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Title: Lord Chatham - His Early Life and Connections
Author: Rosebery, Archibald Phillip Primrose
Language: English
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  CHATHAM

  HIS EARLY LIFE AND CONNECTIONS



  CHATHAM

  His Early Life and Connections


  BY

  LORD ROSEBERY


  LONDON
  ARTHUR L. HUMPHREYS
  187 PICCADILLY, W

  1910



  Second Impression.



  _To_
  BEVILL FORTESCUE
  OF DROPMORE AND BOCONNOC,
  THIS BOOK, WHICH OWES EVERYTHING TO HIM,
  IS
  GRATEFULLY DEDICATED.



PREFACE


My first words of preface must be of excuse for some apparent lack of
gratitude in my dedication. For besides my debt to Mr. Fortescue, I owe
my warmest acknowledgments to Mary, Lady Ilchester, and her son, for the
permission to examine some of the papers of Henry Fox; a character of
great interest, whose life is yet to be written. But I hope that this
will soon be presented by Lord Ilchester, whose capacity for such work
is already proved. I render my sincere thanks both to him and to his
mother; but my dedication, written long before I had access to the
Holland House papers, must remain unchanged; for without Mr. Fortescue's
family collection of papers at Dropmore this book could never have been
begun.

The life of Chatham is extremely difficult to write, and, strictly
speaking, never can be written at all. It is difficult because of the
artificial atmosphere in which he thought it well to envelop himself,
and because the rare glimpses which are obtainable of the real man
reveal a nature so complex, so violent, and so repressed. What is this
strange career?

Born of a turbulent stock, he is crippled by gout at Eton and Oxford,
then launched into a cavalry regiment, and then into Parliament. For
eight years he is groom-in-waiting to a prince. Then he holds
subordinate office for nine years more. Then he suddenly flashes out,
not as a royal attendant or a minor placeman, but as the people's
darling and the champion of the country. In obscure positions he has
become the first man in Britain, which he now rules absolutely for four
years in a continual blaze of triumph. Then he is sacrificed to an
intrigue, but remains the supreme statesman of his country for five
years more. Then he becomes Prime Minister amid general acclamation; but
in an instant he shatters his own power, and retires, distempered if not
mad, into a cell. At last he divests himself of office, and recovers his
reason; he lives for nine years more, a lonely, sublime figure, but
awful to the last, an incalculable force. He dies, practically, in
public, as he would have wished; and the nation, hoping against hope,
pins its faith in him to the hour of death.

And for most of the time his associations are ignoble, if not
humiliating. He had to herd with political jobbers; he has to serve
intriguing kinsfolk; he had to cringe to unworthy Kings and the
mistresses of Kings; he is flouted and insulted by a puppet whig like
Rockingham. Despite all this he bequeaths the most illustrious name in
our political history; and it is the arduous task of his biographer to
show how these circumstances led to this result.

Happily this task does not fall to the present writer, who has only to
describe the struggle and the ascent; the consummation and glory of the
career lie beyond these limits.

Further, it may be said that not merely is the complete life of Chatham
difficult to write, but impossible. It is safe, indeed, to assert that
it never has been written and never can be written.

This seems a hard saying, for it appears to be a reflection on his
numerous biographers from Thackeray to Von Ruville, though it is nothing
of the sort. The fact is that the materials do not exist. For the first
time the Dropmore papers throw some light on the earlier part of his
life. But it is tolerably certain that nothing of this kind exists to
illuminate his later years. Of his conversations, of his private life
nothing, or little more than nothing, remains. Except on the one genial
occasion on which Burke saw him tooling a jim-whiskey down to Stowe, we
scarcely see a human touch. After his accession to office in 1756, his
letters of pompous and sometimes abject circumlocution, intended partly
to deceive his correspondent and partly to baffle the authorities of the
Post Office, give no clue to his mind. He wrote an ordinary note as
Rogers wrote an ordinary couplet. Even his love-letters are incurably
stilted. There is no ease, no frankness, no self-revelation in anything
that he wrote after he embarked actively in politics. From that time he
shrouded himself carefully and successfully from his contemporaries,
except on the occasions when he appeared in public; for, strange to say,
it was in his speeches that his nature sometimes burst forth. And yet
even here, there is trouble. One of the difficulties of a life of
Chatham lies in the rough notes of his speeches preserved by Horace
Walpole. They are often confused, often dreary, sometimes
incomprehensible; but they must be included, for there is nothing else;
though they weigh heavy on a book. Sometimes, however, they reveal a
flash of the man, and Pitt permits little else. Such being his
deliberate scheme of life, adopted partly from policy, partly from
considerations of health, there seems little more material for a
biography of the man, apart from his public career, than exists in the
case of a Trappist.

It is then, I think, safe to predict that the real life of Chatham can
never be written, as the intimate facts are wanting. What survive were,
as usual, exhausted by Macaulay in those two brilliant essays, in which
with the sure grasp of historical imagination he depicted the glowing
scenes of Chatham's career, and left to posterity the portrait which
will never be superseded. For his instinct supplies the lack of
evidence, and though there may be exaggeration of praise, that praise
will not be seriously diminished. Lives of Chatham will always be
written, because few subjects are more interesting or more dramatic, but
they must always be imperfect. It is, of course, easy to record his
course as a statesman, his speeches, his triumphs, his achievements; and
these narratives will be called biographies. But will they ever reveal
the real man?

There seems to be a constant tendency in writers to forget that the
provinces of history and biography, though they often overlap, are
essentially distinct; for history records the life of nations, and
biography the life of individuals. To set forth the annals of the time
in which the hero has existed, and to note his contact with them, is
only a part of his life, though it is often held to be all that is worth
remembering. The life of any man that ever lived on earth is far more
than his public career. The life of a man is not his public life, which
is always alloyed with some necessary diplomacy and which is sometimes
only a mask; it is made up of a thousand touches, a multitude of lights
and shadows, most of which are invisible behind the austere presentment
of statecraft. We have probably all, and perhaps more than all, that
Shakespeare ever wrote; we have so to speak all his public life. But
would we not gladly give one or two of his plays to obtain some true
insight into his private life, to realise the humanity of this
superhuman being, to know how this immortal was linked to mortality? We
want to know how a master man talked, and, if possible, what he thought;
what was his standpoint with regard to the grave issues of life; what he
was in his hours of ease, what he enjoyed, how he unbent; in a word,
what he was without his wig and bag and sword, in his dressing-gown and
slippers, with a friend, a novel, or a pipe. This is half or three parts
of a man, and it is certain that we shall never know this aspect of
Chatham. He would no doubt, had it served his purpose, have appeared in
the dressing-gown and slippers, but the array would have been as solemn
and artificial as the robes of a cardinal. He would, had it served his
purpose, have smoked a pipe, but it would have been the jewelled
nargileh of the Grand Mogul. He had practically no intimates; his wife
told nothing, his children told nothing; he revealed himself neither by
word nor on paper, he deliberately enveloped himself in an opaque fog of
mystery; and there seems no clue or channel by which any further detail
of his character can reach us, unless Addington, the doctor, or Wilson,
the tutor, have anything to tell us. But did anything of the kind
survive, we feel confident that it would have transpired. Beckford and
Potter, Barré and Camden, his friends or sycophants or satellites, have
left no sign. Shelburne indeed thinks that he penetrated Chatham, and
Shelburne no doubt saw him under circumstances of comparative intimacy.
And yet, judging by the result, it may well be doubted whether Shelburne
did more than watch and guess, with an inkling of spite. Occasionally
there is a legend, a tradition, or an anecdote, but Chatham seems to
have cut off all vestiges of his real self as completely as a
successful fugitive from justice. And so posterity sees nothing but the
stern effigy representing what he wished, or permitted, or authorised to
be seen. This is not enough or nearly enough, but it must now be certain
that there will never be much more. This makes us all the more grateful
for the Dropmore papers and for Mr. Fortescue's liberality. He has been
able to throw new light on Chatham's youth and on his unrestrained days.
Light on the subsequent years of self-repression would be so guarded and
shaded that we should scarce obtain a glimpse of the true man. Indeed,
by his careful disguise Chatham has made himself a prehistoric or rather
a prebiographical figure, a man of the fifteenth century or earlier. We
know what was around him, the scene on which he played, the other actors
in the great drama, and we recognise himself on the stage; but away from
the footlights he remains in darkness. In a word, after 1756, when this
book ends, his public life is conspicuous and familiar. But his inner
life after that period will never be known; and so we must be content
with a torso.

    _October 1910._


    It has seemed unnecessary to give references to familiar printed
    authorities, such as Horace Walpole, Coxe, Harris's Life of
    Hardwicke, Waldegrave, or the published Dropmore MSS. But where an
    exception has been deemed necessary, 'Orford' refers to the
    'Memoirs,' and 'Walpole' denotes an allusion to the 'Letters.'

    Lord Camelford's manuscript, which I have used so copiously, is an
    intimate family document entitled 'Family Characters and Anecdotes,'
    addressed to his son, and dated 1781.



CHATHAM

HIS EARLY LIFE AND CONNECTIONS



CHAPTER I.


There is one initial part of a biography which is skipped by every
judicious reader; that in which the pedigree of the hero is set forth,
often with warm fancy, and sometimes at intolerable length. It is,
happily, not necessary to enter upon the bewildering branches of the
innumerable Pitts, but only to keep to one conspicuous stem. We must
however record that the Pitt family was gentle and honourable; 'it had,'
says one of them, 'been near two centuries growing into wealth without
producing anything illustrious.'[1] But in the eighteenth century it was
destined to blossom into no less than four peerages, Londonderry,
Rivers, Camelford, and Chatham, not one of which survives. William
Pitt's great-grandfather was Vicar of Blandford in Dorsetshire; and
there was born Thomas, his grandfather, better known as Governor Pitt,
and associated in history with the famous Pitt diamond. The Vicar, being
the younger son of a younger son, had no fortune but the advowson of his
own living of St. Mary; and Thomas again being a younger son set forth
to seek his fortunes in the Golden East, and, it may be added, found
them there.

Of this redoubtable progenitor, Governor Pitt, as he was always called,
it would be possible to say much, as his life, measured by the length of
current biographies, would justify a volume; in any case it is necessary
to say something, for in his character may be traced some germs of his
grandson's intractable qualities.

We first catch sight of him as an 'interloper,' that is, an illicit
merchant carrying on trade in violation of the East India Company's
monopoly. In that capacity he showed himself formidable and intrepid,
'of a haughty, huffying, daring temper,'[2] and the Company waged
unsparing war against him. In a letter to their agents, writing with
special reference to him, they say: 'We have a most acceptable accompt
of the flourishing condition of all our affaires in those parts, and of
the wreck and disappointment of all the interlopers; insomuch that if
you have done your parts in reference to the _Crowne_, that Tho. Pitts
went upon, there is no probability (that) of seven interloping ships
that went to India the same year that our Agent did, any one ship will
ever come to England again; and ... we cannot doubt that you will in due
time render us as pleasing an accompt of those interlopers that went out
this year, which will certainly put an end to that kind of robbery.'[3]
And so these hostilities continued for more than a score of years, but
without the suppression of Pitt, who appears to have greatly thriven in
the process; for during the latter part of this period he was member of
Parliament for his own pocket borough of Old Sarum,[4] bought out of
these contraband gains. Victory, indeed, rested with him; for the
Company, weary and baffled, determined, on the faith of an ancient but
precarious principle, to set a thief to catch a thief; and in November
1697 appointed Pitt governor of Fort St. George, though some fastidious
stockholders protested. This 'roughling immoral man,' as one of the
objectors called him, governed with a high and strong hand from 1698 to
1709; when the Company, finding the burden of him intolerable, summarily
dismissed him. He was, no doubt, like his grandson, a difficult servant;
and in his career we see the source of that energy, haughtiness, and
self-reliance which were so conspicuous in both. Lord Camelford, his
great-grandson, though a relentless critic of his family, gives, in the
grateful character of an heir, a leniently appreciative account of the
Governor; and says that 'he amassed a fortune which was reckoned
prodigious in those times without the smallest stain on his reputation.
I have heard (but at what exact period of his life I know not) that,
having accomplished such a sum as he thought would enable him to pass
the remainder of his days in peace, he was taken prisoner, together with
the greatest part of his effects, on his return to England, and released
at the intercession of the Duchess of Portsmouth, who was then in
France. He went back to India and made in a shorter time a much larger
fortune from the credit he had established and the experience he had
acquired.'

[Sidenote: 1710]

However that may be, he now returned promptly to England, by way of
Bergen, having shipped on a Danish vessel, and having sent before him in
the heel of his son's shoe[5] the precious chattel which made his name
famous, until, under his descendants, it acquired a different lustre.
This was a prodigious diamond, to which he alludes in his correspondence
as his 'grand concern,' which he bought for 48,000_l._, and sold, after
keeping it for some sixteen years, to the Regent of Orleans for the
French Crown. It was rather a sonorous than a profitable bargain, for
though he sold it for 133,000_l._, he was never paid in full. He
received 40,000_l._ and three boxes of jewels, but the balance,
calculated at 20,000_l._, was never discharged. He and his descendants
reckoned, indeed, that on the whole he was the poorer by the possession
of this gem. A tradition remains that the bargain might have fallen
through at the last moment but for the shrewdness of the Governor's
second son, Lord Londonderry. When Rondet, the royal jeweller, came from
Paris to receive it, he criticised the water of the stone. 'His
lordship, who was quick enough in business, understood him, and putting
a bank-note into his hands, bid him go to the window to see it in a
better light. It was then decided to be in all respects perfect.'[6]

It is evident, however, that he was possessed of considerable though
exaggerated wealth, and he was probably the first of those nabobs who
were to bulk so largely in the drama, the society, and the politics of
the eighteenth century. Among these his diamond gave him pre-eminence,
and made his name both famous and proverbial. In England he remained for
the rest of his life, some sixteen years, dying in 1726. The reformed
filibuster had become a power in the land. He had wealth, force of
character, political connection, and parliamentary influence. This last
must have been an object with him, as we find him sitting for Thirsk
instead of his own borough of Old Sarum; and his eldest grandson seems
to have inherited a considerable but indefinable interest in the
borough-mongering of the West, having definite powers in regard to
Okehampton and Sarum, and vaguer connections elsewhere. So the Governor,
a staunch Whig and furious anti-Jacobite, with an influential son-in-law
in Stanhope, a soldier and statesman who was First Minister for a time,
was a man to be reckoned with. He was indeed offered, and had accepted,
the Governorship of Jamaica, a high compliment, for it was then a
position of peculiar difficulty, but never took up the appointment;
finding probably his hands full at home, with an insubordinate family to
manage, capital to invest, and estates to superintend.

We find him living at Twickenham, Swallowfield, Blandford, and in Pall
Mall, but mainly at Stratford, near Old Sarum. He had indeed
contemplated building his principal residence at Blandford, his early
home. But the younger children, finding that this would be settled on
the eldest son, intercepted his purpose and turned his attention to
Swallowfield, 'where, however, he contrived to throw away as much money
in a very ugly place with no property about it,'[7] writes his resentful
heir.

Finally, in 1726, the Governor was gathered to his fathers, and his
spoils caused some disappointment. His wealth had been over-rated, as is
perhaps the case with all notorious fortunes, and not well invested; at
any rate, he had burned his fingers in the South Sea Bubble. He seems to
have left 100,000_l._ in personal property, though some of that may have
consisted in unsubstantial and unrealised advances to Lord Londonderry,
or others of his children. He had bought land wherever he could find it
(for the sake, perhaps, of influence as much as income), in London
(Soho), Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, Devonshire, and
Cornwall, as well as that most marketable of assets, Old Sarum, and
apparently other borough interests. But his greatest acquisition was the
noble estate of Boconnoc, which he purchased in 1717 from the widow of
that wild Mohun who was slain in duel by his brother-in-law, the Duke of
Hamilton. The Governor paid 53,000_l._ for the estate, a great price in
those days; but was held to have got a bargain.[8]

To his family he had always been formidable, but also an object of
jealous rapacity and expectation. They wrangled and intrigued for his
money both during his life and afterwards, and seem to have been
universally dissatisfied by the result. 'From the various characters of
these persons' (the Governor's children) 'it is easy to conceive,'
writes Lord Camelford, 'in what manner the Governor must have been
pulled to pieces by their different passions and interests when he came
to realise his wealth in England.' The transactions with Lord
Londonderry seem to have been particularly complicated; in fact they
were never unravelled. We only gather, as a specimen of them, that after
the Governor's death his executors claimed 95,000_l._ as due from Lord
Londonderry; which Lord Londonderry denied, claiming 10,000_l._ from the
estate. Thirty years were vainly spent in the endeavour to clear up this
issue, a process rendered all the more arduous by Lord Londonderry's
having peremptorily possessed himself of his father's papers after
death. Only one case seems to have been free from complication. The
Governor stated succinctly that his son John was good for nothing, and
so he logically left him nothing. John, however, claimed an annuity
which, we may be confident, he never obtained. Thus there were endless
disputes, a civil war in the family, not uncongenial, perhaps, to those
who waged it; which died out only with the combatants, but which
illustrates once more the volcanic character of these truculent Pitts.

It is in his family relations, in his dealings with these ungracious
heirs and with his own wife, that the Governor is most vivid and
interesting; at any rate, to one who has to trace the heredity of genius
and character in his descendants. Thomas Pitt's blood came all aflame
from the East, and flowed like burning lava to his remotest descendants,
with the exception of Chatham's children; but even then it blazed up
again in Hester Stanhope. There was in it, even when it throbbed in the
veins of his eldest son and grandson, some tropical, irritant quality
which, under happy circumstances and control, might produce genius, but
which under ordinary circumstances could only evolve domestic skirmish
and friction. The Governor himself, in his dealings with his wife and
children, does not seem to have been tolerant or tolerable. He set
himself to rule them with the notions of absolutism which are associated
with the Oriental monarchies, but he met with no great measure of
success. It is necessary to study his methods as exhibiting the volcanic
source of a formidable race.

His wife was of the family of Innes in Morayshire, 'of Scotch and
Cornish extraction,' says Lord Camelford, and she was lineally descended
from the Regent Murray. Sir John Sinclair, like a loyal Scot, attributes
the genius and eloquence of the Pitts to their 'fortunate connection
... with a Miss Innes of Redhall, in the Highlands of Scotland.' Of her,
nevertheless, in unconsciousness of this obligation, but in receipt of
private advices, the Governor writes in terms of implacable hostility.
He had heard, he says to his son, 'that your mother has been guilty of
some imprudence at the Bath ... let it be what it will, in my esteem she
is noe longer my wife, nor will I see her more if I can help it.'[9]

But his children were not to be released from duty to her by her
supposed misconduct. Four years earlier he had written to Robert: 'If
what you write of your mother be true, I think she is mad, and wish she
was well secured in Bedlam; but I charge you let nothing she says or
does make you undutiful in any respect whatever.' So when they
apparently act on the Governor's view of Mrs. Pitt, he turns round and
belabours them. 'Have all of you,' he inquires of his eldest son, 'shook
hands with shame, that you regard not any of the tyes of Christianity,
humanity, consanguinity, duty, good morality, or anything that makes you
differ from beasts, but must run from one end of the kingdome to the
other, aspersing one another, and aiming at the ruine and destruction of
one another?' This genial picture of his offspring does not seem wholly
imaginary, for the Governor proceeds: 'That you should dare to doe such
an unnatural and opprobrious action as to turne your mother and sisters
out of doors?--for which I observe your frivolous reasons, and was
astonished to read them; and I no less resent what they did to your
child at Stratford. But I see your hand is against every one of them,
and every one against you, and your brother William to his last dying
minute.' (William had died young, in 1706.) A week later he writes
again: 'Not only your letters, but all I have from friends, are stuffed
with an account of the hellish confusion that is in my family; and by
what I can collect of all my letters, the vileness of your actions on
all sides are not to be paralleled in history. Did ever mother, brother,
and sisters study one another's ruine and destruction more than my
unfortunate and cursed family have done?' He again reverts to the
grievance of Robert's having turned his mother and sisters out of doors,
though he calls them, in the same letter, 'an infamous wife and
children,' and states that he has 'discarded and renounced your mother
for ever;' apparently on suspicion, for he makes 'noe distinction
between women that are reputed ill and such as are actually soe.' The
wife of the Cæsar of Fort St. George had to be above suspicion. Nor is
this by any means an isolated passage. From his Eastern satrapy the
Governor pours on his hapless family, and especially on his firstborn, a
constant flood of scorn and invective. The arrival of the Indian mail
must have caused a periodical panic to his children, and his
announcement in 1715 that 'writing now is not so much my talent as
formerly' a corresponding relief.

In vain does Robert, the eldest son, inspire friends to write to the
Governor glowing accounts of his conduct; the Governor sniffs suspicion
in every breeze. 'I wish gaming bee not rife in your family, or you
could never have spent so considerable an estate in so short a time.' 'I
wish gameing, drinking, and other debaucheries has not been the bane of
you.' 'I wish these sore eyes of yours did not come by drinking, and
that generally ushers in gaming, of either of which vices or any other
dishonourable action, if I find you guilty, you may be assured I will
give you no quarter.' 'I think that no son in the world deserves more to
be discarded by a father.' But on the rare occasions when the Governor
does not write in a passion his letters are full of sound sense. The
cost of education is the only expense which he does not grudge. 'I would
also have you putt your mother in mind that she gives her daughters good
education, and not to stick at any charge for it.' But he wishes to get
his money's worth. 'See that your brothers and sisters keep close to
their studies, and let not my money be spent in vain on them; if it be,
I'll pinch 'em hereafter.' Again, later, he writes: 'When this reaches
you your brothers will be 17 years old. If their genius leads them to be
scholars, I would have them sent to Oxford, but placed in two distinct
colleges; and if inclined to study law you may enter them in the Temple.
But if they are inclined to be merchants, let them learn all languages,
and obtain perfect knowledge of the sciences bearing upon trade. I
believe that trade will flourish rather than decay.'

When he returned home things were probably not much better for his
children, though his letters, of course, are less frequent, and also
less violent. But we gather from timid and vigilant bulletins sent off
by those who cautiously approached the Governor's lair that he was still
as formidable and plain spoken as ever. He suspects Robert of
Jacobitism, the supreme sin in the judgment of the old Governor. 'It is
said you are taken up with factious caballs, and are contriving amongst
you to put a French kickshaw upon the throne again.' 'I have heard since
I came to towne,' he writes seven years afterwards, 'that you are
strooke with your old hellish acquaintance, and in all your discourse
are speaking in favour of that villainous traytor Ormond.' And again:
'Since last post I have had it reiterated to me that in all company you
are vindicating Ormonde and Bullingbrooke, the two vilest rebells that
ever were in any nation, and that you still adhere to your cursed Tory
principles, and keep those wretches company who hoped by this time to
have murthered the whole Royall family: in which catastrophe your father
was sure to fall,' &c. &c. From which it may be gathered that the moral
temperature of Pall Mall, whence the Governor was writing, differed
little from that of Madras.

The only note of tenderness that he ever strikes is with regard to his
grandson, William, to whom he looks with a rare prescience of attention.
At first he conducts both boys from Eton to Swallowfield, 'with some of
their comrogues,' on a short leave of absence. But soon it is William
alone whom he takes as a companion. 'I set out for Swallowfield Friday
next; your son, William, goes with me.' 'I observe you have sent for
your son, William, from Eton. He is a hopeful lad, and doubt not but he
will answer yours and all his friends' expectations,' 'I shall be glad
to see Will here as he goes to Eton.' 'Monday last I left Will at Eton.'
Sentences like these taken from the Governor's letters are, when the
writer is considered, a sufficient testimony of exceptional regard. It
is not too much to say that William is the only one of his descendants
whom the Governor commends; the only one, indeed, who never falls under
the lash of the Governor's uncontrollable tongue.

The Governor left behind him three sons, Robert, Thomas, and John; and
two daughters, Lucy and Essex. Robert, the eldest son, married, somewhat
clandestinely, Harriot Villiers, sister of the Earl of Grandison, 'who
seems to have brought with her,' says her grandson, 'little more than
the insolence of a noble alliance.' A more favourable estimate declares
that she had a fortune of 3000_l._, and that 'it is a great dispute
among those who have the pleasure of conversing with her whether her
beauty, understanding, or good-humour be the most captivating.' She
makes a pale apparition in Lady Suffolk's correspondence, soliciting a
place for her brother, Lord Grandison, with the offer of a bribe, and
subsiding under the royal confidant's rebuke.[10]

The second, Thomas, married one of the heiresses of Ridgeway, Earl of
Londonderry. After that nobleman's death 'he _bought_ the honours which
were extinct in the person of his wife's father.'[11] One infers from
casual hints that Thomas may have had the most influence with his
father, and that he was not embarrassed by scruples. He was, says Lord
Camelford, 'a man of no character, and of parts that were calculated
only for the knavery of business, in which he overreached others, and at
last himself.' But Camelford may have been soured by the controversies
which followed the Governor's death. The honours so dubiously acquired
died out with Lord Londonderry's two sons.

John, the Governor's third son, 'was in the army, an amiable vaurien, a
personal favourite with the King, and, indeed, with all who knew him as
a sort of Comte de Gramont, who contrived to sacrifice his health, his
honour, his fortunes to a flow of libertinism which dashed the fairest
prospect, and sank him for many years before his death in contempt and
obscurity.'[12] This death took place, within Lord Camelford's memory,
'at the thatched house by the turnpike in Hammersmith.' John seems to
have been a sort of Will Esmond, and we have on record a horse
transaction of his which savours strongly of Thackeray's famous
knave.[13] He married 'a sister of Lord Fauconberg's, whose personal
talents and accomplishments distinguished her as much at least as her
birth, and much more than her virtues.'[14]

Another of Colonel John's freaks is worth retailing, as throwing light
on the peremptory methods of the Pitts, and of the manner in which the
Governor was harried by his offspring. He waited outside his father's
house in Pall Mall on a day when he knew that one of the estate agents
was to bring up the rents of an estate. He watched the man in and out of
the house, then went in, where he found some secretary counting the
money over, swept it deftly with his sword into his hat, and escaped
into the street, full of glee at having bubbled an unappreciative parent
out of his dues, and leaving the unhappy subordinate paralysed behind
him.[15] This anecdote enables us to understand why the Governor had so
low an opinion of John, and why the keys were kept under the Governor's
bed when this scapegrace was at home.[16]

Of the two daughters, Lucy, who married the first Earl Stanhope, the
minister and general, seems to have left a fragrant memory behind her;
we are pleased to find her resenting her sister-in-law's behaviour to
her mother, the Governor's wife. She died in February 1723-4.

Essex, the second, married Charles Cholmondely, of Vale Royal,
grandfather of the first Lord Delamere. 'Her peevishness made her the
scourge of her family,' says her great-nephew, so we may conclude that
she was not devoid of the Pitt characteristics. She died in 1754.

Over his luckless heir the Governor had kept constantly suspended the
terrors of his testamentary dispositions. 'My resentments,' he wrote not
long before his death, 'against you all have been justly and honourably
grounded, and that you will find when my head is laid.' Nevertheless,
when he died in 1726, Robert, the belaboured eldest son, succeeded to
the great bulk of his fortune. He, in his turn, did not lose a moment in
visiting on his eldest son, Thomas, the sufferings that he himself had
endured. In the very letter in which he announces his father's death to
the lad, he speaks of his son's 'past slighting and disobedient conduct
towards me,' and lectures him with uncompromising severity. He does,
indeed, announce an allowance of 700_l._ a year, but soon after docks it
of 200_l._ on the flimsiest and shabbiest pretexts. Robert, who seems to
have been a poor creature, as his portrait at Boconnoc represents him,
mean and cantankerous, with some of the violence but without the vigour
and ability of the Governor, only survived his father a year, into which
he managed to concentrate a creditable average of quarrels with his
family. His death was something like the sinking of a fireship;
spluttering and scolding he disappears in 1727.

Robert's life and death were on the lines laid down by Pitt precedent.
He lived and died on ill terms with his family, and his death was
followed by the customary lawsuits. During his short possession of his
patrimony he had laboured under some miscalculation as to its extent;
for, after examining the rentals and estates, he had congratulated
himself on the possession of 'full 10,000_l._ a year;' ' in which belief
he died soon after, leaving the same delusion to his son, which was one
of the principal causes of his misfortunes.'[17] As the estate was
entailed, Thomas, Robert's eldest son, was not liable for the debts of
his father, or anxious to assume that responsibility. The claims that
gave him most trouble were those of his mother, Robert's widow, who had
obtained additions to her jointure, and had had 10,000_l._ settled on
her children at her marriage, a provision which was apparently never
carried into execution. Many bills and cross bills in Chancery were the
consequence of these claims, which ended in Mrs. Robert Pitt's
retirement into France, where she shortly afterwards died. Her brother
and champion, Lord Grandison, also retreated to Ireland, both thus
renouncing administration of the effects of Robert Pitt. So, avows Lord
Camelford, 'my father seized whatever fell into his hands without
account, either belonging to my grandfather or grandmother, keeping at
arm's length every demand upon him, till somehow or other these
litigations seem to have worn themselves out and slept by the
acquiescence of all parties.' The 'acquiescence,' we may add, seems only
to have accrued by the death of the litigants.

Robert left two sons and five daughters, and this brood was not unworthy
of the family traditions. The eldest son was Thomas, the second
William, the subject of this book; to the daughters we shall come
presently.

The volcanic element in the Pitt blood was fully manifest in this
generation, and Thomas was a child of wrath. His relations with his
younger brother William seem always to have been uneasy, and from an
early period they seem to have been wholly uncongenial to each other.

Whatever William may have been, Thomas was impracticable, and no one
seems to have succeeded in working amicably with him. He was a man of
extremes. 'All his passions,' writes his son, 'were violent by nature,
particularly pride and ambition, which were painted in his figure, one
of the most imposing I ever saw. He was not without good qualities; but,
to speak fairly, they were greatly over-balanced by the contrary
tendencies.' He was said not to have been naturally vicious, but early
embarrassments, perpetual family litigations, a sense of injury, the
flattery of dependents, and a train of mortifications and
disappointments 'had formed in him such habits of rapacity, injustice
and violence that he seemed at last to have lost even the sense of right
and wrong.' He had, evidently, personal attractions, marred by an
imperious demeanour, was strong and graceful, addicted to hunting and
manly sports, fond of music and dancing. His overbearing manner, which
arose from an undisguised contempt of his equals, gave him some
ascendancy in Cornwall, where, however, though endured, he was secretly
detested.

So haughty and violent a character might, one supposes, have been
mellowed and redeemed by a fortunate marriage, and Thomas seems to have
secured an angel as his wife. At the opera one night he saw a daughter
of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, was struck by her extraordinary beauty,
proposed in his headlong manner next day, and was accepted. Her son
laments her want of any fortune to remedy her husband's eternal
embarrassments, but she seems to have lacked nothing else. Besides her
loveliness, 'as a faithful wife, a tender mother, a kind friend, an
indulgent mistress, she was a pattern to her sex.'[18] But her very
virtues turned her husband against her. Her meek gentleness, humility,
and charity, the extreme piety, carried almost to bigotry, in which she
had been reared, were reproachful contrasts to his opposite qualities.
She was the object of ridicule to the wit and malice of others,
possibly, we should guess, of her sisters-in-law; and, finally, every
kind sentiment, even of common humanity, towards her, was extinguished
in the husband who had loved her so passionately.

Thomas seems, from the moment of succession until death, to have been a
prey to pecuniary embarrassment. He started with an exaggerated view of
his resources, and launched into extravagance; arrogance and ambition
made him more profuse; a taste for borough management, strong in him,
was probably more expensive than any other possible form of gambling; so
all his life was soured by the struggle between pride and debt, and by
consequent mortification. This seems to be the secret of his wasted and
unhappy existence.

United as he was by his marriage to the Lytteltons, Grenvilles, and
Cobham, he naturally became an adherent and favourite of the Prince of
Wales. He probably called the Prince's attention in glowing terms to the
possibilities of the Heir Apparent's Duchy of Cornwall, and, at any
rate, became His Royal Highness's parliamentary manager in the West, the
realm of rotten boroughs. There the Prince was flattered, or flattered
himself, with influence as Duke of Cornwall, in a region where Lord
Falmouth, the famous threatener of 'we are seven,' and Thomas himself
exercised a more substantial sway. He enjoyed a fleeting triumph at the
General Election of 1741, not unaccompanied with the constant quarrels
which were the vital element of his family. As a reward he was appointed
in 1742 Warden of the Stannaries.

Then he seems to decay. The General Election of 1747, on which he had
built high hopes, brought him nothing but debt and disaster. He writes
in despair to the Prince, and Frederick sends kindly and reassuring
messages in reply; but he was now ruined, and his last prospects
vanished with the Prince of Wales, on whose death he was superseded in
the Stannaries; this perhaps marks the date of his final catastrophe. At
any rate, there was a financial collapse, and he had to go abroad.
Shelburne met him at Utrecht and heard him hold forth in the true Pitt
style, abusing his brother William as a hypocrite and scoundrel, with a
great flow of language and a quantity of illustrative anecdotes. 'A bad
man,' says Horace Walpole. 'Never was ill-nature so dull as his, never
dullness so vain.'

Shelburne hints that he was mad, or nearly mad, and that, though not
actually confined, he was obliged to live a very retired life,
complicated by straitened circumstances. 'The unhappy man,' as William
calls him, had never been on cordial terms with his brother: they had
had the usual family wrangles about property, and recently, in his
distress, Thomas had solicited from William, now Secretary of State and
supreme, the appointment of Minister to the Swiss Cantons. He might have
foreseen refusal, for he was fit for no such employment, and William was
sensitive as to charges of favour to his family from the Crown. But men
are friendly judges of their own fitness for any post which they may
happen to desire, and Thomas did not care, probably, to have his merits
or demerits so justly appraised by his junior; so he spent his time of
exile in denouncing to any audience that was attracted by his name, the
ingratitude and neglect of his successful relative. He died in July
1761, and William frigidly announces to his nephew the death of 'the
unhappy man' from apoplexy.

This nephew was created Lord Camelford under the auspices of his first
cousin, the younger Pitt, whom, by the way, Pitt-like, he seems unable
to forgive for this favour, as he never mentions his creator. The
malicious bards of the Rolliad hinted that the peerage accrued from some
borough-mongering transaction:

    'Say, what gave Camelford his wished for rank?
    Did he devote old Sarum to the Bank?
    Or did he not, that envied rank to gain,
    Transfer the victim to the Treasury's fame?' (_sic_)

But, though he was by no means destitute of the family characteristics,
this Thomas was a man of high honour, character and charm. He won the
heart of Horace Walpole, whose neighbour he was, until they quarrelled,
as of course they were sure to do. But for a time Horace, whose
affection was not often or easily given and whose confidence in matters
of taste was fastidious, gave both affection and confidence unstintedly
to this young man. He attracted, too, the still rarer tenderness of his
uncle William. To him Chatham addressed the well-known letters on
education which he found time to write in all the business of office;
though Thomas on attaining manhood repaid him with the most cordial
aversion. This sentiment, which seems at first to savour of ingratitude,
is not in reality difficult to explain. In the first place, the uncle
was to some extent involved in those financial questions connected with
the paternal inheritance in which the father played, as we have seen, so
intrepid though unscrupulous a part. Mutual aversion facilitated mutual
disagreement in matters always fertile of friction; and the younger
Thomas, though he had an ill opinion of his father, sided with him as
against his uncle. We cannot, even on Thomas's own showing, blame the
uncle in these rather petty transactions, and William's besetting sin
was certainly not avarice; but neither can we blame the son for siding
with the father. On an impartial survey we may conclude that disputes
between two Pitts who were near descendants of the Governor were
incapable of an amicable solution.

But there was more than this. William, for some purpose of persuasion,
says Lord Camelford, informed Thomas that his nephew, the younger Thomas
(Lord Camelford himself), would be his heir. This was a considerable,
almost a magnificent, prospect. William was then middle-aged and
unmarried, his position and future were alike splendid, and high office
might in those days lead to wealth. His career had, moreover, brought
him a legacy of 10,000_l._ from Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. But, far
beyond that there was the reversion of the great Althorp inheritance,
between which and William there were only the lives of the short-lived
possessor and his sickly child. That William held out this expectation
we think so probable that we do not even question it. He had all his
life been half an invalid, and never seems to have contemplated marriage
till he did marry, at the age of forty-eight. He, moreover, loved his
nephew with sincere and proved tenderness. Why, then, should it be
doubted that he indicated him as his heir, when, in truth, he had no
other? But that he did this with an unworthy motive or for the purpose
of deception there is neither proof nor probability. The episode
probably furnished matter for his brother's maudlin ravings at Utrecht,
but we do not think that it materially influenced the opinions of his
nephew.

The true reason for Camelford's hatred of his uncle was that he fell
under the influence of George Grenville at a time when Grenville had
broken for ever with Pitt. The estimable qualities of Grenville have
been described with a colour and exuberance which could only proceed
from the glowing imagination of Burke. But, with all allowance for what
Burke saw in this able, narrow, and laborious person, it cannot be
denied that the foundation of his qualities was a stubborn self-esteem
which necessarily led to stubborn hatreds. Grenville came to hate Bute,
to hate the King, to hate the Duke of Cumberland; but it may be doubted
if all his other accumulated hatreds equalled that which he felt for his
brother-in-law. Pitt, while in office, had kept Grenville in a
subordinate position, and had apparently thought it adequate to his
deserts. When Grenville was Minister, Pitt had negotiated with the King
to overthrow him. In the schism produced by Pitt's resignation, Temple
had sided with Pitt and quarrelled with his brother George. But, worst
of all, Pitt had held Grenville up, not unsuccessfully, to public
ridicule and contempt. Now, a Grenville to himself was not as other men
are; he was something sacred and ineffable. Neither Temple nor George
ever doubted that they were the equals, nay, the superiors, of their
brother-in-law, whom in their hearts they regarded as only a brilliant
adventurer, useful, under careful guidance, to the Grenville scheme of
creation. When, therefore, Pitt quizzed and thwarted George, he raised
an implacable enemy. Later on, they might affect reconciliation, and
Temple might pompously announce to the world that the Brethren were
reunited. But George's undying resentment against Pitt never flagged to
the hour of his death.

Thomas Pitt came under Grenville's influence at the fiercest moment of
this rancour, and seems to have been the only person on record who was
fascinated by him. Thomas writes of him with affectionate enthusiasm
long after his death, and in his life waged his wars with zeal. One of
these led to a quarrel with Horace Walpole, arising out of the dismissal
of Conway, which produced a lengthy correspondence, still extant. But to
become the disciple of George Grenville it was necessary to abhor
William Pitt. Thomas took the test without difficulty, and adhered to it
conscientiously. His father's influence, such as it was, tended in the
same direction. So, though Thomas specifically places his uncle at the
head of all British statesmen, and although he besought Chatham to sit
to Reynolds for the gallery at Boconnoc, and though he displayed grief,
real or ostentatious, at Chatham's death, going the quaint length of
asking every one to dinner who spoke sympathetically in either House on
the occasion; in spite of all this, he retails aversion in every
sentence that he writes; aversion of which the obvious source is
devotion to Grenville. It is necessary to explain this because
Camelford's manuscript notes would otherwise be inexplicable. Putting
this violent prejudice on one side, this memorial drawn up by Camelford
for his son, though too intimate for complete publication, is a
priceless document. Let all be forgiven him for the sake of this
manuscript. It may be inaccurate, and biassed and acrid, but it presents
the family circle from within by one of themselves, and no more vivid
picture can exist of that strange cockatrice brood of Pitts.

The son for whom it was written grew up a spitfire, not less eccentric
than his sires, and became notorious as the second Lord Camelford. His
was a turbulent, rakehelly, demented existence, the theme of many
newspaper paragraphs. He revived in his person all the pranks and
outrage of the Mohawks. Bull-terriers, bludgeons, fighting of all kinds
were associated with him; riots of all kinds were as the breath of his
nostrils, more especially theatrical tumults. One of these latter
contests brought him into contact with the pacific authors of the
'Rejected Addresses,' who were admitted, not without trepidation, to his
apartment, which was almost an arsenal. It can scarcely be doubted that
the lurking madness of the Pitts found a full expression in him. As an
officer in the Navy, commanding a sloop in the West Indies, his conduct
fell little if at all short of insanity. It is not easy to understand
how even in those more facile times he escaped disgrace.

Eventually, at the age of twenty-nine he was killed in a wanton duel
with a Mr. Best. The circumstances of this mortal combat show that he
was a true Pitt of the Governor's headstrong breed. Both before the duel
and afterwards, on his death-bed, he acknowledged that he was the sole
wanton aggressor, and that his antagonist was blameless. But as Mr. Best
was reported the best pistol-shot in England, his pride would not allow
him to lend himself, however indirectly, to any sort of accommodation.
So he died, and with him died the eldest line of the Governor's branch
of Pitts. Boconnoc passed to his sister, Lady Grenville, wife of the
minister who was Chatham's nephew. The relations of the brothers-in-law
seem to have been on the Pitt model. 'Pique against Lord Grenville
explains his (Lord Camelford's) conduct,' writes Lady Holland.[19]
Despite all their idiosyncrasies it seemed impossible to keep the Pitts
and Grenvilles from quarrelling and blending.

All this may seem trivial enough, but it has an important, indeed
necessary, bearing on the story of William's life, as showing the stock
from which he sprang.

The harsh passions of the Governor and the petulant violence of his
heirs seem so outrageous and uncontrolled as to verge on actual
insanity. Shelburne explicitly states that 'there was a great deal of
madness in the family.' Every indication confirms this statement. What
seemed in the Governor brutality and excess, frequently developed in
his descendants into something little if at all short of mental
disorder. We thus trace to their source the germs of that haughty,
impossible, anomalous character, distempered at times beyond the
confines of reason, which made William so difficult to calculate or
comprehend.



CHAPTER II.


And now we come by a process of exhaustion to the subject of this book.

William Pitt, the elder statesman of that name, was born in London, in
the parish of St. James's, November 15, 1708. It does not now seem
possible to trace the house of his nativity, but it was probably in Pall
Mall, where his father then or afterwards resided. We are limited to the
information that his godfathers were 'Cousin Pitt' (probably George Pitt
of Strathfieldsaye) and General Stewart, after the latter of whom he was
named. General Stewart was the second husband of William's grandmother,
Lady Grandison.[20]

It may be well to recall here that William was the second son of Robert
Pitt, the Governor's eldest son, and his wife, Harriot Villiers, fourth
daughter of Catherine, Viscountess Grandison, and her husband the Hon.
Edward Villiers Fitzgerald, who was descended from a brother of the
first Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.

Of his childhood we catch but occasional and remote glimpses.

His grandfather, as we have seen, had early marked him. The shrewd old
nabob had discerned the boy's possibilities, but seems also to have
determined that his energies should not be relaxed by wealth. At any
rate, the Governor refrained from any special sign of favour, and
bequeathed the lad only an annuity of 100_l._ a year. This was
William's sole patrimony, for he seems to have received nothing from his
father.

He was sent to Eton, or, as William always spells it, 'Eaton,' at an
early age; the exact period does not seem to be ascertainable. Here he
had notable contemporaries: Henry Fox, George Lyttelton, Charles Pratt,
Hanbury Williams, and Fielding.

'Thee,' said this last, addressing Learning, 'in the favourite fields,
where the limpid gently rolling Thames washes thy Etonian banks, in
early youth I have worshipped. To thee, at thy birchen altar, with true
Spartan devotion I have sacrificed my blood.'[21] Pitt could have echoed
his schoolfellow's apostrophe if the not improbable legend be true that
he underwent an unusually severe flogging for having been caught out of
bounds. But even without this, his experiences were no doubt poignant
enough; for, though the son of a wealthy father, he was placed on the
foundation, and the Eton of those days afforded to its King's Scholars
no lap of luxury. The horrors and hardships of Long Chamber, the immense
dormitory of these lads, have come down to us in a whisper of awful
tradition, and it is therefore no matter for surprise, though it is for
regret, that William did not share the passionate devotion of most
Etonians for their illustrious college. He is credited indeed with
saying that he had scarcely ever observed a boy who was not cowed for
life at Eton[22]: a sweeping condemnation which sounds strange in these
days, but which is easily explained by the misery that he, as a sickly
boy, may well have undergone in that petty Lacedæmon. For his health
deprived him of all the pleasures of his age, as he was already a martyr
to gout. That hereditary malady which cut him off from the sports of the
school impelled him to study, and so served his career. Mr. Thackeray,
who wrote his biography in quarto and who may be discriminated without
difficulty from the genius of that name, deposes vaguely that 'Dr.
Bland, at that time the headmaster of Eton, is said to have highly
valued the attainments of his pupil.' We rest more securely on a letter
of his Eton tutor, Mr. Burchett, of which the last sentence need only be
quoted here, as it is all that relates to William.


    MR. BURCHETT TO MR. PITT.

    Yr younger Son has made a great Progress since his coming hither,
    indeed I never was concern'd with a young Gentleman of so good
    Abilities, & at the same time of so good a disposition, and there is
    no question to be made but he will answer all yr Hopes.

    I am, Sr,
    Yr most Obedient & most Humble Servant,
    WILL. BURCHETT.[23]


This reference under the hand of an Eton tutor is exuberant enough. But
no doubt rests on Pitt's school reputation. It survived even to the time
of Shelburne, who speaks of him as distinguished at Eton. Lyttelton
wrote of him while still there: 'This (good-humour) to Pitt's genius
adds a brighter grace;'[24] a remarkable tribute from one Eton boy to
another. More striking still is the tradition preserved by an unfriendly
witness, William's nephew, Camelford. 'The surprising Genius of Lord
Chatham,' he writes, 'distinguished him as early as at Eaton School,
where he and his friend Lord Lyttelton in different ways were looked up
to as prodigies.' School prodigies rarely mellow into remarkable men;
though remarkable men are often credited, when their reputation is
secure, with having been school prodigies. But the contemporary letter
of Burchett and the reluctant testimony of Camelford admit of no doubts.
Most significant, perhaps, of all is the preservation of the flotsam of
school life, a couple of school bills, the tutor's letter, another from
the boy himself. This last, which took eleven days in transmission, is
here given. The bills have been already published by Sir Henry Lyte in
his History of Eton.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS FATHER.

    _Eaton, Septembr ye 29th._

    Hon'ed Sr,--I write this to pay my duty to you, and to lett you
    know that I am well, I hope you and my mama have found a great
    benefit from the Bath, and it would be a very great satisfaction to
    me, to hear how you do, I was in hopes of an answer to my last
    letter, to have heard how you both did, and I should direct my
    letters, to you; for not knowing how to direct my letters, has
    hindered me writing to you. my time has been pretty much taken up
    for this three weeks, in my trying for to gett into the fiveth form,
    And I am now removed into it; pray my duty to my mama and service to
    my uncle and aunt Stuart if now att the Bath. I am with great
    respect,

    Hon'ed Sr, Your most dutiful Son,
    W. PITT.[25]


This is the whole record extant of William's Eton life; to so many lads
the happiest period of their existence, but not to him. An invalid, and
so disabled for games, a recluse, perhaps a victim, he had no pleasant
memories of Eton. But there, in all probability, he laid the foundations
of character and intellect on which his fame was to be reared. It is not
usually profitable to imagine pictures of the past, but it may not be
amiss to evoke, in passing, the shadow of the lean, saturnine boy as he
limped by the Thames, shaping a career, or pondering on life and
destiny, dreaming of greatness where so many have dreamed, while he
watched, half enviously, half scornfully, the sports in which he might
not join. He is not the first, and will not be the last, to find his
school a salutary school of adversity. He looked back to it with no
gratitude. But Eton claims him for her own; and long generations of
reluctant students have whiled away the reputed hours of learning or
examination by gazing at his bust in Upper School, and dreamily
conjecturing why so great a glamour still hangs about his name.

With these few remnants and this vague surmise ends all that is, or will
probably ever be, known of William's childhood. Little enough if we
compare it to the copious details furnished by modern autobiographers.
But self-revelation was not the fashion of the eighteenth century, and
childhood then furnished less to record. Boys were in the background,
repressing their emotions, and inured to a rugged discipline which,
though odious to the sympathetic delicacy of modern civilisation,
produced the men who made the Empire.

From Eton, Pitt proceeded to Oxford, where he was admitted a Gentleman
Commoner at Trinity College on January 10th, 1726 (o.s.), guided
thither, probably, by the fact that his uncle, Lord Stanhope, had been a
member of that society. There are indications that at this time he was
destined, like a great minister of a recent day, for the Church, but the
gout attacked him with such violence as to compel him to leave the
University without taking his degree. We have, however, an indirect
proof of the reputation which he brought to Oxford in a letter from a
Mr. Stockwell, who, although he had determined to give up tuition,
consents to take William as his pupil, partly as a 'Salsbury man,' and
so owing respect to the Pitt family; partly because of 'the character I
hear of Mr. Pitt on all hands.'

William's only public achievement at Oxford was a copy of Latin verses
which he published on the death of George I. They are artificial and
uncandid, as is the nature of such compositions, and have been justly
ridiculed by Lord Macaulay. But the performance is at least an early
mark of ambition. If this be all, and it is all, that we know of this
period of William's life, it seems worth while to print the two letters
written by Mr. Stockwell to Robert Pitt, the more as they throw some
light on bygone Oxford, a topic of evergreen interest.


    MR. I. STOCKWELL TO ROBERT PITT.

    Hon'ed Sr,--I had long since determin'd, not to engage any more
    in a Trust of so much consequence, as the Care of a young Gentleman
    of Fortune is, & have in fact refus'd many offers of that sort: but
    the great Regard, that every Salsbury-Man must have for your Family,
    and the Character I hear of Mr Pitt from All Hands, put it out of
    my Power to decline a Proposal of so much Credit & Advantage to
    Myself & the College. I heartily wish your Business and Health
    would have allow'd you to have seen him settled here, because I
    flatter Myself, that you would have left Him in Our Society with
    some Degree of Satisfaction; as That can't be hop'd for, You will
    assure Yourself that everything shall be done with the exactest Care
    and Fidelity.

    I have secur'd a very good Room for Mr Pitt, which is just now left
    by a Gentleman of Great Fortune, who is gone to the Temple. Tis
    thoroughly furnish't & with All necessarys, but perhaps may require
    some little Additional Expence for Ornament or Change of Furniture.
    The method of paying for the Goods of any Room in the University is,
    that Every Person leaving the College receives of his Successor Two
    Thirds of what He has expended. On this foot the Mony to be paid by
    Mr Pitt to the Gentleman who possess't the Room last, is 43l, Two
    thirds of which, as likewise of whatever Addition He shall please to
    make to the Furniture, He is to receive again of the Person, who
    succeeds Him.

    Tis usual for Young Gentlemen of Figure to have a small quantity of
    Table-Linnen, & sometimes some particular peices of plate, for the
    reception of Any Friend in their Rooms, but everything of that sort
    for Common & Publick Uses is provided by the College.

    If you please to send me the Servitor's Name, I will immediately
    procure His admission into the College, & show Him all the Kindness
    in my Power, but as to His attendance on Mr Pitt it is not now
    usual in the University, nor, as I apprehend, can be of any Service.
    Tis much more Customary & Creditable to a Gentleman of Family to be
    attended by a Footman--But this I barely mention.

    The other Expences of Mr Pitt's Admission will be in the following
    Articles:

    Caution Mony (to be return'd again)        10  0  0
    Benefaction to the College                 10  0  0
    For Admission to the Fellow's Common Room   2  0  0
    Fee for the Use of the College Plate, &c.   2  0  0
    College Serv'ts Fees                        1 15  0
    University Fees                             0 16  0

    I have stated Mr Pitt's Benefaction at Ten Pounds, because that is
    what we require & receive of every Gentleman-Commoner, & of very
    many Commoners; but I know Sr that you will excuse me for
    mentioning, that several Young Gentlemen of Mr Pitt's Gown have
    besides made the College a Present of a Peice of Plate of 10, or
    12l. I am thus particular only in Obedience to Your Orders. I
    believe Sr if You please to remit a Bill of An Hundred Pounds, it
    will answer the whole expence of Mr. Pitt's settlement here and I
    shall have the Honour to send you a particular Account of the
    disposal of it. As I am debarr'd the Pleasure of waiting on You by a
    little Office, that Confines me to the College in Termtime, I shall
    take it a very great Favour, if you please to let me know at what
    time I may hope to see Mr Pitt here.

    I beg my Humble Duty to Your Good Lady, & my Humble Service &
    Respects to Mr Pitt, and am with the highest Respect

    Sr Yr most Oblig'd & Obedient Servt

    IOS. STOCKWELL.[26]


    MR. STOCKWELL TO ROBERT PITT, 'AT SWALLOWFIELD
    NEAR READING, BERKS.'

    _Trin: Coll: Oxon: Decr 22. 1726._

    Hon'rd Sr,--Upon receiving the favour of Yours & finding that it
    was your Intention that Mr Pitt should keep a Servant, I have made
    choice of Another Room much more Convenient for that Purpose, as it
    supply's a Lodging for His Footman. I have employ'd some Workmen in
    it to make some necessary alterations; but the whole expence will
    not amount to the Charge of the Chamber, I had mention'd to you
    before. As I am not willing, Mr Pitt should be put to the distress
    of lying One Night in an Inn, I will take Care, it shall be fit for
    his Reception by New Years Day, & I am sure He will like it very
    well.

    I proposed so large a Sum, because I had not mention'd the Articles
    of Gown, Cap Bands, Tea-Furniture, & some other little Ornaments &
    Conveniences that young Gentlemen don't care to be without. You will
    be pleas'd to mention, in what degree of mourning[27] His Gown must
    be made; & I will send you an exact Account of the whole expence.
    There is no need of remitting any Mony, till He comes.

    If You are willing to recommend the Servitor You spoke of, who may
    live here at a very easy rate (I believe very well for 15l p. Ann)
    I have bespoke a place for him, & He may be admitted when you
    please. I beg My Humble Duty to Your Good Lady, & my Humble Service
    & Respects to Your Good Family, & am

    Sr Yr most Obliged & Obedient Servt
    IOS. STOCKWELL.[28]


Fortunately, too, a few of William's Oxford letters have also been
preserved. The first apologetically continues Stockwell's tale of
preliminary expenses, and endeavours to deprecate Robert Pitt's
economical wrath.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS FATHER, IN PALL MALL.

    _Trin: Coll: Janry Ye 20th 1726/7._

    Hon'ed Sr--After such delay, though not owing to any negligence
    on my Part, I am ashamed to send you ye following accompt, without
    first making great apologies for not executing ye Commands sooner.

    Matriculation Fees                  0 16  6
    Caution money                      10  0  0
    Benefaction                        10  0  0
    Utensils of ye Coll                 2  0  0
    Common Room                         2  0  0
    Coll: Serv'ts Fees                  1 15  0
    Paddesway[29] Gown                  8  5  0
    Cap                                 0  7  0
    Tea Table, China ware, bands &c.    6  5  0
    Glasses                             0 11  0
    Thirds of Chamber & Furniture      41  7  8
    Teaspoons                           1  7  6
                                       --------
    Summe total                        84 14  8
                                       --------
    Balance pd me by Mr Stockwell      15 05  4

    I have too much reason to fear you may think some of these articles
    too extravagant, as they really are, but all I have to say for it is
    humbly to beg you would not attribute it to my extravagance, but to
    ye custom of this Place; where we pay for most things too at a high
    rate.

    I must again repeat my wishes for yr health, hoping you have not
    been prevented by so painfull a delay as ye gout from pursuing yr
    intended journey to Town I must beg leave to subjoin my Duty to my
    Mother & love to my Sistrs and am with all Possible respect

    Sr Yr most dutyfull Son
    WM. PITT.[30]


The next is written after an evident explosion of that wrath. In the
Pitt family, even more than in others, father and son viewed filial
expenditure from opposite points of view. It is painful, then, but not
surprising to find that Robert should have regarded William's washing
bill as beyond the dreams of luxury.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS FATHER, 'IN PALL MALL.'

    _Trin: Coll: April ye 29th._

    Hon'ed Sr,--I recd yrs of ye 25th in which I find with
    ye utmost concern ye dissatisfaction you express at my expences.
    To pretend to justify, or defend myself in this case would be, I
    fear, with reason thought impertinent; tis sufficient to convince me
    of the extravagance of my expences, that they have met with yr
    disapprobation, but might I have leave to instance an Article or
    two, perhaps you may not think 'em so wild and boundless, as with
    all imaginable uneasiness, I see you do at present. Washing 2_l._
    1_s._ 0_d._, about 3_s._ 6_d._ per wk, of which money half a dozen
    shirts at 4_d._ each comes to 2_s._ per wk, shoes and stockings
    19_s._ 0_d._ Three pairs of Shoes at 5_s._ each, two pair of
    Stockings, one silk, one worcestead, are all that make up this
    Article, but be it as it will, since, Sr, you judge my expence too
    great, I must endeavour for ye future to lessen it, & shall be
    contented with whatever you please to allow me. one considerable
    article is a servant, an expence which many are not at, and which I
    shall be glad to spare, if you think it fitt, in hopes to convince
    you I desire nothing superfluous; as I have reason to think you will
    not deny me what is necessary. As you have been pleased to give me
    leave I shall draw upon you for 25li as soon as I have occasion.
    I beg my duty to my Mother & am with all possible respect

    Hon'ed Sr, yr most Dutifull Son
    W. PITT.


The third is mysterious enough to us, but it expresses gratitude for
some marks of kindness, whether to the writer or not, cannot now be
known. It is difficult to imagine that Robert should have extended his
beneficence to any one at Trinity but William, and yet it is not easy to
depict the gratitude of a College for a favour done to one of their
undergraduates by his father. In any case there remains no longer any
trace of such benefaction at Trinity. The inevitable financial statement
in which the bookseller's bill figures handsomely, not far behind the
tailor's, is tactfully kept separate in a postscript. It is, however,
well to know that this letter, the last in all probability that William
wrote to his father, who died six weeks afterwards, is one of as much
affection as the fashion of that day permitted.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS FATHER.

    _Trin: Coll: April ye 10th 1727._

    Hon'ed Sr,--I hope you gott well to London yesterday as I did
    to this place, though too late to trouble you with a letter that
    Evening. I can not say how full of acknowledgements every one
    amongst us is for ye favr you confer'd upon one of their society.
    One could almost imagine by ye good wishes I hear express't toward
    you from all hands, you were rather a publick benefactor to ye
    College, than a Patron to any one member of it. I mention this
    because I believe it will not be unacceptable to you to hear yr
    favrs are gratefully recd. I hope my Mother is well, to whom I
    beg my Duty: & am with all possible respect, Sr,

    Yr most dutifull son,
    WM. PITT.

    Sr,--Finding ye quarter just up I send you ye following accompt
    commencing Janry ye 9th to ye 9th of this month.

    Battels                                  15   0   0
    Paid Lambert bd Wages                     4   4   0
    Three months learning french & entrance   2   2   0
    For a course of experimental Philosophy   2   2   0
    For coat & breeches & making              5  18   0
    Booksellers bill                          5   0   0
    Cambrick for ruffles                      1   4   0
    Shoes, stockings                          1  19   0
    Candles, coal, fagots                     3  10   0
    Pockett money, Gloves, Powder, Tea, &c.   4   4   0
    For washing                               2   2   0
                                             ----------
                                             47   5   0
              Remains                         9  15   0[31]


Robert Pitt died in Paris, May 20, 1727, and the next letter is
addressed to his widow at Bath. The eldest son, Thomas, already, it
would appear, had played William false, and caused a coolness with the
mother by not delivering a letter.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER.
    _Oxford July ye 10th 1727._

    Hon'ed Madm,--Tis with no small impatience I have waited for ye
    pleasure of hearing from you, but as that is denied me, I take this
    opportunity of repeating my Duty and enquiries after yr health. I
    wrote to you by return of ye coach, enclos'd to my Brother, to be
    forwarded by him, from whom I have also received no answer, which
    makes me imagine you may not have less reason to be angry with me
    for not paying my Duty to you, than I have to be sorry at not having
    ye pleasure to hear from you, I mean my letter has not come into
    yr hands. I send this by ye Post from hence, which I hope will
    find better luck, it will be a sensible pleasure to me to hear ye
    waters agree with you: for wch reason out of kindness to me, as
    also in regard to yr own quiet (lest I should trouble you every
    other post with an importuning epistle) be so good as to give ye
    satisfaction of hearing you are well; I am with all respect,

    Yr most Dutifull Son,
    WM. PITT.


The following letter would seem to indicate that William was spending
the Long Vacation at Oxford, while his mother as usual was spending hers
at Bath. He appears to hint disapproval of an acquaintance she wished
him to make, reversing the usual position of parent and son on such
matters. There is again reproachful allusion to his brother; there are
few indeed in any other tone throughout William's correspondence.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'AT BATH.'

    _Oxon Septr ye 17th 1727._

    Hon'ed Madm,--I rec'd ye favour of yrs by Mr Mayo and have
    waited on Mr Vesey as you order'd, with whom, had you not
    recommended him to me upon ye knowledge you have of his family, I
    should not have sought an acquaintance. I hope you will lett me hear
    soon yr intentions. If I am not to be happy in seeing you hear, ye
    certainty of it can not be more uneasy than the apprehension; if I
    am, I shall gain so much happiness, by ye foreknowledge of it. What
    part of ye world my Brother is in or when he will be in Town, I
    know not. I hope to hear from him between this and ye Coronation.
    The only consideration yt can make me give up quietly ye pleasure
    I promis'd myself in seeing you here, is yt you are employ'd in a
    more important care to yrself and Family, ye preservation of yr
    health. I have only to add my Love to my Sister and am with all
    respect,

    Yr most dutifull son
    WM. PITT.


The gout, we have seen, drove William prematurely from Oxford, after a
little more than a year of residence. Thence he proceeded to Utrecht,
where it was then not unusual for young Englishmen and Scotsmen to
complete their education. Here we find him in 1728 with his cousin Lord
Villiers and Lord Buchan, father of the grotesque egotist of that name
and of Henry and Thomas Erskine. Pitt writes in 1766 that Buchan was his
intimate friend from the period that they were students together at
Utrecht, and, when in office, he showed kindness on that ground to Lord
Cardross, Buchan's eldest son, the egotist himself. Of this period some
few letters to his mother survive, dutiful yet playful.

The first letter is of the formal kind then general between sons and
parents, mentioning his cousin Lord Villiers, for whom he puts in a good
word, not unnecessarily, as we shall see presently.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER.

    _Utrecht, Febry ye 6th N.S. 1728._

    Hon'ed Madm,--I have ye pleasure to repeat my assurances of
    affection & duty to you, together with my wishes for yr health: I
    shall take all opportunities for paying my respects to you, I hope
    you will now and then favr me wth a line or two, especially
    since you have so good a Scribe as Miss Ann to ease you of ye
    trouble of writing yrself. My Ld Villiers begs his Compliments
    may be acceptable to you, at ye same time I should not do my Ld
    justice if I omitted saying something in his just praise, but as I
    can not say enough, I forbear to say more. My Love to my Sistrs &
    Compliments where due. I am with all respt

    Your dutiful Son
    WM. PITT.


The next seems to denote a reluctant intention of returning to England
to pay his family a visit.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER.

    _Utrecht Febry ye 13th 1728._

    Hon'ed Madm,--I hope I need not assure you yr letter gave me a
    very sensible pleasure in informing me of yr better health; I wish
    I may any way be able to contribute toward farther establishment of
    it by obeying a Command which tallies so well with my own
    Inclinations though at ye same time be assured, nothing less than
    ye pleasure of seeing you should prevail upon me to repeat so much
    sickness & difficulty as I met with Coming over to Holland. I
    believe I shall not fail in my respects to you, as often as occasion
    permits, though I fear my letters are hardly worth postage: unless
    to one who I flatter myself believes me to be

    hr most Dutifull Son
    WM. PITT.

    P.S. my Love to all ye Family.


The next letter again pleads on behalf of my Lord Villiers, for whose
excess of vivacity William feels obvious sympathy. He mentions, too, and
characterises with a sure touch, his old Eton friend Lyttelton, who has
fallen in love with Harriot Pitt, as he was afterwards to fall in love
with Ann. Lyttelton was apparently determined that the Lytteltons and
Pitts should be matrimonially connected as closely as possible, for two
months afterwards we find him exclaiming in a letter to his father:
'Would to God Mr. (William) Pitt had a fortune equal to his brother's,
that he might make a present of it to my pretty little Molly! But
unhappily they have neither of them any portion but an uncommon share of
merit, which the world will not think them much the richer for.'[32] As
Thomas had just married Christian Lyttelton, it is clear that the writer
meditated a triple alliance as the end to be aimed at. The peerage books
tell us that this pretty little Molly died unmarried.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'IN PALLMALL, LONDON.'

    _Utrecht Feb: ye 29th_

    Hon'ed Madm,--The return of my Ld Villiers into England gives me
    an opportunity of assuring you of my respect & wishes for yr
    health; I can not omitt any occasion of shewing how sensible I am of
    yr affection, but must own I could have wish'd any other than this
    by which I am depriv'd of my Ld Villier's Company, he is recall'd
    perhaps deservedly: if a little Indiscretion arising from too much
    vivacity be a fault, my Ld is undeniably blameable; but I doubt not
    but my Ld Grandison himself will find more to be pleas'd with in
    ye one than to correct in ye other respect. I have received so
    many Civilities from Mr Waddel, who does me ye honr to be ye
    bearer of this, yt I should not do him justice to omitt letting you
    know how much I am obliged to him. I hope ye Family is well:
    Lyttelton prevented you in ye account of his own Madness. Sure
    there never was so much fine sense & Extravagance of Passion jumbled
    together in any one Man. Send him over to Holland: perhaps living in
    a republick may inspire him with a love of liberty & make him scorn
    his Chains. My love to all, who (a second time) I hope are well: &
    believe me with all respect & affection

    Yr most Dutiful Son
    WM. PITT.


The third contains, perhaps, the only token of kindness between the two
brothers which survives. It also alludes to Lyttelton's passion for
Harriot.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'IN PALL MALL, LONDON.'

    _Utrecht April ye 8th N.S. 1728._

    Hon'ed Madm,--Yr letters must always give me so much pleasure,
    yt I beg no consideration may induce you to deprive me of it. they
    can never fail being an entertainment to me when they give me an
    opportunity of hearing you are well. I can not omitt thanking you
    for ye enquiry you make about my supplies from my Brother: neither
    should I do him justice, if I did not assure you I receiv'd ye
    kindest letter in ye world from him: wherein he gives me ye offer
    of going where I think most for my improvement, and assures me
    nothing yt ye estate can afford shall be denied me for my
    advantage & education. I hope all ye family is well. Miss Anne's
    time is so taken up with dansing & Italien yt I despair of hearing
    from her. I should be glad to hear what conquests miss Harriot made
    at ye birthday. if I had not a letter from one of ye Three, I must
    think they have forgott me. I am in pain for poor Lyttelton: I wish
    there was leagues of sea between him & ye Charms of Miss Harriot.
    If he dies I shall sue her for ye murder of my Friend. This Place
    affords so little matter of entertainment, yt I shall only beg you
    to believe me with all respect,

    Hon'ed Madm, Yr most Dutifull Son
    WM. PITT.

    My love & service to my Brother & Compliments to all ye Family.


His stay at Utrecht was probably not protracted, as we find no more
letters from thence. The next glimpse we have of him is in January 1730,
at Boconnoc. He is now established at home, rather, perhaps, from
economy than of his own free will, for he disrespectfully calls Boconnoc
'this cursed hiding-place;' living in Cornwall or at Swallowfield, near
Reading, another of the family residences; or on military duty at
'North'ton,' evidently Northampton, which William, however, abbreviates
differently in later letters. When we consider the elaborate style and
formulas of the letters of this period there seems nothing so strange as
the passion for abbreviation by apostrophe, such as 'do's' for 'does,'
which seems to save neither time, trouble, nor space.

In February 1731 he received a commission in the 1st Dragoon Guards,
then under the command of Lord Pembroke, and we find him in country
quarters at Northampton and elsewhere. In the autumn we find him once
more at Boconnoc, whence he writes this more genial note to his mother.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, AT BATH.

    _Bocconnock Octbr ye 17 1731._

    Dear Madam,--I am, after a long Confinement at Quarters, at present
    confined here, by disagreeable, dirty weather, which makes us all
    prisoners in this little house. I knew nothing of your journey to
    Bath, when I came to Town, and was therefore disappointed of the
    pleasure of seeing you there. I see you have put a bill upon your
    door. Pray what do you intend to do with yourself this winter? I
    shou'd be mighty glad to know whether your affairs are near an
    Issue. I hope they will very soon leave you at Leisure to consult
    nothing but your health and Quiet. Be pleas'd to favour me with a
    Letter here, where I shall stay about a month longer; and give me
    the satisfaction of knowing how much you profit by the Waters.
    Believe me,

    Dear Madam, Your dutifull affect son
    WM. PITT.

    My service to the Col: and Mrs. Bouchier: I shall Be glad to hear he
    makes one at the Balls.


In 1733 he set out on a foreign tour, of which we shall see more
presently, and before leaving writes this note, which gives some ground
for thinking that his brother helped him at least to meet the expenses
of this voyage, as Lord Camelford thinks was actually the case.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'IN BATEMAN STREET, NEAR PICCADILLY,
      LONDON.'

    _Boconnock jan: 19: 1732/3._

    Dear Madam,--I hope Miss Kitty who is now upon ye Road will get
    safe to You: I cant omit doing Justice To your goodness in making
    room for her, she no doubt wanting your care very much in the ill
    state she is in. I continue still here and shall not set out yet
    this month, haveing a design to go abroad then. It is however
    uncertain till I hear from my Brother after he gets to Town. Miss
    Harriot, by her letters, Is much recovered and I flatter myself your
    house will prove as lucky to Poor Kitty. I need not assure you of my
    wishes for your health and speedy deliverance from the Misery of
    Late: my Love to my Sisters and believe me

    Dear Madam Your most Dutifull Son
    WM. PITT.

    Miss Nanny gives her Duty to you.


He visited Paris, and Geneva, Besançon (where he lost his heart for a
time), Marseilles, and Montpelier, passing the winter at Luneville.

From Paris he again writes to his mother this letter, of no significance
except dutiful affection; and another from Geneva which gives a strong
proof of filial obedience in giving his consent, though with strong and
obvious reluctance, to one of the bills filed by his mother and Lord
Grandison in reference to his father's succession.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'IN BATEMAN STREET NEAR PICCADILLY À
    LONDRES.'

    _Paris May ye 1 1733._

    Dear Madam,--Though I have nothing to say to you yet of the Place I
    am arrived at, I cant help giving you a bare account of my being got
    safe to Paris: You are pleased to give me so much reason to Think
    you interest yourself in my welfare That I cou'd not acquit myself
    of my Duty In not giving you this mark of my respect and the sense I
    have of your goodness. I shall make my stay as short here as
    possible. let me have the pleasure of hearing some account of your
    health and situation: be pleased to direct to me Chez Monsieur
    Alexandre Banquier, dans la Rue St. Appoline pres de la Porte St.
    Denis, à Paris. I am

    Madam Yr most Dutifull Son
    WM. PITT.


    WILLIAM PITT TO HIS MOTHER, 'IN BATEMAN STREET PICCADILLY LONDON.
    ANGLETERRE.'

    _Geneva Sepr ye 17: N.S. 1733._

    Dear Madam--I have just recd ye favour of your letter of ye
    7th august, with the answer to a bill of complaint of my Ld
    Grandison and your self: I cou'd wish you had pleased to have let me
    know in general that that bill is, for at present I have no Idea of
    it. You assure me, Madam the answer you wou'd have me make is a
    form, and can lead me into no farther consequences, by engageing me
    In Law, or disobligeing My Brother; neither of which I am persuaded
    you wou'd upon any consideration involve me in: upon these grounds I
    readily send you my consent to the answer proposed By Mr Martyn in
    your letter. I am sorry it did not come to my hands sooner, least my
    answer shou'd not be time enough; and that I shou'd, by that means,
    be any involuntary obstacle to your affairs which wou'd be a
    sensible concern to

    Dear Madam Yr most Dutyfull affece Son
    WM. PITT.

    I leave this Place shortly not knowing yet where I shall pass ye
    winter.


In 1734 he was back in England, doing duty with his regiment at Newbury.

It is unnecessary to speculate on the measure of success that William
would have achieved in the army had he remained a soldier. That he had
an early disposition to the career of arms seems probable, as his uncle,
Lord Stanhope, a soldier himself, who died when William was twelve, used
to call him 'the young Marshal.' It is useless to surmise; but had he
not been so great an orator, one would be apt to imagine that his bent
and talent lay in the direction of a military career. This at least is
certain, that he sedulously employed his time, preserved from mess
debauches and idle activity by his guardian demon the gout. He told
Shelburne that during the time he was a cornet of horse, there was not a
military book that he had not read through. This is a large statement,
but denotes at least unstinted application. So his career as a
subaltern, though abruptly cut short, was probably fruitful, and these
studies must have been useful to the future war minister. To paraphrase
Gibbon's pompous and comical phrase, the cornet of dragoons may not have
been useless to the history-maker of the British Empire. For his destiny
was to plan and not to conduct campaigns, and he was now to be caught in
the jealous embrace of parliamentary politics.



CHAPTER III.


But before he launches on that troubled career, it is well to catch what
glimpses we can obtain of Pitt in private life. It is the more necessary
as this aspect soon disappears from sight, and his letters begin to
assume that pompous and obsequious tone which we have come to believe
was his natural style, but which it is obvious was assumed and affected
for purposes of his own. Until he passes on to the stage, he is as
bright, as livery, and as affectionate as any lad of his generation. It
is beyond measure refreshing to see him at this period bantering,
falling in love, the participator of revels if not a reveller himself.
For afterwards no one saw him behind the scenes, no one was admitted to
his presence until every feature had been composed and his wig and his
vesture dramatically arranged. To catch a glimpse of him before he
played a part has been hitherto an unknown luxury. But to do this we
must now for a moment consider his sisters.

There were five of these, and among them was to be found in abundance
the strain of violence and eccentricity that distinguished the Pitts.

'The eldest, Harriot,' writes Lord Camelford, 'was one of the most
beautiful women of her time, but little produced in the great world, and
died very young from anxiety of mind in consequence of a foolish
engagement she entered into with Mr. Corbett, son of Sir William
Corbett, to whom she was privately married.' She secured for a while, as
we have seen, Lyttelton's transient affections. 'The second daughter,
Catherine, had much goodness, but neither beauty nor wit to boast of.
She married Robert Nedham,[33] a man of uncommon endowments, but of good
Irish family and property, by whom she had several children.' The third
was Ann, of whom more presently; and the fifth Mary.

The fourth was Betty, of whom, unlike three of her sisters, we seem to
know too much. The curse of the Pitt blood was strong in her. Lord
Camelford, her nephew, speaks of her 'diabolical disposition,' and says
concisely that 'she had the face of an angel and the heart of all the
furies,' and that she 'formed the most complicated character of vice
that I have ever met with.' Family testimony is not always the most
charitable, but outside witnesses in no way mitigate these expressions.
Lord Shelburne says that she was received nowhere, owing to her
profligate life. Horace Walpole brings an infamous charge against her,
which we may well hope is a distortion of the natural fact that for some
time she took up her abode with her eldest brother Thomas; though Thomas
on parting with her said that her staying with him was extremely
distasteful to him. She, in any case, openly lived as his mistress with
Lord Talbot, a peer as eccentric as herself, and who promised her
marriage, she said, whenever he should be free from the incumbrance of
Lady Talbot.[34] Afterwards she went to Italy, became a Roman Catholic,
started from Florence with the declared intention of marrying Mr.
Preston, a Leghorn merchant, who seems however to have been unequal to
the occasion.[35] Then she returned to England, virulent against her
brother William, 'whose kindness to her,' says Horace Walpole, no
biassed witness, 'has been excessive. She applies to all his enemies,
and, as Mr. Fox told me, has even gone so far as to send a bundle of his
letters to the author of _The Test_[36] to prove that Mr. Pitt has
cheated her, as she calls it, out of a hundred a year, and which only
prove that he once allowed her two, and, after all her wickedness, still
allows her one.'[37] And yet on occasion she could call William the best
of brothers and of men.[38] This, too, was characteristic of the breed.

At this period of her life she called herself, heaven knows why, Clara
Villiers Pitt, or Villiers Clara Pitt (there is an engraving of her with
the latter designation), and published a pamphlet recommending magazines
of corn. Of her perhaps too much has been said; but it is necessary to
demonstrate that William's family relations were not always easy: Thomas
reviled him, Elizabeth reviled him, Ann, whoever was in fault, caused
him much trouble, while Thomas's son, whom he peculiarly cherished,
regarded him with peculiar animosity.

It should be mentioned, however, that Dutens met her in France some time
during Pitt's paymastership, and gives us a picture of her, which also
throws light on William's strong family affection. She was then
handsome, with a fine figure, her face aflame with pride and intellect,
her age apparently under thirty; she was abroad for her health. With
her, as a companion, chosen by her brother, was a Miss Taylor, a much
prettier girl, of whom Elizabeth was vigilantly jealous and with whom
Dutens fell haplessly in love. Miss Pitt was then apparently on
excellent terms with her illustrious brother, and gave Dutens a letter
to him. She had indeed become enamoured of the young Frenchman, a
passion which, we are not surprised to hear, she carried to indecorous
lengths. He, however, escaped to England and presented his letter. Pitt
called on him the same afternoon and thanked him for his attentions to a
beloved sister. Dutens became intimate, showed the minister his
compositions, and was favoured with an inspection of Pitt's. Then all
suddenly changed, and he was denied access.[39] Betty had quarrelled
with the family of Dutens, and had written to beg her brother to quarrel
with Dutens.[40] Dutens, she said, had boasted in company that he was
well with her, and that if her fortune and family answered expectation
he might marry her. Consequently she desired her brother to order his
footman to kick Dutens down stairs; in any case she implored him to
quarrel with the young man. With this request Pitt unhesitatingly and
unreasonably complied. We see here in one incident how warm were Pitt's
family affections, and the difficulties under which they were cherished.

In 1761 she married John Hannan of the Middle Temple, 'of Sir William
Hannan's family in Dorsetshire, a lawyer by profession, remarkable for
his abilities, some years younger than myself, and possessed of a
fortune superior to my own,' as Betty describes him in a hostile
announcement of the engagement addressed to William. Nine years
afterwards she died. Of Hannan, her husband, nothing further seems to be
known; but it may be surmised that his lot was not enviable.

Mary, the youngest, seems to have been a spinster of no striking
qualities. We know little of her, except that she was born in 1725 and
died in 1782.[41] There exists one letter from William to her of the
year 1753, and he mentions her in a letter, dated April 9, 1755, as
living with him. And indeed he was always kind to her, as she seems to
have habitually resided with him. Mrs. Montagu writes in July 1754:
'Miss Mary Pitt, youngest sister of Mr. Pitt, is come to stay a few days
with me. She is a very sensible, modest, pretty sort of young woman, and
as Mr. Pitt seem'd to take every civility shown to her as a favour, I
thought this mark of respect to her one manner of returning my
obligations to him.'[42] But even she, though colourless, seems not to
have been wholly devoid of the Pitt temperament, though she seems to
have always been on intimate terms with her family. 'She had,' says Lord
Camelford, 'neither the beauty of two of her sisters, nor the wit and
talents of her sister Ann, nor the diabolical dispositions of her sister
Betty. She meant always, I believe, to do right to the best of her
judgement, but that judgement was liable to be warped by prejudice, and
by a peculiar twist in her understanding which made it very dangerous to
have transactions with her.' The 'peculiar twist,' which even Mary could
not escape, was innate in most Pitts.

We have kept Ann to the last, though she was third of the sisterhood in
point of age, being born in 1712, and so four years younger than
William, whose peculiar pet and crony she was for the earlier part of
their lives. She was in her way almost as notable as he, and she
resembled him in genius and temper, as Horace Walpole wittily observed,
'_comme deux gouttes de feu_.' But drops of fire, did they exist, would
probably not amalgamate for long, and one would guess that Ann and
William were too much alike to remain in permanent harmony. Perhaps,
too, their extreme intimacy made them too well acquainted with each
other's tender points, a dangerous knowledge when coupled with great
powers of sarcasm. One might surmise, too, that Pitt's wife, always
apparently cold to Ann, might be disinclined to encourage the renewal of
an intimacy which might once more attract William's closest confidence,
though we have a letter[43] from Ann, dated 1757, in which she speaks
with nothing less than rapture of Lady Hester's kindness to her. Lady
Hester's immaculate caligraphy and frigid style give in our easier days
an impression of distance and austerity.

Ann, when she was little more than twenty, may be said to have entered
public life by becoming a maid of honour to Queen Caroline, the wife of
George II. From this moment she became one of that group of
distinguished women, not blue but brilliant, who adorned England in the
eighteenth century by their idiosyncrasies as much as by their
abilities. She was courted and beloved by characters so famous as Gay's
Duchess of Queensberry and George the Second's Lady Suffolk, and by Mrs.
Montagu, who was much more blue than brilliant; for her essay on
Shakespeare, so much lauded by her contemporaries, has long been dead
and buried. In her dear Mrs. Pitt's conversation, declared this paragon
of pedants, she saw Minerva without the formal owl on her helmet.

Among men she corresponded with her neighbour, Horace Walpole (who felt
for her an affection tempered with alarm), Lord Chesterfield, and Lord
Mansfield. 'She had charms enough to kindle a passion in the celebrated
Lord Lyttelton,' says Camelford; Dr. Ayscough, a coarse and crafty
ecclesiastic, whose acquaintance Pitt and Lyttelton had made at Oxford,
and who was a trusted adviser of Frederick, Prince of Wales, sought her
in marriage;[44] but there seem no other traces of the tender passion in
her life. For the whim, if it indeed were not a joke, which made her ask
Lady Suffolk to assist her to secure the hand of Lord Bath (then about
seventy, when she herself was forty-six), hardly comes under that
description. Ann was, indeed, made rather for admiration than for love.
Bolingbroke, who called William 'Sublimity Pitt,' called Ann 'Divinity
Pitt.'[45] But she was, one may gather, destitute of beauty,[46] and
her vigorous originality of character and conversation inspired, we
suspect, more awe than affection. The delightful sprightliness of youth
is apt with age or encouragement to sour into a blistering insolence,
and Ann had all the sarcastic powers of her brother. For example,
Chesterfield calling on her in his later life complained of decay. 'I
fear,' he said, 'that I am growing an old woman.' 'I am glad of it,'
briskly replied Ann, 'I was afraid you were growing an old man, which
you know is a much worse thing.'[47] An attractive, even fascinating,
member of society, she was something too formidable for the ordinary man
to take to his bosom and his hearth. Reviewing her life, we think that
the real and sole object of her love was her brother William, even when
her love for the moment vented itself, as love sometimes does, in
quarrel. Strife was necessary to the Pitts, and when they waged war with
each other it was no battle of roses. The disputes of lovers and
relatives, like amicable lawsuits, are apt to become serious affairs,
and with this race they were conflicts of the tomahawk. Be that as it
may, and whatever the cause, William and Ann adored each other, kept
house together, and then quarrelled with prodigious violence and effect.
At present we are not near that point. Ann is her brother's 'little
Nan,' 'little Jug,' and he is writing her the delightful letters
contained in this chapter, written, says Camelford, who preserved them,
with the passion of a lover rather than that of a brother. To us they
represent rather the special relation of a brother and sister, when
affection and intimacy have grown with their growth, from the nursery
and the schoolroom to riper years, not unfrequently the sweetest and
tenderest of human connections. Our only regret must be that William did
not cherish Ann's letters as she did his, for they may well have
possessed her peculiar charm. 'She equalled her brother, Lord Chatham,'
writes her nephew, who knew them both well, 'in quickness of parts, and
exceeded him in wit and in all those nameless graces and attentions by
which conversation is enlivened and endeared.' At the same time, one may
reluctantly admit that such letters of hers as survive, give one little
desire for more. The same, however, may be said of her great brother's
habitual epistles (for they can be called nothing less); and their
correspondence together was something apart, the gay and engaging
eclogue of two young hearts; so that Ann, like William, must have been
at her best in her early letters to him.

And so we set forth these delightful letters of a lad of twenty-two to
his favourite sister. They need no comment; of the allusions no
explanation can now be given or would be worth giving; but the letters
speak for themselves.[48]


    _Boconnock, Jany 3, 1730._

    Dear Nanny,--As you have degraded my sheets From ye rank and
    Quality of a Letter, merely for Containing a few Innocent Questions,
    I am determin'd to avoid such rigour for the future by Confining
    myself to bare narration: first, Then we are to have a ball this
    week at Mr. Hawky's Child-feast, (a Heathenish Name for the
    Christian Institution of Baptism), where the Ladies intend to shine
    most irresistably, and like enfants perdus, thrust themselves in the
    very front of ye Battle, break some stubborn Tramontanne Hearts, or
    Die of the spleen upon the spot. The next thing I have to say,
    (Don't be afraid of a Question) Is, that we set out ye end of the
    same week, and propose seeing you about a week after our departure.
    I'l say no more, least I should forget ye restrictions I have Laid
    myself under and launch out into some Impious enquiries that don't
    suit my sex. Adieu, Dearest Nanny, till I have the pleasure of
    seeing you at Bath.[49]


The next letter is from Swallowfield, one of the Pitt houses. Ayscough
has proposed to Ann. He is a favourite butt of William's, who seems to
rejoice in his discomfiture.


    _Swallowfeild, Sep. ye 29th, 1730._

    I am quite tired of waiting for a letter from my Dear Nanny, and am
    determin'd by way of revenge to fatigue you as much by obliging you
    to read a very long letter from myself, as you have me with the
    eager expectation of receiving one from you. The excuse you assign'd
    for not doing it sooner fills me with apprehensions for your health;
    Is it that you still converse only with Doctor Bave,[50] or that you
    have already changed the old Physician for the young Galant? Is it
    the want of conversation That denies you matter, or the entire
    engagement to it that won't allow you time for a letter? Be it as it
    will, I flatter myself into a beleif of the Latter, chusing rather
    to be very angry with you for your neglect of me, than sincerely
    afflicted for your want of health. I desire I may know from yourself
    what advances you make towards your recovery; you never can want a
    subject to write to me upon, while you have it in your power to
    entertain me with a prospect of seeing you perfectly restored to
    health, and in consequence of that to the sprightly exertion of your
    understanding and full display (as my Lady Lynn elegantly has it) of
    your Primitive Beauties. Why shou'd I mention Ayscough's overthrow!
    That is a conquest perhaps of a nature not so brilliant as to touch
    your heart with much exultation; But lett me tell you, a man of his
    wit in one's suite has no Ill air; You may hear enough of eyes and
    flames and such gentle flows of tender nonsense from every Fop that
    can remember, but I can assure you Child, a man can think that
    declares his Passion by saying Tis not a sett of Features I admire,
    &c. Such a Lover is the Ridiculous Skew,[51] who Instead of
    whispering his soft Tale to the woods and lonely Rocks, proclaims to
    all the world he loves Miss Nanny--Fâth (_sic_)--with the same
    confidence He wou'd pronounce an Heretical Sermon at St. Mary's. I
    must quit your admirer to enquire after the condition of the Colonel
    and his Lady,[52] and to assure' em of my most hearty wishes for
    Their health and happiness. I beg leave to repeat the same to Miss
    Lenard, who I hope will recruit her spirits after so much affliction
    with ye holsome Application of a Fiddle. I shall communicate to you
    next Post a Translation of an Elegy of Tibullus By Lyttelton, who
    orders me to say it was done for you:[53] I shall then be able to
    say whether I go to Cornwall or no, so that you may know how to
    direct to me.

    I need not say what you are to do with the hair enclosed to you from
    Mrs. Pitt. Adieu dear Nanny.


The next letter is from Blandford, where the writer is stopping on his
way to Boconnoc, which he gives as his address at the end of the letter.
He is still occupied with his sister's career as a flirt.


    _Blanford: Oct. ye 13th. 1730._

    As we mutually complain'd of the silence of Each other, so I
    conclude we mutually have Forgiven it: But had I continued it, my
    Dear, Till I had something more entertaining to talk of Than an
    execrable journey to Cornwall, perhaps You might not have had much
    reason to complain of me. I have not had a minute's pleasure from
    my own thoughts since I left Swallowfeild, till now I give them up
    entirely to you, and Paint you to myself in the hands of some
    agreeable Partner, as happy as the new way of wooing can make you. I
    can not help suggesting To you here a little grave advice, which is,
    not to lett your glorious Thirst of Conquest transport You so far,
    as to lose your health in acquiring Hearts: I know I am a bold man
    to dissuade One from dansing a great deal that danses very
    gracefully; but once more I repeat, beware of shining too much;
    content yourself to be healthy first, even tho you suspend your
    triumphs a week or ten days. I beg I may not be misconstrued To
    insinuate anything here in favour of my own sex, or to serve the
    sinister ends of an envious Sister or two; no; I scorn such mean
    artifices. In God's Name, when the waters have had their Effect,
    give no Quarter, faites main basse upon all you meet, à coup
    d'eventelle, à coup d'Oeil: spare neither age nor condition: but
    like an Unskilfull Generall don't begin to take the Feild till your
    military stores are provided and your magazines well furnish'd. Thus
    Have I acquitted myself not only as an able but honest Counsellour,
    and ventured to represent to you your true Interest, tho' never so
    distastefull. Adieu, my Dear Nanny, till you renew our Conversation
    by a speedy letter. My sincere respects to the Col. and family.

    _Boconnock Near Bodmin._


Next comes the letter in which he curses Boconnoc, but only because of
its remoteness. He lives, it may be presumed, at the family house from
economy. But he is not at ease about Ann's health, and longs to be at
Bath to be with her.


    _Boconnock. Novr ye 15th 1730._

    I read all my Dear Nanny's letters with so much pleasure, that I
    grow more and more out of temper with ye remoteness of this cursed
    hiding place, where The distance of some hundred Miles denies me the
    Repetition of it so often as I eagerly desire. But as much as I am
    pleas'd with the prettiness of your style and manner of writing, I
    cant help feeling a sensible uneasiness to hear no news of your
    amendment; cou'd my Dear Girl add that to them, they wou'd give me a
    satisfaction that wou'd bear some proportion to The degree of your
    Esteem, you convince me I possess. We are all sollicitous to hear
    Doctor Baves opinion of your case, which I beg you will not fail to
    send me in your next letter, You will before this reaches you, have
    recd a letter from my Brother, which I hope will give you perfect
    satisfaction with regard to your further demands. As I shall not go
    to London Before my Brother, it will not be absolutely in my Power
    to see you in my way: I am not however without hopes of prevailing
    upon him to go from Blanford to Bath, which is not above thirty
    Miles. Beleive me I shall have it at heart to make you this visit,
    having two such powerful motives to it, as my Own Pleasure and
    yours. All proofs of your affection To me are highly agreeable, and
    I am willing to measure the value you may set upon mine to you, By
    the same favourable standard. Be assured therefore I shall lett slip
    no occasion of giving what I shall in my turn receive with infinite
    pleasure: Pray assure Colonel Lanoe and his family of my good
    wishes; and let us know what benefit they receive from the waters. I
    have time for no more. Adieu My Dear Girl.[54]


He was now apparently with his regiment at Northampton, though he was
not gazetted till February.


    _Northton. Jan. 7, 1731._

    I am just in my Dear Nanny's Condition, when she tells me she sat
    down determin'd to write tho' she had Nothing to say: but I know not
    how it comes to pass, One has a pleasure in saying and hearing very
    nothings, where one loves: while I have my paper before me I Fancy
    myself in company with you, and while you read my letters, you hear
    me chattering to you, tis at least an interruption to working or
    reading, that serves to diversify Things a little, to be forced to
    run your eyes over a side or Two of paper; tho' it says nothing at
    all. I remember, when I saw you last, you had a thought of reading
    and Translating Voiture's letters: I beg you will take him up as
    soon as you have got through this of mine, To recompense you for the
    dullest of Letters, what will you Have me do? I come from two hours
    muzzy conversation To a house full of swearing Butchers and Drunken
    Butter women, and in short all the blessings of a market day: In
    such a situation what can the wit of man suggest to him? Oh for the
    restless Tongue of Dear little Jug! She never knows the painful
    state of Silence In the midst of uproar: for my Part I think I cou'd
    write a better letter in a storm at sea, or in my own way, at a
    Bombardment, than in my present situation. I won't have this called
    a Conversation: it shall pass for a mute interview, adieu my Dearest
    Nanny: preserve your health is ye only word of consequence I can
    say to-night.

    Compliments to my Sis. Pitt, and all my Friends that come in your
    way.[55]


Now, for the only time in his life perhaps, we find him engaged
reluctantly in drinking bouts, the necessary discipline of a military
mess in those days. He refers to the amiability of Charles Feilding in a
later letter.


    _Northton. Febry ye 9. 1731._

    I have been a monstrous time out of my Dearest Nanny's Company; the
    date of your Letter before me, Me fait de sanglantes reproches: I
    say nothing in my own behalf, but Frankly confess, in aggravation of
    my silence, that I have neglected you for a course of drunken
    conversation, which I have some days been in. The service wou'd be
    the most inactive life in ye world if Charles Feilding was out of
    it; As long as he is with us, we seldom remain long without pretty
    smart Action: I am just releiv'd by one night's rest, from an
    attaque that lasted sixteen hours, but as a Heroe should never
    boast, I have done ye state some service and they know't--no more
    of that.

    What shall I talk of to my dear Girl? I have told her I love Her, in
    every shape I cou'd think of: we'l converse in French and tell one
    another ye same things under the Dress of Novelty. Mon aimable
    Fille, rien ne m'est si doux que de recevoir de votre part les
    marques d'une ardente amitié, si ce n'est de vous en donner
    moi-meme. I did not think I cou'd have wrote a sentence so easily,
    mais les paroles obeissent toujours aux sentiments du coeur. Let me
    tell you once more, in plain English, your letter was infinitely
    pretty; you may leave off Voiture whenever you please. I hope little
    Jug is still talking at Boconnock; how Fares it with my Statira, my
    angry Dear? I can think of nothing so likely to bring her into
    Temper, as telling Her, her Skew will soon revisit ye groves of
    Boconnock, where they may pass ye Long Day, and tend a few sheep
    together. I beg she'l accept of ye following stanza I met with by
    chance in some french poesy, and put a Tune to it, which She may
    warble in honour of her gentle loveing shepherd:

    Dans ces Lieux solitaires
    Daphnis est de retour:
    Deesse de Cythere
    Celebre ce grand jour:
    Rapellez sur ces rives
    Les amours envolés,
    Les graces fugitives
    et les Ris exilés.

    my Love and services to all Freinds: My Brother gives me ye
    pleasure of hearing my Sistr Pitt is very well: pray make my
    apologies for not writing to her.

    Adio Anima mia bella,
    Dolce speranza mia.

    WM PITT.


He has now come to London apparently to kiss hands for his commission.
How little George II. can have realised what his relations were to be
with the raw young cornet.


    _London: March ye 5: 1731._

    I thank my Dearest Nanny for her Letter Though it abused me, I think
    without Reasonable Grounds: tis true I dont write so often as I wish
    to see you, yet I won't allow I have let our conversation suffer any
    considerable Interruption. I Have had no opportunity yet of
    cultivating any farther acquaintance with Mr Molinox than by
    receiving his name and leaving Mine: I shall need no other
    inducement to his Freindship than the presumption of his civility to
    you, which your letter gives me reason to think: I shall ever esteem
    Any Man deserving of my regard who loves In any degree what so
    thoroughly merits and possesses my Heart as my Dear Girl. I have the
    pleasure of telling you my Commission is sign'd and I have Kiss'd
    hands for it, so that my Country Quarters won't be Cornwall this
    Summer. You are like to have Company soon with you, Hollins having
    ordered my Sister Pitt the Bath immediately: what becomes of the two
    poor vestals I dont yet know. the Town produces nothing new, as the
    Place you are in I suppose, produces absolutely nothing at all: kill
    some of your time by writing often to one who will always contribute
    to make you pass it more pleasurably, when in his Power. Adieu,
    recover yr health, and preserve Chearfulness enough to give your
    Understanding a fair light.[56]

    Yrs most sensibly
    W. PITT.


The next letter was written in the midst of what would now be called a
bear-fight, carried on apparently in the room of the demure Lyttelton.


    _London. March ye 13: 1731._

    I am now lock'd into George's room; the girls Thundering at the door
    as if Heaven and Earth would come together: I am certainly the
    warmest Brother, or the coldest Gallant In the Universe, to suffer
    the gentle Impertinencies the sportly Sollicitations of two girls
    not quite despicable without emotion, and bestow my Time and spirits
    upon a Sister: But in effect the thing is not so strange or
    unreasonable, for every Man may have Girls worthy his attention, but
    few, sisters so conversible as my Dear Nanny. Tis impossible to say
    much, amidst this rocking of the doors Chairs and tables: I fancy
    myself in a storm Of the utmost danger and horror; and were I really
    in one, I would not cease to think of my Dear Girl, till I lost my
    fears and Trepidations in the object of my tenderest care and
    sincerest zeal. let the winds roar, and the big Torrent burst! I
    won't leave my Nanny for any Lady of you all, but with the warmest
    assurance of unalterable affection, Adieu.[57]


He is now once more in country quarters, grievously hipped. The allusion
to the barmaid 'who young at the bar is just learning to score' reads
like a line from some forgotten song. In his despair he threatens to get
drunk.


    _Northampton April ye 9th. 1731._

    After neglecting my Dear Girl so many Posts In the joys of London, I
    should be deservedly Punished by the Loss of your correspondence now
    I very much stand in need of it: I am come from an agreeable set of
    acquaintance in Town to a Place, where the wings of Gallantry must
    Be terribly clip'd, and can hope to soar No higher than to Dolly,
    who young at the Bar is just Learning to score--what must I do? my
    head is not settled enough to study; nor my heart light enough to
    find amusement In doing nothing. I have in short no resource But
    flying to the conversation of my distant Freinds and supplying the
    Loss of the jolis entretiens I have left behind by telling my greifs
    and hearing myself pity'd. I shall every Post go near to waft a sigh
    from Quarters to the Bath, which you shall rally me very prettyly
    upon, suppose me in Love, laugh at my cruel fate a little, then bid
    me hope for a Fair wind and better weather. I entreat you Be very
    trifling and badine, send me witty letters or I must chear my heart
    at the expense Of my head and get drunk with bad Port To kill time.
    My sister is by this time with You and I hope the Girls: my Love to
    her and bid her send away her husband and drink away. my spirits
    flag, et je n'en puis plus, adieu.


One would guess, but one can only guess, that the following letter
referred to some project of marrying William, which Ann dreaded as
causing a separation from her.


