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LORD CLIVE. 31

was in a very singular state. There was scarcely any formal

opposition. The J acobites had been cowed by the issue of‘ the
last rebellion. The Tory party had fallen into utter contempt.
It had been deserted by all the men of talents who had be-
longed to it, and had scarcely given a symptom of life during
some years. The small faction which had been held together
by the influence and promises of Prince Frederic, had been
dispersed by his death. Almost every public man of distin-
guished talents in the kingdom, whatever his early connec-
tions might have been, was in office, and called himself a
Whig. But this extraordinary appearance of concord was
quite delusive. The administration itself was distracted by
bitter enmities and conflicting pretensions. The chief object
of its members was to depress and supplant each other. The
prime minister Newcastle, weak, timid, jealous, and perfidious,
was at once detested and despised by some of the most im

portant members of his government, and by none more than
by Henry Fox, the Secretary at War. This able, daring, and
ambitious man seized every opportunity of crossing the First
Lord of the Treasury, from whom he well knew that he had
little to dread and little to hope; for Newcastle was through
life equally afraid of breaking with men of parts and of pro-
moting them.

Newcastle had set his heart on returning two members for
St. Michael, one of those wretched Cornish boroughs which
were swept away by the Reform Act in 1832. He was
opposed by Lord Sandwich, whose influence had long been
paramount there: and Fox exerted himself strenuously in
Sandwich’s behalf. Clive, who had been introduced to Fox,
and very kindly received by him, was brought forward on the
Sandwich interest, and was returned. But a petition was
presented against the return, and was backed by the whole
influence of the Duke of Newcastle.

The case was heard, according to the usage of that time,

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