Графични страници
PDF файл

Before he left Eton he was afflicted with the Cm?. I. gout, which encreafed during his residence at Oxford; and which at length obliged him to quit the University, without taking a degree. It was hereditary.

He afterwards made the tour of part of France, and part of Italy. But his disorder was not removed by it. He, however, constantly employed the leisure, which this painsul and tedious malady asforded, in the cultivation and improvement os his mind. Lord Chejlerfield, who rather envied than admired his superiority, says " that thus he acquired a great fund of "premature and usesul knowledge."

He came first into Parliament in the month of ^Ztf* February 1735, for the borough of Old Sarum, raemberof in the room of his brother; who being elected Parliafor Old Sarum and Oakhampton, ma e his elec- ment* tion for the latter. His brother-in-law, Robert Nedham, Esq. was his coadjutor. Having five sisters, and an elder brother, his fortune was not very considerable j his friends therefore ob- made cot* tained for him a cornet's commission in thenet of Blues, in addition to his income. 0 e'

In March 1735, George Lyttelton, Esq; (eldest son of Sir Thomas Lyttelton, of Haglev, who married Lord CohhartCs sister) afterwards Lord Lyttelton, was elected member of parliament for Oakhampton, by the interest of Thomas Pitt, Esq; in the room of Mr. Northmore, who died a little time before. At the general election in 1734, Richard Grenville Esq; the late Earl Temple,


€ha». I. whose mother was Lord Cobham's eldest fistef ,>-^r^'came sirst into parliament, being elected for Buckingham. Mr. W. Pitt, Mr. Grenville, and Mr. Lyttelton, became associates; and for several years always sat next to each other in the House of Commons.

Mr. Pitt had not been many days in Parliament, when he was selected for a teller. It appears by the Journals, Vol. 22, page 535, upon a motion to reser the navy estimates to a select committee, that the house divided, and that Mr. William Pitt, and Mr. Sandys, afterwards Lord Sandys, were appointed tellers of the minority, upon that question. 1736. Mr. Pitt's sirst speech in Parliament was on the 29th of April 1736, upon seconding a motion made by his friend Mr. Lyttelton; viz,

"That an humble address be presented to His Majesty, to congratulate His Majesty upon the nuptials of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and to express the satissaction and great, joy of his saithsul Commons on this happy occasion, which they look upon with unspeakable comfort, as the means, under the divine Providence, of giving an additional strength to the Protestant interest, and of securing to all suture ages, the laws and liberties of this nation, in the sull manner we now happily and thanksully enjoy them, under the protection of his Majesty's just and mild government over his people."

When Mr. Lyttelton sat down, Mr. Pitt rose,

and spoke in substance, nearly as follows:

Mr. Put's "T})at jje was unaye t0 0g-er anv ^^g tnat nad not

"been said by his honourable friend who made the motion,

in a manner much more suitable to the dignity and im

* portance portancc of the subject.—But, said he, as I am really Chap. I. asfected with the prospect of the blessings, to be derived to my country from this so defirable and long defired 1736. measure, the marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; I cannot forbear troubling you with a sew words, to express my joy, and to mingle my humble offering, inconsiderable as it is, with this oblation of thanks and congratulation, to his Majesty.

How great so ever the joy of the public may be, and very great it certainly is, in receiving this benesit from his Majesty, it must be inserior to that high satisfaction, which he himself enjoys, in bestowing it: And if I may be allowed to suppose, that to a royal mind any thing can transcend the pleasure of gratisying the impatient wishes of a loyal people, it can only be the paternal delight of tenderly indulging the most dutisul application, and most humble request of a submissive obedient son. I mention, Sir, his Royal Highnese's having asked a marriage, because something is, in justice, due to him, for having asked what we are so strongly bound, by all the ties of duty and gratitude, to return his Majesty our most humble acknowledgments for having granted.

The marriage of a Prince of Wales, Sir, has at all times been a matter of the highest importance to the public welfare, to present and to suture generations; But at no time has it been a more important, a more dear consideration, than at this day; if a character, at once amiable and respectable, can embellish and even dignify the elevated rank of a Prince of Wales. -Were it not a sort of presumption to follow so great a person through his hours of retirement, to view him in the milder light of domestic lise, we should find him engaged in the noble exercise of humanity, benevolence, and of every social virtue. But, Sir, how pleasing, how captivating soever such a scene may be, yet as it is a private one, I sear I should offend the delicacy of that virtue, I so ardently defire to do justice to, should I offer it to the consideration of this House: But, Sir, filial duty to his royal parents, a generous love of liberty, and a just reverence for the British constitution; these are public virtues, and cannot escape the applause and benedictions of the public: They are virtues, Sir, which render his Royal Highness not only a noble ornament, but a firm support, if any could possibly be necessary, of that throne so greatly filled by his royal father.

I hare

Chap. I. I have been led to say thus much of his Royal Highi^-^m*, ness's character, because, it is the consideration of that 1756. character, which above all things ensorces the justice and goodness of his Majesty in the measure now before us; a measure which the nation thought could never rsome too soon, because it brings with it the promts- of an additional strength to the Protestant succession in his Majesty's illustrious and royal house. The spirit'of liberty dictated that succession, the same spirit now rejoices in the prospect of its being perpetuated to latest posterity. It rejoices in the wise and happy choice which his Majesty has been pleased to make of a princess, so amiably distinguished in herself, so illustrious in the merit of her samily; the glory of whose great ancestor it is, to have sacrisiced himself to the noblest cause for which a prince can draw his sword, the cause of liberty and the Protestant religion. Such, Sir , is the marriage for which our most humble acknowledgements are due to his Majesty; and may it asford the comfort of seeing the royal samily (numerous as I thank God it is) still growing and rising up in a third generation; a samily, Sir, which I must sincerely wish may be as immortal as those liberties and that constitution it came to maintain; and therefore I am heartily for the motion."

The motion was unanimously agreed to.

The speeches of both gentlemen, being what are called maiden, or first speeches, were not only heard with great indulgence, but pleasure; and were honoured with the warmest approbation of every auditor. The extraordinary merit of these young gentlemen, induced his Royal Highness to "bestow upon them, the most gracious and flattering marks of his distinction and countenance.

Upon every question Mr. Pitt divided with his friends, against the Minister; and appeared, on every occasion, a firm and determined opponent of the Minister's measures. Sir Robert Walpole was not a little irritated by this conduct;

duct; and being in the habit of dismissing Chat. I. military officers for their conduct in Parliament, *-*"v—«* and having, particularly, a short time before, '?3 broke Lord Cebham and others, he made no hesitation of breaking Mr. Pitt. This imprudent, violent, and unconstitutional measure, so far from diminishing Mr. Pitt's consequence in the eyes of his patrons, or the public, very considerably encreased it in both. His friend Mr. Lyttelton wrote the following lines on the occasion.

To William Pitt, Esq. on his losing his com-
mission in the year 1736.

Long had thy virtues mark'd thee out for same,
Far, sar superior to a Cornet's name;
Thisgen'rous Walpole saw, and griev'd to sind
So mean a post disgrace that noble mind.
The Servile Standard from the freeborn hand
He took, and bad thee lead the Patriot band.

Lord Cobbam, the revered patron of virtue and genius, whose character was in such high estimation, that his smile alone conserred honour, was among the foremost to offer him his services and friendship. An acquaintance thus formed on a congeniality of sentiment and principle, soon ripened into afsection; and Mr. Pitt's society was ever after reckoned by his Lordship, among the greatest pleasures of his lise. It is no wonder, indeed, that a nobleman possessing the knowledge, the virtue, and the discernment of Lord Cobbam, should be so captivated with, and attached to, his young friend: for to brilliancy of talents, to a high sense of honour, and to the most exalted principles of public and private


« ПредишнаНапред »