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and resigned his situation in the Cabinet, in compliance with the wishes of Mr. Burke.
His coalition with Lord North, at the end of the year 1782, was a rash and illadvised measure. I have heard Mr. Fox use this argument in his justification ::“ Our Party is formed on the principle of Confederacy; ought we not, then, to confederate with him who can give us the greatest strength ? And who can give us greater strength than Lord North ?” But Mr. Fox did not take into his calculation the importance of character. The Nation could not bear an Alliance between the Minister who had so injuriously carried on the War, and the man by whose exertions that Minister had been compelled to relinquish the Contest.
In 1783, he was Minister for nine months; during which time, he was wholly under the guidance of Mr. Burke. The India Bill was the great measure of his administration during this period. In 1786, he yielded to the wishes of Mr. Burke, and prevailed on the Opposition to support that gentleman in the Impeachment of Mr. Hastings. His acquiescence in the wishes of Mr. Burke on this occasion, can be attributed only to the influence which Mr. Burke had over him, and to his indulgence to those with whom he acted : for he must have had the good sense to have seen the advantage which this measure gave to his rival Mr. Pitt. Mr. Burke's importance depended on his not being disgraced by this Impeachment: Mr. Pitt could at any time inflict that disgrace on him; and as Mr. Burke's influence over Mr. Fox guided the Opposition, that Party was, from the moment that Mr. Pitt acquiesced in the Impeachment, under the control of Mr. Pitt.
This Impeachment necessarily led to connexion between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Burke ; and as the good sense and upright heart of Mr. Fox could not be prevailed on to approve of a War with France, Mr. Burke openly separated himself from him.
He died in September, 1806. He had received from Nature great parts. He had not acquired much political knowledge by patient reading and reflection. That political knowledge which he possessed, was principally derived from the business of the House of Commons. Perhaps it may be said of him, as of his progenitor, Charles the Second, that Indolence was his SultanaQueen. -- In contemplating his character, we can scarcely avoid recollecting that'expresson which the Roman historian applies to the Emperor Galba :—“ Capax imperii nisi imperasset.”
On the Causes which contributed to the
Extinguishment of Feudal Burthens in
I have stated Feudal Burthens, or as they are called by the French, Les Droits Seigneuriaux, as one of the principal causes which led the people of France to wish for, a Revolution. A question will naturally occur, how happens it that no such aversion has existed in England ? The answer is obvious. Because no oppressive Feudal Burthens exist in England. The payments by copy-holders on alienation, or descent, are, perhaps, politically inconvenient, because they may prevent the improvement of land ; but this tenure affects at present so very small a part of our land, that in, some places it is scarcely known, while the Feudal payments in France, were spread through the whole country.
As France and England were both originally Feudal Governments, how has it happened, that these Feudal payments have remained so universally. in France, while they have been nearly abolished in England ? It is difficult to answer this question ; but I will mention two circumstances which seem to me to have contributed to their abolition in England. The first was the statute of Quia Emptores, the 18th of Edward I.
This statute prevented sub-infeudation. Before this statute, a tenant by knight’s-service could alien his land, to be held of himself by knight's-service. But after this statute, the alienee was to hold of that lord of whom the alienor had held.
The other circumstance was the usage which gradually prevailed in England of feoffment to uses.
Fraud, fear, and convenience, the great springs of human action, introduced this practice.
The man who was conscious that he held