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country, more applicable to its present circumstances, more free from objection, and more effectual in itself, than any which now exists, and which would at the same time admit of extending such indulgences as must conciliate the higher orders of the Catholics, and by furnishing to a large class of your Majesty's Irish subjects a proof of the good-will of the united Parliament, afford the best chance of giving full effect to the great object of the Union-that of tranquillising Ireland, and attaching it to this country.
"It is with inexpressible regret, after all he now knows of your Majesty's sentiments, that Mr Pitt troubles your Majesty, thus at large, with the general grounds of his opinion, and finds himself obliged to add, that this opinion is unalterably fixed in his mind. It must therefore ultimately guide his political conduct, if it should be your Majesty's pleasure, that, after thus presuming to open himself fully to your Majesty, he should remain in that responsible situation, in which your Majesty has so long condescended graciously and favourably to accept his services. It will afford him, indeed, a great relief and satisfaction, if he may be allowed to hope that your Majesty will deign maturely to weigh what he has now humbly submitted, and to call for any explanation which any parts of it may appear to require.
"In the interval which your Majesty may wish for consideration, he will not, on his part, importune your Majesty with any unnecessary reference to the subject; and will feel it his duty to abstain himself from all agitation of this subject in Parliament, and to prevent it, as far as depends on him, on the part of others. If, on the result of such consideration, your Majesty's objections to the measure proposed should not be removed, or sufficiently diminished to admit of its being brought forward with your Majesty's full concurrence, and with the whole weight of government, it must be personally Mr Pitt's first wish to be released from a situation, which he is conscious that, under such circumstances, he could not continue to fill but with the greatest disadvantage.
"At the same time, after the gracious intimation which has been recently conveyed to him, of your Majesty's sentiments on this point, he will be acquitted of presumption in adding, that if the chief difficulties of the present crisis should not then be surmounted, or very materially diminished, and if your Majesty should continue to think that his humble exertions could, in any degree, contribute to conducting them to a favourable issue, there is no personal difficulty to which he will not rather submit, than withdraw himself at such a moment from your Majesty's service. He would even, in such a case, continue for such a short further interval as might be necessary, to oppose the agitation or discussion of the question, as far as he can consistently with the line, to which he feels bound uniformly to adhere, of reserving to himself a full latitude on the principle itself, and objecting only to the time, and to the temper and circumstances of the moment. But he must entreat that, on this supposition, it may be distinctly understood, that he can remain in office no longer than till the issue (which he trusts on every account will be a speedy one) of the crisis now de
pending, shall admit of your Majesty's more easily forming a new arrangement; and that he will then receive your Majesty's permission to carry with him into a private situation that affectionate and grateful attachment, which your Majesty's goodness, for a long course of years, has impressed on his mind--and that unabated zeal for the ease and honour of your Majesty's Government, and for the public service, which he trusts will always govern his conduct.
"He has only to intreat your Majesty's pardon for troubling you on one other point, and taking the liberty of most respectfully, but explicitly, submitting to your Majesty the indispensable necessity of effectually discountenancing, in the whole of the interval, all attempts to make use of your Majesty's name, to influence the opinion of any individuals, or descriptions of men, on any part of this subject."
In answer to this frank and manly statement, we have a letter from his late Majesty, not very much distinguished, either by these qualities, or by any signal cogency of reasoning or felicity of expression. We cite it as the document which Dr Phillpotts, of course, has found to be more efficacious towards conviction than the argument of the Minister :—
"B.-THE KING'S ANSWER TO A.
