The Early History of Charles James Fox

By George Trevelyan Otto | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII. 1770-1771.

The Law of Libel. -- Great Speech by Charles Fox, and Burke's Reply. -- Final Solution of the Question. -- Contest of Parliament with the Reporters. -- Scene in the Lords. -- Indignation of the Commons. -- Artful Conduct of Charles Fox. -- Lord George Germaine's Duel. -- The Onslows. -- Their Warfare with the Press. -- The King begins to take an Interest in the Controversy. -- A Night of Divisions. -- John Wheble. -- Interference of Wilkes. -- Miller Arrested, and Discharged by the Guildhall Bench. -- Proceedings in the House of Commons against the Lord Mayor and Alderman Oliver. -- Rebellion of the King's Friends against Lord North. -- Fiery Speech of Charles Fox. -- Feeling against him in the Country. -- March of the City upon Westminster. -- Violent Conduct of the Majority in the House. -- Wedderburn's Defection from the Opposition. -- Popular Excitement outside Parliament. -- Fox and North Maltreated. -- The Lord Mayor and the Alderman Committed to the Tower. -- Their Imprisonment and Release. -- Testimonial to Wilkes. -- Establishment of the Freedom of Reporting Debates in Parliament.

SUCH, in the heyday of youth, was Charles Fox, and such was his chosen friend. Their joint stock of sagacity and folly, of power and frailty, of sterling merits and grievous faults, was amply sufficient to have made a score of reputations and wrecked a hundred careers. When Lord Holland was at King's Gate or on the Continent, the pair took up their quarters together over Mackie's Italian warehouse in Piccadilly. Some frequenters of Brooks's were soft-hearted enough to pity the landlord of two such seductive and unprofitable lodgers, and predicted that his ruin would date from the day on which he let them his rooms. "On the contrary," said Selwyn, "so far from ruining him, they will make Mackie's fortune; for he will have the finest pickles in his house of any man in London;" and the phrase, unceremonious as it was, conveys a truer notion of Fox when just out of his teens than a solemn

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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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