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PREFACE.

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To write an adequate biography of Charles James Fox would be to write the history of the reign of George III., in its social as well as its political aspects. The mag- . nitude of the task is perhaps the chief reason why no one has yet done for Fox what Lord Stanhope has done for Pitt, and Mr. Stapleton for Canning. extent, however, Fox has undoubtedly suffered for leaving behind him too obvious a biographer. The breath had scarcely left his body before a crowd of Memoirs and Reminiscences made their appearance, of which the volumes of Mr. Fell and Colonel Trotter are the best known, but no one ventured to interfere with the undoubted prerogative of the third Lord Holland-the

Young One of Fox's correspondence-to write the biography of the great Whig leader which should be a ktņua és åel. A series of misfortunes prevented the work from ever being begun, and it was not till 1853 that the materials, which Lord Holland had collected and Mr. Allen had annotated, were given to the world by Lord Russell, under the title of Memoirs and Correspondence of C. J. Fox. Thirteen years afterwards, at the fag end of a busy political career, Lord Russell was able at last to publish the long-promised Life, when Fox had been in his grave nearly sixty years. Much of the personal and political interest in his career had by that time died away, and Lord Russell himself would have been the first to acknowledge that the work when published was very different in scope and character to that which was originally conceived. Since then the brilliant and attractive essay of Sir George Trevelyan upon English politics and society at the beginning of the reign of George III., published under the title of the Early History of Charles James Fox, has been the only serious historical work which has dealt with the subject. It would seem indeed as if interest in Charles James Fox had in recent years been steadily decreasing. The references to him in Lord Macaulay's writings are extremely few, while in modern periodical literature his name hardly ever appears except as the hero of an anecdote. While Burke has become the storehouse of political wisdom to politicians of all parties, references to Fox's opinions and quotations from his speeches are rarely found.

Under such circumstances I hope it will not be deemed presumptuous in me to attempt to present in a short and condensed form a sketch of the political career of Fox as a statesman, which may serve to recall to men's minds the part which he played at a very important crisis of his country's history. It is obviously impossible to compress

within the limits of a work like this a complete history of the times or of the man. Much has necessarily to be left out, and, remembering that in this series I am specially called to deal with my subject as a statesman,

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I have accordingly endeavoured to fix my attention particularly upon his public life, and upon those parts of his private life and traits of his private character, which had a definite influence upon his public career. The connection between the two in the case of Fox is obvious enough, and I do not pretend to do anything more in the following pages than to elucidate and illustrate it.

Among the authorities on which I have mainly relied may be mentioned Memoirs and Correspondence of C. J. Fox,' and “The Life and Times of C. J. Fox,' by Lord Russell; “Fox's Collected Speeches;' Sir G. Trevelyan's 'Early History of Charles James Fox;' Colonel Trotter's Memoirs of Fox;' Rogers' “Recollections of C. J. Fox;' 'Gilbert Wakefield's Correspondence with C. J. Fox;' Horace Walpole's Memoirs and Journals; · Burke's Speeches and Correspondence ;'Selwyn's Lite

:' and Letters;' Moore's 'Life of Sheridan;' Memoirs of the Court Cabinets of George III.,' by the Duke of Buckingham ; ‘Memoirs of Lord Minto;' Sir G. Cornewall Lewis's Administrations of Great Britain; 'Stanhope's Life of Pitt;' Gillray's Caricatures;' Lord Albemarle's "Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham ;' Fitzmaurice's · Life of Shelburne ;' The Correspondence of George III., and Lord North ;' Lord Holland's • Memoirs of the Whig Party ;' The Diaries of the first Earl of Malmesbury;' &c. I need hardly add that during the period which he has as yet covered, the guidance of Mr. Lecky's clear sight and comprehensive inind has been indispensable.

II. 0. W OXFORD, 1890.

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