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the common emoluments of a news-
paper, to which it would Le otherwise
CR titled, the pubUc cause must suffer ;
for few will run the risk, or can atibrd
to support the contest, with so power-
ful an adversary. Such language as has '
l)een used by the supixjrters of Lord
Melville, would, if used by his anta-
gonists, have subjected them to all the
vexation oi a libellous prosecution ;—
and the marked ditlereuce in the con-
duct of the newspapers to Mr. Home
Tooke and Lord Melville, would ex-
cite no small degree of surprise in all,
who are unacquainted with the secret
springs by which they are conducted. —
After and during the report of the se-
lect committee of the house of com-
mons, in which .Mr. Dundas bore no
inconsiderable shait:, and during the
whole time that Mr. I'ooka was under
confinement, the papers teemed with
abuse upon the latter, and every, thing
was done to excite the popialacc against
him- From the moment that the naval
commissioners had found grounds' of
complaint against Lord MlIvjUc, till
they were suijstantiaicd in the house ot
commons, and during the time fhat the
most solenm argument was held on the
proceedings to be adopted against liini,
the public newspapers advocated his
defence, pursued with calumnies those
who were determined that justice should
be done to the country, and treated
with the lUmost contempt the unani-
mous voice of the public. To wha*
this conduct is to be attributed, is wor-
thy of serious enquiry, -and at any rate,
it would be w'orth while, if we must
have opposition papers, and adminis-
tration papers, to try whether it is not
possible to have also public papers,
that is, papers which «>hall be as de-
cidedly m fiivour of the public, a:) the
others' may be in favour of tlieir respec-
tive parties.

Mr H. Tooke and Ltird Mebille
have for maiiy years been near n. ij;l -
hours. The i'aii'gaage used by tiio lor-

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Btographkal Sketch of Lord Melvillh.



mer with tiftapect to • the latter, U ia in the mind of the Exiglisbman sudi an
eveiy body's memocyj, but something invincible repugtiance to the arts by
mignt be ascribed to asperity, and the which abne the way was open to mi-
TdDiembraoce of very unneighbourly ni^terial distinction.
treatment. Little was it expected that The familv of Lord Melville has been,
a few years would so materially change distinguished in- !:^cotland by its sue-*
the scene, and that the propriety of the cess at the bar ; and after the usual
epithet would become a subject foe the studies, but prlicr than usual, the
decision of our highest court of judica- young Dunday became a member of the *
ture. Both had u)e advantages of a li- class of ydvocatcs. '1 his is a coiisider-
beral education, and from the time that able corjjs at Ldinbiu*gh, and the dts-
they left tlieir universities, gratlually tinction it enjoys does not suffer, as ia
were brought forward into public no- the similar class in London, from a coin-
tice : — the one, by travel aod study, parison witli the splendour of rank,
being distinguishea foe his koowlixige the wealth of the merchant, and the
of men and manners, aad after the se- respect attached to other proiessioos. —
verest confinement, and every exertion 1 he church of Scotland does not hold
of power to deprive him of his life, re- out also, as in Englai'd, high rewarda
tainting the esteem of a vast circle of men to its teachers; a competence only is
of literature, science, and rank, and what the great bulk can attain; the
now employing dignified ease, in bring- highest dignities can be the lot of very
ing forward tne second volume of a few, and when attained, are very little
Vfork, which shews his knowledge of calculated to satisfy the pursuits of am-
our language, aiul will give celebrity to bition. Hecce, to those who arc
his name wherever th« English is spo- educated in Scotland, law and phyaic
ken, and letters are cultivated. The hold out the fairest prospects, and the
other pursued a very difFcrent road, and Scotch bar is Utile inferior to the Eng-
atrivea at some of the highest offices of lish in talents or industry, hy living
the state, pursuing completely the also in a smaller capitui, or as it may
system of pohtics laid down at. tfic be- now be more properly called, a pro-
gmntng or this reign, speaking the vincial towp, the corps of advocaus
English language with the rudest ac- fonus a more distinct body, and having;
cents of the norUi, and from being en- a large well-chosen library, to which
circled with suitors of all ranks, on a there is great ease of access, gcnenil
sudden finding himself stripped of his literature is more cultivated in this body,
o^ces» and the object of an impeach- and is held in greater estimation, than
ment. by their brethren of the south. In