    _Northampton. May ye 21: 1731._

    What shall I say to my Dearest Nanny for sinking into a tenderness
    below ye dignity of her spirit and Genius? I sat down with a
    resolution to scold you off for a little Loving Fool, but Find
    myself upon examination your very own Brother and as fond of
    receiving such testimonies of the Excess of yr affection, as you
    are of Bestowing them: t'wou'd be more becoming ye Firmness of a
    man to reprove you a little upon this occasion, and advise you to
    fortify your Mind against any such Separation as you so kindly
    apprehend, but as your fears are, I believe at present Groundless, I
    chuse rather To talk to you like an affectionate Freind, than a
    stern Philosopher and return every Fear you Feel for me with a most
    ardent wish for your Happiness: Beleive me t'will wound my Quiet to
    be forced to do anything to disturb yours, But shou'd such an event
    as you are alarm'd at, arrive, your own reason will soon convince
    your tender Fears, there is but one Party for me to take: All the
    Dictates of Prudence, all the Considerations of Interest must
    determine me to it: But I am Insensibly drawn in to prove I ought to
    do, what There is no appearance I shall have in my Power to do,
    therefore my Dear Girl, suspend your Inquietudes, as I will my
    Arguments, and think I Long to see you in ye full enjoyment of yr
    Health and Spirits, which I hope to be able to do early in August.
    Adieu my Dearest Nanny, Love me and preserve your own happiness.

    I never recd a Line from my Sister Pitt.

    But will write to her soon. I hope she is well.[58]


This next letter is taken up with poking fun at Ayscough. The 'poor
nuns' would be Pitt's sisters, whom he calls elsewhere the 'poor
vestals.'[59]


    _North'ton June ye 17: 1731._

    My Dear Nanny's letter from Bath gave me so many Pleasures that I
    don't know which to thank her for first: the Prettiness of it tells
    me she has more sense than her sex, the affection of it declares she
    is more capable of Freindship Than her sex: and to compleat my joy,
    It assures me she no longer wants her health: which may Heaven
    continue to my Dear Girl! If anything can make me devout, t'is my
    Zeal for your happiness: However don't let the Parson[60] know this
    Prayer escaped me for fear she (_sic_) shou'd be malicious enough to
    Tell me of it in company some time or other at Quarters. I am glad
    he is with you: he will prove as good an enlivener of the spirits
    and invigourate the conversation amongst you, as much as Bath waters
    do The Blood. Be sure not to suffer him to be Indolent and withdraw
    his Wit from ye Service of ye Company: I know ye Dog sometimes
    grows tired of being laugh't at: But no matter: insist upon his
    being a Man of humour every Day but Sunday. I expect you will all
    Three Lose your reputations in ye country for him: and indeed
    there's no Intimacy with one of His Cloath without too much room for
    Suspicion: But as you don't expect to make your fortune there, The
    thing is not so deplorable. You will be mutually Happy in meeting
    the Poor Nuns again: I very much fear I shall not partake of that
    pleasure so soon as August: Beleive me I long for nothing more than
    to see you all well and happy: I break off ye Conversation with
    great reluctance To go to Supper: Adieu Dearest Nanny.


Ann was now to be a maid of honour and venture on the new world of a
court. So she asks advice of her sage young brother, and he gives his
admonitions in French, probably from fear of the Post Office.


    Undated.

    Vous voulez que je vous dise, mon aimable, ce que je pense de la vie
    que vous allez mener à la cour; votre Interest, qui me touche de
    près, m'y fait faire mille Reflexions: en voici mon Idée. Le cour me
    paroit une mer peu aisée à naviger, mais qui ne manque pas d'ouvrir
    aux mariniers bien entendûs le commerce le plus avantageux; j'entens
    l'art de connoitre le monde et de s'en faire connoitre agreablement:
    Un Esprit habile sans artifice, et un coeur gai sans legereté vous
    rendent ce voiage pleins d'agrements et de plaisirs, pendant que la
    vertu qui ne se dement jamais, est l'Etoile fixe qui vous empeche de
    vous y egarer.

    En effet n'est-il pas à souhaiter pour une Personne qu'on aime, et
    dont on connoit bien les forces, de la voir exposée à un tel point,
    qu'elle ne puisse s'en tirer qu'avec le secours du bon sens et de la
    Prudence? Ce sont les difficultés qui donnent au merite tout son
    jour, et souvent elles en font naitre: Vous en avez, mon aimable, et
    il ne s'agit que de le mettre en oeuvre: mais voici ce qui vous
    embarasse: La Modestie, qui en est une Considerable, cache mille
    autres vertus en se montrant toujours elle-meme; Elle ne laisse pas
    en cela de faire un peu le Tyran: elle nous fait souvenir de ces
    meres qui par un excez de Pruderie derobent leurs Filles aux yeux du
    monde, toutes aimables qu'elles soient, mais que cette Modestie
    songe à prendre quelque fois le Parti de la retraite, et qu'elle
    scache qu'on ne la regrette gueres, quand on voit quelque belle
    vertu briller à sa place.

    à mon avis il n'y a rien de si outrée que l'idée que de certaines
    gens se sont fait de la cour des Princes: Ils ne s'y figurent que
    l'Envie et ses noirceurs, la Perfidie, et les suites funestes de
    l'amour dereglé: ils en enlaidissent tellement la ressemblance qu'on
    ne la reconnoit plus: pour vous, ma chère, Ie ne vous conseille ni
    de vous troubler la cervelle d'affreuses Chimeres, ni de vous
    endormir tout à fait a l'ombre de la securité. Pour ce qui est de
    l'amour, il seroit ridicule d'entreprendre de vous en Tracer le
    Portrait, Il ne se fera comprendre que par Luimeme: en un mot, qu'il
    soit un Dieu bienfaissant ou qu'il ne soit qu'un Demon malin, donnez
    vous garde de l'offenser, car, effectivement, c'est un Personnage à
    represailles: enfin en quelque caractere que vous le voyez, Il vous
    le faudra respecter: dans l'un vous l'aimerez comme fidele
    chretienne; dans l'autre, reverez le afin qu'il ne vous fasse point
    de mal. adieu ma tres chere.


William has now set out on his foreign tour, of which we caught some
glimpses in letters to his mother. We have already had his letter to his
mother from Paris.


    _Paris May ye 3rd: N.S. 1733._

    I don't know whether my Dearest Nanny is not at this moment angry
    with me for not writing sooner; But cou'd you see the hurry this
    Place throws a man into upon his arrival, you wou'd rather wonder I
    write at all. I have done nothing since I came to Paris, but run up
    and down and see; so that beleive me it is a sort of Novelty to set
    down and think: Tis with pleasure I return to you from The variety
    of fine sights which have engaged me; my eyes have been long enough
    entertain'd, to give my Heart leisure to indulge itself in a short
    conversation with my Dear Girl. It may sound oddly to say I love you
    best at a great distance, but surely absence best shows us the Value
    of a Thing, by making us feel how much we want it: I find already I
    shall have many vacant hours that wou'd be agreably fill'd up with
    the company of something one esteems; but I must comfort myself à la
    francoise, le bannis la Sagesse et la Raison; c'est de notre vie le
    Poison. I shall set out for Besancon in franche comté In three or
    four days, where I shall stay till autumn, write often and direct to
    me chez Monsr Alexandre Banquier dans la Rue St. Appoline Près de
    la Porte St. Denis à Paris who will Take care to send them to me. I
    hope you like your way of Life better every Day; I don't know
    whether you may not be said to be travelling too; France is hardly
    newer to me than Court was to you; may you find the Country mend
    upon you the farther you advance in it: bon voyage ma chere, and may
    you find at your journey's end as good an inn as matrimony can
    afford you. I am

    Your most afft Brother
    W. PITT.

    My Love to Kitty and Harriot. I cou'd not write to all and you are
    the only one I was sure to find.

    I write this Post to Skew; if he is not in Town, enquire at his
    Lodgings for ye letter and send it. I hope my Brother reced my
    Letter.[61]


The next letter leaves him at Besançon, the ancient capital of
Franche-Comté, wrested from the Spaniards in 1678, and now become a
French fortress, famous for its silver watches. Here Pitt loses his
heart.


    _Besancon. June the 5: 1733. N.S._

    I receiv'd my Dear Nanny's letter yesterday: it has no Date, but I
    imagine by some of the Contents it has been a tedious time upon the
    road. The direction I left was a very proper one and particular
    enough, Alexander being generally known at Paris, so that the street
    of his abode is unnecessary: however To be very sure of meeting with
    no disappointment In a pleasure I desire to indulge myself in as
    often as you'l let me, direct to me at Alexander's dans la rue St.
    Appoline près de la Porte St. Denis à Paris, who will carefully
    transmit all letters to me, wherever I am. The pleasure you give me
    in the account of Kitty's recovery, is disagreably accompanied with
    that of Poor Harriot's Relapse into an ill State of Health; which I
    too much fear will never be removed till her mind is made a little
    easy: I never think of her but with great uneasiness, my tenderness
    for her begins to turn to sorrow and affliction; I consider her in a
    great degree lost, and buried almost in an unsuccessfull Ingagement:
    You have all my warmest wishes for your happiness and prosperity. I
    persuade myself you are in the high road to them, make the best of
    your way I beg of you; and contrive to finish your Travels by the
    time of my return. I can say but little of Besancon yet: The Place
    is externally pretty enough how it will prove upon a more intimate
    knowledge of it, I can't say. My Lord Walgrave was so good as to
    procure me letters For the Commandant and a Lady of this Place who
    passes for the finest Woman here. I have had the honour to dine with
    her at her campagne, where I was very handsomely regaled: what
    ressource Her acquaintance will be, I shall be better able to judge
    after another visit or two.

    Skew hinted something to me concerning Kitty, which he said was not
    quite chimerical. If it be any suite of my Mother's project for her
    I doubt the Success. I have not Heard a word from my Brother, tho' I
    have wrote to him three times. If he han't received them all let him
    know it.

    I find Sir James Gray here, who is a very pretty sort of Man and
    once more my schoolfellow; between my letters and the acquaintance
    he has made in the Town, we shall be of some Use to one another.
    Adieu.

    Your most afft Freind and Brother
    W. PITT.

    I wish you joy of Lord William's Match.


He is next found at Marseilles, where he discovers that he is still sore
from his love affair at Besançon.


    _Marseilles, sep: ye 1: 1733._

    j'ai honte à regarder la datte de votre derniere lettre, à laquelle
    je vai faire reponse: vous me dites ma Chere, que vous etes fort
    aise que vos lettres me fassent plaisir, d'autant plus que vous
    croiez en avoir obligation plutot à ma prevention pour vous, qu'à
    votre merite. Qu'y a-til de plus obligeant Pour moi ou de plus
    injuste pour vous meme?

    Il est vrai que je vous aime à un point qui passe bien souvent dans
    le monde pour aveuglement: mais je prétens vous aimer en
    connoisseur, je veux que le gout et la raison fassent ici ce que
    l'entetement fait d'ordinaire ailleurs. ne guerirez vous jamais de
    cette modestie outrée? de grace ne faites plus Tort à vous meme par
    une humilité qui n'est pas de ce bas lieu, et cessez de louer mon
    amitié aux depens de mon gout.

    Vous voiez par la datte de ceci que je suis à Marseilles, j'y suis
    depuis deux jours et conte d'en partir dans deux ou trois jours pour
    Monpelier, où nous ferons un sejour à peu pres comme celui que nous
    ferons ici: je crois passer l'hiver a Luneville, et de[62] a Lyon
    par Geneve et le long du Rhin à Strasbourg d'où je me rendrai en
    Lorraine. je viens de quitter Besancon avec infiniment de regrets:
    voulez vous que je me confesse à vous? j'y avois un plus fort
    attachement que je ne croiois, avant que de me Trouver sur le Point
    de partir: tant il est vrai que l'on ne sent jamais si bien le prix
    d'une chose Que lorsque il la faut perdre. Nous y avions de fort
    aimables connoissances, et je trouve presentement à plus de soixante
    Lieues de loin, que j'y aurois passer l'hyver volontiers, je n'en ai
    pas tout à travers du coeur, mais toutefois j'en ai. adieu ma chere,
    faites moi d'abord reponse, et imputez mon silence passé à toute
    autre cause que à un refroidissement pour vous. je suis avec tout la
    tendresse du monde

    votre affectionné Serviteur
    W. PITT.[63]


And now he has arrived at Luneville, the city of the moon, once
dedicated to the worship of Diana, but at this time devoted to the
manufacture of glass and pottery. In four years it was to be enlivened
by the gay court of Stanislas; but it was now a provincial town,
occupied provisionally by the French in defiance of its absentee Duke,
Francis, afterwards Emperor of Germany. Pitt is not yet cured of his
passion. It is painful to him to revive it by giving a description of
the lady, and he seems to feel her want of noble birth as if he had
contemplated marriage.


    _Luneville ce 12: d'octob. N.S. 1733._

    Votre lettre me réjouit fort en m'apprenant que votre vie est
    heureuse: quand vous ne me manderiez que cela une fois la semaine,
    votre commerce me donneroit toute la satisfaction du monde: mais
    d'ailleurs il y'a, mon aimable, un tour agreable dans tout ce que
    vous me dites, qui me rend votre conversation charmante. La
    tendresse de ses amis, en quelque expression que ce soit, nous
    touche; mais quand elle se presente à nous d'une maniere aisée et
    delicate, l'esprit participe à la satisfaction que la coeur en
    recoit.

   Vous me demandez le Portrait de la Belle: faites vous bien attention
   à quoi vous m'allez engager? je commence à respirer et vous voulez me
   replonger dans les douleurs que m'a causées sa perte, en m'obligeant
   de renouveller dans mon esprit les traits qui s'en etoient emparés.
   L'absence est un grand Medecin: je me suis si bien trouvé de ses
   remedes que je ne desespere pas d'en pouvoir revenir: laissez lui
   faire encore un peu et je vous ferai le Portrait, que vous me
   demandez, assez à l'aise. Cependant trouvez bon que je vous en fasse
   seulement un crayon (à la hate?) en vous disant que, quoique son
   coeur fût certainement neuf, son esprit ne l'etoit point (j'en parle
   comme de feu ma Flamme) que sa Taille etoit grande et des plus
   parfaites, son air simple avec quelque chose de noble; Pour ses
   Traits je n'y touche pas: suffit que vous sachiez que ce fut de ces
   beautés d'un grand effet, et que sa Physionomie prononcât quelque
   chose des qualités d'une ame admirable ne vous attendez pas pour le
   present Que je vous en donne un detail si exact que vous en puissiez
   la reconnoittre si elle se trouvoit sur votre chemin: je n'ose m'y
   laisser aller davantage: nous en parlerons un jour plus amplement:
   mais avant de quitter son chapitre il faut que je vous dise tout:
   Elle n'a point de titre ni de grand nom qui impose; et c'est là le
   diable. C'est simplement Madamoiselle de ---- fille cadette de Monsr
   de ---- ecuyer à Besancon: Religieuse, Vous avez bien dit que j'en
   parlerai volontiers: de quoi vous avisez vous de mettre un homme sur
   le chapitre de ses amours? Vous saviez que quand on y est, on ne
   scait jamais où finir, et que vous vous exposez à essuier tout ce qui
   vient au bout de sa plume, voila trop parler de mes affaires: parlons
   un peu des votres: faisons des demandes par rapport à certain peuple
   connu sous le titre d'amants. Parler franchement et donnez m'en des
   nouvelles, vous ne scauriez être si content que vous l'êtes so vous
   n'aviez range quelque coeur sous vos lois: adieu: aimons nous
   toujours et songeons a nous render heureux.

    W. PITT.

    No one can be more sensible than I am of the esteem of Charles
    Feilding, nor more disposed to do justice to the amiableness of his
    character.


Six weeks afterwards all trace of his love affair has disappeared; it is
not the mere cessation of pain, it is oblivion.


    _Luneville. Nov. ye 22: 1733._

    Les vérités obligeantes que vous me dites, ne me sont pas seulement
    cheres par le fond de tendresse qu'elles me font vous connoitre pour
    moi, elles le sont au dernier point par la maniere agreable dont
    vous les tournez: j'aime autant que votre coeur s'explique avec moi
    en bon Anglois qu'en bon francois, d'autant plus que ce qu'on dit en
    sa langue maternelle paroit encore plus Naturel, et c'est la ce qui
    fait le principal merite des lettres d'amitié, je suis charmé, mon
    aimable Bonne, de l'air content dont vous m'ecrivez, j'ai un plaisir
    aussi sensible à me figurer que vous êtes heureuse, que vous etes
    gaie, que j'en pourrois repentir moimême de tout ce que la joie et
    la gaieté me pourrait offrir: je vous suis present que si l'etois
    Dans le cabinet à Cote de votre Toilette. Je n'ai plus rien à vous
    dire de Mademoiselle.

    C'etoit de ces flammes passageres, un eclair qui a passé si vite
    qu'il n'en reste pas le moindre vestige. j'ai oublié jusque au
    portrait que je vous en ai fait: n'allez pas m'accuser de legereté,
    voila comme il faut être en voiage: je me fais un fond de constance
    pour mon retour. Souvenez vous de garder votre parole en me faisant
    la confidence de vos premieres amours: que le terme ne vous choque
    pas, je l'entends avec les circonstances qu'il faut. Je ne doute pas
    que vous ne m'en fassiez bientot, au moins si vous avez autant de
    franchise que je me l'imagine. adieu, ma chere, je vous--(torn)--de
    terribles bagatelles: mais je ne'en scai rien--(torn)

    Votre tres affectionné
    W. PITT.

    If Miss Molly Lyttelton is in Town, I wish you may see one another
    often, and make a Friendship.[64]


The two following letters contain obscure allusions, which, so far as we
can now interpret them, appear to indicate that Thomas Pitt at any rate
was at this time a ministerialist and supporter of Sir Robert Walpole.


    _Newbury Octbr ye 24: 1734._

    Dear Nanny,--You may conceive I was a good deal surprised at Mr
    Harrison's modest proposal: I thought it indeed so monstrous, that
    ye best way of treating it was not to vouchsafe it any answer,
    especially as it did not come immediately from Him: I cannot
    conceive how poor Harriot cou'd think of employing Herself in such a
    message, or at least that she wou'd not understand my neglect in
    answering it, to be (what it is) a thorough contempt of the Noble
    Colonel's ridiculous offer. My first astonishment is a little abated
    by hearing he was encouraged to it by my Brother at Paris, I mean my
    astonishment as to him; For the latter, I have done wondering at
    any the most Inscrutable of his proposed designs: it must be
    confess'd, this last (if true) is not inferiour to any of the
    brightest passages of his conduct: removeing me to bring in a Person
    declared in Opposition, and who it is proposed shou'd pay me,
    instead of reimbursing him his expences at Oakhampton. I can talk no
    more of him; I'll endeavour to put him out of my mind till January.

    I am extremely pleased to see the time of my deliverance from my Inn
    approach, a month more will bring me to you, when I shall be as
    happy as the endless disapointments and difficulties I have to
    encounter, will allow me: all I have of happiness is confined to you
    and my friend George; you may easily judge of my Impatience to be
    with you; I suppose he's still at Stowe. I am pleased with ye
    honour done me to (sic) Lady Suffolk, the more as I am sure it gave
    you pleasure. Adieu Dear Nanny.

    Most affecy yrs
    W. PITT.[65]


    _Newbury. Nov: ye 7. 1734._

    Dear Nanny,--I have been persecuted with a succession of little
    impertinent complaints; I have been deliver'd some time of my broken
    tooth, by the most dextrous operator, I beleive, in the World, but
    am at present in my Room with a sore throat, which is very
    troublesome to me. I wou'd not have You be very uneasy at Harrison's
    proposal; it appears to me, as it did at first, of no consequence,
    and deserves being spoken of only for the Impertinence of it. I am
    persuaded it is no more than an absurd, sudden thought of ye
    Coll's; 'tis hardly possible my Brother shou'd have given his
    consent to it as a foundation for Harrison to proceed upon with me.
    My Brother's Interest no doubt do's not persuade him to such a
    bargain between Harrison and me: if he intends to consult that, in
    the disposition of this seat in Parliament, he must certainly rather
    oblige me to accept of satisfaction for the loss of it by something
    he may obtain for me, and chuse a man more agreeable to Sir Robt.
    than Harrison, who will put him two thousand pounds in Pocket: I am
    very much deceived if I hear any thing more of it. You misunderstood
    me in thinking I had given no sort of answer to the proposal. I was,
    I confess, little sollicitous about giving a speedy one or a very
    particular one: I said to Harriot in general that I was extremely
    surprised at the offer: that an answer was almost needless for the
    Coll., if he had thought of it since, must be able to guess what
    answer it deserved. that I was sorry she had employ'd herself at all
    in so strange a Proposal, in short something to that effect. I
    apprehend no difficulties from this affair; if I have any to
    encounter they'l come from another Quarter. I wrote to a certain
    Gentleman[66] above a month ago, without answer, so judge of his
    kind disposition towards me. my Lord Pembroke is very good in
    leaving it in my Power to come to Town, if I found it necessary. I
    have at present no thoughts of making use of his Indulgence. I want
    to see you more than you can imagine. Adieu:

    Yrs most affecly
    W. PITT.


Lady Suffolk, Ann's principal friend at Court, has now retired from an
ungrateful servitude. The loss must have been great to Ann, who required
more than most an experienced and sagacious friend at her elbow.


    _Newbury Nov: ye 17: 1734._

    Dear Nanny,--I was persuaded my Lady Suffolk's removal from court
    wou'd affect you in the Manner you tell me it dos: Your Friend
    Mrs Herbert, where I dined the day before yesterday, was speaking
    of the thing with concern and was sure it wou'd touch you, as much
    as any Body: your Greifs are so much mine that it wou'd be needless
    to tell you I am sorry for your Loss; I foresee a very disagreeable
    consequence to you from this change, which is, that your Friendship
    with Her may be charg'd upon you as a crime, and what was before a
    support may now be a prejudice to you. Harriot's complaint is far
    from giving me any uneasiness, I think nothing but such a necessity
    wou'd have made Them do what they indisputably ought to do. my
    concern for Her is, that her situation is so bad as to render this
    circumstance, (distresfull as it is) necessary to put her into a
    better. Poor Girl, what unnatural cruelty and Insolence she has to
    suffer from A Person[67] that shou'd be her support and comfort in
    this distress: I have heard him say so many hard Things upon this
    affair, that I think I do him no injustice to say he will be more
    inexorable than the Knight.[68] I suppose Lyttelton is return'd from
    Stowe and has found a letter from me Laying for him at the
    Admiralty. If he's not come back I am afraid he's ill this Pinching
    weather. I continue well, as I was when I wrote to you last. Adieu
    Dear Nanny,

    Yrs most affecly
    WM. PITT.[69]


The letter that follows is important, as it marks an epoch in Pitt's
life: for he was now at Stowe, where he was to make a long stay, and
enrol himself in Cobham's band of connections. He had just entered
Parliament[70] and now commences a politician. But, happily for us, he
has not yet assumed his political dialect.


    _Stowe. July ye 2: 1735:_

    Dear Nanny,--I am mighty glad to hear you escaped the headach after
    so fatiguing a journey, but I desire that may not prevent your
    applying to a Physician: I am extremely pleas'd with the account you
    give me of the Person[71] you saw, it is a great step to be able to
    seem easy: I wish his mind may ever be as easy, as I have the
    pleasure of hearing his affairs are at present, the other Part of
    your letter astonishes me: I think he'l not succeed, tho' I assure
    you he has my good wishes, for I am persuaded nothing less will ever
    extricate him. The turn indeed is very sudden, but since he has
    taken it, he'l disgrace himself less by obtaining, than losing. My
    Ld Cobham wou'd have been very glad to see you and wish'd I had
    brought you, I am sorry you lost so good an opportunity of seeing
    Stowe. Adieu

    most affly yrs
    WM. PITT.

    I have had other business to write to my Brother upon, which has
    hinder'd my speaking of the Orange trees. I'l make Ayscough do it.

    I hope you found Lady Suffolk well.


The next letter is burthened with mysterious and anonymous allusions, as
to which conjecture is futile.


    _Stowe July ye 20: 1735._

    Dear Nanny,--I am mighty glad you are so well satisfy'd with the
    match you give me an account of: I was not surpris'd to hear it, for
    I fancy'd I saw it long ago. I have all sort of reasons to wish Her
    happy, but to mention no other, She loves you in the manner I am apt
    to think one shou'd love you. the Person[72] you think pretty easy,
    is far from it: he endeavours to acquiesce under Pain, to bring his
    mind, if possible, to such a state of composure as to go through the
    duties of Life like an honest and Reasonable Man. our Friends[73]
    Repulse is the most scandalous and ignominious of all things. I want
    to hear a little of his noble designs for next year: Despair must
    produce something Extraordinary in so great a mind. I am seriously
    ashamed of him, and if he was to ask my advice what he should do, I
    think I cou'd only beg him to do nothing: that Man's whole life is a
    sort of consolation to me in my poor little circumstances. He gives
    me occasion to reflect too often, that I wou'd not act his Part one
    month for twice his estate, but I leave him to talk to you of
    yourself: I don't hear what Broxom says of your headach's: if you
    have not consulted him you have used me very ill: Pray send for him
    and let me know if you are better. Adieu.

    most affectionately Yrs
    WM. PITT.


Pope and Martha Blount were now at Stowe, so was Lady Suffolk; and
William was polishing himself in the best company.


    _Stow Sept. ye 2: 1735._

    Don't say a word more of my never writing, but confess immediately
    that you admire my way of writing more than any Body's, that is my
    way of sending you Postcripts Every Day: I have nothing to say of
    Letters, but Mr Pope[74] says somewhere, 'Heaven first taught
    Postscripts for the wretches aid,' etc: you must know I han't a word
    to say to you; for I write only to introduce the Postscript, as Mr
    Bays wou'd make a Poem to bring in a fine thought, that was none of
    his own; I therefore finish to leave more room for my Lady Suffolk.
    adieu.

    [In another hand, evidently Lady Suffolk's] how often my Dear Child
    have I wish'd you here? I know you wou'd like it, and I know two who
    thinks (_sic_) even Stowe wou'd be still more agreeable they talk of
    you I believe both Love you; but one can pun, and talk nonsense
    wth Mrs Blount most Elegantly remember Saturday and never
    forget me, that is, do not be ungratefull.


We see in the next letter that Pitt was not merely supping with the
wits, but playing at cricket, with Pope perhaps as umpire.


    _Stow Septr ye 14: 1735._

    I am very well pleas'd with the conversation you Had lately, and
    that you met with nothing in it that at all corresponds with the
    Subject of my former letter: I shall now be at ease, and give myself
    no more trouble in thinking and conjecturing about it. I am glad my
    Lady Suffolk got so well to Town; if she's not the worse for her
    journey, I fancy you are not much so for her return. if she did not
    happen to be the most amiable Estimable Person one has seen, I
    shou'd still love her For the admirable Talent she has of
    Distinguishing and Describing merit, in which she do's not yeild to
    the Noble Ld of our acquaintance. if she has done me justice, She
    has Told you I was very stupid and play'd very well at Cricket. I
    obey'd her orders to my Ld and Lady Cobham; my Lds reflection
    was, He wish'd he cou'd take such a journey and do after it just
    what she did. when you see Lyttelton, tell him Mr Pope has been
    writing a letter to him ever since he has been here, but head-ach
    and Laziness has delay'd it, so that I believe He may be time enough
    at London to bring the letter to him himself, as he talks of setting
    out in a few days. Ayscough has been here, and desires Lyttelton
    will mention him to the Speaker for preaching before the House the
    next 30th of January sermon. I'l leave off for fear I shou'd think
    of half a dozen messages more.

    I am most affecly Yrs
    W. PITT.

    direct to me at Stow I am more here than at Touster [?Towcester].
    You must say 'member of Parlt' They make me pay always else.


The next two letters deal with some dark transaction relating to wine,
probably smuggled, from Guernsey.


    _Stow Sept. ye 16: 1735._

    I am very sorry I can't answer all your Questions this Post, but to
    begin with that I can answer the Frame Maker's Name is Bellamy, he
    lives in Rupert Street: as to the Guernsey wine, it is a commission
    of so secret a Nature, and must be treated with such art and
    circumspection, (according to the instructions I am honour'd with)
    That I must desire further time to get the lights necessary to the
    full discovery of so dark an affair. I have been able to penetrate
    no farther than that my Ld Cobham and his Butler are the only
    Persons at the bottom of the secret, The one I can't ask he being
    abroad; the other I must not, being ty'd up by my orders: there
    remains therefore nothing To be done, but to wait the return of the
    Butler, or larger Power to treat with my Ld in Person. but to talk
    no longer like a Minister, but an humble Servant of my lady
    Suffolk's, I desire my compliments to Her, and I'l be sure to send
    an answer about the wine next Post. I please myself with thinking
    you are free from Head-ach, both as they are very bad things; and
    because they are ye effect with you of other uneasiness: be well
    and happy, is the only advice you want; and the only means by which
    I can be so:

    I am most affecly yrs
    W. PITT.


    _Stowe. Sept. ye 19: 1735._

    If you happen to write to me once in a week or fortnight I am never
    to hear the last of it; but pray admire the exact diligence of my
    correspondence: I don't only answer your letter the first Post, but
    I continue answering It two or three Posts successively: I am now
    only at the second, and you shall see you are not above half
    answer'd yet: but to tell you all I can, the Man Mr Hardy, who
    sells my Ld Cobham the Wine in Question, is now in Guernsey; the
    Buttler will write to his correspondent to know when he is like to
    return, which he supposes must be soon--all which my Lady Suffolk
    shall be informed of: I expect a clear distinct answer from you to
    each letter of the volumes I have lately writ to you.

    Adieu.


The following letter alludes in all probability to his brother, and also
to that Richard Grenville who was afterwards so notorious as Lord
Temple. It seems strange when one recalls Temple in maturity to read of
him as Dick, with a careless countenance and jolly laugh. But everybody
has been young.


    _Stowe. Sept. ye 28: 1735._

    I don't understand this way of answering two letters in form, avec
    un Trait de Plume; I expected you shou'd have told me you had
    nothing to tell me in more words, or at least at two different
    times: this sort of Correspondence, where one must not talk, seems
    rather a sort of visit to shew yourself: I hope you won't be in such
    a hurry next time; that I shall see you a little longer, or I shall
    call it only leaving your name, after all this, I am not really
    angry at the shortness of your last letter; you gave a reason that
    satisfied me entirely. I hope our friend is well; I had the Pleasure
    of hearing he seem'd in very good Spirits, when Dick Greenville
    (sic) saw him; I hope really was so. I suppose You have seen Dick's
    careless countenance at Kensington, and that you begin to be
    acquainted with his Laugh. I am called to breakfast, so goodby

    Yrs most affectionately
    W. PITT.


October finds William still at Stowe, and not likely to leave, but he
sends this anxious and tender note to Ann.


    _Stowe. October ye 5: 1735._

    My Dear,--I long to be with you to know what the particular
    circumstance is that gives you uneasiness: or is it only the Thing
    in general? whatever it be, take all the comfort you can in knowing
    you act humanely and honourably. it won't be in my Power to see you
    till December, and the latter End of it. I am very much at Stowe,
    and pass my time as agreeably as I can do at a distance from you at
    a time you say you want to talk to me: I hope by your next letter to
    hear you have talk'd to yourself upon the Subject of your uneasiness
    and don't want my advice: Adieu,

    I am with all affection yrs
    W. PITT.[75]


The next note deals again with the affair which is causing Ann
uneasiness, but without giving us any clue to it. One cannot however
refrain from the surmise that Ann's temper and tongue had now begun to
get her into trouble.


    _Stowe. Octobr ye 12: 1735._

    My dear Child,--I can't by letter enter into particulars relating to
    The affair you mention, nor were I with you, cou'd I give you any
    other than a general advice, which is, as well as you can to make
    yourself and others easy: I know this is saying almost nothing, and
    that is the very thing I think you have only to do: I beg you will
    be at Quiet as to what you have hitherto done, believe me it is not
    only irreproachable, but must do you great honour with whoever know
    your conduct. I will say one word more, which is this, that you
    shou'd take care not to be misunderstood, at least in any great
    degree. This is all I can say to you, who have the warmest concern
    for your happiness and am with more affection than I can tell you,

    Yrs      W. PITT.


There is now an unexplained interval of two years. Some letters have
perhaps been lost or destroyed, one has apparently miscarried; or, still
more probably, the brother and sister have been together. But the next
letter is still dated from Stowe, where William was evidently
established on the most familiar footing.


    _Stow. Novr ye 6: 1737._

    You are even with me for all the want of readiness in writing, ever
    since I began to correspond: I wou'd tell you how many weeks it is,
    since I wrote to you my last unanswer'd letter, if my memory was
    strong enough to carry so remote a period of Chronology in my head:
    I have sometimes told you I have been ashamed of not writing: I take
    this occasion to retract all Declarations of that sort, and tell
    you I never was, nor ever will be ashamed of want of regularity in
    corresponding, after this last silence of yours: I am aware that you
    must throw the blame upon ye Post, and say you never received the
    letter in question, and indeed the Doctor has given me an
    intimation, yt the thing was to take yt turn, without which you
    wou'd not have been troubled even with these reproaches. the Letter
    had nothing in it, and yet I had rather you had receiv'd it, if you
    are in earnest that you did not. I intend to be in Town the
    beginning of December: I shall see Mrs. Nedham at Bampton before I
    come:

    Yrs         W. PITT.

    I desire you will write immediately to let me know you have no
    return of ye disorder you had just before you left Hampton court.


In the next he refers to Lord Cornbury, a friend, a Tory, and something
of a Jacobite. He was a great admirer of Pitt, and had indeed written an
ode to him.


    _Stow. Novr ye 12: 1737._

    I do not think myself obliged to thank you for your letter, it was a
    defence to an accusation, you was under a necessity of pleading and
    you did it with the confidence of an old offender, and even went so
    far as to recriminate upon yr accuser: but let the act of oblivion
    cover all. however that I may thank you for something, I thank you
    for haveing hardly any remains of yr cold. Pray keep keeping
    yourself well till December, in one week of which month I hope to
    see you. Adieu.

    Yrs Most affecly
    W. PITT.

    I wish you the Dutchess of Queensbury and Lady Cardigan with all my
    heart. How do's Ld Cornbury?



CHAPTER IV.


More than sixteen years elapse between this letter and the next, which
takes us far beyond our present limit, but it is best to finish the
story of Ann. Part of this long interval can be explained by extreme
harmony, and the remainder by the reverse. The mutual devotion of
William and Ann lasted, says Lord Camelford, till he became Paymaster in
May 1746: then they quarrelled. Why, no one knows, or, it is to be
presumed, will ever know. Horace Walpole only says that Pitt shook his
sister off in an unbecoming manner. Camelford thinks that Pitt disliked
Ann's friendship for Lady Bolingbroke, and thought that she was under
the influence of Bolingbroke himself, 'that tawdry fellow, as Lord
Cobham called him.'[76] Pitt, like most other people, except the rare
spirits who loved the brilliant being, profoundly distrusted
Bolingbroke, and may not have wished to see Bolingbroke influence assume
a footing in his house. Perhaps then he remonstrated, perhaps Ann
vindicated her friendship with heat. Between these two fiery natures
words might be exchanged in a moment which years would not obliterate.
Grattan told Rogers that 'Mrs. Ann Pitt, Lord Chatham's sister, was a
very superior woman. She hated him, and they lived like cat and dog. He
could only get rid of her by leaving his house and setting a bill on
it, "This house to let."'[77] If these two Pitts quarrelled in the
fierce Pitt fashion, it is not unlikely that some such expedient would
be adopted. But it must be doubted whether they lived like cat and dog,
else they would have parted long before. Grattan's statement was made in
conversation with all the large outline and picturesque latitude that
conversation allows, and he probably knew nothing about the matter. We
can only surmise. Lord Camelford tells us that up to the time of the
Paymastership (1746) William and Ann had lived together in one of the
small houses in Pall Mall which look into St. James's Square, and that
when he moved to his official residence at the Pay Office he moved
alone. But, as a matter of fact, she had left him some time before, and
gone to live with Lady Bolingbroke at Argeville. We have a letter from
William to Lady Suffolk, dated July 6, 1742, in which he favours the
plan of Ann's living with Lady Bolingbroke, so long as is convenient to
her hostess, and then returning home. Moreover, Pitt himself in October
of this year 1742 was not living in Pall Mall, but had moved to York
Street, Burlington Buildings.[78] Ann had formed a mad project of living
in Paris as a single woman, which William justly discountenanced.
However, she proceeded to Argeville, where George Grenville found her in
September. She may have returned to her brother, but she probably
remained abroad, and her having been with the Bolingbrokes so long, even
with William's sanction, may have made her less welcome to her brother
on her return.

In June 1751 she was appointed Keeper of the Privy Purse to the
Princess of Wales, and superintendent of the education of the Princess
Augusta, afterwards Duchess of Brunswick. She obtained this appointment,
we are told, through the interest of Mr. Cresset, the confidential
servant and Treasurer of the Princess of Wales, whose authority in the
Court soon afterwards gave way to the ascendancy of Lord Bute; though
Pitt imagined that here again he could trace the hand of Bolingbroke.
'However,' says Lord Camelford, 'thinking she could be useful to him in
so important a post, he sought a reconciliation--he flattered, he
menaced, he insulted, but was rejected.'

Of these proceedings two records remain in letters which have already
been published, but cannot be omitted here, as they are instinct with
passion and light. Whether they answer to Lord Camelford's description
must be left to the judgment of those who read them. That they are
powerful, tender, and unaffected all must allow. They also contain
quotations from the quarrels which are not devoid of interest. Ann had
declared that William expected absolute deference and a blind submission
to his will; and that he had in several conversations directly explained
to her that, to satisfy him, she must live with him as his slave. On
this point William admits that he did expect some measure of deference
to his views, and that, living together, he thought she might shape her
life in some degree to his. This seems to have been the real ground of
separation. William wished to be master in his own house. Ann could
brook no control. Perhaps the brother may have asked the sister to
discontinue or relax her intimacy with the Bolingbrokes, as injurious
and inconvenient to him, and Ann, we may guess, would curtly bid him
mind his own business. But these are only probabilities.

In the course of these proceedings we learn that William lost his
temper, declaring that she had a bad head and a worse heart; for this he
humbly begs her pardon.

Another complaint of Ann's is easily explained. She says that William
had been talking of the 200_l._ a year that he allowed her. William's
answer makes it perfectly clear that he had been reproached with the
fact of his sister's destitute condition, and that he had had to
explain, in his own defence, that he gave her this income.

Whether Pitt wished for a reconciliation because his sister had become
Privy Purse to the Princess of Wales must be judged by the light of his
character. It seems more probable that it was because she had returned
from abroad, and that he would now meet her constantly in society. In
any case, here are the letters. Whatever Pitt's motives may have been,
it is clear that Ann, had she not been a vixen, would have gladly
accepted the olive-branch offered by her brother, who, still unmarried,
wished to be restored to the companionship which had been the joy of his
life, 'that friendship which was my very existence for so many years,'
'a harmony between brother and sister unexampled almost all that time.'


    (A)

    _June 19, 1751. Wednesday morning._

    Dear Sister!--As you had been so good to tell me in your note of
    Monday that you would write to me again soon _in a manner capable,
    you hoped, of effacing every impression of any thing painfull that
    may have passed from me to you_, I did not expect such a letter as
    I found late last night, and which I have now before me to answer:
    without any compliment to you, I find myself in point of writing
    unequal enough to the task; nor have I the slightest desire to
    sharpen my pen. I have well weighed your letter, and deeply examined
    your picture of me, for some years past; and indeed, Sister, I still
    find something within, that firmly assures me I am not that thing
    which your interpretations of my life (if I can ever be brought to
    think them all your own) would represent me to be. I have
    infirmities of temper, blemishes, and faults, if you please, of
    nature, without end; but the Eye that can't be deceived must judge
    between us, whether that friendship, which was my very existence for
    so many years, could ever have received the least flaw, but from
    umbrages and causes which the quickest sensibility and tenderest
    jealousy of friendship alone, at first, suggested. It is needless to
    mark the unhappy epoque, so fatal to a harmony between sister and
    brother unexampled almost all that time, the loss of which has
    embitter'd much of my life and will always be an affliction to me.
    But I will avoid running into vain retrospects and unseasonable
    effusions of heart, in order to hasten to some particular points of
    your letter, upon which it is necessary for me to trouble you with a
    few words. _Absolute_ deference and _blind submission to my will_,
    you tell me I have often declared to you in the strongest and most
    mortifying terms cou'd alone satisfy me. I must here beseech you
    cooly to reconsider these precise terms, with their epithets; and I
    will venture to make the appeal to the sacred testimony of your
    breast, whether there be not exaggeration in them. I have often, too
    often reproached you, and from warmth of temper, in strong and plain
    terms, that I found no longer the same consent of minds and
    agreement of sentiments: and I have certainly declared to you that I
    cou'd not be satisfy'd with you, and I could no longer find in you
    _any degree of deference towards me_. I was never so drunk with
    presumption as to expect _absolute_ deference and _blind submission
    to my will_. A degree of deference to me and to my situation, I
    frankly own, I did not think too much for me to expect from you,
    with all the high opinion I really have of your parts. What I
    expected was too much (as perhaps might be). In our former days
    friendship had led me into the error. That error is at an end, and
    you may rest assured, that I can never be so unreasonable as to
    expect from you, now, anything like deference to me or my opinions.
    I come next to the small pecuniary assistance which you accepted
    from me, and which was exactly as you state it, two hundred pounds a
    year. I declare, upon my honour, I never gave the least foundation
    for those exaggerations which you say have been spread concerning
    it. I also declare as solemnly, before God and man, that no
    consideration cou'd ever have extorted from my lips the least
    mention of the trifling assistance you accepted from me, but the
    cruel reports, industriously propagated, and circulating from
    various quarters round to me, of the state you was left to live in.
    As to the repayment of this wretched money, allow me, dear Sister,
    to entreat you to think no more of it. The bare thought of it may
    surely suffice for your own dignity and for my humiliation, without
    taxing your present income, merely to mortify me: the demonstration
    of a blow is, in honour, a blow, and let me conjure you to rest it
    here. When I want and you abound, I promise you to afford you a
    better and abler triumph over me, by asking the assistance of your
    purse. I will now trouble you no farther than to repeat my sincere
    wishes for your welfare and to rejoice that you have so ample matter
    for the best of happiness, _springing from a heart and mind_ (to use
    your own words) entirely devoted to gratitude and duty.


    (B)

    _June 20, 1751. Pay Office._

    'Dear Sister!--I am this moment returned out of the Country and find
    another letter from you. I am extremely sorry that any expressions
    in mine to you should make you think it necessary for you to trouble
    yourself to write again, that you might convey upon paper to me,
    what you would avoid saying in conversation, as disagreeable and
    painfull. I believe I may venture to refer you to the whole tenor
    of my letter to convince yourself that I had no desire to irritate;
    and I assure you very sincerely that the expression, which seems to
    have had some of that effect, did not in the least flow from a
    thought that you was capable of intending to represent falsely. I
    only took the liberty to put it to your candid recollection, whether
    the very cause you mention, _strong feelings_ and emotions of mind
    attending them, with regard to conversations of a disagreeable kind,
    might not have led to some exaggerations of them to your own self. I
    verily believe this cause, and this alone may have had some of this
    effect: for sure I am, that I never could wish, much less exact that
    the object of my whole heart and of my highest opinion and
    confidence, thro the best part of my days, could be capable of such
    vileness as _absolute_ deference and _blind submission to my will_.
    All I wished and what I but late quite despaired of, I took the
    liberty to recall to you in my last letter. As to the late
    conversation you have thought necessary (since your letter of
    yesterday) to recollect, I am ready to take shame before you, and
    all mankind, if you please, for having lost my temper, upon any
    provocation, so far as to use expressions, as foolish as they are
    angry: that you _had a bad head_ will easily pass for the first: and
    a worse heart for the last. This you made me angry enough to say:
    but this I never was, nor I hope shall be, angry enough to think:
    and this, Sister, I am sure you know. As to the other word, which I
    am sorry I used because it offended you, I will again beg to appeal
    to your recollection, whether it was not apply'd to your forbidding
    _me ever to talk to you of every thing that interested you_: and as
    _to shaping your life in some degree to mine_, which I believe were
    my very words, let me ask you, if you don't know that they were said
    in an answer to your telling me _that I had in several conversations
    directly explained to you that to satisfy me you must live with me
    as my slave_? So much, dear Sister, for the several points of your
    letter; which I am sorry to find it necessary to say so many words
    upon. I will be with you by nine to-morrow, as that hour seems most
    convenient to you: is it impossible I may still find you so
    obliging as not to think any more of repaying what I certainly never
    lent you, in any other sense than that of giving me a right to your
    purse, whenever I should want it, and which you must forego some
    convenience to repay?[79]


Whether a reconciliation took place on this occasion or not we have no
evidence apart from Camelford's. But if he is to be believed as to
William's motives, there was little to be gained by one, for Ann was
soon to leave the Court. Her new office 'very soon grew uneasy to her,'
says her nephew, 'through the artifices of her royal pupil.' Horace
Walpole gives a different account. 'Being of an intriguing and most
ambitious nature, she soon destroyed her own prospect by an impetuosity
to govern her mistress and by embarking in other cabals at that Court.
Her disgrace followed, but without dismissal, on which she had retired
to France.'[80]

'It was then,' says Camelford, 'that her brother, then Secretary of
State, made a new overture of reconciliation by a letter that you will
read, which had too much the appearance of sincerity and
disinterestedness not to be gladly accepted.'

Camelford is not particularly careful of his own accuracy or
consistency. He had just told us that William sought for a renewal of
friendship because Ann would be useful to him at Court: he now has to
acknowledge that when Ann was banished from Court he instantly sought
reconciliation with more ardour than ever. As regards his accuracy, it
need only be noted that the letter to which he alludes is dated from the
Pay Office, and despatched more than three years before Pitt became
Secretary; a flaw, but not a grave flaw, in a father writing from memory
to his son.

Here is the letter, which seems to be in answer to one from Ann, and
which is surely as tender and affectionate as the sorest heart of sister
could desire:


    _Pay Office. Feb. 8. 1753._

    Dear Sister,--I shou'd have receiv'd the most sensible satisfaction,
    if you had been able to tell me, that the more declared, or new
    symptoms of your disorder had been such, as gave you a near prospect
    of being quite relieved. believe me Dear Sister, my heart is fill'd
    with the most affectionate wishes for your health, and impatient
    desire to see you return home well and happy. I never can reflect on
    things passed, (wherein I must have been infinitely in the wrong, if
    I ever gave you a pain) without the tenderest sorrow: and the
    highest aggravation of this concern wou'd be to think, that,
    perhaps, you may not understand the true state of my heart towards
    you. Heaven preserve my Dear Sister, and may I ever be able to
    convince her how sincerely I am her most affectionate Brother:

    W. PITT.

    I continue an Invalid, and wait for better weather with as much
    patience as I can.


This is followed by another letter so humble and so self-reproachful
that one can scarcely believe it to be penned by one whose pride was a
byeword, and one can certainly not believe it to be the production of
crafty and servile selfishness, as Lord Camelford would have us imagine.
No brother could approach a sister with more delicacy or warmth of
feeling.


    _Pay Office. Feb. 27. 1753._

    Dear Sister,--I am unable to express the load you have taken off my
    heart by your affectionate and generous answer to my last letter: I
    will recur no more to a subject, which your goodness and
    forgiveness forbid me to mention. the concern I feel for your state
    of health is most sensible; wou'd to God, you may be shortly in a
    situation to give me the infinite comfort of hearing of an amendment
    in it! I hope Spring is forwarder, where you reside, than with us,
    and that the difference of climate begins to be felt. I will not
    give you the trouble to read any more: but must repeat, in the
    fulness of my heart, the warmest and tenderest acknowledgements of
    your goodness to,

    My Dear Sister, Your most affec Brother
    W. PITT.

    I continue still a good deal out of Order, but begin to get ground.


The next letter marks a complete removal of tension and the restoration
of close and friendly relations. It cannot, alas! restore the easy flow
of youth. A score of years have passed, William has been buffeted and
tossed and has had to fight hard for his hand; he is besides so much the
older. So we find ourselves involved in the fulsome extravagance of his
maturer epistles; so much the worse!


    _London. April ye 5. 1753._

    My Dear Sister,--Nothing can be felt more sensibly than I do the
    goodness of your letter, in which you talk to me circumstantially of
    your own health, and desire to hear circumstantially of mine. it is
    a great deal of Comfort to me to know that you have great hopes of
    being better by Mr Vernage's advice; but it wou'd have been an
    infinite satisfaction to have heard that you had already found
    amendment. May every Day of Spring contribute to the thing in the
    world I wish the most ardently! I am infinitely glad that the
    concurrent opinions of Physicians of both Countries are the
    foundation of expecting the Spa will relieve you: I shall dwell all
    I can on this comfortable hope, and beg to hear of any amendment you
    may find by better weather and whatever course you now use. I will
    now talk of that health you so kindly desire to hear of. I have
    been ill all the winter with disorders in my bowels, which have left
    me very low, and reduced me to a weak state of health. I am now, in
    many respects, better, and seem getting ground, by riding and taking
    better nourishment. Warmer weather, I am to hope, will be of much
    service to me. I propose using some mineral waters: Tunbridge or
    Sunning Hill or Bath, at their proper seasons, as the main of my
    complaint is much abated and almost removed, I hope my Horse, warm
    weather and proper nourishment will give me health again. the kind
    concern you take in it is infinitely felt by, Dear Sister,

    Your most affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.


The next letter shows that Ann was residing at Blois.


    Dear Sister,--I have just receiv'd the pleasure of your letter of 30
    April. the Comfort it has given me is infinitely great, and your
    goodness in sending me the earliest account in your power of such an
    amendment as you now describe is the kindest thing imaginable, May
    the fine season, where you are, continue without interruption, and
    every Day of it add to the beneficial effects you have begun to
    feel! our season here does not keep pace with that at Blois: I am
    however much mended in several respects, and have the greatest hopes
    given me of removing my remaining disorder by the help of warmer
    weather and Tunbridge waters. I have just time to write this line
    before dinner, and had I more, I think it best not to trouble you
    with long letters. I shall dine upon your letter I am dear Sister

    Your most affectionate Brother
    _London. May 7th 1753._
    W. PITT.


Here intervenes a letter to Mary, in which there is cordial mention of
Ann, and an obvious allusion to the escapades of Elizabeth; surely a
tender letter from a brother of forty-five to a younger sister.


    _Bath. Octr the 20th. 1753._

    I am very glad to hear in the Conclusion of my Dear Mary's letter
    that she will be under no difficulty in getting to London: my
    Brother is very obliging, as I dare say he intends to be in all
    things towards you, to make your journey easy and agreeable to you.
    I propose being in Town by the meeting of the Parliament; if I am
    able: when I shall have infinite Joy in meeting my Dear Sister after
    so very long an Absence and seeing Her in a Place where she seems to
    think herself not unhappy. if I shou'd be prevented being in Town so
    soon, the House will always be ready to receive you. I think you
    judge very right not to produce yourself much till we have met:
    Mrs Stuart, and my Sister Nedham, if in Town, will be the
    properest, as well as the most agreeable Places for you to frequent.
    My Dear Child, I need not intimate to your good understanding and
    right Intentions, what a high degree of Prudence and exact attention
    to your Conduct and whole behaviour is render'd necessary by the sad
    errors of others. It is an infinite misfortune to you that my Sister
    Ann is not in England: her Countenance and her Advice and
    Instructions, superior to any you can otherwise receive, wou'd be
    the highest advantage to you. Supply it as well as you can, by
    thinking of Her, imitating her worth, and thereby endeavouring to
    deserve her esteem, as you wish to obtain that of the best Part of
    the World. I can not express how anxious I am for your right
    behaviour in all respects, upon which alone your happiness must
    depend. whatever assistance my advice can be to You, you will ever
    have with the truest affection of a Brother.

    Yrs
    W. PITT.


The next letter is pregnant enough, written to Ann at Nevers. Their aunt
Essex is dead, but her death only lurks in a postscript. For Pelham is
dead and Pitt is a cripple at Bath, disabled from proceeding to the
capital, where his fate and that of the future administration are being
settled. His restless anguish seems to pierce through these few lines.
And yet this bedridden invalid was to be a joyful and alert bridegroom
before the year was out.


    _Bath. March 9th: 1754._

    Dear Sister,--I write to you under the greatest affliction, on all
    Considerations Private and Publick. Mr Pelham Died Wednesday
    morning, of a Feaver and St. Anthony's fire. This Loss is, in my
    notion of things, irreparable to the Publick. I am still suffering
    much Pain with Gout in both feet, and utterly unable To be carry'd
    to London. I may hope to be the better for it hereafter, but I am at
    present rather worn down than releiv'd by it: I am extremely
    concern'd at the last accounts of your health. I hope you have
    Spring begun at Nevers, which I pray God may relieve you.

    I am Dear Sister, Your most affectionate Brother,
    W. PITT.

    My Sister Nedham has been ill of a Feaver here, but is well again.

    I have just received an account of Mrs Cholmondeley's[81] Death.


The next letter, a month later, leaves Pitt still at Bath; the gout had
almost the lion's share of his life, and we wonder that he accomplished
so much under its constant pangs. On this occasion he strains our
credulity by the complimentary assertion that he thinks a thousand times
more of Ann than of the struggle over Pelham's succession, and his own
involved ambition. On all that sordid scramble he kept the fierce,
unflinching eye of a hawk, and of a hawk fastened by the talon. Ten days
before he wrote this note he had despatched a letter to Newcastle,
Pelham's brother and successor, burning with a passion which Ann's
ailments could never have inspired. Ann indeed, knowing her William,
would smile as she read, and value the extravagance at its worth.


    _Bath. April 4th. 1754._

    Dear Sister,--The Account you give me of your own health, and the
    kind concern you feel for mine, touches me more than I will attempt
    to express, tho' I am still at Bath, don't think the worse of my
    health, but be assured that I am in a fairer way of recovering a
    tolerable degree of it, than I have been in for a long time pass't.
    My Gout has been most regular and severe, as well as of a proper
    Continuance to relieve, and perhaps quite remove, the general
    disorder which had brought me so low. I am recovering my feet and
    drinking the waters with more apparent good effects than I ever
    experienced from them. I have been out of all the bustle of the
    present Conjuncture; and believe me, my thoughts go a thousand times
    to Nevers, for once that they go towards London. Nothing in this
    world can, in the smallest degree, interest my mind like the
    recovery of your health. I wait with very painfull Impatience for
    better weather for you, and to hear, that the waters you propose to
    take, afford you relief.

    I am My Dear Sister's ever most affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.

    My sister Nedham is well, and went yesterday to Marybone to see her
    Sons.

    Poor George Stanhope died of a feaver a few days since.[82]


The next, after an interval of six months, is again from Bath, but in a
different strain. He is now the happiest of men, about to be united to
the most meritorious and amiable of women, whose brothers are already
his own in harmony and affection; a happy marriage, but a disastrous,
storm-tossed brotherhood, as it was destined to be in the years to come,
when rival ambitions would strain the bond to breaking.

There is also an icicle from Lady Hester herself, which embodies the
decorous expression of what a young lady of the middle eighteenth
century allowed herself to feel when she was going to be married. Even
this act of politeness was inspired by William. 'I have writ this night
to my poor sister Ann. She is not well enough to return to England this
winter. Whenever your excessive goodness will honour her with a letter
it will be a comfort to her. If you please to commit it to me I will
forward it to her, and bless you a million of times.'[83]


    _Bath. Oct. 21st. 1754._

    Dear Sister,--The favour of your letter from Chaillot has by no
    means answered my eager wishes for your health, and a kind of
    distant hope I had formed of your return to England this winter. My
    desires to see you are greatly and very painfully disappointed: I
    have only to hope that your Stay in France will give you a much
    better winter than the last, and may finally restore your health to
    you and you to your Friends. I am now, Dear Sister, to impart to you
    what I have no longer a prospect of doing, with infinitely more
    pleasure, by word of mouth: it is to say, that, your health
    excepted, I have nothing to wish for my happiness, Lady Hester
    Grenville has consented to give herself to me, and by giving me
    every thing my Heart can wish, she gives you a Sister, I am sure you
    will find so, not less every other way than in name. the act I now
    communicate, will best speak her character, she has generosity and
    goodness enough to join part of her best days to a very shattered
    part of mine; neither has my fortune any thing more tempting. I know
    no Motif she can have but wishing to replace to me many things that
    I have not. I can only add, that I have the honour and satisfaction
    of receiving the most meritorious and amiable of Women from the
    hands of a Family already my Brothers in harmony and affection, and
    who have been kindly Contending which of them shou'd most promote my
    happiness by throwing away the Establishment of a Sister they
    esteem and love so much. When I left Lady Hester ten days ago, She
    wish'd to know when I notify'd this approaching event to you, that
    She might do herself the pleasure to write to you. when she knows I
    have writ, she will introduce herself to you. I propose staying here
    about ten days, if my patience can hold out so long. You will wonder
    to see a letter on such a subject dated from Bath; but to a goodness
    like Lady Hester Grenville's, perhaps, my infirmities and my Poverty
    are my best titles.

    Your ever affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.


    LADY HESTER GRENVILLE TO MISS ANN PITT.

    May I not hope, Dr Madam, that the situation I am in with your
    Brother will dispose you to receive favourably an Instance of the
    extreme desire I have to recommend myself to your friendship; and
    that You will give me Leave to employ the only means in my Power
    from the distance that is between us, of expressing how much I wish
    to enjoy that Honour. Every Thing makes me Ambitious of Obtaining so
    great an Advantage, and so flattering a distinction. Your Own
    peculiar Merit, and the Large share which you possess of Mr Pitt's
    Esteem and Affection makes me feel it as an Article important to my
    Happiness, and I indulge myself in the pleasure of thinking that you
    will not refuse to extend your goodness to a Person whom your
    Brother has thought worthy of so convincing a proof of his regard
    and Love, and whose sentiments for Him are full of all that the
    highest sense of his superior Merit and most amiable qualities can
    Inspire. I feel a vanity and a pleasure in being the Object of his
    Choice which can be added to by nothing but the happiness of knowing
    that you give your Approbation and that you will allow me to flatter
    myself You will not be sorry for an Event which will give me the
    valued privilege of addressing you the next time, I have the honour
    to be thus employ'd, by the endearing name of Sister. Give me leave
    to say that I have heard with the greatest regret that your state of
    health does not permit you to return to England this winter, and
    that I hope as a compensation for the Disappointment your stay will
    ensure yr perfect recovery. I commit this Letter to Yr Brs
    Care, and trust to Him for conveying it to you, sure that the best
    recommendation it can have will be its coming under his protection;
    accompanied with Marks of His Partiality; and I hope that you will
    believe Dr Madam, that I am with all the esteem possible, and the
    highest regard,

    Your most faithful and Obed. Humble Servant,
    HER: GRENVILLE.


In the next letters Pitt and Lady Hester acknowledge Ann's
congratulations. He had, however, moved to London, and amid all these
orange-blossoms was forging terrible vengeance on his perfidious chief.
Within ten days of his marriage he was making Newcastle and Newcastle's
henchmen cower in their offices, though for the present they did not
dare oust him from his.


    _Pay Office. Nov. 8th. 1754._

    Dear Sister,--Your letter of the 1st Novr has given me all that
    remain'd to Compleat my happiness, by the affectionate Share you
    take in it; and without which, great as it truly is, and shar'd in
    the kindest manner by every Thing else I value and love in the
    World, it still wou'd have wanted something ever essential to my
    Satisfaction. Your Goodness and Friendship has nothing left to give
    me: Cou'd the re-establishment of your health but add that most
    sensible Pleasure to all I feel, I may call myself happy, as it is
    given but to a few to be. Lady Hester Grenville speaks for herself
    this Post. my Health is not good, but, as yet, it is not quite bad.
    I have gone on with the World (as I cou'd) with much worse.

    I am Dear Sister Your most affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.

    I hope in about a week to say more of my happiness.


Lady Hester's letter is not worth giving; it is prim, decorous, and
void.

Pitt and Lady Hester are married on November 16. Lady Hester writes to
Ann nine days afterwards a letter full of good feeling stiffened and
starched by decorum. Some letters are too improper to print, this is too
proper.

Ann was now returning home, and Mary goes to meet her with a note of
welcome from William. Lord Camelford says that her health and spirits
declined grievously in France, and so her brother, 'though not till
after repeated notifications of her distress, sent over a clergyman to
bring her back to her family and assist in her journey.' This gives us a
test of Camelford's bias in dealing with his uncle. For hear Ann
herself, in a letter to Lady Suffolk announcing that she was on her way
to England, and had arrived as far as Sens, whence she writes. Speaking
of William, she says, 'he continued as he began, as soon as the King had
put him in the place he is in, by giving me the strongest and tenderest
proof of his affection.... I was so sunk and my mind so overcome with
all I have suffered, and I was so mortified and distressed, that I do
not believe anything in the world could have made it possible for me to
get out of this country, but my brother's sending a friend to my
assistance, and choosing so proper a person as Mr de la Porte is in all
respects. He has known me and my family for about thirty years, from
having been my Lord Stanhope's Governor.' She goes on to refer to 'the
virtue and goodness of my friends, particularly of my brother, who has
always seemed to guess and understand all I felt of every kind, and has
carried his delicacy so far as never once to put me in mind of what I
felt more strongly than any other part of my misfortune, which was, how
very disagreeable and embarrassing it must be to him to have me in
France, You may believe that I will be out of it the first minute that
is possible.'

So the fact is that the man, whom Camelford endeavours to depict as
having acted with hardness and insensibility on this occasion, displayed
in reality incessant and delicate tenderness, according to the grateful
acknowledgment of Ann herself. Pitt had just attained his supremacy;
this was the most critical epoch of his life; all the year he had been
fighting the King and the Court, and this was the moment of victory.
Eleven days before Ann wrote this letter he had become for the second
time Secretary of State and had begun his great ministry. During this
time of strain and anxiety he heard of Ann's illness; he must have felt
strongly, though he refrained from mentioning it to her, the irksomeness
of her being in France when he was waging war against that kingdom, and
so he sent an old family friend to conduct her home. Could brother have
done more? Is there not here an anxious and thoughtful affection,
distorted grievously by the implacable animosity of the nephew?
Camelford is, however, obliged to record that on her arrival she went
straight to Pitt's villa at Hayes, 'where, tho' her spirits were still
weak, she was surprisingly recovered.'

There is no date to the following note which Mary was to hand to Ann.
But as Ann's letter to Lady Suffolk cited above is of July 10, 1757, we
cannot be far wrong in placing it somewhat later in the same month. It
is indeed perplexing to find another letter to Lady Suffolk dated 'Spa,
September 5, 1757.' But the year 1757 is a surmise, and in all
probability an incorrect surmise, of the editor. Ann was hastening to
England in July 1757, stayed some time at Hayes on her arrival, and is
not likely to have been on the Continent again in September.


    _Friday Morning._

    Dear Sister,--I Can not let my Sister Mary go away without a line to
    express my infinite satisfaction to hear you are arrived and that
    you find your strength and Spirits in so good a condition. at the
    same time let a Veteran Invalide recommend to you, above all things,
    to use this returning Strength and Spirits very sparingly at first.
    I shou'd be happy to accompany Miss Mary to Rochester, but the
    overwhelming business of this Momentous Conjuncture hardly allow
    (_sic_) me time to tell you how impatiently and tenderly I wish to
    embrace my Dear Sister.[84]


Ann had gone from Hayes to Clifton, as we know from a letter to Lady
Suffolk dated June 22, 1758, and thence proceeded to Bath, as we know
from another letter dated August 19, 1758. She was restless, as on
August 26 she was at Bristol. In all these letters there is not a word
that betokens other than kindness and gratitude to her brother; as, for
example, on August 19 she writes to Lady Suffolk: 'God grant that the
public news may continue to be good, especially from Prince Ferdinand,
for the sake of a person whose health and prosperity I wish more than I
shall ever tell him.' A week afterwards she takes public occasion to
rejoice at his triumphs by furnishing a bonfire and ten hogsheads of
strong beer and all the music she could procure. On the other side, we
read the letters which the busy statesman found time to write to her,
breathing affection and solicitude.


    _St. James's Square. Aug. 10th. 1758._

    Dear Sister,--I wait with much impatience to hear you are arrived
    well at Bath, and that you are lodged to your mind. I will not
    entertain any doubts, after having had the satisfaction of seeing
    you, that your progression to a perfect recovery will be sensible
    every Day, and as soon as you can bear a stronger nourishment, that
    Spirits, the concomitants of Strength, will return. as a part of the
    necessary regimen, solid nourishment for that busy craving Thing
    call'd Mind must have its place, and I know of no mental
    Alteratives(?) of power to renovate and brace up a sickly
    Constitution of Thought, but that mild and generous Philosophy which
    teaches us the true value of the World, and a rational firm
    religion, that anchors us safe in the confidence of another. but I
    will end my sermon and come to the affairs of the world I am so
    deeply immersed in. this day had brought us an account that our
    Troops effected their landing, with little Loss, ye 7th and 8th two
    Leagues from Cherbourgh, in the face of a pretty considerable
    Number, who gave some loose fires and run. I am infinitely anxious
    till we hear again, as I expect something serious will ensue. I must
    not close my letter without telling you that the most particular
    enquiries after your health have been made by the Lady you sent a
    Card to, and I, very obligingly reprimanded for keeping your arrival
    a secret from Them. Lady Hester shares my Impatience to hear news of
    you, and all my sentiments for your health and happiness. our Love
    follows dear Mary, whose merits you must, to your great
    satisfaction, more and more feel every day.

    I am ever my Sister's most affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.


    _St. James's Square. Sept. ye 12th. 1758._

    Dear Sister,--You have now try'd the Bristol waters long enough to
    make some judgement of their effects, and I have kept silence long
    enough for you to make perhaps a strange judgement of my manner of
    feeling for my friends. but feel I certainly do, my Dear Sister, for
    all that concerns your health and happiness, how much soever I have
    kept it for some weeks past a matter between me and my own
    conscience, without giving you the least hint of my truly
    affectionate sollicitude on your account. I am extremely inclin'd to
    believe Doctor Oliver judges rightly of the first principle of your
    disorders; that it is Gout, which aided by the waters of Bath and
    proper nourishment may ripen into a salutary tho' painfull crisis.
    as I think myself that Languor or perturbation of Spirits are well
    exchanged for a degree of pain, I shall heartily wish you joy of
    such a revolution in the system of your Constitution. how can I have
    got so far in my paper, and not a word of the King of Kings whose
    last Glories transcend all the parts? the Modesty of H:P: Majtys
    relation, his Silence of Himself, and entire attribution of the
    victory to Genl Seidlitz, are of a mind as truely heroick as H.
    Majesty's taking a Colours in his own hand, when exhortations
    failed, and forcing a disordered Infantery to follow Him or see Him
    perish. more Glory can not be won; but more decisive final
    consequence we still hope to hear, and languish for further letters
    from the Prussian army. My Love to Dear Mrs Mary.

    I am ever most affecly Yrs
    W. PITT.


Then comes a letter referring apparently to the Battle of Hochkirch:


    Dear Sister,--I can not omit writing, tho' but a line, to give you
    the satisfaction of knowing that Mr d'Escart will return to France
    in a very few days. I am very glad that it has been practicable to
    accomplish so soon a thing that will give pleasure to so many of
    your Friends. the news from Dresden to day is not very agreable, the
    King of Prussia's right wing attack'd sudenly at 4 in the morning
    ye 14th, put into disorder, Marshal Keith and Prince Francis of
    Brunswick kill'd but the King coming to the Right, the action was
    restored and the Austrians repulsed. His Prussian Majesty's Person
    so exposed that one trembles: his Horse shot, and a Page and Ecuyer
    wounded by his side. a second action seems inevitable: I hope every
    thing from it, as this Heroick Monarch's happy Genius never fails
    him when he wants it most. I have not a moment more. be assured of
    my constant wishes for your health and happiness.

    I am Dear Sister Your affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.

    Loves to Mary.
    _Oct. ye 24th._


Ann was now in London on a short visit, for the purpose of attending the
Court; but she had designs of her own which appear to be serious, but
which give some evidence of the insanity which was always hovering over
her.

'I hear my Lord Bath,' she writes, November 10, 1758, 'is here very
lively, but I have not seen him, which I am very sorry for, because I
want to offer myself to him. I am quite in earnest, and have set my
heart upon it; so I beg seriously you will carry it in your mind and
think if you could find any way to help me. Do not you think Lady Betty
(Germaine) and Lord and Lady Vere would be ready to help me, if they
knew how willing I am? But I leave this to your discretion, and repeat
seriously that I am quite in earnest. He can want nothing but a
companion that would like his company, and in my situation, I should not
desire to make the bargain without that circumstance. And though all I
have been saying puts me in mind of some advertisements I have seen in
the newspaper from gentlewomen in distress, I will not take that method;
but I want to recollect whether you did not once tell me, as I think you
did many years ago, that he spoke so well of me that he got anger for it
at home, where I never was a favourite.'[85]

Never, surely, did a spinster of forty-eight breathe so frankly her
aspirations towards a wealthy and avaricious septuagenarian. We may be
sure that this freak of fancy was not confided to her brother. But he on
his side had a favour to ask of her, on behalf of a puissant personage.
Statesmen in those days had to pay their homage to the Court wherever
they could find it, and Pitt, who was never loved by George II., could
not afford to neglect the influence of Lady Yarmouth. At any rate, he
did not, though apparently without success in his ultimate object; and
so we find him attempting to neutralise, through Ann, the mischief which
might ensue from Lady Betty Waldegrave's letters being attributed by the
Court of France to the King's favourite. Lady Yarmouth was in danger of
being compromised!

Ann thus describes the negotiation: 'If I had not happened to be sick, I
should have been very much pleased with an express that was sent me to
give me a commission that I liked to execute, because it relates to a
person I am obliged to and have a regard for; it is my Lady Yarmouth who
desires me, by my brother, to explain a very disagreeable mistake which
has been made in France about a very fond letter, and mighty improper as
to politics, which Lady Betty Waldegrave wrote to her husband, unsigned,
and having desired the answer might be directed to Lady Y's lodging,
they concluded, very absurdly, the letter came from her; and as it was
intercepted, it was translated, shown, and commented very
impertinently.'


    _St. James's Square. Nov. 7th. 1758._

    Dear Sister,--I write to you at the desire of Lady Yarmouth, on an
    Incident of a particular nature, and which has given her Ladyship
    so much uneasiness that it will be a very agreeable office, if you
    can contribute, by a letter to some Lady of the Court at Versailles,
    to the clearing up of a very odd Qui pro Quo. The matter in question
    is as follows. Letters to England from our Army having been taken,
    there is amongst them _one_ from Lady Betty Waldgrave to General
    Waldgrave _unsign'd_. the writer desires the General will _direct
    his letters to Lady Yarmouth at Kensington_. on this ground the
    letter in question being attributed, in France, to Lady Yarmouth has
    drawn attention, been translated, and handed about, as she is
    inform'd, with some mirth at Versailles and Paris. this letter is
    return'd, by the channel of Selwyn's House, and Lady Yarmouth finds
    it to contain, not only the expressions of a loving wife to a
    Husband, but a strain of political reflections, together with
    observations on very high Personages in Europe, commanding Armies in
    Germany; all which Language cou'd not but bear a very prejudicial
    Comment, if really attributed to the Lady, by whose desire I now
    write to you. You are the best judge how to acquit yourself of the
    Commission you are desired to charge yourself with; whether by
    writing to the Dutchess of Mirepoix or any other of your friends. I
    can only say, that I perceive Lady Yarmouth will think Herself
    obliged to you for such an intervention, in a matter of some
    Delicacy, and which might have many possible ill Consequences. if
    you shall write in the manner desir'd, and will send your letter
    directed to your Correspondent, under Cover to me, I will take care
    it shall go in Count Very's packet to Paris.

    I rejoice extremely my Dear Sister, at the account of your amendment
    in Spirits, since your late attack. keep the ground so hardly won,
    and ascend, by courage and perseverance that arduous steep, on the
    Summit of which, Health and Happiness, I trust, still wait you. I am
    lame in one foot, and much threatened with Gout for some days past;
    but I flatter myself that it may blow over, like an Autumnal ruffle.
    our Expeditions are, I fear, lame in both Feet. My Messenger is
    order'd to wait your full leisure.

    I am Dear Sister, Your most affectionate Brother
    W. PITT.


Ann appears to have been successful, and receives thanks both from
William and the formal Lady Hester.


    Dear Sister,--I am desired by Lady Yarmouth to assure you of the
    sense she has of your good offices, which she was so good to
    accompany with the most obliging expression of regard for you, and
    with many wishes for your health. I shall be happy to receive a
    favourable account of your situation, and which I flatter myself is
    every day mending, and that by a Progression which will soon enable
    you to take air and exercise. I am just going to Hayes, for some
    hours recess, that I want much.

    I am ever Dear Sister Most affly Yrs
    W. PITT.
    _Saturday morning._


    _St. James's Square Tuesday Nov. 14._

    Dear Madam,--If I had not for some time past found great
    inconvenience from writing I shou'd not have continued so long
    Silent where I always find so much pleasure in expressing my
    sentiments, but however great my indisposition is from _my
    Situation_ to my present employment, I cou'd not refuse a commission
    which I had the honour to be charged with today from my Lady
    Yarmouth, as I am sure the Subject of it will be a great pleasure
    and Satisfaction to you. It was to desire I wou'd return you a
    thousand Thanks for your letters, and to assure you that she felt
    herself most extremely obliged to you for them, and for the trouble
    you had given yourself, with many other expressions of the manner in
    which she was sensible of your goodness in what you had done, and
    how very agreable it was to Her. I was very sorry to find by your
    account of yourself to Mr Pitt that you had had another return of
    your bilious Complaint, but we Comfort our selves with the hope of
    its having produced the same salutary effects the Last did. We shall
    be impatient to have a confirmation of its having had so desirable a
    consequence. By Miss Mary's Last Letters both to her Brother and Me
    we have flattered ourselves with the pleasure of seeing Her for some
    days past, but as yet she has not appeared, which wou'd make us
    uneasy but that we conclude if her purpose of Leaving Bath the time
    she mention'd had been alter'd from any disagreable Circumstance she
    wou'd have apprised us of it. Our Nephew, Mr. Thos. Pitt, desires to
    have the permission and pleasure of conveying this to you, as he
    intends setting out for the Bath tomorrow in order to wait upon Sir
    Richard Lyttelton, whom I wish he may find better than by the
    reports which prevail, I fear he has any Chance of Doing. Your
    Brother continues as usual overwhelm'd with business, and not
    entirely free from some Notices of the Gout, but which yet I flatter
    myself will not increase to a fit. He begs his affectionate
    Compliments to you, and I that you wou'd forgive both the shortness
    and the faults of this Letter, and believe me equally however
    exprest

    Your very affectionate Sister and Obedient Servant
    HES: PITT.

    Mr Pitt desires to assure you the Letters were the properest that
    cou'd be writ upon the occasion.


Ann, as we learn from the preceding letter, returned to Bath at once.
'Mr Thomas Pitt' (Lord Camelford) brings it to her, and here makes her
acquaintance: 'It was there' (at Bath) 'in the year 1759 that I first
connected that friendship with her which still leaves so many mixed
sensations on my mind.' Ann, it may confidently be said, left mixed
sensations on all minds. The next note announces the birth of the young
William Pitt.


    _Hayes. May ye 28th. 1759._

    Dear Sister,--I have the satisfaction to acquaint you, of what you
    was so good to wish to hear; Lady Hester was safely delivered of a
    Boy this morning, after a labour rather severe, but she and the
    Child are, thank God, as well as can be. You will give us a very
    real pleasure by good accounts of your own health which we hope is
    much better for the journey alone, and that waters will not fail to
    be of great assistance towards a perfect recovery. I am

    Dear Sister Your most affectionate Brother,
    W. PITT.

    I can't help mentioning to you the waters and Bath of Buxton: which
    for a languid perspiration and obstructions in the smaller vessels,
    have done wonders.


Next comes a short letter from William, only notable from his anxiety
about Squire Allworthy.


    _St. James's Square. July 24th, 1759._

    Dear Sister,--Your letter on the subject of Mr. Allen's Health gave
    me, with the Pain of learning he had been ill, the Satisfaction of
    understanding that the attack was, in some degree over; that to Lady
    Hester giving an account of the terrible nature of his complaint,
    having follow'd Her to Wotton, where she now is.

    I trust that the next accounts from Prior Park will be favourable
    and that the best of men, who feels and relieves the most the
    sufferings of others, may not Himself suffer the severest of Pains.
    I learn with great satisfaction the considerable amendment you
    mention in your own Health, and the promising prospects of deriving
    much benefit from Tunbridge. I hope You will not let too much of
    this fine season for mineral waters pass, before you repair to Them,
    and that their effects, when you try them, will fully answer your
    own and your Friends expectation.

    I am Dear Sister Your most affectionate Brother,
    W. PITT.

    if Lord Paulett be still at Bath, I beg my compliments to his
    Lordship.


It is perhaps well, for the preservation of continuity, to print the
following letter from Lady Hester to her sister-in-law:


    _Tuesday. St. James's Square. Aug. 29th._

    I am so much in Arrear to You, my Dear Madam, and upon so many
    accounts, that I don't know where to begin first to acquit my Self
    to You. I feel I want now most to justifie my self to you for not
    having before exprest how sensible I am to the various Marks I have
    received of your very obliging Attention upon all the Subjects that
    you knew wou'd give me the greatest pleasure. The Fact is that an
    unexpected Journey to Wotton, from which place I return'd but Last
    night, interfered with my intention of writing to You, and of
    returning you my sincerest thanks for the great Satisfaction your
    Letter gave me. It included everything that cou'd make it pleasing
    to Me, and renew'd all my own Joy for our Successes with Yours added
    to it, which was a great improvement of all I felt before, and
    particularly for Louisbourg, _Dear_, as you know so many ways. I am
    charmed with my rings, which are after an English Taste that I hope
    will be followed, and grow fashionable enough to encourage a Variety
    of Patterns. Last night brought a Large Package from Bath directed
    to Your Brother, and intended we guess for the Young Militia Man at
    Hayes. It contained besides a present for Miss Hetty, both which
    will be faithfully deliver'd this evening, and the sentiments they
    inspire shall be in due time communicated. In the Interval I believe
    I must apply to you my Dear Madam to assure the kind sender of my
    share of pleasure in the present. Miss Mary's Letter received Last
    night, gave a great deal of Satisfaction to both your Brother and Me
    by the account of Your Health, and the Progress You have made in a
    returning to a Diet of Solid Food, a sort of Sustenance so much more
    likely to restore and confirm your Strength and Spirits than any
    other. We are glad to find that Doctor Oliver has your approbation,
    and that he seems to reason with great sense and probability upon
    your case, and what it is likely to end in. the Gout is not a very
    desirable Thing, but only comparatively, where the constitution is
    not strong, for then there ar many Disorders to which people are
    Liable that are much worse. I am vastly pleased that Our House has
    the honour of being approved by you, and should be delighted if I
    cou'd be so happy as to receive You in it, and wish extremely that
    it was furnish'd and fit for Your reception, but I find Mr. Pitt
    thinks that it is not proper to have hired furniture put into it, as
    well as that you cou'd not be so conveniently accommodated in a
    House so circumstanced, as you will be in the very commodious
    Lodgings which Bath affords. We are meditating a journey to Hayes
    the moment Mr. Pitt returns from Kensington, which makes it
    impossible for me to say as much as I wish to You upon the different
    Subjects in this Letter, being obliged to give an account of my
    journey to the Friends I met at Wotton who are now disperst. May I
    beg you to give my Love to Miss Mary, and to say I hope she will
    admit what I have been saying as an excuse for my not acknowledging
    by this Post in a letter to Her what I have in my sentiments
    acknowledged ever since I heard from her, that I was indebted to her
    for the Prettiest, as well as the most Obliging, Letter in the
    World, besides her Bath Fairing which I value properly. I shall only
    now repeat my request that You will believe me Always my Dear Madam

    Your affectionate Sister and most Obedient Servant,
    H. PITT.

    Mr. Pitt will endeavour to serve the Chevalier de Chaila as you
    desire.


All so far had been harmonious enough. Unfortunately, there now occurred
a second misunderstanding, to which the ensuing letters relate. It is
best to give Lord Camelford's account, which, though mysterious enough,
is all we have. 'Her Physicians advising her to discontinue the Waters
for a short time to give trial to a course of med'cines, she determin'd
to accompany me to London, to see some old friends after a long absence,
and to transact certain business, and then to return to Bath. Fearing,
however, that her unexpected arrival at her Lodgings in Leicester House
might have objections, or that there might be difficulties in her
lodging any where in London, she stop'd short at Sion at Ly.
Holdernesse's, her particular friend, from whence she removed to
Kensington to a house Mr. Cresset lent her. This Journey gave offence to
her Brother, and occasion'd their second quarrel. Instead of managing a
temper too like his own, instead of yielding to her repeated request of
seeing him, when with gentleness he might have explained his wishes to
her and have persuaded to whatever he thought best for her or for
himself, he satisfied himself with dark hints, imperious messages, and
ambiguous menaces convey'd thro' Ly. Hester and his Sister Mary, neither
of whom were very happy in the arts of conciliation. Frightened,
confounded, and at the same time exasperated by so strange a conduct,
she tried to return to Bath, but her strength would not admit of her
getting half way thro' the Journey. She return'd to Kensington--she got
medical advice--she saw a few of her old friends, who soon disproved the
falsities that were every day propagated of her State of Health--by
degrees she saw all her fears vanish--the World return to her and nobody
flie from her but the Person from whom she expected her chief
countenance and support. She sounded the Princess, and found she was at
full liberty to live where she pleased, except that the former intimacy
was at an end. She met her Brother accidentally at Ly. Yarmouth's, he
kiss'd her on both sides with the affectation of the warmest affection;
whilst he refused to visit her and his whole family were hostile to her
in the cruelest manner.'

The whole affair is obscure, and is not elucidated by the letters of
Pitt and his wife which follow. Lady Hester is civil and kind enough,
though evidently forbidden to visit or receive her sister-in-law. But
what Pitt means by his allusion to 'desultory jaunts,' and 'hovering
about London,' and conduct 'too imprudent and restless or as too
mysterious' for him to be connected with it, we cannot now conjecture.
What harm a spinster of forty-eight could do by staying with Lady
Holdernesse at Sion, and thence moving to Kensington, and being
undecided as to her plans, it is not easy to determine. It is possible,
on considering the whole affair, Ann's own temperate reply, and all that
followed, that Pitt knew that his sister was seeking a pension, for
which purpose she had gone to Sion and to Kensington (for Lady
Holdernesse was the wife of a Secretary of State, and Cresset was a man
of influence), and desirous that his name should not be connected with
the pension list at this moment of unrivalled popularity and power, he
was anxious to have no communication with her. There is a still more
probable explanation of Pitt's annoyance with his sister's behaviour. We
have seen that Lord Camelford speaks of the 'falsities that were every
day propagated about her state of health.' In a letter soon to follow
she herself speaks of her stay in France 'before my spirits were so much
disordered as they have been since.' Some years afterwards, Horace
Walpole wrote of her that she had at times been out of her senses. It
seems possible, then, that one of these attacks had taken place at Bath,
and that she had broken loose from constraint and come up to London,
which would revive the gossip about her condition, and so cause
annoyance to her brother, who thought that peremptoriness was the only
method of getting her back again to Bath. If this were so, he acted
wisely, as she appears to have returned to Bath at once. This last
conjecture seems the more probable explanation. In any case the
circumstances of the people and the times were full of electricity. Pitt
was busy, gouty and irritable; Bute was much above the horizon. Ann was
eccentric, wilful, and wayward. Soon afterwards, she had a pension,
which annoyed her brother. This is all that we can be said to know. We
do not even know the date of this episode.


    FROM LADY HESTER PITT.

    It is my Dear Madam extremely unfortunate that from different
    circumstances which have interpos'd themselves, I have not had it in
    my power to have the pleasure of seeing you since your arrival in
    the neighbourhood of London, and I am quite concern'd that by Your
    Brother's business I am so circumstanced today, as to make it
    impossible for me to receive that Satisfaction. There is to be a
    meeting of the Cabinet here this Evening, which Always engrosses my
    Apartment and banishes me to other quarters. We are but just arrived
    from the Country, which I think has done your Brother good. He
    desires I wou'd assure you of his affectionate Compliments, and Let
    you know that his present Pressure of business is so great that it
    does not leave him the Command of a quarter of an hour of his time,
    so as to be able to assure himself beforehand of the pleasure of
    seeing any friend. therefore under that uncertainty, and fearing he
    may miss of the Satisfaction of meeting You, he desires thro' me to
    wish you a safe return to Bath, so much the best place, He is
    perfectly convinced, for Your Health. We are both very glad to hear
    you have had a confirmation from Doctor Pitt of the efficacy you may
    expect to find in those waters for your Complaints. I must not end
    my Note without expressing how much I was flattered by your
    remembrance of Little Hetty, tho' I trust Miss Mary did not forget
    me upon that subject, no more than on that of my real Concern for
    its being impossible for me to wait upon You, and say for myself
    how much I feel obliged to You for your kind Letter and message. The
    Compliments of the season attend You my Dear Madam with many good
    wishes.

    _St. James's Square. Tuesday._


    _St. James's Square. Monday. Jan. 15th._

    Dear Madam,--Mr. Pitt is this moment come to Town, and so
    overwhelm'd with business, that it is quite impossible for Him to
    write a word to You Himself, in answer to your Note which he has
    just received. He is very sorry to find you are ill, and wishes me
    to tell you that you have mistaken Him in thinking he meant to
    express any desire of His as to your Going, or Staying, which he
    always meant to Leave to your own Decision, but only to offer you
    his opinion, and never proposes to take upon Him to give you any
    further Advice with regard to the place of Your residence, which you
    have all right independent of any thing with respect to Him to
    determine as You please for Yourself. I am extremely concern'd to
    hear your disorder is increased so much as to have made your return
    to Kensington necessary, as I fear your Situation There must be very
    uncomfortable and Disagreeable, without Servants, or any of those
    Conveniences, which are so particularly of Consequence when any body
    is ill. I hope most sincerely to have the pleasure of hearing you
    are better, and Able to prosecute what ever May be thought best for
    Your Health, being very truly Dear Madam

    Your Most Affectionate and Most Obedt
    H. PITT.


    _Friday Morning._

    Dear Sister,--I desire to assure you that all Idea of _Quarrel_ or
    _unkindness_, (words I am griev'd to find you cou'd employ) was
    never farther from my mind than during your stay in this
    neighbourhood. on the Contrary, my Dear Sister, nothing but kindness
    and regard to your Good, on the whole, has made me judge it
    necessary that we should not meet during the Continuance you think
    fit to give to an excursion so unexpected, and so hurtfull to you. I
    beg my Dear Sister not to mistake my wishes to see Her set down,
    for a time, quiet and collected within her own Resources of Patience
    and fortitude, (merely as being best and the only fit thing for
    Herself) so very widely as to suppose, that my Situation as a
    Publick Person, is any way concern'd in her residing in one Place or
    another. all I mean is, that, _for your own sake_, you shou'd
    abstain from all desultory jaunts, such as the present. the hearing
    of you all at once, at Sion; next at Kensington, then every day
    going, and now not yet gone, certainly carries an appearance
    disadvantageous to you in this view; I have refused myself the
    pleasure of seeing You; as considering your journey and hovering
    about London, as too imprudent and restless, or as too mysterious,
    for me not to discourage such a conduct, by remaining unmixt with
    it. this is the only cause of my not seeing you, nor can I give you
    a more real proof of my affectionate regard for your welfare than by
    thus refusing myself a great pleasure, and, I fear, giving you a
    Pain. I offer you no Advice, as to the choice of your residence. I
    am persuaded you want none; you have a right and are well able to
    judge for yourself on this point. but if you will not fix somewhere
    You are undone. I am sorry to be forc'd to say this much; but saying
    less I should cease to be with truest affection Dear Sister

    Ever Yrs
    W. PITT.


    ANN PITT TO HER BROTHER.

    Dear Brother,--I am going to set out to return to Bath, but as the
    letter I received from you yesterday leaves me in great anxiety and
    perplexity of mind, I can not set out without assuring you, as I do
    with the most exact truth, that there was no mistery in my journey
    here, nor no purpose but the relief I proposed to my mind. If I had
    known before I left the Bath that you disapproved of my leaving that
    place at this time, or of my coming to Town, I wou'd not have done
    as I have done, and wou'd not even have come near it, tho' the
    advice given me at Oxford with regard to my health, made me desire
    to make use of the interval in which I was order'd not to try the
    waters again, to have the pleasure and satisfaction of seeing You
    and some of my friends and as I hoped that satisfaction from You in
    the first place, I will not dissemble that I am very much
    disappointed and mortified in not having seen you, but as the hurry
    of important business you are in, and the relief necessary to make
    you go through it, made it possible for me not to interpret your not
    seeing me as a mark of unkindness, I never used the word (the word)
    but to guard against other people using it, upon a circumstance
    which I thought they had nothing to do with.

    When I writ you word from the Bath that I had thoughts of coming to
    Town for Christmas, I desir'd nothing so much as to do what was most
    proper according to my situation, and consequently to have your
    advice, which I told you, very sincerely I wished to be guided by
    preferably to every other consideration, You best know how I am to
    attain the end I have steadily desired for Years, as you know I writ
    you word from France (before my spirits were so much disorder'd as
    they have been since) that I desired nothing as much as a safe and
    honourable retreat, that wou'd leave me the enjoyment of my Friends,
    without which help and suport I find by a painfull experience that
    it is impossible for me to suport myself. I beg leave to trouble you
    with my compliments to Lady Hester, and my wishes for the happiness
    of you both, and of all the little family that belong to you.

    I am D Br &c.


This undated note appears to belong to the same time as the preceding
ones, and tends to confirm the hypothesis that it was Ann's mental
condition that gave rise to anxiety.


    FROM LADY HESTER PITT.

    Dear Madam,--Having informed Mr. Pitt, who is this moment come home,
    that you intend going to the Lodgings in Lisle Street, He wou'd not
    set down to dinner without desiring me to let you know from Him that
    this intention of Yours gives him the greatest surprise and not Less
    concern for _Your sake_, being unalterably persuaded that Retreat is
    the only right Thing for your Health, Welfare, and Happiness, and
    that Bath in Your present state seems to be the fittest Place.

    _St. James's Square   Wednesday   past four o'clock._


We now come to the famous affair of the pension. Ann has evidently
written to ask her brother's interest for a pension. He replies that on
such a subject he would rather not speak, much less write to her, and
gives her plainly to understand that he washes his hands of the whole
business. She now turned to Bute. 'Having lost, therefore,' writes
Camelford, 'all the hopes she had founded on her brother's friendship,
which now turned to open enmity, she tried the generosity of Ld Bute
upon the King's succession, who, not unwilling to give Mr Pitt a
sensible mortification in the shape of a civility, procured for her a
pension that was no small comfort in addition to her slender income,
which was afterwards again augmented to £1000 p.a., at the instance of
her friend M. de Nivernois, upon the peace.'


    Dear Sister,--I hoped long before now to have been able to call on
    you, and in that hope have delayed answering a letter on a subject
    so very nice and particular, that I cou'd, with difficulty and but
    imperfectly, enter into it even in conversation. I am sure I need
    not say to one of your knowledge of the world, that explaining of
    Situations is not a small Affair, at any time, and in the present
    moment I dare say You are too reasonable to wish me to do it. In
    this state I have only to assure you of my sincerest wishes for your
    advantage and happiness, and that I shall consider any good that
    arrives to you as done to myself, which I shall be ready to
    acknowledge as such: but having never been a Sollicitor of favours,
    upon any occasion, how can I become so now without contradicting the
    whole tenour of my Life? I think there is no foundation for your
    apprehensions of anything distressfull being intended, and I hope
    you will not attribute, what I have said to any motive that may give
    you uneasiness, being very truely

    Dear Sister Your affectionate Brother
    _Nov. 24: 1760._      W. PITT.


After the letter in which Pitt sheers off from the pension, there was
evidently an announcement from Ann that it had been granted to her on
the recommendation of Lord Bute. This is lost. But we have Pitt's
unpleasing congratulation. This was the note which Ann was with
difficulty restrained from returning to Pitt, having altered it to suit
the circumstances of the case, when Pitt's wife was granted a much
larger pension.


    Dear Sister,--Accept sincere felicitations from Lady Hester and me
    on the Event you have just communicated. on your account, I rejoice
    at an addition of income so agreeable to your turn of life, whatever
    repugnancy I find, at the same time, to see my Name placed on the
    Pensions of Ireland. unmixt as I am in this whole transaction, I
    will not doubt that you will take care to have it thoroughly
    understood. long may you live in health to enjoy the comforts and
    happiness which you tell me you owe to the King, singly through the
    intercession of Lord Bute, and to feel the pleasing sentiments of
    such an obligation.

    I am Dear Sister Your most affectionate Brother
    _Tuesday Dec. 30th 1760._      W. PITT.


Then follows Ann's reply, which may be judged not unconciliatory when
her fierce temperament is taken into consideration. She elaborately and
almost humbly vindicates her pension against her brother's sarcastic
strictures.


    Dear Brother,--I must trouble you again, not only to return my
    thanks to Lady Hester and yourself, for your obliging
    felicitations, But as I have the mortification of finding, that for
    some reasons which I can not judge of, You feel a repugnancy to the
    mark of favour I have had the honour to receive, and desire--it may
    be throughly understood that you had no share in the transaction--I
    ought to make you easy, by assuring you, as I do, that so far as I
    think proper to communicate an event, which will not naturally be
    very publick, I will take care to explain the truth, by which it
    will appear that you are no way concern'd in it, and that it has no
    sort of relation to your Situation as Minister, since my request was
    first made to the Princess many years ago, as Her Royal Highnesess
    Servant, as I am pretty sure I explained to you in a letter from
    France, and repeated to you at my return, as the foundation of my
    hopes of obtaining the Princesses approbation for any establishment
    you might have procured for me. And tho' the Provision I have been
    so happy to obtain from His Majesty's Bounty is of the utmost
    importance to me and answers every wish I cou'd form with regard to
    my income, yet when I was allow'd to say how much wou'd make me
    easy, I fix'd it at a sum, which I flatter myself will not be
    thought exorbitant, or appear as if I had wanted to avail myself of
    the weight of your credit, or the merit of your services to obtain
    it.

    As to your objection to your Names (_sic_) being upon the Irish
    Pensions, I do not believe that any mistake can be made, from mine
    being there. And as to myself, I very sincerely think it an honour
    that is very flattering to me, to have received so precious a mark
    of the Royal favour, and to have my Name upon the same List not only
    with some of the highest and the most deserving persons in England,
    but even with some of the greatest and most glorious names in
    Europe. If I have tired you with a longer letter than I intended, I
    have been lead (_sic_) into it, by the sincere desire I have, that
    an advantage so very essential to the ease and comfort of the
    remainder of a Life, which has not hitherto been very happy, shou'd
    not be a cause of uneasiness to You. I am


Alas for the freakful fate which plays with poor humanity and its
concerns! The next letter announces another pension, not to Ann, but to
Pitt's wife. So soon after the other correspondence, not ten months! No
wonder that Ann was tempted to the vengeance that has been described.
Even though she refrained we may imagine her unrestrained scoffs and her
bitter laughter.


    Dear Madam,--I was out of Town Yesterday, or otherwise I shou'd have
    had the pleasure of informing You that His Majesty has been
    Graciously pleas'd to confer the Dignity of Peerage on Your
    Brother's Family, by creating Me Baroness of Chatham with Limitation
    to our Sons. The King has been farther pleas'd to make a Grant of
    Three Thousand Pounds a Year to Mr. Pitt for his own Life, Mine, and
    our Eldest Son's in consideration of Mr. Pitt's Services, We do not
    doubt of the Share You will take in these Gracious Marks of his
    Majesties Royal Approbation and Goodness.

    I am Dear Madam Your most Obedient Servant
    HES: PITT.
    _Sunday Morning_


Some four years afterwards Ann received this short note, which shows
that there was no rupture of relations; and the tone indeed is cordial
for the period, when the expression of the warmest affection was far
from gushing.


    _Burton-Pynsent Aug. ye 1st 1765._

    I am extremely obliged to you, Dear Sister, for the trouble you are
    so good to take of writing to enquire after my health, which I found
    mend on the journey and by change of air. I still continue lame, but
    have left off one Crutch, which is no small advance; tho' with only
    one Wing my flights, you will imagine, are as yet very short: the
    Country of Somersetshire is beautifull and tempts much to extend
    them. I hope your health is much better and that you have found the
    way to subdue all your complaints, or at least to reduce them
    within such bounds, as leave your life comfortable and agreeable.
    Lady Chatham desires to present her compliments to you.

    I am Dear Sister Your affectionate Brother
    WILLIAM PITT.


And now there come the last sad words, the last sign of life that
William gives to Ann. It is not without significance that even at this
period of prostration he bids his wife tell Ann that his official life
is ended. It does not appear that there had ever been or was ever to be
any formal reconciliation between them. But through all the gusts and
squalls and storms that had troubled their intercourse an underlying
tenderness had survived.


    _Hayes. Oct. 21st. 1768._

    Madam,--The very weak and broken state of my Lord's health having
    reduced him to the necessity of supplicating the King to grant him
    the permission to resign the Privy Seal, he has desir'd I wou'd
    communicate this Step to You.

    I am Madam, Your most Obedient Humble Servant
    H. CHATHAM.


About this time (1768) she took up her abode at Kensington Gravel Pits,
in the region of Notting Hill, 'where out of a very ugly odd house and a
flat piece of ground with a little dirty pond in the middle of it, she
has made a very pretty place; she says she has "hurt her understanding"
in trying to make it so.'[86] Before that time she seems to have lived
for a while at Twickenham; at least Horace Walpole speaks of her as a
close neighbour. Being fairly launched as a pensioner, she throve on the
system, and eventually accumulated a treble allowance; this Bute
pension, another procured by M. de Nivernois, and another, mentioned by
Horace Walpole in a letter of Nov. 25, 1764, which must have raised her
whole income from this source to some 1500_l._ a year. On this she
entertained, and frolicked, and danced. We hear of her choice but
miniature balls, and her band of French horns, which Horace Walpole
enjoyed and described. But her intercourse with William, once so bright
and genial, was ended, and that is all with which we are here concerned.
A frigid letter or two counted as nothing in a connection which had once
been as intimate as it was delightful.

Ann went on living at Kensington a somewhat frivolous life so far as we
know anything about it, in intimate relations with Horace Walpole and
his society. But in 1774 she went abroad, under the auspices of the
Butes, to Italy, to Pisa and elsewhere. Then came her brother's sudden
death. Though she had been so long aloof from him, the shock finally
shattered her reason, which, it would appear, had already given cause
for apprehension. Chatham died May 11, 1778. She soon returned to
England, and in the October of that year Horace Walpole writes that she
is 'in a very wild way, and they think must be confined.'[87] In the
following May he announces that she is actually under restraint.[88]
There is a letter at Chevening from her to her niece, Lady Mahon, dated
'Burnham, May 9, 1779,' which betrays her distraught condition. Burnham
was probably that 'one of Dr. Duffell's houses' to which she had been
removed. On Feb. 9, 1781, she dies, still in confinement. Lady Bute, it
should be noted, was kind and attentive to the end.[89]

'She was in Italy at the time of his (Chatham's) death,' writes Lord
Camelford, who was probably there too. 'I can bear witness that the
grief she felt at the reflection of his having died without a
reconciliation with her made such an impression of tenderness on her
mind that not only obliterated all remembrance of his unkindness, but
recoiled upon herself, as if she had been the offending party, and
doubtless contributed greatly to the melancholy state in which she
died.'

