Diaries aid Correspondence of James Harris, first Earl of Malmesbury; containing an Amount of his Missions to the Courts of Madrid. Frederick the Great. Cathe. rine the Second. slut the Hague; and his Special Missions to Berlin, Brunswick. and Ow Freud: Republic. Edited by his Grandson, the third Earl. Volumes I.
and I t Bentley.
Firma. The Grandfather; a Novel. By the late Miss Ellen Pickering, Author of " Nan
Darrell." " The Fright," Ste. 8:c. In three volumes Newby.
The Theologian ; a Chronicle of Ancient and Modern Divinity and Universal
Christian Literature. No. I. July 1849 011ivier.
DIARIES AND CORRESPONDENCE OF THE FIRST EARL OF MALMESBURY.
JAMES HARRIS first Earl of MALMESBURY, a celebrated diplomatist of the last age, was a son of the perhaps better-known HARRIS the author of Hermes and of some philosophical essays whose reputation has survived to this day. The family was wealthy and ancient ; but the author of Hermes was the first who rose beyond the coun- try-gentleman, to become a Member of Parliament and a placeman. When he first took his seat, JOHN TOWNSHEND asked who he was ; and having been told he had written on Grammar and Harmony, the wit remarked, " Why dues he come here, where he will hear neither ?"
His son was born in 1746, the day of the battle of Culloden. After some preliminary education at a " dame" and a grammar school, the youth was sent to Winchester, and thence to Oxford. This famous seat of learning be found such as Gilmore has de- scribed it ; and, nearly forty years afterwards, he declared, almost in the words of the historian,
"The two years of my life I look back to as most unprofitably spent, were those 1 passed at Merton. The discipline of the University happened also at this particular moment to be so lax, that a Gentleman Commoner was under no restraint, and never called upon to attend either lectures, or chapel, or hall. My tutor, an excellent and worthy man, according to the practice of all tutors et that moment, gave himself no concern about his pupils. 1 never saw him but during a fortnight, when 1 took into my head to be taught trigonometry."
In 1765 this solemn farce of education ended, and young JAMES Hamm was sent to Leyden ; where he remained a year and studied in earnest, especially modern European history, diplomacy as contained in international treaties, and the Dutch laws and consti- tution. He shortly after made a tour through Holland, Prussia, and Poland, at a time when the arts of CATHERINE were preparing for the first partition of that unfortunate country. In the autumn of 1767, Mr. HARRIS was appointed Secretary of Embassy at Ma- drid ; where, in the absence of his chief, he had to undertake and settle the dispute about the Falkland Islands, distinguished by the pens of JOHNSON and JURIES. This affair established his diplo- matic reputation ; and for the better part of the next thirty years (1771-1797) Mr. HARRIS was employed at the most difficult and important courts. From 1771 to 1776, he was Minister at Berlin, watching the great FREDERICK, whom Bum and GEORGE the Third bad alienated by discarding PITT and making a separate or treache- rous peace. In 1777, Mr. HARRIS went to St. Petersburg, in order to stem the diplomatic efforts of FREDERICK and of France, and with the view of persuading CATHERINE to embark in hostilities for the sake of helping us through our difficulties with the revolted Colonies. The main object of his mission was clearly unattainable ; but Mr. HARRIS gave so much satisfaction by his exertions, and by his power of displaying them in his despatches, that he was honoured with the Order of the Bath, and retained at St. Petersburg in despite of several requests to be recalled. The climate, however, affected his health ; and after the restoration of peace he was permitted to return, in the autumn of 1783.
On his arrival in England ,the country was convulsed by the Coalition; and although Sir JAMES HARRIS was aWhig and sup- ported his friend Fox, PITT rated his diplomatic abilities so highly that he appointed him Minister to Holland. In 1788 he was created Baron MALMESBURY, though continuing in opposition; but in 1793 he seceded from Fox, with BURKE, Lord SPENCER, and other Whigs; and was soon afterwards sent on a special mission to Ber- lin. In this undertaking he succeeded so far as to make the King of Prussia admit the validity of the old treaties and sign a new one, but " which he broke almost before the signatures were dry."
"In 1794, Lord Malmesbury received orders to ask of the Duke of Bruns- wick his daughter in marriage for the Prince of Wales ; and having married her Royal Highness by proxy, he accompanied her to England. His account of this transaction shows how little hope he himself had of the happiness of this union; and although he received no discretionary power whatever in the matter, he was never forgiven by the Prince, with whom, until then, he had been on terms of great intimacy and confidence."
