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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 waterguard, 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. MY DEAREST BROTHER,

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. Alban's 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 gunboats.

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. MY DEAREST BROTHER,

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 it.

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. MY DEAREST BROTHER,

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

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