On the 31st of March Dundas introduced the Indian Budget, and soon afterwards Pitt congratulated the country on the fact that, so far from the American war having injured the trade or the power of Britain, the fact was that our shipping had increased considerably more than one-third since 1773, and we had been continually gaining strength even during the American war, and had relieved ourselves of a load of expense always incurred by the government of the States. This was an admirable argument for declaring all our colonies independent, if it meant anything; but Pitt went on seconding, and even surpassing Dundas in the prognostications of a long peace. What such ministerial speeches were worth was shown on the 5th of May, only a month and five days since the prophecy of Dundas, and not three weeks since his own prophecy, by Pitt announcing that the peace was already disturbed with Spain. It appeared that the high prices obtained by the crews of Captain Cook’s ships, the Discovery and Resolution, at Canton, on his exploring voyages in the South Seas, for the ill-selected, half-worn furs brought from the north-west coast of America, had attracted the attention of adventurers under the direct protection of the East India Company. Mr. Mears, who had been a lieutenant in the royal navy, and a Mr. Tippin, were sent out in command each of a vessel. Tippin was wrecked on the coast of Kamtschatka; but Mears reached Prince William’s Sound and wintered there, opening a good trade with the natives. In the spring of 1788 he discovered Nootka Sound, a fine bay on the west side of a small island on the west coast of Vancouver’s Island. There he formed a settlement, making a bargain with the chief for it. He went to Canton with furs and was opening a 杭州按摩电话 fine trade, when the Spaniards came down on the settlement, seized four British vessels, but permitted two United States’ vessels to remain unmolested. Part of the English crew were shipped in one of the American vessels to China, and the rest suffered to depart in one of their own ships after it had been plundered. The Spanish commander then settled himself in the new colony, and Spain set up a general claim to all coasts and islands, and the whole Pacific as far as China.
Pitt, on the day mentioned, announced these facts, and declared that his Majesty had demanded satisfaction from the Court of Spain for the insult to our flag and for the usurpation of our settlement; but that considerable armaments were making in the ports of Spain. He called upon the House to address his Majesty, imploring him to take all necessary measures for the vindication of our honour and our 杭州保健油压 rights. Fox naturally expressed his surprise at this announcement, after the high assurances of such profound prospects of peace little more than a fortnight before. He moreover asserted that not only were the Ministers fully aware of all these circumstances at the very moment when the Premier made these statements, but that he had himself been aware of them a considerable time before that. Pitt endeavoured to
explain that all the circumstances were not known when he professed such confidence in peace; but these assertions were clearly as little true as the former, for the British Government had received information from the Spanish Government itself, as early as the 10th of the previous February. Notwithstanding, the House supported the Government warmly in its determination to resist the enormous claims of Spain and to compel her to make satisfaction. Lord Howe was desired to 杭州桑拿网丝足会所 have a fleet in readiness, and the Spanish Court having taken a high tone to Mr. Merry, our Minister at Madrid, Mr. Fitzherbert was dispatched thither as our plenipotentiary. He arrived at Madrid in the beginning of June. At first the Spanish Court were very high, and applied to France for co-operation, according to treaty; but France, in the throes of the Revolution, had no money to spend in such armaments and, on second thoughts, Spain dreaded introducing French revolutionary sailors amongst their own. They soon, therefore, lowered their tone, agreed to surrender Nootka Sound, make full compensation for all damages, and consented that British subjects should continue their fisheries in the South Seas, and make settlements on any coasts not already occupied. Captain Vancouver, who had been with Cook as a midshipman in his last two voyages, being present at his tragical death, was sent out in the following year to see that the 杭州丝袜推油 settlement of Nootka Sound was duly surrendered to England. He saw this done, the Spanish commander, Quadra, behaving in a very friendly manner; and he proceeded then, during the years 1792 and 1793, to make many accurate surveys of the western coasts of North and South America, in which the Spaniards gave him every assistance. The British took formal possession not only of Nootka Sound, but of the fine island called after Vancouver. Pitt was highly complimented for his firmness and ability in the management of this business.
