previous next
‘ [162] merchants, can the House bear, if eloquence alone is
chap. VII.} 1754.
to carry it? I hope words alone will not prevail;’1 and the majority came to his aid. Even Fox, who ‘despised care for the constitution as the object of narrow minds,’2 complained to the heir of the Duke of Devonshire, that, ‘taking all share of power from the Commons is not the way to preserve Whig liberty. The Lords stand between the crown and the privilege of both peers and commons;’ ‘after we are nothing,’ he continued, addressing the great chieftains of the Whig clans, ‘you will not long continue what you wish to be.’3 George the Second, the aged king, was even more impatient of this thraldom to the aristocracy, which would not leave him a negative, still less an option in the choice of his servants. ‘The English notions of liberty,’ thought he, ‘must be somewhat singular, when the chief of the nobility choose rather to be the dependents and followers of a Duke of Newcastle than to be the friends and counsellors of their sovereign.’4 The king was too old to resist; but the first political lessons which his grandson, Prince George, received at Leicester House, were such a use of the forms of the British constitution as should emancipate the royal authority from its humiliating dependence on a few great families. Thus Pitt and Prince George became allies, moving from most opposite points against the same influence—Pitt wishing to increase the force of popular representation, and Leicester House to recover independence for the prerogative.

These tendencies foreshadowed an impending

1 Walpole's Memoirs of George II. i. 355.

2 Chesterfield on Fox.

3 Waldegrave's Memoirs, 20 and 152.

4 Ibid. 133.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
New Castle, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Henry Fox (2)
Horace Walpole (1)
Waldegrave (1)
William Pitt (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1754 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: