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but those rather who deemed my sentiments Lucullus. Not however by daylight. Be assured, worth discussion, and who corrected me with Caius Julius, that greatly as your discourse afflicts frankness and affability.
me, no part of it shall escape my lips. If you Cæsar. Lucullus ! you perhaps have taken the approach the city with arms, with arms I meet wiser and better part, certainly the pleasanter. I you; then your denouncer and enemy, at present can not argue with you : I would gladly hear one your host and confidant. who could, but you again more gladly. I should Cæsar. I shall conquer you. think unworthily of you if I thought you capable Lucullus. That smile would cease upon it : you of yielding or receding. I do not even ask you to sigh already. keep our conversation long a secret; so greatly Cæsar. Yes, Lucullus, if I am oppressed I shall does it preponderate in your favour; so much more overcome my oppressor : I know my army and of gentleness, of eloquence, and of argument. I myself. A sigh escaped me; and many more came hither with one soldier, avoiding the cities, will follow: but one transport will rise amid them, and sleeping at the villa of a confidential friend. when, vanquisher of my enemies and avenger of To-night I sleep in yours, and, if your dinner does my dignity, I press again the hand of Lucullus, not disturb me, shall sleep soundly. You go mindful of this day. early to rest, I know.
MR. PITT AND MR. CANNING. Pitt. Dear Canning, my constitution is falling room ; I would advise you never to speak until you to pieces, as fast as your old friend Sheridan would have thoroughly learnt your sentences. Do not tell you, the constitution of the country is, under imagine that, because I have the gift of extemmy management. Of all men living, you are the porary eloquence, you have the same. No man person I am most desirous to appoint my successor. ever possessed it in the same degree, excepting My ambition is unsatisfied, while any doubt of my the two fanatics, Wesley and Whitfield. ability to accomplish it remains upon my mind. Canning. In the same degree certainly not ; Nature has withholden from me the faculty of but many in some measure. propagating my species : nor do I at all repine at Pitt. Some measure is not enough. it, as many would do : since every great man must Canning. Excuse me : Mr. Fox possessed it have some imbecile one very near him, if not next greatly, though not equally with you, and found to him, in descent.
it enough for his purpose. Canning. I am much flattered, sir, by your Pitt. Fox foresaw, as any man of acuteness may choice of me, there being so many among your do, the weaker parts of the argument that would relatives who might expect it for themselves. be opposed to him, and he always learnt his However, this is only another instance of your replies : I had not time for it. I owe everything great disinterestedness.
to the facility and fluency of my speech, excepting Pitt. You may consider it in that light if you the name bequeathed me by my father : and, will : but you must remember that those who although I have failed in everything I undertook, have exercised power long together and without and have cast in solid gold the clay colossus of control, seldom care much about affinities. The France, people will consider me after my death as Mamelukes do not look out for brothers and the most extraordinary man of my age. cousins : they have favourite slaves who leap into Canning. Do you groan at this? or does the their saddles when vacant.
pain in your bowels grow worse? Shall I lift up Canning. Among the rich families, or the the cushion of your other chair yonder ? ancient aristocracy of the kingdom ...
Pitt. Oh ! oh! Pitt. Hold your tongue ! prythee hold your Canning. I will make haste, and then soften by tongue! I hate and always hated these. I do not manipulation those two or three letters of conmean the rich : they served me. I mean the old dolence. houses : they overshadowed me. There is hardly Pitt. Oh! oh!... next to that cursed fellow one however that I have not disgraced or degraded ; who foiled me with his broken weapon, and befooled and I have filled them with smoke and sore eyes me with his half-wit, Bonaparte. by raising a vassal's hut above them.
Canning. Be calmer, sir ! be calmer. I desire to be remembered as the founder of a Pitt. The gout and stone be in him! Port new system in England : I desire to bequeath my wine and Cheltenham-water ! An Austrian wife, office by will, a verbal one: and I intend that Italian jealousy, his country's ingratitude, and his you, and those who come after you, shall do the own ambition, dwell with him everlastingly. same!
