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Title: Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 2
Author: Buckingham and Chandos, Richard Plantagenet Temple Nugent Brydges Chandos Grenville, Duke of, 1797-1861
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third - From the Original Family Documents, Volume 2" ***

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             GEORGE THE THIRD.

                 VOL. II.



                  OF THE



             GEORGE THE THIRD.




              IN TWO VOLUMES.

                 VOL. II.


Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.






OF THE PRINCE'S PARTY--THE RATS IN BOTH HOUSES                      1-83


IRELAND                                                           84-175


MR. GRENVILLE'S ELEVATION TO THE PEERAGE                         176-181


AT THIS PERIOD                                                   182-198




AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR                                         235-249


OF IRELAND--HIS CONDUCT ON THAT OCCASION                         250-323




MALMESBURY'S MISSION TO PARIS                                    339-360


TO LISLE                                                         361-383




FOR THE ENSUING YEAR                                             422-452







The fluctuations of the daily accounts from Windsor, and afterwards from
Kew, to which place the King was ultimately removed at the instance of
the Prince of Wales, and the effect they produced upon the public and
the Opposition, greatly increased the difficulties of the Government in
this unprecedented emergency. So long as there was the faintest hope of
His Majesty's recovery, Mr. Pitt was enabled to avert extremities
between the Administration and the Prince of Wales, by repeated
adjournments of Parliament. The interest, therefore, which attached to
the slightest items of intelligence contained in these letters may be
easily understood. All other subjects were of inferior consideration.
Even the serious inconvenience occasioned to the public service by the
suspension of business in Parliament was forgotten in the one absorbing

The uncertainty that hung over the issue, the responsibility that
attended the treatment of the case, and the extreme caution observed by
the physicians in the opinions they were called upon to pronounce, kept
all classes of the people in a state of constant agitation. The Prince
and his supporters availed themselves of these circumstances to
strengthen their party in Parliament and out of doors. The passions of
the inexperienced, and the hopes of the discontented, are always on the
side of youth and excitement; and every vicissitude in the condition of
the King that diminished the prospect of his recovery, augmented the
ranks of the Opposition, which now became familiarly known as "the
Prince of Wales's Opposition." Mr. Pitt acted throughout with the utmost
reserve. Deeply impressed by the complicated hazards of the situation,
he carefully avoided all allusions to his ulterior intentions in his
intercourse with the Prince of Wales, which was strictly formal and
official, and confined to such communications as were unavoidable in his


     Whitehall, Nov. 15th, 1788.

     I enclose you the note, which I received from Pitt last night on
     his return from Windsor. I have seen him this morning; and
     understand that Warren said one thing which is still more
     favourable. He told him that a more rapid amendment would, in his
     opinion, have been a less pleasing symptom; and I find, from Pitt,
     that on conversing both with Sir G. Baker and Reynolds, he found
     them rather more sanguine, upon the whole, than Warren, but
     agreeing with him in his general account. What I have learnt this
     morning seems to confirm the pleasing hope which I cannot help
     indulging, from all these circumstances, though, God knows, it is
     still exposed to much doubt and hazard. The public account, which
     has been uniformly less flattering than the private letters from
     Windsor, states that he has had six hours' sleep, and that he is a
     little better this morning. All the other accounts say that he is
     certainly getting better.

     Pitt saw the Prince of Wales yesterday, for the purpose of
     notifying to him the step which the Council had taken, of ordering
     prayers, and of acquainting him that he had written circular
     letters to _all_ the Members of the House of Commons, stating the
     probability of Parliament having to meet on Thursday; and that he
     meant then to propose to adjourn.

     Prince of Wales received the communication with civility, and told
     him he was persuaded no opposition could be made to this. It is, I
     think, plain, from Pitt's account of his general behaviour, and
     from what one hears, that my conjecture is right, and that he will
     dismiss Pitt without hesitation.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 17th, 1788.

     The accounts for the last two days have been, I think, rather less
     favourable than that of Saturday, which I sent you. You can,
     however, hardly conceive the difficulty which we have, even at this
     small distance, to procure such information as can be in any degree
     depended on. All the private accounts are so strongly tinctured by
     the wishes of those who send them, that no reliance can be placed
     upon them; and the private letters of the physicians are frequently
     inconsistent with each other, and even with the public account
     which they send to St. James's. In general, that account has been
     uniformly found to be the least favourable; and seems as if it was
     drawn for the purpose of discouraging the hopes which their own
     letters and conversation excite. The letters which they read to
     Pitt, though frequently varying in their general tenor from the
     public account, are not at all more detailed than that is, and take
     no sort of notice of the most material circumstances. I imagine all
     this is to be imputed to a difference of opinion which is supposed
     to prevail amongst them, it being believed that Warren is strongly
     inclined to think the disorder permanent, and that Reynolds is
     sanguine in the contrary opinion. Pitt is gone down again to
     Windsor to-day; but will hardly be back again time enough for me to
     insert his account in this letter. The public account of to-day
     says, I understand, that the King has had much quiet and composed
     sleep, but is nearly the same as before. The sleep, I am told, is
     generally considered as a favourable symptom.

     Under these circumstances, there can, I think, be no doubt that the
     two Houses will adjourn on Thursday, without opposition.

     Everything remains as before. I think you clearly have done right
     in stopping Corry, it being so much our interest to prevent, and
     not to promote, negotiation. I think, on more reflexion, that the
     idea of refusing the power of dissolving is impracticable, and may
     be turned against us in the end; the other limitations will, I
     believe, be proposed; and that alone will be sufficient to put all
     negotiation out of the question.

     Fox is expected in three or four days; but it seems impossible that
     he should be here so soon.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 18th, 1788.

     I do not find from Pitt that he learnt anything very particular
     yesterday in addition to what you already know. The King continues
     much quieter, but still deranged in his intellects and
     conversation. The fever has not yet entirely left him. The
     physicians seem very unwilling to say anything with respect to his
     situation, and declare that it must still be eight or ten days
     before they can pronounce at all decisively as to the nature of his

     You seem, in your letter, to conceive the point of his recovery to
     be much more desperate than I understand it to be thought even
     after a derangement of months, or even years. There hardly passes a
     day in which one does not hear of cases of that sort, and we are
     now told that a disorder of this sort has appeared in several
     instances in Devonshire in the course of this autumn, where the
     patient has been in this way for six weeks together, and has then
     entirely recovered.

     I have no other news.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 20th, 1788.

     I went down yesterday to Windsor, as a matter of form, to inquire
     after the King's health. Having nothing very material to write to
     you in the morning, I thought it best to take the chance of being
     back early enough to write before the post went out. This, however,
     I found impossible, on account of the different people whom I met at
     Windsor, and with whom I was naturally anxious to converse.

     The account, as far as relates to the King's actual situation for
     these two or three last days, is much less favourable than it has
     been. The disorder of his intellects has continued almost, if not
     entirely, without intermission for the whole of that time. He talks
     incessantly for many hours together, and without any appearance of
     sense or reason, sometimes knowing the persons who are about him, at
     other times mistaking them, or fancying himself employed in
     different occupations, such as taking notes on books, or giving
     different orders. He has appeared several times to have that sort of
     consciousness of his situation which lunatics are observed to
     possess, and to use the same sort of methods for concealing it. All
     this constitutes the gloomy side of the picture; and Warren is so
     much impressed with this, that he told Pitt there was now every
     reason to believe that the disorder was no other than direct lunacy.

     On the other hand, I understand that he, as well as the other
     physicians, are now agreed as to the cause of the disorder. You may
     remember that, at the beginning of this unhappy situation, I
     mentioned to you that an idea had been entertained of its proceeding
     from some local cause, such as water on the brain, or some change in
     the texture of the brain itself, by induration or ossification.
     Warren has decidedly said, that he is satisfied this is entirely out
     of the question; this he told Pitt in express terms. The cause to
     which they all agree to ascribe it, is the force of a humour which
     was beginning to show itself in the legs, when the King's imprudence
     drove it from thence into the bowels; and the medicines which they
     were then obliged to use for the preservation of his life, have
     repelled it upon the brain. The consequence of this opinion is so
     plain, that there certainly requires no professional skill to know
     that his recovery must depend upon this single circumstance, whether
     there is, or is not strength enough in his constitution to throw off
     this humour by any other channel. The physicians are now
     endeavouring, by warm baths, and by great warmth of covering, to
     bring it down again into the legs, which nature had originally
     pointed out as the best mode of discharge.

     I was mentioning these circumstances yesterday to a person who lives
     in intimacy with John Hunter, the anatomist. He told me that they
     had been all stated to him three days ago, by Hunter, who had
     collected them from the different inquiries he had made. Hunter
     added, that we must still expect for some days, and perhaps even
     weeks, to hear of no decisive alteration, but possibly of some
     occasional variation from day to day; that at the end of this it
     would probably come to some sort of crisis, by which it would appear
     whether there was strength enough in the constitution to prevail
     over the disease; that all he had heard of the manner of the King's
     life, did unquestionably make him an unfavourable subject for such a
     struggle, but that if it was the case of any common man, he should
     have no hesitation in pronouncing even now that it would be very bad
     luck indeed if he did not recover, and that the chances were nine to
     one in his favour. You will easily suppose that this was said under
     the seal of confidence, and that a professional man would not choose
     to have his name quoted in a case of so much importance in which he
     is not employed, and in which his opinions may be either founded at
     present on false information, or may be defeated by the mode of
     treatment adopted by those who are called in. I have, therefore,
     mentioned this only to you, though possibly you may hear it from
     other channels. On such authority, one certainly may be allowed to
     indulge some degree of hope. I am, however, far from letting this
     expectation take possession of my mind, but, on the contrary, have
     prepared myself for the worst, and can with truth say that I have
     made up my mind to meet it with cheerfulness, and to accommodate
     myself as a reasonable man ought to do to my situation.

     You will particularly see that this consideration had no effect on
     my judgment, and that I feel as you do. On the question of a
     coalition, no offers have as yet been made. The language of
     Opposition inclines one to think that their idea is _to that_, but
     the conduct of the Prince of Wales marks a desire of avoiding Pitt.
     I believe he has had no communication with the Duke of Portland, or
     with any of them, except Sheridan and Lord Loughborough; the latter
     is supposed to be much in his confidence. Pitt has opened his plan
     of Regency to Thurlow and Lord Weymouth, and they both approved it;
     he is to lay it before the Prince of Wales in a few days, and will
     then make it public.

     Whatever is done, I have no conception that it can be brought to a
     point so as to enable you to form any decisive judgment with respect
     to your situation so early as the beginning of next month. We are
     now at the 19th. Pitt means to-day to move an adjournment to this
     day sevennight, and a call of the House for this day fortnight. It
     is doubtful whether the business will even then be brought on, and
     the intervening adjournment is made with the view of enabling Pitt
     to put off the call to a more distant day if the King's situation
     should be thought to render that a proper step.

     Bernard is now out of town, but I understood from him that your
     house in Pall Mall was let to the Duke of Gordon for another year,
     to commence from Christmas.

     I am just returned from the House, where Pitt moved the adjournment
     for the whole fortnight (in consequence of an opinion of the
     Chancellor's), and a call at the end of that term. Not a word was
     said by any other person, and he himself barely stated that the
     continuance of the King's illness had prevented the prorogation, and
     that the same circumstance made it desirable to have the public
     attendance when the House met again.

     The public account of to-day is that he has passed a less disturbed
     night, but that the fever continues.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 20th, 1788.

     The accounts which Pitt received last night are more favourable
     than any which have yet been sent. They stated particularly, that
     during the whole course of yesterday the King was more composed,
     and with less incoherency in his conversation, than he has been at
     any period during the last fortnight. The opinion which I mentioned
     to you yesterday prevents my being very sanguine with respect to
     the _uniform_ continuance of these symptoms; but it is certainly no
     light confirmation of that opinion to observe this sort of
     fluctuation; and it is a pleasant circumstance to find that this
     abatement of his disorder has followed so immediately on the
     application of fomentations to the legs.

     Since I wrote the above, the accounts of this morning have been
     received. I enclose the public note, which admits that there is
     some remission of the fever, by which word they describe the
     delirium. The letter sent to Pitt only states that the King is less
     well than he was during most part of yesterday. I do not learn that
     there is yet any appearance of swelling or eruption on the legs. On
     the whole, though the account of this morning is certainly less
     encouraging, I think the two taken together by no means diminish
     the hopes which I trust there is reason to entertain.

     It is become very difficult to get at the real truth; for since
     there has been an appearance of amendment, Opposition have been
     taking inconceivable pains to spread the idea that his disorder is
     incurable. Nothing can exceed Warren's indiscretion on this

     You will probably have heard from other quarters how favourable the
     appearance of yesterday, and the reception of Pitt's speech, were.
     There seems to be just such a spirit and zeal gone forth among his
     friends as one would most desire; and whatever is now the event of
     this anxious moment, I am persuaded you will see him increase from
     it in point of character, and lose little in point of strength.
     What passed yesterday, and the tone of our friends, are much beyond
     the expectations which I had formed.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 22nd, 1788.

     I went this morning to Nepean, to speak about sending you the
     official accounts of the King's health. He assured me that he had
     regularly done so for the last week, and that he would continue it.
     He sends a messenger to-morrow, so that this letter will be very

     You will receive the St. James's account of this day from Nepean. I
     have not yet seen it, but am assured that all the private accounts
     are favourable. So are, as far as I can learn, the declared
     opinions of every medical man except those who are employed: and of
     those, Warren only speaks unfavourably. The rest say nothing.

     The indecency of any language held on your side of the water cannot
     exceed that of the universal tone of Opposition within these last
     four or five days. So long as they considered the case as
     desperate, they were affecting a prodigious concern and reverence
     for the King's unhappy situation. Now that people entertain hopes
     of his recovery, they are using the utmost industry to combat this
     idea--circulating all the particulars of everything which he does
     or says under his present circumstances, and adding the most
     outrageous falsehoods.

     I think I can say with confidence, that no enmity against an
     individual, much less against a person in such a rank as his, could
     induce me to retail the different acts of frenzy which he may
     commit in a state of delirium or insanity.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     Don't use your new cypher, for I doubt whether mine is not rendered
     useless. I will write to you about it to-morrow.

     P.S.--The cypher will be better set by the _last_ letter of the
     word _en clair_, immediately preceding the cyphered part of the
     letter. I will use it in that manner when I write.


     Whitehall, Nov. 23rd, 1788.

     _I_[A] write this by Lord Sydney's messenger, but with such an
     aching head that it is impossible for me to enter into much detail.
     Pitt was at Windsor yesterday, and by his account, which he
     collected from the persons who immediately attend the King's
     person, there can be no doubt of the King's being much better, and
     more composed than he has been since his illness began. At the same
     time, the accounts of the physicians are gloomy, and with less hope
     than they have before expressed. It is very difficult to reconcile
     these contradictions. Rennel Hawkins, the surgeon who has attended
     him during the whole illness, and sits up with him every other
     night, has written a letter to Sir Clifton Wintringham, which the
     latter has shown about London, in which the King's recovery is
     mentioned as a thing certain, and likely to take place, sooner than
     people in general expect. On these data you can judge as well as
     we can here. I confess myself to be sanguine in my hopes of his
     recovery. In the meantime, no pains are spared to circulate all
     sorts of lies, in order to depress people's spirits on this
     subject; and the support which is given to these gloomy ideas by
     the language and conduct of the physicians does certainly produce a
     considerable effect.

     Think of the Prince of Wales introducing Lord Lothian into the
     King's room when it was darkened, in order that he might hear his
     ravings at the time that they were at the worst. Do not let this
     fact come from you; it begins to be pretty well known here, and no
     doubt will find its way to Ireland; but it is important that we
     should not seem to spread the knowledge of anything which can
     injure His Royal Highness's character in public opinion.

     I think the best thing that can be done in Ireland is to let your
     Parliament meet at its prorogation; and that you should then
     communicate to them the King's situation, and the measures taken in
     England. A similar proceeding might then be adopted in Ireland, and
     your commission then revoked in the usual form by the Regent, which
     I should think far preferable to any contrivances of Justices, &c.
     Long before all this can be necessary, things will have begun to
     take some more decided turn than in the present moment, when hopes
     and fears make the opinions of people fluctuate from day to day.

     Unless we are clearly satisfied (which is far from being the case
     now), that the King is not mending fast, we shall certainly propose
     another adjournment on the 4th. This will perhaps be opposed, but
     if it is, we shall clearly have the opinion of people in general
     with us on that point.

     It is quite impossible for me to enter into the other discussions
     in your letter, important as they are, for it is with difficulty
     that I write this desultory stuff.

     There seems to be a notion among Lord North's friends that he is
     preparing to take a more moderate line, and more inclining to the
     King than Fox's people. I suppose he has a mind to make a parade of
     gratitude. He has not five votes in this Parliament, and yet any
     appearance of difference of opinion might assist us.

     If I am better to-morrow, I think of going to Stanlake for a few
     days. I shall have the Windsor news as soon there as in town, and
     will write to you from thence.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.

     Your cypher is, as I feared, spoilt by the unequal extension of the
     paper in pasting. In future, in using the old cypher, I will use
     _ou_ instead of _out_, and _er, es_, and _or_, in the three places
     that are now occupied by _word, blank_, and _ends_. The cypher may
     be set by the first letter, which is written _en clair_, as _I_ in
     this letter.

[Footnote A: The letter thus written in _italics_ is the key to a new
cypher in which these communications were carried on.]


     Whitehall, Nov. 24th, 1788.

     The same contradiction still prevails between all the private
     accounts, even those of the physicians themselves, and the public
     information which they give either to Ministers or to the country.
     At the same time, the medical people seem so confident in their
     declarations of his not being better, that it cannot but shake the
     trust which one should otherwise place in the accounts of his

     My head is by no means better to-day, so that you must excuse the
     shortness of this.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     Baronhill, Nov. 25th, 1788.

     When I left London last Saturday, the accounts were not arrived of
     the state of the King's health. He was much better on the Friday
     morning, but relapsed in the evening. I am afraid it is a very
     hopeless case, though much time ought to elapse before anybody
     ventured to pronounce for a certainty; and the physicians, who have
     been so warped by party, or by an anxiety to pay their court to the
     Prince, as to venture to do so, certainly deserve the severest
     reprehension. The meeting of Parliament was much the fullest, in
     both Houses, I ever saw; and in the House of Peers, the greatest
     decency I ever witnessed, considering the hopes and fears of each
     party. There were but seven Bishops (among whom Chester was one)
     present, which is a proof that crows soon smell powder. I took the
     opportunity of coming down here to settle my private affairs, which
     my sudden departure had left unsettled, your brother William having
     promised to send for me in case there is no appearance of the
     King's recovering before the 4th of December, in which case another
     adjournment would certainly take place, or in case Government
     should not contest the Prince's becoming Regent without a Council.
     It will be with great unwillingness I shall return, as I wish to
     remain here till the beginning of February; but if I find we are
     all expected to stand to our guns, and that our generals are ready
     to fight a battle without a compromise, I shall leave my dear
     Baronhill, and all my comforts, for all pleasures of war's alarms:
     marching and countermarching in the House of Lords, drums beating,
     and colours flying, &c. I supped at White's the night before I left
     town, where Pitt was in high spirits, and Selwyn uncommonly
     ridiculous; in general, our friends seem to await the approaching
     storm with the greatest _sang-froid_ and philosophy: the longest
     faces I saw were Lord Hawkesbury's, Lord Sydney's, and Sir George
     Yonge's. I heard for certain that the Chancellor, who was suspected
     of being _rattically_ inclined, was firm as a rock, and that the
     whole Cabinet were determined to _die_ together. Fox was either not
     found, or averse to returning, although the Opposition were looking
     out for him as the Jews look out for their Messiah. _Je crois qu'il
     boude un peu._ Sheridan and Lord Loughborough are those who more
     immediately correspond with the Prince, with which, I believe, the
     old Rockinghams were much dissatisfied; in short, there is every
     reason to think there is a division among them, which, however, a
     sense of common interest and common danger may rectify before the
     day of trial. Your sister Williams, and Sir Watkin, were in town
     both crying up the affection, humanity, filial piety, feeling, &c.,
     of the Prince, and lamenting the little chance of the King's
     recovery, &c. The Nevilles were to leave town last Sunday, and by
     being in the neighbourhood of Windsor, can inform you, if they
     choose it, of the real state of the late and present behaviour and
     conduct of _some persons_ in that quarter who are so puffed by the
     papers and by the Opposition. In the changes and chances of this
     mortal life, our Barony of Braybroke appears to have been secured
     at a lucky moment. I left Parry in town, and I set Rose and Steele
     to coax him a little, for the old grievance sticks by him, and he
     wants much persuasion to efface the memory of it. Sir Hugh is here,
     and complains much of never having had one letter answered since
     Pitt has been in power; notwithstanding which, I shall take him up
     if the battle is to be fought before Christmas. I am afraid more
     rats will run, on account of Pitt's inattention to these trifles,
     than on any other account whatsoever; indeed I heard as much in
     town. Rose and Steele may laugh at such details, but they are
     necessary; and the constituent will not believe the member's
     assiduity unless he sees a real or ostensible answer. I gave my
     £100 to the Westminster election, in consequence of a letter from
     Rose; I could ill spare it, but finding others were dosed in the
     same manner, I gulped the grievance.

     I am, my dear Lord's sincere friend,


     Stratton Street, Nov. 25th, 1788.

     However, at a crisis of such national concern as the present, my
     mind is impressed with its importance, and would communicate to you
     the vicissitudes and opinions thereon of each hour, as leading in
     the minutest variation to new consequences, and of the first
     moment; yet I confess myself at a loss how to arrange these
     _parvula quidam ex queis magun exoriuntur_, and give them their due
     weight, by stating the deductions thereon as they appear to me,
     within any compass of letter.

     As to the fact on which our fears and speculations are to build,
     the change of mere words in stating the malady, as daily announced
     at St. James's, may be proper enough to keep alive the hopes of the
     public, who will argue on mere words, in reality, within this
     fortnight the King hath remained from day to day without any
     variation in symptoms: so this very morning Dr. Gisborne told me,
     as his opinion, resulting from conversation with his brother
     physicians in immediate attendance. My friend Dr. Milman seems to
     be of the like opinion. That _possibly_ His Majesty may recover the
     perfect use of his understanding is not less believed than hoped
     for: cases have been stated, more desperate than the present,
     wherein the recovery hath been perfect. Yet much mischief is
     already done, or rather the basis of mischief is already and
     irremoveably laid. In future times, designing, ambitious and
     profligate men may start the idea that what has been may be, and
     in the desperate effort of factious opposition, even venture to
     arraign the temper and health of mind, though it shows its perfect
     state, and the wise measures of Government should put such daring
     insult at defiance.

     If the King remains a length of time in the same state, I would, on
     such too probable circumstance, join my speculations to your
     Lordship's, could I imagine any resting-place, or outlet, in the
     labyrinth of cases and deductions which the subject affords. I had
     best, therefore, confine my correspondence, and take up the
     immediate matter and language of the mere day, unless I meant a
     book rather than a letter.

     The language touches on the hopes and views of partymen, and on the
     interests of the country as complicated with the present
     Administration remaining in power. My business calling me often
     into the city, I speak as an eye-witness to the temper of men at
     the Royal Exchange, and Lloyd's Coffee-rooms, never did
     Administration stand so high in opinion of the moneyed and
     commercial world: throughout the city, the fears of losing Pitt
     from the finance make as much of the regrets of anticipation, as
     the fears of losing the King from the throne. Should the change of
     Ministry (too much apprehended) take place, it is thought that
     Fox's party--to temporize with the public opinion, too strong
     directly to meet in the teeth--will propose a coalescence of some
     sort; but so narrowed, and in regard to Mr. Pitt, moreover, placing
     him in such jar of official situation, that it cannot be in any
     manner listened to. The refusal of the insidious offer is then to
     be noised throughout the country, and a trial to be made to engage
     the people "to join with those who proffered a sacrifice of
     enmities to Pitt for the public good." _My opinion_ is, that the
     trial will be abortive, and the present Administration retire (if
     so necessitated), merely to return to power on the shoulders of the
     nation. The Opposition, I understand, foresee their difficulties,
     and are exceedingly embarrassed, even supposing the Regent, or
     Regency, to venture on the change of Ministry.

     I presume to hazard an opinion that such Regent, or Regency, cannot
     and will not risk a change of Ministry with so precipitate
     declaration in favour of our opponents, as some expect, at such
     eventful crisis as the present. It is natural for men's hopes, or
     fears, to colour too strongly the contingency on which their
     relative interests depend. Some hope too much, and some fear too
     much. If the Prince of Wales is made and continues at the head of
     Regency a twelvemonth, then indeed a revolution in Ministry, or in
     everything, may be worked out of the occasions ingenuity and
     ambition may have to take hold of; but here I am running into a
     book, and to avoid it close my letter. From time to time I shall
     write, almost from day to day, if aught occurs deserving your
     perusal. Meantime, and ever, my dear Lord, in truest affection and

     Your faithfully devoted friend and servant,
     W. YOUNG.


     Whitehall, Nov. 25th, 1788.

     I am very sorry to be obliged to say that the account from the
     physicians to-day, confirmed by the most accurate testimony from
     private quarters, state the King's situation in the most
     unfavourable manner, his disorder having returned with great
     violence. I do not understand that there is any return of bodily
     complaint, so that nothing can be worse than this intelligence.
     From what I now understand, it should seem that some considerable
     time must elapse, even after the two Houses meet, before any
     decisive step can be proposed, as it seems now to be thought
     necessary that some mode of satisfaction should be given to the
     Houses themselves, by means of Secret Committees, or otherwise,
     respecting the King's situation, and that after that precedents
     must be searched.

     Fox arrived yesterday morning early, having come in little more
     than nine days from Bologna. He expected, it is said, from the
     accounts which he had received, to find the King dead.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 26th, 1788.

     I sit down to write a few words, because I know it is a
     satisfaction to you to hear from me in such a moment as this,
     although I have nothing particular to say.

     The situation of the King continues to be such as I described it
     yesterday; and Warren told Pitt yesterday, that the physicians
     could now have no hesitation in pronouncing that the actual
     disorder was that of lunacy; that no man could pretend to say, that
     this was, or was not incurable; that he saw no immediate symptoms
     of recovery; that the King might never recover; or, on the other
     hand, that he might recover at any one moment. With this sort of
     information we shall probably have to meet Parliament. I much hope
     that the previous examination by the Privy Council may be judged
     sufficient, without any further inquiry into the particulars of a
     subject which one so little wishes to have discussed.

     I have no other news of any sort.

     I do not know, whether I mentioned to you in my last letter, that I
     tried, but to no purpose, to make out that part of yours which was
     written in the new cypher; my cypher, which you sent over to me,
     being wholly spoilt in the pasting. I must, therefore, beg you to
     write in the old cypher, with the alterations I suggested.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 27th, 1788.

     The accounts of the King's situation continue to be so much the
     same as for the last two or three days, that it now appears
     perfectly plain that we shall be under the necessity of bringing
     forward some measure for an intermediate Government immediately
     after the 4th; and that there can be no further adjournment.

     The Prince of Wales has sent a letter to the Chancellor, desiring
     that all the members of the Cabinet may attend at Windsor to-day;
     but this I imagine (and, indeed, his letter conveys it), has no
     relation to any other subject, but to an idea of moving the King to
     Kew, where he can take the air without being overlooked, as is the
     case at Windsor. I have nothing new to write to you on other
     subjects, though I believe I shall have in a day or two; probably
     by Sunday's messenger.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 28th, 1788.

     The Ministers were all sent for to Windsor yesterday by the Prince,
     in order to give their advice with respect to moving the King. They
     were detained so late, that Pitt went to Salt Hill to sleep there;
     and is not yet returned, at least not to his own house, so that I
     have not seen him.

     I had a note from him yesterday evening, to say that they had not
     seen the Prince, he having sent a written message to them by the
     Duke of York. It related to the removal. He says, that the opinion
     of the physicians, particularly of Addington, who had been desired
     to come over that day from Reading, was favourable as to a
     possibility, and even a prospect of recovery, and clear for
     removing him as soon as possible.

     We are still in the dark, as to the Prince of Wales's intentions;
     though what passed yesterday confirms my opinion. The general
     language leans to negotiation.


     Whitehall, Nov. 29th, 1788.

     I received your letter of the 23rd, by the messenger only this
     morning, and have sent the enclosed, which, as you will have seen,
     exactly tallies with the ideas which I have stated to you in some
     of my letters. I shall write to you to-morrow, being Sunday, when a
     messenger would of course be sent with the official bulletin, and
     as you may very probably receive that letter as soon as this, I
     think it unnecessary to fatigue either you or myself with figures,
     especially as I have nothing very material to say, except a
     confirmation, from my subsequent conversation with Pitt, of the
     ideas which I mentioned to you yesterday, particularly with respect
     to Addington's opinion, which seems to have encouraged the rest to
     speak out. Addington told Pitt that he had himself kept a house for
     the reception of these unhappy people for seven years. That during
     that period, he had hardly ever had fewer than ten or twelve with
     him, and that of all those one only was not cured, he having died
     in the house of bursting a blood-vessel. He said that the symptoms,
     as they at present appeared, were those of a morbid humour, flying
     about and irritating the nerves. The physicians desired Pitt to
     see the King yesterday, which he did, and found him, though
     certainly in a state of derangement, yet far better than he had
     expected from the accounts. It is not yet settled whether he shall
     be removed, as he has expressed some reluctance to it, and the
     physicians are extremely averse to any force.

     We are still under some uncertainty whether or not to propose a
     further adjournment; in the meanwhile we have thought it absolutely
     necessary to summon all our friends, as without their attendance,
     we should not even have the decision of that question in our own

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 30th, 1788.

     There is no particular account of the King this morning, He was
     yesterday evening removed to Kew. There was considerable difficulty
     in persuading him to agree to this removal, but it was at last
     accomplished without violence. Pitt saw him again at Windsor before
     his removal, and thought him rather less well in his manner than on
     the preceding day. Addington's conversation is still such as to
     show that he thinks the probabilities greatly in favour of his
     recovery. He mentioned particularly to Pitt, that he had in his
     house one person whose case appeared to him exactly to resemble the
     King's, and that this person had been cured.

     We are still much undetermined about the time of bringing forward
     the decisive measures. The general leaning of people's minds
     appears to be for delay, and there is not anything that can perhaps
     absolutely be said to require that immediate steps should be taken.
     There are, however, several points of foreign business which seem
     to press considerably, and there seems little reason to hope that
     this situation will be at all altered within such a time as it
     would be possible to wait. I am rather inclined towards bringing
     the business forward on Thursday; and yet I am very apprehensive of
     the effect which might be produced by any appearance or imputation
     of precipitancy.

     When the Cabinet went down to Windsor two days ago, in consequence
     of the Prince of Wales's letter, he did not see them, but sent them
     a written message by the Duke of York, respecting the King's
     removal. This message, whether accidentally or not, was couched in
     terms that were thought a little royal. Some caution was thought
     necessary in wording the answer to avoid the style of giving His
     Royal Highness advice, or of acknowledging any authority in him.

     You will have heard, in all probability, much on the subject of the
     Chancellor. His situation is a singular one. It is unquestionably
     true that he has seen _Fox_, and I believe he has also seen
     Sheridan repeatedly, and certainly the Prince of Wales. And of all
     these conversations he has never communicated one word to any other
     member of the Cabinet. Yet I am persuaded that he has as yet made
     no terms with them, and that whenever they come to that point they
     will differ. With this clue, however, you will be at no loss to
     guess where the Prince acquires his knowledge of the plans of
     Regency which are to be proposed, because, even supposing the
     Chancellor not to have directly betrayed the individual opinions of
     his colleagues, yet still his conversation upon these points, in
     all of which he has explicitly agreed with the opinions of Pitt,
     must lead to the communication of the plans in agitation. I am,
     however, rather inclined to believe that Cuninghame's correspondent
     has taken by guess one out of a variety of reports circulated, and
     that he has been right by accident. The general belief of the
     Opposition certainly is, as you may by their papers, that measures
     of much more violence are intended.

     Pitt has been induced, from his regard to the King, to dissemble
     his knowledge of Thurlow's conduct, and to suppress the resentment
     which it so naturally excites. There is no reason, but the
     contrary, for believing that any of those who have acted with him
     are at all disposed to follow his example. It is universally
     reprobated, and explicitly by them. I think you will do well, if it
     comes in question, to do as I do, which is to avoid saying anything
     on the subject as long as I can; and when pressed, to profess

     There is no great inconvenience arising, in reality, from the
     communication of these intentions to the Prince. His intentions are
     sufficiently decided, and he has no means of traversing our

     We do not yet know with certainty whether he has any idea of
     negotiation; but if he has, it is unquestionably only as a cloak,
     and meaning that it should be rejected. But the prospect of
     detaching the Chancellor may make this less probable, although he
     may perhaps insist on something of the sort being done to provide
     for his _delicacy_. The general language is universal and immediate
     dismission. If I am not mistaken, a storm is rising that they
     little expect, and the sense of the country, instead of being
     nearly as strong as in 1784, will be much stronger. But the party
     in general are so hungry and impatient, that I think they will act
     upon the better judgment of their leaders, and prevent them from
     doing anything which may allow a moment's delay.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     It was beginning to be suspected that Thurlow was about to _rat_.
     His conduct justified the worst doubts. Sir William Young confirms
     the intelligence about his increasing and suspicious intimacy with
     the Prince of Wales.


     Stratton Street, Nov. 30th, 1788.

     Since my last, all the intelligence to be given consists merely of
     rumours and of opinions respecting the probable changes in the
     Administration, on accession of the Prince to the executive
     authority. The Prince, it is said, is wonderfully of late attached
     to Thurlow. His Royal Highness hath not been equally gracious to
     Mr. Pitt; and from the authority of a person who dined with him, I
     am assured that his melancholy derived from the malady of his
     father and King, is not of that deep and rooted sort for which "no
     physic of the mind" can be found. Drinking and singing were
     specifics on the day stated to me.

     As to opinions alluded to above, they appear to me, who am not in
     the secret, mere sermons to Shakspeare's text of "Harry, thy wish
     was father to the thought." If aught is settled, your Lordship is
     undoubtedly apprised of it; if things yet remain for arrangement,
     your grounds for mere fabrics of speculation must ere this be
     better laid than mine; and so, in either case, I'd better e'en
     refrain from the subject, until Thursday begins the course of
     authentic matter for my letters.

     Meantime, a word in regard to myself. I write under the greatest
     embarrassment of mind, between pressing necessity of not moving
     from London and a justness of sentiment which would particularly at
     this moment urge my repairing to you at the Castle. When your kind
     friendship conferred what, at that moment, was a most essential aid
     to my family subsistence, your goodness added that I need not visit
     Ireland oftener than the convenience of my family allowed. Of this
     goodness I by no means thought to avail myself, and proposed this
     winter proceeding with my wife and son to the Castle, and returning
     to accomplish the passing of my "Poor Laws," in February or March.

     The loss of my father hath placed me in a situation wherein, from
     the magnitude and delicacy of the concern, every hour may afford an
     important crisis; and in which a single omission, a momentary
     absence, may entail consequences irretrievable, in matters wherein
     the result to me and mine is to be conjoined reputation and
     affluence, or disgrace and penury. I cannot, under impression of
     such alternatives, delegate an iota of conduct to a second person.
     I have laid down a systematic plan of conduct for myself, which in
     executing I am sure of honour and credit, have a certainty of
     competence, and a prospect of considerable wealth. The more I
     reflect, the more I am confirmed in the propriety of the grounds of
     procedure which I have adopted, and I feel myself equal to the
     accomplishment, as far as it depends on steady pursuit of a
     well-weighed purpose. Obstacles, however, may arise, and
     difficulties occur, such as I have _daily_ to obviate or to
     surmount, in shape of impatient creditors, who, if they were not
     led to just understanding of circumstances, would not wait two
     years for a final liquidation of private claims, with an inventory
     before them in the Commons of property to the amount of £200,000,
     but would jump forward to their own and my loss. One of the two
     years I have now securely in hand; the crop of 1789 being shipped
     from Christmas to March, of produce all grown, and partly
     manufactured. If Government leaves me the year 1790, at the close
     of it there will not be a private debt, nor an article alienated of
     security for public claims; and my gain of the income of 1788-9-90
     is actually the amount of £45,000 clear gain, above the result of
     immediate sale of the estates, which in ordinary course, or other
     line than I have chalked out, would be the direct legal recurrence
     for general liquidation of first public and then private claims.
     _One year_ of this gain to _my residue_ I have already secured, the
     second I have no doubt of, the third I have great hopes of, and at
     the period thereof, the gross total of the Crown demand, without a
     deduction or charge per centage, would scarcely necessitate any
     sale, or but a partial one, should I wish quickly to clear all

     Having no reserve for you, my best friend, I have, in accounting
     for my "fixing myself on the watch" in England this winter run into
     these details; and further (which will explain them fully) enclose
     a rough copy of my instructions to my attorneys in St. Vincent's,
     which, when read, you will consign to the flames.

     I have that grateful attachment to you, that I should yet scarcely
     hesitate in hazarding a month's absence from home, did not I
     anticipate that your friendship would rather chide than approve the
     sacrifice. I am ever at your command, being, my dear Lord, in
     truest affection,

     Your devoted and obliged friend, &c.,
     W. YOUNG.

The plans of Ministers are further developed in the next letter from Mr.


     Whitehall, Tuesday, Dec. 2nd, 1788.

     I have nothing of any importance to add to my letter of Sunday,
     everything remaining here precisely in the same state. It is
     determined to proceed, after Thursday, without any further
     adjournment. A Privy Council is summoned for to-morrow, to which
     _all_ the Privy Councillors are summoned; those of the Royal Family
     by letters from the Lord President. The physicians are ordered to
     attend, and questions will be put to them, to which they will be
     to give their answers on Wednesday. It is then meant, that on
     Friday, the Lord President in the House of Lords, and Pitt in the
     House of Commons, should communicate these questions and answers,
     but not as a message, from the Privy Council. We hope that
     Parliament will be disposed to proceed, without any inquiry, by
     themselves; but on the ground of the examination of the Privy
     Council, a Committee is then to be appointed to search precedents,
     so that it will be more than a week from this day before the
     propositions can formally be made. They will, I believe, be nearly,
     if not exactly, the same as I have already stated them to you. The
     point, on the prudence of which you had doubts, is of such absolute
     necessity, that I am sure, by a very little conversation, I could
     satisfy you in a moment that it must be taken care of. It is
     intended to say of the whole plan, that it is merely temporary,
     adapted to the present circumstances, when we are obliged to act
     after the King has been ill a very short time, and when there is
     much uncertainty with respect to the nature of his complaint, and
     an absolute ignorance as to its probable duration; that if, under
     different circumstances, and after a longer and more defined
     illness, Parliament shall think it necessary to make other
     arrangements, that power must rest with them, which cannot, indeed,
     be taken from them. This would, I think, cure your difficulty.

     Pray tell Bernard that the sooner he returns the better, and that I
     will engage to find him full employment.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     I hope Bernard is not necessary to you in Ireland, because I think
     he is already seriously wanted here. He will tell you for what.


     Dublin Castle, Dec. 2nd, 1788.

     Many thanks for your very interesting and affectionate
     correspondence, which I have not neglected from inattention, but
     from anxiety, and from business, which you can easily figure to
     yourself, and as easily excuse. Much of your Windsor anecdotes had
     reached me from other quarters; but I could not, without very
     accurate information, have given credit to details so very
     unpleasant as some of those which I have heard. The messenger, who
     will deliver this to you, is going to London; but I was anxious
     that he should leave this at Baronhill, as I think it may be
     doubtful whether you know that the new system of government is to
     be proposed at the next meeting of Parliament; and that unless the
     King's health should vary materially after the 28th (my last date),
     there was no idea of a further adjournment. My brother will
     probably have written to you, to press your attendance, and, in
     that case, this will find you in London, as I shall order the
     messenger not to leave it at Baronhill; but, if it should reach you
     in the country, let me implore you not to lose this (perhaps last)
     occasion of paying a debt to our master, which every principle of
     private honour and public duty must make sacred to us. The only
     object to which I look is, not to private power or ambition, but to
     the means of waking our unhappy King, at some future period, to the
     use, not only of his reason, but of his power. How this is to be
     secured I cannot, in my uninformed situation, pretend to say; but I
     have the fullest confidence on this head in Mr. Pitt, and if I
     could imagine that he could suffer a consideration of private
     situation to interfere on such a question, I should despise him as
     much as I now love him. I can have no doubt, that as soon as His
     Royal Highness is possessed of the power of dismissing us, we
     shall feel the full weight of it, and to that you will believe me
     most indifferent; but the subsequent scene must, in all events, be
     so interesting, that I must wish every assistance to Mr. Pitt that
     friends and countenance can give him. If this should be realized, I
     shall not be long absent from you; and perhaps our Christmas pies
     may be too hot for the new Government, if their folly and
     intemperance should urge them to the steps which those immaculate
     Whigs, Lord Loughborough and Sheridan, may suggest. Adieu. I am
     almost too late.

     Ever yours,

     Robert and I have made our peace. Pray carry Sir Hugh with you.


     Whitehall, Dec. 3rd, 1788.

     It is now past four o'clock, and I am but just returned from the
     Privy Council. The whole number that attended was above fifty,
     including Lord North, Lord Stormont, Lord Loughborough, &c., &c.
     Fox was not there, being confined with a flux, which he has got by
     the rapidity of his journey. None of the Royal Family attended. The
     physicians who were examined, were Warren, Baker, Pepys, Reynolds,
     and Addington. The general questions that were proposed to them
     were three:

     1. Whether the King is now incapable of attending to business?

     2. What hopes do you entertain of his recovery?

     3. What do you conjecture may be the probable duration of his

     These are not the precise words, but the substance. They all
     answered the first question decisively, that he is now incapable,

     To the second, Warren gave an ambiguous answer; but said that the
     majority of persons afflicted with _all the different species_ of
     this disorder, recovered. An explanatory question was put to him,
     which it took about an hour and a half to settle; whether, as far
     as experience enabled him to judge, he thought it more probable
     that the King would or would not recover. To this he said that he
     had not, and he believed no one else had, sufficient data to answer
     that question.

     All the rest stated, though in terms more or less strong, that the
     probability is in favour of recovery.

     The time, they all declared themselves unable to speak to.

     A question was put to them, to show the degree of experience each
     had had in these cases. That of the three first appeared not to be
     great; that of Reynolds more; and Addington stated the particulars,
     which you already know, about his house at Reading.

     On the whole, I think the impression of the examination was
     universally more favourable than was expected.

     After the Council was formally broke up, Pitt proposed, in
     consequence of some things which had been thrown out by Lord
     Stormont and Lord Loughborough, that it should be understood, that
     any proposal for further examination in Parliament should be
     resisted. After some conversation, this was acceded to; and Monday
     settled as the day when these papers are to be taken into
     consideration. A Committee is then to be moved to search
     precedents, so that the motion itself cannot come on till Friday,
     or more probably Monday se'nnight.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Dec. 4th, 1788.

     Lord Sydney sends off this messenger with the proceedings of
     yesterday's Council. I write a few lines by him, because I know you
     would wish to hear from me, although I have, in fact, nothing to

     Our situation continues exactly as it was. The prevailing idea
     seems to be that of a general dismission, and of an immediate
     dissolution of Parliament. How far the examinations of yesterday
     may operate with respect to this, it is impossible to say; but I
     thought the Opposition people seemed evidently struck and
     disappointed with them. If they do dissolve Parliament in such a
     moment as this, when the physicians concur in declaring the King's
     recovery probable, I am persuaded the cry will be as strong as it
     was in 1784.

     There is a report, that before the Duke of Portland would consent
     to have any communication with the Prince of Wales, he insisted on
     an apology being made to him, for some very rough treatment which
     he received at the time of the question of the debts; and that this
     apology has been made. This, however, I give you only as a report,
     for the truth of which I do not vouch.

     I enclose you a pamphlet, which you may perhaps think worth
     reprinting in Ireland.

     I hear as yet of no rats, but I suppose a few days will bring some
     to light; though I cannot help thinking that the examinations of
     yesterday _donneront à penser à Messieurs les Rats_.

     I have not heard from you for almost a fortnight, and am impatient
     to know that you receive my accounts; and to hear your opinions
     upon them as they arise.

     Pray send Bernard back as soon as you can. I cannot guess what his
     motive was, for persisting so strongly in wishing to undertake two
     such journeys at this season of the year; but he assured me, that
     he had no wish to stay any time in Dublin.

     The list, which you will see in the "Morning Post," of the Council
     is accurate. It makes a curious medley.

     James is come to town, looking very sturdy. He is now with me; and
     has no other message to send, except to wish you all safe home

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     Stratton Street, Dec. 5th, 1788.

     When I came home yesterday afternoon from the House, I wrote the
     enclosed minute of proceedings--a practice I shall continue to
     pursue until we meet, for your satisfactory information.

     As to news, it consists in the rumour of a general change in
     Administration. I confess that so hasty a step as is generally
     talked of and believed, comes not within the scope of credit which
     my mind is framed to. Political wisdom suggests a multiplicity of
     reasons why the Prince of Wales should not act precipitately--nay,
     why Mr. Fox, &c., should not act precipitately; unless, indeed, to
     embroil the times, and seek occasions of profit and power from
     their turbulency and vicissitudes, may be the plot of some
     desperate men of the party. Of authorities for intentions of
     change, my best is Colonel Stanhope, who, coming from the Duke of
     Portland's the day before yesterday, mentioned that the arrangement
     of the new Administration was finally settled in everything; but,
     "that they had not yet succeeded in persuading the Duke of
     Devonshire to go to Ireland."

     _A-propos_ of Ireland. Accustomed to speculate on historical
     points, the _precedent_ seems to me eventful, indeed, on that side
     of the water. The times, indeed, are perilous, and must be met
     everywhere with wisdom and firmness. At all times, I am ever, my
     dear Lord, in truest affection of friendship, your devoted and
     obliged friend, &c.,

     W. YOUNG.


     Whitehall, Dec. 6th, 1788.

     I have great pleasure in being able to tell you that, in addition
     to what you will have seen in the examination taken before the
     Privy Council, a Dr. Willis, whose name you will probably have
     heard, saw the King yesterday, and that his opinion is still more
     favourable as to the prospect of recovery. I have but just seen
     Pitt, who has been at Kew this morning, and saw Willis there. This
     general information is all that he had then to mention; but if
     there should be any particulars of any importance, I will let you
     know them. I am much mortified by receiving half a dozen Irish
     papers together this morning without a word from you, as the
     speculations on your side of the water are by no means indifferent,
     or uninteresting here.

     The papers will have told you what passed in the two Houses. It was
     too late for me to write; nor, indeed, was Viner's nonsense worth
     sending. Fox looked ill, and spoke worse than I ever have heard
     him. His object was to beat about, and feel the pulse of the House
     with respect to further examination. I do not think he received
     much encouragement; but they are so anxious to mend this part of
     their case by cross-examining the physicians, that I am inclined to
     think they will try it. This opinion of Willis's is some temptation
     to us to allow it; but, on the whole, I think it better resisted.
     I should be quite clear about it, if it was not from a fear that
     some individuals may be caught by the notion of parliamentary
     dignity, and that our first division may thereby be less favourable
     than if it was taken on any direct question of party.

     I send you a note which Wilberforce put into my hands. If the thing
     cannot be done, pray send a separate and very civil letter about
     it; because this Sir J. Coghill is one of his chief friends in
     Yorkshire, and he particularly desires to be able to send him a
     civil answer.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

The next day, immediately after this favourable report from a physician
whose experience in this particular branch of practice gave great weight
to his opinions, Thurlow began to veer round again to the Ministry.
"Whatever object he might at one time have had in view," says Mr.
Grenville, "he has now taken his determination of abiding by the present
Government." Thurlow, in short, was exactly the man the King believed
him to be, and always kept in the sun.


     Whitehall, Dec. 7th, 1788.

     There is nothing particularly worth mentioning to you with respect
     to Willis, more than what I told you in my last letter. He
     expressed himself very strongly to Pitt as to his hopes of the
     King's recovery, and said that there was no symptom which he saw in
     him, or could learn from the other physicians, which he had not
     seen much stronger in other people who have recovered. He has, I
     understand, already acquired a complete ascendancy over him, which
     is the point for which he is particularly famous. He had the
     boldness yesterday to suffer the King to shave himself in his
     presence. The King was much more composed than he has ever been,
     slept uncommonly well the night before last; said in the morning
     that he found himself much better, for that Dr. Willis had settled
     his mind; and was remarkably quiet the whole of yesterday. The
     account this morning is also, I understand, very favourable. I have
     just seen a man who saw a note of Willis's dated late last night,
     in which he says that he is confident the King would do very well.
     He is to continue entirely with him, and to have the complete
     management of him. The other physicians are, however, to see him,
     in order to keep him in bodily health.

     It is quite ridiculous to see how angry the Opposition are at the
     report of the physicians, and particularly at what Warren said,
     which, I understand, was very different from what they had
     expected. They go so far as to say, that if Fox had been present he
     would not have dared to give such an evidence. They hope to mend it
     by a subsequent examination before a Committee of the House: the
     object of Willis being examined is so great, that I think we shall
     consent to something of this sort. Not only his opinion will have
     great weight, but it will also make the others very cautious what
     they say in opposition to it.

     The behaviour of the two Princes is such as to shock every man's
     feelings. What do you think of the Duke of York's having a meeting
     of the Opposition at his house on Thursday, before the House of
     Lords met, and then going down there to hear the examinations read?
     After that, they closed the day, by both going in the evening to
     Brooks's. The truth is, that the Duke is entirely in his brother's
     hands, and that the latter is taking inconceivable pains to keep
     him so, in order that he may not see what a line is open to him if
     he had judgment to follow it.

     The assurances of support which Pitt receives from all quarters are
     much beyond the expectations which we had formed. It is also clear
     that, whatever object Thurlow might at one time have had in view,
     he has now taken his determination of abiding by the present
     Government, and supporting their measures with respect to the
     Regency. I imagine that Lord Stafford and Lord Weymouth have
     chiefly influenced his resolution--their line having been clear and
     decided from the beginning.

     On the other hand, there seems great reason to believe that the
     Prince of Wales is inclined to go to all the lengths to which that
     party are pushing him. They have for several days been spreading a
     report that he has expressed a determination not to accept of the
     Regency under any restrictions or in any manner at all short of
     regal power; and that the Duke of York was commissioned by him to
     have declared this on Thursday, if anything had been said that
     could at all have led to it. The story of to-day is, that the three
     Royal Dukes have assured him of their resolution to refuse it if
     tendered to them on similar terms, and that they have authorized
     Fox to say this in the House of Commons. There is no knowing what
     sort of effect this may produce with respect to the measures of the
     present moment: that must depend entirely on the sort of turn that
     the people in general may take upon it at first. But it is very
     evident that by such a step the Prince will do himself a permanent
     mischief which he will never be able to repair, and which we shall
     probably all of us have much reason to regret. It is quite clear
     that, having once proposed these restrictions, as thinking them
     necessary for the interest of the King (and on that ground only
     could we propose them), no other motive whatever can be a
     justification for abandoning them, as long as there can be found
     one individual or set of individuals who will undertake to carry on
     the Government, and as long as Parliament continues to think the
     proposal right and equitable. What all this may produce, God only
     knows. Our reliance can only be on the discharge of what we owe to
     the King in gratitude and duty, and in the decided manner in which
     we have put all considerations out of the question which can
     personally affect our own interests.

     In the midst of all this confusion, and while his sons and brothers
     are struggling to gain entire possession of his authority, the King
     may recover his reason. What a scene will present itself to him!
     and how devoutly must he pray, if he is wise, to lose again all
     power of recollection or reflection.

The struggle was now beginning in earnest between the Ministers and the
Prince of Wales. The point at issue apparently narrowed itself to the
restrictions; but there lay beneath this question of royal expediency a
great constitutional principle, which was gradually developed in the
progress of the subsequent debates. It was not alone that Mr. Fox and
his party demanded the Regency without any limitations whatever, but
that they demanded it as a right; setting up the doctrine that when the
Sovereign, from any cause, became incapacitated, the Heir Apparent had
an indisputable claim to the executive authority during the continuance
of the incapacity, just as he would have on the demise of the Crown. It
was strange enough that this doctrine, which Mr. Pitt denounced as
"treason against the Constitution," should have been maintained by the
avowed champions of popular liberty; and that it should have been
reserved for the Ministers of the King to defend the interests of the
people against the encroachments of royalty. Mr. Pitt asserted that the
right of providing a remedy for the suspension of the regular powers of
Government rested solely with the people, "from whom," he added, "all
the powers of Government originate." The language he held upon this
occasion is remarkable not only from its constitutional soundness, but
for the perspicuity with which it states the actual question in contest,
stripped of all disguises and evasions. "To assert an inherent right in
the Prince of Wales to assume the Government, is virtually to revive
those exploded ideas of the divine and indefeasible authority of
Princes, which have so justly sunk into contempt and almost oblivion.
Kings and Princes derive their power from the people; and to the people
alone, through the organ of their representatives, does it appertain to
decide in cases for which the Constitution has made no specific or
positive provision." It will be seen that in the end the Prince of Wales
was obliged to abandon his claim of right, and that the steadfastness of
Pitt finally secured the recognition of the principle which placed in
the hands of Parliament the settlement of the conditions under which His
Royal Highness was to enter upon the Regency.

This glance at the subject is a little in advance of the correspondence;
but it will be useful as a key to the points of discussion thrown up in
its progress. The fulness and freshness of the letters, written daily,
and containing the most minute history of those proceedings that has yet
appeared in print, requires such slight elucidation as to render it
undesirable to interrupt their continuity by commentaries, except where
it may become necessary to direct attention to some special matter.

Both parties were now gathering their allies around them, and preparing
for a contest which was not very creditable to the political character
of the Opposition. In the meanwhile a third party was forming, which,
trying to reconcile hopeless antagonisms, ran its head against a
crotchet, resisting the restrictions on the one hand, and supporting Mr.
Pitt, as Minister, on the other, for the sake of his popularity and
transcendant abilities. This line of conduct is justly described by Mr.
Grenville as "absolute nonsense."


     Whitehall, Dec. 9th, 1788.

     The messenger who carries this is sent for the purpose of
     collecting proxies. It is, you know, necessary that they should be
     renewed every session; for which reason I have desired that a blank
     proxy should be directed to you, which I suppose you will fill up,
     as before, with Fortescue's name. He is quite eager (especially for
     him), and came up to town for the first day. I think there is every
     reason to hope that we shall not stand in need of this sort of
     canvass, either for the House of Commons or the House of Lords; but
     you will certainly agree with me, that no pains are superfluous
     when such points are in question.

     I do not learn that there is any foundation for the report which I
     mentioned to you of the round-robin entered into by their Royal
     Highnesses. The partizans of Opposition are, however, still
     circulating, with great industry, the idea that the Prince of Wales
     has positively declared his resolution not to accept the Regency
     under any restrictions whatever. I take this, however, to be
     nothing more than a bully, intended to influence votes in the House
     of Commons. If, however, he should be so desperate, I should hope
     there would be every reason to believe that the Queen would be
     induced to take the Regency, in order to prevent the King's hands
     from being fettered for the remainder of his life. Nothing has yet
     passed with respect to this subject. Pitt has seen her once; but
     the conversation was nothing more than general, although with the
     greatest civility, and even kindness, on her part towards him.

     We receive every day new professions of attachment; and I do not
     yet hear of any one individual of any consequence whom we shall
     lose, except, probably, the Duke of Queensbury. The Duke of Grafton
     has declared himself explicitly. There is no longer any doubt of
     Thurlow; and there never has been any of Lord Stafford, Lord
     Weymouth, &c. Lord Lonsdale is still uncertain, and so is, I
     believe, the Duke of Northumberland--though this will have been
     brought to a point by this time. The general idea is, that he has
     connected himself with the Independents, of which there was some
     appearance last session. It is said that they mean to support Pitt
     as the Minister, but to oppose any restrictions on the Regent. This
     is not the less likely to be their conduct, on account of its being
     absolute nonsense.

     With respect to individuals in the House of Commons, there are
     several who have long been wavering, and who have sent the most
     positive assurances of support.

     There is every reason to believe that the country will continue
     entirely with us, and that addresses will be presented from all
     parts to the Regent, to continue the Government. I am afraid that,
     in point of time, nothing can be done of that sort in Ireland,
     without exposing you to much embarrassment.

     I conceive that our Regent will probably be appointed, the Bill
     passed, &c., &c., by about the 10th or 12th of January, and that we
     shall then immediately be dismissed. You certainly must remain till
     your Parliament has met and appointed the Regent for Ireland,
     because there is no one else who can vacate your commission; and I
     think the contrivances which you once mentioned for avoiding it,
     are liable to great objections. Now, you will observe, that the
     addresses from Ireland could not be presented to the Prince of
     Wales till he was Irish Regent, and that it would be a very awkward
     thing to have the people there addressing him to continue you in
     Ireland, after you had declared your own resolution to quit it in
     consequence of the removal of your friends here. I wish you would
     consider all this attentively, because, if these difficulties could
     be removed, it would certainly be very desirable that it should
     appear as far as possible to be the united sense of all the three
     kingdoms, as well as of both Houses of Parliament, and of the King,
     that the present Government should remain; and that these Whigs
     should recommend the dismission in the teeth of all these.

     Willis sent last night a note to Pitt about his attendance at the
     Committee to-day. In a postscript, he tells him that he thinks the
     King better and more composed than he has been since he has
     attended him.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

A new question and a new embarrassment now arose, as to what was to be
done about the Regency in Ireland. It was natural enough that the Prince
of Wales should be popular in Ireland as a _pis aller_, on account of
the known antipathy of the King to the Catholic claims; and it was
apprehended that the Irish Parliament, acting independently of English
precedent, would declare itself in favour of an unlimited Regency. The
anxiety to which Lord Buckingham was exposed by this disturbing prospect
(some people went so far as to cast the horoscope of an Irish
revolution), and by the delays in the receipt of intelligence, owing to
the imperfect and irregular means of communication existing between the
two countries, betrayed him into some expressions of impatience, against
which Mr. Grenville remonstrated with his habitual temperance and good
sense, throwing out at the same time some sound suggestions as to the
course it was desirable the Lord-Lieutenant should pursue. There are no
qualities in these letters, wherever reference is made to the conduct of
public men in great crises, more worthy of unmixed admiration than their
practical sagacity and complete self-control.


     Whitehall, Dec. 10th, 1788.

     Your messenger having been, as he says, four or five days at sea,
     has just brought me your letter of the 2nd. I cannot avoid
     expressing to you the mortification I felt, on finding it filled
     with complaints of want of communication. It is now more than a
     month that I have written to you constantly seven days in the week,
     with the exception, I believe, of not four days in the whole time.
     I do this, not only without reluctance, but with pleasure, because
     I think it contributes to your satisfaction, and because it is a
     real relief to my mind to converse with you in this manner on the
     subjects which are, in the present moment, so interesting to us
     both. But I do it often under circumstances of so much other
     business, as makes it impossible for me to keep any copies or
     memoranda of what I write. I cannot, therefore, distinctly call
     back to my mind the thread of that correspondence; but, as far as
     my memory serves, I solemnly protest I know of no one fact,
     opinion, or conjecture, that could be of the least use to you, or
     could even satisfy your curiosity, that I have not regularly
     communicated to you as it arose.

     You seem to have mistaken some expression in one of my letters, and
     to have understood that the proposition itself relating to the
     Regency was to have been brought forward on Thursday last. You will
     since have seen, that the preliminary steps require so much time,
     that it must still be Monday, or more probably Wednesday next,
     before anything can be moved. But you say that you have received no
     communication of the extent or wording of that plan, so as to
     consider its legal or political effect towards Ireland. On this, I
     can only say, that long before the outlines of that plan were
     finally settled, even, I believe, in Mr. Pitt's mind, certainly
     long before they were at all agreed upon by the Cabinet, I
     communicated them to you distinctly, and at length. There has since
     been no variation in these. With respect to the precise wording of
     the plan, I do not know that this is yet decided upon; nor do I
     suppose it can be so, till within a few hours of its being moved.
     But as to any legal effect which it can have upon Ireland, I have
     certainly failed in what I intended to do, if I have not stated to
     you a clear opinion, that no measure taken in Parliament here can
     possibly affect Ireland any otherwise than as a precedent, which
     every Irishman must think himself bound to follow, who does not
     wish to separate the two countries. It surely could not be your
     wish, nor would it be desirable, to attempt to pledge any Irishman
     one step beyond that general proposition, that whatever is done by
     the authority of the British Parliament as to England, must be done
     in Ireland by the authority of the Irish Parliament; but that the
     latter will grossly betray the interests of their own country, if
     they do not adopt the English measure, whatever that may ultimately
     be. I trust that we shall be able to carry the measure here, such
     as I stated to you long ago, some time before your Parliament
     meets; but if it should fail, and any different form be
     established, I hope we should be the last men in the two countries
     to wish to disunite them on this ground.

     I cannot but repeat, that the expressions and style of your letter
     have hurt me sensibly. I do not believe, that if you were living in
     Pall Mall, you could be more distinctly or regularly informed of
     what passes. You will, of course, hear in Dublin, as you would in
     Pall Mall, an infinite variety of foolish reports, as is naturally
     the case when every man has his own speculation. You cannot, I am
     sure, think it possible that I can even enumerate, much less argue
     upon, or contradict all these; but I cannot, at this time, after
     some reflection, call to my mind any point of the smallest
     consequence in our present situation with which I am myself
     acquainted, and which I have omitted to state.

     With respect to your own particular situation, I conceive that it
     is not possible that things can be brought to the point of
     affecting that for several weeks to come. The measure which is to
     be brought forward here will, of course, meet with violent
     opposition; and cannot, according to my calculation, be completed,
     so as to put the Prince of Wales in possession of the Regency, till
     the first or second week in January. I think as soon as you receive
     the notification that this measure has passed in England, it would
     be right for you to write a very short letter to the Secretary of
     State, mentioning in a very few words the opinions of lawyers
     there, that your patent can be vacated only by a Regent appointed
     by the Irish Parliament, suggesting the expedient of Lords
     Justices; and then desiring to know His Royal Highness's pleasure,
     whether he chooses that under those circumstances you should meet
     the Parliament, for the purpose of laying before them the
     circumstances of the present situation, or whether you should name
     Lords Justices, and who they should be. You see, I put this on the
     supposition that you are not _immediately_ removed, which, for many
     reasons, I think unlikely. You know my opinion has always been
     that the Prince would not negotiate, and I am every day more
     confirmed in it. But I think it may be a question, whether he may
     not choose to look about him a little. Perhaps, however, in order
     to anticipate any sudden step, you would do well to send a letter
     such as I mention, so as to reach England a few days before the
     measure can pass, and to be here ready to be laid before him when
     he does accept. In a point of such importance, it seems to me that
     it would be proper that you should have, for your own
     justification, the written opinions of your lawyers on the point I
     mention, but not to send them over here. I mention this as a
     general idea; but wish you to consider it, because I am sure, in
     general, the less you write on this subject the better, in order
     that you may not give ground of misquoting, or misrepresenting what
     you say.

     As to the idea of vesting the Government in Lords Justices, or
     taking any step for throwing up the Government in the interval,
     except with the consent and by the direction of the Prince of
     Wales, I should most earnestly deprecate it for a thousand reasons;
     but, above all, for the impression which it would give here of
     abandoning the interests of this country in Ireland, for the sake
     of adding to the confusion, and creating factious difficulties. I
     think your line clear, and that you have nothing to do but to sit
     still saying or doing nothing till our measure passes. You then ask
     the Prince of Wales whether he chooses that you or any Lords
     Justices should meet Parliament; and if he directs you to stay, you
     have nothing to do but to express to anybody that asks you, your
     wish that the English measure should be precisely followed.
     Whatever, under such circumstances, is the conduct of the Irish
     Parliament, you cannot be responsible for it, unless you make
     yourself so.

     There is another urgent reason against your taking any step for
     breaking up your Government: the King is daily getting better, and
     has been continuing so to do ever since Sunday. Willis's
     examination before the Committee yesterday, was all but decisive as
     to the certainty of his recovery in a short time. I will send it to
     you in the course of to-morrow, or the next day; but these are the
     material parts. He is asked what hopes he entertains of the King's
     recovery? He says he entertains great hopes; that if it was the
     case of a common man, he should have no doubt of his recovery; but
     in the King's situation, his own reflections on his situation, when
     he begins to recover his reason, may retard the cure. (A good
     lesson, by the bye, to the Prince of Wales, &c.) He says he cannot
     yet affirm that there are signs of convalescence, but that there is
     everything leading to it; particularly that the irritation has
     almost entirely subsided, which must precede convalescence, or any
     appearance of it. He is asked with respect to his own experience,
     &c.? He says, that of ten patients brought to him within three
     months of their being attacked, nine have recovered. That the
     smallest time he remembers, is six weeks or two months from their
     being brought to him; the longest, a year and a half; the average,
     about five months.

     With this account, it is not very sanguine to hope that the King's
     actual recovery may take place before the measure can pass here;
     or, at least, such a prospect of it as may make it absolutely
     _impossible_ for the Prince, whatever his disposition may be, to
     change the Government. If the amendment continues, it may even be a
     question whether further adjournment may not be thought right,
     though the inconveniences of this, particularly with respect to
     foreign affairs, are so great that it must not be done but upon
     very strong grounds indeed.

     The nonsense about dissolution has been talked in England as well
     as in Ireland; but I cannot persuade myself that it really comes
     from Lord Loughborough. It has not made its fortune much here.
     Anybody who had the smallest knowledge of the general turn and bent
     of the public mind, both in and out of Parliament, would not have
     broached so foolish an idea.

     I told you, in one of my former letters, that I was utterly at a
     loss to guess what Bernard's motive was for going to Ireland in the
     moment which he chose. I stated my wishes against it; but I saw
     that there was some mystery behind, which he did not wish to
     explain, and therefore I pressed him no more about it.

     Adieu, my dear brother. I hate writing anything to you, which can
     bear even the appearance of complaint. I feel for the
     disagreeableness of your situation at this moment: being at a
     distance from the scene of events which interest you so much, and
     from any conversation with those in whom you most confide. But I am
     sure you will, on reflection, acquit me of any want of attention to
     you on the head of communication.

     I am much obliged to you for your anxiety about myself. I had a
     slight attack of fever for a day or two; but it is now entirely

     Five o'clock.

     I am just returned from the Committee, who have finished the
     examination of the physicians. The examinations of to-day are not
     very material; but as far as they go, they confirm our favourable
     hopes. Another account is just come from Kew, that the King has
     continued better ever since the account of this morning, which is
     the public one.

     Pitt is to move to-day for the Committee of Precedents. Fox told us
     he meant to say a few words against it, as unnecessary, but not to
     divide; so I shall not go down again.

     The notion of the Prince of Wales not accepting, seems to lose
     ground; and all these favourable accounts of the King are evidently
     strong grounds of argument for our measures.


     Stratton Street, Thursday, Dec. 11th, 1788.

     I did not receive your kind letter of Dec. 2nd, until my arrival
     last night from the House of Commons, when it was too late to
     write, and the conversation which then arose was of so important a
     nature, that it was not practicable or proper to steal a moment
     from the debate, or to send a line respecting it ere it was closed,
     and the subject took a decisive turn, which was after the post

     To a friendship so dear and honourable to me as yours, and shown me
     by so many instances of goodness, the best answer I can make is,
     through life, by a return of grateful attachment, honour, and
     disinterestedness; and in these, if I aught know myself, I shall
     never fail.

     Of the momentous business opened last night, I can only say that
     _our_ astonishment is only to be equalled by the spirits we are in,
     on viewing the grounds Mr. Fox hath abandoned to us and left _our
     own_. Lord Radnor, who breakfasted with me this morning, told me he
     understands that Fox's doctrine, "that the Prince of Wales was
     Regent, invested with full regal authority immediately and _de
     jure_ on the incapacity, however temporary, of the King, and that
     the two Houses of Parliament had no right to debate thereon even,"
     came from _that constitutional lawyer_, Lord Loughborough. Radnor's
     further remark, that Fox, having on a former occasion sought to
     trespass on the royal just prerogative, had now completed his
     attack on the Constitution, in denying the rights of Lords and
     Commons, is worthy observation. Talbot, who made one of my
     morning's levée, told me that at White's last night, all was hurra!
     and triumph. Charles Sturt and other youngsters took part at the
     bar, to echo the "Hear, hear," from Fitzpatrick and Burke, of
     Fox's doctrine; yet the "Hear, hear," was but little caught or
     repeated, though given loudly. Looking back to the history of this
     "Man of the People," and to his present conduct, in despite of his
     talents of logical discrimination, I begin almost to doubt whether
     his weakness or profligacy is transcendant. Pitt's language was
     most masterly and decisive; and has been done but little justice to
     in the papers of this day. The general tenor of subject they will
     give you, but what I have seen does not touch on the overthrow of
     Fox's resort to the doctrine that Parliament was of "Kings, Lords,
     and Commons; that no two branches thereof could make _a law_," by
     the just and constitutional distinction between the two Houses
     making a law, and the providing or giving efficiency to the third
     executive branch of Legislature in cases of defect, whatever it may
     be. The report of the physicians being ordered to be printed, will
     be out to-morrow, when I will send it, with a few remarks. Our
     great days are to be Monday and Tuesday.

     It will scarcely escape your Lordship's penetration, that when Fox
     said recognition of the Prince's claim _de jure_ to be the sole
     right and province of Parliament, implied an act of the House to
     debate, and, if to debate, to decide upon. So idle is genius! I see
     through the motive power: if Parliament has a right to confer
     power, it has a right to say what sort of power. So far Fox's
     penetration reached, and so he boldly denied the major of the
     proposition; and then, in a puzzle for consistency of popular
     attachment to good old rights of the Lords and Commons, and his
     subscription to the pillar at Runnymede, run into the contradiction
     of admitting the major in shape of _recognitions_. It is impossible
     yet to foresee what tergiversation will take place, or how many
     will sacrifice their principles to the rising sun; forgetting that
     apostacy to honest principles requires that there should be a
     transcendancy of merit of another sort--namely, of great ability to
     be useful to make that apostacy acceptable or the object of
     remuneration. Hating the traitor and loving the treason, is a
     state maxim to be remembered by those whose treason is scarcely
     ever to be regarded while themselves are the objects of civil
     contempt. Yet some hold a language of _doubt_. One or two, whom I
     will not yet name, I told if they had not made up an opinion, they
     had better ask their constituents for one. It seems to me, that the
     business must close in a resort to the sense of the nation. In what
     shape such resort may _possibly_, I think not _probably_, be made,
     is serious indeed. But the violence of the faction of Fox portends
     every evil. Perhaps, however, and most likely, the resort to a new
     election, may give us time to grow cool, and close matters there.
     Adieu, for the day.

     Ever, my dear Lord, in truth and affection,
     Your devoted friend and servant,
     WM. YOUNG.


     Stanhope Street, Dec. 11th, 1788.

     The scene here is a very busy one, and I never was so interested in
     any public measures in my life as in the support of Mr. Pitt and
     the King at this moment, looking upon it as my duty to do all in my
     power to stem the torrent of profligacy which the Opposition and
     _their King_ seem determined to hazard with the good sense,
     decency, and character of the country. I really do see such things,
     and hear of such doings, that my tolerant spirit cannot forgive,
     and if you had not very good information of them, I should think
     myself bound to treat you with them. The Nevilles, Fortescues,
     Jemmy, and the General, being in town, we make a very strong corps
     together; and we are sent to White's every night to gain
     intelligence for our ladies, who are not a little animated in
     favour of the good cause. Charles Fox and Pitt were at issue
     yesterday in the House, when the former advanced the most
     extraordinary doctrines, considering his former opinions in the
     Whig Club and in Parliament on constitutional points. I hope the
     nation will see what lengths he is capable of going when it answers
     his purposes. I do not hear of many rats running as yet, except the
     Duke of Queensbury, Lord Brudenell, and W. Gerrard, Hamilton, and
     Sir Robert Smyth, but probably some more dirty dogs will follow
     them. The Chancellor seems very sour and crusty, and certainly does
     not like Pitt, but I cannot believe he will do otherwise than right
     on this momentous occasion.

       *       *       *       *       *

     We sat yesterday till eight, in the Lords, and thought Lord Camden
     imprudent in touching upon what had passed in the Commons the day
     before, as it gave the Opposition an excuse for being violent; it,
     however, had one good effect, that the Chancellor opened enough of
     his sentiments to show that he means to stand by his colleagues.
     His speech was not long, but one of the finest I ever heard, and
     made so strong an impression, that we gave him a merry "Hear,
     hear," which you know is not very frequent in the House of Lords. I
     think we shall carry the question of restrictions very powerfully
     in the Lords, as I hear of no rats but the Duke of Queensbury, the
     Duke of St. Albans, and Lord Rodney. In the Commons, a great deal
     will depend on the state of the King's health at the time the
     question comes on, and on the previous activity of Pitt and his two
     secretaries, in talking a little to dubious friends, which they
     have not time nor inclination to do, notwithstanding so much
     depends upon it.

     Adieu, my dear Lord. Our joint and kindest love and remembrance
     attend you both.

     Yours ever, &c.

     Pray order your secretary to send me word of the number and income
     of the tide-waiters' offices which you can spare me, as I have
     dependants enough if they are as highly paid in Ireland as in
     England. In the meantime I give you the name of John Thomas, for
     one of them. Did you ever promote one Alexander Gammach,
     tide-waiter at Belfast? Pray do before you quit Ireland.


     Whitehall, Dec. 11th, 1788.

     You will, no doubt, be as much surprised as I was, to find that the
     notion of the Prince of Wales's _right_ was brought forward
     yesterday by Fox in the House of Commons. It was a matter of no
     less astonishment to many of his own friends, who were by no means
     prepared for the assertion of such a doctrine. One should lose
     oneself in conjecture, by attempting to find out what motive can
     have induced him to take exactly the most unpopular ground on which
     their side of the question can be rested. I was not in the House;
     but I find there was an impression on our friends, that in his
     second speech he had rather seemed desirous of stating the
     proposition less strongly.

     Our present idea is, that it will be right, in consequence of this
     debate, that nothing should be moved on the first day (which, I
     think, cannot be till Wednesday) beyond the abstract proposition,
     as maintained by Pitt; namely, that in every case of suspension or
     interruption of the personal exercise of the royal authority,
     otherwise than by death, the care of making provision for the
     emergency rests with the two Houses of Parliament. These are not
     the words, but the substance. A stronger question we cannot desire.

     12th.--I intended to have sent this off to you yesterday; but was
     kept in the House of Lords till it was too late. You will see by
     the papers, better than I can pretend to retail it, what passed
     there. The doctrine, as stated by Lord Loughborough, was not quite
     so strong as Fox's; but is sufficiently so, to be reprobated by
     every lawyer in the country. Even Erskine says openly, that he
     cannot go this length.

     The idea is, and some words which Fox dropped yesterday in the
     House of Lords seem to confirm it, that whenever the report of our
     Committee of Precedents is made, which will probably be to-day, or,
     at latest, to-morrow, he intends to explain away his assertion,
     into the mere statement, that the Prince has such pretensions to a
     Regency as Parliament cannot overlook. Be this as it may, we are
     determined to state the right distinctly, by a resolution of the
     House, before we proceed to any other measures.

     Fortescue has this instant been with me, to say that he has heard a
     report, said to come from a considerable Oppositionist, that they
     have resolved, in consequence of the examinations and particularly
     Willis's, to accede to the proposed restrictions, for a short time,
     reserving to themselves the right of contending for more, should
     the continuance of the King's illness appear to give grounds to
     expect that it will be permanent. I do not think this by any means
     impossible, because the question will clearly go against them in
     the present moment; and this appearance of moderation may give them
     grounds at a more distant period. It is difficult, however, to
     conceive that they can make up their minds to wait so long without
     a greater struggle.

     Only think of Fox's want of judgment, to bring himself and them
     into such a scrape as he has done, by maintaining a doctrine of
     higher Tory principle than could have been found anywhere, since
     Sir Robert Sawyer's speeches.

     I enclose the examination of the physicians before our Committee. I
     am sorry to say, that the examination before the Lords is
     infinitely less decent and respectful, and goes into a variety of
     particulars, which, I am sure it will shock you to read, as it did
     me to hear them.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

I do not know in what manner what Thurlow said about Ireland will be
represented in the papers, not having seen them. It was so enveloped,
that I, who heard it, could form no notion what his opinion is. In the
debate in the House of Commons, I mean, for your sake, to state my
principles on that subject distinctly.

Sir William Young, in the next letter, reports what was done on Pitt's
motion for the Committee.


     House of Commons, Friday, Half-past Five, Dec, 12th, 1788.

     Fox got up, on Mr. Pitt's having moved for a Committee to inquire
     into the state of the nation on Tuesday. Fox explained away much of
     the harshness of the doctrine of _right_ in the Prince of Wales to
     assume the royal authority during the temporary incapacity of the
     King; but left all the substance of the doctrine. He then spoke his
     sentiments of what ought to be done, whatever the manner; namely,
     to recognize, _or confer_, as others might say, _full regal
     authority_ on the Prince, for the time of the King's incapacity. He
     then called on Pitt to relieve the nation from doubt, and give an
     opening of his plan.

     Pitt, in reply, stated the point of law and the Constitution yet to
     be at issue, the _substance_ of difference yet remaining, and that
     such great question could not be slurred over. It must be decided
     by Parliament, and should be the first subject of debate and
     decision; namely, for Tuesday. It was a question for themselves and
     for posterity. He then said, that the outline of his plan was, as
     _matter of discretion_ and conveniency, to appoint the Prince of
     Wales sole Regent, with no permanent council, with power to remove
     and make his Ministry at pleasure, and with all other regal powers
     necessary for giving force, dignity, and vigour to his
     Administration; but with no powers that might be needless,
     intrench on the Crown, and cause embarrassment on the King's
     recovery, &c.

     Our business for Tuesday, therefore, is the _question of right_.

     Pitt stands higher and higher in general estimation. As I passed
     the gallery to write this, Marquis of Townsend caught my arm, and
     said: "A glorious fellow, by G----, Young! His speech is that of an

     Post bell rings.

     Yours ever,
     W. Y.


     Whitehall, Dec. 13th, 1788.

     I must refer you to the papers for an account of our triumphant day
     in the House of Commons yesterday. You will see by that, that I was
     not mistaken in my opinion that the doctrine of the Prince's right
     was not likely to be a very popular one. Fox found that by what he
     said before he had offended so many people, that he was obliged to
     take the very first moment of explaining it away; still, however,
     he has left it in such a shape that we cannot fail of debating it
     with great advantage. He intends, as you will see by his speech, to
     move the previous question on Pitt's proposition, which he is
     afraid to attempt to negative. After this recantation was over, the
     day was closed by such a blunder of Sheridan's, as I never knew any
     man of the meanest talents guilty of before. During the whole time
     that I have sat in Parliament, in pretty warm times, I never
     remember such an uproar as was raised by his threatening us with
     _the danger of provoking the Prince to assert his right_, which
     were the exact words he used.

     You may conceive what advantage all this gives us, especially when
     coupled with the strong hopes entertained of the King's recovery.
     The account, as given at St. James's, is rather less favourable
     this morning. I do not well know how to account for this
     circumstance, as the letters from persons immediately about the
     Queen continue as favourable as ever. I rather guess it to be
     Warren's malice against Willis, who was yesterday put into
     possession of many points which they had disputed with him,
     particularly the right of signing the reports. I imagine he was
     unwilling the first day of this to contest with Warren about the
     precise words.

     There is a report, which I heard yesterday before I went to the
     House, and which Fox's speech appeared to countenance, of their
     intending to acquiesce in the limitations, provided they are
     established only for a short time.

     The precise mode of carrying our propositions into effect is not
     yet settled. Our general idea is, that the two Houses should
     authorize the Chancellor to put the great seal to a Commission,
     empowering the Prince to open the session. And that then the
     propositions should then be brought forward in the shape of a Bill,
     to which the Prince may, by a similar Commission, be authorized to
     give the royal assent. We shall, however, in the course of two or
     three days have reduced this to form, and I will then send it over
     to you.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

The report alluded to above turned out to be true, which could be said
of few of the reports that were so industriously circulated during the
King's illness. The Prince's party, finding it impossible to get rid of
the restrictions, were ready to enter into a compromise, and to agree to
them, provided their duration was limited to a certain period. A Bill to
that effect was afterwards introduced. But Ministers were not inclined
to accept compromises when they had the power in their own hands to
dictate conditions; and so the limited Regency scheme came to nothing.


     Stratton Street, Dec. 13th, 1788.

     The account at St. James's this morning is, that the King had a
     quiet night; but that, on awaking, His Majesty was more unquiet
     than yesterday. Unless something very particular is noted in these
     official returns of the King's health, shall not in future transmit
     accounts so inconclusive to such a distance. The disorder in its
     nature is subject to intervals, and to variations which even a
     medical inquirer could not build upon, without being a witness to
     such vicissitudes of malady or having a recital of each minute
     symptom, and that with comments. Each authentic account, more in
     detail, as it comes to me you shall have; and then, too, the St.
     James's note as a corollary.

     After my note from the House of Commons--which, if your Lordship
     can read, I do not think I now could, such was the haste of
     scribble--Sheridan threw out the menace which the papers state,
     with Pitt's answer; the comment on which is, in the mouth of
     Opposition: "Pray, for God's sake, don't put a question, and urge
     it to a division, which will ruin our pretensions as Whigs if we
     do, as we must do, divide against it."

     On walking out this morning, the first thing that struck me, was a
     long row of handbills, stuck from one end to the other of the wall
     of Devonshire House; in which a few words of _Fox for the Prince's
     prerogative_, and of Pitt, in reply for privilege of Parliament and
     liberties of the nation, were not badly selected.

     We are likely to have a conversation in Parliament, I am pretty
     authentically informed, of even a more delicate nature than the
     last; John Rolle intending to bring forward his old subject of Mrs.

     Rolle and Sheridan had a whispering conference under the gallery
     for some minutes; the result of which, Sir J. Scott,
     Solicitor-General, with whom I dined, said he understood to be
     firmness on the part of Rolle, in his intention at a proper time to
     come forward.

     To our question of right, on Tuesday the previous question is
     expected from Opposition; and that they will be stronger on that
     point than any other, from having the timidity of some, co-operate
     with the interestedness of others. The list on that day will be
     worth marking. I trust we shall yet have a great majority of
     Parliament who will not submit to be dragooned out of their
     privileges and freedom by an Irish Brigade.

     Grattan is every day under the gallery, not admiring, I hope, the
     Captains Sheridan and Burke. I know not which side he leans to.

     Adieu, my dear Lord. My wife desires to forward her kindest wishes
     and best respects to the Marchioness, with your most affectionate
     and devoted friend's,

     W. YOUNG.


     Whitehall, Dec. 14th, 1788.

     I received this morning your letter of the 8th, and am very sorry
     that I am so hurried to-day as to make it absolutely impossible for
     me to enter into the subject which you discuss, in the manner which
     I should wish. You will collect from a former letter my general
     notions upon it, but I doubt whether those may not be considerably
     varied by the consideration which you suggest of being able to
     carry more for the King by remaining, than otherwise.

