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sound, and his expiring moments struck out by him for tlie preserwere not those of confidence. vation of Europe, was the result of
The talents of Mr. Pitt were great; prophetic wisdom and profound poand bis station among slalesmen licy. But, though defeated in niany eminent,
respects by the selfish ambition and short-sighted imbecility of foreign powers, whose rulers were too renal
or too weak to follow the flight of Another Character of Mr. Pitt, that mind wbich would have taught
torilten by the Right Honourable them to outwing the storm--the poGeorre Canning, and intended to licy involved in it has still a secret accompany a pust.
operation on the couduct of surround
ing states. His plans were fall of The character of this illustrious energy, and the principles which instatesman early passed its ordeal. spirell them looked beyond the conScarcely bad he attained the age at sequences of the hour. which reflection commences, than Eu- In a period of change and convulrope with astonishment beheld him sinn the most perilous in the history filling the first place in the councils of Great Britain, when sedition stalkof his country, and managing the vast end abroad, and when the emissaries inass of its concerns, with all the vi- of France, and the abellors of her gour and steadiness of the most ma- regicide factions, formed a league tured wisdom. Dignity-strength powertul from their number, and discretion--these were among the formidable by their tale: it--in that masterly qualities of his mind at its awful crisis--the promptitude of his first dawn. He liad been nurtured measures saved his country a statesman, and his knowledge was He knew nothing of that tiinid and of that kind which always lay ready wavering cast of mind which dares for practical application. Not deal- not abide by its own decision. Ile ing in the subtleties of abstract poli- never suffered popular prejudice or tics, but moving in the slow, steady party clamour to turn him aside front procession of reason, bis conceptions any measure which bis deliberate were reflective, and his views correct. judgment bad avlopied. He had a Habitually attentive to the concerus pruuni reliance on himself, and it was of government, he spared no pains to justified. Like the sturdy, warrior acquaint himself with whatever was leaning on his own battle-axe, conconnected, however minutelv, with scious where his strength lay, he did its prosperity. He was devoted to not readily look bevonu it. the state. Its interests engrossedi all salelater in the house of commons, his study, and engaged all his care. his speeches were logical and arguIt was the element alone in which he mettive; if they did not otten abound seemed to live anıt move. He allows in the yraces of metaphor, or sparkle ed himself but little recreation from with the brilliancy of wit, they were his tabours. His mind was always always animated, ek gant, and clas ou ils station, and its activity was uit- sical. The strength of his oratory remitled.
was intrinsic, it presented the rich and He did not hastily adopt a measure, abundant resource of a clear discernnor hastily abandon it. The plau mentanda correct taste. His speiches
are stamped with inimitable marks of Character and Talents of the lale originality. When replying to his op
Mr. Fox. ponents, his readiness was not more [From “ The Epics of the Top." ] conspicuous than his energy. He Charles James Fox derived from was always prompt, and always dig- nature a vigorous capacity, which nified. He could sometimes have re- was early improved by a liberal educourse to the sportiveness of irony; cation. His conceptions were rapid, but he did not often seek any other his fancy brilliant: the indulgence aid than was to be derived from an of his father gave him an open and arranged and extensive knowledge of fearless address ; aud a continual his subject. This qualified him fully intercourse with the circles of gaiely to discuss the arguments of others, and fashion, rendered his expression and forcibly to defend his own. Thus fluent, unconstrained, and elegant. armed, it was rarely in the power of He seemed born an orator, and deshis adversaries, mighty as they were, tined by nature to shine in the polito beat him from the field. His elo- tical sphere. His temper, frank, quence occasionally rapid-electric— candid, ard generous, was calculated and vehement—was always chaste, to gain him many friends, and to winning--and persuasive--not awing disarm the animosity of every eneinto acquiescence, but arguing into my. There was nothing in it to inconviction. His understanding was spire awe, or to excite mistrust; no bold and comprehensive. Nothing one was thrown to an uncomfortable seemed too remote for its reach, or distance. He seenied born to live too large for its grasp.