Canning. Amen! let us pray ! As you are rather more rash than I could wish, Pitt. Upon my soul, we have little else to do. and allow your words to betray your intentions; I hardly know where we can turn ourselves. and as sometimes you run counter to them in your Canning. Hard indeed! when we can not do hurry to escape from them, having thrown them that! out foolishly where there was no occasion nor Be comforted, sir! The worse the cor on
the country, the greater is the want of us; the my attention from the affairs of Europe to my more power we shall possess, the more places we own : and the doctors of divinity drive oftener to shall occupy and distribute.
the chancellor's door than to mine. The flight of Pitt. Statesmanlike reflection.
these sable birds portends a change of season and Canning. Those who have brought us into a fall of bones. danger can alone bring us out, has become a I have warned you against some imprudences maxim of the English people.
of yours : now let me warn you against some Pitt. If they should ever be strong again, they of mine. You are soberer than I am: but would crush us.
when you are rather warm over claret, you Canning. We have lightened them; and, prattle childishly. For a successful minister having less ballast, they sail before the wind three things are requisite on occasion; to speak at the good pleasure of the pilot.
like an honest man, to act like a dishonest one, Pitt. A little while ago I would have made you and to be indifferent which you are called. Talk chancellor or speaker, for composing and singing of God as gravely as if you believed in him. that capital song of the Pilot : so I thought it: Unless you do this, I will not say what our Church at present I never hear the word but it gives me does, you will be damned; but, what indeed is a the sea-sickness, as surely as would a fishing-boat politician's true damnation, you will be dismissed. in the Channel. It sounds like ridicule.
Most very good men are stout partisans of some Canning. We have weathered the storm. religion, and nearly all very bad ones. The
Pitt. I have not. I never believed in any old women about the prince are as notorious future state; but I have made a very damnable for praying as for prostitution; and if you lose one of the present, both for myself and others. the old women, you lose him. He is their proWe never were in such danger from without or phet, he is their champion, and they are his from within. Money-lenders and money-voters Houris. are satisfied : the devil must be in them if they Canning. I shall experience no difficulty in are not : but we have taken the younger children's observing this commandment. In our days, only fortunes from every private gentleman in Great men who have some unsoundness of consciente Britain.
and some latent fear, reason against religion; and Canning. Never think about it.
those only scoff at it who are pushed back and Pitt. I have formerly been in their houses : I hurt by it. have relatives and connections among them : if Pitt. Canning! you must have brought this you had, you would sympathise. I feel as little as with you from Oxford: the sentiment is not any man can feel for others, you excepted. And yours even by adoption: it is too profound for! this utter indifference, this concentration, which you, and too well expressed. You are brilliant inelegant men call selfishness, is among the by the multitude of flaws, and not by the clearreasons why I am disposed to appoint you my ness or the quantity of light.
You are aware that, should the people Canning. On second thoughts, I am not quite recover their senses, they would drive us in a sure, not perfectly satisfied, that it is, as one may dungcart to the scaffold : me they can not : I shall say, altogether mine.
Pitt. This avowal suggests another counsel. Canning. We must prevent the possibility: we Prevaricate as often as you can defend the must go on weakening them. The viper that has prevarication, being close pressed : but, my dear bitten escapes: the viper that lies quiet in the Canning! never . . I would say ... come, come, road, is cut asunder.
let me speak it plainly : my dear fellow, nerer Pitt. Why! Canning! I find in you both more lie. reasoning and more poetry than I ever found Canning. How, sir! what, sir ! pardon me, sir! before. Go on in this manner, and your glory as But, sir ! do you imagine I ever lied in my life a poet will not rest on pilots and pebbles, nor on a time? ditch-side nettle or two of neglected satire. If Pitt. The certainty that you never did, makes you exhibit too much reflection, I may change me apprehensive that you would do it awkwardly, my mind. You will do for my successor : you if the salvation of the country (the only case in must not more than do.
question) should require it. Canning. On the contrary, sir, I feel in your Canning. I ought to be satisfied : and yet my presence my deep inferiority.
feelings ... If you profess that you believe me Pitt. That of course.
incapable .. Canning. Condescend to give me some precepts, Pitt. What is my profession? what is my which, if your disease should continue, it might belief? If a man believes a thing of me, how can be painfuller to deliver at any other time. Do I prevent or alter his belief? or what right hare not, however, think that your life is at all in I to be angry at it? Do not play the fool before danger, or that the supreme power can remain me. I sent for you to give you good advice. If long together in any hands but yours.
