« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
one of them “imputed malversations” were attributed to Mr. Beresford. In consequence of this statement, Mr. Beresford addressed the following letter to his Lordship:
MR. BERESFORD TO THE EARL FITZWILLIAM.
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 Lordsbip; 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,
BERESFORD. Earl Fitzwilliam.
To this letter Lord Fitzwilliam transmitted the following reply :
EARL FITZWILLIAM TO MR. BERESFORD.
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,
WENTWORTH FitzwILLIAM. 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.
LORD GRENVILLE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Pall Mall, Nov. 12th, 1795. MY DEAREST BROTHER,
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.