"Queen's House, Feb. 1, 1801. "I should not do justice to the warm impulse of my heart, if I entered on the subject most unpleasant to my mind, without first expressing, that the cordial affection that I have for Mr Pitt, as well as high opinion of his talents and integrity, greatly add to my uneasiness on this occasion; but a sense of religious as well as political duty has made me, from the moment I mounted the throne, consider the Oath that the wisdom of our forefathers has enjoined the kings of this realm to take at their coronation, and enforced by the obligation of instantly following it in the course of the ceremony, with taking the Sacrament, as so binding a religious obligation on me to maintain the fundamental maxims on which our constitution is placed, namely, the Church of England being the established one, and that those who hold employments in the state, must be members of it, and consequently obliged not only to take oaths against Popery, but to receive the Holy Communion agreeably to the rites of the Church of England.
"This principle of duty must, therefore, prevent me from discussing any proposition tending to destroy this groundwork of our happy constitution, and much more so that now mentioned by Mr Pitt, which is no less than the complete overthrow of the whole fabric.
"When the Irish propositions were transmitted to me by a joint message from both Houses of the British Parliament, I told the lords and gentlemen sent on that occasion, that I would with pleasure, and without delay, forward them to Ireland; but that, as individuals, I could not help acquainting them, that my inclination to an union with Ireland was principally founded on a trust, that the uniting the Established Churches of the two kingdoms would for ever shut the door to any farther measures with respect to the Roman Catholics.
"These two instances must show Mr Pitt, that my opinions are not those formed on the moment, but such as I have imbibed for forty years, and from which I never can depart; but, Mr Pitt once acquainted with my sentiments, his assuring me that he will stave off the only question whereon I fear, from his letter, we can never agree-for the advantage and comfort of continuing to have his advice and exertions in public affairs, I will certainly abstain from talking on this subject, which is the one nearest my heart. I cannot help, if others pretend to guess at my opinions, which I have never disguised; but if those who unfortunately differ with me will keep this subject at rest, I will, on my part, most correctly on my part, be silent also; but this restraint I shall put on myself from affection for Mr Pitt, but further I cannot go, for I cannot sacrifice my duty to any consideration.
"Though I do not pretend to have the power of changing Mr Pitt's opinion, when thus unfortunately fixed, yet I shall hope his sense of duty will prevent his retiring from his present situation to the end of my life, for I can with great truth assert, that I shall, from public and private considerations, feel great regret, if I shall ever find myself obliged, at any time, from a sense of religious and political duty, to yield to his entreaties of retiring from his seat at the Board of Treasury."
Now, it is quite impossible, that one having all his faculties about him could write this, with the regard to truth which the late King has been so much praised for. He says, that from the moment he mounted the throne,—that is, since 1760,-he had held the same opinions, and felt the same scruples upon the Coronation Oath. The purpose of this statement is, to introduce the assertion that his present opinions are "such as he had im"bibed for forty years." Were they so? Then, to say nothing of the forty Indemnity bills which he had made laws, how did he, how came he to pass the Irish acts of 1778 and 1793, which took off infinitely more restrictions from the Catholics than they left behind them? The supposition would be absurd as well as indecent, that his Majesty intended to deceive Mr Pitt upon a matter of recent history and public notoriety; and the inference, therefore, is unavoidable, that the King's mind was not in its pristine vigour when he penned this letter.
Mr Pitt's letter justly and plainly, though respectfully, required the King not to use his personal influence against the question, as long as he continued his minister; of course, meaning to state, that he could not submit to be the responsible Minister of a Prince whose weight was thrown into the scale of what he himself deemed a pernicious policy. The King's answer on this point is not satisfactory; and it produced the following excellent reply:
MR PITT, IN REPLY.
