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have been prevented by relief from another quarter, and that he felt an extreme reluctance in agitating it in a hostilc manner.
Mr. Dempster, Mr. Hussey, Mr. Powys, and some others, who were generally known by the denomination of country gentlemen, now interfered, and joined their intrcaties to Mr. Newnham, that he would give up his intended motion. Mr. Powys, a member of great weight and respectability, observed, that, instead of hearing on that day an explanation of what might be the substance of the motion, he had rather expected that the honourable member who had prepared it, would have come and asked pardon of the house for the impropriety of his conduct. He declared that there never was a question in which he had felt so much, or was so incapable, from agitation, of expressing what he was anxious to say; and he trusted that every person who wished well to the country, or was attached to the family on the throne, would use every possible effort to prevent it from be bated.
Mr. Pitt now rose, and, after professing much good will and respect for the Prince of Wales, declared he was greatly concerned, that by the perseverance of Mr. Newnham, he should be driven, though with infinite reluctance, to the disclosure of circumstances, which he had an opportunity of knowing, and which he would otherwise have thought it his duty to conceal. He disclaimed any idea of insinuation, and asserted, that the form of the motion, so far from rendering it agreeable to him, was of all others the most improper and unjustifiable that could be proposed.
Mr. Sheridan replied, that he was
unable to comprehend why the notice of the measure should have occasioned so much alarm among the country gentlemen. But be that as it would, the minister had himself erected an insuperable bar to the withdrawing of the motion. Insinuations had been thrown out in the first instance, he said, and converted into assertions, on that day, which the honour and feelings of the parties made it necessary to have explained. Should the persons engaged in the measure now recede from it, could the house, could the country, or could Europe, form any other opinion of such behaviour, than that the Prince had yielded to terror what he had denied to argument ? Mr. Sheridan very successfully repelled the charge that had been made against the party with whom he acted, of fomenting the unhappy divisions that were conceived to exist in the royal family. The charge was as foolish as it was false. Such divisions, he said, so far from assisting, must materially injure those who were not admitted into his majesty's councils, and whose opposition was in reality founded, not in personal animosities, but upon broad constitutional ground.
The spirited manner in which the question was taken up by Mr. Sheridan now induced Mr. Pitt to declare, that the particulars, to which he had alluded, and which he should think it necessary to state more fully to the house, related only to the pecuniary situation of the Prince of Wales, and to a correspondence which had taken place on that subject, and had no reference to any extraneous circumstances. He trusted, therefore, that this matter being explained, he should prevail in his intreaties to prevent the proceeding any further in a business,
which, though he had no doubt it was undertaken from a regard to the honour of the royal family, and the interests of the country, must, if persisted in, be productive of consequences most injurious to both.
Mr. Newpham, in reply to these observations, remarked, that he was not so rash and presumptuous as to haye taken up the idea of his motion from the bare suggestion of his own mind, and that, having brought himself to undertake a matter of so much importance, neither was he so weak as to feel any alarm for consequences which might be held out with an interested view to drive him from it.
Two days after this conversation, a meeting was held, at the house of Mr. Thomas Pelham (now Earl of Chichester) of the friends of the intended motion of Alderman Newnham, at which the Prince of Wales was prc