you apprehend any danger of being thought, what Pitt. Attempt not to flatter me, Canning, with it is impossible any man alive should ever think the prospect of much longer life. The doctors of you, I am ready to swear in your favour as solemnly physic have hinted that it is time I should divert as I swore at Tooke's trial. I am presuming that
you will become prime minister; you will then better for it: a pop gun must have a pellet at have plenty of folks ready to lie for you ; and it both ends." would be as ungentlemanly to lie yourself as to Ah, Canning! why have I not remembered my powder your own hair or tie your own shoe-string. father as perfectly in better things? I have none I usually had Dundas at my elbow, who never lied of his wit, little of his wisdom: but all his but upon his honour, or supported the lie but experience, all his conduet, were before me and upon his God. As for the more delicate duty of within my reach. I will not think about him prevarication, take up those letters of inquiry and now, when it would vex and plague me. condolence, whether you have rubbed the seals Canning. It is better to think of ourselves than off or not in your promptitude to serve me, and of others; to consider the present as everything, lay them carefully by; and some years hence, the past and future as nothing. when anyone exclaims, “What would Mr. Pitt Pitt. In fact, they are nothing: they do not have said !” bring out one from your pocket, and exist : what does not exist, is nothing. cry,“ This is the last letter his hand, stricken by Canning. Supposing me to be prime minister death, could trace.”. Another time you may open ... I am delighted at finding that the very idea one from Burke, some thirty years after the sup- has given a fresh serenity to your countenance. posed receipt of it, and say modestly, “Never but Pitt. Because it makes me feel my power more on this momentous occasion did that great man intensely than ever ; or at least makes me fancy write to me. He foretold, in the true spirit of I feel it. By my means, by my authority, you prophecy, all our difficulties.” But remember ; are to become the successor of a Shelburne, of a do not quote him upon finance; else the House Rockingham, and a Chatham. will laugh at you. For Burke was as unable to Canning. Sir, I request you to consider ... cast up a tailor's bill, as Sheridan is to pay it. Pitt. Whether I have the right of alluding to
I was about to give you another piece of advice, what all have the right of recollecting, and which which on recollection I find to be superfluous. right all will exercise. I wish you as well as if, Surely my head sympathises very powerfully with by some miracle in my favour, I had been enabled my stomach, which the physicians tell me is to beget you : that which I hope to do is hardly always the case, though not so much with us in less miraculous ; and, if I did not bring to my office as with the honourable gentlemen out. I mind what you are, I should not feel what I am. was on the point of advising you never to neglect Do not you partake of the sentiment? Would it the delivery of long speeches: the minister who be any great marvel or great matter, if the descendmakes short speeches enjoys short power. Now, ant of some ancient family stepped up to the although I have constantly been in the habit of summit of power; even with clean boots on? saying a great deal more than was requisite to the You must take many steps, and some very elucidation of my subject, for the same reason as indirect ones; all which will only raise you in hares, when pursued, run over more ground than your own esteem, if you think like a politician. would bring them into their thickets, I would You are prone to be confident and overweening. have avoided it with you, principally to save my Be cautious not to treat parliament as you may breath. You can no more stop when you are fancy it deserves, and not to believe that you have speaking, than a ball can stop on an inclined bought votes when you have paid the money for plane. You bounce at every impediment, and run them. on; often with the very thing in your mouth Canning. Why, sir ? that the most malicious of your adversaries would Pitt. Because it will be expected of you in cast against you ; and showing what you would addition to speak for a given space of time. The conceal, and concealing what you would show. people must be made to believe that their repreThis is of no ill consequence to a minister: it sentatives are persuaded : and a few plain words goes for sincerity and plain dealing. It would are never thought capable of effecting this. Your never have done at Christ-church or Eton : for zeal and anxiety to leave no scruple on the mind boys dare detect anything, and laugh with all of any reasonable man, must be demonstrated by their hearts. I think it was my father who told protestations and explanations; and your hatred me (if it was not my father I forget who it was) of those who obscure the glory of England, in that a minister must have two gifts : the gift of their attempts to throw impediments in your places and the gift of the gab. Perfectly well do way, must burst forth vehemently, and stalk I remember his defence of this last expression, abroad, and now and then put on a suit that smells which somebody at table, on another occasion, of gunpowder. called a vulgarism. At the end of the debate on Canning. I have no objection to that. it, he asked the gentleman whether all things Pitt. It saves many arguments, and stops more; ought not to have names; whether there was any and in short is the only comprehensible kind of better for this ; and whether the learning and political economy. ingenuity of the company could invent one. Whenever the liberty or restriction of the press The importance of the faculty was admirably is in debate, you will do wisely to sport a few cxhibited, he remarked, by the word gift: he touches of wit, or to draw out a few sentences of then added, with a smile, “The alliteration itself declamation on blasphemy and blasphemers. I has its merit: these short sayings are always the have observed by the countenances of country
gentlemen, that there is something horrifying in Pitt. I hope you will be rather more retentive; the sound of the word, something that commands and remember at what time you are to lament, silence.
