in
the room except the floor.

I departed not at all pleased with the interview. I had made up my mind
for a very different sort of man; and, to tell the truth, I was very
much disappointed by his appearance and manners, and mortified at the
cool reception which he gave me. As I walked up Parliament-Street,
I mused upon the sort of being I had just left, and I own that my
calculations did not in the slightest degree lead me to suppose that
we should ever be upon such friendly terms, and indeed upon such an
intimate footing, as we actually were for a number of years afterwards.
It appeared to me, that at our first meeting we were mutually disgusted
with each other; and I left his house with a determination in my own
mind never to seek a second interview with him. I thought that of all
the men I ever saw, he was the least likely for me to become enamoured
of his society. The result was, nevertheless, quite the reverse;
we lived and acted together for many years with the most perfect
cordiality; and I believe that two men never lived that more _sincerely,
honestly_, and _zealously_, advocated public liberty than we did,
hand in hand, for eight or ten years. Although, perhaps, it would be
impossible to pick out two men more different, in many respects, than
we are to each other; yet, in pursuing public duty for so many years
together, there never were two men who went on so well together, and
with such trifling difference of opinion, as occurred between Mr.
Cobbett and myself. It was, however, some years after this, before we
became intimate. I constantly read his Political Register with unabated
admiration and delight, for even at this time he far surpassed every
other political writer, in my opinion.

At this period, 1805, many volunteers having refused to pay their
fines for not attending their drills, under an idea that it was not
compulsory, the magistrates decided that they were legally liable, and
compelled them to pay their arrears.

On the 31st of August, the old humbug of invasion having been again
played off by Buonaparte, Sir Sidney Smith attacked the flotilla off
Boulogne, by means of catamarans, but with very trifling success, he
having done but very little mischief to the enemy.

On the 8th of September, hostilities commenced once more between Austria
and France; and, on the 2d of October, the success of the French arms
began, by the defeat of the Austrians at Guntzburgh, and was followed
up by the action of Wirtingen on the 6th. On the 7th, the French army
defeated the Austrians on the Danube; and on the 14th, Memmingen
surrendered to the French. On the 16th, six thousand Austrians
surrendered to Soult; and, on the 17th, Ulm was surrendered to the
French by the Austrian General Mack. On the 19th, the Austrian army was
again defeated near Ulm by the French; on the same day the Battle of
Elchingen was fought, where the Austrians were again routed; and on the
20th, the French forces in Italy passed the Adige. Werneck surrendered
with 15,000 men to Murat.

As a counterbalance to the wonderful uninterrupted success of the French
arms on the continent, Lord Nelson defeated the French and Spanish
fleets, off Trafalgar, on the 21st of October. In this matchless
naval engagement, the English sailors under Nelson took and destroyed
twenty-four ships of the enemy; in which action the brave Admiral fell.
This splendid victory of Lord Nelson's roused for a time the drooping
spirits of the English Ministers, who had before been almost overwhelmed
by the news of the repeated and uninterrupted success of the French
troops over the Austrians; and as the Russian army had now joined them,
the enemies of the French boasted that the campaign would end in favour
of the allied armies of Austria and Russia. On the 31st of October,
however, the French defeated the Austrians once more on the Adige.
Sweden now joined the Austrians and Russians, and declared war against
France. On the 10th of November, the Austrians were again defeated
by the French at _Moelk_. On the 11th, Marshal Mortier defeated the
Russians; and on the 13th, the French army entered VIENNA. On the 16th,
the French defeated the Russians at Gunstersdorff; and on the 2d of
December, the memorable and decisive battle of _Austerlitz_ was fought,
where the combined armies of Austria and Russia were signally defeated,
and routed with immense loss. On the 6th of the same month, Austria
sued for an armistice, which was granted by Napoleon; and on the 26th,
Napoleon compelled her to sign a treaty of peace at Presburg; upon which
occasion he bestowed the title of King upon the Electors of Bavaria and
Wirtemburgh, the latter of whom was the husband of the Princess Royal of
England, and elevated her to the rank of Queen of Wirtemburgh. Thus did
our most powerful enemy raise one of the Royal Family of England from
the rank of a petty Electress to the rank of Queen; and, under all the
circumstances, this was a very remarkable event. On the 27th of the same
month Buonaparte caused his brother Joseph to be crowned King of Naples.
This wonderful man now had at his command all the crowned heads of
Europe. He made Kings and Queens with as much ease, and with as little
concern, as ginger bread dolls are made for a country fair. The proud,
haughty tyrant, the Emperor of Germany, was at his feet, and Alexander
trembled and obeyed his nod. The fortune of war was, during the
campaign, most propitious to Napoleon; he beat the enemy in every
quarter, and success attended every movement of his armies: to be sure,
his different corps were commanded by the most intelligent, brave, and
renowned generals in the universe; such as never before adorned any age
or country.