     I have had a good deal of conversation with Pitt on the subject. He
     promises me that he will, immediately after Tuesday, discuss it
     thoroughly with me, and enable me to send you his decided opinion
     how you ought to act. I find, from what he says, that he apprehends
     Lord Thurlow's opinion to be contrary to ours. This, however,
     seems immaterial, except with a view to future support, and,
     probably, cannot easily be brought to a point, as no Cabinet
     measure or instructions can be grounded upon it. The idea still
     continues of proceeding by Bill; and as we preface that with an
     assertion of the right in both Houses, it must still be a
     considerable time before any measure can come in question with
     respect to Ireland.

     I believe we shall word the proposition in a less abstract form,
     and apply it more particularly to this individual case, still,
     however, asserting the right.

     The account is less favourable to-day, notwithstanding that of
     yesterday. I saw a letter from Willis to Pitt, in which he said
     that the King "had passed the day calmly, and was, in other
     respects, much the same as yesterday."

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Dec. 15th, 1788.

     I had yesterday some conversation with Pitt on the subject of your
     letter, which I had received in the morning.

     On the best consideration, we agreed that the line I before
     mentioned to you is the best which you ought to follow; that you
     should write a letter, to be delivered immediately upon the Prince
     of Wales being Regent, to state the doubts, to suggest the solution
     of Lords Justices, to desire His Royal Highness's commands upon the
     danger of giving offence here, by the appearing to raise
     difficulties in Ireland. This was agreed to be more proper, even to
     the King, than leaving them to open the Parliament. Pitt has
     received a very haughty letter from the Prince of Wales to Thurlow,
     complaining of his general behaviour to him, and of his not having
     had Pitt's plan communicated to him, and ordering Thurlow to
     require him to send it to him in writing. Pitt has sent a
     respectful answer, disclaiming any disrespect to him; but saying
     that he does not think it proper to do this until the question of
     right has been discussed.

     It is reported that the four Princes of the blood met yesterday,
     and agreed to refuse the Regency under any limitations, and this is
     to be declared in the House of Commons to-morrow. I have reason to
     believe this to be true. Pitt saw the Queen yesterday; I do not
     know what passed, though I think he is satisfied.

     I enclose a letter from Camplin, upon which you must decide. I have
     not yet seen Captain Nugent, who has sent me a letter from you, but
     his business is wholly out of our cognizance.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     When Pitt was at Kew he saw Willis, who told him that he did not
     think the difference in the King's state within these last two
     days, of the smallest importance. That this sort of fluctuation was
     naturally to be expected, and did not in any degree diminish his
     hopes, which are as sanguine as ever.


     Whitehall, Dec. 17th, 1788.

     I have nothing to add to what I said in my last letter, on the
     interesting subject of your situation and conduct in the events
     that may most reasonably be expected to arise. It appears, however,
     to me, to be of the utmost importance that you should not neglect
     for a moment taking the opinion of the law servants of the Crown in
     Ireland, with respect to the operation of a new patent granted by a
     Parliamentary Regent here, under the English Great Seal, previous
     to any proceeding having been held in Ireland. I have a real
     confidence in Fitzgibbon's honour; but I think this a point of much
     too great importance to yourself, to be vested on verbal opinions.
     You may, and I think ought, both to keep these written opinions
     secret, and to require them to do so; but as soon as you have
     received them, you should, I think, transmit them to Lord Sydney,
     to remain in his office. You will observe that the ground is now in
     some measure cleared for you by the declaration of right, which we
     came to last night, and which will certainly be agreed to by the
     House of Lords. I expected to have been able to send you an exact
     copy of the resolutions, but am disappointed. You will, however,
     probably see them in the "Morning Chronicle," if that comes out
     early enough for the post. The first states the fact of the King's
     present inability to attend to business, "and that the _personal
     exercise_ of the royal authority by His Majesty is thereby for the
     present interrupted."

     The second: "That it is the right and duty of the Lords and Commons
     (describing them as in the preamble to the Bill of Rights) to
     provide the means of supplying the defect in the personal exercise,
     &c., in such manner as the exigency of the case may appear to them
     to require."

     The third: "That for the above purpose, and for maintaining entire
     the constitutional authority of His Majesty, it is necessary that
     the said Lords and Commons should determine on the means by which
     the royal assent may be given in Parliament to such Bill as may be
     passed by the two Houses, respecting the exercise of the royal
     power, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, during the
     continuance of His Majesty's indisposition."

     I believe I have given you very nearly the words, which I ought to
     remember, having employed very near the whole of two days in
     settling them with Pitt and our lawyers.

     Our principle is, that the King's authority remains entire. That no
     legislative act can be done but with the formal sanction of his
     assent. That no person can take upon him to give that assent,
     except by the direction and authority of the two Houses, who have
     the right, in the present emergency, to act for the King; but must,
     even in doing that, adhere as nearly as possible to the forms of
     the Constitution.

     Fox opposed these resolutions, in one of the best speeches I ever
     heard from him; but I think indiscreetly supporting and enforcing
     all his old ground of the Prince of Wales's right. Towards the end,
     he made a violent personal attack on Pitt, intimating that he was
     desirous, through envy, to weaken the hands of those _who were to
     be his successors_. This opening was not neglected by Pitt, but
     laid hold of in a manner which enabled him to speak of his own
     conduct towards the King and the Prince, and towards the country in
     the present moment, and to contrast it with that of his opponents.
     I never heard a finer burst of eloquence, nor witnessed such an
     impression as it produced. But you will know all this better from
     the papers.

     The division exceeded our expectations. All the neutrals, and many
     of the wavering people, and some of the most timid of our friends,
     were against us, on the ground of the inexpediency of agitating
     this question. You will also naturally see that something is to be
     allowed for the impression of two Princes of the blood speaking;
     one of them to assure the country that the Prince of Wales would
     not urge this claim, and both beseeching, as a sort of personal
     point, that it might not be made necessary to come to a division
     upon the question. Still, however, the impression which the claim
     itself had made on the country, was such that it was a point of
     real duty to quiet people's minds upon it. But it cannot be
     surprising, that under all these circumstances, and under the fear
     of some unexplained danger, many people should be caught by a
     previous question. I was a little mortified at finding our friend
     Sir P. P. among these. I had no previous intimation of this till I
     saw him in the division, nor have I had any opportunity of
     conversing with him since. I am not sure that he did not think he
     ought to have been a Lord of the Admiralty instead of Lord Hood. It
     is either that, or his intercourse with some of the Independents.
     On the whole, I think it better to leave him to himself, as I do
     not think I have sufficient influence over him to do any good, and
     the attempt might do harm. You know best how you stand in that
     respect. We have certainly no claim upon him beyond friendship and

     Lord Lonsdale's people were against us, in consequence of a letter,
     written by the Prince of Wales himself, soliciting it as a personal
     favour. This, which I know _from authority_, may serve to give you
     an idea of the pains they had taken. They were so confident, that,
     on Sunday night, Fox assured the whole party, at a general meeting
     at Burlington House, that he had no doubt of beating us. I imagine
     that we are now sure of carrying our restrictions, and probably by
     a larger majority.

     Lord Loraine has separated himself from the Duke of N.; in
     consequence of which, Rainsforth has vacated. We do not know who
     comes in, but Lord Loraine says it is a friend.

     Gerard Hamilton is among the rats, which is no small amusement to
     me, who have frequently been abused by Pitt for my bad opinion of
     him, at the time that he was swallowing toads _à toute outrance_.
     There are one or two more individual members in the House of
     Commons, but nobody of any consequence but the Duke of Queensbury,
     which, though everybody expected it, is nevertheless a thing that
     raises my indignation in no small degree.

     The popular opinion shows itself every day more and more, and I
     have no doubt you will hear of addresses, &c. Fox's declaration of
     the Prince of Wales's right has been of no small service to us. Is
     it not wonderful that such great talents should be conducted with
     so little judgment?

     Our mode of proceeding will now be to communicate these
     resolutions to the Lords; and when they have concurred in them,
     then to bring forward the plan; and lastly, to authorize the Lord
     Chancellor to put the Great Seal to a commission to His Royal
     Highness, to empower him to open the Parliament, and afterwards to
     another (at least, _I_ think they should be separate), authorizing
     him to give the royal assent to the Bill appointing him Regent.

     You will easily see, that all this will be no very short
     proceeding. In the meantime, the prospect of the King's recovery is
     daily growing more favourable. Willis and Addington have both said,
     _separately_, that his emotion at seeing the Queen for the first
     time, and his subsequent agitation, instead of being discouraging,
     were symptoms highly favourable. He is now quite calm; and at three
     o'clock yesterday, the account which came from Willis was, that he
     was better than at any time since his illness.

     It will be ridiculous if he should recover just in time to give the
     royal _dissent_ to the Regency Bill--which is not impossible. The
     more probable supposition is, that they will just have time to
     parcel out the spoils, to dismiss us, and to hold their offices
     about a month; and so will end (if this should happen) the third
     reign of King Charles III.

     So little was said about Ireland, that it would have been an
     affectation in me to have talked about it; besides this, I had no
     opportunity of speaking that pleased me.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     What I mentioned in my last about the four Princes, I now _know_
     not to be true with respect to the Duke of Gloucester, who has held
     aloof from all cabal with them, and even declared in the House of
     Lords that he had done so.


     Whitehall, Dec. 19th, 1788.

     I am very sorry that this letter must necessarily be so short, as I
     should have great pleasure if there was time to state to you the
     particulars of our triumph, and of the effect which it has
     produced, and which is indeed little less than miraculous. It
     certainly exceeded my expectations; but it was so infinitely beyond
     what our opponents had thought possible, that they are beat down by
     it beyond all description. I hope you will hear all this more
     particularly from others. I write now only for the purpose of
     sending you the following paragraph from a letter of Willis's to
     Pitt last night, which he showed me. W. is speaking of the effect
     of the blisters. He says: "From this, and from several other little
     occurrences in the course of these last three days, I am more than
     ever confirmed in my opinion that there can be no doubt of the
     King's entire recovery."

     I know the pleasure which this will give you, and therefore send
     it, though in great haste.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Dec. 21st, 1788.

     I have delayed writing for these two or three last days, in hopes
     of being able to give you an account of the event of our second
     division, which has, as you will have seen, been deferred from day
     to day, and now is finally fixed for to-morrow. The adjournment on
     Friday was necessary, on account of Pitt's health. He had entirely
     lost the use of his voice by a cold, so that he could not have
     spoken five sentences together, and he was in other respects much
     exhausted. Our friends were a little chagrined at the delay; but it
     was unavoidable, and will not, I hope, be productive of any

     Our next question is not a pleasant one. It turns on an abstruse
     maxim of law, which makes it necessary for us to take a very
     circuitous mode of doing a very plain thing. The necessity of it is
     forced upon us by our lawyers, whom we could not otherwise have
     satisfied, with regard to the second proposition which we have
     voted. I am indeed convinced, that, in strict law, they are right,
     and that the mode now proposed is the regular and proper mode of
     doing what is required to be done. At the same time, it would have
     been more agreeable to have had a more familiar and obvious measure
     to defend in such an assembly as the House of Commons.

     We shall probably lose some individuals, both on this question, and
     on the subsequent question of restrictions; but we have some new
     recruits, who were absent by sickness, or other accidents; so that,
     on the whole, I hope the difference will not be considerable,
     though nothing can exceed their industry in canvassing, except the
     open manner in which they offer every sort of bribe.

     We have some idea of making the restrictions temporary, by which
     means they will certainly be much more palatable. You will observe
     that almost all the physicians seem to point out the probability of
     his recovering within a year or a year and a half, if at all. This
     seems to afford a real ground of expediency, besides giving a
     strong topic of argument for imposing the restrictions only for a
     similar time. This point is, however, not yet determined.

     The accounts from Windsor for the last week, though they have
     varied, are yet, on the whole, less favourable than before. Willis
     ascribes this entirely to the effect of the blisters, which give
     him great pain; and Willis says _that_ is, on the whole, by no
     means an unfavourable symptom. The effect, however, which these
     accounts produce here, is injurious to us, and must be the same in
     Ireland. Our solid ground of hope does not appear to be in the
     smallest degree weakened.

     You will see in the Opposition papers that they are beginning to
     abuse the Queen in the most open and scandalous manner. I collect
     from this that they have some information, on which they can
     depend, with respect to her sentiments, and I conjecture that they
     are such as we could wish.

     If we were together, I could tell you some particulars of the
     Prince of Wales's behaviour towards the King and her, within these
     few days, that would make your blood run cold; but I dare not
     commit them to paper, because of my informant.

The demands of the Opposition appear to have risen and fallen with the
bulletins; and according as the King was better or worse, the resistance
to the limitations was faint or violent. The conduct pursued by the
Prince's party to obtain votes and strengthen their parliamentary
influence, is not shown in a very favourable light.


     Stratton Street,
     Monday, Dec. 22nd, 1788.

     I should scarcely venture to anticipate a subject, the event of
     which within twenty-four hours may belie any pretensions of
     political sagacity, might not the difference of one day's post from
     London eventually delay your receiving a letter for a week, should
     wind and sea prove perverse, as when I passed my Christmas at
     Holyhead. This, and the anxiety for intelligence, which must
     necessarily arise from the suggestion in my note of Saturday,
     induces me to pursue the matter I then opened, and the more
     especially as the circumstance, I foresaw, is now more than likely
     to occur. As I purpose closing this letter at the House of Commons,
     and the last moment which the post may allow me, I shall have to
     transmit fact in lieu of probability; at present, I state briefly
     my grounds for the latter--namely, that the specific great
     question, whether the Prince shall be Regent without any
     limitations, and invested with the full prerogatives of royalty,
     will be agitated and decided upon this Monday night. The turn of
     debate and temper of the House on Friday, which induced me to
     suppose such question might be pressed upon us, have induced others
     to press it. This morning a printed paper hath been sent to certain
     members, containing a motion for addressing, and an address at
     length to the Prince, corroborating what Mr. Steele told me
     yesterday, that _Fox's_ party had some design in view for Monday.
     Letters having been sent in Fox's name to several members,
     requesting attendance and _an answer_; and that Mr. Pitt had
     written in like manner to such as he apprehended might be
     withdrawing for the Christmas holidays, with the same unusual
     request _of answer_. Two of these letters (pretty long), to Sir H.
     Hoghton and to Mr. Pye, I afterwards had the perusal of.

     The true friendly language, and which I openly hold, is that we
     shall be stronger on the division than before; such language is
     proper, because ordinary men consider numbers as a shelter for
     their opinions and conduct, and some even consider it as the test
     of truth. But this language hath not its origin in my judgment and
     feelings. There are circumstances which impress great doubt on my
     mind, whether the division can be so favourable to our wishes, as
     was the last. Taking the data of the examination of the physicians,
     the King's recovery therein presumed, gives a vantage-ground in
     argument for limitations. But I am sorry to say this ground is now
     shaken: the public is no longer sanguine in hopes, medical
     gentlemen have generally conspired to render the object of
     recovery much more doubtful at least, and the physicians about the
     King have had dissensions and disputes amongst themselves. It is
     now rumoured that Dr. Warren wishes to be re-examined. All this is
     indeed not before the House of Commons, and the report of the
     physicians is; I think, therefore, that though not so decisive, we
     yet shall have a considerable majority on the premises; but even
     for this dependant on other considerations--namely, how far
     apprehensions of the King's actual demise may operate from, I
     believe, the faithful report of the day, that a fever is come on,
     and that for a day or two past the King has had a constant sweating
     of the head, to which he was at no time before accustomed.
     According to wishes or fears, men construe this crisis to portend
     health or decease; the political effect in the alternative, being
     in the first case uncertain, in the second case certain. The bent
     of this is against us, as few narrow motives and personal
     considerations may extend and favour the active spirit of
     subornation which stalks in open day, with each hand full of
     patents of honour and purses of money. Offers have been so prodigal
     that not fifty years of patronage could accomplish the performance.
     Those gentlemen who have rejected these kind tenders of service
     speak openly, and no notice is taken. In these moments of public
     curiosity, it may not be so well to trust names to a letter. I
     could give you several.

     The bearing of this letter is thus unfavourable to this night's
     debate terminating _fully_ as we could wish, though yet I think
     _for us_. Having thus far written, I shall pocket my paper for the
     purpose of adding what I can at the House of Commons.

     House of Commons,
     Half-past Five, Monday, Dec. 22nd, 1788.

     I dined at three, at a coffee-house, with my cousin, old William
     Lawrence, who called on me; Smith, member for Sudbury, leader of
     the Dissenters, joined us on the walk, and was of our dinner
     party. Lawrence said he wished a compromise, a _limited regency for
     a year_, and then to take up the business anew, if the King was not
     recovered, on the other ground, and _he_ is a leading country
     gentleman of their party, Smith is in an unqualified manner with
     us; and Thornton, whose place in the House is next to me, being
     equally staunch, I augur that we have all the Dissenters' interest
     with us. Indeed, generally speaking, the House looks better for us
     than I expected, and I doubt not our majority, yet thinking it will
     not be great; indeed the House is not nearly so full as it was on
     the late question, and the apprehensions I set out with of
     temporizers and shirkers, as we called them at Eton, seem

     Edmund Burke arose a little after four, and is speaking yet. He has
     been wilder than ever, and laid himself and party open more than
     ever speaker did. He is Folly personified, but shaking his cap and
     bells under the laurel of genius; among other things, he said Mr.
     Pitt's proposals could not be adopted, as gentlemen, as
     _cavaliers_: the word will not be forgot.

     Fox is present, but looks very ill. Pitt looks recovered. Your
     brother in high glee at Burke. Burke stated the Chancellor to be
     like to the God Priapus, and Pitt the carpenter. He run his idea to
     a charming extravagance, and finished by declaring that "he could
     not be a votary to Priapus, the false God! _vid._ Horace, &c."

     The question is an amendment of Dempster's, to follow; the Lords
     and Commons, &c., determine "to address the Prince of Wales, to
     take on him the Regency, &c."

     Adieu, my dear Lord. Your Marchioness in health, and a boy, and
     yourself in all good that Providence can dispense, is the prayer of
     your most faithfully affectionate and devoted friend, &c.

     W. YOUNG.

     Six o'clock.


     Tuesday, Dec. 23rd, 1788.

     Never did any debate of nice discussion go off better in our eye
     than that of last night: never was I more agreeably surprised than
     by the result--having gained nine on our former majority. The House
     was thinner by forty at twelve at night, than the debate before at
     three in the morning. The shirkers I alluded to may now come in,
     and we may augur our future divisions to be yet stronger and more
     decisive: our rats having all shown their tails on last night's
     motion to address the Prince.

     Sir John Aubrey, rat-major, receiving his emoluments of the
     Treasury for five years, and declaring himself unconnected with
     any, afforded a subject of general laugh. Master Popham, Sir Samuel
     Hurmery, James Macpherson, W.G. Hamilton, &c., &c., followed the
     illustrious Aubrey. Fox, after Pitt's reply, and his own rejoinder,
     paired off with Stevens of the Admiralty. The Marquis of
     Lansdowne's friends, Barré, &c., were with us. Masham, voting for
     the Address, declared himself not precluded thereby from voting for
     limitations. Drake, on the same head, not to preclude himself, left
     the House. We shall, therefore, have those _two_. Sir John Scott
     spoke with such learning, truth, and uncommon energy of reasoning
     and language, that he carried the House with him, and extorted from
     Lord North, in particular, the highest compliments ever paid to a
     lawyer in the House of Commons. I never heard Fox speak so
     temperately, or better, in point of argument. Pitt, in reply, was
     equally great. He stated, to conviction, "the fiction of the law,
     which admitted the application of the royal political authority,
     when the personal was disabled, as implicated in the very
     principles of hereditary succession, which otherwise would suffer
     interruption from nonage, infirmity, dotage, and every contingency
     in the state of man." Sheridan spoke very ill: very hot,
     injudicious, and _ill-heard_. Rolle, whilst adverting to Sheridan's
     speech, made use of a remarkable expression, and which seems to
     hint some future acting up to the rumours of his purpose. He said
     that in proper time, "He should heartily vote for the Prince's
     being Regent, _if_ the Prince had done no act by which he had
     forfeited pretensions to executive government in this country."

     Our resolutions being carried to the Lords, in conference this day,
     on Friday next the Lords will debate thereon. Lords Townshend,
     Romney, Radnor, and many other occasional opponents, I understand
     to be decidedly with us on the second Whig resolution.

     In speaking of our debate, I had forgot Burke, who, after I
     finished my last night's letter, finished his wild speech in a
     manner next to madness. He let out two of the new
     titles--Fitzwilliam to be Marquis of Rockingham, and Lord G.
     Cavendish, jun. His party pulled him, and our friends calling
     "Hear, hear," we lost the rest of the twenty-five new Peers, who
     would all have come out.

     For the King's health, the world is yet in expectation of some
     crisis. The St. James's notes of last night "quiet," or "unquiet,"
     are disregarded, as too general, or as of course; and accounts from
     ladies about the Queen, and from the physicians themselves, pass in
     the greater circles, still mentioning violent intermitting fevers,
     and profuse occasional perspirations. Having generally, in my last,
     stated that the faculty had conspired to render the public less
     sanguine, I mention to _your Lordship only_ what T. Warner, above
     seventy years of age, and forty years first surgeon of Guy's and
     St. Thomas's Hospitals, told me, "Being at the head of these city
     hospitals, he has been often called in to meet the physicians of
     Bethlem, where a surgeon for scalping, &c., was required, and that
     a madness after fifty, without a clear assignable cause--and that
     cause to be reached by surgery or medicine--did not admit a
     perfect recovery above one time in an hundred." The opinions of
     many others of the faculty are bandied about; but, as matter of
     conversation for your private ear, I give this particular one as
     authentically coming to my own knowledge.

     You'll observe in this day's papers, a meeting advertised of the
     bankers. It is understood to be for the purpose of tendering W.
     Pitt, on his going out of office, a transfer of £3000 per annum,
     Bank Stock, or a principal of £50,000, in the name of the
     commercial world.

     Adieu, my dear Lord. Health and prosperity be yours, and be assured
     that you have no one more devotedly attached than your most
     affectionate and obliged friend and servant,

     W. YOUNG.


     Whitehall, Dec. 23rd, 1788.

     I received this morning your letter of the 18th; but am so much
     engaged to-day that it is impossible for me to enter into it, which
     I will, if possible, do to-morrow. I write now only to press again,
     in the strongest manner, that you will get Fitzgibbon and Wolfe to
     state all the particulars of the case, particularly as to the form
     of the enrolment of your patent under the Irish Great Seal, and to
     give you their opinions and arguments upon it. I will then take
     care to know Kenyon's sentiments on that paper, and if I can, the
     Chancellor's; but you are not ignorant of the bias of his mind,
     which is, on all occasions, to consider the relative situation of
     the two kingdoms, not such as it is, but such as it was, and as he
     thought it should have remained. My idea of your tie by no means
     went to your pledging yourself to do any act so contrary to your
     duty and feelings, as the recommending from the throne, in
     Ireland, a form of Regency varying one iota from that adopted here.
     On the contrary, I think you should give it explicitly to be
     understood, that everything in your power will be done to preserve
     entire this link of connection. And under this explanation only, do
     I think you ought to offer the proposed alternative.

     I say nothing of our triumph last night. You will hear it from
     other quarters; and you will probably be able to judge of its
     extent, by knowing the confidence with which the enemy looked to
     gaining upon us on this occasion. It is, I think, now quite certain
     that we shall carry our restrictions.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Another letter upon the Irish difficulty, into which Mr. Grenville
enters in elaborate detail:


     Whitehall, Dec. 25th, 1788.

     I am extremely anxious that you should lose no time in transmitting
     over to England an exact statement of the case respecting your
     commission, and of the points and arguments on which your lawyers
     ground their opinions, in order that they may be well considered
     here by those who are interested in your situation and character,
     as deeply and as warmly as Pitt and myself. You mention in your
     last, that it has occurred to you, that it would be right _if you
     are_ intemperately removed to desire the opinion of our judges on
     the point. But you do not seem to consider that, whenever that case
     occurs, you may have to decide _on the moment_, either to quit your
     Government, and to swear in the new Lord-Lieutenant, or to hold it
     against him, in contradiction to the orders of English Government.
     Suppose he should himself be the messenger of his own appointment,
     as was the case with the Duke of Portland. The same reason exactly
     exists for it now as before, namely, the fear of suffering the
     dismissed Lord-Lieutenant to meet the Parliament, especially in a
     moment when their conduct is so important. The best and, indeed,
     almost only security that you could have in such a case for the
     justification of your own conduct, whatever it might be, would be
     the having given a full previous intimation to the English
     Government of the difficulties and dangers of the case.

     You say that I should feel myself at liberty to act for you on the
     pressure of any unforeseen case. I certainly should; and my
     confidence in your affection, and in your persuasion of my desire
     to do the best for you, would encourage me to take, if it were
     absolutely necessary, steps even of considerable delicacy and
     difficulty. But I cannot but be infinitely anxious, as far as
     possible, to be previously in possession of your ideas on every
     case that can be foreseen. Besides this, I am at present unable to
     do the precise thing which I think would be the most desirable,
     because I am not myself in possession of the particular forms of
     your commission's passing in England and in Ireland, so as to be
     able to state them to others. And yet this is the point on which,
     in one view of the case, the whole question turns. I confess that,
     in my own individual opinion, there is another point distinct from
     that of forms, on which I should be disposed to maintain the
     incompetence of any English revocation of your commission. It is

     _We_ (that is Pitt and his friends) hold and have persuaded
     Parliament to declare that, in such a case as the present, the
     right of providing for the emergency rests in the two Houses, not
     as branches of the Legislature, but as a full and free
     representative of all the orders and classes of the people of Great
     Britain. Now the moment that we admit this, we do it on the ground
     of this being a case unprovided for. If it is so in England, it is
     unquestionably equally unprovided for in Ireland; and the right of
     making such provision must of necessity rest in the same manner in
     the Lords and Commons of England. There is this difference, that
     here the Parliament could not be legally opened, unless the Lord
     Chancellor had taken upon himself to put the Great Seal to a
     commission for that purpose, whereas your commission enables you
     (as I understand) generally to open and hold Parliament. But even
     in your case, it seems to me to be a doubt whether you can
     regularly do this without having received the King's pleasure for
     it, and whether your opening the Parliament in such circumstances
     is not an act very much of the same nature as the Chancellor's
     would have been if he had sealed such a commission.

     In the same view of the subject, I should most earnestly deprecate
     your taking upon yourself to issue a further prorogation. Surely,
     under such circumstances as the present, the two Houses should
     themselves decide, and not any individual for them, whether it is
     expedient or not to proceed to any business. My clear and decided
     opinion on that subject is, that you should go down on the day of
     meeting, and state the circumstances of the case, saying that you
     have ordered the several examinations of the physicians before
     Council and before the two Houses here, to be laid before the two
     Houses. Your Ministers should then, upon that, propose to adjourn
     to a further day, on the ground of its not being known (as it
     cannot then be known) what form will be adopted here, and of its
     being, at all events, desirable that they should be in possession
     of that fact before they deliberate, especially as the Government
     may go on in the interval without inconvenience.

     If you see no objection to this, it is, I think, high time that you
     should write an official letter, stating all the circumstances of
     the situation, and that your intention is, unless you should be
     informed that it appears to His Majesty's servants to be improper,
     &c., to meet the Parliament on the 20th, for the purpose which I
     have stated.

     It is excessively important that you should, at the same time,
     transmit, either publicly or privately, such a case as I have
     mentioned, considering the subject in the two points of view:
     first, with respect to the particular forms; and secondly, to the
     question, how far any difference in point of form can preclude the
     Parliament of Ireland from the exercise of the same substantive
     right as that which we have declared to vest in us under the
     existing circumstances.

     I have great doubts of the propriety of what you mention of an
     address of the two Houses to empower you to give the royal assent
     to any Bills, because that would prematurely, as it seems to me,
     bring into discussion the great question of all--namely, how far
     the Lords and Commons of Ireland have the right, either of
     commanding the use of the _English Great Seal_, or of superseding
     its use, in an instance in which _that_, and the concurrence of the
     _English Council_, are fundamental points of the present
     constitution of Ireland. I am quite sure that the safest of all
     things will be the adjournment; and I think it very improbable that
     such a proposal can be opposed, as it must extremely fall in with
     the wishes of the party who are looking to the Government
     immediately after the passing the English Bill. I have no means of
     knowing or guessing at General Pitt's intentions, but should think
     they can be no other than _royal_.

     You could surely find no difficulty in pledging the servants of
     Government in Ireland to the adjournment; because it can so clearly
     be argued not to preclude any future opinion on the subject, and
     still less to pledge anybody to the adoption of the English system;
     but only shows the opinion of the Irish Parliament, that a
     knowledge of the system adopted here, is a point which they wish
     should enter into their deliberations respecting Ireland.

     I am much amused with the circumstance of Lord Sh. and Lord T.
     having sent their proxies, as it has answered no other purpose but
     that of pledging them; for it now seems to be agreed, that no use
     can be made of proxies in a case where the Parliament does not
     legally meet, but is rather to be considered as an extraordinary
     assembly of the same persons who constitute the two Houses of
     Parliament. It is something more than a Convention, and something
     less than a Parliament.

     Our triumph here is very great. The indignation of the two Princes
     is, by what I hear, beyond all measure or bounds. The steadiness of
     the House of Commons on this occasion is no bad lesson to them, and
     I believe they will long remember it.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.

In the House of Peers, Ministers did not come off so triumphantly. Lord
Bulkeley communicates the result, and enumerates the _rats_.


     Dec. 27th, 1788.

     We divided last night at half-past twelve; our majority was 33, the
     members being 99 to 66, which in the House of Peers was certainly a
     large minority. The rat Peers were Duke of Queensbury, Marquis of
     Lothian, Bishop Watson, Lord Malmesbury, Earl of Abergavenny, Lord
     Chedworth, Lord Audley, Lord Eglinton; and all of the armed
     neutrality, who are: Duke of Northumberland, Lord Rawdon, Lord
     Selkirk, Lord Breadalbane, Lord Hawke, Lord Kinnaird, Lord
     Shaftesbury, Lord Huntingdon; Lord Lonsdale absent; Lord Lansdowne
     with us, and spoke better than I ever heard him in my life, fewer
     flourishes, and less rhodomontade. The Chancellor spoke
     incomparably; and did give it Lord Loughborough and Lord Rawdon
     most completely, particularly the former, who felt it. We are in
     good spirits, for we fall with _éclat_, and high in public
     estimation. I have no time to add more; but that I am yours


     The Opposition are in great hopes of a _riot_ in the Irish


     Whitehall, Dec. 28th, 1788.

     The messenger carries with him, as usual, the account received
     to-day from Kew. I do not know that I have anything material to
     write in addition to my former letters. I stated to you on Friday,
     at length, the strong objections which both Pitt and myself feel
     against your idea of proroguing the Parliament. If any accident
     should detain that letter till after you receive this, I hope you
     will take no step of that sort till you have received that letter,
     and seriously considered the nature of our objections, which seem
     to me to be of the utmost importance.

     The belief that the Prince of Wales will certainly accept seems to
     gain ground. It is most probable that we shall be enabled to speak
     with more certainty on this subject in the course of to-morrow, as
     a letter is to be written to him to-day by the Ministers, stating
     the outlines of their plan. It will not materially differ from what
     I originally stated to you. Peerages, grants for life (with the
     necessary exceptions), and reversions, are to be restricted for a
     certain time, which will be about a year and a half. This time is
     fixed in consequence of what you will observe in the evidence both
     of Willis and Addington, who both state the recovery as infinitely,
     and beyond all calculation, less probable if it does not take place
     within that time. Some line is to be drawn with respect to the
     King's household, but what that shall be is the subject of this
     morning's deliberation. It is a point of delicacy and difficulty.
     The entire custody, management, and government of the King's
     person; the appointment, &c., of his physicians, and the regulation
     of his actual family, &c., is to be vested in the Queen, with the
     advice of a Council, to be named and removable by her. The idea of
     a Council of Regency to assist the Prince, but to be removable by
     him, seems to be given up.

     Our division in the House of Lords, though sufficiently decisive,
     was less than it would have been, owing to a variety of accidental
     circumstances. There is every reason to believe that we shall
     divide stronger on Monday. I have no apprehension whatever as to
     the carrying our restrictions in the House of Commons. Accidental
     circumstances may vary our majority from 50 to 80; but there can be
     no doubt of success. There seems very little reason to believe that
     they will venture to dissolve Parliament till March or April, if
     they do it then, which I doubt.

     There certainly never was in this country, at any period, such a
     situation as Mr. Pitt's. It is no small addition to the
     satisfaction which we derive from all these events, to observe that
     every man of all parties seems to feel how well the game has been
     played on our side, and how ridiculously it has been mismanaged by
     our opponents. Add to this, that they are all quarrelling amongst
     themselves, and that we were never so united as at this moment.
     With all these reflections you will own that _the prospect before
     us_ is not an unpleasing one. The opinion of Willis continues as
     sanguine as ever.

     Believe me, my dear brother,
     Most sincerely and affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Lord Bulkeley announces, with exultation, the division in the Commons,
and returns to his enumeration of _rats_.


     Stanhope Street, Dec. 29th, 1788.

     We are in high spirits here at the first majority of 64, and at the
     last of 73, which, considering the open and undisguised canvass of
     the Prince and the Duke of York, and the very liberal distribution
     of promises from both, does the House of Commons a great deal of
     honour. Parry fell down in a fit about two hours before the
     division of the first day, and was carried home in a chair
     speechless, where he remained confined till Monday, when I polled
     him by means of a pair with Sir Robert Clayton, which T. Steele
     arranged for him. A _certain lady_ in St. James's Square has been
     tampering with Parry, and he certainly vented all his grievances
     into the compassionate bosom of that active and politic fair one,
     who has likewise infused such a political ardour into the mind of
     her dear Sir Poddy, that on the first division he was seen to take
     down the names of the different speeches and the members, besides
     _other occasional notes_. I have not been in St. James's Square
     since I have been in town, the manner with which they affect to
     treat me being such that _an old English Baron_ cannot put up with;
     besides _we are_ not in the best of humours at present, Sir Poddy
     being unwell, and unable to attend the last division and _we find_
     it difficult to sing the praises of the Prince and the Duke of York
     on the usual themes of filial piety, virtue, &c., in the face of a
     majority of 73 in favour of a falling Minister.

     Sir George Warren was one of the rats, which Lady B. was much
     affected at. He and Lady W. dined with us the day before the first
     division, and both sung the praises of Mr. Pitt, and expressed the
     warmest anxiety for the King's recovery. I was not all surprised,
     well knowing his rattish dispositions. Glynne Wynne, whom I have
     been working for three years to detach Lord Uxbridge from, has,
     with the utmost effrontery, cast his benefactor off, and set him at
     defiance, to which he has been led by promises at Carlton House. I
     trust we shall be able to do his business on a dissolution, and he
     well deserves it, being one of the first of scoundrels.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I subjoin a list of those members who usually have voted with Mr.
     Pitt, who have quitted him in the late divisions, _i.e._ _rats_.

     Yours sincerely,

     Sir Peter Parker.
     Sir George Warren.
     Sir J. Aubrey.
     Sir S. Hannay.
     Sir Charles Gould.
     James Macpherson.
     ---- Clevland.
     Glynne Wynne.
     Gerrard Hamilton.
     ---- Fraser.
     ---- Osbaldiston.

     The Lonsdales voted against Pitt in the first division, and staid
     away the second. The Lansdownes voted with Pitt in the first, and,
     I believe, in the second, or staid away.



The one absorbing subject which for the last few weeks had engrossed the
public mind, almost to the exclusion of every other consideration, kept
the Parliament sitting close up to Christmas-day, in the year just
expired. On the 23rd of December, a resolution, vigorously opposed by
Lord North as instituting a fiction in lieu of the royal authority, was
adopted, empowering the Chancellor to affix the Great Seal to such Bill
of Limitations as might be necessary to restrict the power of the future
Regent; but Ministers had no sooner succeeded in carrying their object
to this important stage, than a new impediment presented itself. On the
2nd of January, 1789, Mr. Cornwall, Speaker of the House of Commons,
died. It was immediately decided that Mr. Grenville should be proposed
to succeed him. On all accounts, it was indispensable to hasten this
arrangement, as the functions of the Commons were unavoidably suspended
in the interim. A serious obstacle arose from the informality of the
proceeding, the sanction of the royal approbation being necessary,
according to custom, upon the nomination of a new Speaker. The elastic
character of the Constitution, however, although not providing direct
remedies for such special cases, admits of adaptation to the most
unforeseen exigencies; and so urgent was the pressure of affairs at this
agitating juncture, that the irregularity was passed over by the tacit
consent of all parties.


     Whitehall, Jan. 2nd, 1788.[B]

     You will probably not be a little surprised at the contents of this
     letter. The Speaker died this morning at about nine o'clock, and
     after some consideration, it has been determined that I should be
     proposed to the House to succeed him. I am not quite sure whether
     the choice will come on to-morrow or Monday. The situation is a new
     one, it having always been held, that the King's commands are
     necessary for the election of a Speaker, and his approbation for
     confirming him in his situation. But this cannot be had under the
     present circumstances; nor can the House take any steps to supply
     the deficiency till they have a Speaker. At the Restoration and
     Revolution, the House, in both instances, chose a Speaker, who was
     acknowledged as such, and was never afterwards confirmed by the

     With respect to myself, the time for deliberation has not been
     long. But upon the whole, I think the decision which I have made is
     clearly right. If the King recovers before Parliament is dissolved,
     it is clearly understood that my acceptance of this situation is
     not to prejudice my other views; and in the public opinion, the
     having filled this office, though but for a short time, will rather
     forward them. If the Regent goes on without dissolving, I am then
     in a situation which, though perhaps not perfectly pleasant, is
     nevertheless respectable, and will give me occupation. If they
     dissolve, and carry the Chair against me in the new Parliament, I
     do not see how I stand worse, in any respect, for having held this
     office. Such is my reasoning, and I think you will approve it. As
     far as I can judge, there is no doubt of my carrying it _now_. I
     have not yet heard whether they start any opponent, but I think
     they have none whose personal connexions can materially vary the
     proportion between the two parties: it is very sufficiently

     I have not heard the account of to-day at St. James's. Nothing can
     be better than all the accounts, both public and private, for the
     last three or four days. It is certainly not sanguine to entertain
     the very best hopes; and the progress has even been more rapid than
     Willis expected; so that I think we may look with some confidence
     to March or April at latest.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

[Footnote B: This is the date in the original, but it is evidently a
mistake. Mr. Grenville forgot that he was in a new year.]


     Whitehall, Jan. 4th, 1789.

     The plan for the Regency was sent to the Prince of Wales in a
     letter from Pitt, three days ago, with an expression of his
     readiness to give any explanation, either in person or in any
     other manner that he might intimate. Yesterday his answer was
     received, directed _to the Cabinet_. It is long, and with much
     affectation of good writing, and is in parts of it well expressed,
     in other parts confused and timid. It ends, however, with saying
     that if these restrictions are adopted by Parliament he will

     I have no doubt of carrying the Chair to-morrow, but not a little
     doubt whether I ought to have accepted it. The die is, however, now
     cast. The restrictions will, I think, pass without much difficulty.

     I still adhere strongly to my opinion about the prorogation,
     because I think there is a wide difference between exercising
     during the King's health a power which he commits to your
     discretion, but which he might if he pleased regulate by
     instruction at any moment, and exercising the same power now when
     you are to state that the King is prevented by infirmity from
     attending at all to the administration of his Government. I am sure
     that your acting in the manner you speak of is liable to, and will
     probably bear, the very worst construction in the minds of the
     public here; and I cannot for the life of me conceive what fear
     there can be that the two Houses will not adjourn, considering that
     the great point which they all wish, is that they may not be
     obliged to pledge themselves. The extraordinary anxiety in those
     whom you see, to get you to prorogue, is, in my opinion, a very
     strong proof of their being actuated by that sort of wish.

     I have not time to write any more, except to express my anxiety to
     hear how Lady B. and your child go on.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

There was no doubt about the issue of the election to the Speakership.
"Your brother William will certainly be Speaker," writes Lord Bulkeley
on the 3rd, "and has already stood the hoax at White's, where it was
debated last night whether he should wear a wig or his own hair." The
election went off to the entire satisfaction of Mr. Grenville, who,
reporting the event, says that "the majority, though quite large enough,
would have been larger if they had divided half an hour later, as nearly
forty of my friends were locked out below, and about eleven of theirs."
With his customary philosophy, he made the best of everything; but he
does not disguise from Lord Buckingham that he had strong doubts in his
mind whether he ought to have accepted the Chair. The Opposition might,
probably, have been stronger against his election, but for the belief
that prevailed that the King was getting rapidly better. "The progress
of the King," observes Mr. Grenville on the 7th, "is such, _according to
our accounts_, that it is by no means impossible, nor even a very
improbable case, that before the Irish Bill can pass, he may re-assume
his Government."

Another contingency that weighed with the floating mass of undecided
politicians was the rumour which now began to be circulated that the
Regent would not dismiss the existing Ministers till the end of the


     Jan. 6th, 1789.

     As I understood that Sir W. Young and Bernard wrote you an account
     of the division last night, which placed Grenville so honourably in
     the Chair of the House of Commons, I did not trouble you with any
     letter by the post of yesterday; but I cannot deny myself the
     pleasure of acquainting you, that nothing could be more perfectly
     satisfactory to all our friends than the conduct of the new Speaker
     on an occasion naturally distressing; his speech of excuse, and his
     speech from the steps of the Chair, were universally admired, they
     were both so composed and delivered as to render a scene, which I
     have always understood to be very ridiculous, really interesting
     and affecting. It is deemed a misfortune amongst our friends, that
     the practice of printing the Speaker's speeches on this occasion in
     the journals is now disused. Grenville's speeches would have done
     him the highest credit, as well as afforded an excellent precedent
     to future Speakers. I have prevailed with Mr. Speaker to mount his
     wig, and the whole apparatus to-day: he must consider this as a
     young lawyer does his first appearance at the bar, and the sooner
     the laugh is over the better for the dignity of the Chair. Whatever
     may be Grenville's future fortunes, it can be no discredit to his
     character to have been placed in the Chair by such a majority, in
     such times and circumstances, and at his age.

     I write no accounts of what we are doing, you hear that much more
     correctly from Grenville. I am anxious to know what will be the
     temper of Ireland at the meeting. Grattan is as much a creature of
     Fox and his party, as the meanest libeller in the "Morning Herald;"
     he lives entirely with them. I hear Pelham is to take his father on
     his back to the Government of Ireland. Grattan will stand, in my
     opinion, on most unpopular ground, if he either attempts to assert
     the hereditary right of the Prince, or to give him larger powers in
     Ireland, than the Parliament of this country entrust to him for the
     administration of the British Government. The hereditary right, I
     suppose Grattan will not venture to touch; and the latter
     proposition, I think, might be argued exactly as he argued the
     Perpetual Mutiny Bill, and other questions, where the danger of
     larger powers in Ireland than were held in England by the same
     hands, were considered with a view to the Constitutions of _both_
     countries. This argument is, in my opinion, clear, if the rights of
     the King on the throne are admitted to be the rights of the people
     at large, and if they are not, I know not why they exist. I have
     not much fear that the Irish Parliament will listen to such
     proposals. As to reversions and offices for life, a Regent, who has
     not the power of granting them here, and attempts to obtain it in
     Ireland, can mean nothing else than to indemnify his disappointed
     friends in England at the expense of Ireland; I do not think this
     can go down. On the whole, I think your argument in Ireland
     stronger in every view than ours here, and that is saying a great

     Arthur informs me that my Trimmers wish to have a company of foot
     quartered on them. I am sure I have no objection to your giving
     _free quarters_ to the whole army on the worthy inhabitants of that
     ancient and loyal town.

     I sincerely wish you joy of your son, and hope the bad weather does
     not affect either him or Lady Buckingham.

     Ever, my dear Lord,
     Yours most affectionately,

     What think of Sir John Aubrey, rat?


     Whitehall, Jan. 10th, 1789.

     I send you a letter of Camplin's, about an exchange which had been
     proposed. We have no news here--everything remaining in precisely
     the same state. The Committee, will, I think, most probably not
     make their report to-day, though we meet for the chance of it. In
     this manner, it will be impossible that the restrictions can be
     opened before Tuesday or Wednesday. The debates of the Committee
     have been conducted with great heat and violence on both sides, and
     much indecency towards the King, particularly from Fox and Burke.
     They are now endeavouring to turn it into a personal attack upon
     the Queen, for having wished to make one of the reports of the
     physicians more favourable, and for having dismissed Baker from her
     service, on the ground of the great inattention towards the King
     and his family, which appears on the face of his former
     examination: he having perceived symptoms of this disorder so early
     as the 22nd of October, and having, subsequent to that time,
     entirely left the King.

     The examination of Baker and Warren state the probability of
     recovery as being nearly the same as when they were before
     examined, but rather less. Willis and Pepys state it as much
     greater; particularly the former of these two, who speaks in the
     most sanguine terms. The answers of Reynolds and Gisborne are also,
     as I believe, favourable.

     These delays put all idea of dissolution out of the question, till
     the end of the present session, at soonest; and that cannot take
     place, according to my calculation, till the end of June. People
     begin to speak doubtfully about the Regent's making any immediate
     change, and I know that some of their friends affect to hold that
     language; but I am inclined to think that, however difficult it may
     be for them to undertake the Government under the existing
     circumstances, it is absolutely impossible for them to satisfy the
     Regent, or to quiet their own dependants, without running that

     Fox is apparently recovering, but slowly.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Jan. 12th, 1789.

     I understand from different conversations, as well as from the
     general report here, that there is an intention of moving for an
     Address to the Prince, such as was proposed here, immediately on
     the first meeting of the Irish Parliament. Grattan, &c., &c., are
     all going over, so as to be in Dublin by the 20th. He is understood
     to have entered completely into all the views of the party here,
     and to be ready to pledge himself to all their doctrines,
     maintained, or retracted, or both. I thought it right to give you
     this intelligence, although you will probably hear it from many
     other quarters, and though I have very little apprehension, indeed,
     from the effect of such a manoeuvre. If anything could more
     completely ruin them here than they are ruined already, it would be
     such a measure. As to its effect in Ireland, I cannot persuade
     myself that there can be any difficulty in getting people to pledge
     themselves not to run before this country; and to appoint a Regent,
     without conditions, in Ireland, before it is even known what
     conditions are to be proposed, much less whether they will be
     adopted by the British Parliament. At all events, however, the
     battle must be fought; for it would be the most disgraceful thing
     in the world to appear to give it up, or rather not to appear to
     dispute it inch by inch.

     Lord Glendon and Lord Fairford are both going over to assist you.
     They both complain (particularly the former) of want of attention
     from you; but I am so accustomed to such complaints, without
     foundation, that I am not disposed to give much credit to them in
     this instance. I understand that Lord Hillsborough has expressed
     himself on the subject in a more decided manner than you seem at
     all disposed to give him credit for.

     Our report cannot probably be made to-day; but when it does appear,
     I am told that the impression of it will be favourable to the idea
     of the King's recovery. Surely, when this circumstance is taken
     into consideration by your Irish speculators, in addition to the
     many other considerations which make everybody here allow that
     Pitt's side has the best of the day, they will not be induced to
     hazard so decisive a step as you must give them to understand their
     agreeing to this Address will be considered.

     It was mentioned to me, that considerable offers had been made to
     Corry. I mention this to you, but you will probably be able to
     ascertain the truth of the report more accurately than I can.

     It is worth observing, that the appointment of a Regent in Ireland
     by Address goes directly to dissolve the Union of the two kingdoms,
     because a Regent so appointed could not command the use of the
     English Great Seal.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Jan. 19th, 1789.

     I was so knocked up on Saturday, that I found it impossible to
     write to you; though there is one circumstance, which, if I had
     been acquainted with, would have prevailed over all fatigue--I mean
     that of Captain Nugent's having voted against us upon the second
     division. The question has not been distinctly stated in any of the
     papers, as far as I have seen. It was a proposal of Fox's, that
     the restrictions, particularly that of peerage, should continue
     only for a limited time; by which means, we should have been placed
     in this sort of situation, that if, at the expiration of that term,
     the King should be so far recovered, as to afford hopes even of an
     almost immediate recovery, the Regent would be able, by a sudden
     creation of Peers, to make it impossible for him to resume his

     Nugent had voted with us upon the first question; but was, I
     suppose, led away by some part of Fox's speech, which had the
     effect of carrying over Bankes and about six or seven more of our
     _conscientious_ friends. I think it right to mention this
     circumstance to you, though not with any view of suggesting what
     you may think it right to do. I shall, I own, be much mortified if
     he should vote against us on Monday; but nothing that you can do
     will be in time enough to prevent that. I do not feel that I can
     take any measures on the subject, although I certainly have no
     doubt what your wishes would have been if you were on the spot.

     I find, from general report, that some of our friends are staggered
     about the household resolution, which is to be proposed on Monday.
     It is, therefore, probable, that we shall not carry this by so
     triumphant a majority as we have the other questions. I think,
     however, there is little doubt that we shall carry it; and that is
     the point of real importance.

     I shall be anxious to hear the event of your meeting. You will have
     observed that, by Lord Sydney's despatch, a latitude is given you
     of proroguing, in stating the opinion of the King's servants on the
     different points. I thought, when the despatch was shown to me,
     that this was a favourable circumstance, as, from your letters, it
     seemed to me at that time very doubtful whether you would not have
     adopted that measure; and, in that case, I felt that you would
     certainly have been glad to have this sort of sanction.

     Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     The Duke of Leinster has, as I suppose you know, written to the
     Prince of Wales, to offer himself to him. The consequence has been,
     that Lord Charles Fitzgerald has declared, that he does not
     consider himself in a situation to be turned over from party to
     party every half-year; and that he has hoisted an Orange cape. He
     will, as I understand, not go over to Ireland at the meeting; and I
     take it for granted, that in case of a dissolution the Duke will
     not re-elect him.


     Whitehall, Jan. 19th, 1789.

     Since I wrote my other letter of this date, I have received yours
     of the 15th, stating your alarm at the lies spread in Ireland about
     the proceedings of the Committee of the House of Commons. You will,
     long before this, have received the report itself from me, and by
     reading it, will have found how much more favourable the account of
     the King's situation appears from that examination, and how much
     you are in the wrong to suffer your noble spirit to be cast down by
     such weak inventions of the enemy; and above all, how monstrous the
     idea is that Fox is to gain with the public by a transaction which
     only shows their inveterate malice against the King and Queen, and
     its utter impotence. Your expressions of duper and duped, you will
     see are equally inapplicable to our representations of the King's
     situation, which I think you will still believe to be as authentic
     and as credible as the lies which Grattan and Forbes retail from
     the porter's lodge at Carlton or Burlington House. Seriously
     speaking, I am vexed to see the importance which you attach to all
     these reports, because I know that it must work and agitate your
     mind. A whole life would not suffice, on my part, to answer every
     lie in circulation: but I beg you to believe that although,
     perhaps, naturally a little sanguine in my temper, yet that if
     there was any really unfavourable circumstance which arose here, I
     would not conceal it from you. The King is better ever since that
     examination; and this I speak on no partial authority, but on the
     information of Warren himself, who gave yesterday to the person who
     repeated it to me a much more favourable account.

     I have not time to answer the rest of your letter to-day. Our Bill
     is not prepared yet, nor can be till the resolutions have been
     agreed to by both Houses; but it will be short, and nearly in the
     same words with the resolutions, adding only the oath of office
     from the Regency Bill of 1765, and a few other particulars.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.

     I suppose you know that Lord Spencer certainly goes to Ireland.

The notion that the Regent would continue Mr. Pitt and his friends in
office was rapidly dissipated during the progress of these discussions.
The Household Bill, alluded to in one of Mr. Grenville's letters, gave
deep offence to His Royal Highness; and from the moment that part of the
plan was disclosed, there was no longer any disguise about the fact that
the Prince had not only made up his mind to dismiss the Ministers, but
that the list of the incoming Administration was actually settled, and
ready for use. The object of the Household Bill was to confide to the
Queen the care of the King's person, and the disposition of the royal
household, which would have the effect of placing at Her Majesty's
control the patronage of four hundred places; while the Regent was to
possess no power whatever over any office, reversion, or pension. This
appeared to the Prince and his allies a monstrous proposition,
calculated to introduce "weakness, disorder, and insincerity into every
branch of political business;" to "separate the Court from the State;"
to "disconnect the authority to command service from the power of
animating it by reward;" and to impose on the Regent "all the invidious
duties of the kingly station, without the means of softening them to the
public by any one act of grace, favour, or benignity."

In these poised and melodious sentences (said to have been written by
Burke) may be recognized the policy of the master spirit that raised the
storm which was to overwhelm Ministers. When the moment came, however,
at which it should have burst--Pitt's motion for the Address--Fox was
absent. "Fox is gone to Bath," says Mr. Grenville. "Whether he is very
ill, as some say, or wants to shirk the discussion about Mrs.
Fitzherbert, as others assert, I know not."

This business of Mrs. Fitzherbert, of which we hear something in these
letters, was suspended like a sword over the heads of the royal
Opposition; and whenever it threatened to descend, they endeavoured to
escape from it by avoiding the discussion, or to avert it by abating
their violence. The rumour, however, which ascribed Fox's absence on
this occasion to that cause was certainly unfounded. On the 19th of
January, he made his motion for limiting the continuance of the
restrictions; and on the 26th he was ill at Bath, where he remained for
some weeks in a precarious state of health. His loss was severely felt
by his party. Ministers were triumphant in both Houses. The incidental
shocks they experienced from the vibrations of that class of persons
designated by Mr. Grenville as "_conscientious_ friends," and from the
defection of the _rats_, had been completely recovered in the final
majorities of Lords and Commons; and although Fox may not have thought
it prudent on some occasions to enhance the inevitable defeat of the
Prince's followers by assisting at their discomfiture, it is unlikely
that even the dread of a debate on Mrs. Fitzherbert would have kept him
away at this critical juncture.

While these discussions were going on, always ending in fluctuating
majorities for Pitt, the Prince of Wales and his brother,
notwithstanding the dissipation in which they indulged, were
indefatigable in their efforts to cultivate popularity. Thus writes Lord

     The Princes go on in their usual style, both keeping open houses,
     and employing every means in their power to gain proselytes,
     attending the Beefsteak Clubs, Freemason meetings, &c., and will
     probably very soon attend the parochial meetings of Lord John
     Townshend's Committee in Westminster. Notwithstanding all this, the
     Parliament still continues steadily to Mr. Pitt, which, considering
     the looseness of morals and of the times, does the members great
     credit. * * * The Duke of York never misses a night at Brookes's,
     where the hawks pluck his feathers unmercifully, and have reduced
     him to the vowels I. O. U. The Prince likewise attends very often,
     and has taken kindly to play.

General Cuninghame appears to have disappointed the expectations of his
friends at this period, and, although present in the House on the 19th,
did not vote. It was the next thing to ratting, and seems to have been
regarded in that light by Lord Bulkeley.

     General Cuninghame has been blowing hot and cold in his language
     here, but has not voted, not even last night, when he appeared for
     the first time in the House. I have had a letter from the Duke of
     Dorset, complaining of his conduct in not resigning his seat, _as
     his conscience troubled him_.

No man had so keen a scent for _rats_ as Lord Bulkeley, and he was
generally in advance of his party in detecting them.

Thurlow and Loughborough were both ill at this time ("which," says Sir
William Young, with a touch of sarcastic humour, "will much shorten the
progress of the Regency Bill in the Lords"); and on the 2nd of February,
when Mr. Grenville, in his capacity of Speaker, attended at the bar of
the House of Peers to hear the Commission under the Great Seal read,
Thurlow was unable to attend, and Lord Bathurst officiated for him. The
night before, Thurlow declared, as reported by his physician, that "if
he were ten times worse, he'd go, by G--;" his physician, however,
overruled him; and the obstruction of his presence being thus
fortunately removed, it was anticipated that the progress of the Bill
through the Lords would be so rapid as to place the Regent on the throne
in a fortnight. Active preparations were, consequently, set on foot for
settling the new Administration. Amongst the other great situations,
Ireland was offered to the Duke of Northumberland, who declined it, and
then to Lord Spencer, who accepted it, with Pelham for his secretary.

Ireland was a considerable item in the calculations of the Opposition.
"The Prince and the Opposition," writes Lord Bulkeley, "have great hopes
of a riot in their favour in the Parliament of Ireland." Some such
result was to be apprehended from the temper of the people, and the
adverse views they took of the Regency question; although a true sense
of their own independence ought to have shown them that there were
national objections against allowing the Prince to indemnify himself by
the use of the royal prerogatives in Ireland for the restraints which
were put upon him in England. The object to which, under these difficult
circumstances, Lord Buckingham and Mr. Grenville directed their
attention, was to assimilate, as nearly as possible, the Regency Bills
in both countries, so as to prevent the occurrence of so great an
anomaly as that of having a Regent whose powers should be strictly
limited in the one kingdom, and who should, at the same time, be
invested with unrestricted powers in the other. The Parliament of
Ireland possessed the unquestionable right of deciding the Regency in
their own way, leaving the legal validity of the act for subsequent
consideration; and as it was understood that the Opposition intended to
move an Address to the Prince, which there was reason to believe they
would be able to carry, calling upon His Royal Highness to assume the
Government of Ireland unconditionally during the term of His Majesty's
illness, the position of Lord Buckingham had become peculiarly
embarrassing. What course should be taken in the event of such an
Address being carried? This question is anxiously discussed in numerous
communications between Lord Buckingham and Mr. Grenville and other
members of the Government. The predicament was so strange, and involved
constitutional considerations of such importance, as to give the most
serious disquietude to the Administration. The first expedient thought
of was to delay the proceedings of the Irish Parliament, by adjournment,
or any other available means, till after the Regent had been appointed
in England, provided the motion for the Address could be successfully
resisted in the first instance. But as it was almost certain the
Administration would be beaten on that motion, it remained to be
determined whether Lord Buckingham, in that event, should refuse to
transmit the Address to His Royal Highness. Upon the propriety of so
extreme a measure Mr. Grenville entertained some doubts in the
beginning. By refusing to transmit the Address, the Lord-Lieutenant
would clearly put himself in the way as an obstacle to that mode of
providing for the emergency which the two Houses of Parliament were
determined to adopt; or, on the other hand, by sending it he would make
himself, in some degree, a party to a request by which His Royal
Highness was asked to do an act which he, Lord Buckingham, held His
Royal Highness to be precluded by law from doing. Such was the dilemma
as it presented itself to the mind of Mr. Grenville. One escape from it
was, to forward the Address, accompanied by a representation from Lord
Buckingham of his own views of its illegality. Another was, to resign.

In the meanwhile, the projects of the Opposition in England were checked
by the gratifying accounts from Kew. The King was visibly improving, and
hopes began to be entertained that there might be no necessity for a
Regency after all. The letters of Mr. Grenville, reverting to the
opening of the Parliament, trace the progress of these circumstances in


     Whitehall, Feb. 2nd, 1789.

     Our Parliament has this day been opened by Lord Bathurst, the
     Chancellor being so ill as to make it absolutely impossible for him
     to come down. The Commission was first read, and then Lord Bathurst
     said, in a few words, that the Lords Commissioners being empowered
     by the said Commission to declare the causes of calling the
     Parliament, thought it their duty to call the attention of the two
     Houses to the melancholy circumstance of His Majesty's illness, and
     to recommend to them to provide for the care of His Majesty's royal
     person, and the administration of the royal authority during His
     Majesty's illness, in such manner as the exigency of the case

     I think that my former calculation is rather too sanguine, and that
     the 18th is the soonest that the Bill can pass, allowing for the
     debate, of which notice has been given in both Houses, on the
     Committee for the royal assent. The idea is, that the letters of
     dismission are ready written, and will be sent that day.

     I cannot yet learn, with certainty, who is to be the Home Secretary
     of State. It is supposed to lie between Lord Stormont and Lord
     Rawdon; and there is a report that they are quarrelling about that
     as about everything else, and that the Duke of York espouses Lord
     Rawdon's cause very warmly.

     The accounts of Fox are that he is not at all better, and that he
     has not been able yet to drink the waters. His death would throw
     them into complete confusion, though the Prince is so far pledged,
     that even in that case he must attempt to form a new Government.

     We mean (but this _inter nos_ only) to move an Amendment upon the
     Address, expressive of our satisfaction at the flourishing state in
     which the public affairs are delivered into His Royal Highness's
     hands, and of our hope that the same principles and measures will
     continue to be pursued. I have no doubt of our carrying this, in
     their teeth.

     Everybody seems to think a dissolution certain. I imagine it cannot
     by possibility take place till May or June, though some people
     expect it in March.

     I believe I mentioned to you in my last the great improvement which
     these last few days have made in the King's situation, and the
     strong hope which we derive from it.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Feb. 7th, 1789.

     I do not know of anything that has happened here since I wrote
     last, which is worth mentioning to you. Our Bill is to be in the
     Committee to-day, and Monday, so that I guess we shall not get it
     into the House of Lords till Wednesday or Thursday. This will put
     off the passing a little beyond my calculation, and I imagine the
     Regent will not now be in full possession of his office till about
     the 19th or 20th. I wait with much impatience to hear what has
     passed on Thursday in the Irish Parliament. I find that people
     here, those at least with whom I converse, are indifferent about
     the success of the measure in Ireland, but are much exasperated at
     the madness and folly of the people who are endeavouring to stir
     fresh questions of separation between the two countries.

     The accounts of the King still continue to be very favourable, but
     I have not heard what degree of hope Willis grounds on this long
     period of tranquillity. I should think that the breaking out in the
     neck must be a favourable circumstance, but I begin to think the
     time long if he still continues without real amendment of the
     complaint itself. This, however, arises more from one's natural
     impatience than from any reasonable ground which there is to think
     worse of the case from this circumstance.

     One hears of nothing now but of the intended arrangements. Among
     these, the military is not the least curious part. His Royal
     Highness the Duke of York is to be Commander-in-chief; Fitzpatrick,
     Secretary at War; and there are to be four Field-Marshals;
     consisting of the Regent himself, of the Dukes of York and
     Gloucester, and General Conway. These Field-Marshals--of whom three
     never saw a shot fired, and the fourth of whom has not served for
     six-and-twenty years, except in the very peaceful situation of
     Commander-in-chief in England for a few months at the end of the
     war--make a pretty curious promotion. Faucitt is to continue,
     notwithstanding a positive promise of the Duke of Portland's to
     General Vaughan, for the sake of securing his vote and his
     brother's. They are to make all the Colonels Major-Generals, down
     to Lord Rawdon. The list of the Prince's aides-de-camp you will
     have seen in the papers.

     Lord Spencer is declared for Ireland.

     The accounts from Bath say that Fox is better, and will recover.

     The town and neighbourhood of Buckingham have voted an unanimous
     Address to Pitt, without any of us knowing a word about it. It is
     signed by near two hundred persons, as Jemmy tells me, for I have
     not seen it.

     I am living in hourly fear of having a meeting called in the
     county, which would be a troublesome and useless thing, though, I
     understand, the sense of the yeomanry is entirely with us. I hear
     nothing of their intentions in case of a dissolution, but much
     doubt, from what I hear, whether they will think of doing more than
     ousting Aubrey, which they may do very peaceably; for by what I
     hear, he would not have ten votes.

     I have, at length, decided not to think of the Bolton Street house,
     at least for the present year, as the repairs necessary to make it
     habitable amount to so large a sum. Perhaps, if I was to be
     re-elected after a dissolution it might be worth my while; but that
     is, as you will easily suppose, a very doubtful contingency. Is it
     not a singular thing that it should be doubtful at all, and that
     there should be any chance of beating them in the new Parliament on
     such a question as that?

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     I open this letter again, to let you know that I have just received
     an account of Sir Thomas Halifax's death, which happened this
     morning. This circumstance is not a little perplexing to me,
     especially in Bernard's absence. I have sent an express to Chaplin
     to desire him to come to town to-morrow, and I shall then hear what
     he says. The thing to be wished is, that we could secure Bernard's
     election, now and hereafter, without much increase of expense; but
     on that whole subject I am very much at sea, and there cannot be
     time to hear from you and him upon it. Perhaps Chaplin may think it
     better that we should now propose some other person, who might be
     supported by Lord Chesterfield's interest, and not appear so
     decidedly connected with us as Bernard is. We had a scheme for a
     candidate of that sort at the general election, and Lord C. was
     inclined to give into it. At all events, I think it is absolutely
     necessary that Bernard should come over instantly, as his presence
     is equally necessary, either as a candidate or in order to get a
     repetition of the promises which this intervening election might
     otherwise be construed to annul.

     I have heard, since I wrote the preceding part of this letter, that
     the Chancellor has been at Pitt's to-day, with an account that he
     had seen Warren this morning, who had spoken to him in a very
     favourable manner of the King's present state, and had even said
     that he thought the amendment so material, that he had felt it his
     duty, immediately on coming to town, to wait upon His Royal
     Highness with the account. So there is a little bane for your rats.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Feb. 14th, 1739.

     Although I have nothing else to write to you, yet I could not
     refuse myself the pleasure of letting you know that I have been at
     Kew to-day with Pitt, and that the account which he received from
     Willis is such as to confirm and strengthen all our hopes. The
     public account is, as you will see, that the King continues in a
     state of gradual amendment; and every circumstance which we can
     learn, affords us room to entertain the most sanguine hopes. What
     has already passed in the public, on the subject of Willis, and the
     violent attacks of Opposition against him, have made him more
     cautious and reserved in what he says, and he particularly desires
     that his name may not be quoted. But I could not find in my heart
     to conceal from you the favourable manner in which he speaks of
     the present situation.

     His account is confirmed by that of the other physicians, who all
     speak the same language. Sir G. Baker told him to-day, that if it
     was the case of a common patient whom he was attending, he should
     not think it necessary to give him any more medicines. The most
     favourable circumstance of all is, the great abatement of the
     pulse, which, till now, has always been much too high.

     You will easily imagine how much speculation all this makes, and a
     more curious scene, I think, I never saw. The prevailing opinion
     is, that we are not to be turned out. There is a report, which is
     very confidently circulated (but I do not vouch for the truth of
     it), that the Duke of Portland has positively told His Royal
     Highness that, under these circumstances, it is impossible for him
     to take any share in a new arrangement. It is also said that they
     have quarrelled about the Prince's debts, but these are points of
     which I know nothing but from report.

     The account which Lord Chesterfield had yesterday from his friends
     at Aylesbury tallies with Chaplin's, as to the possibility of
     Bernard's success, though it is not quite so sanguine as to
     numbers. If he succeeds at all, this last point may be no
     misfortune to him, as it will diminish the claims upon him.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

The Irish Parliament had met in the interim, and were debating with
extraordinary vigour and asperity the Address by which the Prince of
Wales, before he had been appointed Regent in England, was to be invited
to assume at once the functions and privileges of the Crown in Ireland.
Many of the usual supporters of the Government, including even some
persons in high employments, had joined the ranks of the Opposition; and
Lord Buckingham in his letters to Lord Sydney declares that his powers
had been annihilated by that lapse of the sovereign authority which led
to this result, and that it would be no longer proper for him to
interfere any further, except only in reference to the "usual business
of the kingdom." Acting on the pressure of these circumstances, he felt
it due to his own credit, and to the service in which he was engaged, to
tender his resignation, as appears by the following letter from Mr.


     Whitehall, Feb. 13th, 1789.

     We have no news here, except of the favourable accounts of the
     King's situation, which are every hour more and more confirmed. All
     our present anxiety is, to keep down the too sanguine expectations
     of our friends, in order to prevent their being too much damped by
     any check, which Willis considers as an event by no means unlikely,
     and not such as in any degree to diminish his confidence in the
     King's recovery. From the general turn of people's conversation
     here, it seems by no means certain that the Prince will take any
     step for dismissing the present Government, if the King continues
     to mend. It would, indeed, be a measure so grossly indecent to turn
     out the King's servants at the eve of his recovery, that it would
     be too strong even for those counsels by which His Royal Highness
     has hitherto been actuated. But there is another consideration
     which will possibly have still more weight, namely, that the
     acceptance of office under such circumstances would put his friends
     to considerable inconvenience and expense, such as to be by no
     means worth incurring, if they are to hold them for so very short
     a period as the King's present situation appears to indicate. This
     mode of reasoning is of itself sufficiently obvious, and I
     understand that the Prince has held a language which corresponds
     with it, since so great an alteration has taken place.

     Under these circumstances, you must see that the letter which you
     sent me is clearly inapplicable to the present situation. If,
     contrary to our present expectation, the Prince should dismiss us
     all immediately, I will lose no time in sending that letter; but if
     not, it seems to be the wish of all your friends that you should
     remain where you are for some little time, in order that you may
     not have the appearance of being driven away either by the event
     which has happened, or by the violence of the abuse thrown out
     against you. I see and acknowledge the difficulties of such a
     situation, and lament that you should in any case be subject to
     them, but you must, on the other hand, consider that these
     difficulties do not of themselves, unaccompanied by other
     circumstances, afford a reason for withdrawing yourself from them.
     I am far from being desirous, for many, very many reasons, that
     your stay should be prolonged to the usual period of a
     Lord-Lieutenant's reign; but I cannot help most earnestly wishing
     that you could, in some mode or other, struggle through the present
     session, in order to cover your retreat, which will otherwise by
     your enemies be represented as a flight.

     You see that all this refers to an event which may possibly not
     happen; but I felt it indispensably due to you that I should beg
     you to consider this case very seriously, and that with a view not
     to present difficulties only, but taking into the account your
     future situation. I have told you what I believe is the unanimous
     wish of your friends on such lights as we possess here. It is
     possible that circumstances with which we are unacquainted might
     alter our opinion, but they must be very strong before they could
     produce that effect.

     I know no other point which is worth writing to you about:
     certainly none which is worth your bestowing a moment, thought
     upon, in comparison with that which I have mentioned. I enclose my
     last account from Aylesbury. I need not say how much I feel for the
     unpleasant circumstances of your present situation. But I know that
     you have the best resource against them, in the sense of your own
     conduct, and in the consciousness of the sincere and invariable
     affection of those whose friendship you value.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Two days afterwards, the report of the King's health was so encouraging
that his recovery was considered by the Cabinet as little less than
absolutely certain. Under these circumstances, it became a matter of
speculation whether the Prince would dismiss the Ministers, or, if he
did not, whether he would treat them in such a manner as to make it
impossible for them to stay in office. In any case, whether they were
dismissed or driven to resign, Mr. Grenville judged it prudent to
withhold Lord Buckingham's letter of resignation, till the solution,
either way, should have been ascertained. The conflicting difficulties
of the situation, looking at it from all sides, are ably stated in a
letter of the 15th of February.

     You cannot come away, without appearing to desert your trust, while
     the King's servants here abide by theirs; nor without giving the
     Regent an opportunity to object to the nomination of any person who
     may be proposed to him by Pitt to succeed you. You cannot remain
     without the means of carrying on some appearance, at least, of
     government in the House of Commons. You cannot employ those who
     have now deserted you; nor can we expect that the Prince will
     allow you to dismiss those whom he considers as having stood by
     him. On the whole, I cannot imagine a more puzzling or distressing

Nothing short of the implicit confidence and cordial support of the
Ministers, seconded by the highest courage and firmness on his own part,
could have enabled Lord Buckingham to sustain his authority in this
trying emergency. That he possessed the confidence and support of
Government to the fullest extent, is attested by the following letter
from Mr. Pitt; and that he displayed the qualities of resolution and
self-reliance demanded by the occasion, is sufficiently shown in the


     (Private.) Downing Street, Feb. 15th, 1789.

     The account received this morning of the step which the Irish House
     of Commons have taken, has not surprised me; as it seemed before
     evident that the torrent was too strong to be stemmed by any
     exertion. Those who at the moment felt it as a triumph, perhaps
     already begin to repent of it, and will probably have more and more
     reason to do so every day. It will be abundant satisfaction to you
     and your friends that you have done everything which depended on
     you; and in the midst of so much profligacy, that you have
     experienced such a support as that of Fitzgibbon and a few others,
     which is in the highest degree honourable and manly.

     I am fully aware how delicate your ground has been in all the
     progress of the business, of which we have hitherto learnt the
     result; and that it is not less so in what remained relative to the
     transmission of this strange Address. Whatever you may have
     decided on the spot will, I dare say, under all the circumstances,
     have been right; and in either of the alternatives, you will not
     want here the most cordial and decided support, whenever the
     measure comes into discussion. All that I am now writing is, I
     hope, superfluous; but I could not let the messenger go, without
     expressing in part the sentiments for which I trust you would at
     any rate have given me credit.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Believe me, my dear Lord,
     Sincerely and affectionately yours,
     W. PITT.

Lord Buckingham, acting on the discretion thus confided to him, resolved
to decline accepting or transmitting the Address. This determination,
which threw the whole responsibility of the measure upon those with whom
it originated, afforded the highest satisfaction in England. Letters
from Lord Mornington, Lord Sydney, and others, abound in admiration of
the firmness of Lord Buckingham's conduct.

As had been anticipated, the Address was voted in both Houses of
Parliament, and laid before Lord Buckingham for transmission to His
Royal Highness. His Lordship at once declined to receive it; and in a
short and explicit answer, rested his refusal on the obligations imposed
upon him by his duty and his oath, adding that he did not feel warranted
in forwarding to His Royal Highness an Address, purporting to invest him
with powers to take upon him the government of the realm before he
should be enabled by law to do so. This answer, which had received the
full approbation of Mr. Pitt, by whom it had been communicated to the
Cabinet, was, as might have been expected, deeply resented by the
Opposition, whose hostility to the Government had been all along
assuming that shape of combination in which it now appeared without

Frustrated in their desire of transmitting this Address through the
channel of the Lord-Lieutenant, they passed a resolution appointing
ambassadors of their own to lay it before His Royal Highness. The
persons nominated to undertake this extraordinary commission were, the
Duke of Leinster, the Earl of Charlemont, Mr. Conolly, Mr. O'Neill, Mr.
Ponsonby, and Mr. Stewart. Nor did they stop here. It was necessary to
avenge the indignity that had been put upon them; and a resolution,
declaring the conduct of Lord Buckingham unwarrantable and
unconstitutional, was accordingly moved by Mr. Grattan, and carried.
That a resolution still stronger than this, going to the preposterous
length of declaring the commission of the Lord-Lieutenant actually void
by the will of the Irish Parliament, was at one moment contemplated,
would appear from a passage in a letter of Mr. Grenville's, dated the
18th of February.

     I am a little alarmed by one part of your letter, in which you talk
     of a resolution of the two Houses being passed for avoiding your
     commission, and of your resigning the Government in consequence of
     it to Lords Justices appointed under the Act of last year. I trust,
     however, that these favourable accounts [of the King's health] will
     have put this idea out of the question. But if not, for God's sake
     consider whether there is any one principle in which you deny the
     right of the two Houses to appoint a Regent by address, which does
     not apply equally to prove that they cannot either appoint or
     remove a Lord-Lieutenant by resolution. I am persuaded, the more I
     think of it, that it is impossible for you to quit the Government
     in any other manner, than in consequence of a recal from hence, or
     a resignation grounded on the removal of the Ministers here, or on
     the Regent's acceptance of the office, under what you consider an
     illegal appointment.

Mr. Pitt entirely concurred in these views, and it was resolved that
Lord Buckingham should remain in Ireland till he had overcome the
confederacy by which the security of the British power in that kingdom
was so seriously perilled. In a subsequent letter, Mr. Grenville conveys
the assurances of Mr. Pitt's determination to support Lord Buckingham in
any measures he should think necessary to the maintenance of the
supremacy of the Crown, and the vindication of his conduct in these
transactions. One of the measures which was considered indispensable, as
marking the sense and upholding the authority of the Government, was the
immediate dismissal of all those persons who, holding offices and
emoluments under the Crown, had joined in a factious resistance to the
policy of Ministers.

     I had, yesterday evening, a long conversation with Pitt on the
     subject of your letter of the 25th. I have already told you that
     his ideas agree entirely with yours as to the proposition of your
     remaining in your present situation long enough to complete your
     victory over this combination, and to establish a Government
     founded on a better system. We both consider it as a point of
     absolute necessity and of indispensable duty, that we should resist
     this profligate conspiracy against the Government of both kingdoms,
     by every means, and to the last extremity; and we agree in thinking
     that this battle ought, both for your own credit and for ours, to
     be fought by you, preferably to any other person. He desires me to
     say that there cannot be the least hesitation here in adopting any
     proposal which you may think it right to make on the subject of
     dismissals, and that his opinion inclines to the immediate removal
     of all the people whom you have named, on the ground not of their
     former votes, but of the combination which is now avowed.

The King was now so much better that he was permitted, at his own
request, to see the Chancellor, who, however, was prohibited by the
medical attendants from talking to His Majesty on business. Even this
prohibition was removed in a few days; and Willis considered him so
completely recovered that he recommended, as a preliminary experiment to
test the state of his mind, that the Chancellor should be authorized to
communicate to His Majesty the public events which had occurred during
his illness. Of all men that could have been selected for so delicate an
affair, Thurlow was, perhaps, the worst qualified; but his relation to
the Crown as Chancellor left Ministers no alternative.


     Whitehall, Feb. 19th, 1789.

     The account which you will receive by this post of the King, is as
     favourable as any of the others. This is now the thirteenth day
     since Warren thought him so much--

     I am agreeably interrupted in my reasoning by the arrival of Pitt,
     who has seen Willis this morning. His account is, that as far as he
     is enabled to judge, the King is _now actually well_. That he is
     not sufficiently acquainted with the sort of effect which the
     peculiar duties of the King's situation produce upon his mind, to
     be able to pronounce as decidedly with respect to him as he would
     in other cases; but that in the instance of any common individual,
     he should not feel the smallest difficulty in pronouncing the cure
     complete, and the patient as capable of attending to his own
     affairs as he had been before his illness. He added that the
     keeping back from the King the present situation of public business
     and the measures which have been taken by Parliament, did him now
     more harm than good, because it created a degree of anxiety and
     uneasiness in his mind. He therefore recommended that the
     Chancellor, whom the King has already seen, and whom he has
     expressed a wish to see again, might go to him, for the purpose of
     explaining to him all that has passed. You will easily imagine that
     this will be an anxious trial for us, because if anything can bring
     back the agitation of his mind, it must be such a recital as
     Thurlow must have to make. It must, however, be made, and we can do
     no more than follow the opinion of the physicians, and of Willis in
     particular, as to the time of making it.

     If the experiment succeeds, you need not be told that we shall not
     feel ourselves disposed, nor indeed at liberty, to give up the
     King's authority (he being well) into the hands of His Royal
     Highness the Prince of Wales; and the less so, because we now
     _know_ that he and his _friends_, as he calls them, have taken the
     resolution of making the change at all events, and of taking all
     the offices of the country into their own hands, even (as they
     express themselves) if they are to hold them only twelve hours.

     Certainly, if we looked only to the objects of party, and had
     nothing more important to attend to than the exposing in their true
     colours this profligate and unfeeling set of men, we could desire
     no fairer opportunity of doing it than by showing how much their
     ambition, or revenge, overbear any other sentiment, when it leads
     them to overturn the whole Government of their country, and to
     bring on the confusion which must attend a double change of
     Government in the space of a few weeks, merely in order to set the
     Prince of Wales and Pitt more at variance; for that can be their
     only object, unless indeed they look to that of drawing the line of
     separation between His Royal Highness and his father stronger than
     it was before.

     We must not, however, be guided by these considerations. It is
     impossible not to know and feel how much mischief such a change
     would produce; and it is our duty to prevent it, both for the sake
     of the King and of the country. Besides which, there are other
     reasons which make it impossible that the present measure should go
     on. We cannot suffer a Bill to proceed which asserts the King's
     incapacity, at a time when his physicians pronounce him to be
     capable. He cannot pass such a Bill himself, because the mere act
     of passing it contradicts the averment of the Bill, and shows its
     provisions to be improper. Still less can the Chancellor, who has
     had an opportunity of being personally acquainted with the King's
     actual restoration to perfect health, receive the orders of any
     other man, or body of men, as to the use of the Great Seal for the
     purpose of expressing the King's pleasure.

     Our idea, in the present situation, is that the House of Lords
     should adjourn till Monday, in consequence of the Chancellor's
     communicating to them that the state of His Majesty's health is
     such as to make it improper for them to proceed. If nothing
     unfavourable should have occurred by that day, a motion will then
     be made for an examination of the physicians; and that would be
     followed by an Address from both Houses, congratulating the King on
     his recovery. The King would then pass a Commission for
     _proroguing_ the Parliament, and another for opening it again, and
     the business will proceed in the usual form.

     I think that your object will be to use every possible endeavour,
     by all means in your power, debating every question, dividing upon
     every question, moving adjournment upon adjournment, and every
     other mode that can be suggested to gain time. I do not know that
     we can send you any communication from hence of which _you_ can
     take formal notice by speech or message, till the examinations of
     the physicians are sent to you, which they shall be instantly on
     their being made.

     But your Ministers, in both Houses, may certainly communicate to
     them what it has been thought right for the Chancellor to say
     to-day, and may make similar motions for adjournments; unless,
     indeed, which I hardly imagine, the whole business is concluded in
     Ireland before you receive the account of this happy event.

     I have great pleasure in thinking upon the disappointment and
     mortification of those who have deserted you on this occasion. I
     hope in God that you will make up your mind to the remaining where
     you now are long enough to make them feel what they have done, and
     to show that you are not driven away. After this, we shall probably
     agree in thinking that the future Government of Ireland may be
     carried on to more advantage in other hands, because it may
     possibly become of absolute necessity to receive back some of these
     rats into favour, and that is not an occupation in which I should
     like to see you engaged.

     Unless I understand from Fremantle that he has any business of
     yours to do here, I shall desire him to return to you on Tuesday
     with the examination of the physicians, which will, I hope, be
     presented on that day, or perhaps I may keep him till the Addresses
     are carried.

     I make you no congratulations on this great event; but it has made
     a deep impression in my heart, and so I am sure it will in yours.

     God bless you, and believe me ever most affectionately yours,

     W. W. G.

     Do not say more of the King's situation than Lord Sydney's despatch
     authorizes, because Willis's name should not be committed after
     what has passed.


     Whitehall, Feb. 20th, 1789.

     The House of Commons met to-day and adjourned to Tuesday, without a
     word being said, except from Viner, who desired to hear from Pitt
     an account of the King's real situation. No answer was given, and
     the House adjourned.

     Pitt has seen the Chancellor since his return from Kew to-day. _He,
     Thurlow_, was with the King to-day for two hours. He did not enter
     into particulars of what had been done, but only in general terms.
     He says that he never saw, at any period, the King more composed,
     collected, or distinct, and that there was not the least trace or
     appearance of disorder.

     Willis, however, does not allow the cure to be yet quite complete,
     although he thinks it as nearly so as possible. All the other
     medical people seem to think him quite well; but Willis's means of
     information and his experience are so much greater, that we cannot
     but give entire credit to what he says.

     The Chancellor is to be at Kew again on Sunday. I think our present
     idea is to adjourn the two Houses again from Tuesday to Thursday or
     Saturday. If that is the case, I shall send Fremantle back to you,
     as he tells me he has nothing to detain him here, and it is very
     desirable that Bernard should be on the spot soon, to make his bow
     at Aylesbury.

     You must not expect to hear from me on any other subject than the
     King's recovery; for nobody here writes, talks, thinks or dreams of
     anything else.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Feb. 21st, 1789.