Horace Walpole, who had come to hate all Pitts, confirms this in his
sardonic way. 'Did I tell you that Mrs Ann Pitt is returned and acts
great grief for her brother?' and he goes on to say that Camelford
himself 'gave a little into that mummery, even to me; forgetting how
much I must remember of his aversion to his uncle.'

There were perhaps few genuine tears save those of wife and children
shed over the grave of the grim, disconcerting old statesman, for men of
his type are beyond friendship: they inspire awe, not affection; they
deal with masses, not with individuals; they have followers, admirers,
and an envious host of enemies, rarely a friend. But Ann had no reason
to feign grief or self-reproach. She had lost her first love, her only
love, the love of her life. It is probable that the brother and sister
had understood each other throughout in their quick-kindling, petulant
way. 'My brother, who has always seemed to guess and understand all I
felt of every kind,' she wrote in 1757;[90] a sentence which is a clue
to all. The memory of childhood, the glad sympathies of youth, the
impressions received when their characters were plastic and fresh, the
habit of close intimacy for the score of years during which intimacy
was possible for him, all these contributed to form a bond which
survived the skirmishes and collisions of their later lives. Two persons
of highly charged temperament, and of natures too much akin, who
understood each other, respected each other, and perhaps secretly
enjoyed each other's ebullitions, such were Ann and William after they
separated in 1746. Their long affection is interesting if only that it
seemed impossible that two such characters should agree even for a time.
And therefore, though the narrative of this episode has swollen beyond
all limit and proportion, the space is not lost, for it is invaluable to
the student of Pitt's career. It lights up the only expressed tenderness
in his life, it is the one relief to his sombre nature, it is the sole
record that we have of the unbending of that grim and stately figure.



CHAPTER V.


In 1734 there had been a fiercely contested General Election, and Thomas
Pitt had been returned for both Okehampton and Old Sarum. He elected to
sit for Okehampton, and nominated his brother, William, together with
his brother-in-law, Nedham, for the other borough. So, on February 18,
1735, William was returned Member for the notorious borough of Old
Sarum; an area of about sixty acres of ploughed land, on which had once
stood the old city of Salisbury, but which no longer contained a single
house or a single resident. The electorate consisted of seven votes.
When an election took place the returning officer brought with him a
tent, under which the necessary business was transacted.[91]

To such a constituency it was superfluous, and indeed impossible, to
offer an election address, or an exposition of policy. But William's
politics could not be other than those of his brother and nominator,
though it would seem that Thomas conformed to William rather than
William to Thomas. We have seen some indications in his letters to Ann
that Thomas had been favourable to Sir Robert Walpole, and that so late
as November 1734. But it seems probable that William, who was united in
private friendship with Lyttelton and the Grenvilles, was drawn to them
by political sympathy as well, and was thus in agreement with the
fiercest section of the Opposition. By the time that William was
elected, Thomas, who was connected with the same group by marriage, must
also have thrown in his political lot with it, or he would not have
nominated his brother. For William, though only a cornet of horse, was
known to be an enemy, and a redoubtable enemy, to the Minister. On this
point we have clear evidence in a remarkable statement by Lord
Camelford, which will be quoted later.

William's political opinions were then, we may safely suppose, the
result of family connection, for through his brother and his own
friendships he was closely united with that band of politicians who met
and caballed at Stowe, the stately residence of Lord Cobham. There he
was a visitor for the first time this year (1735). His stay lasted not
less than four months, from the beginning of July to the end of October.
He could scarcely have remained so long without being enrolled in this
small but important group, even had he not been enlisted already. But he
was probably a recruit before his visit began. His brother, as we have
seen, had married Christian Lyttelton, Cobham's niece; George,
afterwards Lord Lyttelton, was her brother, and Cobham's nephew, as well
as William's intimate friend; Richard and George Grenville, the first of
whom is better known as Lord Temple, and the second as a laborious but
intolerable prime minister, were Cobham's nephews; Richard, indeed, was
his heir. A family connection was thus formed, which, at first held up
to ridicule under the nickname of 'Cobham's cubs,' or 'The Cousins,' or
'The Boy Patriots,' was to be for the next thirty years a notable factor
in political history, and a sinister element in Pitt's career.

So it may be well here to turn aside for a moment to consider these
Grenvilles, who exercised so singular and baleful an influence on Pitt,
and indeed on public affairs in general. For from the moment that Pitt
became their brother-in-law, he was adopted as one of the brotherhood
and choked in their embraces. From this mortal entanglement he
emancipated himself too late. It was then patent how different his
career would have been had he had a man of common-sense at his elbow, or
at least an unselfish adviser. George Grenville, however, complained on
his side that the connection had been fatal to the peace and happiness
of the Grenvilles.[92]

Who was the chief of this combination? Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham,
best remembered as the 'brave Cobham' to whom Pope addressed his first
Epistle and as the founder of the dynasty and palace of Stowe, was not
merely a soldier who had served with distinction under Marlborough, but
a fortunate courtier on whom the House of Hanover had heaped constant
and signal honours. He was created first a Baron, then a Viscount,
Constable of Windsor Castle, Governor of Jersey, a Privy Councillor,
Colonel of the First Dragoons, and was afterwards to become a Field
Marshal and Colonel of the Horse Guards. He had, hints Shelburne, some
of the Shandean humour of Marlborough's veterans, but his portrait shows
a keen, refined, perhaps sensitive countenance; he was also something
of a bashaw.[93] Sated with military honours, and always a staunch Whig,
he had now taken to conspicuous politics and splendour; politics
exacerbated by a personal slight, and splendour displayed in sumptuous
hospitality, princely buildings, and lavish magnificence of gardens.
These, laid out under the supervision of Lancelot Brown, extended at
last to not less than four hundred acres. Here he erected pavilions and
shrines in the fashion of those times; the most daring of which was one
to commemorate his friendships, with which politics had made sad havoc
before the temple was completed. Here he kept open house in the spacious
and genial fashion of that time, and entertained Pope, Congreve,
Bolingbroke, Pulteney, the wits as well as the princes of the day. From
these pleasing cares he had recently been diverted by one of those
needless affronts which seem so inconsistent with the robust and genial
character of Walpole, but to the infliction of which Walpole was
singularly prone. On account of his opposition to the Excise Bill,
Cobham had been deprived of his regiment, the same, by-the-bye, in which
Pitt was a subaltern. Stung to political ardour by this insult, he had
begun to form a faction of violent opposition, of which his nephews and
their friends were the nucleus. Thus began that formidable influence
which had its home and source at Stowe for near a century afterwards,
and which for three generations patiently and persistently pursued the
ducal coronet which was the darling object of its successive chiefs.

Cobham, then, founded the family, and, so long as he lived, directed
their operations, with too much perhaps of the spirit of a martinet.
When he died his fortune and title passed to his sister, afterwards, as
we shall see, Countess Temple in her own right, the mother of the
Grenvilles with whom we are concerned.

There were originally five Grenville brothers: Richard, George, James,
Henry, and Thomas. Three of these, however, are outside our limits.
Thomas, a naval officer of signal promise, was killed in action off Cape
Finisterre in May 1747. James and Henry were cyphers, not ill provided
for at the public charge. Both seem to have broken loose at one time
from the tyranny of the brotherhood: James at first siding with Richard
against George in 1761; and Henry, whom we find Richard anxious, on
opposite grounds it is to be presumed, to oust from the representation
of Buckingham in 1774. James, who, says Horace Walpole, 'had all the
defects of his brothers and had turned them to the best account,' was
Deputy Paymaster to Pitt; and Henry was a popular Governor of Barbadoes,
as well as Ambassador at Constantinople for four years, after which both
subsided into the blameless occupation of various sinecures.

Never, indeed, was family so well provided for during an entire century
as the Temple-Grenvilles. Although the system by which the aristocracy
lived on the country was not carried nearly as far in Great Britain as
in the France of the fourteenth Louis and his successor, yet it had no
inconsiderable hold. Even the austere George, though averse in Burke's
expressive language to 'the low, pimping politics of a Court,' did not
disdain, when Prime Minister, to hurry to the King to announce the
death of Lord Macclesfield and secure for his son, afterwards Marquis of
Buckingham, the reversion of the Irish Tellership of the Exchequer thus
vacated;[94] nor, a few months later, to obtain the grant of a
lighthouse as a provision for his younger children.[95] The Tellership,
held as it was under the unreformed conditions, was a place of vast
emolument; it is not now easy to compute the amount.[96] Nor is it
necessary for the purpose of this book to follow up these details.
Cobbett reckoned from returns furnished to the House of Commons that
this Lord Buckingham and his brother Thomas, the sons of George
Grenville, had in half a century drawn 700,000_l._ of public money, and
William, another brother, something like 200,000_l._ more. These
figures, of course, are open to dispute, but they indicate at least that
the revenues from public money of this family of sinecurists must have
been enormous. Of English families the Grenvilles were in this
particular line easily the first. Had all sinecurists, it may be said in
passing, spent their money like the younger Thomas, who returned far
more than he received by bequeathing his matchless library to the
nation, the public conscience would have been much more tender towards
them.

Nor was it need that drove them thus to live upon the public, for the
private wealth of the family was commanding; it was the basis of their
power. Richard by the death of his mother was said to have become the
richest subject in England.[97] And, as time went on, his possessions
swelled and swelled. The estates of Bubb[98] devolved upon him.
Heiresses brought their fortunes. There seemed no end to this
prosperity, and it was all utilised steadily and ceaselessly to extend
the political influence of the family.

So all the brothers, even the sailor Thomas, were brought into the House
of Commons; and, with their connections and their discipline, so long as
this was preserved, formed a redoubtable political force. They were not
only a brotherhood but a confraternity. What is really admirable indeed
is the pertinacity and concentration of this strange, dogged race, and
their devotion, indeed subjection, to their chief; they were a political
Company of Jesus. Their objects were not exalted, but from generation to
generation, with a patience little less than Chinese, they pursued and
ultimately attained what they desired. They were of course unpopular,
because their scheme was too obvious; but they knew the value of
popularity, and attempted it with pompous and crowded entertainments.
They were not brilliant; but in every generation they had a man of
sufficient ability, two prime ministers among them, to further their
cause. They built, no doubt, on inadequate foundations, but these lasted
just long enough to enable the structure to be crowned. It is a singular
story; there is nothing like it in the history of England; it resembles
rather the persistent annals of the hive.

The career of Pitt is concerned with only two of these Grenvilles,
Richard and George. These two men had this at least in common, an
amazing opinion of themselves. They were in their own estimation as good
as or better than any one else. They resented the slightest idea of any
disparity between themselves and Pitt. On what this prodigious estimate
was founded we shall never know; we can only conjecture that it was the
combination of fortune and family with some ability that made them deem
their position at least equal to his. When Pitt had raised Britain from
abasement to the first position in the world, when he was indisputably
the greatest orator and the greatest power in the country, the
Grenvilles considered themselves at the least as Pitt's equals, and him
as only one and not the first of a triumvirate. In 1769, when Pitt was
reconciled to them, Temple trumpeted the 'union of the three brothers'
as the greatest fact in contemporary history. As the alliance of a man
of genius with great parliamentary influence and powers of intrigue it
was undoubtedly a political fact of note. But any disparity between the
three personalities never occurs to Temple. In 1766, he writes: 'If a
lead of superiority was claimed (on the part of Pitt) it was rejected on
my part with an assertion of my pretensions to an equality.' And again:
'I claimed an equality, and have no idea of yielding to him ... a
superiority which I think it would be unbecoming in me to give.' Poor
forgotten Temple! With such superb scorn did he reject the offer of the
First Lordship of the Treasury, with the nomination of the
Chancellorship of the Exchequer and the whole Board of Treasury, when
offered by the first man in Europe. An hallucination of the same kind
was observed in the brothers of Napoleon. But in that case it was only
noted by cynical contemporaries, in this it was proclaimed on the
housetops.

Of Richard, the eldest, who became, as will be seen, Earl Temple, a
competent and laborious critic has said that he was one of the 'most
straightforward, honest, and honourable men of his age.' The age, no
doubt, was not famous for public men of this type; but it was not so
barren as this judgment would imply. And indeed it is difficult to
discern the grounds on which it is based. To the ordinary student
Temple, we imagine, will always appear a selfish and tortuous intriguer,
who hoped to utilise his brother-in-law's genius and popularity for
practical objects of his own. But he had other resources of a more
questionable kind. He delighted in the subterranean and the obscure.
'This malignant man,' says Horace Walpole with truth and point, 'worked
in the mines of successive factions for over thirty years together.' He
was in constant communication with Wilkes, whom he supplied with funds.
He was an active pamphleteer. So well were his methods understood that
he acquired the dubious honour of a candidature for the authorship of
Junius. It is almost certain at any rate that he was one of the few
confidants of that remarkable secret. But his wealth and strategy and
borough power were all concentrated on selfish and personal objects. As
head of the Grenvilles, his design was that the Grenvilles and their
connections and all other influences that he could bring to bear should
co-operate for the elevation of the family in the person of its chief.
For this purpose his brother-in-law, Pitt, was a priceless asset. But
all the family had to serve. All of them were put into the House of
Commons; and, it may be added, into the Privy Council, except Thomas,
the sailor, who was prematurely removed by death. George, who under Pitt
and Temple only enjoyed subordinate office, was for a time lured from
the family allegiance by Bute with the offer of a Secretaryship of State
and the reversion of the headship. But George himself was eventually
brought into line.

Temple's aims were simple and material; from the first moment that we
discern him he is pursuing them with persistent but intemperate ardour.
Hardly was Cobham's body cold, Cobham, his uncle and benefactor, to whom
he owed everything, when we find Temple urging that his mother, Cobham's
sister and heiress, should be made a Countess in her own right, with
descent, of course, to himself. Cobham died on September 13; on
September 28 Temple applied for this title. Even Newcastle, the most
hardened of political jobbers, was shocked at his precipitation, and
suggested a postponement, on the ground of common decency. Temple
brushed this objection aside with contempt. He wished the thing done at
once, and done it was.

Hardly had he thus been ennobled when we find him signalising his new
rank by a filthy trick more suited to a barge than a court. At a
reception in his own house, presided over by his charming and
accomplished wife, Lord Cobham, as he was now styled, spat into the hat
which Lord Hervey held in his hand. This feat Cobham had betted a guinea
that he would accomplish. Hervey behaved with temper and coolness.
Cobham took the hat and wiped it with profuse excuses, trying to pass
the matter off as a joke; but after some days of humiliation he had to
write an explicit apology with a recital of all his previous efforts to
appease Hervey's resentment.[99] Such diversions, Lady Hester Stanhope
declares, were common at Stowe. She narrates one scarcely less
nauseous.[100]

Having obtained the earldom, his next object was the Garter. George II.
detested him, and refused the request with asperity. So Pitt had to be
brought in. Pitt was then all-powerful, for this was the autumn of 1759.
He wrote a note full of sombre menace to Newcastle, and demanded the
Garter for Temple as a reward for his own services; but still the King
refused. Then the last reserves were brought into play. Temple resigned
the Privy Seal on the ground that the Garter was denied. Pitt had at the
same time a peremptory interview with Newcastle. The King had to yield,
but could not repress his anger. He threw the ribbon to Temple as a bone
is thrown to a dog. But delicacy, as we have seen, did not trouble
Temple in matters of substance, and he was satisfied.

Having obtained these two objects of ambition, he now played for a
dukedom. This ambition, suspected presumably in Cobham, had been the
subject of epigram so early as 1742.[101] It was avowed, according to
Walpole, in 1767, and, indeed, no other explanation seems adapted to his
various proceedings at critical junctures. Thus, when in June 1765,
George III. and his uncle Cumberland tried to form a Pitt ministry, but
found that an absolute condition of such a ministry was that Temple
should be First Lord of the Treasury, Temple refused on various flimsy
pretexts. When these were surmounted, he declared that 'he had tender
and delicate reasons' which he did not explain to the King, or,
apparently, to Pitt.[102] That this unwonted delicacy and tenderness
were concentrated on the superior coronet appears from the negotiation
carried on by Horace Walpole in 1767, when Lord Hertford assured him of
the fact that Lord Temple's ambition was now a dukedom.[103] It is not
doubtful that this had now become the central preoccupation of his life,
and the hereditary object of the family combination. At first sight it
would seem improbable that Pitt was aware of it, for the simple reason
that he would probably have made efforts to obtain it from the King. On
the other hand, it is unlikely that Temple, in the affair of the Garter,
having found the inestimable value of Pitt's pressure on George II.,
could have foregone the effort to exercise it on George III. On the
whole, the most plausible conjecture appears to be that Pitt was
unsuccessfully sounded by his brother-in-law. All that we know is, that
when Pitt finally determined to undertake the ministry without Temple,
they had a heated interview, which seems to have left deep marks on
Pitt's nerves and health, but whether it turned on Temple's particular
ambition or not can now only be matter for surmise.

The death of Temple made no difference to the family ambition. His
nephew made violent, even frantic, but ineffectual efforts to obtain the
title through Chatham's son. Nor were other means of aggrandisement
neglected. By marriage there accrued the fortunes of Chambers, Nugent,
Chandos, and, by some other way, that of Dodington. Acre was added to
acre and estate to estate, often by the dangerous expedient of borrowed
money, until Buckinghamshire seemed likely to become the appanage of the
family. Borough influence was laboriously accumulated and maintained.
Nor were nobler possessions disdained. Rare books and manuscripts,
choice pictures, and sumptuous furniture were added by successive
generations to the splendid collections of Stowe. Finally, in the reign
of George IV., and in the time of Temple's great-nephew, the object was
attained. Lord Liverpool acquired the support of the Grenville
parliamentary influence by an almost commercial compact, Louis XVIII.
added his instances, and Buckingham became a duke. From that moment the
star of the family visibly paled. Eight years afterwards the duke had to
shut up Stowe, and go abroad. Less than twenty years from then the
palace was dismantled, its treasures were dispersed, the vast estates
sold, and the glories of the House, built up with so much care and
persistence, vanished like a snow-wreath.

But all this is beyond our narrative. At this time all these ambitions
are concealed, there is nothing visible but cordiality, the genial flow
of soul, and brotherly love. Pitt's early letters to George Grenville
are among the easiest and most human that he ever wrote: he wrote
nothing more unaffectedly tender than two letters he sent in September
and October 1742, to George, then abroad for his health. Richard and
George Grenville, Lyttelton and William Pitt, with their set, form one
of those engaging companionships of youth, when high spirits, warm
affections, and the dayspring of life combine to animate a friendship
without guile or suspicion.

Then come separation, marriage, new interests, new ambitions, and the
paths diverge, perhaps till sunset. So it was with these young men. They
all at times quarrelled, even the kindly Lyttelton was driven to
separation. Later, again, they all came together again in some fashion
or another, with the exception, perhaps, of George, whose obstinate
self-love when wounded could never be healed.

But now all was dawn and blossom and smiles. The friends are full of
banter. Their politics are half a frolic. Life is all before them. Its
conditions will harden them presently, and they will wrangle and snarl,
and have their quarrels and huffs. But that is not yet; not even a
coming shadow is visible. Still, even now, it is necessary to indicate
the nature and consequences of Pitt's absorption into the cousinhood.



CHAPTER VI.


It is here that his public career begins. His lot was cast in stirring
times. For the year of his entry into Parliament was the fourteenth of
Walpole's long administration, and it was not difficult to see menacing
cracks in the structure. The Minister himself seems to have been aware
that his position was critical; and at the general election in the
previous year he had spared no exertions to secure a majority. In his
own county of Norfolk, 10,000_l._ had been spent in support of his
candidates without averting their defeat: from his own private means he
is said, no doubt with gross exaggeration, to have expended no less than
60,000_l._ Figures like these, however swollen by rumour, denote the
intensity of the struggle. But in spite of all, his losses were
considerable. Even Scotland, in those days the hungry dependant of all
Governments, was shaken in her allegiance. And, though he gained the
victory, the toughness of the contest betokened clearly that his
stability was seriously impaired, and that the country was weary of his
domination.

For this there were many obvious causes. One, of course, was the
universal unpopularity of the Excise scheme. It was also one of the
moments in our history when the country is uneasily conscious of
weakness and possible humiliation abroad, and when the silent and
passive interests of peace weigh lightly in the balance against the
smarting burden of wounded self-respect. But the most operative cause
lay in Walpole himself.

There is no enigma about Walpole. He sprang from near a score of
generations of Norfolk squires who had spent six hundred years in
healthy obscurity and the simple pleasures of the country. None of them
apparently had brains, or the need of them. From these he inherited a
frame hardy and robust, and that taste for the sports of the field that
never left him. He had also the advantage of being brought up as a
younger son to work, and thus he gained that self-reliant and
pertinacious industry which served him so well through long years of
high office. From the beginning to the end he was primarily a man of
business. Had he not been a politician it cannot be doubted that he
would have been a great merchant or a great financier. And, though his
lot was cast in politics, a man of business he essentially remained.
This is not to say that he was not a consummate parliamentary debater,
for that he must have been. But it is to suggest that the key to
Walpole's character as Prime Minister lies in his instincts and
qualifications as a man of business. His main tendency was not, as with
Chesterfield and Carteret and Bolingbroke, towards high statesmanship.
His first object was to carry on the business of the country in a
business spirit, as economically and as peacefully as possible. His
chief preoccupation apart from this was the keeping out of the rival
house of Stuart, which would not have employed the firm of Walpole and
the Whigs to keep their accounts. It is quite possible that as a patriot
he may have also dreaded the probable evils of the Stuart dynasty. But
the first reason is amply sufficient. The corruption of which he was
undoubtedly guilty, but of which he was by no means the inventor, he
perhaps considered as the commission due to customers; or else he may
have argued, 'these men have to be bought by somebody, let us do it in a
business-like way.' His merciless crushing of any rivals was simply the
big firm crushing competition, a familiar feature of commerce. His
carrying on a war against Spain in spite of his own conscientious
disapproval can only be satisfactorily explained on the same hypothesis.
The nation would have war: well, if it must, he could carry it on more
cheaply, and limit its mischief more effectually than any other
contractor. Moreover, Walpole had all along been the merchants' man. He
had given them peace and wealth. Now for commercial purposes they wanted
war and he had to gratify them. They had been the main backers of his
administration, the deprivation of their support would have left him
bare; so when they turned round he had to follow, with scarcely the
appearance of leadership.

In these days we should undoubtedly condemn any statesman who declared a
war of which he disapproved. Lord Aberdeen morbidly and unjustly accused
himself of this offence, and refused to be comforted. That is the other
extreme to Walpole's position. But we must remember the political
morality of those times. Was there then living a statesman who would
have acted differently? From this sweeping question we cannot except
Pitt, who was bitterly denouncing Walpole for his pacific attitude, and
had afterwards to confess that Walpole had been right.

We regard Walpole, then, first and foremost as a man of business, led
into the great error with which history reproaches him by his brother
men of business. Still, his qualities in that capacity would not have
maintained him for years as Prime Minister. They proved him to be a
hard-working man with practical knowledge of affairs and strong common
sense; a sagacious man who hated extremes. He had besides the highest
qualities of a parliamentary leader. Of imagination, unless it may be
inferred from his palace and picture gallery, he seems to have been
totally destitute. But he had dauntless courage and imperturbable
temper.

To his courage George II., who was not profuse of praise, gave ardent
testimony. 'He is a brave fellow,' he would cry out vehemently, with a
flush and an oath, 'he has more spirit than any man I ever knew;' a
compliment ill-requited by Sir Robert, who declared that his master, if
he knew anything of him, was, 'with all his personal bravery, as great a
political coward as ever wore a crown.' Early in his career as Prime
Minister Sir Robert, who had the art, rare among eighteenth century
politicians, of inditing pointed and pregnant letters, had written to an
Irish Viceroy: 'I have weathered great storms before now, and shall not
be lost in an Irish hurricane.'[104] This was no vain boast; it was the
spirit in which he habitually conducted affairs. In truth Walpole's
courage stands in no need of witness, it speaks for itself; his very
defects arose from it or prove it. His jealousy of ability which
deprived him of precious allies and compelled him to fight
single-handed, his intolerance of independence in his party which had
the same effect, all show the dauntless self-confidence of the man. He
wanted no competitors, no dubious allies, no assistance but that of
unflagging votes or diligent service; for all else he relied on himself
alone.

This great Minister had all the defects of his qualities as well as one
which seemed curiously alien to them. Part of his strength lay in a
coarse and burly, if cynical, geniality. His temper, as we have said,
was imperturbable; we shall see this even in the closing scene of his
ministry; it was even cordial, and sometimes boisterous. He loved to
seem rather a country gentleman than a statesman. He seemed most natural
when shooting and carousing at Houghton, or carousing and hunting at
Richmond. But his appearance was deceptive; he was what the French would
call 'un faux bonhomme,' a spurious good fellow. Good nature perhaps
could hardly have survived the desperate battles and intrigues in which
this hard-bitten old statesman had been engaged all his life. And so
under this bluff and debonair exterior there was concealed a jealousy of
power, passing the jealousy of woman, and the ruthless vindictiveness of
a Red Indian. To the opposition of his political foes he opposed a stout
and unflinching front which shielded a gang of mediocrities; with these
enemies he fought a battle in which quarter was neither granted nor
expected. But his own forces were kept under martial law; anything like
opposition or rivalry within his ranks he crushed in the relentless
spirit of Peter the Great. By these methods he had not merely maintained
an iron discipline among his own supporters, but had himself constructed
by alienation and proscription the opposition to his administration, an
opposition which comprised consummate abilities and undying
resentments. For he had driven from him and united in a league of
implacable revenge almost all the men of power and leading in
Parliament. Politics to them were embodied in one controlling idea; how
to compass the fall, the ruin, the impeachment of Walpole. The undaunted
Minister faced them with confident serenity, though they were not
enemies to be disdained. Pulteney, Wyndham, Chesterfield, and Carteret
were men of the highest ability and distinction. Barnard and Polwarth,
Shippen and Sandys, were from character or intellect scarcely less
redoubtable. Behind them lurked Bolingbroke, excluded, indeed, from
Parliament by the vigilant detestation of Walpole, but guiding and
inspiring from his enforced retirement, the seer and oracle of all the
Minister's enemies, for--

    'Princely counsel in his face yet shone,
    Majestic, though in ruin.'

Prominent among these stately combatants was an anomalous figure with a
brain as shallow and futile as St. John's was active and brilliant, but
by the nature of things as formidable as Bolingbroke was impotent,
Frederick Prince of Wales. For Frederick was soon to add to the second
position in the country the leadership of the Opposition. The King's
health was supposed to be precarious, though he lived cheerfully and not
ingloriously for another quarter of a century. And the Heir Apparent,
feeling conscious of his advantages, and determined to assert himself,
became the complacent puppet of all the factions opposed to his father's
Government. His Court, indeed, resembled that famous cave to which were
gathered every one that was discontented and every one that was in
distress. All who had been spurned or ousted by Walpole, all who were
under the displeasure of the King, all who saw little prospect of
advancement under the present reign, hastened to rally round the Heir
Apparent. He was soon to employ Pitt about his person. It is well, then,
to pause a moment and consider this prominent and formidable figure.

Frederick, Prince of Wales, is one of the idle mysteries of English
history. The problem does not lie in his being a political leader, in
spite of the general contempt in which he was held by his contemporaries
and associates; for an heir-apparent to the Crown can always, if he
chooses, be a factor in party politics, though it is scarcely possible
that his intervention can be beneficial. But no circumstance known to us
can explain the virulence of aversion with which the King and Queen
regarded him, which was so intense as to be almost incredible. They were
both good haters, and yet they hated no one half so much as their eldest
son. His father called him the greatest beast and liar and scoundrel in
existence. His mother and his sister wished hourly to hear of his death.
This violence of unnatural loathing is not to be accounted for by any
known facts. Frederick was a poor creature, no doubt, a vain and fatuous
coxcomb. But human beings are constantly the parents of coxcombs without
regarding them as vermin. The only conjecture in regard to the matter
which seems to furnish adequate ground for these feelings is that the
King was bred in the narrow school of a little German State, where,
though nothing less than affection was expected between a prince and his
heir, discipline was rigidly observed; so that the conduct of Frederick,
in assuming a position independent and defiant of his father, and in
openly heading an opposition to his Government, was an offence the more
unspeakable and unpardonable as it had been absolutely beyond the limits
of Hanoverian contemplation. There was, it must be confessed, an
hereditary predisposition to this parental relation. The King himself,
when Prince of Wales, had been placed under arrest by his father for the
somewhat venial offence of insulting the Duke of Newcastle. He had
submitted himself to his disgrace, and his opposition had only been
passive and inarticulate; he had never dreamed of forming a faction
hostile to the Crown. His only real crimes had been his right of
succession and a fictitious popularity founded on dislike of his
father's mistresses. And yet his father hated him almost as much as
father ever hated son. It was reserved for George II. to discover a
deeper abhorrence for his own heir. With his views of absolute
authority, a peculiar degree of detestation had to be discovered for a
Prince of Wales who had not merely the inherent vice of heirship
apparent but the gratuitous offence of an active opposition which his
father deemed flagrant rebellion. Given violent temper, ill manners, and
a sort of family tradition, the cause of wrath can best be thus
explained.

Beyond this we know nothing for certain, and presumably shall never know
more. There are some facts, but they are insufficient.

It is said that as a mere boy he gamed and drank and kept a mistress. By
this last scandal the royal family was enabled to present to the world
the unedifying spectacle of grandfather, father, and son simultaneously
living under these immoral conditions; and all three, it is said,
successively with the same woman. But these facts alone would certainly
not have accounted for his father's displeasure. Again, it is narrated
that when his tutor complained of him his mother said that these were
page's tricks. 'Would to God they were, madam,' replied the tutor, 'but
they are rather the tricks of lackeys and knaves.' And tricky Frederick
undoubtedly was from the beginning to the end. But trickiness, though it
was not among the King's faults, and though it would excite his just
contempt, cannot alone have caused the intensity of his hatred.

One if not two of Frederick's escapades were concerned with designs of
marriage. He was discovered on the point of concluding a secret alliance
with Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia, with whom he professed himself in
love, and who afterwards became known to us as Margravine of Bareith; on
another occasion it is said that he was lured by a dowry of 100,000_l._
into a betrothal with Lady Diana Spencer, grand-daughter of Sarah,
Duchess of Marlborough. Both these affairs were interrupted at the last
moment. In both cases the King was irritated by the underhand
proceedings of his son, and by the total lack of a confidence which, as
he probably omitted to remember, he had done nothing to gain. But his
crowning outrage was a monkey-trick, both wanton and barbarous. When he
had at last married a princess of his father's choice, and his wife was
seized with the first pangs of maternity in the King's palace of Hampton
Court, he hurried her off, in her agony and in spite of her entreaties,
to St. James's. At any moment of the journey a catastrophe might have
occurred. What the motive was for this cruel and unmeaning escapade
cannot be guessed, for his own explanations were futile. It was said
that his father suspected him of an intention to foist a spurious child
on his family and that he resented the suspicion. If that were so his
action was exactly suited to confirm it. Whatever his purpose may have
been, the King and Queen, from whom the imminence of the Princess's
situation had been carefully concealed, were naturally and grossly
insulted. The King banished him from his palace and presence, and
forbade the Court to all who should visit him. Nor was there ever an
approach to reconciliation or forgiveness in the fourteen years that the
Prince had yet to live. The King would receive him at Court and would
express the hope that his wife was in good health; that was the extent
of their relations. But though this was the culminating point of his
known misconduct, it would almost seem that there was some more occult
reason which we do not know. We only guess at its existence from the
record of Lord Hardwicke. At the time of this last scandal 'Sir Robert
Walpole,' says the Chancellor, 'informed me of certain passages between
the King and himself, and between the King and the Prince, of too high
and secret a nature even to be trusted to this narrative; but from
thence I found great reason to think that this unhappy difference
between the King and Queen and His Royal Highness turned upon some
points of a more interesting and important nature than have hitherto
appeared.'[105] There, then, is the mystery, without a key, with no room
even for conjecture. But the cause must have been dire that evoked so
deadly a passion of hatred between parents and son.

Those who care to read in detail the coarse and violent expressions of
this unnatural repulsion may glut their appetite in Lord Hervey's
memoirs. One or two such passages will serve as specimens of the rest.
The Queen and Princess Caroline, Frederick's sister, made no ceremony of
wishing a hundred times a day that the Prince might drop down dead of an
apoplexy. Princess Caroline, who, Hervey tells us, 'had affability
without meanness, dignity without pride, cheerfulness without levity,
and prudence without falsehood,' who was in a word an exemplary and
charming person, declared that she grudged him every hour he had to
breathe, and reproached Hervey with being 'so great a dupe as to believe
the nauseous beast' (those were her words) 'cared for anything but his
own nauseous self, that he loved anything but money, that he was not the
greatest liar that ever spoke.' The Queen, not to be outdone, declared
that she would give it under her hand 'that my dear firstborn is the
greatest ass, and the greatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the
greatest beast in the whole world, and that I most heartily wish he was
out of it.'[106] Even on her deathbed she could not be brought to
receive or forgive him. If Lord Hervey, his bitter enemy, can be
credited, this obduracy was not at the last without justification. Lord
Hervey declares that the Prince crowded the Queen's anteroom with his
emissaries to convey to him the earliest information of her condition.
As the bulletins of the Queen's decline reached him, he would say,
'Well, now we shall have some good news; she cannot hold out much
longer.' All this need not be literally believed, but it affords a
picture of family rancour which can scarcely have been equalled in the
history of mankind.

From the time of the public quarrel with his parents the Prince of Wales
gave himself up to political opposition. He wielded, indeed, formidable
weapons of offence. His father was avaricious, secluded, and disliked;
Frederick laid himself out to be thought generous, accessible, and
popular. He knew well that every symptom of national affection for
himself was a stab to the King. He and his family, at a time when French
fashions were all the rage, ostentatiously wore none but English goods.
He trained his children to act Addison's Cato. Nor did he disdain more
social arts. He would go to fairs, bull-baitings, races, and rowing
matches; he would visit gipsy encampments; he became familiar to the
people. He would assist at a fire in London, amid shouts from the mob,
as he and his court alleged, of 'Crown him! crown him!' At Epsom there
is a tradition that when living there he fought a chimney-sweep with his
fists, and erected a monument in generous acknowledgment of his own
defeat.

In private life he was essentially frivolous. When his father's troops
were besieging Carlisle, the Prince had a model of the citadel made in
confectionery, while he and the ladies of the court bombarded it with
sugar-plums. This seems emblematic of his whole career.

But his main and favourite diversion had a graver aspect: it lay in
political cabals of which he was the puppet and the figurehead, and in
forming futile ministries and policies for his own reign. Of these last
a curious example is preserved among the Bedford Papers.[107]

All political malcontents of the slightest importance were sure of a
cordial reception at Leicester House or Kew. There all could warm their
wants and disappointments with the sunshine of royal patronage and the
cheering prospect of a new reign. 'Remember that the King is sixty-one,
and I am thirty-seven,'[108] said Frederick, and this calculation
coloured his whole life. The future was freely discounted and
anticipated in the Prince's circle, so that there, as in the Court of
the Pretender, the faithful adherent might receive some high office to
be enjoyed after the death of the King, but with this substantial
difference: that whereas what James distributed were shadows, the awards
of Frederick required only common good faith and the death of an old man
to make them realities. Bubb for example, the most avid and unabashed of
political harlots, gravely kissed his patron's hand for a Secretaryship
of State, and, according to Walpole, a dukedom, immediately afterwards
nominating his under-secretary, to show the solidity of the arrangement.
Henley, who was afterwards under different circumstances to be
Chancellor, was grievously disappointed to find that Dr. Lee was to have
the seals. And so they snapped and snarled over the spoils, while the
Prince complacently made his appointments, and apportioned the functions
of the future. So far as he was concerned it was all barren enough. His
little projects, his little ambitions, his little ministries, his
political post-obits, were all cut short by the sudden shears of Death.
His councillors and followers were scattered to the winds, and Bubb had
to hasten to make his peace with the powers that be, and to exchange his
contingent Secretaryship of State for an actual Treasurership of the
Navy. The Prince's other post-obits, his debts, were, it would seem,
never paid.[109]

To sum up, with regard to Frederick we have a few certain facts: the
hatred of his parents and sisters, and a singular unanimity of scorn
from his contemporaries. There is not perhaps in existence a single
favourable testimony. We have many portraits, one at Windsor of an
innocent lad in a red coat playing the violoncello with his sisters,
which is pleasant enough; the later ones all stamped with a pretentious
silliness which affirms the verdict of his own day. Then we have the
mysterious intimation of Lord Hardwicke of some deep and sinister cause
for the alienation of his parents. This, however, unsupported and
unexplained, carries us no further, and is merely an excuse for the
unnatural aversion of his family. Beyond that mystery, the word
'fatuous' seems exactly to embody all that we know of this prince; his
appearance, morals, manners, and intellect are all summed up in that
single expression.

On the other hand, there are traits of generosity which are recorded,
there is his apparent popularity, there is the general grief for his
death; but it may well be surmised that it was not difficult for the son
of George II. and the grandson of George I. to be popular and regretted.
On the whole, may we not conclude that the arbitrary discipline of
Hanover in early life made him incurably tricky and untruthful, that he
was an empty and frivolous coxcomb, but not without kindly instincts;
and that his weaknesses and frailties, whatever they may have been, laid
a grave responsibility on the parents who reared and cursed him?



CHAPTER VII.


During his first session of Parliament, Pitt never opened his mouth:
indeed, his only public performance was to tell in a division. In 1736
he became better known. He supported an address of congratulation to the
Crown on the marriage of the Prince of Wales. This formal and
complimentary speech has been absurdly scrutinised because of the
speaker's subsequent fame, and much has been read into it which no
impartial reader can now discern. A notorious eulogy describes it as
superior even to the models of ancient eloquence. Others read into it
piercing innuendoes and vitriolic sarcasm. All this was discovered, long
after its delivery, by the light of Pitt's later achievements. It is
said that George II. never forgave it. But George II.'s hatred of Pitt
is more easily accounted for by other offences. It is rumoured that
Walpole shuddered when he heard it, and said, 'We must muzzle that
terrible cornet of horse.' The ordinary reader sees in the reported
speech nothing which would provoke admiration or alarm in anybody were
it attributed to any one who had remained obscure. But the report,
though elaborate, was probably inaccurate; the speech may have been more
vicious than appears; it must, at any rate, have been something very
different from smooth platitudes on a royal marriage that would have
made Walpole tremble, if indeed Walpole was liable to any such emotion.
The truth, no doubt, is that the graces of voice, person, and delivery
marvellously embellished this maiden effort, and produced a striking
effect on the audience.

But, whatever its intrinsic merits, the success of this speech was
immeasurably enhanced, if not altogether secured, by Walpole's action.
It may indeed be said to have been made famous by the penalty which
followed it rather than by its own merits. He deprived the young orator
and cornet of his commission.

    'The servile standard from the freeborn hand
    He took, and bade thee lead the patriot band,'

sang Lyttelton to Pitt.

It was a vindictive act which seems alien to Walpole's boisterous good
humour, but of a kind to which Walpole's arbitrary notions of political
discipline made him singularly prone. So petty an act of vengeance
wreaked on so young and subordinate an officer by a powerful Prime
Minister seems incredible in our larger or laxer days. But it was
perhaps the very slightness of Pitt's position which was an inducement
to Walpole. He was determined, it may be, that the whole army, from the
highest to the lowest, should feel the weight of his hand. The disgrace
of political generals seemed just and proper, it was cutting off the
heads of the tallest poppies, a proceeding recognised and respectable
since the days of Tarquin. These penalties had left the mass of the army
unmoved, not impossibly because the removal of chiefs means the
promotion of subordinates. So Walpole may have resolved that all in the
service of the Crown should feel that revolt against the minister of the
Crown was a flagrant crime. Generals had been punished, and so all
officers from the highest, to the lowest should be liable to the same
pains and penalties; nay private soldiers, were their lot enviable,
might suffer the same deprivation. 'The King,' wrote Lady Irwin, a lady
of the Prince of Wales' household, to her brother, Lord Carlisle, 'two
days ago turned out Mr. Pitt from a cornetcy for having voted and spoke
in Parliament contrary to his approbation. He is a young man of no
fortune, a very pretty speaker, one the Prince is particular to, and
under the tuition of my Lord Cobham. The Army is all alarmed at this,
and 'tis said it will hurt the King more than his removing my Lord
Stairs and Lord Cobham, since it is making the whole army dependent, by
descending to resent a vote from the lowest commission, which may
occasion a representation in parliament to prevent all officers of the
army from sitting there.'[110]

It may, however, have been that Pitt's dismissal was due not to his
obscurity but to an exactly opposite consideration.

Pitt's nephew, Lord Camelford, asserts as an undoubted fact that the
reputation both of Pitt and of Lyttelton was so considerable before they
entered Parliament, and their political tendencies so notorious, that
Walpole made considerable offers to Thomas Pitt on condition that he did
not brings them in for any of his boroughs. 'William's early abilities,'
writes Lord Camelford, 'induc'd Sir Robert Walpole to offer my father
(Thomas Pitt) any terms not to bring him or his brother-in-law Mr.
Lyttelton into Parliament,' but 'my father preferred their interests to
his own, and laid the foundations, at his own expense, for all his
brother's future fame and greatness.' It is a tradition that Canning,
when in office, kept his eye on promising lads at Eton who might make
eligible followers. One would not, however, have imagined that Walpole
was so much in touch with the rising youth of the country. But if
Camelford may be credited, and there seems no reason to doubt him,
Walpole was prejudiced and on his guard against Pitt before Pitt opened
his mouth; and he may have been hurried into a petulant act by previous
friction unconnected with the speech, which may, moreover, have
contained irritating innuendoes directed against Walpole, which Walpole
alone understood.

The Minister had not been so foolish as to alienate without trying to
secure, and his failure may have exasperated him the more. In later
years Pitt told Shelburne that Sir Robert had offered him the troop
which was afterwards given to Conway, so that had he remained in the
army he would have stood high by seniority alone. This offer, we may
conjecture, was just previous to the overtures to Thomas Pitt. Walpole,
hearing reports of the young officer's conspicuous abilities and of his
hostility to the Government, would try and fix his ambitions in the
army. Failing that, he would try and exclude him from Parliament. And
failing all pacific overtures, he would try different methods. It is
possible, and even probable, that expressions passed during the
negotiations which left a sting. But it now seems clear that no young
private member, without means or influence, ever caused such active
disquietude.

There is yet another, and, perhaps, a simpler reason. Pitt, as we have
seen, had become identified with the fortunes and party of Cobham, who
was Walpole's bitter enemy. Conciliation having been found futile, the
Minister determined that the young soldier should suffer the same
penalty as the old general. The old gamecock had lost his spurs, so
should the young cockerel. If Pitt were so devoted to Cobham, he should
have the gratification of sharing Cobham's martyrdom. Cobham had lost
his regiment; Pitt should lose his commission. In striking Pitt he would
also wound Cobham. So the removal was carried out in a spirit of
pettiness which was criticised at the time, and seems incredible to
posterity. 'At the end of the session,' says Hervey, 'Cornet Pitt was
broke for this, which was a measure at least ill-timed if not
ill-taken;' which he explained by saying that if done at all it should
have been done immediately on his speech. Hervey, though an ardent
Walpolian, evidently thought the whole proceeding was disproportionate
to the offender and the offence. But the result of the intended disgrace
was, we are told, immediate popularity. Pitt after his dismissal drove
about the country in a one-horse chaise without a servant, and
everywhere the people gathered round him with enthusiasm.[111]

Pitt took the matter philosophically. 'I should not be a little vain,'
he writes, 'to be the object of the hatred of a minister, hated even by
those who call themselves his friends.'[112] But to his slender means
the loss of his pay was not unimportant, and this fact perhaps explains
his accepting an office ill-suited to his temperament. In September
1737, the Prince of Wales, in consequence of his crazy and insolent
conduct at the time of his wife's confinement, was ordered to leave St.
James' Palace. He retired first to Kew, and then to Norfolk House in
St. James' Square, which thus became the birthplace of George III. The
King's displeasure also caused some resignations in the Prince's
household; and, smarting under this disgrace, Frederick found it no
doubt agreeable to take advantage of these vacancies to attach to his
household two active young members of the Opposition, whose appointment
would be profoundly distasteful to his father. Few could be more
repugnant to the King than Pitt, the ex-cornet, and Lyttelton his
seconder. Moreover, Pitt was already intimate and influential with the
Prince.[113] So Lyttelton became private secretary to Frederick, and
Pitt a groom of his bedchamber. These appointments would, in the
ordinary course, be submitted for the sanction of the King, but the
alienation between father and son was so acute that it is probable that
no communication was made. Pitt held this post for seven years,
resigning it in 1744; and the salary was no doubt of sensible assistance
to his meagre income during this period.

Pitt's second speech (in 1737) was also on the Prince of Wales's
affairs. George II., who lost no opportunity of displaying publicly his
hatred to his son, and who as Prince of Wales had received a fixed
income of 100,000_l._ a year, gave the Prince on his marriage an
allowance at pleasure of 50,000_l._ The Prince, who owed his father but
scant duty and affection, was persuaded by his advisers to apply to
Parliament for the same annuity that his father, when in his situation,
had received. This proceeding violently incensed the King; but he was
induced to send an official message to his son, promising to convert
the present voluntary allowance into a fixed income, and to settle some
provision on the Princess. The Prince replied that the matter was now
out of his hands. The offer, in effect, was not particularly alluring,
as the allowance could never have been withdrawn, and a settlement on
the Princess ought to have been made at the time of her marriage. It is
indeed difficult, given the circumstances, to blame Frederick's unfilial
conduct in this matter. He had a colourable claim to an income double
that which was given him by the King; the King had ampler means of
paying it than had been possessed by George I.; and the Prince had
nothing to hope from the unconstrained bounty of his father; he was
indeed under his father's ban. So the motion was brought before the
House, and Pitt made a speech, which Thackeray, his insipid biographer,
declares to have been most masterly, but which is nowhere preserved. We
know nothing of it, but it is safe to presume that it was a good speech.
These efforts and his household appointment made him a prominent figure
in the Prince's party. He was beginning to be talked about. He had been
sneered at by the Government paper, the 'Gazetteer,' and defended by
Bolingbroke's organ, the 'Craftsman.' This seems the first glimmering of
his note, and is therefore worthy of remark. Nothing is so difficult as
to trace in a biography the several degrees by which eminence has been
reached; seldom are the slow degrees of the ladder recorded. Here it is
at least possible to mark the first and second steps. The first event,
that brought Pitt into notice was the deprivation of his commission: the
second indication of his growing power is apparent in the laboured
sneers of the 'Gazetteer' at the young man's long neck and slender body,
for it would not have been worth while to direct these gibes against
one who was not formidable.

Pitt's next speech was less successful. It was in support of a reduction
of the standing army from 17,400 to 12,000. The contention seems almost
incredible when it is considered that Pitt and his party were calling on
the ministry to avenge the ill-treatment of British subjects by Spain.
But, however inconsistent, it was probably deemed a popular move.
Jealousy and dislike of standing armies was still strong among the
people. Lord Hervey had told the Queen in 1735, 'that there was
certainly nothing so odious to men of all ranks and classes in this
country as troops,' and that 'as a standing army was the thing in the
world that was most disliked in this country, so the reduction of any
part of it was a measure that always made any prince more popular than
any other he could take.'[114] Walpole had then maintained that the army
should never be reduced below 18,000 men in view of the constant menace
of the disputed succession, the turbulent character of the nation, and
the necessity of a strong position in foreign affairs.[115] In this
debate of 1738 he took much the same line. This sane view, as it was the
policy of the Minister, was furiously combated by the young bloods of
the Opposition. Lyttelton did not shrink from using the childish
argument that a standing army weakened us abroad, as it made foreign
governments believe that there must be violent dissensions in the
country which it was kept to control. A taunt had in the course of
debate been levelled at placemen; and Pitt, as a member of the Prince's
household, vindicated the independence of officials, directing as he
passed a shaft at the three hundred thick or thin supporters of the
Government who were always so singularly unanimous on all political
questions. The army, he said, was the chief cause of the national
discontents, and yet these discontents were alleged as the chief cause
for maintaining the army. Then he made the criticism so familiar to
English public men even now, that the army cost three times as much
proportionally to its size as the armies of France and Germany. On the
question of disbanding troops, he took a strangely unsympathetic line.
The officers would be put on half-pay, which was as high as full-pay
elsewhere. And as for the private soldiers, 'I must think,' he said,
'they have no claim for any greater reward than the pay they have
already received, nor should I think we were guilty of the least
ingratitude if they were all turned adrift to-morrow morning.'[116]
Pitt, it was obvious, had some distance to compass before he should
become a popular leader. That he should have pressed at all for the
reduction of the small standing army in the midst of an irresistible
clamour for war is another proof of the heedless rhetoric of ambitious
youth.

While the young patriots were thus endeavouring to reduce the army, war
was brewing with Spain. Our traders were constantly encroaching on her
rights and monopolies in the New World. There was a perpetual smuggling
invasion of the Spanish settlements in America on the part of the
British, and a rigorous defence by right of search on the part of the
Spaniards. There can be little doubt that the British merchants were in
the wrong. But trade has neither conscience nor bowels, and monopolies
of commerce are the fair quarry of the freebooting merchant. The
Spaniards, on their side, were not delicate or merciful in exercising
their undoubted right of search; so our countrymen, to conceal their own
infractions of treaty and to stir up hostility to Spain, spared no
methods or exertions to rouse popular indignation against their enemies.
Little less than the tortures of the Inquisition were alleged. 'Seventy
of our brave sailors are now in chains in Spain! our countrymen in
chains and slaves to the Spaniards!' exclaimed an enthusiastic alderman:
'is not this enough to fire the coldest?'[117] The notorious Jenkins now
appeared on the scene with an ear in cotton-wool, which he alleged to
have been torn from his head by a Spaniard, with an intimation that the
mutilator would gladly serve our King in the same way. Alderman
Beckford, who brought Jenkins forward, afterwards declared that if any
member had lifted up Jenkins's wig, he would have found both ears whole
and complete.[118] Others averred that though he had lost his ear, he
had lost it in the pillory.

The Spaniards, not to be outdone, recorded the sufferings of two of
their nobles, who, captured by our British filibusters, had been
compelled to devour their own noses.[119] It was alleged, too, that
English pirates swarmed, and that Spaniards were publicly sold as slaves
in British colonies.[120] But these allegations, though probably neither
more nor less veracious than the others, had no currency in England,
while the story of the suffering Jenkins ran through England like
wildfire. A bombastic utterance was coined for him by some political
Tadpole, and rang through the land. None cared to inquire into the right
or the wrong of the imprisonments, or to investigate the other side of
the question, and there were none to present it if they did. 'Britons in
Spanish prisons' was a sufficient cry, and swept the nation off its
feet. Walpole, always too contemptuous of popular passion, had presented
to Parliament a convention with Spain, which regulated most of the
points at issue between them, except that which lay nearest the heart of
his people, the right of search; and his brother Horace moved, in a long
and laudatory speech, an address of thanks to the Crown for this
agreement. This roused the Prince's young men. Lyttelton, indeed, spoke
ostentatiously as the Prince's mouthpiece. 'I know who hears me,' he
said, alluding to his master's presence in the gallery, 'and for that
reason I speak,'[121] Pitt and Grenville also spoke, and they are
described in a contemporary account as 'three or four young gentlemen
who took great personal liberties.' Another letter says that Pitt 'spoke
very well, but very abusively.' However imperfectly his speech may be
reported, it has much of that energy of declamatory invective which is
part of the tradition connected with his name. Of this the peroration is
a sufficient example. 'This convention, Sir, I think from my heart is
nothing but a stipulation for national ignominy; an illusory expedient
to baffle the resentment of the nation; a truce without a suspension of
hostilities on the part of Spain; on the part of England, a suspension,
as to Georgia, of the first law of nature, self-preservation and
self-defence; a surrender of the right of England to the mercy of
plenipotentiaries; and in this infinitely highest and sacred point,
future security, not only inadequate, but directly repugnant to the
resolutions of Parliament, and the gracious promise from the throne. The
complaints of your despairing merchants, the voice of England have
condemned it. Be the guilt of it on the adviser. God forbid that the
Committee should share the guilt by approving it.'[122] This was
undoubtedly the first speech in which Pitt made a real mark as an
orator, and of this a proof remains in the fact that it is recorded that
Sir R. Walpole took notes of it as it proceeded.[123]

The debate and its unsuccessful division were followed by that abortive
and disastrous form of protest known as a secession. Wyndham announced
it in a speech of solemn acrimony. It failed, as all such secessions do.
It has been said by a veteran politician that 'a secession of a party
from parliament is so obvious a failure in both duty and prudence that a
benevolent looker-on will always recommend to the seceder to get to his
place as well and as fast as he can.'[124] A secession does not appeal
to the country, which regards it as an exhibition of baffled ill-temper,
while it leaves the House at the mercy of the Ministry. This retirement
of his enemies was therefore hailed by Walpole as an unexpected stroke
of good fortune. Prompt repentance, as usual, overtook the seceders, and
the usual difficulty as to returning with dignity and consistency. In
November they had to slink back without much of either.

It is not easy to discover whether Pitt was among the seceders, though
it seems improbable, as Lyttelton, one of his closest allies, remained
to repeat the strange parallel contention of the Opposition that the
army should be reduced and war declared against Spain.

The national wish for war was at any rate soon gratified. Though Walpole
had carried resolutions approving of his convention, the growing fury of
the nation could not be dammed by his meagre majority of twenty-eight.
When the negotiations between Spain and Great Britain were resumed,
Spain absolutely refused to abandon the right of search. To the English
this was the main point, and Walpole knew that war was now inevitable.
Whether he as minister could or should, in spite of his convictions,
carry it out was another matter. He decided that he could, and war was
declared on October 29, 1739.

The enthusiasm of the nation was frantic. The heralds, on proceeding to
the city to read the formal declaration, were attended by a great
procession. The Prince of Wales did not disdain to take part in it, or
to pause at Temple Bar to drink a public toast to the war. All the
church bells of the capital were set ringing. The Minister, as he heard
the clang, bitterly remarked that they might ring the bells now, but
that they would soon wring their hands. This is a truth that may be
uttered with justice at the beginning of all hostilities, and in this
case there were many opportunities for wringing hands; for, with the
exception of the truce of Aix-la-Chapelle, Britain was not at peace from
now (1739) till 1763. But Walpole's cynical pun did not embody the
spirit which gives confidence to a nation, or in which a great Minister
would begin a just or necessary war. Walpole was, no doubt, convinced
that this one was neither just nor necessary. Moreover, he hated all
war as a needless complication which deranged finance and held out
prospects and opportunities for a Pretender. He knew, too, that he was a
Minister of peace, and that he was not likely to shine in war. He had
indeed been Secretary at War, but then he had the guarantee of a
Marlborough in the field; his function had been to serve and supply a
supreme captain. But there was nothing now to give him the same
confidence. He felt, he knew that he was out of place as a director of
wars. Close to him, unsuspected as yet, was the most successful War
Minister that this country has ever seen. For on the benches over
against him sate Pitt, who was to revel in warfare and find his true
vocation in directing it; but his time was not come. Afterwards, when it
had arrived, he was to repent and recant his opposition on this
occasion, and pay homage to Walpole. None, indeed, of the leaders in
opposition to Walpole attempted afterwards to justify their conduct in
this business.

That Minister meanwhile moodily prepared to carry out the wishes of the
country, and no doubt excused himself for his humiliating compliance by
the thought that if he did not some one else would, with less economy
and more danger to the State. He is said to have tendered his
resignation, but even were this true it could only be, in view of the
King's relations to himself and the Opposition, a matter of form. He
uttered his own self-condemnation: 'I dare not do what is right.'

But his submission, whether accompanied or not by a feigned resignation,
availed him nothing; his unpopularity seemed rather to increase than
diminish. The nation suspected his good faith. The legion of able and
brilliant men whom he had alienated were in no ways appeased, but more
ruthless in their determination to hunt him to the death; the multitude
effervesced in mobs. Soon they were all in full cry. There was another
general election in 1741, when the Prince of Wales with lavish subsidies
entered actively into the strife. Parliament, dissolved in April, met in
December, thirsty for Walpole's political blood.

The inglorious course of the war in the meantime, its delays and
disasters, forms no part of Pitt's life. One may wonder in passing at
the callous wickedness that sent out raw boys and decrepit pensioners to
die of fever and exhaustion, or at the strange fortune by which those
who prepare such expeditions, ministers, commissaries, contractors, and
the like, escape the gallows. Walpole at any rate did not escape the
particular fate that he deserved. A year of glowing and successful war
might yet have saved him; a year of failure and calamity fixed his doom.

He had held on to the last possible moment, and so fell with little of
grace or dignity. An inevitable political catastrophe only becomes more
overwhelming by delay; each day that a minister remains in power against
the will of the nation adds force to the torrent against him. Moreover,
he affronted public opinion by receiving unusual favours from the King
when he had become the object of popular execration. Here the coarse
fibre which had stood him in such good stead during a hundred fights did
him disservice, for it hindered his perception of the fact that it is
unwise to be conspicuously decorated at a moment when the nation is
calling for your head. He held on, with failing health but unfailing
courage, though the war had furnished him with a reasonable door of
departure at the critical moment when honour permitted and indeed
required him to go, and though his friends had implored him to resign.
The motives for his obstinacy were obvious enough. His was a doughty
soul, and did not yield without agony. But there was a more practical
reason. He believed that, as had long been threatened, his fall would be
followed by his impeachment. As soon as he resigned, his brother Horace
hurried off to burn his papers. Walpole himself took a similar
precaution. This shows their sense of the imminence of the danger which
had always impended over him, and which was first in their thoughts when
the protection of office was about to be withdrawn.

The final scene in the House of Commons was dramatic enough, and must
have been in the mind of Disraeli when he penned his description of the
fall of Peel. As the fatal division on the Chippenham election was
proceeding, the Minister sate and watched the hostile procession with
unfailing and imperturbable humour. He beckoned to his side Bayntun
Rolt, the Chippenham candidate supported by the Opposition, and so their
nominal champion, and gave him a reasoned catalogue of many of the
members voting against him, detailing their ingratitude and treachery,
as well as the exact favours that he had heaped on them. 'Young man, I
will tell you the history of all your friends as they come in; that
fellow I saved from the gallows, and that from starvation; this other
one's sons I promoted,' and so forth;[125] then passing on through this
bitter recital to his scornful conclusion, he declared that never again
would he set foot in that House.[126]

He fell with the skill and presence of mind which never deserted him,
for in everything except office he remained victorious. All parties had
combined to destroy Walpole, and in their triumph all not unnaturally
expected to see every vestige of the detested administration swept away
in his defeat. Vast was their disappointment. Newcastle, the oldest of
the old gang, to use the vivid expression of modern politics, had long
scented the approaching catastrophe of his chief, and had been preparing
to lessen the shock to himself and his friends, so far as was possible,
by judicious conference with the Opposition.

Newcastle has long been a byeword; he was so all through his protracted
public life; and he has remained in history a synonym for a certain
jobbing and fussing incapacity. Justice has, perhaps, been scarcely done
to his laborious life; his disinterestedness about money, rare in any
age, especially in that; above all to his unequalled capacity for
remaining in office, a virtue not unappreciated by the great mass of
politicians. Nor was he a fool, though he was something of a coward. A
man who could hold the seals of Secretary of State for thirty continuous
years of stress and intrigue, who filled high office for forty-five
years in succession, could not be without invaluable qualities for
steering with persistence and astuteness through intricacies of
parliamentary navigation. His ambition, such as it was, had indeed an
elastic but stubborn tenacity; the ties of blood, friendship, or
principle availed nothing against it. His industry, such as it was, is
attested by his long tenure of office and the vast mass of his
correspondence. His disinterestedness, such as it was, is proved by his
leaving public life 300,000_l._ poorer than he entered it, and by his
nevertheless refusing a pension offered him by George III. on his
retirement, a circumstance almost unique in the annals of the century.
In nothing else was he disinterested. His only taste in private life
seems to have been for the pleasures of the table and the consequent art
of the physician. On his resignation in 1756 he attempted indeed to
assume the air of a retired country squire. Guns and gaiters were
procured, but getting his feet wet he hurriedly abandoned the sports of
the field and with them the appearance of rural absorption. This
illustrates his crowning defect. In all that he did he was supremely
ridiculous.

    'Behind him close behold Newcastle's Grace,
    Haste in his step and absence in his face;

           *       *       *       *       *

    Tho' void of honesty, of sense, of art,
    A foolish head and a perfidious heart,
    Yet riches, honours, power he shall enjoy.'[127]

Foote and Smollett have left vivid caricatures of his ludicrous
personality. The story of his conference with Pitt when Pitt was in bed
with the gout, and of his getting into a vacant bed and discoursing from
thence to his colleague, is one of the choicest pictures of his
absurdity that survive. The two leading Ministers were found storming at
each other from adjacent couches, disputing as to whether Hawke's fleet
should put to sea or not.[128] Pitt fortunately prevailed. Newcastle's
grotesqueness was part of his temperament, for all through his life his
jealousy and suspicion kept him in a perpetual froth of nervous
excitement. His jealousy was of power, his suspicion of those who aimed
at it. And by power he meant patronage. Throughout his long life his god
or goddess was patronage. Indeed his voluminous correspondence rather
resembles the letter-bag of an agency for necessitous persons of social
position than the papers of a Prime Minister or Secretary of State. To
hold a crowded levee of placehunters, ecclesiastical and temporal, to
thread his way about it coaxing, fawning, and slobbering, embracing and
even kissing, promising and paying all with the base coin of cozenage,
this was Newcastle's paradise. But it answered. It made him necessary to
his party, and therefore necessary to those who would govern the
country; for government was restricted to his party. So all statesmen in
turn scorned and employed him. 'His name,' said Walpole, 'is perfidy.'
But perfidy paid, and Walpole kept him to the end, fully aware that he
was always ready for betrayal if expediency dictated it, and that in the
closing months he was in fact busy at the work. At last, indeed, Walpole
himself, under the name of the King, commissioned him to intrigue
officially. Hardwicke, perhaps the greatest of our Chancellors, who
furnished the brains for Newcastle, and condescended to act as his
mentor and instrument, was joined with him to make terms with the enemy,
and offer the reversion of the Treasury on condition of immunity for
Walpole.

Pulteney was the enemy, or its chief; for he led the Opposition, and
guided the Court of the Heir Apparent, as he had that of the father when
Prince of Wales, though then without fruit and result. He was also the
idol of the nation. For long years he had made the people believe that
Walpole was a Goliath of corruption, and that he was the incorruptible
David. Moreover, his vast wealth, his ability, his eloquence, and his
social qualities gave him a personal ascendancy apart from his political
position. 'He was, by all accounts,' writes Shelburne, 'the greatest
House of Commons orator that had ever appeared,'[129] surpassing even
the legendary reputation of Bolingbroke; he was also a scholar, a wit,
and a potent pamphleteer. In conversation he excelled; when the wits
were gathered at Stowe, the pre-eminence of Pulteney was
acknowledged.[130] At this moment he was supreme, 'in the greatest point
of view,' writes Chesterfield, 'that I ever saw any subject in ... the
arbiter between the Crown and the people; the former imploring his
protection, the latter his support;' 'possessing,' says Glover, 'a
degree of popularity and power which no subject before him was ever
possessed of.' All eyes were raised to him with expectant adoration as
he stood on this pinnacle, and as they gazed they saw him slowly totter,
and then fall headlong. For the two Ministers had succeeded in
compromising him. He refused, indeed, amnesty for Walpole or office for
himself; but adulterated these refusals by watering his expressions of
hostility to the Minister, and by asking on his own behalf for an
earldom and a seat in the Cabinet. When his followers found that he and
Carteret were engaged in secret negotiation with Ministers, their
indignation was unbounded. They held a public meeting to disown him. His
popularity disappeared in an instant and for ever. He afterwards averred
that he had lost his head, that there was no comprehending or describing
the confusion that prevailed, and that he was obliged to go out of town
for three or four days to keep his senses. This is not impossible or
even improbable. A political crisis bursts like a tornado, and
bewilders the strongest characters. Both rare and happy are the men who
can on such occasions take counsel with themselves, and meet the storm
with presence of mind. Pulteney had, perhaps, become enervated with a
long period of merely negative opposition. Glover also asserts that his
hand was forced by Lyttelton who was secretly offering terms to Walpole,
and that these, though tendered by the Prince of Wales's Secretary,
Walpole treated with disdain. Glover was an ill-conditioned wasp, and
his story refutes itself. For the one person whom Walpole was anxious to
gain was Frederick, even offering to add 50,000_l._ to his income. That
he should then have spurned an overture from the Prince's right-hand man
is out of the question; he would have met it more than half-way.
Whatever the cause, Pulteney, having committed himself, could not
retrace his steps; an iron grip constrained him. In vain did he seek to
recall his patent and escape his peerage. Walpole held him fast.
Pulteney had finally conquered in the long struggle of twenty years, and
overthrown Sir Robert; but the prostrate Minister had from the dust
worked Pulteney like a marionette.

For behind all these strange scenes Walpole pulled the strings. His main
object was to avoid his own impeachment, and this, in spite of the
determination of the hostile majority which called for his head, he
achieved; a feat little less than miraculous. The Tory candidates for
office were rejected by the King, and as for the not less bitter Whigs,
as

    '... bees, on flowers alighting, cease to hum,
    So, settling upon places, Whigs grow dumb.'

They were dumb in spite of themselves. The nation, which had been
excited by the hope of seeing corruption extinguished, and the advent of
a new era of virtue and public spirit, was again disappointed. People
saw this sublime struggle result in a jobbing distribution of such
places as were vacated to the same sort of people as had vacated them,
with precisely the same system. It was much the same ministry without
the one great minister. Fooled once more, as so often before and since,
people shrugged their shoulders, and turned their attention to other
things, more honest and more practical than party politics.

With the fall of Walpole this narrative is not otherwise concerned, for
his successors found no post for Pitt. Two members of the Prince of
Wales's household, Lords Baltimore and Archibald Hamilton, had found
acceptance as members of the new administration; the King probably could
not stomach more, certainly not Pitt. For long years afterwards he could
not endure contact with the orator who sneered at him and at Hanover,
and who even insinuated with factious injustice doubts of his personal
courage. It must also be remembered that Pitt was not merely attached to
the party of the Prince but to the group of Cobham. That veteran
accepted for a short time a seat in the Cabinet and the command of a
regiment. But his animosity against Carteret was second only to his
animosity against Walpole. Carteret was a powerful, and aimed at being
the controlling member of the new Government. He therefore succeeded to
the position of target for the barbed arrows of Pitt and his friends
which had been vacated by Walpole's retirement. Carteret, the new object
of philippic, had striven hard for the succession to Walpole when
Pulteney stood aside, but had been foiled by Walpole acting through the
King. Lord Wilmington, whom Horace Walpole describes as a solemn
debauchee and Hervey as fond only of money and eating, but who was the
favourite nonentity of George II., had been fobbed off upon the party as
First Minister; and the choice had its advantages. For, always
incapable, he was now moribund; and so as a feeble and transient barrier
to ambition was the least unacceptable to Walpole's expectant heirs. A
figurehead, moreover, was the favourite expedient of the century for
skirting the fierce conflict of personalities.

So Wilmington reigned, and Carteret governed for a while in Walpole's
stead. The shadowy form of the First Minister could not veil for a
moment the bold outline of the Secretary of State, for Carteret, though
scarcely attaining real greatness, remains one of the most brilliant and
striking figures in the eighteenth century. It is almost enough to say
that in all but disregard of money he was the exact antipodes of
Newcastle. No man of his time was so splendidly equipped for the highest
public service as Carteret. He was sprung from an ancient Norman family
settled in Jersey, eight of whom, the father and seven sons, were
knighted in one day by Edward III.[131] To a person of commanding beauty
and an open and engaging demeanour, he united superb qualities of
intellect developed by ardent study. He was a scholar of signal
excellence at a time when scholarship was in the atmosphere of English
statesmanship, the best Grecian of his day, with the great classics
always in his mind and at command. Did any one of the like taste come to
him on business, Carteret would at once turn from business to some
Homeric discussion. Moreover he knew the whole Greek Testament by heart;
an unusual and unsuspected accomplishment.[132] But he was also versed
in modern languages, then a rare and never a common faculty in this
island, and alone among his compeers spoke German fluently, a priceless
advantage under a sovereign whose heart and mind were in Hanover. He was
the only person who was in favour both with the King and with the Prince
of Wales.[133] He abounded in a wit at once genial and penetrating. He
was a puissant orator. His comprehensive grasp of European statecraft,
his capacity for taking broad and high views, his soaring politics, his
intrepid spirit and his high ambition, marked him out among the meaner
men by whom he was surrounded. His contempt of money amounted to
recklessness. His scorn of all pettiness made him disdain jobbery, and
even the subtler arts of parliamentary manipulation. There was much that
was sublime in him, and more that was impracticable. In a greater degree
than any other minister of his time, if we except Chatham, with whom he
had many qualities in common, does he seem to partake of the mystery of
genius. Unfortunately, his energy came in gusts, he could scarcely bring
himself to bend, and he was incapable of that self-contained patience,
amounting to long-suffering, which is a necessary condition of the
highest success in official life. All, indeed, was marred by an
extravagance of conduct which was in reality the result of his nature
running riot and of his good qualities carried to excess. He played his
political chess with the big pieces alone, and neglected the pawns. He
disregarded not merely the soldiers and most of the officers, but all
the arts and equipment of the parliamentary army, heedless of the fact
that parliamentary support is the vital necessity of a British minister.
Disdainful of public opinion or party connections, he attempted to play
the great game in Europe with no resource but his own abilities and the
confidence of his sovereign, whose antipathy to France he shared, and
whose policy and prejudices he could discuss in the King's native
language. And yet over the bottle, which he loved at least as much as
literature or politics, he would laugh at the whole business and the men
with whom he was engaged. 'What is it to me,' he would say, 'who is a
judge or who is a bishop? It is my business to make Kings and Emperors';
and he would have to be reminded that those who wanted offices or
honours would follow and support those who did deal in those
commodities. One can hear his jolly laugh. His policy he embodied in one
striking sentence: 'I want to instil a nobler ambition into you, to make
you knock the heads of the Kings of Europe together, and jumble
something out of it which may be of service to this country.' As a
matter of fact though he did undoubtedly knock together the heads of
some kings, no material advantage resulted to the country. He was,
however, a patriot, a single-minded, able, jovial, reckless patriot, but
out of touch with the politicians, unsuited to parliamentary government,
and so almost ineffectual. And thus we see him at his best on his
deathbed, where he quotes to the under-secretary who brought him the
Treaty of Paris for approval the speech of Sarpedon with melancholy
emphasis. 'Friend of my soul, were we to escape from this war, and then
live for ever without old age or death, I should not fight myself among
the foremost, nor would I send thee into the glorifying battle; but a
thousand fates of death stand over us, which mortal man may not flee
from and avoid; then let us on.' These last words he repeated with calm
and determined resignation, and after a pause of some minutes desired
the preliminary articles of the Peace of Paris to be read to him. After
hearing these at length he desired that, to use own words, the
approbation of a dying statesman might be declared to the most glorious
war and the most honourable peace that this nation ever saw.[134] The
news of his extremity had reached Chesterfield. 'When he dies,' wrote
this shrewdest judge and observer of mankind in England, who had in his
factious days called Carteret 'a wild and drunken minister,'[135] 'the
ablest head in England dies too, take it for all in all.'[136]

Pitt soon had an opportunity of showing that the selection of ministers
from the Prince's household had left out the one priceless force. For
now there came raining into Parliament imperative demands for the
impeachment of the fallen Minister. These representations from the
various constituencies to their several members are well worth
consideration, for they emphasise identical demands with a unanimity
suggestive of much later forms of political organization. They denounce
Standing Armies, and Septennial Parliaments, asking that Triennial
Parliaments, 'at least,' may be restored; they require that placemen
largely, and pensioners entirely, shall be excluded from the House of
Commons; and that laws shall be passed for the security and
encouragement of the linen trade. In an even more sanguine spirit they
stipulate for the extirpation of those party distractions 'which, though
their foundations have long ceased to exist, were yet so industriously
fomented among us, in order to serve the mischievous purposes of a
ministerial tyranny.' But first and last, and above all, they insist on
the punishment of Walpole, bringing him and his colleagues, which of
course meant him, to 'condign punishment.' 'Nothing but the most
rigorous justice ought to avenge an injured people ... justice is a duty
we owe to posterity.' 'We have a right to speak plainly to you, and we
must tell you, Sir, that if the man that ruined our trade, disgraced our
arms, plundered our treasure, negotiated away our interests,
impoverished the land--in a word, the author of all the disgraces and
calamities of twenty years should (while the whole nation is calling out
for justice against him) triumph in impunity, we shall be apt to think
our constitution is lost.' 'Lenity to him would be cruelty to the
nation.'[137] Our ancestors, it will be seen, did not wage their
political warfare with the sweetmeats or roses of a carnival contest.

It seems unnecessary to remark that of these various injunctions the
only one to which the members of Parliament paid any heed was that for
the prosecution or persecution of Walpole. Even here there was no
result. The new officials were sated and at ease, the hungry remnant was
insufficient or inept. But the constituencies were in deadly earnest, if
their members were not. They had been goaded by their leaders to a state
bordering on frenzy, and their demands, vindictive as they may appear
to us, only embodied the declamation of the Opposition throughout half
at least of Walpole's ministry. More than ten years before, Pulteney had
publicly declared that 'the Opposition had come to a determined
resolution not to listen to any treaty whatsoever, or from whomsoever it
may come, in which the first and principal condition should not be to
deliver him (Walpole) up to the justice of the country.' But now the
Opposition was in power, and Pulteney was in a chastened and moderate
mood. His star, indeed, was already on the wane; he was on the high road
to the earldom of Bath and extinction. At the first meeting indeed with
the King's envoys he had declared in a famous phrase that he could not
screen Walpole if he would, for 'the heads of parties are like the heads
of snakes, which are carried on by their tails.' But at a later
conference he said, with reference to the same topic, that he was not a
man of blood, and that in all his expressions importing a resolution to
pursue the Minister to destruction he meant only the destruction of his
power, not his person. He would consult with his friends, yet must
confess that so many years of maladministration deserved some
parliamentary censure.

Accordingly Lord Limerick moved on March 9 (1742) for a select committee
of inquiry into the administration of the late Sir Robert Walpole during
the last twenty years; but Pulteney did not at first countenance this
moderate measure. He was absent, on a reasonable excuse no doubt, and in
his absence his friends intimated that it would not be disagreeable to
him were the motion rejected.

This was, it seems, untrue, but it gave Pitt the first great opportunity
of his life. When others were silenced by office or honours, he stood
forth as the mouthpiece of the people and as the consistent,
incorruptible maintainer of the policy and declarations of his party. It
was an opportunity of which he availed himself with terrible effect. It
is now, we think, that he first appealed to the imagination and
confidence of the nation, as distinguished from the appreciation of
Parliament, though that also was sufficiently marked. 'Pitt grows the
most popular speaker in the House of Commons, and is at the head of his
party,' writes Philip to Joseph Yorke.[138]

Owing to the absence, and so the presumed indifference or disapproval of
Pulteney, Lord Limerick's motion was rejected by two votes. At the
request of Pulteney, however, who, whether lukewarm or not, was nettled
at the natural criticisms provoked by his attitude, Lord Limerick
brought forward another motion of the same kind limited to the last ten
years of Walpole's administration. Pulteney who, discredited outside,
retained within the House 'a miraculous influence,' exerted himself to
the utmost, we may be sure, but it can scarcely be doubted that the
honours of the double debate rested with the vehement and untainted
Pitt. It is not perhaps of much use to quote from the vague and
imperfect reports of his speeches, but we can gather, at least, their
general trend. One passage, at any rate, in his speech on the second
motion, has been authentically preserved by Horace Walpole, for it was a
compliment to himself. Horace had defended his father with a grace and
filial duty that commended him to the House. Pitt, in reply, said that
it was becoming in the young man to remember that he was the child of
the accused, the House should remember that they were the children of
their country, a flight which seems to outstep the perilous limits of
the sublime.

From the summary of Pitt's two speeches we may at least gather that he
had much the best of the argument on this issue, so long dead and
buried. One noteworthy point, however, in his declamation against the
Minister, is that he paid vindictive attention to Walpole's practice of
dismissing and cashiering his opponents, by which he had himself
suffered. He argued that the King might as well dispose of all the
property of his subjects as of that particular form of property
represented by commissions in the army; which, whether obtained by
service or by purchase, were as freehold as an estate, and should be as
amply secured.[139]

But, in truth, his denunciation of Walpole is much less remarkable than
the poisoned shafts which, as is manifest even in the faulty report, he
aimed at the King, or at Hanover, which was much the same thing. He
declared that the changes were unreal, that Walpole remained Minister
behind the scenes. 'Though he be removed from the Treasury,' said Pitt,
'he is not from the King's closet, nor probably will be, unless by our
advice or by our sending him to a lodging at the other end of the town,
where he cannot do so much harm to his country.'[140] This pointed hint
at the Tower must have been greatly to the taste of his audience.
Allusions to the debts of the Civil List, caused certainly not by
hospitality or by expenditure on any public object, but inferentially by
corruption, were artfully framed so as to cause the King the greatest
possible annoyance;[141] so, too, were the innuendoes as to our foreign
policy having been framed in the sole interests of Hanover. Lord
Limerick's second motion was carried by seven votes, and Pitt was named
on the secret committee, which, however, owing to the loyal silence of
Walpole's associates, to the placing one of them in the privileged
security of the House of Lords, and to the refusal of the King to allow
disclosures as to the manner in which secret service money had been
employed, came to a futile and inglorious end. We catch one glimpse of
Pitt in its proceedings. Scrope, the doughty old Secretary of the
Treasury, who had fought under Monmouth at Sedgemoor, refused to reply
to the questions of the inquisitors. Pitt seems to have pushed him hard,
and he was so stung that he wished to call his tormentor out. From this
we may at least infer that Pitt took a leading part in the deliberations
of the Committee. On the other hand, it may be noticed that he only
received 259, or one more than the lowest number of votes, while the
member who headed the poll scored 518, a circumstance which would seem
to indicate that he had as yet no strong position in the House.

He soon had the opportunity of further exasperating the King, an
opportunity of which he availed himself rather with the intemperance of
resentment than with the astuteness of ambition; for he was now in
declared opposition to the new Government, and as bitter against
Carteret as he had been against Walpole. When Parliament met (November
16, 1742) after the recess, Pitt 'spoke like ten thousand angels,' but
no trace of his speech remains. Of its spirit, however, we can judge
from that which he delivered on December 10, on the vote for continuing
the British troops in Flanders. Here the onslaught was against the King,
and it is scarcely possible to conceive sarcasms more calculated to
afflict the sovereign in his tenderest susceptibilities than those which
Pitt now launched, even as we read them in an imperfect report; they
are, indeed, so masterly in this way as almost to prove their
authenticity. This is the first speech of real point and power delivered
by Pitt of which we have any record. It may be noted in passing, that in
the 'London Magazine' (one of the two newspapers that reported debates)
Pitt's speech was unnoticed, while it did not appear in the 'Gentleman's
Magazine' till fourteen months after it was delivered.[142]

A few specimens may give a fair idea of the power which made Pitt so
dreaded.

'The troops of Hanover, whom we are now expected to pay, marched into
the Low Countries, where they still remain. They marched to the place
most distant from the enemy, least in danger of an attack, and most
strongly fortified had an attack been designed. They have, therefore, no
other claim to be paid than that they left their own country for a place
of greater security. I shall not, therefore, be surprised, after such
another glorious campaign ... to be told that the money of this nation
cannot be more properly employed than in hiring Hanoverians to eat and
sleep.'[143]

'As to Hanover,' he continues, 'we know by experience that none of the
merits of that Electorate are passed over in silence.' 'It is not to be
imagined that His Majesty would not have sent his proportion of troops
to the Austrian army had not the temptation of greater profit been laid
industriously before him.' 'It is now too apparent that this powerful,
this great, this mighty nation is considered only as a province to a
despicable electorate, and that, in consequence of a plan formed long
ago and invariably pursued, these [Hanoverian] troops are hired only to
drain us of our money.... How much reason the transactions of almost
every year have given for suspecting this absurd, ungrateful, and
perfidious partiality it is not necessary to declare.... To dwell upon
all the instances of partiality which have been shown, and the yearly
visits which have been paid to that delightful country [Hanover], to
reckon up all the sums that have been spent to aggrandise and enrich it,
would be an irksome and invidious task, invidious to those who are
afraid to be told the truth, and irksome to those who are unwilling to
hear of the dishonour and injuries of their country. I shall, however,
dwell no longer on this unpleasing subject than to express my hope that
we shall no longer suffer ourselves to be deceived and oppressed.'

Conceive the position. On the one side a King, born and bred in Hanover,
to whom the honour and welfare of Hanover and the Hanoverians were
everything, whose paradise was Hanover, who counted the days to his
annual visit to Hanover as a schoolboy counts the days to his holidays,
who held Hanover as his own absolute monarchy and property as compared
with the limited interest and power of the British throne; a King,
moreover, courted by all, whose favour was necessary for the obtaining
of office; accustomed to unstinted adulation and homage. On the other,
this young jackanapes, an official in the court of his detested son,
declaiming against him with every art of the actor and the rhetorician,
with every power of voice and eye, holding him and his Hanover up to
every kind of ridicule and contempt, before an audience mainly of
place-hunters and place-holders, half trembling, half chuckling, as the
philippic proceeded.

Why did Pitt take this line? If he wished for office (as he undoubtedly
did), it seemed madness: he was committing something like suicide. But
pique, as Sir George Savile well said, 'is the spur the devil rides the
noblest tempers with.' He was unquestionably angry at his exclusion from
office, which he had, no doubt, been told was due to the King. He was
justly indignant that the long-continued efforts which had resulted in
the overthrow of Walpole's overweening power had simply resulted in the
shuffle of a few offices, and that to the victors the spoil had been
denied; the sole and execrable minister Walpole had been replaced by a
much less sole but not less execrable minister in Carteret. All this was
gall to a man who had been among the most formidable in the heat of
battle. That heat was now over, and the vanquished were picnicking with
a few selected victors, while Pitt and his friends were left to cool
themselves on the deserted battlefield. 'They tell me,' said Lord George
Bentinck, in 1846, 'that I shall save fifteen hundred a year by Free
Trade. I don't care for that. What I cannot bear is being sold.' Pitt,
too, could not bear being sold.

That pique and a not ignoble rage had much to do with this philippic we
may well assume. But we may also surmise that his attitude was not
devoid of calculation. The veto of George II. was not to be removed by
deference, so he would, like another Hannibal, destroy the obstacle
with vinegar. The King had been exasperated by the lambent play of
Pitt's earlier insinuations; he should be made to know how Pitt had then
held his hand, what thunderbolts he had kept in reserve, what
unspeakable things awaited the Prince who should frown on him. 'All the
things I have told you,' said Sancho Panza, 'are tarts and cheese-cakes
to what remains behind.' George II. should learn that the innuendoes
that Pitt had levelled at him before were tarts and cheesecakes compared
to what he had the power of producing. Pitt, in a word, had made up his
mind that his only means of achieving his objects was by terror. He had
thrown away the scabbard. Moreover, he was appealing from the Court to
the people. The Court was foreign, immoral, and unpopular: the very name
of Hanover was detested. And although Pitt's actual words reached the
people late or not at all, there was an echo which was audible, and made
known all through the three kingdoms that there was within the walls of
Parliament an intrepid, unbribed, perhaps incorruptible orator who
feared the face of no man, and who was embodying in fiery words the
antipathies and distrusts of the nation.



CHAPTER VIII.


Let us consider for a moment the character of the Sovereign whom Pitt
had set himself to bait.

George II. was first and fundamentally a German prince of his epoch.
What other could he be? And these magnates all aped Louis XIV. as their
model. They built huge palaces, as like Versailles as their means would
permit, and generally beyond those limits, with fountains and avenues
and dismally wide paths. Even in our own day a German monarch has left,
fortunately unfinished, an accurate Versailles on a damp island in a
Bavarian lake. In these grandiose structures they cherished a blighting
etiquette, and led lives as dull as those of the aged and torpid carp in
their own stew-ponds. Then at the proper season, they would break away
into the forest and kill game. Moreover, still in imitation of their
model, they held, as a necessary feature in the dreary drama of their
existence, ponderous dalliance with unattractive mistresses, in whom
they fondly tried to discern the charms of a Montespan or a La Vallière.
This monotonous programme, sometimes varied by a violent contest whether
they should occupy a seat with or without a back, or with or without
arms, represented the even tenor of their lives.

George II. was better than this training would suggest. His first
ambition indeed was to be a Lovelace, but his second was to be a
soldier. As a soldier he had the unaffected courage of the princes of
his race. George, red and angry, fighting on foot at the battle of
Dettingen, is a figure that is memorable and congenial to his British
subjects.

As a Lovelace he lives to this day, for his portraits are generally in
the posture of a coxcomb, with his face in outline wearing an
irresistible smile, only comical to the beholder now, but with which he
goes smirking into the eternities. It is not necessary to dwell on this
part of his character; after all, a shallow part, for the one woman whom
he loved was his wife. It was, however, a necessary part, vital to his
conception of an ideal monarch. His confidences to his wife on this
delicate point, though gross to us, seemed natural to him and to her,
and were probably not alien to the atmosphere in which he was reared.
Withal he bored his mistresses to death, and not impossibly they bored
him. But that did not matter; the thing had to be done; he saw himself
as in a mirror the fourteenth or fifteenth Louis; and when on the
Saturdays in summer he drove down with Lady Yarmouth and his court to
Richmond, escorted by Lifeguards kicking up the dust, to walk an hour in
the garden, dine, and return to London, he imagined himself, as Horace
Walpole tells us, the most gallant and lively prince in Europe![144]

We must admit then that he was born and bred a coxcomb, like his son.
That he was a fond father no one will allege. His pleasures were coarse
and dull. Even here one strange exception must be made. His letters to
women, in the opinion of hostile critics, were tender and even
exquisite.[145] How he came to write them we cannot know, for his
character could not make one expect a grace of this kind.

In other respects we think him underrated. Sir Robert Walpole said that
politically he was a coward. To what does this charge really amount?
That a prince who had never left Germany till he was thirty-one, who
succeeded to the throne when he was forty-four, after a life of such
severe repression that his father even entertained the idea of
transporting him to the plantations, should display that familiarity
with his position, his political relations, and a strange nation, which
alone could justify the independent action which is implied by the
phrase 'political courage,' would have been astonishing; it would indeed
have savoured of political recklessness. Walpole may have uttered the
charge in resentment for some refusal of the King's. He was, we know,
irritated at the moment by finding that the King had promised to go to
Hanover without informing him. The King no doubt blustered in private
when he yielded in public. But domestic effervescence was the only
method of relief for a Sovereign who knew his own limitations, and who
also knew that, constitutionally, he would have at last to yield to his
Minister. What is 'political courage' in a constitutional Sovereign?
What would Walpole have said had the monarch shown 'political courage'
and insisted on having his own stubborn way? 'Had he,' wrote Waldegrave,
with his usual good sense, 'always been as firm and undaunted in the
Closet as he showed himself at Oudenarde and Dettingen, he might not
have proved quite as good a king in this limited monarchy.'

His foible, we are told, was avarice. We do not know that he was mean in
his personal expenditure. Waldegrave, again, who was fair, and knew him
better than most men, declared that 'he was always just, and sometimes
charitable, though rarely generous.' He amused himself, we are told,
with counting his guineas in private. That perhaps was not a very royal
occupation, though a nursery rhyme indicates that it is; it may have
been a trick learned when he was poor, or it may have been his
substitute for those games of anxious futility now known as 'patience.'
But the real ground for the charge of avarice in the eyes of his British
subjects was that he accumulated a great treasure in Hanover. If that be
avarice, it was the avarice of the kings who made Prussia, the famous
Frederick and his father. Parsimony in such cases may well be a virtue;
and subjects may even prefer to be ruled by those who possess it rather
than by princes who rear vast and idle palaces like the Bourbons of
Spain and Naples, or live with unbridled extravagance like George IV.
But kings rarely hit the right mean; if they are generous they are
called profuse, if they are careful they are called mean. George's
avarice, if such it was, was a public-spirited avarice. He hoarded for
his own beloved country, he got as much out of his Kingdom as he could
for his Electorate; for he was a Hanoverian first and a Briton a long
way afterwards. But when Hanover needed it, he spent all his hoards on
her behalf ungrudgingly, and died poor.

We do not claim him as a great King, far from it. But we think him
unjustly and hastily condemned. It is easy in a slapdash manner to
lavish sarcasms on a King who presented many tempting opportunities for
satire. The genius of Thackeray could not resist them, small blame to
it. But the King's absurdities should not blind one to his merits. The
just critic must recognise in George II. a constant substantial
shrewdness, seasoned with humour. His sagacity made him realise his
constitutional limitations; his penetration appraised with great justice
the men by whom he was surrounded; he had to do much that he disliked
and resented, but he did it when he saw that it was necessary, not
gracefully, for he was never graceful, but without scandal. His rough
common sense constantly vented itself in the ejaculation of 'Stuff and
nonsense,'[146] which proved his command of at least one British idiom,
and not unfrequently a just appreciation of affairs. His judgment of men
was sure. He had only three ministers who were men of commanding
ability; Walpole, Carteret, and Pitt. Two of these were his especial
favourites; to the third, who had mortally offended him, he submitted.
For Newcastle he had a supreme contempt; but wisely accommodated himself
to one who was useful, who 'did his business,' to whom he was
accustomed, and whom he knew through and through. He infinitely
preferred Carteret to Pelham, but at the supreme moment he chose Pelham
in spite of Carteret. No doubt this was due largely to the influence of
Walpole, but many kings would not have followed an advice so contrary to
their own bias. He piqued himself on his knowledge of mankind, not
without reason, and Hervey depicts a scene where he reels off a
catalogue of names, and the King, tersely and unhesitatingly, gives the
character of each.

The fact is that George II. had the misfortune to keep in his inmost
circle a vigilant and deadly enemy. John Lord Hervey, the Sporus of
Pope's blighting satire, akin in mind and probably in blood to Horace
Walpole, was always with him; noting down, with spruce rancour, a
venomous pen, and some dramatic power, the random outbreaks of his
master. It is not wise to attribute literal exactitude or even general
veracity to such chronicles; the man who can commit so gross a breach of
confidence is little worthy of trust. That Hervey in the very heart of
the King's family should have sate down with a pen dipped in vitriol to
portray its most intimate aspects is perhaps our gain but his disgrace.
He was a viper warmed in the bosom of the Court, and stung it to the
full extent of his opportunity and powers. A court is considered fair
game by such reptiles. But it is hard to see why princes, who after all
are human beings, should not be allowed to some extent the same sanctity
of family life which humbler human beings claim and maintain. Hervey was
the intimate associate of the King, the confidential friend of the
Queen, the lover of one of their daughters, he was the tame cat of the
family circle. He thought it seemly to narrate their secrets in so
brutal a fashion that some more decent member of his family tore out and
destroyed the coarsest and bitterest passages. What remains is coarse
and bitter enough. It shows the King and Queen in a most unfavourable
light. But that aspect is fascinating compared to that in which he
presents himself. The story of royalty should not be a Court Circular;
but neither should it be a lampoon, written by a trusted friend. The
only excuse for him is that being devoted to the Queen, who in her way
merited his devotion, he detested the King whom he deemed unworthy of
her. But that does not help the reader who looks to him for facts. The
George II. we know is the George II. of Hervey, and Hervey's Journal
proves the writer to be unworthy of implicit credence.

Chesterfield also drew a character of the King. But when we discount
Chesterfield's studied epigrams, poised with the malignant nicety of one
who hated his subject, there is not much left for discredit.

The real crime of George II. in the eyes of his British subjects was
almost in the category of virtues, for it was his devotion to Hanover.
Innocent and natural as it was in him, it seems wonderful to us that our
fathers should have endured it. How they must have hated Popery! But
Hanover was the King's home and fatherland; all his pleasant
associations were with Hanover; there he was absolute Sovereign, and
could lead without criticism the life that he enjoyed. He could not help
being a Hanoverian any more than William III. could help being a
Hollander. The English chose their Dutch and Hanoverian Sovereigns with
their eyes open, and had no right to complain if what they desired and
obtained was somewhat bitter in digestion. Neither William nor the two
first Georges ever professed to be other than what they were; they never
for a moment simulated that they were English, they never pretended to
like England. 'He hated the English,' says Lord Hervey of George II. And
when at the first available instant they fled from Kensington and
Hampton Court to Loo or Herrenhausen, their English subjects ignored
the mortifying preference, from devotion no doubt to the Protestant
Succession; but partly also because these monarchs were profoundly
indifferent to them. With George II., it is true, these excursions were
accompanied, as in Shakespeare, by alarms; alarms only too well founded
that he would return with a pocket full of treaties for subsidies which
the British taxpayer would have to pay. But all these three kings
accurately understood their position. They knew that they were not
chosen from affection, or for their qualities, certainly not for their
attractions. They were taken as necessities, almost odious necessities,
to keep out a Romanist dynasty which represented something to the people
that was more odious still.

They entertained, then, no illusions; a bargain had been driven with
them and they would keep it; they gave their pound, or more, of flesh.
They would occupy palaces, receive civil lists, interview ministers, and
keep out the Pretender. But that did not imply a perpetual exile from
home; they intended to get as many holidays as possible; and they did.
They might be a hateful necessity for England, but England as a
necessity was almost as hateful to them. Their life in this island was
servitude, more or less penal; they only breathed by the dykes of
Holland or the waters of the Leine. If this be clearly understood, much
confusion and vituperation may be avoided. But the wonder is that the
English (for the Scots and Irish had little to do with it) should have
had the civic courage in the cause of religion and liberty to endure the
compact.

George II. then, we contend, putting his private life apart, which we
must judge by the German standard of those days, was not a bad King
under the conditions of his time and of his throne. He was perhaps the
best of the Georges; better than George I. or George IV., better as a
King than George III., though inferior no doubt in the domestic virtues.
All things considered, it is wonderful that he was as good as he was,
and he scarcely deserves the thoughtless opprobrium which he has
incurred.



CHAPTER IX.


And now it is necessary to say a word of Continental affairs.

A life of Pitt should concern itself with Pitt alone, or with the
persons and events immediately relating to him. But as during this
period of his life foreign policy was all in all, and Britain seemed a
mere anxious appendage to the Continent, it is necessary to give a
succinct sketch of the familiar but complicated sequence of events in
Europe which occurred at this time, and which inspired almost all the
debates in which Pitt took part.

Walpole, as we have seen, had declared war against Spain in 1739, and
the not very glorious course of those operations does not call for
record. But the year 1740 marked a new and critical epoch. Death in
those few months was busy lopping off the crowned heads of Europe, as if
to clear the scene for two great figures. On February 6 died Pope
Clement XII. On March 31 died the shrewd but brutal boor Frederick
William I., and at the age of twenty-eight his son Frederick II. reigned
in his stead. His accession was to unveil a mystery; and where mankind
had hitherto seen a fiddling dilettante, contemptuous of his countrymen
and craving for all that was French, to reveal the direct ancestor of
German unity, the most practical and tenacious of conquerors. On
October 20 the Emperor Charles VI., the figure-head for which we had
fought in the War of the Succession, and, a week afterwards, Anne the
Empress of Russia passed away. Rarely has the sickle of Eternity
gathered so pompous a harvest. Between February and November it had
garnered the Holy Roman Emperor, the Holy Roman Pontiff, the sovereign
of Russia, and the sovereign of Prussia. Of these the death at Vienna
was by far the most momentous. For Charles left behind him no son, but a
young daughter of twenty-three, about to be a mother, whose succession
he had attempted to secure by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1718, ratified
and recognised by solemn international instruments. On the morning of
his death she was promptly proclaimed sovereign of her father's
dominions; but her treasury was empty and her ministers paralysed.
Bavaria at once protested. Behind Bavaria stood Frederick armed to the
teeth, eager to let slip the dogs of war. Every one saw his
preparations; no one could tell at whom they were aimed.

'No fair judge,' Mr. Carlyle[147] tells us, can blame the 'young
magnanimous King' for seizing this 'flaming opportunity.' The point is
fortunately not one which a biographer of Pitt is called upon to
discuss, except to note that hero-worship makes bad history. For our
purpose it is sufficient to say that Frederick did avail himself of the
new juncture of affairs. Charles had died on October 20; on December 6
the announcement was officially made in Berlin that the King had
resolved to march a body of troops into Silesia; on December 13 these
had passed the frontier, not as enemies of the Queen of Hungary or
Silesia, it was declared, but as protective friends of Silesia and her
Majesty's rights there. All this was preceded and accompanied by the
strangest diplomacy that the world had seen, but which does not concern
this abstract. Thus begins the first period of the Continental war.

Britain, like Prussia, was bound by treaty to maintain the Pragmatic
Sanction which assured the Austrian dominions to Maria Theresa. Our
statesmen at this moment were engaged in a pastime of more immediate
interest and excitement, for they were hunting Walpole to death; the
exhaustion of the quarry was evident; the end could not be far off. But
even then the nature of the aggression and the appeal of a young and
beautiful Queen exercised the usual influence on the chivalrous
sympathies of the nation. Maria Theresa could, moreover, appeal to
treaty rights. So that Walpole found himself reluctantly forced into a
new war while the former was still undecided and incomplete. He agreed
to renew the pledges of England to maintain that Pragmatic Sanction
which secured the succession to the daughter of Charles VI.; he agreed,
moreover, to an immediate subsidy of 300,000_l._, and to sending a force
of 12,000 men. Meanwhile Marshal Schwerin had defeated the Austrians at
Molwitz at the very moment that the House of Commons was debating these
proposals.

This victory brought into the arena new and eager claimants for some
part of the Austrian spoils, now apparently so available. The eminent
guarantors of the integrity of Austria were suddenly transformed into
hungry schemers for her immediate partition. Spain, Sardinia, and
Poland-Saxony all advanced pretensions. But a mightier enemy was
preparing to join hands with Frederick and take the field; for it was
scarcely to be supposed that the secular enemy of the House of Hapsburg
could remain quiescent at such a moment. France saw a unique opportunity
for breaking up the Austrian dominions, and reducing the portion
reserved to the young Queen to comparative insignificance. In France, as
in England, the Minister was peaceful, but the party of war carried the
day. Two French armies of 40,000 men each crossed the Rhine in August
1741. One under Marshal Maillebois marched on Hanover. The ruler of that
State, who, as sovereign of Great Britain, was the active ally of Maria
Theresa, hastily concluded a treaty of neutrality for one year,
promising to give no assistance to the young Queen in his Hanoverian
capacity, and to refrain from voting for her husband as Emperor. For
this treaty George II. was violently attacked by his British subjects,
who believed themselves to be fighting for Hanoverian interests, while
Hanover itself was thus snugly removed into a haven of peace. The
censure was, we think, excessive, if not undeserved. The treaty did
indeed accentuate the duality which somewhat unequally divided the
person of George. But if that be once conceded, it must be admitted that
he was right as Elector to do his very best for Hanover, just as King he
was bound to do his very best for England. As Elector, then, he was
fully justified in keeping his defenceless State out of the devastation
of war, from which it was destined to suffer so terribly sixteen years
later from another French army under the Duke of Richelieu, when
neutrality was no longer possible.

