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timents, which were known to be similar to Chap. those of the King of Prussia, and the Empress of XXVII. the North. Aster this circumstance, his Serene ,764.. Highness did not experience the most cordial reception at the British court, and he was permitted to embark for the continent, in a very dangerous and tempestuous season.*
On the fourteenth of February, 1764, Sir IV. Genetal Meredith moved, "That a general warrant forwarranU< "apprehending and seizing the authors, prin"ters and publishers of a seditious libel, toge"ther with their papers, is not warranted by "law." Seconded by Sir G. Savile. Although the constitution, the law of the land, common sense, and the strict principles of justice, all united in condemning a general warrant, yet all the officers of government, all the subalterns of ministers, all the people who call themselves King's Friends, and all whom these could command or influence, pertinaciously desended, not indeed the legality, 'sor that was impossible, but the necessity of possessing a power to issue warrants, whenever the secretary of state in his discretion stiould think fit. The debate having
* In the pamphlet entided FaShn Unmasked, there Is an anecdote of this Prince, which seems to insinuate, that the elsects of this visit were not consined to an embarkation in stormy weather. The words are these, "When General "Spoerien died, the Duke of Brunswick wished to succeed "him in the command at Hanover; and from his having "fought our battles, and married our King's sister, every "body in Germany and England thought his claim so just, "he would undoubtedly be appointed, but the Queen's "brother, a youth at that time, was preserred to pirn." Edit. 1790, p. 103.
X z continued
Cha*. con'.inued all night, was adjourned to the seven-^^teenth.
On the adjourned debate, Mr. Pitt being able to af> Mr. Pitt's ter^d, spoke in savour of the motion. He began with speech observing, that all which the crown had desired, all which againlt ministers had wished, was accomplished in the convic1 MH l'on anc* exPulsion of Mr. Wilkes: it was now the duty of the House to do justice to the nation, to, the constitution, and to the law. Ministers had resused to lay the warrant before the House, because they were conscious of its illegality. And yet these ministers, who affect so much regard for liberty and the constitution, are ardently desirous of retaining for themselves, and their successors, a power to do an illegal act. Neither the law ofsicers of the crown, nor the minister himself, had attempted to desend the legality of thin warrant. Whenever goaded upon the point, they had evaded it. He therefore did not hesitate to say, that there was not a man to be found of sufsicient profligacy to desend this warrant upon the principle of legality, it was no justisication, he said, that general warrants had been issued. Amongst the warrants which were laid before the House to shew the practice of office, there were two which had been issued by himself, but they were not againil libels. One was, for the seizure of a number of persona on board a ship going to France; the other, for apprehending the Count de St. Germain, a suspected foreigner; and both in a time of war with France. Upon issuing the latter warrant, he consulted his friend, the Attorney General, (who was asterwards Lord Camden) who told him the warrant would be illegal, and if he issued it he must take the consequences; nevertheless preserring the general safety in time of war and public danger to every personal consideration, he run the rifle, as he would of his head, had that been the forseit upon the like motive, and did an extraordinary act against a suspicious foreigner, just come from France j and who was concealed at different times in different houses. The real exigency of time, and the apparent necessity of the thing, would, in his opinion, always justify a secretary ot state in every extraordinary act of power. In the present case,
there there was no necessity for a general warrant. Ministers Chap. knew all the parties. The plea of necessity could not XXVH. be urged; there was no pretence for it. The nation ^>-y-^o was in persect tranquillity. The sasety of the state was 1764. in no danger. The charge was, the writing aud publishing a libel. What was there in this crime, so heinous and terrible, as to require this formidable instrument; which, like an inundation of water, bore down, all the barriers and sences of happiness and security? Parliament had voted away its own privilege, and laid the personal freedom of every representative of the nation at the mercy of his Majesty's Attorney Genera!. Did parliament see the extent of this surrender which they had made? That they had decided upon the unalienaftle rights of the people, by subjecting their representatives to a restraint of their persons, whenever the ministers or the attorney general thought proper. The extraordinary and wanton exercise of an illegal power in this case, admits of no justissication, nor even palliation. It was an indulgence of a personal resentment against a particular periou: And the condemnation of it is evaded by a pretence that is false, is a mockery of justice, and an imposition on the House. We are told, that this warrant is pendente lite; that it will come under judicial decision, in'the determination of the court on the bills of exception; and, therefore, that parliament ought not to declare any judgment upon the subject. In answer to this, he said, that whenever the bills of exceptions came to be argued, it would be found, that they turned upon other points. Upon other points he repeated. He was consident in his assertion. He concluded with saying, that if the House negatived the motion, they would be the disgrace of the present age, and the reproach of posterity, who, astfr sacrisicing their own privileges,.had abandoned the liberty of the subject, upon a pretence that was wilsully founded in error, and manifestly urged for the purpose of delusion.
Upon a motion being made for adjourning the debate for four months, the numbers were 234 for the question, and zzo igainst it.
Chat. The Right Honourable Charles Town/bend, XXVII. who at this time was in opposition to the mini
stry, said to Mr. Pitt, as they entered the House, that they should be in the majority that night. It was certainly his opinion, for he said afterwards to several os his friends, that he was confident they went into the House a majority; but that Lloyd *, who had the minister's private pocket books, made converts before the division.
* Mr. Charles Lloyd, who was Mr. Grenville's private secretary.
f The term given to the minister's list of members.
C H A P. ' XXVIII.
Qir William Pynsent leaves his fortune to Mr. Pitt —Similar intention of Mr. Hollis—Present and Note from Mr. IVareham—Pitt's Diamond—The Regency—American Stamp Act—Lord Bute resolves to dismiss the Ministers—Gets an audience of the Duke of Cumberland--The Duke fends for Lord Temple—Conference between them—The Duke goes to. Mr. Pitt—Applies to Lord Lyttieton—Lord Temple and Mr. Grenville reconciled — Observation—Mr Siuart Mackenzie dismissed— The King fends for Mr. Pitt—Lord lemple sent for—They refuse the King's offers—Observation —King's Friends—Condutl of the Duke of Bedford and Mr. Jenkinfon-r—The Duke forms a new Ministry.
The same of Mr. Pitt's character, of his Chap. public virtue and talents, excited no less the XXVIII. admiration of all independent persons at home, than of princes and potentates abroad. Although' proscribed the court of his Sovereign, he maintained a place in the hearts of the people. Although his Majesty's council had repudiated his advice, and the representatives of the nation had engaged with a more profitable master, yet there were many persons, who saw no disloyalty to the King, nor disrespect to parliament, (themes