Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/65

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CHAPTER III

The new Ministry which succeeded "All the Talents" and took seat in Parliament April 8, 1807, represented everything in English society that was most impervious to reason. In its origin a creature of royal bigotry trembling on the verge of insanity, before it had been a few short weeks in office every liberal or tolerant Englishman was shocked to find that this band of Tories, whose prejudices were such as modern society could scarcely understand, and who had been forced into office by the personal will of an almost imbecile King, did in reality represent a great reaction of the English people against tolerant principles, and reflected the true sense of the nation as it had never been reflected by Grenville or Fox. Parliament was dissolved April 27, though only four months old; and June 22, when the "Leopard" was firing into the "Chesapeake," the new Parliament met at Westminster Hall, with a ministerial majority of more than two hundred country squires, elected on the cry that the Church was in danger.

From its nominal head, this Ministry was called the Portland administration; but its leader was Spencer Perceval, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and its