In 1796 and 1797, MALMESBURY went to Paris and Lisle, to negotiate a peace with the French Republic ; but without success. Soon after, be was attacked by deafness, to such a degree as to be rendered, in his own opinion, unfit for public service ; and he sub- sequently declined all further offers of employment. In 1800 he was created an Earl, and Viscount FITZHARRIS; and spent the remain- ingtwenty years of his life in an enjoyment of the otium cum digni- Aites passing most of his time between London and his seat of Park Place near Henley. He died in November 1820, in the seventy- Mb year of his age ; taking a thankful retrospect of his past life, and a resigned view of its approaching termination,—according to the last sentences of his journal, written only a fortnight before his death.
"Thou but completed thy seventy-fourth year, having been permitted to UP/ longer than any of thy ancestors as far back as 1606. Thy existence has been without any great misfortune, and without any acute disease, and heehawn one for which thou °ugliest to be extremely grateful. Be so, in praise and thanksgiving towards the Supreme Being, and by preparing thyself to employ the remnant of it ' wisely and discreetly.' Thy next step will probably be the last. Strive not to delay the period of its arrival, nor lament at its near approach. Thou art too exhausted, both in mind and body, to be of service to thy country, thy friends, or family. Thou art fortunate to leaving thy chit-, dren well and happy ; be content to join thy parent Earth calmly, and with becoming resignation. Such is thy imperious duty.—Vale."
As a diplomatist, Lord MALMESBURY'S reputation ranked very high, not only among friends but enemies. TALLETRAND observed
of him, to the present Earl, that " Lord Malmesbury emit le plus habile ministre que vous aviez de son temps ; c'etait inutile de le devancer ; it falloit le suivre de pres. Si on lui laissoit le dernier
mot, it avait toujours raison." And MIRABEAU, from Berlin, under
circumstances not to be suspected of compliment, characterized him as the " audacieux et ruse Harris." Boldness and subtlety were indeed the leading features of mind which he possessed from nature, together with a cool yet sanguine temperament, and the penetration which forms what is expressively called a " good judge of character." These natural qualifications he had cultivated by some study of the literature of diplomacy ; his early training and long experience rendered him well versed in the forms and eti-
quette of the profession ; whilst the same facilities made him an adept in the arts of a courtier. Indeed, if we rightly interpret a passage in the Correspondence, he, by the advice of his friend Po. TEMKIN, carried his flattery of the Empress CATHERINE to such a pitch as to draw some remark from home. He seems, as was natural, to have rather overrated his profession, and to have ascribed more power to it than it can ever possess.
Diplomacy, according to the notions of diplomatists, seems at best but the art of driving cunning bargains; and, like many cunning bar- gains in private transactions, they either turn out to be no advan- tage at all, or if made by ignorance, or by imprudence or necessity under pressure, give occasion to costly quarrels when their real na- ture comes to be understood, or leave the bargain-drivers in the lurch at the moment of action. To sound or conciliate a minister, to bribe a secretary, to circumvent an opponent, to please a poten- tate, and to till paper with plausible but scarcely attainable plans,
seemed with Lord MALMESBURY a substitute for that large com- prehension of affairs, which, basing alliance upon mutual interests and permanent circumstances renders a treaty secure because its basis is natural. And it is this nature of things which triumphs in ' the long run, in despite of art, cajolery, weakness, temper, or passion.
If we wanted any proof of this opinion, we should find it in the career of this " le plus habile ministre de son temps." He can scarcely be said to have succeeded in any mission he undertook beyond tbd
mere diplomatic result of putting words upon paper. His share in the settlement of the Falkland '''Islands dispute does not appear to have been considerable. In fact, the thing had the go-by given to it, from the circumstances of the disputants. Each party was averse to war. Spain proposed a shuffling arrangement, and England bore her part in the shuffle. At Berlin, with FREDERICK the Great,
much profit in the way of diplomacy was not expected : the func- tions of the Ambassador were limited to the proper objects of diplo- macy—the transmission of intelligence and court scandal, the re- port of the Minister's judgment on the characters and disposition of the Monarch and his courtiers, together with the transacting of the public business of the two countries. At St. Petersburg Mr.