as well as at what time you are to joke and Canning. I do not well understand the mean- banter. On these occasions, lower your voice, ing of it.
assume an air of disdain or pity, bless God that Pitt. Why should you? Are you to under- such is the peculiar happiness of our most stand the meaning of everything you talk about? favoured country, every man may enjoy his If you do, you will not be thought deep. Be opinion in security and peace. fuent, and your audience will be over head and Canning. But some, I shall be reminded, have ears in love with you. Never stop short, and you been forced to enjoy it in solitude and prison. will never be doubted. To be out of breath is Pitt. Never push an argument or a remark the only sign of weakness that is generally under- too far: and take care to have a fellow behind stood in a chancellor of the exchequer. The bets, you who knows when to cry question question ! in that case, are instantly against him, and the As for reminding, those only whom you forget, sounder in wind carries off the king's plate. will remind you of anything. Others will give
Canning. I am aware that to talk solemnly of you full credit for the wisdom of all your plans, blasphemy, gives a man great weight at the time, the aptness of all your replies, the vivacity of all and leaves it with him. But if a dissenter or your witticisms, and the rectitude of all your a lawyer should ask me for a definition of a intentions. blasphemer?
Canning. Unless it should fatigue you, sir, will Pitt. Wish the lawyer more prudence, and the you open your views of domestic polity a little dissenter more grace. Appeal to our forefathers. wider before me?
Canning. To which of them? The elder would Pitt. Willingly. Never choose colleagues for call the younger so, and the younger the elder. friendship or wisdom. If friends, they will be Pitt. Idiots ! but go on.
importunate: if wise, they may be rivals. Choose Canning. In our own days the Lutheran de them for two other things quite different; for nounces the Unitarian for it: he retorts the tractability and connections. A few men of busidenunciation. The Catholic comes between, to ness, quite enough for you, may be picked up reconcile and reclaim them. At first he simmers; anywhere on the road-side. Be particular in then he bubbles and boils; at last, inflamed with selecting for all places and employments the charity, he damns them both. " To you, adopted handsomest young men, and those who have the heir of the Devil and Perdition," says he to the handsomest wives, mothers, and sisters. Every believer in God's unity, “it would be folly and one of these brings a large party with him; and impiety to listen a moment longer. And you, it rarely happens that any such is formidable for idle hair-splitter, are ignorant, or pretend to mental prowess. The man who can bring you be, that transubstantiation rests upon the same three votes, is preferable to him who can bring authority as trinitarianism. The one doctrine you thrice your own quantity of wisdom. For, shocks the senses, the other shocks the reason : although in private life we may profit much by both require to be shocked, that faith may be the acquisition of so much more of it than we settled.”
had ourselves, yet in public we know not what “ Very like your Saint Augustin," interposes to do with it. Often it stands in our way; often the Unitarian : "he should have written this. it hides us ; sometimes we are oppressed by it. When Faith enters the school-room, Reason must Oppose in all elections the man, whatever. may be not whisper : if she might, she would say per- his party or principles, who is superior to yourself haps, the question is, whether the senses or in attainments, particularly in ratiocination and arithmetic be the most liable to error."
eloquence. Bring forward, when places are found “Sir! sir!” cries again the catholic, "you for all the men of rank who present themselves, have no right to bring any question into the those who believe they resemble you; young house of God without his leave, nor to push your declaimers, young poets, young critics, young sharp stick against the bellies of his sheep, mak- satirists, young journalists, young magazine-men, ing them shove one another and break the fold.”) and young lampooners and libellers : that is,
Pitt. Do not run wild in this way, retailing the those among them who have never been more merriment of your Oxford doctors in their snug than ducked and cudgelled. Every soul of them parties. Such, I am sure, it must be : for you will hope to succeed you by adoption. have not had time to read anything since you left My father made this remark *, in his florid Eton : you think but little, and that little but way. When an insect dips into the surface of a upon youself: nor has indeed the wing of your stream, it forms a circle round it, which catches wit either such a strength of bone in it or such a a quick radiance from the sun or moon, while the vividness of plumage.
stiller water on every side flows without any; in Canning. I don't know that. I must confess, like manner a small politician may attract the however, I drew a good deal both of my wit and notice of the king or people, by putting into my divinity from our doctors, when they had risen twice or thrice from the bottle, and turned * Pitt's father never made it: but it was necessary to their backs on us from the corner of the room. attribute it to some other person than Pitt himself.
