Page images
PDF
EPUB

which must account to you for its being longer perhaps than I intended, or I could have wished. I confide entirely in the personal kindness and affection expressed in your letter, and am, for that reason, the more unwilling to trouble you ågain on a painful subject, in which you are not free to act as your inclination, I am sure, leads you. But, as it is not at all improbable, that every part of this transaction may be publicly canvassed hereafter, it is of the utmost importance to my honour, without which I can have no happiness, that my conduct in it shall be fairly represented, and correctly understood. When I made a tender of my ser vices to his Majesty's ministers, it was with a just and natural expectation that my offer would have been accepted, in the way in which alone it could have been most beneficial to my country, or creditable to myself; or, if that failed, that at least, in justice to me, the reasons for a refusal would have been distinctly stated; so that the nation might be satisfied that nothing had been omitted on my part, and enabled to judge of the validity of the reasons assigned for such refusal. In the first instance, I was referred to his majesty's will and pleasure; and now I am informed, by your letter, tl:at “ before he had appointed me to the command of the 10th Light Dragoons, he had caused it to be fully explained to me what his : sentiments were with respect to a Prince of Wales entering into the army.” It is impossible, my dear brother, that I should know all that passed between the king and you; but I perfectly recollect the statement you made of the conversation you had with his majesty, and which strictly corresponds with that in your letter now before me. But I must, at the same time, recal to your memory my positive denial, at that time, of any condition or stipulation having been made, upon my first coming into the army; and I am in possession of full and complete documents, which prove that no terms whatever were then proposed, at least to me, whatever might have been the intention; and the communications I have found it necessary subsequently to make, have ever disclaimed the existence of such a compromise at any period, as nothing could be more avèrse to my nature, or more remote from my mind. As to the conversation you quote in 1796 (when the king was pleased to appoint me to succced Sir William Pitt) I have not the most slight recollection of its having taken place between us. -My dear brother, if your date is right, you must be mistaken in your exact terms, or at least in the conclusion you draw from it ; for, in the intimacy and familiarity of private conversation, it is not at all unlikely that I should have remembered the communication you made me the year before ; but, that I should have acquiesced in, or referred to a compromise, which I never made, is utterly impossible. Neither in his majesty's letter to me, nor in the correspondence with Mr. Addington (of which you may not be fully informed) is there one word, nor the most distant allusions to the conditions stated in your letter; and even if I had accepted the command of a regiment on such terms, my acquiescence could only have relation to the ordinary situation of the country, and not to a case so completely out of all contemplation at that time, as the probable or projected invasion of this kingdom by a foreign force, sufficient to bring its safety into question. When the king is pleased to tell me, “ That should the enemy land, he shall think it his duty to set an example in defence of the country;" that is, to expose the only life which, for the public welfare, ought not to be hazarded, I respect and admire the principle which dictates that resolution; and as my heart glows with the same sentiments, I wish to partake in the

G, P.

same danger, that is, with dignity and effect. Whenever his majesty appears as king, he acts and commands; you are commander in chief; others of my family are high in military station; and even, by the last brevet, a considerable number af junior officers are put over me. In all these arrangements, the Prince of Wales alone, whose interest in the event yields to none but that of the king, is disregarded; omitted; his services rejected. So that, in fact, he has no post or station whatsoever, in a contest on which the fate of the crown and the kingdom may depend. I do not, my dear brother, wonder that, in the hurry of your present occupation, these considerations should have been oyerlooked. They are now in your yiey, and, I think, cannot fail to make a due impression. As to the rest, with every degree of esteem possible for your judgment of what is due to a soldier's hopour, I must be the guardian of mine to the utmost of my power, &c. &c.

(Signed) His Royal Highness the Duke of York.

No. XIII.

