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Whitehall, Nov. 20th, 1788. MY DEAR BROTHER,

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 subject.

You will probably have heard from other quarters how faspeech, 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. MY DEAR BROTHER,

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 short.

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. MY DEAR BROTHER,

I* 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

* The letter thus written in italics is the key to a new cypher in which these communications were carried on.

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.


Whitehall, Nov. 24th, 1788. MY DEAR BROTHER,

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 improvement.

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

Ever yours,

W. W. G.

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