Wilberforce, on the 27th of January, had obtained a committee of inquiry into the slave trade. He, Clarkson, and the anti-slavery committees, both in London and the provinces, were labouring with indefatigable industry in collecting and diffusing information on this subject. The Committee of the Commons found strong opposition even in the House, and, on the 23rd of April, Lord Penrhyn moved that no further evidence should be heard by the Committee; but this was overruled, and the hearing of evidence continued 杭州洗浴桑拿寻欢 through the Session, though no further debate took place on the question.
In Ireland, the influence of the free notions of France was already become broadly manifest, and though it resulted in no unconstitutional act, it wonderfully invigorated the resentment of the Irish against corruptions of Government. These truly demanded reprehension and reform; but the Government of Pitt was strong, and set both Ireland and 杭州足浴合作商家 reform at defiance. The Marquis of Buckingham, the Lord-Lieutenant, was recalled, because he had not been able to repress the movement in the Irish Parliament on the Regency question. The Earl of Westmoreland was sent in his place; but the Parliament still showed its resentment as strongly as ever, and proceeded to delve vigorously into the sink of Government corruption, and demand numerous corrections of abuses. Direct motions on the subject were made in both Houses; in the Peers by Lord Portarlington, in the Commons by Grattan, and, in truth, the ministerial abuses of the Irish Government were disgraceful. Grattan, on the 1st of February, pointed out the increased number of commissioners of revenue, and moved that his Majesty be addressed to inquire by whose advice this had been done. Next the increase of the Pension List 杭州spa养生会所 came under discussion; then the granting of no less than fourteen Government offices to members of the Irish Commons. Lastly was noticed the paltry withdrawal of Lord Strangford’s pension of four hundred pounds, which had been granted him at the request of the Irish House of Lords, in consequence of his small income, because he had voted against Ministers on the Regency Bill, at the same time that numbers of men who were not Irishmen, and had never done anything for Ireland or any other country, were saddled on the Irish revenue in a variety of sinecure posts and pensions. All these motions, however, were rejected by large Ministerial majorities.
(After the Portrait by Dance, in Greenwich Hospital.)
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Before returning to the progress of the French Revolution, we must pass a hasty glance 杭州娱乐地图 over the affairs of the Netherlands and the north of Europe. On the accession of Leopold, the brother of Joseph, a sweeping change was made in Austrian policy. Leopold had ruled his dominions, as Grand Duke of Tuscany, with remarkable wisdom and benevolence. He had introduced many admirable reforms, and had abolished the punishment of death—a grand example to the other nations of Europe, and proved to be as sound as it was striking by its results. He now made haste to assure the Netherlanders that all their grievances should be redressed, and their old charters and constitution restored. There had always been a considerable party in favour of the Imperial Government, and this party was now greatly increased by these wise assurances, which were relied on from the known magnanimous character of the Emperor. A Congress met at 杭州水疗哪里好玩 Reichenbach to endeavour to make a peace between Austria and the Sultan, and this was accomplished by the mediation of Britain, Prussia, and Holland, backed up by the threat of an immediate invasion by Prussia, which was instigated by Pitt. The Ministers of the three Powers that had brought about this peace of Reichenbach, next guaranteed to Leopold all the possessions of Austria in the Netherlands, on condition that he should restore all the ancient privileges and constitution. On the other hand, the democratic party had a congress of the United Belgic States, and this congress, infected by the French Republican principles, declared still for independence, in which they were at first encouraged by the democrats in France. Lafayette reverted to the idea of a republic in the Netherlands, which should form a barrier between 杭州足丝会所怎么样 Austria and France, in case that Austria should attempt to invade France and crush the Revolution, as appeared probable. Dumouriez was sent to Brussels to inquire into the real state of the Netherlands, as the Belgians had sent deputies to Paris to make certain overtures. The result of Dumouriez’s inquiries was so extremely unfavourable that the French Government gave up all idea of meddling in Netherland affairs. To Dumouriez, Van der Noot, the leader of the revolutionary party, appeared a regular adventurer and impostor, the people to be ignorant and bigoted; and the army, though full of courage, yet destitute of good officers, money, clothing, and discipline. Dumouriez, therefore, shrewdly concluded that France had better make no present engagements with the Belgian reformers, but leave the destinies of the country to be decided by the Congress at Reichenbach, where the British, Dutch, and Prussian Ministers had guaranteed the restoration of the government to Leopold, on the renewal of the ancient institutions. Here again Pitt’s foreign policy was completely successful. Leopold easily crushed the rebellion, and, having crushed it, proceeded to carry out the conditions of the Convention of Reichenbach.
