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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. MY DEAR BROTHER,

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 not.

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. MY DEAR BROTHER,

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 VOL. II.


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,

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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. MY DEAR BROTHER,

Your letter of the 27th followed me here yesterday, and I have just received that of the 29th. With respect to the

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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

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