with ease and good humour, and to Unallured by dissipation, and un- communicate these agreeable feelswayed by pleasure, he never sacri- ings to all around bim. ficed the national treasure to the one, His more advanced education or the national interest to the other. tended to blast the fruitful plants To bis unswerving integrity, the most which shot up in so rich a soil, and authentic of all testimony is to be to give room and luxuriance to every found, in that unbounded public con- wced. His youth was a continued fidence, which followed him through- course of dissipation. Those hours out the whole of his political career. of vigour and ardour, which ought
Absorbed, as he was, in the pur- to bave been spent in the labours of suits of public life, he did not neglect the closet, were devoted to the to prepare himself in silence for that gaming table, the amour, the midhigher destination, which is at once night debauch. The habits thus the incentive and reward of human contracted, gradually became irrevirtue. His talents, superiorand splen- sistible. He could only by starts did as they were, never made him for- confine himself to serious studies: getful of that eternal wisdom from he needed dissipation to refresh bis which they emanated. The faith and mind: he became incapable of that fortitude of bis last moments were steady attention to business, without affecting and exemplary.
which it is impossible to conduct the In his forty-seventh year, and in affairs of a great and active pation. the meridian of his fame, he died on His introduction into political life the 23d of January, 1806.
was not peculiarly fortunate. His father, indeed, enjoyed the reputation of abilities, yet he had sunk under The French revolution followed the talents, and still more under the close. Fox, in conformity with his integrity, of Chatham. But if Fox principles, applauded the first movederived some stain from his paren- ments of freedom. The excesses tage, his own conduct seemed not which ensuell altered the general likely to remove the blot; and while feelings : the best principles became men adınired the brilliancy of his abhorred, when found in the mouths parts, they wondered and lamented of atrocious villains; and in the ibat so much genius should be united ideas of the multitude Fox became to so little prudence or virtue.
associated with those who spoke the The unfavourable occurrences same language, however different which crossed his political career, their intentions and actions. The . might spring from accident; but consternation afterwards diffused they derived new force from the throughout the kingdom, and the warmth or the facility of his own vast popularity of his great political temper. During the American war, antagonist, gave a still deeper hold he had derived much popularity to these impressions; and no one from his resolute and violent oppo- seemed worthy of public trust, who sition to lord North ; but when this did not revile Fox as an enemy to nobleman and his friends passed bis country, His own imprudence over to the party of Fox, and were was, indeed, scarcely less fatal to his by him received with bis usual faci- interests, than were the arts of his lity and frankness, the people looked adversaries. He gave too free access upon their patriot as guilty of the to men of profligate characters and most unprincipled dishonesty, in dark designs : he uttered expressions thus cordially coalesciny, with the too violent at any time, but foolish men whom he had just pursued with in the extreme amidst the ferment the most opprobrious invective. The which then prevailed: he even dee' odium of the coalition continued graded himself to a level with the ever afterwards to bang, like a noxi- lowest demagogues, by haranguing ous vapour, upon bis brightest motley mobs in the fields around beams.
London. His patriotism became When Great Britain interfered to more suspected, when he declared put a stop to the conquering arms of his country to be in extreme danger, Russia, the friends of monarchy and then took the unmanly resoluwere alarmed and incensed, when tion of abandoning ber councils, and they saw Fox not only oppose admi. consigning himself to ease and renistration at home, but even carry tirement. These acts are, indeed, his zeal so far as to send abroad an attributed to a facility which led him accredited agent to thwart the views to yield to men whose opinions he of government. During the laments should have despised: but this is ed illness of the sovereign, his acti- only to defend his heart at the exvity drew down upon him a vew pence of his head. load of indignation. Men could The same lamentable facility sudnot look upon the warmest friend- denly eclipsed the rays which began ship for the sou, as a sufficient er- to break forth at his decline. After cuse for deserting his duty to the fa twenty years of opposition, he came
into power without sacrificing his
honour; but his first act in the were there almost the only acknos. bone of commons, a, a minister, leilged Foxiles. The moral art, by was the introduction of the bill to whic! be closed liis gaver Careti, enable a colleague to possess at once excited scarcely less reprehension. two inportant, rich, and incompa. Honever reclaimeri anl meritoring tible ottices. He seemed to feel bis might be the objert of his choice, own degradation; he seeined con- yet it seemed too shocking to decocious that he was selting at defiance rum, that the wife of a great stales. all lois former professions, and tramp. man sliould be an improper compa. ling to dust all the glory of his life. nion for any lionest matron. His countenance reddened, and bis Tlie mind of Fox was naturally voice became choaked with shame open and liberal; and his principit: and anger, wlien liis adversaries re- bore the stamp of his disponition. ninded him of what he wished to Ie seenied from conviction ile 25. forget. With this initiation, his serter of popular rights, and a deformer principles seemed to have cided enemy to arbitrary governvanished. The worst measures of ment. Yet his principles could not bis predecessors, the property tax, at all times resisi'eillier bis facilite which he had lately reprobated as `or his warmib; and some portion at the most impolitic, unjust, and op- least of his consistency may be allripressive of all exacious, he now buted to his permanent situation as supportert as an ingenious device, leader of opposition. He was acand defended an increase of its in- cused of rank democracy; but with justice anil oppression.