The Pitt Ministry figured with less success as regarded the encroachments of Russia on the Turkish empire. The undisguised policy of Catherine was to press on her operations against Turkey till she had planted herself in Constantinople. Pitt continued as inactive as if there were no danger at all, and the same policy actuated Holland and Prussia. The least support given by these Powers to Gustavus of Sweden would have effectually checked the Russian designs in the East, and have raised Sweden into a position capable of acting as a dead weight on Russian aggression. By very little aid Gustavus would have been able to recover all the territories on the eastern side of the Baltic which had been wrested from Sweden by Russia, and would thus have kept a formidable power always, as it were, at the very gates of St. Petersburg. But Gustavus was left, with his brave heart but limited forces, to contend with Russia alone. He kept down his disaffected nobles by cultivating the interests of the people at large, and maintained a determined struggle with Russia. He sent over the Prince of Anhalt with a small army of about three thousand men at so early a season that the ground was covered with ice and snow. The prince pushed on boldly towards St. Petersburg, and made himself master of the strong forts and defences at Karnomkoski, on the Lake Saima, within two days’ march of that capital. In April they were encountered by ten thousand Russians under the command of General Ingelstrom, whom they defeated after a desperate battle, leaving two thousand Russians dead on the field. But the Prince of Anhalt was killed, and the Swedes were not able, with a handful of men, to advance on St. Petersburg, which was in fearful panic. Gustavus was more successful at sea. He and his brother, the Duke of Sudermania, fought the Russians with a very inferior force of ships off Revel, and afterwards off Svenskasund. A considerable number of English officers were serving in the Swedish fleet, amongst them one destined to rise to high distinction, Sidney, afterwards Sir Sidney, Smith. After two days’ sanguinary fight at the latter place, Gustavus beat the Russian Admiral Chitschakoff so completely that he took four thousand prisoners, destroyed several of the largest Russian ships, and took or sank forty-five galleys. Catherine was now glad to make peace, which was concluded at Warela, near the river Kymen, but with very different results to what would have been obtained had Gustavus found that support which it was the obvious interest of the whole civilised world to afford him. He agreed that each Power should retain what it possessed before the war, thus conferring on Russia the provinces torn from Sweden. Gustavus complained bitterly of his treatment, and with ample cause.
During this campaign Catherine had made great progress in her road to Constantinople. Suvaroff had reduced Ismail, a remarkably strong place, which was the key of the lower Danube and the only obstruction of any importance to the Russian advance to the Balkan mountains and to Constantinople. This city had been taken by storm, after a most desperate defence, on the 25th of December, and when, with a little more resistance, the Russians would have been compelled to quit the field by the severity of the season. The carnage on this occasion was of the most frightful kind. The Russians themselves lost nearly ten thousand men, and the Turks thirty thousand people—men, women, and children, who were indiscriminately butchered by the orders of Suvaroff, who said to his soldiers, “Brothers, no quarter to-day, for bread is scarce.” Every horror possible in war, especially between barbarians, was perpetrated by the Russian hordes in Ismail, who were guilty of the most diabolical atrocities, such as burning whole streets, mosques, and serais. Suvaroff sat down and wrote in Russian rhyme the words quoted by Lord Byron in “Don Juan,” “Glory to God and the Empress, Ismail is ours.” When Sir Charles Whitworth, the British ambassador, next saw Catherine, she said, in allusion to some strong remonstrances from Britain and Prussia, which took care not to go beyond remonstrances, which were cheap—”Since the king, your master, wishes to drive me out of Petersburg I hope he will permit me to retire to Constantinople.” The Czarina Catherine still continued her war on the Ottoman empire. The Turks gained several advantages over the Russians on the shores of the Black Sea, and near the Danube, but they were severely repulsed in an attempt to drive the Russians from their conquests between the Black and Caspian Seas, and suffered a terrible slaughter on the banks of the River Kuban. Then Britain, Prussia, Holland, and Austria, from the Congress of Reichenbach, announced to Catherine that they were resolved not to permit further encroachments on Turkey, but Catherine paid not the slightest attention to their remonstrances.
