Изображения страниц

be reached by surgery or medicine—did not admit a perfect recovery above one time in an hundred.” The opinions of many others of the faculty are bandied about; but, as matter of conversation for your private ear, I give this particular one as authentically coming to my own knowledge.

You'll observe in this day's papers, a meeting advertised of the bankers. It is understood to be for the purpose of tendering W. Pitt, on his going out of office, a transfer of £3000 per annum, Bank Stock, or a principal of £50,000, in the name of the commercial world.

Adieu, my dear Lord. Health and prosperity be yours, and be assured that you have no one more devotedly attached than your most affectionate and obliged friend and servant,

W. Young.


Whitehall, Dec. 23rd, 1788. MY DEAR BROTHER,

I received this morning your letter of the 18th; but am so much engaged to-day that it is impossible for me to enter into it, which I will, if possible, do to-morrow. I write now only to press again, in the strongest manner, that you will get Fitzgibbon and Wolfe to state all the particulars of the case, particularly as to the form of the enrolment of your patent under the Irish Great Seal, and to give you their opinions and arguments upon it. I will then take care to know Kenyon's sentiments on that paper, and if I can, the Chancellor's; but you are not ignorant of the bias of his mind, which is, on all occasions, to consider the relative situation of the two kingdoms, not such as it is, but such as it was, and as he thought it should have remained. My idea of your tie by no means went to your pledging yourself to do any act so contrary to your duty and feelings, as the recommending from the throne, in

Ireland, a form of Regency varying one iota from that adopted here. On the contrary, I think you should give it explicitly to be understood, that everything in your power will be done to preserve entire this link of connection. And under this explanation only, do I think you ought to offer the proposed alternative.

I say nothing of our triumph last night. You will hear it from other quarters; and you will probably be able to judge of its extent, by knowing the confidence with which the enemy looked to gaining upon us on this occasion. It is, I think, now quite certain that we shall carry our restrictions.

Ever most affectionately yours,

W. W. G.

Another letter upon the Irish difficulty, into which Mr. Grenville enters in elaborate detail:


Whitehall, Dec. 25th, 1788. MY DEAR BROTHER,

I am extremely anxious that you should lose no time in transmitting over to England an exact statement of the case respecting your commission, and of the points and arguments on which your lawyers ground their opinions, in order that they may be well considered here by those who are interested in your situation and character, as deeply and as warmly as Pitt and myself. You mention in your last, that it has occurred to you, that it would be right if you are intemperately removed to desire the opinion of our judges on the point. But you do not seem to consider that, whenever that case occurs, you may have to decide on the moment, either to quit your Government, and to swear in the new Lord-Lieutenant, or to hold it against him, in contradiction to the orders of English Government. Suppose he should himself be the messenger of his own appointment, as was the case with the Duke of Portland. The same reason exactly exists for it now as before, namely, the fear of suffering the dismissed Lord-Lieutenant to meet the Parliament, especially in a moment when their conduct is so important. The best and, indeed, almost only security that you could have in such a case for the justification of your own conduct, whatever it might be, would be the having given a full previous intimation to the English Government of the difficulties and dangers of the case.

You say that I should feel myself at liberty to act for you on the pressure of any unforeseen case. I certainly should; and my confidence in your affection, and in your persuasion of my desire to do the best for you, would encourage me to take, if it were absolutely necessary, steps even of considerable delicacy and difficulty. But I cannot but be infinitely anxious, as far as possible, to be previously in possession of your ideas on every case that can be foreseen. Besides this, I am at present unable to do the precise thing which I think would be the most desirable, because I am not myself in possession of the particular forms of your commission's passing in England and in Ireland, so as to be able to state them to others. And yet this is the point on which, in one view of the case, the whole question turns. I confess that, in my own individual opinion, there is another point distinct from that of forms, on which I should be disposed to maintain the incompetence of any English revocation of your commission. It is this:

We (that is Pitt and his friends) hold and have persuaded Parliament to declare that, in such a case as the present, the right of providing for the emergency rests in the two Houses, not as branches of the Legislature, but as a full and free representative of all the orders and classes of the people of Great Britain. Now the moment that we admit this, we do it on the ground of this being a case unprovided for. If it is so in England; it is unquestionably equally unprovided for in Ireland ; and the right of making such provision must of necessity rest in the same manner in the Lords and Commons of England. There is this difference, that here the Parliament could not be legally opened, unless the Lord Chancellor had taken upon himself to put the Great Seal to a commission for that purpose, whereas your commission enables you (as I understand) generally to open and hold Parliament. But even in your case, it seems to me to be a doubt whether you can regularly do this without having received the King's pleasure for it, and whether your opening the Parliament in such circumstances is not an act very much of the same nature as the Chancellor's would have been if he had sealed such a commission.

In the same view of the subject, I should most earnestly deprecate your taking upon yourself to issue a further prorogation. Surely, under such circumstances as the present, the two Houses should themselves decide, and not any individual for them, whether it is expedient or not to proceed to any business. My clear and decided opinion on that subject is, that you should go down on the day of meeting, and state the circumstances of the case, saying that you have ordered the several examinations of the physicians before Council and before the two Houses here, to be laid before the two Houses. Your Ministers should then, upon that, propose to adjourn to a further day, on the ground of its not being known (as it cannot then be known) what form will be adopted here, and of its being, at all events, desirable that they should be in possession of that fact before they deliberate, especially as the Government may go on in the interval without inconvenience.

If you see no objection to this, it is, I think, high time that you should write an official letter, stating all the circumstances of the situation, and that your intention is, unless you should be informed that it appears to His Majesty's servants to be

improper, &c., to meet the Parliament on the 20th, for the purpose which I have stated.

It is excessively important that you should, at the same time, transmit, either publicly or privately, such a case as I have mentioned, considering the subject in the two points of view : first, with respect to the particular forms; and secondly, to the question, how far any difference in point of form can preclude the Parliament of Ireland from the exercise of the same substantive right as that which we have declared to vest in us under the existing circumstances.

I have great doubts of the propriety of what you mention of an address of the two Houses to empower you to give the royal assent to any Bills, because that would prematurely, as it seems to me, bring into discussion the great question of all — namely, how far the Lords and Commons of Ireland have the right, either of commanding the use of the English Great Seal, or of superseding its use, in an instance in which that, and the concurrence of the English Council, are fundamental points of the present constitution of Ireland. I am quite sure that the safest of all things will be the adjournment; and I think it very improbable that such a proposal can be opposed, as it must extremely fall in with the wishes of the party who are looking to the Government immediately after the passing the English Bill. I have no means of knowing or guessing at General Pitt's intentions, but should think they can be no other than royal.

You could surely find no difficulty in pledging the servants of Government in Ireland to the adjournment; because it can so clearly be argued not to preclude any future opinion on the subject, and still less to pledge anybody to the adoption of the English system; but only shows the opinion of the Irish Parliament, that a knowledge of the system adopted here, is a point which they wish should enter into their deliberations respecting Ireland.

I am much amused with the circumstance of Lord Sh. and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »