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most timid and irresolute of men, afraid though it derived some color from that of disobliging the King, afraid of being weakness which was the most striking blemabused in the newspapers, afraid of being ish of his character, was certainly unthought factious if he went out, afraid of founded. His mind, before he became first being thought interested if he stayed in, minister, had been, as we have said, in an afraid of every thing, and afraid of being unsound state; and physical and moral known to be afraid of any thing, was beat causes now concurred make the derangeen backwards and forwards like a shuttlement of his faculties complete. The gout, cock between Horace Walpole who wished which had been the torment of his whole to make him prime minister, and Lord life, had been suppressed by strong remeJohn Cavendish who wished to draw him dies. For the first time since he was a boy into opposition. Charles Townshend, a
Charles Townshend, a at Oxford, he passed several months withman of splendid talents, of lax principles, out a twinge. But his hand and foot had and of boundless vanity and presumption, been relieved at the expense of his nerves. would submit to no control. The full ex- He became melancholy, fanciful, irritable. tent of his parts, of his ambition, and of The embarrassing state of public afairs, his arrogance, had not yet been made man- the grave responsibility which lay on him, ifest; for he had always quailed before the the consciousness of his errors, the disgenius and the lofty character of Pitt. But putes of his colleagues, the savage clamors now that Pitt had quitted the House of raised by his detractors, bewildered his enCommons, and seemed to have abdicated feebled mind. One thing alone, he said, the part of chief minister, Townshend could save him. He must repurchase broke loose from all restraint.
Hayes. The unwilling consent of the new While things were in this state, Chat- occupant was extorted by Lady Chatham's ham at length returned to London. He entreaties and tears; and her lord was might as well have remained at Marlbo- sumewhat easier. But if business were rough. He would see nobody. He would mentioned to him, he, once the proudest give no opinion on any public matter. The and boldest of mankind, behaved like an Duke of Grafton begged piteously for an hysterical girl, trembled from head to foot, interview, for an hour, for half an hour, and burst into a flood of tears. for five minutes. The answer was, that it His colleagues for a time continued to was impossible. The King himself re-entertain the expectation that his health peatedly condescended to expostulate and would soon be restored, and that he would implore. “Your duty,' he wrote, “your emerge from his retirement. But month own honor, require you to make an effort.' followed month, and still he remained hidThe answers to these appeals were com- den in mysterious seclusion, and sunk, as monly written in Lady - Chatham's hand, far as they could learn, in the deepest defrom her lord's dictation; for he had not jection of spirits. They at length ceased energy even to use a pen. He flings him to hope or to fear any thing from him; and, self at the King's feet. He is penetrated though he was still nominally Prime Minby the Royal goodness, so signally shown ister, took without scruple steps which to the most unhappy of men. He im. they knew to be diametrically opposed to plores a little more indulgence. He can- all his opinions and feelings, allied themnot as yet transact business. He cannot selves with those whom he had proscribed, see his colleagues. Least of all can he disgraced those whom he most esteemed, bear the excitement of an interview with and laid taxes on the colonies, in the face majesty.
of the strong declarations which he had reSome were half inclined to suspect that cently made. he was, to use a military phrase, malinger When he had passed about a year and ing. He had made, they said, a great three quarters in gloomy privacy, the King blunder, and had found it out. His im- received a few lines in Lady Chatham's mense popularity, his high reputation for hand. They contained a request, dictated statesmanship, were gone for ever. Intox- by her lord, that he might be permitted to icated by pride, he had undertaken a task resign the Privy Seal. After some civil beyond his abilities. He now saw nothing show of reluctance, the resignation was before him but distresses and humiliations; accepted. Indeed Chatham was, by this and he had therefore simulated illness, in time, almost as much forgotten as if he order to escape from vexations which he had already been lying in Westminster had not fortitude to meet. This suspicion, | Abbey.