A fresh war had broken out with us in India. Tippoo Sahib had resumed hostilities. He conceived the idea of obtaining the aid of an army from France, and of thus driving us, according to his vow, entirely out of India. He opened communications with M. du Fresne, the Governor of Pondicherry, which Britain had very imprudently restored to France at the peace after the American war. M. Leger, civil administrator in England, brought Tippoo’s proposals to Paris. Louis replied to the proposal that the matter too keenly reminded him of the endeavour to destroy the power of Britain in America, in which advantage had been taken of his youth, and which he should never cease to regret. He had learned too deeply the severe retribution which the propagation of Republicanism had brought upon him. But, without waiting the arrival of the hoped-for French troops, Tippoo had broken into the territories of the British ally, the Rajah of Travancore, and by the end of 1789 had nearly overrun them. Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd, suddenly attacked by Tippoo with an overwhelming force, had been compelled to retire before him, with severe losses amongst his sepoys. But General Medows advanced from Trichinopoly with fifteen thousand men, and following nearly the route so splendidly opened up by Colonel Fullarton, took several fortresses. Tippoo retreated to his capital, Seringapatam; but there he again threatened Madras; and General Medows was compelled to make a hasty countermarch to prevent that catastrophe. In the meantime, General Abercrombie landed at Tellicherry with seven thousand five hundred men from the presidency of Bombay; took from the Mysoreans all the places which they had gained on the Malabar coast; restored the Hindoo Rajahs, who, in turn, helped him to expel the forces of Tippoo from the territories of the Rajah of Travancore, who was completely re-established. This was the result of the war up to the end of the year 1790; but Tippoo still menaced fresh aggressions.
The new British Parliament met on November 26, and Ministers were seen to have a powerful majority. The king announced, in his speech from the throne, that hostilities had broken out in India with Tippoo, and that a peace had been effected between Russia and Sweden, and he mentioned the endeavours that were in progress for restoring amity between the Emperor of Austria and his subjects in the Netherlands. In the debate on the Address in the Commons, Fox appeared inclined still to laud France, and to condemn our interference in the Netherlands. His eyes were not yet opened to the real danger from France, whose example was indeed exciting popular disturbances in the Netherlands and in Poland. Already the doctrines of Liberty and Equality had reached the ears of the negroes in St. Domingo, who had risen to claim the rights of man so amiably proclaimed by France, and the troops of France were on their way thither to endeavour to put them down, in direct contradiction of their own boasted political philosophy. In the Lords, Earl Grey—the father of the Whig statesman—on the 13th of December, called for the production of papers relating to Nootka Sound. The motion was negatived by two hundred and fifty-eight against one hundred and thirty-four votes. But the Marquis of Lansdowne contended that Spain had a right to the whole of the North American coast on which Nootka Sound is situated, and had had it since the reign of Queen Elizabeth. He asserted that we had insulted the weakness of Spain; and that Mr. Mears and the other projectors of the trading settlement of Nootka Sound were a set of young men of letters, seeking for novelties. He completely overlooked the provocations which Spain had lately given us, and her endeavours to enter into a conjunction with France against us. He condemned Ministers for having alienated France, Spain, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden, overlooking the fact that they had made alliances with Prussia, Austria, Holland, and the Netherlands. Pitt’s cousin, Lord Grenville, replied to this one-sided view of things, and proudly contrasted the position of Britain at this moment to what it was at the conclusion of the American War, when Lord Lansdowne himself, as Lord Shelburne, had been in the Ministry. Pitt, on the 15th of December, stated that the expenses of the late armament, and the sums necessary to keep up the increased number of soldiers and sailors for another year, before which they could not be well disbanded, owing to certain aspects of things abroad, would amount to something more than three millions, which he proposed to raise by increasing the taxes on sugar, on British and foreign spirits, malt, and game licences, as well as raising the assessed taxes, except the commutation and land taxes. He stated that there was a standing balance of six hundred thousand pounds to the credit of the Government in the Bank of England, which he proposed to appropriate to the discharge of part of the amount. He, moreover, introduced a variety of regulations to check the frauds practised in the taxes upon receipts and bills of exchange, which he calculated at three hundred thousand pounds per annum. With this, Parliament adjourned for the Christmas recess, and thus closed the eventful year of 1790.
