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then private secretary of the Right Hon. Charles Long, in Ireland. This I shall now insert, prefixing, however, two letters which Mr. Pitt wrote from Bath in the same month to his physician in London, and which I received in July, 1862, through the kindness of the present Sir Walter Farquhar. The intermediate note, which I also add, is derived from the Pitt Papers.
Mr. Pitt to Sir Walter Farquhar.
MY DEAR SIR, Bath, January 1, 1806.
I have been rather gaining ground since I wrote to you last; but it has been so slowly that I cannot feel comfortable at finding myself within less than three weeks of the meeting of Parliament without being more advanced. My strength is as yet very little improved, and my appetite not at all. It is indeed only for these last five days that I have begun again on the waters, and at first so sparingly that they would scarce produce any effect. For these last two days I have taken two middle-sized glasses, which certainly seem to agree very well, though I have not felt any positive benefit, except in my sleep being better than it has been. I do not know whether I am to place to their account some gouty sensations in the bottom of the left foot, which, without being yet anything very decided, are sufficient to make me rather lame. Mr. Crook seems apprehensive of more gout; but if it is in the habit, I cannot but think the sooner it is brought out the better. On the
whole, if I had six weeks to spare, I should have no doubt of returning to town stout enough ; but, as it is, I am afraid that, unless exactly the best use is made of the short interval to the 21st, I shall hardly be equal to the labours which are then to begin ; and I have therefore thought it best to trouble you with these particulars for your further directions.
Yours very sincerely,
Sir Walter Farquhar to Mr. Pitt.
- N Downing Street, MY DEAR SIR, Wednesday, near 6 (Jan. 1, 1806). I write from Lady Hester's room, who is full of
anxiety about you. I have seen Lord Castlereagh, who gives a very favourable account of you; still I don't like the restless nights, which retard recovery. From this moment I shall hold myself ready to fly to you. Only issue your orders. Nay, only say that you would not dislike it. Change the air—I mean your house— and go out every day. Send for a bottle of Paregoric Elixir, and be your own Doctor. Take a tea-spoonful at bed-time in a little white wine whey, and repeat the same, if you should not sleep, in two or three hours. I have given you this a hundred times. No bad effects can arise from it. -
I shall be quite miserable till I hear from you, if only two lines.
Your most faithful Servant,
Mr. Pitt to Sir Walter Farquhar.
MY DEAR SIR, Bath, January 2, 1806.
Many thanks for your letter which I received this morning. Mine of yesterday will have in great measure replied to it. I can only add that, as far as I find any change to-day, it is for the better. My sleep has begun to improve without aid; but I cannot deny that it will be a great satisfaction to me to see you, if you can come without too much inconvenience to yourself, and without creating an alarm among my friends.
Downing Street, DEAR COURTENAY, Friday, 24th January, 1806.
I wished to have told you something of the manner of Mr. Pitt's death, but really I was not equal to it yesterday. I can hardly yet bring myself to believe that it is true, though everything in this wretched, melancholy house but too surely impresses it upon my mind. He received the tidings of the approaching event with that firmness which was natural to him, and passed an hour with the Bishop of Lincoln in prayer, and in such directions about his worldly affairs as he thought necessary. He wished to have committed these to writing, but his strength was not sufficient. He therefore dictated what he had to say to the Bishop, and signed the paper. His solicitude seemed to be, to have procured a provision for the Stanhopes and for the payment of his own debts—both of which, I should suppose, for the credit of Parliament and of the country, would be immediately done. After this exertion, which was Wednesday morning, I do not find that he knew anything, except at little intervals, in one of which he saw Lady Hester Stanhope, blessed her, and took his last leave of her. All the rest was incoherence. He talked a great deal about the affairs in Germany—asked why they did not fight?
—said he would despatch a messenger—inquired which way the wind was, for him to sail. Sometimes he mentioned Lady Hester — called her a good soul. “I know she loves me.” Then he would begin to pray —which perhaps was during a momentary return of reason—and then he would fancy himself in the House of Commons, and cry, “Hear, hear, hear!”—and once he said, “I am better—I shall not die yet.” But I will not proceed farther with this dreadful recital. The delirium, I suppose, proceeded from the excess of fever, for his pulse latterly was too quick to be counted. About an hour before his death he seemed to be in a sleep, from which he never woke again; and
they only knew that it was over by his having ceased to breathe.
I have hardly begun to contemplate the probable consequences of this most sad calamity, or the private and public evils which it must produce. We shall feel them by-and-bye. At present my mind is wholly occupied with a grief that I never felt before, and an anguish that is inexpressible.
It is not the loss of his vast talents and unexampled public services which affects me now—though they will be “embalmed in the recollection of a grateful posterity”—but the remembrance of his unnumbered kindnesses—of that goodness and gentleness of heart and manner, and of that purity of mind, which I never saw equalled in man.
To my last hour, the time I spent with him at Bath will be a source of infinite gratification to me. I dined with him the very last time he ever sat at table. Those precious, precious days will be fixed in my memory to my life's end.
Yours always affectionately,
W. D. ADAMS.
M. Boyd, Esq., to Earl Stanhope. [Extract.] Sandhurst Lodge, Regent's Park, May 17, 1862. There was a circumstance told me by the late Mr. Christmas, who for many years held an important