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know where to call? I remember a fable of Aristophanes's, which is translated from Greek into decent English.—I mention this for the country gentlemen. It is of a man that sat so long on a seat (about as long, perhaps, as the ex-minister did on the Treasury-bench), that he grew to it. When Hercules pulled him off, he left all the sitting part of the man behind him. The House can make the allusion.”
The following is another witty passage from this speech :
“But let France have colonies! Oh, yes ! let her have a good trade, that she may be afraid of war, says the learned member,—that's the way to make Buonaparte love peace. He has had, to be sure, a sort of military education. He has been abroad, and is rather rough company; but if you put him behind the counter a little, he will mend exceedingly. When I was reading the treaty, I thought all the names of foreign places, viz., Pondicherry, Chandenagore, Cochin, Martinico, etc., all cessions. Not they,—they are all so many traps and holes to catch this silly fellow in, and make a merchant of him! I really think the best way upon this principle wouid be this: -let the merchants of Loudon open a public subscription, and set him up at once. I hear a great deal respecting a certain statue about to be erected to the right honorable gentleman (Mr. Pitt) now in my eye, at a great expense.
Send all that money over to the First Consul, and give him, what you talk of so much, Capital, to begin trade with. I hope the right honorable gentleman over the way will, like the First Consul, refuse a statue for the present, and postpone it as a work to posterity. There is no harm, however, in marking out the place. The right honorable gentleman is musing, perhaps, on what square, or place, he will choose for its erection. I recommend the Bank of England. Now for the material. Not gold: no, no !--he has not left enough of it. I should, however, propose papier maché and old bank notes !"
CRITICISMS OF APPOINTMENTS TO
(In 1804 Pitt was again prime minister. He called to his aid Addington and other members of the defunct administration. In the following passage Sheridan criticises this action.)
“The right honorable gentleman went into office alone;—but, lest the government should become too full of vigor from his slipport, he thought proper to beckon back some of the weakness of the former administration. He, I suppose, thought that the ministry became, from his support, like spirits above proof, and required to be diluted; that, like gold refined to a certain degree, it would be unfit for use without a certain mixture of alloy; that the administration would be too brilliant and dazzle the House, unless he called back a certain part of the mist and fog of the last administration to render it tolerable to the eye. As to the great change made in the ministry by the introduction of the right honorable gen
tleman himself, I would ask, does he imagine that he came back to office with the same estimation that he left it? I am sure he is much mistaken if he fancies that he did. The righi l:onorable gentleman retired from office because, as was stated, he could not carry a.! important question, which he deemed necessary to satisfy the just claims of the Catholics; and in going out he did not hesitate to tear off the sacred veil of majesty, describing his sovereign as the only person that stood in the way of this desirable object. After the right honorable gentleman's retirement, he advised the Catholics to look to no one but him for the attainment of their rights, and cautiously to abstain from forming a connection with any other person. But how does it appear, now that the right honorable gentleman is returned to office? He declines to perform his promise; and has received, as his colleagues in office, those who are pledged to resist the measure. Does not the right honorable gentleman then feel that he comes back to office with a char: acter degraded by the violation of a solemn pledge, given to a great and respectable body of the people, upon a particular and momentous occasion ? Does the right honorable gentleman imagine either that he returns to office with the same character for political wisdom, after the description which he gave of the talents and capacity of his predecessors, and after having shown by his own actions,
that his description was totally unfounded?"
In the same speech, alluding to Lord Melville's appointment to the Admiralty, he says:
“But then, I am told, there is the First Lord of the Admiralty,-Do you forget the leader of the grand Catamaran project? Are you not aware of the important change in that department, and the advantage the country is likely to derive from that change?' Why, I answered, that I do not know of any peculiar qualifications the noble lord has to preside over the Admiralty ; but I do know, that if I were to judge of him from the kind of
capacity he evinced while Minister of War. I should entertain little hopes of him. If, however, the right honorable gentleman should say to me, ‘Where else would you put that noble lord, would you have him appointed War Minister again?' I should say, 'Oh, no, by no means.'I remember too well the expeditions to Toulon, to Quiberon, to Corsica, and to Holland the responsibility for each of which the noble lord took on himself, entirely releasing from any responsibility the Commander-in-chief and the Secretary at War. I also remember that which, although so glorious to our arms in the result, I still shall call a most unwarrantable project.--the expedition to Egypt. It may be said, that as the noble lord was so unfit for the military department, the naval was the proper place for him. Perhaps there were