"Downing Street, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 1801. "Mr Pitt cannot help entreating your Majesty's permission to express how very sincerely he is penetrated with the affecting expressions of your Majesty's kindness and goodness to himself, on the occasion of the communication with which he has been under the necessity of troubling your Majesty. It is, therefore, with additional pain he feels himself bound to state, that the final decision which your Majesty has formed on the great subject in question, (the motives to which he respects and honours,) and his own unalterable sense of the line which public duty requires from him, must make him consider the moment as now arrived, when, on the principles which he has already explained, it must be his first wish to be released, as soon as possible, from his present situation. He certainly retains the same anxious desire, in the time and mode of quitting it, to consult, as much as possible, your Majesty's ease and convenience, and to avoid embarrassment. But he must frankly confess to your Majesty, that the difficulty even of his temporary continuance must necessarily be increased, and may very shortly become insuperable, from what he conceives to be the import of one passage in your Majesty's note, which hardly leaves him room to hope, that your Majesty thinks those steps can be taken for effectually discountenancing all attempts to make use of your Majesty's name, or to influence opinions on this subject, which he has ventured to represent as indispensably necessary during any interval in which he might remain in office. He has, however, the less anxiety in laying this sentiment before your Majesty, because, independent of it, he is more and more convinced, that, your Majesty's final decision being once taken, the sooner he is allowed to act upon it, the better it will be for your Majesty's service. He trusts, and sincerely believes, that your Majesty cannot find any long delay necessary for forming an arrangement for conducting your service with credit and advantage; and that, on the other hand, the feebleness and uncertainty, which is almost inseparable from a temporary government, must soon produce an effect, both at home and abroad, which might lead to serious inconvenience.-Mr Pitt trusts your Majesty will believe, that a sincere anxiety for the future ease and strength of your government, is one strong motive for his presuming thus to press this consideration."
The correspondence closes with a short letter from the Duke of York,-to whom, it should seem, the whole had been sent, for his edification, by the King; apparently a superfluous care, as His Royal Highness's answer shows:
"York House, Feb. 13, 1801.
"SIR, I have the honour to return your Majesty the papers which you were graciously pleased to allow me to peruse.
"If my sentiments upon the question of Catholic Emancipation, and of the Repeal of the Test Act, had not been already immutably fixed, the arguments adduced in favour of the measure would alone have been sufficient to have convinced me of the danger, if not of the absolute
certainty, of the dreadful consequences of its being carried into execution. I have the honour to be, Sir, your Majesty's most dutiful son and subject, FREDERICK."
This, too, we presume, is given to the public by the Reverend Editor, as a binding authority in favour of his much-cherished faith in the principles of exclusion and intolerance. Anything more ridiculous we cannot well imagine. The poor Duke-whose death has been much lamented, certainly, for the qualities of his heart, and for the capacity with which he was endowed-receives a cogent piece of reasoning by Mr Pitt-and a bare expression of the King's opposite opinion, unsupported by one single reason of any kind—and he speaks of "the arguments adduced in "favour of the measure," as quite sufficient to prove "the dan"ger, if not the absolute certainty of its dreadful consequences!" Such answers to Mr Pitt befit well an acting Commander-inchief.
It is impossible to read the above letters of Mr Pitt, and to mark the honest earnestness and solid grounds of his opinion upon this great question, without marvelling at the audacity of many of those who, calling themselves his followers, and assuming his name, form themselves into associations, the main purpose of which is to oppose the very question he was so sincerely devoted to. What is now called a Pitt Club often signifies little else than a knot of narrow-minded persons, who are banded together by the fixed determination to oppose the principles of Mr Pitt, upon the greatest point on which he ever thought and acted for himself. To their orgies, therefore, we cannot but think that no real friend, no true admirer, of Mr Pitt, can consistently resort. Every feeling of respect for his memory must make them shun such an insult to his name, as could only be outdone by some gang of slave-dealers who should call themselves the Wilberforce Club, and exert themselves, under that appellation, for the perpetuity of slavery, and the revival of the Slave-Trade.
ART. VII.-Jean Paul Frederich Richter's Leben, nebst Characteristik seiner Werke; von Heinrich Doering. (Jean Paul Frederich Richter's Life, with a Sketch of his Works; by Heinrich Doering.) Gotha. Hennings, 1826. 12mo, pp. 208.
R JOHNSON, it is said, when he first heard of Boswell's intention to write a life of him, announced, with decision enough, that if he thought Boswell really meant to write his life,