HARRIS failed altogether in the principal object of his mission ; and he can scarcely be said to have succeeded in anything, because it was
clearly not the interest of Russia to grant his demands. He com-
menced with the modest proposal of an alliance offensive and de- fensive, although from the circumstances of the two countries the wars of one can scarcely ever it priori be considered as neces-
sary wars of the other. At that particular period, we had plunged ourselves into the American war, with which Russia would imme- diately have been called upon to interfere ; the next year she would
have been embroiled with France; the year after with Spain, and finally with Holland; and all for no Russian purpose whatever. It
may be said, indeed, her first junction might have prevented France, Spain, and Holland, from uniting with America : but this is ques- tionable. The alliance with Russia would rather have been dip- lomatic than real : her fleet was unprepared—the ships it would have to be composed of rotten, and her sailors without courage or skill. It does not appear that she could have spared many land forces, and they would only have gone as mercenaries ; which might have been hired nearer home. Unless France and Spain had been frightened by the phrases of the treaty of alliance, Russia would have had her share of the losses and disgraces of her ally without any purpose of her own in view. Instead of this, and in despite of diplomacy, she set up the armed neutrality, the terms of which were a sore to us a warlike maritime nation, and a gain to her as a trading one.
In Holland Lord MALMESBURY was highly successful; but scarcely as a diplomatist, unless that term means anything. When he went to the Hague, a strong faction, called the Patriots, at& mated by a Democratic spirit, was aiming at a total overthrow of the existing Government, by displacing, and some talked of be- heading, the Statholder. In their plans they were assisted by the timidity and dissensions of the respectable party, by the independ- ence which the federal system constitutionally gives to, each • province or State, and by the intrigues of the French. The object of the English Minister was to counterwork this, and sup- port the Prince of ORANGE and the constitution. The end was eventually attained; but not by legitimate diplomatic means. Lord MAILAINABUla was rather a conspirator, or .a Dutch party 44 than an ambassador. Disregarding Ministers, he assembled round him national and provincial Deputies and partisans of the "right sort"; he devised plans for legislative, municipal, and armed resist- ance; he supported newspapers and published pamphlets ; be negotiated a loan for one of the right-minded Provinces; he im- ported arms and ammunition, and had got matters to such a point that he could write—" Would it lead to any good, or did I foresee the remotest prospect of success, I could, by lifting up a finger, raise a popular insurrection. More than half the body of burghers in this Province, and the whole body of peasants, are ripe for revolt." The war, however, was begun by the Patriots, and ended by a Prussian army marching into Holland to avenge the arrest of the Princess of Orange, the King of Prussia's sister ; when the Patriots, left to themselves, dispersed and submitted.
These remarks apply to diplomacy in general, and are not levelled at Lord MaLsissnuay, who only could not achieve impos- sibilities. Besides the professional qualities already mentioned, he possessed a clear business head, great sagacity, and keen powers of observation, as well as a sound and practical view of affairs, which enabled him to chalk out a successful line of action, where events were not too large or too strong for his control. He was also frank and straightforward in his dealings. The currier, how- ever, did not always get beyond his leather : Lord MALMES- B URY seems sometimes to have thought that nations existed to make treaties.
The present publication, though consisting of two ample volumes, does not appear to be a completion of the Malmesbury Papers ; for it breaks off abruptly with 1793, leaving three of the hero's missions untouched. Besides a brief Memoir of his grandfather by the present Earl, the volumes contain extracts from the Journal of Lord MALMESBURY during his first and youthful tour on the Continent ; an account of his journey from Bourdeaux to Madrid, and extracts from his official Correspondence whilst Secretary to the Spanish Embassy. These exhibit considerable abilities and powers of observation in so young a man ; and the po- litical picture of Poland is curious, as well as some of the anecdotes at Berlin. The rest, however, is the valuable part of the work, and ranks the MAI.M.ESBOET Correspondence and Diaries among the most various, interesting, and instructive family papers that have been published. Their form is that of a selection from the writer's official despatches and letters during his residence as Minister at Berlin, St. Petersburg, and the Hague, with some brief extracts from Lord MALMESBURY'S Diary during his residences in England,—the first time, when PITT had succeeded to the Coalition Missistiy; the second time, in 1792. But the mere statement of the nature of the materials can give no idea of their character, which is very opposite to that of official papers in general. There was nothing in Lord MALMESBORT of the dry and lifeless automaton into which the diplomatist often sinks, or the pompous phrasemonger into which he sometimes swells. Unless the nature of the matter absolutely forbade it, his despatches are vivid and natural ; whilst the letters which accompany and explain them are full of personal sketches, characteristic anecdotes, accounts of royal parties, tales of scandal, and reports of a curious and sometimes of a dra- matic kind, bearing strongly upon the characters of the court, though not always of a strictly business cast. The style too, or rather the tone, is perfect—never dull or solemn even in its se- riousness, and never in the most ludicrous or sportive matter devoid of a courtier-like retenue. It is possible that his despatches as much as his successes contributed to his reputation with his own Court. His communications appear to have been constantly read by the King, who frequently expressed his approbation. Compared with much of what his Majesty had to peruse, they must have been very amusing reading.