At length the clouds which had gathered spread throughout the nation, and was kept over his mind broke and passed away. His up by stimulants such as had rarely been gout returned, and freed him from a more applied to the public mind. Junius had cruel malady. His nerves were newly taken the field, had trampled Sir William braced. His spirits became buoyant. He Draper in the dust, had well nigh broken woke as from a sickly dream. It was a the heart of Blackstone, and had so manstrange recovery. Men had been in the gled the reputation of the Duke of Grafton habit of talking of him as of one dead, that his grace had become sick of oshce, and, when he first showed himself at the and was beginning to look wistfully towards King's levee, started as if they had seen a the shades of Euston. Every principle of ghost. It was more than two years and foreign, domestic, and colonial policy which a half since he had appeared in public. was dear to the heart of Chatham, had,
He, too, had cause for wonder. The during the eclipse of his genius, been vioworld which he now entered was not the lated by the government which he had world which he had quitted. The admin- formed. istration which he had formed had never The remaining years of his life were been, at any one moment, entirely changed. spent in vainly struggling against that faBut there had been so many losses and so tal policy which, at the moment when he many accessions, that he could scarcely might have given it a death-blow, he had recognize his own work. Charles Towns- been induced to take under his protection. hend was dead. Lord Shelburne had been His exertions redeemed his own fame, but dismissed. Conway had sunk into utter they effected little for his country. insignificance. The Duke of Grafton had He found two parties arrayed against fallen into the hands of the Bedfords. The the government, the party of his own Bedfords had deserted Grenville, had made brothers-in-law, the Grenvilles, and the their peace with the King and the King's party of Lord Rockingham. On the quesfriends, and had been admitted to office. tion of the Middlesex election these parties Lord North was Chancellor of the Exche were agreed. But on many other imporquer, and was rising fast in importance. tant questions they differed widely; and Corsica had been given up to France with were, in truth, not less hostile to each out a struggle. The disputes with the other than to the court. The Grenvilles American colonies had been revived. A had, during several years, annoyed the general election had taken place. Wilkes Rockinghams with a succession of acrihad returned from exile, and, outlaw as he monious pamphlets. It was long before was, had been chosen knight of the shire the Rockinghams could be induced to refor Middlesex. The multitude was on his taliate. But an ill-natured tract, written side. The Court was obstinately bent on under Grenville's direction, and entitled a ruining him, and was prepared to shake the State of the Nation, was too much for their very foundations of the constitution for the patience. Burke undertook to defend and sake of a paltry revenge. The House of avenge his friends, and executed the task Commons, assuming to itself an authority with admirable skill and vigor. On every which of right belongs only to the whole point he was victorious, and nowhere more legislature, had declared Wilkes incapable completely victorious than when he joined of sitting in Parliament. Nor had it been issue on those dry and minute questions of thought sufficient to keep him out. An- statistical and financial detail in which the other inust be brought in. Since the free- main strength of Grenville lay. The offiholders of Middlesex had obstinately re-cial drudge, even on his own chosen fused to choose a member acceptable to the ground, was utterly unable to maintain the Court, the House had chosen a member fight against the great orator and philoso for them. This was not the only instance, pher. °When Chatham reappeared, Grenperhaps not the most disgraceful instance, ville was still writhing with the recent of the inveterate malignity of the Court. shame and smart of this well-merited chasExasperated by the steady opposition of tisement. Cordial co-operation between the Rockingham party, the King's friends the two sections of the opposition was imhad tried to rob a distinguished Whig no- possible. Nor could Chatham easily conbleman of his private estate, and had per- nect himself with either. His feelings, in sisted in their mean wickedness till their spite of many affronts given and received, own servile majority had revolted from drew him towards the Grenvilles. For he mere disgust and shame. Discontent had had strong domestic affections; and his
nature, which, though haughty, was by noj small apartment where the audience often means obdurate, had been softened by af- consisted of three or four drowsy prelates, fiction. But from his kinsmen he was three or four old judges, accustomed during separated by a wide difference of opinion many years to disregard rhetoric, and to on the question of colonial taxation. A look only at facts and arguments, and three reconciliation, however, took place. He or four listless and supercilious men of visited Stowe, he shook hands with George fashion, whom any thing like enthusiasm Grenville; and the Whig freeholders of moved to a sneer. In the House of ComBuckinghamshire, at their public dinners, mons, a flash of his eye, a wave of his arm, drank many bumpers to the union of the had sometimes cowed Murray. But in the three brothers.
House of Peers, his utmost vehemence and In opinions, Catham was much nearer to pathos produced less effect than the moderthe Rockinghams than to his own relatives. ation, the reasonableness, the luminous orBut between him and the Rockinghams der, and the serene dignity, which characthere was a gulf not easily to be passed. terized the speeches of Lord Mansfield. He had deeply injured them, and, in injur On the question of the Middlesex elecing them, had deeply injured his country. tion, all the three divisions of the opposiWhen the balance was trembling between tion acted in concert. No orator in either them and the court, he had thrown the House defended what is now universally whole weight of his genius, of his renown, admitted to have been the constitutional of his popularity, into the scale of mis- cause, with more ardor or eloquence than government. It must be added, that many Chatham. Before this subject had ceased eminent members of the party still retained to occupy the public mind, George Grena bitter recollection of the asperity and ville died. His party rapidly melted away; disdain with which they had been treated and in a short time inost of his adherents by him at the time when he assumed the appeared on the ministerial benches. direction of affairs. It is clear from Had George Grenville lived many Burke's pamphlets and speeches, and still months longer, the friendly ties which, more clear from his private letters, and after years of estrangement and hostility, from the language which he held in con- had been renewed between bim and his versation, that he long regarded Chatham brother-in-law, would, in all probability, with a feeling not far removed from dislike. have been a second time violently dissolved. Chatham was undoubtedly conscious of his For now the quarrel between England and error, and desirous to atone for it. But the North American colonies took his overtures of friendship, though made gloomy and terrible aspect. Oppression with earnestness, and even with unwonted provoked resistance; resistance was made humility, were at first received by Lord the pretext for fresh oppression. The Rockingham with cold and austere reserve. warnings of all the greatest statesmen of Gradually the intercourse of the two states the age were lost on an imperious court men became courteous and even amicable. and a deluded nation. Soon a colonial But the past was never wholly forgotten. senate confronted the British Parliament.