The Parliamentary Session of 1791 was opened, after the Christmas recess, by Sir Philip Francis denouncing the war against Tippoo Sahib in India, and eulogising that prince. He moved thirteen resolutions condemnatory of the war; but they were all rejected, and Dundas, as head of the Board of Control, moved three counter-resolutions declaring that Tippoo had voluntarily broken the treaty made with him in 1784, and that faith must be kept with the Rajah of Travancore, whom he had attacked, as well as with the Nizam and the Mahrattas, and these resolutions were carried without a division.
The British Ministry was at length becoming aware of the mischief of allowing the Empress of Russia to make continual inroads on the Turkish Empire. The British Ambassador, Mr. Fawkener, had been instructed to inform Catherine that Britain could not quietly acquiesce in these usurpations, which were seriously disturbing the balance of power in Europe. Catherine replied, haughtily, that she did not recognise the right of Britain to interfere, and that she should keep possession of Oczakoff, and all her conquests between the Bug and the Dniester. On the 28th of March Pitt communicated this answer to the House, in a message from his Majesty, and that he had deemed it necessary to come to an understanding with his allies, Prussia and Austria, on the subject, and to maintain the fleet in its augmented condition. He moved, the next day, an address to his Majesty, thanking him for his care in these respects. The Whigs, almost to a man, condemned this policy. Coke of Norfolk, Lord Wycombe, Mr. Lambton, afterwards Earl of Durham, and others, stoutly opposed it. Fox treated the idea of Russia having become a power formidable to the peace of Europe as ludicrous. Both he and Burke contended that there was nothing in the aggressions of Russia to occasion any alarm; that Turkey was a decaying nation, which it was useless to attempt to support; and that to bolster it up was only to maintain a barbarous people in domination over Christian populations. Fox upbraided the Government with their folly and inconsistency, if such were their fears of Russia, in having till recently encouraged her in her plan of aggressions in that direction. He reminded them that, twenty years ago, Great Britain, on war breaking out between Russia and the Porte, had aided Catherine in sending a fleet to the Mediterranean, and had thus enabled her to acquire a maritime force in the Black Sea. The truth, however, was that it was not the present Ministry that had committed this folly, but a Whig Ministry, of which Fox was one. He confessed to this, and also to the fact that in 1782, when Catherine seized more completely on the Crimea and Kuban Tartary, France and Spain had urged us to unite with them in preventing this, but that we had declined, and these countries had become permanently united to Russia. Now all this was, in truth, a simple confession of the incapacity of the Whigs, and of Fox himself included, to see the dangerous tendency of the Russian policy, and the only circumstance on which he could justly condemn the Ministry of Pitt was for not strenuously supporting Turkey and Sweden, the ally of Turkey against Russia, when they did see this tendency. By mean and parsimonious conduct they had allowed Sweden to be driven out of her territories on the eastern shore of the Baltic by Russia, when, had they given her but moderate support, that Power would have become a permanent check on the aggressive spirit of Russia. The motion of Pitt was carried by a large majority. A few days afterwards Mr. Grey renewed the subject in a series of resolutions, condemning all interference on behalf of Turkey, and contending that Russia was only weakening instead of strengthening herself by extending her dominions. But Pitt, in reply, showed the very obvious facts that the retention of Oczakoff opened the way to Constantinople, and that the possession of Constantinople prepared the way for the seizure of Egypt, and the supremacy of the Mediterranean, with the most formidable consequences to our commerce. The resolutions of Grey were negatived; but twice again during the session the Whigs returned to the charge—on the 15th of April and on the 25th of May,—but with no better success. The armament was maintained, but the isolated threats of England had little effect on Catherine. Pitt was accordingly compelled to change his policy, and acquiesce in a peace by which she retained the territory between the Bug and the Dniester, and the fortress of Oczakoff.