While Maillebois marched towards Hanover, the other army, under Marshals
Belleisle and Broglie, marched through Bavaria and menaced Vienna.
Maria Theresa had to fly to Hungary, and appeal in a manner made
familiar by description to the chivalry of the Magyars. The Elector of
Bavaria, who was the figure-head chosen by the confederates for the
imperial throne, and who had his fill of titles in the lack of more
substantial fare, was proclaimed Archduke of Austria at Linz, King of
Bohemia in Prague, and soon afterwards Emperor in Frankfort. It seemed
as if a vast partition was about to take place, and the House of Austria
destined to disappear.

But this was the turning-point; in the general blackness there appeared
rays of hope for Maria Theresa. Walpole, the peace minister,
disappeared, and the control of Foreign Affairs in Great Britain passed
to Carteret, who was warm for Austria, and eager to play an active part
on the Continent. Moreover, the misfortunes of the Queen roused the
enthusiasm of Great Britain. Five millions were voted for the war, half
a million as a subsidy to the Queen of Hungary. Sixteen thousand men
were sent into Flanders to assist the exertions of the Dutch.
Unfortunately there were no exertions to assist, and our troops remained
useless. Our fleets were more active. They harried the Spaniards and
controlled the Mediterranean. A squadron entered the Bay of Naples and
gave the King, afterwards Charles III. of Spain, an hour in which to
decide whether he would abandon the confederacy against Austria or see
his beautiful city bombarded. The King of Naples yielded, but as King of
Spain never forgave the English for this humiliation.

[Sidenote: Feb. 12, 1742.]

The Austrians, too, found a bold and skilful general in Khevenhüller,
who seized Bavaria and occupied Munich on the very day on which its
ruler was crowned Emperor. In the succeeding June a peace, which proved
afterwards to be but a truce, was concluded at Breslau between Austria
and Prussia, through the mediation of Great Britain, and followed by the
Treaty of Berlin, to which George II. both as King and Elector, the
Empress of Russia, the States General, and the King of Poland as Elector
of Saxony were parties. There had been a secret armistice between the
two states in the winter of 1741, by which Lower Silesia and Niesse had
been ceded to Frederick, but this had soon proved inoperative. A new
situation was however produced by the severe battle of Chotusitz, in
which the Austrians suffered defeat at the hands of Frederick. Maria
Theresa now yielded to the pressure of the English ministry and ceded
all Lower and part of Upper Silesia with the county of Glatz to
Frederick, who in return abandoned his allies and left the French to
themselves, on the plea that they were in secret communication with
Vienna. Saxony, under his influence, also withdrew from the war, and the
King of Prussia and the Elector of Hanover concluded a defensive
alliance, the Elector guaranteeing Silesia and Glatz to the King.
Frederick saw that he had been too successful. He was determined to
retain Silesia, but he saw with apprehension great French armies
overrunning the German Empire. That France should be aggrandised at the
expense of Germany was no part of his policy. For Germany as Germany he
had no natural affection; but the waters of Germany, however troubled
they might be, he proposed to keep for his own fishing.

[Sidenote: Dec. 1741.]

With the Peace of Breslau, then, the first period of the war ends, and
the second begins, in which it assumes a new character. It is not
Frederick and France fighting against Austria; it is Austria supported
by Britain, and to some extent Holland, fighting, with the secret
sympathy of Germany, against France and Spain. Elizabeth, too, the
daughter of Peter the Great, had mounted the throne of Russia, and
assisted her sister sovereign with sympathy and with money. The whole
aspect of the war was suddenly changed. Austria was now free to turn her
whole forces on France, and she did so with terrible effect. The French
had to evacuate Bohemia in a retreat so heroic and so appalling that it
anticipated the horrors of 1812. Of the 40,000 men with whom he had
crossed the Rhine, Belleisle brought back but 8000 into France. The
share of Great Britain in the war became substantial and direct. The
Elector of Hanover, relieved from apprehension by his treaty with
Prussia and the success of Austria, reduced his army by 16,000 men, but
the King of England took them into his pay. This measure exasperated his
British subjects, whose attention was thus once more called to the
jarring interests of the Kingdom and the Electorate combined in George's
person. But Ministers carried the day, and in June 1743 the King himself
took the field with an Anglo-German army of some 40,000 men under the
command of Lord Stair. At Dettingen, not far from Frankfort, in escaping
from a position of extreme jeopardy, they encountered and defeated the
French. The strangest part of this engagement was that there was then
nominally no war between France and Great Britain, and that these
operations were only accidental auxiliary conflicts. It was not for nine
months afterwards that war between the two countries was formally
declared.

[Sidenote: Sept. 1743.]

Later on in this year George II. took an even more active measure, and
through Carteret, as Secretary of State, though behind the back of his
other ministers, signed the Treaty of Worms. For many years past it had
been the policy of the House of Savoy to put itself up to auction, and
by the Treaty of Worms George II. became the successful bidder. The King
of Sardinia was to receive some territory from Austria, and 200,000_l._
a year from Great Britain, while he was to assist the Austrian cause
with 45,000 men. Carteret at the same time covenanted to pay Maria
Theresa a subsidy of 300,000_l._ a year 'so long as the war should
continue, or the necessity of her affairs should require.' But this the
British Ministry refused to recognise, and it became the subject of
fierce debate in Parliament.

To meet this combination, Louis XV., on the advice of his Minister but
against his own better judgment, signed one of those one-sided and
altruistic treaties which characterised French policy at this time, and
renewed the family compact of 1733 by a treaty signed at Fontainebleau
in October 1743. In this new edition the Bourbons of France and Spain
pledged themselves to an indissoluble union. France was to declare war
against Great Britain and Sardinia, to help Spain to reconquer Parma and
the Milanese for Don Philip, and to compel Great Britain to give up her
colony of Georgia. Finally, the two Powers were not to make peace until
Gibraltar and, if possible, Minorca were restored to Spain.[148]

[Sidenote: May 1744.]

But the Austrian successes once more brought Frederick into the field
to redress the balance, which now inclined too much to Austria, as it
had inclined too much to France. Austria had acquired Bavaria for the
moment, and perhaps would never evacuate it; she might be encouraged to
attempt the reconquest of Silesia. Her armies were now in Alsace; where
would they stop? The Queen, he knew, was only a degree less tenacious
than himself. So he signed a new convention at Frankfort with the
Emperor, the King of France, the King of Sweden as Landgrave of Hesse,
and the Elector Palatine, and again took up arms against Austria, which
was almost drained of troops. France about the same time formally
declared war against Great Britain and Austria, whom she had been
fighting, so to speak, incognito, for three years past. On the other
hand a quadruple alliance was concluded between Great Britain, Austria,
Holland, and Saxony; based as usual on British subsidies, which
Parliament ungrudgingly voted, with the eloquent but surprising support
of Pitt.

Here begins the third period of the war. Louis XV. and Marshal Saxe at
the head of 80,000 men entered the Austrian Netherlands almost without
resistance. Frederick soon made himself master of Bohemia and Bavaria,
and returned the Electorate to its sovereign, the Emperor Charles VII.
In January 1745, worn out with misfortunes and anxieties and dignities,
but once more in his capital, that hapless monarch died. Within three
months his successor had concluded peace with Austria through the
earnest pressure of the British Cabinet on the haughty Queen; the
Elector abandoning his claims on the Austrian dominions, and promising
his vote for the Empire to Maria Theresa's husband. Peace between
Austria and the King of Poland, Elector of Saxony, followed in May,
when the contracting parties entered into a premature concert for the
partition of the Prussian dominions.

Otherwise 1745 was a disastrous year for Austria. The Allies, Austrians,
British, and Dutch, under the Duke of Cumberland, sustained a bloody
defeat at Fontenoy in May; and Great Britain, occupied with the domestic
disturbance caused by the landing of Charles Edward, had to withdraw
from active participation in the war. In August a secret convention was
concluded at Hanover between the Kings of Prussia and Great Britain, by
which the latter Power guaranteed Silesia to the former. This was the
beginning of the end. The British Ministry now notified to the
unyielding Queen that she must come to terms with her enemy, or expect
no more assistance from England or Holland. The Austrian arms met
everywhere with reverses. While the young Queen was planning with Saxony
a triumphant march on Berlin, Frederick broke into Saxony and occupied
Dresden. On this final blow Maria Theresa accepted the mediation of
Great Britain and signed, on Christmas Day, 1745, the peace of Dresden
which gave Silesia and Glatz to Frederick. So ends the third period of
this strange and erratic war; a labyrinth of fugitive conventions and
transient alliances, with two strong purposes in the centre.

But the auxiliary combatants remained at strife, just as the seconds in
a duel have sometimes fought after their principals had settled their
own differences. And so we now enter on its fourth period, that in which
the British, Austrians, and Dutch (with the assistance of the
Piedmontese in Italy) contended against France and Spain. The part of
this war which chiefly concerns Great Britain was fought in Flanders.
And in all these transactions it must be noted that a main difficulty of
the British Ministry, both from the practical and from the parliamentary
point of view, lay in the problem of moving the Dutch. The Hollanders
had everything to apprehend from the triumph of the French arms, but
their phlegmatic temper, and still more the impracticable nature of
their constitution, offered great obstacles to their co-operation.
Anglers may see an analogy between these British negotiations with the
Dutch and the tardy and tantalising sport of sniggling for eels. At the
beginning of 1746, matters seemed to have come to a climax. The French
were harrying Flanders, and were threatening to invade Holland. The
Dutch Government were now stirred into proposing active measures, and
the raising of a large army, to be under the command of the Prince of
Waldeck; but they declined to declare war against France. The British
agreed to a joint force of 100,000 men, comprising 40,000 to be
furnished by the States-General, 30,000 by Austria, some Hanoverians and
Saxons to be paid by England and Holland, and 6000 Hessians to be
provided by England after Charles Edward had been finally defeated. The
Dutch regarded the British offers as inadequate; for it is a cardinal
principle of all Continental wars in which Great Britain is concerned
that her purse is to be open to her allies, and that she is to find the
funds.

    'The Dutch we know are good allies,
    So are they all with subsidies.'[149]

They were, moreover, not indisposed to negotiate with the French.
These, meanwhile, under the leadership of Marshal Saxe, were occupying
the Low Countries almost without interruption or resistance. In February
they entered Brussels; in May, Antwerp. Mons, Charleroi, and Namur
successively fell into their hands, and they ended the campaign by
defeating the allies at Roucoux, and remaining practically in possession
of the Austrian Netherlands. But there was a glimpse of peace, in that
some negotiations, abortive though they were destined to be, were opened
at Breda.

In 1747 the Duke of Cumberland again assumed the command with the usual
disastrous result. The Dutch contingent, also as usual, was very
inadequate: commercial nations are perhaps apt to treat international
engagements in too commercial a spirit. But the irruption into Dutch
Flanders of twenty thousand Frenchmen roused a spirit of a different
kind. The Dutch rose like one man, overturned their rulers, and once
more entrusted the Stadtholderate to the House of Orange. This was a
national gain. But the luckless Cumberland again sustained a bloody
defeat at Lauffeld. The battle, however, had one indirect but happy
consequence. Our best General, Ligonier, was captured, and, being of
French birth, was favourably received by Louis XV., who threw out hints
of peace and placed him in communication with Marshal Saxe. The Marshal
admitted that the war, and he himself as concerned in it, were
profoundly unpopular in France, that peace might be obtained on easy
terms, and suggested that Cumberland and he should be the negotiators.

Pelham was naturally eager for a pacification, George II. less so, and
what the King wished Newcastle was anxious to wish. But a congress to
adjust a treaty met at Aix-la-Chapelle in March 1748, and in April the
preliminaries of a treaty were signed by the British and French and
Dutch plenipotentiaries.

[Sidenote: 1748.]

Maria Theresa held aloof. To her it seemed that the first and only duty
of the British, and, indeed, of all other nations, was to fight and work
and pay that she might regain Silesia, just as her father had held that
the first, last, and only duty of Europe was to establish him in Spain.
This peace would ratify the acquisition of Silesia by Frederick, and
though she herself had ceded it, she could not bring herself to declare
the cession definite. England, however, could no longer agree to the
general interest being overridden by the obstinacy of the Empress-Queen;
there had been bloodshed and suffering enough on her account. However
just a cause may be, there are limits to human endurance, more
especially when the cause to be upheld has no substantial importance for
the defending nation. The definitive treaty was signed on October 18.
Two days later, Spain, the original belligerent, acceded to it. There
were, a philosopher may note, no stipulations regarding the commercial
regulations which had been the original cause of our war with Spain. On
the 23rd it was accepted by the Austrian Government.

This is a narrative, as condensed as possible, of the foreign affairs
which entered into our parliamentary debates. That part of the war which
took place in Italy has been excluded. It was a mere contest of petty
rapine in which strange princes parcelled out Italy; which can scarcely
be said to have concerned Great Britain, and Pitt not at all. Nor has it
left the least visible trace in history.

The greater war which we have summarised is a sufficient tangle. Leslie
Stephen calls it 'that complicated series of wars which lasted some ten
years, and passes all power of the ordinary human intellect to
understand or remember. For what particular reason Englishmen were
fighting at Dettingen, or Fontenoy, or Lauffeld is a question which a
man can only answer when he has been specially crammed for examination,
and his knowledge has not begun to ooze out.'[150] This is the exact
truth, as the ill-fated chronicler who gropes about among the treaties
and conventions is fain to confess. But apart from its complications
this war is not in itself very memorable or exalted, though it has left
an indelible result in the great Prussian monarchy. It was not beautiful
or glorious. The guarantors of Austria at the first sign of her weakness
had hurried, most of them, to divide her spoils, at the same time
betraying each other from time to time without scruple, as their
immediate interests required. Frederick had a business-like candour
which almost disarms criticism. Macaulay in a famous passage has pointed
out that innocent peasants perished in thousands all over the world that
he might obtain and retain an Austrian province. And Maria Theresa, with
all her maternal charm, is not wholly admirable. It was natural that she
should fight for her rights, and induce all she could to fight for her;
natural, perhaps, that she should be content that all Europe should
bleed so that she might retain her territory. But we cannot forget that
she who was ready that myriads should perish, not of Austrians or
Magyars alone, but of all the nations that she could enlist in her
cause, to maintain the sanctity of her rights to Silesia, was later on
an accomplice in the partition of Poland; a reluctant accomplice, it is
fair to add, as she herself was awake to the inconsistency of her
position.

Among all these stately figures and famous slaughters we see the central
fact of the period, the shameless and naked cynicism of the eighteenth
century, which, turning its back for ever on the wars of faith and
conviction, looked only to contests of prey. And so it continued till
the great Revolution cleared the air, and, followed up by the poignant
discipline of Napoleon, made way for the wars of nationality.



CHAPTER X.


No more of Pitt's speeches are recorded during the session, which, with
the enviable ease of those days, having opened on November 16, 1742,
closed on April 21, 1743. In the interval before the ensuing session an
event occurred, not in itself memorable, but notable for the contest
that followed. In July 1743 occurred the long-expected death of
Wilmington, the nominal head of the Government. In itself this departure
would not have caused a ripple on the surface of politics, but it opened
a critical succession. Pulteney, now Earl of Bath, at once laid claim to
it; and his pretensions were warmly supported by Carteret, who was the
minister in attendance on the King in Germany. Henry Pelham, supported
by his brother Newcastle, also applied for the vacant post. As between
these two groups it seemed certain that Bath, through Carteret, who was
on the ground, would have the preference. Pelham, indeed, at the
instance of Walpole, had, before the King left England, applied to his
Majesty for the reversion of the moribund Minister's place, and had, if
Coxe may be trusted, received a definite promise. It seems difficult to
credit this, for George was a man of his word, yet the Pelham brothers
were unfeignedly astonished when the reversion was given them; so that
had Pelham indeed received such a pledge, he must have expected that
the King would break it. Six weeks of dire suspense followed the death
of Wilmington; an interval which was probably caused by the anxiety of
the Sovereign to consult Walpole, while he intimated to Pelham that his
decision would be conveyed to the Ministry by Carteret. This seemed a
deathblow to the chances of Pelham, though the King's aversion to Bath
was notorious. But a letter at length arrived from Carteret, in which he
announced, with unaffected regret but with a generous promise of
support, that the prize had fallen to Pelham. The brothers were elated,
if such an expression can ever be applied to the timid and cautious
Pelham. Newcastle was transported by the 'agreeable but most surprising
news;' so much so, as to acknowledge that Carteret's letter was 'manly.'

Walpole, in writing his congratulations, looked warily to the future.
'Recruits,' he advised, should now be sought 'from the Cobham
squadron.... Pitt is thought able and formidable, try him or show
him.... Whig it with all opponents that will parley, but 'ware Tory.'
Newcastle, on reading this letter to his brother, wrote back: 'I am
afraid, one part of it, viz. the taking in of the Cobham party and the
Whigs in opposition, without a mixture of Tories, is absolutely
impracticable; and, therefore, the only question is whether, in order to
get the Cobham party, etc., you will bring in three or four Tories, at
least, with them, for, without that, they will not come, and this is
what I have the greatest difficulty to bring myself to.' Orford's advice
was not followed, and Pelham's appointments were few and narrow. Two of
Lord Bath's followers, a friend of the Prince of Wales, and a friend of
his own, the only surviving name of the four, Henry Fox, were
gratified, and that was all. And even this limited arrangement was not
completed before Parliament met.

[Sidenote: Dec. 1, 1743.]

The opening of the new session was anticipated with keen interest, as
the Ministry was known to be rent with divisions, and hatred of the
Hanoverians had immeasurably swollen in consequence of rumours of the
favour that the King had shown to his electoral subjects. He had been
surrounded by Hanoverian Guards to the exclusion of the English Guards;
he had worn at Dettingen a yellow sash, which it appears was a
Hanoverian symbol of authority; the Hanoverians had refused to obey the
orders of Lord Stair, and so forth. We can easily imagine the buzz of
angry legend and comment; for national antipathies have no difficulty in
obtaining substantial affidavits in their support. Of this wild but not
unreasonable intemperance Pitt, it is scarcely necessary to say, was the
mouthpiece. In the debate on the Address he spoke with his accustomed
violence. He called Carteret 'an execrable or sole minister, who had
renounced the British nation, and seemed to have drunk of the potion
described in poetic fictions which made men forget their country.'[151]
So far as this tirade concerned Carteret's authority, nothing could be
more absurd or wide of the truth. He could indeed scarcely have chosen a
more unfortunate epithet than 'sole.' So far from being a sole minister,
Carteret, as we have seen, had just received a crushing defeat in the
elevation of Henry Pelham to the first place in the Ministry, and the
rejection of his own candidate; though he had strained all his influence
in the cause.

Nor had this 'sole minister' any parliamentary following; his only
strength lay with the King, where it had just been found signally
inadequate. The supreme minister in the last resort, and behind the
scenes, was, in truth, Walpole. It was his decision and his alone that
had turned the scale against Carteret and Pulteney. Carteret was
congenial to the King, for he worked with his Sovereign in matters of
foreign policy; and, as we have seen, he could talk politics to the
Sovereign in the King's own language. But, while the King tried to carry
out his own views in Continental affairs, in domestic politics he looked
to Walpole alone. Still, invective must necessarily have an object, and,
by aiming at the King's confidential Foreign Minister, Pitt was able to
wound the King as well. It is hinted by Yorke, the parliamentary
chronicler, that Pitt's acrimony was dictated by jealousy of Carteret's
influence with the Prince of Wales.[152] As to this there is no proof,
and conjecture is idle. Carteret and Frederick had indeed been long
connected, but this would scarcely impel one of the Prince's court to
attack one of the Prince's friends. Moreover, were this the motive,
Pitt's attacks would have been of a different and milder character,
enough to damage Carteret, but not enough to embroil Pitt with the
Prince, who was not merely his master, but the head of his political
connection. It is clear that Pitt's sole object was to destroy Carteret
as minister, not for the ignominious purpose of subverting him in a
court camarilla, but to show his own power by demolishing the
conspicuous man, the vizier of the King who proscribed himself. The mere
fact that Carteret represented the King's Continental policy, and that
Pitt had apparently determined, in the jargon of that day, to storm the
Closet, seems sufficient reason for Pitt's bitterness. He denounced
Carteret as he denounced Hanover, as darling accessories of a monarch
whom he was determined to harass in every way until his attacks should
produce compliance or surrender. But it was the fate of Pitt to have to
recant his abuse of Carteret, as solemnly and as publicly as he recanted
his abuse of Walpole. 'His abilities,' said Pitt in 1770 of Carteret,
'did honour to this House and to this nation. In the upper departments
of Government he had not his equal. And I feel a pride in declaring that
to his patronage, to his friendship, and instruction, I owe whatever I
am.'[153] It was a generous, almost an extravagant statement. But it
shows how little importance should be attached to the early philippics
of Pitt, as of other aspiring and brilliant young men. Invectives are
one of the least subtle and most piquant forms of advertisement, but
they do not facilitate the task of biographers.

The Sovereign he attacked openly and unsparingly. It was proposed, in
the Address to the Throne, to congratulate the King on his escape from
the dangers of the battle of Dettingen. This Pitt deprecated. 'Suppose,
Sir,' he asked, 'it should appear that His Majesty was exposed to few or
no dangers abroad, but those to which he is daily liable at home, such
as the overturning of his coach or the stumbling of his horse, would not
the address proposed, instead of being a compliment, be an affront and
insult to the Sovereign?' No affront or insult could at any rate be more
stinging or more unfounded than his wanton insinuation. George II. had
the courage of his race, and had displayed it at Dettingen. At first his
runaway horse had almost carried him into the French lines, so he
dismounted and fought on foot for the rest of the day; not leaving the
field until he had created a number of knights banneret; the last
British king to take the field, and the last bannerets to be so
created.[154]

It was vile then to disparage the King's courage, but political life in
those days had no scruple and little shame. The sneers at Hanover with
which this speech was sprinkled were better founded and deserved. But a
serious and reasonable argument, not yet obsolete, pervaded Pitt's
violent rhetoric on this occasion. It was that though the balance of
power concerned all states, it concerned our island state least and last
of all. Moreover, he attacked our recent policy on other grounds. On our
attitude to Austria, then fighting for its integrity under Maria
Theresa, he heaped scorn from another point of view. We had promised her
abundant assistance when she was fighting Prussia alone; when France
intervened we shrank back and left her in the lurch. That, he declared,
was not our only discredit. When Prussia attacked the Queen of Hungary,
and Spain, Poland, and Bavaria laid claim to her father's succession, we
should have known that the preservation of the whole was impossible, and
advised her to yield the part claimed by Frederick. But the words from
the Throne and the speeches of the courtiers had persuaded the Austrian
Government that Great Britain was determined to support her. So great
was the determination, that even Hanover added near one-third to her
army at her own cost, the first extraordinary expense, it was believed,
that Hanover had borne for her purposes since her fortunate conjunction
with England! But then the French intervened. Hanover was in danger, and
so we promptly retired. We gave some money, indeed, but that was because
our ministers contrived to make a job of every parliamentary grant. The
Queen, seeing that she was deserted, came to terms with Frederick, but
much worse terms than he had originally offered. Then was the time for
us to have insisted on her making peace with France and the phantom
Emperor. But we had advised her against this, for no conceivable reason
except apparently that we wished to go on paying the 16,000 Hanoverians
whom we were employing. As regards the battle of Dettingen, he declared
that we had no idea of fighting, but that the French had caught us in a
trap. The ardour of our troops was restrained by the cowardice of the
Hanoverians; we ran away in the night, leaving our dead and wounded
behind us. Never would he consent to call the battle a victory, it was
only a fortunate escape.

Were we to continue fighting? he asked. We ourselves had nothing to gain
by it, though Hanover, no doubt, would continue to receive four or five
hundred thousand pounds a year from us if we did. But we should
consider, even the Hanoverians should consider, that we could not carry
on a long war as in the reign of Queen Anne. We were not far from a
national bankruptcy, and should soon have to disband our army. What,
then, if the Pretender should land at the head of a French force?

This outline is given to show the singular but forcible mixture of
shrewd argument, wayward extravagance, and bitter scoffs, which at this
time constituted Pitt's parliamentary armament.

He followed this speech up by another on December 6, of which little
remains; but his vehemence brought him into collision with the Speaker.
He urged contemptuously that if we must have German troops we should
rather hire those of Cologne and Saxony than those of Hanover. The King
was surrounded by German officers, and by one English Minister without
an English heart. The little finger of one man, he declared, had lain
heavier upon the nation than an administration which had continued
twenty years. Murray, however, the Solicitor-General, afterwards Lord
Mansfield, delivered a consummate speech against the motion, which
carried so much conviction that Pitt with some of the other Cobhamites
struck out the words relating to the exhausted and impoverished state of
the kingdom. But the amended motion was rejected by a majority of
seventy-seven.

And now there occurred a significant fissure in the Opposition. Pitt and
Lyttelton were inclined to support the maintenance of the British force
in Flanders. But Cobham, the chief of the little party, was
uncompromising: he resigned his commission 'as captain of the troop of
horse grenadiers' and his seat in the Cabinet. A formula had to be
framed to unite the two sections, and so George Grenville brought
forward a motion praying his Majesty 'in consideration of the exhausted
and impoverished state of the Kingdom not to proceed in this war without
the concurrence of the Dutch.' Pitt concurred in this motion, and
promised that if it were rejected he would join in opposing the
continued employment of the British as well as the Hanoverian troops in
Flanders.

This revision by a little group is not without significance; as the
Opposition, we are told, at the beginning of the session, entrusted the
direction of the party to a committee of six, consisting of Dodington,
Pitt, Sir John Cotton, Sir Watkin Wynn, Waller, and Lyttelton. The
putting of political leadership into commission has never been
successful in Parliament, and the device seems finally to have broken
down when it was last attempted, by the Protectionist party, after the
fall of Peel. Nor does it appear to have been more happy on this
occasion. Pitt and Lyttelton, who, in spite of their engagement, still
desired to support the continued employment of the British troops in the
Low Countries, at a general meeting of the Opposition found themselves
alone, and so agreed to give a silent vote with their associates.

It is probable that this incident produced alienation as it certainly
wrought friction between Pitt and Cobham. In the ensuing year we find
Cobham describing Pitt as a young man of fine parts, but narrow,
ignorant of the world, and dogmatical.[155] Two years afterwards Cobham
went further, and described him as a wrong-headed fellow, whom he had
had no regard for.[156] So we may well conjecture that from this time
there was but little confidence between Pitt and the patron of the
cousinhood; a great emancipation, though not wholly a gain for Pitt.

[Sidenote: Jan. 19, 1744.]

On the vote of 393,773_l._ to maintain the 16,000 Hanoverians during the
coming year, there was no need for the restraint of silence, so Pitt
railed with his customary bitterness against Carteret, who was the
Hanover-troop minister, a flagitious taskmaster, with a party only
composed of the 16,000 Hanoverians; and he ended his denunciation by
wishing that Carteret were in the House, for then he would say ten times
more. His speech was passionate and rhetorical, incomparably good of its
kind. But the Government prevailed in the division by 271 to 226. This
majority of forty-five was larger than had been anticipated, and was due
to the incessant exertions of Walpole. He sustained the flagging spirits
of the Ministry, who were on the point of abandoning the proposal.
Newcastle, indeed, had blenched before the storm, and openly took part
against the Hanoverians. But Walpole restored the fortune of the field.
He stemmed the gathering retreat, put heart into the waverers, and used
his personal credit with his old friends. Never in his own
administration had he laboured any point with more zeal. 'The whole
world,' writes his son Horace, 'nay, the Prince himself, allows that if
Lord Orford had not come to town, the Hanover troops had been lost. They
were, in effect, given up by all but Carteret.'[157]

[Sidenote: Jan. 1744.]

So far as the House of Commons was concerned, this ended the hostilities
against the Hanoverian troops, though the House of Lords continued the
controversy with a debate in which Chesterfield, who outdid Pitt in
violence, delivered a speech which was greatly admired. But a subsidy of
200,000_l._ had to be voted to the King of Sardinia under the treaty of
Worms. This treaty, negotiated by the King and Carteret in Germany
independently of the Home Government, was little relished by that
Government, and offered a tempting target to the warriors of the
Opposition. On a first motion for papers, Pitt was again prominent,
though little of his speech survives. Alluding, however, to a secret
convention attached to the treaty, which Carteret had signed but which
Ministers had refused to ratify, he declared, 'I only wanted the sight
of a convention, tacked to the treaty which that audacious hand had
signed, to furnish matter for immediate impeachment.' On the actual vote
the Government had only a majority of 62. Subsequent unreported debates
furnished Pitt with opportunities of denouncing the Pelham brethren as
subservient tools of Carteret. But the Government waxed stronger in
proportion to the heat of opposition. On a vote of censure they had a
majority of 114. Through these discussions Pitt passes like a phantom,
foremost by all consent in debate, but without leaving any footprint of
speech behind.

From these broils Parliament was now distracted by startling
intelligence. By message to the House on February 15 (1744) the King
apprised his faithful lieges that a French fleet was prowling in the
Channel, and that the young Stuart Prince, Charles Edward, had arrived
in France to join it. One of our vessels had met this squadron of
seventeen men-of-war and four frigates so long ago as January 27, 'half
seas over' between Brest and the Land's End, prowling apparently
northwards. There was something of a panic: men remembered how the Dutch
in 1667 had sailed up the Thames, and apprehended a repetition of that
disgrace. The Jacobites began to raise their head, but stocks did not
fall. The King's message announced that the 'eldest son of the Pretender
to his Crown is arrived in France; and that preparations are making
there to invade this kingdom in concert with disaffected persons here.'
A loyal address was at once prepared, to which the Opposition moved an
addition, promising an inquiry into the state of the Navy. The
amendment was, of course, supported by Pitt, and, of course, defeated.
But Pitt, as stout an anti-Jacobite as his grandfather, promised his
adhesion to the address whether the amendment voted or not; and a few
days later, on the presentation of papers, he supported the Government
so warmly as to receive the public thanks of Pelham. But for once the
interest was not in the Commons but the Lords. Newcastle had laid the
papers before the House, and with his usual blundering ineptitude had
allowed the House to pass to private business. Then Orford rose, and
broke his long silence. With dignity and emotion he confessed that he
had vowed to refrain from speech in that House, but that abstinence now
would be a crime. He had heard the King's message, and had observed with
amazement that that House was to be so wanting in respect as to leave it
unanswered. Was our language so barren as to be unable to find words to
the King at such a crisis; 'a time of distraction and confusion, a time
when the greatest power in Europe is setting up a Pretender to his
throne?'

'I have indeed particular reason to express my astonishment and my
uneasiness on this occasion; I feel my breast fired with the warmest
gratitude to a gracious and royal master whom I have so long served; my
heart overflows with zeal for his honour, and ardour for the lasting
security of his illustrious house. But, my lords, the danger is common,
and an invasion equally involves all our happiness, all our hopes, and
all our fortunes.'

In these passionate words the wary and unemotional Orford allowed his
apprehension to overflow. He saw the work of his life, the keeping out
of the Stuarts, compromised and endangered by the unpopularity of the
throne, and the blunders of jobbing mediocrity. He perceived the danger
which he had so long warded off now instant and imminent. The House was
deeply moved. Newcastle with obvious mortification acknowledged his
lapse, and the Chancellor hurriedly drafted an address. Even the Prince
of Wales, whose hatred of Walpole was perhaps the deepest feeling of
which his shallow nature was capable, was so stirred, that he rose and
shook hands with the veteran Minister. Nay, as we are told by a
chronicler blissfully unconscious of bathos, 'he revoked the prohibition
which prevented the family of Lord Orford from attending his levee.' It
was a dramatic occasion, worthy of being the last public appearance of
Orford. The hard-bitten old statesman who had been baited for near a
quarter of a century, and had always given his opponents as good as he
had got, disappeared from the stage with a burst of passionate
patriotism.

[Sidenote: 1744.]

The end is so near that we may follow him thither. This speech was on
the last day of February, and he was soon afterwards seized with a
painful and mortal complaint; but in July he could not resist returning
to Houghton for a final visit. There he remained till November, beset by
anxious solicitations both from the King and from the Ministry, for he
was the guide and stay of both. At last, though tortured with the stone,
he consented to return to London at the urgent solicitation of his
sovereign, then engaged in a desperate struggle to retain Carteret as
Secretary of State. Even Carteret, his old enemy, in the stress of
self-preservation sought his aid. Orford set out on November 19, and in
four slow days of an agony which wrung even the practised nerves of
Ranby, the surgeon (and it is difficult even now to read Ranby's
narrative without emotion), he reached London. The crisis then was over,
for he had put an end to it on his journey. A message despatched by the
Pelhams had met him on the road and placed him in possession of the
facts of the situation. He had at once written to advise the King to
part with Carteret, and the King had instantly submitted.

This was Walpole's last act of power, but he remained in London to die.
For four months he lingered under the hands of the surgeons, sometimes
under opium, sometimes suffering tortures with equanimity and good
humour. But even so his shrewd and cynical common sense did not desert
him. Consulted by the Duke of Cumberland as to a marriage projected for
him by the King, but repugnant to the Duke, the dying statesman advised
him to consent to the marriage on condition of an ample and immediate
establishment. 'Believe me,' he added, 'the marriage will not be
pressed.' Walpole's knowledge of mankind left him only with his death.

His constancy, his courage, his temper, his unfailing resource, his love
of peace, his gifts of management and debate, his long reign of
prosperity will always maintain Walpole in the highest rank of English
statesmen. Distinguished even in death, he rests under the bare and
rustic pavement of Houghton Church, in face of the palace that he had
reared and cherished, without so much as an initial to mark his grave.
This is the blank end of so much honour, adulation, power, and renown.
For a century and a half unconscious hobnails and pattens have ground
the nameless stones above him, while mediocrities in marble have
thronged our public haunts. His monument, unvoted, unsubscribed, but
supreme, was the void left by his death, the helpless bewilderment of
King and Government, the unwilling homage and retractation offered by
his foes, the twenty years of peace and plenty represented by his name.

And here another illustrious name cannot but suggest itself, though it
may seem difficult to bring into anything like a parallel the two great
Sir Roberts, Walpole and Peel. Both were distinguished by the same
cautious and pacific sagacity. But they differed by the whole width of
human nature in temperament. Walpole belonged to the school of the cold
blood, and Peel to that of the warm. This, perhaps, constitutes the most
important touchstone in the characters of statesmen, and success usually
lies with the colder temperament. Of this principle, Fox, who was warm
blooded, presents the most remarkable illustration, and Gladstone, who
was not less so, the most signal exception. Peel's conscience, moreover,
was as notably sensitive as Walpole's was notoriously the reverse. But
though thus essentially apart, there is one capital point which the
careers of Walpole and Pitt bear an almost exact resemblance to each
other. Neither of them, strangely enough, reached his full height until
his fall; neither acquired the full confidence of the country until he
had lost that of Parliament; after having exercised almost paramount
power as Ministers, neither ever reached his truest supremacy until he
had left office for ever. Then, after a great catastrophe which had
seemed to demolish them, it was perceived that they had soared above the
mist into a higher air, clear of passion and interest; whence, though
with scarce a following and without the remotest idea of a return to
office, they spoke with an authority which they had never possessed when
their word was law to an obedient majority in the Commons; an authority
derived from experience and wisdom, without any lingering suspicion of
self-interest. They lived in reserve, and only broke their self-imposed
silence when the highest interests of the country seemed to forbid them
to maintain it. Walpole, it is true, had to do his work mainly behind
the scenes, while Peel did it conspicuously in Parliament; but the
position was the same. If their eulogist had to choose the supreme
period in the lives of both Walpole and Peel, he would select, not the
epoch of their party triumphs, but the few exalted judicial years which
elapsed between their final resignation and their death. It may seem a
strain of language to use the word 'judicial,' for Walpole remained the
oracle and stay of Whiggery, while Peel extended his consistent
protection to the weak ministry of Lord John Russell. But Peel's
protection of Russell was given in defiance of party to secure the Free
Trade which he deemed vital, and Walpole's guidance of Whiggery was in
disinterested support of men he disliked and despised because he deemed
Whiggery, or at least opposition to Jacobitism, not less vital. Free
Trade and Whiggery were, in the opinion of the two statesmen, essential
to avert the revolutions which the opposite systems would have involved.

This seems a digression, but at this time Pitt and Walpole were not far
apart; they secretly acknowledged each other's power and merit. Pitt had
already begun to appreciate the solid sagacity of Walpole, and to repent
of some random invective. Walpole saw the rhetorical boy developing
into the man of the future, and was more and more anxious to enlist him.
'Sir Robert Walpole,' said Pitt in Parliament at a later period,
'thought well of me, and died at peace with me. He was a truly English
minister.'[158]



CHAPTER XI.


[Sidenote: March 1744.]

Soon after this memorable debate France formally declared war against
Great Britain in a document reciting the injuries sustained by France at
the hands of the 'King of England, Elector of Hanover,' and faction was
for the moment laid on one side, though Pitt, while supporting the
Government, managed to declare that perdition would attend Carteret as
the 'rash author of those measures which have produced this disastrous,
impracticable war.' Still Parliament adjourned with comparative harmony
in May. Before it met again two events occurred of the greatest
importance to Pitt.

The first was the death of that vigorous old termagant Sarah, Duchess of
Marlborough. All through life she had been more bellicose, though with
less success, than her illustrious husband, and of late years had
devoted her peculiar powers of hatred to Walpole. This bitterness
extended even beyond the grave, for by a codicil dated two months before
her death she bequeathed legacies to the two men who had most
distinguished themselves by their attacks on that Minister. One was
Chesterfield, to whom she left 20,000_l._; the other was Pitt, to whom
she left 10,000_l._, 'for the noble defence he made for the support of
the laws of England, and to prevent the ruin of his country.' Moreover,
she seems to have bequeathed to him her 'manor in the County of
Buckingham, late the estate of Richard Hampden Esq: and leasehold in
Suffolk; and lands etc. in Northampton.'[159] Pitt, in acknowledging the
bequest to Marchmont, her executor, demurely and ambiguously replies:
'Give me leave to return your Lordship my thanks for the obliging manner
in which you do me the honour to inform me of the Duchess of
Marlborough's great goodness to me. The sort of regard I feel for her
memory I leave to your Lordship's heart to suggest to you.'[160] Nor was
this legacy all, for she settled her Wimbledon estate on her favourite
grandson John Spencer, and after him on his only son; should that only
son die without issue, it was to be divided between Chesterfield and
Pitt. She, moreover, induced John Spencer to make a will bequeathing his
own Sunderland estates to Pitt after his own sickly son.[161] Two years
afterwards Spencer himself died at the age of thirty-seven 'because he
would not be abridged of those invaluable blessings of an English
subject, brandy, small beer and tobacco,'[162] so that only a child
stood between Pitt and this great inheritance. Fortunately the splendid
contingency did not take effect. For Chesterfield died without
legitimate issue, and the Pitts have long been extinct; but the
descendants of John Spencer's only son have been men of a purity of
character and honour which have sweetened and exalted the traditions of
English public life.

The legacy was opportune in more respects than one. It came as a solace
to Pitt, who was desperately ill at Bath with gout in his stomach,
which the waters were unavailing to remove; his friends indeed feared
that he would be disabled for life. It also made him independent.
Bolingbroke indeed thought it made him too independent.[163] Cynics soon
declared it to be timely from another point of view, for immediately
after the Duchess's death there was a crisis which was to put an end to
Pitt's opposition and so to his claims on her sympathies. Carteret fell,
and with his fall disappeared the object of Cobham's hatred and Pitt's
philippics. The tempting contrast between Pitt receiving a legacy as the
leading member of the Opposition, and Pitt immediately reconciled to the
Ministry, and so ceasing to be a 'Patriot,' could not escape satire. Sir
Charles Hanbury Williams lost no time in penning the coarse but vigorous
lampoon which depicts the ghost of the old Duchess appearing to Pitt.
'Return, base villain, my retaining fee,' says the spectre, reminds the
legatee that even Judas returned the wage of betrayal, and leaves him to
the 'lash of lost integrity.'[164] But these taunts were wide of the
mark. It was not Pitt's integrity that had disappeared, but the object
of his opposition, now that Carteret had fallen.

The story of that fall is material to the life of Pitt; it is that
second event of importance to him at this time to which we have alluded.
We have seen that Walpole's last journey to London was caused by the
King's struggle to retain Carteret whom the Pelhams insisted on
removing. This indeed was a matter of necessity for them, as they could
never enjoy real power while Carteret engrossed the King's confidence.
Moreover, owing to the ill success of the Austro-British alliance during
1744 in operations with which he was identified he had become extremely
unpopular. He himself was dissatisfied with his position, for though he
had the ear of the King he was constantly outvoted in the Cabinet.
'Things cannot go on as they are,' he said to the ruling brother. 'I
will not submit to be overruled and outvoted on every point by four to
one. If you will undertake the Government, do so. If you cannot or will
not I will.' This rash declaration of war sealed his fate. As a matter
of fact the main division in the Cabinet of which we have record at this
time was nine to four; but the majority was no doubt steady and
inflexible against Carteret. The brothers now concentrated their
energies on his overthrow. But before making any open attack on so
strong a position, they wisely endeavoured to secure new sources of
strength by negotiation with the Opposition.

During the year 1744 the leaders of the Opposition had reunited, 'upon
one principle,' says the malignant Glover, 'which was to get into
place.' This may fairly be said, without disparagement, to be the
legitimate object of all Oppositions. In any case these politicians may
well have realised that divided and scattered they were impotent, and
they may have desired to make themselves felt in Parliament with or
without office. So they appointed a committee of nine to treat with the
Government. The junto, as it was termed in the jargon of that day,
consisted of Bedford, Chesterfield, Gower, Cobham, Pitt, Lyttelton,
Waller, Bubb, and Sir John Hinde Cotton.[165] This powerful body was
approached by Carteret, always tardy and unskilful in such
negotiations; but he had been anticipated by the brethren in power, who,
in such intrigues, displayed all the skill that he lacked. He obtained,
however, the powerful mediation of the Prince of Wales, who had a regard
for him. Carteret's offers were liberal enough. He offered that the
administration should be transformed, and places found for all of them;
but they replied that they could make no terms with him. He turned, as
we have seen, to Walpole in his despair, but in vain. Every hole was
stopped. The Pelhams had secured both Walpole and the Committee.

Five of the junto, including Pitt and Lyttelton, were, it is said, in
favour of joining the Pelhams without any stipulation. The minority,
including Cobham, who considered that the pass had been sold, and who
cursed the less scrupulous tactics of the majority, were for making
conditions as regards future policy. However, all, both of the majority
and the minority, were brought into the scheme; Cobham, who received a
regiment, having, it is said, also obtained an assurance from Newcastle
that the interests of Hanover should be subordinated to the interests of
Great Britain. Bedford became First Lord of the Admiralty; Gower, Privy
Seal; Waller, Cofferer; Lyttelton, a Lord of the Treasury; Bubb,
Treasurer of the Navy; and Cotton, a notorious Jacobite, Treasurer of
the Chambers. It should be added, however, that the narrative of this
negotiation, however probable it may appear, rests on the doubtful
authority of Glover, who is too venomous to be trustworthy. But in any
case it is not necessary to condemn the Committee, even if Glover's
statement be accepted as fact. Should so powerful a body of men enter
the feeble Government of the Pelhams, they might well feel confident of
controlling its policy with or without previous stipulation. A severer
judgment may be passed when it is seen that the policy remained
substantially unaltered, and that Pitt found himself able to
discriminate between Carteret's policy with Carteret in office, and the
same policy with Carteret out of office.

Fortified by this treaty, which included, of course, places for Pitt and
Chesterfield, to be given when the King could be induced to give them,
the Pelhams executed their stroke of state; and having, as we have seen,
made sure of the oracle at Houghton to which the King was sure to have
recourse, they sent the Chancellor to the King to inform him of the
determination of the entire Cabinet to resign unless he would remove
Carteret. Still the King could not be brought to abandon his favourite
Foreign Minister and his favourite foreign policy. It was not until
Orford gave the decision against Carteret that the Sovereign succumbed,
three weeks after the delivery by the Pelhams of their ultimatum.

The fall of Carteret left the brothers, Newcastle and Pelham, absolute
masters of the situation. The King had been completely defeated, and had
sullenly to submit. He would scarcely speak to his Ministers. When he
broke silence it would be to say, 'I have done all you asked me, I have
put all the power into your hands, and I suppose you will make the most
of it.' To that Hardwicke, the Lord Chancellor, with more than legal
subtlety replied, 'The disposition of places is not enough if your
Majesty takes pains to show the world that you disapprove of your own
work.' This was more than the King could endure. 'My work!' he broke
out; 'I was forced, I was threatened.' The Chancellor was shocked at
these expressions. He knew of nothing of the kind. Such harshness was
utterly alien to the ministerial mind. The mere idea of compulsion was
shocking to it. 'No means were employed but what have been used in all
times, the humble advice of your servants supported by such reasons as
convinced them that the measure was necessary for your service.' This
was the legal and fastidious method of describing the threatened strike
of the Ministry in the previous November.

Carteret resigned in the last week of November (1744), and the Pelhams
used their victory wisely and well by building up during the following
month a strong administration on a large basis. It comprised men of all
parties, Whigs, Tories, even Jacobites, forgotten Whigs, forgotten
Tories, forgotten Jacobites, and was called in the canting phrase of
that day the Broad Bottom Administration, as being a coalition of all
parties. The only flaw in it was that it omitted the only men worth
having. Among the new officials were George Grenville and George
Lyttelton, who became subordinate Lords of the Treasury and Admiralty.
'Do what you will,' Cobham had said, 'provided you take care of my
boys,' from whom Pitt now seemed to be excluded; for Cobham found him
positive and unbending, differing, sometimes, it may be presumed, from
Cobham. When complete, this Ministry was so comprehensive as to
annihilate opposition, and render the next few years unprecedentedly
placid and dull from the parliamentary point of view.

Outside the forgotten worthies who were provided with places, there
towered the two memorable men, Pitt and Chesterfield, the one great and
the other considerable. Against them the King remained implacable. But
he had at last to yield to the admission of Chesterfield. At first 'he
shall have nothing,' had said the King, 'trouble me no more with such
nonsense.' But now Chesterfield was to combine the Lord Lieutenancy of
Ireland with a special embassy to the Hague. On Pitt alone was the veto
still absolute. And yet he was the only man whom the Ministers really
dreaded.[166]

The Pelhams, through Cobham, had promised him the Secretaryship at War,
on which his heart was set; but they were unable to fulfil their pledge,
and soothed him for the time with promises that they would persevere in
pressing him upon the Sovereign. With these fine words Pitt professed
himself satisfied, and promised support, all the more readily as he knew
himself to be inevitable. In the meantime, however, he gave up the only
post he held, a course to which he was impelled both by the Marlborough
legacy and the fall of Carteret; for while the first made him
independent of salary, the second had alienated the Prince of Wales. So
in April (1745) he resigned his groomship of the bedchamber, and met
Parliament in the unadorned character of the most powerful private
individual in the country.

On the army estimates he spoke for the first time, and with vehemence,
as a supporter of the Government. On this occasion, too, he first
utilised the apparatus of gout with the demeanour of a graceful invalid,
whose end was approaching. Were it to be the last day of his life, he
exclaimed, he would spend it in the House of Commons, since he judged
the condition of his country to be worse than that of his own health.
Formerly these expressions would have meant that the Government was
ruining the nation. But now, he explained, that though Carteret had
nearly wrecked the kingdom, the present object was, by connecting
Hanover with Holland, to arrive at a prompt and fair pacification. He
paid warm compliments to Pelham on his patriotism and capacity for
business, and commended his Government with oblique and friendly
expressions directed towards the King. A dawn of salvation to this
country had broken forth (which, apparently, had hitherto been obscured
by the form of Carteret), and he would follow it as far as it would lead
him. His 'fulminating eloquence,' we are told, 'silenced all
opposition.'[167]

In February 1745 a question arose of peculiar delicacy for Pitt. Through
one of the compromises sometimes required by political emergency the
question of the employment of the Hanoverians, against which Pitt was so
strongly pledged, was arranged by transferring them to Maria Theresa,
with an extra subsidy to enable her to pay them. This somewhat
transparent artifice was boldly and dexterously defended by Pitt
himself. On such occasions it is well not to hesitate or refine, and
Pitt spoke without visible qualms. 'It was,' he said, 'a meritorious and
popular measure, which did honour to the minister who advised it, and
the Prince, who so graciously vouchsafed to follow it, and must give
pleasure to every honest heart. As to what had been thrown out that the
Queen of Hungary might take them into her pay, when they were dismissed
from ours, what of that? She was at liberty to take them or not. They
would not be forced on her, but God forbid that these unfortunate troops
should by our votes be proscribed at every court in Europe.' It was
enough that, 'by his Majesty's wisdom and goodness,' they were no longer
voted annually as a part of our army, and so forth.[168]

It is obvious from the meagre report that Pitt was now as copious in his
praise of the King as he had formerly been niggard. His Sovereign had
become wise and good and gracious; the Hanoverian troops, which had been
so short a time ago cowardly and contemptible troops, were now
unfortunate and meritorious, well worthy the attention and employment of
Maria Theresa. One or two members could not help smiling; they called
the measure collusive, and declared that if we were to pay the
Hanoverians at all it were better to pay them directly, when they would
at least be under our direction and control, than through the Queen of
Hungary, when they would not. It is not on record that any one asked
what advantage would be reaped by the taxpayer under the method
proposed, when he would pay at least as much as before, but without the
least check as to the way in which the money was spent. Nevertheless,
there were complaints enough. Pitt must have hinted that it was better
that they should fight under the Hungarian flag than the British, as
they did not fight in harmony by the side of British troops; for this
called up a Northumbrian baronet to explain that this was contrary to
the fact, and that he should raise the point in a motion. Pitt at once
rose again, not in his high line, but 'with all the art and temper
imaginable,' soothed and complimented the honest member, hinted that his
motion would only serve the purposes of Carteret, whom they both
rejoiced to see removed, and generally allayed the debate with complete
success.[169]

This is again a notable mark in his career. For the first time he
appears, not as the fierce hero of declamation and invective, but as the
dexterous official diplomatist, coaxing and reassuring. He was fast
moving onwards.

The official character of Pitt's speeches is all the more marked because
there was little to commend and much to attack in the conduct of the
Ministry, which had, to say the least, been singularly unfortunate. The
disastrous battle of Fontenoy was not redeemed by the capture of
Louisbourg, a gallant affair for which local volunteers and local
enterprise, rather than the Government, deserve the credit. And now
during the Parliamentary recess from May to October there suddenly
appeared a fresh danger, the one against which Walpole's policy had been
mainly directed for a generation. On August 19, Charles Edward, eldest
son of the exiled Prince of Wales, and grandson of King James II.,
raised the standard of civil war at Glenfinnan; on September 17 he was
living in the palace of his ancestors at Holyrood; four days afterwards
he completely defeated the forces sent against him. Had he at once
marched South he might well have reached London, and had he reached
London the face of history in this island might have been changed. The
Cabinet was panic-stricken, not merely at the advance of Charles, but at
the anger of their legal Sovereign, who seemed likely to recall
Carteret to his side. Dutch troops were hastily fetched over and sent to
the North, and English troops from Flanders followed. Had these
reinforcements been detained by contrary winds but a few weeks Pelham
declared that London could not have been defended against the Jacobites.
Two days before the victory of Charles Edward, Henry Fox wrote that 'had
five thousand (French) troops landed in any part of this island a week
ago, I verily believe the entire conquest would not have cost them a
battle.'

But Charles contented himself with a reign at Holyrood of six weeks, and
this delay lost him his chances of success. When Parliament met on
October 17 he was still in Edinburgh, but adequate measures had been
taken to render his enterprise abortive. All this does not concern Pitt,
except as giving him an opportunity of expressing his devoted loyalty to
George II.; but while Charles Edward was marching on Derby a desperate
struggle was going on which related entirely to him. In the new session
he had begun to show signs of irritation and of impatience with the
Government; the emollients of the Pelhams began to lose their virtue,
and he was determined not to be fooled any longer. His amiability had
disappeared, and though his speeches are unreported, it is evident that
the Ministers were now made to feel the terrors of his tongue.
'Yesterday,' writes Horace Walpole, 'they had another baiting from Pitt,
who is ravenous for the place of Secretary at War: they would give it
him: but as preliminary, he insists on a declaration of our having
nothing to do with the Continent,' a stipulation which reads strangely
enough by the light of the years to come. The Pelhams saw that they
could no longer defer the fulfilment of their promises, and that it was
necessary to approach the King. The moment was singularly unfavourable.
The King had never forgiven the compulsion put on him to dismiss
Carteret, nor the fact of his separation from Carteret. He had
shrewdness enough to see that in ability and grasp of affairs Carteret
towered above the other ministers except the Chancellor; and he despised
Newcastle, who was principally thrown into contact with him. It was a
shame, he declared, that a man who was not fit to be a chamberlain at
the pettiest of German courts should be forced on the nation and on the
Crown as a principal minister. All through 1745 the royal resentment
smouldered, though it was kept in suspense by the rebellion. But when
that movement lost in importance and became clearly doomed, the King
felt more free to display his feelings. Foreign policy, with which we
are not here concerned, was part of his grievance; but the main cause of
irritation was the threatened intrusion of Pitt on his councils. And yet
this was obviously impending and even inevitable. Pitt, at first so
patient, had begun to show his teeth in public, and probably in private
as well. The crisis could not be any longer avoided.

In the preceding autumn there had been conferences between the Pelhams
on the one side and Pitt and Cobham on the other. On November 20, 1745,
Newcastle records a meeting at which Pitt put forward his demands, and
'apprehended great difficulties in bringing about what we so much
desired,' his accession to office. His conditions were finally melted
down to an extension of the Place Bill so as to exclude from Parliament
all officers in the Army under the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and in
the Navy below the rank of captain; the removal of all the remaining
adherents of Carteret, notably the two Finches, from Court; and a 'total
alteration of the foreign system, by feeding only the war on the
Continent, acting there as auxiliaries, and particularly by confining
all the assistance we should give to the Dutch to the bare contingent of
10,000 men; but to increase our navy, and to act as principals at sea in
the war against France and Spain. For a peace with France, at present,
was not to be thought of.'

The first condition presented no complications. The second seemed
inexpedient on grounds of prudence and decency. The third presented more
difficulty. Newcastle had two long conferences upon it, first with Pitt
and then with Cobham. Finally a meeting was held between the Chancellor,
Hardwicke, Harrington, Pelham, and Newcastle on one side, and Gower,
Bedford, Cobham, and Pitt on the other.[170]

The situation of affairs at this moment was this: Charles Edward was
marching from Holyrood towards London. The French had won Fontenoy and
were overrunning the Austrian Netherlands, without difficulty and almost
without resistance. Maria Theresa was about to conclude peace at Dresden
(December 25, 1745) by a renewed cession of Silesia. This was the
juncture at which the Pelhams resolved to force on a Cabinet crisis in
order to obtain the services of Pitt. The fact at least displays the
value and importance of the personage who was the subject of contest.

The real point at issue between the Government and Pitt was this: The
Government wished to give general and unlimited assurances of
assistance, amounting almost to a guarantee, to the Dutch. Pitt wished
the assistance definitely limited to a force of 10,000 men; and that we
should then, free of all other continental complications (for both
parties agreed that Austria must come to terms with Prussia), carry on a
purely naval war against France and Spain.

At this conference between the Ministers and the Cobham
plenipotentiaries, Newcastle was the spokesman of the Government. He
declared that the Queen of Hungary had forfeited her rights to any
further assistance, and that we were about to tell her that she could
have no more from us. On this point all were apparently agreed, so that
Austria was eliminated from the discussion. The case of Holland was,
however, in the opinion of Ministers, different; her existence was
necessary to us, and we must proffer help to her, if only to prevent her
concluding a separate peace with France. But an offer limited to 10,000
men would not prevent such a peace; we must show a general disposition
to assist. Lord Cobham answered that this sort of defensive war could
never bring about a peace, that the Dutch would evade their engagements,
and we should find ourselves with as formidable a continental war on our
hands as if we were again actively supporting Maria Theresa. Pitt warmly
supported Cobham; spoke strongly against the Dutch; 'insisted that
10,000 men in our present circumstances was a generous and noble
succour.... He insisted on the necessity of coming to some precision as
to the contingent in order to satisfy the people; and talk'd much of the
great impression we could make upon France, when our efforts were singly
at sea.'

At this point Bedford and Gower separated themselves from Cobham and
Pitt. It was not possible, they said, to increase our navy. In fine, the
plenipotentiaries of the Government pointed out that if France and
Holland came to terms, we might have France and Spain free to devote
their whole energies against us, and, as the others chimed in, 'they
might easily keep the rebellion on foot for years, if not destroy us
quite.'

Cobham and Pitt, however, departed unshaken, though with great civility
and good-humour. Newcastle glumly sums up the position. The King may say
that he was ready to take these gentlemen into the Government, but, as
they will not come in, ask if the Ministry will thereupon desert him?
'To which, to be sure, no other answer can be given but that we are not
in a condition to carry it on. To depend upon my Lord Granville's
friends to support this administration against Lord Granville is a
contradiction in itself. To bring in Mr. Pitt against his own will is
impossible. And, therefore, at present there seems to be nothing to be
done, if Mr. Pitt is determined (which, I should still hope, he would
not finally be), but with your lordship (Chesterfield), the Duke of
Bedford, my Lord Gower, to get as many individuals as we can to carry us
through till the rebellion is over: and then we shall be at liberty to
take such part as we shall think most consistent with our own honour and
the public service.'[171]

Observe: without Pitt we are not in a condition to carry on. That is
what this letter amounts to, for of Bedford and Gower the Ministry felt
sure, and Cobham was an auxiliary who was on and off like a freebooter.
The adhesion of Pitt, a private member, poor and almost unconnected,
was vital to a Government which in the public opinion had already
collected every possible element of strength. So matters continued till
the meeting of Parliament after the Christmas recess in January 1746.
Pitt held aloof, and had no further commerce with the Government.

A few days before Parliament met, however, he went to the Duke of
Bedford, inquired as to the foreign policy of the Government, showed a
disposition to come into it, and expressed a wish that some minister
would talk it over with Lord Cobham, 'into whose hands they had now
finally committed themselves.'[172] On this hint Newcastle hurried to
Cobham, who was reasonable, and 'seemed very desirous to come into us
and bring his Boys, as he called them.... The terms were, Mr. Pitt to be
Secretary at War; Lord Barrington in the Admiralty; and Mr. James
Grenville to have an employment of £1000 a year. He flung out Lord
Denbigh, the Duke of Queensbury, and some Scotch politicians, but not as
points absolutely to be insisted on.'

It is useful and edifying to be allowed behind the scenes in this way;
for such negotiations are now, one would imagine, obsolete, or as nearly
obsolete as the corruption of our fallen nature will allow. Still, one
may drop a tear in passing over the 'Scotch politicians,' so lightly
proffered, so lightly dismissed. But let Newcastle continue his
narrative. 'Upon this I opened the Budget to the King, which was better
received than I expected, and the only objection was to the giving Mr.
Pitt the particular office of Secretary at War.' Still the Pelhams
pressed the appointment. Then the goaded and distressed monarch
determined to make a desperate effort to break from the dominion of the
Whig hierarchy, so as to carry out his own foreign policy, and avoid the
admission of Pitt to his counsels. At this juncture Bath gained
admittance to the Closet, and fortified the King's repugnance. He
'represented against the behaviour of his ministers in forcing him in
such a manner to take a disagreeable man into a particular office, and
thereby dishonouring his Majesty both at home and abroad; and
encouraging the King to resist it by offering him the support of his
friends in so doing.'[173] The King caught at this forlorn hope, and
gave Bath full power to form a new Government. Bath released himself
from his vow against holding office, accepted the charge with alacrity,
instantly summoned Carteret, and obtained from the City a promise of
supplies on terms more favourable than those to which Pelham had agreed.
Carteret, it need scarcely be said, joyfully acceded. The misfortune was
that there was no one else who did. The Pelham ministry resigned in a
body. Bath kissed hands as First Minister, and received the seals of the
Secretaries of State to transmit to Carteret, who was ill. The new
Secretary at once announced by circular his appointment to the foreign
ministers. But there all ended. When old Horace Walpole was told that
this ministry was settled he shrewdly remarked: 'I presume in the same
manner as what we call a settlement in Norfolk; when a house is cracked
from top to bottom and ready to fall, we say it is settled.'[174]
Winnington was to have been the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Thrice
did the King press the seal into his hand, and thrice did Winnington
return it. 'Your new ministers, sir, can neither support Your Majesty
nor themselves,' said he.[175] He insisted, moreover, that they could
not depend on more than 31 peers and 80 commoners. History does not
confirm even so moderate a computation, but it may be presumed that this
was the Court contingent on which any minister could count.

Harrington, one of the actual Secretaries of State, on whom the King
confidently reckoned for assistance in the new arrangement, resigned,
after a stormy scene with his master, who never forgave him. Every one
resigned or tried to resign, and there was no one to fill their places.
To Pelham himself Carteret had made overtures; but Pelham told the King
that the Whig junto would have nothing to do with Bath or Carteret. At
last, the only measure left to the hapless monarch was to shut himself
up and forbid his door to the crowd that sought admittance in order to
give up their keys and staves and official insignia. He was soon
compelled to send for Bath and to tell him that it would not do. Bath
exhorted him to be firm, and offered by means of the Prince of Wales to
secure Tory support. But with Charles Edward still in arms in the
Highlands, the King could not bring himself to approach the foes of his
house, and under no circumstances would he owe salvation to his son.
Both Princes of Wales, the real and the titular, were almost equally
repugnant to him. Another version of the story states that it was Bath
who told the King that the project would not work. It matters little
which is correct, for the position was self-evident, but George was
probably stouter than Bath.

Bath kissed hands on February 10 (1746). Two days afterwards his
ministry had come to an end, and the King had sent for Pelham to return.
Carteret saw the humour of the situation and laughed it away; he owned
it a mad escapade, but was all the more ready to repeat it. It was all
over, the King had to surrender to the Whigs, who condescended to resume
the seals on easy terms, which were the proscription of Bath's following
and the admission of Pitt. The first condition was simple enough, it was
the natural result of Bath's defeat. _Vae victis._ 'We immediately
desired,' writes Newcastle, 'that the Court might be purged of all their
friends and dependents, that Lord Bath might be out of the Cabinet
Council, the Duke of Bolton, Lord Berkeley of Stratton, Mr. William
Finch, the Vice-Chamberlain, Mr. Edward Finch, the Groom of the
Bedchamber, Mr. Boone, and the Lord Advocate of Scotland (which were all
that were left of that sort), should be removed.' We have an impression
that, in spite of all, 'the black, funereal Finches' were preserved to
the Bedchamber and to the card table, but that does not concern this
narrative.

As to the second condition, it was inevitable sooner or later, and took
place in the form least offensive to the Sovereign. But the ministerial
crisis and the desperate venture with Bath and Carteret testify to the
formidable position of Pitt and to the equal aversion of the Sovereign.
In no less an instance than Pitt's could this repulsion have been
overcome.

Pitt himself had begged that his pretensions to the Secretaryship at War
should not act as an obstacle to an accommodation with the King, for
there was evidently nothing so repugnant to the Sovereign. The King had
said first that he would not have him in that office at any price, then
that he would use him ill if he had it, then that he would not admit him
to his presence to do the business of the office if he had it.[176]

There is, if the matter be candidly considered, no just cause of
reproach in this obstinacy. George II. was a gentleman, and a brave
gentleman. The Hanoverians were his own people, of his own blood and
language. Hanover was the home in which he had been brought up, the
paradise to which he always looked longingly from his splendid exile in
England. The King's personal courage Pitt had publicly and wantonly
aspersed; Hanover and the Hanoverians he had held up to every form of
public hatred and contempt. One cannot be surprised that George II.
would have nothing to say to him except under compulsion, and refused,
as between one gentleman and another, to have personal relations with
him. As a constitutional ruler his duty was another matter, but he would
not perform a duty so odious except in the last resort. He ignored Pitt
even after Pitt had entered office. It was four years after Pitt became
Paymaster that Newcastle, as the result of long pressure or intrigue,
induced the King even to speak to him. This was considered a triumph for
the ministry.[177]

[Sidenote: Mar. 6, 1746.]

Perhaps the Pelhams understood the King's feelings. Pitt did without
doubt. The King was not now pressed beyond endurance, and Pitt was
content for the moment with the joint Vice Treasurership of Ireland, in
which his partner was Walpole's son-in-law, Cholmondeley. The office was
understood to be lucrative, but he was not destined to hold this
sinecure for more than a few weeks. He had scarce time to ask for
exemption from the land tax of four shillings in the pound which was
charged on his salary for not residing in Ireland, or for admission to
the Irish Privy Council, both customary requests.[178] Two months after
he was gazetted Winnington died, and Pitt succeeded him in the rich
office of Paymaster-General. This is a Privy Councillor's place, so Pitt
had to be admitted to the King's presence to take the oath. The King
shed tears as Pitt knelt before him. A constitutional Sovereign has
these bitter moments.

During the interval between the two appointments Pitt had to pay a heavy
fee for the first. A vote was demanded for 18,000 Hanoverians to be
taken into British pay. Cobham's young men, one of whom, afterwards Lord
Temple, 'had declared in the House that he would seal it with his blood
that he never would give his vote for a Hanoverian,' voted the money in
silence. Pitt however was not content to play so abject a part. He stood
boldly forth, speaking, said Pelham, his new chief, with the dignity of
Wyndham, the wit of Pulteney, and the knowledge blended with judgment of
Walpole. Walpole's son thought differently: Pitt, he declared, added
'impudence to profligacy; but no criminal at the Place de Grève was ever
so racked as he was by Dr. Lee, a friend of Lord Granville, who gave him
the question both ordinary and extraordinary.' Probably both accounts
are true. Lee was one of the Prince of Wales's men, and Pitt's relations
with his late master were strained to the point of rupture by his
acceptance of office.



CHAPTER XII.


Pitt was now to inhabit the Pay Office, and he gave notice to Ann,
without any previous quarrel so far as we know, that they would
henceforth live apart. In any case, Pitt's accession to office thus
enabled him to put a convenient period to what had probably become a
fretting and irksome arrangement; but Walpole notes at this time that
there is gossip about 'the new Paymaster's ménage,' possibly Grattan's
tradition of 'This House to Let.' This sort of chit-chat is, however,
the inevitable accompaniment of a man in Pitt's position and need not
again be dwelt upon. Two of his early patrons also quarrelled with him:
the Prince of Wales and Cobham. But Pitt, for the moment at any rate,
could afford to do without either. A more delicate question required his
attention. There were habitual practices in the Pay Office which brought
in immense profits to the Paymaster. It was the custom of that official
to take poundage on all subsidies paid to foreign princes, and to use
the great balances at his credit for his own purposes of speculation. As
to this second method Pitt had no doubts, and rejected the idea. As to
the first he seems, on entering upon office, to have consulted
Pelham.[179] Pelham replied that Winnington had taken these perquisites,
but that he himself when Paymaster had not; Pitt could do as he chose.
'Such a manner of stating it left scarce an option in any but the basest
of mankind,' remarks Camelford with characteristic bitterness. Pitt at
any rate did not hesitate, and refused to take a farthing beyond his
salary, which, in truth, was splendid enough. But the indirect profits
of the Paymastership, which earlier in the century had founded the
dukedom of Chandos and the palace of Canons, and which later endowed the
peerage of Henry Fox and the glories of his exquisite residence at
Kensington, besides furnishing great fortunes for his graceless sons to
squander at the gaming-table, were, as Dr. Johnson would have said,
beyond the dreams of avarice. It was held in that day of loose political
morality to be noble, if not unique, for a man with a patrimony of a
hundred a year and a legacy of ten thousand pounds to refuse to receive
such profits.[180]

Lord Camelford's statement may be taken in the main to be correct
without adopting the sour inference which he draws. Pitt may well have
asked Pelham as to the practice of the office and Pelham have replied in
the sense indicated. If so, it was nearly as creditable to Pelham as to
Pitt, for one was scarcely less needy than the other. Pelham was a
gambler, and so wanted all the money he could get. He was a politician,
and politicians in those days required money for their purposes almost
as much as gamblers. Lord Camelford implies that had Pelham not answered
as he did, Pitt would have taken the percentages and the balances. This
is mere surmise. But, had he done so, he could not have been blamed.
These perquisites were regarded as legitimate by the practice and
opinion of the day; the balances were matters of public account. They
made the Paymaster's office a great prize, a recognised source of
immense profits. The fact remains that Pitt, or Pitt and Pelham, thought
them improper, and refused to take them.

One signal difference must however be observed. Pelham abstained
silently, the abstinence of Pitt was widely known. This notoriety may
have been partly due to the fact that the King of Sardinia, having heard
of Pitt's refusal to deduct the percentage on the Sardinian subsidy,
sent to offer him a large present, which Pitt unhesitatingly declined.
But there was another reason, which colours Pitt's whole life, and which
may therefore well be noted here. His light was never hid under any sort
of bushel, and he did not intend that it should be. He already saw that
his power lay with the people, and that it was based not merely on his
genius and eloquence, but on a faith in his public spirit and scrupulous
integrity. His virtues were his credentials, and it was necessary that
they should be conspicuous. Pulteney and St. John had wielded greater
Parliamentary power, yet Pulteney and St. John had perished from want of
character. Character he saw was the one necessary thing, but character
must be known to be appreciated. Pitt was perhaps the first of those
statesmen who sedulously imbue the public with a knowledge of their
merit. He can scarcely be called an advertiser, but he was the ancestor
of advertisers. Other statesmen no doubt had paid their pamphleteers.
Pitt paid nobody, but he inspired; he had hangers-on who clung to the
skirts of his growing fortune. This is not to imply that he had not a
genuine scorn of meanness and corruption and the baser arts of
politics. He had to use them through others; he had to ally himself with
Newcastle and his gang; he could not govern otherwise. But he was
anxious that the public should know that he was something apart from and
above these politicians. His was a real but not a retiring purity; a
white column rather than a snowdrop. This was all part of his
essentially theatrical character, which he had found successful in
Parliament, and which gradually absorbed him, with unhappy results.

But there was another reason why it was necessary that Pitt should
advertise his virtue on this occasion. He was a patriot joining the
Court party, a member of the Opposition accepting a place, which, with
all deductions, had a fixed and ample salary. It was not possible for
him, though his friends were already established in office, to join them
without some loss of popularity. It was difficult for him to keep his
shield untarnished in the royal armoury. The morose Glover states that
he brought himself to the level of Lord Bath in public disfavour by his
acceptance of office. Pitt himself, at the time of his bitter
mortification in 1754, writes to Lord Hardwicke of his 'bearing long a
load of obloquy for supporting the King's measures,' without the
smallest abatement of the King's hostility, and about the same time
describes himself as having parted with that weight in the country which
arose from his independent opposition to the measures of the Government.
He must indeed have counted the cost. It seemed obvious and in the
nature of things that Lytteltons, Grenvilles, and Cobhams should follow
the other patriots into office when opportunity offered; they had no
doubt barked loudly at ministers, but they belonged to the families
which always governed the country, and it was proper, indeed inevitable,
that they should take up their predestined positions on the Treasury
Bench. But Pitt had stood on a different pedestal. He had been marked
out by Walpole for punishment and by the King for exclusion. He had
thundered against the King and the King's trusted Ministers, the
Walpoles and the Carterets, with a voice that overbore all others, and
which apparently could not be silenced. The people seemed at last to
have found an incorruptible champion. Then suddenly he was muzzled with
a sinecure. Had he insisted on the Secretaryship of War and wrenched it
from the reluctant sovereign, the position would have been totally
different. But to pass into the sleek silence of the Vice Treasurership,
and almost to disappear from sight or hearing for eight years, seemed a
moral collapse. It is not one of the least remarkable features of Pitt's
career that he should have survived this lucrative obscurity.

It is indeed difficult to understand how so fierce and restless a spirit
could have endured the passive existence to which he had restrained
himself by the acceptance of office. We seem to hear a growl but a few
months after he had become Paymaster. 'In the gloomy scene which, I
fear, is opening in public affairs for this disgraced country,' he
writes to George Grenville in October 1746; not a cheerful tone for a
young minister, but one not unfamiliar among those in subordinate
positions. Still he could afford to wait. He probably contented himself
with the reflection that King George could not last for ever, and
flattered himself with an easy entrance to the councils of King
Frederick. He could watch, too, with silent scorn, the miscarriages of
his official superiors, confident that high office must come to him, as
it were, of its own accord. Still, he had to wait long, and the death of
Frederick as well as the longevity of the monarch were little less than
disastrous to his calculations. It would have been better, of course,
for his historical position had he refrained from taking a subordinate
office, which restrained his independence, and deprived him of the
peculiar lustre of his lonely power. In these days we ask ourselves what
temptation could induce him to accept a post which seemed to offer
nothing but salary in exchange for the exceptional splendour of his
independent position? How was it worth his while to become
Vice-Treasurer of Ireland? It cannot have been for money. He was
notoriously indifferent to money (though his nephew casts doubts even on
this), and he was better off as to money than he had ever been before,
owing to the Marlborough legacy. It may have been that as his political
associates had all joined the administration, he thought that his
loneliness impaired his power, and he must certainly have felt that it
was impossible for him to continue in active and effective opposition to
a Government which included his closest friends. That would seem to be
the chief and conspicuous reason. But there was another, as one may well
suppose, which was not less potent. Office is the natural, legitimate
and honourable object of all politicians who feel capable of doing good
work as ministers, and even of some who do not. The instances to the
contrary are so few as to prove the rule. Wilberforce and Burdett,
Ashley (for Ashley, though not literally outside the category of
officials, cannot be considered as one), and Cobden are the names that
obviously present themselves. But Ashley and Wilberforce had
consecrated themselves to a high career of philanthropy which was
incompatible with the bond of ministry. Burdett, long a popular idol and
an orator of great power, a country gentleman of the best type, and
personally agreeable even to those who differed from him, was probably
held to be too advanced a demagogue to be even considered for an
appointment. Cobden refused office at least twice; yet had he lived he
could not have kept out of it. Bright, his illustrious political twin,
the Castor to his Pollux, took it and liked it. In the eighteenth
century we can think of no one but Pulteney. He, indeed, strictly
speaking, is no exception, for as a youth he held a subordinate post.
And though in the maturity of his powers he refused the first place when
apparently he might have had it, he also solicited it when it was out of
his reach.

Althorp too, in the last century, is a singular example. He led the
House of Commons for four years as Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his
popularity and ascendancy made him the real pivot of the Government. But
he hated office with so deadly a hatred that he had the pistols removed
from his room lest he should end his official career with them. He
really comes in the list of exceptions to the rule that office is the
goal of all capable politicians.

But Pitt had nothing in common with these men. He wished to be in
office, and he knew that he would be a better minister than any there,
even though he may not have felt already the confidence which he
afterwards expressed that he alone could save England. How then was he
to obtain a foothold in the ministry? The just repugance of the King
was, he knew, insurmountable, so long as he remained outside. But if
admitted to office he might well hope much from his power of
fascination, which was almost famous. The King was not an easy person
for any man to charm; but Pitt no doubt felt that if he could once be
placed in contact with His Majesty, he might be able to remove the royal
prejudice; though in that he seems to have been wrong. He tried his hand
on Lady Yarmouth, with whom at a later period he seems to have been on a
familiar footing; but it is doubtful if she ever dispelled, though she
may have mitigated, the King's hatred of Pitt.

Even failing the mollification of the King, he felt that by taking
office he would have entered the official caste, and he would have
placed his foot on one rung of the ladder of greatness. In accepting the
Vice-Treasurership he had doubtless been promised the next post that was
vacant, and was, as has been seen, given the Paymastership. He was thus
reunited to all his political friends, and would form with them a solid
proportion of the garrison of Downing Street, a proportion to be
reckoned with. It would be strange indeed if in such a position and with
such feeble superiors he did not make his way to some position of real
business and power.

It must be remembered, too, that the state of affairs as regards office
in the eighteenth century was very different from the present. Now, if a
man be a bold and popular speaker, both in Parliament and on the
platform, but more especially on the platform, he leaps into the Cabinet
at once; he disdains anything else; a Vice-Treasurership such as Pitt
accepted he would regard as an insult. But in the middle of the
eighteenth century there was nothing of this. There was no such thing as
platform speaking outside the religious movement. A man made himself
prominent and formidable in Parliament, but that was a small part of the
necessary qualifications for office. The Sovereign then exercised a
control, not indeed absolute, but efficacious and material, on the
selection of ministers. The great posts were mainly given to peers;
while a peerage is now as regards office in the nature of an impediment,
if not a disqualification. In those days an industrious duke, or even
one like Grafton who was not industrious, could have almost what he
chose. But most of the great potentates preferred to brood over affairs
in company with hangers-on who brought them the news, or with their
feudal members of parliament. Still they formed a vital element in the
governments of that time. Pelham's administration at this very time
contained five dukes: he himself was the only commoner in it, and he was
a duke's brother. It was necessary to have a Chancellor of the Exchequer
in the House of Commons, but all the other high offices could be held
preferably by peers. The two Secretaries of State were both dukes. A
brilliant commoner without family connection or great fortune was an
efficient gladiator to be employed in the service of these princes, but
he was not allowed to rise beyond a fixed line. The peers lived, as it
were, in the steward's room, and the commoners in the servants' hall; in
some parlour, high above all, sate the King.

Pitt, according to the practice of the twentieth century, would have
received at least the highest office outside or, more probably, office
within the Cabinet on the fall of Walpole, and he certainly would have
been a Secretary of State or the equivalent before 1746. As it was, in
that year he had to climb on hands and knees into a subordinate
position. It had been difficult for him to get even that far at the cost
of a ministerial crisis of capital importance. The veto of the King had
certainly been the principal obstacle. But the iron rules of caste
forbade any idea of office for Pitt at all commensurate with his
importance. He had under the system in force to get in as he could, and
into much the same sort of office as his inferior but more influentially
connected colleagues, the Grenvilles, the Lytteltons, and the like.

There was another weighty consideration which pointed to prompt
acceptance. Pitt had no time to spare. He was no longer in his first
youth, he was approaching middle age. When he accepted this subordinate
post he was thirty-eight; and thirty-eight, it may be said, when the
lives of statesmen were comparatively short, was a more mature period in
a career than it would be considered now. At the age when Pitt became
Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, North was already Prime Minister. Pitt was
now seven years older than Grafton when he became Prime Minister, and
fifteen years older than his own son when he first led the House of
Commons as Chancellor of the Exchequer; both, of course, under
circumstances abnormally propitious. These figures show sufficiently not
merely that Pitt's career was, so to speak, in arrear, but that the
youthfulness of ministers in those days, under the favouring breezes of
birth and connection, affords no standard of comparison for the
possibilities of a poor country gentleman with no such advantages. Pitt
was, indeed, rather old than young of his age. His sickly youth and his
habitual infirmities had aged him beyond his years. But it must be
noted in passing that, in spite of the dire impetuosity of his
character, all his steps in life, except his entry into Parliament, were
tardy and delayed. He was forty-six when he married, and forty-eight
when he first entered the Cabinet; he was thirty-eight when he first
obtained office. He moved slowly, but not patiently. His glowing nature,
thrown back on itself, exacerbated by rebuffs and neglect, all fused
into a fierce scorn, the _sæva indignatio_ of Swift, gathered strength
and intensity in its restrained progress, until it developed into a
spirit not indeed amiable or attractive, but of indomitable and
superhuman force. That was the process which was at work in the shade of
subordinate office.

This consideration leads us to what is the best, and probably the true,
explanation of this voluntary eclipse: that in taking office he was
taking leave of his youth and of his past, and embarking on a new phase
of his career. Up to this time he had, like a predatory animal, lived
wholly on attack, and had given no thought to consistency, and little to
his future. He had only been a rattling politician, determined to make
his way, thinking only of the game, and of how to develop and display
his powers of oratory. He had been content to adopt Cobham's enemies as
his own, and had tried on them the temper of his virgin sword, without
much caring who they were or why he attacked them, so long as they were
sufficiently prominent to give notoriety to their assailant. His course
had been one of brilliant recklessness and of striking eloquence; but at
bottom it had been nothing but faction. There have been many such
swashbucklers in our history, and there will be many more. But it is
rare that, as in Pitt's case, they develop into something supreme. With
Pitt these extravagancies had only been the frolics of genius. By
burying himself in the sedateness and reticence of office, Pitt sought
to break with his dazzling indiscretions, and mature himself for
statesmanship. He retired behind a screen in order to change his dress.
That, one may infer, was his design; that, certainly, was the effect.

To make an end of this topic, one may ask why Pitt, so fertile of
invective himself, was not the subject of execration when he joined the
Court. Great men no doubt may commit faults, even crimes, with impunity,
for the lustre of their achievements throws a shadow over their errors.
In such men it is recognised that all is usually on a colossal scale,
deeds and misdeeds alike. As they are capable of gigantic successes,
they are also capable of stupendous blunders. This is true of Pitt's
whole career, but it does not explain the facility with which he was now
able, before he had his famous administration to his credit, to subside
into an easy placeman and vindicate the measures which he had previously
denounced. A few lampoons were of course launched at so tempting an
object, but he was not made a conspicuous butt. Nor does he seem to have
lost, or if he did he soon regained, the ear and confidence of the
people. He had at all periods rare powers of recovery. But in this case
the fact is not difficult to explain. In the first place it must be
borne in mind that what he did was the ordinary thing to do. Again, his
personal friends, and even those who had intercourse with him, were
impressed by his character and believed in his integrity. Then the
refusal of the indirect profits counted for much, it gave an air of
austere virtue to a proceeding otherwise questionable. Again, there was
no particular object to be gained by attacking him. Who indeed was there
to attack him? No one thought it worth their while to subsidise Grub
Street for the purpose of throwing dirt on a silent Paymaster, and few
dared attack him to his face. He had already inspired the House of
Commons with that awe of him which subsisted and increased so long as he
remained there. To deliver a philippic against Pitt was no joking
matter; it required a man with iron nerves who was reckless of
retribution. Lee, as we have seen, had attempted one, but, in spite of
Horace Walpole's eulogy, he does not seem to have repeated the
experiment. Hampden also attacked him, as we shall see, in terms which
would have led to a duel had not the Speaker interposed his authority.
Fox and Grenville withstood him doggedly in after years. Barré, when an
obscure Irish adventurer, tried an attack not altogether without
success, but did not care to renew the attempt, and became, in fact,
Pitt's devoted follower. But these instances must be considered as
singularly rare when it is remembered how tempting a mark was presented
by Pitt's career, how frank and direct was the language of Parliament,
and how generous the potations which flushed its debates. Murray, Pitt's
contemporary and his equal in sheer ability, cowered before him; cowered
with loathing, but cowered.[181] Pitt was already surrounded, and as
years went on completely encompassed, with an armour and atmosphere of
terror which rendered him almost impregnable to personal collisions
throughout his career in the House of Commons. Some who had nothing to
lose and everything to gain baited him from time to time, but they were
always tossed back with damage. Such persistent assailants as he had,
and they only appeared in force long afterwards, were mainly anonymous.

Whatever the cause may have been, Pitt, from his accession to office in
1746, remains in obscurity and almost in silence (so far as the records
testify, though it is evident that these are extremely imperfect) for
eight long years, at the potent period of life which ranges from
thirty-eight to forty-six, the age at which Napoleon closed his career,
but which was yet two years earlier than the commencement of Pitt's.
During this long eclipse of ambition and stormy vigour he gives but few
signs of life for the most diligent chronicler to note. But he had no
sooner been appointed Paymaster than an incident took place which seemed
to point to a sudden dawn of royal favour. The Duke of Cumberland's
achievements in Scotland were to be rewarded by a pension of 40,000_l._
a year, and the King expressed a wish that the motion to this effect
should be made by Pitt. It is, however, evident that this was not a mark
of royal affection, but rather of a royal desire to utilise the new
acquisition to the Government, and in a way so little congenial as to
make Pitt feel the collar on his neck. The King may have wished to
display his captive in chains. But Cumberland, who did not love Pitt,
declined this mark of regard, and Pelham fulfilled the honorary duty.

Cumberland had earned this grant, as well as his name of 'the Butcher,'
by his victory at Culloden, and the barbarity with which he had followed
up his success. Fortunately for him, it never occurred to a grateful
country to draw up a debtor and creditor account as between the nation
and the Duke. Had it done so, there would have been no grant; for his
defeats, both in number and in importance, represented something much
more considerable than this easy and solitary triumph, which would have
been amply compensated by Swift's 'frankincense and earthern pots to
burn it in' at 4_l._ 10_s._, with 'a bull for sacrifice' at 8_l._
However, mingling vengeance with gratitude, Parliament now plunged
itself with zest into the horrors of the trials of some adventurous or
bankrupt gentlemen who had followed Charles Edward, so that Pitt, even
had he so desired, had no opportunity of breaking silence. No speech of
his is recorded, indeed, till 1748.

[Sidenote: Nov. 20, 1747.]

In the meantime he had been compelled to exchange Old Sarum for the
ministerial borough of Seaford, one of the Cinque Ports; for Old Sarum
was no longer tenable. The lord of Old Sarum, his brother Thomas, was a
liege servant of the Prince of Wales, who was now once more in violent
opposition, and who indeed ran two candidates, Lord Middlesex, a member
of his household, and Mr. Gage, the sitting member, at Seaford in
opposition to the ministerial men, William Pitt and William Hay. This
proceeding sufficiently indicates the violence and completeness of the
rupture between Pitt and his former master, brought about by acceptance
of office. So tense indeed was the contest that Newcastle posted down to
Seaford in person, held a levee of the voters whom he wooed with copious
solicitation and refreshment, and during the poll sat by the returning
officer to overawe the corrupt and limited constituency. He was
victorious; Lord Middlesex exchanging seats with Pitt, for after this
his defeat he was brought in by Thomas Pitt for Old Sarum. Newcastle's
proceedings furnished matter for a petition to the House of Commons.
This Pitt treated with contempt and 'turned into a mere jest,'[182] but
Potter, son of the Primate, a clever scapegrace, of whom we shall hear
again, spoke vigorously in support of the petition. This, however, had
little chance against the argument of a compact parliamentary majority,
which rejected it by 247 to 96. But it is strange to find Pitt treating
purity of election with ridicule: all the more strange when we remember
that seven years afterwards he delivered one of his most famous speeches
in awful rebuke of the same levity on the same subject. 'Was the dignity
of the House of Commons on so sure foundations that they might venture
themselves to shake it by jokes on electoral bribery?' It was thus that
the House might dwindle into a little assembly serving only 'to register
the arbitrary edicts of one too powerful a subject.' It was the
arbitrary interference of the same too powerful subject in a
parliamentary election that Pitt was now screening with jesting scorn.
But Pitt thought little of consistency, and he might well have forgotten
for the moment his earlier performance, when seeing and seizing the
opportunity for a speech which placed him on a moral elevation above the
House of Commons.

In 1748 we find him intervening comically enough in an affair,
suspiciously like a local job, which affected his friends, the
Grenvilles, and which proved the bitter and jealous animosity with which
they were regarded.

Hitherto the summer assizes for Buckinghamshire had been held at
Buckingham, and the winter at Aylesbury; but suddenly the summer assizes
had also been transferred to Aylesbury. The reason seems to have been
simple enough; for the gaol being at Aylesbury, prisoners had to be
transferred thence and back again when the assizes were at Buckingham.
Richard Grenville (afterwards Lord Temple), however, for obvious
reasons, took up the cudgels for Buckingham, which was the close
neighbour and borough of Stowe, and brought in a Bill to enact that the
summer assizes should be held at that town. All Bucks rushed into the
conflict, and as is generally the case in a local affair, the debate was
extraordinarily diverting. Richard Grenville, Sir William Stanhope of
Eythrope, the brother of Chesterfield, and afterwards a brother of the
famous or infamous Medmenham fraternity, Potter again, who had now
become secretary to the Prince of Wales, who was soon to be member for
Aylesbury, probably for his services on this occasion, and also a future
monk of Medmenham, George Grenville, the solemn figure of Pitt, Robert
Nugent (whose daughter married George Grenville's son), Lee of Hartwell,
were all visible and ardent in the thick of the battle. Henry Fox, then
a friend of Pitt, was the only outside member who intervened, and then
with a sort of puzzled surprise at the fury of the combatants. Sir
William Stanhope, who led the attack on Buckingham, made a speech which
was specially piquant. He began: 'Sir, if I did not think I could prove
that this Bill is the arrantest job that ever was brought to Parliament,
I should not give the House the trouble of hearing me.' He attributed
the Bill to the fact that the County of Bucks had not elected two
Grenvilles as their members. 'Here let me condole with that unhappy,
rather that blinded, county who neglected to choose two gentlemen of
such power and interest that I am persuaded they will have more votes
in this House to-day than they would have had at the General Election in
the whole county in question if they had done it the honour to offer
themselves for representatives.' After this bitter exordium he
proceeded: 'It is the power and interest of these gentlemen that I am
afraid of, not of their arguments;' with good reason, for though to
posterity the claim of Aylesbury with its gaol will seem conclusive, the
Bill was triumphantly carried. But Stanhope proceeded with an invective
against Cobham's young patriots, so violent as to be checked by the
Speaker. It is noteworthy as showing the jealousy and hostility with
which their rise and power were regarded in the House, and so merits
quotation:--


    And to shew you, Sir, how sensible they are of the frivolousness of
    the latter, I could recapitulate such instances of intriguing for
    votes, as no man would believe who does not know those gentlemen.
    Conscious of the badness of their cause, they have employed every
    bad art to support it, and have retained so much of their former
    patriotism, as consisted in blackening their adversaries and
    acquiring auxiliaries. They have propagated such tales, that men
    have overlooked the improbabilities, while they wondered at the
    foolishness of them; and they have solicited the attendance of their
    friends, and of their friends' friends, with as much importunity as
    if their power itself was tottering, not the wanton exercise of it
    opposed: the only aid they have failed to call in was reason, the
    natural but baffled enemy of their family: a family, Sir, possessed
    of every honour they formerly decried, fallen from every honour they
    formerly acquired: a family, Sir, who coloured over ambition with
    patriotism, disguised emptiness by noise, and disgraced every virtue
    by wearing them only for mercenary purposes: a family, Sir, who from
    being the most clamorous incendiaries against power and places, are
    possessed of more employments than the most comprehensive
    place-bill that ever was brought into parliament would include; and
    who, to every indignity offered to their royal master, have added
    that greatest of all, intrusion of themselves into his presence and
    councils; and who shew him what he has still farther to expect, by
    their scandalous ingratitude to his son; a family, Sir, raised from
    obscurity by the petulance of the times, drawn up higher by the
    insolence of their bribing kinsman, and supported by the timidity of
    two ministers, who, to secure their own persons from abuse have
    sacrificed their own party to this all-grasping family, the elder
    ones of which riot in the spoils of their treachery and places, and
    the younger....


At this point he was, not prematurely, called to order. Stanhope brought
up Pitt, portentous but unconvincing, with perhaps a unique expression,
for he addressed the Speaker as 'dear Sir.' 'They (the Grenvilles)
desire the assizes may be sometimes held at Buckingham; the point he
(Stanhope) espouses is that they should be always held at Aylesbury.
Which, dear Sir, looks most like a monopoly?' Then he proceeds to defend
the Grenvilles.


    After so happy a beginning, he falls into a torrent of violent abuse
    on a whole family, founded on no reason in the world, but because
    that family is distinguished by the just rewards of their services
    to their king and country; and, in the heat of his resentment, he
    throws out things that are as unpardonably seditious as they are
    palpably absurd. He takes it for granted that men force themselves
    into a presence and into councils to which they have the honour to
    be called, and into which our Constitution renders it impossible for
    any to intrude. In the same breath he makes entering into a father's
    service an act of ingratitude to a son; and, without so much as
    pretending to assign either facts or reasons, he bestows the most
    low and infamous epithets upon characters that all other men mention
    with esteem. In a word, he forgot himself to such a degree that he
    pointed out men of birth and fortune, and in high stations, as if
    they were the most abandoned and profligate creatures in the
    universe, without parts, without morals, without shame, and who, if
    his description had in it the least tittle of truth, instead of
    being Members of Parliament, or admitted to the Privy Council, were
    fit only to be members of a society once famous by the name of the
    Hell-fire Club.[183]


It is not worth while to follow this local squabble further, except to
notice the singular atmosphere of jobbery with which it was surrounded.
By a job, it was alleged, Lord Chief Justice Baldwin, having purchased
the manor of Aylesbury in the reign of Henry VIII., had transferred the
assizes from Buckingham to Aylesbury. By another job a judge who was a
native of Buckingham had managed that the summer assizes should be
always held at Buckingham while he lived. 'The arrantest job,' cried
Stanhope. 'One of the worst sort of jobs,' echoed Potter, who divided
jobs into two species, one laudable and the other infamous, declaring
this to be one of the latter kind. Lee also called it a private job of
the most infamous kind. Articulate Buckinghamshire was indeed unanimous
against the Bill. But the Grenvilles were now powerful with all the
insolence of power, and the Government smiled silently on their
enterprise; though Nugent said they could only have done so from
weariness of political serenity, and the wish to invite catastrophe. So
the Bill was carried, and the job, whatever its exact denomination may
have been, lasted for nearly a century.[184] But the debate, as will be
seen, is significant because it shows the resentment which had long
been growing, but which was now openly displayed against Cobham's
aggressive and ambitious group.

We do not again hear Pitt's voice till 1749, when he vindicated the
proposal of the Government to pay to Glasgow ten thousand pounds to
reimburse the city in some degree for what the occupation of the
Jacobites had cost it. This of course was an official speech and of no
permanent interest.[185] He had to prove that the case of Glasgow stood
by itself, and that there was no analogy between this and those of other
towns which made the same claim. Two of his points are incidentally
worthy of remark. The first is that it was the whole tenor of Glasgow's
conduct since the Reformation which had drawn upon it the resentment of
the Jacobites; the second, that if this payment were not made, and made
promptly, Glasgow must be ruined. He told, too, a story which merits
preservation. When there were rumours in 1688 of the coming of William
III. with 30,000 men, an adherent of James II. made light of the matter;
when it was said that the prince was coming with 20,000 he began to be
alarmed; but when he heard that the expeditionary force numbered only
14,000 he cried, 'We are undone: an army of 30,000 men could not conquer
England. But no man would come here with only 14,000 unless he were sure
of finding a great many traitors among ourselves.'[186]

In 1750 there is a faint echo of Pitt's voice in a discussion on the
annual Mutiny Bill, at least the only echo in the recorded debates, for
we learn from two letters of Pitt's to George Grenville that there had
been other long and troublesome discussions in which he had had
officially to bear much of the burden.[187] Colonel Townshend brought
forward the case of non-commissioned officers who had been broke or
reduced to the ranks without any cause assigned. Some of these, he said,
were waiting at the bar as he spoke. He proposed a clause for preventing
this abuse, and forbidding these punishments except under sentence of a
court-martial. Pitt took the line, truly enough, that if soldiers were
on every occasion to bring their complaints against their officers to
the House for redress there would be an end to all discipline; and
proceeded in the tone of a Paymaster-General to declare that the
business of the House was to consider the requisite number of the forces
and to grant money for their payment, but that the conduct of the army
or complaints against one another were solely within the province of the
King or those commissioned by His Majesty.[188] This need not detain us.
About the same time, Lord Egmont, who now represented the Prince of
Wales in the House of Commons, an able man not without incredible
absurdities, brought forward a mischievous motion with regard to
Dunkirk. The question which he raised was whether the French had
demolished the fortifications erected during the late war, as by the
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle they were bound to do; but he diverged into a
general attack upon the provisions of that Treaty. Pelham answered him
in a speech of remarkable candour. Lord Strange followed and brought up
Pitt. He defended the peace, which indeed was not difficult, in a
speech eminently discreet, ministerial, and conciliatory. No one could
discover in it any germ of the policy he was destined afterwards to
pursue with such triumphant success. But he cast an interesting light on
the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. 'If there be any secret in the late
affairs of Europe,' he said, 'it is in the question how it was possible
for our ministers to obtain so good a peace as they did. For I must
confess that when the French laid siege to Maestricht in the beginning
of 1748, I had such a gloomy prospect of affairs that I thought it next
to impossible to preserve our friends the Dutch from the imminent ruin
they were then threatened with, or to maintain the present Emperor upon
the imperial throne.'[189] Though he had thus already spoken, he wound
up the debate for the Ministry, and did so with equal discretion.

[Sidenote: Aug. 3-14, 1750.]

This was in February 1750. He seems to have spoken no more that session,
but in August Pelham wrote to his brother: 'I think him the most able
and useful man we have among us, truly honourable and strictly honest.
He is as firm a friend to us as we can wish for, and a more useful one
does not exist.'[190] Such an eulogy, offered in confidence by a Prime
Minister, a reticent, unemotional man, seems to us a great mark and
epoch in Pitt's career. Not 'the most brilliant,' not 'the most
eloquent,' not 'the most intrepid,' as we should have expected, but 'the
most useful, able, and strictly honest.'

Pitt had earned this praise by exertions which were not visible to the
outer world. It often happens that there is a member of Government whose
merits do not appeal to the public, who is no orator, who passes no
measures, whose conversation does not attract, and whose position in an
administration is a puzzle to the outer world. And yet perhaps his
colleagues regard him as invaluable. He is probably the peacemaker, the
man who walks about dropping oil into the machinery, and preventing
injurious friction. This had recently been Pitt's position. He had been
diligently and unobtrusively trying to keep the Government together.
This was not so easy as it would seem; for though the brothers Pelham
had arranged it to their will when they ejected Carteret, the morbid and
intolerable jealousies of Newcastle prevented any ease. Did other
subjects of intrigue and irritation fail he would quarrel with his
brother, for when all else was serene it would secretly chafe him that
his junior should be in the first place and he only in the second. Henry
himself, it may be noted, seems to have been both blameless and placable
on these occasions, but naturally bored. The elder brother would begin
whimpering and whining to Hardwicke, his prop and confidant. Hardwicke
would soothe him as a sick baby is soothed, eventually his tears would
be dried, and he would begin burrowing and intriguing in some other
direction.

