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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.
LORD GRENVILLE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Cleveland Row, March 14th, 1797. MY DEAREST BROTHER,
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 Rhine. Ever most affectionately yours,
LORD GRENVILLE TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Cleveland Row, March 20th, 1797. MY DEAREST BROTHER,
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 forward.
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 made.
LORD MORNINGTON TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
Hertford Street, April 20th, 1797. MY DEAR LORD,
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
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