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boroughs, as unjust; "for it was scandalous to reward the proprietors for pretended sacrifices which constituted the disgrace of the country." He allowed, however, that it was politic; for it might prevent disturbances, and even a civil war. Mr. Tooke had spoken to the duke of Richmond on this subject, "who, as he loved money, was averse from the sacrifice," on which he himself had proposed, that government should present the owner with an hereditary seat for every elective one, and thus save the expense. This idea was greatly approved of by his grace.
He then remarked, that Mr. Pitt had changed his original plan; for he had increased the aristocracy without completing the bargain alluded to; thus rendering the house of peers omnipotent, by ennobling all the proprietors of boroughs, before he had extinguished their claims, which enabled them to exercise a preponderating power in the house of commous. This increase of peers, he said, would, in time, produce a complete oligarchy, and there would be poor peers, as in Venice, &c., dependent on the great patrician families, which would alone govern.
A rational reform, it was added, would have made both king and people independent; but Mr. Pitt's measure, had rendered the wishes of either of but little avail, as was seen "in the
late conspiracy for turning out the king's servants, a measure achieved by the combination of a few noble families, which constituted but the beginning of similar proceedings."
Having been favoured with a memorandum on this subject, by Mr. Tooke's nephew, I shall subjoin the contents here, as it will serve to illustrate this part of the conversation.
"Mr. Tooke called on the duke of Richmond one day at the Tower, respecting the case of a young gentleman, whose name was Edridge, and who had been removed from his situation in the Long Room, as Mr. Tooke thought, unjustly. As soon as this matter was settled, his grace asked Mr. Tooke what he thought of Mr. Pitt's proposition for raising a sum of a million for the purpose of buying up the rotten boroughs?
"Mr. Tooke replied, he deemed it unnecessary, as the boroughs might be got rid of without putting the nation to any expense whatever! And, that if Mr. Pitt would only do a tenth part of what he promised, he should never hear his name again but in his praise.
Upon the duke's desiring to be informed how this was to be effected? Mr. Tooke said, 'let every man who has a borough be made a peer; and, if he has more than one, let him nominate a friend or friends; he would be glad of the ex
change, and the people would be equally so, because they would care but little how many peers were made, but would care very much for the money to be taken out of their pockets; and there could be no injustice in the case, even considering the seats in the view of private property, because those who did not choose to be lords of parliament, might be permitted to sell the seats to such as did. His grace expressed his astonishment and delight at the suggestion, and mentioned it to Mr. Pitt, who took advantage of it only in part; for he made the proprietors peers, and, at the same time, left them in full possession of their boroughs."
About this period, I received a visit from the author of the "Diversions of Purley," who spent seven or eight hours at my house to the great entertainment and edification of all who heard him. It was produced by the following circum
A female, distinguished for the superiority of her intellects, still more than either her rank or fortune, having devoted her whole life to the instruction of her son, became exceedingly anxious of conversing with Mr. Tooke on this, which of course was a favourite subject, and I was accordingly honoured with the company of both to dinner. After a discussion of some length
on this topic, the philologist concluded as follows: "The whole, madam, may be resolved into a question of common sense; for your ladyship must have observed, that a young man of discrimination, on entering the world, immediately discovers and rectifies the errors of a bad education; whereas a fool is always incorrigible."
FROM 1810 TO 1812.
An Account of Mr. Tooke's Maladies - Conver sations at Wimbledon - Miscellaneous Remarks.
Early in 1810, Mr. Tooke's various disorders had suddenly assumed such a violent appearance, that his physicians were alarmed, and all his friends supposed his dissolution to be at hand. On this trying occasion, the tender assiduity of his daughters, by administering to all his wants, contributed not a little to soothe his mind and assuage his sufferings. They constantly attended his pillow, anticipated his wishes, and did every thing that filial piety could dictate to alleviate the pressure of disease.
On this occasion, the patient did not seem desirous of prolonged existence; he was actually devoid of that volition deemed so necessary to recovery. Frequently urged to exert a wish, at least, to return to life and to the world, he for