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duty, my fixed regard for the constitution of our ancestors, maintain me still in this arduous situation — It is not any proud contempt, or desiance of the constitutional resolutions of this House; it is no personal point of honour, much less is it any lust of power that makes me. still cling to office; the situation of the times requires of me, and I will add, the country calls aloud to me, that I should defend this castle, and I am determined therefore, I will yet defend it.
Mr. Sheridan warmly supported the motion, and made a speech full of pointed satire.;
Sir Cecil IVray said, he was extremely surprised at what sir Oc£ had lately fallen from his colleague (Mr. Fox) who had said wr»y. so much relative to the great applause he had received from his constituents. Does the right honourable gentleman mean to plume himself on having been hissed and hooted by his constituents? For hisses and similar marks of disapprobation must have been considered by him as marks of applause. Sir Cecil then said, he wa6 just come from a respectable meeing of his constituents, where he had been informed that the address against the late Administration was signed by no less than sive thousand odd hundred electors of Westminster.
Lord Mahon then rose. He said that he should indeed Ld.Mah»n. have been as much surprised as the worthy Baronet who spoke last appeared to have been, at what had fell from the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) relative to the general meeting held in Westminster Hall on Saturday last; if any thing that could be asserted, by that right hon. gentleman in that House, could ever create in his mind any sensation whatever of surprize. He did not, he said, think it decent to contradict the right hon. gentleman, because he could not give him as direct and flat a contradi£tion as he deserved to receive on that subject, without his doing it in terms which would not be decent to use in that assembly; neither did he think it deceut to make any contrast or comparison between the credit due to Mr. Fox and the credit which all men, of all fides, allowed to be due to the worthy baronet who had just fat down, and who was, in his opinion, as well as in the opinion of the public, one of the most upright, one of the most virtuous, one of the most honourable and independent men, of the most unblemished public (as well as private) integrity, and unquestionable veracity, of any of the fairest find purest characters who were then sitting, or who, i»
the purest times of the English history, had ever fat in that House. He would not bring such a witness.to contradict the bold assertions of the right honourable gentleman ;. but he would use the very words of. the right honourable gentleman, in order to make those words contradict what the right honourable gentleman had just said himself. It was not the sirst time that he had, in that House made the right honourable gentleman contradict himself out of his own mouth; neither would it probably be the last — The right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) had, on that day, made the roundest and most unqualisied declaration which he had ever heard made in that House; the most wonderful and extraordinary of all the wonderful and extraordinary declarations which had ever been. made even by the right honourable gentleman himself. The words of the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) as he had taken them. down were these, «* I am sure that as to Westminster, I never had, at any period, more the real, warm zeal, and hearts of the people, than I have in the present moment." The right honourable gentleman, when he thought proper to make this unaccountable declaration, had undoubtedly forgot, that in the fame speech he had said but a few minutes before, that " he. got great unpopularity by the warm and decided support which he had given to the tax upon receipts; and that he had also been tendered unpopular by the ideas. which the public had taken up relative to his East-India bill, which it was impossible for the people to understand." The light honourable gentleman had undoubtedly forgot, that he had, in the fame speech, owned and asserted, that "his coalition with the noble Lord in the blue ribband had produced to him great unpopularity, great odium, and great obloquy." Does popularity then consist in " unpopularity?" Does the right honourable gentleman possess more than ever he formerly possessed, "the real warm zeal and hearts of the people;" because his scandalous and unprincipled conduct has raised up against him "great odium and great obloquy?" Does he mean to take groaus for applause, and hisses for approbation? There was a time when the right honourable gentleman did, in a very great degree possess the considence of the people. There was a time, when what fell from him in numerous and popular assemblies, fell with that weight, and was attended to with that silence and respect, as if an oracle had been speaking, Why? Because the public at that time fondly believed him to.be their
friend — Because they credulously thought he wds sighting their battles, and because they thought he was acting as a bustling, but sincere and honest tribune of the people. But .now meris eyes are opened — He is no longer seen in the light of a tribune of the people, because he has lately attempted to raise himself above the free constitution of hi* country, by aspiring to the situation of an absolute dictator. Did the right-honourable gentleman, in Westminster Hall, last Saturday, receive the same kind of applause as the right honourable-gentleman had received in the fame place three years before? The right honourable gentleman may, if he likes it, consider the reception he met with last Saturday from his constituents, as marks of their love, respect, and approbation; but what were those marks of approbation? The general execration of the people whom he had deceived. "The real and warm zeal of the peaple" was, it iis true, expressed on that day; but in what words? In the shbrt but expressive words of No Coalition! —No Receipt Tax! — No India Bill! — and in words still more honourable, and still more personally flattering to the right honourable gentleman, of " No Grand Mogul !—No India Tyrant! —' No Usurper! — No Turncoat! — No Traitor ! — No Dictator! — No Cataline!" If such be the popularity which is coveted by the right honourable gentleman, and if such be the marks of approbation of which he boasts, long may he enjoy chat popularity, and long