On this occasion the trouble arose over Bedford. Bedford had become
Joint Secretary of State with Newcastle on the resignation of
Chesterfield. Sandwich, a clever scapegrace, and Bedford's henchman, had
been Newcastle's candidate for the office, while Henry Fox had been
strongly supported by Pitt and others. Before offering it to Sandwich,
it was thought well to make an honorary tender of the post to Bedford,
in the belief that he would refuse it. Bedford, as sometimes happens on
such occasions, had promptly accepted it; for six months as he said,
but, as also happens, for as long as he could keep it, which was more
than three years. The appointment was thus distasteful in its origin to
Newcastle and became more irksome with experience. Bedford as a minister
was indolent, and as a man was obstinate and unamiable to a singular
degree. But it was not these drawbacks which attracted the malevolent
attention of Newcastle. Bedford, no doubt, was difficult to work with,
and Newcastle soon wished to be rid of him. But it was when Bedford
became well with the Court, with the King and with Princess Amelia, for
whom Newcastle had once affected to feel something more tender than
friendship, with the Duke of Cumberland and Lady Yarmouth, that
Newcastle's hatred passed the bounds of moderation and almost of sanity.
Pelham, who knew the parliamentary power of Bedford and who was anxious
not to alienate it, was reluctant to take up his brother's dispute; so
Newcastle promptly quarrelled with him. Pitt intervened. Had he been
blindly ambitious, he would have welcomed a schism which might have
produced a much greater position for himself. But he saw that a quarrel
between the brethren would break up the Ministry; and that such a
destruction would involve grave consequences, difficult to calculate,
and possibly the resuscitation of Carteret in the first place. Moreover,
though on the whole he sided with Newcastle, as Fox sided with Pelham,
he could not but be aware of the priceless merits of Pelham as a party
manager, as one who allayed animosities, and as one who kept the peace.
Pelham, in writing to Newcastle, affects to diminish the value of Pitt's
intervention, as he wishes to attribute the renewal of harmony to
'natural affection.' But an impartial judgment comes to a different
conclusion. Natural affection had not prevented discord, and was
insufficient to produce reconciliation. It is at all times an
indifferent political cement. But the exertions of an independent
colleague such as Pitt could not be overestimated. There exists a long
and earnest letter of July 13, 1750, from Pitt to Newcastle, too long
and too tedious to quote, but which is both tactful and energetic,
though in his worst style of winding verbosity. 'I don't hazard much,'
he wrote, 'in venturing to prophesy that two brothers who love one
another, and two ministers essentially necessary to each other, will
never suffer themselves to be divided further than the nearest friends
by difference of opinion or even little ruffles of temper may
occasionally be. Give me leave,' he continues, 'to suggest a doubt. May
not frequent reproaches upon one subject gall and irritate a mind not
conscious, intentionally at least, of giving cause?' and so forth.[191]
He concludes all this with warm eulogies on Newcastle's conduct of
foreign affairs, and soothes and flatters the fretful duke with
something like sympathetic regard. He or 'natural affection' is
successful, for, a week afterwards, he writes a brief note on
another subject, which ends thus: 'I am glad to note that the
understanding between you and Mr. Pelham, for which I had fears, is
re-established.'[192] It is pleasant thus to catch a glimpse of Pitt as
a loyal colleague, strenuously patching up differences; not less
pleasant to see him pushing the claims of his rival, Fox, to be
Secretary of State. This is a new human, and attractive aspect.

The termination of the Bedford transaction is worth noticing for more
reasons than one. The King, though he was at least indifferent to
Bedford, declined to remove him at the instance of Newcastle, and was
probably pleased to have the opportunity of thwarting the tiresome
minister who had been the inseparable bane and necessity of his life.
Pelham would not intervene directly for other reasons. A characteristic
and tortuous method was therefore adopted. The King cared nothing for
Sandwich, who was necessary to Bedford. So the brothers suggested the
removal of Sandwich, to which the King promptly acceded, and Bedford, as
they had foreseen, instantly resigned.

Two points are notable with regard to the vacancy thus caused. The Prime
Minister announced that the nomination of Bedford's successor must be
left to the sole nomination of the King, with which he would not
interfere in any way, but insisted that he must be a peer.[193] The main
reason for this strange limitation seems to have been that there were
fierce but dormant rivalries in the House of Commons, and that an
appointment of one of the aspirants would call uncontrollable passions
into activity. Both Secretaries of State must therefore be peers, a
principle which seems strange to a later generation. The King,
therefore, nominated Lord Holdernesse, of whom the Prime Minister merely
observes, 'I cannot possibly see him in the light of Secretary of
State.'[194] Holdernesse however is appointed, and reappears more than
once in this accidental character.

But Pelham, though he tried to take this affair easily, was near the
end of his patience. He was worn out by the perpetual exigencies and
caprice of his brother and colleague, for Newcastle was in truth his
partner in the Premiership, as well as by the explosive rivalries of
Pitt and Fox, which any spark might ignite. Chained to an intolerable
nincompoop, with two such subordinates ready to fly at each other's
throats or his, and conscious of failing health, he began to long for
liberty and repose. At the end of March 1751 died the second Earl of
Orford, and thus vacated the rich sinecure office of Auditor of the
Exchequer, worth at least eight thousand a year. Pelham, it is said,
intimated his wish to retire from active business with this noble
provision, but the King would not let him go.



CHAPTER XIII.


On the meeting of Parliament in January 1751, Lord Egmont raised on the
Address the question of the peace with Spain. Pitt in reply delivered a
speech of singular interest, for he disarms criticism by frankly avowing
the errors of his 'young and sanguine' days, to employ his own epithets.
After pointing out that the Spaniards could not be expected to give up
the assertion of their right of search any more than we would renounce
our claim to the right of free navigation in the American seas, he
proceeded: 'I must therefore conclude, Sir, that "no search" is a
stipulation which it is ridiculous to insist on, because it is
impossible to be obtained. And after having said this I expect to be
told that upon a former occasion I concurred heartily in a motion for an
address not to admit of any treaty of peace with Spain unless such a
stipulation as this should be first obtained as a preliminary thereto. I
confess I did, Sir, because I then thought it right, but I was then very
young and sanguine. I am now ten years older, and have had time to
consider things more coolly. From that consideration I am convinced that
we may as well ask for a free and open trade with all the Spanish
settlements in America, as ask that none of our ships shall be visited
or stopt, though sailing within a bowshot of their shore; and within
that distance our ships must often sail in order to have the benefit of
what they call the land breeze.' 'I am also convinced that all
addresses from this House during the course of a war, for prescribing
terms of peace, are in themselves ridiculous; because the turns or
chances of war are generally so sudden and often so little expected that
it is impossible to foresee or foretell what terms of peace it may be
proper to insist on. And as the Crown has the sole power of making peace
or war, every such address must certainly be an encroachment upon the
King's prerogative, which has always hitherto proved to be unlucky. For
these reasons I believe I should never hereafter concur in any such
address, unless made so conditional as to leave the Crown at full
liberty to agree to such terms of peace as may at the time be thought
most proper, which this of "no search" can never be, unless Spain should
be brought so low as to give us a _carte blanche_; and such a low ebb it
is not our interest to bring that nation to, nor would the other Powers
of Europe suffer it, should we attempt it.'[195]

This is a new milestone. 'Those who endeavour to quote from my former
speeches, the outpourings of my hot and fractious youth, are hereby
warned off. I have sown my wild oats; henceforward I am to be regarded
as a prudent and sagacious statesman.' This was the real purport of this
speech, divested of the necessary circumlocutions. A statesman who has
been an active politician in his youth usually has to utter some such
warning and repentant note in his maturity.

[Sidenote: Feb. 22, 1751.]

In 1751 we find Pitt delivering another speech which marks a further
distance from his unregenerate days. At this time, for reasons which we
can now scarcely discern, but which originated with George II., who
considered that the peace and safety of his electorate depended on a
secure succession to the Empire being vested in the House of Austria,
our foreign policy was concentrated on securing the election of Maria
Theresa's son, a boy of ten years old, as King of the Romans, and so
heir to the Empire. This strange line of action was absurd enough to be
congenial to Newcastle, who soon adopted it, called it his darling
child, and grudged its paternity to the King.[196] Pelham had
reluctantly to follow, only deprecating expenditure as far as possible.
For this we slaved and negotiated and subsidised, in the faith that
should the Emperor die without a King of the Romans being ready to
succeed him, a war must infallibly ensue. This hypothesis was at least
doubtful; but, in any case, we expended our energies in vain. Prussia,
and France as guarantor of the Treaty of Westphalia, declared the
election of a minor to be contrary to the fundamental laws of the
Empire, and prevailed. There is the less reason to deplore our failure,
as it is not known what we should have gained by success. Austria, which
was alone to profit, threw the coldest water on the project. The obvious
flaw of the policy appears to have been that the receipt of subsidies so
entirely conflicted with the electoral oath as to form an insuperable
bar of honour preventing any elector who received them from voting for
our candidate. We were in fact to bribe those who could not vote if they
accepted our bribe, for an object flagrantly illegal, on behalf of a
Power which scouted our assistance. We offered to bribe the Electors of
Mainz, Cologne, and Saxony. To the Elector of Bavaria we agreed by
treaty to pay 40,000_l._ a year, the sum to be made up by Holland and
ourselves. It was this last treaty which Pitt found himself called upon
to defend, and his speech was a broad defence of the whole system and
principle of subsidies. 'Surely,' he cried, 'it is more prudent in us to
grant subsidies to foreign princes for keeping up a number of troops for
the service of the common cause of Europe, than by keeping up such
numerous armies of our own here at home, as might be of the most
dangerous consequence to our constitution.'[197] This must have seemed
strange doctrine to those who remembered his former harangues. But in
this speech he was to exceed himself in superfluous candour. He had said
that there was a good prospect of a firm and lasting peace, and then
strangely wandered off to the consequent prospect of economy at home,
'perhaps by a different method of collecting the revenue. I am not
afraid to mention the word Excise.[198] I was not in the House when the
famous Excise scheme was brought upon the carpet. If I had I should
probably have been induced by the general but groundless clamour to have
joined with those who opposed it. But I have seen so much of the deceit
of popular clamours, and the artful surmises upon which they are
founded, and I am so fully convinced of the benefits we should reap by
preventing all sorts of unfair trade, that if ever any such scheme be
again offered whilst I have a seat in this assembly, I believe I shall
be as heartily for it as I am for the motion now under our
consideration.'[199]

It is scarcely possible to conceive a more deliberate and scornful
repudiation of responsibility for any previous opinions that he may have
maintained than is expressed in this passage. He goes out of his way to
tender an unnecessary support to the detested Excise scheme, which at
the same time he declares that he should certainly have opposed had he
been in the House when it was introduced. The middle-aged Pitt seemed
never to tire of trampling savagely on the young Pitt, even wantonly, as
on this occasion. There is, indeed, more justice than is usual in Horace
Walpole's taunts when he says of Pitt, 'Where he chiefly shone was in
exposing his own conduct; having waded through the most notorious
apostasy in politics, he treated it with an impudent confidence that
made all reflections upon him poor and spiritless when worded by any
other men.' This is one way of putting it. A preferable and, in our
judgment, a truer way is that Pitt deliberately chose this method of
public atonement for past recklessness, and as an avowal that he had
learned and ripened by experience. He recanted at large, so as to
obliterate every vestige of his heedless and censorious youth. It is
better for the country and for themselves that statesmen should thus do
penance than that they should continue to offer sacrifices of what they
see to be right to the somewhat egotistical pagod of their personal
consistency. Honourable consistency is necessary to retain the
confidence of the country; but there is also a dishonourable consistency
in concealing and suppressing conscientious changes of judgment.

Though, as we have seen, his defence of the principle of subsidies
seemed unbounded, it was more limited in practice, and Pitt fixed his
limit at the Bavarian contribution. In 1752 Pelham had to move a subsidy
to the Elector of Saxony, King of Poland. This had been negotiated by
Newcastle, but was so strongly disapproved by Pelham that he even
threatened to second the opposition to it. However, he was persuaded by
the argument most urgent and sometimes most fatal to prime ministers,
that the apparent unity of the Government must at any cost be
maintained, to withdraw his opposition and move the vote. Old Horatio
Walpole, though he voted with Pelham, spoke warmly against him, and Pitt
supported Walpole's argument, though privately and not in speech. He
felt, it may be presumed, that it was not for him to be more of a
Pelhamite than Pelham himself.

With Pelham, however, he had felt constrained to be at open variance in
the previous year, about the time of the Bavarian subsidy. The Minister
had moved a reduction of our seamen from 10,000 to 8000. Pitt declared a
preference for 10,000; and Potter, whom we have seen in the Buckingham
and Aylesbury affair, a clever, worthless fellow, who had now become an
ally of Pitt, opposed the reduction. Pelham seemed to acquiesce, but
Lord Hartington, an enthusiastic Pelhamite, who was hereafter to be for
a while Prime Minister under Pitt, forced a division, in order to show
Pitt that the Whigs would not support him against Pelham. Pitt's
immediate following on this occasion seems to have consisted only of
Lyttelton, the three Grenvilles, Conway, and eight others. There was, it
is to be observed, nothing factious in this; the opinion of Pitt was
natural, and not distasteful to Pelham. Moreover, on the report Pitt
made a conciliatory speech, marking in the strongest manner his regret
at differing with Pelham, declaring that it was his fear of Jacobitism
alone which made him prefer the larger number, and expressing his
concern at seeing our body of trained seamen, whom he called our
standing army, reduced. He and his little following, or rather
cousinhood, vied with each other in loyal eulogies of the Prime
Minister.

This called up Hampden, an intrepid buffoon, but the great-grandson of
the patriot, and 'twenty-fourth hereditary lord of Great Hampden,' who
attacked Pitt and his group with rancour. Here, again, we seem to
discern traces of Buckinghamshire politics and jealousies. Temple and
his belongings had, as we have seen, many enemies in their own county,
and Hampden was one of them. Perhaps the Aylesbury affair still rankled.
Pitt was visibly angered. Though Pelham warmly defended him, he was not
appeased, and the affair would have ended in a duel had not the
Speaker's authority intervened. In the succeeding year, it may be noted,
the number of 10,000 was restored.

Though these hostilities were averted, the debate produced further
friction between the brethren who controlled the Ministry. Newcastle was
profusely grateful to Pitt for the line he had taken. He wrote to one of
his vassals (January 30, 1750-1): 'As you can be no stranger (if you
have attended the late debate) to the able and affectionate manner in
which Mr. Pitt has taken upon himself to defend me, and the measures
which have been solely carried on by me, when both have been openly
attacked with violence, and when no other person opened his lips, in
defence of either, but Mr. Pitt, I think myself bound in honour and
gratitude to show my sense of it in the best way I am able. I must
therefore desire that neither you nor any of my friends would give into
any clamour or row that may be made against him from any of the party on
account of his differing as to the number of seamen. For after the kind
part he has acted to me, and (as far as I am allowed to be part of it)
the meritorious one to the administration, I cannot think any man my
friend who shall join in any such clamour, and who does not do all in
his power to discourage it. I desire you would read this letter to'
(here follow the names of seven forgotten men whom we may presume to
have been his closest followers).[200] Pitt's attitude had alarmed
Pelham, and this letter from the Duke, so formidable from parliamentary
influence, made him sensible of imminent danger. He saw that he must
either be reconciled to his brother or face that alarming coalition of
Pitt and Newcastle which was afterwards effected with so much success.
Once more there was a crisis, and Pelham's son-in-law Lincoln was called
in as mediator. A treaty of peace of three articles was solemnly drawn
up between the brothers, and apparent harmony restored. The King,
however, broke out anew with emphatic anger against Pitt and the
Grenvilles.

This was probably due to the rumour that Pitt and his connections were
negotiating with the Prince of Wales. This is not improbable. We know
indeed that Lyttelton was arranging through his brother-in-law Dr.
Ayscough for a coalition between the forces of Stowe and those of
Leicester House. The King was old, and ambitious politicians would not
wish to be ill with his heir, if that could be avoided. But all such
foresight was wasted, for Frederick was never to reign, and within two
months of the vote on the seamen he was dead. Up to the last he was
intriguing and securing adherents. On February 28 he was engaging
Oswald, an able debater in the House of Commons, to his cause; on March
20 he died. Next morning his party was convoked by Egmont to consider
the future. Many came, probably from curiosity, but dispersed without
any conclusion. 'My Lord Drax,' writes Henry Fox in pleasant allusion to
the promises of the Prince, 'my Lord Colebrook, Earl Dodington, and
prime minister Egmont are distracted; but nobody more so than Lord
Cobham, who _cum suis_ has been making great court and with some effect
all this winter. Do not name this from me. I fear they will not be dealt
with as I would deal with them.'[201] In truth the purpose and bond of
the party, the sole reason for its existence, had disappeared.
Henceforth the courtiers who found no favour with the King kept their
eyes on the Princess of Wales and her eldest son, a shy, sensitive boy,
who was afterwards to be George III. Soon they began to perceive in this
obscure court a handsome, supercilious Scotsman, who enjoyed the favour
of the Princess and the veneration of her son, who was now a lord of the
Prince's bedchamber, but was hereafter to head one ministry and become
the bugbear of many others, John Earl of Bute.

The Heir Apparent was only thirteen, and a Regency Bill was required.
This is only pertinent to our narrative in that it produced a fierce
parliamentary duel between Pitt and Fox, the point at issue between them
being the Duke of Cumberland, whom the King wished, but the Ministry
did not dare, to nominate Regent. Indeed, one of the principal
expressions of popular grief for the loss of the Prince of Wales had
taken the form of regret that the death had not been that of the Duke.
'Oh! that it was but his brother! Oh! that it was but the Butcher!'
Unfortunately, the speeches of neither Pitt nor Fox in this session have
come down to us. All that we know is that Pelham declared that Pitt's
was the finest speech that ever he heard. Pitt had strongly maintained
that the Regency must be closely restricted, the vital contention of his
son thirty-seven years later, and hinted that Cumberland, if
unrestrained in his capacity as head of the Council of Regency, might be
tempted to usurp the Crown. Hence the wrath of Fox, the close friend of
the royal Duke; hence, too, the antipathy of Cumberland to Pitt, which
was to cause complications thereafter.

Pitt and his family connections, whose allegiance to the Ministry had
been under suspicion, and who had been in negotiation with the Prince's
party, were rallied into apparent fidelity to the Ministry by the
Prince's death, without, however, severing their renewed connection with
Leicester House. But it was acquiescence rather than loyalty. Between
the two ministerial orators in the House of Commons, Fox and Pitt, there
had been cordial friendship. But it is evident that this had ceased.
Fox, as we have seen, would have dealt with Pitt and the Grenvilles as
traitors, and one would infer that it was the negotiation with the
Prince of Wales which had angered him. The fact that Fox had sided with
Pelham, and Pitt with Newcastle, had probably tended to division. Pitt,
indeed, afterwards accused Pelham, poor soul, with having fostered their
variance. Then there had been the affair of the Regency. There had,
too, just previously to the Prince's death, been a sharp altercation
between them in a small debate raised by the petition for compensation
of an ill-used gentleman in Minorca. This Pelham had refused; while Pitt
upheld the claim with his wonted energy, but with unusual absurdity. He
would support the petition of a man so oppressed and of so ancient a
family to the last drop of his blood. Fox ridiculed this extravagance,
and Pitt was nettled. This is only notable as a symptom of prevailing
temper.

But the facts of their personalities speak for themselves. They were
rivals in Parliament, neither of them very scrupulous, both fierce in
debate. What need of further explanation? Fox, moreover, viewed Pitt's
overtures to Leicester House with distrust, not merely from the point of
view of a minister, but from that of the Duke of Cumberland, to whom he
was devoted, and who detested the Prince of Wales and his crew. So that
on the Regency Bill it was the wrath between the two factions which
broke into open war. It was in the main the devotion of Fox to
Cumberland which originally divided and then estranged him from Pitt.
They were afterwards to reunite for a time by the mutual attraction of
brains opposed to imbecility.

This is perhaps the best opportunity to consider the character of this
Henry Fox, who was now Pitt's rival. Strangely enough there is no real
biography of this remarkable man, a vigorous and interesting figure, who
has been to some extent obscured by his more popular and famous son.

It would almost be enough to say that Fox was everything that Pitt was
not. He had not that wayward but divine fire which we call genius, and
which inspired Pitt; but he had the saving quality of common sense which
was wanting to his rival. He laid no claim to the oratory of Pitt; he
was, we are told hesitating and inelegant, not indeed a good speaker;
but he was plain and forcible, with a good business-like wear and tear
style, which is in Parliament not less valuable than oratory; on
occasions indeed he spoke with a vehemence and closeness of reasoning
which almost anticipated the supreme faculty of his son. More than all,
he thoroughly understood the House of Commons. He had the cordial
manner, the veneer at least of good fellowship, the frankness savouring
of cynicism, which make for an eminently serviceable sort of
parliamentary popularity. In one respect, as a letter writer, he was
greatly Pitt's superior. While Pitt was prancing fantastic minuets
before his correspondents, Fox, without wasting a word, went straight to
the point; and his letters are pregnant, graphic, and forcible. There
are perhaps none better in the English language than those in which he
describes the debates of December 1755. He was, what Pitt was not, a
genial companion, fond of the bottle and the chase; he had, indeed, been
a gambler and a debauchee. He was, what Pitt was not, a man of the
world, and was closely allied with the choicest blood of the aristocracy
by a marriage with a daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Pitt was a county
gentleman, who had indeed married Temple's sister, but had thus entered
a more limited and less exalted connection. They both had courage, but
Fox minded the rebuffs of debate much less than Pitt. He was
passionate, but with a passion less sublime than Pitt's. Pitt could
sometimes feign passion; Fox could sometimes repress it. In later life,
when it had been long smouldering, it was ungovernable. But at this time
it only displayed itself in a not ungenerous resentment. In the race for
success it would perhaps have been safer to back Fox than Pitt.

But Fox had one incurable flaw which was wholly wanting in Pitt: his
aims were base and material. He was content for long years to be
Paymaster, amassing a huge fortune from all the emoluments, legitimate
and semi-legitimate, of that lucrative office, when a noble ambition
would not have stooped to so gross an obscurity. And besides money he
had another weakness. He longed to be a lord. In the moment of his
rival's triumph and his own fall we find him writing to Lady Yarmouth
soliciting a peerage in almost abject terms.[202] That was refused, and
it was only after long years of unabashed solicitation that he obtained
his object. At last a peerage was accorded to his wife, as if to mark
the reluctance felt to giving it to himself. Then his chance came. Bute
had to find a bold and unscrupulous agent to carry the Peace through the
House, and Fox was his man. Not merely had Fox to earn his peerage but
to wreak some vengeances.[203] He accepted the task readily, and had as
his first reward the joy of removing Newcastle from the lieutenancy of
three counties. And then, as if animated by a hatred of the whole human
race, he expelled from their posts all, from the highest to the
humblest, whom he suspected of opposition. It was a reign of terror, and
by terror he accomplished the work he had been hired to do. Then he
claimed his reward. He had earned and he received his peerage. But he
had also earned and received a detestation, rarely accorded in England
to a statesman, which lasted for the rest of his life, and which finds
vent in the bitter lampoon which Gray, the gentlest of scholars, was
moved to write.

Later again, in his opulent seclusion, Fox was fired with a new ambition
to become an earl.[204] He feared no extremity, no humiliation, to
obtain his cherished object. But he failed. He was no longer worth
buying; he could not, indeed, be employed. So in bitterness of spirit he
passed away, cheered only by his delightful devotion to his wife and
children, and by the goodwill of a few staunch friends.

There is something profoundly melancholy in Fox's degeneracy. Its
commencement is clearly marked. In 1756 he was an easy companion, a good
friend, kindly and beloved; he was honoured and admired; he was the
second man in the House of Commons, willing and able to dare all. But
when he was discarded, and had subsided into the Paymastership, he seems
to have suffered a gradual deterioration. His objects became sordid; he
lost the finer elements of his character; his ambition sank into
something composed of vindictiveness and greed; his generous wine became
corked and bitter. But at the time we are writing of, he was still
amiable, still courageous, still warm with some instinct of honour,
patriotism, and high emulation, still an able and masculine figure. It
is perhaps unfair to anticipate a decline which is outside our limits.
But the change is so remarkable, throwing, as it were, a back light on
some of the puzzling aspects of Fox's earlier career, that it cannot
well be unnoticed.

More ominous of Pitt's attitude to the Ministry than any small incidents
of debate was Pitt's silence. For three successive sessions of
Parliament, in 1752, 1753, and in that which closed in April 1754, he
practically held his peace. Nothing could be more sinister, nothing
could mark more emphatically his discontent. Sickness, it appears,
accounted in part for this abstinence from the arena. 'After a year of
sullen illness,' as Horace Walpole describes it, he intervened in 1753;
and this was followed by another twelve months of silence and of illness
not less sullen. The intervention of 1753 was not very happy. By an Act
passed in June 1753, foreign Jews had been rendered capable of
naturalisation. The Bill had passed into law without serious opposition,
but soon aroused great popular clamour. Grub Street, as usual, was
called into requisition.

    'But Lord! how surprised when they heard of the news
    That we were to be servants to circumcised Jews,
    To be negroes and slaves instead of True Blues,
                                Which nobody can deny.'

Newcastle was charged with having been bribed.

    'That money you know is a principal thing,
    It will pay a Duke's mortgage or interest bring.'[205]

[Sidenote: Nov. 27, 1753.]

On the meeting of Parliament in November of the same year Newcastle at
once moved to repeal it. It had only been, he said in his silly jargon,
a 'point of political policy,' and as it had aroused agitation in the
public it had better be repealed. Foote recalled this slipshod phrase in
his comical portrait of the Duke. 'The honour,' says Matthew Mug, 'I
this day solicit will be to me the most honourable honour that can be
conferred.' Pitt supported the repeal in a speech on which his admirers
would not desire to dwell. He was still in favour of the Act, but should
vote for its repeal, because the people wished it, having been misled by
the 'old High Church persecuting spirit' into believing that religion
was concerned in the matter, which was not the fact, therefore an
explanatory preamble was necessary. 'In the present case we ought to
treat the people as a prudent father would treat his child; if a
peevish, perverse boy should insist on something that was not quite
right but of such a nature as, when granted, could not be attended with
any very bad consequence, an indulgent father would comply with the
humour of his child, but at the same time he would let him know that he
did so merely out of complaisance, and not because he approved of what
the child insisted on.'[206] Whether this would or would not be the
wisest course of parental discipline it is not necessary to discuss, but
it was in the spirit of the practice that prevailed in the Fox family
rather than in that of the Pitts. The repeal was passed with the
preamble of admonition.

This reluctant, ironical support was all that Pitt gave his colleagues.
It cannot indeed be doubted that throughout these three lean years of
silence he was hostile to the Ministry. Promises had probably been made
on his first accession to office which he thought had been ill-kept. He
had been told, no doubt, that every effort would be made to make him
more acceptable to the King, and he might well doubt if there had been
much strenuous effort in that direction. And indeed a topic so sure to
excite the royal spleen was not likely to be raised except under the
pressure of absolute necessity. At any rate there had been no result.
'The Pitts and Lytteltons are grown very mutinous on the Newcastle's not
choosing Pitt for his colleague,' writes Horace Walpole six weeks after
the Prince's death. For Bedford was known to be doomed by Newcastle, and
his Secretaryship of State would soon be vacant. There were many
aspirants for the succession, but no whisper of Pitt. Cobham, who had
been his main supporter, was dead;[207] no one could speak with so much
authority on his behalf; and even had Cobham survived he would probably
have been silent.

Soon after the letter from Walpole which we have quoted (June 1751)
Bedford had resigned. He had been succeeded by Holdernesse. At the same
time Granville, the object of Pitt's inveterate philippics, was admitted
to the Cabinet as President of the Council. These events may well have
inflamed Pitt's resentment, which had, we cannot doubt, been long
smouldering. The great obstacle to his advancement was the King, who, as
he knew, had always detested him. It was with the greatest difficulty
that the Pelhams could persuade the Sovereign not altogether to ignore
him at the Levees. Could he indeed trust the brothers? He appreciated no
doubt Pelham's qualities at the Treasury, in council, and in the House
of Commons. It seems impossible to believe that Pitt ever can have
trusted Newcastle; though he addresses the Duke in his letters with an
affected flummery of devotion. Almon, who is not a trustworthy
authority, but who is supported in this instance by a probability which
we may well deem irresistible, says that in at least one interview in
the year 1752 he treated Newcastle with such scorn that Newcastle had he
dared would have dismissed him from office.[208] Pitt had openly scoffed
at the King of the Romans policy, Newcastle's cherished plan, and told
the Duke that he was engaging in subsidies without knowing the amount,
and in alliances without knowing the terms. Why, indeed, should Pitt
trust Newcastle, whom no one had ever trusted, and whom Pitt must have
measured and known to the very marrow of his bones?

We may take it as certain then that Pitt viewed the Duke with
contemptuous penetration, and tolerated his grimaces and professions
only till such time as he could put them to the test. Meanwhile there
was a free trade in blandishments between them. Newcastle would send
venison from Holland, and carp and fruit, and Pitt would abound in
gratitude.[209] He still thought well to profess friendship, but, we may
be sure, a wary friendship, for the veteran in the florid and artificial
style of the day; on the very day of Pelham's death he wrote from Bath
to assure him of 'unalterable attachment;'[210] and he condescended to
solicit a parliamentary seat from him.

But words cost little, and Pitt did not disdain profusion in them any
more than in what cost more. In a letter to Lyttelton written
immediately after Pelham's death, when he recommended an attitude of
armed and hostile vigilance towards the new powers, he says:
'Professions of personal regard cannot be made too strongly,' and this
line of conduct explains his professions to Newcastle. For how could he
fail under existing circumstances to be suspicious? Had Newcastle lifted
a finger to procure him the succession to Bedford? Yet no one could
compete in Parliamentary authority with Pitt; and, though Murray's
claims to oratorical pre-eminence might vie with his, Murray's
aspirations were confined to the law. At this time, Chesterfield, the
best living judge of such matters, was writing to his son, and
expressing therefore his real convictions: 'Mr. Pitt and Mr. Murray are
beyond comparison ... the best orators. They alone can inflame or quiet
the House; they alone are so attended to, in that numerous and noisy
assembly, that you might hear a pin fall while either was
speaking.'[211] It is true that Chesterfield depreciates Pitt's matter.
But the fact remains that he mentions Pitt as one of the two supreme
masters of the House of Commons, the other, indeed, not having much
heart in politics. The ignoring, the slighting of this great power,
could not be forgiven by so aspiring a nature as Pitt's. He brooded and
watched.



CHAPTER XIV.


How did he pass these three years? It is not easy to say, for we have so
little light on his private life. No prescient Boswell marked his words
and habits, or indeed had much opportunity of doing so. Few men of the
same eminence have lived in such retirement as he did; we only catch
glimpses. In the first place, it may be said without extravagance that
his principal occupation was the gout. His gout became part of the
history of England. To him it was a cruel fact. It kept him constantly
disabled, and constantly away from London, ever trying new waters,
principally the historical springs of Bath. Bath, indeed, was his second
home. He seems to be almost always there till his marriage, and very
frequently afterwards. Half his letters seem to be dated thence. At last
he definitely recognised it as a home by building a house there in the
Circus, which cost him 1200_l._[212] This was in 1753. But in 1763 he
disposed of this particular house, probably under some financial
stress.[213] Whether he thus established himself from love of the place
or from love of his friend Ralph Allen, who was Fielding's Squire
Allworthy and Bath's Man of Ross, or whether he had already an ambition
to represent the City in Parliament, we cannot tell. His cousin, Lord
Stanhope soon joined him and bought the houses next to his.[214] As time
went on, and Pitt's fame and seclusion increased, it became more and
more a political centre. There men collected who were anxious to get a
word with the statesman, or at least obtain news of his health, which at
times became the problem and mystery of a crisis.

But his own uneasy quest of health made him seek a variety of other
resorts, Astrop Wells, at the spring of St. Rumbald, Tunbridge Wells,
Sunninghill, and what not. He thus became a constant participator in the
tepid diversions of these sickly haunts. Gilbert West, a minor poet,
whose mother was Cobham's sister, and who was one of Pitt's dearest and
most intimate friends, accompanied him to Tunbridge Wells in May 1753,
and writes accounts thence of his life and condition.[215] They lived
together at the Stone House, which perhaps may still be identified, and
which was chosen as their residence for its absolute quiet. Actual gout
he seems to have welcomed as a relief from other disorders. He was at
one time unable to sleep without opiates. Insomnia produced its usual
effects, deep dejection, nay, complete prostration. Like all sufferers
under that supreme disability, he was ready to try any remedies; musk
was one of these. When the open appearance of gout relieved the sufferer
of its more insidious effects, he began a course of mild dissipation. We
find him giving a dinner at the New Vauxhall, enriched perhaps by the
bounty of Newcastle, who was sending him choice dainties at this time;
then a rural entertainment of tea in a tent, where he bade 'his French
horn breathe music like the unseen genius of the wood;'[216] a diversion
which seems all the more pastoral, when we remember that at the same
moment Fox and Hardwicke, the Chancellor, were at each other's throats
in St. Stephen's over the Marriage Act. He made excursions to view the
fine parks and seats of the neighbourhood, to Penshurst, Buckhurst, and,
we may presume, Eridge; we are told that he considered these expeditions
as good for the mind as well as the body. Then when he got stronger he
went further afield. 'I have made a tour,' he writes, 'of four or five
days in Sussex, as far as Hastings; Battel Abbey is very fine, as to
situation and lying of ground, together with a great command of water on
one side, within an airing; Ashburnham Park most beautiful; Hurtmonceux
(_sic_) very fine, curiously and dismally ugly. On the other side of
Battel: Crowhurst, Colonel Pelham's, the sweetest thing in the world;
more taste than anywhere, land and sea views exquisite. Beach of four or
five miles to Hastings, enchanting Hastings, unique; Fairly Farm, Sir
Whistler Webster's, just above it; perfect in its kind, _cum multis
aliis_, &c. I long to be with you' (he is writing to John Pitt, his
Dorsetshire kinsman), 'kicking my heels upon your cliffs and looking
like a shepherd in Theocritus.'[217] For the sake of his mind, too, he
attended 'Mr. King's lectures on philosophy, &c.,' when 'Mr. Pitt, who
is desirous of attaining some knowledge in this way, makes him explain
things very precisely.' In August, we must note in passing, he begged
Newcastle to give him an opportunity of an interview as the duke passed
near Tunbridge on the way to Sussex. Even in this amiable note he allows
his pique to be visible for a moment. He entirely agrees with the policy
of the brothers, but 'What I think concerning publick affairs can import
nothing to any one but myself.'[218] On his recovery he went off on a
round of country visits to Stowe, Hagley and Hayes; Hayes, then occupied
by Mrs. Montagu, which was destined to be the shrine of his passionate
affection. Stowe was a second home to him; there we have seen him play
cricket, there he entered with zest into the sumptuous plans of
landscape gardening, and even advised on architecture. His delight in
Hagley, the seat of his friend Lyttelton, was scarcely less keen. 'My
dear Billy,' he writes to William Lyttelton, then travelling in Germany,
'I am going in a few days to follow your brother to Hagley, and with all
the respect due to the oaks of Germany, I would not quit the Dryads of
your father's woods for all the charms of Westphalia. Io già coi campi
Elisi fortunato giardin dei Semidei, la vostra ombra gentil non
cangerei. You see, the idea of the Germanick body and the heroes and
demigods who compose it have made me very poetical.'[219] He had, we may
note, when this letter was written (August 1748), just returned from
Tunbridge, and had greatly benefited by his stay there. What, we may ask
in passing, has become of the efficacious nymphs of all these wells?
Have they lost their virtue, or is it only the necessary faith which has
disappeared?

From Hagley, Pitt would visit Shenstone at his petty paradise of the
Leasowes, and the grateful poet would apostrophise him:

    'Ev'n Pitt, whose fervent periods roll
    Resistless o'er the kindling soul
    Of Senates, Councils, Kings;
    Tho' formed for Courts, vouchsafed to move
    Inglorious thro' the shepherd's grove,
    And ope his bashful springs.'

But Pitt, debarred from the sports of the field, had always taken a
lively interest in the laying out of land, in planting, in landscape
gardening. He had, to use his own felicitous expression, 'the prophetic
eye of taste.' At the Leasowes, at Hagley, at Radway, the Warwickshire
seat of Mr. Saunderson Miller,[220] at Wickham, the home of Gilbert
West, and at Chevening, the delightful residence of his friend and
cousin Lord Stanhope, he freely exercised his gift. He utilised it still
more freely and indeed extravagantly at his own homes, for in the
pursuit of this hobby he disdained all limitations. Once, when Secretary
of State, he was staying with a friend near London whose grounds he had
undertaken to adorn and in the evening was summoned suddenly to London.
He at once collected all the servants with lanterns, and sallied forth
to plant stakes in the different places that he wished to mark for
plantations. In later life he ran to still greater extremes. At Burton
Pynsent a bleak hill bounded his views and offended his eye. He ordered
it to be instantly planted with cedars and cypresses. 'Bless me, my
Lord,' said the gardener, 'all the nurseries in the county would not
furnish the hundredth part required.' 'No matter; send for them from
London. And from London they were sent down by land carriage, at a vast
expense. These two familiar anecdotes cannot well be omitted.

In the more moderate time with which we are dealing he was the chosen
adviser of his friends, who may well have been guilty of the innocent
flattery of seeking his advice with regard to his favourite hobby. His
own home at this time was South Lodge in Enfield Chace, which is said to
have been bequeathed to him together with 10,000_l._, 'on this bequest
that he should spend the money on improvements, and then grow tired of
the place in three or four years.'[221] This seems dubious. But we are
on safe ground in inferring from a letter of Legge's that he established
himself there in 1748. Legge writes to him from Berlin (July 10, 1748):
'I congratulate myself and the rest of my unsound brethren upon the
acquisition we have made by your admission into the respectable corps of
woodmen and sawyers. I consider your Lodge as an accession to the common
Stock and Republick of Sportsmen, which from its situation will bring
peculiar advantages along with it, and that the woodcocks and snipes of
Enfield may be visited at seasons of the year when those of Hampshire
will not be so accessible.... As to the joiners and bricklayers,
possibly too the planters of trees and levellers of walks by whom you
are surrounded, don't give yourself any concern about them. They are a
sort of _satellites_ which I beg leave to assure you attend a man
_gratis_. Nay, I have been told by one whose opinion I rate highly, that
these men's works all execute themselves with a certain overplus of
profit to the person who is so happy as to employ them,'[222] and he
adds in a postscript a list of shrubs or trees which he recommends.
Legge's playful sarcasms as to expense did not deter his friend.

By 1752 Pitt had converted South Lodge, in the opinion of his friends or
flatterers, into a delightful pleasance. He had, in the fashion of those
days, constructed a Temple of Pan with appropriate surroundings, which
excited the admiration of critics, and is mentioned with special
admiration, we are told, 'by Mr. Whately, a forgotten expert, in his
"Observations on Modern Gardening," as one of the happiest efforts of
well-directed and appropriate decoration.' The famous blue-stocking,
Mrs. Montagu, writes of the 'shady oaks and beautiful verdure of South
Lodge.' 'There can,' she says in another letter, 'hardly be a finer
entertainment not only to the eyes, but to the mind, than so sweet and
peaceful a scene.' Yet Pitt assured her that he had never spent an
entire week there. Gilbert West paid a visit there, when suffering
presumably under an attack of the gout. 'He had provided for me a
wheeling-chair, by the help of which I was enabled to visit every
sequestered nook, dingle, and bosky bower from side to side in that
little paradise opened in the wild.'[223] So that the garden would seem
to have really been a success.

But Pitt was to prove fickle to all these charms. On leaving Tunbridge
Wells after the completion of his course of waters, he intended, besides
long visits to Stowe and Hagley, to pay a passing visit to Hayes, a
place near Bromley, of which his friend, Mrs. Montagu, had a lease.
Whether it was a case of love at first sight or not, we do not know, but
Hayes was destined to be the home of his affections and the place most
closely identified with himself. At the termination of Mrs. Montagu's
lease in 1756, he bought it of the Harrison family, who owned it, and a
letter from him is dated thence in May 1756. But in January 1765 he
inherited the Burton Pynsent estate, and so, in the following October,
he offered the Hayes property to his friend, the Hon. Thomas Walpole, at
a fair valuation, indeed at cost price. He had wasted on it, we are
told, prodigious sums, with little to show for it, for he had spent much
in purchasing contiguous houses to free himself from neighbours. 'Much
had gone in doing and undoing, and not a little portion in planting by
torchlight, as his peremptory and imperious temper could brook no
delay.' He had, moreover, Wallenstein's morbid horror of the slightest
sound. Though he doted on his children, he could not bear them under the
same roof; they were placed in a separate building communicating with
the main structure by a winding passage. Vast sums were thus expended
without adding to the value of the property. But now he was eager to
leave the cherished home which had swallowed so much of his fortune, and
to hurry to the new scene. His intention of retiring into Somersetshire
seems to have caused some alarm among his friends, who feared that it
betokened retirement from public life; but with little reason, for it
was in June 1766 that the sale of Hayes to Mr. Walpole was completed,
and in the succeeding month Pitt was First Minister. His accession to
power was, however, accompanied by a combined attack of all his
maladies, nervous and physical; and his morbid, violent cravings had, if
possible, to be indulged. The most imperious of these was for Hayes, and
he persuaded himself that its air was necessary to his recovery. He
negotiated through Camden with Walpole, who unfortunately, in his year
of residence, had become passionately attached to the place. But Pitt
had become frantic. Hayes could not be mentioned before him for fear of
causing immoderate excitement. 'Did he' (Pitt) 'mention Hayes?' Camden
asked James Grenville, who had just visited his illustrious
brother-in-law. 'Yes; and then his discourse grew very ferocious.' Lady
Chatham wrote imploring and pathetic letters to Walpole, who was ready
to lend indefinitely, but not to sell. It would save her husband and her
children; her children's children would pray for him. Meanwhile, even if
Walpole consented, they had no money to buy with. They determined to
sell part of the Pynsent inheritance. But that would only suffice to pay
other debts, and Hayes would have to be mortgaged as well. Nothing could
better prove the insane violence of Pitt's desire. At last, in October
1767, Walpole yielded to Pitt's importunity, and in December the great
man found himself once more at home. Camden declared of Walpole that
'the applause of the world and his own conscience will be his reward,'
but it is not altogether pleasant to find that he did not disdain much
more material compensations. Pitt had sold the house and grounds in June
1766 for 11,780_l._, and had to buy them back in November 1767 for
17,400_l._, a difference of 5628_l._; so that he had to pay a smart fine
for his caprices. The whole purchase came to 24,532_l._, but this
includes other items, and lands which had been added by Walpole.[224] In
1772 he appears again to have contemplated selling Hayes,[225] but he
was destined to die there. All this is anticipation, but follows
naturally on the topic of Pitt's country life.



CHAPTER XV.


We have seen that Pitt was to proceed to Hagley after leaving Tunbridge
Wells in September 1753. From Hagley he sent a letter to Newcastle,
which it must have cost him something to write. 'Some circumstances of
my brother's transactions at Old Sarum render me uneasy at depending for
my seat in next Parliament on that place. So I take the liberty to recur
once more for your Grace's protection and friendship to provide for my
election elsewhere.'[226] Newcastle seems at once to have offered his
borough of Aldborough, and Pitt 'can never express himself sufficiently
grateful for all your favours.'[227] From Hagley (October 1753) he
proceeded to Bath for a fresh course, and seems to have remained there a
helpless cripple for no less than seven months, though he was in London
for a debate in November. Never was illness so untimely, as events of
vital importance to him were about to take place. For on March 6, 1754,
Pelham died, and all was confusion. 'Now I shall have no more peace,'
said the shrewd old King. 'I never saw the King under such deep concern
since the Queen's death,' wrote Hardwicke. And indeed the situation was
full of alarming possibilities. For Pelham had become the unobtrusive
but indispensable man, like the mediocre and forgotten Liverpool, who
kept the balance between fierce rivalries and discordant opinions for
fifteen years.

There seems no great complication in Pelham's character. He was a Whig
politician, trained under Walpole, but also under an intolerable brother
who exercised the utmost prerogative of his birthright. His portrait, by
Hoare, indicates something catlike, and he had much of feline caution
and timidity. But among the politicians of that day he seems to have
been comparatively simple and direct; and no man of his day was so fit
for the position of Prime Minister in view of his own qualifications,
and the conditions of the office at that time. He was indeed an inferior
Walpole. He seems moreover to have been almost devoid of personal
ambition; the highest places were thrust on him without his seeking
them. At the fall of Walpole, in spite of Walpole's urgent instances
that he should accept the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, which besides
the eminence of the office would have given him the succession to Lord
Wilmington, he insisted on remaining Paymaster, a post which, as we have
seen, even without the recognised perquisites, had great material
attractions, and which with them was capable of enchaining so powerful a
parliamentarian as Fox. On the death of Wilmington, by Walpole's
influence, he obtained the highest place; though Walpole had not merely
to inspire the King, but to overcome Pelham's reluctance. We may imagine
that Walpole would urge on his Sovereign that Pelham was the only House
of Commons man available, that he was eminently safe, that he
represented Newcastle's parliamentary influence, and that Newcastle
represented Hardwicke, who embodied the brains of the Cabinet; for
those of Carteret were too dangerous to trust.

As First Minister Pelham had many difficulties to contend with, but not
greater than those which always must encompass that position. There was
the King, with violent prejudices and a Hanoverian policy, neither of
which he shared. Then there was his brother, who regarded himself as at
least his junior's equal, and whose petulance, jealousy, and suspicion
had to be kept in a constant state of arduous appeasement. Thirdly,
there was Pitt, whom the King could not do with and Pelham could not do
without; an element of incalculable explosion which anything might
ignite.

He seems to have steered his course somewhat passively through these
complications; content so long as he could ward off domestic
catastrophe, and prevent war with its consequent expenditure; though the
fates in neither case were propitious. His only real conviction indeed
was for peace and economy; for the heritage of Walpole's policy had
devolved upon him, without Walpole's character and ability. Three years
before the end, as we have seen, he had sickened of his task and of his
helplessness amid the jarring elements of discord, but he had not been
permitted to retire. He was indeed the necessary man; a good debater, a
good administrator, a minister with a conscience for the public, a
leader or a figurehead with Newcastle's parliamentary power behind him,
a tactician who managed to keep Pitt at bay, dangerous but muzzled. Men
of this stamp are kept in harness to the end.

He died on March 6, and the news found Pitt, on March 7, crippled and
immovable at Bath. His feet were impotent with gout, but his brain and
hands were evidently unaffected. He at once despatched a brief note of
condolence to Newcastle, 'whose grief must be inconsolable as its cause
is irreparable. You have a great occasion for all your strength of mind
to exert itself. Exercise it for the sake of your master and your
country, and may all good men support you. I have the gout in both feet
and am totally unable to travel.'[228] To Lyttelton and the Grenvilles
he wrote on the same day at length 'the breaking of first thoughts to be
confined to you four,'[229] enclosed in a covering letter to Temple,
saying that he was worn down with pain, and incapable of motion. But he
was none the less vigilant with regard to the least ripple on the
surface of politics, 'I heard some time since that the Princess of Wales
inquired after my health: an honour which I received with much pleasure,
as not void, perhaps of some meaning.'[230] Newcastle at once answered
Pitt's note of condolence, for we find Pitt acknowledging the reply on
March 11, and mentioning a letter written to him by Hardwicke, under
Newcastle's authority, 'with regard to some things in deliberation for
the settling the Government in the House of Commons and the direction of
the affairs of the Treasury. My answer is in a letter to Sir George
Lyttelton.'[231] This was practically giving powers to Lyttelton to
negotiate with Newcastle as Pitt's representative; a strange choice,
when we read in the covering letter to Temple: 'let me recommend to my
dear Lord to preach prudence and reserve to our friend Sir George, and,
if he can, inspire him with his own.' Lyttelton indeed was not destined
ever to earn fame as a negotiator.

And now it is necessary to give the principal passages of this letter to
Lyttelton and the Cousinhood, which would have been a fuller and clearer
manifesto had not all politicians at that time felt a well-grounded
apprehension that their letters would be opened and read before they
were delivered. Fulness and clearness were therefore the last qualities
aimed at in their epistolary style, and inquiring posterity rues the
result.


    MR. PITT TO SIR GEORGE LYTTELTON AND THE GRENVILLE BROTHERS.

    _March 7, 1754._

    My dearest Friends,--[Then follows pompous regrets for Pelham's
    'utterly irreparable' loss.] I will offer to the consideration of my
    friends but two things: the object to be wished for, the public; and
    the means; which the object itself seems to suggest; for the pursuit
    of it, my own object for the public, is, to support the King in
    quiet as long as he may have to live; and to strengthen the hands of
    the Princess of Wales, as much as may be, in order to maintain her
    power in the Government, in case of the misfortune of the King's
    demise. The means, as I said, suggest themselves: an union of all
    those in action who are really already united in their wishes as to
    the object: this might easily be effected, but it is my opinion, it
    will certainly not be done.

    As to the nomination of a Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Fox in
    point of party, seniority in the Corps, and I think ability for
    Treasury and House of Commons business stands, upon the whole, first
    of any.

    Doctor Lee if his health permits is Papabilis, and in some views
    very desirable. Te Quinte Catule, my dear George Grenville, would be
    my nomination.

    A fourth idea I will mention, which if practicable, and worth the
    person's while, might have great strength and efficiency for
    Government in it, and be perfectly adapted to the main future
    contingent object, could it be tempered so as to reconcile the Whigs
    to it: I mean to secularise, if I may use the expression, the
    Solicitor-General,[232] and make him Chancellor of the Exchequer. I
    call this an idea only; but I think it not visionary, were it
    accompanied by proper temperaments. I write these thoughts for Lord
    Temple, his brothers' and Sir George Lyttelton's consideration only,
    or rather as a communication of my first thoughts, upon an emergency
    that has too much importance and delicacy, as well as danger in it,
    to whoever delivers their opinion freely, to be imparted any
    farther.

    I am utterly unable to travel, nor can guess when I shall be able:
    this situation is most unfortunate. I am overpowered with gout,
    rather than relieved, but expect to be better for it. My dear
    friends over-rate infinitely the importance of my health, were it
    established: something I might weigh in such a scale as the present,
    but you, who have health to act, cannot fail to weigh much, if
    united in views.

    I will join you the first moment I am able, for letters cannot
    exchange one's thoughts upon matters so complicated, extensive and
    delicate.

    I don't a little wonder I have had no express from another
    quarter.[233]

    I repeat again, that what I have said are the breakings of first
    thoughts, to be confined to you four; and the looseness, and want of
    form in them, to be, I trust, excused in consideration of the state
    of mind and body of

    Your ever most affectionate,
    W. PITT.

    As nothing is so delicate and dangerous, as every word uttered upon
    the present _unexplained_ state of things, I mean _unexplained_, as
    to the King's inclinations towards Mr. Fox, and his real desire to
    have his own act of Regency, as it is called, maintained in the
    hands of the Princess; too much caution, reserve, and silence
    cannot be observed towards any who come to fish or sound your
    dispositions, without authority to make direct propositions. If eyes
    are really turned towards any connection of men, as a resource
    against dangers apprehended, that set of men cannot, though willing,
    answer the expectation without countenance, and additional
    consideration and weight added to them, by marks of Royal favour,
    one of the connection put into the Cabinet, and called to a real
    participation of councils and business. How our little connection
    has stood at all, under all depression and discountenance, or has an
    existence in the eyes of the public, I don't understand: that it
    should continue to do so, without an attribution of some new
    strength and consideration, arising from a real share in Government,
    I have difficulty to believe.

    I am, however, resolved to listen to no suggestions of certain
    feelings, however founded, but to go as straight as my poor judgment
    will direct me, to the sole object of public good.

    I don't think quitting of offices at all advisable, for public or
    private accounts: but as to answering any further purposes in the
    House of Commons, that must depend on the King's will and pleasure
    to enable us so to do.[234]


It will be observed that Pitt does not mention the Treasury; and he
probably, though in his letter to Temple of the same date he speaks of
the Duke's 'ability as Secretary of State,' took it for granted that
Newcastle would succeed his brother; a proof of his perception. Yet
Walpole tells us that it was to the astonishment of all men that
Newcastle took the Treasury five days later.

Next we may notice that he does not mention the Secretaryship of State
to be vacated by Newcastle, which would seem to show that that office
had long been destined by the cousinhood for himself.

The postscript is extremely obscure, as it was probably intended to be.
It seems to enjoin the greatest caution in dealing with any vague
overtures which may be made, until it is known whether the King means to
give his confidence to Fox, and whether he means to maintain the Regency
as then established. But this phrase about the Regency is almost
unintelligible.

The last sentence in the postscript is the clearest of the letter. Let
us remain in office, but whether we exert ourselves there or remain in
sullen silence must depend on the attitude of the King.

All this is enclosed in a covering letter to Temple--


    MR. PITT TO EARL TEMPLE.

    _March 7, 1754._

    My dear Lord,--I return my answer to Jemmy's and Sir George's
    dispatch directed to you, and accompany it with this line to give
    you my apprehensions of Sir George's want of discretion and address,
    in such soundings as will be, and have been, made upon him, with
    regard to the disposition of his friends.

    I beg your Lordship will be so good to convene your brothers and Sir
    George, and communicate my letter to them which is addressed to you
    jointly. It is a most untoward circumstance that I cannot set out
    immediately to join you. I am extremely crippled and worn down with
    pain, which still continues. I make what efforts I can, and am
    carried out to breathe a little air. I write this hardly legible
    scrawl in my chaise.

    Let me recommend to my dear Lord to preach prudence and reserve to
    our friend Sir George, and if he can, to inspire him with his own.

    I heard some time since that the Princess inquired after my health;
    an honour which I received with much pleasure, as not void, perhaps,
    of some meaning.

    I have writ more to-day than my weak state, under such a shock as
    the news of to-day, will well permit.

    Believe me, my dearest Lord,
    Ever most affectionately yours,
    W. PITT.

    Fox will be Chancellor of the Exchequer, notwithstanding any
    reluctancy to yield to it in the Ministers; George Grenville may be
    offered Secretary at War; I am sure he ought to be so. I advise his
    acceptance. The Chancellor is the only resource; his wisdom, temper,
    and authority, joined to the Duke of Newcastle's ability as
    Secretary of State, are the dependance for Government. The Duke of
    Newcastle alone is feeble, this not to Sir George.[235]


Pitt's next step was to send two letters, in the same cover, to
Lyttelton; one a confidential letter, the other, an ostensible one, to
be sent to Hardwicke. The confidential letter, which follows, is
striking, and contains as much of Pitt's plan of operations at this
crisis as any that we possess.


    _Bath, March 10th, 1754._

    Dear Lyttelton,--I am much obliged to you for your dispatch, and am
    highly satisfied with the necessary reserve you have kept with
    respect to the dispositions of yourself and friends. Indeed, the
    conjuncture itself, and more especially our peculiar situation,
    require much caution and measure in all our answers, in order to act
    like honest men, who determine to adhere to the public great object;
    as well as men who would not be treated like children. I am far from
    meaning to recommend a sullen, dark, much less a double conduct. All
    I mean is to lay down a plan to ourselves; which is, to support the
    King's Government in present, and maintain the Princess's authority
    and power in a future, contingency. As a necessary consequence of
    this system, I wish to see as little power in Fox's hands as
    possible, because he is incompatible with the main part, and indeed
    of the whole, of this plan; but I mean not to open myself to whoever
    pleases to sound my dispositions, with regard to persons especially,
    and by premature declarations deprive ourselves of the only chance
    we have of deriving any consideration to ourselves from the mutual
    fears and animosities of different factions in court: and expose
    ourselves to the resentment and malice in the closet of the one
    without stipulations or security for the good offices and weight of
    the other there in our favour.

    But do I mean, then, an absolute reserve, which has little less than
    the air of hostility towards our friends (such as they are) at
    Court, or at least, bear too plainly the indications of intending a
    third party or flying squadron? By no means. Nothing would, in my
    poor judgment, be so unfit and dangerous for us. I would be open and
    explicit (but only on proper occasions) that, I was most willing to
    support his Majesty's Government upon such a proper plan as I
    doubted not his Majesty, by the advice of his Ministers, would
    frame; in order to supply, the best that may be, the irreparable
    loss the King has sustained in Mr. Pelham's death: in order to
    secure the King ease for his life and future security to his family
    and to the kingdom: that my regards to the ministers in being were
    too well known to need any declarations;' this and the like, which
    may be vary'd for ever, is answer enough to any _sounder_. As to any
    things said by Principals in personal conference, as that of the
    Chancellor with you, another manner of talking will be proper,
    though still conformable to the same private plan which you shall
    resolve to pursue. Professions of personal regard cannot be made too
    strongly; but as to matter, generals are to be answered with
    generals; particulars, if you are led into them, need not at all be
    shunn'd; and if treated with common prudence and presence of mind,
    can not be greatly used to a man's prejudice; if he says nothing
    that implies specific engagements, without knowing specifically what
    he is to trust to reciprocally. Within these limitations, it seems
    to me, that a man whose intentions are clear and right, may talk
    without putting himself at another's mercy or offending him by a
    dark and mysterious reserve.

    I think it best to throw my answer to the Chancellor into a separate
    piece of paper, that you may send it to his lordship. I am sorry to
    be forced to answer in writing, because, not seeing the party, it is
    not possible to throw in necessary qualifications and additions or
    retractions, according to the impression things make.

    As far as, my dear Lyttelton, you are so good to relate your several
    conversations upon the present situation, I highly applaud your
    prudence. I hope you neither have nor will drop a word of menace,
    and that you will always bear in mind that my personal connection
    with the Duke of Newcastle, has a peculiar circumstance,[236] which
    yours and that of your friends has not. One cannot be too explicit
    in conversing at this unhappy distance on matters of this delicate
    and critical nature. I will, therefore, commit tautology, and repeat
    what I said in my former dispatch, viz., that it enters not the
    least into my plans to intimate quitting the King's service; giving
    trouble, if not satisfied, to Government. The essence of it exists
    in this: attachment to the King's service, and zeal for the ease and
    quiet of his life, and stability and strength to future government
    under the Princess; this declared openly and explicitly _to the
    ministers_. The reserve I would use should be with regard to listing
    in particular subdivisions, and thereby not freeing persons from
    those fears which will alone quicken them to give us some
    consideration for their own sakes: but this is to be done
    _negatively_ only, by eluding explicit declarations with regard to
    persons especially; but by _intimations of a possibility of our
    following our resentments_; for, indeed, dear Sir George, I am
    determined not to go into faction. Upon the whole, the mutual fears
    in Court open to our connexion some room for importance and weight,
    in the course of affairs: in order to profit by this situation, we
    must not be out of office: and the strongest argument of all to
    enforce that, is, that Fox is too odious to last for ever, and G.
    Grenville must be next nominated under any Government.

    I am too lame to move.

    Your ever affectionate,
    W. PITT.[237]


Then follows the apparent and ostensible letter to be shown to the
Chancellor. It is from the nature of it artificial and need not be
quoted in full. But it contains one remarkable passage in which Pitt
claims credit for having renounced opposition and the accompanying
popularity when he was convinced that there might be danger to the
reigning family from his carrying it further. The assertion is striking
and daring, and no doubt Pitt did join the Government while Charles
Edward was still in arms.


    _Bath, March 11th, 1754._

    My dear Sir George.--I beg you will be so good to assure my Lord
    Chancellor, in my name, of my most humble services and many very
    grateful acknowledgments for his Lordship's obliging wishes for my
    health.... I can never sufficiently express the high sense I have of
    the great honours of my Lord Chancellor's much too favourable
    opinion of his humble servant; but I am so truly and deeply
    conscious of so many of my wants in Parliament and out of it, to
    supply in the smallest degree this irreparable loss, that I can say
    with much truth were my health restored and his Majesty brought from
    the dearth of subjects to hear of my name for so great a charge, I
    should wish to decline the honour, even though accompany'd with the
    attribution of all the weight and strength which the good opinion
    and confidence of the master cannot fail to add to a servant; but
    under impressions in the Royal mind towards me, the reverse of
    these, what must be the vanity which would attempt it? These
    prejudices, however so successfully suggested and hitherto so
    unsuccessfully attempted to be removed, shall not abate my zeal for
    his Majesty's service, though they have so effectually disarmed me
    of all means of being useful to it. I need not suggest to his
    Lordship that consideration and weight in the House of Commons
    arises generally but from one of two causes--the protection and
    countenance of the Crown, visibly manifested by marks of Royal
    favour at Court, or from weight in the country, sometimes arising
    from opposition to the public measures. This latter sort of
    consideration it is a great satisfaction to me to reflect I parted
    with, as soon as I became convinced there might be danger to the
    family from pursuing opposition any further; and I need not say I
    have not had the honour to receive any of the former since I became
    the King's servant.... Perhaps some of my friends may not labour
    under all the prejudices that I do. I have reason to believe they do
    not: in that case should Mr. Fox be Chancellor of the Exchequer, the
    Secretary at War is to be filled up....[238]


He does not follow up this innuendo, nor was it necessary. The next day
he writes frankly to Temple, who seems to have been much in Pitt's
confidence at this time. Taken in conjunction with the secret letter to
Lyttelton of March 10, the plan of operations is easily understood. We
will leave ministers 'under the impression of their own fears and
resentments, the only friends we shall ever have at Court, but to say
not a syllable which can scatter terrors or imply menaces.' Pitt's plan,
in a sentence, was to hang over the Government like a thundercloud,
dark, silent, menacing, possibly to be dispelled, but ready and in an
instant to pour destruction down.


    MR. PITT TO EARL TEMPLE.

    _Bath, March 11, 1754._

    My dearest Lord,--I hope you will not disapprove my answer to Lord
    Chancellor. I include in you your brothers, for your Lordship's name
    is Legion. You will see the answer contains my whole poor plan; the
    essence of which is to talk modestly, to declare attachment to the
    _King's_ government, and the future plan _under the Princess_,
    neither to intend nor intimate the quitting the service, to give no
    terrors by talking big, to make no declarations of thinking
    ourselves free by Mr. Pelham's death, to look out and fish in
    troubled waters, and perhaps help trouble them in order to fish the
    better: but to profess and to resolve _bona fide_ to act like public
    men in a dangerous conjuncture for our country, and support
    Government when they will please to settle it; to let them see we
    shall do this from _principles of public good_, not as the _bubbles_
    of a few fair words, without effects (all this civilly), and to be
    collected by them, not expressed by us; to leave them under the
    impressions of their own fears and resentments, the only friends we
    shall ever have at Court, but to say not a syllable which can
    scatter terrors or imply menaces. Their fears will increase by what
    we _avoid saying concerning persons_ (though what I think of Fox,
    etc., is much fixed), and by _saying very explicitly_, as I have
    (but civilly), that we have our eyes open to our situation at Court,
    and the foul play we have had offered us in the Closet: to wait the
    working of all these things in offices, the best we can have, but in
    offices.

    My judgment tells me, my dear Lord, that this simple plan steadily
    pursued will once again, before it be long, give some weight to a
    connection, long depressed, and yet still not annihilated. Mr. Fox's
    having called at my door early the morning Mr. Pelham died is, I
    suppose, no secret, and a lucky incident, in my opinion. I have a
    post letter from the Duke of Newcastle, a very obliging one. I
    heartily pity him, he suffers a great deal for his loss.

    Give me leave to recommend to your Lordship a little gathering of
    friends about you at dinners, without ostentation. Stanley, who will
    be in Parliament: some attention to Sir Richard Lyttelton I should
    think proper; a dinner to the Yorkes very seasonable; and, before
    things are settled, any of the Princess of Wales's Court. John Pitt
    not to be forgot: I know the Duke of B---- nibbles at him: in short
    liez commerce with as many members of Parliament, who may be open to
    our purposes, as your Lordship can. Pardon, my dear Lord, all this
    freedom, but the conjuncture is made to awaken men, and there is
    room for action. I have no doubt George Grenville's turn must come.
    Fox is odious, and will have difficulty to stand in a future time. I
    mend a little. I cannot express my impatience to be with you.

    W. PITT.[239]


On March 18, Lyttelton writes to Grenville to ask if he shall send an
express down to Pitt as 'he will be impatient to hear particulars,' with
the news that Grenville and the writer had accepted office, and 'things
are not as much settled as they are likely to be till the dissolution of
parliament. I have had no answer from him to my last letter; have you?'
But this unanswered letter may not have reached its destination, or was
destitute of certain intelligence, for we find Pitt writing to Lyttelton
on March 20: 'I conclude that things still remain unsettled, because I
hear nothing from you or my other friends relating to them.' So he is
solacing himself by reading Bolingbroke's works. Their arrogance, he
says, is so excessive, that, great as is the performance, it often
becomes ridiculous. There was, he remembers, not many years ago, a man
in Bedlam, a scholar of fine parts, who used to entertain all the
spectators of that asylum with very rational discourses, and talked
with wit and eloquence; but always concluded by assuring his hearers
that he alone of all his hearers was in his right senses, and they and
all mankind were mad, and had conspired to put him in that place;
Bolingbroke reminds Pitt of this lunatic. There was indeed no love lost
between the two men. Pitt had not treated the elder statesman with the
deference paid to him by the adoring circle in which he lived, and
Bolingbroke had then charged Pitt with the same fault which Pitt now
found in Bolingbroke. On March 24, in a letter to Grenville, he pursues
the same theme, and dubs Bolingbroke the 'intellectual Sampson of
Battersea.' But six weeks afterwards, we find him warmly recommending
Bolingbroke's 'Remarks on the History of England' to his nephew 'to be
studied and almost got by heart for the inimitable beauty of the style
as well as the matter.'

And now comes a letter of which not a word must be omitted, the
memorable letter to Newcastle of March 24, long supposed to be lost, but
now discovered among the Newcastle Papers. It was penned under the just
resentment caused by the knowledge of the arrangements for office from
which he had been insultingly ignored. It is, so far as we know, the
greatest that Pitt ever wrote, full of scornful humility, suppressed
passion, and pointed insinuation. Unlike most of his letters it needs no
interpretation, it speaks for itself. That bitterness of indignation,
which is said to produce poetry, has in this instance evolved clearness
and force. Towards the end, after speaking of resignation, and of his
wish for retirement, he utters this prophecy, baleful to Newcastle, who
should have remembered that the prophet had it in his power to fulfil
his own prediction. 'Indeed, my lord, the inside of the House must be
consider'd in other respects besides merely numbers, or the reins of
government will soon slip or be wrested out of any minister's hands.' A
few months were to bring home to the duke the truth of this prediction.


    PITT TO NEWCASTLE.

    _Bath, 24 March, 1754._

    My Lord Duke,--I have heard with the highest satisfaction by a
    message from Sr George Lyttelton the effectual proofs of his
    Majesty's great kindness and firm confidence in your Grace for the
    conduct of his Government. You have certainly taken most wisely the
    Province of the Treasury to yourself, where the powers of Government
    reside, and which at this particular crisis of a General Election
    may lay the foundations of the future political system so fast as
    not to be shaken hereafter. But this will depend upon many
    concomitant circumstances. For the present the nation may say with
    consolation, _uno avulso non deficit alter aureus_. The power of the
    Purse in the hands of the same family may, I trust, be so used as to
    fix all other power there along with it. Amidst all the real
    satisfaction I feel on this great measure so happily taken, it is
    with infinite reluctance that I am forced to return to the
    mortifying situation of your Grace's humblest servant and to add
    some few considerations to those, which, I have the satisfaction to
    learn from Sr George Lyttelton, had the honour to be receiv'd by
    your Grace and my Lord Chancellor without disapprobation. The
    difficulties grow so fast upon me by the repetition and
    multiplication of most painfull and too visible humiliations that my
    small store of prudence suggests no longer to me any means of
    colouring them to the world; nor of repairing them to my own mind
    consistently with my unshaken purpose to do nothing on any
    provocation to disturb the quiet of the King and the ease and
    stability of present and future Government.

    Permit, my Lord, a man, whose affectionate attachment to your Grace,
    I believe, you don't doubt, to expose simply to your view his
    situation, and then let me entreat your Grace (if you can divest
    your mind of the great disparity between us) to transport yourself
    for a moment into my place. From the time I had the honour to come
    into the King's service, I have never been wanting in my most
    zealous endeavours in Parliament on the points that laboured the
    most, those of military discipline and foreign affairs; nor have I
    differ'd on any whatever, but the too small number of seamen one
    year, which was admitted to be so the next; and on a crying
    complaint against General Anstruther: for these crimes how am I
    punish'd? Be the want of subjects ever so great and the force of the
    conjuncture ever so cogent, be my best friends and protectors ever
    so much at the head of Government, an indelible negative is fixed
    against my name. Since I had the honour to return that answer to the
    Chancellor which Your Grace and his Lordship were pleas'd not to
    disapprove, how have mortifications been multiply'd upon me. One
    Chancellor of the Exchequer over me was at that time destin'd, Mr.
    Fox: since that time a second, Mr. Legge, is fixt: a Secretary of
    State is next to be look'd for in the House of Commons; Mr. Fox is
    again put over me and destin'd to that office: he refuses the seals:
    Sir Thomas Robinson is immediately put over me and is now in
    possession of that great office. I sincerely think both these high
    employments much better fill'd than I cou'd supply either of them in
    many respects. Mr. Legge I truely and cordially esteem and love. Sir
    Thos. Robinson, with whom I have not the honour to live in the same
    intimacy, I sincerely believe to be a gentleman of much worth and
    ability. Nevertheless I will venture to appeal to your Grace's
    candour and justice whether upon such feeble pretensions as twenty
    years' use of Parliament may have given me, I have not some cause to
    feel (as I do most deeply) so many repeated and visible
    humiliations. I have troubled your Grace so long on this painfull
    subject that I may have nothing disagreeable to say, when I have
    the honour to wait on you; as well as that I think it fit your
    Grace shou'd know the whole heart of a faithfull servant, who is
    conscious of nothing towards your Grace which he wishes to conceal
    from you. In my degraded situation in parliament, an active part
    there I am sure your Grace is too equitable to desire me to take;
    for otherwise than as an associate and in equal rank with those
    charg'd with Government there, I never can take such a part.

    I will confess I had flatter'd myself that the interests of your
    Grace's own power were so concern'd to bring forward an instrument
    of your own raising in the House of Commons that you cou'd not let
    pass this decisive occasion without surmounting in the royal mind
    the unfavourable impressions I have the unhappiness to be under; and
    that the seals (at least when refus'd by Mr. Fox) might have been
    destin'd as soon as an opening cou'd be made in the King's mind in
    my favour instead of being immediately put into other hands. Things
    standing as they do, whether I can continue in office without losing
    myself in the opinion of the world is become a matter of very
    painfull doubt to me. If any thing can colour with any air of
    decency such an acquiescence, it can only be the consideration given
    to my friends and some degree of softening obtain'd in his Majesty's
    mind towards me. Mr Pelham destin'd Sir George Lyttelton to be
    cofferer, whenever that office shou'd open, and there can be no
    shadow of difficulty in Mr Grenville being made Treasurer of the
    Navy. Weighed in the fair scale of usefulness to the King's business
    in Parliament, they can have no competitors that deserve to stand in
    their way. I have submitted these things to your Grace with a
    frankness you had hitherto been so good to tolerate in me, however
    inferior. I wou'd not have done it so fully for my own regard alone,
    were I not certain that your Grace's interests are more concern'd in
    it than mine: because I am most sure that my mind carries me more
    strongly towards retreat than towards courts and business. Indeed,
    My Lord, the inside of the House must be consider'd in other
    respects besides merely numbers, or the reins of Government will
    soon slip or be wrested out of any minister's hands. If I have
    spoken too freely, I humbly beg your Grace's pardon: and entreat you
    to impute my freedom to the most sincere and unalterable attachment
    of a man who never will conceal his heart, and who can complain
    without alienation of mind and remonstrate without resentment.

    I have the honour to be, etc. etc.
    W. PITT.

    I cannot hope to leave Bath in less than a week. My health seems
    much mended by my gout.[240]


This letter was enclosed to Lyttelton under flying seal to be
communicated to the Grenvilles. Pitt, writing the same day to Temple,
says: 'I hope my letter to the Duke of Newcastle will meet with the
fraternal approbation. It is strong, but not hostile, and will, I
believe, operate some effect. I am still more strongly fixed in my
judgement that the place of importance is employment, in the present
unsettled conjuncture. It may not to us be the place of dignity, but
sure I am it is that of the former. I see, as your Lordship does, the
treatment we have had: I feel it as deeply, but I believe, not so
warmly. I don't suffer my feelings to warp the only plan I can form that
has any tendency or meaning. For making ourselves felt, by disturbing
Government, I think would prove hurtful to the public, not reputable to
ourselves, and beneficial in the end, only to others. All Achilles as
you are, Impiger, Iracundus, etc., what would avail us to sail back a
few myrmidons to Thessaly! Go over to the Trojans, to be revenged, we
none of us can bear the thought of. What then remains? The conduct of
the much-enduring man, who by temper, patience, and persevering
prudence, became _adversis rerum immersabilis undis_.'

He adds another postscript of caution: 'Be so good as not to leave my
letters in your pockets, but lock them up or burn them, and caution Sir
George to do the same.'[241] Secrecy was of the essence of his scheme.
Should Newcastle or the Chancellor understand the part that he designed
to play, they would have an advantage in the game.

On April 2 Pitt writes to jog Newcastle's memory in a note about the
Aldborough election: 'I had expected to hear from you, but I know the
multiplicity of your business.'[242] He need not have feared that his
letter had been overlooked. So little was this the case that, no doubt
after anxious and protracted conferences, Newcastle and Hardwicke were
both writing to him on this very day long and elaborate apologies.
Hardwicke's is a document, as might be expected, of great but inadequate
skill.[243] It gives him much concern to find that Pitt is 'under
apprehensions of _some_ neglect on this decisive occasion.' He is not
altogether surprised. Could Pitt only have heard how warmly Hardwicke
pressed his claims! But there are certain things which ministers cannot
do directly. These must be left to 'time and incidents and perhaps
ill-judging opponents.' Fox's pressing for larger powers than the King
would give had no doubt helped the cause of Pitt, and Newcastle's being
at the head of the Government whose devotion to Pitt was so notorious
would further it still more. He concludes by hoping with sincerity that
Pitt would take an active part, though no doubt had he seen the
direction in which his wish was fulfilled, he would have withdrawn it
with greater emphasis. This stripped of verbiage seems the bone of this
long letter.

Behind Hardwicke shuffles Newcastle. 'Feel for me,' he plaintively
exclaims, 'for my melancholy and distressed situation: compelled to
leave the department of which I was a master to one with which I was
entirely ignorant, exposed to envy and reproach, and sure of nothing but
the comfort of an honest heart.' It had first been suggested that Fox
should be Secretary of State to make Newcastle's elevation more
palatable to his opponents. But 'that for certain reasons did not take
place; upon which the King himself, of his own motion declared Sir
Thomas Robinson Secretary of State.' And this Pitt's friends thought the
best practicable arrangement. For though an excellent man for the
office, Robinson had not Parliamentary talents which could excite
jealousy, and as, from circumstances deeply lamented by Newcastle, 'it
was impossible to put one into that office who had all the necessary
qualifications both within and out of the House,' there seemed nothing
better to do than to appoint the inoffensive Sir Thomas. All
interspersed with copious assurances of love and affection. 'I honour,
esteem, and ... most sincerely love you.'[244]

Pitt replies to Newcastle in a letter which it is necessary to print in
full from the original in the Newcastle Papers, for this is very
different from the draft printed in the Chatham Correspondence.


    PITT TO NEWCASTLE.

    _Bath, 4 Apr. 1754._

    My Lord Duke,--I was honour'd with your Grace's letter of ye 2nd
    inst. yesterday evening. How shall I find words to express my sense
    of the great condescension and kindness of expression with which it
    is writ? It would be making but an ill return to so much goodness,
    were I to go back far into the disagreeable subject that has
    occasion'd your Grace so much trouble, and wou'd be tearing and
    wounding your good nature to little purpose. Whatever my sensations
    are, it is sufficient that I have once freely laid them before you,
    and that your Grace has had the indulgence to pardon that freedom,
    which I thought I used both to your Grace and myself. As for the
    rest, my attachment shall be ever found as unalterable to Government
    as my inability to be of any material use to it is become manifest
    to all the world. I will enter again, but for a word or two, into a
    subject your Grace shall be troubled no more with. It is most
    obliging to suggest as consolations to me that I might have been
    much more mortify'd under another management than under the present:
    but I will freely own I shou'd have felt myself far less personally
    humiliated, had Mr. Fox been placed by the King's favour at the head
    of the House of Commons, than I am at present: in that case the
    necessity wou'd have been apparent: the ability of the subject wou'd
    in some degree have warranted the thing. I shou'd indeed have been
    much mortify'd for your Grace and for my Lord Chancellor: very
    little for my own particular. Cou'd Mr. Murray's situation have
    allow'd him to be placed at the head of the House of Commons, I
    shou'd have served under him with the greatest pleasure: I
    acknowledge as much as the rest of the world do his superiority in
    every respect. My mortification arises not from silly pride, but
    from being evidently excluded by a negative personal to me (now and
    for ever) flowing from a displeasure utterly irremovable. As to the
    office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, I hope your Grace cannot
    think me fill'd with so impertinent a vanity as to imagine it a
    disparagement to me to serve under the Duke of Newcastle at the head
    of the Treasury: but, my Lord, had I been proposed for that honour
    and the King been once reconciled to the thought of me, my honour
    wou'd have been saved and I shou'd with pleasure have declin'd the
    charge in favour of Mr. Legge from a just regard to his Majesty's
    service. I know my health, at best, is too precarious a thing to
    expose his Majesty's affairs in Parliament to suffer delay, perhaps
    in the middle of a session by being in such improper hands. As to
    the other great office, many circumstances of it render an
    uninterrupted health not so absolutely necessary to the discharge of
    it. Were I to fail in it from want of health, or, what is still more
    likely, from want of ability and a sufficient knowledge of foreign
    affairs, a fitter person might at any time be substituted without
    material inconvenience to publick business. To conclude, my Lord,
    and to release your Grace from a troublesome correspondent, give me
    leave to recur to your Grace's equity and candour: when the suffrage
    of the party in one instance, and a higher nomination, the Royal
    designation in another, operate to the eternal precluding of a man's
    name being so much as brought in question, what reasonable wish can
    remain for a man so circumstanced (under a first resolution, on no
    account to disturb Government) but that of a decent retreat, a
    retreat of respect, not resentment: of despair of being ever
    accepted to equal terms with others, be his poor endeavours ever so
    zealous. Very few have been the advantages and honours of my life:
    but among the first of them I shall ever esteem the honour of your
    Grace's good opinion: to that good opinion and protection I
    recommend myself: and hope from it that some retreat, neither
    disagreeable nor dishonourable, may (when practicable) be open'd to
    me. I see with great joy Sr George Lyttelton and Mr. Grenville in
    this arrangement, where they ought to be. I am persuaded they will
    be of the greatest advantage to your Grace's system. They are both
    connected in friendship with Mr. Legge and with Mr. Murray, who in
    effect is the greatest strength of it in parliament. May every kind
    of satisfaction and honour attend your Grace's labours for his
    Majesty's service. I have the honour, etc. etc.

    W. PITT.

    I wrote your Grace by the Post ye 2nd inst. which I hope came to
    your hands.'[245]


Two days afterwards he answered Hardwicke. In this letter the notable
passage is that in which he points to retreat, having in his mind, it
would seem, some specific office:--'The weight of irremovable royal
displeasure is a load too great to move under; it must crush any man; it
has sunk and broken me. I succumb, and wish for nothing but a decent and
innocent retreat.... To speak without a figure I will presume ... to
tell my utmost wish; it is that a retreat, not void of advantage or
derogatory to the rank of the office I hold, might, as soon as
practicable, be opened to me.... Out of his Grace's (Newcastle's)
immediate province accommodations of this kind arise.'[246]

By the same messenger Pitt wrote to Lyttelton one of the terse notes
which throw a hundredfold more light on his real temper than his more
pompous lucubrations, and which are infinitely more readable than the
long rigmaroles which he wrote to official persons. He professes in this
to be more than satisfied with Newcastle's answer, and also with the
Chancellor's.


    ... The Duke of Newcastle's letter to me is not only in a temper
    very different from what you saw his Grace in, but is writ with a
    condescension, and in terms so flattering, that it pains me. I am
    almost tempted to think there is kindness at the bottom of it,
    _which, if left to itself, would before now have shewed itself_ in
    effects. If I have not the fruit, I have the leaves of it in
    abundance; a beautiful foliage of fine words.... The Chancellor's
    letter is the most condescending, friendly, obliging thing that can
    be imagined. I have the deepest sense of his goodness for me; but I
    am really compelled, by every reason fit for a man to listen to, to
    resist (as to the point of activity in Parliament) farther than I
    like to do. I have intimated retreat and pointed out such a one in
    general as I shall really like. Resolved not to disturb Government;
    I desire to be released from the oar of Parliamentary drudgery. I am
    (un)willing[247] to sit there and be ready to be called out into
    action when the Duke of Newcastle's personal interests might
    require, or Government should deign to employ me as an instrument. I
    am not fond of making speeches (though some may think I am). I never
    cultivated the talent, but as an instrument of action in a country
    like ours....[248]


The places were now all filled: the Government was made up: Pitt was
excluded and proscribed. Fox or Murray, he admitted, might reasonably be
put over his head. But the promotion of Robinson was a personal outrage.
So he would no longer sit in Parliament as a subordinate and almost a
creature of Newcastle's, member for one of his boroughs, Paymaster in
his administration. Pitt was now determined to be free. He would remain
out of London, and they might see how they got on without him. When he
did return to London they should realise what they had lost. Meanwhile
he would occupy himself with a little architecture and a little
gardening; all that he was fit for, as he would assure inquirers with
obsequious sarcasm.



CHAPTER XVI.


In the meantime all had been settled by hasty arrangements in London.
Owing to Newcastle's 'overwhelming affliction,' Hardwicke tells us that
he himself was compelled to step forward as a 'kind of minister _ab
aratro_,' and make the necessary arrangements. A faint offer of the
Treasury was made to the Duke of Devonshire, which he wisely declined,
and, six days after the death of Pelham, Newcastle, in spite of his
overwhelming affliction, was proclaimed his successor. We do not doubt
Newcastle's sorrow, for in his own way he loved his brother and had
divided his patrimony with him; but it is even more certain that the
Chancellor acted as his watch-dog in front of the Treasury. For the
Duke, though his timidity was a standing jest, could not bear that any
one else should obtain the rich prize which he coveted and dreaded. And,
in truth, if that was his view, no one could controvert it, for his
power in the House of Commons was obvious and undeniable. The King seems
to have made no trouble. He said that he had an open mind, and would be
guided by the opinion of the Cabinet as to the nomination of their new
chief. The suggestion shocked Hardwicke. 'To poll in a Cabinet Council
for his first minister, which should only be settled in his closet, I
could by no means digest.' So Hardwicke, with remarkable expedition,
took care that the Closet, which was the term used to denote the King's
personal apartment and so his personal authority, should pronounce in
favour of Newcastle. But the Closet was guided by the Cabinet in spite
of Hardwicke's scruples; and the Cabinet, a facile caucus, inspired by
Hardwicke himself, represented to the King as its unanimous opinion that
Newcastle should be their chief. Horace Walpole tells us that it was 'to
the astonishment of all men.' To us it seems the only natural solution.
Hardwicke had declared that a peer must be placed at the head of the
Treasury. 'That peer must be somebody of great figure and credit in the
nation, in whom the Whigs will have great confidence.' He was no doubt
painting the figure to represent Newcastle. But who else could it be?
Newcastle was the head of the Whigs, the master of Parliament, Secretary
of State for a generation, and the brother of the late First Minister.
The House of Commons, moreover, consisted mainly of his creatures. His
nomination to the premiership was easy and simple enough. But a
formidable difficulty at once presented itself. Who should lead the
House of Commons? It was not that there was a dearth of capable men; on
the contrary, there was a terrible embarrassment of riches; for there
were Fox, Pitt, and Murray, all men of the first eminence in their
lines. Murray at once let it be known that his views lay in another
direction; in any case, he was a Scotsman, which was little
recommendation, and suspected of being a Jacobite, which was less. But
Fox was on the spot, and, though distracted with anxiety for his child
Charles, who lay dangerously ill,[249] prompt, vigilant, and eager.
Within a few hours of Pelham's death he had sent three humble messages
of apology to Hardwicke, with whom he was on terms of bitter enmity,
made energetic advances to Newcastle, and had called at Pitt's London
house. Soon afterwards he was closeted with Lord Hartington. It was
obvious that no considerations of delicacy would stand in his way. But
there were strong prejudices against him. Hardwicke feared his success,
for they had quarrelled mortally. He belonged, said the Chancellor, 'to
a very narrow clique, many of them of the worst sort.' His claims rested
on his abilities, but even more on the friendship of the Duke of
Cumberland; perhaps, too, on a presumed pliability.

Pitt was absent, and had the proverbial fate of the absent; he was not
merely distant, but could not be moved. He had been nearly a year
secluded in the country out of the atmosphere of London and politics.
Horace Walpole describes him epigrammatically in a letter written on the
stirring day after Pelham's death: 'Pitt has no health, no party, and
has what in _this_ case is allowed to operate, the King's negative.' On
the other hand, the King had a prepossession for Fox; and the Cabinet,
we are told, when it recommended Newcastle, unanimously named Fox as the
proper person to be Secretary of State and manager of the House of
Commons. What wonder then that Newcastle's choice fell on Fox, who at
any rate could not be fobbed off by stories of the King's insurmountable
repugnance and who was the favourite of the King's favourite son? The
Chancellor sent his son-in-law, Lord Anson, to Fox with an olive-branch.
Lady Yarmouth acted as a friendly means of communication between Fox
and the King. Lord Hartington acted as the honest broker. Fox was given
the management of the House of Commons, with the Secretaryship of State
vacant by Newcastle's elevation. He was at once led by Hartington, like
a votive lamb, to the Chancellor, with whom a reconciliation was
concluded. Thence he was conducted to Newcastle, who received him, we
need not doubt, with his customary effusion, probably with a kiss. All
went well till the Secret Service money was mentioned. This Newcastle
said he should distribute as his brother had done, without telling
anybody anything. Then came the question of patronage. That also was to
be reserved to Newcastle alone. Lastly, there was the list of nominees
for ministerial boroughs at the approaching General Election. This
Newcastle also declined to divulge. In the evening Newcastle sent for
Hartington. He did not deny that he had broken his engagements, but
simply declared that he would not stand by them. He 'confirmed not his
promise but his breach of promise in these words: "Who desires Mr. Fox
to be answerable for anybody but himself in the House of Commons?" I
then,' continues Fox, 'was to take this great office on the footing of
being quite a cypher, and being known to have been told so.'[250]

Newcastle had always intended this and nothing else. As Hardwicke
judiciously wrote, two days before Newcastle saw Fox: 'If the power of
the Treasury, the Secret Service and the House of Commons is once well
settled in safe hands, the office of Secretary of State of the Southern
province will carry very little efficient power along with it.' Fox was
to be Secretary for the Southern province. But the Duke's plan of
campaign had the radical defect of making the post of manager
impossible. For the difference between the modern term of 'leadership'
and the denomination of 'management' was no mere verbal distinction. The
House of Commons had to be managed by acts of a kind more material than
the eloquence of a chief, or the seductive hints of whips. The leader,
in fact, combined the leadership with the office of Patronage Secretary.
'The House of Commons must have,' as Fox explained on a subsequent
occasion, 'at least one man in it who shall be the organ of His
Majesty's parliamentary wishes, and known to be able to help or hurt
people with His Majesty.'[251] The leader would not know how to talk to
his followers, when some might be hirelings and some free, without his
knowing which were which. He would not be able to promise a borough or a
place. He would be a mere speaking automaton with a wary old chief in
concealment working the machine. Fox saw that he was cheated. He himself
seems to have clung for a moment even to the shadow of office which
Newcastle had proffered. But his friends insisted on his refusal. So on
the next day or the next day but one, he wrote a curt letter, stating
that the assurances conveyed to him through Lord Hartington had been
entirely contradicted by Newcastle at their interview, and that he
preferred to remain Secretary at War. 'I remain therefore,' he wrote to
Marlborough, 'a little little man, which I think is better than a little
great man.'[252] But he soon repented, or his friends did for him.[253]

Newcastle cared little for the charge of breach of faith. He had kept
his patronage, and, as he thought, silenced Fox, who remained Secretary
at War. In a hysterical condition he hurried to kiss hands for his new
office. He flung himself at the King's feet, sobbing out 'God bless your
Majesty! God preserve your Majesty!' embracing the royal knees with such
howls of adoration that the lord-in-waiting had to beg the other
courtiers to retire and not watch 'a great man in distress;' then, in
the zeal of discretion, attempting to shut the door on the tittering
crowd, he jammed the new Minister's foot till genuine roars of physical
pain drowned the more artificial clamour.[254] Having recovered himself
after this characteristic performance, Newcastle betook himself without
delay to the choice of his heart, the man whom he had always longed for
as a colleague, even at the time when he had been seeking a successor to
Bedford, an obscure diplomatist, Sir Thomas Robinson. 'Had I,' he had
written in September 1750, 'to chuse for the King, the public, and
myself, I would prefer Sir Thomas Robinson to any man living. I know he
knows more and would be more useful to the country and me than any other
can be.' This opinion seems to have been confined to the Duke himself.
Horace Walpole writing at the moment says:--'The German Sir Thomas
Robinson was thought on for the Secretary's seals; but has just sense
enough to be unwilling to accept them under so ridiculous an
administration. This is the first act of the comedy.' But in the second
act Sir Thomas's good sense was unequal even to this strain, and he
accepted the post. Under what hallucination he laboured, or whether he
was merely beguiled by the fawning caresses of Newcastle, it is
difficult to say. The fact remains that he undertook to lead the House
of Commons, seated between Pitt and Fox, whom he knew to be malcontents,
and capable of anything. His own parliamentary powers were in the egg
(for he had never spoken), and were never destined to be hatched. At the
time of his appointment as Secretary of State he was Master of the Great
Wardrobe, a congenial post which he was destined during the next year to
resume. For in his new capacity he justified the anticipations of his
enemies, and disturbed the equanimity of his friends. Newcastle himself
had recommended the appointment to Pitt's benevolent consideration on
the very ground that he could not excite the rivalry of existing
orators. He 'had not those parliamentary talents which could give
jealousy or in that light set him above the rest of the King's
servants.' But the reality was far below these modest anticipations. Sir
Thomas was not merely ineffectual and feeble, but would attempt on
occasion agonising flights of eloquence. Posterity is spared the perusal
of these, for Parliamentary history records no word of this unhappy
leader. 'Sir Thomas,' says Lord Waldegrave, 'though a good Secretary of
State, as far as the business of his office and that which related to
foreign affairs, was ignorant even of the language of an House of
Commons controversy; and when he played the orator, which he too
frequently attempted, it was so exceedingly ridiculous that those who
loved and esteemed him could not always preserve a friendly composure of
countenance.' This partly arose from his appearance. He was a large
unwieldy man, and would in debate put his arms straight out, which made
George Selwyn compare him to a signpost.[255]

Such was Sir Thomas; who was to allay the warring elements, to appease
the Titans and the Giants, to hold the scales between Fox and Pitt. Let
us, while contemplating this grievous and pathetic spectacle, at least
take comfort that we have arrived at the priceless narrative of Lord
Waldegrave, a man not brilliant, but shrewd and honest, who guides us
past the waspish partiality of Horace Walpole, the bitterness of Glover,
and the corrupt cynicism of Dodington with a light which we feel to be
the lamp of truth. Newcastle, delighted with the consent of Sir Thomas,
and with the apparent acquiescence of Fox, hastened to complete his
arrangements with the squalid instinct of a jobber. Fox was, he thought,
muzzled; the formidable task remained of silencing Pitt. He could not
satisfy Pitt directly, for that would imply overwhelming difficulties
with the King, and perhaps with Fox; but he might give indirect
satisfaction, and detach some of Pitt's little section. In this last
attempt he succeeded. Pitt's friend Legge was made Chancellor of the
Exchequer, the King only making the same condition that he had with
regard to Pitt himself, that he was never to receive the new minister.
It is said, indeed, by Horace Walpole that his mean appearance and
uncouth dialect made him unsuitable for such audiences, and that he
would have preferred to remain Treasurer of the Navy, the lucrative post
which had so great a fascination for Bubb. George Grenville, one of the
Cobham Cousinhood, succeeded Legge in this attractive office; George
Lyttelton, another, became Cofferer, with his brother as Sub-Cofferer;
'it is a good £2200 per annum, all taxes deducted,'[256] writes George
of his new post in the fulness of his heart; and, according to Horace
Walpole, in the exuberance of his satisfaction with that office, he
vouched for Pitt's acquiescence in the new arrangements. Newcastle
himself presented these appointments to Pitt with a satisfaction not
unalloyed with melancholy presentiments. 'The appointment of Mr. Legge
was made,' he writes, 'with a view to please all our friends. We knew he
was well with the old corps, we knew he was happy in your friendship,
and in your good opinion and in that of your connection; _and you must
allow me to say, that I never could have thought one moment of removing
you, in the high light which you so justly stand, from the office you
now possess to be Chancellor of the Exchequer with another person at the
head of the Treasury_.'[257]

It is perhaps scarcely necessary to explain that the italics are not the
Duke's, but it seemed necessary to give emphasis to so daring a flight.

'These dispositions being thus made,' he continues, 'it was my first
view to show you that regard in the person of your friends, which it was
impossible to do in your own, to the degree which you might reasonably
expect. The two first vacant offices, that of Treasurer of the Navy and
Cofferer, were by my recommendation given to your two first friends, Mr.
Grenville and Sir George Lyttelton,' etc. etc. 'Legge at the Exchequer,
unsuitable for you, two of your friends as Cofferer and Treasurer';
these were the sedatives timidly launched to Pitt, gnashing his teeth
at Bath over his own impotence and the desertion of his friends. So may
a despairing traveller have attempted to assuage with a few casual
comfits the hunger of a Bengal tiger crouching for a spring.

Pitt controlled himself. We have seen his reply[258] to Newcastle's
shuffling apologies. He continued to write to Lyttelton, but with less
cordiality. To George Grenville he wrote a tepid note of congratulation.
To Temple, who had been omitted from the arrangements, he addressed
himself more cordially, and sent the portrait for which he had been
sitting to Hoare. It represents no formidable orator, but a simpering
man of the world; yet, after the fashion of mankind, who secretly
cherish the portraits least like themselves, Pitt commended the
resemblance. But he took occasion to add a phrase which reveals the full
bitterness of his heart. 'In this portrait,' he writes, 'I shall have
had the honour to present myself before you in my very person; not only
from the great likeness of the portrait, but, moreover, that I have no
right to pretend to any other existence than that of a man en peinture.'
The wrath pierces through the confused sentence like a sudden sting: it
is not often indulged, but it cannot be wholly suppressed.

Soon afterwards (May 1754) Temple and his brother George paid Pitt a
flying visit at Bath, where no doubt explanations were exchanged and
plans concerted. For, putting Pitt on one side, the Minister knew little
of human nature who could think that he would conciliate Temple by
promoting his brother George.

In June 1754, Pitt at length left Bath and arrived in London. He had
now been fourteen months absent from the metropolis. In the meantime he
had been chosen for Newcastle's borough of Aldborough at the General
Election in the previous April, a somewhat embarrassing connection under
existing circumstances; though embarrassments of this kind are apt to be
less irksome in politics than they may appear. And Pitt wrote to thank
the Duke in terms of Oriental submission. 'I thank you for writing to
tell me of the great honour you have done me at Aldborough, for which
seat I declined the offer of many others, being anxious to be known as
your servant.' With whatever grimace Pitt may have written this, it
strikes one as carrying the joke too far.[259]

But when he returned to London in June, he no longer affected to conceal
his discontent. His complaints were obvious and well founded enough. He
had not been consulted, but had only been informed. Nor was the
information calculated to gratify him. He had been told at first that
Fox, whom Bubb at this time calls Pitt's 'inveterate enemy,' had been
offered the seals; then by the next post that Fox had refused them and
that they had been accepted by Robinson. The excuse had then been
tendered that Pitt's health would not allow him to accept an office of
so much business and fatigue; to which he had replied that he himself
should be the best judge of that. He ought at least to have been offered
the Exchequer, which had been given to the underling Legge.[260] The
King in any case should have been reconciled to him. When he saw the new
minister Newcastle asked him his opinion of the arrangements. This Pitt
at first refused to give, but on being pressed declared that 'your Grace
may be surprised, but I think Mr. Fox should have been at the head of
the House of Commons.' He met Fox. They had mutual explanations, and no
doubt assurances of common vengeance to exchange. For Fox was as loud in
complaint as Pitt. 'Nothing,' he wrote, 'can be more contemptuous than
the usage I receive.'[261]

Parliament had risen, so Pitt, after settling the arrears in his office,
went back to the country. Early in September we find him at Astrop
Wells. On October 2 he called on Newcastle with reference to some
business in his office. Bubb's account of this interview is well known.
When they had settled the business which had brought Pitt, the Duke
wished to enter on affairs in North America, where things were looking
black, and Washington, then a major, had been compelled to surrender to
the French at Fort Necessity. 'Your Grace,' said Pitt, 'knows I have no
capacity for such things,' and declined to discuss them.[262] Newcastle,
who, the same day, wrote an account of the interview to Hardwicke, makes
no mention of this incident. And yet it is too good, too Pitt-like, not
to be true. We can reconcile the two statements by presuming that it was
what an opening is to a game of chess, and that Pitt, having enjoyed his
sarcasm, could not resist the appeal of military plans. 'I then
acquainted him with what was designed for North America, and also with
my Lord Granville's notions, which had not been followed. He talked up
the affair of North America very highly--that it must be supported in
all events and at all risks--that the Duke's scheme was a very good one
as far as it went--that it might do something: that it did not go near
far enough--that he could not help agreeing with my Lord Granville--that
he was for doing both, sending the regiments and raising some thousand
men in America--that we should do it once for all--that it was not to be
done by troops from Europe--that mere France would be too strong for
us--that we should have soon to countenance the Americans, &c.--that the
Duke's proposals for artillery, &c., were infinitely too short. This
discourse, joined with Lord Anson's opinion, has made me suspend at
least the stopping the orders for the raising two regiments, &c., and
for providing all the artillery promised by the Duke.'[263]

What a scene of confusion! Here are three stages revealed: the orders,
the stopping the orders, the suspending the stopping the orders! Pitt,
it is evident, though beginning with a refusal, ended by speaking with
authority.

Hardwicke, however, who had made a merit to Pitt of having sustained his
claim to be Secretary, waxed suspicious on receiving Newcastle's letter.
'I am glad,' he replies, 'your Grace has talked to Mr. Pitt upon these
measures. As he expressed himself so zealously and sanguinely for them,
I hope he will support them in Parliament, and I dare say your Grace did
not omit the opportunity of pressing that upon him. There is something
remarkable in that gentleman's taking a measure of the Duke's so
strongly to heart, and arguing even to carry it further. I think that
sett used to be against warlike measures.'[264]

Suspicion tainted every political breeze. The vigilant celibates in
Cranford did not keep a closer watch on their neighbours' proceedings
than did the public men of those days on each other. The mere fact of
Pitt's commending a project of Cumberland, his former enemy, at once
implied to Hardwicke that he was in harmony and understanding with Fox,
Cumberland's right-hand man. And indeed Bubb assures us that this was
the case. Fox and Pitt were agreed as to the division of the spoils,
when spoils there should be. Fox was to be head of the Treasury and Pitt
Secretary of State; 'but neither will assist the other.'