     I have little to add to Lord Sydney's letter. Your refusal to
     transmit the Address is generally approved here; and I have the
     pleasure of seeing daily proofs that the Opposition in this country
     are ashamed of what they and their friends have done in Ireland.
     Your answer, I think, much improved by the transposition,
     especially as it avoids the necessity of your submitting any advice
     to His Royal Highness, which might have been said to be an
     officious interference, as you are not in any situation which calls
     upon you to advise _him_.

     You will hear with as much pleasure as I write it, that the King
     was not at all agitated by his interview with the Chancellor, and
     was perfectly composed and collected all yesterday evening. The
     accounts this morning are as good as can be.

     Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duke of York have
     been once or twice at Kew, to desire to be admitted _to_ see him,
     which you will naturally suppose was not permitted. This morning
     they thought proper to make a formal demand that they should be
     allowed to see him; or if not, insisting that the physicians should
     give in writing the reasons for their refusal. In consequence of
     this, Warren and Gisborne, who were there this morning, sent Willis
     in to the King, to acquaint him that the two Princes wished to see
     him. Willis returned with a message to them from the King, thanking
     them for their inquiries, but wishing to put off the seeing them
     till he had seen Thurlow again, which he is to do to-morrow. This
     was reduced to writing, and sent to them; how it will be received I
     know not, but it has completely defeated the avowed object of the
     visit, which was to prejudice his mind against the measures which
     have been taken.

     There seems now every reason to hope that by the 6th or 7th of
     March he will be sufficiently recovered, or rather will have been
     recovered a sufficient time to make it proper to take his commands
     for opening the Parliament. If not, you will see by the despatch
     the nature of the measures which we have in contemplation; and I
     can have no doubt of your agreeing, that no principle which we have
     ever maintained would require or even justify us in putting the
     Prince of Wales in such a situation as to enable him to overturn
     the whole system of the King's Government, the King being all the
     while perfectly well, conscious of what is going forward, and
     restrained from acting himself only by the apprehension of a

     You will already have seen and considered what I have said to you
     on the subject of remaining. You cannot form to yourself an idea
     how universally it is the wish of all who wish for your own
     personal credit, and of all who are interested for the credit of
     the party, that you should remain in Ireland so long as to make it
     appear that you have thoroughly weathered the storm. Your session
     need be but very short indeed. The uncertain state of everything
     since November last, is an ample apology for not being prepared
     with other business, and for deferring it till another year. But
     the leaving it in the middle, would convey the impression that all
     this difficulty had been personal to yourself, and that you were
     the only obstacle to the success of English Government in Ireland.
     Directly the reverse of this proposition is, I am convinced, the
     truth; but it is a truth which it is of the utmost importance to
     yourself to establish in the general and public opinion in this
     country. You have great advantages for this, from the general
     disposition which is prevalent here to feel the strongest
     indignation at the conduct which your opponents have held. I must
     own it would be a severe mortification to me to see you forego this

     You know the only motive which I can have for pressing this so
     much, and how much violence I do to my own feelings when I urge
     anything which may delay my seeing you again.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Lord Bulkeley, in a letter dated the 24th, describes one of these
interviews of the Princes with His Majesty. The general impressions
which prevailed respecting the conduct and dispositions of their Royal
Highnesses in this crisis, may be gathered from these unreserved

     The accounts from Kew this morning are as good as possible (but I
     have not got the precise words); notwithstanding, the Princes were
     with him half an hour yesterday, which is a proof that his
     miraculous recovery is not to be shaken. Lord Winchelsea, who was
     at Kew the whole time, told me that the Prince and Duke of York,
     though appointed at one, did not arrive till half-past three; and
     that when they came out, they told Colonel Digby that they were
     delighted with the King's being so well, and remarked that two
     things in the half-hour's conference which they had with him had
     struck them very forcibly: that he had observed to them how much
     better he played at picquet than Mr. Charles Hawkins, and that
     since he had been ill he had rubbed up all his Latin; and these
     facts, which are facts, I expect to hear magnified by the Carlton
     House runners into instances of insanity.

     The Princes entered the King's apartment without any emotion, and
     came out of it with none visible in their countenances. The Queen
     only was present, and the conference lasted half an hour. I have
     not heard as yet; but conclude they were both rioting, ----, and
     drunk last night at the masquerade, as they were at one a week ago;
     the truth is, that they are quite desperate, and endeavour to
     drown their cares, disappointments, and internal chagrin in wine
     and dissipation.

     The Duke of York plays much at tennis, and has a score with all the
     blacklegs; and in the public court tells them they shall all be
     paid as soon as his father can settle with him some Osnaburg money
     which he owes him.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The Princes give out, that as soon as they have an opportunity of
     explaining their conduct to the King, they are sure he will approve
     of it as much as he will reprobate that of Mr. Pitt's.

"It is now almost certain," says Mr. Grenville on the 23rd, "that we
shall not pass the Regency Bill, and consequently that the Government
will not be changed." In the same letter he refers to a suggestion of
Lord Buckingham's, that the answer declining to transmit the Irish
Address should be laid before His Royal Highness.

     On conversing with Pitt, we were both clearly of opinion, that no
     communication ought to be made to H.R.H. of what has passed in
     Ireland, as we have uniformly considered him as not entitled, under
     the present circumstances, to any communication of any part of the
     business of Government. Nothing has accordingly been ever laid
     before him, except the measures which Pitt intended to _bring
     forward_ respecting him personally; but that principle certainly
     does not extend to such a communication as had been proposed in
     your separate letter, which I have for that reason not sent to Lord

In so absurd a light, indeed, did the whole proceedings of the Irish
Parliament appear to Ministers, that Mr. Grenville thought it highly
improbable that the Irish Ambassadors, as they were called, would
venture to present the Address in the improved state of the King's
health, or that His Royal Highness would be advised to accept it. They
_did_ present it notwithstanding, and their reception is thus reported
by Mr. Grenville:

     Your Ambassadors are arrived; and presented their Address yesterday
     evening to the Prince. The answer which, as I understand, he gave
     them, was, that he was highly gratified with the expressions of
     _loyalty to the King_, which the Address contained; but that with
     respect to the rest he could not give them an answer before
     Tuesday, on which day he desired to see them again. I take it for
     granted, he will then say, that the King being recovered, all
     consideration of a Regency is out of the question.

     People in general here do not seem disposed to consider this
     transaction in any other than a ludicrous manner, and as the most
     absurd and ridiculous farce. It is impossible to describe how much
     and how universally their Excellencies are laughed at. One of them
     came into an assembly last night, and was received with a general
     roar of laughter. I did not think they would have been so foolish
     as to present it. The Prince and his friends must have been a good
     deal embarrassed what answer to give them; and I do not think they
     have succeeded remarkably well, if the account of the answer, such
     as I have stated it, is true.

It was on the day after the Princes' interview that Mr. Pitt had his
first audience of the King since his illness; no Minister, except the
Chancellor, having hitherto been admitted to see His Majesty, on account
of the jealousies with which every step they took throughout this
painful interval was watched and turned to account.


     Whitehall, Feb. 24th, 1789.

     Pitt has just shown me a letter which he received last night from
     the King, written in His Majesty's own hand, couched in the warmest
     terms, thanking him for his unshaken attachment to his interests,
     and desiring to see him this morning. He went accordingly to Kew,
     and was with the King above an hour. He says that there was not the
     smallest trace or appearance of any disorder; that the King's
     manner was unusually composed and dignified, but that there was no
     other difference whatever from what he had been used to see. The
     King spoke of his disorder as of a thing past, and which had left
     no other impression on his mind than that of gratitude for his
     recovery, and a sense of what he owed to those who had stood by
     him. He spoke of these in such a manner as brought tears into his
     eyes; but even with that degree of affection of mind, there was not
     the least appearance of disorder.

     After Pitt had left His Majesty, he conversed with Willis, who told
     him that he now thought the King quite well; that he could not
     perceive the least trace remaining of his disorder. Under these
     circumstances, the more I consider our actual situation and what
     seems due to the King's feelings, the more I am persuaded of that
     opinion, to which I think our friends begin in general to lean,
     that the King's resumption of his authority must be done purely by
     his own act, and that it is impossible to hear of any examination
     of physicians.

     The two Princes were at Kew yesterday, and saw the King, in the
     Queen's apartment. She was present the whole time, a precaution for
     which, God knows, there was but too much reason. They kept him
     waiting a considerable time before they arrived; and after they
     left him, drove immediately to Mrs. Armstead's, in Park Street, in
     hopes of finding Fox there, to give him an account of what had
     passed. He not being in town, they amused themselves yesterday
     evening with spreading about a report that the King was still out
     of his mind, and in quoting phrases of his to which they gave that
     turn. It is certainly a decent and becoming thing, that when all
     the King's physicians, all his attendants, and his two principal
     Ministers, agree in pronouncing him well, his two sons should deny
     it. And the reflection that the Prince of Wales was to have had the
     Government and the Duke of York the command of the army during his
     illness, makes this representation of his actual state, when coming
     from them, more peculiarly proper and edifying. I bless God it is
     yet some time before these _matured and ripened virtues_ will be
     _visited upon us_ in the form of a Government.

     Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Acting on the _carte blanche_ which he had asked, and which had been
freely accorded to him, respecting dismissals, appointments, and
creations, Lord Buckingham proceeded at once to redress the balance of
power in Ireland, by dismissing from their offices the persons who had
recently opposed the conduct of the Government on the Regency question.
A similar course had been pursued in England on His Majesty's recovery.
Mr. Grenville mentions specially "the justice which had been executed on
Lord Lothian" in this way, the King taking his troop from him, and
sending him to join another in Ireland. "The joke current here," says
Mr. Grenville, "is, that the Irish Ambassadors came over here to
Lothian's hotel, and that the King sends Lothian to return the visit."
In Ireland the disaffection had been more dangerous and extensive, and
demanded more severe measures.

The moment it was known that the King was recovered, a negotiation was
opened with the Government through Mr. Fitzgibbon, then
Attorney-General, by the principal members of the Lords and Commons who
had supported the Address, tendering their submission, and asking for an
amnesty. It has been stated in some publications referring to these
proceedings, that the negotiations were opened by Government; but Lord
Buckingham's official despatch, dated the 23rd of March, not only shows
that statement to be erroneous, but establishes the fact that Lord
Buckingham peremptorily refused to entertain the negotiation until he
should have received a positive assurance that a certain defensive and
hostile agreement, into which those gentlemen had entered, was to be
considered as abandoned. This agreement, or association, was called the
Round Robin (although not really a round robin, being merely a
declaration, followed in the usual way by the signatures of the
subscribers), pledging those who attached their names to it to "stand by
each other" (to use the phrase by which Mr. Beresford described it) in
the event of their offices or pensions being taken from them, and to
oppose any Administration that should resort to such a proceeding.

Finding Lord Buckingham immoveable upon the condition he stipulated for,
Lords Shannon, Loftus, Clifden, and many others, authorized the
Attorney-General to declare the association at an end, adding that they
desired to be represented to His Majesty as anxious to support his
Government, and to endeavour to remove by their future conduct all
unfavourable impressions from his mind. In the wise exercise of the
discretion reposed in him, Lord Buckingham accepted this voluntary
tender of allegiance, and permitted the gentlemen who had made it to
retain their offices. The Duke of Leinster, who had been only recently
appointed to the Rolls, and Mr. Ponsonby, who held the situation of
Postmaster-General, refusing to give the required undertaking,
aggravated, in the case of the latter, by a declaration that he would
not enter into any communication with Lord Buckingham, were at once
dismissed from their offices. This dismissal was followed by that of a
few others of less note.

These energetic measures were founded, not only on the dangerous
resistance these gentlemen had carried to extremity, at a period of
anxious suspense and universal excitement, against the Government, but
upon a knowledge of the existence of an organized combination they had
embarked in with the English Opposition to supersede the authority of
the Sovereign in the person of the Regent. In order the more effectually
to accomplish their objects, they had seized upon every act of the
Administration, and held it up to obloquy. A pension which had been
granted to Mr. Orde, and the reversion of Lord Clanbrassil's office
which had been conferred on Mr. Grenville, afforded them a pretext for
charging the Government with corruption and profligacy. They opened
their impeachment at the very beginning of the session, in February,
defeated the motion for adjournment, carried their Address at the
sacrifice of their own dignity and independence, and were only arrested
at last in their headlong career by those vigorous measures which broke
up the combination, and once more gave a legitimate preponderance in the
Senate to the saving influence of the Administration. The effect of the
_coup d'état_--for as such these dismissals may be considered--was
decisive. The hostile majority was broken down; and when Mr. Grattan,
still confident in his resources, brought forward his Pension Bill, to
disable persons who held pensions during pleasure, or offices that had
been created after a certain time, from sitting in Parliament, he was
defeated by a majority of 9. This was justly claimed as a conclusive
victory by a Government that had only just before been denounced in a
vote of censure in the same assembly by a majority of 32.

There is no doubt that the happy and unexpected recovery of His Majesty
averted a struggle that might have gone near to dissolve the connection
of the Executive authority between the two kingdoms; for, had His
Majesty's illness continued much longer, there is too much reason to
believe that His Royal Highness would have been advised to accept the
invitation of the Irish Parliament, by which he would have been created
Regent of Ireland, with full powers, before an Act of Parliament had
passed in England under the Great Seal empowering him to assume the
functions of Sovereignty. The confusion that would have ensued upon such
a state of affairs, and the disastrous issues to which it would have
inevitably led, cannot be contemplated, even at this distance of time,
without an expression of astonishment that men were to be found capable
of entertaining such a proposition. The heroic endurance of Lord
Buckingham, upon whom the whole weight of contending against the madness
in which this scene of folly and violence originated, enabled him,
happily for the repose of both countries, to live down the dangers and
the odium which his steadfast discharge of his duties, and his firm
adherence to the policy of the English Cabinet, had drawn upon him
during this season of political delirium. His own impressions of the
scene around him, and the strength of the resolution he brought to bear
upon it, will be shown in an extract from a hasty note written to Lord
Bulkeley, in the midst of the clamour of the Parliament, on the 14th of

     I have not shrunk from my duty in the worst times, and I will not
     trifle with it in those which look more prosperous. Much must be
     done to save the British Government from an infamous and daring
     combination, which might have been yielded to by a more
     pusillanimous minister; but could only be met by one confident in
     his character and conduct. Do not think this the language of
     vanity; the times have been, and still are much too serious for
     such a boyish passion: I feel that the dearest interests of both
     kingdoms are at stake, and nothing but firmness can save it. I have
     been insulted, I may be beat, but I will not be disgraced.

When the victory was finally achieved, he writes again to Lord Bulkeley
in a strain of justifiable exultation, announcing his complete triumph
over the Opposition. The letter is dated the 4th May, and the passage
extracted from it contains an animated picture of the strife through
which the writer had just passed.

     I told you, two months ago, that my friends would not blush for
     me--that I might be beaten, but that I would not be disgraced. I
     write to you now in the moment, and with the transports of the
     warmest exultation and of honest pride, to tell you, that on
     Saturday night I closed the session in the House of Commons, having
     thrown out every measure brought forward by Opposition. They would
     not divide after their second defeat, where, though our majority
     was the same, yet, as fewer members voted, it was more in
     proportion than before; and the illness of Lord Clanbrassil and of
     Lord Lifford lost us three votes. The House of Lords still sits for
     a cause which they are hearing, and for some private Bills. The
     House of Commons adjourned to Friday, and on that day both Houses
     adjourn to the 25th, when I shall pass the Bills, and shall finally
     prorogue them.

     In the space then of six weeks, I have secured to the Crown a
     decided and steady majority, created in the teeth of the Duke of
     Leinster, Lord Shannon, Lord Granard, Ponsonby, Conolly, O'Neil,
     united to all the republicanism, the faction, and the discontents
     of the House of Commons; and having thrown this aristocracy at the
     feet of the King, I have taught to the British and Irish Government
     a lesson which ought never to be forgotten; and I have the pride to
     recollect that the whole of it is fairly to be ascribed to the
     steady decision with which the storm was met, and to the zeal,
     vigour, and industry of some of the steadiest friends that ever man
     was blessed with.

While these anxious events were passing in Ireland, the old passion of
the King for interfering with military promotions, as if he were
resolved, as Mr. Grenville remarks, to absorb that branch of patronage,
involved Lord Buckingham and the Cabinet in another series of protocols
similar to those which passed concerning Colonel Gwynne's appointment.
Another lieutenant-colonelcy had fallen vacant, and Lord Buckingham
desired that it should be bestowed on his nephew, Colonel Nugent, who
had been disappointed of a similar favour on the former occasion; but
His Majesty directed that it should be given to Colonel Taylor. Even Mr.
Grenville, who exercised a philosophical patience in these matters, was
so hurt at the manner in which Lord Buckingham's wishes were passed
over, at a time when he was rendering such signal services to the Crown,
that he could not restrain the expression of his dissatisfaction.
Writing to Lord Buckingham, he says:

     I feel that I would be unworthy, not only of your confidence and
     affection, but of the name and character of a gentleman, if I did
     not warmly partake of your just resentment at this gross and
     unmerited offence, offered at a moment when your conduct had
     entitled you to so very different a line of treatment.

Lord Buckingham was again on the point of resigning, and Mr. Grenville
participated so strongly in his feelings that he indicated his
determination of following his example. After stating in a subsequent
letter that he thought he saw in the King's mind "a strong wish to take
into his own hands this piece of military patronage _whenever it
falls_," he proceeds to observe upon the consequences.

     The whole transaction gives me the greatest uneasiness, because I
     am not afraid to say to you, fairly and openly, that the measures
     to which, I fear, you may ultimately be driven in consequence of it
     are of a nature which I fear extremely; and _that_, I trust, for
     better reasons than any consideration of their effect on my views.
     It is on every account a most critical and embarrassing moment for
     you; and the sense which I entertain of the injustice of those who
     have brought you into this situation, does not remove or diminish
     my apprehensions of the consequences to which it leads. It is no
     affectation or parade of disinterestedness, but the necessary
     consequence of the first principles of justice and honour, when I
     assure you that I am resolved to follow your decision upon it, and
     that I consider your honour as inseparably connected with my own.

Fortunately, however, this solution of the difficulty was rendered
unnecessary. A compromise, as usual, afforded a convenient escape to all
parties, without disappointing any; and by an ingenious re-distribution
of three or four regiments (devised by His Majesty himself), Taylor was
provided for elsewhere, and Nugent obtained his lieutenant-colonelcy.
There was great difficulty, nevertheless, in bringing His Majesty to
this point. He had made up his mind to give the vacant regiment to
Taylor, and would hear of no one else. "I am truly sorry to say,"
observes Mr. Pitt, in the course of the negotiations, "that he seems
thoroughly determined not to yield, and I am sure no consideration will
induce him to agree to any other arrangement." Had it depended solely on
the disposition of the King, the difference would never have been
adjusted, and Lord Buckingham, stung by these repeated indignities,
might have thrown up his Government at a conjuncture when his retirement
must have plunged the country into anarchy. How seriously this step was
contemplated by him and Mr. Grenville will appear from the following


     Whitehall, April 7th, 1789.

     I have just received your letter of the 3rd, and though I have
     nothing new to say to you upon the point of Captain Taylor, he not
     having yet sent his answer, I cannot help writing a few lines, lest
     you think the subject is out of my mind. With respect to the
     promotions of peerage, the fault, if there is any, is mine; because
     I felt, and still continue to feel, that under the present
     circumstances, and till this business of Taylor is settled, the
     other _ought_ to be postponed; nor can I imagine any real
     inconvenience to arise from it. I am, however, by no means sanguine
     in my expectations of the event of this business. I have already
     expressed to you my sense of the King's treatment of you in this
     instance, and my determination to abide by any measures that you
     may think it right to take in this situation. I cannot, however, in
     justice to you or to myself, avoid saying, that I most sincerely
     wish you to consider well the step which you are about to take; and
     that not only with a reference to your _present_ situation or to
     your _immediate_ feelings, but with a view to the interpretation
     which the public will put upon it, and with a view to any future
     political object of ours. With respect to the latter, I am
     persuaded you must see that it is impossible for you to resign the
     Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland at this time, and on this ground,
     without making up your mind at the same moment finally to renounce
     all ideas of our taking any part hereafter as public men in this
     country. If you will consider what our situation would be, after
     such a step, with the King, with the Prince, with Pitt's friends,
     and with Fox, and lastly with the public at large, you will, I am
     sure, think that the consequence which I state is not overstrained.

     I can, without affectation, assure you, that though I am not
     indifferent either to the recollection of what we have already
     done, or to the prospects which are now before us; yet that I could
     perfectly well make up my mind to a different line of life, and
     that I am confident I possess sufficient resources within myself to
     reconcile myself to such a step, provided it were taken for an
     object which I felt to be _tanti_. And such I certainly do consider
     the object of marking to you, and to the world, and of discharging,
     in a manner satisfactory to my own feelings, my gratitude and
     affectionate attachment to you, in an instance where I entirely
     agree with you in thinking you ill-treated, at a time when you had
     deserved best.

     It remains, therefore, for _you_ to consider what step it may be
     best for you to take under all the present circumstances. Even if
     your mind should ultimately lean to the idea of resigning, I should
     certainly strongly press you not to carry this idea into effect
     till you have closed your session in Ireland; and in this advice,
     at least, I am certainly disinterested, because my situation would,
     in the interim, be more disagreeable and embarrassing than it could
     be under _any_ other circumstances. But I am _sure_ that if you
     were to quit _immediately_, as you now talk of doing, you never
     could induce any one to believe that this step was not taken with a
     view to escape from present difficulties, instead of being intended
     to mark your sense of personal ill-treatment; and that when the
     impression of the present moment upon your feelings was over, you
     never would forgive yourself for having concluded the transactions
     of this winter by such a termination.

     I have only to add that I am not indifferent, and that I am
     persuaded you are not, to the public consequences of our conduct.
     It is one of the circumstances which are necessarily attendant
     upon a public situation and a public line of life, that a person
     who is engaged in it cannot act even in those points which most
     nearly concern himself without producing consequences which are
     often of great public importance. It will certainly not be a
     pleasant reflection to me to have materially contributed to the
     overthrow of that system of public men and public measures which I
     believe to be of the utmost importance to the welfare and
     prosperity of my country. On the best reflection which I can give
     to the subject, weighing what I owe to you and to myself, and what
     I owe to others, I shall feel myself _justified_, whatever may be
     the consequences; but certainly my feelings upon them will be such
     as to prevent my ever again putting myself into a similar
     situation, even if the circumstances to which I have alluded in the
     beginning of this letter did not, as they probably will, render
     such an event absolutely impossible.

     When I speak of contributing to the overthrow of the present system
     you certainly understand me to refer to the probable consequences
     of our withdrawing ourselves from it, and not to any idea of your
     being led, which I am persuaded is impossible, to contribute
     actively to the triumph of a most wicked and profligate faction. I
     should feel that I gave you just cause of offence, if I thought it
     necessary to say, that this is a point to which no consideration
     could lead me.

     You will excuse me if I have said so much in this letter upon my
     own subject, in treating of a point which relates to your conduct
     and to your situation. I feel that the two subjects are too
     intimately connected for me to speak of them separately, and I felt
     that you could not but be desirous, in the moment of deciding a
     step so interesting to us both, that I should open my heart to you
     in as free and unrestrained a manner as I have now done.

     One thing more I must recommend to your serious consideration.
     Nothing is clearer to my mind than the propriety of the step you
     have taken in dismissing Ponsonby, of the intimation which you have
     given to Lord Shannon of the necessary consequences of his present
     conduct, and of the measures you have adopted for securing to
     yourself efficient assistance by the removal of Fitzherbert, and by
     the nomination of Hobart on the persuasion which you entertain of
     his ability to serve you. But I must entreat you to reflect that
     this line of conduct is only to be justified on the supposition of
     your being to remain in Ireland; while, on the other hand,
     entertaining as you now do the idea of quitting your situation, it
     is surely a duty which you owe to yourself, as well as to the
     public, to leave to your successor his decision as free and open as
     your own is now, on points which may be of such infinite importance
     to his Government. To have failed in this instance would, I am
     sure, much add to the many grounds of regret which will press
     themselves upon your mind.

     I will say no more on all these points. I have now written you a
     dissertation, instead of a few lines, as I had intended, but my
     anxiety on the subject has drawn me on. The groundwork of all this
     difficulty may, after all, be removed by Taylor's refusal, or by
     Pitt's exertions; but I again repeat that I am not sanguine on that
     head, and it is certainly more reasonable that we should prepare
     our minds for a contrary event.

     Believe me ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     Why should you feel yourself offended because particular marks of
     favour have been shown to Burrard and Lenox, two most steady, warm,
     and deserving friends of ours at all times, and in all


     April 10th, 1789.

     I have just received your letter of the 7th, and feel myself bound
     to answer the question which you put to me as directly and as
     explicitly as I am able to do. The business remains hitherto in the
     same situation as when I wrote last to you. A further answer has
     been received from Major Taylor, in which he still persists in his
     former refusal; but by some confusion about dates, it is not
     perfectly clear whether this is his final answer to the
     notification which had been made to him, that he must renounce his
     further expectations from the King if he refuses this. We were
     desirous to delay any communication with the King upon the subject,
     till it was perfectly clear that the plea of his engagement to
     Taylor was removed by the refusal of the latter, because we thought
     that, under those circumstances, the representation of what was due
     to you would come with greater force. I am, however, obliged to say
     that there is a further difficulty, even supposing this of Taylor
     to be removed by his refusal. The King has destined _his_ Majority
     of Dragoons to Garth, one of his equerries, and has had the folly
     and precipitation to communicate this intention to Garth. Under
     these circumstances, it appears doubtful whether even a final
     refusal from Taylor would remove the plea of actual engagement, and
     whether Nugent's appointment would not still meet with the same
     difficulty on account of its not opening a Majority of Dragoons for
     Garth. You will observe that I speak only from a general idea of
     the King's feelings and habits of thinking and acting on these
     subjects, when I state these probable difficulties, but that I have
     no further information as to his disposition in this particular
     instance, than I had when I wrote to you last.

     This will, however, now be brought in some measure to a point, as
     Pitt and myself have agreed that there should be no further delay;
     but that he should now write to the King to state Taylor's last
     answer of refusal, and to express his hope, that in consequence of
     this, His Majesty will, under all the circumstances of the case, be
     disposed to comply with your recommendation of Colonel Nugent.

     It has occurred to us, that even if the King should obstinately
     persist in a refusal on this occasion, there is another solution
     which you might possibly deem satisfactory. You will recollect that
     the business of Colonel Gwynne closed last year, by the King's
     consenting that Nugent should have the office of Adjutant-General,
     provided any arrangement could be made by you for Faucitt. Neither
     Pitt nor myself ever knew from you on what point your negotiation
     with Faucitt broke off. But if that could be renewed, Pitt
     authorizes me to say that he could find the means of opening a ten
     Sh. Government for him in England immediately, and that he has no
     doubt of the King's consent to the arrangement, even preceding the
     signing Taylor's commission.

     You, however, will best know how far this mode of arranging the
     business would be satisfactory to you, and what probability there
     would be of bringing it to bear, with the assistance which I state.
     If you feel this to be impossible, there will then remain nothing
     but to press the King on the other point as far as possible, and at
     last, if it is found absolutely necessary, to give him to
     understand that his option must be made between his Major Taylor
     and his Major Garth on the one hand, and his Lord-Lieutenant of
     Ireland on the other. You do justice to the manner in which I have
     felt and written to you on this occasion, and it is extremely
     satisfactory to me to know that you are not insensible to the
     warmth and sincerity of my affection and gratitude towards you. Let
     me therefore, upon that ground, presume so far only as to beg that
     you will not send your resignation, or notify formally (or indeed
     in any other manner) your intention so to do, till you learn from
     me that I am convinced all other steps will be ineffectual. I
     persuade myself that this is a trust which you will not believe me
     capable of abusing, however unwilling I must be, on so many
     accounts, to see you driven to the necessity of taking this last
     and decisive step.

     I mentioned also to you, in my last letter, the reasons which I
     feel for wishing that, in all events, the actual execution of this
     measure may be delayed till the conclusion of the session. I press
     this for reasons personal to you, and which I feel very strongly,
     although the interval will unquestionably be very embarrassing to
     you, and perhaps even more distressing to myself. But I am desirous
     of knowing how far you feel the force of those reasons, and what
     your determination would be in that case, because I think it might
     make some difference in the manner of stating your intention to the
     King, if this should be rendered necessary.

     I feel it needless to repeat to you what I have already said of my
     intentions respecting my own conduct; and I hope you do me the
     justice to believe, that however deeply I am involved in the result
     of this business, my first anxiety is that it may terminate in a
     manner consistent with your honour, character, and happiness.

     Believe me, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Holwood, April 12th, 1789.

     As I understand that Mr. Pitt writes to you by this messenger, in
     order to state to you the nature of the King's answer to his
     letter, and to explain the arrangement which is proposed to you as
     a solution of this unpleasant business, I feel that I can have
     nothing to add. I have already mentioned to you, in the most full
     and unreserved manner, the whole of my feelings on this occasion,
     and I see nothing in the present state of it which can at all vary
     them. I still continue very desirous that this business may not
     proceed to those extremities which you have mentioned, because I
     think such a step, independent of its public consequences, would
     close our political prospects in this country, and would, besides,
     be liable to a construction which we should most wish to avoid. But
     I also continue in the full determination to abide by your decision
     upon it, and that your conduct shall regulate mine; because I feel
     this as no less due to myself than to you, on an occasion in which
     I certainly think the King has been much wanting to you.

     If I were to write volumes to you, I could only enlarge upon these
     points, on which I have already fully written to you, and with the
     same freedom and sincerity as if I were thinking aloud. I always
     feel some embarrassment and difficulty in writing upon points in
     which I am myself so much interested; although I have not, on this
     occasion, suffered that consideration to weigh with me, so as
     either to say what I should not otherwise have said, or to leave
     unsaid anything which I felt I ought to say. I have now, therefore,
     only to conclude, with my sincere assurances of the uniform and
     warm affection with which I am,

     My dear brother, most truly yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, April 16th, 1789.

     I came to town yesterday with Mr. Pitt, and found your letter of
     the 11th, and this morning I received yours of the 12th. I was much
     mortified that I was not able to write to you yesterday evening,
     as I had intended to do, first by the post, and afterwards by a
     messenger. But different circumstances arose, which made it
     impossible. I could have wished to have answered your letter at
     length, in order to state to you everything that occurs to me upon
     it; but I cannot now do this without unnecessarily delaying the
     messenger, and I wish to lose no time in letting you know the exact
     state of the business, as it now stands. Taylor has accepted, which
     considerably increases the difficulty of making a point with the
     King to undo what he has done for him. But another solution has now
     offered itself, on which I cannot help feeling rather sanguine. We
     have just heard of the death of General Mackay: Pitt is now writing
     to the King, to represent the propriety of making any arrangement,
     which this event may give rise to, subservient to the purpose of
     removing this difficulty, and to desire to see the King, in order
     to converse with him upon that point. The King will probably
     appoint to-morrow; but as Pitt may not be back till late, I thought
     it better to send off this messenger, as my letter is now a day
     later than I meant to have written, and I can easily judge of your
     impatience to hear from me on this subject.

     Lodge Morres will be instantly dismissed, with such a letter as you

     You shall hear from me again to-morrow, or Saturday, at latest. I
     hope you have not taken any step on the receipt of our letters of
     Sunday; but if any letter of formal resignation comes from you, I
     should feel myself justified, under these circumstances, to stop

     In answer to your questions about Pitt, I beg you to believe that,
     however warm and sincere my friendship is for him, yet that it
     would not stand one moment in the way, if I thought him acting
     dishonourably or unfairly by you. I may, to-morrow, have time to
     write more at large on that subject; but, in the meantime, let me
     assure you that I am the grossest dupe in the world if that is the
     case. I am impatient to hear the result of Monday.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, April 17th, 1789.

     I have the greatest pleasure in being able to acquaint you that
     this unpleasant business of the lieutenant-colonelcy is now in a
     way of being settled, so as, I hope, may be perfectly satisfactory
     to you. I have just seen Mr. Pitt, and received from him the
     agreeable information that he found the King entirely disposed to
     do whatever might conduce to this object, and even _desirous_ of
     explaining that the former difficulties had arisen only from his
     actual engagements. It is not yet precisely settled in what mode
     this should be done; because, Mr. Pitt finding the King in so
     favourable a disposition on the subject, thought it better, on
     every account, to avoid pressing him further than appeared
     necessary. Two modes were, however, suggested in conversation
     between them: the one, that General Ainslie should have Mackay's
     regiment, by which means his lieutenant-colonelcy should be given
     to Taylor, and so Nugent be appointed to Gwynne's; the other, that
     the regiment should be given to Sir James Stewart Denham, which
     would vacate his lieutenant-colonelcy for Nugent. A third was also
     mentioned by the King, namely, the inducing Taylor, by the offer of
     the Lieutenant-Governorship of Cowes, to exchange with Nugent. Any
     one of these would, I flatter myself, answer your purpose; because
     they would show the King's disposition to attend to your
     recommendation, and that having been hampered by an actual
     engagement to Taylor, he is now ready to accommodate his own
     patronage in such a way as may, at the same time, provide for
     Nugent. But what I think even better than all this, is the account
     which Pitt gave me of the King's apparent manner of feeling on this
     subject. I had, I confess, very much apprehended that, however
     necessary it might be, in order to keep up your situation and
     apparent weight with the King, to insist upon some such solution
     for this business, yet that the doing this would leave a lasting
     and most unfavourable impression on his mind, which might lead to a
     renewal of this sort of contest on some future occasion. This
     appears to be by no means the case, at present; and I am sure that
     you will agree with me in thinking that although it might, in some
     points of view, have been desirable that the whole arrangement
     could have been concluded to-day, so as to put an end to all
     appearance of suspense, yet that it would have been unwise, in this
     state of things, to have pressed the King to this sort of
     peremptory decision as to the mode of doing it, which he seemed
     desirous of having an opportunity of revolving in his own mind.

     It will now probably not be very long before whatever official
     business you will have in this country, will pass through a medium
     rather better disposed, and more attentive to you, than that of
     your present correspondent; and if I do not grossly flatter myself,
     a little attention on my part, to soothe the King's mind--which has
     evidently been irritated on these points--will make all this sort
     of business go smoothly, and to your satisfaction.

     I am sorry not to have complied with your wish about the
     promotions; but, on very mature reflection, I was persuaded that it
     was risking too much, with regard to the principal and important
     point, to mix with it any other business on which it was always
     possible that some difficulty might arise in the King's mind. In
     the course of the next week, I hope to be able to write to you on
     that subject; but I trust you will not be unwilling to rely a
     little on me with regard to the exact time, which I assure you I
     will not delay, except I think I see very material reasons for it.
     You must also make some allowance for the very great additional
     delay which is created in all this sort of business, by the King's
     residing wholly at Windsor, which gives Pitt fewer opportunities of
     seeing him, and for a shorter time.

     I mentioned to you, in my last letter, that Lodge Morres would be
     immediately removed. I have desired that the letter notifying this,
     may contain some such expressions as you mention; but I cannot
     answer for this, because I cannot, as things now stand, interfere
     in the wording of those letters, except by a very circuitous mode.

     I also answered your question about Pitt, but I did it shortly; nor
     indeed could any expressions that I could have used do justice to
     the warm and anxious feeling which he has shown on this occasion. I
     am inclined to impute this termination of the business, so much
     more favourable than I had expected, almost entirely to his
     judgment and address.

     I have had the pleasure this morning of seeing Lady B. and your
     children. You will have heard that she has had a feverish cold, but
     I hope it has now quite left her. Your children are all well.

     Adieu, my dear brother. I cannot express to you what a weight is
     removed from my mind by the success of Pitt's journey.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

The promotions and creations glanced at in these letters were
recommended by Lord Buckingham as proper marks of His Majesty's sense of
the services rendered to the Government during the late crisis in
Ireland by some influential men in both Houses of Parliament. As those
who had abandoned the Administration were dismissed, it was no less an
act of justice that those who had supported it should receive some
testimony of the King's approbation, and the Lord-Lieutenant's _carte
blanche_ embraced this dispensing power on both sides. Some alarm was
felt by the Cabinet at the list of promotions and creations (nineteen in
number) forwarded on this occasion for the royal sanction. The increase
of the peerage was, perhaps, the only point on which Mr. Pitt's
Government was vulnerable, for, although he exercised the greatest
caution in his selections, and introduced them by degrees, instead of
making them in batches, as the peculiar circumstances of Ireland at this
moment demanded, it was felt to be the objection which, of all others,
operated most injuriously against the character and popularity of his
Administration. His Majesty's engagements, too, enhanced the
embarrassment. Whenever any proposition for honours or appointments,
naval, military, or civil, was submitted to him, it was certain to be
obstructed by some obligation he had previously laid himself under by
promise to different persons. In the present instance a difficulty of
this kind interposed. Two peerages were already engaged in advance, and
the arrangement of the Irish list depended entirely on the nature of the
pledges to which His Majesty had committed himself in these cases. Mr.
Grenville writes that Mr. Pitt was to see His Majesty on the subject in
two or three days. "He will then endeavour to find out whether the
King's engagements were so positive and absolute as to Lords A. and C.
as to lay him under the absolute necessity of conferring this honour on
four persons in order to be able to reward the services of two." It may
be presumed that these engagements were not absolute, or, at all
events, that they were not suffered to interfere with Lord Buckingham's
list, as all the persons he named, with the exception of two or three,
who were excluded on special grounds, received the honours to which he
recommended them.

Amongst these was Mr. Fitzgibbon, Poor old Lord Lifford, who had kept
his seat, and exerted himself indefatigably to the last, died on the
28th of April. The labours of that terrible session proved too much for
his declining powers, and he finally sank under them. The opportunity to
which Mr. Fitzgibbon had been so long looking forward was now thrown
open to him. Lord Buckingham pressed his claims earnestly on the
Government, recounting the signal obligations he had laid them under on
the Regency question, tracing his career, and depicting his character in
terms of the highest eulogy. The appointment rested with Thurlow, whose
humours required to be waited upon, and who was suspected, moreover, to
be unfavourable to Fitzgibbon. Much delay and suspense consequently
ensued, and it was not until June that the patent was made out.
Fitzgibbon was immediately created a Baron. From that point his
promotion in the peerage advanced rapidly. In 1793, he was created
Viscount Fitzgibbon; and in 1795, Earl of Clare.

The King's recovery now enabled Ministers to resume those measures which
the late unhappy suspension of public affairs had so grievously
interrupted. One of the first subjects that called for consideration was
the abolition of the Slave Trade. Mr. Wilberforce had succeeded in
raising such an excitement throughout the country about his forthcoming
motion, that the West India interest took alarm, and desired to know
whether it was the intention of Government to adopt the measure. But Mr.
Pitt, who had not yet pledged the Administration to any step beyond that
of inquiry, maintained a reserve on this point, which the enthusiasm of
Mr. Wilberforce may be said to have forced upon him. A letter from Sir
William Young touches on this matter; and alludes, also, to some
unseemly conduct on the part of the Princes, which is spoken of in a
similar spirit of deprecation in other letters. The circumstances that
rendered their proceedings on this occasion the more conspicuous and
objectionable were, that the ball at White's Club, referred to, was
given in honour of His Majesty's birthday, and happy restoration; and
that the Queen had signified her intention of being present.


     Stratton Street, April 22nd, 1789.

     The week passed hath not afforded an item of information worthy the
     sending you. I have now a circumstance or two to mention in the
     political line, and a little scandal to garnish it with, of a sort
     "_quod predetendici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli_." Of
     business in the first place. Steele told me yesterday, that on Mr.
     Fox's motion this day to repeal the Hop-tax, it was meant to give
     it up with the best grace possible. The next piece of Parliamentary
     intelligence is respecting the Slave Trade; a committee from the
     planters and merchants of the West Indies waited the other day on
     Mr. Pitt, to put the short question, whether Government supported
     Mr. Wilberforce in his motion for the _Abolition_ of the Slave
     Trade? Mr. Pitt answered, that "He must decline committing his own
     opinion thus early, and that the Cabinet had not yet sat in
     discussion of that question." The gentlemen of this committee speak
     of Lord Hawkesbury as against the _extent_ of Mr. Wilberforce's
     proposition, and that Administration are generally (Camden and
     others) with Lord Hawkesbury. _Je ne m'en mêle pas._

     I know of no other business to engage the attention of Parliament
     after Easter but my poor Bill, which is much amended and enlarged
     from last year. It seems to have general support. I have thought it
     more candid to read it a first time and print it, deferring the
     second reading to the first week of meeting after Easter, when I am
     engaged to the House to open fully the principle of my undertaking,
     in what your Lordship terms _mémoires raisonnées_. If I succeed in
     this Bill, as I _expect_ to do, relating to the able poor, I shall,
     next sessions, proceed to accomplish the rest of my plan, by
     amending and giving force to (where necessary) the Bastard, Vagrant
     Laws, and generally those of police respecting the poor. The plan
     is extensive, but I have much considered it. I think I have it
     clear in comprehension, and can pursue it through each effect on
     the industry and manners of our people. I cannot be idle, _ainsi je
     veux quelque part me faire ministre_.

     For the dish of scandal I promised, it is of marked importance as
     to the character of those whose character must have leading
     consequences in this country; and, in fact, it is no scandal, it is
     a shameful truth; otherwise, tales of this sort, are not such as I
     like blotting my paper with. In the first place, on the ball given
     by White's Club, at the Pantheon, the Prince of Wales sent round to
     canvass _non_-attendance by every one of his party; yet both
     himself and the Duke of York took the tickets sent, and then the
     Duke of York sent them all to be sold, at Hookham's, to any one
     that would buy them. The fact was intimated at White's, when the
     stewards adopted a regulation to preclude the mischief of improper
     company, by directing that the person subscribing, or to whom the
     tickets were sent, should put his name. The Duke thereon _put his
     name_, and the tickets were sold, with the prostitution of the
     title of "_York_." To close this disgraceful detail, a ball, the
     same night, of ----, was given at the Horse Guards, expressly for
     the Duke of York. I have not authentically heard whether the Prince
     of Wales was of the party. The day will come when Englishmen will
     bring these Princes to their senses.

     Adieu, my dear Lord; health and prosperity, and success in all you
     undertake, be yours; and to me, the happiness whilst I have life,
     of signing, your affectionately devoted and obliged friend and

     W. YOUNG.

The lamentable divisions that existed in the royal family formed a topic
of common conversation, and deeply disturbed the tranquillity of His
Majesty's mind. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York took
industrious advantage of all available means to cultivate popularity out
of doors; and when it was thought advisable by Ministers, that the King
should make a procession to St. Paul's to offer up thanks for his
recovery, their Royal Highnesses seem to have entered into a sort of
rivalry with the King for the applause of the spectators. Indeed, there
was so little disguise about their personal conduct to His Majesty, that
the newspapers did not hesitate to charge them with it, and the Dukes of
York, Gloucester and Cumberland, felt it necessary to protect themselves
against the animadversions of the Press, by prosecuting the publisher of
the "Times," for accusing them of "insincerity" in their professions of
joy at the King's recovery. Some fears were entertained as to the
bearing of His Majesty on the occasion of the procession; but he passed
through it with a composure and self-control that inspired his friends
with the utmost confidence in the future. Mr. Bernard, writing to Lord
Buckingham on the 23rd of April, gives the following account of the


     London, April 23rd, 1789, Five o'clock, P.M.
     MY LORD,

     The ceremony of this day has been gone through exceedingly well.
     The procession from the House of Commons began at eight o'clock,
     and the King reached St. Paul's between eleven and twelve. The
     arrangement of the cathedral, particularly the dome, presented a
     beautiful sight. The King seems much reduced by his late
     illness--was remarkably composed during the service, and attentive
     to the music. His Majesty, as well as the Queen, seemed much
     affected with the solemnity of their first entrance, as were many
     of the persons present. Lady Uxbridge was near fainting away.

     As the King went out of the church, he seemed to be in good
     spirits, and talked much to the persons about him; but he stared
     and laughed less than ever I knew him on a public occasion. He
     returned to the Queen's House between three and four o'clock. Mr.
     Fox and most of his party were there. He and Colonel Fitzpatrick
     were stationed in front of the altar, and directly opposite the
     King, being the part of the cathedral for Privy Councillors and
     Peers' sons. Mr. Pitt sat near them, but not in the first ranks. I
     saw Lord Temple in a very good place, in that part of the church. I
     did not see Mr. Burke there, and therefore suppose he continues
     ill. The trial was deferred yesterday on account of his illness,
     which people say was occasioned by his working himself into too
     great a passion the day before.

     I have the honour to be ever, my Lord,
     Your Excellency's most faithful and affectionate servant,
     S. BERNARD.

The same subject is followed up in a letter from Lord Bulkeley.


     Stanhope Street, April 27th, 1789.

     The pilgrimage to St. Paul's, which funck'd us all very much, has
     turned out exceedingly well, for the King conducted himself
     throughout the whole of that very arduous trial in such a manner as
     to convince all, except those who will not see nor hear, that he is
     in perfect possession of his faculties. The Princes of Wales, York,
     Cumberland, and, I am sorry to say, Gloucester, talked to each
     other the whole time of the service, and behaved in such an
     indecent manner that was quite shocking. The King in Pall Mall was
     received without applause, and the Prince with a good deal; but
     from Cockspur Street to St. Paul's he had the warmest acclamations
     possible, particularly in the city of London, where all ranks of
     people were unanimous, which the King perceived, and since has much
     praised. In parts of the Strand the Prince's dependants were posted
     to give him an huzza as he passed, which flattered him most
     exceedingly; but he lost his temper in the City, and he never
     recovered it afterwards, for at St. Paul's he was in the worst
     humour possible, and did everything he could do to expose himself
     in the face of an amazing concourse of persons, and of all the
     foreign Ministers.

     On the return of the procession the Prince and Duke of York put on
     their uniforms at Carlton House, and headed the whole brigade of
     Grenadiers, and fired a _feu de joie_ before Buckingham House, the
     King and Queen and the Princesses standing in one of the windows.
     The Prince, before the King got into his carriage, which the whole
     line waited for before they filed off, went off on a sudden with
     one hundred of the common people, with Mr. Wattie in the middle of
     them, huzzaing him, and was done evidently to lead, if possible, a
     greater number, and to make it penetrate into Buckingham House.

     The breach is so very wide between the King and Prince, that it
     seems to me to be a great weakness to allow him any communication
     with him whatsoever; for under the mask of attention to their
     father and mother, the Prince and Duke of York commit every
     possible outrage, and show every insult they can devise to them.
     The report of the journey to Hanover prevails to an alarming
     degree, and the King talks of it right hand and left; but it is to
     be hoped the Ministers will be able to divert his attention from it
     at this particular moment, for in the present unhinged state of
     things it might be pregnant with very disagreeable consequences. I
     believe the King's mind is torn to pieces by his sons, and that he
     expects to relieve himself by a new scene, and by getting out of
     the way of hearing of and seeing the Prince of Wales, with the
     hopes of being able to detach the Duke of York, whom he fondly and
     dotingly loves, and of prevailing on him to marry on the continent,
     of which there is no chance, for in my opinion he is just as bad as
     the Prince, and gives no hopes of any change or amendment
     whatsoever in thought, word, or deed.

       *       *       *       *       *

     P.S.--It is said that the King abuses Dundas to those about him
     very much, in a language that is very much copied by those whom we
     all know by the term of "King's friends;" and there are some who
     pretend to say that his loss of ground at Buckingham House has been
     owing to the part he took against Hastings, in which he has the
     reputation of having engaged Pitt to concur. I have made every
     inquiry whether the King ever expresses himself to his people about
     him in favour of Hastings, and I am told he is very guarded and
     reserved on his subject, but that some _females_ in his house talk
     loud and warmly in his favour, which occasions the attributing the
     same opinions to him.

     On one of the adjourned questions on Hastings's trial in the House
     of Lords, Lord Maitland, standing next to Dundas, asked him what he
     thought would be the result of the inquiry, to which he replied in
     these words: "I don't care what is done with him, for you and your
     friends in Opposition have done our business, by keeping him out of
     the Board of Control." Lord Maitland on this called up Colonel
     Fitzpatrick and Dudley Long, in whose presence Dundas actually
     repeated his words, and they, of course, trumpeted them all over
     town, and they have occasioned much conversation and much abuse of
     Dundas, in addition to their former abuse on the part of Hastings's
     friends. The folly of such language, especially to three violent
     Oppositionists, was very absurd, weak, and ill-judged, but the fact
     is certain.

     I hear many complaints of Pitt and his Secretaries' personal
     inattentions to Members _of_ Parliament, but they will think twenty
     times before they go into Opposition; and it is most probable that
     these complaints are not made till _impossible jobs_ have been
     refused; I therefore only mention them as certainly existing, and
     most probably as to any consequences, _vox et præterea nihil_, at
     least till the last sessions.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Just as I was sealing my letter a person called on me, who tells
     me that divisions in the Cabinet, or rather among the Cabinet
     Ministers, certainly do exist, to a great degree, about Mr. Dundas,
     and has confirmed to me what I have before told you, that every
     corner of Buckingham House resounds with abuse, and opprobrious
     epithets against him.

A passage in a letter of Mr. Grenville's, dated the 2nd of May,
indicates an approaching event, to which many circumstances, but chiefly
the increasing weight the writer had latterly acquired in the councils
of Mr. Pitt, had for some time been obviously tending.

     I wish to mention to you that Lord S. has taken great offence, from
     the circumstance of having at last found out that your despatches
     to him come over enclosed to me. I could wish, therefore, that for
     the _very short time_ that your correspondence with him is likely
     to continue you would alter this, as nothing material is likely to
     arise that can render it necessary, and I am desirous just at this
     particular moment to avoid any altercation with him. This jealousy
     on his part, and a just sense on mine of his conduct towards you,
     has entirely broke off all communication between us with respect to
     Irish, or indeed any other, business. Some delay and awkwardness
     necessarily arises from this; but it is unavoidable, and I repeat
     that it will probably be of _very_ short duration.

The nomination of Mr. Grenville to the Home Office had been delayed only
till the arrangements consequent upon the necessary changes it involved
could be satisfactorily carried out. The means of effecting it were now
within Mr. Pitt's reach; and at the moment this letter was written, Mr.
Grenville's appointment was on the eve of being ratified.


     Whitehall, May 15th, 1789.

     Just as I was sitting down to write to you, I received a note from
     Hobart, informing me of his arrival. I have seen him, and had a
     long conversation on the different points which he is charged with.
     My appointment is, I think I may now _decisively_ say, fixed for
     Friday next, and I hope that you will soon feel the effects of your
     new correspondent, in the expedition of the various matters which
     are now lying on hand. You must, I am sure, be sensible that under
     the circumstances of these last three weeks, it has been _quite
     impossible_ for me, however ardently I wished it for your sake, to
     bring forward these different points of business; but on Monday
     sev'nnight, at latest, I hope to write to you upon them all, though
     the length of Hobart's memorandum-paper has a little frightened me.
     I do not complain of it as thinking your bill a large one,
     considering the value received, but only I think the impression of
     my _début_ in the closet may be a little awkward. I must, however,
     meet this as well as I can; and although this ten days' more delay
     must, I know, be very unpleasant to you, I trust you will see it is

     If you find it necessary, for reconciling any of your principal
     people to the delay, to assign the intended change in the
     Secretary's office as a reason, there can now be no objection to
     it, as we have agreed that it would be right that, by the time you
     can receive this letter, we should begin to buzz it about, as a
     thing not improbable to happen.

     With respect, however, to your peerages, I have, as I promised you,
     got Pitt to state them to the King, who has consented to them,
     Marquisates and all. You may now, therefore, recommend them as soon
     as you please, and _I_ will take care there shall be no further
     unnecessary delay.

     There are, however, still two points with respect to this business.
     I understand from Hobart that Lord Glerawley wants his promotion to
     be limited to his brother. This had not been stated in your
     letters, and I was therefore unable to mention it to Pitt. It is
     therefore still possible that the King may make some objection to
     this, as you know it is against one of his rules (though by no
     means an invariable one) to give a step and a limitation at the
     same time.

     The other is essential, and can, I hope, make no difficulty with
     you. He is willing to _engage_ that these should _all_ be done
     without delay, but he seems much to wish that the promotions and
     creations should be separated, in order that they may not, by
     coming together, appear to fill too large a column in the
     "Gazette." There must, therefore, be an interval of a fortnight or
     three weeks. You will judge whether the promotions or creations
     should come first.

     The only remaining point is that of the Seals. I beg you to believe
     me sincere when I assure you that, independent of your wishes upon
     the subject, my own opinion is quite as much made up as yours is on
     the subject of Fitzgibbon's appointment. But, in the same
     sincerity, I assure you that it is by no means advantageous towards
     the attainment of this object, that it should be pressed forward in
     the present moment. Hobart has asked me whether Fitzgibbon's coming
     over would not be of use to him? I am strongly inclined to be of
     opinion that it would; but before I gave him a decisive answer, I
     wish to consult Pitt, and he is not to write to Fitzgibbon till
     after that. With respect to the difficulty of your Chancery causes,
     I can conceive no earthly reason why Carleton, especially as he is
     to receive so great a favour, should not have to go on with them,
     just as Lord Loughborough did here when the Seals were in
     commission for a year. Depend upon it that I do not deceive you,
     when I say that it is much better to wait for the favourable
     moment, than to hurry it on to a decision now. That favourable
     moment may arise sooner or later, but I am confident that
     ultimately _le bon tems viendra_. Your information about the
     Chancellor's _resolution_ is very curious, because I have reason to
     _know_ that McNa. is exactly the very person who has most strongly
     urged Thurlow on the propriety of an English appointment, and who
     has suggested this curious notion of F.'s unpopularity. But I
     mention this, relying upon your honour that you will not repeat it
     to _any one_, but particularly not to Fitzgibbon.

     I am most sincerely sorry that the consideration of your health
     should enter at all into the question of your going or remaining.
     Pray let me entreat you, whether you take the one resolution or the
     other ultimately, not to delay nor put off one day a fixed
     resolution to use constant and sufficient exercise. I am sure any
     delay on that head is of a hundred times more consequence than all
     those which we have been lamenting. Nothing in the world could make
     up to you for the consequences which your omission in this respect
     (which I am grieved to learn from Hobart still continues) may bring
     upon you. You cannot conceive how earnestly I feel on this subject,
     because I am every day feeling the good effects of a contrary
     practice, which enables me to go through all the business I have,
     without hurting my health or spirits.

     Adieu, my dear brother,
     Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

The duel between Colonel Lenox and the Duke of York took place on the
26th of May. The town gossiped about it, but regarded it with
indifference; and neither party got much credit in the end. Mr. Hobart,
on the 30th, communicates another _on dit_ concerning the behaviour of
the Princes.

     The Queen and Princesses were last night at the _fête_ given by the
     French Ambassador. The Prince of Wales, Dukes of York and Clarence,
     were also there; but would not dance, or stay supper, lest they
     should have the appearance of paying the smallest attention to Her
     Majesty. The officers of the Duke of York's regiment met yesterday,
     at the request of Charles Lenox; they did not come to a decision
     till about an hour ago. I hear it is that Lenox acted with courage,
     but not with judgment.

There was some difficulty in finding a successor for Mr. Grenville in
the House of Commons. The choice at last fell on Mr. Addington. The
selection was not altogether unexceptionable; but, upon the whole, he
was the best person that could be found.


     Whitehall, June 1st, 1789.

     I have this morning received your two letters, of the 26th and 28th
     together, which was a great relief to me from the uneasiness which
     I should have felt from your first letter, if I had received it
     separately. I most sincerely hope that you will feel no further bad
     effects from this accident. Lady B. has been some days on her road
     to Dublin, and is probably with you before this time. I cannot
     express to you how much I am concerned that any parts of my letter
     on the subject of the promotions should have appeared to you in the
     smallest degree wanting in that kindness and warmth of affection
     which I so sincerely feel, and always wish and mean to express. I
     have no copy of that letter, nor have I any recollection of the
     particular turn or expression of it which can at all serve me to
     remember what part of it can have impressed your mind with this
     sensation. I can therefore only say that, whatever it was, it has
     been most remote from my intention, and that as to any expression
     which can bear such an interpretation--_totum hoc indictum volo_.

     With respect to the King's health, on which you ask me so
     particularly, I can only repeat to you what I said in my last
     letter--which I have from what I believe to be the very best
     authority--that he continues perfectly well, both in mind and body,
     and, with respect to the latter, is growing stronger every day. I
     beg you to believe, that though I should write you any contrary
     account with much pain and mortification, yet that I feel too much
     the importance of your being well and accurately informed on the
     subject, to have a moment's hesitation in stating anything of that
     sort to you as soon as I heard it myself. But, in truth, I believe
     that all these reports originate in nothing else than the anxiety
     of the King's friends for the preservation of his health, and the
     impatience which his enemies feel for the only event which can give
     them any prospect of seeing their wishes accomplished.

     Addington is the person intended for my successor. He wants only a
     little more age, and being a little more known, to make his
     nomination unexceptionable; but I certainly cannot but confess that
     he does want both these. It is, however, the best appointment that
     we can make to a situation to which so few people are willing to
     look, and for which so much fewer are at all qualified. I have no
     doubt of his acquitting himself well in it, and of his becoming, in
     a little time, extremely popular in the House. We shall certainly
     lose our Abolition question. The cry against us upon it is growing
     every day stronger, without anybody being willing to give
     themselves the trouble of entering, in the smallest degree, into
     the examination of the grounds upon which our arguments rest.

     We have no foreign news, except the continuance of the disputes and
     difficulties in France. But these you have as fully in the
     newspapers as I could detail them to you. The accounts from Vienna
     seem to agree that there is not much probability of the Emperor's
     finally recovering these repeated attacks, though he may linger out
     a considerable time.

     Adieu, my dear brother,
     And believe me ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

Lord Buckingham's health had suffered so much from the toils and
anxieties to which he had been exposed during the last few months, that
his physicians urged upon him the necessity of trying the waters at
Bath. So long as the exigencies of the public service made an imperative
demand on his energies, he bore his labours with unshrinking resolution;
but now that the contest was over, and the security and influence of the
Government were restored, he felt the recoil severely. It was natural
that there should be mixed with this hope of recruiting his strength by
change of scene, a strong desire for repose. The stormy times he had
fallen upon in Ireland rendered his position there onerous and
oppressive. He had ridden the storm in safety, and had the satisfaction
of feeling that, whenever he retired from the Government, he would leave
to his successor, untrammelled by the associations and recollections of
the past, a comparatively easy task.


     (Private.)        Whitehall, June 13th, 1789.

     You will receive with this the official notification of
     Fitzgibbon's appointment to the Seals, which I send with the more
     pleasure at this particular moment, because I know that it will
     relieve your mind from one of the points on which you have felt a
     peculiar degree of anxiety. The decision on this point gives me
     great satisfaction, on many accounts, as an act of justice towards
     him, and as an example both to our friends and our enemies; but the
     interest which you took in it makes the event infinitely more
     agreeable to me than it would otherwise have been, however much I
     am convinced that it was right and necessary.

     The particular occasion, however, of my writing this letter, was
     not so much the conclusion of this business, as something which
     relates to another, more nearly concerning yourself. In consequence
     of your letter, and of the alarm which I have since had on your
     account, I thought it very material that the idea of your going to
     Bath should be opened to the King, in order to ascertain how far it
     was practicable for you to avail yourself of this, which I am
     persuaded will be the best of all remedies for you, without, at the
     same time, giving up the idea of returning to Ireland, if you
     should feel yourself desirous of it. I accordingly took to-day the
     first opportunity which I have had, of mentioning this to the King,
     and I have great pleasure in saying, that he not only acquiesced in
     the idea, but that he lent himself to it with the greatest
     readiness, and seemed desirous that you should not omit this if it
     could be useful to you. If, therefore, on consultation with Austin,
     you should find that a journey to Bath will be of service to you,
     there remains nothing for you to do, but to write an official
     letter "requesting the King's permission to be absent from Ireland
     for a limited time, in order that you may go to Bath for the
     recovery of your health," and I shall be able to return you an
     answer, signifying the King's consent, before your preparations for
     your journey can be made. If, after some residence at Bath, you
     should find your health and spirits not equal to the returning, you
     will be better enabled then to decide upon that point, and it will
     be perfectly easy for you then to state this, and to resign on the
     ground of the injury which the King's service would sustain from
     any longer absence. But I am sure I need not mention to you, who
     are so well acquainted with that country, the absolute and
     indispensable _necessity_ of your doing everything (in the event of
     your going to Bath) which may give the _strongest impression_ of
     your _determination_ to return. If this is not done, you must feel
     that the Government will be thrown loose, and that the mischief of
     such an interval may be such as to be irretrievable. If, on the
     contrary, this persuasion prevails, I see no fear of inconvenience
     from your absence on this account.

     I enclose to you, under a flying seal, a letter of congratulation
     and compliment to Fitzgibbon, which expresses no more than I really
     feel on that subject. Adieu, my dear brother.

     Believe me ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     P.S.--You will, of course, immediately recommend Fitzgibbon for a
     Barony; but if you can dissuade him from it, pray do not let him
     take the title of Limerick, actually possessed by Lord Clanbrassil.
     The instance of Earl of Buckingham_shire_ (so created) and Marquis
     of B. by no means applies, and it would look invidious.

Lord Buckingham's resolution to relinquish the Government of Ireland was
now finally taken. He communicated his intentions, in the first
instance, in a private letter to Mr. Grenville, to which the following
is the reply.


     Wimbledon, Sept. 14th, 1789.

     I received your letter of the 6th respecting your resignation, and
     your subsequent letters of the 10th and 11th. You are too much
     aware of the extreme difficulty of finding persons willing and
     qualified to undertake the office which you are quitting, not to
     expect some little delay before we can say anything to you
     respecting the choice itself, or the mode or exact period of your
     resignation; though I certainly agree with you, that, if you have
     entirely abandoned the idea of returning, the formal notification
     of that intention ought not to be long delayed. It certainly would
     have been a satisfaction to me, both on public and private grounds,
     if the state of your health would have admitted of your completing
     your triumph even more decidedly than you have already done, though
     I trust that is sufficient.

     The finding a proper person to replace you is, indeed, no easy
     task; because, although I am entirely of your opinion, that by
     proper management, the situation of English Government in Ireland
     is secure; yet, on the other hand, I cannot but feel how very
     little mismanagement would throw us back again, and how much more
     the crisis seems to demand, than is, I fear, to be found in any of
     the persons who may probably be to look to that situation. It will
     certainly be my wish on many accounts, that the change of the
     Lord-Lieutenant should not affect Hobart's situation.

     I have not yet seen him, as I have not been in town for this last
     week; but if he is come, I suppose I shall either to-day or

     The question about Lord Loftus can, I think, end no otherwise than
     as Hobart proposes. I shall, however, not say or write anything on
     the subject to the King till I have seen Hobart. I have no
     difficulty in conversing with him quite freely about his own
     situation, as when I saw him in town last, I told him very fairly
     what my wishes would be in the event of your quitting the
     Government; but, at the same time, told him as fairly, that nothing
     could be decisively fixed on that subject till your successor was
     appointed, and his wishes consulted.

     I enclose you a letter from Lord Clonmel, which was transmitted to
     me with one which I also send you a copy of. I shall merely write
     an answer acknowledging the receipt, and saying, that agreeably to
     his desire, I have transmitted it to you.

     I heartily wish, that the distance of Teignmouth was not such as to
     put all idea of our meeting there entirely out of the question;
     especially as Nepean's being ill makes it still more impossible for
     me to leave this neighbourhood.

     We have no sort of news. The French Assembly is going on with
     endless disputes about their Constitution; but one ought to be much
     more interested than I feel myself in the event of these disputes,
     not to be heartily tired of hearing of them. The main point appears
     quite secure, that they will not for many years be in a situation
     to molest the invaluable peace which we now enjoy.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     P.S.--I had almost forgot to mention, that on hearing of the
     contest for Cornwall, and being informed that no time was to be
     lost, I took upon me to desire Camplin to write to Dale to exert
     himself in favour of Gregor, our candidate, having every reason to
     believe that you would have no other wish on the subject, than that
     of helping to keep out an enemy.


     Holwood, Sept. 25th, 1789.

     I have not yet sent to the King your letter of resignation. Pitt
     has, however, explained to him that you have notified to us the
     impossibility of your returning, and that you have only delayed the
     formal resignation till His Majesty shall have considered of the
     arrangement to be made for that Government. This point is not yet
     decided. It is indeed one of most extreme difficulty.

     In consequence of Cooke's letter to Hobart, which the latter showed
     me, I mentioned to the King your intended recommendation of Lord
     L., explaining to him at the same time that you clearly understood
     yourself not to have made any such engagement, but that as a
     contrary interpretation was put upon it by Lord C., through whom
     the transaction passed, it seemed for the benefit of His Majesty's
     service that this step should be recommended. I also stated that
     this would necessarily bring with it _the two others_ and perhaps a
     third, which I named to him at Hobart's desire. He acquiesced in
     the whole of this without difficulty.

     Adieu, my dearest brother.
     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

     There has been an action off the coast of Finland, between what are
     called the Swedish and Russian _army fleets_. The Russians appear
     to have had the victory decisively, but to be so disabled by it as
     to be quite unable to do anything more with that fleet this year.
     Nothing new from France.

On the 30th of September, Lord Buckingham formally resigned. His
successor, however, was not yet decided upon, and the subject occasioned
much perplexity in the Cabinet. The Lieutenancy was offered to the Duke
of Beaufort, who declined. The next person thought of was the Earl of
Westmoreland, who accepted. "There are several points," observes Mr.
Grenville, "in which Westmoreland would do perfectly: there are those in
which he fails; but God knows the list to choose out of is not long."

The letter containing this intelligence announced also the death of the
Duke of Chandos, who held the office of Lord Steward, with an
intimation that it was probable the new Lord Steward would be the Duke
of Dorset. Upon receipt of this information, Lord Buckingham wrote to
Mr. Grenville, expressing his desire to be appointed to the vacancy, and
urging also his claims upon promotion in the peerage. He felt strongly
upon this point. The personal obloquy and factious resistance he had
encountered and triumphed over in his Government, appeared to him to
demand some distinct and special mark of His Majesty's favour and
approbation; and as this was the mode most likely to make that
impression upon the public mind in Ireland which the dignity of the
Crown, and his own justification in the policy he had pursued,
emphatically called for, the feelings that were awakened throughout the
course of the following painful correspondence may be readily conceived.


     Holwood, Oct. 5th, 1789.

     Your messenger brought me here, yesterday evening, your letter of
     the 3rd instant; but I have deferred answering it till this
     morning, because I wished for a little time to turn the subject of
     it over in my own mind, and particularly to consider whether I
     should communicate it to Pitt. After some deliberation with myself,
     I have resolved not to make this communication, because I consider
     the Lord Steward's staff as being, in fact, disposed of; and I
     feel, on that account, an unwillingness to state, even to Pitt,
     that you had entertained a wish to succeed to that office. I am
     sure I need not say, that if this idea had ever come across my
     mind, I should have given you the earliest intelligence in my power
     of the death of the Duke of Chandos; and should have endeavoured to
     prevent any steps being taken for filling up his office, till I
     had heard from you. As it is, you will already have heard from me,
     that our intention was to offer it to the Duke of Dorset; there not
     being the smallest ground to imagine that the Duke of Leeds wishes
     to quit his present situation. This offer was accordingly made two
     days ago; and the Duke of Dorset has all but accepted it, desiring
     only to have five minutes previous conversation with Pitt. He is to
     come here for that purpose this morning; and I have no doubt, from
     the turn of his letter, that he intends to accept. Under these
     circumstances, you will, I am sure, approve of my saying nothing to
     Pitt on that part of your letter; nor do I feel it necessary to
     state to you all that would otherwise occur to me upon it as matter
     for your consideration. * * *

     Ever most sincerely and affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Oct. 6th, 1789.

     The D. of D. has, as I imagined he would, accepted without
     hesitation. His wish to see Mr. Pitt appears to have been only for
     the purpose of stating his situation and feelings with regard to
     the French Embassy. The D. of B. has refused. We shall have W.'s
     answer to-morrow.

     I send you no French news, for in fact we get none that is not more
     fully detailed in the papers.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     Whitehall, Nov. 2nd, 1789.

     I saw Mr. Pitt on Saturday evening, and explained your wishes to
     him. He has undertaken to mention the subject to the King on
     _Thursday_ (as he does not return to town till Wednesday evening),
     and to second it with all the eloquence of which he is possessed.
     He expressed himself with real friendship and zeal upon the
     subject; though, I am sorry to say, he appears to entertain the
     same apprehensions with myself as to the result. I am, however,
     persuaded that this opinion will not lessen his exertions for a
     more favourable answer, if it can be obtained. He thought it better
     to mention to the King, at the same time, the idea respecting the
     Duke of Grafton; though he seems to think it doubtful whether the
     Post-office will afford the means of that arrangement.

     We have no news from France; the express, which generally comes on
     Sunday, not being yet arrived.

     The insurrection has broke out in Austrian Flanders; but in a
     manner which seems little likely to be successful. Our accounts
     from thence are, however, very imperfect.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 6th, 1789.

     The drawing-room was so very late yesterday, that it was impossible
     for Pitt to go into the closet afterwards, as it was not over till
     past five, and the King had to go back to Windsor. This being the
     case, we have agreed that, in order to prevent any further delay,
     Pitt shall write to the King upon the subject, stating all the
     arguments upon it, and at the same time reserving a ground for
     speaking to the King upon it at the next levée, if it should be
     necessary. I own I am by no means sorry that the circumstance of
     the lateness of the drawing-room, has given a plea for having
     recourse to this mode, as I have always observed it to succeed best
     with the King. There are many things which can be much more
     strongly put in a letter than in conversation with him, especially
     on any subject on which he is unwilling to converse; and all the
     points of this particular business may be more forcibly urged by
     being collected and stated with a reference to each other, in a
     manner which the King's desultory way of speaking makes almost
     impossible. I am persuaded, therefore, that whatever the chance is
     of success in this business, it is greater in this mode; especially
     as Pitt will still have to mention it to him on Wednesday, if his
     written answer is not favourable.

     I would write to you oftener, or desire Bernard to do it when I
     cannot, on the French and Flemish news, but that I really find the
     papers are every morning just as good intelligencers as I could be.
     They will even tell you all that I can about the Duke of Orleans'
     mission, which is evidently only a pretence for leaving Paris, as
     he has not even affected to talk to the King, or his Ministers,
     about any business, except to ask, in general terms, what is
     thought of the state of the Low Countries? to which you may suppose
     the answer would be quite as general, even supposing that we had
     anything more particular to say, which we have not.

     What the motive was for his leaving Paris, I know no more than by
     the general report which circulates there as well as here, of his
     having been detected in plans against the small remains of the
     King's authority.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 7th, 1789.

     I am persuaded it is unnecessary for me to say how sincerely sorry
     I am to be obliged to acquaint you that the King's answer to Pitt's
     letter of yesterday is such as to give, I am afraid, very little
     hope indeed of success in the business to which it relates. The
     King says, however, in it, that in compliance with Pitt's request
     he defers giving a final answer till he sees him on Wednesday, so
     that we cannot consider the subject as closed till then; but I
     fairly own to you that I think there is now very little ground for
     expecting a favourable result. The King does not enter into the
     subject at all in his answer, but only refers to what has formerly
     passed upon it.

     I heartily wish that I was the channel of more pleasing
     intelligence, and this the more, because though I certainly do not
     see this point exactly in the light in which you seemed to consider
     it when we conversed upon it, yet the success of it would have
     afforded me real satisfaction, independent even of the
     gratification of your wishes.

     Believe me ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 9th, 1789.

     I received this morning your letter, acquainting me with your
     determination, in the event of the King's answer on Wednesday being
     such as there is certainly every reason to believe it will be. You
     announce this as a determination in some measure taken in your own
     mind, and on which you do not appear to wish for my advice; and
     there are perhaps too many circumstances which must make such a
     step painful to me, to allow me to be a competent adviser on such a
     subject. I must therefore confine myself to expressing my very
     great and sincere concern both in the cause and the effect.

     Your letter does not express whether any and what part of it should
     be communicated to Pitt. Perhaps you will think it right that he
     should have some previous knowledge of your resolution, if such it
     is, before he sees the King, but this is a point of infinitely too
     much delicacy for me to take upon myself to decide; and I also
     confess that the task of communicating it would be to my feelings
     so extremely painful, that I should be particularly desirous to
     avoid it.

     I have only to add my strong sense of the kindness of your
     expressions and wishes towards me. I hope I have deserved your
     affection, I am sure I have endeavoured to do so; and this
     business, unhappy as it is, would be a thousand times more so to
     me, if I could think it possible. I trust in God that it is not so,
     that any event of it could produce the smallest diminution of that
     mutual affection and confidence which has now so long subsisted
     between us, and to which I have felt, and shall ever feel, that I
     owe more than to any other circumstance of my life. In these

     Believe me ever, my dear brother,
     Most truly and affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 12th, 1789.

     As I understand from Pitt that he means to write to you to-day in
     answer to your letter, I have nothing to add to the account which
     he will give you of the unfavourable result of his conversation of
     yesterday. He mentioned to me an idea which he had of contriving to
     see you if possible before you took the step of resigning the
     Lieutenancy of the county. Perhaps if he comes down to Stowe for
     that purpose, it would be more agreeable to you that I should
     accompany him, and in that case I would certainly contrive to do
     so. Otherwise, I feel that you are already so fully in possession
     of all that I think and feel on this painful subject, that I could
     not wish to give you the labour of a journey to Missenden for the
     purpose of a conversation, which could only be a repetition of what
     I have already said and written. I have turned the whole question
     over and over again in my mind, and the result is the same with
     what I have already stated to you, and is founded on the same
     feeling: that though the object is a natural one for you to have
     looked to, I cannot think that the King's refusal does, in any
     manner, call upon you for that line of conduct which you can be
     disposed to adopt only in the belief that you _are_ called upon so
     to do. It is unnecessary for me to enlarge again on the grounds of
     this opinion; but in stating it, I give you my sincere and honest
     sentiments, freed, as far as I can free them, from the bias which
     they are necessarily liable to, on account of the painful
     impression which is made on my mind by the idea of the smallest
     difference in our political line.

     I cannot conclude this letter without again expressing to you the
     heartfelt satisfaction which I derive, under these circumstances,
     from the sense which you entertain and express of my sincere and
     zealous affection.

     Ever yours,
     W. W. G.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 28th, 1789.

     I have just received your letter. Things remain hitherto on the
     same footing, with every appearance of doing well. All depends,
     however, on the ultimate arrangement of the point referred. I own I
     am inclined to hope better things than you seem to do. Real
     friendship and connection is, I agree with you, not to be hoped
     for; but if public appearances are preserved, and public support
     effectually, even though not cordially, given, all is obtained that
     is in any degree necessary for public objects; and the present
     disposition does, as far as I can judge, go the whole length of
     what I have now stated. It is by no means a difficult or new
     situation for people to act together in public business without the
     bond of private connection and friendship. It is indeed very rare,
     I believe; and what I consider as a most singular and peculiar
     happiness, that the contrary should exist to the degree to which it
     does, and it would, I am afraid, be much too sanguine to entertain
     hopes that this should be extended to the case now in question. I
     will not fail to let you know as soon as anything occurs on the
     main point.

     There is every appearance that the Flemish revolution is complete.
     Trautsmansdorf and the patriots are running a race for Luxemburg,
     where the former means to wait for succours. There are not fifteen
     thousand troops in the provinces, and there are above forty
     thousand of the patriots already armed, and the whole country with
     them. They collect the revenues of the country, on which they
     maintain their army. They flatter themselves that, allowing for the
     necessary requisitions for passage, &c., no effectual force can be
     brought to act against them till the spring; and the style of the
     Emperor's concessions, as well as the mode of making them, looks as
     if he was of the same opinion.

     Ever most affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.

It was some compensation to Mr. Grenville that, in his official capacity
as Secretary of State, he had the satisfaction of conveying to Lord
Buckingham His Majesty's entire approval of the line of conduct his
Lordship had pursued in Ireland. After expressing His Majesty's concern
at the state of Lord Buckingham's health, which rendered him unable any
longer to serve His Majesty in the situation of Lord-Lieutenant, the
letter signifies the royal approbation of his Lordship's attachment and
zeal in the discharge of the important duties of his station; adding,
"and, particularly, I have His Majesty's express direction to acquaint
your Lordship with the satisfaction which His Majesty has felt from
your attention to maintain the honour and dignity of his Crown, and to
preserve the constitutional connection between his two kingdoms of Great
Britain and Ireland, under the interesting circumstances which were
occasioned by His Majesty's late indisposition."

Feeling the delicacy of the position in which he was placed by his
relationship to Lord Buckingham, in having to convey this gracious
message, Mr. Grenville submitted a draught of the letter to His Majesty
for his approval, before it was forwarded. Upon this draught His Majesty
made the subjoined minute:

     Windsor, October 17th, 1789. Eighteen minutes past Ten o'clock.

     The draught of an answer to the Marquis of Buckingham's letter of
     resignation meets entirely with my sentiments. If I thought any
     alteration necessary, it would be by more explicitly stating the
     allusion to his very commendable conduct, during my late calamitous
     illness, which would render the approbation in effect more marked.

     G. R.

A retirement thus graced and dignified by the special approbation of the
Sovereign, left nothing for Lord Buckingham to regret in the scene of
party conflict he had quitted. It was an exchange from turmoil to peace,
rendered still more acceptable to him by the expressions of regard and
attachment it drew from some of the most distinguished men of his time.
Well might Lord Fife congratulate him, in one of the numerous letters
addressed to him at this period, on the difference he would find between
Stowe and the Castle of Dublin.



The events of this year on the continent of Europe offer a striking
contrast to the repose of England. While the wise and steadfast policy
of Mr. Pitt had secured to this country the blessings of peace, now
rapidly expanding into a condition of almost unexampled prosperity,
France was undergoing the throes of that desolating Revolution which
brought the Sovereign to the scaffold, and laid the train of those
disasters which finally expelled the Bourbons from the throne. There are
few traces of those disturbing circumstances in the correspondence of
Lord Buckingham and his brother, which, in consequence of the frequent
opportunities they now enjoyed of personal intercourse, had become
scanty, and, so far as public affairs were concerned, unimportant.
Slight scraps of intelligence, the last rumour from abroad, or matters
of purely personal or domestic interest, form the staple of the letters
that passed between them at this period.

It was in this year that Edmund Burke, to the infinite surprise of his
old allies, published his famous pamphlet on the French Revolution. The
impression it made in England may be accepted as an evidence of the
soundness of the national judgment, and the devotion of the people to
the established institutions of the country. This healthy condition of
the public mind was attributable, in a greater degree than we can
venture now to estimate, to the spirit of patriotism and union awakened
in the kingdom by the firm Administration of Mr. Pitt and his friends.
They had restored the general confidence in the justice and stability of
the Government, which the weakness and divided councils of former
Cabinets had dissipated; they had struck the happy mean between the
prerogatives of the Crown and the encroachments of the Legislature; and,
above all, in the recent conflicts on the Regency question, they had
successfully asserted the doctrine, that the rights of the Sovereign and
the rights of the people were founded on a common basis; and, by showing
that their interests were identical, they had reconciled those extreme
elements in the Constitution which a powerful party had laboured, with
great eloquence and considerable effect, to separate on the grounds of a
natural antagonism. Their popularity was unbounded, and saved the
country. Paine's "Age of Reason" fell innocuous upon the people; the
tidings of the Revolution, and of the massacres that tracked its daily
steps in blood, excited wonder and horror, but produced no frenzy of
imitation such as they inspired elsewhere; and while Europe was
convulsed with alarms, England, strong in her liberties and
self-reliance, was united and unmoved.

In Ireland, the departure of Lord Buckingham was followed by a revival
of the factious intemperance his energy had for a season suppressed. The
Parliament opened in disorder, and carried on its debates in a tone of
vindictive hostility to the British connection. The opponents of
Government had strengthened their hands by the accession of new orators,
and by the occasional lapses into their old violence of others who had
given in their submissions to the late Viceroy, and who, now that he was
gone, affected an independence of their obligations. The Lord Chancellor
Fitzgibbon was growing into increasing disfavour with the Opposition,
and becoming, by the force of resistance, more English and less popular
than before. The invectives in which the wild passions of party found a
congenial vent, descended to the fiercest recriminations, and led to the
severance of friendships, and personal rencontres. Fitzgibbon and the
Ponsonbys, who had hitherto preserved unimpaired, amidst the contentions
of the Senate, their intimate relations in private life, were now cast
asunder by an explosion of animosity that tempted the Chancellor to
declare "that he would never speak to them again;" even the close bonds
that united the Ponsonbys and the Beresfords were imperceptibly relaxed;
and Mr. Hobart, to use his own expression, was "obliged to fight Mr.
Curran," for which he excuses himself to Lord Buckingham by saying that
"in any other country in Europe he would not have met him." In no other
country, undoubtedly, from a cause so absurd and unwarrantable, could
the necessity for such a meeting have arisen. Numerous letters from
Ireland conveyed fragments of news of this kind to Lord Buckingham in
his retirement, the old supporters of Administration still seeming to
look up to him for encouragement and advice. But these letters are not
now of sufficient interest to justify their publication.

Such, indeed, is the general character of the correspondence of the
year. One letter, however, announces an incident which cannot be so
satisfactorily recorded as in the language of the writer. Mr. Grenville
was about to receive that recognition of his great talents and important
services which few men had earned so worthily or were destined to wear
more honourably and usefully. The absence of all exultation at his
approaching elevation to the peerage, and his near assumption of the
title by which he is best known in the history of the country, is a
characteristic of that nobility of mind which conferred dignity upon,
rather than derived it from, the station to which he was advanced.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 22nd, 1790.

     I send this by a messenger, in order to lose no time in informing
     you that Pitt wrote yesterday to the King, to propose the measure
     of my going to the House of Lords, and that he has received His
     Majesty's acquiescence, in terms very satisfactory to me. The delay
     has been occasioned by a sort of negotiation which has been pending
     with the Chancellor for some time past, and which there seemed a
     prospect of bringing to a point before the meeting. As the
     determination respecting my peerage might possibly have been
     affected, one way or the other, by this negotiation, we were
     unwilling to decide that question finally till the last moment; but
     as that last moment is now arrived, it seemed, after much
     deliberation, better to take the step in the present situation of
     things, rather than to wait the issue of a business, one event of
     which could much have increased the difficulties of the measure

     Pitt is gone to-day to Windsor, to lay before the King the whole of
     the transaction, and to explain more fully the motives which have
     induced us to wish for my being removed to the House of Lords.
     There is no probability that this conversation will alter the full
     consent which the King expressed yesterday by letter. If it does
     not, it will be necessary that I should kiss hands on Wednesday, in
     order to give time, which even that will barely do, for passing my
     patent, &c., so as to enable me to take my seat on Friday, which is
     the day on which the King makes his speech, and on which the
     general Address will be moved in the House of Lords. We mean to fix
     a separate day for considering the Convention, and to have a
     particular Address upon it. The precise day for this is of course
     not yet settled.