The death of Nelson, at the battle of Trafalgar, although it did not
detract from the brilliancy of the victory, was, nevertheless, a great
drawback upon the pleasure that the news would have otherwise afforded
to the country; for every individual laid aside, on this occasion, all
feelings of political hostility, forgot his errors and his crimes as a
politician and a man, and lamented the loss of the hero. No one will
ever dispute Nelson's cool, determined presence of mind, in the
midst of danger and the greatest difficulties; he possessed this
admirable quality in a super-eminent degree. His presence of mind, which
never deserted him in the midst of danger, is the sure indication of
real courage; and this merit will be freely conceded to Nelson, even by
those who abhorred his political subserviency.

Mr. Pitt severely felt the loss of the gallant admiral; and what with
the detection and exposure which was made by the 10th Report of the
Naval Commissioners, and the disgrace that was consequently brought not
only upon himself and his bosom friend Lord Melville, but upon the whole
of his administration; and what with the repeated and signal success of
Napoleon and the French armies in Germany, the health of the Heaven-born
Minister was so affected that he was obliged to go to Bath for his
recovery. I shall never forget my seeing him leave York House, with his
friend, about 10 o'clock in the morning on the very day that he received
the dispatches of the news of the battle of Austerlitz. He walked down
Melsom-street smiling and laughing with his friend, on their way to the
Pump-room. In the mean time the dispatches arrived express, and were
delivered to him there, as I learned afterwards. I met him again,
walking down Argyll-street, in his way home to his lodgings, in
Laura-place. I observed the alteration in his countenance, and remarked
to my friend, with whom I was walking, _"that some bad tidings had
arrived; that Mr. Pitt looked as if he had received his DEATH-BLOW."_ If
he had been shot through the body, the alteration in his countenance and
manner could not have been more evident; he could scarcely _reel along_
as he leaned upon the arm of his friend; his head hung down upon his
chest, and he looked more dead than alive. In ten minutes after this I
arrived at the Library. The mail had brought the papers, which confirmed
the news of the complete overthrow of the combined Russian and Austrian
armies at the battle of Austerlitz. Mr. Pitt returned to town, and I
believe that he never left his house afterwards. Such an accumulation of
difficulties and disasters was too much for his already shaken mind to
support, and his death, I believe, was caused thereby. He never held his
head fully up after the vote of the House, which declared his friend
Lord Melville to have been guilty of _"a gross violation of the law, and
a high breach of duty."_ He made every personal effort in his power, and
used his all-powerful interest to prevail upon a majority of his tools
in the House to agree to the amendment which he proposed to substitute,
in the stead of the above important and convincing declaration; namely,
he moved to leave out the words "_gross violation of the law, and a high
breach of duty_," and insert in lieu of them, the words "_contrary
to the "intention of the law_." But the Ministerial Members of that
Honourable House, corrupt as Pitt had made them, scouted his motion; his
own tools voted against him, and he and his friend Melville were left
in a minority upon his own dunghill. This was too much for his haughty,
stubborn spirit to bear. To be handed down to posterity, so deservedly
covered with the infamous charge of having connived at peculation; for
the _Heaven-born Minister_ to have been defeated, and convicted _of
having winked at the plundering of the people_, and betraying his
sovereign, who had confided to his hands the guardianship of their
treasure, was too much even for his impudent, overbearing spirit to
support; and he lingered out the remainder of his existence, and
descended to the grave a wretched example of bloated pride, and detected

The public were greatly indebted to Mr. Whitbread for his exposure of
these delinquencies in Parliament; but they were much more indebted
to Mr. Cobbett, for his unwearied exertions, his able, clear, and
perspicuous expositions of the whole of the transactions, which
were published in his Weekly Political Register; which Register was
universally read, with the greatest avidity, from one end of the kingdom
to the other.