Chatham did not, however, stand alone. Then the colonial militia crossed bayonets Round him gathered a party small in num- with the British regiments. At length the ber, but strong in great and various talents. commonwealth was torn asunder. Two Lord Camden, Lord Shelburne, Colonel millions of Englishmen, who, fifteen years Barre, and Dunning, afterwards Lord Ash- before, had been as loyal to their prince burton, were the principle members of this and as proud of their country as the peoconnection.
ple of Kent or Yorkshire, separated themThere is no reason to believe that, from selves by a solemn act from the Empire. this time till within a few weeks of Chat- For a time it seemed that the insurgents ham’s death, his intellect suffered any de- would struggle to small purpose against the cay. His eloquence was almost to the vast financial and military means of the last heard with delight. But it was not mother country. But disasters, following exactly the eloquence of the House of one another in rapid succession, rapidly Lords. That lofty and passionate, but dispelled the illusions of national vanity. somewhat desultory declamation in which At length a great British force, exhausted, he excelled all men, and which was set off famished, harassed on every side by a by looks, tones, and gestures, worthy of hostile peasantry, was compelled to deliver Garrick or Talma, was out of place in a up its arms. Those governments which
England had, in the late war, so signally had been so proud of her; and she had humbled, and which had during many been so proud of him. He remembered years been sullenly brooding over the re- how, more than twenty years before, in a collections of Quebec, of Minden, and of day of gloom and dismay, when her possesthe Moro, now saw with exultation that the sions were torn from her, when her flag day of revenge was at hand. France re- was dishonored, she had called on him to cognised the independence of the United save her. He remembered the sudden and States; and there could be little doubt glorious change which his energy had that the example would soon be followed wrought, the long series of triumphs, the by Spain.
days of thanksgiving, the nights of illumiChatham and Rockingham had cordially nation. Fired by such recollections, he concurred in opposing every part of the determined to separate himself from those fatal policy which had brought the state who advised that the independence of the into this dangerous situation. But their colonies should be acknowledged. That paths now diverged. Lord Rockingham he was in error, will scarcely, we think, be thought, and, as the event proved, thought disputed by his warmest admirers. Indeed, most justly, that the revolted colonies were the treaty by which, a few years later, the separated from the Empire for ever, and republic of the United States was recogthat the only effect of prolonging the war nised, was the work of his most attached on the American continent would be to adherents and of his favorite son. divide resources which it was desirable to The Duke of Richmond had given notice concentrate. If the hopeless attempt to of an address to the throne, against the subjugate Pennsylvania and Virginia were further prosecution of hostilities with Amerabandoned, war against the house of Bour-ica. Chatham had, during some time, abbon might possibly be avoided, or, if inev- sented himself from Parliament, in conseitable, might be carried on with success quence of his growing infirmities. He deand glory. We might even indemnify termined to appear in his place on this ocourselves for part of what we had lost, at casion, and to declare that his opinions were the expense of those foreign enemies who decidedly at variance with those of the had hoped to profit by our domestic dis- Rockingham party. He was in a state of sensions. Lord Rockingham, therefore, great excitement. His medical attendants and those who acted with him, conceived were uneasy, and strongly advised him to that the wisest course now open to Eng- calm himself, and to remain at home. But land, was to acknowledge the independence he was not to be controlled. His son Wilof the United States, and to turn her whole liam, and his son-in-law Lord Mahon, acforce against her European enemies. companied him to Westminster. He rested
Chatham, it should seem, ought to have himself in the Chancellor's room till the de. taken the same side. Before France had bate commenced, and then, leaning on his taken any part in our quarrel with the colo- two young relations, limped to his seat. nies, he had repeatedly, and with great en- The slightest particulars of that day were ergy of language, declared that it was im- remembered, and have been carefully repossible to conquer America; and he could corded. He bowed, it was remarked, with not without absurdity maintain that it was great courtliness to those peers who rose to easier to conquer France and America to- make way for him and his supporters. His gether than America alone. But his pas- crutch was in his hand. He wore, as was sions overpowered his judgment, and made his fashion, a rich velvet coat. His legs him blind to his own inconsistency. The were swathed in flannel. His wig was so very circumstances which made the separa- large, and his face so emaciated, that none tion of the colonies inevitable, made it to of his features could be discerned except him altogether insupportable. The dismem- the high curve of nose, and his eyes, which berment of the Empire seemed to him still retained a gleam of the old fire. less ruinous and humiliating, when pro When the Duke of Richmond had spok. duced by domestic dissensions, than when en, Chatham rose. For some time his roice produced by foreign interference. His was inaudible. At length his tones became blood boiled at the degradation of bis distinct and his action animated. Here country. Whatever lowered her among and there his hearers caught a thought or the nations of the earth, he felt as a person- an expression which reminded them of Wial outrage to himself. And the feeling was liam Pitt. But it was clear that he was natural. He had made her so great. He not himself. He lost the thread of his dis