     This arrangement will necessarily occasion a delay of two or three
     days before the writ can be moved in the House of Commons, who do
     not proceed to business till the Monday, on account of swearing the
     Members; but this does not seem to me to be at all material, and I
     am persuaded that you will feel with me that it is unavoidable. The
     writ once moved, the election may come on upon the tenth, or at
     latest, the eleventh day from the Monday, so that the whole notice
     will not exceed a fortnight.

     I reserve, till I see you, the particulars of the negotiation of
     which I have spoken, and of our present situation with a view to
     that important point. I am sorry for the delay in making the other
     arrangements, but you must allow something for the difficulties
     which always occur in bringing points of this nature to bear, and
     for the various loads which press at such a moment as this on
     Pitt's time, by whose personal negotiations alone all this must be
     done. Pray let me know, by the return of my messenger, when I may
     expect you in town.

     I am sorry to hear of so long a sick list. Adieu, my dear brother,
     and believe me

     Ever most truly and affectionately yours,
     W. W. G.



The first object to which the attention of Ministers was addressed at
the opening of Parliament in 1791, was a measure for the further relief
of the Roman Catholics. The only objection urged against it by the
Opposition was that it did not go far enough. Mr. Pitt himself held the
same opinion, but did not consider it expedient to act upon it.

The interest which Lord Buckingham never ceased to feel in Ireland,
where this question of Catholic disabilities was a spring of constant
agitation, led him to regard the subject in relation to that country
with much solicitude. Agreeing in principle with Mr. Pitt, he held that
the Roman Catholics should be placed on the same footing in both
kingdoms; and that whatever privileges were bestowed upon them in
England should also, and at the same time, be granted to them in
Ireland. Mr. Hobart, who had been his Lordship's secretary during his
last Administration, and who was continued in that appointment by his
successor, Lord Westmoreland, corresponded with him frequently on this
topic; and it may be gathered from his letters that the views of the new
Lord-Lieutenant were unfavourable to the demands of the Roman Catholics.
In the early part of the correspondence, Mr. Hobart expresses
considerable doubt about the policy of placing power in their hands,
especially with reference to their admission to the bar, which had been
conceded to them in England. His observations on that particular point
are curious. In Ireland, he remarks, the sentiments of the lawyers have
considerable weight in the discussion of political subjects, which,
"whether it arises from the confident and pertinacious loquacity of
gentlemen of that profession, or from the deference which is shown and
felt for those in whose hands are entrusted the most interesting
concerns of every family in the kingdom, and from their frequent
intercourse with all parts of it, is matter of no consequence." The
influence which the lawyers were thus supposed to possess, weighed
strongly with Mr. Hobart as an argument against the admission of the
Roman Catholics to the bar. Such a measure might be adopted with
comparative safety in England, but it was likely in Ireland to be
productive of increased agitation and social disorder. The perplexities
of the question were evidently taking a very distinct shape at this
time, and occupying no inconsiderable share of the attention of
Government. In endeavouring to sift them, and to extricate something
like a practical line of policy from them, Mr. Hobart was not a little
embarrassed by the example of England, which he could not quite make up
his mind either to follow or renounce.

     The English Bill has put us under no small degree of difficulty.
     The circumstances of the two countries, with respect to Roman
     Catholics, are so different, that what may be extremely advisable
     in the one, may be just the reverse in the other; and, therefore,
     for us precisely to follow your Bill, would be to adopt a principle
     which in its consequences might be productive of the greatest
     mischief. Nevertheless, if we do not go so far, the Roman Catholics
     of Ireland will be highly discontented; and if we go further, we
     shall throw too much power into their hands.

That Lord Buckingham removed Mr. Hobart's objections as to the wisdom of
conformity in legislating for the Roman Catholics in both countries, is
indicated in a subsequent letter; but that Mr. Hobart differed from his
Lordship as to the prudence of maintaining a Government opposition
between the two sects is no less apparent. Lord Buckingham's influence
in moderating Mr. Hobart's opinions on other points is frankly admitted.
Mr. Hobart gave up his objections to admitting the Catholics to the bar,
or even to the army or navy, if England should think fit to set the
example; but civil offices, or the elective franchise, he still
considered highly dangerous.

     My opinion, I speak with great deference, does not concur with
     yours, as to the little importance of supporting the Protestants
     against the Catholics; it is, in my mind, the link which binds the
     two countries: break that, and you endanger the connection. Every
     means should be exerted to prevent the struggle taking place; and,
     therefore, every indulgence that with any degree of safety can be
     given to the Roman Catholics, and more particularly at this time,
     ought to be extended to them. Notwithstanding a variety of
     objections, I cannot help thinking that the safest principle for
     the Parliament of Ireland to adopt, is, that of following England
     upon all questions relative to Roman Catholics; but it is of the
     utmost consequence, that the Government of England should accede to
     no measure upon that subject, without a due consideration of its
     effect in Ireland, and fairly weigh the benefits to be attained in
     the one country, against the disadvantages that may arise in the

     The example of England, if adopted as a principle, may be extremely
     useful as a means of resisting inconvenient pretensions urged here;
     for, whether avowedly adopted or not, it will always be made use of
     by the Roman Catholics when they have anything to gain by it; and
     ultimately they must be successful upon that ground. I would
     therefore admit them to the bar; and if England opens the army and
     navy to them, it should follow of course here; but admission to
     civil offices, or anything that led to voting for Members of
     Parliament, or sitting in either House, would, I conceive, be
     highly dangerous in this country; because I am a friend to the
     Protestant ascendancy, and that can be maintained only through the
     medium of a Protestant Parliament, aided by a profitable
     encouragement to those who profess that faith.

     The times are growing so enlightened, or so depraved, that a man
     need not live very long, to have a chance of seeing all religious
     distinctions abolished; but so long as things remain in their
     present state, I am strongly impressed with the idea, that the
     connection between England and Ireland in a great degree depends
     upon the maintenance of the Protestant ascendancy. It is the
     principle which attaches the Parliament of Ireland to Great
     Britain; it is the security for the property of those whose
     influence gives them power in this country; it is the strength of
     English government in Ireland. If ever the Roman Catholics should
     acquire power enough to render the prospect of regaining their
     properties sufficiently promising for the attempt, they must begin
     by the destruction of English government. I do therefore consider
     it indispensably necessary to give every degree of influence to the
     Protestant interest; but that would be as a drop of water to the
     sea, unless that interest was supported by the power of England.
     But as I do not believe John Bull would much like to expend his
     money in a struggle between the Protestants and Roman Catholics of
     Ireland, merely on a crusade principle, I would not have him called
     upon in a case wherein the ground to be maintained was not similar
     to that which had been sanctioned by the British Parliament, and
     might therefore, in a certain degree, be considered as the cause of
     the empire.

     You desire me to turn my thoughts to a permanent system. The only
     permanent, practicable system that I can discover, is, that there
     should at all times be a perfect understanding and concurrence
     between the Governments of the two countries upon this subject;
     that no step affecting the Catholics should be taken in England
     without a minute attention to Ireland; and that the people of that
     persuasion should be on the same footing in the two countries.

The entire passage may be accepted as an epitome of the principle on
which Lord Westmoreland's Administration in Ireland was conducted; and
this authentic exposition of it is invested with some claim to
historical importance.

A letter from Lord Grenville in the beginning of the session refers to
certain new arrangements which were in progress in the Cabinet, but
which did not materially affect its constitution.


     St. James's Square, Feb. 4th, 1791.

     I should have written to you before on the subject of the
     arrangements, if I had been able to say anything satisfactory or
     decisive to you about them. But I think it right to mention to you
     the state of the business, in order that you may know exactly how
     it stands. An unexpected difficulty has arisen where we least
     looked for it, on the part of Lord Hawkesbury, who has declined
     exchanging the Duchy for the Mint, although he has been distinctly
     told that the Cabinet is to be given him with the latter, and not
     with the former. Whether he is playing any game in this we are
     unable to discover, but such is the answer which he has given,
     after having taken time to consider of it. This, as you see, at
     once stops the whole business _in limine_, unless some solution can
     be found for the difficulty; and I must confess I do not now see
     what solution there is for it. It was not till two days ago that
     this great man gave his answer, and therefore it is still, I think,
     by no means impossible that his stomach may come down when he sees
     Pitt determined to abide by this as a condition of the other, which
     there is indeed no temptation to grant him without it. On the whole
     it may be only a piece of magnificence, in order to give to his
     admission to the Cabinet the appearance of a favour done by him,
     instead of one received. But of all this you are as well able to
     judge as ourselves, and none of us have anything to go upon but
     conjecture. A few days may probably enable us to form a better
     judgment, and for that we must wait.

     It is, I am sure, unnecessary for me to say how much this
     unexpected difficulty has hurt both Pitt and myself. I am racking
     my brains to find a remedy for it, and shall be truly happy if any
     such should occur either to you or to us.

     The accounts of our dear Catherine are now such as I hope to put
     all idea of present danger out of the question; but it has been a
     most alarming attack, and I fear is only the earnest of much
     suffering and frequent illness from the same cause, the existence
     of which seems now to be but too clearly ascertained.

     Everybody in London has been ill. I have not escaped my usual cold,
     but am now getting well. I rejoice in the satisfactory account
     which the Bulkeleys give of you.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

     They have suddenly stirred in Ireland a question about spirits,
     beer, &c., which they seem to understand no more of than I do, who
     have had no opportunity of learning anything about it. Lord W., in
     one of his private letters, mentions some plan of yours about hops,
     and I think I recollect something passing between us on the
     subject, but have no trace what it was. I have a clerkship vacant
     in my office: can it be made useful to any object of yours?

     You probably know also that Selwyn's death gives me the disposal of
     his office in Barbadoes, of between £100 and £500 per annum, but it
     can be held only by a resident. I feel myself bound, in the first
     instance, to offer to Nepean, who is killing himself by his labour
     here, to give it to any proper person who will vacate anything for
     it here. If that fails, you know I have no other idea of patronage
     than that of consulting your wishes, or serving our joint objects.

A little stray light is thrown upon this question of spirits and beer in
Ireland by Mr. Hobart in a letter to Lord Buckingham. The great evil
which demoralized the Irish, including, it appears, even the country
gentlemen, was whiskey-drinking; and with a view to diminish it, if
possible, the Irish Government brought in a Bill, putting a heavy duty
on spirits, and liberating beer, hoping that the measure would act as a
prohibition in the one case, and as an encouragement in the other.

     Sobering the people of Ireland, I look upon to be an impracticable
     undertaking; but the abominable use of whiskey, rendered it
     necessary that Government should endeavour to do something which
     might tend in some degree to check the evil. Meeting and
     reconciling all the difficulties you have adverted to, I cannot
     flatter myself has been accomplished; but we have struggled against
     them as well as we could, and by not attempting too much, _perhaps_
     we shall effect something. I enclose a paper, showing what will be
     the state of the duties when the Bill passes; in addition to which,
     we take all restrictions off the brewery, leaving the brewers at
     liberty to sell at their own price, and to brew as they please. We
     have also some hopes from regulations, to which we are encouraged
     by the general outcry against whiskey, and assurances that country
     gentlemen will _violate their natures_, and assist in carrying the
     laws into execution. I must acknowledge that I am not very sanguine
     upon the subject; but the magnitude of the grievance called for the
     interposition of the legislature--_et librari animum meum_.

The subject of the following letter, although, from its nature,
cautiously expressed, may be inferred from the allusion it contains to
the Duke of Leeds, who held the office of Secretary of State. His Grace
was on the eve of relinquishing the Seals, but, for reasons of his own,
or, perhaps, to avoid embarrassing the Ministry, he desired his
intentions to be kept secret. Having imposed this obligation on others,
he seems to have violated it himself, and thus his approaching
retirement became known to Lord Buckingham before his Lordship received
any intimation of it from Lord Grenville. The silence of his habitual
and confidential correspondent on a point of so much interest disturbed
Lord Buckingham's sensibility; but it will be felt that Lord Grenville's
vindication is conclusive.


     Holwood, April 26th, 1791.

     I should certainly be much to blame if I were insensible to the
     kindness of your last letter, though written under an impression,
     in the justice of which I should be very sorry indeed to acquiesce.
     I have little time for justifications on that subject, but my
     anxiety to remove such an impression makes me say that I am not
     conscious to myself of any want of that confidence towards you,
     which our friendship demands, and which I wish to be reciprocal.
     But that I neither ask of you, nor can think that you require from
     me, the breach of actual or even of implied engagements to others,
     not to divulge points in which they are concerned. A strict
     observance of such engagements is surely the condition of all
     honourable intercourse in society, and a duty from which no degree
     of confidence, friendship, or affection towards a third person, can
     absolve one. With respect to this particular case of the Duke of
     L., I am sure your own reflections will not suffer you to impute
     blame to me, if after having required from those with whom he was
     acting an engagement of secrecy, which he had a right to demand
     from them, his own levity, or any other reason, induced him to
     divulge his own secret. Ask yourself, and I will leave the subject
     there, whether you had rather have known this event, as has been
     now the case, a day or two later than you might otherwise have
     done, or have been the occasion of my doing an act which my own
     mind would have reproached me with as dishonourable in itself, and
     in this particular instance a breach of a positive promise which I
     had given.

     Surely if I am deserving of your confidence, or any man's, it can
     only be so long as I feel the nature of such confidence, and fulfil
     the obligations which it imposes upon me, even where the violation
     of them might be of real advantage to you, much more where it could
     have answered no one purpose of utility, or even of gratification.
     All I can add is, that if I see this subject in too serious a
     light, or entertain ideas too strict with respect to it, my
     impressions upon it are at least those of serious reflection; and
     that they are the same which direct my conduct towards the few
     other persons who have a right, and none has so much right as
     yourself, to affection and confidence from me.

     I have anticipated your advice, and taken refuge here. I feel
     already the advantage of air, and of rather more exercise than I
     have been able lately to allow myself. I am sorry if my former
     letter bore the appearance of depression, but you know that my mind
     has not been at ease on other subjects, and will therefore allow
     for the effect of the weight of fresh labour and anxiety suddenly
     thrown upon me.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most truly and affectionately yours,

The Duke of Leeds resigned on the 8th of June, and was succeeded by Mr.

At this moment, not England alone, but all Europe, was engrossed by the
strange drama that was going forward in Paris. The first piece of
intelligence that arrived was an announcement that the King and the
royal family had effected their escape at night from the Tuileries by a
subterranean passage leading to the Seine; and, as it afterwards
appeared, that His Majesty had left behind him a paper formally
revoking, on the grounds of compulsion, the oaths and declarations to
which he had been forced to subscribe. Lord Grenville conveyed the
startling news, just as it had reached him, in a hasty note to Lord


     St. James's Square, June 25th, 1791.

     The enclosed, which I received this morning from Lord Gower, will
     inform you of the very unexpected event which has happened at
     Paris. As the messenger came through Calais, he heard a report,
     which was circulated with much confidence, that the King, &c., had
     been stopped at a place which he calls Quinault, and which I guess
     to be Quenoy in the Cambresis, if, indeed, there is any foundation
     at all for the story. Montmorin is to write to Lucerne, to make a
     communication here from the National Assembly, of _their_ intention
     to maintain peace with other countries. We have, of course, not had
     time to consider what answer to give, or what steps to take.

     One of the French papers contains an account of a party of
     travellers passing through Senlis about four or five in the same
     morning, which evidently appears to have been the King and his
     suite. This account was read at the Assembly; and confirms the idea
     of their having taken the route of the Netherlands.

     You will have the goodness to communicate this letter and its
     enclosure, to Lord Camelford.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     Tell me what Lord Camelford and you think we ought to do; as it is
     very possible we may not have taken our determination before I can
     receive your answer.

The story was, of course, doubted at first. But it turned out to be true
in every particular except the name of the place, which was Varennes.
The royal fugitives were seized on the 22nd of June, and carried back to
Paris to be confronted with the Provisional Executive Council that had
been established as soon as their flight was known.


     St. James's Square, June 26th, 1791.

     The King and Queen of France were stopped at Varennes, a small town
     between St. Menchond and Luxemburg. The post-master at St.
     Menchond, suspected them to be aristocrats making their escape, and
     followed the carriage. Seeing it strike out from the great road, to
     Verdun, he got before them by another road, to Varennes, and gave
     the alarm. When they arrived, the National Guard was already drawn
     out; and they were forced to stop, and go into the inn. There they
     were known by a man of the town. They were prevailed upon, without
     much resistance, as it appears, on their part, to turn their
     horses' heads, and to go back to Chalons, where they slept that
     night. They were to sleep at Epernay the Thursday night; and were
     expected in Paris, Friday, or more probably, Saturday.
     Commissioners have been named by the Assembly, at the head of whom
     is Barnave, to _protect their return_ to Paris. The proclamation,
     or manifesto, left behind him, by the King is curious, and in some
     parts well drawn. I hope to be able to send it you by to-morrow's
     post. Paris had remained pretty quiet; but there was some
     disposition in the Poissardes and Faubourg St. Antoine to assemble,
     in order to manifest their joy. Bouillé appears to have been in the
     plot, and is suspended from his command by the Assembly, who have
     also given orders to arrest him; but I suppose he is too wise to
     suffer himself to fall into their hands.

     Monsieur and Madame are safely arrived at Mons; so that if the King
     had taken that route, he might probably have escaped. I feel
     sincerely for him; and still more for the Queen, who, I imagine,
     must expect to suffer much.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, June 29th, 1791.

     Lord Gower's courier arrived this morning, with an account of the
     King and Queen being brought back to Paris. Everything passed with
     a black and sullen silence; no mark of respect whatever was allowed
     to be shown them. Biron and Lafayette were in the carriage with
     them. The mob followed the carriage into the garden of Tuileries;
     and on alighting, these wretched captives heard every species of
     abuse and insult, that even a Paris mob is capable of.

     They talk of sending the Queen to the Convent of Val de Grace for
     the present; and the report is, they mean to try her. The King is
     to undergo an interrogatory on Tuesday; and on the result of that,
     it is supposed he is to be deposed, and the Dauphin declared King,
     with a Council of Regency. These, as you will see, are all reports;
     but the melancholy certainty is, that neither in Paris, nor in any
     part of the country which we have heard of, does there seem the
     least disposition to pity, and much less to assist them.

     We have the bad news, that the Austrian Plenipotentiaries have
     left Sistovo; but, as they express it, without breaking up the
     Congress. The armistice is not renewed; but it seems as if it would
     be continued by a sort of tacit consent. You will have seen in the
     papers the further demands made by the Emperor, on which the
     business has stopped.

     Ever yours,

     The Queen's behaviour is said to have been admirable.

Early in this year, Ministers had moved and carried an Address from His
Majesty, reporting the failure of his negotiations to bring about a
peace between Russia and Turkey, and desiring to augment his naval
forces for the sake of giving more weight to his interposition. This
Address was vehemently, but unsuccessfully, opposed in both Houses, on
the ground that such a course was calculated to lead to hostilities, and
plunge the nation into an unnecessary expenditure. Advantage was taken
of the occasion to make it appear that Mr. Pitt wanted to involve the
country in the war, and that his policy was essentially injurious to the
industry and material welfare of the people. The following interesting
passage from a letter of Lord Grenville's, dated the 17th of August, not
only disproves the imputation, but shows how anxious Ministers were to
secure peace, how much they were relieved and gratified by its
accomplishment, and to what a height of prosperity they had succeeded in
bringing the commerce and revenue of the kingdom.

     We received this morning the account that the negotiations at
     Sistovo are at last satisfactorily concluded. A definitive treaty
     of peace, on the grounds of the _status quo_ strict, was to be
     signed on the 4th of this month, under the mediation of the Allies;
     and at the same time a separate Act, by which the Austrians and
     Turks treat as powers between whom peace is already concluded (and
     consequently without mediation) for some such arrangements of
     frontier, and the settlement of a dispute about Old Orsova, which
     town is to remain in the hands of Austria. You may suppose this
     event gives me no small satisfaction; and I hope I shall now begin
     to breathe a little, which I have hardly done since April last. You
     can hardly form to yourself an idea of the labour I have gone
     through; but I am repaid by the maintenance of peace, which is all
     this country has to desire. We shall now, I hope, for a very long
     period indeed enjoy this blessing, and cultivate a situation of
     prosperity unexampled in our history. The state of our commerce,
     our revenue, and, above all, that of our public funds, is such as
     to hold out ideas which but a few years ago would indeed have
     appeared visionary, and which there is now every hope of realizing.

The next letter refers to a matter of personal interest. A Rangership
had fallen vacant by the death of Lord Orford, and it appeared desirable
to Lord Grenville to effect an exchange between that office and the
reversion he held of the Chief Remembrancership in Ireland. Upon all
questions of this nature, as indeed on all questions that directly
affected himself and his own objects, Lord Grenville was always
reluctant to decide until he had first consulted Lord Buckingham, in
whose judgment and affection he reposed unbounded confidence.


     St. James's Square, Dec. 7th, 1791.

     I mentioned to you last week, that there was a subject I wished to
     talk with you about; but as my getting down to Stowe seems to grow
     every day more and more uncertain, and as the subject in question
     is now brought to a point, I am obliged to write to you upon it;
     though I cannot so easily say all I wish upon it in this manner. It
     is, shortly, to ask your advice whether, in consequence of Lord
     Orford's death, I should not exchange my reversion of Lord Cl.'s
     office, for the immediate appointment to the Rangership, which I
     apprehend it is clearly in the King's power to grant for life. The
     different reasons, _pro_ and _con_, will as readily suggest
     themselves to you as to me. The great points to be gained by the
     exchange are, first, the certainty of some provision, instead of an
     expectancy, which I may never live to enjoy; and what is still more
     than that, the great advantage of having that provision in this
     country, instead of looking for it in Ireland, subject to the
     chance of what injustice party may be able to do in Ireland, which
     they could not do here, and subject, also, to the general chance of
     troubles in that country, which I fear are too probable. Against
     this, is to be set some difference (as I believe) in the value of
     the two offices, though I have not yet been able to ascertain it;
     and the degree of invidiousness and clamour which my receiving any
     new favour (for such this would undoubtedly be considered) would be
     subject to, especially at a moment when Government are rather under
     difficulties, and when I must expect so many competitors, for a
     thing in many respects so desirable.

     The impression of my own mind is, I confess, very strongly for
     taking the step. Pitt is entirely ready to acquiesce in what I
     judge best, though I can see he is, to a certain degree, alarmed at
     the impression it may make. The thing has been generally opened to
     the King as a possible arrangement, in order to prevent his
     entering into any other engagements. I cannot describe the real
     kindness of manner and expression with which he assured me of his
     readiness to do in it whatever I wished. It rests, therefore, with
     myself to decide; and although I have, as you see, a strong bias in
     favour of the step, I do not feel confident enough of my own
     opinion not to be very desirous of knowing yours. I fairly own to
     you, that if I was _in the same situation_ as I was a year and a
     half ago, I should be inclined to let this go by me, and to run my
     chance for some better opportunity. But I certainly feel that after
     the conduct which Lord C. has observed towards me on the subject of
     money, I am (even as with respect to him) hardly as much at liberty
     as I was to consult my own feelings, supposing that it were
     possible for me to put out of the question another consideration a
     good deal more interesting to me.

     If the thing is to be done, "then 'twere well it were done
     quickly," in order to prevent applications from different people,
     every one of whom might feel, to a degree, offended by the
     preference, if his wishes were known. You will conceive, therefore,
     for this reason, and from the anxiety of the suspense, how glad I
     shall be to hear from you soon, as your affection is the only
     quarter to which I can look for advice, founded on a view and
     knowledge of my real situation. I hinted the thing generally to Tom
     before he left town, but the unfortunate difference of politics
     makes it impossible for me to talk over with him freely and fully
     that part of the subject, which is a material one. He is getting
     well very rapidly.

     I have heard from Lord C. from Rome. He gives a very good account
     of the health of the whole party. He had received letters from his
     son and Mudge, which he tells me are all he could wish. He desires
     to be remembered to you.

     Adieu, my dear brother,
     Ever most affectionately yours,



Notwithstanding the vast expenditure to which the country had been
recently exposed, the Budget, at the opening of Parliament in 1792, more
than realized the anticipations of Lord Grenville. The statement laid
before the House of Commons by Mr. Pitt was a complete answer to the
apprehensions of the timid, and the taunts of the Opposition. There was
a clear surplus of £900,000 in the month of January, after paying the
interest of the National Debt, the annual million devoted to its
extinction, the Civil List, the naval and military establishments, and
all other items of current outlay. Upon this basis of unexampled
prosperity the Minister proposed to remit a large amount of taxation,
and to apply a further sum towards the extinction of the National Debt.
He did not regard this surplus as a temporary or transient incident,
but as the genuine and natural result of regular and permanent causes.
In the existing state of the continent, it was impossible to calculate
with certainty upon the future, and Mr. Pitt, even in this solid
condition of the national finances, was careful not to indulge in hopes
of too sanguine a character, which a sudden turn of events, beyond the
control of English influence, might frustrate and disappoint. His
language was explicit as to his confidence in the present, but guarded
as to his views of the future. "On the continuance of our present
prosperity," he observed, "it is indeed impossible to count with
certainty; but unquestionably, there never was a time when, from the
situation of Europe, we might more reasonably expect a durable peace
than at the present moment." The subsequent course of European politics,
unfortunately, did not bear out this expectation; but at the moment when
it was uttered, the lull that had set in on the continent, and the
flourishing state of our own trade and commerce, abundantly justified
the statement of the Minister. Some additional reliance on the stability
of our prospects might also have been drawn from the fact that the
destinies of England were never in abler hands than those to whom they
were confided in 1792, with Mr. Pitt at the Treasury and Lord Grenville
at the Foreign Office.

Parliament met on the 31st of January. The Speech from the Throne
announced the conclusion of the treaty between Austria and the Ottoman
Porte, and the agreement to preliminaries between the latter and Russia.
The maintenance of peace was regarded, under the circumstances, as so
certain that His Majesty was induced to recommend for the consideration
of Parliament an immediate reduction of the naval and military
establishments. The following letters, written before the opening of
Parliament, touch slightly on these affairs.


     St. James's Square, Jan. 6th, 1792.

     My present idea on the subject of your last letter entirely agrees
     with yours, and I wait only till the great bear returns to this
     hemisphere to put it in execution roundly, and without reserve. The
     only thing that restrains me is the extreme importance that I feel
     it is of to my honour not to involve any other persons, and still
     less a whole system of Government, in a personal contest, which I
     am obliged to maintain (being embarked in it) for a personal
     object. The mode of doing this is not without much difficulty, and
     it is the only difficulty I feel on the subject.

     Before I do anything decisive, I will certainly contrive in some
     manner to talk it over with you, but till I know the precise time
     of his return my motions are of course suspended. The moment I am
     able I will write to you again.

     The solution of the French enigma which you state is, that it is a
     war of bullying on both sides, the two parties being equally afraid
     of each other. In the meantime there certainly are some in France
     who wish the war, but very many more who fear it, and the ruin of
     their finances is approaching with very rapid strides indeed. What
     a contrast we shall make with them, when I come to state to you the
     particulars, about which I am now little less sanguine than I was
     at Weymouth.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, Jan. 17th, 1792.

     Nothing more has passed _on the subject_, but a day or two will now
     probably bring it to a point, as Dundas is to see _him_, and put
     the question to him, yes or no, either to-morrow or Thursday. This
     is not to be done with any message from me, a point which I have
     thought it indispensably necessary to stipulate, in order that I
     might not have to reproach myself with anything like personal
     solicitation to _him_ on such a point. I feel this so material,
     that I have made a pretext of going to take possession of my castle
     on Thursday, in order to be completely out of the way of all
     negotiation upon the subject. Pitt comes to me on Saturday, and
     brings me the answer on which my future conduct must depend. I
     shall remain there, if possible, till the Friday or Saturday
     following. It would be very little out of your way to make it your
     run on Tuesday, when you would certainly find me there, and I need
     not say that I should, in any case, be extremely glad to see you
     there; but more particularly if any further step is to be taken
     about this business, in which I do not well see my way, because I
     hardly see how I can take that line which my own situation
     personally seems so loudly to demand, without involving more than I
     should like to do of public consequences. If I alone were
     concerned, my line would be very soon taken.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

     Everything looks like peace on the side of France.

A letter from Mr. Hobart gives a sketch of the state of Ireland at this
time. The English Bill of toleration had produced a ferment in the
country, and the war of religious animosity was assuming a more violent
aspect every day.


     Dublin Castle, Jan. 30th, 1792.

     The multiplicity of business, both public and _private_, in which I
     have been engaged since I left Stowe, must plead my excuse for
     having so long postponed writing to your Lordship. I cannot,
     however, delay thanking you for the communication you have made
     through Mornington on the subject of my marriage--a subject I
     should not have been silent upon when I had the pleasure of seeing
     you, had I not predetermined the case, and therefore was not open
     to advice. I flatter myself you will be happy to hear that I have
     received a most friendly and liberal letter from the Earl of Bucks
     upon the occasion, and have experienced every attention and
     kindness from all my friends, and a marked civility from all
     persons here on both sides of the question.

     You can have little idea of the ferment that has been raised on the
     subject of Catholics. When I saw you, I talked of existing
     prejudices, which would ever render it no easy task to carry the
     English concessions. I little thought that the minds of the
     Protestants could be so inflamed, as a variety of circumstances
     (but principally the industry of Mr. R. Burke) has inflamed them.
     He has endeavoured, and with too much success, to persuade the
     Catholics that British Government were determined to compel the
     Irish Administration, and through them the Parliament of Ireland,
     to open the franchise to the Catholics; that therefore, if they
     persevered in the assertion of their claims, they could not fail of
     carrying their point. The alarm and indignation that this created
     amongst the Protestants was such as I will not venture to describe;
     but you may be assured that any Irish Government that countenanced
     such a measure could not stand twenty-four hours afterwards, if the
     Parliament was sitting. So far from the Protestants being likely to
     be terrified into compliance, they instantly became desperate at
     the very idea of it. The cry was, "Let us bring it at once to an
     issue. If England will not protect us, the sooner we know it the
     better: anything is preferable to the horrid state of suspense we
     are now reduced to; at all events, we must resist every concession.
     Let us not make the Catholics stronger, the better to enable them
     to annihilate us at a future day. The Protestants must unite for
     their own protection; and although Mr. Pitt's Government will not
     defend us, possibly the weight of all the Parliamentary power of
     Ireland thrown into the scale of English Opposition may force them
     into office, and they may be more disposed to favour us than the
     present Administration."

     These ideas were rankling in every man's mind when the Parliament
     met, and it is with the utmost difficulty that we have been able to
     remove them. I cannot paint more strongly to you the real situation
     of the feelings of the House of Commons, than by telling you, that
     a declaration from me upon my legs, "that it was the determination
     of the Government of _both_ countries to maintain the Protestant
     establishment, and to resist any attempts by force or intimidation
     that might be made to subvert it," afforded a degree of consolation
     which, not having witnessed, you can hardly credit, so great was
     the apprehension upon the subject.

     The newspapers will have informed you of our proceedings upon that
     day; I shall, therefore, only add that I am still doubtful of the
     event of the Bill, but am inclined to believe we shall carry it. I
     hear that, if the Ponsonbys are satisfied that there will be a
     majority in favour of it, they will concur; if they think they can
     throw it out, they will oppose. Should we carry the Bill, the
     gentlemen of the Roman Catholics will be highly gratified, and the
     rabble bullied--both circumstances which will tend very much to the
     future quiet of the country.

     I am informed that Mr. R. Burke and his employers have quarrelled,
     and that Ireland may soon hope to be relieved from his gracious
     superintendence. I am sure I heartily wish it, for he has
     contrived, by his impudence, folly, and misrepresentations, to
     awake animosities between the Protestants and Catholics that had
     slept for fifty years, and that a reasonable man might have hoped
     would have slept for ever. I see no ground to apprehend tumult of
     any kind. The Catholics, I think, dare not stir; and the United
     Irishmen, with Napper Tandy at their head, are sinking into
     nothing. Napper, and indeed his friend Grattan, have totally lost
     their influence in the Corporation.

     The Duke of Leinster had committed himself very far indeed upon the
     subject of franchise, and is now retreating through his Corporation
     of Athy, who have addressed their representatives, Colonel Arthur
     Ormsby and Mr. Falkiner, to support the Protestant ascendancy.

     I am told that the northern people do not much object to our Bill.
     Any one step further would have been totally impracticable, and
     would have produced a confusion that no man could have foreseen the
     consequence of.

     My best compliments to Lady Buckingham.

     Believe me ever, my dear Lord, with every respect and gratitude,
     affectionately yours,

     R. HOBART.

Amidst the arrivals of foreign news, which every day created new
excitements in the political circles, a movement was beginning to be
felt in the Cabinet which was shortly to produce an important change in
the Administration. The eccentricities of the Chancellor had on several
occasions given much uneasiness to Ministers. He seemed to move in an
orbit of his own, independently of his colleagues; while the influence
he exercised over the King's mind, and his repulsive bearing, made all
approaches to him difficult and hazardous. The first consideration, when
an unexpected question sprung up, was to ascertain what view Thurlow was
likely to take of it; and it was sometimes as necessary to conciliate
him and to wait upon his moods, as if he had been a powerful, but
doubtful supporter, instead of a member of the Government. "We may do
with, but cannot do without him," appears to have been the general
feeling in reference to him; and it was only by the most skilful
management that Mr. Pitt averted those dissensions in the Cabinet which
his strange line of conduct had so palpable a tendency to provoke. At
last the Chancellor committed himself openly to a hostile vote upon a
vital measure, and left it no longer possible for the Minister to
palliate their differences by private negotiations. The character and
dignity of the Administration was at stake, and there was but one
alternative left. The extremity to which matters were thus reduced is
glanced at hesitatingly by Lord Grenville. The commentary which he did
not think it right to make at such a moment may now, however, be
supplied. The vote of Lord Thurlow placed the Cabinet in this position,
that it remained for the King to choose between them. Mr. Pitt was
prepared to resign, if the decisive advice he tendered to His Majesty
was not immediately acted upon.


     St. James's Square, May 15th, 1792.

     I have the happiness of being able to send you an account of the
     capture of Seringapatam. The news is brought by a letter from a Dr.
     Abercromby, who was sent with Lord Cornwallis's despatches, in the
     'Vestal.' He put this letter on board another vessel in the
     Channel, and it comes by express from Bristol.

     A decisive action took place about the 6th of January, at a village
     near Seringapatam. Tippoo's army was entirely routed, and a few
     days after the place surrendered. Tippoo is said to have been
     wounded in the action, and carried to the hill-fort: this is all we
     know. If the "Gazette" is out in time, Goddard will send it you.

     The Duke of P. and his friends have declined being at the Council.
     We mean, nevertheless, to take the step, and to propose Addresses
     in both Houses of Parliament. It seems impossible for them not to
     support us there, but it is at least right to bring it to a point.
     When the day is fixed for the motion in the House of Lords I will
     let you know it, as I think you will wish to be present, and
     probably may be desirous of expressing your opinion. I consider the
     Duke of P.'s refusal as an additional proof of the decisive
     influence Fox possesses over their minds when he chooses to exert

     You will have seen that the Chancellor opposed the National Debt
     Bill yesterday _by surprise_, and had nearly beat us. What this may
     lead to, I do not yet know; but as at present advised, I think the
     consequences must be decisive on his situation or ours. But it
     requires some reflection, and some management in the quarter that
     you know.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

The "quarter" alluded to had the courage to decide not only wisely but
promptly, and Thurlow was peremptorily called upon to resign.


     St. James's Square, May 18th, 1792.

     The King has charged Dundas with a message to the Chancellor,
     stating the necessity he was under of making his option, and
     therefore requiring him to give up the Seals, leaving the time to
     his choice. The Chancellor is to see the King to-day, and after
     that the thing will, I imagine, be immediately announced, though I
     hardly think it can take place till the end of the session. Our
     present idea is to put the Seals in Commission, with Eyre at the
     head, which (with the vacation) will give time for future
     arrangements. It is impossible as yet to guess at the success of
     those arrangements, but I imagine they would unquestionably be much
     facilitated by the sacrifice you so generously offer. I have not,
     however, thought myself at liberty to make any use of what you say
     on that subject, nor will I, as I think that if you make up your
     mind to so very handsome an offer, you ought at least to have the
     merit with Pitt of announcing it to him, instead of its having the
     appearance of passing in any manner through me.

     We shall, I believe, issue the proclamation to-day or to-morrow at
     latest, and Friday is, I think, the most likely day for the Address
     in the House of Lords; but you shall hear further from me. I say
     nothing of that part of the Indian news which _is_ true, as you
     will already have seen it in all the papers.

     The King has conducted himself towards Pitt in this unpleasant
     situation in a manner the most handsome possible, and such as must
     leave a lasting impression in our minds. I do not look without
     some uneasiness at the increase of personal labour of all sorts
     which this will bring upon me; _mais le vin est tiré_.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, June 13th, 1792.

     I know you share the happiness I feel, in learning that _my
     travellers_ were to be at Brussels in the course of last week, and
     did not purpose making more than four or five days' stay there, so
     that I may reasonably expect them here from day to day. I am
     rejoiced that my holidays have begun before they are arrived. We
     prorogue on Friday, and have finished all our business to-day,
     which is a great load off my shoulders. The Chancellor is to give
     up the Seals immediately, and they will be put into Commission with
     Eyre, Buller, and Wilson, as I imagine, though the names are not
     yet quite settled. We shall have the summer to look about us; and I
     feel no great uneasiness even at the thoughts of meeting them again
     precisely as we are, if that should be the case.

     There is no news of any sort, except the continuance of the French
     follies, which you read day by day in their papers, as fully, and
     indeed often much more so, than I could detail them. There have
     been some great failures at Bordeaux, and some at Paris, which
     makes those few of our merchants who are concerned with them look
     about them a little.

     Our Addresses are going on swimmingly, and it will, I think, soon
     be time for the loyal county of B. to show itself. They expect a
     dust in Surrey, which my good Lord Onslow does not seem to have
     quite wit enough to lay.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

Two days after the date of this letter, Parliament was prorogued, and
the Chancellor sent in his resignation.

The events that were taking place in France had recently awakened in
England a spirit of sympathy amongst the lower classes, which it was
apprehended might lead to disastrous consequences, if strong measures
were not adopted for its suppression. Several associations were
established in London and elsewhere to give practical effect to the
democratic and revolutionary doctrines of the day, under such titles as
the Corresponding Society, the Revolution Society, and the Society for
Constitutional Information; and some of them carried their views so far
as to transmit congratulatory addresses to the National Assembly. The
Government, seeing the peril that was impending over the country, took
immediate measures for the suppression of seditious correspondence
abroad, and revolutionary publications at home. A proclamation embodying
these objects was laid before Parliament towards the end of May, and
carried without a division, notwithstanding a violent opposition from
Mr. Grey and others, who had formed themselves into a Society called
"The Friends of the People," for the ostensible purpose of appeasing the
discontents, by obtaining a reform in the representation.

Immediately after the prorogation of Parliament, meetings were held all
over the country, to testify to the King the loyalty and gratitude of
the population, and to return thanks to His Majesty for the activity and
decision with which the dangers of the crisis had been met. In the
course of two or three months, the number of addresses that were voted
at these meetings and presented to the King amounted to three hundred
and forty-one.

It is to these circumstances Lord Grenville alludes in the closing
paragraph of the last letter. In the next communication he urges Lord
Buckingham to move the Address in his own county; and in the letters
that follow he touches upon the progress of the sanguinary drama that
was then enacting in Paris. The domestic allusions refer to his
approaching marriage.


     St. James's Square, June 21st, 1792.

     Although I have as yet no tidings of my travellers, I feel so
     confident of their being here before the day fixed for the Address,
     that I think I run no risk in promising to be there _at all
     events_. I have, however, no idea that the noble Marquis will give
     us the meeting; though I will own to you, there are few things
     which I should like better. I think the Address perfectly
     unexceptionable as it now stands; but I should wish to add a
     sentence somewhere, expressing the satisfaction and concurrence of
     the county in the sentiments expressed _by Parliament_ on this
     subject, because I think it may not be indifferent to future
     debates, to have to quote expressions of this sort, in order to
     show that, on a great occasion like this, the sense of the people
     was immediately and completely expressed by Parliament. I enclose
     you the Devonshire Address, which Fortescue sent me. It was drawn
     by him; and I think singularly well put together.

     It appears to me, that you ought certainly to move the Address
     yourself; this not being a case where the common objections apply,
     but rather the contrary. In that case, perhaps, some person of
     higher rank ought to second than Drake, Duke of Portland, or Lord
     Chesterfield, or Lord Inchiquin, or Lord Hampden. If, however, you
     have actually applied to him, it must be managed as well as it can.

     Do you advertize the meeting in the London papers? I think you
     ought to write to Lord Chesterfield. When you return me the
     Address, I will put it into Tom's hands for the Duke of Portland. I
     think this meeting ought by no means to supersede the idea of the
     Grand Jury presentment. If you still think that right, I will
     contrive that Lord Loughborough, who goes your circuit, shall have
     a hint to prepare the way for it by his charge. You will, of
     course, be very civil to him. Whether it will come to anything I
     have not; but there is reason enough to be civil to him, as I will
     explain when we meet.

     The Berlin news is nothing more than the common story of a squabble
     between Mistress and Favourite, in which, contrary to custom,
     Favourite has this time got the better of Mistress. As far as it
     goes, it is unfavourable to the Jacobins; for the whole project of
     French interference is Bishopwerder's; and the crime imputed to the
     other, is a leaning towards the democrats.

     I need not tell you how much I feel the kindness of what you say
     about my domestic concerns, and the near approach of my prospects.
     I am sure you do me the justice to think that I am not insensible
     of all your affection to me on that subject, as, indeed, on every
     other. Till they arrive, I can form no guess of their plans, nor,
     consequently, of my own; but, as I shall certainly see you so soon,
     either here or at Aylesbury, we shall be able to talk about it;
     and, till then, I think you had better not write to Lord C. on the
     subject of Stowe, for a reason which you perhaps guess.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, June 25th, 1792.

     Having been out of town Saturday and Sunday, I did not get the East
     India news time enough to write to you. The newspapers contain all
     we know or have received. There is no doubt of the authenticity of
     the "Bombay Gazette," the original of which is received. But it
     seems very odd how the news should first reach Bombay through the
     Nizam's Durbar. On the whole, however, I see no sufficient ground
     to disbelieve it; and, if true, it is as good as the most sanguine
     wishes could have desired.

     Lord Camelford is landed at Deal, and will be in town to-morrow
     night. I shall, therefore, certainly keep my engagement for Friday.
     I shall see Tom this morning, and will put the Address into his
     hands, to be communicated to the Duke of Portland, and will also
     talk to him about the Grand Jury. The new French Ministry is wholly
     Fayette's, and by his letter he seems to think himself strong
     enough to take the whole into his own hands and keep it. I have,
     however, no opinion of his judgment. I am persuaded his plan is to
     negotiate with the two Courts, and he will find a ready ear to all
     he can say there. The Princes are wholly excluded, and
     systematically so, from all that is doing, and will scarce be
     allowed the honour of fighting should it come to blows. And the
     King will be too happy to yield to any compromise that he may think
     will insure his personal safety. And so far for prophecies, in
     which you know I do not deal much.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     P.S.--The enclosed is for Lord Buckingham. Pray let it be put among
     the portraits of other heroes. It is original, and Liston says
     very like. The whipping-post, knife, and pistol, are also

     I open my letter again to tell you, that by way of anniversary of
     the 20th, there was a procession of the two faubourgs with pikes,
     &c., to the National Assembly. From thence they went to the
     Tuileries, to present what they called a petition to the King. He
     ordered them to be let in, and they entered, notwithstanding the
     National Guard, who were there in force, but made no resistance,
     though it is said they were disposed to it if they had been
     encouraged. They remained three hours in the King's room, loading
     him with insults, and demanding the recal of the Jacobin Ministers,
     and the sanction for the two decrees. They put the red cap upon his
     head, upon the Queen's, and upon the Dauphin. They were at length
     persuaded to disperse by Petion telling them that they had
     sufficiently manifested their patriotism. The King is said to have
     behaved with uncommon firmness and apparent indifference. The whole
     was expected, and had been announced for a week, and you see how it
     was met. The Jacobins feel it a complete triumph, and talk of
     sending La Fayette to Orleans.

     Luckner has taken possession of Menin, Ypres, and Courtrai, the
     latter after some resistance, in which the Austrians lost about one
     hundred men. An action was expected every hour.


     July 2nd, 1792.

     I have a whole budget of news for you, but I must begin with what
     interests myself most, which is, the thanking you again for your
     kindness to your _future sister_. I have told her of it, and she
     feels it as she ought to do. You know I do not deal much in long
     speeches, nor do you much delight in hearing or reading them; but I
     am sure that you do me the justice to believe me not the less
     sensible of all your affection to me, which I have experienced in
     every stage of my life, and most of all on the most interesting
     occasion of it. I feel that it is to you I owe my happiness.

     When you give your directions to Froggatt, will you be so good as
     to bid him put in Lord Camelford's name as the trustee.

     Now for news. The "Gazette," which Goddard sends you, will tell you
     of Lord Cornwallis's victory. We have this morning a letter from
     Brooke at St. Helena, enclosing a "Madras Courier," with the
     account of a second victory, followed by a peace, in which Tippoo
     stipulates to cede _half his dominions_ to the allies, and to pay
     them £3,500,000 for the expenses of the war, and to give his two
     sons for hostages. Nothing can appear more complete; but I wait
     with impatience for Lord Cornwallis's despatches, as the above
     expression relative to the cessions is so very loose.

     Lafayette has left his army to go to Paris, and has made a speech
     to the Assembly, threatening them in pretty plain, though guarded
     terms, with the resentment of his army, if they do not punish the
     outrages of the 21st, and demolish the Jacobins. His friends moved
     to refer his address to the _commission des douze_, which was
     carried on the _appel nominal_ by 110 majority. He was afterwards
     carried in triumph to the Tuileries by the National Guards. But the
     Jacobins are not stunned, and much disturbance was expected in

     I take it for granted you have told my own news to Lady B., and
     therefore do not trouble her with a letter. Will you be so good as
     to say everything that is most kind to her, both from Anne and

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

Crowds of emigrants that were driven out of France by the massacres
that were going on there, night and day, swarmed into the streets of
London, where they wandered about in great distress. The majority of
these people were priests; and it was computed that the number of French
refugees that landed in England, between the 30th of August and the 1st
of October, amounted to nearly four thousand. Large subscriptions were
raised for their relief; but as it was essential that the protection
extended to them should not be abused, Lord Grenville turned his
attention to the necessity of providing some measure for regulating the
assistance they received, and guarding against any sinister advantage
the disaffected amongst them might be disposed to take of the asylum
which the free institutions of this country threw open to them. Here we
have the first suggestion of the Alien Bill, which, three months
afterwards, Lord Grenville introduced into Parliament.


     St. James's Square, Sept. 20th, 1792.

     We returned here from our expedition the day before yesterday,
     having passed through Weymouth in our way. We left Lord Camelford
     far from well, and in the intention of coming immediately to town,
     in order to set out again for the continent. It is a melancholy
     reflection to think that he should again so soon be obliged to
     leave us.

     My sudden expedition from Castlehill has delayed my return here so
     much later than I expected, that I fear it cuts off all hope of my
     making you a visit in the autumn at Stowe. Pitt goes to-day to take
     possession of his castle. I suppose you will have heard that Paine
     had a very narrow escape at Dover. I send you the enclosed, because
     you may, perhaps, not have seen it, and I am sure it will please
     you. Pray read Necker's last work.

     We have no news from the armies, except that the siege of
     Thionville was turned into a blockade, and a general action hourly
     expected. The Duke of Brunswick's progress does not keep pace with
     the impatience of our wishes, but I doubt whether it was reasonable
     to expect more. The detail of the late events at Paris is so
     horrible, that I do not like to let my mind dwell upon them; and
     yet I fear that scene of shocking and savage barbarity is very far
     from its close. I deliver this day to the Imperial and Neapolitan
     Ministers a note, with the formal assurance that in case of the
     murder of the King or Queen, the persons guilty of that crime shall
     not be allowed any asylum in the King's dominions. Opinions are a
     little doubtful about the best means of giving effect to this
     promise, should the case arise. Our lawyers seem clear, and
     Blackstone expressly asserts, that the King may prevent any alien
     from coming into the kingdom, or remaining there. But this power
     has so rarely been used, that it may, perhaps, be better to have a
     special Act of Parliament applying to this case. This, however,
     relates only to the mode. I imagine everybody will think the thing
     itself right, and some people seem to hope it may prevent the
     commission of the crime in question. In this hope I am not very

     We have no account of Spain having declared war, except what comes
     through France.

     God bless you, and believe me
     Ever most affectionately yours,

The retreat of the combined army, under the Duke of Brunswick, cast a
gloom over the hopes of the struggling royalists. The soldiers had
suffered severe sickness from eating the unripe grapes of Champagne,
and, contrary to the expectations in which they had been led to indulge,
the peasantry everywhere opposed them by attacking detachments, and
breaking up the roads.

Whilst these events were spreading consternation over the continent, the
proceedings of the Irish Roman Catholics were of a nature to awaken
serious uneasiness in England. The whole country was convulsed on the
subject of concessions, the debates in Parliament exhibited unexampled
intemperance, and it was said that subscriptions to the extent of nearly
three millions had been entered into with the intention of purchasing
lands in America, should the demands of the Roman Catholics be refused.

Whatever opinion Lord Grenville and Mr. Pitt might have previously
entertained as to the justice or policy of granting further relief, was
much shaken by the attitude which the Irish assumed at this alarming
juncture. It was no longer possible to deal with the question on the
grounds on which it originally rested; and the Imperial Government could
not compromise its influence and authority by yielding to menace those
claims which it was willing to accept as a legitimate subject for
deliberate legislation. Out of these unfortunate checks, hindrances, and
distrusts on both sides, arose that calamitous condition of Ireland
which broke out a few years afterwards into open rebellion; but, looking
back dispassionately on these events at this distance of time, it is
difficult to see how that disastrous issue could have been prevented.
The hazard lay between going too far and not going far enough, with the
certainty that whatever was done must have fallen short of satisfying
one party, and in an equal degree must have dissatisfied another. It was
also a matter of continual perplexity with the Government to find the
right moment for initiating the policy of conciliation. There were
always moments when, in certain shapes, it would have suited one party
or the other; but the moment when it would have suited both never came.


     St. James's Square, Oct. 11th, 1792.

     We go to Dropmore to-morrow, to fix ourselves for the remainder of
     the autumn--if any autumn remain. I shall be very much obliged to
     you for your cargo, whenever Mr. Woodward's prudence allows him to
     send it.

     We are all much disappointed with the result of the great
     expectations that had been formed from the Duke of Brunswick's
     campaign. According to the best accounts I can get, of a business
     involved in almost inextricable mystery, the flux--which had got
     into his camp--was the true cause of his retreat. Whatever be the
     cause, the effect is equally to be regretted. The plan seems now to
     be, to hold Verdun and Longwy; and to employ the interval before
     the spring allows them to march forwards again, in besieging the
     different frontier towns in the neighbourhood. But the example of
     Thionville will prevent the success of intimidation, or of _coups
     de main_; and the opening trenches is impossible, at least, till
     the post comes. Clairfayt's corps of about twenty thousand men is
     to march towards the Low Countries, to prevent them from being

     I have thought much of the Irish business. I am very much inclined
     to think that the alarms stated by the people there are much
     exaggerated, partly with the view of producing an effect here, and
     partly, because you know such is the genius of that people to carry
     everything to extremes. Allowing, however, for this, there is
     certainly much real cause for alarm. It is, I think, clearly
     impossible not to resist the demands of the Catholics, in the
     manner and circumstances in which they are now made. How far it was
     prudent to have gone last year, in voluntary and gratuitous
     concession, I know not, and really feel that it requires more local
     knowledge than I possess to decide. My leaning was certainly in
     favour of going as far as could be gone with safety, but no person
     is authorized to state even that leaning; and the subsequent
     conduct of the Catholics does, in my opinion, go far to shake any
     opinion which might then have been entertained in favour of further

     My idea, therefore is, that the Irish Parliament must be enabled to
     meet the struggle, if struggle there is to be, by having the means
     put into their hands of calling forth all the resources of that
     country; which, if called forth, I believe to be very great indeed.
     That this may not ultimately lead to some drain upon the purse and
     force of this country, is more certain than any man would affirm,
     who sees what has passed in France. But the probability is, I
     think, against it. I am inclined to believe, that the voting an
     increase of the army may be a wise measure of intimidation, and as
     such, it will be stated to that Government for consideration; but,
     on the other hand, any increase of expense, which is to lead to
     increase of taxes, is certainly objectionable. My own persuasion
     is, that with a very little firmness, the Convention of 1793 will
     vanish like that of 1783; but this is no reason for neglecting
     reasonable measures of precaution.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

In these letters occur the first allusions to Dropmore, Lord Grenville's
seat in Buckinghamshire, which he had recently purchased, and upon the
embellishment of which he bestowed all the spare hours he could rescue
from the fatigues of public business. The trees, acknowledged in the
following letter as having been just received from Stowe, were destined
to convert a common into pleasure-grounds, under the direction of his
accomplished taste, which "made the wilderness smile," and transformed a
remote country nook into a scene of singular and matchless beauty.

The state of Europe, and the views of the writer in reference to it, are
treated at large in this letter, which is of great historical value as
an exposition of the firm and judicious course pursued by Lord Grenville
through a period of universal panic and confusion. To have kept England
in tranquillity aloof from the perils that were devastating the
continent, and to have sustained her in such prosperous circumstances as
to justify the hope that in the next year the Government might be
enabled to announce a further remission of taxes, furnishes a triumphant
answer to the charge so frequently brought against Mr. Pitt's
Administration, of wantonly encouraging a policy that plunged the
country into a profligate war expenditure.


     St. James's Square, Nov. 7th, 1792.

     The trees arrived safe at Dropmore yesterday, and we were at their
     unpacking in the middle of such a fog as I never saw before. They
     will answer admirably well for my purpose, and will make a great
     figure on my hill in the course of a century or so, provided always
     that the municipality of Burnham does not cut them down sooner.

     I cannot deny that you have some reason to complain of my silence
     for the last month, but you have the kindness to assign the true
     cause; unless, indeed, I was to add another almost equally
     strong--I mean the absolute want of anything to say. This sounds
     strange, but it is not the less true. The _events_ you read in the
     newspapers, often before I get them, and they have been such as it
     could give me little pleasure to detail. The causes have been hid,
     _caliginosâ nocta_, in a fog almost as thick as that of yesterday,
     and I have been among the guessers only, and not always among those
     who were luckiest in their guesses. I bless God, that we had the
     wit to keep ourselves out of the glorious enterprize of the
     combined armies, and that we were not tempted by the hope of
     sharing the spoils in the division of France, nor by the prospect
     of crushing all democratical principles all over the world at one
     blow. But having so sturdily resisted all solicitation to join in
     these plans, we have been punished for our obstinacy by having been
     kept in profound ignorance of the details by which they were to be
     executed, and even of the course of events, as far as that could be
     done, which occurred during the progress of the enterprize. Now
     that it has failed, we must expect these deep politicians to return
     to the charge, and to beg us to help them out of the pit into which
     they wanted to help us. But they have as yet been in no hurry to
     begin this pleasant communication, and most assuredly we are in no
     disposition to urge them on faster. You have here, therefore, the
     explanation of the total impossibility in which I find myself to
     explain all the inexplicable events of the last two months
     otherwise than by conjecture. It is but lately that I have thought
     I had even grounds enough to guess by. But you shall hear my guess.
     The Austrians and Prussians thought they were marching to certain
     victory. The emigrants, who had given them this idea, confirmed
     them in it till the facts undeceived them. The Duke of Brunswick,
     who joins to great personal valour great indecision of mind, and
     great soreness for his reputation, hesitated to take the only means
     that could have insured success--a sudden and hazarded attack. The
     more he delayed, the more difficult his position grew. He then
     attempted to buy a man, who, under other circumstances, would have
     been very purchasable; failed in this; lost time; excited distrust
     and jealousy among his allies; dispirited his own troops; and ended
     his enterprize by a disgraceful retreat, which coffee-house
     politicians are, as usual, willing to attribute to all sorts of
     causes except the natural and obvious one. The subsequent successes
     of the French are natural. An army that expected to be in Paris in
     October, had naturally taken little precaution to prevent the
     French from attacking Germany in the same month. The French
     officers, who could have no authority over their armies in defeat
     and disgrace, have naturally acquired it in success; and the
     business will begin again in the spring, being about twice as
     difficult as it was when it began this autumn.

     I have little doubt that this is the project of both parties. The
     Austrians may perhaps put themselves a little more forward than the
     Prussians; and from what I have heard of the conduct of the latter,
     the enterprize may not fare the worse for this difference. The
     Emperor must feel that he has now got an enemy whom he must devour,
     or be devoured by it. And the governing party at Paris have very
     many very obvious reasons for continuing the war. The rest of the
     empire will give their contingent, unless they have been lucky
     enough to be forced to sign a capitulation of neutrality. The King
     of Sardinia and Italy will defend themselves as they can, which
     will probably be very ill. What Spain will do, she does not know,
     and therefore certainly we do not. Portugal and Holland will do
     what we please. We shall do nothing. Sweden and Denmark can do
     nothing, and Russia has enough else to do, and has neither the will
     nor the means of doing much against France. And there is the
     tableau of Europe for next year, according to my almanac.

     You will not complain that this time I have not given you
     speculation and prophecy enough--more than any man ought to make
     who has profited, as I have done, by the experience of all these
     events, to learn that human wisdom and foresight are somewhat more
     shortsighted personages than the most shortsighted of us two,
     whichever that is.

     All my ambition is that I may at some time hereafter, when I am
     freed from all active concern in such a scene as this is, have the
     inexpressible satisfaction of being able to look back upon it, and
     to tell myself that I have contributed to keep my own country at
     least a little longer from sharing in all the evils of every sort
     that surround us. I am more and more convinced that this can only
     be done by keeping wholly and entirely aloof, and by watching much
     at home, but doing very little indeed; endeavouring to nurse up in
     the country a real determination to stand by the Constitution when
     it is attacked, as it most infallibly will be if these things go
     on; and, above all, trying to make the situation of the lower
     orders among us as good as it can be made. In this view, I have
     seen with the greatest satisfaction the steps taken in different
     parts of the country for increasing wages, which I hold to be a
     point of absolute necessity, and of a hundred times more importance
     than all that the most _doing_ Government could do in twenty years
     towards keeping the country quiet. I trust we may again be enabled
     to contribute to the same object by the repeal of taxes, but of
     that we cannot yet be sure. Sure I am, at least I think myself so,
     that these are the best means in our power to delay what perhaps
     nothing can ultimately avert, if it is decreed that we are again to
     be plunged into barbarism.

     I find that I am growing too serious, even for you, upon a subject
     on which I know you are serious enough, and it is high time to
     release you. God bless you, and thank you once more in my name, and
     my little woman's, for your trees. May we long continue to love one
     another as we do, and we shall both, I trust, have a comfort in our
     long affection and friendship, which the study or practice of the
     art of governing men seems very little likely to afford in our

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

The disasters of the Duke of Brunswick reanimated the factious spirit
which the vigorous measures of the Government had previously succeeded
in subduing. The prosecutions instituted under the proclamation against
seditious publications had been followed by the most decisive results;
and Thomas Paine, who was the chief offender, foreseeing the inevitable
issue of his impending trial, although Mr. Erskine was engaged to defend
him, had absconded to France, where he was admitted to a citizenship
more congenial to his principles, and enjoyed the doubtful honour of
being returned by two constituencies as a member of the National

The flight of Paine broke down the courage of his disciples; and the
circulation of seditious libels was effectually arrested, until the
misfortunes of the Allies once more revived the hopes of the
disaffected. Fresh measures of prevention and defence were now rendered
necessary to preserve the peace of the country. The Militia was to be
augmented by volunteer companies, and the law officers of the Crown were
to exercise with vigilance the powers entrusted to them for bringing
malcontents to justice. But it was not by such means alone the
Administration proposed to meet the evil. It appealed to the good sense
and loyalty of the people. Upon these elements it depended for the
ultimate success of its efforts. The language of patriotism never found
more felicitous or energetic utterance than in these words of Lord
Grenville's: "The hands of Government must be strengthened if the
country is to be saved; but, above all, the work must not be left to the
hands of Government, but every man must put his shoulder to it,
according to his rank and situation in life, or it will not be done."


     Whitehall, Nov. 14th, 1792.

     The events in Flanders have brought so much hurry of things to be
     done and thought of upon me, that I really have been unable to
     answer your letter, which I have been some days intending to do.
     With respect to what you mention about prosecutions, you do not
     advert to the forms of our laws, by which no step of that nature
     can be taken by the Attorney-General, except in term time, when
     alone his informations can be filed. No seditious publication has
     ever come to my knowledge, without my referring it to the
     Attorney-General for prosecution; and out of the five which you
     mention, viz., Jockey Club, Paine, Cooper, Walker and Cartwright,
     the three first have been so referred, the two last I have never
     seen. In truth, without assistance from the magistrates and
     gentlemen of the country, who give none except Addresses, it is
     very vain for Government to attempt to see and know, at Whitehall,
     every libel which may be dispersed in the country.

     But the real fact is, that these people were completely quelled,
     and their spirit destroyed, till the Duke of Brunswick's retreat.
     Since that they have begun to show themselves again, and nothing
     that I know of has been neglected that could tend to put the law in
     force against them. Steps are now taking by Government to send
     persons into the counties to purchase these libels, with a view to
     indictments at the Christmas Quarter Sessions; but this is a thing
     that can be done but once, and could not be continued without an
     expense equal to that of the old French police. Our laws suppose
     magistrates and Grand Juries to do this duty, and if they do it
     not, I have little faith in its being done by a Government such as
     the Constitution has made ours. If you look back to the last time
     in our history that these sort of things bore the same serious
     aspect that they now do--I mean the beginning of the Hanover
     reigns--you will find that the Protestant succession was
     established, not by the interference of a Secretary of State or
     Attorney-General, in every individual instance, but by the
     exertions of every magistrate and officer, civil or military,
     throughout the country.

     I wish this was more felt and understood, because it is a little
     hard to be forced to run the hazards of doing much more than one's
     duty, and then to be charged with doing less.

     As to what you mention of overt acts, those things are all much
     exaggerated, where they are not wholly groundless. The report of
     what is called "Cooper's Ass-Feast" (Walker's I never heard of),
     and of the Scotch Greys being concerned in it, reached me _by
     accident_, for of all the King's good subjects, who are exclaiming
     against its not being noticed, not one thought it worth his while
     to apprise the Secretary of State of it. I took immediate steps for
     inquiring into it, and am satisfied that the whole story has no
     other foundation than Mr. Cooper having invited two officers to
     dine with him in a small company, and having given them, by way of
     curiosity, as a new dish, a piece of a young ass roasted. I
     inquired, in the same manner, about the riot stated to have
     happened at Sheffield; and learn from Lord Loughborough, who lives
     in the county, and is enough on the _qui vive_ on the subject, that
     there was nothing which, even in the most peaceable times, could
     deserve the name of a riot. That supposed at Perth I never heard of
     yet, though Dundas has been within a short distance of that place.

     It is not unnatural, nor is it an unfavourable symptom, that people
     who are thoroughly frightened, as the body of landed gentlemen in
     this country are, should exaggerate these stories as they pass from
     one mouth to the other; but you, who know the course of this sort
     of reports, ought not too hastily to give credit to them.

     It is, however, not the less true that the danger exists, and
     perhaps not the less from its not breaking out in the manner
     stated. The conquest of Flanders has, as I believe, brought the
     business to a much nearer issue here than any reasonable man could
     believe a month ago. The hands of Government must be strengthened
     if the country is to be saved; but, above all, the work must not be
     left to the hands of Government, but every man must put his
     shoulder to it, according to his rank and situation in life, or it
     will not be done. I could write much more of the same sort, but I
     have already people waiting for me.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Whitehall, Nov. 25th, 1792.

     Our hopes of anything really useful from Opposition, are, I am
     sorry to say, nearly vanished. In the meantime the storm thickens.
     Lord Loughborough has declined, and Fox seems to govern the rest
     just in the old way.

     We are called upon on all sides for counter associations, and
     indeed it seems too clear that the peace of the country cannot
     otherwise be preserved. The army, though I trust still steady, is
     too small to be depended on. We must look to individual exertions,
     and to the Militia. I forgot to beg you to state to me the grounds
     you had to think parts of that body infected. It is material to
     know the truth on that subject. Our plan is to enable the King to
     authorize the Lord-Lieutenants to commission volunteer companies to
     be added to the Militia on the first appearance of tumult. This
     seems to add the advantage of subordination to regular power to
     that of association.

     In the meantime, we are preparing an association in London, which
     is to be declared in the course of next week. I enclose you the
     plan of their declaration, in which you see the great object is to
     confine it within the limits of the regular Government, and not to
     go beyond that point. A few persons of rank cannot be kept out of
     it, but we mean it chiefly to consist of merchants and lawyers, as
     a London society, and that the example should then be followed by
     each county or district--including there as many farmers and yeomen
     as possible. In this _we_ shall of course have no difficulty.
     Probably we need hardly appear much before the Quarter Sessions. It
     seems desirable that at the different Quarter Sessions the
     magistrates should name an adjourned day for receiving the reports
     of their different constables, &c., &c., relative to the state of
     their districts in this respect, and taking the necessary measures

     I throw out these ideas to you for your consideration, as it is now
     clear I cannot see you before Saturday, if then. If I cannot leave
     town I will let you know in time.

     Ever yours,

     I really have not time to extract for you a state of the Austrian
     and Prussian armies. Both Courts are making the utmost possible
     exertions to march down fresh troops. But then, I apprehend, the
     amazing superiority of numbers must keep them on the defensive,
     unless they can cut off Custine, of which I have little hope.

     I am delighted with the spirit and feeling of your son's letter,
     which are, I hope of the best augury, with a view to a game in
     which he will probably be called upon to play his part pretty soon.


     Whitehall, Nov. 29th, 1792.

     As we have, I think, nearly determined that, in consequence of the
     situation of affairs, both at home and abroad, we cannot discharge
     our duty to the country, nor even answer for its security, without
     calling the whole or a considerable part of the Militia
     immediately, I lose not a moment in apprizing you of it, both that
     you may be enabled to hold yourself in readiness to take your
     measures, and also to beg you to suggest to me any particular of
     importance that may occur to you respecting the mode of doing the

     Parliament must, as you know, by law be assembled within fourteen
     days; and it will, I think, be so within twelve days of the
     proclamation, which I expect to issue on Friday. But the precise
     day is not yet determined, because we are desirous, before the
     thing is known, to have troops enough round London to prevent the
     possibility of anything happening in the interval, which they would
     of course try if they saw an opening.

     You must not, from this measure, think the alarm greater than it
     is. The step is principally founded on the total inadequacy of our
     military force to the necessary exertions.

     At the time that the order is sent, directions will be given to
     the Lord-Lieutenant immediately to assemble the serjeants, &c., and
     to place the arms under proper guard. I am, as you will easily
     believe, too much hurried to be able to go into more details.

     We have nothing new from abroad.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     I am afraid all visits to Dropmore are quite out of the question.

     I do not understand what you say in one of your letters about
     quarters instead of lodging.


     Saturday, Dec. 1st, 1792.

     The King's orders are this day given to embody the two-thirds of
     all the Militias of the counties on the east coast from Scotland to
     London, which, together with Cumberland, Westmoreland and Kent,
     give us a strength of about five thousand one hundred men.

     Parliament will meet on Thursday sev'nnight. Before that time, I
     conclude I shall see you here. I am really so occupied, as not to
     have a moment to spare.

     Dumourier is advancing towards Liege; and I think if some blow is
     not already struck by their small force from Ostend against
     Flushing, the season secures Holland for some months, during which
     much must happen of all sorts.

     We have, I trust, secured the Tower and the City, and have now
     reason to believe that they are alarmed, and have put off their
     intended visit; but we are prepared for the worst.

     Ever yours,


     Whitehall, Dec. 5th, 1792.

     We determined last night to call out, in addition to the regiments
     already ordered, the Militias of the maritime counties from Kent to
     Cornwall, inclusive, and those of Berks, Bucks, Herts, and Surrey.
     You will, in consequence, receive by this messenger the warrant and
     letter for that purpose. The reason of the addition is partly the
     increasing prospect of hostilities with France, and partly the
     motives stated in your letter. Our object at first was to limit the
     number, in order not to give too great an alarm. The spirit of the
     people is evidently rising, and I trust that we shall have energy
     enough in the country to enable the Government to assert its true
     situation in Europe, and to maintain its dignity.

     We shall certainly proceed to business on Thursday; but how long we
     shall sit, it is impossible as yet to decide. I think the present
     idea is to bring forward the bills immediately which are necessary
     for strengthening the hands of Government. Hitherto, we have every
     reason to be satisfied with the impression our measure has made.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

Parliament stood prorogued to the 3rd of January; but it was convened by
proclamation on the 3rd of December, in consequence of the urgent
necessity that existed for adopting immediate measures of internal
defence. On the 17th, Lord Grenville introduced his Alien Bill; and two
other measures were rapidly passed for interdicting the circulation of
French assignats, and preventing the exportation of naval stores and

The signs of the future were now darkening the horizon. The French
Republic sent over an ambassador extraordinary, under the title of
Minister Plenipotentiary, to demand of England whether France was to
consider her as a neutral or a hostile power. Lord Grenville refused to
negotiate with him in a character which England could not acknowledge;
but intimated that if France was desirous of maintaining peace with
Great Britain, she must renounce her views of aggression and
aggrandizement, and confine herself to her own territory, without
insulting other Governments, without disturbing their tranquillity,
without violating their rights.

The sequel need not be detailed. The King of France was brought to
trial, sentenced to death, and beheaded. This terrible catastrophe
terminated the mission of the French Ambassador, who was informed by
Lord Grenville that he could no longer remain in this kingdom in a
public character, and ordered to retire within eight days. In a week
from that time, the Convention passed a decree declaring the Republic of
France at war with the King of England and the Stadtholder of Holland.



The policy of England in reference to the proceedings in France had
hitherto been that of a conservative neutrality. The letter of Lord
Grenville to the Marquis of Buckingham, dated 7th November, 1792, to
which attention has been specially directed, clearly and unequivocally
establishes that fact. Had the motive commonly imputed to Ministers, of
having entered into the war for the vindication of the monarchical
principle and the restoration of the Bourbons, been really the actuating
object, it would have appeared in these confidential communications. Not
only, however, is there no such motive avowed or contemplated, but, on
the contrary, Lord Grenville declares that the greatest source of pride
and satisfaction he finds on reviewing the line of conduct he had acted
upon throughout that reign of anarchy, is in the reflection that he had
kept England out of it. Up to the last moment, so long as France
confined her public acts and the dissemination of her new doctrines to
her own territory, the English Government remained merely a spectator of
events in which she took no part, and evinced no concern. The case was
altered when France invaded Holland, and passed a decree fraternizing
with the people of other countries, and offering them assistance to
procure their liberties. These were the measures of oppression and
aggrandizement referred to by Lord Grenville in his communications with
the French Envoy; and upon these grounds, and these grounds alone,
England accepted and prosecuted the war.

Immediately after the declaration of hostilities by the Convention, the
King sent a message to Parliament explicitly declaring the causes of the
war, which were, the occupation by the French of the Scheldt, the
exclusive navigation of which had been guaranteed by treaty to the
Dutch; the fraternizing decree which invited the people of other
countries to revolutionize their Governments; and the danger with which
Europe was threatened by the progress of the French arms. In one aspect
this was a war of principles; in another, it was a war of self-defence.
In both, it was just and inevitable. Even the Opposition admitted the
validity of the grounds on which it proceeded, although they could not
resist the temptation of assailing the Minister, while they adopted his
measures. The resolutions founded on the message were carried with
scarcely a shadow of objection in either House of Parliament. The people
of all classes were wholly with Mr. Pitt. Amongst the last to be
convinced was Mr. Wilberforce, who had a moral aversion to all wars,
but who ultimately expressed himself converted to the necessity of war
on this occasion.

The effect of the message from the King was remarkable. Numbers of the
most influential men, who had previously voted with the Opposition,
passed over to the Ministerial benches, including Burke and Wyndham, and
the Lords Portland, Spencer, Fitzwilliam, Loughborough, and many other
peers and commoners. Lord Loughborough, who had so often run in couples
with Thurlow, was now appointed to succeed him on the Woolsack; and
Ministers, acquiring augmented strength from all quarters, addressed
themselves vigorously to the task of preparation.

The letters of this year are scanty, but not unimportant, in their
references to passing events. Taken in connection with the history of
the period, which is too familiar to require any further elucidation,
they will be found to throw a new light upon some points of contemporary


     Whitehall, Jan. 19th, 1793.

     It is at length settled that Lord Loughborough shall take the Seals
     on Wednesday. He has written a long letter to the Duke of Portland,
     which has not been answered. It is as yet very difficult to say
     what proportion of the _ci-devant_ Opposition will follow Lord
     Loughborough's example, and join Government avowedly, but I am
     inclined to hope a pretty large one. The Prince of Wales has also
     written to the Duke of Portland, and sent a message to us,
     declaring his intention to join Government. I have not seen the
     letter, but _my informant_, to whom it was shown yesterday morning
     by the Duke of York, told me it was proper and explicit.

     424 against the referring the judgment to the Assemblées Primaires,
     283 for it.

     The first question, of guilty, decided almost unanimously; the
     third, that punishment should be inflicted, was deferred to the

     Brissot's report, which you will see in the French papers, seems
     well enough calculated for our purpose. The thing must now come to
     its point in a few days; and we shall, I trust, have appeared to
     the public here to have put the French completely _dans leur tort_.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Whitehall, June 12th, 1793.

     In consequence of what you requested in the conversation we had at
     Dropmore, I write to mention to you that the vacant Ribands are
     to-day to be given to Lord Salisbury, Lord Westmoreland, and Lord
     Carlisle. I did not learn this yesterday till it was too late to
     write to you. With respect to what you mentioned to me of your own
     intentions, you know too well what my opinion is, and how anxiously
     I am impressed with that opinion, to make me feel it right to urge
     you with what could only be a repetition of all I have already
     stated. But I wish to make it my earnest request to you that you
     will not take any actual step till you have seen Pitt. I have not
     told him anything of your idea of taking any measure on this
     occasion but I have stated to him in general terms the uneasiness
     you still seemed to feel on the subject of the former request, and
     the possibility that this impression might be strengthened,
     supposing Lord Camden's death to produce that sort of arrangement
     to which you had so handsomely consented, but which might,
     nevertheless, bring the other idea more forward in your mind.

     His plan was (if he had not been hindered by the gout) to have run
     down to Somersetshire for a week, at the close of the business in
     the House of Commons, and to have been back before he could almost
     be known to be gone. He had then intended to take Winchester in his
     way. I have not seen him for several days, and cannot therefore say
     whether this idea still holds, but at all events there could be no
     difficulty in your coming to town for a day or two for that

     I urge this because I know you may fully rely upon his friendship,
     and that even if he should not be able to alter the thing itself,
     which I am sure I know not how he can, it is still, in my opinion,
     very desirable that you should not take so marked a step without
     hearing the advice of those who love you best, supposing even that
     after all you should not be influenced by their reasoning upon it.

     I say nothing about myself in all this, because I am sure you
     believe me truly sensible of your constant and unvaried affection
     to me, and unwilling to intrude upon you repetitions which I must
     fear would be useless. But you will not attribute it to
     indifference or unconcern about the thing itself, which, God knows,
     are sentiments the reverse of what I feel upon it.

     We have no news of any material event at the army. The siege was to
     be opened on Monday, and they seem to entertain very sanguine ideas
     indeed as to its speedy success. I have some doubt whether the
     report from Paris, respecting Marat's new revolution, is to be
     credited, though all the late accounts from thence seemed to
     indicate an approaching crisis. I have a confused account from the
     Hague, of the Duke of Brunswick having gained a decisive advantage
     over the army that was Custine's. But it is not distinct enough to
     place much reliance upon it.

     Mudge is returned by the way of China with despatches from
     Vancouver. I have not yet seen them, but I understand, generally,
     that some difficulty arose about the restitution of Northa. It is
     not, however, of a nature to create any real embarrassment. He has
     brought a letter for poor Lady Camelford from her son, whom he
     tells me he left in great health and spirits. We have not opened
     it, but wait till Lord C. comes, which I hope will be about the end
     of this month at latest. From what he says, Vancouver's expedition
     is likely to continue so much longer, that I think of proposing to
     Lady C. that her son should return by the first opportunity, in
     order to go into some larger ship, which at his age now will
     clearly be desirable. He will have served his time before he can
     hear from Europe. Juan de Fuca's inlet is explored, and found to be
     closed with high lands.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, Sept. 11th, 1793.

     I am sorry to acquaint you that we have unpleasant accounts from
     the army, and the more unpleasant from their uncertainty. All that
     seems to be certain is, that the Duke of York thought himself
     obliged to raise the siege of Dunkirk, at least for the present, in
     consequence of an attack which I imagine to have taken place on the
     evening of the 7th; and which must, of course, have been bloody,
     and the event unfavourable to us. We have no direct account from
     the army, but the report is that of an officer of the navy, who
     comes, I understand, from Nieuport, and states that he had
     prevented any other letters from coming over, in order to prevent
     the spreading an alarm till the official accounts arrive.

     There is also a letter from Watson, the Commissary-General, which
     seems to confirm the intended retreat, and says that he has
     provisions, &c., enough in the rear of the army; but he mentions no
     particulars of what has happened, except that he says the spirit of
     the troops is good--that they have suffered, but have not been
     beaten. His letter is from Furnes, on the 8th.

     I am sorry for the suspense in which this must leave you, as it
     does us. If we hear more before the post goes out, I will add a
     line to this letter.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     I should have added, that the same officer brings the account that
     they had got at Ostend of the capture of Quesnoy, which I credit,
     because my last letters from the Austrian army state the fall of
     that place as certain within a very few days. This is the more
     important, as P. Cob. would then be at liberty to march towards
     Flanders, if necessary.

     Since I wrote the above, I have seen the narrative of the officer
     in question--Lieutenant Popham. It is long, and full of little
     details; but the result of the whole is, that he was going, by
     Macbride's orders, to communicate with the Duke of York, and turned
     back on account of the news he heard; that he met on the road
     parties of our cavalry _evacuating Furnes_ on the 8th, and many
     wounded soldiers going to Ostend; but he does not appear to have
     collected accounts of what had happened, and indeed it is most
     probable that individuals could not give any general information.
     It does not appear whether they were going from Furnes by orders or

     Five, P.M.

     I have just got the enclosed letter to Bruges from a young man I
     sent as Secretary to Sir James Murray; and as it is very doubtful
     whether I shall get the particulars time enough to send you
     anything further, I would not omit letting you have this, which
     will at least put you at ease for individuals. You will observe it
     is dated from Furnes, on the 9th. It is brought by an officer
     charged with the despatches.


     Dropmore, Sept. 15th, 1793. At Night.

     You will receive with this letter, which will be sent you from
     London, the good and the bad accounts together. For the Flanders
     war, I fear the latter overbalance the former; there is, however,
     in my opinion, very little reason to be discouraged at these
     checks, which must be expected whenever the French took the
     resolution to leave the sieges on the side of Hainault to their
     fate, in order to break in upon the line of communication. This
     must have happened equally if the combined armies had remained
     together, and undertaken a joint operation; and the proposed plan
     had the advantage of being the only one whose success would have
     remedied this inconvenience, resulting from the nature of an attack
     from an open country against such a barrier.

     It must be left to military decision what is precisely the best
     point of attack, combined or separate, which now remains; but the
     loss of Menin as a post of communication does not tend to lessen
     the difficulties of any plan, and I am decidedly averse to anything
     that shall hazard the delaying the West India expedition, for
     which, when you consider how much is to be done there, you will not
     think a whole season too much.

     After all, a few towns more or less in Flanders are certainly not
     unimportant; but I am much mistaken in my speculation, if the
     business at Toulon is not decisive of the war. Only let your own
     mind follow up all the consequences of that event, and you will, I
     believe, agree with me that the expression I have used is not too
     sanguine. We have news that the people of Lyons have defeated
     Dubois Cranée, with a loss to the latter, as it is said, of four
     thousand men. Allow this to be exaggerated, as I suppose it is, but
     take the fact to be true that he has been defeated, and it is
     everything to us. The next month or six weeks will be an anxious
     period, and big with events.

     You asked me some time ago about Parliament, and that with a view
     to your own motions. Nothing can, of course, be absolutely fixed on
     that subject; but I think it highly improbable that Parliament
     should meet before January. I heartily wish that we may arrange it
     so as to meet, though in the present moment I should be afraid even
     of such a distance as Stowe. At all events, when your camp breaks
     up, I trust you will take Dropmore in your way, as indeed I believe
     it will lay directly in your road, if you come by town, and not far
     out of it, if you go straight to Stowe.

     My dear wife desires best love to you and Lady B. Lady Camelford
     is, I think, better than we could have hoped.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     This ought to have gone to-day, and I am sorry to find it this
     evening in one of my boxes here. We have nothing new to-day, except
     the account of the murder of the King of Poland, which is believed.


     Walmer Castle, Oct. 1st, 1793.

     Your letter of the 27th followed me here yesterday, and I have just
     received that of the 29th. With respect to the first, I can only
     say that I have by this post sent your letters to Pitt, and am very
     sure that if it depends on him, what you wish will be done.

     Lord Amherst's answer of the reduced state of the regiments at home
     is, however, surely not quite so much out of the way as you state
     it. It is a great pity that your _protégé_ is in Canada, where no
     promotion can be going forward, and from whence, I conclude, he
     cannot be brought into regiments upon actual service. Sir C. Grey
     conveyed to me the other day a wish to know whether there was any
     officer in his army that I felt interested about; but I know of
     none that I should think it worth laying myself under an obligation
     for. If Talbot had happened to be in one of the regiments in Nova
     Scotia, he would probably have been in this predicament; but I
     suppose the force in Canada is little likely to be weakened, in the
     present state of America.

     I am delighted to find that you are so well pleased with the
     manifesto. I have hardly had time yet to consider your observations
     on the particular passages you have marked, but I will do so, and
     am much obliged to you for the trouble.

     The Duke of Richmond will, I am persuaded, not resign in the
     present moment, though he has been talking and doing foolishly. As
     far as I can learn, there is no sort of ground for the accusation
     of delay on his part relative to Dunkirk. When I see you, I can
     _say_ on that subject what for many reasons I do not choose to
     write. _Au reste_, the Duke of Richmond's campaign seems completely
     to have annihilated the little popularity he ever had; and though I
     am satisfied he will not resign till after the meeting of
     Parliament, and perhaps till after the session is over, I am
     equally persuaded he will not continue another year in the Cabinet.

     We are sending Hessians to Toulon, and shall soon have there a
     really respectable force; the interval is the only thing to be
     feared; but Mulgrave's being there is a great comfort to me; as
     great, indeed, _entre nous_, as if I knew the new Governor was
     actually arrived there. We have nothing like force enough for all
     the objects that present themselves, and you know my settled
     aversion to undertaking little points of detail; some of which
     might succeed, but the result of the whole must be to cut to pieces
     the small force we have, without adequate success. Besides this,
     the reliance on the dispositions of the country, with the single
     exception of Toulon, pressed as it was by famine at one door, and
     the guillotine at the other, has always failed us.