The Parliament was prorogued to the 21st of January, 1806, and meanwhile
no exertions were spared by the Opposition, or Whigs, to keep the public
feeling alive, as to the delinquency of Lord Melville, and to prepare
them for his impeachment at the next meeting of the Parliament. The
people of England had never thought for themselves, but had been
hitherto made the puppets of the two great contending factions of the
state, the Whigs and the Tories, alternately taking part sometimes with
one and sometimes with the other; and the great object of these factions
appeared to be always to join in keeping the people in a state of
ignorance, and that faction that could best dupe and deceive _John Gull_
was sure to be in place and power. The Pitt faction had succeeded in
this their amiable occupation for a great length of time. In the
years 1793 and 1794, they had so contrived to addle the brains of the
multitude that their heads had been wool-gathering ever since; their
vision had been then so mystified, and their brains had been so confused
by the mountebank tricks of Pitt and his associates, that nothing but
the pen of a Cobbett could bring them to their right senses again.

I was a constant reader of Cobbett's Register, and although, as I have
said, I had been rather disgusted with the man at my first interview
with him, yet I was quite enraptured with the beautiful productions
of his pen, dictated by his powerful mind. I was become a professed
politician; I had imbibed the sentiments of Lord Bolingbroke, that
"the Constitution of England is the business of every Englishman." I
therefore made politics my study, and I looked for Cobbett's Register
with as much anxiety as I had heretofore looked to the day and hour that
the fox-hounds were to meet; and if by any accident the post did not
bring the Weekly Register, I was just as much disappointed, and felt
as much mortified, as I had previously felt at being disappointed or
deprived of a good fox-chase. I beg it to be understood, however, that I
by no means had given up the sports of the field, which I enjoyed with
as great a zest as I ever did; but when I returned from the pleasures of
the chase, or retired from the field with my dogs and my gun, instead
of spending the remainder of my time in routs, balls, and plays, in
drinking or carousing with bacchanalian parties, I devoted my leisure
hours to reading and studying the history of my country, and the
characters of its former heroes and legislators, as compared with those
of that day. No man enjoyed more domestic happiness than I did; my home
was always rendered delightful by its inmates studying to make each
other comfortable; and thus, instead of its being a scene of strife and
quarrelling, as the homes of some of my friends were, it was quite
the reverse; let me be occupied abroad how or where I would, I always
returned to my home with pleasure; and the certainty of being received
with open arms and a sincere and gratifying welcome, always made me long
for that delight whenever I was absent.

The poor had felt considerable relief by the fall in the price of bread,
since the commencement of the year, when the quartern loaf was as high
as one shilling and four-pence half-penny; but it had now fallen to
ten-pence. The misery that had been entailed upon the poor during the
winter of 1804-5, in consequence of the enormous price of all sorts of
provisions, was most heart-rending and revolting to the feelings of
every one possessing a particle of humanity. I did every thing that
lay in my power to relieve the wants and sooth the sorrows of my poor
neighbours in the parish of Enford; I took care that my own servants
should not want any of the common necessaries of life, but numerous
little comforts, and hitherto esteemed necessaries, were, however
reluctantly, obliged to be dispensed with.

I saw with pain a sad falling off in the character of the labouring
poor; they were for the most part become paupers, while those who
still had the spirit, and the pride to keep from the parish book were
suffering the most cutting penury, and the greatest privations. I have
often witnessed the contending struggles of a poor but high-spirited
labourer, and seen him submitting to the most pinching want before his
honourable feelings would allow him to apply for parish relief;
himself, his wife and children, almost driven to a state bordering upon
starvation, before he could bring his mind to admit the degrading idea
of asking for parochial alms. Many and many is the half-crown that I
have slipped unobserved into the hand of such a man, to enable him the
better to overcome the hardships of winter; with the fond, but
futile hope, that the next harvest might enable him to surmount his
difficulties, and with the fruit of his honest labour procure bread to
stop the mouths of his half-starved wife and children. My means had
been greatly curtailed by the cursed brewery at Clifton, which was a
perpetual drain upon my purse; for all that I acquired by the good
management of my farms was devoured by the calls made from the brewery.
This rendered me less able to assist my poorer neighbours; but I have
the consolation to reflect, that I did my best.

