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plan to give the interval of a long adjournment as soon as the Bill has been read and printed. With so doubtful a majority, and with so much industry to raise a spirit of opposition without doors, this is not the moment for pressing farther. It will remain to be seen whether, by showing a firm and unalterable decision to abide by the system in its present shape, and by exerting every effort both to instruct and to influence the country at large into a just opinion of the advantages held out to them, a favourable change may be produced in the general current of opinion before the time comes for resuming the consideration of the Bill. I am not at all sanguine in my expectations of your division on the intended motion on Monday last. Though an opposition frequently loses its advantage by attempting to push it too far, yet on such a question, and with the encouragement of so much success, I rather conclude that absurdity and faction will have gained a second triumph; but I am very far from thinking it impossible that reflection and discussion may operate a great change before the time at which your Parliament will probably meet after the adjournment. I very much wish you may at least have been just able to ward off Flood's motion, lest its standing on the Journals should be an obstacle to farther proceedings at a happier moment. It is still almost incomprehensible to me who can have been the deserters who reduced our force so low, and I wait with great impatience for a more particular account. All I have to say, in the mean time, is very short: let us meet what has happened, or whatever may happen, with the coolness and determination of persons who may be defeated, but cannot be disgraced; and who know that those who obstruct them are greater sufferers than themselves. You have only to preserve the same spirit and temper you have shown throughout in the remainder of this difficult scene. Your own credit and fame will be safe, as well as that of your friends. I wish I could say the same of the country you have been labouring to serve. Our cause is on too firm a rock here to be materially shaken, even for the time, by this disappointment; and when the experience of this fact has produced a little more wisdom in Ireland, I believe the time will yet come when we shall see all our views realized in both countries, and for the advantage of both. It may be sooner or later, as accident, or perhaps (for some time) malice, may direct; but it will be right at last. We must spare no human exertion to bring forward the moment as early as possible; but we must be prepared also to wait for it on one uniform and resolute ground, be it ever so late. It will be no small consolation to you, in the doubtful state of this one important object, that every other part of the public scene affords the most encouraging and animating prospect; and you have, above all, the satisfaction of knowing that your Government has made a more vigorous effort (whatever be its ultimate success) than I believe any other period of Irish history will produce since the present train of government has been established. I write this as the first result of my feelings, and I write it to yourself alone.


Believe me ever
Your most affectionate and faithful friend,

P.S.—I would write to Orde, but I am fearful of detaining the messenger, and I should only repeat much of what I have said here. Will you have the goodness to tell him the cause of my not immediately answering his letter.



THE following letters, as preserved in their original Drafts, appear to me of considerable interest. But I thought them too voluminous for my “Life of Pitt,’ especially since I there inserted other writings of the Minister which refer to the same events, and which announce the same conclusions.

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I have deferred from day to day writing to you, thinking I might have something decisive to tell you; but notwithstanding repeated discussions, which have employed almost my whole time for several days, I am still unable to judge how the business will finally end. If I thought what has passed was the result of any such deliberate project as you suspect, I should be of opinion, notwithstanding all the difficulties of the moment, that a separation from the party would be the best for ourselves and the public, and that at least it ought to be risked rather than suffer Lord Fitzwilliam or any connexion of the Duke of Portland's to go to Ireland. But on the fullest consideration, I really believe, strange as the proceeding has been, it has been more the result of indiscretion, both in the principals and their Irish connexions, than of any settled plan. On every other point the conduct of all our new friends has been perfectly cordial and satisfactory; and, under all the misfortunes abroad, they seem thoroughly inclined to take fairly their full share in the difficulties of the crisis, and to persevere in all the unprecedented efforts which it requires. Under these circumstances I feel that to force them to a breach, if it can be avoided with honour, is to expose the public and the King's service to an additional risk, which at such a moment as this especially cannot be justified, and I trust on reflection you will concur with me in that opinion. I think, therefore, that I ought not to put a negative altogether on Lord Fitzwilliam's going, provided the line of measures to be pursued is satisfactorily settled, and all idea of violent change put out of the question; and provided that an opening is found here which may be satisfactory to you, and also show that it is clearly settled that the supporters of Government in Ireland are not sacrificed. With regard to the line of measures, I think from the explanations which have taken place, that there is no difficulty to be apprehended. But with respect to the two next points, though my decision has been clearly and repeatedly stated, I have not yet received any final answer. I do not at present see clearly the means of any practicable opening for you of a sort


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