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are conscious of his heart. He never meddled with the King's property but to secure it, and to secure it in a manner the most prudent and most honourable. For this there are witnesses in this house, if they chuse on this oc. casion to do justice. More might be told. For my share in any (i pray God most remote) eventual interest in that property, I regard it not at all. I am wounded in a more tender partbut I have brothers and sisters who cannot speak for themselves.”
Why this admirable address was not delivered by the Duke of York, in his place, in the House of Peers, it perhaps would be superfluous now to inquire, but the probable reason was, a certain degree of timidity and indecision among the friends of the Prince's party, and some manifest symptoms of approaching convalescence, which enabled the medical politicians of the
day to prognosticate that the indisposition of the King could not be of any long duration. There is indeed every reason to suppose, that it was this persuasion, from the first intimation of the King's malady, which induced the friends of Mr. Pitt to adhere so firmly to the interests of that minister, and in this they were justified not only by the event, but from previous calculations drawn from the mass of people afflicted with the same disease. On the other hand, the opposition seemed . to consider the King's recovery as a distant, if not a problematical event, and therefore they wished to provide for the full and vigorous exercise of the royal authority, till the capacity of the sovereign was sufficiently restored to enable him to resume the functions of his high office. The opposition were anxious to preserve the constitution in its purity, and conceiv
ing that this could not be done without granting to the regent the same powers and prerogatives that the King was possessed of, and towhich the Prince would have been entitled had he succeeded to the supreme power by a natural demise, with an honourable consistency of principle, and attachment to the pure spirit of the constitution, resisted at every step the limitations and restrictions with which, manifestly for the purposes of party ambition, it was proposed to clog the regency of the Prince of Wales.
The minister of this period, a man of unbounded arrogance, and surrounded by a base and servile host of dependants and sycophants, to whom he too often, certainly not from the easiness of his temper, but from the necessities of his circumstances, surrendered up his better judgment. All the events of this period may be traced
to the intrigues and cabals of the low minded and interested individuals with whom he was connected, and the whole scheme of the regency was a plan (we had nearly said a plot) to continue Mr. Pitt and his friends in the most essential, important, and lucrative offices of government.
After several ineffectual attempts on the part of the friends of the Prince of Wales to modify the restrictions of the regency bill, and to invest his royal highness with superior powers, the two houses of parliament agreed to the following resolutions, which were presented by a deputation of peers and commoners to the Prince, on the 30th of January, 1789. . • Resolved, that for the purpose of providing for the exercise of the royal authority, during the continuance of his majesty's illness, in such manner, and to suchextent, as the present circumstances and the urgentconcerns of the nation appear to require, it is expedient that his royal highness the Prince of Wales, being resident within the realm, shall be empowered to exercise and administer the royal authority, according to the laws and constitution of Great Britain, in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, under the style and title of Regent of the kingdom ; and to use, execute, and perform, in the name and on the behalf of his majesty, all authorities, prerogatives, acts of government, and administration of the same, which belong to the king of this realm to use, exercise, and perform, according to the laws thereof, subject to such limitations and exceptions as shall be provided.