Horse Guards, Oct. 11. MY DEAR BROTHER-I have this moment, upon my arrival in town, found your letter, and lose no time in answering that part of it, which it appears to me should be clearly understood. Indeed, my dear brother, you must give me leave to repeat to you, that, upon the fullest consideration, I perfectly recollect your having yourself told me at Carlton-House, in the year 1793, on the day on which you was informed of his Majesty having acquiesced in your request of being appointed to the command of the 10th regiment of Light Dragoons, of which Sir W. Pitt was then colonel, the message and condition which was delivered to you from his majesty; and which his majesty repeated to me in the year 1795, as mentioned in my letter of Thursday last. And I have the fullest reason to know, that there are others to whom at that time you mentioned the same circumstance, nor have I the least recollection of your having denied it to me, when I delivered to you the king's answer, as I should certainly have felt it incumbent upon me to recal to your memory what you had told me yourself in the year 1793. No conversation whatever passed between us, as you justly remark, in the year 1796, when Sir William Pitt was promoted to the king's Dragoon Guards, which was done in consequence of what was arranged in 1793, upon your first appointment to the 10th Light Dragoons; and I conceive, that your mentioning in your letter my having stated a conversation to have passed between us in 1798, must have arisen from some misapprehension, as I do not find that year ever adverted to in my letter. I have thought it due to us both, my dear brother, thus fully to reply to those parts of your letter, in which you appear to have mistaken mine; but, as I am totally unacquainted with the correspondence which has taken place upon this subject, I must decline entering any furtherinto it. I remain ever, my dear brother, with the greatest truth, your most affectionate brother

(Signed)

FREDERICK. No. XIV.

- Brighton, Oct. 12, 1803. MY DEAR BROTHER---By my replying to your letter of the sixth instant, which contained no sort of answer to mine of the second, we have fallen into a very frivolous altercation upon a topic which is quite foreign to the present pur

pose. Indeed the whole importance of it lies in a seeming contradiction in the statement of a fact, which is unpleasant, even upon the idlest occasion. I meant to assert that no previous condition to forego all pretentions to ulterior rank, under any circumstances, had been imposed upon me, or even submitted to me in any shape whatsoever, on my first coming into the service, and with as much confidence as can be used in maintaining a negative, I repeat that assertion.--When I first became acquainted with his majesty's purpose to withhold from me further advancement, it is impossible to recollect, but that it was so early as the year 1793, I do not remember, and if your expressions were less positive, I should add, or believe; but I certainly knew it, as you well know, in 1795, and possibly before. We were then engaged in war, therefore I could not think of resigning my regiment, if under other circumstances I had been disposed to do $0; but, in truth, my rank in the nation mode military rank, in ordinary times, a matter of little consequence, except to my own private feelings. This sentiment, I conveyed to you in my letter of the second, saying expressly, that mere idle inactive rank, was in no sort my object, but upon the prospect of emergency, when the king was to take the field, and the spirit of every Briton was roused to exertion, the place which I occupy in the nation made it indispen"sible to demand a post correspondent to that place, and to the public expectation.

This sentiment I have the happiness to be assured, in a letter on this occasion, made a strong impression upon the mind, and commanded the respect and admiration of one very high in government. The only purpose of this letter, my dear brother, is to explain, since that is necessary, that my former ones meant not to give you the trouble of interceding as my advocate for mere rank in the army. Urging further my other more important claims upon government would be vainly addressed to any person, who can really think that a former refusal of mere rank, under circumstances so widely different, or the most express waving of such pretensions, if that had been the case, furnishes the slightest colour for the answer I have received to the tenders I have now made of my services. Your department, my dear brother, was meant, if I must repeat it, simply as a channel, to convey that tender to government, and to obtain either their attention to it, or an open avowal of their refusal, &c. &c.

(Signed)

G. P. To his Royal Highness the Duke of York.

No. XV.

Horse Guards, Oct. 13, 1803. My Dear BROTHER---I have received your letter this morning, and am sorry to find that you think that I have misconceived the meaning of your first letter, the whole tenor of which, and the military promotion which gave rise to it, led me naturally to siippose your desire was, that I should apply to his majesty, in my official capacity, to give you military rank, to which might be attached the idea of subsequent command. That I found myself under the necessity of declining, in obedience to his majesty's pointed orders, as I explained to you in my letter of the sixth inst. But from your letter of to day, I am to understand that your object is not military rank, but that a'post should be allotted to you, upon the present emergency, suitable to your situation in the state.--

This I conceive to be purely a political consideration, and as such totally out of my department; and as I have most carefully avoided, at all times, and under all circumstances, ever interfering in any political points, I must hope that you will not call upon me to deviate from the principles by which I have been invariably governed. Believe me, my dear brother, your most affectionate brother,

(Signed)

FREDERICK, His Royal Highạess the Prince of Wales,

No. XVI.