All this came to nothing, and therefore need not detain us now; for Pitt
was occupied with something far more vital to him than Fox, or
Newcastle, or the distant echoes of American warfare. He had come up
from Wotton, the residence of George Grenville, where in the last days
of September he had plighted his troth to Lady Hester Grenville, the
sister of the Grenvilles, and he was now hurrying back to join her at
Stowe. The engagement was in some respects remarkable. Pitt was now
forty-six and Lady Hester was thirty-three. When Pitt first went to
Stowe in 1735 she was fourteen, and in the nineteen years that had
elapsed they must have seen each other constantly. How was it then that
the cripple of forty-six suddenly flung away his crutches to throw
himself at the feet of this mature young lady? It seems inexplicable,
but love affairs are often inexplicable. And we know little or nothing
of Pitt's loves. Except the childish passage at Besançon, there is only
the statement of Horace Walpole, a spiteful gossip if ever there was
one, that Lady Archibald Hamilton had lost the affections of Frederick
Prince of Wales by giving him Pitt as a rival.[265] This lacks
confirmation and even probability. Were it true, it might be a clue to
phases of Pitt's connection with Leicester House. He seems, too, as we
have seen in a letter of Lyttelton's, to have had a tenderness for
Lyttelton's sister Molly. Then there was another Molly, Molly West, with
whom, it is said, he had been in love, the sister of his friend Gilbert,
who afterwards married Admiral Hood, Lord Bridport. Want of means, we
are told, prevented their union. But the authority for this is unknown
to us.[266]

This much at least is certain, that no man ever had a nobler or more
devoted wife. She survived him to witness the glories and almost the
death of her second son, dying in April 1808. At Orwell there is a
picture of her by Gainsborough, painted in 1747, dressed in white with
jewels, with a pleasant rather than a beautiful face. There is another
portrait at Chevening painted in 1750, which represents her with auburn
hair, a long upper lip, and a nose slightly turned up; comely and
intelligent, but no more. Mrs. Montagu rather confirms this impression:
'I believe Lady Hester Grenville is very good-humoured, which is the
principal article in the happiness of the Marriage State. Beauty soon
grows familiar to the lover,'[267] and so forth; from which we may infer
that Lady Hester was not at any rate a reigning toast. Her appearances
are rare but full of tenderness; she watched over her husband with
exquisite devotion; furthering and anticipating his wishes, which were
often fanciful and extravagant; shielding his moments of nervous
prostration with the wings of an angel. On her rested often, if not
always, the care of his affairs, often, if not always, disordered, and
all the burdens of household management. For many months she was his
sole channel of communication with the outer world. The wives of
statesmen are not invariably successful, though they are generally
devoted; but none was ever more absorbed in her high but harassing duty.
In all the bitterness of that bitter time, when her husband seemed
surrounded by implacable enmities, no one found a word to say against
her. Pitt's choice seems to have been as wise as it was deliberate.

Camelford, from whom the worst interpretation can always be obtained,
says: 'His marriage was unexpected. He was no longer young, and his
infirmities made him older than his years, when, upon a visit to Mr.
Grenville at Wotton, Lady Hester made an impression upon him that was
the more extraordinary as she was by no means new to him. The first
hints he gave of his intentions were eagerly seized by her, saying she
should be unworthy the honour he proposed to her if she could hesitate a
moment in accepting it. With a very common understanding and totally
devoid of tenderness, or of any feeling but pride and ambition, she
contrived to make herself a good wife to him by a devotion and
attachment that knew no bounds. She lived only in his glory, and that
vanity absorbed every other idea of her mind. She was his nurse, his
flatterer, his housekeeper and steward, and, though her talent was by no
means economy, yet she could submit to any privation that would gratify
his wants or his caprices. If he loved anyone it must be her who had no
love but for him, or rather for his reputation. Yet I saw no sacrifices
on his part for her ease and quiet or to the essential comforts of her
life.'

As to Lady Hester's having a 'very common understanding' and being
'totally devoid of tenderness' we need not rest on tradition, though
that is all the other way; for the superiority of her understanding and
her tenderness are amply proved by the admirable letters published from
the Pretyman Papers by Lord Ashbourne; and her devotion to her husband
is attested by Camelford himself. How he became acquainted with the
details of courtship, usually mysterious enough, and in those days more
veiled than in these, we need not trouble to inquire. When it took place
Pitt was taking time which he could ill spare to write letters of
anxious and affectionate solicitude to Camelford at Cambridge, and
receiving in return the most unbounded assurances of grateful devotion.

Pitt's love letters, alas! survive; the treasures of his wife, but the
despair of posterity. That a great genius presumably in love should send
such stilted, pompous, artificial documents as tokens of his passion to
the object of his affections is one of the mysteries of brain and heart.
They are as wretched in their way as the letters of Burns to Clarinda,
and shall not be quoted here.

Having paid his betrothed a flying visit at Stowe, the blithe bridegroom
had as usual to proceed to Bath, where he remained a fortnight inditing
these execrable epistles of rhetorical affection.



CHAPTER XVII.


[Sidenote: 1754.]

On November 14, the very day of the opening of Parliament, Pitt brought
forward a bill for the relief of the Chelsea Pensioners, who, from
receiving their pensions a year in arrear, fell inextricably into the
hands of usurers. He was in haste to perform this useful duty, for on
November 16 he was married by special licence to Lady Hester at Argyll
Buildings, Dr. Ayscough officiating; and Solomon and Esther, as Lady
Townshend called them, thence departed for the honeymoon to West's house
of Wickham in Kent. That interval of seclusion did not last long, but it
would seem to have effected a striking transformation. The marriage
marks a new ascent in Pitt's career; love seemed to have transformed
him; always powerful and eloquent, he became sublime. Into his former
qualities there had passed an inspiration kindred to the divine passion
which makes the poet. The timid warblers of the grove, as he was
afterwards to call them, the politicians who sought quiet lives and safe
places, the arch-jobber himself who had for years deluded him, were in
an instant to realise that a new terror was added to life. For on
November 25 he was once more in the House of Commons. At this time, just
before or just after the meeting of Parliament, he had come to open
words with Newcastle. The Duke had offered the usual palliatives.
'Fewer words, if you please, my Lord,' replied Pitt contemptuously, 'for
your words have long lost all weight with me.' Fox had said much the
same to Newcastle in March. The new Minister had therefore been grossly
insulted by the two first men in the House of Commons. He must have felt
that there were menacing symptoms in the political horizon. It is
strange, therefore, to find Walpole writing that, as 'Newcastle had
secured by employments almost every material speaker in Parliament,' it
was hoped that the session might pass in settling election
petitions.[268]

It seems incredible that the Duke can have so flattered himself. But no
doubt he relied on two main considerations. One was that, though
official discipline was then incomparably more lax than now, it was
scarcely possible for Pitt or Fox to mean mischief so long as they kept
their places, and these they had not resigned. The other was this. The
General Election had just been conducted under his auspices, and had
returned a House of Commons devoted to himself. Indeed in all England
there were only forty-two contests. In some Continental countries a
general election always returns a ministerial majority; there are
mysteries connected with the proceeding of which only ministers have the
key. This to some extent was the case in England at this period; and no
Secretary of the Treasury, no Martin or Robinson, understood his
particular business better than Newcastle. But whatever his illusions,
they were soon destined to be disturbed, for on November 25 Pitt opened
fire on him. Of that famous scene and outburst we are fortunate enough
to possess two brilliant descriptions: one by Horace Walpole, and one,
even more graphic, which has the additional value of being written by
Pitt's rival, Henry Fox. Fox, writing in a white heat of generous
admiration, describes it summarily as 'the finest speech that ever Pitt
spoke, and perhaps the most remarkable.' This last epithet was probably
due to the fact that the speech was apparently made on the spur of the
moment. The occasion was one of those election petitions on which the
Duke had relied as a sedative and a pastime for his faithful Commons.
Wilkes, the pleasant, worthless demagogue, who was afterwards to cause
so much trouble, had petitioned against the return of Delaval, the
sitting member for Berwick. Delaval had defended his seat in a speech
full of wit and buffoonery, which kept the House in a roar of laughter;
much the same speech, one would guess, that Pitt himself had delivered
on the proceedings at his own election for Seaford when those were
attacked. But to-day he was in a different mood, and, as the debate
proceeded, came down from the gallery where he was seated, and
intervened with a frown. He was 'astonished to hear this merriment when
such a matter was concerned. Was the dignity of the House on so sure a
foundation that we could afford to shake it with scoffs?' In an instant
the House was cowed into silence, like schoolboys found in fault by
their master. You could have heard a pin drop as he continued.

'Had it not, on the contrary, been diminishing for years, till now we
were brought to the very brink of a precipice where, if ever, a stand
must be made? Were we ourselves within the House to try and lessen that
dignity when such attacks were made upon it from without that it was
almost lost? On the contrary, it wanted support, for it was scarcely
possible to recover it.' He appealed to the Speaker (Onslow) with
profuse compliments, for the Speaker only could restore it--yet scarcely
even he. Then he eloquently adjured all Whigs to rally and unite in
defence of their liberties, which were attacked, nay, dying, 'unless,'
he passionately added, 'you will degenerate into a little assembly
serving no other purpose than to register the arbitrary edicts of _one_
too-powerful _subject_;' laying an emphasis on the words 'one' and
'subject' that might well send a shudder to the soul of Newcastle, when
the echo should reach him. He ended by a recapitulation as to 'our being
likely to become an appendix to--I know not what: I have no name for
it.' 'All,' adds Fox, 'whether pleased or displeased, declare this speech
to be the finest that ever was made.'[269] The effect of this sudden
menace in the midst of the Duke's comfortable arrangements to appease
and silence everybody, was appalling. It came with the shattering effect
of a shell, and a shell falling in some quiet picnic. The Ministers were
in consternation; every member sat confounded. Murray, pale and
miserable, shrunk his head in silence. Wilkes used to narrate his dread,
as he heard the awful tone of Pitt's exordium, lest the thunder that he
saw was gathering should fall on him. Never, he said, when at
Westminster School had he felt greater terror when summoned for a
flogging, never when let off a greater relief than on this occasion;
terror when uncertain where the bolt would fall, relief when he found it
was destined for another.[270] Fox himself only came in as Pitt was
finishing, just in time to witness the devastation which had been
caused. Legge, on the part of the Government, had to rise and humbly
deprecate the wrath of the orator.

Pitt allowed no respite. On the same evening a discussion arose as to
the dates on which the various petitions would be taken. That relating
to Reading was fixed for a particular day, and that for Colchester on a
day soon afterwards. Pitt moved the postponement of the Colchester
petition; as the Reading one would take time, and concerned a noble
lord, Lord Fane, for whom he had a particular regard. A malignant fate
here tempted the new Secretary of State to a needless and unhappy
intervention. He declared that the Reading petition would be a short
case, and, so far as concerned the sitting member, a poor case; that
Lord Fane had only a majority of one.

This gave Pitt his opportunity, and he soundly trounced the unfortunate
Minister. What did Sir Thomas know about it? It was ignorant presumption
to lay down the law about a case which had not been heard. If this was
the method of the Minister, there would be short work with elections. He
himself had little thought to see so melancholy a day as this, but he
was not to be taught his duty by Sir Thomas or any one else. Sir Thomas
replied, 'with pomp, confusion, and warmth,' to deprecate the misleading
effects of mere eloquence. He hoped that words would not be allowed more
than their due weight. For his own part, he was performing the duties of
an office which he had never desired. Pitt in his rejoinder affected to
believe this last statement, with the unkind commentary that if anybody
else had wished for the post, Sir Thomas would not have had it. Then,
artfully cooling down, he showed that he was only aiming at Newcastle,
for he professed the highest respect for Sir Thomas with this cruel,
backhand blow at the Duke, 'that he thought him, Sir Thomas, as able as
any man that had of late years filled that office, or was likely to fill
it.' Fox could no longer resist joining in the sport of baiting his
hapless leader. He also could only explain and excuse Sir Thomas's
pronouncing hastily and summarily on a case which he had not heard by
his long residence abroad, and by his consequent and total inexperience
of parliamentary matters.

It was clear that neither of the formidable lieutenants was in the least
appeased, or likely to contribute to the tranquillity of the session.
Still it was also clear that the members of the House were loyal to
Newcastle and his deputy, and that they were not moved from their
allegiance by the oratory to which they had listened. But when the
display was over, the frightened ministerialists gathered into small
groups whispering their terrors to each other. Pitt's fury breaking out
at this moment might be due, thought Fox, in some measure to accident.
'But break out I knew it would. And the Duke of Newcastle may thank
himself for the violence of it (he) having ... owned to Pitt that he had
acquainted the King with part of their last conversation; adding, like
an idiot, "to do you good, to do you good," and that he had not
mentioned that part which could do him harm.'[271] We do not know what
is the interview to which this refers; it can hardly be that which
occurred at the beginning of October in which Pitt had said, 'Your
Grace, I suppose, knows that I have no capacity for such things.' So we
are at a loss to know the immediate cause of Pitt's outbreak, though no
divination is required to know that ever since Pelham's death he had
been explosive.

Nothing can better illustrate the extraordinary power which Newcastle
wielded in the House of Commons than the dumb terrified fidelity of the
great majority who clung to his knees in spite of the attacks of Pitt
and Fox. Hapless majority! They had neither voice nor faith; they
despised almost equally their nominal chief Robinson, and their real
chief Newcastle; so they huddled together for warmth and sympathy. And
this was a House of Commons produced by a general election carried on
under the auspices of a consummate manipulator and by long years of
cozening, patronage, and corruption. The success had been complete, a
devoted and passive majority had been returned, and this was the result.
It was a strange and instructive spectacle. This docile flock was
shepherdless, it was not thought to need any superintendence, it had
only to receive its instructions from Newcastle through the channel of
some such agent as Robinson. What Newcastle thought well to give, it was
prepared gladly to take. Could Minister want more? Yet, before the
session was a fortnight old, Newcastle was to learn, but not completely,
the futility of such a scheme of government. He had promised the King
that the new House of Commons would need no leader, that indeed the
position of leader of the House of Commons was both dangerous in power
and superfluous in practice. He was yet to learn that there was
something more formidable; a ship without captain or helmsman, and two
loose cannon banging about at large.

For, two days after the annihilation of Robinson, Pitt again took the
field, this time against Murray, the most formidable antagonist that he
ever had to face after the resignation of Walpole. It was on the vote
for the army. Barrington and Nugent had made fulsome speeches, dwelling
on the popularity of the King and the Ministry, declaring, indeed, that
there were no Jacobites in England. People, said Nugent, sometimes
reared those whom they thought would be Jacobites, but who turned out
very differently. So had he seen in his rural retirement a hen, which
had hatched duck's eggs, watch with apprehension her nurslings betake
themselves to the water. Pitt rose and declared with solemn pleasantry
that this image had greatly struck him, 'for, sir, I know of such a
hen.' The hen, it appeared, was the University of Oxford. This, we
think, in its demure unexpectedness, is the best stroke of humour in all
his speeches. But he begged the House not to be sure that all she
hatched would ever entirely forget what she had taught them. Then
followed an innuendo at old Horace Walpole which is immaterial and
obscure. Sir Roger Newdigate, whose name is still cherished by budding
poets, rose, as member for the University, to make a meek defence. Pitt
rose again, and told 'inimitably' the story of a recent adventure at
Oxford. He was with a party at the Angel Inn, one of whom was asked to
sing 'God save Great George our King' (one can hardly imagine that it
was Pitt who called for this). The chorus was re-echoed by
undergraduates outside who had been attracted by the song, 'but with
additions of the rankest treason.' Then walking down the High Street he
examined a print in a shop window of a young Highlander in a blue
ribbon, and was shocked to read the motto _Hunc saltem everso Juvenem_.
This Latin prayer was a flagrant proof of the disloyalty of that learned
body. 'In both speeches every word was _Murray_; yet so managed that
neither he nor anybody else could or did take public notice of it, or in
any degree reprehend him. I,' it is Henry Fox who speaks, 'sate next
Murray, _who suffered for an hour_.'[272] Two episodes seem to attach
themselves to this terrible onslaught. One is the famous and dramatic
menace. Fixing his eyes on Murray the orator paused and proceeded: 'I
must now address a few words to Mr. Solicitor.--They shall be few, but
they shall be daggers.' Murray's agitation was now visible. 'Judge
Festus trembles,' thundered Pitt; 'well, he shall hear me some other
day,' and sat down.[273] Murray could not muster a reply. We may be sure
that he then mentally resolved that, whether Festus or not, he would be
a Judge as soon as possible. Yet Granville had embraced him that very
day and bid him pluck up resolution. The other episode is this. Foote
went with Murphy (afterwards Editor of the 'Test') to hear Pitt, who
happened to be putting forth his full powers in an attack on Murray.
'Shall we go home now?' asked Murphy at last. 'No,' replied Foote, 'let
us wait till he has made the little man vanish entirely.'[274]

[Sidenote: Nov. 27, 1754.]

The plan of ignoring the House of Commons and keeping all power in a
junto of two or three, or even one, was already breaking down. 'It is
the universal opinion,' writes Fox, in the same letter as that in which
he describes Pitt's onslaught on Murray, 'that business cannot go on as
things are now, and that offers will be made to Pitt or me. On this
subject Pitt was with me two hours yesterday morning. A difficult
conversation.' Difficult indeed, for both parties fenced with each
other, and neither was sincere. Pitt had long distrusted Fox and his
connection with Cumberland. We have seen that in March he was writing
confidentially that he wished 'to see as little power in Fox's hand as
possible,' and again in the same letter, 'Fox is too odious to last for
ever.' On the other hand, Fox, who was genial but ignoble, was
determined to take the best place that offered, with a secret leaning to
the lucrative possibilities of Pitt's office. Fox was not in error as to
the offers. He wrote on November 28, and on November 29 Newcastle was
beginning to seek assistance. On that morning the King sent for Fox and
treated him with friendly confidence. It then appeared that the royal
leaning towards Fox was caused by the King's having found out that
Frederick Prince of Wales had made overtures to Fox, who had rejected
them, but had not divulged them for the purpose of paying court to the
King.[275]

The object of the Court was to separate Fox and Pitt. This last,
doubtful and suspicious, had at first assured the Chancellor and
Newcastle that he would not league with Fox. This was probably the
secret of the Minister's confidence. But when Pitt realised that the
Duke was trading on the division between his two formidable auxiliaries
he sought, or appeared to seek, an honest and hearty co-operation with
his rival.[276]

'Could you bear to act under Fox?' Hardwicke had asked him, and 'Leave
out _under_; it will never be a word between us: Mr. Fox and I shall
never quarrel,' had been the reply.

Alas! for the loves of statesmen, often ardent and always precarious.
The vague bait was no sooner dangled before Fox than he began to eye it
with avidity and to contemplate the abandonment of Pitt. He sought the
advice of two friends, Cumberland and Marlborough. The last advised him
to ask for admission to the Cabinet and to be satisfied with that
advantage. Cumberland dissuaded him, as it would seem, from parting
company with Pitt, and used these remarkable words: 'I don't know him,
but by what you tell me, Pitt is what is scarce--he is a man.' But at
last both dukes concurred in Marlborough's advice, with the proviso that
Fox should make it a condition that he was not to oppose Pitt; a
singular reservation when it is remembered that his help was only sought
against Pitt, as he was soon made distinctly to understand. Fox
apparently took Pitt into his confidence, and they exchanged cordial
notes. He submitted to Pitt his letter to the King, and Pitt approved it
with some omissions. Nothing must be said, he declared, which remotely
implied that he would do the least thing to keep his place.[277] So Fox
wrote to say that, understanding the King was determined to have no
leader in the House of Commons, but wished to have him take a forward
and spirited part on behalf of the Ministry, he desired some mark of his
Majesty's favour to show that he enjoyed his Majesty's confidence.
Waldegrave, who conducted the negotiation, was given to understand that
the distinction aimed at was a seat in the Cabinet. He was further told
that Fox would never accept Pitt's rich place, which the King had said
was destined for him in the event of Pitt's dismissal, lest it be said
that he was answering Pitt for money. So the stipulation about not
opposing Pitt was already out of his contemplation. The negotiations
extended over months. The King had first seen Fox on November 29, 1754,
but did not signify to Fox his admission to the Cabinet till April 26,
1755, two days before his Majesty left for Hanover. Fox was also
admitted to the Council of Regency during the King's absence.

During these months of negotiation his opposition to the Ministry
ceased, and Pitt was left alone. But he communicated constantly and
secretly with Pitt as to the offers made. When he had closed with them,
without waiting for the cock to crow, he forswore Pitt.[278] He was no
doubt made to understand distinctly, as he must always have known, that
it was the condition of his elevation. This treachery cost him dear; for
Pitt, who seems to have been at once apprised of the desertion, probably
by a Minister whose interest it was to keep the two apart, never forgave
it. Nor could a man much less irritably and jealously proud have done
otherwise. So much for the question of honour. As to the question of
policy it is clear that a real union between Pitt and himself would have
been irresistible. But Fox at the first temptation forsook this
honourable alliance, and forsook it for a feather, as the lure was
justly described.

It should be mentioned that this account of Fox's behaviour is founded
on the narrative of Horace Walpole, and that Waldegrave, who is far
more trustworthy, says that 'Fox during the whole negotiation behaved
like a man of sense and a man of honour.' But this only regards his
negotiation with Newcastle, in which Waldegrave acted as the channel.
Walpole, on the other hand, was notoriously partial to Fox, and in his
confidence, so that his statement may be taken as accurate. In no other
way, indeed, can the breach between the two statesmen be adequately
explained. On April 26 they are on the most confidential footing. On May
9 there is a public rupture. Fox, indeed, attributes this sudden breach
to Pitt's wish to be well at Leicester House; but then Fox had to find
an ostensible reason, as he did not know that Pitt was aware of his
desertion.

[Sidenote: Apr. 27, 1755.]

The day after the admission of Fox to the Cabinet, Newcastle despatched
old Horace Walpole to Pitt to see if they could not come to terms. Old
Horace, who has suffered from the constant malignity of his nephew, but
who appears to have been a laborious and public-spirited man, with a not
uncommon itch for a coronet, undertook the commission with alacrity; but
found, as all did who attempted to negotiate for Newcastle, that his
powers were far from ample, and shrunk from the moment that they were
given. It is probable that these overtures were only made in consequence
of some secret agreement between Fox and Pitt that Pitt's claims should
be pushed; for it is otherwise inexplicable that they should have been
made simultaneously with the capture of Fox, and that Newcastle on the
slenderest grounds should at once have withdrawn the commission. The
hypothesis of a sham negotiation, entered upon to keep to the letter of
some understanding arrived at through Fox, is highly congenial to the
character of Newcastle; nor is it likely that Fox can have joined the
Government, when in the closest communication with Pitt, without some
such stipulation.

Whatever the nature of the overture may have been, Pitt received
Walpole, with whom he was on cordial terms, not unfavourably. He
stipulated that he should be admitted to the Cabinet, but not, it would
appear, immediately (for the King was going abroad next day); and that
in case of a vacancy he should be promised the seals of Secretary of
State. No one could deem these conditions excessive, and Walpole
approved them. But Newcastle would have none of them, and soundly rated
his emissary. It is clear that the negotiation was illusory and unreal;
for what less terms could Newcastle have expected Pitt to demand?[279]

[Sidenote: May 9, 1755.]

A fortnight afterwards Pitt went to Lord Hillsborough's, where he met
Fox. When Fox had gone he declared that all was at an end between Fox
and himself; that the ground was altered; Fox was a Regent and a Cabinet
Minister, and he was left isolated. Fox returned, and Pitt, in great
heat, repeated what he had said with even more violence. He would not
accept the seals from Fox (this seems to confirm our hypothesis as to
the sham negotiation through Walpole), for that would be to acknowledge
a superiority and an obligation. 'What, then,' said Fox, 'would put us
on an equality?' 'A winter in the Cabinet and a summer's Regency,'
replied Pitt, in allusion to what Fox had accepted.

Next day Hillsborough expostulated with Pitt, who, however, remained
unmoved, and begged him to convey as a message to Fox that all
connection between them was at an end. Pitt added that though he
esteemed Fox he wished to have no further conversation on this subject.
In spite of this, during the next few days they had a further conference
at Holland House, but with no better result.[280]

On this second occasion (May 12, 1755) Pitt formally declared their
connection at an end. Fox asked if Pitt suspected him of ill faith in
the recent negotiations. Pitt, on his honour, held him blameless.
'Then,' asked Fox, 'are our lines incompatible?' 'Not incompatible, but
convergent,' a word that Fox professed not to understand. In the future
it was possible they might act together, not now. On this or some
proximate occasion, Pitt blurted out what was at least one cause of
offence. 'Here is the Duke of Cumberland King and you his minister.' The
Duke, like Fox himself, was only an ordinary member of the Council of
Regency, so that Pitt's taunt was absurd. But Pitt was looking to the
young court of Leicester House which detested and distrusted Cumberland;
hence this outburst of jealousy and wrath. Pitt indeed, the day before,
had seen the Princess of Wales; who, it was presumed, had insisted on an
open and immediate rupture with Fox as the price of her support. But
beneath all there was we think, in spite of all professions, undying
suspicion of Fox's rectitude in the recent negotiation with
Newcastle.[281]



CHAPTER XVIII.


It was soon clear to Newcastle that Fox after all might not suffice, and
that Pitt must be again approached. The King, then in Hanover and beyond
Newcastle's control, was negotiating new treaties of subsidy on behalf
of his German dominions; one with Hesse-Cassel for a contingent of
12,000 men to act in defence of Hanover or Great Britain, the other with
Russia for an army of 40,000 men for the defence of Hanover. It was
terrible for the Duke to contemplate what Pitt might say and do with
regard to such unpopular and indefensible instruments. Moreover, Pitt
was now supported by the court, every day more and more important, of
Leicester House. It was probably Hardwicke, who as the moving brain of
the Cabinet saw the vital importance of securing Pitt, and who was, we
think, sincerely favourable to Pitt's pretensions, if only from hatred
of Fox, who suggested these negotiations; and it was his son Charles
Yorke who entered upon them. Yorke was to act as a skirmisher, to get in
touch with Pitt, and to report on the temper in which he found him. They
met on July 6 (1755), and talked over the abortive conference with
Walpole. Pitt declared that he had then waived the immediate bestowal of
the Secretaryship of State, but had asked not merely that Newcastle
should speak on his behalf before the King left for Hanover, and urge
that he was the proper person to lead the debates in the House of
Commons; but that Lady Yarmouth should also be interested in his cause,
so that she might use her influence with the King during their stay
abroad.

Of Newcastle himself he spoke with supreme disdain. It was a waste of
time to bring him assurances of friendship and confidence from
Newcastle. All that was over. He would never owe Newcastle a favour, he
would accept nothing as an obligation to Newcastle. This is not in
Yorke's account, because probably it would be shown to Newcastle. But it
comes authentically enough from Pitt's brother-in-law, James Grenville,
to Bubb. If Newcastle were really in earnest, he would say that he could
listen to no proposition but this: 'This is our policy; and the post of
Secretary of State, in which you shall support it, is destined for you.'

Yorke reported to his father, and Hardwicke saw Pitt on August 8 (1755),
with power to offer a seat in the Cabinet. After compliments, to use
Eastern language, which were usually the preface of such interviews, in
which both parties assured each other of high mutual esteem, which Pitt
went so far on this occasion as to declare for Newcastle, in strange
contrast with his language to Yorke, they came at once to the point.
Before he could take what was required, 'a clear, active, and cordial
part in support of the King's measures in the House of Commons,' Pitt
desired to know what those measures might be. Hardwicke at once
specified them. 'Twas all open and above board; the support of the
maritime and American war, in which we were going to be engaged, and the
defence of the King's German dominions, if attacked on account of the
English cause. The maritime and American war he came roundly into, tho'
very orderly, and allowed the principle and obligation of honour and
justice as to the other, but argued strongly as to the practicability of
it. That subsidiary treaties would not go down; the nation could not
hear' (obviously 'bear') them. That they were a connection and a chain,
and would end in a general plan for the Continent which the country
would (obviously 'could') not possibly support.' Then he went into
financial considerations. The maritime and American war would alone add
two millions a year to the National Debt, which could not bear an
addition of one million. He would treat Hanover like any other foreign
dependency of the British Crown; the worst that could happen was that it
should be occupied by the enemy for a time and restored at a peace, and
that then compensation might be given to the King. As to the subsidies,
Hessian and Russian, he asked questions but did not commit himself. But
he inquired, with peculiar emphasis, what others, such as Fox, Legge,
Lee, and Egmont, thought of them. At last he said he must consult his
friends, one of whom, Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was
about to visit. But why, asked Hardwicke, should he not see Newcastle
himself? 'With all my heart, if he would see me,' replied Pitt. To the
offer of a seat in the Cabinet he said neither yea nor nay, but he was,
thought Hardwicke, gratified by the overture.[282]

One cannot but note the strange contrast between Pitt's language about
Newcastle to Hardwicke and that which he had used to Yorke. 'He
expressed great regard for your Grace and me.' But this was the base
coinage in political use at that time, and Pitt had by this time become
a master of dissimulation. Fox hated Newcastle to the full as much as
did Pitt. In truth, every one seems to have secretly hated or despised
him, or both; a melancholy reward for an industrious ministerial
existence. But so great was his political influence that scarce any one
could afford to say so.

One Minister was now, however, to display a rare courage, and to oppose
both the King and his Minister on a critical point. In the middle of
August, after the conversation with Hardwicke, the treaty of subsidy
with Hesse-Cassel arrived for the necessary confirmations. When it came
before Legge as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he, no doubt with the
connivance of Pitt, flatly refused his signature. Newcastle had always
distrusted Legge, as, indeed, he distrusted everybody, and had given him
the seals of the Exchequer with great reluctance. He was now aghast. War
was imminent; the King would soon return with his pockets full of odious
treaties of subsidy; Fox was still a malcontent; Legge was in open
revolt; it was evident that he must face the formidable interview with
Pitt. So he expressed the necessary wish, though one may guess his
reluctance, and Pitt saw the Duke on September 2 (1755) for two hours
and a half. The record of this interview is contained in a long letter
from Newcastle to Hardwicke,[283] couched in the quavering notes of a
distracted Minister. It begins with a wail of despair, the reluctant
acknowledgment of the paramount importance of Pitt. 'I never sat down to
write to your lordship with more melancholy apprehensions for the
Publick than at present. I see nothing but confusion and it is beyond me
to point out a remedy.'

This was the result of Pitt's verbal refusal to join him, made by a
Minister who held the great mass of the House of Commons in the hollow
of his hand, who clung to office as to life, and yet, though he knew
Pitt was indispensable to its retention, would not once more, as in
1746, face his Sovereign and say so. Nothing can better illustrate the
trembling plank on which the Duke was content to walk, wavering and
helpless, depending only on Hardwicke's counsel and his own jobs. He did
not dare face the King, he was bullied by the disorderly chiefs in the
House of Commons, and he was always chaffering, but always afraid. So he
and his like are satisfied to bear the yoke for the semblance of power.

All began smoothly between Pitt and the Duke, all was apparently open,
friendly, and civil; but when Newcastle referred to the conversation
with Hardwicke, he was taken aback by finding that Pitt declared that
nothing had passed that was material. He thus compelled Newcastle to
recapitulate the points of policy, no doubt for purposes of comparison.

So the Duke had to state that the eve of the King's departure had been
too troubled to lay Pitt's claim before his Majesty; for an address
against the journey had been threatened in the House of Commons and
actually proposed in the House of Lords. But that when alarming events
had happened in America, Hardwicke and he had represented to the King
the urgent necessity of forming a system in the House of Commons, which
means, it may be presumed, abandoning the plan of conducting the House
without a leader, and of enlisting Pitt as an active Minister there.
That thereupon the King had graciously expressed his readiness to admit
Pitt to his Cabinet. Pitt received this offer coolly, and proceeded at
once to larger issues.

As to the King's voyage he spoke with unsparing candour. The King had
nearly ruined himself by his unpardonable departure to Hanover at such a
crisis. He should only have been allowed to go there over the dead
bodies of his people. 'A King abroad at this time, without one man about
him that has an English heart, and only returning to bring home a packet
of subsidies.'

Of course, he proceeded to say with scarcely disguised sarcasm, the
King's countenance was more to him than any other consideration. But if
it was expected that he should take an active and efficient part in
Parliament he must observe that a mere summons to the Cabinet would not
be sufficient. In his present office he could silently acquiesce in
ministerial measures. But activity could only be exercised in a
responsible situation.

Then he took a line which was clear, bold, and statesmanlike. The whole
machinery of the House of Commons was, he said, paralysed by the plan of
leaving it without a responsible Minister. That plan must be abandoned.
The House could not perform its proper functions without a responsible
Minister, even though a subordinate one, who should have access to the
Sovereign and to the royal confidence. For that purpose the leader or
agent must have a responsible office of _advice_ as well as of
_execution_. 'That was the distinction he made throughout his whole
conversation. He would support the measures which he himself had
advised, but would not like a lawyer talk from a brief. That it was
better plainly to tell me so at first.'

This surely was no inordinate claim from indisputably the first member
of the House of Commons, whom the King had kept at bay for so many
years, and to keep whom still in subjection every possible manoeuvre,
childish or cunning, was being adopted. 'Why,' said he bluntly to
Newcastle, 'cannot you bring yourself to part with some of your sole
power?' This of course produced voluble asseverations from the Duke.
Sole power! What an idea! He had no conception of what Pitt could mean.
He was in his present place, not by his own choice, far from it! but by
the King's command, and, though he was devoted to the King, he would
retire to-morrow if he was distasteful to the House of Commons. (This
was a safe promise, for, as we have seen, the House of Commons was with
but few exceptions at his absolute disposal.) Pitt replied that he
himself had no objections to a Peer as First Lord of the Treasury, but
there must be men of ability and responsibility in the House of Commons,
a Secretary of State and a Chancellor of the Exchequer, that they must
be sufficiently supported, and they must have access to the Crown, not a
nominal, but an habitual, free, familiar access. In speaking of the
Chancellor of the Exchequer he burst out into so enthusiastic a eulogy
of Legge, 'the child, and deservedly the favourite child of the Whigs,'
that Newcastle suspected that all this was concerted between his
rebellious Chancellor of the Exchequer and his insubordinate Paymaster.

Pitt and the Duke next proceeded to analyse their own expressions; a
task which the statesmen of that day seem to have avoided, to our
detriment, as much as possible. Newcastle had spoken of the proposed
seat in the Cabinet as a designation. 'What did this mean?' asked Pitt.
'Did it mean the seals of Secretary of State, though not immediately?'
The Duke was obliged to shuffle out, for in truth he had no power to
promise any such thing. Designation only meant that the seat in the
Cabinet would design him as the King's man of confidence. 'Then the
Secretaryship of State is not intended,' was the fierce rejoinder. The
Duke replied that he was not authorised to offer more than a seat in the
Cabinet. If, rejoined Pitt, 'the Secretaryships of State are to remain
as they are, there is an end of any question of my giving active support
to the Government in the House of Commons.'

They had arrived at an impassable barrier, Pitt would take nothing but
the seals which the King would not give him, and Newcastle was
determined not to force on another crisis with the King on account of
Pitt; whom, in truth, he dreaded little less as a colleague than as a
foe. So they turned to matters of public policy, 'and then,' writes the
hapless Minister, 'nothing can equal my astonishment and concern.' He
tried Pitt first with the Hessian Treaty, and then with the Russian. For
the Hessian Treaty the Duke characteristically urged every reason but
the true one, and for the Russian that it was the fruit of four years of
negotiation, and that it would seem strange to drop it now. But Pitt was
obdurate. He would be no party to a system of subsidies. If the Duke of
Devonshire attacked the Hessian subsidy in the House of Lords, as was
his intention, Pitt would echo the attack in the House of Commons. If
the Russian Treaty were dropped he might acquiesce in the Hessian from
regard for the King; as, for the same reason, he would always speak with
the utmost respect of Hanover. But no consideration would make him
support both, or a system of subsidies. It was his regard for the King,
presumably, which impelled him to make a further suggestion, which
Newcastle did not venture to transmit even to Hardwicke. Out of the
fifteen millions sterling that the King was said to have saved why,
asked Pitt, should he not give Hesse 100,000_l._, and Russia
150,000_l._, to be out of these bad bargains? Newcastle was driven to
his usual resource of the Chancellor, and suggested a conference with
him in the ensuing week. Pitt agreed to this with, we may presume, a
shrug of the shoulders.

Neither in truth expected anything from such a meeting, for the pleas
and the powers had both been exhausted. Newcastle realised this, and
ends his remarkable record of the conversation with a despairing glance
at his own prospects. What was he to do? There were as usual three
courses to pursue. The first, which he should infinitely prefer, would
be his own retirement. This is a common cant of ministers, and with
Newcastle it was more than usually insincere. Fox, he said, might
succeed him at the Treasury, and Pitt for a session at any rate would
have to acquiesce. The second would be for Newcastle, remaining First
Minister, to throw himself into the arms of the Pitt group, with Pitt
as Secretary of State and Legge at the Exchequer. But the King would
never hear of this. Newcastle puts it significantly thus: 'Whether this
is in any shape practicable, I leave to your Lordship and all who know
the King to determine.' The third course was the one adopted, 'to accept
Mr. Fox's proposal, made by my Lord Granville,' the first allusion that
we have to this particular negotiation. Fox was to be the real,
efficient, and trusted leader of the House of Commons. But there must be
conditions. Cumberland, the patron of Fox, must give his support, so
must Devonshire and Hartington. There must be a new Chancellor of the
Exchequer, and Fox must act cordially with the person whom the King
might appoint to that office. Murray, and indeed every one, must put
their shoulders to the wheel and exert themselves on behalf of the
Administration. Lastly, it might be necessary to take in the venal but
inevitable Bubb.

Hardwicke answered Newcastle's report without a moment's delay, in a
shrewd letter.[284] His first remark was that Pitt had taken much higher
ground with the Duke than with him, perhaps because the bad news from
the Ohio had made the Paymaster deem himself more valuable and
necessary. He doubted whether the praises of Legge were sincere; they
were probably intended to indicate a closer connection between them than
really existed. But Hardwicke went straight to the two main points. The
first was the general principle that the King must have a recognised
Minister, what he called oddly enough 'a Minister with the King' in the
House of Commons. The other question was whether Pitt should be
Secretary of State.

As to the first, if the Minister is to be subordinate, that is, not the
Premier, he sees no great harm in it. 'For I have long been convinced,'
continues the sagacious man, 'that whoever your Grace shall make use of
as your first man and man of confidence in the House of Commons, you
will find it necessary, if he be a man of reputation and ability
accompanied with the ambition naturally incident to such a character, I
say under those circumstances, your Grace will find it necessary to
invest him with more power than, from the beginning, you thought fit to
impart either to Mr. Legge or Sir Thomas Robinson.'

From this we may gather that the Chancellor had never believed in the
plan of a leaderless House of Commons. How indeed could he, as a man of
sense, much more as a man of rare capacity? Such a plan could only be
deemed possible by an alien King and a mountebank Minister. As to the
personal point, Hardwicke is not less acute. Pitt, he declares, has
stiffened his demand since their interview. Pitt, he is convinced,
intended to draw from the Duke a promise that it should be made a point
with the King that he should be made Secretary of State within a given
time; and so, when he failed in this, he proceeded to discuss measures
in a more peremptory tone than he would otherwise have employed.

'Now,' says Hardwicke, 'this comes to a point which you and I have often
discussed together. Whether you can think it right or bring yourself to
declare to him that you really wish him in the Secretary's office, and
will in earnest recommend him to the King on that foot.'

This inestimable sentence throws a flood of light on Newcastle's
professions to Pitt, and on the reality of the efforts that Newcastle
had employed to soften the King. It is clear, we think, from this secret
utterance that Newcastle had been sincere in neither case.

Hardwicke urges that the Duke should close with Pitt. He thinks that if
Newcastle were loyally to give this assurance Pitt 'would close and take
his active part immediately.' Without this he is sure that Pitt believes
'that the intention is to have the use of his talents without gratifying
his ambition.' In writing this Hardwicke of course knew, as Newcastle
knew, that Pitt's apprehension was well founded. 'My poor opinion,'
continues the Chancellor, 'is that without it all further meetings and
pourparlers with this gentleman will be vain. Your heart can only
dictate to you whether you should do it or not.'[285] Justly distrusting
the Duke's heart, the Chancellor proceeds to appeal to his instincts. He
discards, of course, the idea of Newcastle's resignation. A friend,
consulted on such a point, rarely deems it decent to do otherwise;
certainly no confidant of Newcastle's could have done so and retained
his intimacy.

As to relying on Pitt and Legge, he agrees that nothing but the pressure
of necessity could make the King adopt this course. Of course he does
not say that the Duke could at any moment bring about this pressure,
though that no doubt was the case. Newcastle, by his Parliamentary
influence, could always produce a deadlock, as was soon to be proved.
But Newcastle could, thinks Hardwicke, have Pitt without Legge. If Pitt
had the seals he would not insist on Legge.

The third course is that urged by Granville: to take Fox on Granville's
conditions, which we may safely presume to have been those afterwards
adopted. Hardwicke insinuates objections. Fox has the strong protection
of Cumberland and the personal inclination of the King, but his election
will be profoundly distasteful to Leicester House. Pitt, on the other
hand, has 'no support at Court, and the personal disinclination of the
King. He must therefore probably depend, at least for a good while, upon
those who bring him thither.' Then comes the sentence about Fox and
Leicester House which conveys a hint that Pitt, on the contrary, is well
there. It is impossible to be more adroit. Hardwicke knew that Newcastle
was fully aware that he hated Fox, and so put his objections in this
indirect and skilful way. He failed, probably because Newcastle felt
that to accept Fox would at any rate not necessitate a critical struggle
with the King, and that Fox himself was more malleable.

Of all strange confidants it was Bubb whom Pitt, on leaving Newcastle,
proceeded to take into his inmost counsels. There are always parasites
of this kind in politics, universally mistrusted, and yet constantly
taken into confidence on grounds of convenience. Always sympathetic,
always warm, always ready to betray at the first symptom of personal
advantage, they are nevertheless useful parts of the political machine,
and not so contemptible as might appear. They profess little, they
deceive nobody except for a fleeting moment, and they are employed,
with full knowledge of their character, to sound others and report the
result, to suggest from their own base experience, to bring statesmen
into relation with necessary people, and do the work with which
statesmen will not soil their hands. But they are perilous and slippery
agents, they attract in the warmth of the moment excessive confidence,
and while these indiscretions are still ringing in their ears they are
already in the tents of the enemy. Still, such as they are, they will
always exist, and always be utilised, for they are part of the fatality
of politics.

So to Bubb Pitt betook himself on the day after that on which he had
seen Newcastle, and gave a spirited account of the interview. He then
spoke fully of his relations with Fox, in which really lay the key to
the situation. He wished well to Mr. Fox, he did not complain of him,
but he could not act with him; they could not co-operate because they
were not on the same ground. Fox was not independent (_sui juris_), but
he was. He had been ready during the last session to go all lengths
against the Duke of Newcastle; but when it came to the pinch Fox always
failed him (under the constraint, it may be presumed, of the Duke of
Cumberland). _Fox had risen on his shoulders_;[286] he did not blame him
for it. Fox had taken the smooth part, and left him the brunt; he did
not complain. Fox, too, lived with his greatest enemies, Carteret,
Stone, and Murray. And Newcastle had told him that Fox had recently
offered himself to his Grace. Bubb declared that this was false, to his
knowledge. Pitt replied that no one knew better than himself how great a
liar Newcastle could be, and that if Fox denied this he should readily
take his word against the Duke's. But all that he had recapitulated
showed how impossible it was for two men to act together who stood on so
different a footing as Fox and himself.

Bubb now scented business of the kind to which he himself was addicted,
and broke in with, 'As we who are to unite in this attack _are to part
no more_,'[287] it would be proper to think what was to be held out to
the confederates if they succeeded.

Pitt declined to enter into this premature traffic, 'it would look too
like a faction, there was no country in it'; but expressed himself, in
the fashion of the day, with warmth and confidence as to Bubb himself.
He thought Bubb of the greatest consequence; nothing was too good for
such a man; no one was more listened to in the House and in the country.
He wished to be connected with Bubb in the strictest sense politically,
as he already was by marriage.[288]

Bubb demurely records these confidences, and was left happy; glad to
find, as he writes, that he should receive such support in an opposition
which, on patriotic and conscientious grounds, he must have pursued even
had he stood alone.[289]

Once more we have to deplore the hapless destinies of political alliance
and of Parliamentary twins, united in bonds of principle, who are to
part no more. This conversation took place on September 3 (1755). On
November 20 Pitt was dismissed, because of his adherence to the
virtuous course which Bubb had resolved to pursue without flinching,
even if isolated, with or without Pitt. Bubb records the removal in a
terse entry of his diary, and the next, not less terse, records his
acceptance of a lucrative post tendered by Newcastle. History has to
note some such incidents, but we know of none so cynically and
complacently narrated by the renegade himself.

Hardwicke made one last desperate effort to move Pitt, but without
success. He writes to Newcastle on September 15 (1755): 'I have had a
long conversation with the _gentleman_ your Grace knows, but with little
effect. I talked very fully and strongly to him upon every part of the
case, both as to _persons_ and _measures_. He made great professions of
his regard and firm attachment to your Grace and me, but adhered to his
_negative_. He puts that negative upon two things: His objections to the
two treaties of subsidy ... his other objection arose from _Mr. F._,
with whom he declared he could not act.'[290]

On this scene, coming more and more into prominence as the King became
older, and as the Prince of Wales, or rather Bute and his clique, waxed
bolder, appears the mysterious and elusive influence of Leicester House.
It is difficult to trace or measure this combination, except in the
naked fact of an old King and a young heir, nor is it easy to trace the
connection of Pitt with this party. Every movement in Leicester House
was jealously watched by the politicians, much as a late Sultan is said
to have tracked the movements of the least menial of his dethroned and
secluded predecessor. We read of the Princess being stirred to wrath by
her father-in-law's project of marrying her son to the daughter,
supposed to be active and ambitious, of a woman she detested. Then there
is the suspicion that the Heir Apparent was surrounded by persons who
were more or less Jacobite; Bute himself having, it was presumed,
Jacobite leanings. But the King at once desisted with rare good sense
from any idea of the projected marriage, though no doubt it would have
given him pleasure. And the danger of an Hanoverian sovereign becoming a
Jacobite under any influence seems too fantastic for a pantomime. The
real apprehension was no doubt that Leicester House might shake off the
domination and destroy the long monopoly of the Whigs, as indeed it
eventually did. And certainly Leicester House, with the throne full in
view, was becoming more and more inclined to assert itself. Human nature
and family relations had, as usual in such cases, much to do with the
matter. The Hanoverian Kings did not love their heirs apparent. George
the First hated his, but he had no other son to love, and indeed little
capacity for loving, except mistresses who found favour with no one
else. George the Second hated his with a peculiar hatred, and was thus
able to devote what fatherly affection he had to give to his second son,
the Duke of Cumberland. These parental preferences, however justifiable,
do not tend to affection between sons. And so there was no love lost
between Prince Frederick and his family on the one side, and Duke
William on the other. These feelings, as is usually the case, survived,
when Frederick died, with increasing intensity between the widow and her
brother-in-law. She saw him on the right hand of the King, enjoying all
his confidence, as was natural, and herself and her bashful son of no
account; so that a new jealousy was added to the original rancour.

Understanding these facts, we are able to follow the course of Pitt. Fox
was essentially the Duke of Cumberland's man, and so by the force of
circumstances Pitt became allied, but not at this moment closely allied,
to Leicester House. He had been a friend and servant of the dead Prince
of Wales, then had quarrelled with him, but the original brand was not
altogether effaced. Now he was the one champion whom the faction of the
late Heir Apparent could adopt; and so the politicians began to see
behind Pitt the influence of the coming King, his mother, and their
favourite. Thus, when Newcastle had to make the option between Fox and
Pitt, it was not merely the choice between two rival orators, but
between two rival Courts, the Old and the New. We may be sure that no
element in this business was more essentially present to the Minister's
mind.

All this seems petty but essential; but all was petty then, as is proved
by the mere fact of Newcastle being at the head of the Ministry and
master of the House of Commons; and it is all essential to the reader
who would understand the history of those times, because the
complication of these byways and intrigues is so extreme. There was the
King with Lady Yarmouth and Cumberland; there were Newcastle and
Hardwicke, with the House of Commons at their feet, and anxious to
remain at their feet if that were possible; there was the influence of
Cumberland apart from the King, and represented by Fox; there was
Bedford, powerful from his property and connections, with a clique
hungry for office; there was Pitt with his Grenville relations, who were
ready to give him their support, but not less ready to withdraw it if
something better should offer. And around and below these was the great
shifting mass of politicians by profession and cupidity, the
parliamentary Zoroastrians, who worshipped the rising sun, when they
could discern it; the sun which should shed upon them office, salary,
and titles; striving, sweating, cringing, as Bubb, the most shameless of
them all, emphasises in capital letters, 'AND ALL FOR QUARTER-DAY.' It
was through this scene of confusion and intrigue that Pitt had to thread
his way, not very scrupulously; for he had always lived in this society,
had lost whatever thin illusions he had ever possessed, and followed the
clues which his experience had taught him to prize. He played the game.

[Sidenote: Nov. 13, 1755.]

The meeting of Parliament took place two months afterwards and that
period was spent by Newcastle and Hardwicke in arranging to discard Pitt
and Legge, and to lean on Cumberland and Fox. Newcastle did not yield to
Fox without reluctance, for it was, in Pitt's words, parting with some
of his sole power. In his helplessness and despair he even offered to
cede his place to Granville, who as Carteret had been his most detested
bugbear, but who had now subsided into a quiescent President of the
Council. Granville refused with a laugh, and preferred to conduct the
negotiation with Fox. Fox had to him the merit of keeping out Pitt,
whose former denunciations he had neither forgotten nor forgiven. So he
had first endeavoured to inspire Murray to face, and now Fox to
supplant Pitt. With a flash of his old diplomacy he was able to bring
together the two mistrustful parties, on terms which Newcastle had
curtly refused in the first insolence of his power, but which now, at
the instance of Hardwicke as we have seen, he had to concede. The insane
plan of a leaderless House of Commons, left like sheep on a barren moor,
owned by an absentee Duke secluded in the Treasury, was to be abandoned.
Fox was to be Secretary of State, leader of the House of Commons in name
and in fact, and what was far more than either, he was authorised to
announce that he represented the full influence of the King in the House
'to help or to hurt.' When the two shepherds, the old and the new,
burning with mutual hatred and distrust, met to ratify the conditions,
Fox suggested sardonically that it would be best that this should be the
last time on which they should meet to agree, that there should be a
final settlement, or none at all, meaning that it should be honest and
complete. Newcastle, no doubt with a wry face, agreed. 'Then,' said Fox,
'it shall be so'; though indeed it was not. Fox stipulated for the
admission or promotion of five persons, the only memorable ones of whom
were George Selwyn, whose lovable and humorous personality has survived
that of many more eminent contemporaries, and Hamilton, who is the only
man, except the less-known Hawkins, who is remembered by a single
speech. Chesterfield, on hearing of the reconstitution of the Ministry,
observed with his habitual shrewdness that Newcastle had turned out
everybody else and had now turned himself out. Fox at once repented of
his adhesion, for Stone, Newcastle's confidant, informed him that had he
not joined them the Ministry would have instantly resigned.[291] But
now he had to content himself with negotiating through Rigby with the
Bedford group, which he hoped to bring into office for the purpose of
wrecking the administration.

Robinson made less than no difficulties in accommodating himself to the
new pretensions. He only yearned to return to the Great Wardrobe of
which he had been Master. And so with a pension of 2000_l._ a year,
fixed upon luckless Ireland, he vanishes into space, with the natural
remark that he had never looked on his seven children with so much
satisfaction as on the completion of these domestic arrangements.



CHAPTER XIX.


This blank though important space in the life of Pitt himself seems
favourable for picking up a few threads which had to be dropped in the
narrative of his negotiations with Newcastle.

After the baiting to which Robinson had been subjected in the first days
of the session he disappeared from debate; and Fox, then in close
negotiation for a seat in the Cabinet, represented the Government in the
Commons, and turned a deaf ear to the proposal that he should join Pitt
in a combined attack on Newcastle. Fox's game, it will be seen, was not
calculated to win the confidence of Pitt, to whom, however, during the
session, he showed marked courtesy on the one hand, while negotiating
with the Duke on the other.

[Sidenote: Feb. 26, 1755.]

The Lord Advocate had introduced a Bill continuing for a further period
the provisions passed after the rising of 1745 which had temporarily
placed the tenure of sheriff-deputyships at the King's pleasure instead
of for life as before. This seems to have raised an animated debate,
memorable to us as having produced two fine speeches from Pitt, which
Horace Walpole alone mentions, and of which he gives a spirited sketch.
It is only possible to give Walpole's record in his own words, as there
is no other. Pitt spoke in answer to Murray (who, by-the-by, speaking
in defence of the Bill, had said that there was not a single Jacobite
left in Scotland) 'with great fire, in one of his best worded and most
spirited declarations for liberty, but which, like others of his fine
orations, cannot be delivered adequately without his own language; nor
will they appear so cold to the reader, as they even do to myself, when
I attempt to sketch them, and cannot forget with what soul and grace
they were uttered. He did not directly oppose, but wished rather to send
the Bill to the Committee, to see how it could be amended. He was glad
that Murray would defend the King, only with a salve to the rights of
the Revolution; he commended his abilities, but tortured him on his
distinctions and refinements. He himself had more scruples; it might be
a Whig delicacy--but even that is a solid principle. He had more dread
of arbitrary power dressing itself in the long robe, than even of
military power. When master principles are concerned, he dreaded
accuracy of distinction: he feared that sort of reasoning: if you class
everything, you will soon reduce everything into a particular; you will
then lose great general maxims. Gentlemen may analyse a question till it
is lost. If I can show him, says Murray, that it is not my Lord Judge,
but Mr. Judge, I have got him into a class. For his part, could he be
drawn to violate liberty, it should be _regnandi causâ_, for this King's
reigning. He would not recur for precedents to the diabolic divans of
the second Charles and James; he did not date his principles of the
liberty of this country from the Revolution; they are eternal rights;
and when God said, "_let justice be justice_," He made it independent.
The Act of Parliament that you are going to repeal is a proof of the
importance of the Sheriffs-depute: formerly they were instruments of
tyranny. Why is this attempted? is it to make Mr. Pelham more regretted?
He would have been tender of cramming down the throats of the people
what they are averse to swallow. Whig and Minister were conjuncts he
always wished to see. He deprecated (_sic_) those, who had more weight
than himself in the Administration, to drop this; or besought that they
would take it for any term that may comprehend the King's life; for
seven years, for fourteen, though he was not disposed to weigh things in
such golden scales.' The reader must make of this what he will.

Fox said 'that he was undetermined, and would reserve himself for the
Committee; that he only spoke now, to show it was not crammed down his
throat; which was in no man's power to do. That in the Committee he
would be free, which he feared Pitt had not left it in his own power to
be, so well he had spoken on one side. That he reverenced liberty and
Pitt, because nobody could speak so well on its behalf.'[292]

The Bill came up again a few days afterwards, and we find Pitt again
attacking it, and Fox apparently evading a contest with him. We are once
more thrown back on Walpole's account. 'Pitt talked on the harmony of
the day, and wished that Fox had omitted anything that looked like
levity on this great principle. That the Ministry giving up the _durante
benè placito_ was an instance of moderation. That two points of the
Debate had affected him with sensible pleasure--the admission that
judicature ought to be free, and the universal zeal to strengthen the
King's hands. That liberty was the best loyalty; that giving
extraordinary powers to the Crown was so many repeals of the Act of
Settlement. Fox said shortly, that if he had honoured the fire of
liberty, he now honoured the smoke.'[293]

These arguments are not easy to follow, so the only faithful course
seems to be to give the actual record.

Meanwhile it is necessary for a moment to peer outside, and take note of
the world so far, and only so far, as it affects the life of Pitt; for
the clouds of war were gathering fast. The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle was
only an armed truce, the cupidities and resentments which it had checked
for the moment were still active, though mute. With two such characters
as Frederick and Maria Theresa matched against each other, it was
evident that Silesia would never be surrendered or abandoned without
another deadly struggle. Moreover, half unconsciously, the two secular
rivals, France and Britain, were drifting into a contest for supremacy
over half the globe, to settle the question as to which should become
the first colonising power of the world. Hostilities in India and in
North America were always smouldering, and the arrangements of
Aix-la-Chapelle had not extended to either region. The treaty had in no
way checked the desperate war carried on in India between the English
and French Companies, between Clive and Dupleix. That was presently
closed for the moment by a provisional treaty signed on the spot in
January 1755. In America the scene was even more poignant. There without
any declaration of war, in a formal and legal state of peace,
hostilities were carried on, openly and yet treacherously, by incursions
connived at by the French Government. And as if to add an additional
horror to these sinister operations, they were accompanied by all the
unspeakable barbarities of Indian warfare, the cold-blooded murder of
men, women and children, rewards from the European governors for the
scalps thus obtained, and by open cannibalism.[294] Christian
missionaries were not ashamed to hound on these savages to murder,
torture, and rapine; nay, their professed converts[295] were sometimes
the keenest in butchery. For religious fanaticism imparted an ignorant
zeal to the barbarous combatants, who were taught, it is said, that
Christ was a Frenchman crucified by the English. The claim that the King
of France was the eldest son of the Church was construed into a much
more literal interpretation of divine origin.[296] There was in fact no
element of atrocity wanting to this war, which was not a war; blasphemy,
murder, outrage, arson, rape, torture were all employed under the pure
white banner with its golden lilies. Parkman, the historian of these
operations, does not record the like of the British. But this is not to
affirm there were no reprisals. For war carried on in this fashion and
by the employment of savages can scarcely be one-sided in its
barbarities.

[Sidenote: July 4, 1754.]

[Sidenote: Jan. 1755.]

[Sidenote: July 9, 1755.]

But apart from the perfidious ambitions of governments and the predatory
lusts of savages, there could not be peace in America, nor in effect had
there been since the settlement of Utrecht. Boundaries in that trackless
continent were vague, and constantly overstepped. The proper limits of
Nova Scotia, and the demarcation between Canada and New England, were
subjects of acute controversy. Under such circumstances both parties
plant outposts in disputed territories, and both attempt to dislodge
each other. French officers headed exploring parties, annexing vast
territories by the simple expedient of nailing to a tree-trunk a tin
plate stamped with the arms of France, and burying at the root a leaden
tablet recording that possession had thus been taken. But there were
other operations much less bloodless and futile. One of these petty
engagements survives in history because it marks the first appearance of
Washington, compelled in 1754 to celebrate the Fourth of July by a
surrender to the French, who had surrounded him in superior numbers; and
because it was the commencement of open but not declared warfare between
the British and the French. Both nations now determined to send out
reinforcements. 'In a moment,' says Walpole, 'the Duke of Newcastle
assumed the hero, and breathed nothing but military operations; he and
the Chancellor held councils of war; none of the ministers except Lord
Holderness were admitted inside their tent.' With some discount for
Walpole's malicious pleasantry, the picture, humorous enough to us, must
have filled men like Pitt with the darkest misgivings. Pitt, as we have
seen, had once been accidentally admitted into the tent and taken into
confidence. He must have left it with the feeling that the destinies of
the Empire were in peril so long as Newcastle was at the helm. A giant
conflict for the supremacy of the world was preparing, and Newcastle was
in charge of Great Britain. It was enough to give the bravest patriot a
qualm. Nor were the military preparations less deplorable. Braddock was
sent out at the new year with a plan of campaign prepared by
Cumberland. Cumberland on Braddock was a combination which might make
the stoutest heart in England quail. Cumberland, who had lost every
battle but the one-sided affray of Culloden, was the brain to devise.
Braddock, a brutal soldier of parade experience, whose only warfare had
been in Hyde Park or Hounslow, was the hand to execute. Braddock took
his troops through the American bush as if they were marching from
London to Windsor, and was annihilated ten miles from the French
stronghold, Fort Duquesne, where now smokes toiling Pittsburg. British
troops then first faced the most formidable of adversaries, an invisible
foe. They advanced boldly, cheering and singing 'God save the King.' But
they found that they were mere targets for a host of concealed
sharpshooters. Behind every tree and rock there lurked a musket. At last
they broke ranks and huddled into confusion. 'We would fight,' they
answered their officers, 'if we could see anybody to fight with.' Some
survivors declared that they had not seen a single Indian. Others were
not so fortunate. Twelve unhappy persons were tortured and burned alive
by the savage allies of the French. Braddock was mortally wounded, and
died after a long silence, broken only by the one pathetic question,
'Who would have thought it?'[297] His papers fell into the hands of the
French and swelled the indictment with which they declared war.[298]
This evil news arrived in England at the end of August, and no doubt
precipitated Newcastle's attempt to come to terms with Pitt.

Three months after the departure of Braddock, the French in alarm
fitted out a fleet of reinforcement, which sailed at the end of April,
just as George II. was leaving his kingdom for his electorate, amid the
scarce veiled indignation of his British subjects. The moment was
critical, the King was old, his heir was young, the French were making
great warlike preparations, every circumstance pointed to the grave
impropriety of the departure. But the King was obdurate to all
remonstrance. Not only was Hanover his home, he was also anxious to
negotiate treaties of subsidy for its protection; treaties which were
more conveniently signed away from Great Britain; that country being
only required to endorse them in order to furnish the necessary
supplies.

[Sidenote: 1755.]

When it was certain that the French fleet was destined for America,
Admiral Boscawen was despatched with a squadron to intercept it.
Boscawen had eleven ships of the line and one frigate, the French fleet
consisted of eighteen ships, eight of which were lightly armed as
transports. The two armaments came into collision at the mouth of the
St. Lawrence on June 7. Three French ships came into conflict with three
British ships under Captain Howe. The French commander sent to ask 'Is
it peace or war?' Lord Howe replied that he must ask his admiral, who
replied 'War.' Thereupon Howe attacked and captured two of the enemy,
but to the mortification of the British the bulk of the French fleet got
safely into Louisbourg; then a Gibraltar, now a lonely pasture beaten by
the surf.

During all this year attempts had been made by negotiation in London
between Mirepoix, the French Ambassador, and Newcastle, to delimit the
territories in dispute, but at the news of this conflict Mirepoix left
London at once. Nevertheless the French behaved with signal
placability, they even released the _Blandford_ man-of-war, which they
had captured; and there was at present no formal declaration of open
hostility. For Louis XV. and his mistress did not desire war with Great
Britain, nor were they ready for it. A council was held at Compiègne at
which the opinion of Noailles prevailed. That was to suffer and endure,
so as to attract the sympathy of all Europe against Britain; only to
declare war when it was abundantly proved to be inevitable; then to
limit the operations to the sea, and not to be lured into any warfare on
the continent of Europe.[299] It was the Government of Newcastle that
moved towards hostilities. Our Admiralty behaved with great but perhaps
lawless vigour. It issued letters of marque, and before the end of the
year 300 French merchant ships and 6000 French seamen had been captured.

War seemed now inevitable, although at earlier stages it might, we
think, have been avoided without difficulty; and there began a general
hunt for alliances, which soon developed into a complete reversal of
former arrangements. Maria Theresa, thirsting for revenge, sought under
the inspiration of Kaunitz a strict union with France and Russia. The
tongue of Frederick, biting, uncontrolled, and especially venomous in
dealing with the frailty of woman, did perhaps more than Austrian
diplomacy to facilitate these arrangements; for the Empress Elizabeth
and Madame de Pompadour were both stung to unrelenting animosity by
Frederick's reckless ribaldry. Frederick, however, took the first step
himself. While France was secretly carrying on negotiations with
England, which continued to the end of 1755, and neglecting to renew
her previous treaty with Prussia which expired in May 1756, Frederick
signed with Great Britain in January 1756 the Treaty of Westminster, by
which both parties guaranteed each other's possessions and bound
themselves to take up arms against any Power which should invade
Germany. This instrument had the indirect but grave effect of
neutralising the King's treaty with Russia for the defence of Hanover,
for it precluded any foreign Power from marching troops into Germany.
The news of this agreement was received at Versailles with consternation
and wrath. The French Court replied to it by the Treaty of Versailles
(May 1, 1756), hurriedly concluded with Austria and extremely one-sided.
France agreed to respect the Austrian Netherlands, from which she might
have hoped for some compensation in case of success. Both parties agreed
to guarantee each other's dominions, and a secret article, aimed at
Prussia, made the compact more stringent. In August a treaty still more
advantageous to Austria was concluded between the two Powers; but in
this some frontier towns in the Austrian Netherlands, though not
specified, were to be conceded to France, when Austria was once more in
possession of Silesia and Glatz.[300]

It was believed in Europe that this counterbalancing treaty to that of
Westminster ensured the peace of the Continent. But the world did not
yet know Frederick. He was crouching for a spring. Two circumstances
impelled him. He had become aware through a corrupt Saxon clerk of a
correspondence between Austria and Saxony concerting a vast confederacy
against him. The second was this. We have noticed the Russian and
Hessian treaties of subsidy. That with Russia had been originally
concluded with a view to operations against Frederick himself,[301] and
to that purpose the Empress Elizabeth was determined that it should be
confined. By a personal declaration[302] and by two resolutions of the
Russian Senate[303] it was made clear that hostility to Frederick alone
inspired the Russian share of the treaty. He saw the circle closing
round him. Three outraged women were directing the forces of three
Empires against him. He had nothing to rely upon but his own country,
Britain, and himself. Cognizant of the plot against him, he determined
to have the advantage of attack. Like a leopard he sprang upon Dresden.
Before the Saxons had well realised that war was impending he was at the
throat of the electorate, and had seized the capital, the army, and the
compromising papers which justified his action. This was the beginning
of the worldwide struggle known as the Seven Years' War, and it occurred
in September 1756.

This is all that is necessary for our story, a mere glimpse of the
intrigues and rancours which were lashing all Europe into storm. We must
now return to the parliamentary arena.

[Sidenote: 1755.]

On September 15, George II. deigned to return to his British dominions,
and on November 13 he opened his Parliament. Two circumstances were
considered noteworthy in connection with the formal occasion. Fox, as
leader of the House, rehearsed the Speech from the Throne, as was then
the custom, at the Cockpit; but the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the
Paymaster, and the Grenvilles were conspicuous by their absence. Fox,
too, summoned his supporters by a note of the kind then, as now,
customary, but in terms which gave offence to the susceptible
independence of members; intimating that the King was about to make him
Secretary of State, though not till after the first debate, 'which may
be a warm one,' so that his seat might not be vacated until after the
Address had been voted. He was also to take upon him 'the conduct of the
House of Commons.' This last expression was animadverted upon in
Parliament, and Fox admitted that he should have said 'conduct of His
Majesty's affairs in the House of Commons.' In these days, when 'leader
of the House of Commons' is the recognised title of the principal
Minister in the House, it is not without interest to notice this
constitutional squeamishness.

The King's Speech contained the following paragraph, which strikes the
reader as something less than candid:--

'With a sincere desire to preserve my people from the calamities of war,
as well as to prevent, in the midst of these troubles, a general war
from being lighted up in Europe, I have always been ready to accept
reasonable and honourable terms of accommodation; but none such have
hitherto been proposed on the part of France. I have also confined my
views and operations to hinder France from making new encroachments, or
supporting those already made; to exert our right to a satisfaction for
hostilities committed in a time of profound peace: and to disappoint
such designs as, from various appearances and preparations, there is
reason to think, have been formed against my kingdoms and dominions.'

Members met to hear the Royal Speech in the electric condition which
bodes a crisis. There had been a long political truce; but this was
evidently about to come to an end. Ministers had to bear the burden of
the Russian and Hessian treaties, which the Speech from the Throne
commended to the attention of Parliament. War with France was impending;
indeed, a French invasion was daily expected. There was a new leader,
and, consequently, a new opposition. Pitt was evidently prepared to
launch thunderbolts at the Administration. Leicester House was said to
be behind him. There was an animating sense of conflict in the air.

Once more the parliamentary history fails us, and disdains to record one
of the most memorable passages in its annals; so once more we are thrown
on the authority and the sketches of Walpole; sometimes brilliant, but
more often confused and defective.

The debate in the Commons lasted till near five in the morning, an hour
then almost unprecedented.

It was distinguished by that famous effort which gave Single-speech
Hamilton his nickname. Walpole, in recording and eulogising it, says:
'You will ask, what could be beyond this? Nothing but what was beyond
what ever was, and that was Pitt.' Pitt, indeed, after sitting through
the eleven hours of the debate, rose and delivered, with inimitable
spirit and all the dramatic force that the greatest actor of his age
could impart, a speech of an hour and a half, which contains his most
famous figure, and which perhaps he never exceeded.

'His eloquence,' says Walpole, 'like a torrent long obstructed, burst
forth with more commanding impetuosity.' For ten years he had been
muzzled, and now he revelled in his freedom. 'He spoke at past one (in
the morning) for an hour and thirty-five minutes. There was more humour,
wit, vivacity, fine language, more boldness,--in short, more astonishing
perfections, than even you who are used to him can conceive.'

He 'surpassed himself, and then I need not tell you that he surpassed
Cicero and Demosthenes. What a figure would they with their formal
laboured cabinet orations make vis-a-vis his manly vivacity and dashing
eloquence at one o'clock in the morning, after sitting in that heat for
eleven hours!'

This enthusiasm from the least enthusiastic of men adds to our regrets
that so faint a memory of this dazzling speech remains. And yet perhaps
we were wise to be grateful that we have only the description. It seems
not impossible that the words taken down verbatim by some old
parliamentary hand in the reporters' gallery would seem cold or tawdry
without the soul and grace which animated them, and which haunted Horace
Walpole for long years afterwards. Some of the allusions which have been
noted down seem forced, some of the bursts incoherent, some of the irony
obscure. But those who heard it palpitated with emotion, they saw the
divine fire of the orator, while posterity can only grope among the cold
ashes for the burning fragments poured forth in the wrath of the
eruption.

'Haughty, defiant, conscious of injury, and of supreme abilities,' he
offered a great contrast to Legge, who fought by his side with different
weapons; for Legge was studiously moderate, deferential, and artful;
'gliding to revenge.' Yet Pitt himself began with expressions of
veneration for the King, and of gratitude for 'late condescending
goodness and gracious openings,' alluding to the offer of a seat in the
Cabinet. It was obvious from this that he did not mean the door of the
Closet to be closed on him, or to try again to force it by attack. But,
he continued, the very respect he felt for that august name made him
deprecate the unconstitutional use made of it in this debate.

Egmont had argued that we were to have the Hessian and Russian
mercenaries to fall back upon in case our fleets were defeated. Why if
that were so, asked Pitt, did we not hire of Russia ships rather than
men? The answer was simple: because ships could not defend Hanover. Must
we drain, he asked, presumably in obscure allusion to Russia, our last
vital drop and send it to the North Pole? We had been told that Carthage
was undone in spite of her navy. But that was not until she betook
herself to land operations. Carthage, too, he added, pointing directly
to the enterprises of Cumberland, had a Hannibal who would pass the
Alps. We were told, too, that we must assist Hanover out of justice and
gratitude. As to justice, there was a charter which barred any such
consideration. Gratitude was only in question if Hanover should be
involved in anything which called down on her the resentment of France
in consequence of any quarrel of ours. But, to speak plainly, these
expressions were unparliamentary and unconstitutional. The King owed a
duty to his people which should not be obscured by such phraseology. Our
ancestors would never have stooped to such adulation.

Then he turned with the greatest contempt to Sir George Lyttelton: 'A
gentleman near me has talked of writers on the law of Nations. But
Nature is the best writer; she will teach us to be men and not to
truckle to power.' As he proceeded, he slowly swelled into his famous
burst. 'I, who am at a distance from the _sanctum sanctorum_--I, who
travel through a desert and am overwhelmed with mountains of
obscurity--cannot so easily catch a gleam to direct me to the beauties
of these negotiations. For there are parts of this Address which do not
seem to come from the same quarter as the rest. I cannot unravel this
mystery. But, yes!' he exclaimed with an air of sudden enlightenment,
clapping his hand to his forehead, 'I too am now inspired. I am struck
by a recollection. I remember at Lyons to have been taken to see the
conflux of the Rhone and the Saône. The one is a gentle, feeble, languid
stream, and, though languid, of no depth; the other a boisterous and
impetuous torrent. Yet they meet at last. And long,' he added, with
bitter sarcasm, 'may they continue united, to the comfort of each other,
and to the glory, honour, and security of this nation.'

This is all that we possess of this renowned flight and in this faint
form it does not strike one as particularly impressive. But the actual
words of the orator were probably very different; and nothing can
preserve for us the voice, the eye, the darting accent and the
concentrated fire of delivery which imparted such tremendous force to
the apostrophe. In any case, the effect was instant and prodigious.
After the debate Fox asked Pitt, 'Who is the Rhone?' 'Is that a fair
question?' answered Pitt, for no orator likes to be cross-examined
about his metaphors. 'Why,' rejoined Fox good-humouredly, 'as you have
said so much that I did not wish to hear, you may tell me one thing that
I want to hear. Am I the Rhone, or Lord Granville?' 'You are Granville,'
returned Pitt. He meant, of course, what was true, that Fox and
Granville were now practically one, and one in opposition to himself.

After this climax the notes of the remainder of the speech seem
comparatively poor. By adopting these measures, he urged, we are losing
sight of our proper force, the Navy. It was the Navy which, by making us
masters of Cape Breton in the last war, had secured the restoration of
Flanders and the Barrier Fortresses. And yet even then we had had to
conclude a bad peace. Moreover, bad as it was, our Ministers had
suffered such constant infractions of it that they would have been
stoned in the streets had they not at last shown signs of resentment.
And yet, even now, they seem to have already forgotten the cause in
which they took up arms, for at present they are not acting on behalf of
Britain. These treaties are not English measures, but Hanoverian. Are
they indeed measures of prevention? Are they not rather measures of
aggression and provocation? Will they not irritate Prussia and light up
a general war? If that be the result, I will follow to the death the
authors of this policy, for this is the day that I hope will give a
colour to my life. And yet I fear it is useless to try and stem the
torrent. Ministers evidently mean a land war, and how preposterous a
war. Hanover is their only base, for they cannot gain the alliance of
the Dutch. I remember, everybody remembers, when you did force them to
join you: all our misfortunes are due to those daring, wicked counsels
(of Granville's). Out of them sprung a ministry,' he continued,
referring to the forty-eight hours phantom of Pulteney and Carteret. 'I
saw that ministry. In the morning it flourished. It was green at noon.
By night it was cut down and forgotten.' What if a ministry should
spring out of this subsidy? It is contended, moreover, that it will
dishonour the King to reject these treaties which he has concluded. But
was not the treaty of Hanau transmitted to us in the same way and
rejected here? If these treaties are really a preventive measure, they
are only preventive of Newcastle's retirement.

Then he ridiculed Murray's elaborate compassion of the aged Sovereign.
He too could appeal for commiseration of the King. He could picture him
deprived of any honest counsel, spending his summer in his electorate,
surrounded by affrighted Hanoverians, without any one near him to keep
him in mind of the policy and interest of England, or of the fact that
we cannot reverse the laws of Nature, and make Hanover other than an
open, defenceless country. He too could foresee the day, within the next
two years, when the King would be unable to sleep in St. James's; but
that would be because his slumbers would be disturbed by the clamours of
a bankrupt people.

These are all the shreds that remain of this glorious rhapsody. It would
perhaps be better that nothing had survived. Each student must try and
reconstruct for himself, like some rhetorical Owen, out of these poor
bones the majestic structure of Pitt's famous speech.

Fox replied with obvious languor and fatigue, and the division was
taken between four and five. On the first question, that the words
promising assistance to Hanover should be omitted, the supporters of the
Government were 311 to 105. On the second amendment, which obscurely
questioned the policy of both treaties the numbers were 290 to 89. The
faithful Commons were still able to be loyal to Newcastle. Against that
pasteboard rock Pitt's billows broke in vain.[304]

Next day (November 15, 1755) Fox received the seals. Five days
afterwards Pitt, Legge, and George Grenville were dismissed by notes
from Lord Holdernesse, the colleague of Fox in the Secretaryship of
State. Fox indeed declares in a letter to Welbore Ellis, then peevish at
not getting a better place, that he did not know till the last moment of
the intention to remove anybody but Legge.[305] To George Grenville,
Bute, now beginning to show himself above ground, but still with
circumspection, sent a significant note of congratulation. 'Tis
glorious,' he wrote, 'to suffer in such a cause and with such
companions.' Pitt received an even more gratifying communication from
Temple, who settled on him a thousand a year till better times. We
cannot perhaps blame Pitt for accepting this offer, since probably there
was no other way of maintaining Lady Hester in decent comfort; for we
may easily surmise that he had squandered his own fortune on buildings,
gardens, and the like; as Temple probably knew. But we could wish that
he had done so with less effusion. 'How decline or how receive so great
a generosity so amiably offered.' Lady Hester, who had begun the letter
of thanks, 'was literally not in a situation to write any farther.'
Pitt was 'little better able to hold the pen than Lady Hester. We are
both yours more affectionately than words can express. We could have
slept upon the Earl of Holdernesses' letter (of dismissal). But our
hearts must now wake to gratitude and you, and wish for nothing but the
return of day to embrace the best and noblest of brothers.' Even this is
not sufficient. Next day he must write again to say to Lord Temple,
'that I am more yours than my own, and that I equally love and revere
the kindest of brothers and the noblest of men.'

Language less ecstatic would better have become a great man accepting a
serious pecuniary obligation. In truth Pitt never had any scrupulous
idea of personal independence. He had accepted a borough from Newcastle,
whom he then suspected and despised. Now it was an allowance from
Temple, whom, from close intimacy and kinship, he must have known to be
an intriguing politician, who was not likely to give without expecting
return. A few years hence it was to be a pension from the Crown.

With regard to money indeed he had no very careful or exalted standard.
In such matters he was indifferent, reckless, and heedless of any nicety
of scruple, except as regards the public. He never seems to have
considered how important solvency is to character. He was always, after
his marriage, quite unnecessarily, in desperate straits for money.
Indifference to the fact that pecuniary independence is a main though
not necessary base of moral independence was a flaw in his own life, and
was the worst inheritance that he transmitted to his illustrious son.

The announcement of Legge's successor at the Exchequer provoked
universal hilarity. It was Lyttelton. We have seen that in the last
debate Pitt had turned with fierce scorn on his former ally. No doubt he
was aware of Lyttelton's approaching elevation. But their historic
friendship had been dissolved for a year. In November 1754, at the
heedless or mischievous instance of the younger Horace Walpole,
Lyttelton, with the best intentions and the most inane execution
possible, had hurried off, without consultation with his friend, to
effect a reconciliation between Newcastle, Pitt's enemy, and Bedford,
who was allied to Pitt by a common hatred of the Minister. Newcastle
received the negotiator with his wonted effervescence, and gave or
appeared to give full powers. Away sped Lyttelton, bursting with the
importance of an amateur diplomatist. But at the mere mention of his
mission the other Duke nearly kicked the messenger of peace downstairs,
and at once communicated the secret overture to Pitt. The result to
Lyttelton was for the moment unmixed disaster. Pitt publicly broke with
him, Newcastle of course disowned him, he indeed disowned himself.
Henceforth he was banned by the Cousinhood, and incurred a wrath and
vengeance as implacable as that of the Carbonari. Now, however, he had
his reward, for it can scarcely be doubted that his elevation to the
Exchequer was intended partly as a plaster for his diplomatic wounds,
partly as an annoyance to the party of Pitt. Any motive indeed but
fitness for the office can be suggested for his promotion, to which he
was lured by the promise of a peerage.[306] If, however, the annoyance
it would cause to his late friends was a reason, it failed in its
object. For Lyttelton, in his new office, gave the amplest opportunity
for the wreaking of their revenge. He was, as we have seen, grotesque as
a diplomatist. He was even more unfit to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Lyttelton had been a promising young man, but promising young men
frequently fail to mature, and he became a minor politician, a minor
poet, a minor historian. As a politician, he was principally known for
the delivery of pompous prepared harangues. He wrote a pathetic and not
wholly forgotten monody on the death of his first wife, to which he
could have added a new and poignant emphasis after his second marriage.
He wrote a treatise on the conversion of St. Paul, which earned the
commendation of Dr. Johnson. He wrote some 'Dialogues of the Dead,'
which Dr. Johnson was not able to commend. He was now writing an
elaborate History of Henry the Second, on the printer's corrections in
which he spent a thousand pounds, and was soon to publish with a score
of pages of errata. But his literary renown rests on the dedication of
'Tom Jones.'

He was, however, best known to the public at large by his eccentric
appearance and demeanour. 'Extremely tall and extremely thin, he bent
under his own weight,' says his nephew Camelford. 'His face was so
ugly,' says Hervey, 'his person so ill-made, and his carriage so
awkward, that every feature was a blemish, every limb an incumbrance,
and every motion a disgrace.' Horace Walpole says of him that he had the
figure of a spectre and the gesticulations of a puppet. Chesterfield
portrays him as the embodiment of all in manner and deportment that was
to be avoided. His legs and arms, said the urbane peer, seem to have
undergone the rack, his head hanging limp on his shoulder the first
stroke of the axe. As absent as a Laputan, he leaves his hat in one
room, his sword in another, and would leave his shoes, if unfastened, in
a third. 'Who's dat!' wrote the satirist,

    'Who's dat who ride astride de pony,
    So long, so lank, so lean and bony?
    Oh! he be de great orator Little-toney.'

He was obviously something of a butt from his physical peculiarities and
awkwardness, and a butt is ill placed in high office.

Gawky, fussy, pedantic, he was what in these days we should call a prig;
a kindly prig, with a warm heart, some literary ability, and strong
religious feeling; but for all that an unmistakable, inveterate,
incurable prig. The word 'prig' is untranslatable and uncommunicable. It
denotes nothing unamiable, nothing distasteful. It marks only a strange
flaw; partly of intellect, partly of character, partly of accent. And
one feels that it was impossible not to like Lyttelton, for he was full
of friendliness and virtue. With Pitt he was reconciled within a decade,
and mourned his death with a sincere sorrow which was not then abundant.

But the Exchequer is a peculiar office requiring peculiar gifts. A dull
man may succeed in it if he possess them; without them the greatest
talents will fail. Lyttelton possessed none of them. He was unable, it
was alleged, to work out the simplest sum in arithmetic. He was ignorant
of the first principles of finance. The Exchequer never had a more
preposterous Chancellor, till Dashwood appeared. He had better have left
it alone.

Fox, whose accession to the leadership was said to have inspired Murray
with courage, must have watched with gloomy forebodings the figure set
up in the Exchequer to face the lightnings of Pitt. The most that he
could hope was that it would act as an efficient conductor. Yet Fox
needed all the strength that he could muster. For no one despised his
chief more than he, or had a greater respect for the powers of his
rival.

It should further be noted that this ministry had a luckless connection
which made it known as 'the Duke's ministry'; for it had been formed
under the auspices and at the recommendation of the disastrous
Cumberland. 'Never,' says Almon, 'was an administration more unpopular
and odious.'

[Sidenote: Nov. 21, 1755.]

War had now been declared between the Government and Pitt, who now
certainly had the latent countenance of the Heir Apparent, or of the
clique who represented the Heir Apparent; and there was no delay in
coming to blows. The very day after Pitt's dismissal, Welbore Ellis, a
Lord of the Admiralty, who was destined to live on as a Nestor in
politics and be made a peer by Pitt's son, moved for 50,000 seamen,
mentioning that the peace establishment was 40,000. It was a formal
motion, and members were leaving the House, when they were recalled by
the awful tones of Pitt, declaring that he shuddered at hearing that our
naval resources were so narrowed. He recalled his former protest in 1751
against reduction. He would hunt down the authors of these disastrous
measures which made the King's crown totter on his head. This noble
country of ours was being ruined by the silly pride of one man and the
subservience of his colleagues, and some day we should have to answer
for it; unless already overwhelmed by some catastrophe brought about by
France, our hereditary enemy. All this trouble arose from the petty
struggle for power. What power was it that was sought, what kind of
power, was it only that of doing good? On an English question like this
he would not impede unanimity but implore it; he would ask favours in
such a cause of any minister, would have gone that morning to Fox's
first levee to ask him to accept 50,000 men besides marines. (The vote
asked for was for 50,000 men, including 9113 marines.) If that could be
obtained it would be the first thing done for this country since the
Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. He obscurely intimated charges of treachery
and collusion. And now, he added, shame and danger had come together. He
himself had been alarmed by intelligence on the highest authority. These
terrors had been communicated to the House, which was willing to grant
the King any assistance for any English object. But there was an
essential difference between the ministry and that House. The ministry
thought of everything but the public interest; the House was ready to
afford everything for it. The House, he added mysteriously, was a
fluctuating body, but he hoped would be eternal; and he concluded with a
prayer for the King, with his royal posterity, and for this 'poor,
forlorn, distressed country.'

It is not always easy to trace the sequence of Pitt's speeches in
Walpole's notes, nor is it possible to tell whether the confusion is due
to the oration or the notes. The notes were probably made during the
debate with the intention of filling in the outlines while recollection
was still fresh; an intention which, as is usual with such intentions,
was, it may be safely surmised, never carried out. But we are inclined
to attribute obscurity in the main to the abrupt rhapsodical transitions
of Pitt's speeches. They require, as reported by Walpole, almost as much
interpretation as Cromwell's. In this one we discern great court paid to
the House of Commons, so hostile to himself; unrelenting scorn of the
Government; and bitter emphasis on British as opposed to Hanoverian
interests. The peroration as barely reported seems below the level of a
debating society. But, then, we must remember that no fervent and
exalted apostrophe, prolonged as this probably was, can be adequately
transmitted in a naked sentence, or perhaps in any conceivable report.

Fox replied with admirable temper, a self-control all the more laudable
and noted because of his usual impetuousness. He took up Pitt's sneer at
petty struggles for power. What the motives of these struggles for power
had been let those tell who had struggled most and longest for power.
They had been told that nobody round the King had sense or virtue, that
sense and virtue resided somewhere else. How was the King to know where
they are to be found? for he feared that _this_ House of Commons would
not point in the required direction. He ended by asking why Pitt had not
asked sooner for his augmentation of force.

This called up Pitt again, who denied that he had ever asserted that
there were no sense and virtue near the Throne. No man had ever suffered
so much as himself from those stilettoes of a Court which assassinate
the fair repute of a man with his Sovereign. The insinuation of his
having struggled for power had been received by the House with so much
approval, that he must take notice of the charge. Had he yielded to the
poor and sordid measures which are ruining the country he might, no
doubt, have been admitted to the confidence of the Closet. Then, carried
by anger beyond the facts, he went further, and said that as he was not
prepared then to enter into the details of the private transactions of a
whole summer, he would only say that he might have had what Fox had
accepted. Unfortunately for himself, however, the measures contemplated
were so disastrous that his conscience and his honour had forbidden him
to support them; though he would have strained conscience a little,
perhaps, to be admitted to the confidence of the King. No, it was not
failure in the struggle for power that was the cause of his exclusion
from office. Was it not that he would not approve of the Russian and
Hessian treaties? He challenged a denial.

Fox rose in reply, and said that he was ready to forget what Pitt had
said about the lack of sense and virtue near the Throne.

Pitt, evidently beside himself with wrath, interrupted him, and said he
rose to order, and, on that long-suffering plea, delivered another long
speech. The phrase about sense and virtue, he declared on his honour,
was none of his. What he said was that France would found her hopes on
the want of sense, understanding, and virtue in those that govern here.
Fox's modesty appeared to have taken these words to himself; but he had
not put him right sooner, as the statement of the plain truth would
sooner or later be sufficient. He would remind that gentleman of certain
efforts which had been made (alluding to their brief coalition against
Newcastle) to limit the power at which he had hinted. As to invective,
he was not fond of employing it, but no man feared it less than himself.
He was, however, complimentary to Fox; would, though no betting man,
back his sense and spirit; believed that we should get some information
from abroad now that he was in power; but could not treat him as _the_
minister, for that he was not yet.

'But[307] he asks why I did not call out sooner. _My_ calling out was
more likely to defeat than promote. When I remonstrated for more seamen,
I was called an enemy to Government: now I am told that I want to strew
the King's pillow with thorns: am traduced, aspersed, calumniated from
morning to night. _I_ would have warned the King: did _he_? If he with
his sense and spirit had represented to the King the necessity of
augmentation, it would have been made--but what! if there is any man so
wicked--don't let it be reported that I say there is--as to
procrastinate the importing troops from Ireland, in order to make
subsidiary forces necessary.[308] This whole summer I have been looking
for Government. I saw none. Thank God, His Majesty was not here. The
trade of France has been spared sillily, there has been dead stagnation.
Orders contradicting one another were the only symptoms of spirit. When
His Majesty returned, his kingdom was delivered back to him more like a
wreck than as a vessel able to stem the storm. Perhaps a little
sustentation of life to the country will be obtained by a wretched
peace. These are my sentiments, and when a man has truth on his side,
he is not to be overborne by quick interrogatories. It may be presumed,
and indeed confidently hoped, that this was not Pitt's actual speech,
though Walpole gives it as the very words. They are probably only heads.
He continued with softening expressions to Fox. Want of virtue was the
characteristic not merely of the Government but of the age. He himself
was glad to show a zeal not inferior to that of ministers; let them show
him how to serve the King, and then let them, if they could, tax him
with strewing the royal pillow with thorns. But what were their own
services? Murray indeed had boasted that 140,000 of the best troops in
Europe were provided for the defence of--what? of Hanover. But what of
England? What of the Colonies? Compare the countries, compare the forces
destined for the defence of each! Two miserable battalions of Irish, who
scarcely ever saw one another, had been sent to America as to the
shambles. If his comparison of forces for Hanover and for the Empire was
exaggerated, he would be glad to be told his error.

Fox kept his temper, and remained on the defensive. He not unnaturally
commented on the disorderliness of Pitt's speech to order. He did not
'on his honour' know what was the offer which Pitt had rejected. He
himself had waited till everybody had refused, passing the summer at
Holland House, as happy as any man in Parliament. He was in favour of
the subsidies, and when that was known he was told 'Then support them';
and so he did. When his opinion changed he should leave office. He
wished all evil might befall him if he had injured Pitt with the King,
for he thought nothing so dishonourable as to accuse a man where he
could not defend himself.

Murray followed with covert but bitter innuendoes; defended Pelham's
reduction of 2000 men, and had thought that that Minister had at least
died in friendship with Pitt. This again brought Pitt on his feet to say
that his friendship for Pelham had been as real as Murray's. Murray
continued coolly. The sting of his waspish speech was in its tail. He
wanted to clear up one particular point for his own information. He
understood Pitt to say that he had refused the Secretaryship of State:
pray, had he?

He had his enemy at the point of the sword. Pitt had certainly, as we
have seen, with incredible rashness, at least insinuated this, if not
declared it. He now had to rise and eat his words: 'he had only refused
to come into measures'![309]

Walpole apologises for recording this debate, tedious as it is, at such
a length. We must do the same, and his excuse is ours. Little was said
on the question, and indeed there was scarcely a question to discuss.
But the points of the speeches, so far as we can discern them, throw
light on the speakers, more especially on the reckless, impetuous
character of Pitt, even at this time.



CHAPTER XX.


The bombardment of the new Ministry continued without intermission, for
Pitt was determined to wreak his vengeance on Newcastle and Fox. We may,
moreover, presume that, seeing the critical condition of affairs and the
incompetence of the Ministry to wrestle with them, he, conscious of
great powers, was determined to become a directing Minister. He was now
forty-seven, in the full ripeness of character and intellect. Neither he
nor the country could afford to wait.

[Sidenote: Dec. 2, 1755.]

Ten days after the last debate, Lord Pulteney, the sole and short-lived
hope of his famous father, introduced a Bill to give the prizes captured
before a declaration of war to the seamen who had captured them, should
war be afterwards declared. Pitt and his section intervened, and the
engagement developed from a skirmish into a battle. The debate turned
largely on pressing; that practice having brought great complaints from
Scotland, where 'mobs are more dangerous and more mischievous than our
mobs in England, not contenting themselves with clubs and bludgeons, but
possessing themselves of as many firearms and other mortal weapons as
they can possibly come at.' This perhaps was not wonderful, when it was
admitted that a gang had surrounded a church, and pressed part of the
congregation as it came out. But it soon soared from that point to the
question of our relations with France.

Fox opposed the Bill, which he said would be considered as a veiled
declaration of war. France was patient because she wished to persuade
her allies that we were the aggressors, and so induce them to join her.
The passing of the Bill would furnish the very proof she required. The
whole gist of the matter lay in the word 'now,' 'the hinge,' he said
with a painful confusion of metaphor, 'upon which the very marrow of
this debate must turn.' Were peace hopeless such a Bill might be
necessary; now it could only do harm. Pitt followed Fox and made play
with the word 'now,' for as Murray said in reply: 'He has the happy
faculty of being able to turn the most important word, the most serious
argument, into ridicule.' He pointed out from examples in the reign of
Elizabeth and Charles II. that we might be at war for many years without
declaring war, and supported the Bill; as did Richard Lyttelton (though
the House, says Rigby, can no longer be brought to hear a word from
him), and George Grenville. The most piquant part of the speeches of
both Pitt and Fox related to Walpole, who had now from a bugbear become
a fetish. Fox pronounced a high eulogy upon him, but denied that his
parliaments had been venal. Pitt said that he himself had always opposed
Walpole when in power, but after resignation had always 'spoken well of
him as a man.' Here there was a laugh, which Pitt angrily rebuked. Was
it not more honourable to respect a man when his power had come to an
end than before? Walpole had no doubt 'for many years an amazing
influence in this House, and the enquiry, stifled as it was, made it
pretty evident from whence that influence proceeded!' Legge swelled the
chorus of devotion to a Minister who had scarce a friend at his fall,
by declaring that 'he was an honour to human nature and the peculiar
friend to Great Britain!' Death, in British politics, magnanimously
closes most accounts with a credit balance.[310]

[Sidenote: Dec. 5, 1755.]

Three days afterwards, Barrington, the new Secretary at War, moved the
Army Estimates. Here we are again thrown upon Walpole, whose records,
precious as they are, are the notes of an amateur, jotted down at the
time with the idea of subsequent expansion, but not subsequently
expanded. Indeed, when he came to use them, his memory, it is probable,
no longer availed for the purpose. But from the account of the last
debate on December 2, 1755, the Parliamentary history, incredible as it
may seem, records no speech of Pitt's till the last month of 1761, and
then only a formal reply.

Pitt, 'in one of his finest florid declamations,' seconded the motion
for an army of 34,263 men, which was an augmentation of 15,000 men. He
would have moved for a larger number, had not Barrington promised to
move for more men when he brought in a Bill for the better recruiting of
the army, a pledge which seemed to meet the general anxiety of the
House. Rigby, who gives us this information, says that Pitt's speech was
most violent and abusive, but admits that it was a very fine piece of
declamation.[311] Both Walpole and Rigby, it will be observed, use this
vigorous substantive to characterise the speech.

Pitt again used the language of tenderness and devotion to the King,
deplored to see him in his old age, and his kingdom exposed to attack;
and even his amiable posterity, _born among us_, sacrificed by unskilful
Ministers.

The innuendo at the King's foreign birth betrays the sarcasm underlying
Pitt's effusive loyalty. One cannot also but suspect that his constant
allusions to the venerable age of George II. were not intended to be
wholly agreeable to a King who piqued himself on being gay and
libertine. 'He then drew a striking and masterly picture of a French
invasion reaching London, and of the horror ensuing while there was a
formidable enemy within the capital itself, as full of weakness as full
of multitude; a flagitious rabble, ready for every nefarious action; of
the consternation in the City, where the noble, artificial, yet
vulnerable fabric of public credit should crumble in their hands. How
would Ministers be able to meet the aspect of so many citizens dismayed?
How could men so guilty meet their countrymen?'

The King's Speech of last year, he continued, had been calculated to
lull the country into repose. Had His Majesty's Ministers not sufficient
understanding, or foresight, or virtue, he repeated the words that they
might not again be misquoted, to lay before him the real danger?
Elsewhere, where the King himself had the slightest suspicion even of a
fancied danger, we knew what vast preparations had been made. Did the
subjects of his kingdom lack that prudent foresight which his subjects
of the electorate possessed in so eminent a degree? Alas! that he should
live to see a British Parliament so unequal to its duties. There were
but ten thousand men left in England. Not half that number would be
available to defend the royal family and the metropolis. 'Half security
is full danger.'

'Accursed be the man,' he continued, 'who will not do all he can to
strengthen the King's hands, and he will indeed receive the malediction.
Strengthen the Sovereign by laying bare the weakness of his Councils:
urge him to substitute reality to incapacity, futility, and the petty
love of power. It is the little spirit of domination, the ambition of
being the only figure among cyphers, which has caused the decay of this
country. The ignominious indulgence of patronage, the poor desire to
dispose of places, should be left for times of relaxation: rough times
such as these require wisdom. The cost of the augmentation proposed
to-day, two hundred and eighty thousand pounds, would last year have
given us security. Yet the danger was last year as visible as now to the
eye of foresight. The first attribute of a wise Minister is to leave as
little as possible exposed to contingencies. Now, for want of that
foresight, stocks will fall, and hurry along with them the ruin of the
City, vulnerable in proportion to its opulence. In other countries the
treasure remains in a city which is not sacked. But paper credit like
ours may be wounded even in Kent. It is like the sensitive plant, it
need not be cropped; extend but your hand, it withers and dies.'

Barrington, the orator continued, had cited the Romans. He need not go
so far afield, our own days had produced as great examples. In 1746,
thirteen regiments had been raised by noblemen who, though they had not
like the Romans left their ploughs, had left their palaces to save their
country. With what scorn, depression, and cruelty, so far as contempt is
cruelty, had they been treated!

He wished the country gentry encouraged to raise a militia, for he was
anxious to call the country out of that enervated condition that the
menace of twenty thousand men from France could shake it. It was our
Government that was degenerate, not our people. He wished the breed
restored that had formerly carried our glory so high. What did those
Ministers deserve, and again he insinuated mysterious hints of
connivance and collusion, what did those Ministers deserve, who, after
Washington had been defeated and our forts taken, advised his Majesty to
trust to so slender a force as had been sent. He was for no vindictive
proceedings against them; they erred from the weakness of their heads
rather than their hearts. But a sagacity something less than that of a
Richelieu or a Burleigh could have foreseen what would happen.

Fox replied with urbanity and compliment, for there was at this time a
marked courtesy in the language of the two protagonists, as of men who
did not know how soon they might be allies. Pitt denounced Newcastle,
and Fox did not defend him. This, too, must be noticed. Why, Fox now
asked, had Pitt not made this noble speech sooner, when we were indeed
asleep, before the French had wakened us. 'If he had made it,' said Fox,
'I am sure I should have remembered it: I am not apt to forget his
speeches.' Let Pitt himself take in hand a Militia Bill. It was
evidently Fox whom Pitt had described as treating the thirteen regiments
with contempt, at least Fox now fitted the cap on himself. He said that
he thought obloquy too harsh a term to apply to his language on that
occasion; nevertheless, he should not disown anything he had said. But
he must make a clear distinction between these noble persons. He thanked
God there was one noble duke, able and willing to save his country, who
went to the King, and offered to go and try if, with his lowlanders, he
was not a match for any highlanders. This was an elaborate compliment to
Bedford, whose political lowlanders were now at the service of the
Government, though not the Chief himself. Fox at the same time made an
invidious comparison to the detriment of the Duke of Montagu, and was on
the point of saying that he must discriminate between dukes, for though
some deserved everything from their country for the part they took, yet
he should not be for trusting others to raise a regiment who could not
raise half a crown. There was evidently money to be made out of these
patriotic impulses.[312]

Pitt excused himself for not having sooner raised the cry of danger on
the ground that he had been lulled into composure by the previous Speech
from the Throne. When he became alarmed he made representations in
private, so long as he was allowed to do so. But now the alarm must be
sounded in Parliament itself, for we have invited into our bowels a war
that was the child of ignorance and connivance. If there be justice in
Heaven, Ministers must some day answer for this.