     I believe it is true, that almost in every part of France they
     detest the Convention, but that they are quite incapable of giving
     any solid footing in the country.

     Ever yours most affectionately,


     Walmer Castle, Oct. 11th, 1793.

     I was just going to write to you when I received your letter. My
     present plans are to return to town about Tuesday next, and to get
     to Dropmore by dinner on Friday, if possible; but I would not wish
     you to let _your_ dinner depend on that. I conclude, from what you
     say of your having been reviewed, that you will be able to get away
     soon, and it will be a great gratification to us both to see you,
     especially if, as I hope, Lady Buckingham comes with you. Lady
     Camelford writes to Anne that she much wishes to see you, and if
     she knows of the time of your coming will endeavour to contrive to
     be with us. I return you Freemantle's letter, for fear of
     accidents. You have, perhaps, guessed that it anticipates part of
     what I had to say to you, but I hope you have also felt the
     singularly embarrassing situation in which the King's Ministers are
     placed in this respect, with the cause of Royalty to defend, and
     with the great obligations they owe to the extreme liberality and
     honour of the King's conduct towards them. They are obliged,
     therefore, to say nothing, and to let nothing be said: and indeed I
     hardly know what I should wish to be said, so great is the
     difficulty in all respects. I know I may reckon upon your
     discretion, not only in saying nothing from me, but also in saying
     as little as possible from yourself, which would not fail to be
     repeated, and to be ascribed to me. We will talk this over fully
     when I see you, and I really much wish to know what you think ought
     ultimately to be done on the subject. You will have seen that it is
     not the camp of Mauberge, but the advanced posts that had been
     unsuccessfully attacked. The attack of the camp itself was to take
     place somewhere about this time, and yesterday the British troops
     marched to Cysoing, where they thought it not improbable they might
     be engaged with the French, who are collecting at Bouchain and

     George Nugent had written to me twice on the subject of his
     proposal, and I sent him Lord Amherst's answer, which is negative,
     at least for the present. He seems to have an invincible aversion
     to new corps, I fancy, from all the badgering he got upon that
     subject last war. He now states only the plea of seniority, that
     the number intended to be raised is filled up by older
     Lieutenant-Colonels. I fancy Nugent had not received my letter when
     he wrote to you.

     The language of the Convention looks as if some serious attack
     might be expected here; serious at least as they intend it, but
     ridiculous, I trust, it will prove. An attempt in force requires
     preparations they have not, and a superiority in naval force which
     they certainly have not. Buccaneering expeditions I take to be
     practicable, with only the certainty of much greater loss to
     themselves than to us. They would be unpleasant in their effect
     here, but what help.

     I have profited of your advice about the manifesto, and now send
     you the English translation which I have prepared, with the
     transpositions you recommended. I do not think it reads as well in
     English as in French, which I am sorry for, as it must be read in
     English by John Bull, whose approbation of my writings I should
     like to retain. I hardly know how to ask you to correct, as it must
     be a translation, and a literal one. But mark what you dislike, and
     I will try if, retaining the translation, it can be altered. I have
     kept _guerre defensive_ and that _pour cause_: which indeed you may
     guess, when you see in the papers that His Prussian Majesty is
     returned to Berlin, and when I tell you that we had no previous
     notice of his journey.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, Nov. 21st, 1793.

     I had already spoken to Pitt upon the idea of G. Nugent's being
     appointed one of the aides-de-camp, if the promotion mentioned by
     him should take place. I have reason to be sure, that for the
     present no idea exists of that promotion. If it had, I should
     certainly have pressed his declining the offer of the corps;
     because, though that is no absolute bar according to any rule, yet
     it may, certainly, in the King's mind, stand in his way; and such
     exceptions as Lord Chenton and Lord Rawdon do not prove much. I am
     very confident, that, as it is, whatever can be done by Pitt will
     be done, if the promotion should hereafter take place; but I am
     sure you know that the King's Ministers do not name his
     aides-de-camp; and that the pressing such a request, beyond a
     certain point, makes difficulties in his mind, instead of removing
     them. Besides his wish to oblige you, Pitt is personally
     well-disposed towards Nugent, and I have reason to think that Lord
     Amherst is so too.

     Sir James Murray will, I think, not continue in his present
     situation; and the mode of removing him, will probably be by
     putting him at the head of some corps; but this is not yet
     mentioned to him, and, therefore, I rely on your not speaking of it
     to any one else. I do not know whether, in that case, the King will
     fill up his place as aide-de-camp, or not; but one vacancy cannot
     be expected to make room for Nugent, who is at the end of his year;
     besides, the natural claim which Manners has on the King. It is,
     therefore, I think, better on the whole, that Nugent should go on
     with his corps.

     With respect to your lesser army jobs, I say nothing about them,
     because I really do not understand them, and am unable to judge of
     the facility or difficulty of Lord Amherst's complying with them.
     It is useless for me to talk about Pitt's share in all this, though
     I certainly do not think it very fair that he should bear on his
     shoulders all the grievances of cornetcies and lieutenancies, which
     Lord Amherst or any other Commander-in-chief is sure to create.

     I have spoken about the _précis_, and you will certainly have them
     whenever there is news to send. The army is safe, and I hope quiet,
     in its winter quarters. Lord Moira sets out to-morrow morning, and
     will find everything ready for him at Portsmouth. You see how right
     you was about the impossibility of keeping secret at Portsmouth the
     new destination of this force. Luckily, it is so ready, that the
     thing itself will take place even now as soon as the news can reach

     Lord Malmesbury is going to Berlin, to bring our good ally to a
     point--ay or no. I think it will end in no.

     I certainly will not forget my engagement; and I still hope we
     shall find a Saturday and Sunday for Stowe.

     God bless you, my dear brother, and believe me

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, Dec. 12th, 1793.

     At your request, I certainly will do a thing extremely disagreeable
     to myself, by putting into Mr. Pitt's hands the letter you desire
     me to show him. In any case where _you_ or _yours_ could have the
     smallest interest, I should never consider whether a compliance
     with your wishes is or is not pleasant to me; but I freely own,
     that I hardly think you would be repaid, by Mr. Pigott's getting
     his company, for the uneasiness I feel in being made (unprofitably,
     too, as I think, even to the object) the channel of such a
     communication between two persons whom I have so much reason to
     love and value.

     The accounts of the Duke of Brunswick's victory, though they have
     not come to us from any channel that we can consider as strictly
     official, are such as to leave no doubt of the fact. There appears
     to have been different actions for three days, from the 29th of
     November to the 1st of December; and on the last of these days the
     victory was obtained, which persons, pretty well informed, seem to
     consider as decisive of the fate of Landan. The great object of the
     French was to relieve that place, and surround Wurmser; and in both
     they have failed, having been repulsed in a last attack they made
     on the latter the 1st instant. It appears likely now that little
     more will be done on that frontier till Landan is obliged to
     surrender; nor anything after that.

     All our expectations are turned towards Brittany; but the news from
     that quarter is by no means favourable, as far as it goes. The
     Royalist army appears unable to make any siege, or even to continue
     twenty-four hours in the same place; and this for want of
     provisions. There is, besides, among them much disunion, and a
     total want of discipline; and they seemed to have formed the
     resolution of retiring inwards into France. Whether they will be
     deterred from this by the communications since made to them, and by
     the knowledge of our force being actually at their doors, remains
     to be seen.

     I did not send you the account of the failure of all our hopes,
     from Lord Howe. I was not in town; and if I had been, I do not know
     whether I was not too much vexed to write. He is still off Ushant;
     so that the idea of sending out the second fleet is, for the
     moment, at least, out of the question. Some of those ships are, as
     you know, destined for other services; and the whole, without Lord
     Howe, would not be strong enough to meet the Brest fleet; and with
     him, would be much too strong.

     The business of St. Domingo is highly important. The possession of
     the Mole, though not beyond what we had looked to, is much beyond
     my hopes. Dansey's letter to Williamson expresses much confidence
     of maintaining himself there, with such a force, as I trust, by
     this time, and long before, he actually has there.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

At the close of the year France was stronger than at the commencement.
The destruction of her navy at Toulon was the principal reverse she
suffered. On the other side the allies had encountered defeat at almost
every point; the Prussians compelled to retreat to Mentz, the
Imperialists driven beyond the Rhine, and the English forced to raise
the siege of Dunkirk. The enthusiasm of the masses, sustained by these
successes, and acted upon by the popular appeals of the Jacobins, placed
at the disposal of the Republic an enormous physical force, which the
whole winter was occupied in augmenting and organizing for the campaigns
of the ensuing year.



Parliament was convened on the 21st of January, 1794; and the Speech
from the Throne expressed a sanguine hope on the part of His Majesty
that the resources of France would be speedily exhausted. There was
certainly little in the operations of the last year upon which the
country could be congratulated; and the only remaining encouragement
that could be held out was in reference to the future. The prodigious
exertions of the Republic undoubtedly justified the expectation, that
she could not long continue to meet the increasing demands which the
extension of the war was making upon her means and energies; but it was
difficult, in the heat and excitement of the conflict, to form an
adequate estimate of the devotion with which the French were prepared
to follow up their successes. A series of fortunate incidents and some
brilliant achievements had inflamed the national vanity to such a height
of exultation as to produce a perfect military mania in all parts of the
country; and when Mr. Pitt, in the course of the opening debate,
declared that "France had been converted into an armed nation,"--an
expression that elicited much criticism at the time--he described
accurately the exact state of the people, and the lengths they were
prepared to go in the assertion of the principles they had baptized in
the blood of the Sovereign.

There were not wanting persons in England who sympathized with the
republicans of France, and regarded their martial spirit with something
of the admiration which the impassioned and the thoughtless bestow upon
gallantry and heroism. But the bulk of the nation entertained a
different opinion, and viewed with alarm and detestation the sanguinary
excesses by which the war was initiated and sustained. While the former
class, few in number, and confined chiefly to the lowest dregs of the
population, continued to give occupation to the Government at home, the
latter were ready to make any sacrifices the exigency of circumstances
required to support the policy of the Government abroad.

Parliament unanimously voted an augmentation of eighty-five thousand men
to the navy, and sixty thousand to the army. Ample preparations in other
respects were made for the approaching operations; and, amongst the
extraordinary measures resorted to, arrangements were made for
augmenting the Militia, and raising voluntary subscriptions for the
maintenance of the war. The spirit of the country was awakened to the
defence of those constitutional principles which presented the surest
safeguard for the public liberties; and the delusions which at first had
seized upon the factious and discontented rapidly vanished as the war
advanced. Success alone was wanted to confirm the confidence of the
people; but as yet the genius and headlong valour of France was in the
ascendant, and the solid endurance of England was doomed to a long and
harassing term of fluctuating fortunes.

The Correspondence traces some of the principal events of the year; and
maps out in advance the plans and difficulties of Ministers, by which we
are admitted, so to speak, to the deliberations of the Cabinet upon
nearly every fresh exigency that arose in the course of the campaigns.


     Charles Street, Jan. 1st, 1794.

     I had no sooner received your letter, than I communicated it to
     Lord Grenville; and desired him to write to you as soon as he
     could. It gives me great pain to see, by the language of it, how
     very much your mind is oppressed and disturbed in the impression
     under which you write. Of the proposition which you suggest, it
     certainly does not in any shape become me to offer any opinion; I
     am precluded from doing so, both by the magnitude of the question,
     and by its being of a nature upon which I cannot have either the
     pretence or the means of exercising any judgment; and I so
     expressed myself to Lord Grenville, when I read your letter to
     him; all that, on my part, can be for me to do is, what I am sure
     you will believe is the honest feeling of my mind, to express to
     you the anxious and earnest wish of my heart, that all disquietude
     and uneasiness may vanish from your mind; and that you may heartily
     and happily continue to co-operate with Lord Grenville and Pitt, at
     a time when the greatest interests which this country ever knew
     seem to me to be at stake. For myself, you know that I am but a
     private man, and have no other concern in these great public
     questions, than that sense of common danger and common interest,
     which ought, I think, to produce but one common voice in the
     country. Mr. Wilberforce, you see, thinks otherwise, but does not
     change my opinion by having changed his.

     I am much obliged to you for the naval letter, which the post of
     to-day brings me from Stowe; I will make the use of it which you
     allow me to do, and will then return it to you. I hope Dr. Pegge
     will find Lady B. better. I take for granted we shall soon meet

     I hear no news.

God bless you, my dear brother.

     P.S.--As soon as I heard from you to-day (which was very late, as I
     had gone out before the post came in), I sent to Lord G., to tell
     him that if he wrote to-day, he must direct to Stowe.


     St. James's Square, Jan. 30th, 1794.

     I believe Pitt's budget is finished, as it is to be opened on
     Wednesday. I have, however, sent him your project; though I do not
     conceive favourably of it, as the object appears so small, and
     such a nest of hornets to be brought upon one by it.

     The French seem certainly disposed to try their scheme of invasion.
     This leads to the necessity of some augmentation of interior force,
     and possibly some of our last year's plans will be resorted to. Our
     best defence is unquestionably our water-guard, which is very
     strong, and will, I trust, every day get stronger. In the meantime,
     Lord Moira's force stationed at Cowes, and with its transports
     ready to put to sea at the shortest notice, is no inconsiderable
     check upon them.

     I have no faith in their attacking Flanders; but rather believe
     they will wait our attack. But two Dutch, and as many Flanders
     mails are due.

     Mack returns to the army to the great joy of every one. We expect
     him over here every day.

     Ever my dear brother's
     Most affectionately,

The Budget was brought forward by Mr. Pitt on the 2nd of February. It
estimated the total supply for the year at twenty millions; and proposed
for the ways and means a loan of eleven millions, and the imposition of
some new taxes.

Here was the first great pressure of the war on the industry of the
people. It was a trying moment with Government; but the demands of the
Minister were, nevertheless, heartily responded to. The interior force
of the kingdom at this time amounted to one hundred and forty thousand
men; and the foreign troops in British pay to forty thousand more. The
augmentation of the Militia, which was not carried into effect till the
following month, was now occupying the consideration of Government.


     St. James's Square, Feb. 1st, 1794.

     The idea of augmentation which I think most practicable, is that of
     militia cavalry, to be raised by volunteers, in the same manner as
     the additional companies in the last war, but to a much larger
     extent than you mention in your letter. Dundas told me two days
     since that he had been looking for your plan of last year, but had
     mislaid it. Have you a copy? It does not seem advisable to broach
     this idea much in conversation or discussion with Lord-Lieutenants
     and Colonels till it is to a degree matured; for the St. Albans'
     meeting, though very good for supporting a measure resolved upon,
     or even for arranging particular details of a plan, of which the
     outlines are already fixed, is but a bad place to prepare the plan
     itself. As far as I am capable of judging, I think that the natural
     defence of this country against an enemy once landed, is by the
     immense irregular cavalry that might be collected, and formed round
     small bodies of disciplined horse. This, of course, does not
     exclude the necessity of some infantry to oppose the enemy in
     front, while the cavalry harass his flanks and rear, and while your
     naval force, even supposing it unable to have prevented the
     landing, cuts off all possibility of supplies from France. We are
     preparing, partly with the latter view, and partly as a means of
     defence where frigates cannot act, a formidable force of gun-boats.

     You say that all this is superfluous, and that the attempt will not
     be made. I think its being made or not depends wholly on the other
     employment which we can find for their force, and this depends on
     points which we cannot command; viz.: internal commotion, and the
     exertions of the German Powers on the side of the Rhine.

     That they are making preparations with a view to having the thing
     in their power is unquestionable, and we should be very deficient
     in our duty if we did not put the country in a state to be prepared
     for all events.

     The employment of Lord Moira's force, and its future destination,
     depend on plans of continental operations, but in the meantime its
     effect is almost beyond calculation in its present position,
     menacing everything from Dunkirk to Brest, and defending everything
     from Yarmouth to the Land's End. You will see this in a minute, if
     you compare the facility of moving that force, either by land or
     sea, with the efforts of the same sort that the enemy can make,
     either offensively or defensively.

     We cannot have too much force anywhere, but if I am not very
     sanguine, Sir C. Grey has already a force beyond what the service
     requires; and it is likely that he will still be reinforced without
     breaking up Lord Moira's army, which I consider as the most
     usefully employed, and telling the most effectually against the
     enemy of any troops now in our service.

     I will send your artillery plan to Dundas.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, July 9th, 1794.

     I am sincerely sorry to see that you do not entertain the same
     hopes as I do of good from the new arrangements. I confess I think
     it so great an object to have annihilated all distinction of
     parties in this country among those who are attached to the present
     order of things; and I feel that the late events abroad have given
     so much more importance to this point, with a view to the internal
     situation of this country, than it had before, that I cannot help
     feeling very sanguine as to the consequences of the steps now taken
     with that view. God only knows which of us is right, and time only
     can show. In the meantime, _jacta est alea_, and we must abide by

     On the subject of war and peace, you state very truly, that nothing
     is less probable than that peace should now be in our option. The
     retreat to Antwerp has been decided, not by opinions here, nor even
     by those of the Duke of York and Lord Cornwallis, but by the
     necessity consequent upon the Austrian movements. Whether those
     movements were right, I am not enough of a soldier, nor enough
     informed as a statesman, to pretend to form an opinion. The
     immediate effect of them is not necessarily the abandoning the
     towns taken last year, which are in a state to maintain themselves
     long, and to impede many of the operations of the enemy. Nor, as
     long as the Austrians maintain their line from Louvain to Namur, is
     the possibility of succouring them considered as desperate. What I
     most fear in the present moment is the effect of despondency here
     and abroad, without which I should see no reason why we should not,
     as you suggest, fight the country over and over again, inch by
     inch, with means and resources for carrying on the war, such as are
     out of all comparison superior to those of the enemy. It would have
     been a flattering and glorious thing, and a brilliant success, to
     have terminated the war by the favourable result of a plan of
     offensive operation in Flanders. If that has failed, I am very far
     from thinking this a reason for abandoning a cause in the issue of
     which I consider our existence as implicated. If we listen to the
     ideas of peace in the present moment (even supposing it were
     offered), it can be only because we confess ourselves unable to
     carry on the war. Such a confession affords but a bad security
     against the events which must follow, in Flanders, in Holland, and
     (by a very rapid succession) in this island.

     I do not know from whence the papers have got the idea of Lord
     Camelford's return. He is not come, nor any officer or despatch,
     from Vancouver, but I understand the ship has been heard of in
     October last, all well. Many thanks for the offer of Paddington,
     which we may probably be glad to avail ourselves of.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

     We have nothing new from Lord Hood; and I am told that officers who
     know the coast do not speak favourably of the chance of doing
     anything against the French fleet in their present situation.

The failure of the Imperialists had thrown a serious damp on the spirits
of the allies. It appears to have been thought the Austrians had not
shown sufficient energy and determination; and it was resolved to send
over Lord Spencer and Mr. Thomas Grenville to Vienna, in the hope of
inducing them to make more vigorous exertions. A subsequent letter from
Mr. Thomas Grenville to the Duke of Portland contains an admirable
report of the progress of the mission.


     St. James's Square, July 19th, 1794.

     Tom has, I know, mentioned to you the Commission which he has
     undertaken--jointly with Lord Spencer--to endeavour to encourage
     our Austrian allies to a little more exertion and energy, which,
     after all the late events, I continue persuaded is _the only_
     thing wanting to ensure success, instead of such a series of
     retreats as the last month has shown. God knows whether they will
     succeed; but it is an infinite satisfaction to me to see his
     talents employed in the public service, and to be corresponding
     with him on subjects of this nature. The rest of our public events
     are just such as you see them in the papers.

     Lord Cornwallis is returned, speaking highly of the Duke of York,
     and far otherwise of the Austrian Generals, to whom he, and all
     mankind in Flanders, impute all that has happened. It is a
     whimsical circumstance, and hardly to have been foreseen, that in a
     war which we carry on conjointly with Austria, the great want which
     we experience should be that of Austrian Generals, of capacity
     sufficient to command the excellent troops which are acting in the

     My American negotiation is, I think, going on promisingly. I have
     nothing else to tell you; and am, indeed, so completely knocked up
     by this last week's fagging, as hardly to be able to write at all.
     This evening I am going to Dropmore, for a little respite.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     (Private.)       Vienna, August 24th, 1794.

     It had been very much my intention to have written to you by our
     messenger of the 16th instant, because, although our despatches
     have been very much detailed, and have not, therefore, left much to
     be said in private letters, it is upon these occasions, I know,
     some satisfaction to hear that nothing remains behind, which is
     material to the subject; but having been hitherto prevented, by the
     very entire occupation of our time here, I take the opportunity of
     writing to you, a little at large, by the messenger who is going to
     England to-night.

     You know that upon the slight view which the shortness of the time
     allowed me to take of the business in question here, I was
     persuaded that we probably might, in some degree, succeed in our
     expedition; because, if the course of things here could not be
     improved by our journey, yet I should consider the being able to
     ascertain what that state was, as an object very useful to pursue,
     and one which, if pursued with attention, we might probably succeed
     in possessing ourselves of. How far we have already obtained this
     information you will have seen by the communications which we have
     made; and I much fear that our journey will not produce any
     advantage of a more solid and substantial description. To say that
     it might not be possible to procure from the Government here a
     formal consent to such an arrangement as we have to propose, is
     more than I would assert: although, the condition which they
     positively insist upon of being paid for it by loan and subsidy, as
     well as all the difficulties which they throw upon the subject of
     the proposed barrier, and upon that of acting in the Netherlands,
     might well seem to justify the opinion of its being improbable that
     anything like the proposed arrangement would be consented to. But
     the misfortune is, that--in my judgment, at least--the evil lies
     much deeper, and is such as would leave me little hope of seeing
     any effectual purpose served, even by the signature of a Convention
     between the two Courts.

     I do not know of any good ground for believing the common report of
     treachery, either in the civil or military government of the
     country; but I know, that if the principle upon which our
     Government act in the prosecution of the war is not cordially felt
     here--if the greatness of those interests, which we think now at
     stake, is not to the same degree here considered as being of the
     very essence and existence of all regulated government, a
     Convention will not give them a livelier perception of this common
     danger, or teach them to see in it a crisis such as demands greater
     energy and exertions, than any other state of things could call
     for. But this common principle is not all that is wanting in the
     present case: we think, in England, that the preservation of the
     Austrian Netherlands is an object important to us as providing a
     defence for Holland, and important to the Court of Vienna as
     forming a rich and considerable possession to the House of Austria,
     and, therefore, making an object of common interest, though
     touching Austria still more sensibly than England. If this obvious
     view of the interests of both countries prevailed in the
     Governments of both--as one might rationally expect that it
     would--it would naturally furnish, by common consent, a very
     leading and governing motive, as well to the operations of the war,
     as to the ultimate issue of it. This, however, is not the view
     which is entertained here, or which I can persuade myself is really
     acted upon by those whose influence is decisive here.

     M. de Thugut, the efficient Minister of this Court, is personally
     very much disposed (and long has been so) to the old project of an
     exchange of the Netherlands; and though that project appears to be
     laid aside for the purpose of conciliating Great Britain and
     Holland, yet it is evident that M. de Thugut's opinions are such as
     lead him to set but little value upon the possession of the
     Netherlands, and, therefore, that every circumstance, either of
     expense or of military enterprise, which looks towards the
     acquisition and defence of those provinces, is as much discouraged
     by him as he can venture to do, without openly declaring the whole
     bias of his mind: and it is very remarkable that, much as we have
     made it our business to press this to him in all our conversations,
     we have never yet been able to draw from him even a cold assent to
     the idea of the Low Countries being of any real value in themselves
     to the Emperor; though he sometimes feebly admits that, with a
     considerable addition to them, they might be made so.

     It may be said, that a Convention might engage them on this point,
     whatever their inclinations may be; but the answer is, first, that
     in point of fact they do object to bind themselves to the employing
     one hundred thousand men _in the Netherlands_, though they have not
     finally refused it; and secondly, that be there what agreement
     there may, the only substantial security for a hearty co-operation
     in fighting for that country, or for any manly system to be adopted
     hereafter for the preservation of it, must arise from a sense--in
     the owners--of the value of its possession, and not from the words
     employed in any treaty respecting it. I am aware that part of the
     indifference which I so much remark in M. de Thugut may be
     affected, for the purpose of throwing the whole weight of the
     defence of the Low Countries upon the Maritime Powers; but if that
     is his policy, he must mean to support it by abstaining from any
     vigorous exertions in behalf of it, and in the end, whether his
     coolness and inactivity shall have been produced by a real or
     disguised opinion, the result will equally have been fatal to that
     earnest and animated concert, which is so much to be wished for on
     this occasion.

     You see that I have so far considered the Convention, as taking
     place upon the terms proposed by us; but you will have known, long
     before you receive this letter, that they have persisted from the
     first in asking, as indispensable conditions, that their loan must
     be completely satisfied in England to enable them to answer the
     demands of this year, and that they must receive from England a
     considerable subsidy for next campaign, if it is expected that they
     should act vigorously in the prosecution of the war, which they
     assert themselves to be utterly unable to do without pecuniary
     assistance from England. We have urged them very ineffectually on
     this point: they declare that they have good hopes of M. de Merey's
     succeeding in obtaining these demands at London, and the
     negotiation actually hangs upon the report which they hourly expect
     from him on this subject; though we have repeatedly told them that
     their expectation was hopeless, and that, meanwhile, the delay
     occasioned by it might be fatal to those exertions which required
     immediate action and enterprise.

     What decision the Cabinet will make upon this heavy demand of
     subsidy, is doubtless a very important question, of which they will
     be the fit and competent judges; but if that question simply turned
     upon the supposed probability of our being able to purchase, even
     at that dear rate, a proportionate degree of energy and activity in
     the war from this Government, I confess I do not hesitate to say
     that, from what I see here, I should not believe, if the experiment
     is tried, it will well answer their expectations. There is no soul
     in the bodies of these men--none, at least, which is alive to the
     magnitude of all the objects now at stake, or which leads them to
     share with you, as it ought the great points of common danger and
     common interest; and while these mainsprings are wanting, it is in
     vain to look for such movements and effects as cannot be produced
     without them. If this radical defect did not exist; if the
     Government here was as earnest as it ought to be in its
     contemplation of this war, but really was without the means of
     prosecuting it; if it acknowledged and took its proper interest in
     the possession of the Netherlands, and asked your assistance to
     that object, only because they had exhausted all their own
     resources, there might be great inducements to hope that, in
     furnishing to them the supply which they wish, you might on your
     side expect all the active effects which ought to be produced by
     it; but I know not how to hope that a subsidy will give vigour to
     their councils or enterprise to their armies; still less can I hope
     that a subsidy, given for the preservation of the Netherlands, will
     teach them to put a proper value upon those possessions on their
     own account, though it certainly would teach them how highly you
     value their retaining them on your account.

     All M. de Thugut's conversation, even upon the idea of the subsidy
     taking place, is evidently adverse to the prosecuting of the war in
     the Netherlands; and even when the danger of Holland is urged as a
     powerful argument for this course, he very coldly answers that,
     supposing the French to succeed in Holland for a time, they would
     be glad enough to relinquish it if the arms of the allies were
     successful in the interior of France. How, then, can one easily
     hope that the payment of a subsidy will reconcile views so
     remote--as I apprehend these are--from the wishes of the English
     Cabinet, or prevent much of thwarting and contradiction in the
     operations of the campaign? I confess that I suspect this
     disinclination to the defence of the Netherlands to arise, not only
     from a habit of undervaluing them, but partly, too, from a
     persuasion that the Maritime Powers must and will, at their own
     expense, protect them; and partly, also, from a narrow and timid
     view of collecting the whole Austrian force on the German frontier,
     so as to be more immediately ready for the defence of the imperial
     dominions, as well as to have less reason to fear in their jealousy
     of the intentions of the King of Prussia.

     Upon this latter point the difficulties are, perhaps, much more
     likely to be increased than to be relieved, by transferring the
     Prussian subsidy to the army of Austria, because the Court of
     Berlin will doubtless express great dissatisfaction at that
     measure; and everything which excites their apprehension here, will
     naturally more or less interfere with the energy of their
     operations against France. I do not mean that these arguments would
     be stated as reasons against their acting up to the conditions of
     the subsidy; but I fear they would nevertheless be found to have
     too much influence and effect in practice.

     The objections which have seemed to me to arise against a large
     subsidy to Austria--from the little hope which I should have of its
     producing from hence that exertion of force, and that course of
     military operations which, with a view to Holland, we should think
     ourselves fully entitled to--are of course much increased by my
     apprehension of the bad and dangerous consequences which would
     affect our Government at home, from a second disappointment of so
     costly an experiment, which I must hope need not be considered as
     necessary to the prosecution of the war.

     If it is true--as it may, perhaps, be found--that much of the
     languor and apathy of this Court arises out of a confidence in the
     greatness of our exertions, which may allow them to be sparing of
     their own, if (as there is reason to believe) they have still the
     fair means of recruiting their armies and maintaining their present
     military force, is it not to be hoped that the necessity of the
     case will rouse them to the use of those means, when they see no
     other prospect of safety open to them? They sometimes talk stoutly
     of all that they would do by arming the empire, and other vigorous
     measures, in case the French succeeded in forcing their way to
     menace Germany. But why are these exertions to be reserved for any
     other situation of things? and why are we to pay them a million and
     a half, rather than put them to the full extent of all their own
     exertions and resources? Nor is it, perhaps, to be overlooked, in
     this view of the subject, that the crooked policy of Prussia would
     perhaps acquiesce in the loss of his own subsidy much more readily,
     if he does not see it given to Austria, but has the satisfaction of
     seeing Austria fight her own battles with her own men and money.
     They always insist here, too, that they are sure the King of
     Prussia, even if his bargain should not be renewed with England,
     will not withdraw entirely from the war, and still less will take a
     part hostile to the combined Powers. And whether this speculation
     of theirs is true or not, while they believe it, they are more at
     liberty to act solely against France, without fearing any attack
     from the quarter of Berlin.

     The great danger, perhaps, of trying another campaign without
     subsidizing either Prussia or Austria, might first be found with
     respect to Holland (at least, if the Government here act as they
     threaten in the case of being unsubsidized), by their withdrawing
     of the Austrian army from the neighbourhood of Maestricht, and
     contracting their defence to the limits of their German frontier.
     But even if they did so--which may be much doubted--might not
     England and Holland, at a smaller expense than that paid to the
     King of Prussia, subsidize an army of auxiliary troops to act for
     the defence of Holland, and for carrying on the war in the
     Netherlands, and have that army really and effectually at their own
     disposal, and doing the service which they were paid for. How far
     this may be practicable, I do not pretend to judge. If it is so,
     nobody could doubt that it would be an expense more grateful to the
     public of our own country than that of paying for a force which we
     cannot bring as we ought into action, and which we must consider as
     compelled by their own interests to continue the war, whether we
     pay them or not for doing so. By subsidizing Austria, we acquire no
     greater force than that of the last campaign, and we put the
     justification of that enormous expense upon the unpromising chance
     of a vigour and energy on their part such as they appear to be
     altogether incapable of exerting, unless under the pressure of such
     a danger as would force them to act without hiring them to do so.

     The length of this letter is such as I am really ashamed to add to.

     Lord Spencer writes to Lord Grenville by the same opportunity.
     Neither he nor I see much prospect of making ourselves useful in
     the shape and with the views proposed, and we are therefore
     naturally anxious to see the ordinary course resumed in some other
     person, and any such arrangements taken as may admit of our return
     as soon as without inconvenience might be. We speak the more
     directly on this matter, from the entire and perfect agreement of
     our view of it, and our opinions concerning it; at the same time,
     if, in your determinations at home, it should seem to you that Lord
     Spencer can and ought to stay longer, with any fair prospect of
     such advantages to this great subject as his peculiar situation
     alone could promise, I do not doubt but that he would consent to
     protract his stay a little longer; and while he does, I certainly
     will not ask to desert him, _bien entendu_, that I cannot think of
     staying one hour after him.

     Ever, my dear Duke,
     Very truly and faithfully yours.

The session had been protracted to the beginning of July, not merely by
the interest of passing occurrences, but by the efforts of the
Opposition to damage the character and embarrass the action of
Ministers. The most remarkable of these movements was a string of
resolutions moved in the Upper House by the Duke of Bedford, and in the
Lower by Mr. Fox, and urged upon the consideration of both Houses with
an amount of ability that could not have failed of its object, had that
object been a sound one, or sustained by the public opinion of the
country. The main purpose was to obtain from Parliament a protest
against the war, and to compel the Government to enter into proposals
for a peace with France. After setting forth that the policy of the
Administration had been that of strict neutrality before the
commencement of hostilities, and that, after the declaration of war,
Ministers adopted the policy of resistance to the ambition and
aggrandisement of France, the resolutions went on to state, that at the
beginning of the war it was considered a matter of general concern in
which His Majesty was to have the cordial co-operation of the powers
united with him by the ties of interest and alliance; that His Majesty
had not received that co-operation; that Russia had not contributed in
any shape to the common cause; that Denmark and Sweden had coalesced to
defend themselves against any attempt to force them into it; that Venice
and Switzerland remained neuter; that Sardinia was subsidized merely to
act on the defensive; and that Great Britain was loaded with a subsidy
which ought properly to be borne by Prussia; and, finally, that the time
was now come when peace might be secured on a permanent basis, and that
it was the duty of His Majesty's Ministers to avail themselves of the

There was some truth in these statements, although the general deduction
was erroneous, and the colouring throughout false. The allies had not
given that cordial co-operation to Great Britain which they were bound
to do, and Prussia had evaded the onus of the coalition. Mr. Thomas
Grenville's letter to the Duke of Portland discovers a great deal more
than was known to the Duke of Bedford or Mr. Fox in illustration of
these facts; and the correspondence that follows, which is of the
highest importance from the confidential character of its details,
confirms them. But the attempt to cast the responsibility of these
circumstances upon the English Cabinet was equally ungenerous and
unjust. The policy of Ministers had undergone no change, except that
which was contingent upon the altered situation of affairs. To preserve
a strict neutrality in the face of a declaration of war, was clearly
impossible; and to abandon the war, from an abstract desire for peace,
at a time when the common enemy had gained enormous advantages, and were
menacing the tranquillity and liberties of other nations, and
threatening an invasion of England, would have precipitated results the
very reverse of those contemplated by the Opposition. To have made
proposals to France on what the resolutions termed "equitable and
moderate conditions of reconciliation," would have involved two serious
difficulties--the negotiation, in the first place, with a Government of
anarchy which England had justifiably refused to treat with from the
outset; and, in the second place, the admission of the power of France
to dictate terms which England could not accept without degradation, or
refuse without aggravating the existing grounds of hostility.
Circumstances might arise--such as a change in the Government--to
obviate the former difficulty; but the latter was insuperable. It would
have been inconsistent with the principles upon which the war was
undertaken to have proposed or submitted to any conditions which France,
exulting over her recent successes, could have been expected to approve;
and the result of such a negotiation at such a moment must have been, in
any event, fruitless and inglorious. The decision of Parliament was
unequivocal and decisive. The Duke of Bedford's motion was lost on the
question of adjournment, and Mr. Fox's thrown out by a majority of 210
against 57 votes. The influence of the Opposition was overthrown. The
country was against them, and their ranks were daily weakened by
secessions. So strongly and unanimously had the Parliament pronounced
its judgment in favour of the maintenance of the war, that His Majesty
at the close of the session was enabled to urge both Houses "to
persevere with increased vigour and exertion in the present arduous
contest against a power irreconcilably hostile in its principles and
spirit to all regular and established government."

Immediately after the close of the session, some changes took place in
the _matériel_ of the Administration, arising out of the accession of
power the Ministry had obtained by the adhesion of some of the leading
Whigs. The Duke of Portland (to whom Mr. Thomas Grenville addressed his
first letters from Vienna) was appointed Third Secretary of State; Earl
Fitzwilliam, Lord President of the Council; Earl Spencer, Privy Seal;
and Mr. Wyndham, Secretary at War. Further changes took place before the
close of the year, when Lord Fitzwilliam accepted the Government of
Ireland, and was succeeded as President of the Council by Earl
Mansfield. Lord Spencer, at the same time, was placed at the head of the
Admiralty; and Lord Chatham, the brother of the Premier, who had for
some years occupied that department, was made Lord Privy Seal.

The junction with the Whigs was, as far as it went, a new coalition;
but, under the circumstances which led to it, a coalition of a very
different character from that which had been entered into by Mr. Fox and
Lord North. The old elements of the Cabinet still held the ascendancy;
and although some sincere friends of Mr. Pitt doubted the prudence of
admitting the Whigs to office, no actual disturbance of the existing
system was apprehended from it. All agreed upon the question of the
war--the one great question upon which agreement was essential to the
repose and security of the country. In forming this alliance, however,
another question had been overlooked, which was now daily rising into
importance, and upon which the Whigs differed widely from Mr. Pitt, not
so much in principles, as in the time and mode of their application.
That question, the clog and difficulty of every Administration, was
Ireland. But the moment had not yet arrived when the dangers of this
question became manifest.

The following series of letters trace the whole course of the
negotiations going forward on the continent, and exhibit in minute
detail the actual position in which England stood in her relation to the
rest of the allies, and the incessant energy she exerted in vain to
awaken them to a just sense of their obligations.


     (Private.)      St. James's Square, Aug. 26th, 1794.

     I have to acknowledge your private letters, which I do not attempt
     to answer by this conveyance for obvious reasons, and only write
     that you may not receive my public despatch without a line to tell
     you that your private letters have reached me, and that I will
     state to you, by a safer opportunity, what occurs to me upon them.
     I am a little out of humour with you for not telling me how you
     bore your journey, and how you are, but I am willing to hope it has
     not renewed any symptoms of your former complaint. There never was
     such a succession of cross-incidents as seem to have accompanied
     every part of poor Merey's mission, and I fear his loss is a
     serious one to us all. What do you think of Robespierre's death? I
     look upon it as a very favourable event, not from any opinion that
     I ever entertained of his personal talents, but because those who
     succeed him are evidently under the necessity of lowering the
     despotism of the Revolutionary Government, and of giving up thereby
     the great instrument with which they worked. A strong proof of
     this, and a circumstance very favourable in itself, is, that
     instead of a Committee of six or eight efficient persons who
     conducted the Government in all its branches, and with absolute
     power, they have already been obliged to institute twelve
     Committees, who are to be chosen with a sort of rotation, those who
     go out not being re-eligible. This is, in fact, a substitution of
     the weakest possible form of Executive Government in lieu of the

     God bless you, my dearest brother, and believe me
     Ever most affectionately yours,

     We have received this morning accounts from Italy, mentioning the
     reduction of Calvi. You will probably have heard it by this time.

It was in the beginning of this month of August, that the Duke of York,
at that time stationed at Breda, retreated before the French towards
Bois-le-Duc; and afterwards, upon the advance of General Pichegru,
crossed the Maese, and took up a fresh position near Grave. Seeing the
necessity of placing the conduct of the campaign in more experienced
hands, Ministers now proposed to give the command in chief to Lord
Cornwallis; but before this step could be finally resolved upon, it was
necessary to consult the feelings of His Majesty on the subject. Mr.
Pitt therefore submitted a statement to the King, assigning the reasons
which induced him to urge the appointment of Lord Cornwallis upon His
Majesty's consideration; and suggesting that Mr. Wyndham should be sent
on a mission to the army. The following was His Majesty's answer:

     Weymouth, August 27th, 1704. Thirty-five minutes past One, P.M.

     I have this instant received Mr. Pitt's letter accompanying the
     Paper of Considerations, which I undoubtedly should wish to keep;
     but not knowing whether Mr. Pitt has a fair copy of it, I have
     thought it safest to return.

     Whatever can give vigour to the remains of the campaign, I shall
     certainly as a duty think it right not to withhold my consent; but
     I own, in my son's place, I should beg my being allowed to return
     home, if the command is given to Lord Cornwallis, though I should
     not object to the command being entrusted to General Clairfayt.
     From feeling this, I certainly will not write, but approve of Mr.
     Wyndham's going to the army, and shall be happy if my son views
     this in a different light than I should.

     I will not delay the messenger, as I think no time ought to be lost
     in forming some fixed plan, and that the measure of sending Mr.
     Wyndham is every way advantageous.

     GEORGE R.

It is hardly necessary to observe that Mr. Wyndham was sent upon his
mission; and that the Duke of York, having met some further reverses,
which almost incapacitated the troops from acting even on the defensive,
shortly afterwards returned to England.


     (Private.) St. James's Square, Aug. 29th, 1794.

     The despatch which you will receive by this messenger, and the
     letter which Wyndham has promised to write to you from the British
     head-quarters, will explain to you the whole of the system which we
     have adopted, as affording the only hope of vigorous or successful
     exertion. The Austrian Government is already prepared for your
     proposal, respecting the giving to Lord Cornwallis the command of
     the whole combined force, as Count Starhemberg is apprized of it,
     having, indeed, himself in a great degree suggested the measure, on
     some general hints which I threw out to him, in order to try the
     ground. For the moment, the great point seems to be to bring them
     to acquiesce in the virtual command which his rank of Field-Marshal
     will give him over Clairfayt, and to send positive orders to the
     latter to that effect; and if there should be any difficulty in
     Clairfayt's submitting to this, then to let Clairfayt absent
     himself for the moment, and leave the Austrian troops under the
     command of some officer whose standing will occasion no difficulty
     in this respect. You will observe that, by virtual command, we mean
     precisely the same deference as the Duke of York has shown to the
     Prince of Coburg, not extending to any of the points of military
     etiquette by which command is usually rendered ostensible, but
     going to the effect of complying with his suggestions respecting
     the mode of executing the operations agreed upon in concert, when
     the instructions of his Court do not interfere with such
     suggestions. Before you receive this letter, Lord Cornwallis will
     probably be on the spot; and it is therefore urgent, to prevent the
     first beginnings of dissension, that no time should be lost in
     making the Austrians give their orders to Clairfayt. Knowing the
     delay of that Government, and the difficulty of getting them to
     adopt any decided line of conduct, we have thought it best to do
     the thing first, and afterwards to try to obtain their consent to
     it. If you succeed, or, indeed, in any case, it will be useful that
     you should write directly to Lord C. upon the subject, as that may
     save a week, at a time when a week's delay might be of the utmost

     With respect to the Duke of York, Wyndham will probably tell you in
     confidence how he succeeds in his negotiation. It certainly is a
     pretty strong instance of zeal and desire to facilitate whatever
     can promote the cause, when he undertakes a task of no less
     difficulty than the reconciling the mind of a young Prince to a
     supercession in his military command, and that too at the precise
     moment of moving forwards, after so mortifying a retreat. I am,
     however, not without hopes of his success; and, at all events, the
     moment was too critical to suffer any consideration to interfere
     with the only means of salvation that appeared practicable.

     With respect to the languor of the Austrian Government, and the
     doubt whether even money will obtain from them decisive efforts, we
     have strongly felt the force of all that you have stated on that
     head. But we are inclined to flatter ourselves, that if we once
     obtain so large a force as is mentioned in my despatch, and can put
     that force, in addition to our own, under the absolute and supreme
     direction of such a man as Lord Cornwallis, we shall at least be
     able to say to ourselves, whatever be the result, that we have done
     everything that it was possible to do; and without trying this
     measure, I confess for one that I should not have that sentiment in
     my mind. I lament that we have thought ourselves obliged to bring
     forward the discussion of a precise barrier, and yet I do not see
     how it could be avoided. But the impression may be very bad on
     their minds, if we appear to be narrowing the benefits which they
     are to derive from exertion, instead of animating them by the hope
     of increased advantage. I have not dwelt on this point in my
     despatch, as you mention that you intended to write further upon

     When the idea of transferring the subsidy was opened to me by
     Starhemberg, from Merey's instructions it was expressly stated, as
     a part of the plan, that the empire could be made to subsidize the
     Prussian troops; and this agrees with every information we receive
     on the subject, all which concur in stating the efforts of the
     empire, particularly in money, as being very far below what they
     could be brought to make by the joint exertions of Austria and
     Prussia. But on my pressing Starhemberg for further detail on this
     point, he has always avoided it, assuring me, whether truly or not,
     that he found no particulars respecting it among Merey's papers.
     You will see that in the despatch we make the whole dependent on a
     complete and _bonâ fide_ execution of this point, and my language
     to him has always been of the same nature. But I confess that it is
     on this point that I feel the strongest apprehensions, and I much
     fear that Austria will both be disposed to evade it, and, in truth,
     unable to accomplish it. Should this be the case, the whole plan
     must be abandoned; and we should, I believe, in that event, be
     disposed to turn our subsidy to the object of raising other force,
     of whatever nature, so as, if possible, to form a separate British
     and Dutch army, destined to act under Lord Cornwallis, without the
     pretence or show of concert with either of the German Powers.

     With respect to your remaining at Vienna, you will easily conceive,
     that having a project of this nature to propose, none of us thought
     we should give it its fair chance if we put it into other hands
     than those in which the business now is. We allow for your natural
     desire of quitting a scene which, God knows, must be mortifying
     enough to men who feel how much of the safety of Europe depends on
     the conduct of the Austrian Government, and who see how unfit that
     Government is to be trusted with the interests of the smallest
     corporation. But we are confident that as long as there may remain
     the hope of doing so much good as would, we trust, be done by the
     complete success of the present plan, you will not be unwilling to
     give your assistance to it.

     With respect to what you mention about yourself, you know my wishes
     on the subject, but I certainly will not urge them beyond what you
     are disposed to do. The proposal Lord Fitzwilliam makes to you is,
     I fairly own, in my apprehension, one less eligible than that of
     Vienna; but I fear a nearer view of that Court has rather
     strengthened than diminished your indisposition to that situation.
     You know, as well as I do, all the _désagrémens_ belonging to the
     post of Irish Secretary; but it is certainly an important and
     honourable one, and such as to afford you ample room for showing
     yourself such as you are: more, perhaps, than many others which
     commonly rank higher in public estimation. My objection to it is
     the banishment, which obtains as much as in the foreign missions,
     and certainly to the most disagreeable of all countries. I do not
     know well how to make myself quite a disinterested adviser; but if
     I was to give you fairly the result of my thoughts upon it, I
     should still beg you to look at the foreign line, and if that must
     not be, I should then say _yes_ to the question of Ireland.

     Supposing that _yes_ were decided, let me ask you whether your
     remaining some time longer at Vienna, so as finally to conclude,
     not the leading points only, but all the details of the arrangement
     now in question, and of the preparations for the active scene of
     next year, is wholly out of the question? It seems very clear that
     no arrangement will happen before that time which can change the
     Irish Government, and in the meanwhile you would be honourably and
     _most usefully_ employed. I have, however, not hinted this idea to
     any individual, nor will I. If all this is wholly out of the
     question, I conclude that my reply to your answer to these
     despatches, will bring to Lord Spencer and you the King's
     permission to return to England.

     It would be very satisfactory to you to see how well things are
     going on here, and how completely our hopes have been realized on
     the subject which employed so much of our time and thoughts this

     God bless you, my dearest brother.

At this time, the new changes in the Administration, already alluded to,
were under discussion in the Cabinet; and, amongst the rest, it was
proposed that the government of Ireland should be offered to Lord
Fitzwilliam. As soon as this appointment was suggested, his Lordship
wrote to Mr. Thomas Grenville to offer him the office of Secretary.


     (Private.)      Vienna, Aug. 30th, 1794,

     You will already have heard enough of our proceedings here to give
     you no considerable expectations of any great good to be done here;
     and if you happen to have been in London, and to have read a very
     tedious and long letter which I wrote on the 24th to the Duke of
     Portland, you will have seen there, more at large than it is
     necessary to repeat, the general view and impression of our minds
     as to the business with which we are charged; and the little ground
     which there appears to us for hoping that even by satisfying their
     pecuniary demands, we could depend upon such exertions being made
     in consequence, as the country would expect in return for expense
     of so great and heavy a scale. It is very true, to be sure, that in
     this as well as in many other cases, the difficulties present
     themselves something more readily than the remedies to them, yet
     upon the question of the subsidy, if we are right in our
     conception that it would not probably produce, either in degree or
     in shape, that energy and cordial co-operation which we are looking
     for, perhaps no difficulty could be much more serious than that of
     engaging ourselves at home in an expense, the disappointment of
     which might produce in the minds of the public an effect, both with
     respect to the war itself and with respect to the Government which
     supports it, of the most perilous description. It is very true that
     great objects must sometimes be pursued at great hazards, and
     nobody is more ready than I to acknowledge that a greater object
     cannot be found than the successful prosecution of this war; but
     the peculiar question of subsidy seems to me to apply chiefly to
     the mode of carrying on the war, and, I would hope, not to the
     entire decision of pursuing or abandoning it.

     I will not again go over the same detail which I pursued in my
     letter to the Duke of Portland, but satisfy myself with recalling
     to your observation, that the Government here, in speaking of the
     exertions which they should be driven to the necessity of making,
     if the French should threaten the German empire, plainly admitted
     that they do still possess resources capable of being applied to
     such critical exigencies, and in this confession show pretty
     plainly that nothing but the necessity of the case will drive them
     to the use of those means. Is it not then probable that a much
     greater exertion may be made by that necessity existing in our
     refusal of subsidy, than will be made by such pecuniary assistance
     being given, as may relieve them from the necessity of making any
     exertion of their own?

     If the immediate alarm on the side of Holland seems to be a
     considerable inducement to the grant of the subsidy, in order to
     interest Austria in that very important defence of which the
     Netherlands make so essential a part, it should not, on the other
     hand, escape notice, that all our observation on their language and
     views would lead us very much to doubt how far they would
     cordially concur in the defence of the Netherlands, even though
     they might consent to do so in the words of their contract;
     whatever value they may or may not themselves put upon the
     possession of the Low Countries, they always argue and act under
     the manifest persuasion, that the Maritime Powers are alone
     interested enough in this point to secure its being ultimately
     carried, and they give it pretty plainly to be understood, that
     they mean to depend upon us for that object. Under this view, they
     seem to me always disposed to consider the operations of the
     Austrian army in another campaign as likely to be concentered for
     efforts from the German frontier, by which means they will have a
     more collected force more immediately applying to the Imperial
     dominions, and better suited to the jealousies which they entertain
     of the King of Prussia, but certainly not best adapted to the
     defence of Holland, and the recovery of Brabant.

     Perhaps I may be considered as carrying these suspicions too far,
     but I own I cannot help fearing too, that the suggestion made by
     them of mortgaging the Low Countries to us, is not as security for
     the money in question in this and the next campaign, is not a _bonâ
     fide_ offer of their best security, but is considered by them as a
     fresh motive for interesting us in their possession of those
     territories, and as contributing the more to make that object our
     business, by either taking upon ourselves the whole defence of
     them, or, what they rather look to, by our purchasing the cession
     of them at the peace, by some of the acquisitions which Great
     Britain has made in the war: a measure which they may have the more
     hope for our concurrence in, if we have two millions lent out upon
     the security only of the Austrians regaining those territories at
     the peace.

     Do not believe that these impressions are taken from any starving
     principle of economy, or from a too timid apprehension of the
     unpopularity of a subsidy in England; but be assured, that even if
     there should be no difficulty at home as to this demand being
     acquiesced in, I should retain the same doubts as to any
     expectation of proportionate advantages resulting from it, and
     should be inclined to believe that even if the whole amount of the
     subsidy was to be expended, it might be more advantageously used in
     the purchase of Hessians, Swiss, or any other such troops
     absolutely at our disposal, in addition to the Austrians, than in
     the proposed purchase of increased vigour and activity in the
     government and army of this country: you cannot buy what they have
     not to sell.

     Sept. 14th, 1791.

     The former part of this letter had already been written before I
     received yours of the 11th of August, which did not reach me till
     the 2nd instant. I am very sincerely rejoiced to find by it that
     you have made your decision for Ireland, because I believe that
     much good may be done there, by your taking that heavy load upon
     your shoulders; and although you are wanted enough both in London
     and Yorkshire, I am persuaded that for public objects you are still
     most wanted at Dublin. I am not enough acquainted with the interior
     there, to judge how far the means (as Government now stands) are
     competent to the end, or to what degree you may be able to supply
     all those links of connection between the two countries, which have
     latterly appeared to be very much worn away and broken through. I
     presume that it will be found easy enough to continue the same
     negative course of administration, and that it will be a work of
     great difficulty and delicacy for you to do all that you will think
     should be done; I am, therefore, from a strong persuasion of the
     arduousness of the task, well pleased to know that it is in such
     good hands.

     With respect to my undertaking the office of Secretary, I am very
     far from being confident that I should be able to make myself, in
     that situation, as useful to you as it undoubtedly should be made.
     You know it is not the first moment in which I have expressed my
     doubts as to that employment, since it is twelve years ago that the
     same objections presented themselves to me; and if I still feel the
     weight of them, it is not from any disinclination to pull at my oar
     in the galley, or from any reluctance to take part in public
     measures at a time when I think, as you do, that everything is at
     stake; on the contrary, I confess that, all other considerations
     put apart, I shall be gratified in making myself actively one of a
     system with which the prosperity of the country will, I am
     persuaded, be to stand or fall; and I shall be best gratified by
     doing this in whatever shape it could be hoped that I should be
     serviceable. To foreign mission, I own I know not how to reconcile
     myself; and for Ireland, besides my own disinclination to it, I
     should have thought Pelham better suited, as I have often told you.
     But my own opinion upon this, as upon all other subjects, gives way
     to the better judgment of my friends; and if the Duke of Portland
     and you think, that in the present state of things, I should do
     best to go to Ireland, I cannot say that I will not try it; sure I
     am that your going there gives to the situation every advantage
     which I can receive in it, and that if my engaging in it could
     succeed, it is on every account as promising and gratifying to me
     with you, as the situation itself can be made. Thus, therefore, it
     stands, that my own inclination, if no difficulties stood in the
     way, would rather lead me to any such employment at home as I might
     be fit for, when any such offered itself; but no such destination
     being easily found, if the Duke of Portland and you think it any
     way desirable that I should go to Ireland, I will certainly
     undertake it, and do the best I can in it; trusting always, that if
     hereafter, when you are settled on your Irish throne, the chance of
     events should make any home-situation of business practicable for
     me, you would not object to any such arrangement if it could be

     The long delay which has prevented my sending a messenger when I
     wrote the first sheet of this letter, has now so altered the events
     of the negotiation that it is hardly worth sending to you, except
     as a proof that want of opportunity, and not want of punctuality,
     has prevented my letter reaching you at an earlier period.

     The loss of the fortresses, at a moment when they had been
     reluctantly induced here to make an effort to save them, is
     vexatious in the extreme. They threaten the vengeance of a
     court-martial on the officers who surrendered Valenciennes; but
     what will that avail towards recovering these great objects, which
     were equally material, both to the regaining of the Netherlands,
     and to their security when reconquered?

     The hopeless inactivity of this Court is too long a theme to write
     upon, and will continue, I fear, to be a fertile source of
     uneasiness. It is shocking to foresee that their assistance may be
     as much wanted to save Holland as it was to save Valenciennes, and
     may likewise be retarded till it is equally ineffectual.

     I expect to be in England towards the 12th or 15th of November.

     Ever very faithfully and affectionately yours,
     T. G.


     Camp, Weymouth, Aug. 31st, 1794.

     I have just received your letter of the 16th from Vienna, and am
     glad to find from it that you are as well as I wish you to be, and
     as sanguine as any one could wish who is less desponding than
     myself. I fear that very much of your difficulty is insuperable,
     for I have no idea that it is possible to induce the Imperial
     Government to exert themselves more for the _recovery_ of Brabant
     than they did for the _preservation_ of it. Various circumstances
     (some of which you have stated) co-operated to the scandalous
     dereliction of a country, which all former history proves to us
     might have been defended (even for a losing campaign) with one half
     of the allied force; and it is no part of my creed that the zeal or
     activity of the Austrian Ministry (even if they act with good
     faith) can replace us by the end of November where we were last
     year. But if it is to be proposed to us to add Austria to the list
     of powers subsidized, and to call upon Great Britain, the _ally_ of
     the war, to consider herself as the only principal in it, I fear
     that the proposition will meet with every difficulty, and (if
     acceded to) with as little success as the subsidy paid to Prussia.
     You will then ask me for my solution of this difficulty; and I will
     fairly own that I see none, but in endeavouring to stimulate
     Austria, by showing them clearly that we will not take the whole
     upon our back; and that we can better keep the wolf out of our
     house, than they can out of theirs, if the war is to be defensive.

     As to the military operations of the Prince of Saxe Coburg, I make
     no doubt that he has done very ill; indeed, it seems difficult to
     conceive that his groom could have done worse. But I fear that the
     ignorance or treachery of the German Generals goes much deeper than
     you imagine, for I do not recollect one instance in the course of
     this campaign--and perhaps not one in the last--in which they
     answered the expectation formed of them. Again, if we imagined that
     by protracting the war we might exhaust the enemy, though I might
     not agree as to the prospect of success, I could understand it as a
     system; but in that case, the war would have been defensive, and
     co-operation settled to that object, instead of abandoning the Duke
     of York to certain ruin, if the winds and the circumstances of this
     country had not permitted Lord Moira's army to arrive just (and
     only just) in time to cover their retreat, and communication. These
     points are all mysterious to us lookers-on, and perhaps not much
     more clear to you at Vienna. The only point clear and indisputable
     is, that we begun the campaign offensively in the south-west point
     without securing West Flanders; that we undertook by defensive
     positions to cover it; and notwithstanding the very slow progress
     of the French, which gave us full and ample time, it was lost for
     want of sufficient force on the western flank of our combined
     force, and for want of co-operation, either of defensive retreat,
     or of mutual support in a systematic evacuation of a country so
     very tenable. Now, if all this is proposed to be cured by changing
     the Commander, and by taking the Austrians into British pay, I fear
     that I shall be one of the first to cry out against such a measure,
     which cannot in the least tend to remove those difficulties, and
     will superinduce many others on the continent, and others more
     serious at home, to which you cannot be a stranger. If the object
     be to add to our force, we do not accomplish it by changing the
     Paymaster or Commander of the troops; but we may obtain a very
     considerable force under our immediate and actual command, by
     adding to the levies of French troops; or, in plain terms, by
     raising an immense French army in British pay, who would not be
     liable to be called off _à la Prussienne_ to schemes of plunder, or
     possibly of home defence, in the moment in which they are the most
     wanted by us. I have taken some pains to get information on this
     subject; and I verily believe, that if we take the small remnant of
     the Prince of Condé's army into our pay, with him at the head of it
     as a foundation, we may in a very short time increase it to
     twenty-five, or perhaps thirty thousand men, which, added to our
     British, Hessian and Hanoverian army, would effectually support the
     Dutch in covering Holland, and would enable us to make a very
     serious diversion either in Normandy or in Poitou.

     I have written upon this subject more at large than I at first
     intended, but it is very difficult to compress it; and having found
     it difficult to reconcile the conduct of Ministry in the
     management of this campaign to my own feelings, or the plan (so far
     as I understand it from common report) of reconquering Brabant for
     the Emperor by an Austrian army in British pay, or of assisting
     Holland by a force of the same nature on which the experience of
     two campaigns shows how little we can depend, I have not thought it
     fair to withhold these opinions from you, having stated them to my
     other brother as soon as I heard of your mission (and from public
     report of the objects of it) to Vienna. But be assured, my dear
     brother, that I do not feel the less warmly for your credit, and
     for the success of your negotiation (whatever it may be) as far as
     the question is personal to yourself. I have always seen, with very
     sincere regret, your talents useless to the public; and I am happy,
     on every account, that you have found an opportunity of showing
     them in co-operation with my brother William, who seemed so happy
     in this proof of your confidence and affection.

     I feel, as I ought, your anxiety about the yeomanry. I have the
     satisfaction of hearing that they go on very well, but of course
     meeting very seldom, because of the harvest. Their numbers,
     however, increase; and are, as near as can be, as follows:

            Captains.    Lieutenants. 2nd ditto. Qr. Masters. Numbers.
     Lt.-Col. Grenville  Fremantle    Grubb      ----         47
              Praed      Mansell      Higgins    Cooch        60
       Sir J. Dashwood   W. Hicks     T. Mason   Clarke       43
              Drake      K. Mason     Clerk      ----         37
          Sir W. Young   Ch. Clowes   L. Way     Quanne       29

     Most of them have got their swords, and have returned their
     pistols, which were most scandalously bad; they have got their
     appointments, and (except Young's troop) they come on very well. I
     am, however, tied by the leg to Weymouth, while the King is here,
     and cannot stir. He is in wonderful health; but very unruly as to
     the common precautions which ought to be taken, and which keep me
     in constant hot water, notwithstanding our incessant rains. Lord
     Howe passed Portland yesterday with thirty-three sail of the line,
     and three Portuguese ships; of which one ran foul of the
     'Barfleur,' and stove in her bows so as to force her to return to
     Portsmouth. All the sea prisoners lately taken, say, that Barrère
     is determined to force the Brest fleet of thirty-five sail to sea.
     Sir J. B. Warren's last prisoners say, that they were brought from
     the interior to Brest, and embarked _handcuffed_; another account
     states, that sixteen thousand men have been sent to Brest _en
     réquisition_, since Lord Howe's action. Our line of battle is
     thirty-seven sail, including what is to join at Plymouth; from
     which deduct two ships not ready, and the 'Barfleur,' his number
     will be thirty-four. He will probably fall in with your friend,
     Lord Macartney, who is coming back with "_the Emperor's copy of
     verses_," and left St. Helena on the 6th of July with nineteen East
     India ships.

     Adieu, my dear brother,
     Ever most affectionately yours,
     N. B.

     Sept. 5th, 1794.

     P.S.--This letter was begun five days ago, but I have been for the
     last four days confined, and very ill from an epidemic, which is
     running all over England. It is not confined to the army, and it
     has not been fatal, but very painful. I have got clear of it, but I
     have above forty men ill of it at this moment. Adieu.

The difficulties of the negotiation in which Lord Spencer and Mr. Thomas
Grenville were engaged, are very clearly stated in the following letter.
It is perfectly evident from these curious revelations, that Austria and
Prussia were pursuing a crooked and evasive policy in their diplomacy
with England, that the vacillations and infirmity of purpose they
betrayed left them open to the suspicion of insincerity, and that the
affairs of both Courts were conducted by Ministers utterly deficient in
all qualities of firmness and judgment, which the occasion imperatively


     (Private.)      Vienna, Sept. 1st, 1794.

     If M. de Thugut is waiting with impatience the result of M. de
     Merey's negotiation, you will easily believe that we have no less
     impatience to know your decisions upon that subject, though you
     will have seen that Lord Spencer and I have not been able to teach
     ourselves to wish that the pecuniary demands may, or ought to be,
     gratified by us. If they had confined themselves to asking only
     such a temporary assistance as might have given a more immediate
     spring to the vigorous movement which we are urging them to make, I
     should have been as little disposed as anybody could to withhold
     any practicable facilities of that description; but to the extent
     to which they steadily continue to point, I own I feel myself too
     little satisfied as to the equity of their claim upon us, and as to
     the probability of their acting fairly and manfully up to the great
     exertions which they ask from us, to entertain much disposition
     towards those demands.

     They dwell certainly upon the difference which they state between
     loan and subsidy, and wish to prove to us that their offer of
     security upon the revenues of the Low Countries should, at least by
     us (who always insist on those territories remaining in the House
     of Austria), be accepted as a good and ample mortgage for the
     repayment of the sums which they want for this year and the next;
     but if it is true that they do not feel interested at heart in
     these possessions, or if they think us so earnest in our wishes on
     this subject, that they may safely throw the whole weight of it
     upon us, their offer of a _hypothèque_ on those possessions takes a
     much more suspicious character; nor is it, perhaps, an unreasonable
     jealousy on my part to apprehend that they may wish you to have a
     mortgage of two millions on the Netherlands, as an inducement to
     you hereafter to give up some of your French acquisitions in the
     West Indies, in order to recover for them a country, in which you
     will have a larger pecuniary stake, added to the ordinary course of
     political observations.

     Much at least of Thugut's conversation would seem to tally with
     this view of the matter. It is observable that he perpetually
     recurs to its being a settled point, that _de façon ou d'autre_ the
     Netherlands will be secured to Austria at the peace, and yet he
     never seems (in his view of the military operations to be pursued)
     to consider them as a main object of defence, and is so little
     disposed to make them so, that he expresses much reluctance at the
     idea proposed, of engaging Austria to furnish so large an army, _to
     act in that country_, which he thinks might be better employed
     elsewhere. Add to this, his remarking that England might be
     satisfied by the irrecoverable detriment done to the navy and
     commerce of France, and his contrasting the difference in point of
     acquisitions made by Great Britain, with the total failure on the
     side of Austria; and it is no great refinement to suspect the whole
     of this to lead to an expectation that we may better buy back the
     Netherlands for them, than put them to the expense of defending
     them or regaining them; and that we should have an additional
     motive for sacrificing some of our conquests to this object, if we
     have two millions of money mortgaged upon it.

     Of the advantage which may be expected at home from adopting this
     shape of lending upon security, rather than of furnishing a direct
     subsidy, I do not well know how to judge; but unless the security
     could be shown to be in itself substantial, and of a nature to be
     easily got at by those to whom it was due, I should doubt whether
     the public at home would be better reconciled to it than to a
     direct and acknowledged subsidy. The very small proportion of
     effect produced by the large payments this year to the King of
     Prussia, will create much indisposition to the incurring of a
     similar expense again, unless it can be shown to promise, upon good
     probable grounds, a much better return than we have had; and,
     generally speaking, I cannot but fear that the mere difference in
     point of exertion which we can hope from this country, may not turn
     out to be worth the purchase-money in the estimation of the country
     at large, though I should hope they might easily acquiesce in a
     very considerable exertion, if a great manifest exertion of
     strength, fairly disposable to the course of the war, could be
     procured by pecuniary aids. What inducement there may be to this
     measure, from any apprehension of the Emperor's withdrawing from
     the war, is another part of the question, upon which I can form no
     more correct judgment than belongs to the observation of a very
     short residence here.

     Lord Malmesbury hints to me a suspicion of a proposed concert
     between the Emperor and the King of Prussia, to compel the Maritime
     Powers to make peace, though he appears to give no great credit to
     it. Certain it is, that in the month which we have past here, one
     of the most striking features of the conversation, both of
     Ministers and individuals, has been a hatred and aversion to
     Prussia, by Thugut, too, particularly marked towards Lucchesini, of
     whom he never scruples to speak to us in terms of the most
     unqualified dislike; so that as far as can be collected from what
     we hear, there ought to be no ground to suspect any plan of
     intimate concert between his Court and Berlin.

     It is possible, to be sure, that independently of any such concert,
     the Government here, if unassisted by money from us, might
     endeavour to withdraw from the prosecution of the war; but, as we
     have had no reason to expect any ultimate success to the
     propositions which _we_ brought here, we have endeavoured, as much
     as possible, to learn what their conduct would be in failure of the
     proposed Convention, and to consider them in all that we have said
     as equally bound to continue in their co-operations with us
     according to the existing agreement, whether any new arrangement
     should succeed or not. To this view they have not only acceded
     always in distinct terms, when urged by us, but they have
     frequently stated this of their own accord, confining themselves
     only to the observation, that their means are limited, and will no
     longer allow of the exertions which they wish; but solemnly
     protesting against any present idea of peace, and always expressing
     their belief that Prussia is now desirous of peace being made,
     because, in the present situation of things, it might probably be
     made to the disadvantage of Austria. Unless, therefore, their
     opinions should be disguised to a degree which I cannot well
     believe, or should undergo an entire change, I do not see what
     ground there is to suspect in them any intention of abandoning the
     war, though I can entertain no great hopes of such a vigorous
     prosecution of it as we might wish and expect from them.

     There is but one opinion as to the Emperor's inclinations on this
     subject, and if his personal character had steadiness enough to
     influence the Government, his disposition to the true principles of
     the war would be a great security to us; at present, however, it is
     of little or no avail; and it is much to be lamented in times like
     the present, that though there is no dislike entertained to him,
     there is not either the respect or consideration which ought to be
     attached to his situation, to make it tell with any of the effects
     one wishes to derive from it. With respect to his Ministers, you
     have seen too much of our remarks upon the striking features of
     their conduct, to make it necessary for me in every letter to
     repeat them. Thugut is certainly the only efficient Minister here:
     very diligent and laborious in his office, he seems to have
     acquired an influence here by being the only man of business about
     the Court; and with this recommendation has reached a situation
     which the nobility of the country are mortified to see him hold,
     because he has no pretensions to hereditary rank, and because they
     have been used to see that office for many years filled by Prince
     Kavnitz. What _we_, however, miss in him is, either the disposition
     or capacity to see the present great crisis of Europe upon the
     large scale on which it should be looked at by the leading Minister
     of this empire; instead of which, we see in all our discussions a
     cold, narrow, and contracted view of this subject, infinitely too
     languid and little for the object, and made peculiarly unfavourable
     to our propositions, by the disinclination which he certainly feels
     to concur heartily with us in the great interests attached to the
     Austrian possession of the Low Countries. We have, it is true,
     obtained from him assurances of concerting an immediate plan for
     the relief of Valenciennes; but even this has not been obtained
     without many discouraging tokens of that total want of manly energy
     and direct dealing, without which all co-operation must necessarily
     be languid and feeble: always taking merit for having sent the most
     distinct orders to try the relief of Valenciennes, yet never taking
     the obvious mode of satisfying us by communicating those orders to
     us; maintaining as an argument for the loan, that without it the
     army cannot move, yet at the same time resisting our objections of
     the delay of waiting for answers from M. de Merey, by stating this
     movement as being actually in great forwardness, and not depending
     upon the loan for its execution; acquiescing in the change of
     command urged by us, and yet ever since that event reminding us
     that in his opinion this very change may defeat the operation which
     we wished to assist by it; gratifying our impatience at one time by
     counting up the days to the probable time of the desired movement,
     and then again stating that Clairfayt's army may be weakened too
     much to attempt it by his detaching, perhaps considerably, towards
     the side of Treves; complaining that the Austrians had been
     prevented from sending Blankenstein's corps towards Flanders, as
     they wished, by the Prussians having engaged it in their line of
     defence, and yet refusing to us a corps much more inconsiderable,
     and not involved in the objection--I mean the corps of Condé--a
     corps, too, which, as I have before observed, from their own
     statement of their want of money, they should have been glad to
     have seen transferred to the pay of another country.

     These, and many other such traits of inconsistency, I advert to
     only as being descriptive of the very unsatisfactory manner in
     which our business is discussed, always providing on their side
     apologies for future failures, instead of means of success, and
     projects of vigour and enterprize. Yet though the shortness of our
     possible residence here makes this inanimate character of the
     Government a bar to that immediate spirit and alacrity which, for
     the purposes of the present crisis, it was highly desirable to
     create here, so as to act upon instantaneously; much, I should
     suppose, may be done after our return, by any person of steadiness
     and activity, in the course of an established residence here, there
     being certainly fair grounds for the most intimate union between
     the two countries, and appearances enough of general inclination
     towards it, though traversed for the present by their hopes of
     fighting at our cost, and by the unfavourable turn of M. Thugut's
     mind upon the subject of the Netherlands. For this purpose, the
     sooner a regular Minister is appointed here the better; because
     though the opening of the subsequent campaign is at present distant
     enough, the dilatory habits of this Government make every moment
     more precious than it should be; and the points, both of the
     barrier and the Dutch indemnity, may be found longer in discussion
     than they were expected to be when I left London, particularly upon
     the former of those two subjects, on which the future possession
     of Dunkirk and Givet must, perhaps, be distinctly explained.

     We have heard of Lord Malmesbury's intention to quit Frankfort on
     the 10th of September, and we have read the formal acceptance,
     signed by him, of the military concert of the 26th July; you will
     already have seen, in our despatch No. 5, our apprehensions of the
     inconvenience of placing Clairfayt's army in any state of
     dependance upon the Prussian line, as we are always afraid that the
     Prussians may, by a nominal concert upon this subject, become a
     real hindrance, and throw difficulties in the way of the proposed
     enterprise for the relief of Valenciennes. In this view, therefore,
     we had certainly rather have seen Lord Malmesbury remaining at
     least till the movement in question had actually been carried into
     effect; and the more so, as we have always kept their fears a
     little quiet here, by promising that Lord Malmesbury, at Frankfort,
     should look to and strictly watch the operations of Marshal
     Mollendorff's army. I take for granted, however, that you will
     provide as well as you can against the inconveniences which in this
     shape may arise, and we shall likewise mention it to Lord M.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,
     T. G.


     (Private.)      Vienna, Sept. 15th, 1794.

     You will receive enclosed with this a letter, which I had already
     written before the arrival of your last despatches, and which can
     only be useful by showing you all that occurred to me upon the
     former view of the subject. The conditions which are now attached
     to the two questions of loan and subsidy, appear certainly to be
     the best which could have been imagined for promising a fair use of
     the troops for which we are desired to pay, and would probably
     appear to the country to be so, besides really furnishing all the
     means which can be supplied to this great stake which we are
     compelled to play for. What has passed upon these propositions, you
     will have seen pretty amply in the public despatch, which is
     written so much at length as to require no great additional
     comment. It is manifest, that instead of complying with all the
     conditions proposed, they could not easily be brought to consent to
     any one of them. Upon the subject of command, there is a soreness
     which would be an insuperable bar to the idea of a large combined
     force (chiefly Austrian) acting under any English General; and yet
     there is so little hope of their acting vigorously under any other,
     that the choice lies between two extreme difficulties.

     Under the pressure of your letter, which led us to imagine that
     Lord Cornwallis is actually gone to Flanders, we have done and said
     all that was in any shape likely to assist his situation there; at
     the same time, from Wyndham's letter, and from the fall of
     Valenciennes, it is possible that his journey may still have been
     delayed. Instead, therefore, of writing to him in Flanders, as you
     suggested, we have given a letter for him to Colonel Ross, who will
     find him either on this or the other side of the water, and will be
     best able to communicate to him whatever intelligence from hence it
     is material for him to know.

     They do not talk heartily here of Clairfayt's co-operating, though
     they do not plainly refuse it; and I fear it is but too likely that
     they will satisfy their dignity by keeping their army entirely
     distinct from ours, a determination which may perhaps but too much
     assist the views of the French, if they really make a vigorous
     attack upon Holland. All that we could do by threats, entreaties,
     and remonstrances, on this very important point we have done, and
     will continue to repeat while we stay here.

     Upon the subject of transferring the subsidy, I believe they are in
     earnest when they say it is out of their power to engage for any
     considerable subsidy from the empire to the King of Prussia; and if
     it is true that they are now under the necessity of ascertaining
     what are their means for the next campaign, it may be true that
     they cannot act upon the uncertain speculation of receiving so much
     from us as they could promise for the King of Prussia. I know not
     whether I am right, but I have thought once or twice that Thugut
     has spoken with some marks of dislike to-day to Comte Stahremberg,
     whom he appears to suspect of having broached this proposition at
     London; to prevent any confirmation of this suspicion, we have not
     in any manner quoted Comte Stahremberg in our conferences; and as I
     believe you are satisfied with him, I hope I misinterpret the word
     or two which Thugut dropped upon this matter.

     We are come back again (upon the failure of our overtures) to the
     hearing of a reduced scale of military operations, an idea more
     like a haberdasher of small wares than the Minister of a great
     empire. What the supposed plan of this _contracted_ war is to be, I
     never have been able to learn; and, indeed, it requires all the
     good temper one can muster to make so discouraging an inquiry.

     Meanwhile, orders are said to be already issued for raising sixty
     thousand new recruits in the hereditary states of Austria, but no
     hopes are given of assistance from Hungary, where the harvest has
     been, in many places, uncommonly deficient.

     We have done what we could to urge them to be active in Sardinia,
     now the French appear to be retiring; and though an invincible
     prejudice to that quarter prevents Thugut from doing all he might,
     yet he expresses a readiness to concur in an attack upon Nice, if
     the English fleet would co-operate, as soon as the equinoctial
     snows have fallen to guard the mountains of the Milanes.

     There are, however, bad reports of Kosciusko declaring war against
     Austria, which will be both a reason and a pretext for suspending
     enterprise, if any would otherwise be undertaken. The Duc de Guiche
     has a project of collecting the Gardes du Corps, of which he says
     he thinks he could soon muster twelve hundred. He and the French
     here are grown very anxious about Comte d'Artois' journey to
     Rotterdam. We expect impatiently to hear from you of our return.

     With respect to Vienna, Lord Spencer having considered this
     business as now come to a point, which requires some new shape and
     fresh regular negotiation, writes to request leave to return home,
     and only waits for it to set out immediately. In that request
     (after all the consideration which I can give to it) I feel that I
     must likewise beg to be included, so as to return with him at the
     same time. The line of foreign mission is one to which I own I
     cannot reconcile myself; it leads certainly to a claim for future
     competency, but it seems to me little likely to assist those views
     of honest ambition, which are certainly, though I hope to no
     improper degree, still more forward in my mind than those of
     emolument. In this view it was, that upon a former occasion of
     arrangement, I had declined the Hague, which certainly is the first
     of all the situations in that line, but which still has the
     objection of banishing from all connections, social as well as
     political, and of cutting across all other expectations except
     those of an invalid upon half-pay.

     I believe I need not tell you, that upon the proposition which you
     suggest of my staying here only to make the detail of the new
     arrangements for next year, I certainly would not have refused it,
     if I had thought that I could more usefully transact that point for
     you; but I am really firmly persuaded, that the only chance of any
     good being done here, is by some active and intelligent man
     _taking root here_, and acquiring over these Ministers by the
     vigour and perseverance of his own mind, influence enough to supply
     the total want of it in theirs; but as this must be a work of some
     time, so it seems highly important that it should immediately be
     undertaken in that regular established shape in which alone it is
     likely to succeed, and to which I could very little contribute by
     protracting my departure two or three months beyond that of Lord
     Spencer; besides, too, that if Ireland is to be looked at, I have
     not much time to lose with a view to that subject. Certainly no man
     can be more sensible than I am to the _désagrémens_ of the Irish
     Secretaryship; and if the political arrangements which have taken
     place, had admitted of my occupying any situation of business at
     home, there is scarce any which I should not prefer to it. I am,
     however, very ready to confess, that at the present moment I do not
     see any such opening likely to be easily made; and, therefore, the
     question is as with respect to myself, whether, even with all my
     dislike to the situation, it may not be right that I should take
     it, and trust to the course of events to supply hereafter some
     other situation more eligible. What much inclines me to this is,
     that I shall be able to preserve a much nearer and closer
     connection with my family and friends, whom I shall at times have
     an opportunity of seeing, and that the business itself may become
     in one light highly interesting to me, if I see in it the means of
     making myself essentially useful upon a subject certainly not

     I am not without considerable apprehensions, as you know, with
     respect to the practicability of all that in theory one wishes to
     be done in that country; but of those difficulties, it is useless
     now to speak. Upon the whole, therefore, I have thought it best to
     accept of Lord Fitzwilliam's offer, and have accordingly written to
     say so.

     I will not unnecessarily add to this letter, as I expect to see you
     so soon: we calculate that in about twenty-six days we shall
     receive from you our answer, with permission to return; and that we
     shall be enabled to set out between the 15th and 20th of October at
     latest. Happy, indeed, I am to find, by the conclusion of your
     letter, that everything is going on at home upon as good a footing
     as we could wish. Every day's experience confirms me in the
     conviction, that with the present arrangement of Government, the
     peace and prosperity of the country must stand and fall; and
     however threatening may be the prospect from without, as long as
     everything keeps so right within, I shall continue to be of good

     I am ashamed of having written so much about myself, or rather I
     should be so if I was not writing to you; but I have confidence in
     your kindness and affection.

     God bless you, my dear brother.


     (Private.)      Vienna, Sept. 15th, 1794.

     The impatience which we know that you must all have in England to
     hear the result of your last determinations, leaves me no time to
     add to what is contained in our despatches; but having had occasion
     to write to Lord Fitzwilliam upon his having offered to me and
     pressed upon me the Secretaryship in Ireland, I cannot let the
     messenger go without a few words likewise to you upon that subject,
     to tell you that I have left that to your decision and to his;
     having only added such expressions of my own views and inclinations
     as I know your friendship for me will lead you to view in their
     proper light. My objections to the situation of Secretary in
     Ireland you very well know, because even all my desire of making
     myself useful to you could not, twelve years ago, overcome those
     objections. I am, however, so persuaded that, in this moment, it is
     every man's duty to take his task without consulting his
     inclination, that if, all things considered, you agree with Lord
     Fitzwilliam in thinking that I had best go to Ireland, I will
     certainly try it.

     You will, I am sure, forgive me for adding that, if the future
     course of political arrangements (according as facilities may
     occur) should admit of my being usefully employed at home, my wish
     and preference to any such arrangement will not, I am sure, be
     overlooked by my friends in England.

     Ever, my dear Duke,
     Most sincerely yours,
     T. G.

That some inconvenience had already arisen, and that more was yet likely
to arise, from the nomination of Lord Fitzwilliam to the government of
Ireland, will be seen from a letter addressed by Lord Grenville to his
brother at Vienna. It had been clearly understood all along, that Lord
Fitzwilliam's appointment could not be confirmed until some suitable
provision should have been made for Lord Westmoreland, who had accepted
the office of Lord-Lieutenant on that express condition; yet the friends
of Lord Fitzwilliam, in their eagerness to make known the accession of
their party to power amongst their allies in Ireland, committed the
indiscretion of talking publicly about the approaching change, before
any arrangements had been concluded, or could be concluded, respecting
Lord Westmoreland. The immediate effect of these premature announcements
was to embarrass the Cabinet, and irritate the feelings and compromise
the position of the Lord-Lieutenant. Worse effects followed soon


     Sept. 15th, 1794.

     I am so late, that I have hardly time to write this private letter
     to you, nor, indeed, have I much to add to my despatches.

     There is, however, one point which it is material that you should
     know for your own satisfaction. The despatches, as now drawn, bear
     very much the appearance of contracted operations in Flanders,
     without any very distinct statement of an intention to extend our
     plans elsewhere. The reason is, that we doubt whether we ought to
     trust the Government at Vienna with our secret in this respect. The
     failure of our expected operations in Flanders, where we had hoped
     to engage the principal attention of the enemy for the next month,
     makes it impossible to try, with the small force of which we now
     have the disposal, any operations of consequence in the Vendée; and
     a weak and ineffectual effort there would both betray and dispirit
     those whom we wish to support. We have therefore, for the present,
     renounced the idea of doing more than barely trying to throw in
     arms and supplies; and we reserve our attack for the spring, when,
     if our present expectations do not deceive us, we shall have the
     means of disposing of a very large force, independent of _émigrés_,

     In this way, the two parts of the war will operate as a diversion
     one to the other, and we shall be able to push that, whichever it
     may be, when we shall appear at the time most likely to succeed.
     That will probably be the quarter where we act alone, and have
     neither to depend on Prussian faith nor Austrian energy.

     It is in the meantime discouraging to see how fair an opportunity
     is lost by our not being able to profit of the present state of
     things in France. God knows what may happen between this and the
     spring. It does not appear to me that there is any foundation for
     the report of the young King's death. If it was true, it would
     solve at once the question of the acknowledgment of the Regent,
     which Spain has formally proposed to us.