In our extracts from this rich store of secret history, we shall make no attempt at conveying any idea of the extent or variety of its matter, but draw pretty freely on some of its more striking anecdotes.
A MUSICAL MONARCH.
The chief amusement of the King of Prussia is playing on the flute; which be does in a masterly manner. 1 had an opportunity of hearing him for a long time as I was waiting in his antechamber, to be presented to him.
Though no person is ever permitted to be present at his concerts but the performers, and some very few others, yet no afraid is he of playing false, that when he is to try some new piece of music, he shuts himself up some hours beforehand in his closet to practise it ; and even then, when he begins it with the accompaniments he always trembles.
He has a very fine collection of these instruments, and is particularly nice in the keeping of them. He has appointed a man who has nothing else to do but look after them, and preserve them dry or moist as the season requires. They are all made by the same man, and he pays a hundred ducats for each flute. In the last war, when he distributed false money to every one, he took care that his flute-maker should be paid in good coin, fearing that otherwise be would impose upon him and give him bad instruments.
A HERO AT HOME.
Berlin. 7th March 1775.
My accounts from Potsdam mention that his Prussian Majesty was never, at any one period of his life, known to be so uncommonly out of humour as at resent. This appears not only from his conversation but from his actions. He broke his flute, a few days ago, on the head of his favourite bursar; and is veryfiberal in kicking and cuffing those employed about his person. He is Peeve h at his meals, says little in his evening conversations, and is affable to nobody. His spirits seem likewise dejected; and although he affects to attend to business with as much ardour as usual, it is evident to those who see him constantly, that he sets about it with lesa alacrity. • • •
Berlin, Saturday I lth March 1776.
I bear various strange reasons alleged for the present uncommon peevishness of his Prussian 'Majesty's temper. Among several other incredible foibles in so great a character, he has that of not entirely disbelieving judicial astrology ; and I am told, from one whose authority is not despicable, that the apprehension of a predistion. ysonounced by a Saxon fortune-teller his Majesty was weak enough some time ago to consult, being this year fulfilled, dwells au his mind,in& augments the sourness of a disposition naturally crabbed. It will be unfortu- nate for his subjects if these kind of fears increase, as he will necessarily be- come suspicious and cruel, and be what hitherto he never has been, a tyrant en Mail. I should have paid no attention to these reports, which savour sa much of the nursery, had 1 not myself observed him displeased at a mourning- coat at his levee, and seen him visibly alter his countenance on being informed of any man's dying a sudden death.
AN HEIR PRESUMPTIVE.
Berlin, Saturday 1st July 1776. The Prince of Prussia Las nothing in his figure which denotes a person of superior talents or genius. Tall and robust, without grace, be has mute the air
of a stout foot-soldier than that of a great prince. Constrained and watched to a degree by his uncle, it is difficult to say whether silence and reserve are natural or acquired habits in him. It is certain these strongly characterize him, not only at court and before people of high rank, but even when he forgets he is a prince and frequents lower company; which, through the pains he takes to be constantly in it, appears to amuse him ; yet even there, he never expresses his satisfaction otherwise than by encouraging his companions to be as loud and clamorous as possible, and to lay aside every respect due to him as their future sovereign. His favourite mistress, formerly a stage dancer, presides at these revels, and takes the lead in all the scenes of indecent mirth which pass there. She is large in her person, spirited in her looks, loose in her attire, and gives a true idea of a perfect bacchanalian. He is liberal to her to a degree, and she alone spends the full income be receives from the King. Site makes, indeed, the best return in her power to such generosity ; for at the same time she assures him that he has the sole possession of her affections, she by no means exacts the same fidelity from him, but endeavours, as far as lies in her power, to satisfy his desires, whenever from fickleness or satiety they fix themselves on some new object ; and in this profession she is so dexterous as never to suffer him to become acquainted with any woman who is likely to be her rival in the dominion she has over him. Her choice, and fortuuately for her his, is generally among those of the lowest kind. The pursuit of these pleasures, the only ones for which he has any turn, employs the greatest part of his leisure ; the rest of his time is spent either at the parade, in attendance on the King, or in dressing,—an article in which, whenever he can venture to lay aside his uniform, he is refined and delicate to a degree. He is even at the expense of keeping a favourite valet de chambre, by name Espere eft Dien, constantly between Potsdam and Paris, for no other purpose than to give him the earliest information of any alteration in the fashions; sod as Bspere en Dieu collects his intelligence solely from his brethren the hairdressers, so those who follow his instructions may very easily be mistaken for one of this class.