A Bill, which has been lately before the House of Commons, to protect
dumb animals from the brutal treatment of more brutal man, reminds me of
an occurrence or two that happened to myself, and which, in justice to
my character, ought not to be omitted. As I was riding to my farm at
Widdington, one summer's day, with the Reverend William White, the
present Rector of Teffont, in Wiltshire, who was on a visit at my house
at Chisenbury, we perceived a brute, in the shape of a man, belabouring
with a large stick a poor ass, who had sunk down under the weight of his
load, a large heavy bag of ruddle. Exhausted by the heat of a meridian
sun, the poor beast lay prostrate upon the ground, totally deprived of
the power of rising with his burden upon his back. I sharply rode
up, and warmly remonstrated with the huge two-legged brute upon his
inhumanity, and offered to assist him in unloading the beast, to enable
him to rise, and to help him to reload the animal after he had risen.
This was rudely refused, and with an oath I was desired to mind my own
business; while the fellow continued, in a most unmerciful manner, to
beat the wretched unresisting beast upon a raw place on the upper end of
his tail. Exasperated at the fellow's brutality, I rode up to him, and
having seized his bludgeon, as he was brandishing it in the air about to
apply it once more to the already lacerated rump of the poor ass, with
an effort of strength I wrenched the bludgeon from the inhuman monster's
hand, and threw it with great violence sixty or seventy yards over the
hedge, into an adjoining corn-field. Gnashing his teeth with rage
at being deprived of his implement of torture, and determined to be
revenged for my interference, the ruffian immediately drew out a large
clasp knife from his pocket, and seizing the ass by the tail, and
exclaiming, "I will show you that I have a right to do what I please
with my own beast," he instantly cut off his tail within two inches of
his rump, and with savage ferocity he began kicking the wounded part
with all his might, with a pair of thick-topped shoes. This was too much
for me to witness, without making an effort to relieve the wretched
animal, and punish its brutal master. I sprung from my saddle, and
having consigned my horse to the care of my acquaintance, the parson, I
flew to rescue the poor beast from its inhuman tormentor. The ruffian
instantly turned to meet me, and having raised the clasp knife in a
menacing attitude, he swore, with the most blasphemous imprecations,
that he would plunge it into my heart, if I approached him another inch.
My friend, the parson, urged me to forbear; but, keeping my eye steadily
fixed upon that of the monster, while his hand was still raised with the
bloody knife suspended, I gave him, as quick as lightning, a blow from
my fist, which took the villain under the left ear, levelled him with
the earth, and made him bite the dust. The knife fell from his hand, and
I instantly seized it, and before the two-legged brute, who lay stunned
upon the ground, could rise, I cut the girth which bound the load upon
the back of the ass, and relieved him from his burden. The cowardly
ruffian still lay sprawling, fearing to rise, because he dreaded a
repetition of my chastisement, which I was most anxious to have given
him if he had stood upon his legs; but which I declined to do while he
was prostrate. The fellow now began to beg for mercy, and pretended to
be very sorry for his conduct. The parson now proposed to give him a
severe hiding for his villainous treatment of the poor beast; but as the
coward would not get off his breech, but remained seated upon the earth,
and declared that he would not get upon his legs while I remained, he
saved himself from a severe and well-merited drubbing. He very coolly
offered to sell me the mutilated beast, which I instantly purchased for
five shillings, to save him from again falling into the hands of his
cruel master. I had it sent home, and the greatest care possible was
taken of it. But with all my care and attention, the poor thing never
recovered from its ill-treatment; it lingered for four or five months
and died. This was the only ass I ever was master of in my life; in
fact, I always objected to the keeping of an ass, because I could not
bear to see the ill-treatment to which they are generally subject.

