Imatges de pÓgina
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Memoirs of Mrs. Jebb,

considered them as still engaged

in a mere contest for place. She [Concladed from p. 604.]

deprecated the doctrine of here. Her zeal in the cause of civil ditary right, as advanced by Mr. and religious liberty was unabated Fox ; though she considered it by her husband's death, and as, expedient to invest the Heir Apby degrees, she recovered her parent with the royal powers. -wonted serenity, her attention was She had no objection to the reonce more directed to the progress strictions proposed by Mr. Pitt, of public affairs. On every new which she thought strictly con. appearance of hope, she was still stitutional: but she was very far apt to anticipate a result favour. indeed from approving the whole able to the general welfare: the of his proceedings. In a letter to remembrance of what had passed Major Cartwright, therefore, at Cambridge could not now ap- about the close of February, she pal her : she had no conception thus forcibly avows her dissatis. of those sordid motives by which faction: too many are actuated; and she doubted the very existence of a

“With respect to the king, each

party speak as they wish, and both I principle, of which she found no think mean to deceive. That he has traces in herself. Hence arose at recovered more rapidly than could have times an overweening confidence been expected is certain, but it is conin the virtue of individuals or the trary to reason and to experience to sup. wisdom of collective bodies, the body, can suddenly return to a state of

pose that the mind, any more than the only material error of which she health and vigour.' Even those that are could be reasonably accused, of no party will naturally be as unwilling Her confidence, however, in to place implicit contidence in persons,

who either were themselves deceived, the rival statesmen of her own or intentionally deceived others.. And country, 'had been too rudely therefore when the king is perfectly reshaken, for her good opinion to be covered, every thing should be done to easily regained; and the discus. take away any doube which may be ensions on the Regency, in 1789, friend to what is right, without having

tertained by the people : I speak as a were calculated rather to increase any other reason whatever. than to diminish her distrust. « It is God's world, as the Doctor She saw indeed in the conduct of used to say, and I trust he will order both parties, much more to cen. the prospect bad enough,

every thing for the best': but I think

As you sure thran to 'approve, and she used to say, so say I now, Cæsar las VOL. VII.

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Memoirs of Mrs. Jebb. friends, and POMPEY has friends, but of a few individuals interested in who are friends to Rome?'* unless, I will the nefarious concern. But amidst add, when it serves their own interest. When a minister can get in, and keep

such repeated disappointments

, in, by doing what is right; by pleasing Mrs. Jebb rejoiced to see the the king, and serving himself at the right of juries to judge of the law same time that he is supporting the as well as the fact in cases of libel, people's cause, it is very well: but their cause is always the last thing thought at length triumphantly established of. I have been very poorly, and al- by the British parliament; aod most worn out by reading long speeches, the Roman Catholics of Ireland without finding a single argument to admitted to the full enjoyment of make me alter my sentiments, but a great deal of foreiga matter, illiberal the elective franchise in that counlanguage, and a want of honesty in the try, on the express recommenda. majority on both sides of the house. tion of the crown. With respect to the state coachman, I could have gone with him the first the auspicious dawn of the French

Mrs. Jebb had already hailed some pleasure, and perhaps one or two Revolution, and sympathised in more with tolerable composure; but I the emancipation of a great people must have stopt short of the place at from despotic power. She had which he is now arrived, even if I had been left destitute and alone. But augured every thing good from there would have been no danger of be that event, and she feared no im. ing lett to pine in solitude, as there are pending ill; as appears in the fol. gill some, and I trust many indepen. lowing extracts from her corre. dent houses on the road, inhabited by spondence with Mr. Brand Hollis

, spirits, who, not being blinded by party, passion, or private interest, are ready to already inserted in the Memoirs take in an honest weary traveller, who of his life. In a letter dated July is unwilling to be driven farther, mere 24, 1790, she observes : ly for the sake of making perpetual dictator, a coachman, who has never lis “Till yesterday I had not seen an ae. tened to the travellers, but when it has count how the great and important day been evidently for his own advantage.” concluded in France. If the king of Mrs. Jebb's conviction of the France did not feel himself on that day

superior to all the kings and emperors selfish policy of the premier was that ever tyrannised over mankind, he confirmed hy his desertion of his does not deserve the honour that will early friends the Dissenters; and attend on his name to the end of time his decided hostility to every mo.