motion the pliant element about him; while to me after my death, as the most honest man quieter men pass utterly away, leaving not that ever lived. even this weak impression, this momentary Canning. What! even when they can get sparkle. On which principle Dundas used to nothing and want nothing from you? say, “ Keep shoving, keep shoving !” I do not Pitt. They want from me more than you are know whether the injunction was taken by all his aware of: they want my example to stand upon. acquaintance in the manner and in the direction They will take their aim against our country from he intended.
behind my statue. A great deal has been spoken, in the House and Canning. She has fleshier parts about her than out of the House, on parliamentary reform. the heel, and their old snags will stick tight in
Canning. I have repeatedly said that without them till they rattle in the coffin. it there is no salvation for the country: this is Pitt. Do not disturb them. You may give over embarrassing.
your dalliance with reform whenever you are tired Pitt. Not at all : oppose it: say you have of it. You did not begin as a states-man but as a changed your mind : let that serve for your states-boy: you were under me: and you can not reason ; and do not stumble upon worse by run. act more wisely than by telling folks that I had ning against an adversary. You will find the seen my error in the latter part of my life. country going on just as it has gone on.
Canning. Perhaps they will not believe me. Canning. Bad enough; God knows !
Pitt. Likely enough! but courtesy and interest Pitt. But only for the country. People will see will require their acquiescence, and they will act that the fields and the cattle, the streets and the as if they did. The noisiest of the opposition are inhabitants, look as usual. The houses stand, the the lawyers ; partly from rudeness, partly from chimneys smoke, the pavements hold together : rapacity. Lay it down as a rule for your conduct, this will make them wonder at your genius in that the most honest one in parliament is as indifkeeping them up, after all the prophecies they ferent about his party as about his brief: whoever have heard about their going down. Men draw offers him his fee has him. Of these there is their ideas from sight and hearing. They do not hardly an individual who had any more of a quaknow that the ruin of a nation is in its probity, lification than you or I had : yet they assume it, its confidence, its comforts. While they see every as well as we. Is there in this no fallacy, no fraud ? day the magnificent equipages of contractors and Some of them were so wretchedly poor, that a brokers, read of sumptuous dinners given by borrowed watch-key hung from a broken shoecabinet-ministers and army agents, and are in- string at their tattered fob; and when they could vited to golden speculations in the East and in the obtain on credit a yard of damaged muslin for West, they fancy there is an abundance of pros- their noses, they begged a pinch of snuff at the perity and wealth ; whereas, in fact, it is in these next box they saw open, and sneezed that they very places that wealth and prosperity are shut might reasonably display their acquisition. up, accumulated, and devoured.
Canning. I wonder that these people should cry I deferred from session to session a reform in out so loudly for a fairer representation. parliament; because, having sworn to promote it Pitt. Some have really the vanity to believe by all the means in my power, I did not wish to that they would be chosen, and might choose their seem perjured to the people. In the affair of colleagues ; others follow orders; the greater part Maidstone nobody could prove me so: I only wish no such thing; and, if they thought it likely swore I had forgotten what nobody but myself to succeed, would never call for it. The fact is could swear that I remembered. It was evident this : the most honest and independent members to the whole world that I was a perjured man; it of parliament are elected by the rotten boroughs. was equally that I was a powerful one : and the They pay down their own money, and give their same nation which would have sent another to the own votes : they are not subservient to the arispillory, sent me to the Privy Council. It is in- tocracy nor to the treasury. The same can not be conceivable to you what pleasure I felt in com- said on any other description of members. I never mitting it, when I reflected on the difference it ventured to make such a remark in parliament. proved between me and people in general. But the people would be alarmed and struck with hor. beware of fancying you resemble me. My father's ror, if you clearly showed that the very best part crutch was my sceptre, and it will fall into the of their representation is founded on nothing grave with me. There is no bequeathing or sounder than on rank corruption. Perhaps I am devising this part of the inheritance. I improved imprudent in suggesting the fact to you, knowing it not a little. My adherents at Maidstone thought your diabetes of mind, and having found that your my father would have hesitated to forget so tongue is as easily set in motion, and as unconbravely. Appearances were against me. The sciously, as the head of a mandarin on the chimmain object of my early life, what I had repeated ney-piece at an inn. every day, what brought me into credit and into Cease to be speculative. power, was unlikely to escape my memory in an Canning. We cease to be speculative when we instant; and in the midst of those who at that touch the object. time had surrounded me, applauded me, and fol- Pitt. It is then unnecessary to remind you that lowed me. Yet bishops and chancellors will drink you want only a numerical majority. Talents