I could relate several similar instances, wherein I have placed myself
in the most imminent peril, urged on by an impetuous abhorrence of
tyranny, even when that tyranny is exercised towards a beast. One other
instance will, perhaps, induce the reader to think that my detestation
of cruelty has often led me not only into acts of indiscretion, but that
my rashness upon such occasions has been almost bordering upon criminal
enthusiasm. Coming down Newgate Street, one Monday afternoon, I saw a
considerable crowd of people surrounding a drover, who held a butcher's
knife in his hand, brandishing it in the air, and threatening any one
that might approach him. I inquired the cause of the fellow's conduct,
and his being thus surrounded by the enraged multitude. A beautiful
ox was pointed out to me on the other side of the street, which stood
trembling ready to drop down. To save himself trouble in driving the
beast, the ruffian, who had undertaken to conduct it to Whitechapel for
a butcher, had severed the _tendon Achilles_ with his sharp knife; a
practice which, I am informed, frequently occurs in London and which is
called hamstringing. The populace, men and women, appeared very much
enraged against this monster of a drover, and two constables, with their
staves, stood ready to seize him; but he kept them and the whole crowd
at bay, with the violent brandishing of his knife, and threatening
destruction to any one who attempted to meddle with him. Several efforts
were made to seize him, which he dexterously avoided. At length, I
rushed up to him, and felled him to the earth, with a tremendous and
well-directed blow with my fist under the ear. He was immediately seized
by the constables, and the knife was taken from him. But I was not to
get off quite so easy with him as I did with the ass-driver. The fellow,
being disarmed, instantly stripped in buff, and offered to fight the
man who had knocked him down. All eyes were fixed upon me, a perfect
stranger, and the general exclamation was,--"Have nothing to do with
him, Sir;" but, as the constables appeared to doubt whether they had
the power to hold him in custody, there being no law against a drover
maiming his beast, unless his master disapproved of it; and as I saw
the fellow was likely to escape without further punishment, I instantly
accepted his offer, and volunteered to punish him myself, urged on by
the pitiable appearance of the poor ox, a beautiful animal which had not
moved one inch the whole of this time. I therefore imprudently stripped,
and having consigned my clothes into the hands of a bye-stander, I set
to, and in _three rounds_ I beat my man blind; and having a fourth time
knocked him down, without receiving any injury myself, he declined to
meet me again. My clothes and watch were honestly returned; and, having
replaced them on my back, I departed, receiving the hearty thanks of the
surrounding multitude, without being recognised by any one. In fact, I
was not at all known in London at that time. I laughed heartily, as an
account of it was read the next morning, in the newspapers, while I was
at breakfast in the coffee-room, at the Black Lion, Water Lane; the
whole party joining in the praises of the man who had chastised the
brutal ruffian.

One more circumstance of this sort will, I should think, be quite enough
to convince the reader that I was always a determined foe to baseness
and cruelty. As I was sitting with some ladies on a hot summer's day, in
a front room of the Fountain Inn, at Portsmouth, with the window open,
looking into the High-Street, observing the passing crowd, it being a
fair day, we discovered an ill-looking fellow pilfering some articles
from the stall of a poor woman opposite. This transaction was also
observed by Admiral Montague, the Port Admiral, who was sitting in the
adjoining room of the inn, with a friend, amusing himself with observing
the passing scene. We hailed the poor woman, who detected the fellow
in the fact; but, having dropped the articles on the pavement, he
vociferously declared that he had never touched them. A crowd soon
collected, particularly of women, and demanded that he should be taken
into custody. He drew his knife, (always the ready resort of a coward)
and placing his back in a corner against the wall, he set them all at
defiance, and for a considerable length of time successfully resisted
every attempt to secure him. At last he was, to all appearance, getting
the better of his assailants, and by loudly asserting that she had most
wrongfully and maliciously accused him, he was absolutely endeavoring
to turn the tide of popular indignation against the poor woman who had
detected him. The fact was, that the terror excited by his violence
overcame the zeal of his accusers; and if it had not been kept up by
three or four women, he would not only have escaped with impunity,
but he would have turned the tables upon the poor woman whom he had
endeavoured to rob. These women, however, kept up an unceasing battery
with their tongues, which he at length began to put down by violence,
pushing them away with one hand, and threatening them with the upraised
knife in the other. This scene lasted nearly a quarter of an hour, and
although my fingers itched to punish the ruffian, yet I was restrained
by the entreaties of the ladies who were with me. At last he struck one
of the women a violent blow, and knocked her down. This drew upon him
the execration of the enraged multitude; but no one attempted either to
disarm or to seize him. A second blow, inflicted upon a decent looking
female, roused my indignation at the cowardice of the bye-standers,
and I hastily left the room, crossed the street, and having walked
deliberately up to him, pretending to inquire what was the matter,
before he was at all aware of my intentions, and just as he was about to
relate his story, I, with a well-directed blow, with my fist under the
ear, laid him sprawling upon the pavement; his knife was seized, and I
left him _unarmed to the care of the Portsmouth ladies_ that surrounded
him, who did not fail to punish him with their talons.