much injustice. lle entered politiMorality is too often neglected by cal life among the aristocracy, and the ambitious, as liseless to their ads with them closed his career. It was vancement: but experience shews, by their prevailing influence against that the want of a good moral chia- the crown that he twice became a racter cannot be compensated to a minister; and by them he was supstatesman by any fame of talents. ported throughout. He was a friend The general opinion of Fox's licen- to extensive suffrage ; but he knew tiousness was, perlaps, the greatest that the votes of the lower orders obstacle to his fortunes, and the must ever be at the command of glue which made calumpies so rea- the higher. In power, he had aldily adhere to him. He was even ways the interest of the aristocracy believed to be the principal instru- in view. He endeavoured to throw ment in polluting that spring from the whole patronage of India into which the nation expected its future the hands of the parliament. He happiness to flow: vor was this sur supported the property tax, on the muise confined to the vulgar. So principle, that men ought, as far as contrmed was the geneial opinion of possible, to be retained in tlie staDuis licentiousness, that bis adherents, tion which they bave once occupied; especially in certain distant quarters and that it is quite as reasonable the of the island, seemed to have ay- lower orders should be starved, as sumed it as the distingnisliing hadge that the higher should be deprived of their party; and youths who pro- of their usual enjoyments. fessed contempt for religios, and The knowledge of Fox was chiefly practised an uabounded hbertinisn, of that description which may be
drawn from conversation, or from the rapidity and strength of his conbooks of easy perusal. In a couill- ceptions he was enabled to place his try, whose prosperity linges on the subject in the clearest light; and he arrangement of its industry, whose had an unusual facility in calling to government depends on the skilful his assistance the resources with support of public credit, le acknow- which books or conversation had ledged himself ignorant of political supplied him. His wit was very economy and finance. He was not successful, and his sarcasms pecudeeply versed in official business: liarly poignant : they were not delinor bad pursued any subject with vered with bitterness, and they the accuracy of scientific investiga- seemed always to fall justly on the tion: but in the political history of head of their object, . his country, in the laws relative to Yet his eloquence was not free bis constitution, in the dispositions from the vices to which it was natuand views of foreign powers, in the rally subjected by his habits. His arts which conciliate and lead man- orations were never regular, never kind, his knowledge was, perhaps, skilfully arranged. The hearer, uurivalled by any modern politi- borne along by his warmth, did not cian.
discover his desultory transitions ; His eloquence was the grand but, on recollection, he found it foundation of his fame. He liar to difficult to retrace the niaze which he struggle with the disadvantages of had traversed.' As he always trusted appearance. His figure was uppro- to the moment, his exhibitions de mising, bis motions ungraceful, his pended much on the state of his voice shrill, and liis enunciation, at spirits; and it was not uncommon to the commencement of his speech, see him labour through a hesitating, indistinct and hesitating. Every devious discourse, whicla scarcely thing announced, that all was un- retained the attention of his hearers. premeditated, and that the hearer Even those who disliked his polibad nothing to expect but the eflu- tics most, adınired his disposition. sions of the nioment. But as he His friends felt towards him a perproceeded, this circumstance be- sonal attachment; and the open camie a source of admiration. As frankness of his manners often dishe grew warm, bis words began to armed political animosity. He was flow: his enunciation becaine clear regarded as the very model of a and forcible; his couatenance glow- true Englishman. ed with ardour, and every motion His early dissipation, and the narspoke the force of his feelings. He rowness of his private fortune, inhastened directly to his subject. It volved him in perpetual difficulties, seemed to occupy bis whole soul, to which embarrassed his mind, and call fortlı every power of imagina often engaged him in a disagreeable tion and judgment; he was irresisti- dependence. The expedient of a bly hurried on by his emotions, and general contribution of his friends, his bearers were hurried along with by which he was at length extrihim. In whatever he said, there cated, gave an irrecoverable blow to was an air of caudour and earnest- his respectability. Those especially ness, which carried in it scarcely at a distance felt a strange revolution less persuasion than his words. By of sentiment, when the idol of their