The Autobiography of Leigh Hunt: With Reminiscences of Friends and Contemporaries - Vol. 1

By Leigh Hunt | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI.
POLITICAL CHARACTERS.

Ministry of the Pittites.--Time-serving conduct of the Allies.--Height and downfall of Napoleon.--Character of George the Third.--Mistakes and sincerity of the Examiner.--Indictment against it respecting the case of Major Hogan.--Affair of Mrs. Clarke.--Indictment respecting the reign of George the Third.--Perry, proprietor of the Morning Chronicle.--Characters of Canning, Lord Liverpool, and Lord Castlereagh.--Whigs and Whig-Radicals.--QueenVictoria.-- Royalty and Republics.--Indictment respecting military flogging.-- The Attorney-general, Sir Vicary Gibbs.

THE Examiner had been set up toward the close of the reign of George the Third, three years before the appointment of the regency. Pitt and Fox had died two years before; the one, in middle life, of constant ill-success, preying on a sincere but proud, and not very large mind, and unwisely supported by a habit of drinking; the other, of older but more genial habits of a like sort, and of demands beyond his strength by a sudden accession to office. The king--a conscientious but narrow-minded man, obstinate to a degree of disease (which had lost him America), and not always dealing ingenuously, even with his advisers--had lately got rid of Mr. Fox's successors, on account of their urging the Catholic claims. He had summoned to office in their stead Lords Castlereagh, Liverpool, and others, who had been the clerks of Mr. Pitt; and Bonaparte was at the height of his power as French emperor, getting his brothers on thrones, and compelling our Russian and German allies to side with him under the most mortifying circumstances of tergiversation.

It is a melancholy period for the potentates of the earth, when they fancy themselves obliged to resort to the shabbiest measures of the feeble; siding against a friend with his enemy; joining in accusations against him at the latter's dictation; believed by nobody on either side; returning to the friend,

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