SCENE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: BREACH BETWEEN BURKE AND FOX. (See p. 379.)
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On the opening of the Session, the king called the attention of Parliament to the state of Canada. That colony had flourished since it had come into the possession of Britain, especially since the passing of the Bill of 1774, which had given freedom to the Roman Catholic church there, the church of the French inhabitants. But one part of the colony was still inhabited by the descendants of the French, and another by those of the English and Americans. It was, therefore, found desirable to put an end to the competition which still existed, from differences of faith and of national sentiments and customs, between the two races, by dividing the colony into two provinces, the one inhabited by the French to be called Lower Canada, and the other, inhabited by the British, to be called Upper Canada. On the 25th of February the king sent a message to Parliament, proposing to carry out this division; and on the 4th of March Pitt moved to bring in a Bill for that purpose, and stated the intended plan of arrangement. Besides an elective assembly, each province was to have a Council, the members of which were to be appointed for life, with hereditary succession to the descendants of such as should be honoured with hereditary titles, which titles were to confer on an inhabitant of either province the dignity of a member of the Council. Landed property was to be held according to English law, in soccage tenure; the Habeas Corpus was to be established in both provinces. An allotment of lands was to be made for the Protestant clergy; but, as the majority of the inhabitants in the Lower Province would be Catholic, the Council and Assembly were empowered to allot lands also to their clergy, which allotment, on sanction of the Crown, was to be valid without intervention of Parliament. No taxes were to be imposed by the British Government except such as were necessary for the regulation of commerce, and these were to be levied by the provincial legislature to prevent any heartburnings like those which had occurred in the American States.
This Bill made it obvious that a great light had broken on the British Government from the American Revolution; it was discovered that the best way to govern and retain our colonies was to allow them to govern themselves. This knowledge was worth all the loss and annoyance of the American Revolution. Fox expressed his approbation of the principle, and all appeared favourable to the passing of the measure. It was allowed to proceed without opposition through its first and second reading, and through the committee; but when it was reported, then came a scene of violent contention, arising not so much from the Bill itself as from the state of parties, and the making a peg of this question on which to hang the conflicting opinions of different members on a very different question—that of the French Revolution. Not only had Fox and Burke and Sheridan broken up their old friendship on this question, Sheridan being as enthusiastic about the Revolution as Fox, but it had split up the whole Whig party. Burke had published his eloquent “Reflections on the French Revolution,” and subsequently, in February of this year, a “Letter to a Member of the National Assembly,” in which he had repeated and extended his opinions upon it. The Duke of Portland and Mr. Windham took Burke’s view of the nature of the French principles. However, it was not merely in Parliament, but also throughout the country that opinions were divided on the subject. Societies were formed to recommend the introduction of French Revolutionary principles into Great Britain, and many eminent men, especially among the Dissenters, took the lead in them, as we shall presently see. The tendency to despotic government in Britain, and a spreading conviction that Parliament was not truly elected by the people, rendered large numbers favourable to these views. In Parliament, however, the great shock of battle took place between the so long united friends and fellow-labourers in reform, Fox and Burke, and because the Canada Bill affected a French people, it was thought a proper occasion by these statesmen to indulge in a lengthy and violent discussion of their clashing views, in which the proper question before Parliament, the Quebec Bill, was soon lost sight of.