We will pass from Prussia to Russia ; of whose condition both ministerial and moral the Envoy draws but an indifferent picture.
RUSSIAN MINISTERS AND MONARCH, 177& You will not credit me when 1 tell you Count Panin does not devote more than half an hour in the twenty-four to business; and that. Mr. (Dikes, having been robbed of a considerable sum of money, found the Lieutenant de Police, the first magistrate of the empire, and whose power is immense, at seven o'clock in the morning playing at In grande patience, with a dirty pack of cards, by himself.
The interior of the Court presents a similar scene of dissipation and in- attention t age does not deaden the passions—they rather quicken with years ; and, on a closer approach, I find report had magnified the eminent qualities and diminished the foibles of one of the greatest ladies in Europe.
Petersburg. 29th May, (9th June,) 1779:
My Lord—The interior of the palace affords a very singular scene. &vita, [the discarded favourite,] though most munificently rewarded, isnot pacified; and, although dismissed, remains in town with all the honours of a favourite. The bold language he held to the Empress makes her cautious of irritating so turbulent a spirit : the uncertain and anxious state of her mind is incredible. Orlow, some days ago, remonstrated with her on the effects her conduct muse sooner or later produce. She appeared for a moment reclaimed, and sent an order for Sabadowsky, [a former favourited to return to Court, fully intending to reinstate this plain and quiet man in his ancient post. Potemkin, however, who is thoroughly acquainted with her character, and who has more cunning for effecting the purposes of the day than any man living, contrived to oversee these good resolutions. Korsac was introduced at a critical moment ; and, while I am now writing, her Imperial Majesty is at a village of Poterakia's as. the confines of Finland, endeavouring to forget her own cares and those of the empire in the society of her new minion, whose vulgar name of Korsact is already changed into the better-sounding one of Kor,akoff.
Two months after this settlement, the difficulties were renewed.
" Petersburg. August 10. (21.) 1778.
" My Lord—The new favourite is very much on his decline. There ant several competitors for his employment ; some supported by Prince Potemkin; some by Prince Orlow sad Count Paolo, who now act together ; and some solely from the impression their figure has made on the mind of the Empress. Both parties unite to prevent the success of these independent mesa.; but she seems strongly disposed to choose for herself. Potemkin, whose insolence equals his power, was so angry not to have the sole disposal of this office, that be ab- sented himself from Court for several days. The fate of these young gentle- men still remains undecided, though it appears settled that Koreakoff shouldte sent to Spa for bis health."
Personally the Envoy soon became acceptable to the Empress; though he was unable to obtain any great diplomatic advantages from her esteem. An example of her partiality and of his own con- versational powers may be gathered from a little incident which introduces our old acquaintance the "stout foot-soldier" Fan- DEEICX had sent his nephew to St. Petersburg, to make an impres- sion ; and a pretty impression he made, notwithstanding " Espdae ea Dieu."
Petersburg, 15th, (26th.) September 1780.
" Your Lordship will perceive from the manlier in which the Prince of Fluorin passes his time, how little progress he makes. The greatest pains were taken yesterday to induce the Empress to have an entertainment at Court; but she absolutely refused it. On Sunday she broke off abruptly her card-party ; and, as 1 was sitting next to her, gave me clearly to understand, that it was from. her being worn-out by the heaviness of the Prince of Prussia, who at on the other side of her."
Ten days later, matters were worse.
