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of Thrace, or the bays of Salamine and Corinth in ancient Greece, tended to prolong the separation, to which the inhabitants of these bappy climates have owed their felicity as nations, the lustre of their fame, and their civil accomplishments..
If we mean to pursue the history of civil society, our attention must be chiefly directed to such examples, and we must here bid farewell to those regions of the earth, on which our species, by the effects of situation or climate, appear to be restrained in their national pursuits, or inferior in the powers of the mind.
P I T T.
. W 1lliam Prar, Sohn des berühmten Grafen von Chatham, von welchem oben S. 309. ff. die Rede gewesen ist, wurde am Sten Mai 1759 geboren. Um unsern Lesern zugleich eine Probe aus den in 6 Bänden von 1798 bis 1804 zu London erschienenen Public Characters, einer Reihe grösstentheils schr anziehender biographischer Umrisse von berühmten Staatsmännern, Gelehrten, Künstlern 4. s. w. der jüngsten Zeit zu geben, lassen wir hier das im letzten Bande des angeführten Werks enthaltenen Leben dieses Staatsmannes mit den Worten des sich J. W*** unterzeichnenden Verfassers folgen:
William Pitt, the illustrious Earl of Chatham, had three sons, of whom the present minister is the youngest. He was born May 8. 1759, at a time when his father's glory was at its zenith; and when, in consequence of the wisdom of his councils, and the vigour and promptitude of his decisions, British valour reigned triumphant in every part of the globe.
On the accession of his present majesty, that great statesman,
in consequence of new arrangements, chiefly occasioned by the rising influence of the Earl of Bute, retired from the station which he had so honourably filled; and consigning his other sons to the care of others, he devoted his own time to the education of William, on a strong and well-founded persuasion (as he was in the habit of saying) that „he would one day encrease the glory of the name of Pitt."
His classical knowledge Mr. Pitt acquired under the care of a private 'tutor at Burton-Pynsent, the seat of his father; and the Earl took great pleasure in teaching him, while still a youth, to argue with logical precision, and to speak with elegance and force. He judiciously accustomed him to the practice of inaking accurate enquiries respecting, every subject that caught his attention, and taught him not to remain satisfied with a superficial observation of appearances.
These lessons brought him into an early practice of cool and patient investigation, rarely; if ever, acquired by those who prefer the trappings of eloquence, and the showy ornaments of language, to plain sober diction, and pertinent matter of fact.
Under such an able paternal guide, an acute mind could not fail to imbibe a store of sound practical knowledge. The earl, with his usual perspicacity, fancied he saw in his son a future statesman, ard, in all probability, a future minister of his country, also. It was a laudable ambition in a father, and to gratify it he spared no exertions; directing his whole attention to the great object of rendering his son accomplished in all things requisite to form a public character, and to preserve the lustre already attached to the name of William Pitt,
He, himself, frequently entered into disputations with him, and encouraged him to converse with others, upon subjects far above what could be expected from his years. In the management of these 'arguments,' his father would never cease to press him, with difficulties; nor would he permit him to stop, till the subject of contention was completely exhausted.
By being inured to this method, the son acquired that quality which is of the first consequence in public life a sufficient degree of firmness, and presence of mind, as well as a ready delivery, in which he was wonderfully aided both by nature and education.
That he might enjoy all the benefits of instruction which this country could give him, and, at the same time, by a rapid progress in the preliminary studies, qualify himself early for the senate, he was taken, at between fourteen and fifteen years of age, from his father's roof, and the care of a very enlightened and worthy clergyman, Mr. (now Dr.) Wilson, and sent to Pembroke - College, Cambridge, where he was admitted under the tuition of Messrs. Turner and Prettyman, both very able tien,
and willing to second, to the utmost of their power, the
intentions of his father. Mr. Prettyman was also his private instructor, and a better choice could not have been made, as far as classical and mathematical knowledge were concerned. For eloquence he could not look up to either of his instructors, but his father's example and precepts required no further assistance on that head.
In Cambridge he became a model to the young nobility and fellow - commoners; and it was not doubted that, if the privile
ges of his rank had not exempted him from the usual exercises e for the bachelor's degree, he would have been found among
the first competitors for academical honours. On his admission, according to custom, to his master's degree, the public orator found it needless to search into his genealogy, or even to dwell much upon the virtues of his father, for the eyes of the university were fixed on the youth, the enraptured audience assented to every encomium, and each breast was filled with the liveliest présages of future greatness. To the honour of Mr. Pitt it must be spoken, that he has been duly sensible of the care taken of his rising years. His tutors *) have received repeated marks of his acknowledgment. Dr. Wilson, his first instructor, canon of Windsor ; and one of his sons has a lucrative sine- .