As I was passing over the street, on my return to the inn, Admiral
Montague, who had witnessed the whole affair, looked out of his window
and warmly gave me his personal thanks, for the summary justice which
I had inflicted upon the ruffian thief, who had kept the street in
an uproar for nearly half an hour. I went back to my party very well
satisfied with the exploit I had performed; although I felt so very
sensible of the danger I had incurred, that I promised my friends
faithfully that I would never again volunteer in such dangerous service.
About two hours afterwards, I very unexpectedly received a warrant from
Sir John Carter, the Mayor, to attend immediately at his office, to
appear to a charge of a violent assault, committed in the public street,
&c. &c. I took my hat and attended the Mayor's officer instantly,
without the slightest hesitation; but as the Admiral had left the inn I
had no witness with me. I, however, sent the waiter to bring the woman
who had been robbed, and one of those who had been assaulted by the
ruffian, to follow me to the house of the Mayor; but, almost as soon
as I had arrived there, and before the fellow had finished making his
charge, in walked the Port Admiral Montague, who having heard the
circumstance, came immediately to give evidence of the facts to which he
had been an eye-witness from the window of the inn. The gallant Admiral
related the circumstances, and passed a high eulogium upon my courage
and public spirit, in which he was cordially joined by his friend Sir
John Carter; and the fellow, who was a _pot-house_ keeper, from Ryde, in
the Isle of Wight, escaped with a very severe reprimand, the poor woman
having declined to prosecute him.

If I were not fearful of tiring the reader, I could continue a long
chain of _rencontres_ of a similar nature, which occurred to me in
my youthful days; but as I have, I think, given quite sufficient to
delineate the decisive character of the author at that period, I
shall proceed, with other matters; only just observing by the way, that
a frequent recurrence of such events obtained for me the name of a _very
violent_ young man, though, nineteen times out of twenty my violence was
exercised in the cause of humanity; or in protecting and defending the
weak and helpless, against the aggressions of the rich and powerful.

