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any impatience, which just inverts the ground upon which we can best stand. One thing only I wish to be stated, if you approve it; and if you have any delicacy as to yourself, it may be stated as my language to you, namely, the very essential difference between an offer made now, with the means of strengthening ourselves, or hereafter, in a moment of distress, to His Majesty, and of equal difficulty to those upon whom he calls: increased likewise by the inference which individuals will draw from the countenance given to the present Ministry even of one hour from the moment in which he can dismiss them. This may be urged totally distinct from any idea of impatience, and I think that (upon the supposition that your conversation will be repeated) we owe it to the King not to conceal what makes so capital a part of our creed, and particularly in a moment when the inclination to change is palpable, although it is wished to transfer the first movements from the King, from whom they really proceed, to us, who are in fact his only resource. As to the observations drawn from Lord Thurlow's account of the King's language, I admit them to be strong; but if his Lordship had not stated them, I would have trusted human nature, and peculiarly that of His Majesty, for the continuance of his feelings upon the subject of his present Ministers. I would not therefore, in conversation with Lord Thurlow, admit of any merit from this perseverance as partial or flattering to us; and still less would I give to Lord Thurlow any clue by which His Majesty is to have an insight into a future Ministry. If this is to be a negotiation, let it be avowed; and in whatever manner it is conveyed, the answer in general may return by the same channel, but the particulars can be settled only personally with the King; and you sufficiently remember what passed between Lord Shelburne and Lord Rockingham in March, 1782, not to be very cautious upon anything which may give that light which must be the consequence and not the cause of a negotiation; and if after all this explanation Lord Thurlow runs away to Spa, or declines engaging further, I must think that the King's line is marked, and that he will get through the summer, and leave the change to be forced in Parliament; a system which you will not think very likely to prevail in his mind.
Under all these circumstances, all we can do is voir venir, taking every means to undeceive the King as to any idea of our changing our system for that which, as an individual, has no charms for me, further than as I am acting with you. My groom, who carries this letter, has orders to wait for your answer, which will probably be very short, as I cannot think that Lord Thurlow will open further till he sees clearly that he cannot succeed in the game which he is now playing. Adieu, my dear Pitt, believe me, with the truest regard, and affection founded upon esteem,
Most sincerely yours,
Mr. Pitt to Earl Temple.
My DEAR LORD, Tuesday, July 22, 1783, past 9.
I am extremely obliged to you for your letter, and truly happy in the confirmation you give me of the sentiments I entertained. Nothing has passed at Lord Thurlow's to-day. We had company at dinner, and though I have stayed pretty late, he showed no disposition to find an opportunity for private conversation, and of course I did not endeavour to force it. All he threw out in table-talk looked as if he was eager for a change (of which indeed there can be no doubt), and therefore I imagine his seeking no further explanation at present may proceed from his not having been able yet to report our last conversation and have an answer. If anything serious is intended, he will contrive to resume the subject before he goes abroad, of which he still talks, but loosely. Be it as it may, I am completely satisfied with the ground we are upon, feeling that I agree with your Lordship in every particular. I see no difficulty, if anything further passes, in stating, what is most true, the disadvantage of any considerable delay if the King means to press a change at all before the meeting of Parliament. I may possibly be able to give your Lordship more information before long, for I think Lord Thurlow cannot go without some further explanation. I am, with the greatest truth and esteem,
Ever faithfully yours,
Mr. Pitt to Earl Temple.
Burton Pynsent, My DEAR LORD, Wednesday, August 27, 1783.
The party at Stowe has on every account too many attractions, not to make me truly desirous of fulfilling the engagement you are so good as to remind me of. If I am a little doubtful whether I can be quite as punctual as I wish, it is from a scheme which I have some time had in view, and which I think I may possibly not soon find another opportunity of executing. I wish during an idle interval to employ a few weeks in France, merely for the purpose of being a little more used to the sound of French, and I think, till some time in October, I may absent myself from England without any inconvenience, especially as I shall never be out of reach of a very few days’ journey. I hope to be back about the time that my brother and Lord Sydney propose themselves the pleasure of being with you; but in such a case one cannot precisely answer for a day. I believe I shall be in town this day sennight, and shall stay there two or three days before I set out. If your Lordship should have any commands for me, will you have the goodness to direct the letter to Lord Sydney's, in Albemarle Street? I have no news since I saw you, and the season of the year makes the prospect more certain till winter. I am extremely glad of the account you give me of the person you had an opportunity of seeing. Another person of the same lineage (about whom we had much conversation) is returned from France, as I hear, in very good general disposition, but I have neither seen him nor heard anything of his particular wishes. If my time would easily allow it, I would certainly endeavour to have the pleasure of seeing you at Stowe before I cross the water. Should you have anything which you think of consequence to say, and which cannot be conveyed by letter, I will certainly do it yet, though I wish to delay my departure as little as possible. My mother and all the party here desire me to present their most affectionate compliments, to which allow me to add mine, as well as theirs, to Lady Temple, and to assure you that I am, with the utmost truth,
Your most faithful and affectionate,
Mr. Pitt to Earl Temple.
MY DEAR LORD, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1783. I had intended to write by Mr. Froggatt, who, I understood, was to set out to Stowe this morning, but wishing not to close my letter till I have been at the Levee, I shall leave it to be sent by the stage. I have been very much disappointed in not meeting your brother, with whom I was anxious to have had some conversation, and to have learnt more particularly your ideas before I proceed on my tour. I was unfortunately detained in the country till after he had left town, and the interval is so short that I have not a day to spare conveniently. I am very well satisfied in my own
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