Such different destinies might, in the I'-ngland, as well as Scotland, tl>e bar-
hands of a Plutarch* make the subject nster or advocate must be to a sreat de-
of an e^tcelknt comparison. The gree a technical man ; but in Scotland
Englishman and the Scotchman started the technicality, if we may so call it, o(
with equal advantages in life ; but their the profession, is corrected by the at-
politics were remote from each other, tention paid to polite literature ; its
as is the northern from the southern members do not, indeed, bring with
pole. The Englishman cultivated the them from their schools or college^* so
manners of a ^ntfeman, speaks his much scholarship as is cc;mmon at the
1 luguage in the highest perfection, pos- English bar witli those who have gone
sesses the powers of conversation m a through a regular education ; but they
very eminent decree : the Scotchman have just studied suflicicntly to give
disdained, like his countr\'men Lords them a tasti6 for letters, and, 'as is the
Mansfield and Wedderburiie, to soften custom of their nation, to delight more
his accents for a southern car ; and the on the surfece, than to explore the
.]oys of Bacchus were more plea.sing depths of science,
to him, thaii tlie sweet sounds of the Mr. Dundas had made that sort of
h\x\y of Apollo Much may be ascribed figure, which denoted him in his youth
to difTerence of countiy, but more to to be a clever lad j and when he was
po'itics ; — for Lord Melville, having called to the bar, was by those of his
thj gootl fortune to be born a Scotch- own stan'ding looked up to as one who
mm, did not feci those difficulties in would make some figure in future life,
acconunodating himself to the changes — He was assiduous m his profession,
m our constitution, which have created aud to it Joined all tlie pleasures which



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BiogrHp^Ml Sketch tf Lord Melvilk.



99



the Doi&ern metropbliB ailords. His
hmiif gave him early medos of shewing
hk AijMts, and iu the ^ ensral ajaem-
My iif ihe church of ScoUand, he was
Iifiened 4o with attention. The emo*
fauaeats of his profession ^vere en*
cieiaed by the fortune which he ac-
fmred in m image, and the property of
nis first wife gives the title which* he
has now assumed Her name was
ikanier, aad her father, a 8hip<t>uilder,
TCs auppvhied to have auQ.»sed a fortune
of between two and three hundred
tbousmd pounds. The portion of dw
dangler, and the foes of the bar, jf^ac-
ed Mr. Lhindas in a state of mde*



Neither ialenla oor industry will
command success ; but they are of
Beat advantage to the possessor, when
BroBiabte circumstances give liim the
mortunity of displaying them. As
Mr. IXindas rose in his piofession, he
attracted the attention of the minister
of the day, and Lord North raised him
to the post of ioid advocate of Scotland.
-*For this post, whose nature and ex-
tent has been lately de^'eloped in so ex-
tiaocdinary a manner in ttie house of
commons, Mr. l>undas was admirably
fitted, and it gave him an opportunity
alio of exerting his talents in a larger
sphere. The nation was now engaged
in that unh«ippy conflict, whicii ended
io the sepamtion of the American States
ftom the mother country, and the dis-
pates were strong between the vehement
wppocters of the king*9 prerogative, and
those who were fearful that the subju-
ption of America would lead to the
ilestniction of the constitution at home.
By becoming lord advocate, Mr. Dun-
ns naturally took a seat in parliament,
and Lord North had every reason to ap-
pUnd his choice, llie lord advocate
»a« the stfenuous supporter of all the
neasures of the minister; and the bold-
■ess of his language, and confidence in
himself, attracted the attention of the
house, and convinced it, that such a
ipeaker, gifted neither with great
pttweiB of mind, nor capability ot dis-
playiog what he possessed with any
pees of elocution, possessed those ta-
ienti, which would carry him through
BO ordinary career. He had much to
^, and in all shewed that he was an
QLcellent man for businetis : a praise to
which it ii{ to be regretted that so few
^ oar membefs aspire. For ail cani.ot
liieby talents^ yet all may perfonn ttieir



duty, and in executing diligently thf
otihce of a memb^^ of purlicunent, much
valuable knowledge may be acquired.
Among other business that was agi-
tated in parliament^ liast India affaira
attracted much oi' the public attentidn.
•—The tran^^ac lions ot that country,
whedier real or exaggerated, were «
constant topic on which a minister
might be hanassed, and the country
gentleman, whose consequence was
diminished by tlie taptd fortunes brought
from ^ east, delighted in every at^
tack upon the Nab(H>s. To repel onA
of these attacks, the minister himself
moved for a secret committee to ** en-
quire into the causes of the war in the
Camattc, and of the unfavourable eon«
dition of the British possessions in those
parts.*' This was a favourable cir-
cufflstarice for Mr. Dundas, who , waa
appointed the chairman ; and in the
enquiry, which he pursued with the
utmost diligence 4ind industry, he ac-
quired a very extensive knowledge of
Uie concerns of the East India com-
pany at home and abroad, and quali-
ncd himself to move the secret springs
of that extraordinary machine, when
they should be entrusted to his ma-
na^menl. Both sides, botii the op-
position and the ministry, were struck
with the report of the conmuttee>
which was ascribed, and in a creat
measure justly so, to the talents of the
chairman ; and it is exactly suited to
those talents, which can enter into a
minute detail, and unravel, with ap-
parent ease, a complication of difficult
concerns.. With the knowledge thus
acquired, he afterwards introduced his
Inoia Bill, which, though defeated,
confirmed still more the o[>inLon enters
tained of his talents.