Returning from London, in the Ba--- mail, on a very severe frosty
moonlight night, as we were passing Cranford-bridge, the coachman got
one of the hind wheels firmly locked and entangled in that of a heavy
brewer's dray, which gave us a most violent shock and nearly overturned
the coach. A plentiful share of the slang abuse, usually arising upon
such occasions, passed between the coachman and guard of the mail and
the driver and attendant of the dray. The wheel of the coach appeared
to be so firmly entangled in that of the dray, that it required a
considerable exertion to release it; and the guard was entreating the
passengers to assist him. But an Irish officer of dragoons, who was
sitting by my side, very coolly answered, that as coachee had got into
the scrape he might get out of it again and be d--d. For once in my life
I was determined to follow such a selfish example; but, just as I had
made up my mind to sit still and enjoy my own ease and comfort, the
Irishman, who was looking out of one of the windows of the coach on the
opposite side to that where the dray stood, exclaimed "by Jasus there is
a fellow fallen from off his horse into the water, and is drowning." The
moon shone almost as bright as day, and, as this happened within half a
dozen yards of the coach window, it was perfectly visible to the Irish
officer, who still sat perfectly cool, and as unconcerned as possible;
observing, as he leant back in the coach, "the fellow is actually gone
to the bottom, and I saw the last of him as he sunk." Till now I really
thought the gentleman had merely witnessed the ducking of some one who
had fallen into the pond; but this last observation induced me to
call loudly to the guard to open the door; and, quite forgetting my
determination to follow the officer's doctrine and example, "to take
things coolly and let every one look to himself," I sprang out of the
coach to the edge of the water, where a hat floating thereon was the
only visible proof that any one was in the water. The Irishman, however,
who still sat snug in the coach, and who never budged an inch, affirmed
with an oath that the man had sunk exactly under where the hat was
floating. The life of a fellow creature being at stake, cold,
calculating prudence was instantly banished from my ardent mind; and,
without waiting another moment, I plunged into the water, which I found
was beyond my depth, and having swam to the spot, which was only a few
yards, I came instantly in contact with the body, which I seized and
dragged to the water edge, and, with some difficulty, assisted by the
guard, he was hoisted out of the pond. The Irishman had lustily, but
perhaps very prudently, ordered the coachman, at his peril, not to leave
his horses, although a passenger on the box had the reins in his hand.
By this time assistance came from the inn (I think the Crown), kept at
that time by a person of the name of Goddard. Amongst the number of
those who flocked to witness this distressing scene was a young man, who
exclaimed, in a frantic agony of voice and gesture, "_it is my father!_"
and he instantly seized the apparently drowned man by the heels, and
held him upright, with his head upon the ground, his feet in the air,
as he said, to let _the water run out of him_; an old, vulgar, and long
exploded practice, which has proved in almost every instance fatal. I
expostulated, but in vain; I pitied the agonised feelings of the youth,
while I struggled to release his father by force from the fatal posture
in which he had, although with the best intention, unguardedly and
obstinately placed him. He, however, resisted my efforts with personal
violence, in spite of the expostulations of the guard. Seeing that I
was likely to have my humane intentions frustrated by the young man's
obstinacy, and, as no time was to be lost, I resorted to my usual
_knock-down argument_, and levelled the _son_ with the earth, to save
the life of the _father_. This I did so effectually that he was totally
incapable of resistance; and, with the aid of the guard, I bore off the
drowned man upon my shoulders to the inn, about a hundred yards distant.
Dripping wet, and covered with mud, I assisted to strip him before the
kitchen fire, and instantly proceeded to use the means recommended by
the Humane Society, (and by which means I had once restored to animation
a female who had attempted to drown herself). By chafing the body with
warm cloths, rubbing in brandy about the heart, applying bottles
filled with hot water to his feet, &c. in which the guard manfully and
zealously assisted the whole time, declaring that the coach should wait
as long for me as I liked, in a very few minutes my labour and exertion
was rewarded with symptoms of returning animation, by the twitching
of one leg; upon which a fresh hot bottle was applied to his foot; we
redoubled our exertion, and in another minute he opened his eyes and
became sick. I now left him to the care of his son, the guard, and
others, to continue the rubbing, while I went with the landlord and
changed my clothes, having remained twenty minutes in the same state in
which I had left the water, which being very muddy, I had spoiled at
least ten pounds worth of wearing apparel. The landlord, however,
furnished me with what I had not got in my trunk.

When I returned down stairs, I perceived my patient, who I was informed
was an old post-boy, sitting in the settle of the tap-room, quite
recovered; and when I was pointed out to him by his master, as his
deliverer from a watery grave, the fellow attacked me in the most
violent and abusive manner, and called down horrid imprecations upon
my head for having saved him from that end which I now found he had
courted, by throwing himself off the horse's back, with the intention of
destroying himself. I was so exasperated with the fellow's ingratitude
that it was with difficulty the landlord and the guard restrained me
from inflicting upon him summary chastisement for his insolence; but the
conviction of his insanity soon weighed still more powerfully with
me to ensure my forbearance than any thing the landlord or the guard
could have urged for his protection. At this moment my fellow passenger,
who had never before appeared, but who had taken the advantage of this
delay to get a comfortable cup of coffee, in a warm parlour, walked in,
and began to moralize with me upon the folly "of _troubling myself with
other people's business_;" and, as he did this with a very grave face,
it had the desired effect, and I really began to meditate and to
calculate which of the two, he or I, was the most extraordinary being;
and I was almost disposed to concede to him the palm of being the most
rational, a fact of which he appeared thoroughly to be convinced, and in
which opinion he was strongly confirmed, after I got into the mail, and
related to him the adventure of my having nearly lost my life, a few
years before, in saving a female from being drowned in a deep river, on
a Monday, who contrived to put an end to her existence and find a
watery grave on the following Thursday, in a ditch which contained only
eighteen inches of water. We travelled as far as Marlborough together,
where we parted; he proceeded to Bath in the mail, and I to my home at
Chisenbury, in my curricle. Parliament met on the 21st of January, and
on the TWENTY-THIRD DAY OF JANUARY,1806, the Heaven-born Minister,
WILLIAM PITT, DIED, at his house at Putney. This man had, for nearly a
quarter of a century, reigned triumphant over the people of England with
the most despotic and arbitrary sway, by the means of a corrupt majority
of a set of boroughmongers, who called themselves and their agents the
House of Commons; thus pretending to be the representatives of the
people of England, while, in fact, they might as well have been said to
represent the people of Algiers as the people of England, a majority of
them being returned by _one hundred and fifty-four_ individuals. I may,
I believe, venture to give my opinion of the House of Commons, such as
it was constituted in the days and reign of Pitt. The banishment act
would, of course, preclude me from speaking of the present House of
Commons with the same sincerity and freedom; therefore, whether there be
any resemblance in the present House of Commons to that of the House
as it was constituted in the reign of Pitt, I must leave for the
determination of those who have paid attention to their proceedings.