Carlton-House, Oct. 14, 1803. My Dear BROTHER---It cannot but be painful to me to be reduced to the necessity of further explanation on a subject which it was my earnest wish to have closed, and which was of so clear and distinct a nature as, in my humble judgment, to have precluded the possibility of either doubt or misunderstanding. Surely there must some strange fatality obscure my language in statement, or leave me somewhat deficient in the powers of explanation, when it can lead your mind, my dear brother, to such a palpable misconstruction (for far be it from me to fancy it wilful) of my meaning, as to suppose for a moment I had una connected my object with efficient military rank, and transferred it entirely to the view of a political station, when you venture to tell me “my object is not military 'rank, but that a post should be allotted to me, upon the present emergency, suitable to my situation in the state.” Upon what ground you can hazard such an assertion, or upon what principles you can draw such an inference, I am utterly at a loss to determine; for I deny the inost skilful logician, in torturing the English language, to apply with fuirness such a construction to anx word or phrase of mine, contained in any one of the letters I have ever written on this, to me, most interesting subject. I call upon you to peruse the correspondence in my letter of the second instant. I told you unequivocally, that I hoped you knew me too well to imagine, that idle inactive rank was in my view, and that sentiment, I beg you carefully to observe, I have in no ins stance whatever, for one single moment, relinquished or departed from, Give ing, as I did, all the considerations of my heart to the delicacy and difficulties of your situation, nothing could have been more repugnant to my thoughts, or to mny disposition, than to have imposed upon you, my dear brother, either in your capacity as commander in chief, or in the near relationship which subsists between us, the task, much less the expectation, of causing you to risque any displeasure from his majesty, by disobeying in any degree his commands, although they were even to militate against myself. But, with the impulse of my feelings tovards you, and quickly conceiving what friendship and affection may be capable of, I did not, I own, think it entirely impossible that you might, considering the magnitude and importance which the object carries with it, have officially advanced my wishes, as a matter of propriety, to military rank and subsequent command, through his majesty's ministers, for that direct purpose; especially when the honour of my character and my future fame in life were so deeply involved in the consideration. For, I must here emphatically again repeat, " idle inactive rank was never in my view, and that military rank, with its consequent command, was NEVER out of it.” Feeling how useless, as well as úngracious, controversy is, upon every occasion, and knowing how fataily it

operates on haman friendships, I must entreat that our correspondence on this subject shall cease here; for nothing could be more distressing to me, than to prolong a topic on which, it is now clear to me, my dear brother, that you and I can never agree, &c.

(Signed)

G. P.
No, XVII.
Copy of a letter from the Right Hon. HENRY ADDINGTON. .

Richmond Park, Oct. 23, 1803. SIR---In consequence of some intelligence which has reached me, I am impelled by a sense of duty to your royal highness, and to the public, to express an earnest and anxious hope, that you may be induced to postpone your return to Brighton until I shall have had an opportunity of making further enquiries, and of stating the result of them to your royal highness. I have the honour to be, with the utmost deference and respect, Sir, your royal highness's faithful and most humble servant,

(Signed)

HENRY ADDINGTON. The Prince of Wales.

No. XVIII.

A NSW ER. SIR---By your grounding your letter to me upon intelligence which has just reached you, I apprehend that you allude to information which leads you to expect some immediate attempt from the enemy. My wish to accommodate myself to any thing which you represent as material to the public service, would of course make me desirous to comply with your request; but if there be reason to imagine that invasion will take place directly, I am bound, by the king's precise order, and by that honest zeal which is not allowed any fitter sphere for its action, to hasten instantly to my regiment. If I learn that my construction of the word intelligence be right, I must deem it necessary to rea pair to Brighton immediately, &c. •Right Hon, Henry Addington.

G.P.

New Year's Day.-By an edict in France, A. D. 1564, the commencement of the year was fixed to the first January. The Jews commence the year in the beginning of September; the Turks the beginning of July; and the modern French the 21st of September.

The vicinity of Dijon has for a considerable period been dreadfully infested by wolves, which committed the greatest rayages. It became necessary for the inhabitants to resort to some extraordinary measures for the expulsion of these troublesome visitants. It was accordingly agreed, that in every commune a general arming should take place. This plan was immediately carried into effect, A pitched battle ensued, and, as might be expected, terminated in the destruction of the greater part of the wolves on the field of battle. A French journalist, giv, ing the particulars of the fight, describes the victory in terms which might not be considered too lofty for the record of the first triumph of Gallic valour on the shores of England.

A Chinese boy lately come over, under the care of a respectable officer in the

« PreviousContinue »