The close of Lord North*s adminis-
tration, and the succeeding adminii-
trations, and memorable coalition of
Lord North and Mr. Fox, afl'ordcd
every opportunity for the display of
these talents. To steer a steady course
amidst the conflict of the elements, waa
impossible : to take advantage of every
circumstance ; to see the rignt moment
for quitting one minister, and to whom
he should next athx his bark, this re-
quired much circumspection and great
diligence. In all this, Mr. Dundas ac-
quitted him-iclf to the utmost perfec-
tion. He stood by the American war,
and the Tailing minister, as long aa ha
could ; when the one was ^ven up,

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100 Biographical Sketch of Lord Melville.

end the other fiiirly beaten, it was time vered father : he was now in the han^t
, to look out lor other means of support, of a statesman, who viewed things in a
— AH parties saw in him an usetal as- .very different light: the father had been
si Stan t, and it was only to seize the the determined foe of Lord Bute and his
moment judiciously, when he could politics : what shall the son do, when
find one to which he might attach him- those politics are cherished by his ind*
pelf with sufficient coutidence. The mate friend and colleague— by him to
coalition between Lord North and Mr. whom he must look for counsel in eveiy.
Kox, imhappy for the nation, but happy emergence !

for Mr. IXindas, afforded him this op- Raised to an Indian throne, Mr.
portunity. The nation was shocked, Dundas now pos^ssed far more power
and with reason, at this coalition, which than the most sanguine expectations of
was evidently formed to throw the Mr. Fox could have entertained ; and
power of the crown into the hands of the party in opposition had the morti*
an aristocracy ; and however rising up- fication to see, that all their struggles
on popular pretensions, to subject both for so many years had tended only to
king and people to th^ir influence. In raise a new set of men to power and
the conflicts in parliament upon this pre-eminence. The nation was reco-
occasion, Mr. lAmdas bore no small verin^ from its difficulties, and content-
part j and he saw with rapture the ed with its administration, which had
young minister maintaining his ground indeed nothing to do but to correct the
with the utmost firmness. Should he errors which had crept into it, and
succeed, the road was open to the both Pitt and Dundas were the zealous
highest emoluments : if he fell, there advocates for salutary reforms. What
might still be means to make a peace a happy state must that nation be in,
with the other parties. But success when its chiefs not only profess such
was certain, and the dissolution of par- purity of conduct, but are mstrumental'
liament, followed by the universal ap- m the enacting of measures which shall
probation of the nation, confirmed the maintain and preserve it! Mr. Dundair
triumph of the minister. was particularly happy in this respect.

Mr. Fox's India Bill had been the With the utmost zeal fie brought in the
great instrument of his overthrow. — Bill for the Regulation of Money Con-
One ' was absolutely necessary, and in cems in the Army and Navy, which
framing another, the assistance of Mr. were to throw it completely out of the
Dundas was of the utmost importance, power of the treasurers to speculate
An intimate connexion now took place with the public purse, or fenrich them-
between the young minister and the selves or their agents by peculation,
more experienced politician. Mr. Dun- The business of the navy and of
das taught him the whole state of Indian India, occupied the attention of M^.
affairs'. A bill was introduced into Dundas, and every year added to his
parliament, which" differed very little power. The influence obtained in In-
from that of Mr. Fox, and taking much dia, was felt in the remotest comers of
of the power out of the hands of the Scotland ; and Harry Dundas, who had
Kast India company, conveyed it with so much to «;ive away, was the most
immense patronage and influence into popular name in the country. On him,
the hands of administration. By this therefore, devolved the management ojr
bill, a board of controul vwis formed ; the affairs of Scotland ; and the haugh-
ahd he who had been so instrumental tiest thane soon felt, that his power was
in the formation and success of the circumscribed, and that he must lower
plan, was rewarded with the appoint- his pretenirions. Scotland is a remark-
men ts of the treasurer of the navy, and able instance of the success attending a
president of the board of controul of the uniform set of measures : from the
feast India company, with a seat in the union, its members have always ac^ed
cabinet council. The youthful mi- in subserviency to the jninistcr;' but se-
nister, and our hero, may now be con-* veral great families had a share in that
sidered as colleagues in office, as joint influence, and looked up to the rewards
ministers: the title of premier was at- attending it. This influence b in a
tributed to Mr. Piir, but nothing was great degree weakened ; and to the skill *
done but by the advice and assistance of of our hero is to he. attributed, that a'
Mr. Dundas. Mr. Pitt had learned the more immediate connection subsists be-
eariy lesj>pns of politics under his r^- tweeii tlie ijcptch leprescntati^'es, a con*'"

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Biographical Sketch of Lord MeiviUt.



101



Dcction which, it is hoped or feared,
HMV be .veiy much iDJured ^ by late
efchts.

Asmesident of the board of controul,
Mr. l^undas laid annually liefore par-
iiaraent the state of India .concerns.
This was prefaced always with a long
ipeech : and as the aifairs were always
prosperous, it annually afforded satis-
QCtioD to the proprietors of Indian
Mock, though it frequently contradicted,
la Ttry material parts, the assertions of
the committee of the house of commons,
employed in Westminster hall, in the
impeachment of Mr. Hastings. This
impeachment was a fine tub for the op-
position; and the two ministers, Pitt
and Dundas, amused themselves with
seeing them waste their strength in so
impotent an attack. Mr. Hastmg^, in-
deed, deserved more support from both :
bat if it had been more manlv to protect
btm from an impeachment, ft was more
politic to leave him exposed to the'wild
nge of a Burke, and the sarcasms of a
Sheridan. Mr. Dundas was thus left
without controul, in the management
of India afikirs ; and too few persons arc
bteiested with ihem to determine how
itf they have been conducted with skill
tad success. The annual report will
atford but little assistance upon this oc-
casion; and, 9S is the ctise of all distant
cobnies, the cry of oppression is but
feebly heard; and in the attempt to re-
chcss a wrong, thei'e is a danger of
gittter injustice.

Ihe two ministers carried on, without
filficulty, tlieir juint artairs, till the
bieiking out of the i'rench war. Tliis
*as an embarra*>Tn2nt, to which the
powers of Mr. Dundas were not ade-
yjitc. He saw the rising f^ame of li-
wrty spieadin*]; itself in every comer of
iHc kin^j^floiri ; and there was a danffer
that this would throw power into ttie
Wds of the op[)Osition. llie conduct
^ the French was such, at last, as to
<H??rusi the warmest friends of liberty ;
*^ men', as they generally do, con-
foonding the etfixts of licentiousness
■ad liberty, attributed to the latter what
«an only lie produced by the former.
Hence, liberty iticlf was held in dis-
^»ite, and a favourable opportunity
jas offered to introduce new checks to
ra snpporjcd loo rapid grovi'th. The
fwosition had supported- iiself on po-
^»W grounds, and under the name of
J^igs, claimed the favour of the people-
w whiggism is a t^nu more easily



spoken, than well defined : and the con-
duct of the French excited a division in
the opposition-— one party reproaching
the other with swer\ing from the an-
cient whig, and countenancing those
new principles, which, under ihe term
of Jacobinical, are supposed to contain
every thing inimical to social intercourse.
A secession took place from the whig
club. Mr. Burke was the organ of the
secession, and his wrath against French
principles wis rewarded by an ample
pension. Among the seceders, were
some distinguished for their rank ;:nd
opulence; and Mr Dundas, with his
usual skill, aMiiled him^cif of the breach,
and from the enemies quarters gained
new accession cf strengUi. To hiin
may be attributed the nu^asure, which
brought the Duke of Poi iland and Lord
Spencer into the cabinet: the necessity
of etrengthcniu;:; I he hands of govern-
ment, for the .^at* ty of tb.e wi.olc, and
the dangerous .spread (i" Jacobinical
principles, were, wi-h Inciativ; places,
very prev;iiliiig irgumenls. Hacf these
noble lorrls Inen contented with their
disapprobation of thr«e principles, and
held an independent situation lietween
the admirubi ration and the weakened
whig party, how m'.ich evil would have
been spared to the country ! But the
measure was etli^'acious. 1 itt and
Dundas, r trengtheiied by the support of
their new allies, hughed at all the at-
tacks of opposition ; and their influence
was never greater than at this period, to
nearly the close of tlie war. The in-
troduction of new men required new
offices; and Mr. Dundas was strong
enough to bear any additional labour.
As the Duke of Portland was to be a
secretary of state, and Mr. Dundas's in-
terference in that department was abso-
lutely necessary, «, third secretaryship
was made for him, for the conduct of
the measures and operations of the wan
and tliis olhce which he held with hit
others, became an object of luc.ch ani-
madversion in the commons. The fact
was, that Mr. Dundas did all the actual
and imporuint business of a secretary cf
state, whilst the olHce of the Duke of
Portland was confined to little more thaa
tlie iu8| ccting of aliens