     You will have received my letter on the point on which you asked my
     opinion. If the decision is likely to go in favour of Ireland, I
     heartily wish you were here, as I am afraid that there is less
     discretion on that subject than there should be. The intended
     successor to Lord W. is talked of more openly than I think useful,
     at a time when there is yet no arrangement made for his quitting
     his station. But what is worse than that, ideas are going about,
     and are much encouraged in Dublin, of _new systems_ there, and of
     changes of men and measures. Whatever it may be prudent to _do_ in
     that respect, I know that you will agree with me that, till the
     time comes when that question is to be considered, with a view to
     acting upon it immediately, the less is _said_ about it the better,
     in every point of view. When I see you, we can talk this over more
     easily than by letters between Vienna and London; and yet I have
     heard so much of it lately, that I almost wish it were possible for
     you, even at that distance, to write something that might suggest
     the necessity of caution; and that something you might even ground
     upon the paragraphs in the papers, which, as you may have seen,
     have been full of speculations upon it, particularly since
     Ponsonby's journey here.

     The notion of seeing your personal quiet and happiness committed in
     this business, makes me feel more anxious about it than I otherwise
     should, though it is otherwise sufficiently important, and that in
     more than one point of view.

     God bless you, my dearest brother, and believe me

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     St. James's Square, Sept. 17th, 1794.

     I have forwarded your letter to Tom, who will, I think, probably
     set out from Vienna soon after the receipt of it. I should have
     been very glad if I could have engaged him to stay there, but that,
     I think, seems out of the question. I am not more sanguine in his
     success than he is himself; and if my conjecture is right, at least
     you will have the satisfaction of knowing that a subsidy is not
     given to Austria. I own myself that if the situation of affairs
     there had been such that one could, with propriety, have been
     given, with a reasonable hope of adequate exertion in return, I
     should never have signed any other instrument with as much pleasure
     as the warrant for ratifying that agreement, whatever had been the
     consequences of it. I have no other view of the contest in which we
     are engaged, nor ever have had, than that the existence of the two
     systems of Government is fairly at stake, and in the words of St.
     Just, whose curious speech I hope you have seen, that it is perfect
     blindness not to see that in the establishment of the French
     Republic is included the overthrow of all the other Governments of
     Europe. If this view of the subject is just, there can be worse
     economy than that which spares the expense of present exertion, and
     incurs the probability of increased risk, and the necessity of
     protracted efforts. I believe, however, that all this reasoning
     applies, in this instance at least, to a case which will not exist.

     Our letters from Holland yesterday announced the execution of
     Barrère and Co.; but so many false reports have come from thence,
     that I do not give much faith to this, except from the probability
     of the thing itself. The weakness which this state of things at
     Paris occasions, in their efforts in the Low Countries, is very
     encouraging, and would be much more so, if we were but in a
     situation to profit of it.

     Mulgrave's expedition has, I believe, completely performed its
     object, and averted all danger for the present from that quarter.
     The corps will now be broken up. In that event, Nugent has been
     thought of to go to the West Indies with the command of a brigade,
     and the local rank of Brigadier-General. I have taken it for
     granted that this will be a thing agreeable to him, and have
     therefore promoted it as far as I could, because it gives him the
     opportunities of showing himself both in service and in command. If
     you see it in the same light, perhaps, you would prefer throwing
     out the idea to him before it is formally proposed to him, as he
     might have difficulty in declining any proposal of service, even if
     for any reason that I do not foresee this destination was not
     agreeable to him.

     I rejoice to think that your King's guard is almost over, which I
     imagine must have been a troublesome business enough.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.

The straw was now beginning to move in the direction of Ireland. Mr.
Ponsonby and his friends made no concealment of the expectations they
founded upon the advent of Lord Fitzwilliam; and reports were creeping
out, that with the change of men would come an entire change of


     Dropmore, Sept. 27th, 1794.

     I received your letter here yesterday, and write this because what
     you say on two material points of the public situation of affairs,
     impels me to it, though I well know how impossible it is within the
     compass of a letter to discuss such questions, or even to state the
     mere grounds of the considerations on which they depend. I see so
     much all around us of the gloomiest colour, that I am on that
     account, perhaps, more sensible to the manner in which you seem to
     view our situation. I cannot, however, be much surprised at the
     confidence which you seem to feel as to the possibility of our
     seeing the storm break all round us, and remaining untouched by it,
     because such appears to be the prevailing sentiment here, as well
     as in every other part of Europe: every country, and almost every
     individual, seeming to reason and to act in the hope of such an
     exception being made in their favour during the general ruin which
     they see impending over others. I am, however, not the less
     convinced of the truth of my own opinion, which is unhappily
     already confirmed by too many instances of the effects which this
     delusive security, as I think it, has produced, and is daily
     producing. I can see no grounds, in the state of this country, to
     hope for such an exception in our favour, and I do verily believe
     that we must prepare to meet the storm here, and that we must not
     count upon the continuance of a state of domestic tranquillity
     which has already lasted so much beyond the period usually allotted
     to it in the course of human events. I trust that we shall at least
     meet it with more firmness than our neighbours, but even in order
     to do this, we ought not to blind ourselves at the moment of its
     approach. It seems too probable that it is decreed by Providence
     that a stop should be put (for reasons probably inscrutable to us)
     to the progress of arts and civilization among us. It is a
     melancholy reflection to be born to the commencement of such a
     scene, and to be called to bear a principal share in it, but I
     trust we may hope that our strength may be proportioned to our

     With respect to what you say of Ireland, I am not ignorant of the
     reports upon the subject, though perhaps a little mortified at the
     facility with which you seem to have given credit to them. I know
     of no such measure as you say we _have adopted_. I have never
     varied in my opinion as to the impolicy of the conduct held in
     Ireland during the time of Lord Rockingham's Administration, nor
     do I believe that any one is disposed to repeat that conduct now.
     On the other hand, I must say that I think we, least of all people,
     and yourself less than any man existing, have reason to feel any
     particular interest in a system which experience has always shown,
     at least in our time, to be neither able nor disposed to carry any
     support to English Government whenever England can think such
     support material. It has long appeared to me, and I believe to you
     also, that to make the connexion with Ireland permanently useful to
     Great Britain, that connexion must be strengthened by a systematic
     plan of measures, well considered and steadily pursued. Whether the
     present moment, or any other moment that is in near prospect, would
     be favourable to such a plan, is another and a more difficult
     question; but I am sure that every year that is lost increases the
     hazard of our situation as with respect to Ireland. These points I
     feel as those which are truly important to England, are not
     questions of power or advantage to Lord Shannon, or Mr. Ponsonby,
     or any other individual, or set of individuals there. And with this
     impression, I certainly have not for one consented, as you express
     it, to surrender Ireland to the Duke of P. and Lord F. under the
     government of Mr. Ponsonby; but neither can I conceive what other
     interest you or I have, or ought to have, on that subject, except
     that Ireland should be so managed, if possible, as not to be an
     additional difficulty in our way, when so many others are likely to

     I have not often as much leisure as I have found to-day to put
     these ideas on paper. Do not think me dispirited by what has
     happened. I see the extent of our danger, and think that danger
     much greater than it is commonly apprehended; but the effect of
     that opinion on my mind is no other than that of increasing the
     conviction with which I was before impressed, of the necessity of
     perseverance and exertion. France and Spain and the Netherlands,
     and Geneva, most of all (small as it is), show us that this danger
     is not to be lessened by giving way to it, but that courage and
     resolution are in this instance, as in most others, the surest
     roads to self-preservation.

     I have written this with more than usual seriousness, because such
     is the state of my mind, which I am accustomed to open to you
     without reserve, and such as it is at the moment of my writing or
     conversing with you.

     When are we likely to meet? I suppose that your campaign will not
     last much beyond the King's journey. You will not, I hope, forget
     that this place is your best inn, whether you go to Stowe or to
     town; but you must give me a few days' notice, that I may be sure
     to be here. God bless you.

The progress of the negotiations on the continent, and the weakness of
Austria and Prussia, mixed up with no inconsiderable amount of
indecision and duplicity, are freely commented upon in letters from Mr.
Grenville and Lord Malmesbury. Want of power, and want of will--fear,
hesitation, and imbecility--were so conspicuous in the conduct of these
Courts, as to destroy all confidence in their professions. The character
drawn by Lord Malmesbury of the King of Prussia--which the reader will
find confirmed in the subsequent communications of Mr. Grenville--shows
how little reliance, under any circumstances, could be placed on His
Majesty's co-operation.


     (Private.)      Vienna, Sept. 22nd, 1794.

     The course of this last week has been employed--as you will have
     seen from our despatch--in very long, but fruitless arguments on
     our parts. The proposal which we send to you, has no other
     recommendation than that of its having been strenuously resisted
     by us, and steadily persisted in by them. If the fact really was,
     as they are disposed to consider it, that England--at no risk and
     no expense--could, in the shape of this guarantee, furnish means to
     Austria, without which they must consider themselves as beat, and
     act too under that impression, to their own certain ruin, and to
     the great probable danger of Holland; if, I say, all this mischief
     could be prevented without any real expense to England, the
     question would seem to me very different from what it now is. But,
     I confess, that I have not been able to make out of their
     conversation on this subject any of that security on these points
     which they must insist upon. They say, provision can be made by
     which the interest of this money can be punctually secured, to be
     paid strictly when due to the commissaries of the English army, or
     any other persons appointed to receive it; yet what those
     provisions are which provide for that security, I do not make out,
     nor do they seem able to describe. I state to them that Mr. Pitt
     must find ways and means for the payment of the interest of this
     loan, which must increase the first shape of our annual expenses,
     whether they are afterwards honestly repaid or not; but they
     maintain that M. Desardroui can settle this somehow or other,
     though how they have not by any means explained; perhaps M.
     Desardroui has been more fortunate with Mr. Pitt.

     One considerable difficulty in regard to this proposition seems to
     be the influence which this loan might have upon their wish to
     regain the Low Countries--a wish which we already think too weak in
     their minds, and which would probably become weaker from the
     reflection that the income of those revenues was already mortgaged
     for a considerable sum. It was with a view to this that I dropped
     to them the notion of their giving a larger security, and asking a
     smaller loan, as well as complying with the requisitions of
     augmented force and British command. The general security you see
     they do consent to give; but, until I hear some more distinct
     explanation, I shall still fear that they mean to throw the whole
     security upon the Netherlands. They are still quarrelling more
     every day with everything that is Prussian: they have stopped a
     large magazine of blue cloth from Prussia to Switzerland, which
     they say they know is destined to France; and the King of Prussia
     threatens, in consequence, to stop some of their supplies in their
     passage to their armies. Thugut said of the King of Prussia to-day,
     with some truth and some humour, that all he wanted was to save the
     whole of his army, to conquer Poland without the loss of a man, and
     in reward to receive from us a pension of a million and a half per
     annum. If half that sum would purchase from him thirty thousand
     troops absolutely at our disposal, to make with British, Hessian
     and Dutch an army under English orders of one hundred thousand men,
     for the side of Holland; and that the other half--viz.:
     £700,000--given in the way of subsidy to Austria, could give it
     good heart to make a vigorous offensive campaign, I know not
     whether my inclinations would not lead me to the experiment; but
     their wants here are so great, and their resources, or at least
     their spirit and exertions, so reduced, that the prospect is
     certainly very discouraging. They seem full of new fears about the
     Turks, and express much expectation that our Minister at
     Constantinople will make great efforts to keep all quiet there.

     I believe I told you there were apprehensions of the Poles, under
     Kosciusko, breaking with the Austrians. A small affair had taken
     place, but it is said to be amicably settled, and to be, for the
     present, safe on that side. We are anxiously expecting our
     permission to return; and I depend now upon seeing you so soon,
     that I will not unnecessarily protract this letter.

     I know not who you are sending here; but we have taken great pains
     to keep alive in them here the most favourable dispositions that we
     could; and as far as appearances can be depended on--if the
     pecuniary demands were out of the question--nothing can be more
     promising than their general language and professions are, of
     earnestly desiring to establish the most intimate union between the
     two Courts.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.


     Frankfort, Oct. 2nd, 1794.

     I have written to Lord Spencer all I have to write officially. I
     fear I have mixed up a little bile with my intelligence; but the
     times are bilious, and it is beyond the compass of my patience to
     see the great stake we are playing for lost by imbecility,
     treachery, and neglect, without betraying a few symptoms of
     discontent. It is really deplorable that we should be the only
     nation in Europe who are up to the danger of the moment, and that
     the minds of all the other Cabinets are either so tainted with
     false principles, or are so benumbed, that it is impossible to work
     upon them. It is manifest, from the most undoubted information,
     that the interior of France is in a state of the greatest disorder
     and confusion; that the successes of the armies are the only cause
     of this confusion not breaking out in the shape of a civil war; and
     that if we could at this moment obtain any one brilliant success,
     that the whole fabric would fall to pieces.

     It is said that H. P. M. will come here, and that when he does
     come, things will take another turn. I doubt one and the other. Any
     means will be employed at Berlin to keep him there, and if these
     should not succeed, any means will be employed here to persuade him
     to approve all that has been done, and to follow up the same line
     of conduct. I know from experience the weakness of his character,
     and the facility with which he gives way to the last advice. I know
     also by experience that his assurances cannot be depended on, and
     that his conduct does not always correspond with his promises. It
     is from your mission and from your Court that I expect any good. I
     am free to confess (still under the influence of that vile thing
     called experience) that my hopes are not very sanguine.

     Lord Howe is returned to Torbay. This is all I hear from England.
     Nobody writes to me, since everybody supposes me on the road. Mr.
     Braddye gave me your letter an hour ago, I will do all I can to
     make Frankfort pleasant to him, but this is almost as impossible as
     to make the Prussians act.

     I probably shall be here still a fortnight. I will write again

     Ever yours most truly and sincerely,

The curious revelations that are made in the next letter respecting
Ireland are of infinite value in enabling us to estimate correctly the
events that afterwards took place in that country under Lord
Fitzwilliam's government, and the circumstances which led to its abrupt
termination. Two important facts are authenticated in this
communication: the first, that Lord Fitzwilliam, before he assumed the
government, and even before his appointment to it was advanced so far as
the removal of his predecessor, had not only determined upon the
introduction of a new system, involving extensive changes of policy and
persons, but that he had made known his determination to the heads of
that party in Ireland who had obstructed Lord Buckingham on the Regency
question; and the second, that this determination was formed without any
previous concert with Mr. Pitt and the Cabinet, and to a great extent in
opposition to their known and avowed principles.


     (Private.) Dover Street, Oct. 15th, 1794.

     I think it probable that you may receive with this letter, others
     mentioning to you the unhappy misunderstanding which has clouded
     all our prospects, and which seems to threaten the worst
     consequences to that system, from the permanence of which I had
     looked, as you did, for the safety of this country, under all the
     difficulties of our present situation. Everything has continued up
     to this hour to go on in the most satisfactory manner, with the
     single exception of this unfortunate subject of Ireland, which now
     is brought to that sort of point which must, as I fear, unavoidably
     produce the immediate dissolution of the union, which we were both
     so anxious to maintain and perpetuate.

     It would be difficult for me to give you an exact account how this
     mischief has originated, because I am of course ignorant of the
     manner in which the Duke of P. and Lord F. received the
     impressions, on which they appear to have acted. About the time I
     wrote my last letter to you, or rather earlier, reports came round
     to Pitt and myself that the party who had acted in opposition in
     Ireland, and particularly Ponsonby and Grattan, had held the
     strongest language respecting assurances received by them from the
     Duke of P. and Lord F., that the latter was immediately to be
     declared Lord-Lieutenant, that Mr. Pitt had given Ireland over
     entirely to them, and that a new system of measures and men was to
     be adopted. In these reports particular persons were mentioned as
     being to be dismissed, and amongst these the Chancellor. The only
     impression which these produced on my mind was, that Lord F. had
     talked too soon of his intended appointment, as it had been
     uniformly explained that he could not be named till some provision
     was found for Lord W., the fact being that when the latter went to
     Ireland he accepted that situation, on an express engagement that
     he should return to one not less advantageous than the Post-Office,
     which he then quitted. I imagined also that in his communications
     with persons, whose support to a new Government in Ireland we all
     wished to secure, he had been less guarded than he might have been,
     and had given in his conversation more way to ideas stated by them
     than it could be prudent to do. And in this impression I wrote to
     you, thinking all the rest to proceed only from the usual
     exaggeration of reports of this nature, particularly in Ireland;
     and feeling confident that before any measure was really determined
     upon, we should have an opportunity of discussing it fully, and of
     weighing the proposed advantages of it against the very great
     objections which naturally and at first sight occur.

     Soon after this we heard that Lord F. had actually taken such steps
     in Ireland as marked his persuasion of his being immediately to be
     appointed, and as gave on that account great offence to Lord W., to
     whom no communication of that nature had yet been made on our part,
     because we saw no such opening as it would have been necessary to
     hold out to him when such communication was made.

     While we were doubting what step it might be best to take on this
     subject, to avoid giving any ground of uneasiness or
     dissatisfaction, the Duke of P. wrote to Pitt to urge the immediate
     appointment of Lord F. as a thing already determined upon, and
     without taking any notice of the necessity of the previous
     arrangement for Lord W. This led to intercourse upon the subject,
     and it is only since that time that we have found ourselves
     apprized of all the difficulties of the subject, and of the extent
     of the misunderstanding which prevails respecting it.

     It appears that Lord F. has (on whatever grounds) announced to his
     friends in Ireland his immediate destination for that country, in
     such a manner as makes him now think that his appointment cannot
     even be postponed without discredit to himself, and that he cannot
     any longer continue in the King's service in any other situation
     than that of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.

     If this difficulty stood alone, it would be sufficiently great. The
     principle on which Pitt had always acted in forming this junction,
     and the justification which he has used to those of his friends who
     disapproved or doubted about the measure, was, that he sacrificed
     to it the situation of none of the former Government, or its
     supporters; but that he used such openings as presented themselves,
     and such as he could create without removals, for the purpose of
     bringing into the public service a large and respectable
     description of persons, actuated by the same view as himself of the
     present state and circumstances of the country. Yet it hardly seems
     possible that, without breaking in upon this principle, Lord F.
     could now be appointed. I am, however, persuaded that if this had
     been the only difficulty, some expedient would have been found to
     remove it, though it is not easy to say what that expedient could
     have been. But certainly for such an object as the maintenance of a
     system on which the fate of the country seems so much to rest,
     great sacrifices would and ought to have been made.

     But it now appears that the reports which had reached us were in a
     very great degree, if not indeed wholly, founded in the real truth
     of what had happened. There is, I fear, no reason to doubt that
     some of the very expressions I have mentioned have actually been
     used, and that Lord F. has pledged himself too far to recede, with
     respect to a total new system, both of men and measures. The first
     point of this system goes to no less than the dismission of the
     Chancellor, who was, as I understand, to be replaced by Adair. On
     this subject, Pitt and myself cannot but feel that the only ground
     on which the Ponsonbys can desire the Chancellor's removal, is the
     conduct he held during the Regency in support of Lord Buckingham's
     Government, and that our consent to such a step must therefore be
     utterly dishonourable and degrading to us. But independent of this
     consideration, it is my sincere opinion that there cannot be
     adopted any measure more certainly destructive of the peace and
     tranquillity of that country. The system of introducing English
     party into Ireland, the principle of connecting changes of
     Government here with the removal of persons high in office there,
     and particularly the marking that system in the instance of a
     person of Fitzgibbon's situation, weight, and character, are all so
     utterly irreconcilable with every view that I have of the state of
     that country, that I should really be inexcusable if I could make
     myself a party to such a measure; and in this opinion Pitt entirely

     On every principle, therefore, of duty and character, we are
     obliged to say that we cannot consent to this step, and we can only
     regret that, if it was originally intended, so capital a feature in
     the new arrangement was not brought forward earlier. The same
     observation applies to the whole idea of holding out a new system
     of men and measures in Ireland. If that was meant before the
     junction was made, it ought surely to have been stated then, in
     order that we might judge whether it did not oppose an
     insurmountable bar to the whole scheme. If it has only been
     conceived since that period, it ought certainly to have been
     communicated and concerted here, before any pledge or assurance was
     given to individuals who might be concerned in it there.

     When I say this, you must not suppose that there enters into our
     minds anything like warmth or resentment on the subject. The manner
     in which everything else has been conducted since we acted
     together, convinces me that the evil has arisen from precipitation
     and indiscretion, and not from any concerted plan of committing us,
     without our knowledge, to measures which we could not be supposed
     willing to adopt. And if it were still possible that the thing
     could be settled without discredit to either party, not only my
     sense of the public interest, but my personal feeling towards them,
     would make me think that no means ought to be left untried for that
     purpose. I am, however, obliged to confess to myself that I see no
     possibility of this. The publicity which has been given to the
     whole business seems to render it utterly impracticable. The
     assurances which have been given are well known, and the breach or
     performance of them must be discreditable to one of the _two_
     parties, for such, unfortunately, they now are again.

     I never can enough regret your absence from this country while this
     has been going on. I am sure if you had been here the whole thing
     would have been avoided. As it is, what determination you will take
     respecting your own line I know not, and I feel myself too deeply
     interested in it to think myself a fair or competent adviser.

     Nothing can be more unfortunate to the public interest than this
     incident; but the sense of it would certainly be very much
     aggravated to me if it were to lead, which I still hope it may not,
     to the placing us two again on different lines, and in opposite
     systems. Whatever you decide in that respect, I cannot help
     flattering myself that you will do justice to our conduct; and
     without calling upon you to condemn others, I cannot help
     entertaining the belief that you will think no part of this great
     misfortune imputable to us. With respect to my own personal
     opinions of the importance of forming and maintaining the union,
     you were, I am sure, enough a witness to them to make it very
     unnecessary for me, in writing to you, to dwell much on that point.

     I have written this to you, though the thing has not yet taken its
     final turn, because any delay might possibly prevent your receiving
     it before your arrival here, for which I now look with increased
     impatience and anxiety.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.

The weak point of the Government was its combination of opposite
parties; and the consideration which finally determined the course of
Ministers, was the necessity of preventing their differences from coming
to an open rupture--a result that would have jeopardized the very
existence of the Administration. With that paramount object in view,
Lord Grenville, writing again to his brother, analyses the difficulties
of the situation, and points out the only paths that could be opened to
an honourable and creditable accommodation.


     Dover Street, Oct. 24th, 1794.

     Since I wrote my last letter I have received yours, written the day
     of your leaving Vienna, and I calculate that this will probably
     find you at the Hague. Our situation, with respect to the point on
     which I wrote to you so much at large, has been a little, and but a
     little, improved by a conversation between the Duke of P. and Pitt.
     Nothing having since passed, we conclude that there is a desire to
     wait for the benefit of your opinion and Lord Spencer's upon this
     difficult and distressing subject--a desire in which I need not say
     we most heartily concur.

     As far as anything can be concluded from a conversation which did
     not lead to any decisive issue, I hope that we have been too easily
     alarmed by Irish reports on the subject of a _new system_, and
     that, probably in the imagination of those who have first given
     rise to those reports, some loose and general expressions have been
     construed into pointed and specific assurances. Be this however as
     it may, it is certain that infinite mischief has already been done
     by the prevalence of those reports, and both the settlement of the
     points in discussion here, and the subsequent task of the future
     Governor of Ireland, whoever he may be, have been rendered much
     more difficult than they would have been if more reserve and
     caution had been used. It is, however, useless to regret what is
     past, and all our endeavours ought to be applied to remedy the
     present evil. I most anxiously wait for the moment of talking over
     with you the means of doing this, which I am confident every one
     concerned joins in wishing, though all are obliged to confess the
     difficulty of it.

     Three points are to be considered--Has Lord F. still kept himself
     sufficiently open with respect to his engagements with Grattan and
     the Ponsonbys, as to be able to undertake the Irish Government with
     honour and satisfaction to himself, without displacing the old
     tenants of Government to make room for their opponents, and without
     giving to the Ponsonbys in particular more influence and power than
     belongs to their situation as one among several of the great
     connexions in that country? If not, there seems no hope of any
     permanent agreement on this subject, even if it were so patched up
     for the present as that he could go to Ireland. The next is whether
     it is possible for him to undertake the Government without
     insisting on the removal of Fitzgibbon? If this cannot be done, the
     thing must come to an immediate stop, as we are more and more
     convinced that we cannot in honour or duty accede to that measure.
     And lastly, supposing any or all of these considerations to oppose
     an insurmountable obstacle in the way of his going, ought that to
     prevent his continuing to hold his present situation? and can the
     Duke of P., Lord F., and _others_, be justified in bringing on the
     country the infinite mischiefs of the dissolution of the present
     united Government, on no stronger ground than because alterations,
     however desirable in their opinion, in the system of governing
     Ireland cannot be adopted.

     I have said nothing in all this of the question about Lord
     Westmoreland's removal. I should readily agree with what you say in
     your last letter on that subject, that he ought to wait for a
     provision, if I did not see that even this is rendered more
     difficult by the _éclat_ of what has happened. Still I should think
     he ought to forego his claim; but if he thinks otherwise, he has a
     positive promise, which of course cannot be broken. But I always
     feel a confidence that this point would in some manner be arranged,
     because I am sure that we should all be willing to make almost any
     sacrifice rather than let it be said by the enemy, that after
     having professed to unite on public principle, we had separated on
     a mere squabble about the distribution of places.

     The other points are those from which I fear the most. It is,
     however, a satisfaction to me to think that I see on both sides (I
     know it exists on one) a very sincere and earnest desire to prevent
     the fatal consequences which a division amongst us, at such a
     moment as the present, must infallibly produce. And I can truly add
     that, on our part, this desire is increased by the manner in which
     everything else had gone on before this unhappy subject was

     You are coming from a bad scene and to a bad scene; but we must
     hope the best, both at home and abroad, and at least we ought all
     to be quite sure that we can tell ourselves we have each done our
     best to prevent the misfortunes which seem to hang over us.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.


     Dover Street, Oct. 30th, 1794.

     I received your letter the day before yesterday at Dropmore. Mr.
     Pitt, who had left me that morning, had shown me your letter to
     him, with respect to which I say nothing, as I understood he meant
     to write to you upon the subject. The whole business to which it
     relates is in a situation, the final issue of which is extremely
     doubtful. With my impression of the advantage, and even necessity,
     of uniting at this time in the public service the great bulk of the
     landed property of the country, and doing away all distinctions of
     party between those who wish the maintenance of order and
     tranquillity here, I shall very deeply regret, as a great public
     misfortune, any event that leads to the dissolution of a system so
     lately formed. But, on the other hand, I have certainly no
     intention of making myself a party to any system of government in
     Ireland that is incompatible with my views of the interest of this
     country there. And in any case, I certainly neither have, nor can
     take, as far as relates to myself, any step upon the subject which
     has its origin in any other motive than a sense of public duty
     under circumstances of much difficulty.

     I considered the subject of my brother's acceptance of the
     situation offered to him in Ireland as being, as in fact he appears
     to have stated it to you, very undecided, even if any arrangement
     were made for Lord Fitzwilliam's going there. I could have no
     motive to keep it back from you, but felt it due to him to leave it
     to him to do what I was sure he would be anxious to do. The whole
     subject appears now in some degree suspended till his arrival. When
     I see him I should of course state to him, as far as I am able to
     do it, your ideas respecting it.

     I am still of opinion that it will turn out that the alarm created
     in Ireland, and the impression given here has originated in very
     loose reports, magnified, as usual, by persons repeating them
     according to their interest and wishes; but I state this as matter
     of opinion only.

     I expect my brother here every day. They left Vienna in the
     beginning of this month, without having concluded any treaty,
     though they seem to have established a juster sense of the present
     crisis than prevailed before.

     Our Prussian ally has had his payments stopped, and is withdrawing
     his troops. In the meantime, the Empress of Russia has done his
     business, or rather her own, in Poland, the Polish army being
     completely defeated, and Kosciusko, who was the soul of the
     enterprise, taken prisoner.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.

     Believe me ever most affectionately yours,

The conduct of Lord Fitzwilliam had been reprehensible from the
beginning. The suggestion of the Lord-Lieutenancy had scarcely taken a
definite shape, when he opened a communication, as appeared afterwards,
with the heads of the Irish party, and announced the system on which he
intended to govern the country. In any case, such a proceeding would
have been inexpedient and indefensible, its inevitable effect being to
commit the policy of the Administration beforehand, to deprive it at
once of all dignity and independence, and to revive those heart-burnings
and dissensions which had already so nearly endangered the connection of
the two kingdoms.

But, composed as the Cabinet was of men who were known to entertain
different opinions in reference to Ireland, the premature and
unwarrantable publicity given by Lord Fitzwilliam to his own views was
calculated to precipitate still more injurious results. So far back as
the 23rd of August, he had written to Mr. Grattan, who was then
personally unknown to him, apprising him of his approaching appointment;
and, in plain terms, calling in that gentleman and his party to his
future councils. From the very first paragraph of his letter, it is
evident that at the time when this ill-judged communication was made,
the arrangements respecting the Lord-Lieutenancy had not advanced
sufficiently far to justify him in taking any ostensible step whatever
in reference to Ireland. His own language was abundantly explicit on
this point: "Though I have not as yet the honour of an appointment to
succeed Lord Westmoreland, there certainly is great probability of that
event taking place very soon." Yet in this early stage of the
ministerial negotiations, he did not hesitate to inform Mr. Grattan that
he intended to look to "the system of the Duke of Portland, as the
model," by which he should regulate his conduct; and that, in order to
enable him to render that system effective, it was necessary he should
be supported by Mr. Grattan and his friends. "It is, Sir, to you," he
observes, "and your friends, the Ponsonbys, that I look for assistance
in bringing it to bear," adding, "it is that assistance which I am
therefore now soliciting." The letter concludes by inviting Mr. Grattan
to form an "intimate, direct, and avowed connection" with the Castle,
which he had never hitherto "approached in confidence and avowed
friendship;" and in the postscript he gives Mr. Grattan this significant
caution: "It may seem a little inconsistent, and that this letter is
written rather prematurely, when I beg not to be quoted as having
announced myself in the character of a Lord-Lieutenant elect; my
nomination not having yet been mentioned to the King, on account of his
absence at Weymouth."[C]

This indiscreet and unjustifiable line of proceeding placed the
Ministry in a dilemma, from which the escape, either way, was surrounded
by dangers. They selected that alternative which appeared, under all
circumstances, to be the least hazardous; and on the 10th of December,
Lord Fitzwilliam attended the levée to kiss hands on his appointment.

Mr. Thomas Grenville, however, declined the office of Secretary, which
was conferred on Lord Milton.

[Footnote C: This letter is published in full in the Life of Mr.



The line of policy Lord Fitzwilliam intended to adopt was intimated at
the opening of the Parliament in January. Mr. Grattan moved the Address
in answer to the Speech; a little later Mr. Conolly withdrew his
opposition to the prorogation in deference to the wishes of Government;
and the old supporters of the Administration were displaced by the
Ponsonbys and their connections. Remembering how all these men had acted
in the Regency business, the obstructions they had thrown in the way of
the public service, and the vindictive opposition they had given to his
measures, Lord Buckingham was deeply wounded by the apparent sanction
extended to this complete change of system, which he regarded as a
disavowal of the course he had pursued in Ireland, and, in some sort, as
a personal indignity. In his communications with Lord Grenville he
stated his feelings on this subject without reserve. He considered that
in assenting to the appointment of Lord Fitzwilliam, after the damaging
disclosures that had taken place, the Cabinet had abandoned him to the
obloquy of that party against whose inveterate hostility he had
successfully preserved the executive union of the two kingdoms; and this
consideration was embittered by the reflection that Lord Grenville, from
his position in the Ministry, had contributed influentially to place him
in that humiliating light before the public. Lord Buckingham, with his
acute sense of what was due to his own honour, looked at the question
from that point alone; but Lord Grenville, in the discharge of his
responsibilities as a Cabinet Minister, was compelled to take a more
comprehensive view of it. Whether he decided rightly or wrongly, there
can be no doubt that he decided conscientiously, and that it was
impossible he could resolve upon any conclusion likely to be painful to
Lord Buckingham which his affection for him would not render equally
painful to himself. But he felt at the same time that his duty demanded
at his hands the sacrifice of his private feelings, and that this was a
case in which any hesitation upon such grounds would be attended by the
gravest consequences to the Administration. It may be seen, also, from
the following letter, that he did not put the same construction upon
these transactions as that which was so sensitively urged by Lord
Buckingham. His more practical mind discerned in the irresistible
necessity of the position a sufficient answer to all individual
scruples; and maintaining, as he had stated in a former letter, that the
security and repose of Ireland depended, not upon this or that set of
men, which his observation of the character of the people and their
politics had led him to regard with comparative indifference, but upon
the soundness of the measures applied to her condition, he could not
admit that the decision which had been come to with respect to Lord
Fitzwilliam implied, even remotely, a disavowal of the line of conduct
Lord Buckingham had so successfully pursued under totally different


     Dover Street, Jan. 5th, 1795.

     As I keep no copies of my letters to you, and have neither time
     enough, nor a mind sufficiently disengaged, to measure my
     expressions, nor have ever accustomed myself to do so in writing to
     you, all I can say on the subject of my last letter is, that if it
     conveyed to you any impression different from that of the sincere
     friendship and affection which dictated it, it very ill expressed
     my feelings.

     With respect to the rest, I can only say that, to the best of my
     understanding, I have neither disavowed nor abandoned you, but
     given a _very strong_ proof of my determination to do neither; that
     I cannot believe that any such impression exists anywhere; that not
     knowing the proofs of its existence, to which you refer, I can only
     guess at them, and I therefore forbear to make upon them the
     remarks to which, if my conjecture is right, they are so obviously
     liable. But that I am at a loss even to guess at the meaning of
     that part of your letter, which speaks of proofs laying before you
     of some compact made on this subject above twelve months since, not
     having, in my own mind, the smallest idea of the fact to which this
     can refer.

     Having never had any intention to disavow you, or to consent to any
     system or measure to which I thought you could wish to object, it
     was impossible for me to make to you any previous communication of
     such intention.

     The detail of all that passed respecting Lord Fitzwilliam's
     appointment would be too long to go into now; and I have reason to
     believe that you are not unacquainted with many of the
     circumstances which would prove how very little idea there was of
     concealment or mystery on my part respecting that subject. From the
     first moment that you stated to me that you considered the idea of
     giving to the Ponsonbys a share of office in Ireland as a measure
     injurious to you, I explained to you my reasons for viewing it in a
     different light. But I anxiously reconsidered the object in my own
     mind, and I then acted, as I was bound to do, on my deliberate and
     fixed opinion respecting a point which, in either view of it, was
     of much too great public importance to make it possible for me to
     decide it merely on the desire I must ever feel to consult your
     wishes in preference to my own. Which of us is right in our view of
     this question, it is not for me to say. The motives and grounds of
     my opinion remain the same; and I see with regret that they do not
     make on your mind the impression they have made on mine.

     It would be a painful and invidious task to discuss the question
     further; but I cannot receive from you a letter in which you tell
     me that you feel you have lost my affection, without repeating to
     you the assurance, which I still hope is not indifferent to you,
     that this is not, in the smallest degree, the case. I have intended
     to do nothing towards you but what should be the _most_ kind and
     affectionate. I think I have so acted; but I am sure that I have so
     meant to act. If any contrary impression produces in your mind any
     feelings different from those which have made so great a part of my
     happiness throughout life, I shall deeply regret what seems to be
     annexed as a curse inseparable from the pursuit of a public life;
     but I will once more beg you to be assured that neither those
     feelings on your part, nor anything which they can produce, will
     vary my sincere and heartfelt affection towards you, and that
     whether my judgment has been right, as I still think it has, or
     wrong, as you think it, my heart is, and shall be, uniformly and
     invariably the same towards you.

     It is with these sentiments that I shall ever be, my dearest

     Most sincerely and affectionately yours,

Lord Fitzwilliam had scarcely arrived in Ireland when he collected about
him the party with whom he had been in previous communication, and
commenced his new system by a series of dismissals of the former
supporters of Mr. Pitt's Government. Announcing his conviction that the
immediate concession of the Catholic claims was indispensable to the
tranquillity and security of the country, he followed up his objects
with a vigour and expedition that created considerable alarm in England.
The Attorney-General was to be displaced, to make way for Mr. George
Ponsonby; the Solicitor-General was also to be removed, and Mr.
Beresford, who was Purse-bearer to the Chancellor, and Mr. Cooke,
Secretary at War, were to be dismissed. The dismissal of Mr. Beresford
was regarded as a measure of such extreme violence that it brought
matters to an issue between Lord Fitzwilliam and the Cabinet. Some
letters at this time from Mr. Cooke to Lord Buckingham present a
striking _coup d'oeil_ of these affairs, as they appeared to one who was
deeply interested in their progress. Lord Fitzwilliam, it should be
observed, arrived in Ireland on the 5th of January, and the rapidity of
his official movements may be inferred from the date of the first of the
following letters, which was written only ten days afterwards.


     Dublin Castle, Jan. 15th, 1795.

     As it was through your Lordship's kind and affectionate partiality
     that I was placed in the War Office, I think it my duty to give you
     the earliest information of my removal.

     Since Lord Fitzwilliam's arrival, I have merely seen his Excellency
     at levée. With his chief secretary, Lord Milton, I have daily
     transacted official business, without a syllable passing of a
     nature in any degree confidential. The removal of Mr. Beresford, of
     the Attorney and Solicitor-General, had created alarms; but there
     were assurances from an English quarter that Mr. Hamilton and I
     were not to be meddled with.

     The reverse has taken place. About four o'clock to-day, Lord Milton
     conveyed to Mr. Hamilton his Excellency's pleasure that he should
     retire from office, with a desire that Mr. Hamilton should state
     his situation after removal, as it was his Excellency's intention
     to make him a provision.

     About half an hour after, Lord Milton sent for me, and delivered a
     similar message; stating, upon conversation, that his Excellency
     did not in any degree mean to reflect upon my conduct, but that my
     retirement was necessary for his arrangements, and that he was
     disposed to make me a fair provision; at the same time, upon
     conversation, his Lordship intimated that it was possible his
     Excellency might differ as to the provision which I might expect
     and he might think reasonable.

     I have thought it my duty to submit these particulars to your
     Lordship. From your Lordship I received my office; the Government
     with which you have been connected I have supported to my utmost;
     and I have the happiness to feel assured that I shall ever retain
     your Lordship's kindness and regards till I cease to deserve it.

     Believe me, my dear Lord, with the utmost respect,
     Ever your most devoted and humble servant,
     E. COOKE.

     The Most Noble the Marquis of Buckingham, &c. &c.


     (Most Private.)       Dublin, Sackville Street, Feb. 7th, 1795.
     MY LORD,

     I am to thank your Lordship for your most friendly and flattering
     letter; and as you seem curious to know the feelings of myself and
     colleagues on our removals, as well as the nature of our
     compensations, I will endeavour to detail them as well as I can.

     With respect to Mr. Wolf, the first act was to claim the reversion
     recommended for him by Lord Westmoreland, and promised above a year
     ago by Mr. Pitt, and which the King had actually signed, as a
     measure for negotiation. Wolf _in vain_ argued that the reversion
     was not a subject for negotiation. They offered him a Peerage for
     his wife, and a Chief Judge's place. Wolf, in addition, asked
     precedency at the Bar. After some days, the precedency was refused,
     and the promise of a Chief Judge's place was retracted. Wolf
     insisted on the promise. He was threatened that if he insisted, he
     should be superseded. He did insist, and the promise was at length
     renewed, in case a vacancy should happen.

     Mr. Wolf gains nothing but the Peerage for his wife, for the
     reversion was actually his own, and had been signed by the King;
     the promise of a Chief Justiceship is very precarious, and he is
     degraded in his profession.

     Mr. Toler, having in his pocket the promise of succeeding to the
     Attorney-Generalship, is to be superseded for Mr. Curran. He has
     asked for a Peerage to his wife, and for the succession to Lord
     Carleton. Upon his first demand, nothing has been said to him; upon
     his second, it has been intimated that he may _look_ for any seat
     on the Bench short of Chief Justiceship. Your Lordship must guess
     that Mr. Toler feels himself _gratified_, especially when he
     recollects that, after having boldly and manfully, at the risk of
     his person, set himself against all the seditious and levellers in
     and out of the House, he is sacrificed to make way for Mr. Curran,
     who has been the most seditious incendiary in Ireland ever since he
     became a public character.

     Mr. Beresford your Lordship may have probably seen. He, it seems,
     was dismissed because he was king of Ireland, as Bowes Daly
     authoritatively informed him in his Excellency's name. The object
     with respect to him was to publicly degrade him, give him a
     provision during pleasure, then attack him, and have a pretext to
     ruin him, if he should defend himself with spirit. He has been
     acquainted that, in pursuance of a resolution of the House of
     Commons, he is to have his salary of £2000 a-year on Excise
     Incidents--not for his services, but his long and laborious
     _attendance_. The attempt has been to stigmatize him, to degrade
     him, and to make him dependent. I hope the last will not be the
     case--the two former cannot.

     Mr. Hamilton had merely fifty years of the most laborious and
     faithful service to plead, under all Administrations, whether
     adverse to each other or combined. He loses £1200 a-year by
     removal; he loses the comforts of settlement, he loses the prospect
     of providing for his sons; he is, however, informed that something
     will be done for one of them!

     I am equally removed from a station of much advantage and
     opportunity. If I do not resort to my bargain with Thornton, I lose
     £1800 a-year; if I do, I lose £1300 a-year. I am told that I am not
     to expect compensation for my losses, but that his Excellency, on
     review of my situation, will make compensation for my services.
     As, however, Lord Milton was pleased to state to me that his
     Excellency did not mean to cast in any degree any imputation on my
     conduct, and that he removed me merely on the principle of
     _accommodation_, and to make room for arrangements which he thought
     necessary for his Government, I thought it my duty to claim
     compensation, not for my services, but for my losses, and to throw
     myself upon his Excellency's justice and honour.

     I have heard that my having ventured not to appear satisfied in my
     dismissal, has given offence; and it has been intimated, though not
     from authority, that there is not an intention to compensate me at
     all, but merely to indemnify Thornton for what, by agreement, he is
     in honour obliged to pay me.

     When Lord Fitzwilliam seized upon the Provostship and the
     Secretaryship of State, the patronage of which absolutely belonged
     to Lord Westmoreland, his Lordship was obliged to forced measures,
     in order to extricate himself from specific promises; he therefore,
     on this principle, included Lord Glentworth in Sir L. O'Brien's
     patent of Clerk of the Hanaper. Sir L. lately died. Lord Glentworth
     felt the luckiest of men; in a few days, Lord Fitzwilliam sent for
     him, and acquainted him that he could not suffer him to remain in
     that office; that, however, he had a high respect for him; that he
     had been particularly recommended to him by Mr. Pitt, and that he
     should hope to do something for him. The Duke of Leinster, being
     very hungry, has swallowed the office.

     With regard to coalition here, or the slightest appearances of it,
     there are none. Parnell is the only old servant of the Crown who is
     at all consulted, and he only so far as concerns his situation. The
     whole is very strange. The Ponsonbys are all-powerful, and appear
     to direct everything. I know not at all what measures are intended,
     or whether an opposition will start up; but the giving up all the
     powers of the State to one family does not please.

     The idea of removing all the remaining restraints from the
     Catholics is not relished; the worst is, that an appeal has been
     made to the Catholic democracy, and I know they are not to be
     depended upon; they look to the abolition of tythes and a reform of
     Parliament on numerical principles. Ever since the first movements
     of the Roman Catholic Committee, the lower classes have been in a
     state of fermentation, and they continue their disorders and

     I write this _confidentially_, and beg your Lordship to accept my
     best acknowledgments for your kind sentiments.

     Ever most respectfully, your Lordship's most faithful and obedient

     E. COOKE.

The result of Lord Fitzwilliam's vigorous attempts to force upon the
Cabinet a line of policy which reason and justice alike rejected, is
well known. A Cabinet Council was called on the 19th of March, for the
purpose of taking the whole subject into consideration, when it was
unanimously resolved to recal Lord Fitzwilliam "as a measure necessary
for the preservation of the empire." The most remarkable incident
connected with this proceeding was the fact that the Duke of Portland,
upon whose "system" Lord Fitzwilliam had based his operations, and who
was supposed, all throughout, to have supported him in them, was present
at this meeting of the Cabinet, and concurred in its decision.

But Lord Fitzwilliam had not done with Ireland yet. On his return to
England, he brought the subject before the House of Lords and demanded
an inquiry, which was refused. On this occasion some letters which had
been addressed by him to Lord Carlisle were published, and in one of
them "imputed malversations" were attributed to Mr. Beresford. In
consequence of this statement, Mr. Beresford addressed the following
letter to his Lordship:


     No. 11, Beaumont Street, June 22nd, 1795.
     MY LORD,

     Your Lordship must have seen two letters to the Earl of Carlisle,
     which have been published in your name, and in general circulation.
     I have for a long time hoped, that they would be disavowed or
     explained by your Lordship; I was unwilling to suppose that such a
     publication had ever been sanctioned by you; I could not bring
     myself to believe, that your Lordship, possessing the feelings of a
     man, and the honour of a gentleman, could avail yourself of the
     power and the trust which had been committed to you by His Majesty,
     wantonly to traduce a private character, by insinuations expressed
     in terms so vague and unqualified, as to make it impossible
     publicly to refute them. From the rank which you hold in society, I
     must presume, if you thought it your duty to impeach my conduct as
     a servant of the Crown, you would have adopted the fair and manly
     course of advancing direct and specific charges against me, which
     must have led to my conviction, if they had been founded. Direct
     and specific charges I could fairly have met and refuted; but
     crooked and undefined insinuations against private character,
     through the pretext of official discussion, your Lordship must
     allow are the weapons of a libeller.

     The publication in question, states that you recommended my removal
     from office, "because I was a person under universal heavy
     suspicions, subject to the opprobrium and unpopularity attendant on
     maladministration and much imputed malversation." The aspersions
     contained in this paragraph, are so utterly ungrounded, so
     unprovoked, unmanly, illiberal, and false, that I could not believe
     your Lordship could have meant to apply them to a gentleman, by
     birth your equal, and I will tell you, of reputation as unsullied
     as your own at any period of your life; there is no charge, however
     monstrous, of which the idea is not here conveyed; and yet there is
     none to which the paragraph points directly, so as to afford an
     opportunity for vindication.

     Your Lordship will, I trust, feel the justness of the warmth with
     which I express myself on those aspersions of my character; and
     that when I give the lie to such aspersions, I give it upon
     reasonings as essential to your honour, as they are to mine; and if
     anything were wanting to induce me to believe that your Lordship
     will concur with me in this opinion, I should be satisfied of it,
     from the communications which were made to me by persons authorized
     to convey your Lordship's sentiments upon my projected removal from
     the Board of Revenue, and from the official communication made to
     me by Lord Milton on the same subject.

     Considerations of domestic calamity might sufficiently explain the
     silence I have hitherto observed; but in other respects I should
     have been unwilling perhaps to have addressed you sooner. I would
     not appear to avoid any inquiry into my conduct, which insinuations
     originating from such high authority might be expected to provoke;
     it became me, therefore, to await with patience the result of the
     discussions respecting Irish affairs which were taking place in
     both Parliaments, and even until the close of the session had shown
     that it was not your Lordship's intention, nor that of either
     House, to take any further step in the business. I cannot now
     repent of my own forbearance, as it served, at least, to bring
     forward testimonies most highly honourable to me, from many
     individuals of the first weight and character in the age in which
     we live; these testimonies having been so repeatedly and so
     publicly urged in your Lordship's presence, and without
     contradiction on your part, cannot but have convinced you, that you
     had formed a wrong judgment respecting me, or that you had been
     deceived by others; in either case, I am entitled to hope and to
     presume that you will render to me, and to my character, that
     justice which one man of honour has a right to expect from another.

     I have the honour to be,
     Your most obedient and humble servant,

     Earl Fitzwilliam.

To this letter Lord Fitzwilliam transmitted the following reply:


     Milton, June 23rd, 1795.

     I had the honour of receiving your letter of the 22nd this morning.
     The letters you allude to, were written by me to Lord Carlisle; and
     those printed, though not printed by my direction, at my desire, or
     with my privity, I believe to be substantially copies of the
     letters I sent to Lord Carlisle; and certainly are so with respect
     to the quotation in your letter to me, which, therefore, I cannot
     permit any person whatever to charge with falsity.

     It is difficult for me to leave this place abruptly (domestic
     considerations require a little management); but I will be in
     London in the course of a few days, where I trust I may rely upon
     your remaining for the present.

     I have the honour to be, Sir,
     Your most obedient and very humble servant,

     Rt. Hon. John Beresford.

In consequence of this letter Mr. Beresford sent his friend Mr.
Montgomery to Lord Fitzwilliam, who refused to enter into any
explanation. The usual arrangements were then made for a hostile
meeting, Lord Townshend acting as the second of Mr. Beresford, and Lord
Moira attending Lord Fitzwilliam. When the parties met upon the ground,
however, at Kensington, the duel was prevented by the interference of a
peace officer.

The correspondence of Lord Grenville with Lord Buckingham appears to
have been suspended during the greater part of the year, but it was
resumed towards its close. By this time the allies were gradually
retrieving their losses.


     Pall Mall, Nov. 12th, 1795.

     You will receive by this post the "Gazette," with the account of
     the late successes of the Austrians. These accounts came in
     yesterday at so many detached periods, and that circumstance, with
     others, occupied every moment so completely, as to make it really
     impossible for me to send you any detail of them by the post. I
     enclose for your better understanding the "Gazette," a Prussian map
     of the siege of Mentz, when the French occupied it. The position of
     the French in this business has been very nearly the same with that
     of the allies, as marked in this plan.

     Craufurd's account of the successes is certainly understated, but
     particularly in what relates to the loss of the French; because,
     besides the killed and wounded--the number of which all the private
     accounts state to have been exceedingly great (as it must be in
     that precipitate retreat)--the enemy have lost very great numbers
     by desertion.

     No doubt is entertained of our having Manheim very soon. I am not
     sanguine enough to hope that Pichegru will stay to be surrounded by
     Clerfage, who is marching up the left bank of the Rhine, or that he
     will suffer the latter to force him to a battle, which he may so
     easily avoid by retreating towards his own frontier, now covered by
     Landau, Luxembourg and Tours, &c., &c. The disappointment of the
     French projects, and the destruction of so great a part of the army
     which had been employed in them, are therefore, I fear, the chief
     advantages we shall reap from these successes, except in what
     relates to the impression produced here and on the continent, the
     effect of which is almost beyond calculation.

     Our Bills are going triumphantly through the two Houses. The
     general impression of the House of Commons was, I understand, as
     favourable as it could possibly be, and you need not be told what
     the feelings of the House of Lords are on this subject. We shall
     not have Pitt's Bill up till after the call. If you should not then
     be in town, I should much wish you to send your proxy; and if you
     have no objection to do so, and had rather put it in my hands than
     any other, I will disengage myself in the interim from one of those
     I now hold.

     What have you done about our meeting? Shall I attend it or not? Let
     me know which you wish, and I will do accordingly.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     I should be much obliged to you to return my map when you have done
     with it, as I keep all these _historical_ maps that fall in my way.



The motion for negotiations with France had been again brought forward
towards the close of the last session of Parliament, and was again
negatived. Mr. Pitt still insisted upon the impossibility of France
being enabled to prosecute the war, with her finances in a state of
ruin, and seven hundred and twenty millions of assignats in circulation.
Great changes had undoubtedly taken place. The National Assembly had
been dissolved, and a regular form of Government established in its
place; and although at that time Mr. Pitt rejected the idea of proposing
any terms of peace to the Republic, he admitted without hesitation that
if the new Government were put into activity with the acquiescence of
the nation, so as that the voice of the people could be heard through
their representatives, all obstacles and objections to negotiation would
be removed. Thus the question stood at the close of the year 1795.

The subject was renewed at the opening of the session in 1796, with the
same result. Mr. Pitt resolved it at once into a question of confidence
in Ministers. If the House thought that confidence could not be safely
vested in them, the proper course was to address His Majesty to remove
them. He still maintained that the French had exhausted their means of
carrying on the war; and that, with respect to negotiations for peace,
the point to be considered was the probability of obtaining just and
honourable terms, which, it was evident from their public declarations,
the French were not disposed to admit. The confidence of Parliament in
the wisdom and discretion of Ministers was unequivocally testified in
the large majority by which the motion was rejected.

Failing to attain their object in this direct form, the Opposition
resorted to other means of harassing the Administration. In a motion on
the state of the nation, Mr. Grey entered into an examination of the
financial condition of the country, exposing the enormous expenditure
and heavy taxation entailed by the war, at a time when a more discreet
patriotism would have avoided such details. He showed that during the
three preceding years seventy-seven millions had been added to the
funded debt, and that, in addition to the parliamentary grants, upwards
of thirty-one millions had been expended without the consent of
Parliament. Notwithstanding these disclosures, however, Mr. Pitt
proposed a second loan of seven millions and a half for the prosecution
of the war, which the House immediately acceded to.

In both Houses, the efforts of the Opposition to overthrow the
Administration were followed up with indefatigable activity in the shape
of condemnatory resolutions and motions of addresses to the Throne; and
in all instances they were defeated by overwhelming majorities. The
session terminated in the middle of May, when Parliament was dissolved
by proclamation, His Majesty thanking both Houses emphatically for the
uniform wisdom, temper, and firmness by which their proceedings had been

The destitute condition of the French emigrants who sought an asylum in
England on the breaking out of the Revolution, and whose numbers were
continually increasing, excited universal commiseration. The attention
of Government was earnestly directed to the means of providing for them,
and measures were adopted for giving the utmost efficacy to the public
sympathy. Amongst the persons who interested themselves actively on
their behalf were the Marquis of Buckingham and Mr. Burke. The object to
which they mainly addressed their exertions was the education of
emigrant children whose fathers had perished in the convulsions of their
country, or who were unable to obtain instruction for them. The forlorn
situation of these friendless children, in a country with whose language
they were unacquainted, had attracted the notice of Mr. Burke, with whom
the project originated, and who applied to Government in the first
instance for assistance to enable him to carry out his charitable
design. The appeal was liberally responded to. A house was taken and
fitted up for the purpose in Buckinghamshire, at Penn, near
Beaconsfield, the residence of Mr. Burke; and, by an order of the
Treasury, the Duke of Portland, the Lord Chancellor, the Marquis of
Buckingham, Mr. Burke, and others were appointed trustees for the
management of the school, which had been established in the first
instance by Mr. Burke at his own expense. The following interesting
letter from Mr. Burke contains some particulars concerning this
institution, which had just been opened. The "clean and not unpleasing"
costume spoken of by the writer consisted of a blue uniform which he had
assigned to the boys, with a white cockade bearing the inscription of
"Vive le Roi." Those boys who had lost their fathers were distinguished
by a bloody label, and the loss of uncles was marked in a similar manner
by a black one. At this time Mr. Burke had the sole management of the
school, and watched over its progress with unabated solicitude to the
end of his life. The Commission nominated by the Government had not, it
appears, been communicated to him, and he justly complains to his
correspondent of the embarrassing position in which the oversight, or
neglect, had placed him. The Marquis of Buckingham took a warm interest
in the education and welfare of the boys, and, as a means of fostering a
martial and loyal spirit amongst them, made them a present of a pair of
colours and a brass cannon, which were exhibited with great pride and
exultation on all public occasions.


     May 24th, 1796.

     Having received no answer to my last letter, I persuade myself
     there was nothing in it to displease you; otherwise your general
     politeness and your kind partiality to me would have led you to
     give me such instructions as might prevent me from falling into
     errors in the delicate business in which, under your countenance
     and with your approbation, I have engaged myself.

     We look forward with a pleasure, mixed with some degree of
     impatience, to the visit which your Lordship and Lady Buckingham
     have flattered us with the hope of, though I am afraid the heat of
     the general election will be over before we can enjoy that

     I think, however unfortunate I may find myself in all my attempts
     to please the Bishop of Leon, that your Lordship and Lady
     Buckingham will feel the same pleasing and affecting interest in
     what is done here, that all have been touched with who see what is
     going on. You will be pleased with the celerity, if not with the
     perfection, of our work. Five-and-forty beds are ready; the rest
     will be so in a very few days. An old bad stable is converted into
     an excellent school-room. The chapel is decent, in place and in
     furniture. The eating-room is reasonably good. Twenty-five boys are
     received, clad in a cleanly and not unpleasing manner, and they are
     fed in an orderly way, with a wholesome and abundant diet. The
     masters are pleased with their pupils; the pupils are pleased with
     their preceptors; and I am sure I have reason to be pleased with
     them all. I see them almost every day, and at almost all hours; as
     well at their play as at their studies and exercise. I have never
     seen finer boys, or more fit for the plan of education I mean to
     follow for them, as long as it pleases the Government to continue
     that charge in my hands. I am responsible, that if they are left to
     me for six months, a set of finer lads, for their age and standing,
     will not be seen in Europe.

     The only unfortunate part of the business is, that some of them
     speak not a word of English, and they who are the most forward in
     it are very imperfect. There is but one of the masters who can be
     said to know anything of it, and he is far indeed from the ability
     to teach it. There must be a person who, besides going with them
     through all their Latin readings and construing them into English,
     will daily converse with them, and ground them in the principles
     and the utterance of that tongue which belongs to the nation which
     alone promises them an asylum upon earth. For many reasons, I
     should prefer a clergyman of their own persuasion, and of our
     country. But though I have always known that their number was
     small, I did not conceive it to be so inconsiderable as I now find
     it. But some English subject must be found to be about these boys
     at all hours. It would be a terrible thing to condemn these poor
     creatures to an universal exile, and to be perpetual vagrants,
     without a possibility of being in a state of effectual
     communication with the natives of any country or incorporating
     themselves with any people. God forbid that, under the pretext of a
     benefit, I should be the cause of their utter ruin.

     The Bishop of Leon has written me a letter which, in my present
     state of health (by no means the best), gives me a good deal of
     uneasiness. Hitherto, I have received the boys without any inquiry,
     as they were successively sent to me by the worthy prelate;
     considering them as the objects of his selection amongst the
     candidates for this situation. To my astonishment, in a letter
     which I received from him last Saturday he tells me that all the
     vacancies are filled: but that he has had nothing in the world to
     do with the matter, and that he is no more than a simple clerk.
     Your Lordship will see by the letters that I have the honour to
     enclose for your perusal, that after filling up all the places, the
     pleasure of rejecting the rest of the candidates is reserved for
     me. He has contrived matters so, that others have all the grace of
     obliging, and all the pleasure of being useful; and that all which
     is harsh and odious is thrown upon me, as a reward for all the
     trouble and expense I have been at in this business. On this I
     shall make no further remark.

     By the letters, your Lordship will see that the Bishop of Leon
     tells the applicants, that the selection is to be made by certain
     Lords Commissioners. I never have been apprised by the Bishop of
     the existence of any Commission, or of any Commissioners for the
     purpose of a choice. If such a thing at all exists, I should have
     flattered myself that I should have been apprised of it; of their
     rules, of its proceedings, and of the times of its sitting. I
     believe I am the very first person who, having had the honour of
     proposing a plan to Government, and being permitted to have the
     management of it, have been kept wholly out of the secret of the
     appointment of its objects. The name of every boy sent to me was
     unknown to me to the moment of his arrival; the names of those who
     are to come are equally unknown. Not one circumstance relative to
     any of them is come to my knowledge. The poorest country
     schoolmaster would have been favoured with some better account of
     his pupils.

     I must beg leave to remark to your Lordship, that the account given
     by the Bishop of Leon to the applicants is wholly different from
     that which he gives to me. In his two last letters to me (one, and
     the most explicit, of which I received just now) he tells me that
     the selection and nomination is not in any Commissioners, but
     solely in your Lordship, and that he is no more than a clerk. If I
     had not received it from so good an authority, I could hardly have
     believed that your Lordship, upon a mere abstract of petitions,
     without further examination, or any consultation, even with the
     Bishop of Leon, should have decided upon sixty out of perhaps
     fourscore applications. But, as I am sure you always act with
     equity and discretion, I am perfectly satisfied in your having
     assumed this very delicate and critical of all trusts. I only wish
     that I had been apprised of your Lordship's having taken on you
     that office, as, though I should not have ventured to recommend a
     single person, I really think I might, with all humility, have made
     some useful suggestions, which your desire of all matters being
     before you, that might guide you to a sure decision, would make you
     willing to receive, even from a person so very inconsiderable as I
     am in every point of view.

     I am sure your Lordship wishes that, in the very reprehensible
     situation in which I stand, I may be able to give some sort of
     account of my trust; and when I have engaged with Government for
     the education of sixty boys, I ought to know at whose hands, on
     what authority, and on whose recommendation I receive them.
     Certainly they are not recommended or chosen by me; and when I go
     to the Treasury, and tell the Minister who issues the money to me
     (whenever it shall be issued) that I have employed it in the
     maintenance and the education of those whom I do not myself know,
     nor can tell in any regular and authorised manner from whom I
     received them, I should make a very despicable, not to say a
     criminal figure. I cannot take your Lordship's pleasure from the
     Bishop of Leon; though he tells me he is (not your Lordship's
     friend and adviser) but your clerk, as you have never informed me
     of this his relation to you. I therefore, for my voucher and
     justification, request that you will be pleased (the Committee and
     the Bishop absolutely disclaiming all choice) to send me a list of
     the names, circumstances and description of the boys whom you send
     to me, or have sent, together with a certificate, that having duly
     examined into the several claims and pretensions of the candidates,
     you have found these the best entitled.

     When I have received this attestation as my authority and voucher,
     far from cavilling at either the person naming, or the names, I
     shall receive them most cheerfully; happy that your Lordship
     having generously and nobly taken to yourself the election, these
     objects have obtained security for a powerful protection, to place
     them, as successively they shall be qualified, in some way useful
     to themselves and to the public. I shall take care that they do no
     dishonour to your patronage; at least to the moment in which
     (having received them from your hands) I deliver them back into the
     same benevolent and protecting safeguard.

     My dear Lord, have the goodness to excuse the length of this
     letter, on account of the weight of my responsibility and the very
     difficult situation in which I stand.

     Mrs. Burke begs leave to join me in the most truly respectful
     compliments to Lady Buckingham, and if we may be permitted, on very
     little acquaintance, to Lord and Lady Temple. No persons can more
     sincerely wish, than we do, all kind of honour and happiness to you
     and all that belong to you.

     I have the honour to be, with the most perfect respect and

     My dear Lord,
     Your Lordship's most obedient and faithful humble servant,
     EDM. BURKE.

The name of Buonaparte appears for the first time in this Correspondence
in the month of August. Supported by the patronage of Barras, whose
confidence in his talents and activity were so conspicuously justified
by the results, he had recently been appointed to the command of the
army of Italy, now augmented by large reinforcements. He was at this
period only twenty-six years of age, and had never seen a regular
engagement; but his genius inspired the highest hopes, and his
extraordinary success gave a completely new aspect to the war.


     Dropmore, Aug. 14th, 1796.

     I was extremely sorry to hear so indifferent an account of your
     health, but I hope the worst of the attack is now over. I return
     you the letter from this unfortunate King, whose restoration to the
     throne of his ancestors is now, at least, as remote as that of
     Charles II. ever was--I fear, indeed, a great deal more so. I have
     heard no more particulars of the attempt to assassinate him, than
     the account which the Duke de Harcourt showed me, and which was the
     same which they afterwards put into the newspapers.

     The Prince of Hohenlohe's language has always had a leaning to the
     side of Austria and England; but long experience has satisfied me
     that, from a Prussian General, language of this sort means no more
     than to describe to which party in the Berlin politics he may
     happen to be inclined. We have, however, now made a last effort to
     ascertain this point, but with very little expectation of success.

     I do not wonder that the Navy should wish for a Spanish war, nor
     that they should be the only set of men in England who do so. I
     trust it may still be avoided, though the result is certainly very
     doubtful when treating with such a Court. The distribution of our
     limited number of sailors, into ships of the line and frigate
     force, is a very nice and delicate question; but as far as I can
     flatter myself that I understand it--which is not very much--I have
     always inclined more to the latter, and I think the experience of
     this war is in favour of that opinion. The same circumstances would
     surely operate still more strongly in the case of a war with Spain,
     whose commerce offers more _prise_ than that of France, and whose
     line-of-battle force, even separately--and still more if united
     with French ships--can never be put in competition with ours, ship
     for ship, or anything approaching to it.

     There is an account of a successful _sortie_ from Mantua, in which
     the French have lost fifteen hundred men; but I do not yet know the
     particulars, the despatches being gone to Weymouth. The Archduke is
     at Donawert, or at least looking to that position, which is a
     strong one, if his army was not dispirited. The reinforcement sent
     to Italy has hitherto operated very fatally upon the campaign. It
     remains to be seen what effect it will produce against Buonaparte's
     army. But it is evidently too late to prevent the plunder of
     Italy--the great object of that expedition.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most truly and affectionately yours,

     Pray let me remind you of the sheep; though just now my pastures
     look rather brown, and will, I fear, give them a bad impression of
     the fare which they will have.


     Sept. 24th, 1796.

     We have again a report, which seems worthy of credit, of an action
     at Montauban, on the 14th, previous to Jourdan's crossing the
     Rhine, at Neuwied, in which he was totally defeated, and lost all
     his cannon, &c. This seems to accord so well with dates and places,
     that I have little doubt of the truth. It therefore only remains to
     see what will become of Moreau. If he is dispatched, and that
     quickly, there will be time and means to make Buonaparte suffer
     severely for his late advanced move.

     On the whole, the situation is, to be sure, very much improved
     within these few weeks, but there is still enough for serious
     alarm. The Directory has sent us the most insolent answer that can
     be conceived; but as the substance of it is in some degree
     ambiguous with respect to the main question of granting or refusing
     the passport, it has been thought better not to leave a loop-hole
     or pretence to them, or their adherents here, to lay upon us the
     breaking the business off. Another note is therefore to be sent
     to-day, by a flag of truce from Dover, in which the demand of the
     passport is renewed in such terms as seem most likely to bring that
     point to a distinct issue, ay or no. In other times, this last step
     would have been not only superfluous, but humiliating; in the
     present moment, the object of unanimity here in the great body of
     the country, with respect to the large sacrifices they will be
     called upon to make, is paramount to every other consideration.

     I am extremely anxious to find that the plan in question may appear
     practicable. The advantages of it would be infinite.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

The nature of the efforts which were making in England to sustain the
war may be partially inferred from the following letter. Lord Grenville,
it will be seen, notes with a mark of admiration a subscription of
£100,000 from the Duke of Bedford. The circumstance was singular and
significant, the Duke of Bedford having all along taken a leading part
in the House of Lords in opposition to hostilities, and in calling for
votes of censure and opprobrium upon the Ministry. He had been the chief
mover of all those resolutions that protested against the expenditure to
which the country had been put for the maintenance of the war, and now
he was one of the largest of the voluntary subscribers to a fund for its


     Dropmore, Dec. 2nd, 1796.

     I have been followed here to-night by a letter, to mention that
     above twelve millions are already subscribed to the loan, and that
     it may very probably be full to-morrow, so that I had no time to
     lose in doing what of course the public will expect from me. I have
     therefore desired that £10,000 may be subscribed to-morrow in my
     name; and I imagine that by getting Coutts to advance the two first
     payments, and transferring the stock, at whatever loss, the moment
     it is transferable, I shall be able _me tirer d'affaire_, better
     than I had hoped. It was my intention to have written to you
     to-morrow, to let you know what other persons in your sort of
     situation and class had done; but what I have now heard, makes me
     think that I ought to send to you without delay, in order that you
     may know how the thing stands, and of course afterwards judge for
     yourself whether to do anything, and what.

     The only names that have been mentioned to me, except among my
     colleagues, are the Duke of Bridgewater and the Duke of Bedford!
     each £100,000, and Lord Romney and Lord Carrington each £40,000,
     besides £100,000, which the house of Smith and Co. subscribe as

     Lord Spencer, Lord Liverpool, Pitt and Dundas, subscribe £10,000,
     as I have done; the two last will, I believe, have still more
     difficulty in finding it than I shall.

     You will, of course, not imagine that by sending to you in this
     manner, I have the least idea of saying or suggesting to you to do
     anything but what may have occurred to yourself, but I thought you
     would naturally expect to hear these particulars from me.

     Other news I have none. There was a report yesterday that Kehl was
     surprised by the Austrians, but I could not trace it to any certain

     God bless you, my dear brother.

The time had now arrived when the English Cabinet believed that an
attempt might be made to negotiate for peace, without compromising its
honour. In the preceding March, the ambassador to the Helvetic States
had been authorized to inquire of the Government of France, through the
medium of their representative, whether they were disposed to entertain
such a negotiation. The answer was so unsatisfactory, laying down as a
peremptory condition the retention of all those conquests which, during
the course of the war, had been annexed to the republic, that nothing
more was then done in the matter. The subject was resumed in September,
and, the Directory having signified their readiness to grant passports
to any persons who should be furnished with full powers and official
papers, Lord Malmesbury was appointed as plenipotentiary on the part of
His Britannic Majesty to treat for peace with the French Republic. On
the 22nd of October his Lordship announced to M. de la Croix, the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, his arrival in Paris in that capacity. The
negotiations occupied nearly two months, and the main point of
difficulty turned upon the Netherlands, Lord Malmesbury, who acted
strictly on his instructions, making the restoration of the Netherlands
a _sine quâ non_, and M. de la Croix repeatedly stating that this
difficulty was one which could not be overcome. The negotiations had
arrived at that stage which made this insuperable difficulty perfectly
clear and unmistakeable on both sides, when Mr. Talbot, a gentleman
connected with Lord Malmesbury's embassy, addressed the following letter
to Lord Buckingham. No allusion will be found in it to the pending
negotiations, which were of too delicate and important a nature to be
touched upon in a private letter; but it is very curious and
interesting, as presenting a picture of the state of France at that


     Paris, Dec. 18th, 1796.
     MY LORD,

     Your Lordship, I trust, is aware of my motives for not having
     written to you since I left England; I shall, therefore, make no
     apologies for my neglect; but I must beg leave to assure your
     Lordship that I am, notwithstanding the urgency of my reasons, so
     much ashamed of the omission, that I now feel much embarrassed in
     taking up my pen.

     The only letters I have hitherto sent to England have been to Lord
     Grenville, in answer to those he has done me the honour to write;
     and to Mr. B. Taylor, his secretary, for some articles which I
     stood in need of.

     Your Lordship has without doubt received much better accounts of
     the appearance and state of things in this country than it is in my
     power to communicate; however, I will attempt a description of what
     has struck me as worthy of notice, and rely upon your kind
     indulgence for my errors.

     Our first entrance into France was certainly not attended with the
     reception which might have been expected, under the particular
     circumstances in which we came. It is true a good many people of
     all sorts were upon the quay at Calais when we arrived, but they
     showed no signs of joy or any other feeling more than the arrival
     of an indifferent vessel would have occasioned; and very shortly
     after we had landed, and gone to the inn, the crowd was dispersed,
     and everything seemed as silent as if nothing had happened. Indeed,
     all those we conversed with expressed their happiness at seeing us,
     and wished success to the negotiation; and all the principal
     officers of the Government stationed there waited upon Lord
     Malmesbury with the utmost civility; but the bulk of the
     inhabitants--whether they were ignorant of the arrival of an envoy
     to propose peace, or whether they were afraid to express their
     satisfaction in any public manner, I cannot say--manifested not the
     least sign of rejoicing.

     Nothing very material occurred between this place and Paris. The
     aubergistes and post-masters were almost the only persons with whom
     we had any conversation, and their language uniformly was that
     France was most anxiously desirous for the restoration of peace;
     that their sufferings had been more than they could describe, but
     that latterly their situation was much mended by the diminution in
     the price of provisions. But I was not inclined to give much credit
     to them, imagining that this language was intended to flatter us,
     and coming from those who had suffered more than any of their
     description in France, from the intercourse between the two
     countries being stopped. It must, however, be allowed that a
     general gloom seemed to prevail; and very little of that gaiety for
     which this nation was formerly remarkable was to be observed. At
     Amiens, I remember, the people of the inn where we supped entered
     more fully and with less reserve into the detail of their
     calamities. There had been a considerable manufacture of woollen
     cloths in this town, in which at this time no more than two hundred
     people were employed.

     I profited of the opportunity which the changing horses afforded me
     to see the Château of Chantilly. I found it totally stripped of its
     furniture, and every decoration that bore the smallest reference to
     armorial bearings was defaced; but otherwise the building has not
     suffered much injury. The statue of the great Condé on the
     principal staircase remains, but the head is cut off. The
     barbarians were not content with beheading the statues of men, but
     they have likewise done so to all the busts of stags placed over
     the stalls in the stables. The château was used as a prison in the
     time of Robespierre, and almost all the apartments continue still
     divided into small spaces for that purpose. The gardens are totally
     destroyed, but the park has met with no injury further than the
     almost total destruction of the game. There is a keeper appointed
     by the nation for the protection of the wood. The timber on the
     opposite side of the river is chiefly cut down, the land having
     been sold.

     The adjacent château of the Duc d'Angoulême, his son, as far as the
     walls, remains perfect; I had not time to see the inside of it. The
     care of the château has lately been given in charge to one of the
     former servants of the Prince de Condé.

     The roads were in general in excellent condition, and the
     post-horses tolerably good; but we were in several places kept some
     time waiting for them. This is not to be wondered at, if we
     consider how little they have been accustomed to travellers for
     some years past.

     A great number of the best houses by the roadside and in the towns
     were shut up, and seemed to be abandoned. Very few of the churches
     appeared to be open, many of them were pulled down, and none that
     were not considerably damaged; but the country was throughout in a
     state of high cultivation, although there was apparently a scarcity
     of men at work. This is to be accounted for by the encouragement
     which the late dearness of bread has given to the farmers, who are
     become, by a variety of circumstances, extremely wealthy. They are
     one of the very few descriptions of people who have profited by the
     Revolution. Very many of them have purchased lands, and this they
     were enabled to do almost for nothing by the depreciation of
     assignats, for an enormous nominal value of which they sold the
     produce of their farms; and this paper was received from them for
     the sum it represented, in payment for the estates of the
     _ci-devant_ seigneurs and other confiscated property. I am told
     there have been repeated instances of the basest ingratitude on
     their part, in denouncing their landlords; and, on the contrary,
     that many of them have given proofs of the strongest attachment to

     Provisions are in abundance, and at a very moderate price. Common
     bread is little more than two sous, and butchers' meat from five to
     eight sous the pound.

     I have not observed any want of specie in circulation; never yet
     have I found any difficulty in getting change upon the purchase of
     any article, nor any such thing as paper money produced in such
     transactions. The exhausted state and the degree of distress which
     I could discover in this country, I must confess, fell short of the
     expectation which the various species of plunder, exaction, and
     cruelty, which it has for several years submitted to, had impressed
     upon my mind.

     Between Calais and Paris, scarcely any troops were to be met with.

     The scene being so perfectly new to me, and having little or no
     intercourse with any one here, except our own society, I was some
     time in Paris before I could form any opinion of the state of
     affairs, and the sentiments of the people. The streets seemed
     crowded, the shops tolerably well supplied, the theatres well
     attended, some private and a great number of public carriages to be
     met with; all this brought to my reflection how very difficult a
     matter it must be to destroy a great country, considering that all
     the pains which have been taken to ruin this have left so much
     undone. But the first fortnight we lived in the most populous part
     of the town, near the Palais Royal, and therefore the last place
     where distress would be evident.

     There are few parts of Paris I have not since been in, and I find
     in many of them, the outlets particularly, the greatest
     wretchedness to prevail, and to be very thin of inhabitants. A
     great part of the Faubourg St. Germain, near the Boulevards, is in
     a great measure deserted; but this quarter was formerly inhabited
     principally by the noblesse. There is scarcely a street in Paris
     where there are not several houses written upon, _Propriété
     nationale à vendre_, and sometimes in addition, _ou à louer_; and
     in many places a great part of the street is in the same manner
     advertised for sale.

     The names of many of the streets are, as your Lordship must know,
     entirely changed; but where they are not, and began with _Saint_,
     that word is invariably defaced, and the remainder of the name is
     left untouched. But, notwithstanding that, most places are commonly
     called as formerly; and this practice is becoming more general
     every day.

     The hôtels of many of the _ci-devant_ noblesse are inhabited by the
     Ministers and other members of the Government. Many of them are
     converted into public offices and others of them into _hôtels
     garnis_, &c.; besides, a prodigious number of them remain
     unoccupied, and offered for sale by the nation.

     The Luxembourg is divided into five separate habitations for the
     Directory, besides the apartments that are used for their sittings,
     audiences, and other public business.

     The Council of Ancients hold their sittings in the Palace of the
     Tuileries, and the Council of Five Hundred meet in what was
     formerly the riding-house of the King; but this is considered as
     merely a temporary chamber for this last body, until the Palais
     Bourbon, which is now undergoing great alterations and additions,
     is ready for their reception. This building is in the Faubourg St.
     Germain, in front of the new bridge called Pont de la Révolution. I
     shall take an opportunity hereafter of giving your Lordship a
     description of the interior of these several places.

     The scene of any great revolutionary event continues still
     decorated with the national flag and other emblems of their
     _glorious_ Revolution, accompanied with an inscription; that where
     the Bastille stood is, _14 Juillet 1789, la Bastille détruite, et
     elle ne se relevera jamais_; and that in the Place du Carrousel,
     opposite the Tuileries, is, _10 Août 1792, La Royauté française est
     abolie, et elle ne se relevera jamais_. There are several marks of
     cannon-balls, but they have made but little impression on this
     front of the Tuileries; and under each of them is written, _10 Août

     The garden of the Tuileries is, I am told, kept as well as ever it
     was; some of the largest trees in it, however, have been cut down
     since our arrival, but they were chiefly decayed. Of the Bastille
     nothing remains, except a very small part of the foundations; and
     near it is a newly-erected powder magazine, and much of the
     remainder of the space is a depôt for firewood.

     The churches are many of them open, and have Divine service
     performed in them without restraint; but a great many more of them
     are shut, and some used as _casernes_, storehouses, &c.; but they
     have all been stripped of every internal decoration, and nothing
     suffered to remain but the bare walls. Sometimes, indeed--and it
     appears to be by an oversight--a piece of painting, or perhaps a
     little image, may have escaped injury; but such a thing is a
     curiosity, and to be found in a situation not readily to be
     observed, or difficult to be reached. The favourite mode of
     mutilating a statue seems to have been to break off the head. In
     the church of St. Sulpice there is a tolerably good statue of a
     Virgin and Child remaining, but of this the Child's head is taken
     off, and that of the Virgin seems to have met with the same fate,
     but to have been restored. It is wonderful the industry that has
     been used in the destruction of everything in the way of
     inscription, of sculpture, or coats of arms, which could possibly
     remind the people of the _ancien régime_; and I cannot help being
     much surprised that all this was done with so much care as to
     remove merely these particular objects of their enmity, without in
     the least damaging the adjacent parts. In defacing armorial
     bearings and things of this sort, the reformers have been at the
     trouble of cutting them away, so as to leave the shield quite
     plain, although they were carved in stone. I should have supposed
     that mischief done in the moment of frenzy would not have been so

     Upon all the public buildings, the public offices, and many others,
     is written in large characters--_Unité indivisibilité de la
     république, liberté, égalité, fraternité, ou la mort_; but in
     general the last word is rubbed out. The nation took it into their
     heads not to like death upon the downfall of Robespierre. Upon many
     of the churches is this inscription--_Le peuple français reconnait
     l'être suprême et l'immortalité de l'âme._ This was a decree of the
     Convention for the people at large, and your Lordship will allow
     that this must have a ridiculous effect upon the walls of a church
     entirely in ruins, as is often the case. Another modern inscription
     is--_Citoyens, respectez le bien d'autrui, c'est le fruit de son
     travail et de son industrie_; and perhaps close by it you may read
     _propriété nationale à vendre_, in direct violation of the other,
     offering to sell property of which some unfortunate person has been
     robbed by the very preachers of this doctrine.

     I am obliged to break off suddenly, for reasons which will be very
     soon known to your Lordship.

     I have the honour to be your Lordship's most obedient, faithful,
     humble servant,


The last line of this letter is written in an agitated hand, which the
circumstance that compelled Mr. Talbot to break off so abruptly
sufficiently accounts for. At that moment a note had arrived at the
embassy from M. de la Croix, giving Lord Malmesbury notice to depart
from Paris in eight-and-forty hours, adding that if the British Cabinet
were desirous of peace, the Executive Directory were ready to carry on
the negotiations, on the basis they had already laid down, by the
reciprocal channel of couriers.



The result of Lord Malmesbury's mission was communicated to Parliament
as soon as it became known in London, by a message from the King, and
addresses were moved approving of the conduct of Ministers. Amendments,
condemning their policy, and demanding an investigation, were proposed
in both Houses, and rejected by large majorities. In the House of
Commons, notwithstanding an appeal of extraordinary eloquence and power
from Mr. Fox, the address was carried by a majority of 212 to 37. Mr.
Pitt's position, perhaps, was never stronger than at this moment,
although the affairs of the Bank of England, in consequence of repeated
loans to Government, were reduced to the most desperate condition, and
the lower classes of the population, feeling heavily the burthens of the
war, began to clamour against its prosecution. But the national spirit
sustained the Government. Possessing the implicit confidence of the
King, the two Houses of Parliament, the heads of the Church, the landed
interest, and the monied and commercial classes, Mr. Pitt persevered.
The greatest efforts were made out of doors to induce His Majesty to
remove his Ministers. Public meetings were held in several places to get
up petitions on the subject; and the energies of the Opposition were
incessantly employed in spreading alarm and discontent through the
country. Several unfortunate circumstances concurred to give effect to
these movements. The war had reached its most disastrous point. England
was left alone in the field to contend against the power of France, now
grown haughty and formidable by a long course of successes. The credit
of the country, under this pressure of events, was seriously affected.
The Bank had stopped payment. Two mutinies had broken out in the fleet,
one at Spithead, and another at the Nore. An organization of malcontents
had been formed in Ireland under the name of "the United Irishmen," and
had carried their insurrectionary views so far as to send deputies to
treat with the French for assistance to enable them to throw off the
English yoke. The year opened with the most gloomy prospects on all
sides; but the firmness of Ministers triumphed over all difficulties,
and conducted them to its close with the happiest results.

The first incident of the year to which allusion is made in these
letters, is the appearance in British waters of a French squadron. It
consisted of two frigates and two sloops, and its insignificance,
compared with the demonstration that was anticipated from the loud
threats of invasion by which it was heralded, excited ridicule rather
than alarm.


     Wednesday, Jan. 4th, 1797.

     A little after eleven this morning came an account of Elphinston's
     being arrived with the 'Monarch' (I believe at Spithead). He had
     letters from General Dalrymple of the 31st, by which it seems
     probable that the French fleet is, if not entirely, certainly in
     great part, broken to pieces. Two French seventy-fours and a
     frigate had put into Bantry Bay, one without a bowsprit, and all of
     them damaged, and were lying within mortar reach of Bantry when
     Dalrymple wrote: other vessels were seen also trying to get into
     Bantry Bay. The 'Impatiente,' a very fine frigate of forty-four
     guns, just reached Cuxhaven, and foundered there, the whole crew
     going down with her except a pilot and four men, who were saved. By
     their report twelve thousand men only were on board, and provisions
     so scarce from the first, that they were put upon short allowance
     the day that they left Brest. Another French frigate was seen
     driving up St. George's Channel, and is said to have gone to pieces
     upon the Welsh coast. A Barbadoes ship saw a large ship, supposed
     to be one of the flutes, struggle some time, and then founder;
     another of the flutes was seen to founder off the Lizard; and great
     traces of wreck are thrown upon the Irish coast.

