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and liberty of conscience as the sole guarantee, of truth. In the political sphere also the movement was merely destructive; it pulled down feudalism without building up anything in its place, and it has left European society generally in a chaotic state, from which the nations have sought refuge in democratic despotism, pending the evolution of a sound and permanent order of things. Two political ideals, however, this century produced; the half-classical, half-Christian Republicanism of Rousseau, and the enlightened and beneficent despotism, having its imaginary type in China, which was the Utopia of Voltaire. In jurisprudence and political economy, on the other hand, there were positive and great results: in jurisprudence, the reforms of law, especially the law of succession to property and the penal code, of which the Code Napoleon is the most scientific embodiment, though the philosophy of the previous century was the source; in economy, free trade, and all the benefits which the world has received from the principles enunciated by Hume, Turgot, and, greatest of all, Adam Smith.
The first part of Pitt's life—that part which forms the subject of this evening's lecture—is a product of the economical, and in some measure also of the political, part of this European movement, limited by the conditions imposed on the leader of an aristocratic assembly and a minister of the English crown; the second part, which will form the subject of the following lecture, is a product of the reaction against the religious and political part of the same movement when it had arrived at its revolutionary crisis and overturned the French Church and Throne. During the first part of his life, Pitt is to be classed with the philosophic
and reformed kings and ministers before the Revolution, whose names ought not to be forgotten, though the Jacobins chose to call the year of their frenzy the year One; with Joseph II; with Pombal, Aranda, and Choiseul, the overthrowers of Jesuitism; with Tanucci, with Leopold of Tuscany, with Turgot, with Frederic of Prussia, and with Catherine of Russia, so far as Catherine and Frederic were organs of philosophy and reform. During the second part, he tends, though he does not actually sink, to the level of the Metternichs, the Polignacs, the Percevals, and the Eldons. The Pitt of my present lecture and the Pitt of my next stand in strong contrast to each other, though the connection is quite intelligible and signally illustrates the power of circumstances over any but the strongest
The same change is seen in the lives of Joseph and Catherine and other reformers in high places, who, when the Revolution came, found out that their trade was that of king. It is seen in the English aristocracy, the more intellectual of whom had, like the French aristocracy, been affecting scepticism and Republicanism, as we may learn from Horace Walpole, who is always throwing out light Voltairian sentiments and cutting off the head of Charles I. This evening we speak of the happier Pitt, of him whose monuments remain in free trade, an improved fiscal system, religious toleration, the first steps towards colonial emancipation, the abolition of the slave trade, the condemnation of slavery. Another evening we shall speak of the Pitt whose monuments remain in six hundred millions of debt, and other evils political and social, of which the bitter inheritance has descended to us and will descend to generations yet to come.
William Pitt was born (1759) beneath a roof illustrious, but not likely to give birth to an apostle of economical reform. What the inglorious frugality of Walpole had saved, Chatham had squandered in victory; and he had added a heavy burden of debt besides. But the father bequeathed to his child the example of purity, of patriotism, of a high aspiring spirit, which soared, if not to the summit of political heroism, at least far above the place-hunters and intriguers of the time. He bequeathed to him also of his eloquence, not the incommunicable fire, but so much as assiduous culture under a great master could impart, and sent him into public life a youthful prodigy in the accomplishment by which we choose our statesmen. From the conversation of Chatham and of Chatham's friends, Pitt, who was brought up at home, must also have learned much; and thus his parliamentary maturity at twenty-one, though a wonder, is not a miracle.
I have noticed that Pitt was brought up at home. He was nevertheless no milksop. We complacently accept it as a full set-off against all the evils of public schools, that they make boys manly. It is easy to see how by cutting boys off from intercourse with men and women, and confining them to the society of boys, you may make them hard; but not so easy to see how you can make them manly. Pitt brought up in the house of Chatham is, of course, too exceptional a case to reason from; but no want of manliness, either of mind or character, was seen in this boy when he became Prime Minister at twenty-four.
He, however, went to Cambridge at fourteen, and stayed there seven years, during which he was regular and read hard, owing, it may be, partly to the weakness of his health, which, by debarring from physical sports and enjoyments, has perhaps turned not a few men into the path which leads to intellectual greatness. We are beginning to know the power of education, and the significance of the question, what sort of culture it was that was undergone by a future chief of the state. The classics, a school at once of taste and of the political character formed by a rather narrow and heathen love of liberty, were the staple of Pitt's training, as they had been those of the English statesmen before him. To these he added the discipline of mathematics, some jurisprudence, some experimental philosophy, and a good deal of general literature, including history. Historical philosophy was not then in existence; it might have taught him, the destined ruler of his country at the epoch of the French Revolution, to view with intelligence and meet with calmness the tremendous phenomena of his time. But above all he read the work, then, new and unknown to his elder rivals, of Adam Smith, to which, in his great budgetspeech of 1792, he referred as furnishing the best solution to every question connected with political economy and with trade. Pitt was Adam Smith's first powerful disciple. And from this source he drew not only the principles of his commercial reforms and his budgets, but a talisman of command. The commercial and manufacturing interests were rapidly rising in importance, and with these interests Pitt alone of the party leaders had qualified himself to deal. The aristocratic statesmen, with their purely classical training, seldom stooped to anything so low as economy or finance. Fox avowed his ignorance of political economy; he used to say he did not know why the funds went up or down, but he liked to see them go down because it vexed Pitt. Sir Francis Dashwood was thought good enough for the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, though a sum of five figures was said to be an inscrutable mystery to his mind. The student of the Wealth of Nations' might have learnt and perhaps he did learn, from it, other things besides those which he mentioned in his budget-speech. Free principles hang together, and Adam Smith is, in an unobtrusive way, the apostle of Democracy as well as of Free Trade.
Pitt's tutor was Pretyman, better known in the annals of ecclesiastical rapacity by his later name of Tomline. This man seems to have done the classical and mathematical part of his duty well; Pitt at least was grateful to him, aud gorged him—to satiate him was impossible--with preferment, till George III. cried Hold, enough.' Tomline thus enriched, provided with the means of enriching his whole tribe, and having inherited a private fortune besides, subscribed, among others, £ 1,000 towards the payment of Pitt's debts, which sum he afterwards tried to get repaid to him by the nation.
Bad physicians advised the stripling to drink port, the panacea and almost the physical gospel of the age; and he followed their advice with a vengeance. Hence disease and mortal langour in his prime; hence the constitution early decayed which succumbed to the blow of Austerlitz. Lord Stanhope-to whose valuable biography, which forms the foundation of this lecture, let me here acknowledge my great obligationsLord Stanhope says that Pitt was only once drunk. There are traditions of a different kind. In all other respects Pitt's character. like that of his great