On the motion for taking this Bill into further consideration, on the 8th of April, Mr. Hussey presented various petitions from merchants regarding the measure, and moved that the Bill required recommittal. He was seconded by Fox, who now, though approving of the main principles of the Bill, took occasion to contend for the development of the advanced doctrines of political liberty inculcated by the French revolutionists, and to urge the insertion of clauses in the Bill, in accordance with them. When the day for the debate on the Bill arrived, Fox called on Burke, though he had not done so for some time, and, in the presence of a common friend, entered into explanations which appeared satisfactory. Fox then proposed that the answer of Burke should not take place on the discussion of the Quebec Bill, though this was the Bill on which this topic had been introduced. Burke refused to comply; but the two old friends walked to the House together, displaying the last show of friendship which was to take place between them. Accordingly, on the 6th of May, when the chairman of the Committee put the question, that the Quebec Bill be read paragraph by paragraph, Burke rose, and determined to have a fair hearing on the question of the French Revolution, and proceeded to inveigh strongly against it. Then there were loud cries of “Order!” and “Question!” and Mr. Baker declared that the argument of Mr. Burke was calculated to involve the House in unnecessary altercation, and perhaps with the Government of another nation. Fox said his right honourable friend could scarcely be said to be out of order, for it seemed to be a day of privilege, when any gentleman might stand up and take any topic, and abuse any Government, whether it had reference to the point in question or not; that not a word had been said of the French Revolution, yet he had risen and abused it. He might just as well have abused that of China or Hindostan. This taunt came with ill grace from Fox, who had himself introduced this extraneous topic into the debates on this very Bill, and seized that occasion to attack Burke’s opinions in his absence.
Burke proceeded amidst constant interruption to review the many scenes and debates in which Fox and himself had acted, as well as those on which they had differed, especially their difference of opinion on the Royal Marriage Act; but no difference of opinion had ever before affected their friendship. He alluded to his own long services and his grey hairs, and said that it was certainly an indiscretion, at his time of life, to provoke enemies, or induce his friends to desert him; but that, if his firm and steady adherence to the British Constitution placed him in that dilemma, he would risk all, and, as public duty required, with his last breath exclaim, “Fly from the French Constitution!” Here Fox whispered that there was no loss of friends; that there could be no loss of friendship between them; but Burke said—”Yes, there was a loss of friends: he knew the penalty of his conduct; he had done his duty at the price of his friends—there was an end of their friendship.” It was some time before Fox could answer; he was completely overcome by his emotion; and it was only after a free flow of tears that he could proceed. He then said: “Painful as it was to listen to such sentiments as those just delivered by one to whom he owed so many obligations, he could never forget that, when little more than a boy, he had been in the habit of receiving instructions and favours from his right honourable friend. Their friendship had grown with their life; it had continued for upwards of five-and-twenty years; and he hoped, notwithstanding what had happened that day, that his right honourable friend would think on past times, and would give him credit for not intending anything unkind. It was quite true that they had before now differed on many subjects, without lessening their friendship, and why should they not now differ on the French Revolution without a severance of friendship? He could not help feeling that the conduct of his right honourable friend tended to fix upon him the charge of Republican principles, whereas he was far from entertaining such principles. His friend had heaped very ignominious terms upon him that day.” Here Burke said aloud, he did not recollect having used such terms; and Fox promptly observed that “if his friend did not recollect those epithets—if they are out of his mind, then they were for ever out of his mind, too; they were obliterated and forgotten.” He then denied that there was any marshalling of a party on this subject; that not one gentleman who had risen to call his right honourable friend to order had done it by his desire; on the contrary, he had entreated his friends not to interrupt him. After again dwelling for some time on the merits of the French Revolution, he once more lamented the breach in the unanimity of his friend and himself, and said he would keep out of the way of his right honourable friend till he had time to reflect and think differently, and that their common friends might bring them together again; that he would endeavour to discuss the question on some future day, with all calmness, if his friend wished, but for the present he had said all that he desired to say.