Yet tories think if he had any spirit, he

would not have lowered himself, and tion for the repeal of the Test Act, submitted to have been directed by the Naor of those intolerant laws against tional Assembly; that if a king is not Unitarians in particular, which absolute, he is no king; if he is govern still disgrace the penal code. On ed by his ministers, they reigo, not be;

they think he could not take the oath the abolition of the slave-trade, willingly, but that all was owing to which had now become an object folly and cowardice. In the mean time of gencral attention, he had, in. I shall wish prosperity and happiness deed, assumed a loftier and more thankful that I was born in an age in

to the French and their king; and be manly tone : but his eloquence which civil and religious liberty is bewas fruitlessly exerted in opposi- ginning to triumph over bigotry and altion to the prejudices of some in bitrary power; thankful that I was not higher stations, and the influence born in that inhuman age, in which

new kingdoms were no sooner explored

than ruined, and the people destroyed * Give us our Rights, &c. See above or enslaved thankful that I am living

to see a disposition to reform the sea

P. 601.

80 free."

guinary laws, and to let the oppressed induce a more calm and dispas.

sionate consideration of the real And again on the 31st of Au. dangers to be apprehended from gust, she remarks,

the delusions of the day. In two "I am not very fond of defining the spirited and judicious Letters, rights of the people, because every de. addressed, under popular titles, finition is apt to limit. We were ex- to John Bull from one of his bre. pected to confine ourselves, in a late thren, she exposed the absurd affair, to the example set us at the RevoJution, which certainly was not a simi- reasoning of the alarmists, with lar case; and if it had been so, our an- equal vivacity and shrewdness : cestors had no right to fetter their pos. and, vindicating the great cause terity. Surely we had as much right to of public freedom, she deprecatchuse and restrain a regent, as they had to chuse and restrain a king. In vain ed the idea of interfering in the do we boast of the Revolution, if the concerns of the French Republic, authors of it forged chains to shackle and pointed out the calamities their posterity for ever ; this idea would which must result from a war so only make us bondmen to the dead; whereas we have enough to do to strug

unnecessary

and unjust. gle against the fetters we are daily

“I suppose," she observes, "you threatened with by the living.There know they talk of a war; and, what is seem to be some men in the National more surprising, of a war without fresh Assembly who are too aristocratic; yet taxes; but you and I are too old to be I trust the majority will be able to come so caught : we should as soon expect a plete the glorious work in the manner war without men. Now, my dear browe could wish. You see the fire is ther, although you know I love peace, spreading every where. I tell you the quiet, and good order, and would do world is a good world, as the Doctor much to prevent bloodshed, yet I honestused to say, and the people who find ly confess, that whenever there is a confault with it, should mend themselves.” test, I always wish the oppressed may

triumph, and rejoice to see liberty lay Mrs. Jebb, having deprecated despotism at her feet. However, i asthe attempt of the allied sove. sure you I grieve much for Louis : you reigns to restore the degrading know kings seldom hear the truth, yoke of the Bourbons, with every

have bad advisers, and may be deceived

as easily as you or I can be. He was at friend to freedom and humanity, first of some service to the cause: so I rejoiced in their defeat. She la. would preserve his life, though I would mented still more the rash deter. take care to put it out of his power to mination of her own country to destroy others. The swinish multitude

are not destitute of humanity: do not take a part in their iniquitous make them mad, and they can feel, as design; and saw no glory or ade sensibly, at least, as Mr. Burke himvantage in the most successful self does, who seems so much concernwarfare, which could in any re.

ed for the few in high stations, that he

has not a sigh to spare for the multitude, spect compensate for the misery I mourn sincerely for all the blood that and desolation to which it must has been shed on either side ; but I must inevitably lead. And, therefore, be just : 1 must lay the most blame during the alarm which, in 1792, violent party to oppose necessary changes

where most is due. If there were no was so artíully excited to cover or reforms, we should never have cause the apostacy of Mr. Pitt from the to lament such dreadful effusions of hucause of reform, and to involve man blood. You scarcely ever heard England in the intrigues of the of a nation rising against their chief continent, she endeavoured to dis. almost a virtue. Ah, John, common

magistrate, till resistance was become pel the public infatuation, and to sense and common honesty would make

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Alemoirs of Mrs. Jebbe excellent statesmen, and soon put a Whilst the conduct of Mr. Pitt stop to all revolutions*.-From the very beginning of the disturbances in Jebb.of his indifference to the wel.

was thus forcibly convincing Mrs. France to the present time, the king's friends have been working his ruin. fare, and his hostility to the rights Borke was one of the first of them; of the people, Mr. Fox was gra. alas! he raised that spirit and called for dually regaining the place which that crusade, which, by encouraging he had once possessed in ker es. false hopes and improper actions on one side, caused those jealousies and discon- teem. She had not forgotten that tents on the other, which at length in all his later intercourse with hurled him from a throne to a prison. Dr. Jebb, after the close of their Oh! how much blood might have been political connection, he had treal, had not foreign powers provoked