     Lord Bridport sailed very early yesterday morning, and met
     Elphinston, who gave him all this intelligence. I presume that he
     will probably detach part of his squadron towards Ireland, and part
     towards Brest; besides which, I believe he has power to take with
     him whatever he meets.

     Kingsnill was indefatigable in collecting his frigates, which, with
     his two sixty-fours, will count heavily upon this shattered and
     disabled force of the enemy. Meantime, the greatest part of the
     Oporto fleet is come in, and very good accounts are received from
     the West Indies, where a strong naval force is gone down to the
     protection of Jamaica. One of the frigates, too, upon that station
     has taken a rich Spanish prize. Of the four ships out belonging to
     Colpoys' fleet, all are come in except the 'Powerful,' which is
     thought to have made Ireland. Upon the whole, therefore, you will
     admit that I send you to-day a very prosperous naval budget. In
     truth, I do think that, if the ruin of this French expedition be as
     complete as it promises to be from these circumstances, the
     security of Ireland, and of England too, has been more promoted by
     it than by any event which has happened during the war; and much as
     I applaud your manly and forward zeal in your military offer, I
     doubt whether the occasion for it will again be renewed. I ought to
     have mentioned to you that the four men saved from the 'Impatiente'
     describe the troops on board as having been from the first highly
     dissatisfied and discontented with the expedition, and that twelve
     thousand, instead of twenty thousand, sailed, because it was found
     difficult to persuade the troops in general to embark in the
     enterprise. The result will therefore add to the ill-temper upon
     this subject, and Irish invasion will for a long time be no popular
     measure in the harbour of Brest. Stay then at Stowe, my dear
     brother, and enjoy the satisfaction which you will feel in the
     prompt and handsome service which you were ready to have done.
     _Laudo momentem_--not so (_between ourselves_)--do I say to
     Elphinston. I do not know what is his pretence for coming away with
     the 'Monarch' in such a moment, but I shrewdly suspect his Cape
     treasure to have been on board and to have influenced his decision;
     if that is the case, of which I know nothing, I do think it will be
     disgraceful beyond all measure, but I am speaking my own
     conjectures only, for I have not had time yet to ask more. God
     bless you.

The sequel of the expedition was sufficiently ludicrous. Having
effected a landing of some fifteen hundred men on the shore of the Bay
of Cardigan on the 23rd of February, the militia, fencibles, and
peasantry of the neighbourhood immediately collected; but the invaders
saved them the trouble of an engagement, by laying down their arms, and
surrendering themselves prisoners of war. The frigates were captured on
their return to Brest; and thus terminated an enterprize, which was so
inadequately planned, as to create universal astonishment that it was
ever undertaken.

The state of Ireland offered a favourable opportunity to the Opposition
for an attack upon Ministers; and Lord Fitzwilliam, having failed in his
attempts to bring them into discredit in reference to his own case, now
extended the grounds of accusation to the general discontents of the
country. Lord Moira, who undertook to bring forward the motion, appears
to have had no other object in view than to trace all these disorders to
the recal of Lord Fitzwilliam.


     Cleveland Row, March 14th, 1797

     Lord Moira (having given to Government, through the Lord
     Chancellor, a sort of intimation that he was what he called _going_
     into Opposition) has this day given notice of a motion for Tuesday
     next, to address the King on the internal state of Ireland, which
     motion he is understood to have concerted with Lord Fitzwilliam.

     You know I never think of pressing you to attend on any of the
     common points of attack and defence between the Government and
     Opposition. But on this occasion I should certainly most ardently
     wish that you should be present, and I think you yourself would not
     wish to be absent. At all events, I thought it right not to omit a
     moment giving you notice of it, that if you meant to attend you
     might arrange other matters accordingly. It is, however, not quite
     certain that he will make the motion that day, the Chancellor being
     too ill to come out; but he seems resolved, even if Lord
     Loughborough's illness continues, not to defer it for more than two
     or three days longer.

     We have nothing new to-day. The Archduke is got back to the army in
     Italy, and will, I hope, at least be able to prevent any further
     progress of the French on that side. Mack is to be sent to the

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Cleveland Row, March 20th, 1797.

     Lord Moira persists obstinately in bringing on his motion
     to-morrow. I suppose they attach some political importance to the
     having had the discussion with us before it comes on in the House
     of Commons, for I can conceive no other reason for this
     pertinaciousness. The Chancellor will not be there, so that I shall
     have the whole battle, or nearly so, upon my shoulders. It is not,
     however, the first time that this has happened to me, and most
     probably it will not be the last; and I have no uneasiness as to
     the result in point of effect or impression, even though the Prince
     of Wales should (as is said) be persuaded that this is an occasion
     in which it befits his station and prospects to put himself

     There is no news nor much appearance of any, as both armies and in
     both quarters seem to want much time to repair the effects of the
     last campaign. It is some satisfaction to see that Buonaparte is in
     no situation to push his advantages further as yet; and before he
     is, I hope and trust the Emperor will have collected an army,
     _better generalled_ and able to resist the French, who are,
     however, drawing all their strength to that side.

     The elections are going on quietly in France. What the result will
     be, I believe nobody knows, and it is therefore in vain to guess.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     Pray accept our kindest remembrance to Lady B. and yourself, on the
     celebration of to-morrow, and convey them to Lord and Lady T.

The motion was brought forward the next day, and negatived by a majority
of nearly four to one. A similar motion brought forward by Mr. Fox two
days afterwards in the House of Common, met with a similar reception.

About this time Lord Mornington was appointed Governor of Madras, in the
room of Mr. Hobart, now Lord Hobart, upon whom that office had been
conferred in the year 1794. The following letters refer to that
appointment, and are explanatory of the circumstances under which it was


     Hertford Street, April 20th, 1797.

     I received your very kind and affectionate letter last night at
     Dropmore, where I had been for a few days. When you were last in
     town, the projects of arrangement for India remained so nearly in
     the state in which our last conversation had left them, that I
     thought it unnecessary to trouble you at that time on the subject.
     Since that time, the matter has certainly taken a more distinct
     shape, although it is not true, as the newspaper has stated, that
     my appointment has actually taken place, or that I am to embark
     within a few days for India. Had you continued in town, I would
     have communicated to you, step by step, every stage of the
     transaction, and especially whatever concerned Hobart; but the
     distance of your situation rendered such a detailed communication
     difficult, and I was besides unwilling to intrude upon your time in
     a moment of so much domestic anxiety, in which, I assure you, I
     took the deepest concern. I also had an expectation that Mr.
     Sullivan, with whom I had constant intercourse, might have had the
     opportunity of seeing you in Buckinghamshire (if Lord Temple's
     health should allow you to see anybody), and that he would have
     apprised you of every circumstance which could affect Hobart's
     interest or reputation; to both of which objects, it is my sincere
     opinion that the utmost regard has been shown by all parties in
     this affair: I say by _all_ parties, because common justice compels
     me to declare that Mr. Dundas, instead of having impeded or
     frustrated the arrangement proposed for Hobart, or of having
     sacrificed him to any intrigue at the India House, has to my
     certain knowledge asserted Hobart's cause with the warmest zeal,
     used every means of representing it to the Company in the most
     advantageous light, and even entered into personal engagements for
     the benefit of Hobart far exceeding any demand which could justly
     or reasonably have been made upon him by Hobart or by his friends.
     A short statement of facts will, I think, satisfy you of the truth
     of my opinion.

     After a very full consideration of all the despatches both from
     Bengal and Madras, relating to the affairs of the latter
     Government, Mr. Dundas wrote a letter to the Directors, of which he
     sent me a copy, expressing his sense of Lord Hobart's services in
     these words: "To his zeal and promptitude in the execution of his
     orders, after the unfortunate rupture with Holland, I in a very
     great degree attribute the very proud and advantageous situation in
     which our Indian empire is now placed." The letter concludes with
     the following recommendation to the Court to make a provision for
     Lord Hobart: "If the Court of Directors concur with me in thinking
     that Lord Hobart has performed very meritorious services, but that
     there are at the same time very forcible grounds of expediency why
     he should not proceed to the higher situation originally destined
     for him, I can have no doubt, from the known justice and liberality
     of the East India Company, that they will concur with me in
     thinking that he ought not to return to his own country without a
     substantial mark of the approbation and favour of the East India

     The grounds of expediency for Lord Hobart's recal, Mr. Dundas
     stated in these terms: "I am, after the most mature consideration
     of the subject, thoroughly satisfied that, after the unfortunate
     misunderstandings which have prevailed between Lord Hobart and the
     Government-General, and the equally unfortunate differences which
     exist between his Lordship and the Nabob and the Rajah of Tanjore,
     it would be inexpedient to re-appoint him to the
     Government-General; and still more so, that he should remain longer
     at Madras."

     Upon this letter, my dear Lord, I am persuaded that your own
     justice and candour will anticipate my observations; but the very
     strong expressions contained in your letter render it my duty to
     observe, that in this application to the Court of Directors, Mr.
     Dundas has chosen the very same topics, on which to urge the claims
     of Lord Hobart to the gratitude of the Company, which you concurred
     with me in selecting as the most favourable grounds to found a
     public motion in the Court of Proprietors, with a view to
     obtaining a pension for Lord Hobart; and Mr. Dundas has stated the
     expediency of removing Lord Hobart on no other grounds than those
     which in conversation you and I have repeatedly agreed to be of the
     greatest force, and at the same time perfectly consistent with Lord
     Hobart's fair reputation and unsullied honour. It cannot,
     therefore, be denied that Mr. Dundas has dealt fairly by Lord
     Hobart's character and interests, both in the reasons assigned for
     his recal, and in those urged in favour of his services.

     To this letter the Chairman of the Court of Directors returned an
     answer, concurring in Mr. Dundas's opinion of the necessity of
     recalling Lord Hobart, admitting the extent of his services, and
     expressing the inclination of the Court to propose a provision for
     him to the consideration of the proprietors; but postponing the
     moment for making that proposal to a period which appeared to me
     rather too distant, and not sufficiently defined.

     In this state of the matter, Mr. Dundas proposed to me the
     reversion of the Government-General after Lord Cornwallis, having
     previously furnished me with a copy of the correspondence, to which
     I have already referred. I expressed my doubts whether the
     provision for Lord Hobart was yet sufficiently secure to admit of
     my accepting the offer made to me consistently with my good wishes
     for him. Mr. Dundas then informed me, that he knew the intention of
     the Directors was to propose the pension to the Court of
     Proprietors in May; and he added, that if at that time the pension
     should fail in either court, he would himself move it in
     Parliament, and charge it upon the revenues of Ceylon, or take some
     other effectual means of securing it. He also said, that there
     would be no objection to calling Lord Hobart to the House of Peers
     within a very short time, probably even before Lord Cornwallis's

     Here again I must observe, that Mr. Dundas offers a personal
     pledge in favour of Lord Hobart, which neither you nor I, nor any
     of Lord Hobart's friends ever had required, and which we could not
     on any fair grounds have demanded. When Mr. Dundas had thus stated
     to me the situation of Lord Hobart in terms so perfectly
     satisfactory, and affording such undeniable proofs of his sincere
     wish to serve him under all possible contingencies, I entered into
     a variety of points relating to my own views (which I will state to
     you when we meet); and the conversation ended without my final
     acceptance of the proposal made to me. In a day or two afterwards I
     saw Mr. Sullivan, and communicated to him what had passed between
     me and Mr. Dundas relative to Lord Hobart. I had then the
     satisfaction to learn from Mr. Sullivan, that he also had seen Mr.
     Dundas, from whom he had received the very same assurances, which
     Mr. Dundas had given to me in relation to Lord Hobart's pension and
     peerage; and Mr. Sullivan further stated, that Mr. Dundas had
     desired that those assurances might be communicated to Lord
     Guilford. I then asked Mr. Sullivan whether, under all the
     circumstances of the case, he thought that my acceptance of the
     Government of Madras, with the reversion of the Government-General
     after Lord Cornwallis, could be in any degree injurious to Lord
     Hobart's interest or honour? Mr. Sullivan answered, certainly it
     could not; and added, that he and Lord Guilford were now perfectly
     satisfied with the footing on which Mr. Dundas had placed the
     credit and welfare of Lord Hobart.

     Having seen Lord Cornwallis, and at length made up my mind to
     undertake this most arduous charge, I communicated to Mr. Dundas
     about a week ago my final acceptance of the Government of Madras,
     with the provisional succession to Bengal after Lord Cornwallis. My
     appointment not having yet been formally made by the Court of
     Directors, I cannot yet acknowledge my destination to India; you
     will, therefore, be so good as to speak of the whole matter merely
     as a vague report until you hear further from me.

     Thus, my dear Lord, you will perceive that whatever has been done
     relating to Hobart in the conclusion of this arrangement for India,
     has received the sanction of his nearest relations, of persons
     whose affectionate friendship for Hobart, and just discernment of
     his interests, will readily be acknowledged by you. In a situation
     of peculiar delicacy and embarrassment, it has been a great
     satisfaction to me to have been able to submit every step which I
     have taken in this affair to the judgment of such a man as Mr.

     The various delays which have retarded the conclusion of this
     arrangement, have rendered it impossible for me to embark with Lord
     Cornwallis. However, I am in constant habits of the most
     confidential intercourse with him from day to day; and I mean to
     pass six weeks or two months with him in Bengal before his
     resignation of the government. My departure will probably not take
     place sooner than July or August.

     Finding that the office of Private Civil Secretary at Bengal would
     be well worth my brother Henry's acceptance, I mean to take him
     with me. After a very accurate inquiry from Lord Cornwallis, I am
     concerned to find that it would not be in my power to be of any
     assistance to Mr. Fisher in India. My intention is to take no other
     person, besides my servants, excepting my brother Henry, and to
     avoid all engagements universally in Europe, in order to secure
     myself against any temptation to an irregular distribution of
     patronage. In this resolution, which I formed very early, on
     principles which a long attention to the affairs of India has
     enabled me to fix with some degree of confidence, I have been
     strongly confirmed by Lord Cornwallis, and I am persuaded that you
     will approve of my determination.

     Pray accept my cordial thanks for the kindness and friendship
     which appear in every part of your letter, and believe me, my dear
     Lord, ever yours most faithfully and affectionately,


     I have been interrupted in this long detail, and have not been able
     to send my letter until this evening, the 21st. I am happy to learn
     in Pall Mall that Lord Temple is so much better. Nothing new to-day
     from Portsmouth; I mean, nothing authentic. Private letters say
     that the mutiny is likely to subside for the present, in
     consequence of the propositions made yesterday by the Admiralty.
     How discipline and subordination are ever again to be restored on
     any permanent basis surpasses my understanding to conceive.


     Hertford Street, July 3rd, 1797.

     The Court of Directors have appointed me Governor of Madras, with
     the provisional succession to Bengal. The arrangement has been made
     by them, and accepted by me, with this understanding: that I am to
     undertake the Government of Madras only in the event of Lord
     Cornwallis's acceptance of the Government of Bengal. If his
     Lordship should not go to Bengal, I am to proceed directly to the
     Supreme Government. The nature of this arrangement does not appear
     upon the face of it: I state it to you in _strict confidence_, as
     it has been explained to me; and I believe you are already
     sufficiently acquainted with my sentiments to know my willingness
     to hold the Government of Madras under Lord Cornwallis, as well as
     my resolution not to hold it under any other person.

     Mr. Dundas authorizes me to say that he retains the same intentions
     with regard to a provision for Lord Hobart which he stated to you
     and to me, and you have been already apprized by me of the footing
     on which the proposed peerage stands. You may rely on my constant
     and unremitting attention to both objects; but I must declare, in
     justice both to Mr. Pitt and to Mr. Dundas, my conviction that
     neither will delay the performance of their respective engagements
     one instant beyond that in which it shall be possible to execute

     I find that Mr. Dundas considers himself to have given sufficient
     intimation to Lord Hobart of the intended arrangements, as far as
     they could affect his Lordship, by having enclosed to him, in a
     despatch forwarded overland some months ago, a copy of the letter
     addressed by Mr. Dundas to the Chairman of the Court of Directors
     on the subject of Lord Hobart's pretensions to a mark of the
     respect of the Company in the event of a change in the Government
     of India.

     To whatever situation I may be destined, whether to Madras or
     Bengal, the maintenance of Lord Hobart's credit and reputation will
     always be a leading object of my wishes; and I trust, before I
     leave England, that I shall have the satisfaction of receiving your
     advice with respect to the most effectual mode of combining the
     accomplishment of that object with ideas, in some degree different
     from those which have governed the policy of Lord Hobart's
     administration at Madras in more than one material branch of the
     public service.

     I am, Sir, with great respect and esteem,
     Your most faithful and humble servant,


     Hertford Street, July 19th, 1797.

     I assure you that I felt no difficulty or delicacy whatever in
     communicating your letter to Mr. Pitt as soon as I received it, and
     I flatter myself that throughout the whole of the arrangement
     relative to India I have never been found deficient in any mark of
     regard for my old friend Hobart's interest or honour. Mr. Pitt
     authorized me to inform you that he would very soon write both to
     you and to Lord Hobart; and to that letter, whenever you receive
     it, I must refer you for the detail of facts on which Mr. Pitt is
     more competent to afford explanation than I. I must however
     declare, in justice both to Pitt and Dundas, that I see nothing in
     the conduct of either to justify the least suspicion of any other
     than the most cordial sentiments of good-will towards Hobart. I
     have said the same thing to Mr. Sullivan, whom you will probably
     see, and stated the grounds of my opinion at large. Mr. Pitt does
     not appear to admit that Lord Hobart's interests ever have been or
     can be made matter of negotiation. He says he has acted in the
     whole transaction, and will continue to act, conformably to his
     sense of public duty, and his unaltered feelings of friendship for
     Lord Hobart, to whom he will not fail to give a full statement of
     all his conduct. I believe Mr. Dundas's view of the subject to be
     nearly the same; but not being at liberty to communicate your
     letter to him, I have not been enabled to enter so fully with him
     into the discussion of its contents. However, I can inform you that
     his favourable intentions towards Lord Hobart remain precisely the

     Mr. Sullivan will immediately communicate in person with Mr. Dundas
     on all the points of this business, and you will learn the result
     from him.

     Nothing but the continual hurry and interruptions to which I am at
     present exposed could justify my having delayed so long the
     acknowledgment of your kind letter. Pray, my dear Lord, accept my
     cordial thanks for the many marks of friendship which it contains.
     I do not expect to sail before September, and you may be assured
     that I will make it my business to see you before my departure.

     Ever, my dear Lord,
     Yours most sincerely and affectionately,

The remaining letters of the year refer at intervals to the events in
progress on the continent; events which occupy so large and prominent a
space in history, as to render any detailed allusion to them


     Cleveland Row, April 28th, 1797

     I have this day seen Dutheil, and to-morrow I am to see the other;
     but there has been a blunder about it, or I should long since have
     seen him. I hardly know how to credit all I hear on that subject,
     and yet I must say I hear it from all quarters, agreeing in the
     essentials, though varying a little as to sub-divisions, according
     to the dispositions of the informants.

     I hardly know how to tell myself, under these circumstances, what I
     wish about Hammond's mission, because the panic here is so
     disgraceful, that the country will not allow us to do them justice.
     If I thought others _would_ do them that justice, my resolution
     would soon be taken; but I have not nerves to plunge my country
     into the horrors of a Jacobin Government to save myself the
     unpleasant task of being compelled to do worse for them than I am
     sure I could if they would but be quiet and suffer themselves to be
     saved. It is a curious speculation in history to see how often the
     good people of England have played this game over and over again,
     and how incorrigible they are in it. To desire war without
     reflection, to be unreasonably elated with success, to be still
     more unreasonably depressed by difficulties, and to call out for
     peace with an impatience which makes suitable terms unattainable,
     are the established maxims and the regular progress of the popular
     mind in this country. Yet, such as it is, it is worth all the other
     countries of the world put together, so we must not too much
     complain of it.

     I am grieved to hear that your dear son has had another relapse,
     and should be extremely obliged to you if, whenever you can send me
     a better account, as I trust you will be able to do, you would let
     me have a line.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Cleveland Row, May 3rd, 1797.

     The Paris papers arrived this morning seem to confirm, beyond a
     doubt, the signature of peace with the Emperor. We know nothing
     more of it than you will find in those papers. The last accounts
     from Vienna which I have received were of the 17th, and they looked
     more like war than peace; but not enough so to give me any reason
     to doubt the fact.

     The task which is now left to us, is no doubt arduous and
     difficult. It would not be in the least so with a country united,
     and feeling its own strength: but to contend against dejection,
     cowardice and disaffection at home, aiding a powerful enemy from
     without, is not a light or easy matter. It must, however, be tried;
     for I have no conception that any other use can be made of this
     event by the Directory, than that of exacting from us concessions,
     which I trust neither the country nor Parliament will bring
     themselves to listen to.

     I hope you are all going on well at Stowe, and that your invalid is
     recovering. Have you seen my Prince? He is sensible, and well
     informed; though not exactly the picture of a young lover.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Cleveland Row, May 5th, 1797.

     The messenger is arrived this morning, and has brought us the
     confirmation of the Paris reports. The preliminaries were signed on
     the 18th; but we are still uninformed of the particulars of the
     conditions, except that they contain a stipulation for a Congress
     at Berne, to which the allies of the two parties are to be invited.
     I believe, from what I can collect from the very defective
     information which has yet reached us, that the articles have been
     drawn in so much haste and confusion, and by persons so little used
     to transact points of this nature, that they are unintelligible,
     and require explanation before they can be made public, or even
     communicated to other Courts. Thugut has resigned--this step having
     been taken in contradiction to his opinion--and a Count Cobenzl,
     now Austrian Minister at Petersburg, is supposed to be destined to
     succeed him. This is, in the whole of it, a great event, and big
     with the greatest consequences, whether good or bad--_caliginosá
     nocte premit Deus_.

     You cannot see the state of Ireland more gloomily than I do.
     Possibly, if we have peace, that may leave us more at liberty to
     act in that quarter; but even then, what force have we? and to what
     objects are we to direct it, when the gentlemen are all flying from
     their duty, and either joining the adverse standard, or at best
     deserting their posts?

     I rejoice to hear so good an account of your son, and I trust the
     attack is now over, though the recovery of strength must naturally
     be very slow.

     Ever, my dear brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

     Wells's ship's crew being harangued by him refused to cheer with
     the other ships, till the 'Glory' loaded her guns to fire upon her.


     Charles Street, May 9th, 1797.

     I cannot express to you my disappointment in the Portsmouth news,
     which I found upon my return to town yesterday evening. By the post
     of Saturday, the letters from the fleet were better than they had
     ever been; and the officers themselves seemed in much better heart
     and spirits. On Sunday, however, it broke out afresh:
     representations were handed about, complaining that the speeches of
     Lord Howe, Lord Spencer and the Duke of Clarence, were meant to
     disappoint the seamen of what had been promised them, and it was
     suggested that the 'Marlborough' was to be kept back, and made an
     example of when the fleet had sailed. Upon these pretences, the
     delegates began going round to each ship: Colpoys told his crew he
     would not admit them; they mutinied, and he ordered his marines to
     fire, who did so, and badly wounded four mutineers; but the fire
     was returned by the crew, who overpowered the officers and the
     marines, confined Colpoys, and threatened to hang Lieutenant Bover.
     To save him, Colpoys asserted that Bover had been ordered so to act
     by him, and that he had an order for this discipline from the
     Admiralty, which order he gave to the delegates. The order was a
     very proper order from the Admiralty to every captain, requiring
     him to give no cause of complaint to the men on the subject of
     provisions, requiring him to keep up a proper discipline, and to
     exert a proper spirit in resisting any appearance of mutiny. This
     order, we since hear, is stated as an act of treachery in the
     Admiralty as against the seamen.

     Upon this tumult in the 'London,' the crews of the other ships
     took possession of the arms, and many confined their officers to
     their cabins. The post of to-day brings no new or different state
     of things, except an account that three of the mutineers are dead
     in Haslar Hospital of their wounds; and that Campbell, Nichols,
     Talbot, one or two other captains, and many lieutenants, have been
     put on shore at St. Helen's.

     A messenger was dispatched last night with the news of the vote of
     the House of Commons having passed unanimously, but it is doubtful
     whether in this high wind he could get to the fleet; and all these
     circumstances show so little colour or pretence of real complaint,
     that I cannot help fearing the evil is more deeply rooted in the
     influence of Jacobin emissaries and the Corresponding Society, and
     to their machinations the vote of yesterday will afford no answer.
     Upon the whole, this is the worst state of things which I have
     seen. The ground of the mischief is not known to the officers, and
     as far as I can see, they have no heart or nerves to meet this
     formidable calamity. With this wind they might have sailed; but
     with what has happened in the 'London,' and with so many officers
     put on shore, one can hardly now wish the fleet to sail.

     The last accounts from Brest announce about twenty sail, but not in
     a very forward state of readiness; but this state of our fleet
     cannot be news to them, and they will doubtless profit of an
     opportunity which perhaps they have themselves created.

     At half-past one no news was come. If I hear more before the post
     goes out, I will add it.

     God bless you, dearest brother.


     Charles Street, May 11th, 1797.

     Great anxiety again prevailed here by an account which arrived at
     midnight, that the delegates were on board the 'London,' and it
     was feared they were urging for the execution of Colpoys and his
     captain; but a few hours afterwards, news arrived that Colpoys'
     crew had resisted the delegates; that even the most mutinous ships,
     viz. the 'Duke' and 'Mars,' were returned to their duty, and that
     most of the ships had desired their officers to join them again. I
     have also read a letter from Payne, who writes in high spirits, and
     says that there is now a complete hostility on the part of the
     well-affected as against the mutineers, and that he has just spoke
     a cutter from the 'Queen Charlotte' with twenty or thirty
     well-affected men on board, who were going to every ship in the
     fleet, to insist upon everything being quiet, and upon their going
     instantly to sail in quest of the French. Lord Howe would arrive
     about nine this morning, with a warrant under the King's
     sign-manual, for making such final arrangement as might be
     necessary for the sailing of the fleet, if he should find it so
     disposed to sail. Not a word from Lord Bridport, except to
     acknowledge the communication of the Act of Parliament!

     Under these circumstances, there is every reason to suppose that
     one may hope the immediate storm is a little blown over, and that
     no new resource need be looked for such as you suggest; but the
     apprehension of my mind is still extremely great, because I am more
     and more convinced that Jacobin management and influence is at the
     bottom of this evil; and till that influence is traced and rooted
     out, there is, in my view, no chance of safety. The tampering with
     the soldiers by conversation and handbills is another unanswerable
     proof of the system by which all this mischief moves forward; and
     the activity of Brest in the last accounts, seems to confirm, as
     far as such preparation can, their knowledge of, if not their
     participation in, this mischief.

     Orde has written from Plymouth, that he hopes to get the ships
     there to sea before any communication is had of this new mutiny.

     Things look badly, as I believe, in Ireland; but those of
     Government, whom I ever see, are so entirely occupied, that I write
     to you more from my own guess than from their communication.

     God bless you, dearest brother.

     I know no foreign news of any sort, nor have I seen William these
     three or four last days.

A third effort to effect a pacification with France had been entered
upon by Lord Grenville in the month of June. On this occasion his
Lordship addressed a direct application to M. de la Croix, expressing
his readiness without delay to open a discussion of the views and
pretensions of both parties. To this communication M. de la Croix
replied by accepting the proposal; and the town of Lisle was appointed
for the meeting of the ambassadors.

Lord Malmesbury was again appointed on the part of England; and it
became evident at once that his re-appearance in that capacity was not
very satisfactory to the French Government, M. de la Croix coldly
signifying the consent of the Directory to negotiate with Lord
Malmesbury, but adding that another choice would have augured more
favourably for the speedy conclusion of peace.

The conference at Lisle seems to have taken its colour all throughout
from this preliminary distrust of the English envoy. It lasted up to the
17th of September; and ended as it began, in a fruitless debate about
Lord Malmesbury's powers to treat in full. In the meanwhile, the event
known by the name of the Revolution of Fructidor took place in Paris,
the meeting was broken up, and Lord Malmesbury left Lisle on the 18th of


     Cleveland Row, Sept. 20th, 1797.

     Late last night we got a messenger from Lord Malmesbury, with an
     account that he was ordered away from Lisle, and was on his way to
     London, where he arrived this morning. It is not easy to say
     beforehand what effects it will produce here, where people's
     spirits are so susceptible of alarm and depression; but I really
     think, in the manner of doing the thing, the Directory have done
     everything they could to play our game.

     The dissatisfaction will be great in France, but they seem, for the
     moment, completely masters there. Ireland is our weakest point, and
     to that our attention must be most directed; for anything else I
     have very little apprehension.

     I think it probable that the consequences of this new state of
     things will be to detain me in and about town, and to put an end to
     my hopes of a journey to Stowe or Wotton; but I am not yet quite
     sure as to this. I hope we shall not be in a hurry to meet
     Parliament, as I understand that it will not be necessary, in point
     of finance, till about the middle of November. Between this and
     that time many things may still happen to raise people's spirits,
     which I should fear would in the present moment be much depressed,
     whatever pains we took to raise them.

     Ever, my dearest brother, most affectionately yours,



A rebellion in Ireland, and a threat of invasion from France, for which
active preparations were making on the coast and in the Channel, almost
exclusively absorbed the attention of Government at the beginning of the
year 1798, and demanded all the resources which the devotion of the
people could contribute to the protection of the country. The extremity
of the public danger had the effect of uniting all classes in a combined
effort for self-preservation; and the national enthusiasm was pronounced
so strongly and unanimously on this point, that the heads of the
Opposition, shattered and enfeebled, retired from the fruitless contest
they had been so long waging against the Administration, and left Mr.
Pitt and his colleagues in almost undisturbed possession of both Houses
of Parliament.

But security was not to be purchased without great sacrifices. The
expenditure of the past year had amounted to the enormous sum of
twenty-five millions and a half; and Mr. Pitt found it necessary, in
order to provide a supply equal to the emergencies of the future, to
introduce an entirely new system of finance. He proposed to triple the
amount of the existing assessed taxes, with a limitation, restraining
the maximum of taxation to the tenth of each person's income; and to
borrow the remainder of what was required without creating any
additional debt, by appropriating the produce of the sinking fund.

There was a violent resistance in both Houses to this plan; Mr. Fox, Mr.
Sheridan, and others, who had previously seceded, re-appearing in their
places for the express purpose of opposing it; but it was carried,
nevertheless, by large majorities. Several other measures, to provide
means for carrying on the war, and strengthening the national defences,
were also introduced; and at no period, since the commencement of
hostilities, was public opinion declared so energetically in favour of
the ministerial policy. Numerous circumstances contributed to feed the
popular ardour as the year advanced. Splendid naval victories inspired
the highest confidence in the ultimate issues of the war; commerce once
more resumed its former activity; the harvest was unusually abundant;
and all branches of trade and industry reached a height of prosperity
that completely relieved the depression under which they had suffered
during the preceding year.

The most active measures were set on foot to promote the common object
of protecting the empire against foreign invasion and domestic treason.
The most prominent of them was a plan for augmenting the Militia,
afterwards matured and introduced by Mr. Dundas; and the collection of
subscriptions towards the formation of a national defence fund. No
greater proof could be given of the zeal of the people, at a period when
their burthens were already so excessive, than the munificence and
promptitude of their contributions on this occasion. At a meeting of
bankers and merchants held in the open square of the Royal Exchange,
upwards of forty-six thousand pounds were collected on the spot; the
King subscribed £20,000; the Queen £5,000; numerous mercantile firms and
private individuals contributed large sums, varying from £3,000 to
£10,000; and the Bank of England, the noble tribute of £200,000. That
this urgent necessity should have pressed heavily upon those public men
whose position made a heavy demand upon their patriotism, was to be
expected, and in some instances, sacrifices were made to an extent which
rendered unavoidable the reduction of their domestic establishments; but
no considerations of personal inconvenience were suffered to interfere
with the paramount claims of duty. The subjoined letters throw
considerable light on these transactions, and are of especial interest
from the minute details they present respecting the measures that were
adopted in this great emergency for augmenting and organizing the
Militia force of the kingdom.


     Cleveland Row, Feb. 2nd, 1798.

     I saw yesterday in Pitt's hands your letter to him. The sacrifice
     you make is certainly very great, and such as I could not have
     thought myself at liberty to advise, though I am glad on the whole
     that your determination is such as it is; not that I am very much
     attached (but quite the contrary) to the idea of raising public
     supplies by voluntary contributions, and still less by
     contributions _soi-disant_ voluntary, but in reality extorted by
     popular clamour and prejudice. But after that business has been
     carried as far as it has, it would have been too invidious for you
     to have put yourself in a breach which I think ought never to have
     been made. I am much concerned at what you say in your letter to
     Pitt respecting the personal inconvenience to which this step will
     subject you, and particularly as to the idea of your doing anything
     that can look like an avowed intention of suspending your residence
     at Stowe. It seems to me that nothing is more natural than that
     this state of things should lead to reduction of your
     establishments; and I believe in so doing you will only follow a
     very general example, though I appear to be selected as a much more
     striking instance of it than I have yet been able, with my best
     endeavours, to make myself. It will also be very easy for you,
     quartered in Essex, to be as much or as little as you please at
     Stowe in the course of the year; but any avowal of quitting that
     residence would, I think, do you a needless injury.

     You will receive in a day or two the circular letter for calling
     out the supplementary Militia, with the explanation of the manner
     in which this is intended to be executed, so as to make it a
     _muster_ of the whole, but an embodying only of a part.

     War with America and Portugal seems quite determined on at Paris;
     nor do I see how Denmark can keep herself out of the scrape,
     though she will most certainly do her best. The general opinion is
     that Mulin has established his superiority over Barras and
     Buonaparte. There can be no doubt of the intention to invade us
     here or in Ireland, or both.

     The capture of the packet leaves us still without official or
     direct accounts from the West Indies, but all the accounts we get
     are favourable.

     I enclose you, in confidence, a paper, which I think will be
     interesting to you. You will be so good as _not to have seen_ it,
     and to return it to me. It is of course to be kept under lock and
     key. It is unpublished, and meant to remain so.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Charles Street, April 27th, 1798.

     It is only from your letter to William that I have learnt what is
     the actual state of the discussion which you had begun upon the
     subject of the flank companies of the Militia, and very sorry I am
     to find that it is likely to take any shape which can be unpleasant
     or disagreeable to you. The measure itself is one which I have
     understood to be one of the few measures upon which, in point of
     necessary military preparation, all our officers are agreed, and
     which, if I recollect right, you yourself are as strongly inclined
     to as anybody, though not precisely in the mode recommended by the
     Commander-in-chief; if the objections which you felt on the point
     of _Militia_ establishment had been equally felt and adopted by the
     generality of the commanding officers of Militia, some way or other
     must, I suppose, have been found to accommodate the difficulties of
     such a representation; but in the present instance (as far as I
     could collect from Fortescue, who was at a pretty numerous meeting
     of all the Militia commanders who were in town), there was not any
     one of those who did not express their readiness to adopt this
     plan, and their approbation of it; so that, in fact, this matter,
     so far from being taken up by the generality of commanding officers
     in the same light in which you had objected to it, has really the
     sanction of every commanding officer, except, as I am told, Lord
     Berkeley, Lord Carnarvon and yourself.

     Under these circumstances, much as I regret that any arrangement
     could be proposed and could be likely to be carried, which is so
     disagreeable to you, you will, however, I am sure, agree with me
     that it stands upon very different ground, when it stands upon the
     ground of individual opinions, from what it would have done if it
     had been taken up by the whole or the majority or a large part of
     the Militia. My best hopes are that some mode may yet be found
     which may place your own regiment in the shape that you had wished;
     and William has, I know, taken all the pains he can to urge the
     adoption of all or of any of the modifications of this order, which
     may make it less objectionable to you; and I cannot therefore but
     hope that his zeal and anxiety in this will carry it to a better
     shape for you as far as you are immediately interested. But we live
     in times of such pressing public duty, and the military post to
     which you are called and in which you are placed, is one so forward
     both in danger and in honourable distinction to you, that I should
     not do my duty by you if I did not (however uncalled upon for that
     opinion) add that, in my poor judgment, no state of military
     arrangements or orders can for a moment admit of the possibility of
     your giving up your command in an hour of danger, as immediate as
     that in which I write. I know you will give me credit for the
     honesty of this opinion, as well as for the affection which calls
     it forth from me.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.
     Ever most affectionately yours,
     T. G.


     Cleveland Row, April 27th, 1798.

     On receiving your letter to Pitt, I sent it to him, and have since
     seen him and Dundas. I understand from them that you have been
     misinformed about the idea of their intending to bring in any new
     Bill on the subject of forming the flank companies of Militia into
     light infantry battalions, as the opinion both of the Attorney and
     Solicitor-General is quite clear on the interpretation of the
     present law. With respect to the measure itself, I must say that as
     far as I understand it, my opinion is and always has been clearly
     for it. But what is much more important is, that the Duke of York,
     all the Generals of districts and Lord Cornwallis, the only
     military Cabinet Minister, all put the salvation of the country
     upon it. In this situation I do not think that Pitt, or Dundas, or
     any of us, could take upon ourselves the responsibility of omitting
     a measure, stated to be clearly within the law, and in which so
     large a proportion of the Militia officers are disposed to
     acquiesce with cordiality and cheerfulness.

     Nothing certainly can be further from their wishes, even as public
     men only, than to place you in any unpleasant or difficult
     situation; but you will not think this a moment when points of real
     importance can be given up to personal considerations of regard and

     It has occurred, that adopting the measure generally, the
     application of it to your particular regiment might be avoided, by
     permitting you to form a separate light infantry battalion, under
     the command of Fremantle, he being an army officer, and one whom
     the Duke of York himself allows to be as fit for that purpose as
     any he could select; and that this permission may, under certain
     circumstances and conditions, be extended to other colonels
     desirous of taking that mode preferably to the other.

     But this is not without its difficulty, nor is it possible for any
     man, beforehand, to engage for the Duke of York's consent to a
     measure, on which he has so much right not only to have _voix au
     chapitre_ but to have a voice nearly decisive, so long as his
     regulations do not interfere with the law. All, therefore, that I
     can say is, that I am persuaded Dundas will do whatever he can to
     promote this arrangement, the only solution that I see to
     difficulties, one side of which, in the alternative stated by you,
     present consequences to which I am very sure, whatever else
     happens, you will never bring yourself to look. If I had the least
     doubt upon that point, I certainly could and should say much of the
     time, of the situation of the country, of the local position of
     your regiment in its present quarters, and of the possibility of
     any man, under such circumstances, resigning a command because he
     disapproves in his own judgment, even supposing him right in that
     judgment, of a military order which the Commander-in-chief has
     clearly a right to give, and for the omission, as well as the
     giving of which, he and the Government are exclusively responsible.

     I know nothing more of the supplementary Militia than that they are
     to be immediately called out.


     Dropmore, May 1st, 1798.

     I got your letter here last night. I should not have gone out of
     town even for one day, if I had not understood from Dundas that the
     Duke of York, though quite determined against adopting the
     substitution you propose, seemed to think that in order to avoid
     putting you under difficulties of any sort, he could forbear to
     make the demand on your regiment.

     I do not say that I like this expedient, but I see no other without
     his abandoning a measure which, for one, I should be very sorry to
     see abandoned, believing, as I do, that things of much more
     importance than the matter of any legal question of a Militia Act,
     depend upon it. I really believe that you are not accurately
     informed when you speak of the wishes of the Militia in general
     being against this measure. But on this point you have certainly
     better means of knowing individual opinions than I can have. On the
     legal point, the opinion of the King's law servants must of course
     be the only guide for a Commander-in-chief, even if he were not a
     Prince of the blood, but much more when he is so, and consequently
     not supposed to enter into discussions of that sort, or to be
     responsible for them.

     I grieve that in these times you should set the example of raising
     these questions; but I am confident you would not do so if you did
     not think it right. I own I should have thought that any idea of
     _disobeying, as a Militia officer_, a command of the
     Commander-in-chief, was out of the question in the present moment,
     and that if the case (I had almost said) which you yourself put,
     had occurred, that of being ordered to embark on board Lord
     Bridport's fleet, you would have done so, with a protest of _ne
     trahatur in exemplum_.

     Dundas will, as I understand from him, explain to you what he
     considers to be the case about your letter, which he states to me
     to have been an official letter addressed, I think, to P. W. Howe
     or his Adjutant-General, and which therefore he did not consider in
     any other light than as an accurate statement of the doubt given in
     officially and meant to be so considered. But all this is of very
     little consequence in comparison of that of the light in which the
     thing itself places you, if it were possible that you could adopt
     the resolution you speak of.

     I take it for granted that Dundas's Bill is meant only to extend to
     British subjects, or may easily be so limited. As such, it is
     surely highly advantageous in the present moment to have the
     services of the men who, of all British officers, have seen the
     most real service.

     I do not think that the Vienna news at all lessens the expediency
     of calling out the remaining third of the Militia. It is highly
     probable that the French, seeing that they cannot hope to contend
     again with England and Austria joined together, may determine to
     accelerate their attack on us, and put the whole on that one
     desperate issue.

     Ever, my dearest brother,
     Most affectionately yours,

The insurrection in Ireland was now approaching the moment which had
been arranged by the rebels for the final move upon the capital. The
whole plan of the rising, which was to have taken place on the 23rd of
May, appeared in the details of a paper found upon the person of Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, whose capture on the 19th frustrated the designs of
the infatuated conspirators. Measures of the most careful precaution had
been previously taken by the Government. Sir Ralph Abercromby, who had
been in command of the army, and expressed a wish to retire, was
replaced by General Lake, whose knowledge of the country afforded the
strongest assurance of success in the vigorous proceedings it became
necessary to adopt.

The presence of the military in the disturbed districts, and the
numerous seizures of arms and arrests of members of the provincial
committees that were organized over the country, had considerably
deranged the plans and weakened the resources of the confederacy
previously to the arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, which effectually
crushed the hopes of the rebels, although for some months afterwards
they carried on a sort of flying campaign, with a desperation and
ferocity that constantly baffled the operations of the regular troops.
Lord Edward Fitzgerald died on the 3rd of June from the effects of the
wounds he received in the frantic resistance he offered to the persons
who arrested him.


     Cleveland Row, May 25th, 1798.

     Accounts of a very satisfactory nature have been received here this
     morning from Dublin. They were upon the very brink of an
     insurrection, which was to have taken place on the 22nd. They had
     intelligence of it, and by the arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald and
     the two Sheares's, who were at the head of the plot, they have not
     only disconcerted this plan, but have procured indisputable
     evidence for proceeding against these traitors, and have now, I
     trust, the certainty of convicting them. A special Commission is
     preparing for the purpose of bringing them to trial as speedily as
     possible, but it will require about a month before all the forms
     can be got through. We are sending back O'Connor to them, and it is
     probable that his trial may be included in the same Commission.

     They write on the 21st, in the best possible spirits, from the
     Castle. The attack was intended against Chapelizod, the magazine in
     the Phoenix, and the Castle, at the same time; and in order to
     increase the confusion, the houses of some of the leading people
     were also to have been attacked, and the individuals, at the head
     of whom of course was the Chancellor, were to be put to death. The
     camp near Dublin was also to be assaulted.

     In the desk of one of the Sheares's was found the proclamation
     ready drawn, which was to be issued for the establishment of the
     Republican Government.

     A letter was written on the 21st, to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, by
     Lord Castlereagh, to acquaint him with this design, and to order
     him to make search for arms, &c., and a message was to be sent to
     Parliament the 21st or 22nd. They are not quite sure that the idea
     of the insurrection was abandoned, even after this blow-up; but
     they were so completely on their guard, that there was nothing to
     be apprehended.

     You will have seen that Lord E. F. made a desperate resistance when
     he was taken. It is, however, supposed that Ryan will recover,
     though stabbed in the belly. They had already taken about two
     thousand pikes in Dublin alone, and great numbers in the adjacent
     counties. On the whole, I trust that with vigorous measures, such
     as every one will feel this crisis requires, the seeds of the
     rebellion will be crushed.

     I think there are full grounds to proceed against Lord Thanet and
     Co. for a conspiracy to rescue, as well as for the riot. O'Connor's
     acquittal is imputed to Miller's charge, and _that_ to his being
     completely exhausted, so as to omit some of the most material
     points in the evidence.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Cleveland Row, June 1st, 1798.

     I did not answer your letter earlier, because I waited to know the
     opinion of others on the subject of the proposal which you mention.
     I find that there is a very strong apprehension of creating by it
     dissatisfaction among the Militia, and of impeding the future
     raising and augmentation of that force. For it is reasoned thus:
     although in the present moment the public spirit is so high that it
     is probable a very large part would readily concur in a similar
     proposition, yet there would certainly be many individuals, and
     perhaps some bodies among them, who would be reluctant to alter
     their original terms of service. These persons would hardly be
     placed in a fair situation, because although the option would still
     nominally be left to them; yet that would be attended with so much
     odium, and would so much carry the appearance of backwardness, that
     any persons in such a time as this, and particularly persons
     engaged in military service, would naturally be very unwilling to
     expose themselves to it. By this means, all security and confidence
     in the original terms of enlistment would be lost, and both
     officers and men, deliberating about entering into the Militia,
     would do it with the idea that they might continually be called
     upon to serve out of the kingdom, which would destroy the whole
     Militia system.

     Besides this, another objection strikes me, which I think perhaps
     even stronger than the preceding. It is that of the loss of
     security to this country, both in point of fact and opinion, from
     rendering that force applicable otherwise than to the immediate
     protection of Great Britain. I hope that in all cases we should
     have done our best, according to such judgment as we could form at
     the time: but I will fairly own to you that I do not myself believe
     that England would have been now as secure as I trust it is, if we
     had possessed the power of disposing of the Militia regiments for
     Channel or Irish service, and much less if that power had also been
     extended to the continent in general.

     A third argument I think of little weight, but I know from what I
     have heard in general conversation on the subject, that it would
     make considerable impression among a particular class of men. The
     Militia is now raised by a sort of direct burthen on the landed
     interest, who are reconciled to it from the apparent and visible
     protection which their property derives from it. Whereas, if it was
     applied to purposes of more general, though possibly greater,
     public advantage, that would be called _unfair_ upon the counties,
     as the term now is, and we should infallibly have proposals for
     throwing the whole burthen, in all its various shapes, more equally
     on the general mass of property within the kingdom.

     For all these reasons, tempting as it would be in the present state
     of the war, to avail ourselves of the service of that which
     constitutes the greatest part of our regular force for the purpose
     of those operations, with the necessity of which we are thoroughly
     impressed, yet I really do not think, nor is it thought by others,
     that we can prudently attempt it.

     A more limited idea has occurred to me, in which I think your zeal
     might be useful in the way of example. It is this. In any case of
     invasion (which is by no means to be put out of the question,
     however the public love to flatter themselves about it) I think it
     is evident that there might, and probably would be, much boat
     service. It is by no means impossible that, even in the very act of
     landing, they might have to be opposed by gun-boats, _et id genus
     omne_, and that troops would be wanted for that service. If landed,
     and having taken Dumourier's "_position on the coast_" to wait for
     reinforcements and provisions, perhaps the General who commands our
     force in that quarter may wish to attack them from the sea, without
     waiting for the certain arm of starvation which would be hanging
     over them. The same principle applies to the defence of our tide
     rivers, harbours, &c. Now, for all this, I should think it would be
     highly useful that our troops should in some degree be trained to
     this boat work, and though perhaps an inland regiment of Militia
     might not be thought the best to begin with, yet by suggesting this
     idea to Sir W. Howe, and expressing your readiness and that of your
     regiment to lend yourselves to it, an example might be set to
     others and a very useful practice introduced.

     I wrote this early in the morning and before the arrival of the
     post, so that I do not know whether there will be any accounts from
     Dublin. If there are, I will add them before I close this letter.
     Those of yesterday were, as I understood from the Duke of P. and
     King, perfectly good, but I did not see them. The only thing that
     appears at all distressing is that the communication with the south
     was still interrupted, and although this may arise from the
     disturbed state of any one point through which the roads pass, yet
     it is productive of uneasiness, and may afford opportunities for
     spreading alarms in the south, the consequences of which might be
     very serious. No disturbance had shown itself in the north.

     Buonaparte is gone to Toulon instead of Rastadt, and it is now
     publicly declared at Paris that his object is Cadiz, Portugal, or
     Ireland. If we are not more than commonly unfortunate, _il trouvera
     à qui parler en chemin_.

     I do not think Pitt could avoid answering Fremy's call, and as it
     has turned out it is certainly better as it is. One shudders to
     think what might have happened.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

     I do not enclose the "Gazette," because I conclude you have it.
     There was nothing else of any importance from Ireland last night,
     and nothing at all this morning.

In the month of June, Lord Cornwallis, upon whose military talents the
Cabinet placed great reliance, was appointed to succeed Lord Camden in
the government of Ireland; and the Irish Secretaryship was again offered
to Mr. Thomas Grenville, and declined.


     Aylesbury, June 11th, 1798.

     By a letter from Cleveland Row which I have this moment received, I
     find the Irish storm, which I told you I had seen gathering, is
     likely to fall as I had expected it. It is settled that Lord
     Cornwallis is to go Lord-Lieutenant, and in case of Pelham's
     declining on account of his health, I see I shall be urged in the
     strongest manner possible to fill his situation there. I have
     already talked this matter so much over with you, and you know so
     entirely, both my utter aversion to it, and my reluctance to
     decline any personal risk or inconvenience in these critical times,
     that I cannot on either side add anything upon this subject; but
     upon a matter of so much anxiety and importance to me, a matter too
     of which you are in every respect qualified to give me so good an
     opinion, you will not be surprised at the solicitude which I
     express to know all that you may think about it. Perhaps it may not
     come in question, if Pelham is strong again and in health, but if
     it does, as very possibly it may, I cannot enough say how desirous
     I shall be to discuss the whole matter with you; and as time may
     press in the instant of its being proposed, I know that you will
     readily turn this in your mind in the present moment. I shall be in
     town on Thursday, which being a fair day here, ends our eight days'
     exercise; it has passed very prosperously, they do extremely well,
     and have been from seventy to eighty out, and working every day
     seven or eight hours. We go on to beat the rebels in Ireland, but
     we beat them into soldiers.

     God bless you, dearest brother.


     Cleveland Row, June 13th, 1798.

     I do not hear of any Irish news this morning; if there is any, I
     will add it before I close this letter. I entirely agree with you
     in thinking the situation of Irish Secretary to be in rank and
     estimation much below Tom's calibre. In point of real utility and
     scope for displaying the powers of his mind, God knows it is
     difficult, extensive, and important enough for the talents of the
     greatest man this country ever saw. It is, however, as you will
     have learnt by my note of yesterday, out of the question; and
     Pelham's rank is too much on a level with his, to admit of the idea
     of interposing Tom or Lord D. between Lord C. and him.

     When I wrote yesterday, I had not seen Nugent's letter, nor indeed
     heard much of the particulars, as you will have seen from my
     letter. I think nothing can be better than Nugent's conduct seems
     to have been, and his letter is extremely manly, distinct and
     judicious. But what a picture does it offer of our officers! I
     believe I do not know _this_ Lumley; but I do not, as far as I
     _have_ known them, think that there is one of the race fit to be
     trusted with the command of a patrole of watchmen, from Lord
     Scarborough downwards. Walpole I had long known, and certainly I
     should have said the same of him. What a calamity it is, that our
     army has not yet been taught that the command of troops in moments
     of difficulty and danger requires skill and knowledge, and is not a
     faculty bought with a commission at the regulated price.

     _Je vois très en noir_ about this Irish business; but with me that
     feeling never has, I trust, operated otherwise than as an
     incitement to greater exertion, "to bate no jot of heart, or hope,
     but still bear up, and steer right onward." We have gone through
     such scenes as this country has never before known; where we have
     been wanting in firmness, we have suffered for it; where we have
     shown courage adequate to the danger, God has borne us through it;
     and so I trust He will do. At all events, our lives, and honour,
     and the existence of our country, are staked upon the issue, and
     nothing but resolution can save us.

     I saw with the greatest pleasure the address of your regiment. I am
     happy it has taken that shape, because I think it the least
     exceptionable, and still am inclined to the measure. If it
     depended on my choice alone, I do not think many hours would pass
     over before you would be in march.

     It really looks as if Buonaparte was after all in sober truth going
     to Egypt: and Dundas seems to think the scheme of attacking India
     from thence not so impracticable as it may appear. I am still
     incredulous as to the latter point, though as to the former I am
     shaken. But as Buonaparte on the 23rd was still off Toulon, and as
     Lord St. Vincent must have detached on the 21st at latest, there is
     much reason to hope that Nelson may destroy all these visions, be
     they what they may. From the coasts of Normandy and Brittany the
     troops are in great part withdrawn--they do the Germans too much

     Ever yours,

One of the plans of Ministers (which appears to have originated with
Lord Buckingham) for inspiring confidence in Ireland, was to send over a
few regiments of English Militia, during the continuance of the
disturbances. Lord Buckingham was the first colonel of an English
Militia regiment that volunteered upon that service, and, remembering
the position he had on two former occasions occupied in Ireland, his
example in taking the lead on such an occasion was productive of the
happiest effects in awakening the zeal of others.


     Cleveland Row, June 28th, 1798.

     I this morning received your letter from Liverpool. I rejoice to
     think that the Wexford news will probably make your stay at Dublin
     of no long continuance, and much as I regret the present
     inconvenience to yourself, yet I will own that it is gratifying to
     me that this news did not arrive time enough to stop your
     embarkation. I consider it as very important on many accounts that
     some of the British Militia regiments should actually arrive in
     Ireland, and I would not willingly forego the pride of knowing that
     your regiment was the first of them. We have no news here of any
     kind; indeed Ireland has engaged the whole attention of everybody
     here, and left us no leisure to think of anything else except to
     cast now and then a longing wish to the Mediterranean. We have, as
     you will have heard from my brother, accounts of Nelson's being
     actually in the Mediterranean, and such particulars as seem to
     leave no doubt of his having been joined by the ten of the line and
     the fifty under Trowbridge. I am more and more convinced that
     Buonaparte's intention was only to proceed to Corsica and to wait
     there the event of the negotiations, hanging upon the rear of
     Naples and Tuscany, but without any other _present_ object, and
     then to be determined by circumstances as to the future destination
     of his fleet, for Portugal, Great Britain, Ireland, or the West
     Indies. If we have tolerable luck, Nelson will disappoint all these

     When you see Lord Clare, pray tell him that in consequence of his
     having been spoken of by the Duke of Bedford and Lord Holland last
     night in a manner extremely galling to my feelings, I took the
     opportunity to express the sentiments which I believe he knows I
     entertain of his character and conduct. This passed with the doors
     of the House shut, so that he will not see any account of it in the
     papers. He will not suppose that I claim any thanks for a bare act
     of duty and justice, nor should I have wished it to be mentioned to
     him from me, if I had not thought it just possible that he might
     hear of the attack, in which case I should have felt much concern
     if he had not at the same time known that it had been treated with
     as much indignation and scorn as it merited.

     The business of Williams is arranged to your wishes. I shall be
     anxious to hear of your son after his arrival at Dublin, for I did
     not think the account of his leg at all comfortable. If the Irish
     news continues good, you will not, I think, have any other Militia
     regiments besides those now there. We expect Lord Camden to-day.
     Lord Darnley made a useful speech last night, in which he told us,
     amongst other things, that he had never witnessed so much
     satisfaction from any event at Dublin, as from the destruction of
     Lord Moira's town. Lord M. was not there, and kept the Prince of
     Wales away.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

Lord Buckingham arrived in Dublin towards the end of June, to the
infinite satisfaction of Lord Cornwallis, who found himself surrounded
by the usual perplexities of Irish Government, considerably increased by
the excited condition of the country.

The general opinion entertained in England of the change that had
recently taken place in the character of the Irish insurrection, may be
gathered from a passage in a letter addressed to Lord Buckingham by Mr.
Thomas Grenville, on the 5th of July.

     As far as I can judge from the public accounts in the newspapers,
     the rebellion seems rather to have changed its shape than to have
     abandoned its object, and it may be a question whether much
     advantage is gained in its becoming a Maroon war of plunderers and
     banditti, rather than continuing to be a formal array regularly
     opposed to the regular army in the country; because though it may
     be true that the danger of a large army of rebels may be a danger
     of greater magnitude, as well as more immediate, yet it furnishes
     at least the opportunity of meeting that danger, and of grappling
     with it; whereas this plundering, robbing, and burning war,
     carried on by an infinite number of small parties, associated
     together and hiding together like the thieves in the cave of Gil
     Blas, puts the peace and the security of the country in greater
     danger, keeps up a more constant alarm, is more difficult to
     resist, because it is more difficult to find and to prepare
     against, and, what is not the least consideration, it utterly ruins
     and destroys the hopes of these men, after indulging long in such
     habits, returning again either to labour or even to subordination.

     To me, therefore, I own it seems to be more necessary than ever to
     make the most active exertions in order to counteract this new
     shape of evil; and I do hope and trust that, however ungracious and
     mortifying it may be to military habits and military education to
     be opposed to what may be deemed petty bands of robbers and
     incendiaries, Lord Cornwallis will feel the necessity of applying
     his best military talents in a service where no military glory can
     be obtained, except as it may be applied to the restoration of the
     security and tranquillity of the country.

The forbearance of Lord Cornwallis is alluded to in a subsequent letter
from Lord Grenville. It was felt that his lenity in treating with the
rebels was misplaced, and that the Government ought to have adopted a
more decided course in extinguishing the dying embers of the

     I do not know how to trust my own judgment upon the very small
     lights which (_entre nous_) Lord C. gives us as to what he is doing
     in Ireland. But as far as I can judge, he is proceeding very fast
     indeed, particularly when he allows rebels to stipulate for the
     point of honour of not naming their confederates, and thereby
     accepts a fresh act of misprision of treason, as a satisfaction for
     former acts of treason. But this of course is only to you. The
     great point I wish to be assured of, _if I could_, is that he has
     not suffered a nearer view of difficulties to discourage him from
     the pursuit of the only measure which can make it signify one
     farthing what he does in the present moment. Let him carry that,
     and I will willingly compromise for all the rest.

On the 22nd of August the long-threatened French invasion took place in
a shape that covered the expedition with universal ridicule. A handful
of men, to the number of eight hundred, landed at Killala, and were
joined by the rebels; and when they were attacked by General Lake a few
days afterwards, the whole force surrendered at discretion. This
incident formed a striking contrast to the progress of the French in
other directions, for at the very time when they were suffering this
humiliation in Ireland, their victorious arms were completing the
subjugation of Switzerland.


     Dropmore, August 27th, 1798.

     I am much obliged to you for your letter, which I got last night,
     with the other accounts of the landing at Killala. I hope we are
     not too sanguine in thinking that the French are much too late for
     their object, and that the result of this expedition will give us
     fresh security. The interval is however unavoidably one of some
     anxiety, and I confess I regret now Lord Cornwallis's security in
     declining to receive any further reinforcements, though it is
     seldom that a General fails _on that side_. All this can only be
     with a view to the possibility of a general insurrection; for
     without that their twelve hundred men are not worth a second
     thought, and their arms are merely thrown away.

     I see in their full force all the difficulties that might arise in
     the contingency of Lord Cornwallis's death. But I trust that danger
     is as remote as the death of any man can reasonably be said to be.
     There would be much inconvenience in its being suspected or known
     that he had a provisional successor named and resident on the spot,
     because Irish speculation would extend the contingency thus
     provided for, from the case of his death to that of his
     resignation. The subject shall however be considered, and your name
     shall certainly not be brought forward unless I see that the thing
     would be wished; the only footing on which it is possible to place
     so liberal and generous an offer.

     God bless you.

     No more news of Buonaparte or Nelson. I terribly fear that the
     latter will do something _too_ desperate.

     Austria and Russia are evidently, _at last_, preparing for war. But
     we are now in the end of August, and with a very little more
     hesitation and delay the possibility of acting this year is gone,
     and then France _must_ use the _winter_ to divide us all by
     separate negotiations.

In a subsequent letter, Lord Grenville again refers to the policy acted
upon by Lord Cornwallis in reference to the rebels.

     With respect to the political system I had my doubts, and expressed
     them to you, at the time that your opinions, formed I am sure every
     way on much better means of judging than I have, was more
     favourable to what was doing. But the experience is now, I am sorry
     to say it, wholly on my side, and I am every hour more and more
     persuaded that the old rules are best, and that Government has not
     gained, but lose extremely, by allowing traitors to treat with them
     in a body, and to stipulate for the right to commit a fresh and
     distinct act of misprision of treason, for which they are at this
     time indictable, till this new offence is protected with the old
     ones by a Bill of pardon.

     The situation of the Secretary, who is afraid to act on his opinion
     in a great parliamentary question, is neither respectable nor
     useful; but I protest that I am not more a stranger to Buonaparte's
     government of Egypt than I am to that of Ireland. It cannot
     continue in this state; but unfortunately, in these times it is not
     enough to see that a thing is wrong, but one must be sure that in
     endeavouring to correct it we do not produce some fresh and greater
     mischief. It is a bad subject, and _fait faire du mauvais sang_.

     My flock is more docile, and my Emperors are going to war like good
     boys, but they have been a long while bringing themselves to it.

The excellent effect produced by the presence of the English Militia in
Ireland, led Lord Grenville to desire the extension of a service which,
in many points of view, was admirably calculated to check the
insubordinate temper of the people. The English character offered an
example of steadiness and discipline which could hardly fail to make
some impression on the disordered masses of the population; while the
independence of all local interests and sectarian prejudices displayed
by those troops might be reasonably hoped to exercise a beneficial
influence on the minds of dispassionate people. Lord Cornwallis,
however, held a different opinion; but he was so chary in his
communications to the Cabinet, that we find Lord Grenville constantly
complaining of not receiving any intelligence from the Castle, either as
to the views of the Government or the events that were passing in the
country. "You will easily imagine," he observes in a letter to Lord
Buckingham, "I still feel some anxiety for further information, when I
tell you that neither from Lord-Lieutenant nor Secretary have we, by
this messenger, one word more than you will see in the 'Gazette'
published this day. This system must have its end." The zeal of the
English Militia was not likely to be much encouraged by the plan of
close councils and sudden resolves thus pursued by Lord Cornwallis, and
which, excellent, perhaps, in reference to regular troops, was
calculated to produce resentments and discontents amongst voluntary and
temporary levies. An unfortunate misunderstanding which occurred at this
time between Lord Cornwallis and Lord Buckingham developed the state of
feeling existing between the Irish Government and the English Militia,
and brought it to a very unexpected crisis.

A detachment of the Bucks had been ordered by the Lord-Lieutenant into
the field, and Lord Buckingham, as colonel of the regiment, conceived
that he had a right to take the command; but Lord Cornwallis, who looked
at these matters with the formality and decision of a martinet,
exercised his own discretion in giving the command to another officer.
The grounds of Lord Buckingham's exception to the Lord-Lieutenant's
dictum on this point were, that the detachment taken from his regiment
for this particular service was numerically greater than the remainder
of the regiment left behind, and that being also of greater force than a
detachment from another regiment with which it was to act, he was
entitled to take the command of both. Lord Cornwallis, however,
overruled his wishes, as tending to produce inconvenience to the service
in the matter of rank, and in other respects. To Lord Buckingham's
remonstrance on the subject, Lord Cornwallis transmitted a reply which
induced Lord Buckingham to request his Lordship's permission to lay the
whole correspondence before the King. It was to be expected under these
feelings of irritation that Lord Buckingham should have been desirous of
returning to England. But the expression of such a desire was liable to
misconstruction. Lord Grenville felt that it was possible it might be
interpreted into an appearance of declining service.

     Now, my dear brother, as to the question of sending the Bucks back,
     I really scarce know what to do about it. I have no communications
     (for none of us have any) which can enable one to form the least
     guess of Lord Cornwallis's intentions, much less any previous
     knowledge of his measures. Nothing could be more unexpected to me
     than to hear that he had ordered back any part of the Militia
     force, which can alone enable him to accomplish his object, or to
     protect Ireland during the winter. If any part is to go back, it
     certainly seems reasonable that those who went first should be
     first relieved; but I am totally at a loss how to take any steps
     for this purpose which shall not be liable to interpretations the
     most repugnant to your feelings and to the spirit with which you
     set the example of a measure by which alone Ireland was to be
     preserved to this country.

     In a state of unreserved communication, such as ought to prevail
     between a Lord-Lieutenant and his employers, or with a Secretary to
     whom one might speak openly, and put such a point on its true
     bearing, there would be no difficulty; but you know how far we are
     from such a situation. Nor can I honestly advise the taking any
     steps towards the removal of any part of the British Militia from
     Ireland; though if any is to come away contrary to my opinion, I
     feel and acknowledge the justice of your claim, and should, for
     every personal reason to yourself, be most anxious to contribute
     towards relieving you from such a scene. But even then, how to make
     the application, and urge the claim without putting it into his
     power to say that there is an appearance of declining service, I
     know not, and yet I much wish to manage it. I have made an indirect
     suggestion, in the hope that it may be conveyed to him, of the
     propriety of considering (if any come away) how the choice should
     be made; but I cannot answer for it that this will be stated to
     him, and still less that he will pay any attention to it; and I am
     restrained by the very forcible consideration I have already
     mentioned, from taking more direct and active steps.

Lord Castlereagh was now appointed to the Secretaryship in Ireland, and
the question of the Union, which had been for some time under the
consideration of Government, began to shape itself into a practical
form. We have here the first rough outline of the views of Ministers
upon that measure.


     Dropmore, Nov. 5th, 1798.

     I am extremely obliged to you for your constant and kind letters,
     which supply the vacancy of all other information. You will
     perhaps know before you receive this, that after having employed
     Pitt, and through him, me, and also General Ross, separately, to
     press Tom to accept the thankless office of his Secretary, Lord
     Cornwallis has, without one word of communication to him, written
     to say that, Pelham declining, he desires to have Lord Castlereagh.
     It is of a piece with all the rest! Pelham _has_ declined, and so
     the whole thing will go on exactly as it does now. Yet, lamenting
     this most sincerely on public grounds, I cannot but rejoice that
     Tom is not to be embarked _dans cette maudite galère_. For what
     satisfaction or honour could he receive from it? If he had gone at
     first, he might have acquired and exercised some influence over his
     principal, and God knows that could not but have turned to good.
     But now the _pli_ is taken, the system is set up, and what can
     alter it I know not. With respect to Lord Castlereagh, I have
     always heard him spoken of as a man of parts and character; but he
     cannot have, with Lord Cornwallis, or with the public, the weight
     which his peculiar situation requires.

     You will easily do me justice enough to believe that I am not blind
     to the difficulties which all this heaps on the object (already
     sufficiently difficult) which we have in view. I have had no
     opportunity (and I am vexed at it) to discuss this subject in
     private with Lord Clare. He was to have come here in his way to
     Ireland, but he now writes me word that his letters from Ireland
     are so pressing for his immediate return that he cannot lose a day.
     I can well enough understand that his absence dissolves the little
     government that did exist; but I fear, from what Pitt tells me, he
     has not spoken out to him, nor would probably to me, as to the real
     state of affairs there. I am assured that he talks not only
     decisively of the necessity, but also _very sanguinely_ of the
     success of our measure, provided always that no attempt is made to
     change, as a part of the Union, the existing laws about the
     Catholics. And in this last point I am very much disposed to agree
     with him now, though before the rebellion I should have thought
     differently. For, the doing this thing as a part of the present
     measure, would be to hold out an encouragement to rebellion,
     instead of showing that every endeavour to disunite Great Britain
     and Ireland only makes them "cling close and closer" to each other.

     I send you the sketch of our ideas--beyond that, I am sorry to say
     we have not yet proceeded, though time presses so much. Many points
     of detail will obviously arise from the discussion of these general
     ideas, but who is to discuss them if the Lord-Lieutenant is afraid
     to communicate with anybody? Forster has been written to twice, to
     come over here; he holds back, but will I suppose now come, and
     means will easily be found of having _that_ said to him which may
     be necessary, whatever it may be.

     One great doubt in my mind has been the mode of bringing the thing
     into regular shape. In the case of two really independent kingdoms,
     like England and Scotland, an union was as much matter of treaty as
     an alliance between either of them and Austria and Prussia, but
     here the kingdoms are inseparably annexed to each other, and the
     legislatures only are independent. The King cannot, therefore, by
     commission or full powers, authorize two sets of his subjects to
     treat with each other concerning the mode in which he shall
     hereafter govern his two kingdoms.

     The manner in which _the Irish propositions_, as they were called,
     were brought forward in 1785, was in my mind the most objectionable
     part of that whole measure, and that which most contributed to its
     failure. The scheme which has occurred to me in the present
     instance is that the King should, by Order in Council in each
     kingdom, refer it to a Committee of Council in each, to consider of
     the means of an union, referring to them at the same time some
     general sketch like that which I now enclose to you, or possibly a
     little more detailed. Towards the conclusion of the business, it
     might perhaps be necessary that the King should order a part of his
     Irish Committee of Council to come over to confer with the British
     Committee on any points of difficulty; and if at last the two
     Committees can be brought to agree on one plan, _that_ might by the
     King be submitted to the consideration of Parliament in both
     kingdoms, and then passed all together, in one Bill, as in the case
     of the Scotch Union.

     You will observe in this plan which I now send, the particular care
     taken not to alter the present rights of election, nor to give into
     any theory of uniting small boroughs into sets, and leaving cities
     as at present, in order to equalize, as it is called, the
     representation of Ireland. This I consider as the corner-stone of
     the whole building. If once we touch this, Parliamentary Reform
     rushes in upon us here and in Ireland; and, as my friend Condorcet
     said, "from thence to the establishment of a complete republic, the
     transition will be short indeed."

     In better times, if we lived in them, I could certainly arrange
     this matter more according to my own fancy; and there is nobody who
     could not make to himself some theory on this subject, the very
     framing of which is an amusing occupation of the mind, and for
     which it then acquires a parental fondness. But now, if ever, and
     here if in any matter, _stare super vias antiguas_ is the only
     salvation to this country.

     The idea of the French tariff I consider as very luminous and
     happy. It was suggested by Cooke, but possibly he may not like that
     it should be known, either to his principal or to the public, that
     he is in the course of offering such suggestions.

     You will not complain at least of the shortness of _this_ letter. I
     sent you no bulletin about transports in Alexandria, because, I am
     sorry to say, I do not believe one word of the report, but am
     persuaded that it will turn out to be nothing more than the
     destroying a gun-boat or two, the account of which we received and
     published long ago. I am, however, totally without letters from
     Eden by the last mail, from which I conclude that he has, _for
     expedition's sake_, sent a messenger with his letters, who will
     some time or another arrive. But there are many occasions of
     sending a messenger besides this news. It does seem likely that
     Malta will itself drive out the French. What a wonderful change in
     twelve months!

     God bless you.

The affairs of the continent, which had undergone latterly some
considerable alterations, appearing to open a favourable opportunity for
laying the foundation of a new confederation against France, Mr. Thomas
Grenville was charged with a mission to undertake negotiations for that
purpose. His destination was Vienna and Berlin, with a roving commission
subject to circumstances. The rash and impolitic ambition of France had
awakened an angry resistance on the part of Austria, who had recently
entered into an alliance with the Court of St. Petersburg; and England,
desiring to avail herself of these events, employed Mr. Grenville to
ascertain the views of Prussia and Austria with reference to the
formation of a general combination against the common enemy. "He will
have, if I mistake not," observes Lord Grenville, "very much the glory
of signing the overthrow of Jacobin France."


     Charles Street, Nov. 16th, 1798.

     I had yesterday a long conversation with Lord G., who assured me
     that his friend here had continued to the present moment to
     express the same wish with respect to my destination, as he had at
     first conveyed in the month of June last; but that a strong wish
     being expressed on your side of the water for the present shape,
     the great man here had thought it necessary to give way to the
     great man there. Be this, however, as it may, he continued to state
     so strongly the conviction of his own mind, and that of his
     colleagues, to be that I could do a service in foreign mission
     highly important to do, and with greater probability of success
     than any other man, he appealed so directly to that sense of duty
     which I had always announced as governing my conduct against even
     the course of my own inclinations, that I told him, much as I
     thought I had reason to complain, I would still be faithful to the
     sense of duty to which he appealed; and upon his assurances, that
     his colleagues felt as strongly as himself the importance of my
     giving way to their wishes, I agreed to do whatever came within the
     description of real or important service.

     The general view of that service I cannot better describe to you in
     large, than by saying that my local situation must be governed by
     the circumstances of the time; but wherever I may be, my business
     will be to arrange a better understanding among the powers of the
     continent than has hitherto been found in them. It is again upon
     this subject that I have more than ever to regret our separation,
     because you will easily see how much of a subject like the present
     I should anxiously wish to talk confidentially over with you, that
     it would yet be impossible for me to put upon paper in the shape of
     a letter; but in this short description you will see at once the
     importance of the subject, and your readiness in all business will
     easily suggest to you the numberless difficulties which are likely
     to attach upon this. To those difficulties I am not blind; but it
     is because they are felt to be such, that I think it my duty to
     engage in them, and in that sentiment I am sure to have your

     With respect to Mr. Fisher, you will easily see that for such a
     situation I shall want the assistance which I have understood from
     you he is well qualified and well disposed to give; I dare say,
     therefore, that you will advise and recommend to me, to make this
     proposal to him; and yet, till I have again seen Lord Grenville, to
     know upon what footing of expense this stands, I do not know what I
     can afford to offer to him, nor how far the situation of Envoy
     Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary will, in point of pay,
     furnish what Mr. Fisher ought to have; I will write again as soon
     as I am better informed, for I apprehend that there will not be
     much time to lose.

     I think with you, that Tone's business has been awkwardly bothered.
     I met Lord G. and Mr. P. this morning in the park; and was glad to
     show them your letter, to give them the information, with your own
     comments upon this strange jumble so unnecessarily produced. Do not
     make any proposal to Fisher till you hear again from me. Can he
     cypher? Does he understand German, &c.? I suppose, by your
     recommending him, he does. My chief doubt is the insufficiency of
     pay, and the impossibility of holding out future expectation
     whatever. My route will probably be Berlin in about a fortnight;
     but nothing can be more uncertain than my stay.

     God bless you, dearest brother.


     Charles Street, November 19th, 1798.

     I have been anxious, as you will naturally suppose, to lose no time
     in making such arrangements as may in any shape assist a situation
     so little to my taste, and so repeatedly refused by me, till it was
     put in such a shape of duty, as neither my opinions nor yours could
     allow me to put by. I have therefore pressed for information on the
     subject of Mr. Fisher, and wish to take the earliest opportunity of
     stating to you how that matter stands. My mission will be a special
     mission to Berlin and Vienna, and William is desirous of putting it
     upon the footing and establishment of Ambassador in Ordinary,
     though with the rank only of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
     Plenipotentiary, and with that of Privy Councillor; for I
     understood that this last high honour will facilitate the means of
     increasing the establishment of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
     Plenipotentiary to that of Ambassador in Ordinary. If this meets
     with no difficulty, he hopes likewise, upon inquiry, to find
     himself justified in allowing me a private secretary, at something
     less than that of a Secretary of Legation, which is a guinea per
     day. With this general description, therefore, I immediately
     acquaint you, and hope you will think its outline tempting enough
     to Mr. Fisher to engage him to come immediately, although I cannot
     yet name the specific sum to be allowed to him. I must, however,
     add that William has urged me in the strongest manner to hold out
     to Mr. Fisher no expectation of farther remuneration or promotion
     in consequence of this employment; not only because officially he
     never admits any such claim of a private secretary, but also
     because, by the many foreign appointments lost in the present state
     of Europe, he is overloaded with claims of promotion, so as to
     leave him no such means whatever. I think it fair to state this as
     strongly as it was told me; but, as in your former letter you had
     expressed Mr. Fisher's readiness to come to me _without any
     expectation of farther remuneration_, I am still inclined to think
     that I may depend upon this arrangement as made, and trust to you
     for obtaining immediate leave of absence for him in Ireland; I say
     _immediate_, because I apprehend that my stay in England cannot
     possibly exceed a fortnight from to-day, though I cannot well be
     prepared much under that time.

     Of course, you will suppose me to be very impatient for Mr.
     Fisher's arrival; and I trust he will lose no time, but will let me
     see him in London as soon after you receive this letter as he
     conveniently can. I cannot describe the probable duration of my
     absence, it may be three months, or twelve, or more or less; but it
     is too uncertain to leave me any fixed opinion even in my own mind.
     Lord Elgin goes to Constantinople, where he will find Sir Sydney,
     Koehler, &c. &c.

     There is no foreign news whatever by the last mail; but many
     accounts are come in of great loss on both sides, both insurgents
     and the republican troops in Flanders; and the country is in such a
     state, that the six last mails from France have not yet reached

     A strong report prevails of Guadaloupe having given itself to the
     English. It is believed in the city, on the credit of a Danish
     ship, arrived from St. Thomas at Portsmouth; and I think they are
     disposed to believe it at the Admiralty, though they have no
     official account of it.

     Our idea in London is, that all Irish courts-martial proceeding on
     martial law will be suspended till this question is decided; my own
     opinion is, that if the courts of law can safely sit, the courts of
     martial law cannot exist at the same time. These latter seem to me
     to grow only out of such a disturbed state of things as will not
     allow of the due administration of justice by the regular course of
     law, and therefore that for a time military government must for the
     common safety stand in lieu of the courts of law; but to allow the
     courts of law to resume their functions, is, in itself, as it
     strikes me, a notice of the cessation of martial law; they cannot
     go on together _inter arma silent leges_.

     It is expected that Fox and his friends will continue to secede;
     and Tierney support the Address, abuse O'Connor, and attack
     Government only on this last event in Ireland. Pray write to me by
     return of post. I presume I may depend on Mr. Fisher, and therefore
     that I am secure in waiting for him.

     No news yet of the 'Melpomene.'

     God bless you, my dearest brother.


     Cleveland Row, Dec. 11th, 1798.

     I have this morning received your letter; and to the first
     paragraph of it I will only say that I am too much accustomed to
     your kindness to be surprised at this fresh instance of it. Be
     assured that I feel it as I ought.

     Tom will, I think, set out to-morrow, though it is in truth useless
     for him to leave town while this east wind blows in the teeth of
     all our projects. He will have a more difficult task to accomplish
     than I once thought, particularly on account of a new intrigue that
     has just sprung up at Berlin, as if on purpose to cross or thwart
     our plans. Still, however, I persuade myself that all will
     ultimately go right, and I am confident that he will do whatever
     can be done.

     If no more solid arguments are opposed to the Union than those of
     Mr. Wild, we shall have at least the victory in disputation, though
     in point of violence and inflammation he will, to be sure, not be
     easily surpassed. The part which you say the Catholics are disposed
     to take is undoubtedly very important; but does this mean only
     their leaders, who do _not_ lead them, or has this opinion been
     spread among the parish priests and lower orders? Certainly, if
     they knew their interest, those descriptions ought to be peculiarly
     favourable to it, for they will come under the especial protection
     of the mildest and most equitable government upon the earth. But do
     they see and feel this, and are any pains taken to impress them
     with it? Forster's language continues to be very hostile, and I
     imagine he thinks the Government will be frightened out of the
     measure. The appointment of Commissioners seems, on the whole, to
     be unavoidable, and the Acts for that purpose should, I think, be
     proposed on the same day to both Parliaments.

     Much objection seems to be taken to any Committee or other body of
     that sort resident in Ireland; and perhaps the novelty in our
     Constitution of Members of Parliament who cannot attend Parliament
     is a solid objection to it. Would it not be easier to make the
     representation consist of thirty county members, eight or ten city
     members chosen from Dublin, Cork, &c., and the remainder elected by
     alternate choice from classes of four boroughs each? What I mean is
     not that the four in each class should choose altogether by
     delegates, &c., but that the choice should be in one of them for
     each Parliament, and this rotation settled at first by lot, and
     then to continue unalterable. If this will not do, we must then
     class them and choose by delegates, as in the Scotch precedent. But
     who shall regulate this classing? and how conciliate the jarring
     interests of great men?

     By the way, you got me into something of a scrape by giving Cooke a
     copy of the queries in the margin of the paper I sent you. I
     omitted to give you any caution on this subject, because I thought
     it was quite safe that you would not communicate it, and you
     probably thought that the communication was very unimportant and
     indifferent. It happened otherwise, but do not say anything to
     Cooke about it.

     You see the French papers confirm our hopes of Minorca. The
     Russians and Turks have begun their operations against the
     _department of the Egean Sea_, and have taken Cephalonia, I
     believe Zante. I expect to hear very soon of the attack of
     Alexandria by the Turks.

     Ever yours,

     Dec. 12.

     By a mistake this was omitted to be sent to you yesterday. No mails
     in to-day, nor anything new of any kind. By the newspaper accounts,
     Canning seems to have made an admirable speech yesterday.



About the middle of December, 1798, a provisional treaty had been
entered into between Russia and England, by which the Emperor bound
himself, on condition of a monthly subsidy from Great Britain, to have a
contingent of forty-five thousand men ready for the field, whenever the
common cause should require their services. The original object of this
treaty was to induce Prussia to join the confederacy of European powers
which England was now endeavouring to form against France, with a view
to bring the war to a conclusion by an overwhelming military
combination; but Prussia, guarded and timid, declined to embark in the
coalition; and, failing that result, Russia accepted the alternative of
a subsidy proposed and guaranteed by the treaty. The value of her
co-operation was not limited merely to the force she brought to bear
against the enemy. England hoped that the influence of her example would
stimulate the other Powers to concur in a general movement to repel the
aggressions of the French, who were rapidly extending the scene of
hostilities, and who, in the course of this year, carried their arms
over the whole surface of Italy, swept the banks of the Rhine,
penetrated Holland, and ravaged the valleys of Switzerland.

When Mr. Thomas Grenville set out upon his mission to the Courts of
Vienna and Berlin, intelligence had arrived of the disasters that had
recently befallen the King of Naples, who, alarmed at the approach of
the French, had taken the field with twenty thousand men, and was driven
back by Championet with a much inferior force, and compelled to act upon
the defensive. The last news was that Naples had surrendered to the
French after a gallant resistance, chiefly sustained by the Lazzaroni,
who have an insuperable aversion to all changes in their government.

The first incident that befell Mr. Grenville on his departure from
England was inauspicious and discouraging. The weather was unusually
severe. On the night of Christmas Eve, the thermometer was 14° below
freezing point; and for many weeks afterwards the snow lay so thickly on
the ground that the service of the ordinary coaches was arrested, and
the mails were forwarded on horseback. This delay and suspension of
communication occasioned serious anxiety at a time when every item of
intelligence was of importance to the country. The effect of the
inclement state of the season was to force Mr. Grenville back to
England. He embarked on his destination as had been arranged, but the
sea was frozen up, and, unable to effect a landing, he was compelled to
return and wait for a more favourable opportunity.

The Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland, which Ministers
were now preparing, was recommended to the consideration of Parliament
in a message from the King on the 22nd of January. The Rebellion had
given a decisive impulse to the project by effectually demonstrating the
want of power, energy, and influence of the local Parliament to control
the insubordinate spirit of the country, or to provide adequate remedies
for existing and acknowledged evils. It was considerably accelerated
also by the despair of the Protestants and the landed proprietors
generally, who, exhausted by the long and wasting struggles of faction,
looked to England, across the ashes of a desolating insurrection, for
the last hope of relief from anarchy and spoliation. In the letters that
immediately follow, the views of Ministers in reference to the proposed
plan are incidentally elucidated; and it appears, from Lord Grenville's
allusions to the subject, that it was originally suggested to make the
representation of the Irish Peerage in the Imperial Legislature elective
under every new Parliament, like that of the Scotch Peerage; a mode of
representation to which Lord Grenville objected, although, in other
respects, he approved of the adoption of the Scotch Union as a model for
imitation. He foresaw clearly the confusion and jealousies likely to be
engendered in such a country as Ireland by repeated elections amongst a
body whose title to the right of election rested on hereditary grounds,
and he felt that the frequent recurrence to such contests would re-open
old grievances and party feuds, and, instead of satisfying the
expectations of the Peers, would only create a new element of
discontent. The elective principle was the single feature in the Scotch
Union which Lord Grenville seems to have considered injudicious and
impolitic. We gather from many passages in his letters that he regarded
harmony in the structure of the legislative body to be as essential to
its effective action as unity in the executive; and that the nearer the
House of Lords approached to permanency in the foundation of all its
parts, the more completely would it realize, as a whole, the
constitutional theory of an hereditary estate.


     Cleveland Row, Jan. 4th, 1799.

     I have been so occupied this last week as really not to have had a
     moment to write to you. We have indeed nothing to write; this frost
     locks up all our communications; it has sent poor Tom back to us
     after nine days' sea-sickness, and when I hoped he was already at
     Berlin; and we are now told that less than a fortnight's thaw will
     not open the intercourse again. In that time how many things may be
     done, and what is worse, how many may not be done! Naples and
     Sardinia, with all that belongs to them, you will have seen in the
     French papers as fully as we, and we know no more.

     In this interval the Union engrosses all my thoughts. I worked hard
     when Lord Castlereagh was here to assist in expediting his return,
     for I clearly see that without communication the thing will not do,
     and that there can be none but through him. I was better satisfied
     than I had expected with his manner of doing business, which I
     found both ready and clear; and he seems to me to have the success
     of this measure most thoroughly at heart. Your letters teach me
     still to indulge hopes of success, but the prospect is certainly
     less favourable than it was, and the difficulties of Government
     with its supporters will be proportionably increased.

     Before you receive this you will have learnt that Parnell has been
     brought to a positive explanation of his sentiments. What the final
     issue has been I do not yet know, but I conclude it will be
     hostile, and in that case I think his removal will operate very
     favourably, particularly in dissipating the foolish idea you

     Lord Castlereagh brought over here a plan for the election of the
     Commons which was approved, and indeed I am satisfied it is the
     most reasonable. As it admits only nine or ten single members from
     cities, &c., and classes all the other boroughs _by twos_ it seems
     to me free from most of the objections you mention; all we cannot
     hope to obviate, but must on the whole choose between contending
     inconveniences on both sides. It is a very great merit of this plan
     in my eyes that it so closely follows the model of the Scotch

     Yet from that model I am tempted to think we ought to depart in the
     election for the House of Lords, by choosing for life, and letting
     the _electors_ sit in the House of Commons. When Lord Castlereagh
     was here I drew a scheme for that purpose, which he has taken over
     with him, in order to see which of the two plans is likely to be
     most palatable to the Irish peerage--this, or the mode followed in
     the Scotch Union. I own I think that the re-election of so large a
     number as near fifty Peers in every Parliament would tend almost to
     destroy the very principle of a House of Lords in our Constitution;
     nor do I think a body of Peers excluded from Parliament (like the
     Scotch) by any means a good elective body from Parliament to
     Parliament. With one vacancy at a time, arising from death, they
     may more safely be trusted.

     You gave me hopes some time since of receiving from you some ideas
     about provision for Catholic and Dissenting Clergy. I am very
     anxious for them.

     Adieu, I have exhausted my paper and my light.

     God bless you.


     Cleveland Row, Jan. 10th, 1799.

     * * * It is for you to send news, and not to receive it, for
     nothing is interesting just now but what relates to Ireland and the
     Union. Twelve days bring us to the prologue, to this swelling
     scene, as Shakspeare calls it. How long it will be before the
     _dénouement_, and what that _dénouement_ will be, and what the
     piece, who shall say?

     Your chief Governor, you know, is not given to be very
     communicative, either to his employers or to any one else; but I
     collect from the statement in the newspapers that he has resolved
     to adopt, without further reference here, the suggestions which
     Lord Castlereagh carried over as to the members of the two Houses
     in the United Parliament. I am very glad of it as to the House of
     Lords, not only from parental fondness, but because on solid
     grounds, as I think, I very much feared the effect of a septennial
     election of fifty Peers not chosen by the very best possible bodies
     of electors.

     As to the House of Commons, it is almost entirely a question of
     local expediency as to the best chance of satisfying _Messieurs les
     intéressés_; for you and I, who are not parliamentary reformers
     (and, thank God, never were), do not hold very high the superior
     virtue of a man chosen by one mode of election rather than by
     another. I am, however, entirely satisfied that the plan of a
     resident committee at Dublin was impracticable; and even if it had
     not been so, the universal prejudice was so strong against it here,
     on the part of everybody of every description who was talked to on
     the subject, that it put the execution of such a plan totally out
     of the question. The strongest, and with me quite decisive,
     argument against it was the introduction into our Constitution of a
     principle so perfectly novel and anomalous; the merit of the Scotch
     Union having been, and that of the Irish being intended to be, its
     simplicity, and the precision with which everything new is
     accommodated to the existing state of our Constitution and
     Government. In the Scotch Union, the Peerage was the only
     exception; and in the present case we are, as you see, labouring to
     bring even that point nearer to the actual practice.

     Ever most affectionately yours,

Lord Cornwallis had been avowedly selected for Ireland on account of his
military talents. But his Administration did not satisfy the Cabinet.
Lord Grenville, who confesses to the feeling of disappointment with
which he reflects upon the results of the appointment, makes allowances
for the failure on the ground that Lord Cornwallis undertook the office
unwillingly, and from a sense of public duty alone, and that he had
experienced nothing but disgusts and mortifications. In this case,
however, as in all former cases, the difficulty was to find a successor.
There was, also, another consideration which Lord Grenville points
out--the evils that always attended a change of Government in Ireland,
even from worse to better.


     Dropmore, Jan. 28th, 1799.

     I am much more mortified than surprised at the event of the House
     of Commons debate on the Union; for though Lord Castlereagh wrote
     (as he talked) with confidence, yet one saw very clearly the
     elements of ratting. I rejoice to hear that you think the question
     recoverable, because I am more than ever of opinion that it must be
     tried again and again, till it succeeds. With respect to the person
     in whose hands it has failed, I may say to you (in _our_
     confidence) that my opinion does not very much differ from yours,
     if indeed it does at all. Since he has been in Ireland I have seen
     no one trait of that character which I thought he had displayed in
     former situations of great difficulty, and for which I still gave
     him credit, though a nearer view of his mind had certainly
     diminished the impressions which I once entertained on the subject.
     Sorry I am to confess that I concurred heartily and eagerly in his
     appointment, a measure, my share in which I shall deplore to the
     hour of my death, though I certainly have nothing to reproach
     myself with on that account, having done conscientiously what I
     then thought the best, though I did not, even then, think it so
     good as others did.

     The question of his removal is, however, a very difficult one
     indeed--one of the most embarrassing circumstances attending the
     present state of Ireland being, that in that office, above all
     others, the effect of change, even from worse to better, is
     frequently, if not always, more mischievous than the continuance of
     the evil. A violent and precipitate removal just now would, I
     think, totally unhinge the Government, and it would, above all,
     throw the whole absolutists at the feet of those who _perhaps_ (I
     think, _certainly_) need not have been made enemies, but who being
     such, must be guarded against as such. Lord Cornwallis never did
     like the situation; he accepted it unwillingly, and, to do him
     justice, I believe solely from a sense of public duty. Since he has
     held it he has experienced nothing but disgusts of every kind, and
     mortification in every shape, arising no doubt in a very great
     degree from his own misconduct, but not on that account the less
     galling to his mind. He can therefore certainly have no desire to
     stay, and, I should think, would very probably desire to quit at
     the close of this session, if the dread of foreign invasion is at
     that time not very urgent.

     But if it is, what officer have we to oppose to the domestic and
     external enemies whom we should in such case have to meet? In a
     situation requiring above all others the mixture of civil and
     military talents, to a degree that the Duke of Marlborough scarce
     possessed them, and for which we must provide by sending some old
     woman in a red riband that has not a grain of either.

     You see it is easy enough to start difficulties, but I do not think
     myself quite so ready at expedients as I wish I was. This is, I
     believe, a case where nothing is to be done just now, but to remain
     quite steady, announcing an unalterable purpose of carrying this
     great measure, and a fixed persuasion that we must succeed in it.
     And as to all the rest, if Paddy will set fire to his own house, we
     must try to put it out if we can, and if we cannot, we must keep
     the engine ready to play upon our own.

     I rejoice that you took the determination, both of not speaking or
     attending this question in the Irish House of Lords, and of giving
     your proxy to the Chancellor, which was at once showing him a mark
     of attention and confidence, which he well deserves, and
     manifesting your own sentiments in the only way at all consistent
     with your situation. A little more than two months will now close
     your pilgrimage, from which you will return with the satisfaction
     of having done a great deal of good, though not quite all that you
     might have done if others had done their part.

     God bless you.

     You will see in to-day's papers the fate of the poor King of
     Naples. The infatuation of the Emperor is like nothing but that of
     an Irish Orangeman.

Towards the end of January, Mr. Thomas Grenville again left England on
his mission; but his second departure proved even more unfortunate and
disastrous than the first. The vessel in which he had sailed was
supposed to have made the Elbe, and to have been lost in the ice. The
distressing tidings, or rather the terrible apprehensions caused by the
absence of any authentic or reliable intelligence, were immediately
forwarded to Lord Buckingham. For several days this state of dreadful
suspense continued. Every fragment of news that afforded the slightest
ground of hope was eagerly seized upon; and, in the anxious solicitude
of that affection which appears so touchingly all throughout these
letters, Lord Grenville communicated to Lord Buckingham all he could
learn from day to day. At last came the joyful intelligence that he was
safe! This happy news was rapidly followed by letters from Mr. Grenville
himself, and from his Secretary, Mr. Fisher, announcing his landing at
Cuxhaven, and his subsequent arrival at Berlin.


     Cuxhaven, Thursday, Feb. 7th, 1799.

     I cannot think of leaving this place without first acquainting you
     of our safe arrival here, after experiencing a thousand dangers and
     difficulties in consequence of our ship having run aground on the
     Newerk bank, at the entrance of the Elbe.

     Mr. Grenville, I am delighted to be able to assure you, is in good
     health, notwithstanding the extreme fatigue he has undergone since
     Thursday last. The few hours he stays here being entirely occupied
     with writing letters of business, he fears he shall not have time
     to write to you from hence. The same reasons, my dear Lord, will
     deprive me of the honour of giving you, at the present moment, the
     details of our misfortunes. The officers and crew are all saved
     with the exception of thirteen seamen, and one woman and child, who
     were frozen to death in attempting to gain Newerk from the wreck.
     We are without a change of any one article of dress, and we fear
     there is little probability of saving any part of our baggage. We,
     however, proceed on our journey in a few hours to Berlin, from
     whence it shall be my first care to write to you the particulars of
     the melancholy events of the last week. Mr. Wynne is quite well,
     and has on every occasion of danger and difficulty shown the
     greatest fortitude and discretion.

     I beg to be recalled to the remembrance of Lady Buckingham. Believe
     me, my dear Lord, to be ever, with the most grateful attachment,
     your Lordship's most obliged and most devoted servant,



     Cuxhaven, Feb. 7th, 1799.

     The fatigue which I have undergone, added to the necessity of my
     writing several letters upon my arrival here, makes it impossible
     for me to say more to you than that I am alive and well, after a
     miraculous escape from the 'Proserpine,' which ran ashore off
     Searhorn, and a second danger, scarcely less, yesterday morning, in
     a long walk to gain this place, during which we were overtaken by
     the tide and forced to wade for an hour, in the hardest frost I
     ever felt, against a strong current of tide, which was sometimes up
     to, and sometimes above our middle. We are all, however, well
     to-day, and I proceed this evening towards Berlin, as well as my
     fatigues will allow me. I cannot say enough to you of Mr. Fisher's
     behaviour in these trials of danger; his resources, his attachment,
     and his kind attentions in assisting our poor Henry, and lessening,
     where he could, the inconvenience of my situation, have entitled
     him and ensured to him the sincerest and warmest regard. Henry,
     likewise, has been a stout mariner, and has shown a fortitude much
     beyond his years.

     I find no Italian news except a report of the French having
     possession of Naples. They have, likewise, Ehrenbreitstein. When
     will they have Berlin? We have not a shirt in company. My loss,
     about £700.

     God Almighty bless and preserve you.

Having arrived safely at Berlin, Mr. Grenville gives a sketch of his
first impressions of the King of Prussia and his Court.


     Berlin, Feb. 28th, 1799.

     The journal which Mr. Fisher has shown to me, and which he proposes
     to send to you by this messenger, will give you a much more
     accurate account of our voyage than I could pretend to do if I had
     time to undertake it; but that is unfortunately so far from being
     the case, that I can with difficulty catch a short time by this
     opportunity to write even a few words to you.

     We arrived here on the 17th, and I have scarcely yet got through
     the endless presentations and the weary first suppers of the
     Princes, which engross the whole evening from six in the evening
     till one in the morning. I have seen the King hitherto very little,
     but I am going to dine with him to-day; he is thought to be
     well-disposed in his general intentions, perfectly aware of all he
     has to fear from the great nation whom he detests and abhors; but
     having no original opinions of his own, nor habits of forming his
     own judgment, he falls unfortunately too much into the hands of the
     military officers, particularly the aides-de-camp with whom he
     lives, and their influence is, in consequence, powerful enough to
     weigh sometimes against the opinions of the Ministers whom he

     The general idea here is, that the person who has most weight with
     him is an aide-de-camp named Kochentz, of whose honesty there is no
     suspicion, but whose talents and capacity are of a very inferior
     description, and who is therefore open to the artifices of bad and
     designing men, who work powerfully through him upon the King.

     Haugwiz is believed to be sincere in his apprehensions of the
     general danger of French republicanism, and is considered as
     struggling against the more immediate followers of the King, who
     surround him daily, and haunt him with the dreadful consequences of
     war to Prussia, and the old jealousies and distrusts of Austria.

     If the Court of Vienna should at last act, as I am almost disposed
     to think they will rather than send back the Russian troops at the
     requisition of France, the beginning of hostilities from that Court
     cannot fail of producing a good effect here; the great danger is,
     that while each is waiting for the other to begin, the time for
     useful and effective exertion will pass by.

     I have seen Sièyes at Court with his scarf and cockade. What
     Lavater would say of his features I know not, but I have seldom
     seen a countenance of so bad impression. His manners, conduct and
     appearance here have produced nothing but disgust in all that are
     not of the lower ranks of life, but it is to those that his mission
     is considered as being chiefly addressed, and he is said to have
     both means and agents enough to work through upon the lower classes
     of men here.

     I have heard nothing from England or Ireland since I left Yarmouth,
     nothing of Union, and nothing of you; but how can I till the
     summer, if the last ten days of soft weather will not unlock the
     inhospitable ice of the Elbe at Cuxhaven? We are all well. God send
     that you and yours are so. Love to Lord B. and George and Mary. The
     Major is, I trust, soon expecting you in England.

     God bless you, dearest brother. You will be glad to hear great part
     of my baggage is saved.

The negotiations which the French had been carrying on at Rastadt
relative to the German boundaries, were broken off in consequence of the
Emperor having permitted the Russian troops to enter his dominions; and
on the 1st of March, the Directory having declared war against him,
Jourdan, at the head of forty thousand men, crossed the Rhine at Kehl
and Basle. Austria was now fairly committed to the war, and,
strengthened by the Russians, who entered into it with enthusiasm,
achieved a succession of important movements. On the 5th of March, the
Arch-Duke Charles crossed the Leck; and on the 25th, defeated Jourdan at
the battle of Stockach, and, leaving ten thousand men dead or expiring
on the field, compelled the French to retire towards the Rhine. This
triumph was followed up vigorously by the battle of Magnan, on the 5th
of April, in which the Austrians, under Kray, joined by the vanguard of
the Russians, effected so signal a victory, that Scherer, beaten for the
third time in the course of the campaign, fled in precipitation across
the Nincio. The effect of these encouraging successes was utterly lost
on the Court of Prussia, where the policy, or no-policy, of doing
nothing still prevailed over the counsels of friends, and the menaces of
enemies. The picture Mr. Grenville gives of the weakness and incapacity
of the Government suggests the only intelligible explanation of the
conduct they pursued at this juncture.


     Berlin, April 17th, 1799.

     If I am behind-hand, my dearest brother, in thanking you for your
     two letters of the 11th and 24th of March, I am less so than those
     dates would lead you to imagine, for the messengers did not bring
     me the first of them till a week ago, and the last arrived here
     only the day before yesterday. The amities of the 'Proserpine' are
     out of date with me, and would long ago have been forgotten, if
     they were not daily recalled to me by new and continued proofs of
     the affectionate interest which has been taken in them. To know
     what you would feel in a state of anxiety and suspense which I
     could not relieve, was a distress greater to me than the fatigue
     and danger which accompanied my escape. It has ended well, and I
     trust it will not be long before we shall laugh over it together.

     I presume that you will have heard from William how exactly the
     politics of Berlin have continued to remain in _statu quo_; how
     much more occupied they are in enumerating the follies and
     disgraces of Austria, than in adapting their own conduct to any
     wise system or any liberal principles, and how little applicable
     are the measures which they take, either to the danger which they
     fear, or to the hopes which they entertain. Their fear of France
     is, however, not dissembled by them, and certainly is not affected
     by them; it engrosses all their attention, and furnishes to them
     great and constant disquietude in the present, and serious
     apprehension for the future. But as there is no man of leading and
     commanding talents enough to show them the greatness of their
     danger, and to provoke from the public the adequate means of
     resisting it, there is nothing done by the Government, and they are
     living on from day to day, conscious of all they have to fear, but
     destitute of energy and activity, and submitting to a state of
     things which could only be produced by the most extreme weakness
     and incapacity; for you will certainly have remarked that the
     little influence which Prussia exercises, either from her hopes or
     fears, in Europe, is not owing to the defeat of any great and
     ambitious projects, is not to be attributed to the disappointment
     of any great plans, civil or military, but to a total absence of
     any leading and governing talents in those who direct the measures
     which prevail here.

     It has been the fashion, I know, to consider the influencing men
     here as having views and principles of a bad description, and as
     being engaged in a systematic course of conduct pursued by them
     with great address and dissimulation. It is perhaps presumptuous in
     a stranger, as I am, to trust to any opinion formed upon so short a
     residence amongst them, but if I am sure of anything, I tell myself
     I may be sure that the miserable policy which is seen here is very
     much more weak than wicked, and the wretched state of Government
     much more to be attributed to the absence of great talents than the
     influence of deep and dangerous designs. Whatever be the cause, the
     effect is the same; and although it seems to be a pretty universal
     opinion that Prussia must and will at length be driven into war,
     they are content rather to let their enemy choose that moment for
     the commencement of hostilities, than make common cause and fight
     one common battle, which in my conscience I believe would be
     successful. Indeed, the Austrian successes in driving the French to
     the Rhine, if they are followed by similar success in Switzerland,
     will almost justify one's hope that, even without Prussia, the
     French may in this campaign be pushed back upon their own country;
     and the continued state of insurrection in the Low Countries, where
     the republican troops can scarcely restrain the inhabitants, give
     good hopes on that side as soon as any solid force could be made to
     bear in that quarter. The zeal and enthusiasm of the Court of
     Petersburg increases every hour, and they will become very
     immediately principals in the war against France, both by word and

     In this immediate state of the negotiation, I am remaining here
     more because there is an inclination in London to think I can do
     good, than from any great good that is likely to be done. I am
     very much obliged to you for your offer of a loan, which, however,
     I hope will be unnecessary by the shortness of my stay. If that
     should unexpectedly be prolonged, I will then have recourse to you
     to assist by an advance the tardy payment of His Majesty's Envoys
     Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary, who are always left in
     arrears seven quarters for the better credit of the Court that
     employs them. I hope my loss by the 'Proserpine' will turn out not
     to exceed £600, as many things have been saved.

     I trust you are now happy and well at Stowe. God bless you, dearest

By this time, Lord Buckingham had returned to England, and the next
despatch from Berlin is addressed to Stowe. The account of the
vacillation of the Court, and the sketch Mr. Grenville gives of the
King, are full of interest. Since he had last written, Suwaroff had
taken the command of the Austro-Russian armies in Italy, and in a short
time had expelled the French from the principal towns of the North,
which forced Macdonald to evacuate Naples, and cross the Apennines.


     Berlin, May 25th, 1799.

     My last letters from Cleveland Row have, thank God, brought you
     back safe and sound to your own fireside and to the many who share
     the comforts of it with you; it cannot, I presume, be very long
     before I may reckon myself of that number, although as I do not
     like to do anything by halves, I consider myself as liable to duty
     as long there is any fair demand to be made upon me. You will have
     heard from William all that was to be heard of our hopes and of our
     disappointments, and you will know likewise from him that our stock
     of those articles is not yet exhausted, although the briskness of
     the market is a little affected by the absence of the King. The
     Berlin reviews being over, he has begun a military progress, which
     will carry him through Brunswick, Minden and Wesel to Cassel and to
     Anspach, and after various reviews in those places he will return
     to Potsdam in the first week of July.

     Whether in the first of these places, or in the last, or in any of
     them, he will have determined to take his part with us, remains to
     be decided, and it will be less hazardous to abide the event than
     to pretend to foretel it. It is certain that the inclination to war
     has grown very much of late among all the thinking men in the
     country, and the regular Ministers have agreed in recommending it
     very strongly to the King; the disinclination to it is chiefly
     found in the confidential aides-de-camp and the subordinate
     characters, whose familiar habits with the King enable them to
     exercise a very governing influence upon him.

     The King himself is, I believe, of a very well-disposed and honest
     character; his inclinations are English, and his personal respect
     for the King of England is very striking; his suspicion and dislike
     of the French is also beyond all question, and there are so many
     ingredients in his situation and character that should lead him to
     an open declaration against France, that it is not easy to account
     for the different line which he pursues; it must, however, be
     attributed to the influence of the very weak persons who are in
     familiar confidence with him, and to his being too diffident in
     himself to decide upon the important measure of engaging Prussia in
     war. I am, however, inclined to believe that such will at last be
     his decision, though there is too much hesitation in his own mind
     to give us any solid ground of reliance until he shall be
     completely embarked.

     Meantime, all is going on prosperously under the active exertions
     of Suwaroff, who is daily hemming in and menacing Turin, and who
     has now advanced to Chivasso, and has detached Kaim with a
     considerable force to the Valais. The general opinion here is that
     the French will evacuate Switzerland whenever their line at
     Luceinsteig and Coire is forced, and some accounts to-day seem to
     announce that event as having happened.

     Moreau, with seventeen thousand men, is at Alexandria, and I
     suppose the Naples army will try to join him, although Macdonald
     will find that junction rather difficult to accomplish.

     We are all still waiting in anxious expectation for news of the
     fleet. The Ministers here think the Mediterranean is the object,
     and to me it seems not unlikely that they may pursue that object,
     and at the same time detach to Ireland.

     God bless you, dearest brother.

The occupation which was given by the Austrians and Russians to the
French troops in Italy and Germany, appearing to offer a favourable
opportunity to rescue Holland from the hands of the republicans, an
expedition, under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby, set sail from
England on the 13th of August, and disembarked off the Helder. On the
30th, the Dutch fleet surrendered, and hoisted the Orange flag. In
order, probably, to give more weight and effect to a mission which had
for its object the restoration of the Stadtholder, it was proposed that
Lord Grenville should undertake an embassy to Holland, and that Mr.
Thomas Grenville (who had in the interim returned home) should proceed
to St. Petersburg.


     Dropmore, Sept. 5th, 1799.

     I was much obliged to you for your kindness to us in writing on the
     subject of Lady B. We earnestly hope that all cause of uneasiness
     to you on her account has ceased, and that both fever and cold are
     gone. If you would let anybody write us a line to say so, you would
     much oblige us.

     You will have seen that, in spite of wind, we have succeeded at the
     Texel. The Lieutenant says that the Dutch fleet had cut the buoys,
     and run up into the Zuyder Zee. Lord D. was preparing to lay the
     buoys down again, and to follow them, but it was not expected that
     Storey would make any further resistance, more than half his fleet
     being Stadtholderians.

     The wind is now changed to the N.E., as if to bring our Russians.
     The Dutch reported that they were to have had nine thousand French
     at the Helder by the Wednesday night, but that is doubted. I have
     not learnt what their actual force is, but it appears that there
     were some Trench there. We have now about seventeen thousand men
     there, and when the transports return, we can, if necessary, send
     ten thousand more, besides our eighteen thousand Russians. I trust,
     therefore, I am not very sanguine in thinking the business as
     nearly certain as one can allow oneself to call anything in these

     But for the plans which we have in view, supposing this to
     terminate well, and soon, we want full twenty thousand more British
     force. Do you think it is possible to get them from the Militia?
     and how? Dundas is revolving in his mind projects for the purpose,
     but I should much wish to know from you whether you think the thing
     practicable for a great object, and in what manner.

     An idea has been proposed to me, which I think I shall not be at
     liberty to decline, if, when the time comes, I should myself be
     satisfied that I could be of more use than other people: it is to
     go to Holland as Ambassador Extraordinary, carrying myself and my
     office there for about a month or six weeks, to help to fix Old
     Stadt a little more firmly in his chair. You know I had destined
     Tom to this service, and if he should go, I still think my going
     would be quite superfluous. He had agreed to undertake the service
     as a temporary one only; but I have been since urged to press him
     to go to Petersburg, to establish a further concert there, and I
     trust he will not refuse the earnest entreaties we have made him on
     that subject. You may suppose that I do not look to this as a very
     pleasant interlude to my other business, but I cannot deny that it
     is at least possible I may be of use there, and if so, I must
     practise as I preach.

     God bless you, my dearest brother.


     Dropmore, Sept. 5th, 1799.

     Your letter, which I received yesterday, though a little more
     satisfactory than your former account, still leaves room for so
     much uneasiness, that Lady G. and I are extremely anxious to hear
     again from you, and I trust in God the answer will be such as to
     set us quite at our ease; but the complaints of which you speak are
     of so ugly a nature, that one cannot feel satisfied while any trace
     of them remains.

     I have not yet my answer from Tom; but by an intermediate letter,
     I guess that he will be very little disposed to undertake this
     jaunt to Petersburg. Even if he should not, but should go to
     Holland, I am not quite sure that I must not go, for as short a
     time as I speak of, to assist him in Holland; not that personally
     I have the vanity to think that I could do any part of the
     business better, or as well as he, but my red boxes and my seals
     would have a great effect in enabling me to expedite, and even in
     some degree to _brusque_ a business which, if left to Dutch
     arrangement only, or with nothing more than the usual aid of an
     English Ambassador, would take not six months, as you say, but
     six years, and not be done at last.

     I fully understand the nature of your offer, and should not
     certainly have suspected even, if you had not explained it, that
     you were canvassing for the delectable amusement of leaving Stowe
     and England, to figure at the Hague or Petersburg. But the best
     negotiation you can carry on for us just now would be one with the
     Militia for giving us twenty thousand more men. I hardly dare say,
     or let myself think, what we could do, or rather what we could not
     do, with such a reinforcement, supposing Holland to go on quick,
     and our troops not to suffer much from sickness; for of their
     suffering in battle there, I am not much afraid.

     If any fresh parliamentary authority is necessary, we can now call
     Parliament together in a fortnight. I will write to Dundas, as you
     desire. If I had known of his coming to town to review his East
     India regiment, I would have proposed precisely the Dropmore plan
     you speak of; but I fear you could hardly have looked at it at that
     moment, and I presume he is gone back to Walmer; I shall, however,
     expect his answer.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


     Dropmore, Sept. 9th, 1799.

     I hope, from your account, that the worst is over, and that Lady B.
     will continue to mend, but we shall be very anxious to hear that it
     is so. If nothing new arise, and if we shall not be troublesome to
     you, we think of being with you on Wednesday in next week; but pray
     let us know if you would wish us to delay our visit.

     If the project holds respecting Holland, it is likely, I think,
     that I shall not be much longer before I am called upon to begin my
     preparations. I have as yet no answer from Tom, but I shall have
     one to-day or to-morrow; for we know that the wind changed to the
     eastward on the other side the water on Friday, and we have three
     mails due.

     Our first division of Russians, five thousand two hundred men, are
     arrived, and are under sailing orders for the Texel. Popham left
     the second division at Elsineur on Sunday last; and calculates that
     both this and the rear division, amounting together to above eleven
     thousand men, will be here by Tuesday or Wednesday next. Our own
     transports were also beginning to arrive, so that we shall have to
     send them in the course of a week or ten days a reinforcement of
     twenty-six thousand men, besides cavalry. I have no doubt that this
     is more than sufficient, with tolerable activity and enterprise, to
     do our work completely, and in a very few weeks--I might almost say
     days--for we have the command of the Zuyder Zee, by which we can
     turn the enemy on their right, and of the North Sea, which equally
     turns their left; and they have, I am confident, no means of
     assembling an army of half the force of ours, to oppose it in
     front. All this, however, is a question of time; for if that is
     allowed them, one can answer for nothing.

     We have not heard of Abercromby (nor indeed could we) since the
     31st. He was then preparing to march forward to Alkmaar. Have you
     got Wiebeking's map of Holland and Utrecht? If not, let anybody
     write for it for you from Hamburgh. You will see, indeed, in any
     map, a little promontory that runs forward opposite to Amsterdam,
     on the north bank of the Y., between Buyksloot and Newdam. The
     opinion of persons of the country is, that if we can make ourselves
     masters of that point, Amsterdam is open to be bombarded, and must
     capitulate on the first summons. All the other advantages of the
     country we have to act in, upon our line of march, are obvious by
     looking at the map. The disadvantages are, the facility of
     retarding our march by defending the dykes and narrow causeways
     along which we must pass; but a great superiority of force will
     enable us to surmount many of these. The French papers talk of
     having marched against us the garrisons of the Generality. So much
     the better if it is so, for then we shall not find them there, and
     the fact itself proves (if even our intelligence were defective)
     how little other force they have in the country.

     I am greatly obliged to you for what you have written on the
     subject of the Militia. It seems to me that allowing the Militia to
     volunteer by companies for a fixed time is the best suggestion I
     have yet heard. But it would be necessary to consider, on a
     statement of numbers, how many could be so procured from all the
     Militias--English, Scotch, and Irish--though, with respect to these
     last, there is, I fear, an insurmountable difficulty, from the
     necessity of assembling Parliament, which could not be done in
     Ireland without broaching the question of Union before we are
     prepared for it.

     Less than twenty thousand men would not, on the most sanguine
     calculations, answer our object, and the issue of the war so much
     depends upon it that we should be unpardonable to omit any possible
     effort that we could make for it. What we want is to be able to
     garrison Holland with twenty thousand men so as to have as soon as
     possible after the conquest of it the means of disposing of our
     whole army now there. It is a very doubtful question, I think,
     whether our Militia volunteering would be more or less promoted if
     we confined our proposal to that particular service, and sent our
     Militia battalions into the Dutch garrisons, employing the army now
     there in the active service, or if we took the offer generally for
     foreign service, and made such distribution between the two as
     might best suit our convenience.

     There would be no difficulty as to Parliament; we can call them
     together at a fortnight's notice. We would do so for this object
     alone. The King would speak of nothing else, and ask no supply; and
     we could easily, in a moment of triumph like the present, exclude
     all other discussions, so that the execution, were the plan once
     arranged to the satisfaction of the Militia officers, would take up
     not more than ten days or a fortnight at most.

     If anything new occurs to you upon it, let me hear it. If not, we
     will talk it over when we meet; but as that is always precarious,
     write if you have anything to suggest upon it.

     Ever yours,

A year, memorable in the annals of the war for the European confederacy
which was formed by the energies of England to resist the aggressions of
France, and for the successes by which it was crowned, was now drawing
to a close. How much of that vast machinery of diplomacy, of that
activity in council and promptitude in action, by which the happy
results were obtained, may be justly attributed to the genius and
firmness of the distinguished statesmen whose correspondence forms the
substance of these volumes, need scarcely be pointed out; nor would it
be becoming in this work to pronounce the eulogy which their virtues and
patriotism deserve. That grateful duty may be securely left to history.

The last letter of the year appropriately terminates the record of its
events, by a general outline of the projects that were contemplated and
in preparation for the arduous and important period that marked the
opening of the nineteenth century.


     Cleveland Row, Nov. 6th, 1799.

     I have just received your letter. My business seems to increase
     upon me so much that I fear I must abandon all hope of my Stowe
     project. I heartily wish that I could see the means of executing
     the idea you mention, but our force is not as yet sufficient for
     the purpose, especially considering that the possession of the
     country would give the enemy such incalculable advantage over an
     army whose communication would be maintained in that season across
     the Channel. We cannot well put the army brought back from Holland
     at more than thirty thousand effective men, including Russians.
     Twenty or twenty-five thousand Militia volunteers, English and
     Irish, may be added to this during the winter if our last measure
     succeeds, and other additions will also be gradually coming
     forward; but I doubt whether even then we shall have enough to
     encounter the mass of force which the enemy could bring against us
     in his own country, if not occupied by some serious attack on the
     other side.

     Our system must therefore, I think, of necessity be this, viz.: to
     complete the winter in negotiating on the continent, in furnishing
     supplies to the royalists, who have, however, shown themselves much
     too soon, both for their own interest and ours; and in nursing up
     our own force to make it as considerable and as fit for action as
     we can.

     In the spring its employment must be regulated by the state of the
     other two points. If Austria has made her peace (which, though
     certainly not improbable, I do not however consider as the most
     likely event), and if the royalists are crushed, our force can then
     only be used in desultory expeditions to annoy the enemy, and
     weaken his means of acting against us; for to make a serious
     impression on France with sixty, or even eighty thousand men,
     unsupported by any diversion, is impossible, and the attempt can
     only lead to disaster, and to the loss of the only army we ever can
     have during this war. This was our situation in 1798. We fought
     manfully through it under much greater disadvantages than we should
     now have to meet. The enemy was stronger and more abundant in
     resources. We were weaker in force, and the extent of our means was
     unknown even to ourselves.

     If, on the contrary, the French are materially occupied either by
     Austria, or by royalists, or still better if by both, we may then
     choose our own point of attack; our fleet will threaten the whole
     coast from Cadiz to the Texel and Delfzuyl, and nothing but a
     course of ill luck, equal to that of this year, can deprive us of
     the benefit of a fortnight or three weeks' start in whatever point
     we really attack.

     I should be sorry that any degree even of private blame in people's
     minds should attach on the Duke of York, who has, I really believe,
     had no other fault on this occasion than that of following, perhaps
     too implicitly, the advice of those whose advice he was desired to
     follow. In many things he has certainly done extremely well.

     The business of the Union is going on well, and I trust rapidly
     approaching to a conclusion. Even if it were possible that we
     should again fail next year, still I should regard the ultimate
     success of the measure as certain.

     I have been ruminating on some ecclesiastical projects, but I do
     not know whether I shall be able to bring them to bear, nor do I
     yet possess all the knowledge of the actual state of things which
     is necessary in order to enable me to fix my own judgment. They
     relate to the two points of episcopal jurisdiction and
     superintendence, and residence of parochial clergy.

     My notion is to strengthen, if necessary, the legal powers of the
     bishops, so as to give them effective means, both of suspension and
     deprivation, in all cases, both of improper life and manners, and
     of remissness in the execution of certain _stated duties_ which
     they are to be required to exact from all their parochial clergy.
     To enable them, from the chapters in their dioceses, at their own
     choice, to augment the number of their archdeacons or _visitants_,
     under whatever name may best suit the old constitutional forms of
     our Church. To require them, or in their absence, the archdeacon,
     or other proper person, to hold fixed and invariable annual
     visitations; at which, calling, if necessary, to their assistance a
     certain number of their beneficed or dignified clergy, they should
     receive the reports of their archdeacons and other visitants, and
     should _at such visitation_, or at furthest at the next visitation,
     proceed by sentence either of suspension or deprivation against all
     persons who should appear on such reports to be of scandalous life
     or conversation, or to have published irreligious, immoral, or
     seditious books, or to have been remiss in the performance of such
     _stated duties_ as above. Lastly, to compel the bishops to return
     these reports, and their proceedings thereon at their visitations,
     to their metropolitans, by whom they should be annually laid before
     the King, with their observations thereon.

     As to parochial residence, the idea would be to require that no
     person shall on any pretence be non-resident on his living, without
     appointing a curate to be there _constantly_ resident in his room.
     And to charge on the consolidated fund a sum sufficient to make up
     every living throughout the kingdom to the amount of £70 per annum,
     with the single exception of such parishes as, being adjacent to
     each other, it might be fit to _conjoin_ for this purpose, by the
     act of proper commissioners to act with the bishop, &c.

     When, therefore, the living fell short of £70, the parson would
     receive the difference from the public, but would be compelled to
     personal and constant residence, (and some provision might be made
     for the residence and maintenance of his curate in the single case
     of absence with the bishop's licence, from _extreme necessity_ of
     sickness). When the living amounted to £70 or upwards, he would
     have the choice, as at present, of residing, or finding some legal
     excuse for non-residence; but in the latter case he would be
     obliged to provide a curate _constantly_ resident. And in both
     cases proper certificates of residence would be required to be
     produced to the _visitants_.

     The hardship, whatever it was, which this regulation would bring on
     the body of the clergy at large (I do not speak of particular
     cases), would be amply compensated by the addition which the
     Legislature would thus make to the smaller livings; and the expense
     of this last measure would be much more than compensated to the
     public, by the benefit which must arise from the constant residence
     of a clergyman in every parish throughout the kingdom.

     By what I have called _stated duties_ above, I mean, that from
     these resident clergymen, who would no longer have the plea of
     other duty to perform, I would certainly exact, by enumeration,
     many points of their duty (evening service, catechism, visitation
     of sick, and other points), which are now growing, or grown into

     You would much oblige me by your ideas on these points. On the
     first I have been told that it is no more, or little more, than the
     law as it now exists. All I can say is, that I am sure it is not
     the practice as it now exists; and that this is not the only case
     where it has been found to be highly useful to re-enact, with small
     variation, the existing law, in order to call the attention and
     excite the zeal, both of those who are to execute the law, and of
     those who are to obey it.

     You are not, I am very certain, one of those extremely profound
     politicians who have, among other happy discoveries of this age,
     found out that the religion of the people has no influence on its
     morals, or its morals on the prosperity and good government of the
     State. You will not, therefore, think that an attention to this
     subject is either unbecoming Government and Parliament, or is ill
     suited to such a moment as the present.

     God bless you, my dear brother.

     Ever most affectionately yours,


Printed by Schulze and Co., 13, Poland Street.

       *       *       *       *       *

#Of Interesting New Works.#


In One Vol., Post 8vo. 10s. 6d. bound.



FROM BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.--"This biography cannot fail to attract the
deep attention of the public. We are bound to say, that as a political
biography we have rarely, if ever, met with a book more dexterously
handled, or more replete with interest. The exertions of Lord George
Bentinck in behalf of every assailed or depressed branch of British and
Colonial industry--the vast pains which he took in procuring authentic
information--and the enormous amount of private labour he underwent in
the preparation of those materials which have thrown a novel light upon
disputed doctrines of economy--are faithfully chronicled in this most
interesting volume. The history of the famous session of 1846, as
written by Disraeli in that brilliant and pointed style of which he is
so consummate a master, is deeply interesting. He has traced this
memorable struggle with a vivacity and power unequalled as yet in any
narrative of Parliamentary proceedings."

FROM THE DUBLIN UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE.--"A political biography of Lord
George Bentinck by Mr. Disraeli must needs be a work of interest and
importance. Either the subject or the writer would be sufficient to
invest it with both--the combination surrounds it with peculiar
attractions. In this most interesting volume Mr. Disraeli has produced a
memoir of his friend in which he has combined the warmest enthusiasm of
affectionate attachment with the calmness of the critic, and in which he
has not only added to his reputation, but we verily believe must
increase his influence even as a politician."

FROM THE MORNING HERALD--"Mr. Disraeli's tribute to the memory of his
departed friend is as graceful and as touching as it is accurate and
impartial. No one of Lord George Bentinck's colleagues could have been
selected, who, from his high literary attainments, his personal
intimacy, and party associations, would have done such complete justice
to the memory of a friend and Parliamentary associate. Mr. Disraeli has
here presented us with the very type and embodiment of what history
should be. His sketch of the condition of parties is seasoned with some
of those piquant personal episodes of party manoeuvres and private
intrigues, in the author's happiest and most captivating vein, which
convert the dry details of politics into a sparkling and agreeable
narrative. But the portrait which will stamp the book as one of the most
extraordinary productions of the time is that of Sir Robert Peel. It is
written with wonderful force and extraordinary impartiality."


Author of "Louis XIV. and the Court of France in the 17th Century," &c.

In 3 large vols. 8vo., with Fine Portraits, 42s. bound.

"A fascinating book. The history of such a woman as the beautiful,
impulsive earnest, and affectionate Marie de Medicis could only be done
justice to by a female pen, impelled by all the sympathies of womanhood,
but strengthened by an erudition by which it is not in every case
accompanied. In Miss Pardoe the unfortunate Queen has found both these
requisites, and the result has been a biography combining the
attractiveness of romance with the reliableness of history, and which,
taking a place midway between the 'frescoed galleries' of Thierry, and
the 'philosophic watch-tower of Guizot,' has all the pictorial
brilliancy of the one, with much of the reflective speculation of the
other."--_Daily News._

"A valuable, well-written, and elaborate biography, displaying an
unusual amount of industry and research."--_Morning Chronicle._

"A careful and elaborate historical composition, rich in personal
anecdote. Nowhere can a more intimate acquaintance be obtained with the
principal events and leading personages of the first half of the 17th
century."--_Morning Post._

"A work of high literary and historical merit. Rarely have the strange
vicissitudes of romance been more intimately blended with the facts of
real history than in the life of Marie de Medicis; nor has the difficult
problem of combining with the fidelity of biography the graphic power of
dramatic delineation been often more successfully solved than by the
talented author of the volumes before us. As a personal narrative, Miss
Pardoe's admirable biography possesses the most absorbing and constantly
sustained interest; as a historical record of the events of which it
treats, its merit is of no ordinary description."--_John Bull._

"A life more dramatic than that of Marie de Medicis has seldom been
written; one more imperially tragic, never. The period of French history
chosen by Miss Pardoe is rich in all manner of associations, and brings
together the loftiest names and most interesting events of a stirring
and dazzling epoch. She has been, moreover, exceedingly fortunate in her
materials. A manuscript of the Commandeur de Rambure, Gentleman of the
Bedchamber under the Kings Henry IV., Louis XIII., and Louis XIV.,
consisting of the memoirs of the writer, with all the most memorable
events which took place during the reigns of those three Majesties, from
the year 1594 to that of 1660, was placed at her disposal by M. de la
Plane, Member of the Institut Royal de la France. This valuable record
is very voluminous, and throws a flood of light on every transaction. Of
this important document ample use has been judiciously made by Miss
Pardoe; and her narrative, accordingly, has a fulness and particularity
possessed by none other, and which adds to the dramatic interest of the
subject. The work is very elegantly written, and will be read with
delight. It forms another monument to the worthiness of female intellect
in the age we live in."--_Illustrated News._



And Edited by Her Grandson, the COUNT DE MONTBRISON.

3 Vols. Post 8vo., 31s. 6d. bound.

The Baroness d'Oberkirch, being the intimate friend of the Empress of
Russia, wife of Paul I., and the confidential companion of the Duchess
of Bourbon, her facilities for obtaining information respecting the most
private affairs of the principal Courts of Europe, render her Memoirs
unrivalled as a book of interesting anecdotes of the royal, noble, and
other celebrated individuals who flourished on the continent during the
latter part of the last century. Among the royal personages introduced
to the reader in this work, are Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, Philip
Egalité, and all the Princes of France then living--Peter the Great, the
Empress Catherine, the Emperor Paul, and his sons Constantine and
Alexander, of Russia--Frederick the Great and Prince Henry of
Prussia--The Emperor Joseph II. of Austria--Gustavus III. of
Sweden--Princess Christina of Saxony--Sobieski, and Czartoriski of
Poland--and the Princes of Brunswick and Wurtemberg. Among the
remarkable persons are the Princes and Princesses de Lamballe, de Ligne
and Galitzin--the Dukes and Duchesses de Choiseul, de Mazarin, de
Boufflers, de la Vallière, de Guiche, de Penthièvre, and de
Polignac--Cardinal de Rohan, Marshals Biron and d'Harcourt, Count de
Staremberg, Baroness de Krudener, Madame Geoffrin, Talleyrand, Mirabeau,
and Necker--with Count Cagliostro, Mesmer, Vestris, and Madame Mara; and
the work also includes such literary celebrities as Voltaire, Condorcet,
de la Harpe, de Beaumarchais, Rousseau, Lavater, Bernouilli, Raynal, de
l'Epée, Huber, Göthe, Wieland, Malesherbes, Marmontel, de Staël and de
Genlis; with some singular disclosures respecting those celebrated
Englishwomen, Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, and Lady Craven,
Margravine of Anspach.

"The Baroness d'Oberkirch, whose remarkable Memoirs are here given to
the public, saw much of courts and courtiers, and her Memoirs are filled
with a variety of anecdotes, not alone of lords and ladies, but of
emperors and empresses, kings and queens, and reigning princes and
princesses. As a picture of society anterior to the French Revolution,
the book is the latest and most perfect production of its sort extant;
and as such, besides its minor value as a book of amusement, it
possesses a major value as a work of information, which in the interest
of historical truth, is, without exaggeration, almost

"Thoroughly genuine and unaffected, these Memoirs display the whole mind
of a woman who was well worth knowing, and relate a large part of her
experience among people with whose names and characters the world will
be at all times busy. A keen observer, and by position thrown in the
high places of the world, the Baroness d'Oberkirch was the very woman to
write Memoirs that would interest future generations. We commend these
volumes most heartily to every reader. They are a perfect magazine of
pleasant anecdotes and interesting characteristic things. We lay down
these charming volumes with regret. They will entertain the most
fastidious readers, and instruct the most informed."--_Examiner._

"An intensely interesting autobiography."--_Morning Chronicle._

"A valuable addition to the personal history of an important period. The
volumes deserve general popularity."--_Daily News._

"One of the most interesting pieces of contemporary history, and one of
the richest collections of remarkable anecdotes and valuable
reminiscences ever produced."--_John Bull._




Second Edition, Revised. 1 vol. Post 8vo.

"This work treats of the whole origin of nature in an intelligent style;
it puts into the hands of every man the means of information on facts
the most sublime, and converts into interesting and eloquent description
problems which once perplexed the whole genius of mankind. We
congratulate the author on his research, his information, and his
graceful and happy language."--_Britannia._

"The skill displayed in the treatment of the sciences is not the least
marvel in the volume. The reasonings of the author are forcible,
fluently expressed, and calculated to make a deep impression. Genuine
service has been done to the cause of Revelation by the issue of such a
book, which is more than a mere literary triumph. It is a good

"Its tone is grave, grand, and argumentative, and rises to the majesty
of poetry. As a commentary upon the stupendous facts which exist in the
universe, it is truly a work which merits our admiration, and we
unhesitatingly refer our readers to its fascinating pages."--_Dispatch._

"Without parading the elaborate nature of his personal investigations,
the author has laid hold of the discoveries in every department of
natural science in a manner to be apprehended by the meanest
understanding, but which will at the same time command the attention of
the scholar."--_Messenger._

"A grand tour of the sciences. Mr. Fullom starts from the Sun, runs
round by the Planets, noticing Comets as he goes, and puts up for a rest
at the Central Sun. He gets into the Milky Way, which brings him to the
Fixed Stars and Nebulæ. He munches the crust of the Earth, and looks
over Fossil Animals and Plants. This is followed by a disquisition on
the science of the Scriptures. He then comes back to the origin of the
Earth, visits the Magnetic Poles, gets among Thunder and Lightning,
makes the acquaintance of Magnetism and Electricity, dips into Rivers,
draws science from Springs, goes into Volcanoes, through which he is
drawn into a knot of Earthquakes, comes to the surface with Gaseous
Emanations, and sliding down a Landslip, renews his journey on a ray of
Light, goes through a Prism, sees a Mirage, meets with the Flying
Dutchman, observes an Optical Illusion, steps over the Rainbow, enjoys a
dance with the Northern Aurora, takes a little Polarized Light, boils
some Water, sets a Steam-Engine in motion, witnesses the expansion of
Metals, looks at the Thermometer, and refreshes himself with Ice. Soon
he is at Sea, examining the Tides, tumbling on the Waves, swimming,
diving, and ascertaining the pressure of Fluids. We meet him next in the
Air, running through all its properties. Having remarked on the
propagation of Sounds, he pauses for a bit of Music, and goes off into
the Vegetable Kingdom, then travels through the Animal Kingdom, and
having visited the various races of the human family, winds up with a
demonstration of the Anatomy of Man."--_Examiner._




2 v. post 8vo. 21s. bound.

"English readers have long been indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Howitt. They
have now increased our obligations by presenting us with this most
charming and valuable work, by means of which the great majority of the
reading public will be, for the first time, made acquainted with the
rich stores of intellectual wealth long garnered in the literature and
beautiful romance of Northern Europe. From the famous Edda, whose origin
is lost in antiquity, down to the novels of Miss Bremer and Baroness
Knorring, the prose and poetic writings of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and
Iceland are here introduced to us in a manner at once singularly
comprehensive and concise. It is no dry enumeration of names, but the
very marrow and spirit of the various works displayed before us. We have
old ballads and fairy tales, always fascinating; we have scenes from
plays, and selections from the poets, with most attractive biographies
of these and other great men. The songs and ballads are translated with
exquisite poetic beauty."--_Sun._

"We have most cordially to thank Mary and William Howitt for their
valuable contribution to our knowledge of the literature of Northern
Europe. They have effected a public good. They have offered to all
classes of readers a work abounding in original and entrancing interest,
overflowing with varied matter--of criticism, biography, anecdotes,
sketches, and quotations, all tending to exhibit new treasures for the
gratification and enlightenment of a vast circle of minds. Our authors
have described to us in copious and entertaining detail the romance and
the poetry, the writings and the imaginations, of the Scandinavian
races, interspersed with abundant and well-selected specimens of the
historical, romantic, legendary, chivalric, ballad, dramatic, song, and
critical literature of Northern Europe. They have brought to light the
treasures of the illustrious poets, historians and bards of Scandinavia,
in a work of astonishing interest."--_Sunday Times._

"This work teems with information of the rarest and most curious
character, and is replete with interest to the scholar, the philosopher,
the antiquarian, and the general reader. The subject has the charming
freshness of novelty. There is not any other book in the English
language, which presents so vivid, so interesting, and so accurate a
picture of the manners, customs, opinions, and superstitions of our
Scandinavian forefathers."--_Morning Post._

"A standard work on the whole subject."--_Globe._

"A valuable addition to our literature."--_Daily News._

"A book full of information--and as such, a welcome addition to our
literature. The translations--especially of some of the ballads and
other poems--are executed with spirit and taste."--_Athenæum._


In 2 vols. post 8vo. 21s. bound.


By the Author of

"A most attractive work."--_Standard._

"The cleverest volumes Judge Haliburton has ever

"We conceive this work to be by far the most valuable and important
Judge Haliburton has ever written. The exhaustless fund of
humour--quiet, yet rich and racy, and at the same time overflowing with
the milk of human kindness--which his writings display on one hand, and
the wonderful knowledge of man's character, in all its countless
varieties, which they exhibit on the other, have insured for them a
high, and honourable, and enduring station in English literature. It
would be difficult, if not impossible, to arise from the perusal of any
of Mr. Haliburton's performances without having become both wiser and
better. His 'English in America' is, however, a production of a yet more
exalted order. While teeming with interest, moral and historical, to the
general reader, it may be regarded as equally constituting a
philosophical study for the politician and the statesman. It will be
found to dissipate many popular errors, and to let in a flood of light
upon the actual origin, formation, and progress of the republic of the
United States."--_Naval and Military Gazette._

"Those who wish for an accurate history of the rise of republicanism in
America to its grand development in the United States revolution, will
here find a narrative that is invaluable for its accuracy, its
impartiality, its admirable order in arrangement, and that true
philosophy of statesmanship which can attach to each incident a fitting
moral, from which every honest politician can derive instruction. The
work is one equally useful in the double aspect in which it may be
regarded--first, an insight into the causes of past transactions;
second, as a warning to guide mankind amid the many perplexing political
questions of the day. The spirit of impartiality animates every page of
this work. It is deserving of a place in every historical
library."--_Morning Herald._

"We believed the author of this work to possess a power of humour and
sarcasm second only to that of Rabelais and Sidney Smith, and a genuine
pathos worthy of Henry Fielding or Charles Dickens. In his particular
line of literature we believed him to be unrivalled. In the volumes
before us he breaks upon a new, and--according to his method of breaking
the subject--untrodden ground. We hail this book with pleasure; we
consider it an honour to Judge Haliburton, as by it he has proved
himself to be a Christian, a scholar, a gentleman, and, in the true
sense of a mis-used word, a patriot. Mr. Haliburton places before us,
fairly and impartially, the history of English rule in America. The book
is not only a boon to the historic student, it is also filled with
reflections such as may well engage the attention of the legislating
statesman. Mr. Haliburton also shows us the true position of the
Canadas, explains the evils of our colonial system, points out the
remedies by which these evils may be counteracted, that thus the rule of
the 'English in America' may be something better than a history of the
blunders, the follies, and the ignorant temerity of colonial
secretaries."--_Irish Quarterly Review._


In 3 vols. post 8vo. 31s. 6d. bound.



"We have seldom met with a work more rich in fun or more generally

"Those who have relished the racy humour of the 'Clockmaker,' will find
a dish of equally ludicrous and amusing Transatlantic wit in the volumes
before us."--_Herald._

"A new book, by the author of 'Sam Slick' causes some stir among the
laughter-loving portion of the community; and its appearance at the
present festive season is appropriate. We hold that it would be quite
contrary to the fitness of things for any other hand than that of our
old acquaintance, the facetious Judge Haliburton, to present to us a
Christmas dish, and call it 'Traits of American Humour.' But even
without the recollection of 'Sam Slick' to evoke the spirit of fun
within us, we should have been forced to yield to the racy humour of
these American 'Traits.' Dip where you will into this lottery of fun,
you are sure to draw out a prize."--_Morning Post._

"The untravelled European who has not made the acquaintance of Sam
Slick, can have but little knowledge of the manners, customs, humours,
eccentricities and lingos of the countless varieties of inhabitants of
North America who we are accustomed to conglomerate under the general
name of Yankees. Assisted, however, by Sam Slick's graphic descriptions,
literal reports, and racy pen-and-ink sketches, gentlemen who sit at
home at ease, are able to realize with tolerable accuracy the more
remarkable species of this lively family, to comprehend their amusing
jargon, to take an interest in their peculiarities of person and speech,
and to enter into the spirit of their very characteristic humours. No
man has done more than the facetious Judge Haliburton through the mouth
of the inimitable 'Sam,' to make the old parent country recognise and
appreciate her queer transatlantic progeny; and in the volumes before us
he seeks to render the acquaintance more minute and complete. His
present collection of comic stories and laughable traits is a budget of
fun full of rich specimens of American humour."--_Globe._

"The reader will find this work deeply interesting. Yankeeism
pourtrayed, in its raciest aspect, constitutes the contents of these
superlatively entertaining volumes, for which we are indebted to our
facetious old friend, 'Sam Slick.' The work embraces the most varied
topics,--political parties, religious eccentricities, the flights of
literature, and the absurdities of pretenders to learning, all come in
for their share of satire; while in other papers we have specimens of
genuine American exaggerations, or graphic pictures of social and
domestic life as it is more especially in the ruder districts and in the
back settlements, or again sallies of broad humour, exhibiting those
characteristics which form in the country itself the subject of mutual
persiflage between the citizens of different States. The work will have
a wide circulation."--_John Bull._


In 2 vols, 8vo. with Illustrations, and a valuable Map of European
Turkey, from the most recent Charts in the possession of the Austrian
and Turkish Governments, revised by the Author, 28s. bound.

IN 1850:




"These important volumes appear at an opportune moment, as they describe
some of those countries to which public attention is now more
particularly directed: Turkey, Greece, Hungary, and Austria. The author
has given us a most interesting picture of the Turkish Empire, its
weaknesses, and the embarrassments from which it is now suffering, its
financial difficulties, the discontent of its Christian, and the
turbulence of a great portion of its Mohammedan subjects. We are also
introduced for the first time to the warlike mountaineers of Bosnia,
Albania, Upper Moesia, and the almost inaccessible districts of the
Pindus and the Balkan. The different nationalities of that Babel-like
country, Turkey in Europe, inhabited by Sclavonians, Greeks, Albanians,
Macedonians, the Romani and Osmanli--their various characteristics,
religions, superstitions, together with their singular customs and
manners, their ancient and contemporary history are vividly described.
The Ionian Islands, Greece, Hungary, and the Sclavonian Provinces of
Austria on the Lower Danube, are all delineated in the author's happiest

"We cordially recommend Mr. Spencer's valuable and interesting volumes
to the attention of the reader. They are replete with information upon
countries of which we know but little; they will be interesting to the
military man for the details they give of the strength and defensive
positions of the various countries through which the author travelled;
to the merchant for the insight given into the state of trade; and to
the man of the world as they place before his view the present political
and social state of an empire, whose welfare it is the interest of
England to promote. The work must be considered a standard production,
enriched, as it is, by an excellent map derived from the most authentic
modern charts, added to, and improved by the observations of the author
during his travels."--_United Service Magazine._

"A work of great merit, and of paramount present interest."--_Standard._

"This interesting work contains by far the most complete, the most
enlightened, and the most reliable amount of what has been hitherto
almost the terra incognita of European Turkey, and supplies the reader
with abundance of entertainment as well as instruction."--_John Bull._

"An excellent and admirable work. Mr. Spencer is a very able writer, a
shrewd, experienced and philosophical observer, an eminently thinking
and yet practical man. His work forms the most valuable addition that
our literature has lately received. He sets forth to inquire and learn:
he returns to inform and suggest; and information most valuable and
interesting has he here bestowed upon us."--_Tait's Magazine._



2 vols. Post 8vo., 21s. bound.

"The authoress of these volumes was a lady of quality, who, having
incurred the displeasure of the Russian Government for a political
offence, was exiled to Siberia. The place of her exile was Berezov, the
most northern part of this northern penal settlement; and in it she
spent about two years, not unprofitably, as the reader will find by her
interesting work, containing a lively and graphic picture of the
country, the people, their manners and customs, &c. The book gives a
most important and valuable insight into the economy of what has been
hitherto the terra incognita of Russian despotism."--_Daily News._

"Since the publication of the famous romance the 'Exiles of Siberia,' of
Madame Cottin, we have had no account of these desolate lands more
attractive than the present work, from the pen of the Lady Eve Felinska,
which, in its unpretending style and truthful simplicity, will win its
way to the reader's heart, and compel him to sympathise with the fair
sufferer. The series of hardships endured in traversing these frozen
solitudes is affectingly told: and once settled down at one of the most
northern points of the convict territory, Berezov, six hundred miles
beyond Tobolsk, the Author exhibits an observant eye for the natural
phenomena of those latitudes, as well as the habits of the
semi-barbarous aborigines. This portion of the book will be found by the
naturalist as well as ethnologist full of valuable

"These 'Revelations' give us a novel and interesting sketch of Siberian
life--the habits, morals, manners, religious tenets, rites, and
festivals of the inhabitants. The details of the author's painful
journey will be perused with feelings of indignation and deep sympathy.
The record of her residence of nearly three years at Berezov, which
constitutes the most valuable part of her 'Revelations,' does credit to
her heart and her understanding. Her extraordinary powers of
observation, and the graceful facility with which she describes
everything worthy of remark, render her 'Revelations' as attractive and
fascinating as they are original and instructive."--_Britannia._



2 Vols. Post 8vo., 21s. bound.



LATE LIEUTENANT CONNAUGHT RANGERS. 2 vols. Post 8vo., 21s. bound.



Second Edition, in 2 Vols., with Illustrations, 21s. bound.

"One of the best accounts of the country and people that has been
published of late years."--_Spectator._

"A very agreeable book. Mr. Neale is evidently quite familiar with the
East, and writes in a lively, shrewd, and good-humoured manner. A great
deal of information is to be found in his pages."--_Athenæum._

"We have derived unmingled pleasure from the perusal of these
interesting volumes. Very rarely have we found a narrative of Eastern
travel so truthful and just. There is no guide-book we would so strongly
recommend to the traveller about to enter on a Turkish or Syrian tour as
this before us. The information it affords is especially valuable, since
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of incident, and abounds in vivid pictures of Turkish and Levantine life
interspersed with well-told tales. The author commences his narrative at
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Acre, Sidon and Tyre, Beyrout, Tripoli, Antioch, Aleppo, Alexandretta,
Adana, and Cyprus. Of several of these famous localities we know no more
compact and clearer account than that given in these volumes. We have to
thank Mr. Neale for one of the best books of travels that we have met
with for a very long time."--_Literary Gazette._



Second Edition. 2 v. post 8vo., with Map and Illustrations, 21s. bound.

"Independently of the amusement and information which may be derived
from Mr. Melly's interesting work, the references to the relations which
exist at this time between the Sublime Porte and Egypt are worthy of
every consideration which statesmen and public men can bestow upon

"We cannot feel otherwise than grateful to the author of these valuable
and useful volumes for having kept so faithful a journal, and for giving
the public the benefit of his adventures and experience. The manners and
customs of the natives, as well as the natural curiosities, and the
relics of antiquity which the travellers visited, in turns engage the
reader's attention; and, altogether, the book is a most entertaining and
instructive _vade-mecum_ to the interesting portion of the East of which
it treats."--_John Bull._



Author of "SALATHIEL," &c., 1 v., 10s. 6d. bound.

"Eminent in every mode of literature, Dr. Croly stands, in our judgment,
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"An admirable addition to the library of religious families."--_John



Late ASSISTANT POLITICAL-RESIDENT AT NEPAUL. 2 v. post 8vo. 21s. bound.

"No man could be better qualified to describe Nepaul than Captain Smith;
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all arranged in this intelligent and interesting work with perspicuity
and completeness. It will henceforth be the standard work on Nepaul.
Captain Smith's narrative of his personal adventures is most
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With an Account of Recent Transactions,


2 v., post 8vo., with Maps, &c. 21s. bound.

"These volumes offer to the British public a clear and trustworthy
statement of the affairs of Canada; a narrative of the late troubles,
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2 v., with Illustrations, 21s. bound.

"To the tourist this work will prove invaluable. It is the most complete
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notice."--_John Bull._


2 vols. post 8vo. 21s. bound.

"Among the anecdotes in this work will be found notices of King George
III., the Dukes of Kent, Cumberland, Cambridge, Clarence, and Richmond,
the Princess Augusta, General Garth, Sir Harry Mildmay, Lord Charles
Somerset, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Heathfield, Captain Grose, &c.
The volumes abound in interesting matter. The anecdotes are one and all

"Colonel Landmann's work is written in an unaffected spirit, and
contains matter of agreeable and lively interest."--_Literary Gazette._

"These 'Adventures and Recollections' are those of a gentleman whose
birth and profession gave him facilities of access to distinguished
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anecdotes and recollections relating to individual members of that
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that his volumes will be acceptable. They partake, to some extent, both
of the good and bad qualities of Horace Walpole and of



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"Few who once take up these volumes will lay them down

"Nothing can be more deeply interesting or affecting than many of these




"The scheme for the colonization of Darien by Scotchmen, and the opening
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worthy of the high reputation which the author of the 'Crescent and the
Cross' had already made for himself. The early history of the Merchant
Prince introduces the reader to the condition of Spain under the
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place in the narrative, are full of spirit; the scenes in America
exhibit the state of the natives of the new world at that period; the
daring deeds of the Buccaneers supply a most romantic element in the
story; and an additional interest is infused into it by the introduction
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1 v. 8vo., with Portrait, 12s. bound.

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"This is a remarkable and seasonable publication; but it is something
more--it is a valuable addition to the historical treasures of our
country during more than forty of the most memorable years of our
annals. We earnestly recommend the volume to general



2 v., with Illustrations, 21s. bound.

"These interesting volumes possess considerable merit as regards
information on that important subject, the state of the West Indies as
they are at present."--_Sun._

"It would be unjust to deny the vigour, brilliancy, and varied interest
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copious detail of local habits and peculiarities in each island visited
in succession."--_Globe._



2 v. 21s. bound.

"A work of great and permanent historical value and interest."--_Post._

"A fair and accurate narrative of the political history of British
India, evidently written after careful study and laborious
research."--_Literary Gazette._

"The style is graphic and spirited. The facts are well related and
artistically grouped. The narrative is always readable and


BY LIEUT. H. J. W. JERVIS, Royal Artillery.

1 v., with Illustrations, 10s. 6d. bound.

"A work of great value, from the importance of Corfú in case of an
European war."--_Literary Gazette._

"Written with great care and research, and including probably all the
particulars of any moment in the history of Corfú. The principal
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of the present state of the island."--_Athenæum._



2 v. 21s. bound.

"Captain Mackinnon's sketches of America are of a striking character and
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well written and so entertaining that the effect of their perusal on the
public here must be considerable. They are light, animated, and lively,
full of racy sketches, pictures of life, anecdotes of society, visits to
remarkable men and famous places, sporting episodes, &c., very original
and interesting."--_Sunday Times._

"Captain Mackinnon's sketches of America are perhaps the best that have
appeared since the work of Captain Marryat, and they are far more candid
and impartial. The volumes are crowded with valuable and important
statements. The work will find its way rapidly into wide and general
circulation, such is its justice, candour, and accuracy of



Second Edition, with 54 Diagrams, 6s. bound.

"In this able work, Lord Robert Montagu has treated an important subject
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equally valuable to the ship-builder and the ship-owner--to the mariner
and the commanders of yachts. The whole science of ship-building is made
plain to the humblest understanding, while the most valuable suggestions
are given for its improvement in the rig, structure, and laying down of
vessels."--_U. S. Mag._




Second Edition, 1 vol. with numerous Illustrations, 10s. 6d. bound.

FROM THE "TIMES."--This volume is not the least interesting or
instructive among the records of the late expedition in search of Sir
John Franklin, commanded by Captain Austin. The most valuable portions
of the book are those which relate to the scientific and practical
observations made in the course of the expedition, and the descriptions
of scenery and incidents of arctic travel. Many of the latter possess
considerable literary merit, and all are impressed with the vividness of
fresh observation. From the variety of the materials, and the novelty of
the scenes and incidents to which they refer, no less than the interest
which attaches to all that relates to the probable safety of Sir John
Franklin and his companions, the Arctic Miscellanies forms a very
readable book, and one that redounds to the honour of the national

#New Works of Fiction, by Distinguished Writers.#





"'Uncle Walter' is Mrs. Trollope's best novel since 'Widow
Barnaby.'"--_Morning Chronicle._

"'Uncle Walter' is an exceedingly entertaining novel. It assures Mrs.
Trollope more than ever in her position as one of the ablest fiction
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"'Uncle Walter' is filled throughout with Mrs. Trollope's broad
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"A very clever and entertaining book; equal to Mrs. Trollope's most
successful efforts."--_John Bull._



"A story awakening genuine emotions of interest and delight by its
admirable pictures of Scottish life and scenery."--_Post._

"'Adam Graeme' is full of eloquent writing and description. It is an
uncommon work, not only in the power of the style, in the eloquence of
the digressions, in the interest of the narrative, and in the
delineation of character, but in the lessons it teaches."--_Sun._



With a Memoir of the Author, by the Hon. Sir T. N. TALFOURD, D.C.L. 3 v.

"'Annette' is a stirring tale, and has enough in it of life and interest
to keep it for some years to come in request. The prefatory memoir by
Sir Thomas Talfourd would be at all times interesting, nor the less so
for containing two long letters from Sir Walter Scott to Mr. Deacon,
full of gentle far-thinking wisdom."--_Examiner._



Author of "The Gambler's Wife," &c. 3 v.

"Equal to any former novel by its author."--_Athenæum._

"A very interesting story."--_Observer._

"An admirable work--a powerfully conceived novel, founded on a plot of
high moral and dramatic interest."--_John Bull._



Author of "Tales of the Colonies." &c. 3 v.

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fortunes, and misfortunes--is here amusingly drawn and happily coloured
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By the Author of "The Old English Gentleman." 3 v.

"An admirable story, quite out of the common order in its conception,
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By the Author of "Emilia Wyndham," &c. 3 v.

"'Ravenscliffe' contains scenes not surpassed in power and beauty by
those in 'The Admiral's Daughter.' No reader can bear the heroine
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3 v.

"A story of absorbing interest."--_Globe._

"A novel of more than ordinary merit. An exciting story, crowded with
romantic incidents."--_Morning Post._



"This tale has the fascination and the value of a glimpse into a most
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Author of "Susan Hopley," &c. 3 v.



Author of "The Ladder of Gold," &c. 3 v.


3 v.

A TALE. 2 v.

"The execution of this tale is very remarkable."--_Spectator._

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By the Author of "Margaret Maitland," &c. 1 v. 6s.

"This beautiful production is every way worthy of its author's
reputation in the very first rank of contemporary writers."--_Stand._

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3 v.

"This interesting story will afford both profit and amusement to a large
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"A charming tale of fashionable life and tender passions. It is
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By the Author of "Rockingham." 1 v.

The LADY and the PRIEST.



3 v.

"The world of fashion is here painted by an artist who has studied it
closely, and traces its lineaments with a masterly hand."--_Morning



"This work has a real interest. The pictures of the Scottish homes, in
which the heroine's youth is past, are excellent."--_Examiner._




_Now complete, in Eight Octavo Volumes (comprising from 600 to 700
pages), price 4l. 4s., elegantly bound_,



A New, Revised, and Cheaper Edition,


*** This Edition is also now in course of Monthly Issue, at 10s. 6d.
each volume.

In announcing the publication of the new, revised, and greatly augmented
Edition of this important and interesting work, which has been
considered unique in biographical literature, the publishers beg to
direct attention to the following extract from the author's preface:--"A
revised edition of the 'Lives of the Queens of England,' embodying the
important collections which have been brought to light since the
appearance of earlier impressions, is now offered to the world,
embellished with Portraits of every Queen, from authentic and properly
verified sources. The series, commencing with the consort of William the
Conqueror, occupies that most interesting and important period of our
national chronology, from the death of the last monarch of the
Anglo-Saxon line, Edward the Confessor, to the demise of the last
sovereign of the royal house of Stuart, Queen Anne, and comprises
therein thirty queens who have worn the crown-matrimonial, and four the
regal diadem of this realm. We have related the parentage of every
queen, described her education, traced the influence of family
connexions and national habits on her conduct, both public and private,
and given a concise outline of the domestic, as well as the general
history of her times, and its effects on her character, and we have done
so with singleness of heart, unbiassed by selfish interests or narrow
views. Such as they were in life we have endeavoured to portray them,
both in good and ill, without regard to any other considerations than
the development of the _facts_. Their sayings, their doings, their
manners, their costume, will be found faithfully chronicled in this
work, which also includes the most interesting of their letters. The
hope that the 'Lives of the Queens of England' might be regarded as a
national work, honourable to the female character, and generally useful
to society, has encouraged us to the completion of the task."


"These volumes have the fascination of romance united to the integrity
of history. The work is written by a lady of considerable learning,
indefatigable industry, and careful judgment. All these qualifications
for a biographer and an historian she has brought to bear upon the
subject of her volumes, and from them has resulted a narrative
interesting to all, and more particularly interesting to that portion of
the community to whom the more refined researches of literature afford
pleasure and instruction. The whole work should be read, and no doubt
will be read, by all who are anxious for information. It is a lucid
arrangement of facts, derived from authentic sources, exhibiting a
combination of industry, learning, judgment, and impartiality, not often
met with in biographers of crowned heads."--_Times._

"A remarkable and truly great historical work. In this series of
biographies, in which the severe truth of history takes almost the
wildness of romance, it is the singular merit of Miss Strickland that
her research has enabled her to throw new light on many doubtful
passages, to bring forth fresh facts, and to render every portion of our
annals which she has described an interesting and valuable study. She
has given a most valuable contribution to the history of England, and we
have no hesitation in affirming that no one can be said to possess an
accurate knowledge of the history of the country who has not studied
this truly national work, which, in this new edition, has received all
the aids that further research on the part of the author, and of
embellishment on the part of the publishers, could tend to make it still
more valuable, and still more attractive, than it had been in its
original form."--_Morning Herald._

"A most valuable and entertaining work. There is certainly no lady of
our day who has devoted her pen to so beneficial a purpose as Miss
Strickland. Nor is there any other whose works possess a deeper or more
enduring interest. Miss Strickland is to our mind the first literary
lady of the age."--_Morning Chronicle._

"We must pronounce Miss Strickland beyond all comparison the most
entertaining historian in the English language. She is certainly a woman
of powerful and active mind, as well as of scrupulous justice and
honesty of purpose."--_Morning Post._

"Miss Strickland has made a very judicious use of many authentic MS.
authorities not previously collected, and the result is a most
interesting addition to our biographical library."--_Quarterly Review._

"A valuable contribution to historical knowledge. It contains a mass of
every kind of historical matter of interest, which industry and research
could collect. We have derived much entertainment and instruction from
the work."--_Athenæum._




With the ARMS (1500 in number) accurately engraved, and incorporated
with the Text.

In 1 vol. (comprising as much matter as twenty ordinary volumes), 38s.

The following is a List of the Principal Contents of this Standard

I. A full and interesting history of each order of the English Nobility,
showing its origin, rise, titles, immunities, privileges, &c.

II. A complete Memoir of the Queen and Royal Family, forming a brief
genealogical History of the Sovereign of this country, and deducing the
descent of the Plantagenets, Tudors, Stuarts, and Guelphs, through their
various ramifications. To this section is appended a list of those Peers
who inherit the distinguished honour of Quartering the Royal Arms of

III. An Authentic table of Precedence.

IV. A perfect HISTORY OF ALL THE PEERS AND BARONETS, with the fullest
details of their ancestors and descendants, and particulars respecting
every collateral member of each family, and all intermarriages, &c.

V. The Spiritual Lords.

VI. Foreign Noblemen, subjects by birth of the British Crown.

VII. Peerages claimed.

VIII. Surnames of Peers and Peeresses, with Heirs Apparent and

IX. Courtesy titles of Eldest Sons.

X. Peerages of the Three Kingdoms in order of Precedence.

XI. Baronets in order of Precedence.

XII. Privy Councillors of England and Ireland.

XIII. Daughters of Peers married to Commoners.

XIV. ALL THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD, with every Knight and all the Knights

XV. Mottoes translated, with poetical illustrations.

"The most complete, the most convenient, and the cheapest work of the
kind ever given to the public."--_Sun._

"The best genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the Peerage and
Baronetage, and the first authority on all questions affecting the

"For the amazing quantity of personal and family history, admirable
arrangement of details, and accuracy of information, this genealogical
and heraldic dictionary is without a rival. It is now the standard and
acknowledged book of reference upon all questions touching pedigree, and
direct or collateral affinity with the titled aristocracy. The lineage
of each distinguished house is deduced through all the various
ramifications. Every collateral branch, however remotely connected, is
introduced; and the alliances are so carefully inserted, as to show, in
all instances, the connexion which so intimately exists between the
titled and untitled aristocracy. We have also much most entertaining
historical matter, and many very curious and interesting family
traditions. The work is, in fact, a complete cyclopædia of the whole
titled classes of the empire, supplying all the information that can
possibly be desired on the subject."--_Morning Post._

"The 'Peerage' and the 'Landed Gentry' of Mr. Burke are two works of
public utility--constantly referred to by all classes of society, and
rarely opened without being found to supply the information sought. They
are accessions of value to our books of reference, and few who write or
talk much about English Peers and English Landed Gentry, can well be
looked on as safe authorities without a knowledge of the contents of Mr.
Burke's careful compilations."--_Athenæum._


#A Genealogical Dictionary#


Comprising Particulars of 100,000 Individuals connected with them.

In 2 volumes, royal 8vo, including the Supplement, beautifully printed
in double columns, comprising more matter than 30 ordinary volumes,
price only 2l. 2s., elegantly bound,



The Landed Gentry of England are so closely connected with the stirring
records of its eventful history, that some acquaintance with them is a
matter of necessity with the legislator, the lawyer, the historical
student, the speculator in politics, and the curious in topographical
and antiquarian lore; and even the very spirit of ordinary curiosity
will prompt to a desire to trace the origin and progress of those
families whose influence pervades the towns and villages of our land.
This work furnishes such a mass of authentic information in regard to
all the principal families in the kingdom as has never before been
attempted to be brought together. It relates to the untitled families of
rank, as the "Peerage and Baronetage" does to the titled, and forms, in
fact, a peerage of the untitled aristocracy. It embraces the whole of
the landed interest, and is indispensable to the library of every
gentleman. The great cost attending the production of this National
Work, the first of its kind, induces the publisher to hope that the
heads of all families recorded in its pages will supply themselves with

"A work of this kind is of a national value. Its utility is not merely
temporary, but it will exist and be acknowledged as long as the families
whose names and genealogies are recorded in it continue to form an
integral portion of the English constitution. As a correct record of
descent, no family should be without it. The untitled aristocracy have
in this great work as perfect a dictionary of their genealogical
history, family connexions, and heraldic rights, as the peerage and
baronetage. It will be an enduring and trustworthy record."--_Morning

"A work in which every gentleman will find a domestic interest, as it
contains the fullest account of every known family in the United
Kingdom. It is a dictionary of all names, families, and their
origin,--of every man's neighbour and friend, if not of his own
relatives and immediate connexions. It cannot fail to be of the greatest
utility to professional men in their researches respecting the members
of different families, heirs to property, &c. Indeed, it will become as
necessary as a Directory in every office."--_Bell's Messenger._


Author of "Sylva," &c.



In 4 vols., post 8vo, price 10s. 6d. each.

N.B.--Vols. III. and IV., containing "The Correspondence," may be had
separately, to complete sets.

The Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn has long been regarded as an
invaluable record of opinions and events, as well as the most
interesting exposition we possess of the manners, taste, learning, and
religion of this country, during the latter half of the seventeenth
century. The Diary comprises observations on the politics, literature,
and science of his age, during his travels in France and Italy; his
residence in England towards the latter part of the Protectorate, and
his connexion with the Courts of Charles II and the two subsequent
reigns, interspersed with a vast number of original anecdotes of the
most celebrated persons of that period. To the Diary is subjoined the
Correspondence of Evelyn with many of his distinguished contemporaries;
also Original Letters from Sir Edward Nicholas, private secretary to
King Charles I., during some important periods of that reign, with the
King's answers; and numerous letters from Sir Edward Hyde (Lord
Clarendon) to Sir Edward Nicholas, and to Sir Richard Brown, Ambassador
to France, during the exile of the British Court.

A New Edition of this interesting work having been long demanded, the
greatest pains have been taken to render it as complete as possible, by
a careful re-examination of the original Manuscript, and by illustrating
it with such annotations as will make the reader more conversant with
the numerous subjects referred to by the Diarist.

"It has been justly observed that as long as Virtue and Science hold
their abode in this island, the memory of Evelyn will be held in the
utmost veneration. Indeed, no change of fashion, no alteration of taste,
no revolution of science, have impaired, or can impair, his celebrity.
The youth who looks forward to an inheritance which he is under no
temptation to increase, will do well to bear the example of Evelyn in
his mind, as containing nothing but what is imitable, and nothing but
what is good. All persons, indeed, may find in his character something
for imitation, but for an English gentleman he is the perfect
model."--_Quarterly Review._



4 vols., post 8vo, with Illustrations, 10s. 6d. each, bound.


"A most agreeable book. The authoress, already favourably known to the
learned world by her excellent collection of 'Letters of Royal and
Illustrious Ladies,' has executed her task with great skill and
fidelity. Every page displays careful research and accuracy. There is a
graceful combination of sound, historical erudition, with an air of
romance and adventure that is highly pleasing, and renders the work at
once an agreeable companion of the boudoir, and a valuable addition to
the historical library. Mrs. Green has entered upon an untrodden path,
and gives to her biographies an air of freshness and novelty very
alluring. The first two volumes (including the Lives of twenty-five
Princesses) carry us from the daughters of the Conqueror to the family
of Edward I.--a highly interesting period, replete with curious
illustrations of the genius and manners of the Middle Ages. Such works,
from the truthfulness of their spirit, furnish a more lively picture of
the times than even the graphic, though delusive, pencil of Scott and

"The vast utility of the task undertaken by the gifted author of this
interesting book can only be equalled by the skill, ingenuity, and
research displayed in its accomplishment. The field Mrs. Green has
selected is an untrodden one. Mrs. Green, on giving to the world a work
which will enable us to arrive at a correct idea of the private
histories and personal characters of the royal ladies of England, has
done sufficient to entitle her to the respect and gratitude of the
country. The labour of her task was exceedingly great, involving
researches, not only into English records and chronicles, but into those
of almost every civilised country in Europe. The style of Mrs. Green is
admirable. She has a fine perception of character and manners, a
penetrating spirit of observation, and singular exactness of judgment.
The memoirs are richly fraught with the spirit of romantic
adventure."--_Morning Post._

"This work is a worthy companion to Miss Strickland's admirable 'Queens
of England.' In one respect the subject-matter of these volumes is more
interesting, because it is more diversified than that of the 'Queens of
England.' That celebrated work, although its heroines were, for the most
part, foreign Princesses, related almost entirely to the history of this
country. The Princesses of England, on the contrary, are themselves
English, but their lives are nearly all connected with foreign nations.
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Transcriber's Notes.

'_' is used to denote italicised text. '#' is used to denote text in
black letter font.

Punctuation, hyphenation, capitalisation and accenting of common words
has been corrected without note here.

Variant spelling of some proper names has not been corrected, e.g.
Staremberg, Stahremburg, Starhemburg.

The following typographical errors in the main text have been corrected:

Page Corrected text (error in original)

vi   250-323 (350-323)
25   sermons to Shakspeare's text of (Skakspeare's)
47   whether further adjournment may not be thought right, (adjourment)
48   finished the examination of the physicians (physicans)
84   2nd of January, 1789, Mr. Cornwall, (1799)
104  Prince's aides-de-camp you will have seen (aides-de-camps)
290  intimate concert between his Court (betweent)
311  impossible as to make the Prussians act. (Prusians)
346  give some sort of account (some some)
369  expediency for Lord Hobart's recal, (Hobart'a)
387  selected as a much more striking instance (strking)
407  indictable, till this new offence (ndictable)
419  more difficult task to accomplish (acccomplish)

Typographical errors in the advertising section have been corrected
without note.

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