course, hesitated, repeated the same words| Nothing was remembered but the lofty gesereral times, and was so confused, that in nius, the unsullied probity, the undisputed speaking of the Act of Settlement, he could services, of him who was no more. For not recall the name of the Electress Sophia. once, all parties were agreed. A public The House listened in solemn silence, and funeral, a public monument, were eagerly with the aspect of profound respect and voted. The debts of the deceased were compassion. The stillness was so deep paid. A provision was made for his family. that the dropping of a handkerchief would The city of London requested that the rehave been heard. The Duke of Richmond mains of the great man whom she had so replied with great tenderness and courtesy; long loved and honored, might rest under but, while he spoke, the old man was ob- the dome of her magnificent cathedral. But served to be restless and irritable. The the petition came too late. Every thing Duke sat down. Chatham stood up again, was already prepared for the interment in pressed his hand on his breast, and sank Westminster Abbey. down in an apoplectic fit. Three or four Though men of all parties had concurred lords who sat near him caught him in his in decreeing posthumous honors to Chatfall. The House broke up in confusion. ham, his corpse was attended to the grave The dying man was carried to the residence almost exclusively by opponents of the govof one of the officers of Parliament, and ernment. The banner of the lordship of was so far restored as to be able to bear a Chatham was borne by Colonel Barré, journey to Hayes. At Hayes, after linger- attended by the Duke of Richmond and ing a few weeks, he expired in his seventi- Lord Rockingham. Burke, Savile, and
His bed was watched to the last, Dunning upheld the pall. Lord Camden with anxious tenderness, by his wife and was conspicuous in the procession. The children; and he well deserved their care. chief mourner was young William Pitt. Too often haughty and wayward to others, After the lapse of more than twenty-seven to them he had been almost effeminately years, in a season as dark and perilous, his kind. He had through life been dreaded own shattered frame and broken heart were by his political opponents, and regarded laid, with the same pomp, in the same conwith more awe than love even by his polit- secrated mould. ical associates. But no fear seems to have Chatham sleeps near the northern door mingled with the affection which his fond of the Church, in a spot which has ever ness, constantly overflowing in a thousand since been appropriated to statesmen, as the endearing forms, had inspired in the little other end of the same transept has long circle at Hayes.
been to poets. Mansfield rests there, and Chatham, at the time of his decease, had the second William Pitt, and Fox, and not, in both Houses of Parliament, ten per- Grattan, and Canning, and Wilberforce. sonal adherents. Half the public men of In no other cemetery do so many great citithe age had been estranged from him by his zens lie within so narrow a space. High errors, and the other half by the exertions over those venerable graves towers the which he had made to repair his errors. His stately monument of Chatham, and from last speech had been an attack at once on above, his own effigy, graven by a cunning the policy pursued by the government, and hand, seems still, with eagle face and outon the policy recommended by the opposi- stretched arm, to bid England be of good tion. But death at once restored him to his cheer, and to hurl defiance at her foes. old place in the affection of his country. The generation which reared that memorial Who could hear unmoved of the fall of that of him has disappeared. The time has which had been so great, and which had come when the rash and indiscriminate stood so long ? The circumstances, too, judgments which his contemporaries passed seemed rather to belong to the tragic stage on his character may be calmly revised by than to real life. A great statesman, full history. And history, while, for the warnof years and honors, led forth to the senate-ing of vehement, high, and daring natures, house by a son of rare hopes, and stricken she notes his many errors, will yet deliberdown in full council while straining his fee- ately pronounce, that, among the eminent ble voice to rouse the drooping spirit of his men whose bones lie near his, scarcely one country, could not but be remembered with has left a more stainless,
and none peculiar veneration and tenderness. De- more splendid name. traction was overawed. The voice even of just and temperate censure was mute.