The history of Mr. Dundas is now
involved with that of the war, and the
supposed domestic plots at home. No
one inveighed more bitterly against Ja-
cobinical principles; and thougli no
alarmist himself, he underi>tood.now V9



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^eep all others in a state f>f alarm. To
him we may attribule, not the know-
led^ of the affairs of the cerfesponding
-society, for this society puMtsbed all
thizt it did, but the colkcttng togetlier
in ohe report every thing which had
■been detailed ia newspapers relative to
k. 'Vhii was brou^t with gieat so-
lemnity, and apparent mystery, into the
iu>u8e. indmduals were seized, eK-
juniiied before the privy council, and
tmdcned to a aiost rigprous state of con-
^Dement. Conspiracy was declared to
prowl in eveiy street, and to infest e\'ery
city and village. Never \rere the active
{)Owers of Mr. Dundas more employed ;
never were they succeeded witn such
complete mortification. Upon his re-
searches, and the papers in his bag, col-
lected hy ttie secret committee, were
founded the famous 6ti\te trials, in
M^hich the present chancellor made
such fantous long speeches, and in
^-hich tlie. vulgar proverb was com-
pletely verified-^

Partairiunt moBtes, iias?itur ridicnlus miu.

The mountabs are in labour, and a mouse
is bo:n.

Never were such long trials ; and till
the day that the acquittal of Hardy was
resounded through the streets, the pa-
tera asserted the guilt of all who had
vaen taken up on suspicion, llie ac-
quittal put a stop, it was said, to an
immense number of ajmrehensions ; for
had a different \-erdict been broncht in,
every thing was prepared for following
it .wp, by the seizure of all whom the
ministry might think fit to involve in
the ffuilt of conspiracy. The trial of
Mr. If. Tooke will be ever memorable
in the history of our law courts; for the
accused might be said to have been the
judge, and to have instructed the court
and counsel on the proper mode of con-
ducting judicial proceedings. His re-
turn to VVimbledon, and the concoxirse
of rank, beauty, science, and literature,
to hi« accustomed abodes of cheerfulness
♦md hospitality, were not among the
least mortifying circtimstances ot this
acquittal; for Mr. Dundas's grounds
are separated from Mr. Tooke's gardens '
only by an ojien fence: and Mr. Pitt and
Mr. Dundas have, in retreating from
the scene of happiness which the garden
presented, Wn compared to our first
parents, when they took their last fare-
wej of Paradise.



Biografihical Sketch (f Lord Melville.



The part which "Mr. Dnndas took ia
the eoutinentid proceedings of the hut
war, cannot be thoroughly ascertained.
Whether be planned the expedition to
Ostend, which eiided in the bio\vii)g
up of a few stones, and the imprison-
ment of aQ who landed to perfonn tliis
important task, future history must de-
termine. The sluioe, which was the
object of this military ardour, was a
beautiful piece of architecture, erected
at the expecce of the province of Phn*
ders, and kept in repair, as our brtdees
are, by a county rate. 'I'he destruction
of it would have been an injun' only to
the inhabitants of that provrnoe, but
would not have impeded tiie navigtdoa
on Uie canal a day ; aiul, as the plan
was executed, every thins was repaired
without loss of time, at about the thou-
sandth part of the expence of the expe-
dition. The Quibcron expedition
claims Mr. Windham for its patioo:
an expedition which seemed to have in
view merely tlie exposure of a number
of emigrants to the fury of their eiie*
niies. liut if Mr. Dundas caimot as-
sume to himself the whole merit of
these expeditions, the secret expedition
into Holhmd is said to be entirely hit
own. Never, perhaps, was such aa
expedition: the county of Kent will
never forget it. The drunkenness of
the soldiers who had received tlw
bounty, aiid were carried in waggons to
Barham Dow^ns to seek for officers, and
the journeying of officers the same way



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