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hands of Alderman Newnham, no orator, but a man of mercantile wealth and personal respectability. This advocate contented himself, in the first instance, with a brief panegyric on the prince's efforts to meet his difficulties; and a demand whether ministers intended to bring forward any proposition for retrieving his affairs.

Concluding with the words, that "though the conduct of that illustrious individual under his difficulties reflected the highest honour on his character, yet nothing could be surer to bring indelible disgrace upon the nation, than suffering him to remain any longer in his present embarrassed circumstances."


Pitt's reply was short but peremptory. was not his duty to bring forward a subject of the nature that had been mentioned, without his majesty's commands. It was not necessary, therefore, that he should say more, than that on the present occasion he had not been honoured with any such command."

The campaign was now fairly begun, and opposition determined to crush the minister. Private meetings were held, friends were summoned, and the strength of parties was about to be tried in a shock which, in its results, might have shattered the constitution. Pitt's sagacity saw the coming storm, and he faced it with the boldness that formed a prominent quality of his great character. He sternly denounced the subject, as

one not merely delicate but dangerous; he warned the mover of this hazardous matter of the evils which rashness must produce; and concluded a short but powerful address, by threatening to call for "disclosures which must plunge the nation into the most formidable perplexity." While the house were listening with keen anxiety to this lofty menace, and expecting on what head the lightnings were to be launched, Pitt renewed the charge, by turning full on the opposition bench, and declaring, that if the "honourable member should persist in his determination to bring his motion forward again, his majesty's government would be compelled to take the steps which they should adopt; and that, for his own part, however distressing it might be to his personal feelings, from his profound respect for the royal family, he had a public duty to discharge which he would discharge, freely, fairly, and unconditionally."

A succession of debates followed, in which the whole vigour of party, and no slight portion of its virulence, was displayed. Rolle, the member for Devonshire, with a superabundant zeal, which exposed him naked to all the fiery wrath of Sheridan and Fox, and lifted him up as a general mark for the shafts of opposition wit, had embodied Pitt's mysterious charge into "matters by which church and state might be seriously affected," an allusion understood to refer to the rumoured marriage of the prince with Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Sheridan, with contemptuous pleasantry, denied the truth of the report, which he said—“ the slight share of understanding that nature had vouchsafed to him, was altogether unable to comprehend; though, to be sure, something of his ignorance might be accounted for by his not being peculiarly fond of putting himself in the established school for this kind of learning. Among all the shows to which curiosity had led him in the metropolis, he had unfortunately omitted the Whispering gallery in the neighbourhood of Whitehall. He was also confident that there was a great deal of recondite knowledge to be picked up by any diligent student who had taken his degree on the back stairs, and he duly commended the progress the honourable gentleman had made in those profitable studies. For his own part, Heaven help him! he had always found the treasury passages at best, cold, dark, and cheerless; he believed the conscience as well as the body might have a rheumatic touch; and he acknowledged that he was never the better for the experiment. But where he had heard only the ominous cries and wailings of the wind; the ears of others, more happily disposed, might be more fortunate; where he heard only the rage of Auster and Eurus, to others Auster might come

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the zephyr perfumed from my lady's bedchamber;' and Eurus be the

-purpureo spirans ab ortu, eois Eurus equis.'

There the honourable gentleman and his friends might be regaled with those snatches and silver touches of melody, which they shaped and expanded into harmonies on so grand and swelling a scale, for the admiration of the house and the country."

The house laughed, but Rolle's remarks had made an impression; and Fox, who had been unaccountably absent from the debates, was compelled to appear: he now became the challenger in turn." He stood there prepared to substantiate every denial that had been made by his honourable friend (Sheridan). He demanded investigation. He defied the sharpest scrutiny, however envenomed by personal feelings, to detect in the conduct of the prince, as a gentleman, or as the hope of an illustrious line, any one act derogatory to his character. He came armed with the immediate authority of his royal highness to assure the house, that there was no part of his conduct which he was either afraid or unwilling to have investigated in the most minute manner.”

This bold defiance, delivered with the haughtiest tone and gesture, raised a tumult of applause; which was interrupted only by his suddenly fixing his eyes full on the minister; and, as if he disdained to pour his vengeance on minor culprits, heaping the whole reprobation upon him, whom he intimated to be the origin of the calumny.

"As to the allusions," said he, scornfully, "of the honourable member for Devon, of danger and so forth to church and state, I am not bound to understand them until he shall make them intelligible; but I suppose they are meant in reference to that falsehood which has been so sedulously propagated out of doors for the wanton sport of the vulgar, and which I now pronounce, by whomsoever invented, to be a miserable calumny, a low, malicious falsehood." He had hoped, that in that house a tale, only fit to impose upon the lowest persons in the streets, would not have gained credit; but, when it appeared that an invention so monstrous, a report of what had not the smallest degree of foundation, had been circulated with so much industry as to make an impression on the mind of members of that house, it proved the extraordinary efforts made by the enemies of his royal highness to propagate the grossest and most malignant falsehoods, with a view to depreciate his character, and injure him in the opinion of the country. He was at a loss to imagine what species of party could have fabricated so base a calumny. Had there existed in the kingdom such a faction as an anti-Brunswick faction, to it he should have certainly imputed the invention of so malicious a falsehood; for he knew not what other description of men could have felt an interest in first forming and then circulating, with more than ordinary assiduity, a

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