The Early History of Charles James Fox

By George Trevelyan Otto | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII.

The Favorable Conditions for taking Rank as an Orator under which Fox entered Parliament. -- His Early Career. -- He becomes a Junior Lord of the Admiralty. -- His Father's Pride and Pleasure. -- Lord Holland's Unpopularity. -- The Balances of the Pay-office. -- Lord Holland's Indulgence towards his Children. -- King's Gate. -- Charles Fox and his Studies. -- His Passion for Poetry. -- Naples. -- Paris. -- Intimate Relations between the Good Society of France and England. -- Shopping in Paris. -- Intellectual Commerce between the Two Countries. -- Feelings of Fox towards France. -- Madame du Deffand. -- Fitzpatrick. -- Mrs. Crewe. -- Private Theatricals. -- Effect of his Stage Experience on Fox's Speaking.

IF the main end of public life is to hold power as a minister, Charles Fox was of all statesmen the most unfortunate; but, as though in compensation for the ill-luck that awaited him, the circumstances of his early career could not have been more favorably arranged for the purpose of educating him into an orator. The peculiar temptations of the House of Commons are seldom understood outside its walls; and of all those temptations the most irresistible is that which invites a speaker, who is still on his promotion, to acquire the fatal habit of flattering his audience. Lofty sentiments arrayed in burning words, stern truths embellished, but not concealed, by the ornaments of language, and all else that constitutes high and genuine eloquence, are not expected, and if forthcoming are seldom readily accepted, from those who are not already in possession of what in homely phrase is known as the ear of the House; and an aspirant very soon discovers that the shortest and surest method of gaining the ear of the House is to say what pleases the most numerous section of its members. And so it often happens that a politician who begins by speaking in manly and faithful obedience to his own beliefs and aspirations gradually learns the art of reserving himself for occa

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The Early History of Charles James Fox
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II - 1749-1768 35
  • Chapter III 61
  • Chapter IV 102
  • Chapter V - 1768-1769 138
  • Chapter VI - 1770 193
  • Chapter VII 245
  • Chapter VIII - 1770-1771 289
  • Chapter IX - 1771-1772 348
  • Chapter X - 1772-1774 390
  • Index 453
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