cure **) in Jamaica. The worthy Dr. Turner is Dean of Nor- wich; Dr. Prettyman has received the Bishopric of Lincoln
and the Deanery of St. Paul's, and will, doubtless, not be overlooked in future promotions,
Mr. Pitt was afterwards entered a student of Lincoln's Inn ***), 'and made so rapid a progress in his legal studies,
to be soon called to the bar, with every prospect of
*) Privatlehrer in den Collegiis der Englischen Universitäten. **) Sine-cure Stellen, d. h. Stellen sine cura, wobei wenig oder nichts
zu thun ist. ***) Inns of Chancery, Inns of Court, sind Collegien in London, in welchen junge Leute in der Rechtsgelehr. samkeit unterwiesen werden. Die vornehmsten sind: Lincoln's Inn, Gray's Inn, der Temple (s. oben S. 172.) u a. m
Mfan ertheilt auf denselben Würden in dem gemeinen Rechte, wie auf Uni-: versitäten im birgerlichen und canonischen Rechtę, als die eines Barrister's (vermöge welcher der, so dieselbe erhalten, an der Bar oder an dem für die Richter und Advokaten im Gerichtshofe abgesonderten Orte, reden und Streitsachen verhandeln darf), die eines Sergeant at Law, welches so viel ist, als Doktor der Rechtsgelehrsamkeit,
s. Wendeborn's Zustand etc, in Grossbritannien, Theil 4, S. 81.
We are informed, that he once or twice went upon the Western circuit *), and appeared as junior counsel in several
He was, however, destined to fill a more important station in the government of his country, than is usually cbtained through the channel of the law.
At the general election, 1780, we find him nominated by some of the most respectable persons in Cambridge as a candidate to represent that university; but notwithstanding the high character he had obtained there, he found very few to second his pretensions. In the following year, however, he was returned for the borough of Appleby, by the interest of Sir *James Lowther. On taking his seat in the House of Commons, he enlisted himself on the side of the party which had constantly 'opposed the minister, Lord North, and the American war, and which regarded him with a degree of veneration; recognising in his person the genius of his illustrious father revived and acting, as it were, in him. His first speech was in favour of Mr. Burke's bill; and one of the first acts, in which he took the lead in that House, was extremely well calculated to increase his popularity; this was his motion for a committee, to consult upon the most effectual means to accomplish a more equal representation of the people in parliament. His propositions were, indeed, rejected; but he continued to repeat and renew them from.time to time; and thus kept up the public attention to this great object, which was, consequently, more generally canvassed than it ever had heen before.
On the death of thé Marquis of Rockingham, the old Whig party fell into a state of disunion, nearly bordering upon
dissolution. A new arrangement took place soon after, and Lord Shelburne **) became the first Lord of the Treasury, assisted by Mr. Pitt, who astonished the country, and, indeed, all Europe, by the phenomenon of a Chancellor of the Exchequer at the age of twenty-three!
His popularity at this period effectually screened him from every charge which his youth and inexperience might justly have warranted, and which were strongly urged against him by the adverse faction. The situation of the country was extremely critical. The American war had become generally
*), The Western circuit heisst, die S. 170 crwähnte Bereisung der westlichen Grafschaften durch die Ober-Richter zum Behuf der Gerichtstage (Assizes). **) Lord Shelburne war first Lord of the Treasury von July 1782 - 1783.
odious; and all hearts panted for a cessation of hostilities. This desirable object was, therefore, the first consideration with the new ministry.
The combined powers had recently experienced great humiliations, and consequently the opportunity was not to be lost. A general peace accordingly took place; but the terms of it were reprobated by a considerable part of the nation. On this occasion, Mr. Pitt delivered a most masterly defence of himself and his colleagues, which produced a corresponding, though not successful, effect. The administration, of which he was one of the most distinguished members, was, therefore, shortlived *). On its dissolution, the young statesman withdrew into retirement, and afterwards went abroad for some time, visiting Italy, and several of the German courts.
On the coalition-ministry **) coming into place, Mr. Mansfield's seat for the university became vacant, by accepting the office of solicitor-general ***), and Mr. Pitt determined to oppose him: with this view he went down to Cambridge; but was treated with contempt, by the heads and senior members. One almost threw the door in his face, and wondered at the impudence of the young man, thus to come down and disturb the peace of the university! From such a scene he retired in a few days, in disgust; though the assurances of support from several independent masters of arts, kept alive the scanty hopes of future succESS. A few months, however, changed the scene; the coalition - ministry was thrown out, he repaired in triumph to the university, was received with open arms, carried his election by means of a considerable majority, and was able, also, by his influence, to-make Lord Eustori his colleague. For a time, the tergiversation of the senate was a theme of conversation; the most notorious of the gown who had changed sides were marked by the contempt of the unsuccessful, but they laughed at their own disgrace, being gratified by the rewards of the successful candidates ; mitres, and stalls, and livings, became the portion of the Cambridge men. But few of the independent masters, who would have supported him when out of power, and did so on his accession to the ministry, were to be
*) Sie dauerte nur vom Julius 1782 bis zum D1 ärz 1783. **) Die Coalition Administration dauerte vom März bis Dezember 1783. ***) So heisst der Gehülfe des Attorney General, oder GeneralFiskais. Beide sind natürliche Advokaten der Krone, und wenig con cinander verschieden.