may he receive such convincing marks of approbation
It were better, however, that he did not deserve them — Much has been said in this House, of the sonorous voice of a noble Lord, who, Mr. Fox fays, is himself an host. It is true, that host was present at that popular assembly— That host, however, did not join his voice in that scurrilous language, but that host had ears to hear it—That host stood near the right honourable gentleman, till the hustings, which had been ill erected by Mr. Fox's friends, broke down — It was considered a pantomime trick os some honourable friend of the right honourable gentleman, though it was not known exactly from what farce it had been stolen. The worthy Baronet (Sir Cecil Wray) was on the sield of battle with the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Fox) in the forenoon of that day; the worthy baronet was also on the sield of battle in the afternoon. The right honourable gentleman who appears, or rather affects to appear, so extremely well satissied with the splendid degree of popularity which he now enjoys, mentioned that popularity at the end, not at the beginning of his speech. He did right not to mention it at the beginning of his speech, for it could not be what was uppermost in his mind. At the beginning of his speech, he talked of his own unpopularity, he repeated what a learned friend of his had said in a former debate, "that the present addresses and opinions of the people were founded on imposture." In the beginning of his speech, he had the airogance and insolence to declare, that he "thought it his duty to oppose the madness of the people, when he differs from them in opinion." This is the constitutional and decent language of the Man of the People, held in the presence of their representatives in that House! But let the right honourable gentleman have the goodness t.o tell the House why he is so eager in the present moment to oppose what he is modestly pleased to call ** the madness of the people 5" if he himself never possessed to a greater degree than he does at present «* the real warm zeal and hearts of the people i" The colleauge of the right honourable gentleman has just informed the House of the prodigious number of signatures of the real electors of Westminster, which are already contained in the address of thanks to his Majesty for having dismissed his late obnoxious and unpopular Ministers, of which that right honourable gentleman himself was one. Let Mr. Fox again after this tell the House, if he dares to do it, that he is sure that his personal popularity stands as high as ever—Let him dare to tell the House in the unwarrantable language of his advertisement, signed C. J. Fox, that at the late Westminster meeting, he carried every thing before him by a majority of at least six to one; when he himself has, in this House, on this day positively declared) that those even who were very near him in the Hall, could not distinguish one word that was said by him or by any os his friends. What he moved or what they moved was consequently not heard by the many thousand electors then and there present, who h^d therefore no opportunity of assenting to or dissenting from what was proposed by Mr. Fox. Therefore Mr. Fox draws the following close and logical xonclusion. Because the motions were not heard, because the purport of them could not be understood, and because the object of them could not be known by even one in one hundred in the assembly; therefore the right honourabl«
gentle^gentleman ventures to assert, that those motions were ap* proved of and carried by a majority of at least six to one. Such an assertion does not deserve refutation, such an assertion only deserves contempt. The right honourable gentleman boasts of this victory *•» Let him do so—And, as long as he abandons his public principles, as long as he breaks his promises to the people of England, and as long as he continues his violent attacks on the Constitution, and his desperate attempts against the public credit of this country, and endeavours by the most unwarrantable means to throw the whole country into complete confusion; may the right hon. gentleman never obtain any other species of victory than that which he has so lately obtained in Westminster!
On the question the numbers were, Ayes, 197; Noes, 177; majority, 20.
While the majority were in the lobby, Mr.Fox said, it was the idea of gentlemen who stood near him, that in consequence of the high language which had been held in the debate, an address should be proposed on the motion. The members joined in an unanimous declaration of Hear him! He then said, that if it met with their approbation, he would move it after the determination of this question, and that it should be carried up to the Throne by the whole House. They joined in the same general shout on this proposi* tion also.
When the numbers were declared, Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt rose together, and their friends, in pressing for their respective leader, were loud. A good deal of clamour ensued. At length Mr. Pitt said, that it amounted exactly to the same Mr. Pitt.;; thing, whether the sense of the House was taken on his motion for the Speaker to leave the chair, or on the motion for the address, which he understood the right honourable gentleman was about to propose. He therefore yielded the point.
Mr. Fox then said, that as the right honourable gentleman Mr. Fox, and his friends had met the resolution of that day with a high •language, and had treated the House in every respect so ■cavalierly, it was the idea of the gentlemen with whom he had the honour to act, that a motion should be made, without farther delay, for an address to the Throne on the resolution o'f that day, and that it mould be presented by the whole House. He entered shortly into the situation into which the obstinacy of Mr. Pitt had brought the House, -and concluded with moving for an address to the King in the words of the resolution.
The honourable Charles Marmara seconded the motion.
Vol. XIII, E e Mr.