Nugent, an Irish adventurer of the type known to comedy, paid his court
to Newcastle by a burlesque attack on Pitt. And even Robinson appeared
once more on the scene with a panegyric on himself, which, though
ridiculous to his audience, was by no means superfluous. The other
notable speeches, delivered by Charles Townshend, Sackville, and
Beckford, do not affect our subject.[313]

[Sidenote: Dec. 8, 1755.]

Five days later, George, who was afterwards Marquis, Townshend, brought
forward a Militia Bill. Pitt took this occasion of responding to Fox's
challenge by unfolding a plan of his own. No scheme, he said, could be
carried out without the co-operation of the Government, the Army, the
Law, and the country gentry. But he unfortunately came under none of
these descriptions. He knew no secrets of Government; he had too early
been driven from the profession of arms; he had never studied the law;
he was no country gentleman.

His plan was made the groundwork of a Bill, which occupied much time in
the Commons, but was lost in the Lords.

It provided for an infantry militia of fifty or sixty thousand men, to
be summoned compulsorily by the civil power: to be exercised twice a
week, one of these days to be Sunday, if the clergy did not raise too
much objection. It was to have the same pay as the infantry, but plain
clothing, 'not pretending to all the lustre of the army.' The
non-commissioned officers were to be private soldiers, not fewer than
four to every eighty men.

What millions, he said, would have been saved by such a force during the
last thirty years! And what an inglorious picture for this country, to
figure gentlemen driven by an invasion like a flock of sheep, and forced
to send money abroad to buy courage and defence! If this scheme should
prove oppressive, provincially or parochially, he was willing to give it
up. But surely it was preferable to waiting to see if the wind would
blow you subsidiary troops. These, always an eyesore, you would never
want again if this Bill were passed. This speech marked another step
forward in Pitt's career; for he opened his plan with a plain precision,
a mastery of detail, and a business-like clearness the House had not
expected from him. 'He had never shone in this light before.'[314]

[Sidenote: Dec. 10, 1755.]

Two days later, again the treaties were discussed in both Houses.

The debate in the Lords does not concern us. It was spirited and bitter.
Temple raised the storm, while the future George III. sate and took
notes. In the Commons there was a new feature. Newcastle, doubtful of
the zeal of Fox and Murray on his behalf, had retained for his defence
Hume Campbell, the brother of Marchmont; with the Paymastership as a
retaining fee, had not Fox, who always had his eye on this lucrative
place, vetoed the appointment.[315] Walpole describes the new gladiator
as eloquent, acute, abusive, corrupt, insatiable. To this accumulation
of epithets we need and can add nothing. He had been in opposition with
Pitt, and had had a brush with him already, but had almost given up
attendance in Parliament.

Hume Campbell, raised to this bad eminence, seems to have acquitted
himself ably in his opening attack, and to have delivered a masterly
speech. He could see no reason, he said, why gentlemen were suffered to
come every day to the House merely to threaten and arraign the conduct
of their superiors. Such behaviour was unparliamentary and
unprecedented. 'Let the House punish,' he said, 'these eternal
invectives.' Pitt angrily called him to order for so describing the
debates of that House. Horace Walpole, the elder, said, with some
reason, that Pitt ought to be the last man in the House to complain of
irregularity. Pitt declared that Campbell's words struck directly at the
liberty of debate; that he had a mind to move to have the words taken
down, but would refrain till the orator had explained himself. Campbell
then proceeded with his discourse. He was followed by other speakers,
Murray delivering a fine argument in defence of the treaties. Pitt,
meanwhile, contrary to his habit, possessed himself in silence,
collecting all his powers for his reply. When he arose he delivered one
that was memorable and overwhelming. 'You never heard such a philippic
as Pitt returned. Hume Campbell was annihilated. Pitt, like an angry
wasp, seems to have left his sting in the wound, and has since assumed a
style of delicate ridicule and repartee. But think how charming a
ridicule must be that lasts and rises, flash after flash, for an hour
and a half! Some day perhaps you will see some of the glittering
splinters that I gathered up.'

So wrote Horace Walpole in the first enthusiasm produced by this effort.
But the more deliberate record in his memoirs reveals few of the
flashing splinters that he thought to have garnered. Luckily, Sir
William Meredith has left a very brief account[316] of the tilt between
Campbell and Pitt, which we can collate with Walpole's.

So slight had been the defence, said Pitt, that he did not know how to
deal with it; only little shifts or evasions worthy of a pie-poudre
court, but not of Parliament. As for Hume Campbell, he had him in his
power, he could bring him to his knees at the bar of the House as a
delinquent for such an assault on the privileges of Parliament. If
members were to be threatened for speaking with freedom of Ministers,
all liberty of debate would be at an end. As he revered the profession
of the law, so he grieved to hear it dishonoured by language that fixed
an indelible blot on him that spoke it. 'Superior' was a word that he
disdained. That hon. gentleman might indeed have his superiors. But he
knew that when sitting, speaking, and voting in his legislative capacity
the King himself was not his superior. And he could assure the hon.
gentleman that such freedom in speaking of ministers was neither
unparliamentary nor unprecedented. For even in the profligate
prerogative reign of James I., when a great duke, as now, monopolised
power, the House of Commons possessed an honest member who dared to call
that duke _stellionatus_, a beast of most hideous deformity, covered
with blurs and blotches and filth, an ideal monster, fouler than exists
in nature. Yet a grave and venerable member of parliament thought this
no unfit comparison for that great duke, who no doubt had his slaves all
about him who called him Superior, yet durst not bring such language
into the House of Commons. And we had then a wretched King who would
have been glad of the assistance of a great lawyer, could he have one to
have threatened a member of parliament for exposing the arbitrary and
pernicious designs that he was carrying on by his ministers against his
people. Thank God! we had no such King. If we had, he would not want a
slavish lawyer to abet the worst measures that can be devised to ruin
and enslave this country.

'But I will not dress up this image under a third person,' he exclaimed,
turning full round and facing Hume Campbell, 'I apply it to him; his is
the servile doctrine; he is the slave; and the shame of his doctrine
will stick to him as long as his gown sticks to his back. After all, his
trade is words; they were not provoked by me, but they have no terrors
for me, they provoke only my ridicule and contempt.'

Then turning to Murray, he denounced the treaties as a violation of the
Act of Settlement. The article to which, it may be presumed, he referred
was as follows:

'That in case the Crown and Imperial Dignity of this realm shall
hereafter come to any person, not being a native of this Kingdom of
England, this nation be not obliged to engage in any war for the defence
of any dominions or territories which do not belong to the Crown of
England without the consent of Parliament.'

It cannot be said that this enactment had been specially present to the
mind of George II. at any period of his reign. Murray had defended the
treaties thinly against the charge of infringement by declaring that if
this treaty violated the Act of Settlement all our defensive treaties
had done the same, and had ended by the quaint and almost cynical remark
that 'we could not enjoy the blessing of the present Royal Family
without the inconveniences.'

Pitt can have had, and in fact had, but little difficulty in dealing
with Murray. 'It is difficult to know where to pull the first thread
from a piece so finely spun. Constructions ought never to condemn a
great minister, but I think this crime of violating the Act of
Settlement is within the letter. If the dangerous illegality of this is
to be inquired into, it should be referred to a committee of the whole
House, not to a Committee of Supply. Inquired into it must be, for I
will not suffer an audacious minister to escape the judgment of
Parliament. For if a Cabinet have taken upon them to conclude treaties
of subsidy without the consent of Parliament, shall they not answer for
their action?'

He derided Murray's precedents. For in 1717 or 1718 Ministers stated
that there was danger to be apprehended from Sweden, and then asked for
money. Would any lawyer plead that when his Britannic Majesty speaks of
dominions in a treaty, he can mean any but his British dominions? We
were not to be explained out of our liberties.

He then criticised the conduct of the Hessians in the last war; except
on one occasion, when they were forced at Munich, they had not behaved
well.

There Horace Walpole's notes branch off into a tangle of headings and
exclamations which it is difficult and unnecessary to unravel. Pitt
emphatically denied that the Crown had a power of concluding treaties of
subsidy that led to war. He was sorry to hear it avowed that Hanover was
concerned in all the treaties which had been cited. It was clearly a
time to make a stand, now that we had arrived at that pitch of adulation
that we were ready to declare openly that Hanover was at the back of
all. He wished that the circumstances of this country would enable us to
extend this protecting care to Hanover, but they would not. For no
consideration would he have set his hand to these treaties.

Fox in reply defended Hume Campbell with spirit, and made ironical
retorts to Pitt, some of them now obscure, none of them now pertinent to
this narrative. Such speeches become trivial within forty-eight hours of
their delivery. The bones of Pitt's preserved by Walpole scarcely claim
any better right of survival. To tell the bare truth, what survives of
these debates is incomparably tedious and confused. But it is evident
that Pitt had amazed the House by disclosing a new weapon, the power of
ridicule. 'His antagonists endeavoured to disarm him. But as fast as
they deprive him of one weapon, he finds a better. I never suspected him
of such an universal armoury; I knew he had a Gorgon's head, composed of
bayonets and pistols, but little thought that he could tickle to death
with a feather.'

Whatever the relative arguments may have been, the legions were
faithful, and voted the treaties by 318 to 126.

[Sidenote: 1755.]

On December 12 the general engagement on the treaties was renewed, when
Barrington brought them forward in Committee, and Charles Townshend
distinguished himself by a speech which, Pitt declared, displayed such
abilities as had not appeared since that House was a House. He himself
spoke at length, but poorly and languidly, not deigning to answer Hume
Campbell, who once more appeared, with manner and matter both 'flat and
mean.'

Pitt said, in the few sentences into which Walpole condenses his speech,
that he did not pretend to eloquence, but owed all his credit to the
indulgence of the House. He looked with respect on the King's
prejudices, he added with the finesse of a courtier or the irony of a
foe, and with contempt on those who encouraged them. Was everything to
be called invective that had not the smoothness of a court compliment?
Old Horace Walpole had said that if one spoke against Hanover it might
cause a rebellion. That was the chatter of a boarding-school miss. Lord
Townshend and Sir Robert Walpole had withstood Hanover. 'Sir Robert
thought well of me, died in peace with me. He was a truly English
minister, and kept a strict hand on the Closet; when he was removed the
door was flung open (to dangerous advisers?). His friends and followers
had then transferred themselves to that minister, Lord Granville, who
transplanted (_sic_) that English minister. Even Sir Robert's own
reverend brother has gone over to the Hanoverian party!'

Fox merely tried in reply to keep Pitt at bay, so he said little of the
treaties, but seems to have attacked his rival with some acrimony. He
recalled all the treasonable songs and pamphlets of the former
Opposition, all directed by Pitt, no doubt for the good of the country!
But he could never forgive any man who had the heart to conceive, the
head to contrive, and the hand to execute so much mischief. 'The right
honourable gentleman professes pride at acting with some here; I am
proud of acting with so many! But because he wishes that Hanover should
be separated from England, is it wise to act as if it were already
separated?'

The legions once more prevailed, and approved both treaties by 289 to
121.

[Sidenote: Dec. 15, 1755.]

If Pitt was held to have been below himself in this debate, he was
considered to have surpassed himself, when the treaties came up on
report three days afterwards, in a speech 'of most admirable and ready
wit that flashed from him for the space of an hour and a half,
accompanied with action that would have added reputation to Garrick.' He
denounced Murray for attempting to hide the points at issue in a cloud
of words. But in fact these treaties from simple questions had become
all things to all men, as a conjuror plays with a pack of cards,
passing them in turn to each spectator, receiving and keeping the money
of all. Then he turned to Russia. 'Let us consider this Northern Star,
that will not shine with any light of its own, but requires to be rubbed
up into lustre; for could Russia, without our assistance, support her
own troops? She will not prove a Star of the Wise Men, yet they must
approach her with presents. The real Wise Man "Quæ desperat tractata
nitescere posse relinquit."

'By this measure you are throwing Prussia into the arms of France. What
can Frederick answer if France proposes to march an army into Germany?
If he refuses to join her will she not threaten to leave him at the
mercy of Russia? This is one of the effects of our sage
negotiations--not to mention that we have wasted ten or eleven millions
in subsidies.

'Shall we not set the impossibility of our carrying on so extensive a
war against the contention that his Majesty's honour is engaged? Our
Ministers foresaw our ill-success at sea, and prudently laid a nest-egg
for a war on the Continent. We have as an inducement to engage in this
war been referred to the examples of Greece and Carthage. These ancient
histories, no doubt, furnish ample matter for declamation. It is long
since I read them, but I think I recollect enough to show how
inapplicable they are to our present circumstances. Suppose Thebes and
Sparta and the other Greek Commonwealths fallen from their former power,
would Athens have gone on alone and paid all the rest? No, Athens put
herself on board her fleet to fight where she could be superior, and so
recovered her land.'

'Not giving succour to Hannibal was indeed wrong, because he was already
on land and was successful, and might have done something of the kind
that Prince Eugene proposed, and marched with a torch to Versailles. But
another poet says, I recollect a good deal of poetry to-day, another
poet says, "Expende Hannibalem," "weigh him, weigh him." I have weighed
him. What good did his glory procure to his country? Remember what the
same poet says: "I, demens, curre per Alpes, ut pueris placeas et
declamatio fias."'

This flight, it may be surmised, was aimed at Cumberland.

He once more expressed his dutiful feelings to the King, and
acknowledged how difficult it was for Ministers to be honest with him.
But yet the resistance to these treaties might save us from a
Continental war. In any case, speaking for himself, he would never again
give his confidence in the nation's advisers or adopters of this
measure. He could only hope that our perverted Ministers might yet yield
to conviction and save us, and that a British spirit might influence
British councils.

In the division which followed, the Hessian treaty appeared somewhat
less acceptable than the Russian. The former was voted by 259 to 72 and
the latter by 263 to 69. This was the net result. Yet, as Horace Walpole
wrote at the time, 'Pitt had ridden in the whirlwind and directed the
storm with abilities beyond the common reach of the genii of the
tempest.' Eloquence, reason, and argument avail little against a compact
parliamentary majority.[317]

The reader will scarcely regret that an adjournment for Christmas
followed this debate, for nothing is so tantalising as these barren
husks of great speeches. The Minister employed his holiday appropriately
in distributing gifts of office to his friends, and the reconstruction
of the Government was completed. No part of it directly touches our
story, but some features are of interest. The Dukes of Newcastle and
Bedford, the Chancellor and Fox were each allowed to nominate a member
of the Board of Trade. But Newcastle would not allow Fox a single voice
in the appointment of the Lords of the Treasury; for he guarded that
department with the jealousy of a Turk. The other point of interest was
the cost to the public of these manipulations. To get rid of Sir Thomas
Robinson it had been necessary to settle a pension on him of 2000_l._ a
year for thirty-one years. To make a place for Lord Hillsborough, Mr.
Arundel had a pension of 2000_l._ in exchange for the sinecure office of
Treasurer of the Chamber. Lord Lothian had 1200_l._ a year to vacate the
Clerk Registership of Scotland for Hume Campbell. Lord Cholmondeley, who
held the Vice-Treasurership of Ireland with one colleague, had 600_l._ a
year to induce him to accept a third partner of the office. Sir Conyers
Darcy had 1600_l._ a year for vacating the Comptrollership of the
Household. In all a burden of 7400_l._ a year was settled on the public
to patch up a feeble and odious Ministry for ten months.

While the gentle showers of office and pensions were descending on
parched politicians, Pitt wended his valetudinarian way, as usual, to
Bath. But when Parliament met in January, he was in his place, alert and
thirsting for combat.

[Sidenote: 1756.]

We first catch a glimpse of him, on January 23, paying great court to
Beckford; with conspicuous success as it happened, for Beckford
hereafter was to be his devoted follower, and his invaluable agent in
the City of London. On the same day the new Chancellor of the Exchequer
unfolded his Budget, better than was expected, but bewildered with the
figures. 'He stumbled over millions, and dwelt pompously over
farthings.' His Budget dealt with figures enviably small; duties on
plate, calculated to produce 30,000_l._ a year, which produced
18,000_l._; on bricks and tiles which were to produce 30,000_l._ a year,
and on cards and dice which were to produce 17,000_l._ Bricks and tiles
failed the Government; the tax was too unpopular; so, it is scarcely
necessary to state, it was moved on to ale-houses. A generation, which
passes tens of millions of expenditure without breaking silence, looks
back with awe on that which deployed the full splendour of eloquence on
taxes which altogether were not to produce 80,000_l._ a year. Pitt, who
was almost as ignorant of finance as the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
attacked him with vigour, but Lyttelton replied effectively. In speaking
he mentioned Pitt as his friend, but corrected it to 'the gentleman.'
This raised a laugh, when Lyttelton remarked, not without pathos, 'If he
is not my friend, it is not my fault,' and the contest, after lasting
some time, mellowed into good humour.

[Sidenote: Jan. 28, 1756.]

A few days later Pitt broke out again and declared that the Ministry was
disjointed, and united only in corrupt and arbitrary measures. Fox
denied this publicly and privately; publicly sneering at Pitt's family
connection, privately assuring Pitt that, so far from there being any
disunion between Newcastle and himself, the two Townshends had offered
to join the Duke if he would give up Fox, and that the Minister had
refused them.

[Sidenote: Feb. 9, 1756.]

[Sidenote: Feb. 10, 1756.]

The next battle was on a proposal to raise four Swiss battalions to be
employed in America, when Pitt, as usual, censured the dilatoriness of
the Government and flouted their 'paper' forces. Lord Loudoun commanded
only a scroll, he said; the suggested battalions were only adding paper
to paper; and so forth. Next day he diverted the debate from its tedious
course by accusing the Government of having cashiered a brave officer,
Sir Henry Erskine, a friend of Bute's by the by, on account of his vote
in Parliament. But this ended in nothing.

[Sidenote: Feb. 20, 1756.]

At a later stage, Pitt ironically described the plan for the Swiss
auxiliaries as a fortuitous blessing, for had not Prevot, the adventurer
who was to command the battalions, been taken prisoner by the French and
found his way from Brest hither, and had he not then taken it into his
head that he would like to command a regiment, nothing would have been
heard of it. He hoped this Ulysses-like wanderer might be as wise as his
prototype and so forth; one can imagine the sort of pleasantry. But it
was Charles Townshend who, 'content with promoting confusion,' chiefly
shone at this time. On the other hand, one of Pitt's speeches, urging
that the Colonies should be heard on this Swiss scheme, is described as
lasting an hour and a half without fire or force. Indeed, Walpole writes
of this debate that 'the opposition neither increase in numbers or
eloquence; the want of the former seems to have damped the fire of the
latter,' and that 'the House of Commons has dwindled into a very
dialogue between Pitt and Fox ... in which, though Pitt has attacked,
Fox has generally had the better.' Pitt seemed to be becoming dull and
diffuse. 'Mr. Pitt talks by Shrewsbury clock, and is grown almost as
little heard as that is at Westminster.' Still one wishes that the
chronicler had reported the speeches of either as faithfully as he
reports his own.

The apprehension of a French invasion, which had been present for
months, became acute in March and April (1756). The Government asked for
the troops which Holland was, it was held, bound to furnish, and they
were refused. Thereupon Lord George Sackville, probably by concert with
the Court or to gain its favour, suggested a preference for Hanoverians,
whose soldierlike qualities he commended. The hint was acted upon with
suspicious promptitude; and on March 29, Fox formally moved to address
the King to send for his Electoral troops.[318]

Pitt, swathed as an invalid, opposed the motion in a long speech. He
alleged his respect for the King as the ground of his opposition. For
this address would be advice to the King in his Electoral capacity which
we had no claim to offer, and which, moreover, might involve his
Electorate in a peril equal to our own. He seems to have argued against
any fear of invasion, on the ground that in the Dutch war, with a
suspected King, we had coped with Holland and France; that in 1690, when
the French had beaten our fleet at Beachy Head and had an army actually
in Ireland, we had surmounted that danger; and that de Witt, the
greatest man since the men of Plutarch, had proposed an invasion to
d'Estrades, who had treated it as a chimerical suggestion. In any case
the natural force of the nation was sufficient to repel any attack of
the enemy. That state alone is a sovereign state 'qui suis stat viribus,
non alieno pendet arbitrio,' which subsists by its own strength, not by
the courtesy of its neighbours:[319] words which may have inspired Lord
Lyndhurst, a century afterwards, with his famous phrase with regard to a
State existing on sufferance. He would vote, Pitt proceeded, for raising
any numbers of British troops. The late war had formed many great
officers, and he would not interpose foreigners to hinder their
promotion; nor would he force this vote on the King when he might send
for his troops without.[320] The motion was agreed to by 259 to 92. Bubb
comically commented on the readiness of the King, who had then amassed,
it was believed, an immense treasure in Hanover, to make the nation pay
for this defence of himself, by declaring that 'His Majesty would not
for the world lend himself a farthing.' Not less humorous is the story
preserved by Horace Walpole that the night the Hanoverian troops were
voted, he summoned his German cook and ordered himself an exceptionally
good supper. 'Get me all de varieties,' said the homely monarch, 'I
don't mind expense.' A lampoon in the form of an anecdote, it is to be
supposed.

[Sidenote: March 30, 1756.]

Next day Pitt had another opportunity for attack on the charge involved
by the employment of Hessian troops, who, he declared, would cost
400,000_l._ more than the same number of British troops. But, a few days
afterwards, there was a still better occasion, when Barrington brought
forward the estimate for the Hanoverian troops, and commended it as a
better bargain than the Hessian, which had been passed, and was
therefore secure. Pitt at once harped on the same strain, and, lauding
the Hanoverian estimate, fell still more vehemently on the Hessian. No
one could find fault with the Hanoverian, that we owed to His Majesty;
but the subsidiary juggle with Hesse was the work of his Ministers.
'Nothing but good flows from the King; nothing but ruin from his
servants. I choose that they shall fall by a friendly hand, and that the
condemnation of his patrons should come from the noble lord himself
(Barrington). But must we engage mercenaries because France does? She
engages them,' he said, with one of his phrases of picturesque energy,
'because she has not blood enough in her own veins for the purpose of
universal monarchy.' He despaired of preserving Minorca, he continued
with gloomy prescience, yet the waste on these Hessians would have saved
that island, would have conquered America. He broke out bitterly against
the departmental character of the Government. 'I don't call this an
administration, it is so unsteady. One is at the head of the Treasury;
one, Chancellor; one, head of the Navy; one great person, of the Army.
But is that an administration? They shift and shuffle the charge from
one to another. One says, "I am not the General;" the Treasury says, "I
am not the Admiral;" the Admiralty says, "I am not the Minister." From
such an unaccording assemblage of separate and distinct powers with no
system, a nullity results. One, two, three, four, five lords meet. If
they cannot agree, "Oh, we will meet again on Saturday!" "Oh," but says
one of them, "I am to go out of town." Alas! when no parties survive to
thwart them, what an aggravation it is that no good comes from such
unanimity!'

Fox, in reply, asked if Pitt wished to see a sole Minister, a question
that suggests that there was already an impression abroad that Pitt was
aiming at the dictatorship which he afterwards received, or else that
Pitt, if he obtained office, would be so overbearing as to become the
sole Minister.

Pitt, at any rate, did not accept the allusion as to himself. He said
that he did not wish to see a single Minister, but system and decision.
Indeed, he gracefully added, were Fox sole Minister there would be
decision enough.[321]

On May 11 (1756) a royal message apprised Parliament of the treaty
concluded with Prussia (the Convention of Westminster, signed January
1756), and asking his faithful Commons for supplies.

The House promptly voted a million on account, but Pitt as usual uttered
eloquent lamentations on the incapacity of Ministers and the calamitous
situation of affairs. What was this vote of credit for? Was it to raise
more men? We had already 40,000 British and 14,000 foreign troops. Was
it for the purpose of marine treaties? Then he would joyfully vote it.
For a naval war we could and ought to support, but a Continental war on
the present system we could not. Regard should no doubt be had to
Hanover, but a secondary regard. For if Hanover was to be our first
object it would lead us to bankruptcy. It was impossible to defend
Hanover by subsidies. How could an open country be defended against an
enemy who could march 150,000 men into it, and if necessary reinforce
them by as many more? Should Hanover suffer by her connection with Great
Britain, we ought not to make peace without exacting full and ample
compensation for all the damage and injury she might have sustained. But
the idea of defending Hanover by subsidies was preposterous, absurd, and
impracticable. Then, excited by this favourite theme beyond the limits
he had imposed on himself, he struck home at the King and his darling
patrimony. This system, he said, would in a few years, cost us more
money than the fee simple of the electorate was worth, a place which
after all could not be found in the map. He ardently wished us to break
those fetters which chained us like Prometheus to that barren rock. (The
metaphor which made a rock of Hanover does not strike one as one of his
happiest efforts).

If Lyttelton could not state the purpose for which this credit was
designed, perhaps he could say for what it was not designed. Still, Pitt
added sardonically, he was of so compounding a temper that he should
assent to it.

Ministers bragged of their unanimity and spirit. But what had all this
army of councils and talents, this universal aye, produced? Were we
safe? Had we inflicted any damage on the enemy? If so, when and where?

He had no particular pleasure in thus speaking. He did not wish to load
the unhappy men who had undone their country, most unhappy if they did
not realise it. And our activity! Philosophers indeed had a phrase _vis
inertiæ_ by which they denoted the inactivity of action (_sic_). Was it
by that that we were to be saved?

His charge against the Government was this: that we had provoked before
we could defend, and neglected after provocation; that we were left
inferior to France in every quarter; that the vote of credit had been
misapplied to secure Hanover; and that we had bought a treaty with
Prussia by sacrificing our rights. He would not have signed such a
treaty to have the five great places of those who had signed it. Yet if
this treaty were restrained to the defence of the King's dominions he
should not know how to oppose it.

He had no feeling of resentment against the Government, no one had
injured him. Yet he could not but think ill of their capacity and their
measures. Could he, then, every day, arraign their policy and feel
confidence in them? Pelham indeed had intended economy, but he was
dragged into this foreign policy by his brother, now at the head of the
Treasury. And if he, Pitt, saw Newcastle like a child driving a go-cart
with that precious freight of an old King and his family on to a
precipice, was he not bound to try and take the reins from his hands?
And with a gloomy foreboding which must have chilled the anxious House,
he solemnly prayed that the King might not have Minorca written on his
heart, as Calais had been, in the dying declaration of Mary, engraved on
hers.

The debate ended with a bitter rally between Pitt and Lyttelton, the
fiercer for their former friendship. Lyttelton had sneered at his
epithets. This came well, said Pitt, from Lyttelton, whose own character
was a composition of epithets. He himself had used no epithets that day,
so Lyttelton had chosen ill the occasion for his taunt. But in any case
the House was not an academy for the exchange of compliments. And when
Lyttelton disclaimed any share in framing the motion, it was obvious
that he was not at liberty to change it. If Lyttelton would declare that
he had no more resources, he would only say that Lyttelton was
incapable.

The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose heart was still warm with his
old affection, was hurt by this attack, but he maintained his ground.
'He says I am but a thing made up of epithets. Is not this the language
of Billingsgate? The world is complaining that the House was turned into
a bear garden. I do not envy my friend the glory of being the Figg or
Broughton of it.' Pitt retorted that Lyttelton was a very pretty poet,
and that there was no one whom he more respected pen in hand. 'But it is
hard that my friend, with whom I have taken sweet counsel in epithets,
should now reproach me with using them.' Lyttelton replied once more
that it was not his fault if he and Pitt were not still friends.[322]

[Sidenote: May 14, 1756.]

A day or two later Lyttelton unfolded to the House the provisions of the
Treaty of Westminster. It had cleared up some small pecuniary claims on
both sides, so much to Frederick for losses from British privateers, so
much from Frederick for arrears of interest on the Silesian loan, a
balance of 40,000_l._ due on the whole to Great Britain. On this, Pitt,
inveterate against the Ministry, fulminated once more. He declared that
by payment, even of a small sum, we had conceded the principle of our
Empire over the sea, and went off into the usual rhetoric. 'For himself
he should affect no superiority but what was common to him with the
twelve millions of his countrymen, innocence of his country's ruin, the
superiority of the undone over the undoers.'

All that is notable in these crumbs of debate is the strategy of Pitt;
to hammer at the enemy without ceasing, not to allow him a moment to
breathe or recover, but to display him to the country day and night
pummelled, bewildered and helpless, until he should succumb from
exhaustion; when the country should insist on the removal of the
defeated combatant, and the substitution of his conqueror. Pitt was
openly set on the destruction of the Newcastle Government for more
reasons than one. He was vindictive and had been slighted; he was
profoundly anxious about the position of the country, and convinced of
the incapacity of Newcastle to govern; he wished to try his own hand at
the game, believing that he could do better, convinced that he could do
no worse, than the Ministers whom he had seen at work.



CHAPTER XXI.


But national calamity was now to lend irresistible force to his attacks.
It had been known for some time that France was meditating an attack on
Gibraltar or Minorca, and in the beginning of March it became certain
that Minorca was to be the object.[323] During the first week of May the
Government received the news that the French had actually landed on the
island. War was formally and not prematurely declared on May 18. Six
weeks earlier the ill-fated Byng had sailed with a fleet to relieve the
fortress. The country waited for news with bated breath. The King
declared that he could neither eat nor sleep. Saunders, afterwards to be
Pitt's First Lord of the Admiralty, reassured his Sovereign by saying
that they should screw his heart out if Byng were not at that moment
(June 7) in the harbour of Mahon.[324] Then came the news that Byng,
after an indecisive engagement with the French fleet, had sailed back to
Gibraltar and left Minorca to its fate. Still the nation, though raging
against Byng, hoped against hope, till on July 14 the news came that
Fort St. Philip, the British fort, had surrendered after a gallant
defence on June 28, and that Minorca was in the hands of the French. The
long-compressed anxiety exploded in a terrible outburst of wrath against
Byng. Addresses poured in from every part of England demanding vengeance
upon him. The unhappy Admiral was brought back to Greenwich Hospital as
a prisoner to await a court-martial. But, the nation had already turned
its thumb downwards. Perhaps the best idea of the popular sentiment is
conveyed by the fact that Byng's brother, who went to meet the Admiral,
was stricken to death by the popular fury wherever he passed; so that he
fell ill at the first sight of the prisoner, and died next day in
convulsions. There was no chance of a fair trial for the unhappy man. To
the merchants of London bringing one of the addresses for his exemplary
punishment Newcastle, not sorry to have a scapegoat, had blurted out,
'Oh! indeed he shall be tried immediately: he shall be hanged directly.'
And executed he was, after an agony of eight months, in spite of
justice, in spite of Pitt, who had the fine courage to support him, in
deference to the nation and the King who were bent on his death.
Voltaire, who had tried with real humanity to save him, sardonically
described the execution in Candide, 'Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer
de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres,' a phrase which
he appears to have borrowed from the Knights of Malta.[325]

Something less, much less than Nelson, might have saved Minorca. The
truth seems to be that Byng, who was personally brave, sailed from
Gibraltar with the preconceived impression that Minorca was lost, and
acted throughout under this conviction, without energy or resource. So
far as his countrymen, or rather, their rulers, were concerned, they had
long done their best to lose it. They had, in spite of constant appeals,
starved and neglected it. But there was worse than this. On one side of
the mouth of the harbour of Mahon is a site easily rendered impregnable,
on the other a plain which nothing can secure. John Duke of Argyle had
begun a fort on the first site, but Lord Cadogan out of hatred to him,
it was said, destroyed it and built Fort St. Philip at a vast expense on
the second. The thing is incredible to the traveller who sees the place.
If the story be true (Horace Walpole is the authority), it is on the
head of Cadogan and not of Byng that should be laid the loss of Minorca,
a loss which can neither be forgotten nor forgiven.

This tragic incident only touches Pitt's life in so far as it
precipitated the disgrace of Newcastle. The Duke was indeed getting
deeper and deeper. In May he declared that no one blamed him, for every
one knew that the sea was not his province, and Fox had replied that as
to public censure, his information was exactly the reverse. In September
he could scarcely conceal from himself that he was being mobbed and
pelted in his coach, and that his coachman was urged by the shouting
crowd to drive his Grace straight to the Tower. Ballads swarmed of which
the burden was, 'To the block with Newcastle and to the yard-arm with
Byng.' Even the docile allegiance of the House of Commons can scarcely
have allayed the veteran's rising anxiety. 'This was the year of the
worst administration that I have seen in England,' says Walpole, though
he was the close friend of Fox, 'for now Newcastle's incapacity was
allowed full play.' Fox indeed found that he was not admitted to real
confidence or to the counsels of Newcastle and Hardwicke. He was
therefore in a state of swelling discontent, ready to break away at the
first opportunity. He declared that he had urged that a strong squadron
should be sent for the relief of the fortress during the first week of
March, but was overruled. The fall of Minorca and the storm of national
fury which followed increased his anxiety to be out of this disastrous
Ministry. He was, we suspect, already determined not to meet Parliament
again as Newcastle's talking puppet, possibly his scapegoat.

The House had risen on May 27. Two days earlier occurred an event which
was to remove one of the three intellects of the Government, Fox and
Hardwicke, of course, being the other two. Ryder, the Chief Justice of
the King's Bench, died, and Murray at once laid claim to the succession.
This demand drove Newcastle to despair. He offered Murray exorbitant and
increasing terms to remain, for he regarded Murray as his sole protector
in the House of Commons against his doubtful friend, Fox, and his open
enemy, Pitt. But offers of the Duchy of Lancaster for life with a
pension of 2000_l._ a year, with permission to remain Attorney-General
at a salary of 7000_l._ a year, and a reversion of one of the Golden
Tellerships of the Exchequer for his nephew Stormont, left Murray
unmoved. For months the game of temptation was played. At the beginning
of October the Prime Minister had raised the proposed pension to
6000_l._ a year. Murray remained firm. He stipulated, indeed, for more
than the Chief Justiceship; he demanded a peerage as well; he would not
take the one without the other; and in no case would he remain
Attorney-General. We can imagine Newcastle's tears and caresses; they
were in vain. Vain, too, was his attempt to fob off his rebellious
subordinate with the reluctance of the King. Murray, indeed, hinted that
when he became a private member of the House of Commons he might go into
Opposition. We may be sure, at any rate, that he had no intention of
facing an angry nation and Parliament in defence of Newcastle and the
loss of Minorca. This hint probably clinched the matter. Newcastle
capitulated; though, said Fox, from 'wilful trifling,' he deferred the
performance of his promise as long as possible.[326] It was not till the
eve of the Duke's fall that, on November 8, Murray was sworn in as Chief
Justice and created a Peer as Lord Mansfield.

[Sidenote: 1756.]

What glimpses are there meanwhile of Pitt? He had just got possession of
Hayes, and was there in May, building and improving, as usual, but
speaking brilliantly on the Militia Bill in the House, so brilliantly as
to earn a patronising note of approval from Bute, beginning 'My worthy
friend'; an indication that the bond between Pitt and the young Court
was now close. Indeed, Pitt seems now to have been the principal adviser
of that increasingly powerful connection.

Potter, whom Pitt had come to describe as 'one of the best friends I
have in the world,' wrote to Pitt, ten days after Ryder's death,
conveying the news from an inspired source that if Murray went on the
bench Newcastle would invite Pitt to join the Government, for he could
repair the loss in no other way. But he adds, shrewdly enough, that the
Duke was evidently ignorant of his own strength, for if he had to rely
on Lyttelton and Dupplin (then Joint Paymaster of the Forces) alone,
though the debates would no doubt be shorter, he would not, such was the
temper of the House, lose a single vote. He added that, in his judgment,
the Opposition had not made themselves popular by their conduct, because
of the fear of invasion. Hanover treaties and Hanover troops had become
popular; opposition to them must be wrong 'when we are ready to be eat
up by the French.'[327]

But these anticipations were premature, for the struggle with Murray
lasted, as we have seen, from May till November. So that Pitt had
leisure to squander on his improvements and to receive his eldest son
John on John's entrance into the world. But his eye was vigilantly fixed
on the distresses of the country. 'Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena
laboris?' he writes to George Grenville (June 5, 1756). 'It is an
inadequate and a selfish consolation, but it is a sensible one, to think
that we share only in the common ruin, and not in the guilt of having
left us exposed to the natural and necessary consequences of
administration without ability or virtue.' Grenville, determined not to
be undone, replies in a letter stuffed with Latin quotation. 'Distress,'
rejoins Pitt (June 16, 1756), 'infinite distress seems to hem us in on
all quarters. I am in most anxious impatience to have the affair in the
Mediterranean cleared up. As yet nothing is clear but that the French
are masters there, and that probably many an innocent and gallant man's
honour and fortune is to be offered up as a scapegoat for the sins of
the Administration.' In July he paid a visit at Stowe, and in August he
was laid up at Hayes with 'a very awkward, uneasy, but not hurtful'
malady.

He must have seen with poignant interest Frederick's fierce irruption
into Saxony, but all seems absorbed in his anxiety for his wife and his
overflowing delight at the birth of his son. This event occurred on
October 10, at a moment when the ministerial crisis had become acute.

No one in fact was willing to face even an abject House of Commons with
the loss of Minorca on his back. Newcastle was near the end of his
tether. Murray had gone. Whether Chief Justice or not, he was determined
to be out of the Ministry; and if disappointed of his just claim to the
Bench he was not likely to face a storm on behalf of the Minister who
had refused it. Murray had gone, Fox was going; for his chagrin was
patent, and Newcastle 'treated him rather like an enemy whom he feared
than as a minister whom he had chosen for his assistant.' He was no
better used by the King. The Duke, moreover, was at war with the waxing
power of Leicester House. With this Court indeed he managed to patch up
a hollow peace at the expense of Fox; offending one Court and not
appeasing the other. But that did not help him to an agent in the House
of Commons.

And worse was still to come, disaster followed on disaster. To a nation
freshly smarting with the fall of Minorca there came tidings of
catastrophe from the East and the West. In June Calcutta had been
captured by Surajah Dowlah, followed by the horrors of the Black Hole,
which still linger in the proverbial dialect of this country. Then in
August fell Oswego, the most important British fortress in North
America. Situated on Lake Ontario it was a permanent menace to the
French, for British command of that lake would mean the separation of
Canada from Louisiana. Montcalm, a general of high merit, who has had
the singular good fortune to leave a name consecrated by the common
veneration of friend and foe, had arrived to take the command of the
French forces in Canada. Two months after landing he marched on Oswego,
and, investing it with a greatly superior force, soon compelled it to
capitulate. Its garrison of 1400 men surrendered as prisoners of
war.[328] A hundred pieces of artillery and great stores of ammunition
fell into the hands of the French. The forts, three in number, and the
vessels were burned. It was a real triumph for the French, and a
proportionate disaster for their foes. 'Such a shocking affair has never
found a place in English annals,' wrote one American officer. 'The loss
is beyond account; but the dishonour done his Majesty's arms is
infinitely greater.' 'Oswego,' wrote Horace Walpole, 'is of ten times
more importance even than Minorca.'

Scarcely less consternation was caused in England, where the news
arrived on September 30. People there were getting dazed with disaster,
and the men who ruled became more and more abhorrent. Already, on
September 2, Newcastle had written to the Chancellor that people were
becoming outrageous in the North of England, and that a petition was
being largely signed in Surrey demanding 'justice against persons
however highly dignified or distinguished.' This, he adds drily, may
mean you or me, or 'perhaps somebody more highly dignified and
distinguished than either of us.'[329] Who could be found to bear such a
burden of shame and ignominy, and affront the storm that threatened to
burst at once in overwhelming popular fury?

Not Fox, undaunted though he might be. Like the condottiere that he was,
he did not heed hard knocks provided the pay were good. But here he was
defrauded of his deserts, of the promised confidence of the King and his
Minister. For Newcastle had betrayed him to the last; the magpie cunning
of that old caitiff paralysed every arm that might have defended him.
When it came to the point he could not bring himself to part with his
monopoly of patronage, and of power as he understood power. He was like
a drowning miser with his treasure on him, who will not part with his
gold to save his life. So the Duke preferred to sink with all his
influence rather than take the chance of floating without it. First he
set the King against Fox. The Duke had tried to appease Leicester House
by getting the appointment of Groom of the Stole for Bute. The King,
suspecting Bute's intimacy with the Princess, detested that fascinating
courtier. So Newcastle, to divert from himself the King's wrath at
having to make this nomination, told His Majesty that Fox made Bute's
appointment a condition of his retaining the seals; and then without
telling Fox that his name had thus been mentioned to the Sovereign,
informed him that the King was exasperated against him.[330]

Then there arose the eternal question of patronage. Fox had been
promised by the King himself that on becoming Secretary of State he
should have the conduct of the House of Commons with all that that
involved. But Newcastle could not bring himself to fulfil the royal
pledges or his own. When the list of the Prince of Wales's household was
published, Fox saw in it the names of eight or ten members of Parliament
as to whom he had never been even consulted. Newcastle moreover, as Fox
asserted, broke a solemn promise that Fox's nephew, Lord Digby, should
be included. A still greater affront was that he told Fox that he
destined a vacant seat at the Board of Trade for a person whom he was
not at liberty to mention. More than this, he took occasion to remind
Fox of a former offer to make way for Pitt if it were for the King's
service, and Fox again readily agreed. All this took place on September
30.[331] Such an insulting and accumulated want of confidence between
the leaders of the two Houses was not to be tolerated, and Fox wrote at
once to Bubb that things were going ill. The final explosion was caused
by the exclusion of Digby, which was notified to Fox on October 5. The
King, said the Duke, refused this nomination peremptorily and bitterly,
but had said that, if the Duke himself pressed it, he would yield to
oblige the Duke. On receiving this letter, Fox wrote a furious letter
to Stone, Newcastle's secretary. The draft of a letter commonly reveals
much more of the writer's mind than the letter itself, and the draft of
this is fortunately preserved.[332] 'I do not know,' wrote Fox, 'whether
I am to imagine from hence that the negotiation with Mr. Pitt is far
advanced, but I am told it is not begun. In these circumstances, dear
Sir, I must beg you to stop it. I retract all good-humoured dealing. I
may be turned out, and I suppose shall. But I will not be used like a
dog without having given the least provocation (suppose I should say
with the utmost merit to those who use me so) and be like that dog a
spaniel. I do not consent that Mr. Pitt should have my place, and
promise to be in good humour or even on any terms with those who give it
him.'[333] Fox was in a blind fury, but sensibly expunged all this from
the letter he sent. To Welbore Ellis, his confidant, he wrote: 'The King
has carried his displeasure to me beyond common bounds, and I vow to God
I don't guess the reason. The Duke of Newcastle, instead of growing
better, has outdone himself, and show'd me the Prince's establishment on
which eight members of the House of Commons are plac'd whose names he
never mention'd to me, and he had the assurance to make a merit of
shewing me the List after it was _fix'd_ with the King. He has been Fool
enough to ask my consent, and to intend to offer my place to Mr. Pitt
without (as I believe) trying whether or no he will accept it. This
makes it necessary for me to take a step in which my view is to get out
of court and never come into it again.... If you think it worth while to
get up very early to-morrow morning you may be at Holland House before
I go to Lady Yarmouth, to desire and humbly advise H.M. to conclude the
Treaty with Mr. Pitt, promising my assistance in a subaltern employment,
and shewing the impossibility of my appearing and my determination not
to appear in the H. of Commons as Secy. of State.'[334] While he was
writing this, Newcastle was despatching a note giving way as to Digby's
nomination,[335] with much the same effect as a cup of cold water poured
with the best intentions on a burning city.

Whether with or without the companionship of Ellis, Fox went straight to
Lady Yarmouth. She was out. Newcastle had already sent her a note
enclosing Fox's resignation, and assuring her that Fox was bringing it
to her for transmission to the King.[336] When Fox found her, later in
the day, and handed her his paper, she denied any idea of Pitt ever
having been suggested to the King, but besought him to reconsider his
determination. 'Monsieur Fox, vous êtes trop honnête homme pour quitter
à présent. S'il y avait quatre ou cinq mois avant que le Parlement
s'assemble; à la fin de la session vous ferez ce que vous voudrez, mais
à présent de jeter tout en confusion! Regardez à la position des
affaires. Non, je n'excuse pas le Duc de Newcastle; c'est dur, c'est
pénible, mais quand vous aurez pensé un peu au Roi, à la patrie, vous
continuerez cette session,' perhaps the only articulate utterance of
Lady Yarmouth that we possess.[337] Failing in this, she begged at least
that Granville might hand the resignation to the King instead of
herself. Fox agreed to this.[338]

Fox's note to Newcastle was terse and sombre:

'My Lord, I return Your Grace many thanks for the letter which, not
being at home, I did not receive till late last night, and I am much
obliged to you for the contents of it.

'The step I am going to take is not only necessary but innocent. It
shall be accompany'd with no complaint. It shall be follow'd by no
resentment. I have no resentment. But it is not the less true that my
situation is impracticable.'

To the King he sent a formal paper of grievance and resignation, which
has already been printed and need not be repeated here. He took great
pains over it, as the drafts testify. The substance of it was that he
had been loyal to Newcastle, but that he had not received support in
return, and so could not carry on the business of Government in the
House of Commons as it should be carried on. But he would gladly serve
the King outside the Cabinet. This meant that he would gladly exchange
offices with Pitt. At the same time he told Cumberland and wrote to
Devonshire that if Newcastle had been such a fool as to offer the seals
to Pitt without knowing whether he would take them, he (Fox), to prevent
the general confusion that would ensue, would continue for another
session. No notice was taken of this offer.[339] It does not seem
certain that it ever reached either Newcastle or the King.

Granville found the King prepared for the resignation, and very angry
with Fox for deserting him. 'Would you advise me to take Pitt?' he
asked. 'Well, Sir!' replied Granville, 'you must take somebody.' 'Ah!
but,' said the monarch, pensively, 'I am sure Pitt will not do my
business.' The business to which the Sovereign referred was, of course,
electoral. He considered that he had in various ways shown Fox great
favour, and that Fox had acted ill in throwing up his office when the
meeting of Parliament was near at hand.

Newcastle received Fox's resignation at the Treasury. Though he was
planning to discard Fox for Pitt, he was thunderstruck at finding that
Fox had anticipated him. He hurried to Court, and found the King in good
humour except with the resigning Secretary. His Majesty gave Newcastle
the paper which he had received from Granville, having underlined the
passage which had mainly offended him: 'for want of support, and think
it impracticable for me to carry on His Majesty's affairs as they ought
to be carried on;' and then recited, with the aid of Newcastle as
prompter, all the favours shown to Fox. But the more urgent and
practical question was not the ingratitude of Fox, but what was to be
done now that he had gone. The King, with that shrewd and redeeming
touch of humour which we constantly discern in him, said that a sensible
courtier, Lord Hyde, had told him that there were but three things to
do. The King recited them thus: 'to call in Pitt, to make up with my own
family, and, my lord, I have forgot the third.' The third probably
related to Newcastle himself, and may therefore have been difficult of
repetition to the Duke. But without hesitation the King empowered
Newcastle to approach Pitt, and to tell him that if he would take
office he should have a good reception. Pitt was also to be offered the
seals, but not at first, on the fatuous principle on which all
Newcastle's negotiations were conducted; to hope against hope that the
object he coveted could be got for much less than its value.

But then the King asked 'the great question ... which,' says Newcastle,
'I own I could not answer: what shall we do if Pitt will not come? Fox
will then be worse.' Then the King, with still increasing acuteness,
asked, 'Suppose Pitt will not serve with you?' 'Then, Sir, I must go.'
And so it was to end. But Newcastle would not without a struggle
renounce the deleterious habit of office. He summoned Hardwicke to town
for the purpose of approaching Pitt. He hurried to Lady Yarmouth and
took counsel with her. All agreed that the only resource was Pitt, and
that Hardwicke alone could sound him. Pitt was at Hayes, but leaving
immediately for Bath. Time was short, the crisis acute, so Newcastle
wrote, 'don't boggle at it.'[340]

There was no boggling or hesitation on the part of the Chancellor: he
hurried to London and saw Pitt on Tuesday, October 19. The interview
lasted three hours and a half. When it was over, Hardwicke despatched a
despairing note to Newcastle: 'I am just come from my conference, which
lasted full 3-1/2 hours. His answer is an absolute final negative
without any reserve for further deliberation. In short there never was a
more unsuccessful negotiator.'[341] In a longer letter to his son Lord
Royston, Hardwicke added but little more. On the main point Pitt was
inexorable; he would have nothing to do with Newcastle. Hardwicke could
not move him an inch. He was obdurate on 'men and measures.'[342] But
'men and measures' only meant Newcastle. Pitt had been repeatedly
tricked by him; he had seen Fox repeatedly tricked by him when the
meanest self-interest dictated honesty; he would not fall into the trap
into which Fox had fallen; to join Newcastle now would be to be a
willing dupe, and he was determined to govern if he was to govern,
without this perpetual ambush at his side. Nor would he have any
dealings with Fox. He thought, truly or untruly, that Fox had betrayed
him, and he intended to try and do without treachery. He wished to enter
on power clear of all suspicious connections, and indeed with little but
the influence of his wife's family. So he resolved to see nothing even
of Bute before meeting Hardwicke, and he summoned the Grenvilles to
receive his report immediately after seeing Hardwicke.[343]

Pitt, however, having no access to the King and being anxious to
communicate with him directly, made overtures elsewhere. On October 21,
the palace was disturbed by an unwonted agitation. Pages and lackeys
were seen in sudden perturbation calling to each other that Mr. Pitt had
arrived to see my Lady Yarmouth. Lady Yarmouth's position was singular
enough. She had once been the declared mistress of George the Second;
'My lady Yarmouth the comforter,' wrote a ribald wit.[344] She still
lived under his roof, when it was her business to keep him amused, if
possible, during the long dull evenings. But from being a favourite, she
had developed into an institution. Her apartment, immediately below the
King's, was little less than an office. There, it was said, peerages or
bishoprics might sometimes be bought, and some patronage was perhaps
facilitated or dispensed. On the other hand, Lord Walpole declared at an
earlier period that she asked for nothing, and that one of her principal
charms with the King was that she did not importune him for favours. At
any rate, persons wanting anything did well to write to her. Thither,
too, a circumstance of much significance, Ministers repaired before or
after their audience with the King, to anticipate the royal disposition
or to report the royal utterances. 'I went below stairs,' was the
phrase. They took close counsel with the lady, she told them her
impressions of the King's real views, and usually added some shrewd
observations of her own. Her action seems to have been wholly
beneficial; she appeased jealousies, conciliated animosities,
administered common sense, spoke ill of nobody, and, so far as we can
judge, was eminently good natured in the best sense of that tortured
epithet. Perhaps her most useful function was that of acting as a
conciliatory channel for those who had something to say to the King
which they could not say themselves. Both Fox and Newcastle had at once
hurried to her, as we have seen, when the crisis took place. And so Pitt
now found it necessary to pay his first visit to her.

He had heard perhaps that the King had said, 'I am sure Pitt will not do
my business,' and had come to give soothing insinuations. But he also
entertained a well-founded doubt as to whether he had fair play with
the King, and whether he could trust Newcastle and Hardwicke to
represent him fairly to the Sovereign.[345] So he came to Lady Yarmouth
as his only means of direct communication with the Closet, and stated
his real terms, handing her a written list of the men he proposed for
office, a list which still exists.[346] He would not serve with
Newcastle, but the King might find in getting rid of Newcastle that
Hanover had other unsuspected friends.[347] But he also 'sent,' says
Fox, 'the terms of a madman to the King.' They do not seem very mad to
us: Ireland for Temple, the Exchequer for Legge, the Paymastership for
George Grenville, the Irish Secretaryship for James Grenville, the
Treasury for Devonshire. Townshend was to be Treasurer of the Chambers,
Dr. Hay a Lord of the Admiralty, and places were to be found for George
Townshend, Erskine, Lord Pomfret, and Sir Richard Lyttelton. For his
colleague in the Secretaryship of State he proposed, most marvellous of
all, Sir Thomas Robinson! The overture, however, irritated the King,
partly from the demands, partly because it showed that people thought
that he was influenced by Lady Yarmouth. 'Mr Pitt,' he said,'shall not
go to that channel any more. She does not meddle and shall not
meddle.'[348] Nevertheless the hint dropped by Pitt was probably useful
and fruitful. Pitt himself said afterwards that this interview put an
end to the indecision of the King, who had remained sullen and
passive.[349]

The next point to be noted is Pitt's second interview with Hardwicke.
And though the minute of Hardwicke's conversation with Pitt on October
19 appears to be lost, we have his record[350] of this second meeting
between them on October 24, which he read to the King on October 26, and
which contains the main points at issue.

Hardwicke began by telling Pitt that he had sent for him at the King's
command; that he had on October 20 faithfully narrated to the King all
that had passed at the interview of October 19, and that the King had
summoned him on October 23, the day previous to the present meeting, in
order to send the following message--

'The King is of opinion that what has been suggested is not for his and
the public service.'

Pitt thereupon bowed and said that His Majesty did him the greatest
honour in condescending to return any answer to anything that came from
him. He then repeated the message word for word, and desired Hardwicke
to bear in mind that all that he _had suggested_ was by way of
objection; that he had not suggested anything _affirmative_ as to
measures of any kind. Hardwicke replied that he had repeated to the King
exactly what had passed, and recapitulated the five heads under which
Pitt had summed up the previous conversation.

'1. That it was impossible for him to serve with the Duke of Newcastle.

'2. That he thought enquiries into the past measures absolutely
necessary, that he thought it his duty to take a considerable share in
them, and could not lay himself under any obligation to depart from
that.

'To this I said that the King was not against a fair and impartial
enquiry.

'3. That he thought his duty to support a Militia Bill, and particularly
that of the last session.

'I told him that the King and his ministers were not against _a_ Militia
Bill.

'4. That the affair of the Hanoverian soldier[351] he thought of great
importance; that what had been done ought to be examined, and, he
thought, censured.

'5. That if he came into His Majesty's service, he thought it necessary,
in order to serve him, and to support his affairs, to have such powers
as belonged to his station, to be in the first concert and concoction of
measures, and to be at liberty to propose to His Majesty himself
anything that occurred to him for his service, originally, and without
going through any other minister.'

Pitt, who was evidently disappointed, acknowledged the accuracy of
Hardwicke's recital, and desired to know if the message from the King
was _an answer to the whole_. Hardwicke replied that it was the King's
answer in the King's own words,[352] and that he could not take on
himself to explain it; but that he understood it as _an answer to
everything that had been conveyed by Mr. Pitt to the King_.

To this Pitt rejoined with thanks for the King's condescension that he
would say to Hardwicke, '_as from one private gentleman to another_,'
that he would not come into the service, in the present circumstances of
affairs, upon any other terms for the whole world.

'I then,' continues the Chancellor, 'said that undoubtedly He must judge
for himself; But I would also say to Him, _as from Lord Hardwicke only
to Mr. Pitt_--

'That, as He professed great Duty to the King & Zeal for his Service, &
I dared to say had it; That as He had expressed an Inclination to come
into his Majesty's service, in order _really_ to assist in the support
of his Government;

'That as He was a Man of Abilities & knowledge of the World; That, as
Men of Sense, who wish the End, must naturally wish the means; why would
He at the same time make _the thing_ impracticable?

'To This He answered that he would say to me _in the same private
manner_ That he was surprized that it should be thought possible for Him
to come into an Employment to serve with the D. of Newcastle, under
whose Administration the things he had so much blamed had happened, &
against which the Sense of the Nation so strongly appeared; & I think
he added,--which Administration could not possibly have lasted, if he
had accepted.

'In answer to That I said some general things in the same sense with
what I had mentioned on that head on Tuesday last.

'He then rose up & we parted with great personal Civility on both
sides.'

Meanwhile Newcastle, proscribed by Pitt and spurned by Fox, knew not
whither to turn. He broke out in a wail against them to the Chancellor,
the keeper of his conscience even more than of the King's. 'My dearest
Lord,' he writes (October 20, 1756), 'tho' a consciousness of my own
innocence and an indifference as to my own situation may, and I hope in
God will, support me against all the wickedness and ingratitude which I
meet with, yet your Lordship cannot think that I am unmindful of or
senseless to the great indignity put upon me by these two gentlemen.'
Newcastle in the character of a Christian martyr, the prey of heathen
raging furiously, has something humorous and incongruous about it, were
the attitude less abject. But in a sentence or two he returns to a more
familiar character. 'Allow me only to suggest to your Lordship the
necessity of making the King see that the whole is a concert between Mr.
Pitt and Mr. Fox. The news and principles upon which they act are the
same, viz., to make themselves necessary, and masters of the King ...
that the only thing Mr. Pitt alledges against me is the _conduct of the
war_.' ... 'Quit before the Birthday I must and will.' He goes on to
consult the Chancellor as to whether he shall ask any favours for his
relations.[353]

So the falling Minister in his straits tried to play upon the King's two
strongest passions, fear of being dominated and fear for Hanover. How
wise Pitt was to go straight to Lady Yarmouth! But Newcastle had tried
other measures as well after Fox's resignation. The very day he received
it he had hurried to his old enemy Granville, now comfortably ensconced
in the Presidency of the Council, and offered to exchange offices with
him, giving him his friend Fox as Chancellor of the Exchequer.[354]
Granville, he remembered, had once been willing to face far greater
hazards with Pulteney. But Granville was ten years older; he had, to use
his own expression, put on his nightcap; and he laughed the suppliant
Duke out of the room. 'I will be hanged a little before I take your
place,' he said, not perhaps without some relish for his chief's terror
and distress, 'rather than a little after.' But he added more gravely
that '_we_ must determine either to give Mr. Fox what he wants, or to
take in Mr. Pitt; who,' Newcastle adds piteously, 'will not come.'[355]
Then Newcastle tried Egmont and Halifax. Egmont was willing to take the
seals with a British peerage. But it was in the House of Commons that
strength was wanted. No such strength was to be found without Pitt or
Fox. Dupplin, one of the Paymasters, an able man of business and much in
Newcastle's confidence, said broadly and truly, 'Fox and Pitt need only
sit still and laugh, and we must walk out of the House!' And yet the
House of Commons was almost unanimous in devotion to the Minister. Was
there ever so strange a situation?

In view of this last fact Hardwicke urged Newcastle to hold on; and
Lyttelton, to inspirit him, offered to accept any office. This
well-intentioned proposal failed to animate the Duke, though it was
gratefully recognised. There was nothing left but the rank and file;
ardent supporters with nothing to support. The Government was doomed.

Instructions from counties and boroughs were coming up as in the days of
the impeachment of Walpole. Addresses were presented to the Throne. The
country was thoroughly roused. And its hopes and gaze were fixed solely
on Pitt, a private member, untried in affairs, with scarce a follower in
Parliament. He, at any rate, had not failed, a negative merit indeed,
but one which he alone of the leading statesmen of the time could claim.

Newcastle was left alone with Hardwicke. Around them that desert had
begun to form which portends the fall of a Ministry; though their
faithful Commons still awaited their bidding in silence. And at last the
old Duke realised that he must resign, but determined that Hardwicke
should resign too, perhaps to make his own resignation regretted,
perhaps because he would not leave behind him an asset of such value.
'My dearest, dearest Lord,' he wrote, 'you know how cruelly I am treated
and indeed persecuted by all those who now surround the King.'
Hardwicke's friendship, he said, was now his only comfort, Hardwicke's
resignation would be his honour, glory, and security. 'But, my dearest
Lord, it would hurt me extremely if yours should be long delayed.' And
indeed, Hardwicke, to the regret of all, consented to leave the woolsack
and follow his friend. Newcastle was shrewd enough to know that under
the existing conditions in Parliament he could scarcely fail soon to
return to office. But Hardwicke did not return.

[Sidenote: Oct. 28, 1756.]

When the King was sure that Newcastle was really going, he sent for Fox
and bade him try if Pitt would join him. 'The Duke of Newcastle whom you
hate will retire,' said the Sovereign; 'try your hand and see what you
can do with Pitt.'[356] Next day Fox went to the Prince's levee at
Saville House, and engaged Pitt in close and animated conversation for
some twenty minutes. 'Mr. Pitt exceeding grave, Mr. Fox very warm. They
did not seem to part amicably.'[357] Of this talk a famous fragment
survives, characteristic of political language in those days. 'Are you
going to Stowe?' asked Fox. 'I ask because I believe you will have a
message of consequence from people of consequence.' 'You surprise me,'
answered Pitt, 'are you to be of the number?' 'I don't know,' said Fox,
taken aback. 'One likes to say things to a man of sense,' rejoined Pitt,
'and to men of your great sense, rather than to others. And yet it is
difficult even to you.' Fox caught his hint at once. 'What! You mean
that you will not act with me as Minister.' 'I do,' replied Pitt. But a
moment after he felt that he had been too abrupt, and expressed a
courteous hope that Fox would take an active part, which his own health
would not permit him to do.[358]

Was Pitt right in refusing the concurrence of Fox? On that question we
must allow him to be the best judge, as it is obvious that he did not
act in heat or passion, and that we cannot know the situation as he
did. To us now, viewing the poverty of his following and the useful
abilities of Fox, it would seem that he made a palpable mistake. Fox
would have taken the second place; as a matter of fact he was content to
subside into the gilded subordination of the Paymastership. His talents
as a debater were second only to Pitt's with the possible exception of
Charles Townshend's; but Townshend was only a shooting star, and did
not, like Fox, represent the important influence of Cumberland. Fox
would have fought stolidly for the side he espoused; he had a leaning to
Pitt, and shared Pitt's detestation of Newcastle, who was the common
enemy. But Pitt evidently had determined that he must sever himself
entirely from Newcastle and Newcastle's Minister in the House of
Commons. On both these rested the taint of corruption and national
disaster. He must, if he was to keep the confidence of the country, cut
himself clear from these personalities and their traditions. He could
estimate the weight of odium which rested upon them, which we cannot. He
had all the facts of the case before him, which we have not. He knew,
what we do not know for certain but cannot doubt, that Leicester House
made the exclusion of Fox or of Cumberland in any form a condition of
cordial support. He realised the weakness of his own parliamentary
position, he well understood the value of Fox's co-operation, but he
also knew the temper of the nation, and so we cannot doubt that he came
to the right decision.

In any case Fox was not to blame. He offered, and we think cordially
offered, to co-operate with Pitt, and, indeed, serve under Pitt. Public
spirit perhaps was not his main motive. He did not, he confessed, feel
equal to the principal place. He had written in July: 'Though I see how
fatally things are going, as I don't know how to mend them, I am not
unreasonable enough to wish for what I could not conduct.'[359] And
things were much worse now. Moreover, he saw, as others saw, that it was
only the combination of himself with Pitt that could keep out Newcastle.
But in public affairs the best and fairest course is not to analyse
motives. He made the offer, he made it sincerely, and must have the
credit of it.

But Pitt was inflexible. Those who had made him feel the weight of their
proscription should feel the weight of his. Fox would have liked to be
Paymaster. In that subordinate but opulent post he would have been
content to give support. But Pitt would have none of him. He refused him
this slight favour on the mysterious ground that it 'would be too like
Mr. Pelham in 1742.'[360] He would not touch Fox or Newcastle.

The day after Fox's conversation with Pitt at the levee, the King sent
for Devonshire, and bade him form a Ministry. This Duke was now Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland and Fox's closest friend. The King probably hoped
in this way to bring about the union between Pitt and Fox, which almost
every one desired, save Pitt himself. Pitt himself had nominated
Devonshire, but without consulting him, in the interviews with
Hardwicke. Devonshire had written to Fox in approval of the resignation
as soon as he had heard of it. Five days afterwards he wrote again: 'If
my friendship or assistance can be of any use you can command me,' and
went on to say, 'Nothing has hurt Mr. Pitt so much as his having shown
the world that in order to gratify his resentment and satisfy his
ambition he did not value the confusion or distress that he might throw
this country into. This I own has in some degree altered the good
opinion I had of him.'[361] Devonshire therefore did not seem a
propitious Prime Minister for Pitt. But dukes counted for much in those
days. No one can read the history of those times without seeing the vast
importance attributed to forgotten princes like Marlborough, Bedford,
and Devonshire.

Fox soon quarrelled with Devonshire. He considered that Devonshire had
abandoned him. The Duke had been his confidential friend, and had left
him to help Pitt, and act as Pitt's figurehead. At first he affected to
approve. But his wrath only smouldered. On one of the eternal questions
of patronage it broke out. Fox wrote to him a note of real dignity and
pathos. 'The Duke of Bedford has just now told me that Mr. John Pitt is
to kiss hands to-morrow for Mr. Phillipson's place;' (promised,
according to Fox, to his friend Hamilton). 'Consider, my Lord,
everything that has pass'd, and do not drive me from you. I neither mean
to do you harm, nor can do you harm if you think. But Your Grace's own
reflections will not please you when you have done so.'[362] Devonshire
was a weak man, but he was unconscious of blame and was deeply hurt.
Political friendships, when paths diverge, are more difficult to
maintain than men themselves realise at the moment of separation.

[Sidenote: Oct. 31, 1756.]

Devonshire was now sent to Pitt in the country,[363] but found that his
terms were such as the King could not be brought to accept. He
positively declined association with Fox in any shape, but deigned to
apologise to the Duke for having nominated him without previous
consultation. It was necessary, he said, to place some great lord there
to whom the Whigs would look up, and his partiality had made him presume
to suggest his Grace.[364]

Then the King, refusing Pitt's terms, and aware that he had been
misinformed as to Fox's language about Bute, sent for Fox and offered
him the government. 'I was never dishonest, rash, or mad enough for half
an hour to think of undertaking it,' says Fox.[365] And again, 'I am not
capable of it,' and goes on to give the reason. 'Richelieu, were he
alive, could not guide the councils of a nation, if (which would be my
case) he could not from November to April have above two hours in the
four-and-twenty to think of anything but the House of Commons.'[366] If
that were Fox's need in 1756, it is difficult to imagine the kind of
physical and intellectual combination that he would have thought
adequate to the stress of affairs in the twentieth century. But in spite
of Fox's private opinion thus expressed, his friend Walpole records that
he offered at the worst to take the Treasury and go to the Tower if it
would save his Sovereign from having 'his head shaved.' 'Ah!' replied
the King with his usual shrewdness, 'if you go to the Tower I shall not
be long behind you.'[367]

Then the distracted monarch, at the instigation of Fox, tried the fatal
expedient of an Assembly of Notables, and summoned all the leading
nobles and commoners who were at hand to meet at Devonshire House.[368]
But this meeting never took place, for Devonshire postponed or got rid
of it. It was to have recommended that Devonshire should have the
Treasury, Fox the Exchequer, and Legge be content with a peerage. Pitt
himself was to have the seals, with _carte blanche_ for his other
friends and dependents. Temple was to be First Lord of the
Admiralty.[369]

Fox declares that Devonshire put an end to this plan by positively
refusing the Treasury.[370] Holdernesse sent word to Newcastle that _les
Renardins_ (the followers of Fox) were less sanguine.[371] And indeed,
on November 4, the day after that fixed for the assembly, Devonshire
went in to the King and came out from his audience having accepted the
Treasury. Bubb says that he stipulated for Fox as Chancellor of the
Exchequer.[372] This is at least doubtful. 'This question,' Fox
afterwards wrote, 'I beg may be asked: whether at the time his Grace did
take it with Legge I was not pressing him strongly to another thing,
viz., to offer to take it with me. I pressed this even to ill-humour at
his own house with Grenville at night. He refused absolutely, and the
next morning what he would not take with me he took with Legge.'[373]
This would seem conclusive, were it not that Bubb evidently had his
information from Fox at the time; but politicians are prone to illusions
on the subject of office. In any case, Devonshire left the Closet First
Lord of the Treasury with Legge as Chancellor of the Exchequer; the man
with whom two days before he had refused under any circumstances to
serve,[374] and whom the King had absolutely refused to take. Fox and
Bedford were in the anteroom as he came out, and were thunderstruck.
Bedford broke into passionate expostulation; Fox scented an intrigue.
However, the deed was done.[375]

Fox says that Devonshire offered him, and he refused, the Pay
Office.[376] This is difficult to believe, and does not accord with his
other statements that he had offered to serve in a subordinate capacity
and been refused. Moreover, it was the office for which he always
hankered, with its vast profits and safe obscurity, as compared with the
Spartan frugality and dangerous prominence of the Secretaryship of
State.[377]

As to the intrigue, Fox's instinct did not deceive him. The fact was
that Horace Walpole, having heard of the scheme of the Notables, saw at
once that it must put an end to the new arrangement, as it was one that
Pitt could not accept. Walpole feared no doubt that, in case of failure,
Newcastle, the object of his special detestation, might return to
office. So he sent his cousin Conway to alarm the Duke of Devonshire,
who consequently suppressed the meeting, and who went himself, as we
have seen, to the King to accept office.[378] Horace might well pique
himself on his powers of intrigue or duplicity, for a week before he had
spontaneously written to Fox to say that he heard that the King and Lady
Yarmouth were persuaded that Fox would not take the Treasury, but he
hoped they were wrong.[379]

The new First Lord of the Treasury may have resisted having Legge as his
Chancellor of the Exchequer, but was easily overborne. What is more
difficult to understand is the King's nominating Legge, whom he
detested. It was a rude shock for Fox, who had planned the meeting of
Notables and framed the scheme it was to advise. Henceforth he
controlled himself no more, and became the sleepless enemy of the new
administration, which can be no matter of surprise. Pitt had made his
total exclusion as absolute a condition as that of Newcastle, and Fox
after his warm offers of co-operation and assistance could not but be
bitterly mortified. He believed, perhaps justly, that the proscription
laid on him proceeded from Leicester House.[380] Henceforth during the
short life of the new government he plotted and planned against it,
inspiring 'The Test,' a new paper under an old designation, with
venomous articles, and ready to form alternative administrations at a
moment's notice.[381]

One great difficulty, the King's repugnance to Legge, had been
surmounted one does not know how; but there were still minor obstacles.
The whole arrangement was odious to the Sovereign: he could not bear
even to turn the first page of Devonshire's appointments. Pitt, who was
to succeed Newcastle in the Southern department, wished to exchange this
for the Northern. The King objected, for the Northern department
included Hanover, and Pitt eventually yielded. The new Secretary, as we
have seen, wished for Sir Thomas Robinson, his old butt, as a colleague,
on the singular ground that he knew nothing of the office he was
undertaking, and required Sir Thomas's guidance.[382] Pitt had compared
Robinson to a jack-boot; but personal opinions vary according to points
of view; Sir Thomas might be contemptible as a leader, but useful as a
dry-nurse. Holdernesse however remained. Then over every petty office,
coffererships, masterships of the Wardrobe, keeperships of the jewels,
treasurerships of the Household, there was snarling and struggling as of
dogs over bones. Bedford was secured as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland,
mainly, it would appear, through the agency of Fox, who wished to secure
as many ministerial posts as possible for his friends, and who was in
hopes that the Duke would traverse Pitt. Bedford cared little for
office; perhaps not much for Fox. His political passions were inspired
by his personal hatreds, of Newcastle now, as later of Pitt.[383] But
Fox, aided by the Duchess's ambition, prevailed. Amid these changes one
provokes a smile; Bubb was as usual dismissed.

But the greatest and most grotesque disability lay with Pitt himself.
After all his struggles to be in the position of forming a Ministry, he
had no Ministry to produce. He could not fill a fraction of the offices.
His personal followers, all told, hardly exceeded a dozen. When he had
provided for the Grenvilles, Potter, and Legge, he had scarcely any one
to name. So this Ministry was doomed from the beginning. Pamphleteers
could not fail to observe Pitt's predicament. One lampoon, in the form
of a royal degree, 'Given at our imperial seat at Hayes,' and
countersigned 'John Thistle,' (a premature allusion to Bute), sets
forth: 'We will that you give lucrative employments to all Our Brethren,
uncles, cousins, relations and namesakes.'[384] Outside this category
Pitt's subordinates were mostly the friends of Newcastle or Fox, and so
his secret enemies, or waiters upon Providence who were not sufficiently
sure of his stability to call themselves his friends. Holdernesse,
Pitt's colleague in the Secretaryship of State, and Barrington,
Secretary for War, kept Newcastle fully informed of all that went on in
the administration and of all that they knew. Holdernesse also sent
abstracts of the despatches that came from abroad.[385] So that Pitt was
betrayed from the first. Ministries formed by one man seldom last long
under another. But Ministries which pass between two declared enemies
have not from the beginning any chance of life. This one was stillborn.

Pitt himself lay ill with the gout at Hayes; so he had to leave his
affairs to be managed by a little clique in London, of which Temple of
course was the chief, and which was in close communion with Leicester
House. For every day Leicester House waxed and Kensington Palace waned
in importance, as the King advanced in years. Nothing in the history of
those days is more difficult to trace and yet nothing is more
significant than this invisible Court of the Heir-Apparent, which was
felt rather than seen, but towards which courtiers kept one anxious eye
during their dutiful attendance on the King. All felt that the centre of
power was shifting thither, and the uneasiness of those who wished to be
well with both Courts was manifest and irrepressible. The constant
anxiety of Fox to be Paymaster was largely due to his desire to be
sheltered from the hatred of the young Court in the reign that seemed
imminent. All this could not but increase the jealousy and irritability
of the old Sovereign, at a time when he was undergoing a new Ministry
most repulsive to him. Distasteful as it was in almost every respect,
what was perhaps most abhorrent was the consciousness that it was
imposed upon him by his daughter-in-law and her favourite, that it
rested on their support, and was indeed the Ministry of George III.
rather than of George II.

Bute was the object of the King's chief detestation, a righteous
aversion if his suspicions were well founded; and Bute was now
undisguisedly prominent in the negotiations for the new Government. The
King treated Temple and his friends so ill at the levee, that the
injured nobleman went to Devonshire to say that he feared he could not
proceed a step further in the negotiations. On this mission he was
accompanied by Bute, for the purpose, apparently, of making the world
realise that Leicester House and all its influence were behind Pitt.
And Bute availed himself of this opportunity to make use of 'expressions
so transcendently obliging to us,' writes Temple, 'and so decisive of
the determined purposes of Leicester House towards us in the present or
any future day, that your lively imagination cannot suggest to you a
wish beyond them.' By Temple, too, he sent word to Pitt that he could
not advise, that he left all to Pitt, determined to support and approve
whatever Pitt decided.[386] This was the one element of strength to the
new Government, besides Pitt himself. And yet, so elusive was this
mysterious Court, that in September the town had been ringing with the
coolness of Pitt's reception at Leicester House, more especially by
Bute.[387] The fact is that there had evidently been a coldness, but
that the fall of Newcastle had brought the two together again.[388]

[Sidenote: Dec. 4, 1756.]

After Devonshire had kissed hands on November 4 there were however few
difficulties. Temple's cold reception at Court, on the very day of
Newcastle's resignation, which had made him declare with his usual
arrogance to Devonshire that all was over, was only a passing incident,
due to the fact that the King could not abide the very sight of Temple.
Pitt no doubt counselled moderation from Hayes, not desiring to lose the
fruit of so many years for a slight to his relative. And so, a week
after Temple's fiery declaration to Devonshire, the new Board of
Admiralty was gazetted with Temple at its head. Three days before, the
Board of Treasury had been declared with Devonshire and Legge as its
chiefs. One Grenville was included in this. For George Grenville and
Potter treasurerships and paymasterships were found. There were indeed
but few traces of Pitt's small connection in the Government. He, still
an invalid, received his seals a little later. He had also to change his
seat. He could not condescend to be re-elected for Newcastle's borough
of Aldborough; indeed, he had held it too long. Nor indeed would
Newcastle nominate him.[389] So now he accepted an olive branch from
Lyttelton, who shared the control of Okehampton with the Duke of
Bedford, and generously named his old friend and recent foe.[390] It may
have been that Pitt was desirous of cutting the last link with Newcastle
before entering upon office, and had deferred receiving the seals till
he was independent. Be that as it may, he was only to hold them four
months. During most of that time he was ill, during all of it he was
surrounded by conspiracies, and he was soon intrigued out of office,
though he never actually vacated it. But his short term had taught him
one priceless lesson; that genius and public spirit were not enough,
that a practical and even sordid leaven was required, and that if he
would not do the necessary work of political adjustment himself, he must
find somebody to do it for him, or give up all idea of being a powerful
Minister.

It has been thought well to narrate at length the circumstances of the
final breakdown of the King's veto on Pitt's accession to office and the
struggle which preceded it; partly because some of the documents are
new, partly because it is a curious picture of character and intrigue,
partly because it is the fifth and culminating act of this long drama.



CHAPTER XXII.


But with this Government we have nothing to do. We have reached our
limits. The youth of Pitt has passed, his apprenticeship is over, he has
now his foot in high office, he is soon to be supreme. The weary period
of proscription and conflict has come to an end, he is henceforth to
command where he has obeyed, and he is to raise his country to a
singular height of glory and power. That splendid period is beyond the
scope of this book, which only records the ascent and the toil; the
lustre of achievement and reward require a separate chronicle. The next
scenes require a broader canvas and brighter colours.

But before we leave him let us try and realise his appearance. When we
read about any one we naturally wish to know what manner of man he was
in the flesh. In this case we seem but scantily provided with portraits.
We have glanced at the one by Hoare, to the accuracy of which Pitt
himself bears emphatic testimony. Of this one Hoare painted several
replicas, one of the worst of which, very bilious in colouring, is in
the National Portrait Gallery. There is another at Orwell which seems to
have more force in it; it could not have less. The original represents a
comely, graceful and elegant being without a symptom of anything but
comeliness, grace and elegance, and might be the portrait of any man of
fashion of the time. Great men have sometimes piqued themselves on being
dandies, and it may have been this air which recommended the picture to
its subject. This portrait, of which the large engraving, containing
only the head, is infinitely better than the original, duly arrived at
Stowe. Thence at the dispersal of that great collection it passed to
Drayton, having been purchased by Sir Robert Peel, and has lately found
a final home at Pittsburg.

There is another portrait by Hoare, at full length, in the coronation
robes which Pitt never can have worn, which was painted for the
Corporation of Bath ten years after that for Temple. It leaves no
special impression. There was a portrait by Reynolds at Belvoir. But
that, alas! disappeared with so much else in the great fire which
ravaged that noble structure. Towards the end of his life (in 1772) he
was painted in peer's robes by Brompton. The engraving of this is at
full length, but the picture itself is a kitcat, so that it was probably
cut down. This picture is at Chevening, and Lord Sidmouth, if we are not
mistaken, owns a replica or another version of this picture. Pitt's
grand-daughter, Lady Hester Stanhope, who was brought up with it, says
that it is the best portrait of him. As she was only two years old when
he died, her testimony, though given with confidence, has no personal
value; but she had relations who may have told her. She piqued herself
on her resemblance to him. But no value is to be attached to the
utterances of this vain and crazy woman, unless one can believe, which
is difficult, that she repeated faithfully what more trustworthy people
had told her. However, this portrait may well be the best, where the
other is so poor. It is in itself impressive, representing a solemn,
noble, melancholy figure, such as Chatham must have been in his last
cheerless decade.

There are more busts. There is one of him in youth, perhaps at
five-and-twenty, handsome, bright, alert, with a smile that is almost
saucy. The original of this was, it is believed, also at Stowe; also,
perhaps, purchased by Sir Robert Peel. There is more than one by Wilton.
One, dated 1759, grim and masterful, with a touch of scorn, the man
himself at his time of power. There are others of him in old age, with
less expression, ponderous and saturnine; they are posthumous, and dated
1781. One of these is at Dropmore, another at Belvoir, another at
Lowther.

There are probably other portraits or busts, but these are all that are
known to the present writer.

His appearance at his best must have been extremely attractive. Tall and
slender, 'his figure genteel and commanding,' he had cultivated all the
arts of grace, gesture and dramatic action. 'Graceful in motion,' says
his reluctant nephew, 'his eye and countenance would have conveyed his
feelings to the deaf.'[391] All authorities dwell on the magic of his
eye. His eyes, said his grand-daughter, presumably on family tradition,
were grey, but by candlelight seemed black from the intensity of their
expression. When he was angry or earnest no one could look him in the
face. No one indeed seems to have been able to abide the terrors of his
glance.

Of his manners and conversation in private life we know singularly
little. Chesterfield gives us perhaps the best glimpse. 'He had manners
and address; but one might discern through them too great a
consciousness of his own superior talents. He was a most agreeable and
lively companion in social life, and had such a versatility of wit that
he could adapt it to all sorts of conversation.' Of his early powers of
fascination we have an authentic instance. He was seen walking with the
Prince of Wales in the gardens at Stowe, and Cobham, watching them with
anxiety, expressed some apprehension of Pitt's persuading the Prince to
adopt some measures of which Cobham disapproved. A Mr. Belson said that
the interview could not be long. 'You don't know Mr. Pitt's power of
insinuation,' said Cobham. 'In a very short quarter of an hour he can
persuade anyone of anything.'

Butler, 'the Reminiscent,' who had this anecdote from Belson himself,
goes on to say that 'as a companion in festive moments, Mr. Pitt was
enchanting.' He also quotes Wilkes, who was a good judge of social
qualifications. 'Mr. Pitt, by the most manly sense and the fine sallies
of a warm and sportive imagination, can charm the whole day, and, as the
Greek said, his entertainments please even the day after they are
given.' But, after all, these must have been rare occasions, as Pitt
does not seem to have seen much of society, for his health kept him a
recluse; and as years went on he seems to have found it both irksome and
impolitic to see much of mankind. We fancy that he was a man, like his
son, of small and intimate companies; partly from a haughty aloofness,
partly because he could not partake of the pleasures of the table.

'As a private man,' says Lord Camelford, 'he had especially in his youth
every talent to please when he thought it worth while to exert his
talents, which was always for a purpose, for he was never natural. His
good breeding never deserted him unless when his insolence intended to
offend. He was, however, soon spoilt by flattery, which gave him the
humours of a child. He was selfish even to trifles in his own family and
amongst his intimates to the forgetting the preferences due to the other
sex, of which I have heard many ridiculous instances; but this was much
owing to a state of health which made him fretful, at the same time that
it called his attention to his own person. When I first saw him he was
intemperate towards his servants full as much as my own father, but it
is to his honour that when he owed a better example to his children he
got the better of that habit. His first and only friendships were with
Lord Lyttelton and his sister Ann.' In a later passage he adds: 'He
lived and died without a friend.'

Camelford, it will be observed, speaks with confidence about Pitt's
youth, of which he can have known nothing except from tradition, and
Pitt's family traditions were not likely to err on the side of
benignity. What he says about early friendships is obviously inaccurate;
he is quoting Pitt's impulsive note of Oct. 24, 1734.[392] The
Grenvilles, the other Lytteltons, and Gilbert West at once occur to one
as friends to whom Pitt in youth was tenderly attached. We may indeed
take it for granted that this curious piece refers to Pitt's middle
life, which Camelford knew personally; but it is too interesting to be
omitted here.

His great and singular power lay in his eloquence, and yet even there we
are left largely to the recollection and testimony of his
contemporaries, for there was in those days no reporting as we
understand it, and therefore no reports. There are, of course,
professed reports, but to these little credence can be attached. Dr.
Johnson and a Scottish clergyman named Gordon wrote a great number of
them, based on very inadequate materials, if any materials at all. Men
carried away some noble outburst or some striking metaphor tingling in
their ears, and repeated it. Others would be able to recall the line of
argument, if indeed there was an argument to follow. But the result is
scarcely authentic. Pitt the younger must have known, and he declared
that no specimens of his father's eloquence remained. Butler says that
the person to whom he made this remark (no doubt Butler himself) begged
him to read slowly his father's speeches on the Stamp Act, and endeavour
as he did so to recall the figure, look and voice with which his father
would have delivered them. Pitt did so, and admitted the probable effect
of the speech thus delivered. But it is to be observed that he did not
admit the accuracy. Almon, who knew something of this matter, says that
none of the reports of Pitt's speeches before 1760 can be depended upon.
In 1766 Almon began reporting the debates himself, and so would claim
greater exactness, and may easily have attained it.

One is in fact thrown back on the impressions and the descriptions of
those who heard him. Horace Walpole, who at this time admired Pitt as
much as he could admire anybody, gives us striking glimpses, some of
which we have already quoted; one of which, that of the answer to Hume
Campbell, is exquisite in felicity of phrase. Chesterfield says that
Pitt's 'eloquence was of every kind, and he excelled in the
argumentative as well as in the declamatory way. But his invectives were
terrible, and uttered with such energy of diction, and stern dignity of
action and countenance that he intimidated those who were the most
willing and the best able to encounter him. Their arms fell out of their
hands, and they sank under the ascendant which his genius gained over
theirs.' In a note Chesterfield tells us that the last phrases allude to
Murray and Hume Campbell. 'Mr. Pitt,' he says elsewhere, 'carried with
him unpremeditated the strength of thunder and the splendour of
lightning.' These extracts convey the impression made by Pitt on one of
the acutest judges of the time, himself an orator of eminence, and no
friend to his subject.

Bishop Newton gladly avails himself of the same familiar metaphor: 'What
was said of the famous orator Pericles, that he lightened, thundered,
and confounded Greece, was in some measure applicable to him.' 'He had,'
says the Bishop, 'extraordinary powers, quick conceptions, ready
elocution, great command of language, a melodious voice, a piercing eye,
a speaking countenance, and was as great an actor as an orator. During
the time of his successful administration he had the most absolute and
uncontrolled sway that perhaps any member ever had in the House of
Commons. With all these excellences he was not without his defects. His
language was sometimes too figurative and pompous, his speeches were
seldom well connected, often desultory and rambling from one thing to
another, so that though you were struck here and there with noble
sentiments and happy expressions, yet you could not well remember nor
give a clear account of the whole together. With affected modesty he was
apt to be rather too confident and overbearing in debate, sometimes
descended to personal invectives, and would first commend that he might
afterwards more effectually abuse, would ever have the last word, and
right or wrong still preserved (in his own phrase) an unembarrassed
countenance. He spoke more to your passions than to your reason, more to
those below the bar and above the throne than to the House itself; and,
when that kind of audience was excluded, he sunk and lost much of his
weight and authority.'[393]

Grattan's testimony, as that of a famous orator, cannot here be passed,
though it refers to a later period. 'He was a man of great genius, great
flight of mind. His imagination was astonishing.... He was very great
and very odd. He spoke in a style of conversation, not however what I
expected. It was not a speech, for he never came with a prepared
harangue. His style was not regular oratory, like Cicero or Demosthenes,
but it was very fine and very elevated, and above the ordinary subjects
of discourse.... His gesture was always graceful. He was an incomparable
actor. Had it not been so he would have appeared ridiculous.... His
tones were remarkably pleasing. I recollect his pronouncing one word
"effete" in a soft charming accent. His son could not have pronounced it
better.... His manner was dramatic. In this it was said that he was too
much the mountebank; but if so it was a great mountebank. Perhaps he was
not so good a debater as his son, but he was a much better orator, a
better scholar, and a far greater mind. Great subjects, great empires,
great characters, effulgent ideas and classical illustrations formed the
material of his speeches.' Grattan gives examples, and even notes of one
of his speeches, but they are all outside our period.[394]

These notes on Pitt's oratory cannot well be omitted, though they are
almost too familiar to quote. But there is one, never yet published,
which is written by an intimate but merciless critic. Lord Camelford was
only nineteen at the time when our narrative terminates, but he must
already and for some years afterwards have been steeped in his uncle's
eloquence, so that his description is of peculiar interest.

'In Parliament he never spoke but to the instant, regardless of whatever
contradictions he might afterwards be reduced to, which he carried off
with an effrontery without example. His eloquence was supported by every
advantage that could unite in a perfect actor. Graceful in motion, his
eye and countenance would have conveyed his feelings to the deaf. His
voice was clear and melodious, and capable of every variety of
inflection and modulation. His wit was elegant, his imagination
inexhaustible, his sensibility exquisite, and his diction flowed like a
torrent, impure often, but always varied and abundant. There was a style
of conscious superiority, a tone, a gesture of manner, which was quite
peculiar to him--everything shrunk before it; and even facts, truth and
argument were overawed and vanquished by it. On the other hand, his
matter was never ranged, it had no method. He deviated into a thousand
digressions, often reverted back to the same ground, and seemed
sometimes like the lion to lash himself with his own tail to rouse his
courage, which flashed in periods and surprised and astonished, rather
than convinced by the steady light of reason. He was the very contrast
of Lord Mansfield, his competitor in eloquence, who never appealed but
to the conviction of the understanding, with an arrangement so precise
that every sentence was only the preparation for the force that the next
was to obtain, and scarce a word could be taken away without throwing
the whole argument into disorder; the other bore his hearers away by
rapid flights into a region that looked down upon argument, and opposed
the transport of feeling to conviction.'

This appears to be a description as accurate as it is vivid, and perhaps
none gives the personality and manner of Pitt with more effect. The
style of conscious superiority, peculiar to him, before which everything
shrank; the way in which the orator worked himself into wrath, like a
lion lashing himself with his own tail; the eye and countenance which
would have conveyed his meaning to the deaf; these are touches which we
feel to be accurate, and which seem to explain much of the effect of
Pitt's oratory. Let us here note that Cradock gives a curious account of
an oratorical failure of Pitt's in later life and of his consequent
irritation, eminently comforting to humbler speakers.[395]

We value sketches like these much more than any professed reports of
Pitt's speeches, which cannot be accurate reproductions. But, even if
they were, they would, we are told, be but pale shadows of the reality,
for so much depended on the soul and grace with which they were uttered;
for the majesty of his presence, his manly figure, his exquisite voice,
his consummate acting, his harmonious action, and above all the
lightning of his eyes inspired reluctant awe before he uttered a word.
We can fancy him rising in the House, which subsides at once into
silence and eager attention. On not a few faces there will be
uneasiness and alarm; on the ministerial bench some agitation, for it is
there probably that the thunderbolts may fall. His opening is solemn and
impressive. Then he warms to his subject. He states his argument. He
recalls matters of history and his own personal recollections. Then with
an insinuating wave of his arm his voice changes, and he is found to be
drowning some hapless wight with ridicule. Then he seems to ramble a
little, he is marking time and collecting himself for what is coming.
Suddenly the rich notes swell into the fullness of a great organ, and
the audience find themselves borne into the heights of a sublime burst
of eloquence. Then he sinks again into a whisper full of menace which
carries some cruel sarcasm to some quivering heart. Then he is found
playing about his subject, pelting snowballs as he proceeds. If the
speech is proceeding to his satisfaction it will last an hour or perhaps
two. Its length will perhaps not improve it, but no one can stir. There
may be ineffective, tedious, obscure passages, but no one knows what may
be coming, these vapours often precede a glowing sunburst. So all
through the speech men sit as though paralysed, though many are heated
with wine. He will not finish without some lofty declamation which may
be the culminating splendour of the effort. If any effective replies are
made, he will reply again and again, heedless of order, vehement,
truculent, perhaps intemperate. And as he sits down perhaps with little
applause, the tension of nerves, almost agonising in its duration and
concentration, snaps like a harpstring; the buzz of animated
conversation breaks forth with an ecstasy of relief. The audience
disperses still under the spell. As it wears off, hostile critics begin
to declare that it is all acting; the fellow acts better than Garrick.
Garrick, indeed, himself declared that had Pitt originally preferred the
stage of Drury Lane for that of St. Stephen's, he would almost have
annihilated the stage by distancing all competition.[396] He was,
without doubt, an incomparable actor, for no less a power would have
enabled him to engage in some of his most famous flights with effect, or
without reaction or ridicule. His action, his inflections, his vehemence
are no doubt at least as good as Garrick's. But these are merely the
accessories which to the shallow or cynical observer seem to be the
heart or the whole of the matter. One might as well say that it is the
varnish that makes the picture, or the goblet that makes the vintage.
The orator is probably unconscious or at most half-conscious of what
seems dramatic, he is moved by an irresistible blast of passion which
carries him as well as his audience away. The passion may have been
stirred beforehand, but at the moment of outpouring it is genuine
enough. Pitt no doubt had trained himself to be graceful in animation,
had studied and enhanced the beauties of his voice, so that when excited
his tones were always musical, and his action harmonious. He may in
earlier days have rehearsed speeches in private, though he probably
delivered something different when the time came. But to imagine that
when he spoke he was acting a prepared speech is to ignore the main
features of his oratory, the force coming from an internal impulse which
was for the moment irresistible. It should be remembered too, that in
one sense he was always acting in the common business of life; when he
chipped an egg, or talked to his gardener, or mounted his horse, he was
acting. He might not, indeed, study his gesture at the moment, but that
was because he had been studying gestures half his life. He had
appropriated the dramatic way of doing things till it had become a
second nature to him; thus, what would have been acting in others was
natural to him. And indeed, he had so adjusted and prepared and schooled
himself, that all his emotions were effectually concealed. The fierce
character of the man would sometimes be irrepressible, but even then it
would be vented with an awful grace. And so when he was said to be
acting in the House he was natural, for acting had become a second
nature to him. When this is so, acting has ceased to be acting. Mrs.
Siddons would give her orders at dinner in the awful tones of Lady
Macbeth. This was not acting but nature, trained but unconscious nature.
So it was with Pitt. He would not laugh, because it was undignified to
laugh. If he had a book or a play to read aloud and came to a comic
part, he passed it to another to read and resumed the volume when the
humorous part was over, lest, we may presume, he should smile or become
incidentally ridiculous. His countenance was, so to speak, enamelled
with such anxious care, that a heedless laugh might crack the elaborate
demeanour. And so he lived in blank verse, and conducted himself in the
heroic metre. We should surmise, though not with certainty, that some of
his more famous flights, such as the comparison of the Rhone and the
Saône, were prepared to some extent, but that there was nothing
written. This is only guesswork, for of his method of preparation we
know nothing. But his diction was habitually perfect. To improve it he
had twice read through Bailey's Dictionary, and had plodded through
masses of sermons, particularly those of Barrow, Abernethy, and 'the
late Mr. Mudge of Plymouth.'[397] 'Every word he makes use of,' said
Chesterfield as early as 1751, 'is the very best, and the most
expressive that can be used in that place.' That was the result of
constant and familiar effort. Like Bolingbroke he had trained himself to
spare no pains in ordinary conversation to attain accuracy of
expression, so as to be sure of himself in public. 'It would not be
believed how much trouble he took to compose the most trifling note.' He
told Shelburne that a phrase he had used in one of his speeches could
not be taken exception to, as he had tried it on paper three times
before employing it in public. Assiduous study of words, constant
exercise in choice language, so that it was habitual to him even in
conversation, and could not be other than elegant even in unpremeditated
speech, this combined with poetical imagination, passion, a mordant wit
and great dramatic skill, would probably seem to be the secrets of
Chatham's oratorical supremacy. And yet it is safe to predict that a
clever fellow who had mastered all this would produce but a pale
reflection of the original. It is not merely the thing that is said, but
the man who says it which counts, the character which breathes through
the sentences. Mirabeau would, as we know, take a manuscript speech
produced by a laborious friend, in itself a dull thing, and read it from
the tribune with such energy of inspiration that it would carry the
Assembly by storm. This is the more marvellous when we remember that a
man who reads the best possible speech with the most effective elocution
is heavily handicapped. And so it may safely be assumed that imitation
of Pitt would be doomed to disastrous failure. The secret of oratory
like this evades the most anxious student: its effect both on the
immediate audience and on posterity seems beyond definition or adequate
explanation.

Some orators impress their audience, some their readers, a very few
posterity as well. The orators who impress their audience rarely impress
their readers, and those who impress their readers are usually less
successful with their audience. Few indeed are those who reach posterity
or indeed survive a year. Pitt, if any one indeed can be said to have
read his speeches, combined all three forms of supremacy. More than
this, his utterances with a sort of wireless telegraphy seemed to thrill
the nation which neither heard nor read them. In the century which
followed Chatham's death there was an illustrious succession of orators
and debaters. And yet none of these eminent men with all their
accurately reported speeches have left so deep an impress of eloquence
as the elder Pitt, who was not reported at all. We cannot doubt that it
is better for his fame that he was unreported. Sheridan never did
anything wiser than when in his need he refused the most splendid offers
to revise his Begum speech for publication. Pitt's speeches would have
lost half their force without the splendour of delivery. His unreported
eloquence has become matter of faith, and so it is likely to remain.

Mr. Lecky, from whom it is difficult to differ, thinks that his
speeches were deficient in pathos and wit. As to this last, the
testimony of his contemporaries is emphatic the other way, and they are
loud in extolling Pitt's piercing wit. We have seen how Walpole and
Murray concur in extolling his powers of ridicule. 'He can turn anything
into ridicule,' Murray had said. 'He can tickle to death with a
feather,' was Walpole's description. Nor should we imagine he was
defective in pathos; not perhaps in youth, for youth is not the season
of pathos, but certainly in later years. The speeches, for example,
delivered in the garb of an invalid, abounded we should surmise in
pathos, to which the costume was preliminary and accessory. But pathos,
which has something of humility in its tenderness, was, it must be
admitted, alien to the haughty superiority which Pitt asserted and
assumed.

One word more of fascinating conjecture. Would he have been a great
popular orator at mass meetings and the like? We cannot imagine Pitt a
platform speaker, yet we can scarcely imagine a better. His graceful
appearance, his terrible eye, the winning and majestic modulations of
his voice, his spontaneity, his magnetic power, his wealth of ridicule,
his poignant personalities, his dramatic force, his variety and
unexpectedness constituted the most formidable equipment for platform
oratory ever possessed by mortal man. And yet we cannot regret that he
never was tried.

Pitt's life marks itself out with singular distinctness into definite
periods. From 1708 to 1734 is the period of obscure youth, on which this
volume should throw some light. From 1734 to 1745 is the period of
reckless and irresponsible opposition, when he is trying the temper of
his weapons. From 1745 to 1754 he remains in the shadow of subordinate
office. From 1754 to 1756, though still partly in office, he emerges as
an independent figure of extraordinary and irresistible force. From 1756
to 1761 is the period of power, four years of which are unrivalled in
the annals of Great Britain. From 1761 to 1770 is the period of
detachment, or attempted detachment, from party. It includes some tenure
of office, much obscurity and illness, some actual insanity. And from
1770 till his death in 1778 he appears sometimes to be attempting to
make his peace with the party system, having found it impracticable to
stand alone; sometimes he seems to be retiring once more into his cell.

Few careers can be marked out so clearly; few have such a glamour. But
the glamour and the glory are yet to come; they lie beyond this book.
Already indeed there are confidence and hope, confidence in his vigour,
his honesty, and his uprightness; but this is due rather to others than
to himself. Every one else has failed, this may be the man of destiny.

