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ship, as well as of the sense he had of attachment and regard for him; and he concluded with saying, that he hoped your Lordship would again be prevailed upon to take a share in government. I told him freely, that I thought that period near at hand. The event has justified my prediction, and I hope his Prussian Majesty will be more tractable and pliant whilst you are at the head of the administration. The high opinion he has of your Lordship's honour and probity cannot fail to create a confidence, which may be greatly useful to the public.
The duty of my station, as well as the affection I bear to you as a friend, oblige me to disclose to you some of the weaknesses of my Hero. Great men have their failings; if they had none, they would be too much for humanity. His is that of vanity, and a desire, on every occasion, to have the lead, or at least to seem to have it. The first might be dangerous; the second, I mean the appearance of leading, may be yielded with advantage, in order to draw him into such measures as are really for his interest, but without shocking his vanity.
To apply what I have said to the present case. Though I most heartily approve of the nomination of my friend Mr. Stanley, I could have wished that it had been kept in petto, till the King of Prussia had been consulted. I cannot doubt of his having approved of it, and that this mark of attention might have induced him to concur more readily
in the great plan proposed. Besides, as that prince is naturally of a suspicious temper, he may imagine (notwithstanding all the assurances that can be given to the contrary), that Great Britain and Russia have already concerted this alliance between them without his participation, and that they mean to force him into it. If he should unhappily see it in this light, he will either not enter into it, or if he does, he will never abide by it.
Another circumstance which may serve to indispose him I shall mention to your Lordship, and to you only; which is, that the nomination of an ambassador to the court of Russia, who is only to call upon him en passant, may make him jealous of the preference given to that court; for though upon some occasions he laughs at all formalities, no man is more tenacious of them in whatever he thinks touches his rank, dignity, and consider
I like extremely your maxim of salvá majestate; though it has not been constantly practised, I am persuaded your Lordship will never swerve from it, and therefore I most sincerely wish that you may long remain at the head of affairs, to restore strength and dignity to the crown, confidence to the people, and respect and honour from foreign nations towards your native country. I ever am most affectionately, my dear Lord,
Yours, &c. &c.
THE KING TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Friday, 15 m. past 3, p. m. [August 22, 1766.]
I THINK Lord Hertford (1) will accept of the office of master of the horse without complaining, as he sees a prospect of the white staff. I desire, therefore, that you will acquaint Lord Bristol with my intention of appointing him lord-lieutenant of Ireland, but expecting his constant residence whilst he holds that office.(2) If he should wish to see me previous to his kissing hands, I empower you to name next Wednesday as a proper day for his coming.
I desire you will sound Sir Jeffrey Amherst, as to the command of the Irish army.
(1) Francis Seymour Conway, first earl of Hertford. In 1751, his lordship was appointed a lord of the bedchamber; in 1757, installed knight of the garter; in 1763, sent ambassador extraordinary to the court of France; in 1765, appointed lord-lieutenant of Ireland; in August 1766, master of the horse, and in December of the same year lord-chamberlain. He was created earl of Yarmouth and marquis of Hertford in 1793, and died in the following year.
(2) It had hitherto been the custom for the lord-lieutenant to go over to Ireland only once in two years. While there, he convened parliament, which lasted a few months; lived in a state of splendid magnificence; provided for his dependants; received freedoms, gold boxes, and complimentary addresses; and then hurried back to England with the utmost precipitation, leaving the government vested in a commission, usually
THE EARL OF HERTFORD TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
London, August 22, 1766.
UPON my return home I find my son and family so much dissatisfied with what I have consented to, that I must beg it as the most particular instance of your Lordship's favour, that nothing may be said about the lieutenancy of Ireland, till I can have an opportunity of seeing the King on Sunday. I do not mean to raise a doubt against any inclinations of his Majesty's. I submit to every one of them, as far as any other interest is concerned. I am ambitious only of preserving the peace of my own family, and of acting in a manner not to be disapproved by the world. It is for that reason alone
composed of the Lord Primate, the Lord Chancellor, and the Speaker of the House of Commons. These gentlemen, called Lords Justices, were better known in Ireland by the name of undertakers. The power, the patronage, and consequently the influence, derived from their situation, gave them an unlimited control over the interior government; and they considered themselves so important and so necessary to the crown in transactions which they called the king's business, that they were generally able to dictate their own terms to the administration of England. But one of the first measures settled in the cabinet by the new ministry was, that Ireland should no longer be left to the discretion of the undertakers, but that the lordlieutenant should constantly reside in that country, and hold the reins of government in his own hands. "A wise system for Ireland," says Mr. Hardy, "had it been carried into execution as it should have been." See Hardy's Life of Lord Charlemont, Macartney's Account of Ireland.
p. 125., and Sir George
that I beg I may not be said to accept of the place of master of the horse, till my friends can give me their opinion that I can do it with honour in the present moment. I have the honour to be, with great respect, my Lord,
Your Lordship's most obedient
THE KING TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Richmond Lodge, August 22, 1766, 35 m. past 8, p. m.
As Lord Hertford has pressed that the declaration of the arrangement concerning Ireland may be suspended until he has seen me on Sunday, I entirely approve of your deferring the taking any step in that affair till I write to you that day subsequent to his audience; though I do not foresee of what advantage another conversation will be to him.
I desire you will convey my approbation to the Duke of Rutland, for his very meritorious conduct; as also to Lord Granby, for his zeal and speedy success in the delicate transaction he has been entrusted with.