On the death of Mr. Pitt, the then House of Commons immediately voted
that his debts should be paid by JOHN GULL, and that he should have a
public funeral, at JOHN'S expense! This was all perfectly in character,
for it was voted before the _Talents_ or _Whigs_ came into place and
power. A ministry, a new ministry, was now made up of most heterogeneous
materials; it consisted of men differing as widely from each other as
any of the factions could differ; _Fox_ and _Grenville united_, and, to
crown the whole, Lord _Sidmouth_ made one of the cabinet. Mr. Fox, who
had been the determined opponent, the violent contemner, of all the
measures of Mr. Pitt, formed an union with Lord Grenville, who had been
the constant supporter of the very worst measures of Mr. Pitt! As for
Lord Sidmouth, all the Addingtons appeared determined to have a "finger
in the pie!" let who would be in office, the Addingtons appeared
determined to have a share of the plunder, by joining them. Such
opposite characters, such vinegar and oil politicians, were not likely
to amalgamate so as to produce any good for the people; they might,
indeed, combine to share the profits of place, but they were sure never
to agree in any measure that was likely to promote the freedom
and happiness of the people. This, however, was called a Whig
administration; and it will not be unuseful to record the names of those
personages who composed this Whig administration. They were as follow,
which I beg my readers to peruse attentively:--

Right Rev. Dr. C. Manners Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Lord Erskine, Lord High Chancellor.
Dr. William Markham, Archbishop of York.
Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord President of the Council.
Viscount Sidmouth, Lord Privy Seal.
William Lord Grenville, First Lord of the Treasury.
Lord Henry Petty, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Earl Spencer, Viscount Howick,
and Right Honorable William
Windham, Secretaries of State.
Right Hon. Thomas Grenville, First Lord of the Admiralty.
Sir David Dundas, Commander in Chief.
Right Hon. Charles Abbot, Speaker of the House of Commons.
Right Hon. Sir William Grant, Master of the Rolls.
Edward Lord Ellenborough, Chief Justice of the Court of King's
Sir Arthur Pigott, Attorney General.
Sir Samuel Romilly, Solicitor General.
Right Hon. Sir William Scott, Judge of the Admiralty.
Right Hon. Richard Brindley
Sheridan, Treasurer of the Navy.
Earl Temple and Lord John
Townsend, Paymasters of the Army.
Francis Earl of Moira, Master General of the Ordnance.
Right Hon. Richard Fitzpatrick, Secretary at War.
John Duke of Bedford, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Here, my friends, you have a pretty correct list of the Whig
administration, or "All the Talents," as they were facetiously and
ironically called, or rather nicknamed, who were called to office upon
the death of Mr. PITT, a man of brilliant talents, and irresistible
eloquence; but a man who turned these great gifts of the Supreme
Being to the destruction of human liberty, and who directed his powerful
genius, and the great facilities that were given him by his having the
direction of the resources of this laborious and enterprising nation at
his command, to the very worst of purposes, to the annihilation of the
rights and liberties of his countrymen. Some of the poisonous effects
of the Pitt system the nation has long been tasting, but the cup of
bitterness and misery that it has produced is now filled to the brim,
and its baleful contents are beginning to act fully on this once
prosperous nation, and to blast and wither in the bud the very prospects
of its once happy people. Mr. Pitt, in his younger days, before his
ambition got the better of his principles, had been a reformer; but when
he once got into place and power, he became the greatest apostate that
ever existed; and, true apostate like, he endeavoured to hang his former
associates and companions in that cause which he had so basely abandoned

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