And yet up to this time the career of Pitt has been, eloquence apart,
not unlike that of other ambitious and not very scrupulous politicians.
He begins by attacking Sir Robert Walpole. Why? He has no particular
objection to Sir Robert Walpole; in after years he acknowledges that he
was a great statesman. It was partly a freak of youth. Who is the
biggest man to attack, the man by combating whom one can acquire the
most honour and reputation? Obviously Walpole. So tilt at him. He is
asked to an important house; for the first time he finds himself in the
great world. He is caressed, perhaps flattered; for he has a school
renown, and is a lad to be secured. He is with his Eton friends, and
they think all the world of Cobham, his wisdom, his courage, his
magnificence; they all in a measure depend on him. Thus he is allured
into the charmed circle, and they form much the same group as that which
was in our own days called the Fourth Party.

So they enter the House of Commons in high spirits, and lay about them
with reckless intrepidity. Pitt is soon marked out for martyrdom by the
Minister. But in a short time he is conspicuous for other reasons. He
towers from the waist above his comrades as a bitter, incisive speaker.
Walpole begins to take notes of his speeches; he is the coming man, and
is at once secured for the faction of the Prince of Wales. Then Walpole
falls. There is a great crash, and the spectators expect to see the
world in ruins. But when the dust has cleared away it is seen that
things are much as they were; Wilmington, scarcely visible, in Walpole's
seat; Newcastle rooted in his own; Walpole, with Pulteney his
protagonist, seated smug and dumb among the distant peers. There is no
room for Pitt among our governors; the only new figure that strikes one
is Carteret, he is evidently the moving spirit of the piece. As the
prominent Minister, and as an object of hatred to Cobham, he is
obviously the man for Pitt now to attack, and he trounces Carteret as
recklessly as he had Walpole; only Walpole was able to reply, and
Carteret cannot; for he sits where Walpole sits. Carteret, again, he
mainly attacks for his eminence. He calls Carteret execrable now, but,
when the battle is over, takes pride in declaring that to his patronage,
to his friendship, to his instruction 'I owe whatever I am.' Still, the
business of party must be done, and so Carteret must be assailed. Then
Carteret disappears, and Pitt is without a target. But the young man
has to realise that in his reckless onslaughts he has incidentally but
mortally wounded the honour of the King. Walpole and Carteret are off
the scene; and the stage is now occupied, so far as he is concerned, by
a monarch who is an incarnate veto as regards him, and who can never
forgive him. This produces a new situation. Pitt is as strenuous to be
pardoned as he was to offend; he is all milk and honey in public, but
apprises the Pelhams, who are now in sole possession of the
administration, that he is not disposed to be long-suffering, and that
the ordinary rewards of political warfare are overdue. They are fully
alive to the situation, and attempt to mollify the Sovereign. But their
labour is in vain, and so, with more subtlety than patriotism, they
produce a ministerial crisis when civil war is alive in the island. The
King has to yield, and, in angry submission, receive Pitt. The new
placeman, having achieved office, subsides into a long silence. Pelham
dies at last, and the great inheritance has to be divided. Pitt is ill
and absent; his rival is at once preferred (though alienated); while
Pelham's brother attempts to guide, with the help of the Master of the
Great Wardrobe, what Pelham could not control. The result is easily
foreseen. The rivals unite to tear the Master limb from limb, and one of
them has to be bought off. That one is not Pitt. And now something,
pique or patriotism or marriage, one cannot analyse it now, perhaps he
could not have analysed it himself, lifts him into new splendours of
eloquence. His rival seems cowed by the harness without the confidence
of office. Pitt stands alone, no one dare face him. Meanwhile he
receives new authority from disaster. In every region where Britain is
interested calamity follows calamity. The country is roused to a passion
of wrath and vengeance. It demands victims. Byng in prison remains an
open wound to remind the nation of its miscarriages. They are resolved
to shoot him, at any rate; they would not be unwilling to hang others
whom they hold responsible for his miscarriage, who are perhaps corrupt,
and who are certainly incapable and untoward Ministers; failing that,
they will at least get rid of them. They look round and see no one but
Pitt. He has been persecuted, he has been ignored by these Ministers,
and yet his eloquence, commanding in itself, has the true note of energy
and patriotism. He shall be tried; and they call for him with as much
energy as the French once called for Necker, but with a truer instinct.

Strangely enough, there is so far little vigour in Pitt except in his
speeches. Half his life is spent in prostration and seclusion, under the
martyrdom of gout. As we have seen, on the very brink of his Ministry,
he assured Fox that his health would not allow him to hold office. And,
indeed, in the whole life of this singular man there is nothing more
remarkable than this, that in the glimpses we obtain of himself, apart
from great speeches and the result of victorious policy, we almost
always find him prostrate with illness. It is generally the gout or its
allies which disable him; but later it is disorder akin to if not
identical with insanity. Not unnaturally, even among those less prone by
profession to suspicion than the expert politician, his ill-health is
often supposed to be an assumption or a screen. But in this calmer
generation we can see that it was not, that the man never enjoyed
health, as it is ordinarily understood, for a moment. He was always
distempered, irritable, or hysterical, when not in pain. His public life
was scarcely more than the intervals between fits of gout or nervous
collapse. We are reminded of the sufferings of his son, as he approached
the end of a long ministerial career, struggling against constant
sickness and a wrecked constitution, when we contemplate the lifelong
contest between the elder Pitt and hereditary disease.

Heredity counts for much, for more than we reckon in these matters. We
breed horses and cattle with careful study on that principle; the prize
bull and the Derby winner are the result. With mankind we heed it little
or not at all. With Pitt it was everything or almost everything. From
his ancestors, most probably the Governor, who, we infer, was a free
liver in a tropical climate, he derived the curse of gout. From the same
progenitor he inherited a nervous, violent temperament, and some taint
of madness. All this told partly for him, partly against him. The gout
drove him to study and reflection, but it constantly disabled him. His
temperament roused him to great heights of energy and passion both in
eloquence and politics, but it also alienated his fellow-men, and made
him sometimes eccentric, and sometimes turbulent. We cannot in such a
matter hold the balance. What is genius? None can tell. But may it not
be the result in character of the conflict of violent strains of
heredity, which clash like flint and steel, and produce the divine
spark?

This takes us beyond our limits, more especially those of time; for
within those limits the genius of Pitt has only been displayed in the
barren gift of eloquence. But when we consider his disabilities of
heredity and of accident we deem him already heroic. Everything has been
against him. He has contended against poverty and disease and contempt.
He has been wounded in the house of his family. He has been constantly
betrayed. He has had to suffer for long years in silence. He is
forty-eight when he at last attains anything like power. From this point
of view his career is pathetic. It seems such a waste of time and
opportunity. But through these long impatient years he was being
trained, hardened, one may almost say, baked in the furnace. In silence
and bitterness the force was being accumulated that was to electrify the
Empire.

Still the dazzling result must not blind us to the facts as they stand
at the moment when we are surveying and taking leave of them. Much in a
man's life obviously depends on life: much too depends on death. 'Felix
opportunitate mortis' is a pregnant saying. How many village Hampdens,
how many Miltons have passed away, inglorious because mute, and mute
from premature death. Had Cæsar or Marlborough died before middle age
their military reputation would have been slender indeed. For how many
men, on the other hand, has death come too late. What would have been
the place in history of Napoleon III., had Orsini been a successful
assassin? What that of Tiberius, had he died at sixty? The authors who
have survived themselves are as the sands of the sea; indeed the
exceptions are those who have not. The politicians in the same case are
less conspicuous, for they crumble into the House of Lords. Historians
and rhetoricians have vied with each other in setting forth the glories
of Pitt's supreme years. What we have to consider is his position in
1756, when we part from him in professed ignorance of what is to come.
How would Pitt appear to us had he died when he was still forty-seven?
He was forty-eight the day before Devonshire, in his name, assumed the
government. That is a respectable age. The younger Pitt never reached
it, though he had been Prime Minister for near a score of years.
Napoleon closed his career at forty-six. It is needless to detail
examples. But at forty-seven the elder Pitt could only claim that he had
been Paymaster of the Forces, and had cowed but not persuaded the House
of Commons by his oratory. He had, too, the faith of the people,
unearned except by vague echoes of purity and eloquence. Otherwise his
career had been much like other careers, denouncing, or coquetting and
even pressing for office, equable in expectation, and vindictive if
refused. Pride was his besetting sin; yet he had stooped, to conquer.

All seems to depend on this point, so difficult to decide: was there
patriotism in all this alloy? Was the anxiety for office the mere
craving of the politician for reward, or was it the real consciousness
of capacity, purity, and inspiration? It may well in earlier days have
been the more vulgar ambition, vulgar but not reprehensible; for office
is the legitimate end and object of the public man; and Pitt had earned
it a hundred times over by ordinary standards, while compelled to stand
aside and see his inferiors promoted. But at the period which we have
reached we think the nobler sentiment is unmistakable. He will not hold
out a finger, he spurns all assistance, he builds without any foundation
but himself. Had he wished only for the snug and secure possession of
office he would have welcomed the co-operation of Newcastle and Fox,
invaluable allies in their different ways. But at this time he will have
none of them, he dreams of a government which free from taint or
suspicion shall appeal for the confidence of the country on the highest
and purest grounds.

Here we feel, and feel with relief, that we can give a clear verdict.
The rest matters little. The path of the statesman rarely skirts the
heights, it is rough, rugged, sometimes squalid, as are most of the
roads of life. We are apt to make idols, to ignore shadows, and to fancy
that we see stars; not too apt, for it is an illuminating worship. But,
that being so, let not those who have to scrutinise therefore condemn.
All careers have their blots. The best and happiest are those in which
the blemishes are obscured by high achievement. That was supremely the
case with Pitt. His upward ascent was much like other ascents, neither
better nor worse. But when he reached the summit, and acted in full
light and freedom, his triumph was so complete that none deem it worth
while to scan his previous record. None should care now, were it not a
healthy propensity to seek to know as much as possible of the lives of
great men. It is preposterous to depict Pitt as an angel of light. But
yet, judged by the standard of his day, the only proper standard to
apply, and indeed by the standard of any day, he must be held even in
his darkest hours not to have compromised his historical future.

Whatever his failings may have been, his countrymen have refused, and
rightly refused, to take heed of them. They have refused to see anything
but the supreme orator, the triumphant Minister of 1757-1761, the
champion of liberty in later years at home and in the West. With Pitt,
as with Nelson, his country will not count flaws. What do they matter?
How are they visible in the sunlight of achievement? A country must
cherish and guard its heroes.

We have climbed with him in his path to power. We have seen him
petulant, factious, hungry, bitter. And yet all the time we have felt
that there was always something in him different in quality from his
fellow-politicians when they aired the same qualities, that there was an
imprisoned spirit within him struggling for freedom and scope. At last
it bursts its trammels, he tosses patronage and intrigue to the old
political Shylocks, and inspires the policy of the world. Vanity of
vanities! Twenty years after his epoch of glory, three years after his
death, Britain has reached the lowest point in her history. But still
she is the richer for his life. He bequeaths a tradition, he bequeaths a
son; and when men think of duty and achievement they look to one or the
other. It will be an ill day for their country when either is
forgotten.



INDEX


    Aberdeen, Lord, 145

    Abernethy, Dr., sermons by, 501

    Achilles, 332

    Addison, Joseph, 'Cato' referred to, 154

    'Additional MSS.' referred to, 196, 248, 281, 287, 301, 306, 313,
      316, 332, 337, 349, 351, 374, 380, 458, 461, 464, 467, 468, 472,
      483, 485

    Aix-la-Chapelle, Peace of, 169, 395;
      Treaty of, 213;
      debate on Treaty of, 277, 278

    Aldborough Election, 313, 323, 332, 349

    Allen, Ralph, 112, 303

    Allworthy, Squire, see Fielding, Henry

    Almon, John, 300, 301, 493

    Althorp, Lord, 21, 262

    Alsace, Austrian armies in, 209

    'Ambulator, The,' 308

    Amelia, Princess, 280

    America, smuggling invasion of, 165;
      hostilities in, 350-1, 372, 395, &c.

    Angel Inn, Oxford, Chatham at, 363

    Anne, Empress of Russia, death of, 202

    Anne, Queen of England, 222

    Anson, Lord, 341, 351

    Anstruther, General, 330

    Antwerp, French enter, 212

    Argyll Buildings, Chatham's marriage at, 356

    Argyll, Duke of, 343, 452

    'Army, History of the British,' see Fortescue, J.W.

    Arundel, Mr., 439

    Ashbourne, Lord, 355

    Ashburnham Park, 305

    Ashley, ----, 261

    'Assembly of Notables,' 479

    Astrop Wells, Chatham's visit to, 304, 350

    Austria, House of, 286

    Austrian Netherlands, French in possession of, 212

    Austrians, War of the Succession, 202, 402;
      defeated at Molwitz, 203;
      defeated at Chotusitz, 206;
      victorious in Bohemia, 207, 209;
      in Flanders, 211

    Aylesbury, dispute over the Assizes at, 271-5, 289;
      purchase of manor of, 275

    'Aylesbury, History of,' see Gibbs

    Ayscough, Dr., 54, 57, 58, 62, 66, 69, 78, 291, 356


    Bailey's 'Dictionary,' Pitt's study of, 501

    Baldwin, Lord Chief Justice, 275

    Ballantyne, Archibald, 'Life of Lord Carteret,' quoted, 146, 179

    Baltimore, Lord, 178

    Bampton, 84

    Banquier, Alexandre, 45, 69

    Barnard, Sir John, 148

    Barré, Isaac, 268

    Barrington, Viscount, 249, 363, 424, 426, 435, 444, 483

    Barrow, sermons of, 501

    Bath, 8, 29, 38, 57-9, 63, 66, 97, 99, 104-6, 112-16, 234, 303, 313,
      348, 355

    Bath, Earl of, see Pulteney, Sir William

    Battle Abbey, 305

    Bavaria, protests against the succession of Maria Theresa, 202;
      seized by General Khevenhüller, 205;
      taken by Frederick II., 209

    Bavaria, Elector of, see Frederick II.

    Bave, Dr. Charles, 57, 60

    Bays, Mr., 79

    'Bedford Correspondence,' 154, 478, 480-2

    Bedford, Duke of, 236, 237, 246, 248, 249, 279, 280, 282, 300, 388,
      412, 428, 439, 477, 480, 482, 486

    Bedlam, 8

    Beckford, Alderman William, 166, 428, 440

    Bellamy, a frame maker, 80

    Belleisle, Marshal, 204, 205, 207

    Belson, Mr., 491

    Bentinck, Lord George, 190

    Bentley, Richard, Walpole's letter to, 344

    Bergen, 3

    Berkeley of Stratton, Lord, 252

    Berkshire, land purchased in, 6

    Berlin, 202, 210;
      Treaty of, 206

    Besançon, 45, 68, 69, 352

    Best, Mr., 24

    Bland, Dr., 28

    Blandford, 5, 58

    'Blandford,' a man-of-war, 400

    Blandford, Vicar of, see Pitt, John

    Blount, Martha, 79

    Boconnoc, 3, 6, 14, 23, 24, 43, 54, 56, 58, 61;
      Chatham's early life at, 43;
      his reasons for living at, 58, 59

    Bohemia, Frederick II. proclaimed king in Prague, 205;
      taken by Frederick II., 209

    Bolingbroke, Lady, 85, 86

    Bolingbroke, Lord, 132, 144, 148, 176, 235, 258;
      nicknamed the Pitts, 54;
      called the 'intellectual Samson of Battersea,' 328;
      accuracy of expression of, 501;
      his newspaper, 'The Craftsman,' 163;
      'Remarks on History of England,' 328

    Bolton, Duke of, 252

    Boone, Mr., 252

    Boscawen, Admiral, 399

    Boswell, James, 303

    Bourchier, Colonel, 44

    Bourbons, extravagance of the, 195;
      union of the, 208

    'Boy Patriots, The,' 131

    Braddock, General, 397, 398

    Breda, peace negotiations at, 212

    Breslau, Peace of, 206

    Brest, 226

    Bridport, Lord, 353

    Bright, John, 262

    Bristol, 104, 105

    Broad-Bottom Administration, 239

    Broglie, Marshal, 204, 205

    Bromley, 310

    Brompton, Richard, portrait-painter, 489

    Browne, Lancelot, 132

    Broxom, 79

    Brussels, French enter, 212

    Bubb, see Dodington, George Bubb

    Buchan, Lord, 39

    Buckhurst, 305

    Buckingham, the representation of, 133;
      dispute over the Assizes at, 271-5, 289

    Buckingham, Duke of, see Grenville, Richard Temple, Earl Temple

    Burchett, Will., 28, 29

    Burdett, 261, 262

    Burke, Edmund, 21, 133

    Burleigh, Lord, 427

    Burton-Pynsent, 124, 125, 307

    Bute, Earl of, 21, 87, 116, 121, 122, 125, 126, 138, 292, 296, 386,
      387, 410, 441, 454, 458, 465, 483, 484

    Bute, Lady, 126

    Butler, 'the Reminiscent,' 359, 364, 491, 493

    Byng, Admiral, 450-2, 507


    'Cabinets, History of,' see Torrens, W.T. McC.

    Cadogan, Charles, 2nd Baron, 452

    Calcraft, John, letter to Digby, 359

    Camden, Earl of, see Pratt, Sir Charles

    Camelford, Lord, see Pitt, Thomas, 1st Baron Camelford

    'Camelford MSS.' referred to, 85, 256, 412, 490

    Campbell, Hume, 430, 432, 434, 435, 439, 493, 494

    Canning, George, 160

    Canons, Palace of, 257

    Cardigan, Lady, 84

    Cardross, Lord, 39

    Carlisle, 154

    Carlisle, Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of, 159;
      'Papers' referred to, 159

    Carlyle, Thomas, 'Frederick the Great' referred to, 202, 402

    Caroline, Princess, 153, 370

    Caroline, Queen, 53, 197

    Carteret, John, Earl Granville, 255, 408, 409, 436;
      statesmanship of, 144;
      ability and distinction of, 148, 178;
      secret negotiations of, 176;
      Pitt's animosity to, 178, 187, 190, 218, 219, 280;
      Pitt's admiration of, in later years, 220;
      his relations with George II., 196;
      ability recognised by George II., 245;
      his knowledge of the classics, 179;
      as a linguist, 180;
      his contempt for money, 180;
      Chesterfield's opinion of, 182;
      supports the Earl of Bath, 216;
      downfall of, 229, 235-9;
      Administration against, 248;
      Secretary of State, 250;
      President of the Council, 300, 472;
      Walpole's distrust of, 315;
      on North American affairs, 350, 351;
      on subsidies, 380;
      Fox's enmity against, 384;
      Newcastle's negotiations with, 389;
      his forty-eight hours' Ministry, 409;
      Fox's resignation, 461-3;
      attacks of Pitt upon, 505, 506;
      'Life of Carteret,' see Ballantyne, A.

    Chaillot, 99

    Chambers, 140

    Chandos, Duke of, 140;
      Dukedom of, 257

    Charleroi, taken by the French, 212

    Charles II., 393, 423

    Charles III., 205

    Charles VI., 202, 203, 213

    Charles VII., 209

    Charles Edward, 'the Young Pretender,' see Stuart

    Chatham, Lady, see Grenville, Lady Hester

    'Chatham MSS.' referred to, 50, 51, 92, 99, 254, 455, 485

    Chatham, William Pitt, 1st Earl of, parentage, 1, 8, 11;
      birth, 26;
      death, 126, 312;
      appearance and characteristics, 421, 488-90;
      at Eton, 27;
      at Oxford, 31;
      father, 8, 12, 14-16, 38, 48;
      mother, 12, 14, 26, 38-46;
      Governor Pitt's regard for, 11, 26;
      sisters, 48-128;
      quarrels with his sister Ann, 53, 83, 85-8, 115, 116, 256;
      family quarrels, 19, 22, 50, 83, 509;
      affected by gout, 28, 30, 39, 46, 96, 98, 117, 234, 298, 303, 304,
        313, 315, 316, 318, 332, 483, 486, 507;
      military service, 43-7, 60, 63, 130, 132, 157, 158, 160, 163;
      marries Lady Hester Grenville, 97, 98, 102, 253, 352, 356;
      letters to Hester Grenville described, 355;
      lives and dies at Hayes, 103, 110, 312, 454;
      birth of children, 111, 455, 456;
      legacy of Duchess of Marlborough to, 233, 234;
      anecdotes of, 307, 308, 363;
      recommends Bolingbroke's works, 328;
      'History of Chatham,' see Thackeray, Francis
        Correspondence--with his father, 29, 34;
      to his mother, 38-46;
      sister Ann, 56-84, 88-93, 101, 104-112;
      sister Mary, 96;
      Duke of Newcastle, 97, 329-32, 335;
      Sir George Lyttelton and Grenville, 316-18;
      Chancellor Hardwicke, 324, 325, 337
        Appointments--Groom of the Bedchamber, 162, 240;
      Paymaster, 85, 133, 254, 475, 510;
      Privy Seal, 125;
      Secretary of State, 103, 480;
      Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, 253, 261, 265
        Parliamentary Career--Begins at Stowe, 77;
      represents Old Sarum, 129, 270, 313;
      elected for Seaford, 270;
      chosen for Aldborough, 333, 349, 486;
      represents Okehampton, 486;
      his first session in Parliament, 143, 157;
      George II.'s regard for, 108, 157, 196, 245, 249, 250, 252, 262,
        341, 349, 377, 465, 478, 486, 506;
      his regard for the King, 242, 465;
      Order of the Garter for Temple, 139;
      member of the 'Junto,' 236;
      forcing his hand, 247;
      wields power through the people, 358, 475;
      views and plans on political situation, 316, 321;
      apologies from Duke of Newcastle, 335, 348;
      exclusion from Government, 338, 415;
      American War, 350;
      his finest speeches, 293, 357-8;
      strong remarks on Sir Thomas Robinson, 360;
      distrust of, and attitude to Fox, 352, 365, 370, 474, 476, 478;
      Parliamentary intrigue, 370;
      as Leader of the House, 376;
      eulogises Legge for a position, 377;
      pecuniary awards to, 410;
      and Newcastle Ministry, 460-5, 471;
      negotiations with Hardwicke, 468;
      co-operation sought with, 475;
      fails to form a Ministry, 483-6;
      connection with Leicester House, 353, 386-8, 404, 454, 475, 481,
        485;
      his oratory, 357-8, 492-503;
      periods of his life, 503, 504;
      effect of his life's mission, 512
        Speeches, extracts of--On royal marriage, 157;
      reduction of army, 164;
      convention with Spain, 167;
      denounces Walpole's administration, 184, 505;
      subsidies for foreign powers, 209, 237, 379, 380, 434;
      transfer of Hanoverians, 241, 242, 410;
      Bucks Assizes, 274;
      compensation of Glasgow, 276;
      peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 278, 416;
      opposes navy reduction, 289, 419;
      opinion on Regency Bill, 292, 293;
      Jews' Naturalisation Act, 299;
      relief of Chelsea pensioners, 356;
      on election petitions, 358;
      tenure of sheriff-deputyships, 392, 394;
      against the Newcastle Ministry, 404;
      seamen's prize money, 422;
      army estimates, 424;
      Militia Bill, 428, 469;
      reprimands Hume Campbell, 430-3;
      foreign treaties, 433-8;
      attacks Budget, 440, 447;
      on Swiss auxiliaries, 441;
      criticism on army grant, 445

    Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of, and Ann Pitt, 54, 65;
      statesmanship of, 144;
      his ability and distinction, 148;
      his opinion of Pulteney, 176;
      quotations from his Letters, 182;
      character of George II., 198;
      opposed to the Hanoverian vote, 225;
      bequest to, by the Duchess of Marlborough, 233;
      member of Opposition Committee, 236;
      Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 240;
      letter from Newcastle, 248;
      resignation of, as Secretary of State, 279;
      eulogises Pitt and Murray, 302;
      on the reconstruction of the Ministry, 390;
      on the character of Pitt, 490, 491, 493;
      on Pitt's study of words, 501

    Chevening, residence of Stanhope, 3, 126, 307

    Chippenham Election, 172

    Cholmondeley, Lord, Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, 253, 439

    Cholmondeley, Mrs., death of, 97

    Cholmondely, Charles, 14

    Chotusitz, Battle of, 206

    Clement XII., Pope, death of, 201

    Climenson's 'Mrs. Montague' referred to, 303, 304, 309

    Clive, Lord, 395

    Cobbett, William, 134;
      'Parliamentary History' referred to, 165, 167, 168, 183, 186, 187,
      188, 218, 219, 220, 225, 241, 242, 243, 271, 275-8, 285, 287, 443

    Cobden, Richard, 261, 262

    'Cobham's Cubs,' 131

    Cobham, Lord, see Temple, Sir Richard, afterwards Lord Cobham

    Cobham Party (The), 217

    Colchester, Petition for, 360

    Colebrooke's 'Memoirs,' 296, 346

    Cologne, Elector of, 286

    Compiègne, Council at, 400

    Congreve, William, 132

    Conway, a cousin of Walpole's, 160, 289, 481

    Corbett, Mr., marriage of, 49

    Corbett, Sir William, 49

    Cornbury, Lord, 84

    Cornwall, 6, 16, 43, 58, 61

    Cornwall, Duchy of, 17

    Cornwall, Duke of, 18

    Cotton, Sir John Hinde, 224, 236-7

    'Cousins, The,' 131

    Coxe, William, 'Memoirs of Henry Pelham' quoted 249, 250, 278, 282,
      286;
      'Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole' quoted, 166, 168, 172, 216, 369

    Cradock, Joseph, 'Literary Memoirs' referred to, 497

    'Cranford,' see Gaskell, Mrs.

    Cresset, Mr., 87, 115, 116

    Cricket, played at Stowe, 80

    Crowhurst, Colonel Pelham's place at, 305

    Culloden, Battle of, 269, 398

    Cumberland, Duke of, Grenville's hatred of, 21;
      attempts to form a Pitt Ministry, 139;
      George II.'s affection for, 387;
      defeated at Fontenoy, 210;
      and at Lauffeld, 212;
      projected marriage of, 229;
      awarded a pension, 269, 270;
      objections to, as Regent, 293;
      a member of the Regency Council, 370;
      his devotion to Fox, 294, 352, 365, 380, 384, 388;
      alliance of Newcastle with, 389;
      plan of campaign, 398;
      influence of, 475


    Darcy, Sir Conyers, 439

    Dashwood, Francis, Baron, 414

    Delamere, Lord, 14

    Delaval, John, speech at Berwick, 358

    Delany, Mrs., 'Memoirs of,' referred to, 52, 125, 126

    Denbigh, Lord, 249

    Derby, Prince Charles Edward marches on, 244

    Dettingen, Battle of, 214, 218;
      George II. at, 193, 194;
      Pitt's view of the, 222

    Devonshire, land purchased in, 6

    Devonshire, Duke of, 339, 379, 380, 462, 467, 476-86

    Devonshire House, assembly at, 479

    De Witt, Jan, 443

    Diamond, transaction of the Pitt, 3, 4

    Dickins and Stanton, 'An Eighteenth Century Correspondence'
      referred to, 134

    Digby, Lord, 359, 459, 461

    Disraeli, Benjamin, 172

    'Divinity Pitt,' 54

    Dodington, George Bubb, 135, 140, 155, 224, 236, 237, 292, 346, 349,
      350, 370, 373, 380, 383-6, 388, 443, 459, 479, 480, 483

    Dorsetshire, lands purchased in, 6

    Dover, Lord, 156

    Dresden, occupied by Frederick II., 210;
      Peace of, 246

    'Dropmore Papers' quoted and referred to, 8, 13, 26, 56

    Duffell, Dr., 126

    Dundonald, Lord, 'Autobiography of,' referred to, 134

    Dunkirk, 277

    Dupleix, 395

    Dupplin, one of the Paymasters, 455, 472

    Duquesne Fort, 398

    Dutch Expedition up the Thames recalled, 226

    Dutens, Louis, reception by the Pitts, 50, 51;
      'Voyage' referred to, 174


    East India Company, 2

    Education, Chatham's letters on, 20

    Edward III., 179

    Egmont, Earl of, 277, 284, 292, 373, 406, 472

    'Eighteenth Century Correspondence,' see Dickins and Stanton

    Election expenses, 143

    Elizabeth, Empress of Russia, 206, 207, 400, 402

    Elizabeth, Queen of England, 423

    Ellis, Welbore, 410, 415, 460, 461

    Enfield Chase, 308

    England, indifference of George II. and William III. to, 198, 199;
      pledged to the Pragmatic Sanction, 203;
      'Remarks on the History of,' see Bolingbroke, Lord

    Epsom, 154

    Eridge, 305

    Erskine, Sir Henry, 39, 441, 467

    Erskine, Thomas, 39

    Esmond, Will, 13

    Essex, Lady, see Pitt, Essex

    Esther, name given to Chatham's wife, 356

    Eton, 11, 27-30, 160

    Eugene, Prince, 438

    Excise scheme, 287, 288


    Fairly Farm, 305

    Falmouth, Lord, 18

    Fane, Lord, 360

    Feilding, Charles, amiability of, 61, 73

    Fielding, Henry, on Lord Chatham, 27;
      'Squire Allworthy' referred to, 112, 303;
      'Tom Jones' referred to, 27

    Finch, Edward, 248, 252

    Finch, William, 248, 252

    Fitzgerald, Hon. Edward Villiers, 26

    Fitzmaurice, Lord, 'Life of Shelburne' referred to, 27, 47, 49, 166,
      172, 176, 467, 501

    Flanders, British troops in, 188, 205;
      military operations in, 211, 223, 224

    Florence, 49, 50

    Fontainebleau, Treaty of, objects of the, 208

    Fontenoy, Battle of, 210, 214, 243, 246

    Foote, Samuel, 174, 298;
      'Table Talk' referred to, 499

    Fort St. George, 3, 9

    Fortescue Family, nickname of the, 58

    Fortescue, J.W., 'History of the British Army,' quoted, 221

    Fox, Charles, illness of, 340

    Fox, Henry, at Eton with Chatham, 27;
      temperament, 230, 294-7;
      sketch of his character, 294-7;
      regarded as odious, 327;
      peerage endowment from Paymastership, 257, 296, 314;
      candidate for Secretaryship of State, 279, 282;
      the Buckingham Assize dispute, 272;
      the Marriage Act, 305;
      admitted to the Cabinet, 367, 368, 370;
      member of the Council of Regency, 367, 370;
      Newcastle's choice between Fox and Pitt, 388;
      stipulations for promotions of friends, 390;
      position on Provisioning Bill, 394;
      as leader of the House, 330, 335, 402, 410, 415, 417-20;
      opposes Bill for war prizes, 423;
      his challenge accepted, 428;
      vetoes an appointment, 430;
      defends Hume Campbell, 434;
      no voice in Treasury appointment, 439;
      questions of dictatorship, 445;
      parliamentary intrigues and position, 458-67;
      mistakes concerning--résumé of parliamentary life, 474-84;
      on Ann Pitt, 50;
      prospects of the Young Pretender, 244;
      George II.'s inclination to, 318, 341;
      gratified with Chatham, 218;
      opposed to Chatham, 268, 292, 294, 349, 350, 365, 407, 416-20,
        430, 436, 440, 445;
      visits Chatham, 326;
      placed over Chatham, 330;
      agreement with Chatham, 352;
      description of Chatham's outburst with Newcastle, 357;
      meets Chatham at Holland House, 370;
      sends apologies to Hardwicke, 341;
      hatred of Newcastle, 374, 389;
      and Newcastle's disgrace, 452, 453, 471, 472;
      rivalries referred to, 283;
      his enemies, 384;
      metaphors used by, 407;
      letters quoted, 343, 359, 364;
      Walpole on, 442

    'France, Histoire de,' see Martin

    France, Wars of, 204, 205, 207, 209, 212, 226, 233, 395, &c.

    Franche-Comté, 69

    Francis, Duke, 72

    Frankfort, 207, 209

    Frederick II. (the Great), accession of, 201;
      in Silesia, 202, 203;
      proclaimed Emperor at Frankfort, 205;
      his claim of Silesia, 395;
      War of Austrian Succession, 206, 209, 400-02;
      subsidy to, 286-7, 289

    'Frederick the Great,' see Carlyle, Thomas

    'Frederick II. and his Times,' see Raumer

    Frederick, Prince of Wales, heir apparent, 148-51;
      marriage of, 151, 157;
      his character and conduct, 149, 150;
      banished from Court, 152;
      expelled from St. James's, 161;
      Dr. Ayscough adviser to, 54;
      father of George II., 195;
      friendship with Thomas Pitt, 17;
      at the General Election, 171;
      Carteret a favourite of, 180, 219, 237;
      congratulates Walpole, 228;
      quarrels with Pitt, 256;
      negotiations with Pitt, 291, 293;
      decline of affection for Lady Hamilton, 352;
      overtures to Fox, 365;
      death of, 261, 292

    Frederick William, of Prussia, death of, 201

    Free Trade, 231


    Gage, Mr., M.P., 270

    Gainsborough, Thomas, portrait by, 353

    Gambier, Lord, 'Memorials,' 305

    Garrick, David, 499

    Gaskell, Mrs., 'Cranford' referred to, 352

    Gay, John, 54

    'Gazetteer, The,' newspaper, 163

    'Gentleman's Magazine, The,' 188

    George I., 156, 163, 200, 387

    George II., his dual personality, 192, 204, 207, character of, 192;
      his political character, 194;
      Lord Hervey's unworthy portrayal of, 197;
      his courage, 220, 221;
      with Lady Yarmouth at Richmond, 193;
      devotion for Hanover, 195, 198, 446;
      as Elector of Hanover concludes a treaty with the French, 204;
      on the security of the Electorate of Hanover, 286;
      placed under arrest by his father, 150;
      his hatred of his son the Prince of Wales, 162, 387;
      the Dutch War, 212;
      in Hanover, 53, 54, 399, 402;
      at Dettingen, 207;
      at Oudenarde, 194;
      signs the Treaty of Worms, 208;
      the Treaty of Berlin, 206;
      speech in Parliament, 1755, 403-4;
      gives Premiership to Pelham, 216, 217;
      his aversion to the Earl of Bath, 217;
      his anger with Newcastle, 458;
      dismissal of Carteret, 229, 238;
      Pitt's first visit to, 63;
      his hatred of Pitt, 108, 157, 179, 190, 191, 253, 482;
      reason for this hatred, 157;
      Pitt's apparent loyalty to, 424, 425;
      Pitt's desire for reconciliation with, 459, &c., 465-72;
      testifies to Walpole's bravery, 146;
      discourteous treatment of Temple, 484;
      repugnance to Legge, 481-2;
      the execution of Admiral Byng, 451

    George III., as a lad, 292;
      compared with George II., 200;
      in the Lords, 430;
      and Mr. Fox, 342, 365, 367, 459, 474;
      endeavours to form a Pitt Ministry, 139, 140;
      Newcastle refuses a pension offered by, 174;
      on Pelham's death, 313;
      treaties with Hesse-Cassel and Russia, 371

    'George III., Memoirs of the Reign of,' see Walpole, Horace

    George IV., extravagance of, 195;
      compared with George II., 200

    Georgia, 167, 208

    Germaine, Lady Betty, 107

    Germany, 109, 165, 194, 206

    Gibbs' 'History of Aylesbury' referred to, 275

    Gibbon, Edward, 47

    Gibraltar, proposed restoration to Spain, 208

    Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W.E., 230

    Glasgow and the Jacobite occupation, 276

    Glatz, ceded to Frederick II., 206, 210

    Glenfinnan, the Young Pretender at, 243

    Glover, Richard, 176, 177, 236, 237, 259, 346

    Gordon, Rev., 493

    Gower, Granville Leveson, 237, 247, 248

    Grafton, Duke of, 264

    Grandison, Catherine, Viscountess of, 26

    Grandison, Lord, 12, 15, 41, 46

    Granville, Earl, see Carteret, John

    'Grattan, Life of,' referred to, 85, 86, 495

    Gray, Sir James, 70

    Gray, Thomas, lampoon on Fox, 297

    Grenville, Family of, Pitt united to the, 17, 130, 131, 389

    'Grenville Papers' referred to, 86, 131, 132, 134, 234, 277, 316,
      319, 321, 327, 333, 465, 482

    Grenville, George, opposed the war in Flanders, 223;
      the Buckingham Assizes, 272;
      speech on unrest with Spain, 167;
      offices held by:--
        Prime Minister, 130;
        Lord of the Treasury, 239, 486;
        Chancellor of the Exchequer, 346;
        Paymastership, 467;
        Secretaryship of State offered to, 138;
      congratulated by Pitt, 348;
      Bill _re_ vessels captured before declaration of war, 423;
      position and reasons for his hatred of Pitt, 21, 131;
      opposition to Pitt, 268;
      letters from Pitt to, 141, 260, 276, 277, 455;
      Letters from Lyttelton to, 317, 327;
      visit to Bath, 328

    Grenville, Henry, 133

    Grenville, Lady, inherits Boconnoc, 24, 133

    Grenville, Lady Hester, 410, 411;
      wife of Chatham, 53, 102, 352, 353, 356;
      letters of, and reference to, 99-102, 105, 110, 112-15, 124, 125,
        311, 312;
      her character, 355;
      pension to, 124

    Grenville, James, 133, 139, 311, 372, 467

    Grenville, Richard Temple, afterwards Earl Temple, 81;
      resigned Privy Seal, 139;
      proposed as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 467;
      proposed as First Lord of the Admiralty, 479;
      refused to be First Lord of the Treasury, 136, 139;
      Order of the Garter, 139;
      his ambition a Dukedom, 140;
      application for title, 138;
      his bet, 138;
      apologises to Hervey, 138;
      cold reception at Court, 484-5;
      visits Chatham at Bath, 348;
      voted against the Hanoverians, 254;
      pensioned, 410;
      the Buckingham Assizes dispute, 272, 290;
      Letters to, 319-21, 326-7, 332;
      'Letters of Junius' ascribed to, 136

    Grenville, Thomas, killed in action off Cape Finisterre, 133

    Grenvilles, the, 130, 137, 465, 483;
      public money drawn by, 134;
      friends of Pitt, 492

    Grub Street, 298

    Guernsey, 80


    Hagley, Lord Lyttelton's seat at, 306, 307, 313

    Hague, Embassy to the, 240

    Halifax, Earl of, 472

    Hamilton, Duke of, 6, 390, 404, 477

    Hamilton, Lady Archibald, 352

    Hamilton, Lord Archibald, 178

    Hampden, Lord, attack on Pitt, 268, 290

    Hampden, Richard, estate of, 233, 234

    Hampshire, land purchased in, 6

    Hampton Court, 84, 151, 198

    Hannan, John, 52

    Hannan, Sir William, 52

    Hannibal, 191, 438

    Hanover, Pitt's contempt for, 178, 186;
      George II.'s devotion to, 188, 189, 195, 198;
      his visit to, 194;
      his ideas for safeguarding, 286;
      Convention signed at, between Britain and Prussia, 210;
      George III.'s visit to, 371

    Hanoverian Guards substituted for English Guards, 218

    Hanoverians, allies of Britain, 211;
      English hatred of the, 218;
      vote for maintenance of the, 224, 225;
      transferred to Maria Theresa, 241, 242

    Hapsburg, House of, 204

    Hardwicke, Philip Yorke, Earl of, letters to, 259, 324, 325, 333,
        337, 350, 351, 458;
      letters from, 351, 380, 381;
      on the alienation of the Prince of Wales from his parents, 156;
      as Newcastle's mentor and counsellor, 175, 314, 315;
      on Pitt's popularity in the Commons, 185;
      on Pitt's acrimoniousness, 219;
      and George II., 238, 239;
      on the foreign military policy, 246;
      his treatment of Newcastle, 279;
      supports Newcastle, 340;
      supports Pitt, 371-3;
      antagonism over Marriage Act, 305;
      as the brains of the Cabinet, 315-16;
      political unrest and intrigue of 1755-6, 386-90, 453, 464-5,
        467-73, 476;
      'Life of Hardwicke,' see Harris, George

    Harrington, Earl of, 240, 246, 251

    Harris, George, 'Life of Hardwicke' referred to, 152, 464, 465, 471

    Harrison, Mr., 74, 75

    Hartington, Lord, 289, 341, 343;
      Letters from Fox to, 359, 364

    Hastings, 305

    Hawke, Lord, 174

    Hawkins, ----, 390

    Hay, Dr., 467

    Hayes, 103, 110, 111, 113, 114, 125, 306, 310, 311

    Hedges, William, quotations from, 2

    Hell-fire Club, 275

    Henley, Robert, 155

    Herrenhausen, 198

    Hertford, Lord, 140

    Hervey, Lord, 138, 153, 160, 164, 197, 413;
      'Memoirs' referred to, 153, 162, 164

    Hesse, Landgrave of, 209

    Hesse-Cassel, Treaty with, 371, 374, 378, 379

    Hessians, allies of Britain, 211

    Hillsborough, Lord, 369, 439

    Hoare, William, portrait of Pelham, 314;
      portraits of Pitt, 488, 489

    Hochkirch, Battle of, 106

    Holdernesse, Lady, 115, 116

    Holdernesse, Lord, 282, 300, 397, 410, 411, 479, 482, 483

    Holland, 40, 41, 199;
      the Dutch as allies, 211;
      guarantee of assistance to, 246, 247

    Holland, Lady, 'Journal' quoted, 24

    Holland House, meeting of Chatham and Fox at, 370

    'Holland House MSS.' referred to, 296, 340, 342, 343, 350, 410, 431,
      454, 459, 460, 476, 477, 479, 480-3, 486

    Hollins, ----, 63

    Holyrood, Prince Charles Edward at, 243, 244

    'Homer, Original Genius of,' see Wood, Robert

    Hood, Admiral, 353

    Houghton, Walpole at, 147, 228;
      his burial at, 229

    Howard, Frederick, see Carlisle, Earl of

    Howe, Captain Lord, 399

    Hungary, Queen of, 202;
      subsidy voted to, 205

    Hurstmonceux, 305

    Hyde, Lord, 462


    Impiger, 332

    India, Governor Pitt's progress in, 2, 3

    Innes Family, 7

    Iracundus, 332

    Irwin, Lady, 159

    Italy, war in, 213


    Jacobinism, Governor Pitt on, 10

    Jamaica, position of the Governorship of, 5

    James I., 432

    James II., 243, 276, 393

    Jenkins' Ear, story of, 166

    Jews' Naturalisation Act, 298, 299

    Johnson, Dr., 257, 413, 493


    Kaunitz, adviser of Maria Theresa, 400

    Kensington, 82, 114-16, 118, 198

    Khevenhüller, General, occupies Munich, 205

    Kielmansegge's 'Diary,' quoted, 303

    Kildare, Lord, 459

    'Kildare, Narrative to,' quotations from, 476, 478, 479, 482

    King, Mr., 305


    Land's End, 226

    Lanoe, Colonel, 58, 60

    Lauffeld, Battle of, 212, 214

    Leadam, quoted, 208

    Leasowes, Shenstone's house at, 307

    Lecky, W.E.H., 502

    Lee, Dr., 155, 255, 268, 272, 275, 373

    Legge, Henry Bilson, 330, 336, 380-2;
      letter to Chatham, 308, 309;
      Chancellor of the Exchequer, 346, 349, 405, 410, 411, 467, 480, 481;
      a Lord of the Treasury, 486;
      Pitt's Ministry, 483;
      the King's repugnance to, 482;
      proposed Peerage for, 479;
      on Chatham's speech, 360;
      refused to sign the Hesse-Cassel Treaty, 374;
      distrusted by Newcastle, 374;
      in praise of Walpole, 423

    Leicester House, 115, 155, 291-4, 318, 353, 368, 370, 371, 383,
      386-8, 404, 456, 475, 481, 483-5

    Lifeguards escort George II., 193

    Ligonier, General, 212

    Limerick, Lord, 184, 185, 187

    Lincoln, acts as mediator between the Pelham brothers, 291

    Linz, Archduke proclaimed in, 205

    Liverpool, Lord, 141

    'London Magazine, The,' 188

    Londonderry, Lord, 1, 5, 6

    Loo, 198

    Lothian, Lord, 439

    Loudoun, Lord, 441

    Louis XIV., 133, 192, 193

    Louis XV., 193, 208, 209, 212, 400;
      'Louis XV. et la Renversement des Alliances,' see Waddington,
      Richard

    Louis XVIII., 141

    Louisbourg, 113, 243

    Low Countries, 188, 212

    Luneville, 45, 71, 72

    Lyndhurst, Lord, 443

    Lyte, Sir Henry, 'Dunster,' quoted, 6;
      'History of Eton' referred to, 29

    Lyttelton, Christian, marriage with Thomas Pitt, 17, 41, 130;
      her character, 17

    Lyttelton, Sir George, afterwards Baron Lyttelton, Pitt
        correspondence referring to, 28, 41, 42, 49, 54, 58, 63, 77, 78,
        317, 318, 321-4, 329, 331, 348;
      his companions in youth, 141;
      friendship with William Pitt, 130, 492;
      supports Pitt, 289;
      quarrel with Pitt, 407;
      reconciliation, 414;
      private secretary to Prince of Wales, 162;
      return to Parliament, 159;
      and standing army, 164;
      and Spanish War, 167-8;
      influence over Pulteney, 177;
      secret terms with Walpole, 177;
      policy concerning war in Flanders, 223-4;
      a Lord of the Treasury, 236, 237, 239;
      arranged coalition between forces of Stowe and Leicester House, 291;
      Cofferer, 346, 347;
      attempts reconciliation between Newcastle and Bedford, 412;
      Chancellor of the Exchequer, 412;
      his Budget, 440;
      War supplies, 446-8;
      Joint-Paymaster of the Forces, 455;
      character, 414;
      couplet, 158;
      works, 413;
      'Memoirs and Correspondence of,' see Phillimore, R.J.

    Lyttelton, Molly, 74, 353

    Lyttelton, Sir Richard, 111, 130, 327, 423, 467 473

    Lyttelton, Sir Thomas, 16

    Lyttelton, William, 306


    Macaulay, 31, 214

    Macclesfield, Lord, death of, 134

    Madras, 11

    Maestricht, siege of, 278

    Magyars appealed to by Maria Theresa, 205

    Mahon, Lady, 126

    Maillebois, Marshal, 204

    Mainz, Elector of, 286

    'Malta, Knights of,' see Porter

    Mann, Sir Horace, 'Letters to Horace Walpole,' 50, 126, 138, 234, 253

    Mansfield, Lord, see Murray, William, Earl of

    Marchmont, Earl of, Duchess of Marlborough's bequest to, 234

    'Marchmont Papers' quoted, 155, 168, 180, 224, 234, 235, 240

    Maria Theresa, the War of Austrian Succession, 202-5, 208, 210,
        213-15, 221, 222, 241, 242, 246, 247, 286, 395, 400;
      her character, 214, 215

    Marlborough, Duke of, 131, 170, 343, 366, 477

    Marlborough, Sarah, Duchess of, death and bequests of, 21, 233, 234

    'Marlborough, Duchess of, Life of,' see Thomson

    Marriage Act, 305

    Marseilles, 45, 70

    Martin's 'Histoire de France,' quoted, 208

    Martin, Mr., 357

    Martyn, Mr., 46

    Mayo, Mr., 39

    Mediterranean, English fleet in, 205

    Medmenham, Brotherhood of, 272

    Meehan's 'Famous Houses of Bath,' quoted, 303, 304

    Meredith, Sir William, 431

    Middlesex, Lord, M.P. for Old Sarum, 270

    Milan, 208

    Miller, Mr. Saunderson, 307

    'Ministry, The New,' a collection of songs, &c., 139

    Minorca, 208, 294;
      fall of, 450-1

    Mirabeau's power of oratory, 501

    Mirepoix, Duchess of, 109

    Mirepoix, Duke of, 399

    Mohawks, 23

    Mohun, Lord, sells Boconnoc, 6

    Molinox, Mr., 63

    Molwitz, Austrians defeated at, 203

    Monmouth, Duke of, at Sedgemoor, 187

    Mons, capture of, 212

    Montagu, Duke of, 428

    Montagu, Mrs. Elizabeth, 52, 54;
      'Letters' quoted, 305, 306, 309, 353

    Montcalm, General, 457;
      'Montcalm and Wolfe,' see Parkman

    Montespan, 192

    Montpelier, 45, 71

    Morayshire, 7

    'Moreau, Souvenirs de,' referred to, 398, 400

    Mudge, Mr., 501

    Mug, Matthew, 299

    Murray, William, Earl of, formerly Lord Mansfield, oratorical powers,
        302;
      precision of, 496-7;
      eminence of, 340;
      Solicitor-General, 223, 318;
      Attorney-General, 453-5;
      his chance of promotion, 338;
      _re_ new Cabinet, 380;
      changes in the Cabinet, 389;
      _re_ Jacobites, 392;
      _re_ subsidy treaties, 431-4, 436;
      attitude towards Pitt, 268, 421;
      Pitt's attack on, 359, 360, 363-5;
      on Pitt's powers of ridicule, 503;
      enemy of Fox, 384;
      coolness towards Newcastle, 430;
      correspondence regarding, 54, 335, 336

    Mutiny Bill, 276


    Namur, capture of, 212

    Naples, 195, 205

    Napoleon I., 136, 215, 269

    Napoleon III., 509

    Navy, proposed reduction of the, 289

    Necessity Fort, surrender of, 350

    Nedham, Mrs. Catherine, see Pitt, Catherine

    Nedham, Robert, his marriage with Catherine Pitt, 49;
      nominated for Old Sarum, 129

    Nevers, 98

    Newbury, 46, 74

    Newcastle, Sir Thomas Pelham, afterwards Duke of, his character, 138,
        173-4;
      an incident at his uncle's death, 138;
      refuses a pension, 174;
      contempt of George II. for, 150, 196, 245;
      supports Henry Pelham, 216, 217;
      blunder in the Lords, 227;
      supports the Dutch cause, 247;
      the Ministerial crisis of 1746, 248, 249, 252;
      the Seaford election, 270;
      his jealous nature, 279;
      his dislike for Bedford, 279, 280;
      views on the Hanoverian question, 286;
      Pitt's enmity with, 422, 427, 453, 471, 481, 486;
      profession of gratitude to Pitt, 290, 291;
      Fox's vengeance on, 296;
      his jealousy of Fox, 439;
      Fox's hatred of, 482;
      the Jews' Naturalisation Act, 298, 299;
      letters and correspondence, 97, 139, 281, 313, 316, 329-33, 347,
        351, 386, 461-2;
      Secretary of State, 319, 321, 323;
      his appointments, 340;
      words with Chatham, 357;
      his power in the Commons, 361, 382;
      negotiations with Fox, 368-9;
      Prime Minister, 388;
      formation of Cabinet, 389;
      councils of war, 397;
      and Hanoverian treaties, 409;
      attempted negotiations between Newcastle and French Ambassador, 399;
      loyalty of Commons to, 410;
      Pitt's suspicions of, 411;
      attempted reconciliation between Newcastle and Bedford, 412;
      his opinion of Lyttelton, 412;
      political unrest, 430, 441, 453-5, 458-70;
      _re_ execution of Byng, 451, 452;
      deserted by his friends, 471-5;
      resignation, 485

    'Newcastle MSS.,' 316, 328, 349, 351, 374, 474, 486

    Newdigate, Sir Roger, 363

    Newton, Bishop, 'Works' referred to, 176;
      metaphor of, 494

    Niesse ceded to Frederick II., 206

    Nivernois, M. de, 121

    Noailles, 400

    Norfolk, election expenses in, 143

    Norfolk House, 162

    North, Lord, 265

    Northampton, 43, 60, 64, 65, 234

    Nugent, Robert, Earl, 140, 272, 275, 363, 428

    Nuthall, Thomas, 312


    Okehampton, 5, 75

    Oliver, Dr., 106, 113

    Onslow, Rt. Hon. Arthur, Chatham's appeal to, 359

    Orange, House of, returned to power, 212

    Orford's 'George III.,' see Walpole, Horace

    Orleans, Regent of, 4

    Orsini, 509

    Orwell, portrait at, 353

    Oswald, James, 292

    Oswego, fall of, 457

    Oudenarde, Battle of, George II. at, 194

    Oxford, 10, 30, 31, 54, 119, 363


    Pall Mall, 5, 26, 35

    Pan, Temple of, 309

    Paris, 45, 68, 109, 181, 182

    Parkman's 'Montcalm and Wolfe' quoted, 396, 398, 457

    Parliamentary History, see Cobbett, William

    Parma, proposed reconquest of, 208

    Paulett, Lord, 112

    Peel, Sir Robert, 172, 224, 489, 490;
      a comparison, 230, 231

    Pelham, Colonel, 305

    Pelham, Rt. Hon. Henry, effect of his death, 96, 97, 301, 313-15, 506;
      the King's regard for, 196, 251, 313;
      eager for peace, 212;
      becomes Premier, 216, 217, 314;
      Chatham's support, 227, 291, 394;
      Carteret's support, 227, 291, 394;
      Carteret's dismissal, 235, 245;
      assistance to the Dutch, 246;
      refuses office perquisites, 256-8, 269, 314;
      on Aix-la-Chapelle Treaty, 277;
      eulogy of Chatham, 278, 315;
      seeks retirement, 283;
      foreign policy, 289, 447;
      'Memoirs of Henry Pelham,' see Coxe, William

    Pelham, Sir Thomas, see Newcastle, Duke of

    Pembroke, Lord, 1st Dragoon Guards, 43, 76

    Penshurst, Chatham visits, 305

    Peter the Great, 147, 207

    Philip, Don, designs on Milan, 208

    Phillimore, R.J., 'Memoirs and Correspondence of Lyttelton' referred
      to, 140, 306, 324, 325, 338

    Phillips, Mrs., 57, 63

    Phillipson, Mr., 477

    Pitt, Dr., 117

    Pitt, Ann (sister to Lord Chatham), friendships, 41, 49, 53, 54;
      State appointments, 53, 87;
      nicknames, 55;
      correspondence with her brother, 55-84, 88-125, 492;
      quarrels with Chatham, 83, 85-7, 115, 256;
      retires to France, 92, 95;
      returns to England, 102-4;
      health and mental condition, 107, 115, 116, 120;
      income increased to, 121;
      resides at Kensington, 125;
      grief at death of brother, 127;
      under restraint, death, 126

    Pitt, Betty (sister to Lord Chatham), history and description of,
      49-52

    Pitt, Catherine (sister to Lord Chatham), afterwards Nedham, 49, 84,
      95, 96-8

    Pitt, Clara Villiers, see Pitt, Betty

    Pitt, Elizabeth, see Pitt, Betty

    Pitt, Essex (daughter of Governor Pitt), marriage, death, 12, 14, 96

    Pitt, George (of Strathfieldsaye), 26

    Pitt, Harriot, wife of Robert Pitt, see Villiers

    Pitt, Harriot (sister of Lord Chatham), matrimonial designs on, 41,
        42, 44;
      her character, 48;
      marriage of, 49;
      illness, 60, 70, 74

    Pitt, Hester, wife of Chatham, see Grenville

    Pitt, John (great-grandfather of Chatham), Vicar of Blandford, 1

    Pitt, John (son of Governor Pitt), disposition, 6, 12, 13

    Pitt, John, a Dorsetshire kinsman, 305, 327

    Pitt, John (eldest son of Lord Chatham), 455, 456, 477

    Pitt, Lucy (daughter of Governor Pitt), marriage, death, 12-14

    Pitt, Mary (sister of Lord Chatham), referred to, 95, 102, 103, 106,
        107, 110, 113, 115;
      described, 49, 52;
      letter to Lady Suffolk, 102

    Pitt, Robert (son of Governor Pitt, father of Lord Chatham), family
        relationships, 8, 12, 14-16, 26, 48;
      character, 12, 14;
      death, 5, 15, 19, 38;
      correspondence from son's tutor, 28, 31

    Pitt, Thomas ('The Governor') parentage, characteristics, 1-5, 7, 14,
        24, 508;
      prescience regarding Chatham, 11, 26;
      mourning item, 34

    Pitt, Thomas (son of Robert, brother of Lord Chatham), conduct and
        characteristics, 14-16;
      seeks appointment, 18;
      marriage, 41;
      charge against, 49;
      parliamentary career, 129, 159, 270

    Pitt, Thomas (son of Thomas Pitt), 1st Baron Camelford, letters
        quoted and referred to, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12, 15, 17, 44, 48, 50,
        52, 54, 85-7, 92, 93, 102, 103, 111, 114, 116, 121, 127, 130,
        159, 160, 413, 491, 496;
      created Baron Camelford, 19;
      on Chatham's marriage, 354, 355;
      bias toward Chatham, 23, 50, 102, 127, 257

    Pitt, Villiers Clara, see Pitt, Betty

    Pitt, William, 1st Earl of Chatham, see Chatham

    Pitt, William (the younger), birth, 111;
      death, 353

    Place Bill, extension of, 245

    Plutarch, referred to, 443

    Poetical quotations, 19, 62, 143, 148, 158, 174, 177, 211, 254, 298,
      307

    Poland, partition of, 215

    Poland, King of, Berlin Treaty and the, 206

    Poland-Saxony, claims of Austria on, 203

    Polwarth, against Walpole, 148

    Pomfret, Lord, 467

    Pompadour, Madame de, 400

    Pope, Alexander, quoted, 79, 131, 132, 197

    Porritt's 'Unreformed House of Commons' referred to, 129

    Porte, Mr. de la, 102

    Porter's 'History of the Knights of Malta' quoted, 451

    Portsmouth, Duchess of, intercedes for Governor Pitt, 3

    Potter, Thomas, supports petition against Seaford, 271;
      Bucks Assize dispute, 272-5;
      Chatham's praise of, 454;
      position found for, 483, 486;
      opposes navy reduction, 289

    Pragmatic Sanction, maintenance of, 202, 203

    Prague, King of Bohemia proclaimed in, 205

    Pratt, Charles, 1st Earl Camden, 27, 311

    Preston, Mr., 50

    'Pretyman Papers,' referred to, 355

    Prevot, as a prototype, 441

    Prior Park, 112

    Protestant Succession, endurance to secure, 198

    Prussia, Convention signed at Hanover, 210

    Pulteney, Sir William, Earl of Bath, Ann Pitt's designs on, 54, 107;
      entertained at Stowe, 132;
      his wit, 254;
      idolised by the people, 175, 262;
      Walpole's use of, 176, 219, 505;
      stands aside for Carteret, 178;
      popularity declines, 184, 259;
      nettled at criticism, 185;
      claims head of Government, 216;
      forms a Government--its failure, 250, 251, 409;
      proscribed, 252;
      lack of character, 258;
      introduces Prize Bill, 422;
      Newcastle's reflection on, 472


    Queensbury, Duchess of, 54, 84

    Queensbury, Duke of, 249


    Radway, 307

    Ranby, Dr., 229

    Raumer's 'Frederick II. and his Times,' 402

    Reading, 43, 360

    Redhall, 8

    'Rejected Addresses,' see Smith, Horatio

    Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 23, 489

    Rhine, River, 207

    Richelieu, Duke of, 204, 427

    Richmond, 147, 193

    Richmond, Duke of, 295

    Ridgeway, Earl of Londonderry, 12

    Rigby, Richard, 424

    Rivers, Lord, 1

    Robinson, Sir Thomas, his appointments, 345;
      Master of the Wardrobe and Secretary of State, 330, 337, 344, 345,
        349, 467, 482;
      pensioned, 391, 392, 439;
      Chatham's remarks to, 360;
      Newcastle's praise of, 344, 345;
      panegyric on himself, 428

    Rochester, 104

    Rogers, Samuel, 'Recollections of Samuel Rogers' referred to, 85, 86;
      'Table Talk,' 364

    Rolt, Bayntun, 172

    Rolliad, quotation from, 19

    Rondet, the royal jeweller, 4

    Ross, Man of, 303

    Roucoux, French victory at, 212

    Royston, Lord, 465

    Russell, Lord John, 231

    Russia, George III.'s treaty with, 371, 378, 379

    Ryder, Sir Dudley, 453, 455


    Sackville, Lord George, 428, 442

    St. James's Square, 105, 108, 110, 112, 113, 118, 120, 151, 162

    St. Lawrence, River, naval battle at mouth of, 399

    St. Rumbald, spring at, 304

    Salisbury, 129

    Samson of Battersea, nickname of Bolingbroke, 328

    Sancho Panza, 191

    Sandwich, Earl of, 279, 282

    Sandys, Baron, 148

    Sardinia, 203, 208;
      King of, 225, 258

    Sarpedon, 181

    Sarum, Old, 2, 4-6, 129, 270

    Saunders, Sir Charles, 450

    Savile, Sir George, 191

    Savoy, House of, 208

    Saxe, Marshal, marches against Austria, 209;
      successes in the Low Countries, 212

    Saxons, as allies of Britain, 211

    Saxony, entered by Frederick II., 210;
      Elector of, 206, 286, 289

    Schwerin, Marshal, defeats Austrians at Molwitz, 203

    Scrope, John, 187

    Seaford, election of Chatham for, 270, 358

    Sedgemoor, 187

    Seine, River, 199

    Selwyn, George, 109, 345, 390

    Seward's 'Anecdotes' referred to, 55, 161, 172, 180, 501

    Shelburne, Lord, thoughts on Thomas Pitt, 18;
      on the madness of the Pitts, 24;
      on Pitt's use of words, 501;
      on Richard Temple, 131;
      troop offered to, 160;
      on Pulteney's oratory, 176;
      'Life of Shelburne,' see Fitzmaurice, Lord

    Shenstone, William, 306

    Sheridan, R.B., 502

    Shippen, William, 148

    Siddons, Mrs., 500

    Sidmouth, Lord, 489

    Silesia, 209

    Sinclair, Sir John, 7

    Sion, 115, 116

    'Skew,' a nickname, 58, 69

    Smith, Horatio, 'Rejected Addresses' referred to, 23

    Smollett, Tobias, 174

    Soho, 6

    Solomon, name given to Chatham, 356

    South Lodge, 308, 309

    South Sea Bubble, 5

    Spain, extravagance of the Bourbons, 195;
      claim on Austria, 203;
      cause of war with, 213;
      Walpole's policy, 145, 165, 167;
      war declared against, 201;
      'Britons in Spanish prisons' cry, 167;
      peace question raised by Lord Egmont, 284

    Spencer, Lady Diana, 151

    Spencer, John, bequests to and from, 234

    Sporus, 197

    Stair, Lord, 207, 218

    Stanhope, George, death of, 98

    Stanhope, Lady Hester, 7, 139, 489;
      'Memoirs,' 139

    Stanhope, James, 1st Earl, 31;
      soldier and statesman, 5, 46;
      marriage with Lucy Pitt, 14

    Stanhope, Philip Dormer, see Chesterfield, Earl of

    Stanhope, Sir William, speech on the Bucks Assize dispute, 272-4

    Stanislas, 71

    Stanley, Hans, 327

    Stannaries, Thomas Pitt, Warden of, 18

    States General, a party to the Treaty of Berlin, 206

    Stephen, Leslie, 'English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth
      Century,' 214, 307, 353

    Stewart, General, 26

    Stockwell, I., as tutor to Lord Chatham, 31

    Stone, Andrew, 384, 390, 460

    Stone House, 304

    Stormont, 453

    Stowe, 77-82, 130, 132, 272, 291, 306, 352, 355

    Strange, Lord, 277

    Stratford, 5, 28

    Stuart, House of, 144

    Stuart, Charles Edward, 'the Young Pretender,' 199, 210, 211, 222,
      226, 243

    Stuart, Mrs., 96

    'Sublimity Pitt,' 54

    Subsidies, On, 205, 209, 289, 379, 380, 430-4, 436

    Suffolk, 234

    Suffolk, Lady, letters referred to, 12, 53, 54, 57, 76, 78, 79, 81,
      86, 102, 104, 107, 127, 161

    Sunninghill, 304

    Surajah Dowlah, 457

    Sussex, tour in, 305

    Swallowfield, 5, 11, 43, 57

    Sweden, King of, 209


    Talbot, Lord, evil living of, 49

    Taylor, Miss, 51

    Temperley's 'Essay on the Causes of War with Spain' referred to, 166

    Temple, Countess, see Grenville, Lady

    Temple, Lord, see Grenville, Richard Temple, afterwards Earl Grenville

    Temple, Sir Richard, Viscount Cobham, 17, 77, 81, 236, 245, 292, 304,
        346, 505;
      builder of palace of Stowe, 130, 131;
      his entertainments at, 132;
      served under Marlborough, 131;
      called 'the brave Cobham,' 131;
      his great riches, 134, 141;
      various titles and honours conferred on, 131;
      opposed to the Excise Bill, 132;
      sides with Pitt, 22;
      Pitt devoted to Cobham, 160, 161, 178;
      quarrel with Pitt, 256;
      on the war in Flanders, 223, 224, 227;
      growing jealousy of his 'young patriots,' 273, 276;
      nicknames to, 131;
      death of, 133, 138

    Temple Bar, 169

    Thackeray, Francis, 'Life of Chatham' referred to, 28, 54, 163, 363

    Thackeray, W.M., referred to, 13;
      satire on George II. mentioned, 196

    Thames, Dutch ships in the, 226

    'The Test,' a newspaper, 50

    Thessaly, 332

    Thirsk, 4

    Thomson's 'Life of the Duchess of Marlborough,' 234

    Timbs, 'Anecdote biography,' 308

    'Tom Jones,' see Fielding, Henry

    Torrens, W.T. McC., 'History of Cabinets,' 276

    Towcester, 80

    Townshend, Lady, 356

    Townshend, Charles, 428, 435, 441, 467, 475

    Townshend, Colonel, 277

    Townshend, George, 428, 441, 467

    Trinity College, Chatham admitted to, 30

    Trojans, 332

    Tunbridge, 306

    Tunbridge Wells, 304, 309, 313

    Twickenham, 5, 125


    Underwood's 'Historical MSS.' quoted, 257

    Utrecht, 18, 21, 39, 43


    Vale Royal, 14

    Vallière, La, 192

    Vauxhall, New, 304

    Vere, Lady, 107

    Vere, Lord, 107

    Versailles, 109;
      Palace at, 192;
      replica of, in a Bavarian lake, 192;
      Treaty of, 401

    Very, Count, 109

    Vesey, Mr., 39

    Vienna threatened by the French army, 205

    Villiers, George, Duke of Buckingham, 26

    Villiers, Harriot, marriage with Robert Pitt, 12, 26;
      mother of Lord Chatham, 12;
      her family, 15;
      returns to France, 15;
      correspondence with her son, 38-46;
      death of, 48

    Villiers, Lord, 39-41

    Voiture, 61

    Voltaire's 'Candide' referred to, 451


    Waddington, Richard, 'Louis XV. et le Renversement des Alliances'
      referred to, 401

    Waldegrave, Lady Betty, 108, 109

    Waldegrave, James, Earl, procures Pitt letters of introduction at
        Paris, 70;
      on the character of George II., 194, 195;
      on Sir Thomas Robinson, 345;
      negotiates for Fox to enter the Cabinet, 366-8;
      'Correspondence' referred to, 359, 364

    Waldegrave, John, Earl, 109

    Waller, 224, 236; appointed Cofferer, 237

    Walpole, Horace, 2nd Earl of Orford (son of Sir Robert Walpole),
      283, 412

    Walpole, Horace, 4th Earl of Orford (brother of Sir Robert Walpole),
        his kinship with Lord Hervey, 197;
      affection for Lord Camelford, 19;
      as a gossip, 352;
      on Thomas Pitt, 18;
      charge against Betty Pitt, 49;
      _re_ Ann Pitt, 53, 54, 92, 116, 125-7;
      on Pitt's behaviour to his sisters, 50;
      on the Grenvilles, 133, 137, 139, 140;
      on George II., 193;
      on Pitt's speeches, 392, 394, 405, 421, 424, 431, 434-5, 438, 441;
      his admiration for Pitt, 341, 493, 503;
      on Pitt's impatience for office, 244;
      on Pitt's change of opinion, 288;
      on Pitt's sudden illness, 298;
      on Dr. Lee's attack on Pitt, 254-5, 268;
      on Pitt's resentment against the Newcastles, 300, 357;
      his partiality for Fox, 368;
      on Sir Thomas Robinson's appointment, 344;
      on Lyttelton, 413;
      on Lord Wilmington, 179;
      opposes Saxon subsidy, 289;
      on the Bath Ministry, 250;
      on the loss of Minorca, 452, 457;
      on the American war;
      on the scheme of the Notables, 480-1;
      letter to Bentley, 344.

    Walpole, Horace, 'Memoirs of the Reign of George III.,' quotations
      from, 92, 140, 268, 359, 367, 370, 374, 394-5, 462, 467, 469,
      478-81.

    Walpole, Sir Robert, 1st Earl of Orford, character of, 132, 144, 146,
        254;
      his love for sport, 147;
      his relations with George II., 196, 219;
      on the political character of George II., 194;
      his relations with Pitt, 74, 75, 158-60, 170, 178, 186, 187;
      his attitude towards the Prince of Wales, 152, 157;
      his attitude towards Newcastle, 175-7;
      supports Pelham, 314-15;
      his policy regarding Spain, 145, 167, 169, 201;
      on the Army, 164;
      on the Secessions, 168;
      supports Maria Theresa, 203;
      favours the Hanoverian vote, 225;
      speech on threatened landing of the Pretender, 227;
      temporary resignation of, 179;
      inquiry into administration of, 184;
      punishment of, 183;
      succeeded by Lord Carteret, 205;
      fall of, 148, 149, 171-3, 178, 505, 506;
      resignation of, and papers burnt by his brother Horace, 172;
      impeachment of, 473;
      illness and death of, 228, 229;
      compared with Pitt and Peel, 230-2;
      'Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole,' see Coxe, William

    Walpole, Thomas, purchases Hayes, 310

    Washington, George, General, 350, 397

    Webster, Sir Whistler, 305

    West, Gilbert, 304, 307, 309, 492;
      his house at Wickham, 356

    West, Molly, 352

    Westminster, Treaty of, 401

    Westminster School, 359

    Westphalia, 306;
      Treaty of, 286

    Whately, Mr., 'Observations on Modern Gardening,' 309

    Wickham, Chatham's honeymoon spent at, 356

    Wilberforce, William, 261

    Wilhelmine, Princess of Prussia, afterwards Margravine of Bareith,
      151

    Wilkes, John, 136, 358, 359, 491

    Wilkins' 'Political Ballads,' 298

    William III., indifference to England, 198, 199;
      Pitt's story of his coming, 276

    Williams, Sir Charles Hanbury, 174;
      lampoon on Pitt, 235;
      'Works of,' quoted, 211, 235, 465

    Wilmington, Lord, 179, 216, 217, 314, 505

    Wilton, Joseph, 490

    Wiltshire, lands purchased in, 6

    Wimbledon, Duchess of Marlborough's estate at, 234

    Windsor, 156

    'Wingfield MSS.' quoted, 343, 359, 474, 485

    Winnington, Thomas, 250, 254

    Wood, Robert, 'Essay on the Original Genius of Homer' quoted, 182

    Worms, Treaty of, 208, 225

    Wotton, residence of George Grenville, 113, 352, 354

    Wyndham, Baron, 148, 254

    Wynn, Sir Watkin, 224


    Yarmouth, Lady, 280, 388, 481;
      and George II., 193, 371, 464;
      mistress of George II., 465;
      and Pitt, 108-10, 263, 464, 472;
      Fox solicits her influence to obtain a peerage, 296;
      and Fox's overtures with the King, 341;
      her utterance regarding, 461

    Yonge, Lady, 240

    Yorke, Charles, 371, 372;
      interview with Chatham, 373

    Yorke, Joseph, 185

    Yorke, Philip, see Hardwicke, Earl of


    Zoroastrians, politicians compared with, 389


LONDON: STRANGEWAYS, PRINTERS.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Camelford.

[2] Diary of William Hedges, III. x.

[3] Hedges, III. xii.

[4] He purchased it from Lord Salisbury about 1690. Hedges, III. xxx.

[5] The portrait of the Governor at Boconnoc represents him with the
diamond in his hat. That at Chevening with the diamond in his own shoe.

[6] Camelford.

[7] Camelford.

[8] Lyte's Dunster, 494.

[9] This and the following extracts from the Governor's correspondence
are all taken from the Dropmore Papers (Hist. MSS.).

[10] Lady Suffolk's Letters, i. 101-4.

[11] Camelford (italics his).

[12] Camelford.

[13] Dropmore Papers, i. 70.

[14] Camelford.

[15] Ib.

[16] Dropmore Papers, i. 75.

[17] Camelford.

[18] Camelford.

[19] Journal, ii. 45.

[20] Dropmore Papers, i. 38, 41.

[21] Tom Jones, Book xiii. Chapter i.

[22] Life of Shelburne, i. 72.

[23] Addressed: To Robert Pitt, Esqr, at Stratford, near Old Sarum,
Wilts. Endorsed: 'Mr. Burchet's letter about my Sons att Eton. Febry
4th, 1722.'

[24] Lyttelton's Misc. Works, p. 650. 'Written at Eaton School, 1729.'
The date is obviously wrong, for Pitt and Lyttelton both went to Oxford
in 1726.

[25] Endorsed: 'from my Son William Sept. 29th: recd Oct. 10th,
1723.'

[26] Endorsed: 'from Mr. Stockwell about ye charges of my Sons going to
Oxon: Novr 1726 ansd Decr 1st.'

[27] Mourning for the Governor.

[28] Endorsed: 'from Mr Stockwell about my Son Wm from Oxon: Decr
22d ansd 29th 1726.'

[29] Paduasoy.

[30] Endorsed: 'from my Son Willm Oxon Jany 20th wth ye acct
ye 100 answd ye 24th 1726/7.'

[31] Endorsed: 'from my Son Willm Aprill 10th wth an acct
            of 3 mos expences                      47  05  0
          Rems in his hand                          9  15  0
          In all                                   57   0  0

            Answd Aprill 25th, wth leave to draw for 25l.'

[32] Lyttelton, Misc. Works, 665.

[33] Always spelt Needham in the peerage books, always Nedham by the
family and those concerned.

[34] 'Villiers Pitt' to William Pitt. 'Tours, June 1, 1752.' Chatham
MSS.

[35] Mann and Manners at the Court of Florence, i. 382.

[36] 'The Test' was a weekly paper published in 1756-7, written
principally by Arthur Murphy, and inspired by Henry Fox, as may be seen
from his letters. See too Orford, ii. 276, and Walpole to Mann, Jan. 6,
1757. There had been a previous 'Test' in 1756, of which there was
published only one number, written by Charles Townshend. See Orford, ii.
218.

[37] Walpole to Mann, Jan. 17, 1757.

[38] To William Pitt, Oct. 10, 1751. Chatham MSS.

[39] Dutens' Mémoires d'un Voyageur qui se repose, i. 31-42.

[40] Tours, June 11, 1752. Villiers Pitt to W. Pitt. Chatham MSS.

[41] Or 1787? as says a note in the Delany Memoirs, iv. 266. It matters
little.

[42] Climenson's 'Elizabeth Montagu,' ii. 53. See, too, Mrs. Montagu's
Letters, vol. iii.

[43] Suffolk Letters, ii. 233.

[44] Camelford MS. Cf., too, William's letter of Sept. 29, 1730.

[45] Thackeray, i. 158 note.

[46] There is a crayon portrait of her at Boconnoc, which the writer has
not seen. It 'represents the strong contemplative face of a woman well
past her first prime,' and was taken, apparently, in 1765.

[47] Seward's Anecdotes, ii. 355.

[48] All these letters from William to Ann Pitt come from the papers at
Dropmore, unless where noted otherwise.

[49] 'To Mrs. Ann Pitt, at Mrs. Phillips's, at Bath. T. Pitt Free.'

[50] Dr. Charles Bave, a physician of the highest character at Bath. See
note on Vol. I., p. 408, of Lady Suffolk's Letters.

[51] This must almost certainly be Ayscough, in spite of 'Skew's' being
the hereditary nickname of the Fortescue family.

[52] These are probably Colonel and Mrs. Lanoe, with whom Ann appears to
be staying at Bath.

[53] Lyttelton's Misc. Works, 619.

[54] 'Mrs. Ann Pitt, at Col. Lanoe's at Bath.'

[55] 'To Mrs. Ann Pitt jun. at Boconnock near Bodmin Cornwall.'

[56] 'To Mrs. Ann Pitt at Mrs. Phillips's at Bath. T. Pitt Free.'

[57] Same address.

[58] 'To Mrs. Ann Pitt, at Bath.'

[59] Ante, p. 56.

[60] Dr. Ayscough?

[61] 'To The Honble Mrs. Ann Pitt at St. James's House Londres.'

[62] Illegible.

[63] 'To The Honble Mrs Ann Pitt at Mrs Richard's In Pallmall,
London. Angleterre.'

[64] 'To the Honble Mrs Ann Pitt at St. James's House London.
Angleterre.'

[65] 'To the Honble Mrs Ann Pitt at St. James's London.
Free--Will, Herbert.'

[66] Doubtless his brother.

[67] His brother.

[68] Sir William Corbett.

[69] 'To The Honble Mrs Ann Pitt at St. James's London.'

[70] Elected Feb. 18, 1735.

[71] Doubtless his brother.

[72] Lyttelton--a mere guess.

[73] Doubtless his brother.

[74] N.B.--Pope was at Stowe during this month. See Lady Suffolk's
Letters, ii. 143.

[75] 'To the Honble Mrs Pitt at Kensington House Middlesex.
Free--W. Pitt.'

[76] Camelford MS.

[77] Recollections of Samuel Rogers, p. 104.

[78] Grenville Papers, i. 13.

[79] Chatham MSS.

[80] Orford, i. 85.

[81] His aunt.

[82] Their cousin, Colonel the Hon. George Stanhope, who distinguished
himself at Falkirk and Culloden.

[83] Letter dated Oct. 21, 1754, in the Chatham MSS.

[84] 'To The Honourable Mrs. Ann Pitt, W. Pitt.'

[85] Lady Suffolk's Letters, ii. 251.

[86] Delany, iv. 156.

[87] Walpole to Mann, Oct. 30, 1778.

[88] Ib. May 9, 1779.

[89] Delany, v. 403-5.

[90] Lady Suffolk's Letters, ii. 234.

[91] Porritt's Unreformed House of Commons, i. 35. T. Mozley when the
nineteenth century was well advanced saw the constituency of Old Sarum
in the person of 'a bright looking old fellow with a full rubicund face
and a profusion of white hair.' Reminiscences, ii. 13.

[92] Grenville Papers, i. 423.

[93] Grenville Papers, i. 423-5.

[94] Grenville Papers, ii. 496.

[95] Ib. ii. 512.

[96] Lord Dundonald in his 'Autobiography' says that it produced
20,693_l._ p.a.

[97] Dickins and Stanton. 'An Eighteenth Century Correspondence,' 193.

[98] It seems best to call this worthy, who assumed the name of
Dodington, by his patronymic; for it is his own name, and the most
appropriate.

[99] Walpole to Mann, Feb. 25, 1750.

[100] Memoirs of Lady Hester Stanhope, iii. 179.

[101] See 'The New Ministry, containing a collection of all the
satyrical poems, songs, &c. 1742.'

[102] Phillimore's Lyttelton, 681.

[103] Orford's George III. iii. 137.

[104] Ballantyne's Carteret, 107.

[105] Harris's Hardwicke, i. 382.

[106] These expressions are taken from Hervey's Memoirs.

[107] Dated Feb. 8, 1748. Bedford Correspondence, i. 320.

[108] Marchmont Papers, i. 84.

[109] Lord Dover's note to H. Walpole's letter of March 21, 1751.

[110] Carlisle Papers (Hist. MSS.), 172.

[111] Seward, ii. 362.

[112] Lady Suffolk's Letters, ii. 151.

[113] Hervey, ii. 195.

[114] Hervey, ii. 80.

[115] Ib. ii. 82.

[116] Parl. Hist. x. 464-7.

[117] Coxe's Sir R. Walpole, i. 575.

[118] Life of Shelburne, i. 46.

[119] Coxe's Sir R. Walpole, i. 580 note.

[120] See Temperley's Essay on the causes of this war in Trans. of Royal
Hist. Soc. Series II. vol. iii. p. 207.

[121] Parl. Hist. x. 1284.

[122] Parl. Hist. x. 1280-3.

[123] Coxe's Sir R. Walpole, i. 594 note.

[124] Marchmont Papers, ii. 180, note by Rose.

[125] Life of Shelburne, i. 37. Seward's Anecdotes, ii. 309.

[126] Coxe's Sir R. Walpole, i. 695.

[127] Sir C.H. Williams, ii. 140-1.

[128] Dutens' Voyage, &c., i. 142.

[129] Life of Shelburne, i. 45.

[130] Bishop Newton's Works, i. 93.

[131] Ballantyne's Carteret, 2.

[132] Seward's Anecdotes, ii. 280.

[133] Marchmont Papers, i. 42, 73.

[134] Wood's Essay on the Original Genius of Homer, p. vii. n. (Ed.
1775).

[135] Chesterfield, v. 65.

[136] Chesterfield's Letters, iv. 358.

[137] Parl. Hist. xii. 416-427.

[138] Harris, ii. 31.

[139] Parl. Hist. xii. 561.

[140] Ib. xii. 488.

[141] Parl. Hist. xii. 490.

[142] Parl. Hist. xii. 940 note.

[143] Ib. xii. 1033.

[144] Orford, Rem. 97.

[145] Hervey, ii. 182, 228.

[146] Holdernesse to Newcastle, Nov. 22, 1756. Add. MSS. 32869.

[147] Frederick, iii. 141.

[148] Martin, Hist. de France, xv. 265. Leadam, 376.

[149] Sir C.H. Williams, i. 247.

[150] L. Stephen, English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth
Century, 138.

[151] Parl. Hist. xiii. 136.

[152] Parl. Hist. xiii. 473 (note). Cf. Phillimore, 226. But Carteret
had taken the lead of the Prince's party in the House of Lords so far
back as 1737.

[153] Parl. Hist. xvi. 1097.

[154] Fortescue, Hist. of the Army, ii. 101.

[155] Marchmont Papers, i. 80.

[156] Ib. i. 176.

[157] To Mann, Jan. 24, 1744. Cf. Parl. Hist. xiii. 467 note.

[158] Orford, ii. 132.

[159] Thomson's Life of the Duchess of Marlborough, ii. 571-2.

[160] Marchmont Papers, ii. 338.

[161] H. Walpole to Montagu, June 24, 1746. Cf. Grenville Papers, i.
131. Camelford MS.

[162] H. Walpole to Mann, June 20, 1746.

[163] Marchmont Papers, i. 70.

[164] Works of Sir C.H. Williams, 1822, ii. 152.

[165] Glover, 30.

[166] Marchmont Papers, i. 67, 172. It was said that Harrington, from an
interest in Lady Yonge, wife of the actual incumbent of the office, did
his best to prevent Pitt's becoming Secretary for War. Ib. 97. But there
was a more majestic obstacle.

[167] Parl. Hist. xiii. 1054-6.

[168] Parl. Hist. xiii. 1176.

[169] Parl. Hist. xiii. 1177.

[170] Bedford is ranked by Newcastle among the Cobham deputation, though
he was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. Perhaps he was the
honest broker.

[171] Newcastle to Chesterfield, Nov. 20, 1745. Add. MSS. 32705.

[172] Newcastle to Chesterfield, Feb. 18, 1746, in Coxe's Pelham Adm. i.
292.

[173] Newcastle to Chesterfield, Feb. 18, 1746, in Coxe's Pelham Adm. i.
293.

[174] Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 142.

[175] Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 133.

[176] Newcastle to Chesterfield, Feb. 18, 1746.

[177] Orford, i. 110. Walpole to Mann, April 2, 1750.

[178] Cartwright to Pitt, Feb. 27, 1745 (Chatham MSS.). We obtain the
exact salary more or less correctly from a lampoon.

    'Hibernia, smile!
    Thrice happy isle,
    On thy blest ground
    Twelve thousand pound
    For Stanhope's found,
    Three thousand clear
    For Pitt a year;
    So shalt thou thrive,
    Industrious hive,
    While these and more
    Increase thy store.'

    Sir C.H. Williams, ii. 166.


[179] Camelford.

[180] Cf. Underwood MSS. (Hist. MSS.), p. 405.

[181] He avowed this to Newcastle (Orford, George III. i. 82 note). But
it was otherwise patent.

[182] Parl. Hist. xiv. 103.

[183] See the debate in Parl. Hist. xiv. 204.

[184] Gibbs' History of Aylesbury, 502.

[185] Torrens says (History of Cabinets, ii. 119) that this speech was
revised by Pitt, but gives no authority. Almon (i. 172) specifically
declares that it was written by Gordon.

[186] Parl. Hist. xiv. 502.

[187] Grenville Papers, i. 93-5.

[188] Parl. Hist. xiv. 664.

[189] Parl. Hist. xiv. 692-6.

[190] Coxe's Pelham Adm. ii. 370.

[191] Add. MSS. 32721.

[192] July 20, 1750. Add. MSS. 32721.

[193] Coxe's Pelham Adm. ii. 131, 370.

[194] Ib. ii. 396.

[195] Parl. Hist. xiv. 801.

[196] Coxe's Pelham Adm. ii. 225, 359.

[197] Parl. Hist. xiv. 967.

[198] Stone to Newcastle, Feb. 22, 1750/1. Add. MSS. 32724.

[199] Parl. Hist. xiv. 970.

[200] Coxe's Pelham Adm. ii. 144.

[201] Coxe's Pelham Adm. ii. 165.

[202] Holland House MSS.

[203] Colebrooke's Memoirs, i. 63.

[204] Earl of Rochester. Ib. 73.

[205] Wilkins, Political Ballads, ii. 312.

[206] Parl. Hist. xv. 154.

[207] September, 1749.

[208] Almon, i. 195.

[209] Pitt to Newcastle, July 25, 1753. Add. MSS. 32732.

[210] Pitt to Newcastle, March 6, 1754. Add. MSS. 32734.

[211] Feb. 11, o.s. 1751. Letters, ii. 97.

[212] Climenson's Mrs. Montague, ii. 51. Kielmansegge's Diary, 131.

[213] Meehan's Famous Houses of Bath, 112.

[214] Meehan, 111.

[215] Climenson.

[216] Mrs. Montagu's Letters, iii. 235.

[217] Memorials of Lord Gambier, i. 61. Cf. Mrs. Montagu's Letters, iii.
240.

[218] Pitt to Newcastle. Tunbridge, Aug. 14, 1753. Add. MSS. 32732.

[219] Phillimore, 265.

[220] An Eighteenth Century Correspondence, 388 n. See too Harris's
Hardwicke, ii. 456.

[221] Timbs, Anecdote Biography, 156, quoting from The Ambulator (1820).

[222] Legge to Pitt. Berlin, July 10, 1748. Chatham MSS.

[223] Climenson, ii. 9-10. Mrs. Montagu's Letters, iii. 181.

[224] Nuthall to Lady Chatham, March 25, 1768. Chatham MSS.

[225] Chatham to Nuthall, Oct. 7, 1772. Chatham MSS.

[226] October 6, 1753. Add. MSS. 32733.

[227] October 13, 1753. Add. MSS. 32733.

[228] Pitt to Newcastle, March 7, 1754. Add. MSS. 32734.

[229] Grenville Papers, i. 109.

[230] Ib. i. 111.

[231] Pitt to Newcastle, March 11, 1754. Add. MSS. 32734.

[232] Murray.

[233] This seems an allusion either to Leicester House, or, less
probably, to Newcastle.

[234] Grenville Papers, i. 106.

[235] Granville Papers, i. 110.

[236] Pitt was member for Aldborough, one of Newcastle's boroughs.

[237] Phillimore's Lyttelton, 449.

[238] Phillimore's Lyttelton, 453.

[239] Grenville Papers, i. 112.

[240] Add. MSS. 32734. f. 322.

[241] Grenville Papers, i. 116.

[242] Pitt to Newcastle, April 2, 1754. Add. MSS. 32735. The more
elaborate draft of this letter is given with a wrong date in the Chatham
Corr. i. 85.

[243] Chatham Corr. i. 89.

[244] Chatham Corr. i. 95.

[245] Add. MSS. 32735. f. 21.

[246] Harris's Hardwicke, iii. 8.

[247] The sense shows clearly that Pitt intended to write 'unwilling'.

[248] Phillimore, 466.

[249] Holland House MSS.

[250] Holland House MSS.

[251] H. Fox to Argyll, Sept. 26, 1755 (H.H. MSS.).

[252] H. Fox to the Duke of Marlborough, March 22, 1754 (H.H. MSS.).

[253] Wingfield MSS. 224b in Hist. MSS.

[254] Walpole to Bentley, March 17, 1754.

[255] Colebrooke, i. 18.

[256] An Eighteenth Century Correspondence, 230.

[257] Newcastle to Pitt, April 2, 1754, Chatham Corr.

[258] Supra, p. 335.

[259] Add. MSS. 32733. Pitt to Newcastle, April 22, 1754.

[260] Bubb, 304.

[261] Aug. 29, 1754. H.H. MSS.

[262] Bubb, 317.

[263] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 2, 1754. Add. MSS. 32737.

[264] Hardwicke to Newcastle, Oct. 3, 1754. Add. MSS. 32737.

[265] Orford, i. 78.

[266] An Eighteenth Century Correspondence, p. 154.

[267] Mrs. Montagu's Letters, iii. 273.

[268] Orford, i. 406-7.

[269] Fox to Hartington, Nov. 26, 1754, in Waldegrave, p. 146. Orford,
i. 408. Cf. Calcraft to Digby, Nov. 26, 1754, in Wingfield MSS.

[270] Butler's Rem. i. 144.

[271] Waldegrave, 149-50

[272] Fox to Hartington, Nov. 28, 1754, in Waldegrave, p. 150. Orford,
i. 142.

[273] Butler's Reminiscences, i. 145.

[274] Table Talk of S. Rogers, p. 100.

[275] Orford, i. 417.

[276] Ib. 418.

[277] See Pitt's obscure note in Chatham Corresp. i. 130, and the
interpretation in Orford, i. 419.

[278] Orford, i. 420.

[279] Coxe's Lord Walpole, ii. 406.

[280] Bubb, 319-21. Orford, ii. 37.

[281] The accession of Fox to the Cabinet is beset with small
difficulties of chronology. Horace Walpole in his Memoirs (i. 147) tells
us that the King sent for Fox on November 29, 1754, and in a letter of
January 9, 1755, announces that Fox had been admitted to the Cabinet.
Yet we have Fox's own letter to Pitt of April 26, 1755, announcing that
the King that afternoon had signified to him his admission to the
Cabinet. (Chatham Corresp. i. 132). It is evident that Horace Walpole
believed, prematurely, that the matter was settled early in January.
Strangely enough our surest authority in all these transactions, except
Waldegrave, who is vague and dateless, is the corrupt and perfidious
Bubb.

[282] Thackeray gives a different account of this interview and of that
with Charles Yorke, we know not whence derived. The account in the text
is that of Charles Yorke and Hardwicke themselves (Harris, iii. 29-34)
and in part Bubb, on the authority of James Grenville (p. 340).

[283] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 3, 1755. Add. MSS. 32858. See too
Orford, ii. 40.

[284] Add. MSS. 32858.

[285] These two sentences are transposed for the sake of clearness.

[286] Italics ours.

[287] Italics ours.

[288] There was some family connection between Bubb and the Grenvilles,
though it is not easy to trace. Bubb's property indeed, to his disgust,
was entailed on Temple.

[289] Bubb, 370.

[290] Add. MSS. 32859, f. 86.

[291] Orford, ii. 45.

[292] Orford, ii. 7-9.

[293] Orford, ii. 17.

[294] 'Montcalm and Wolfe,' i. 483.

[295] Ib. i. 510.

[296] Ib. i. 54, 66.

[297] 'Montcalm and Wolfe,' i. 214-26.

[298] Souvenirs de Moreau, i. 62.

[299] Moreau, i. 58.

[300] Waddington. Louis XV. et le Renversement des Alliances, pp. 471-6.

[301] Baumer, Frederick II. and his Times, 227.

[302] Ibid. 233.

[303] Carlyle, Frederick, iv. 509.

[304] Orford, ii. 55-62.

[305] Fox to Ellis. Holland House MSS.

[306] Camelford.

[307] Walpole here professes to give Pitt's words exactly.

[308] _I.e._, suppose any man should have purposely put off bringing
hither troops from Ireland, with the object of making this country
appear so unprotected as to require foreign mercenaries.

[309] Orford, ii. 67-76.

[310] Parl. Hist. xv. 544-616.

[311] Bedford Corr. ii. 179.

[312] Bedford Corr. ii. 180.

[313] Orford, ii. 86-97.

[314] Orford, ii. 98-101.

[315] Orford, ii. 107.

[316] Holland House MSS.

[317] Orford, ii. 135-9.

[318] Orford says that Sackville moved for them on April 29. The
Parliamentary History says that Fox moved for them on March 29 (xv.
702).

[319] Parl. Hist. xv. 702.

[320] Orford, ii. 185-6.

[321] Orford, ii. 188-90.

[322] Orford, ii. 193-7.

[323] The Consul at Genoa had warned Newcastle early in February that a
surprise attack on Minorca was meditated. Mr. Corbett, who states this,
(England in the Seven Years War, i. 97) excuses Newcastle for neglecting
the information, one does not see why. More attention was paid to an
intercepted despatch of the Swedish minister at Paris, dated February
25, 1756.

[324] Walpole to Chute, June 8, 1756.

[325] 'So also we find it recorded during the siege of Malta, that some
hesitation having displayed itself on the part of the slaves in exposing
themselves, during their pioneering labours, to a fire more than
ordinarily deadly, the Grand Master directed some to be hanged and
others to have their ears cut off, "pour encourager les autres" as the
chroniclers quaintly and simply record.' Porter's 'History of the
Knights of Malta,' ii. 272.

[326] Fox to Ellis, July 12, 1756. Holland House MSS.

[327] Chatham Corr. i. 158.

[328] 'Montcalm and Wolfe,' i. 413.

[329] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 2, 1756. Add. MSS. 35416.

[330] Fox to Kildare. This, an undated narrative among the Holland House
MSS., seems to me the best statement from Fox's point of view. From Lord
Kildare's reply it is evident that it was written and despatched towards
the end of Nov. 1756.

[331] Narrative to Kildare.

[332] Fox to Stone, October 7, 1756. Holland House MSS.

[333] Ib.

[334] Fox to Ellis. H.H. MSS., Oct. 12, 1756.

[335] Newcastle to Fox, Oct. 12, 1756. H.H. MSS.

[336] Newcastle to Lady Yarmouth, Oct. 13. Add. MSS. 32868.

[337] Fox to Digby, Oct. 1756. Wingfield MSS. in Hist. MSS.

[338] Orford, ii. 253.

[339] Narrative to Kildare.

[340] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 15, 1756. Harris, iii. 73.

[341] Hardwicke to Newcastle, Oct. 19, 1756. Add. MSS. 32868.

[342] Harris, iii. 77.

[343] Grenville Papers, i. 178.

[344] Sir C.H. Williams, iii. 41.

[345] Shelburne, i. 83.

[346] Add. MSS. 35416; cf. Orford, ii. 257.

[347] Orford, ii. 259.

[348] Leadam, 445 note. Orford, ii. 259.

[349] Shelburne, i. 83 note.

[350] Add. MSS. 35870 'Powis Ho., October 24, 1756. Sunday night.'

[351] This poor Hanoverian victim, as completely as Andersen's Tin
Soldier, has melted into nothingness. But he once caused a mighty stir.
He bought four handkerchiefs, and by mistake, as was universally
conceded, took the whole piece, which contained six. Yet he was put in
prison on a charge of theft. His commanding officer demanded his
enlargement. Failing in this attempt, he obtained a warrant from
Holdernesse for his release. The whole country was aflame in an instant
with the old hostility to German mercenaries, Holdernesse was severely
threatened, and the innocent soldier cruelly flogged. See Orford, ii.
248-9.

[352] Strangely enough there is a different answer appended to this
report.

'That H.M. had been desirous, in this time of difficulty, to have the
assistance of Mr. Pitt in his service, and for that purpose to consider
him and those connected with him in a proper manner. That H.M. continues
in the same disposition, tho' what has been suggested by Mr. Pitt will
not in the King's opinion form a system for carrying on H.M.'s service.'

This may have been the first draft, and it may have been found, as
usual, that the less said the better.

[353] Partly given in Harris, iii. 80.

[354] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 13, 5 o'clock, 1756. Add. MSS. 32868,
f. 251.

[355] Ib.

[356] Digby to Lord Digby, Oct. 28, 1756. Wingfield MSS. in Hist. MSS.

[357] West to Newcastle, Newcastle MSS.

[358] Orford, ii. 262.

[359] Fox to Ellis. July 15, 1755. Holland House MSS.

[360] Narrative to Kildare.

[361] October 20, 1756. Holland House MSS.

[362] Holland House MSS.

[363] Bubb, 389.

[364] Orford, ii. 263.

[365] Narrative to Kildare.

[366] Bedford Corresp. ii. 210.

[367] Orford, ii. 266.

[368] See the summonses in the Holland House MSS. For example, that to
the Duke of Marlborough. 'Nov. 2, 1756. My dear Lord, H.M. desires Your
Grace would without fail be in town to-morrow evening. You shall find at
Marlbro' House a summons to the place of meeting, and I leave to Mr.
Hamilton to acquaint Your Grace more fully than I have time to do with
the intention of it. Adieu. The D. of Bedford is kept in town and all
great Lords within reach are sent to.'

[369] Narrative to Kildare.

[370] Narrative to Kildare.

[371] Holdernesse to Newcastle, Nov. 2, 1756. Add. MSS. 32868.

[372] Bubb, 390.

[373] Fox to Marlborough, 1756. Holland House MSS.

[374] Bedford Corresp. ii. 208.

[375] Orford, ii. 269.

[376] Bedford Corresp. ii. 210.

[377] The salary and allowances of Secretary of State were 2680_l._, as
appears from a paper of Fox's. But there was also 3000_l._ for Secret
Service which Fox appears to reckon as salary. H.H. MSS.

[378] Orford, ii. 268.

[379] Holland House MSS. H. Walpole to Fox, Oct. 27, 1756.

[380] Fox to Bedford, Nov. 23, 1756.

[381] H.H. MSS.

[382] Narrative to Kildare.

[383] Bedford Corr. ii. 170, 220. Bedford to Fox, Nov. 17, 1755 (H.H.
MSS.).

[384] Holland House MSS.

[385] Add. MSS. 32869.

[386] Chatham Corr. i. 190-4.

[387] Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 2, 1756. Add. MSS. 35416.

[388] Fox to Digby. Wingfield MSS. in Hist. MSS.

[389] 'As your Lordship is of opinion that I cannot (which is firmly my
own) rechuse Mr. Pitt,' &c. Newcastle to Hardwicke, Nov. 3, 1756.

[390] 'Do you know that Sir George now Lord Lyttelton, who had engaged
with the Duke of Bedford for one and one at Okehampton, named Pitt to
His Grace as the man to be chosen in his room?' Fox to ----, Dec. 14,
1756 (H.H. MSS.).

[391] Camelford.

[392] Supra, p. 75.

[393] Works, i. 135.

[394] Life of Grattan, i. 234.

[395] Cradock's Literary Memoirs, i. 100-1.

[396] Foote's Table Talk, p. 103.

[397] Seward's Anecdotes, ii. 357.


  Transcriber's Notes:
  Many sentences in letters start with lower case.
  Inconsistent and dubious spellings have been retained.
  Many french accents missing.
  Superscripts formatted with carets eg: Septembr ye 29th





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