Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 45.djvu/391

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Pitt
Pitt
383

could not give them places. Sidmouth was offended, and he and Buckinghamshire resigned on 5 July.

At the close of the session of 1805, Pitt's health was bad, but his hopes ran high. In August Napoleon's plan of invasion ended in failure, and in September Pitt took leave of Nelson. The coalition seemed to promise well. He was, however, fully aware of the weakness of his ministry, and in September visited the king at Weymouth, and pressed upon him the need of opening negotiations with Fox and Grenville, but George refused to yield and Pitt forbore from further insistence for fear of injuring the king's health (Rose, ii. 198-201). In order to strengthen his cabinet, he decided to bring in Canning and Charles Yorke.

The news of the capitulation of Ulm (20 Oct.) affected him deeply. When he first heard it on 2 Nov., he declined to credit it ; the next day, when it was confirmed, his look and manner changed, and Lord Malmesbury had a foreboding of his death (Malmesbury, iv. 340). The mingled joy and sorrow that the news of Trafalgar (21 Oct.) brought him (ib. p. 341) destroyed his sleep, which had hitherto been proof against all mental excitement. On the 9th he attended the lord mayor's banquet, and was in good spirits. When he was toasted as 'the Saviour of Europe,' he simply said that Europe was not to be saved by any one man, and that 'England has saved herself by her exertions ; and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example' (Stanhope, iv. 346). Nelson's victory had given him fresh hopes, and he offered Frederick William of Prussia large subsidies if he would join in the war.

On 7 Dec. he found it possible to go to Bath. While there the news of the battle of Austerlitz (2 Dec.) gave him his death-blow. When he heard of the armistice that followed it, the gout left his feet, and he fell into extreme physical debility. He was removed from Bath on 9 Jan. 1806, and took three days on the journey to his house at Putney. As he entered the house he noticed the map of Europe on the wall. 'Roll up that map,' he said ; 'it will not be wanted these ten years.' On the 13th he received Lords Hawkesbury and Castlereagh, and on the 14th drove out and received Lord Wellesley, who found his intellect as bright as ever. He took to his bed on the 16th, and was visited ministerially on the 22nd by his old tutor, Bishop Pretyman, to whom he dictated his last wishes. The following night his mind wandered, and he died early on the 23rd, his last words being, 'Oh, my country! how I leave my country!' (Stanhope, vol. iv. App. p. xxxi). His debts, amounting to 40,000l. — exclusive of the 11,700l. advanced by friends, who declined repayment — were paid by the nation ; pensions were granted to his three nieces, and a public funeral was voted, which was carried out on 22 Feb. in Westminster Abbey.

There are statues by Westmacott in Westminster Abbey, by Chantrey in Hanover Square, London, by J. G. Bubb in the Guildhall, London (with an inscription by Canning), and by Nollekens in the senate-house, Cambridge. Flaxman executed a bust. Pitt's portrait was painted by Gainsborough, Hoppner (painted in 1805), and Sir Thomas Lawrence. The last is at Windsor. That by Gainsborough, of which there are replicas and copies, is engraved in Stanhope's 'Life;' of that by Hoppner there are copies and an engraving in Gifford's 'Life.' A drawing, by Copley, of Pitt in his youth, was engraved by Bartolozzi ; and again by Holl for Stanhope's 'Life.' Other engravings are by Bartolozzi, from a portrait by G. du Pont, by J. Jones, Sherwin, Gillray, Edridge, and by Cardon in Gifford's 'Life,' after the bust by Flaxman (Stanhope, iv. 398-9 and note C ; Bromley, Catalogue of Engraved Portraits, sec. ix. p. 3).

Pitt was tall and slight, and dignified, though rather stiff, in carriage. His countenance was animated by the brightness of his eyes. In his later years his hair became almost white, and his face bore the marks of disease, anxiety, and indulgence in port wine. The habit was acquired early through a doctor's recommendation, and he made no serious effort to break it. He was once only seen drunk in the House of Commons (Wrazall, Memoirs, iii. 221). His private life was remarkably pure. His debts were the result in part of his absorption in public affairs, and in part of a culpable contempt for private economy, inherited from his father. To all not on intimate terms with him, his manners were cold and even repellent. The mass of his supporters, who admired and obeyed him, were not drawn to him personally. Men of the highest rank found him stiff and unbending; and the king, though he esteemed him, looked on him as a master, and felt far more comfortable with Addington. His intimate friends were few ; they were ardently attached to him, to them he was warm-hearted and affectionate, and in their company was cheerful and gay. He loved children, and enjoyed romping with them. He exercised a special charm over younger men, who found him sympathetic and inspiring. Eager by nature, he trained himself to a singular degree of calmness and self-possession. Greatness of soul enabled