the ed him with the same respect and friends of freedom, and made wicked attention, as when most decidedly men believe they should escape in the his friend. She had marked bis general confusion, even if they committed that most horrible of all crimes, the strady support of the great cause crime of assassination.-- Just recovered of Parliamentary reform; his manfrom the war with America, let us at ly vindication of the claims of least pause; and before we enter into conscience; bis abhorrence of the another, as unnecessary, unjust and inprudent, let us reflect that as a relapse slave-trade ; and his strenuous enis generally more dangerous than the deavours, above all things, to. first fever, so a return of war may, in avert the calamities of war. He the event, bring on that destruction, had fully justified the confidence, which the last had so nearly effected which at a fatal crisis, she had so There has been much talk here of a plot, John: but the only plot which has been pointedly expressed, and proved discovered, was the plot against the li- himself indeed deserving of bis berty of the press, and against the good former fame; in standing forward. sense of the people—the plot to frighten the intrepid advocate of wiser them into associations, which might strengthen the hands of the minister for counsels, unawed by the delusion a war against France, and increase his of the multitude, and the too gemajority in the House of Commons neral defection of his friends. against reform.-Yet the death of Louis Hence, on every subsequent ocundoubtedly will be urged to us as a reason for our approving of the intended casion, when his character was war; and in order to raise in us a spirit attacked in her presence, sbe of revenge, it will be represented in the warmly undertook his defence, strongest colours as cruel and unjust. resting his claims to public coufia But surely, brother, the shedding rivers dence, on those decided facts, of blood, in revenge for the blood of one man, will be no proof of our superior which su clearly evinced his sinjustice, nor will, the making of thousands cerity and zeal. of weeping widows and helpless orphans,

But the influence of Mr. Pitt give us reason to boast of our superion and his associates was unfortu. humanity.t" But her efforts, like every other nately predominant, and the mise.

ries of warfare extended to almost exertion of a sound and generous policy, were unavailing; they were every quarter of the globe. For repugnant to the madness and eighi years he obstinately perse.

vered in his pernicious schemes, folly of the times.

regardless of the dictates of reason

and experience, till France was December 13, 1792.

converted into a military nation, + January 26, 1793.

and her other opponents suc

cessively overthrown. Every at the minister, and a pretender to the tempt for the redress of grievalices throne, often causes that kind of fear in

a king and ministry, which makes them was, in the mean while, resisted; see the necessity of exerting themselves a systern of coercion prevailed ; to gain popularity, in order to render and the friends of peace and reform their situation permanent. If the oppo were idly stigmatized as hostile to sition therefore should come in, they their country's welfare. At length their opinion is not changed with their

must at least give us some proof that a partial change in the administra- situation; that if they delay, it is merely tion, in 1801, put a stop to the to wait for the most favourable opportucalamities of war; though hostili- pity; they must give us some kind of ties were, alas! 100 soon resumed, alas!' they will come into power, if they

bond, as it were, for our security. But, on the pretence of checking the do come in now, in perilous times, and career of a usurper, whom such will find it difficult to plcase any party, fatal policy had seated on the As a friend to the opposition, at least to throne of France. Mr. Pitt was Pitt to have made the peace, bad as it

some of them, I could have wished Mr. afterwards, recalled to power : not must be, and to have had all the odium indeed to the paramount authority of it; and also to have raised the new which he had formerly exercised taxes, which must be very heavy indeed, in Parliament; but, persevering if possible, but any peace rather than

-I keep praying for a peace, a good one in the same counsels, to encounter, continue in the direct road to ruin.” the same humiliating defcats. On the death of this minister, in

And on the 20th of February, January, 1806, Mrs. Jebb had the when the arrangements for a new satisfaction of seeing Mr. Fox invit. ministry were completed, she again ed to the counsels of his sovereign, observed to the same correspon. although she was too well aware of dent, the difficulties by which he wassur. “ I believe that we think pretty nearly rounded, to expect the immediate alike of the present crisis, and that our accomplishment of almost any of fears and hopes are of a similar magni-,

tude: but my, constant prayer continues their common views. She looked

to be for a specdy peace, with as little forward, however, to much par- loss of honour as possible. As for what rial' advantage from the event; would be called a good peace, ie is more conceiving that whatever tended than we have any right to expect, and I to restore the blessings of peace, to such terms, as Buonaparte will think,

fear the present ministry, dare not agree must be of the most essential im- in his situation, that he has a right to in portance. On the tirst appearance, sist upon. My hopes, therefore, of a indeed, of any change of ministry, speedy peace are not very, steat, though she had clearly expressed her colle for that purpose.--I have only seen MT. viction of the very delicate circum. Wyvill once: he was then satisfied with stances in which Mr. Fox and his Mr. Fox; but I see not what can be adherents must now succeed to done at present, except making peace, power. In a letter to Dr. Disney, necessary. Mr. Pitt did not live long

and raising taxes to prepare for war if Jan. 23d, 1806, she said:

enough to convince the city or the peo"A friend called before I was up, to ple sufficiently, that he was driving the inform me that Mr. Pitt died at four this nation to a precipice; and left it just in morning : I own I am one of those time to avoid the odium of the strong who wished him to live. I did not fear measures, which must be resorted to, in his doing more evil, and I fattered my- the effort made for its preservation. ! self that he might be the cause of good am one of those who wish that he had being done by others. An opposition to lived till other people had known and

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