" I have been for these three days witness to such slights and inattention she Les shown him, that 1 have been amazed at his patience and temper. Tues- day, at Monsieur Itlariskin's, Master of the Horse, she neither played nor asked hint to sup at her table; to which she admitted none but myself, her favourite, and Prince Potemkin. Yesterday, at the masquerade, she appeared under the mask, and immediately on her coming in took me to accompany her through the apartments, saj ing, Ne me quitter pas de toute la soiree ; je vons ai fait chevalier, et je mix que von. me defendiez contre les ennuyeux.' She stayed from seven till ten, and took not the smallest notice of the Prince, nor any of his followers ; nor indeed scarce of any one but Lady Harris and myself. Your Lordship may easily guess how these distinctions alarm my enemies, and create envy and jealousy in my colleagues. I feel myself most unfortunate that, while I enjoy these distinctions in such an uncommon degree, I cannot derive from them the only advantages I am solicitous about ; that nothing I undertake succeeds ; and that those she evidently despises and ill-treats ap- pear to direct her political conduct and sentiments." The following incident is on a par with the sleep-walking scene in Macbeth, and would require a Shaksperian mind to develop it properly. Prince ORLOw, it may be remembered, had been the 4' favourite," and the most trusted minister of' the Empress, as well ns one of the murderers of her husband PETER the Third.
R ETR In UTI ON.
Two motives of a very different nature affect, at this moment, the Empress's mind very strongly, and cast a dark cloud over the course of ambition and glory she seemed to be so prosperously running. The one arises from the hu- miliating and offensive reasons the monied men in Holland publicly assign for refusing to grant her a loan of six millions she is soliciting, or in any shape to increase the trifling debt she already owes them. The other proceeds from a most unfortunate accident which has happened to Prince Orlow, elm is returned to this capital after an absence of a few months, in a state of perfect insanity. The conduct of the Amsterdamers raises her indignation, hurts her pride, and justly alarms her, lest the credit of her empire should be injured by the rude manner in which they assert that its riches and resources are both equally imaginary and precarious : the other impresses her with the deepest concern ; and it should appear that at no period of her life her feelings were so strongly and painfully moved as by this melancholy event, which has befallen berearliest favourite, and a man who at all times has been the first object of her affections, if not of her passions.
Her conduct has been one of the most boundless regard, carried even to weakness. She absolutely forbids any harsh methods to be employed, rejects all ideas of confinement or discipline; and hoping, against all precedent, to re- store him by gentleness and indulgence, she suffers him not only to visit and be visited, but admits him at all hours and in all dresses, whether she is alone, in company, or engaged in the most important concerns, to her presence. His situation of mind, when he is there, his wild and incoherent discourse, ever affect her to tears, and discompose her so entirely, that for the remainder of the day she can enjoy neither pleasure nor business. She is sometimes ex- posed to hear the most unwelcome of all language; and a few nights ago he exclaimed of a sudden, that remorse and compunction of conscience had de- prived him of his senses, and that the share he had in a transaction long since past had brought down on him the judgment of Heaven. Your Lordship may easily guess to what a cruel recollection such expressions in his mouth must give rise, and how intimately connected the tranquillity of her conscience must be with that of his.
There are many other passages of a curious character relating to the Russian Court, especially some sketches of that very singular personage POTEMKIN, which we should be glad to extract ; but, passing Holland altogether, we must get home. Lord ItlatztEs- BuRY, who, as we have seen, was a friend of GEORGE Prince of Wales, was several times consulted by him upon his pecuniary diffi- culties. Of these interviews Lord MALMESBURY has left very striking minutes. They exhibit the same characteristics displayed by King GEORGE the Fourth forty years afterwards in his commu- nications to Lord ELnore on the Catholic question—that of a foolish person in trouble, without any rational plan ; with some idle scheme, prompted by some covert fancy, and ever reiterating " What can I do?" Between the first and second meetings in 1785, HARRIS had received some " vague assurances from Lord Carmarthen that [the] Ministry would not be averse to increase his Royal High- ness's income, providing he would consent to appropriate a share of it to liquidate his debts, renounce going abroad, and be recon • ciled to the King." The only avowed objections to HARRIS'S pro- posals were, that the King hated the Prince ; that PITT would not undertake the proposition, or that if he did the King would turn him out. The whole is too long to quote, but the substance is as we have stated. The interview then continued.
" P.—Why, my dear Harris, will you force me to repeat to you that the King hates me? He will never be reconciled to me.
"11.—It cannot he, Sir. if you order me, I will ask an audience of him, and ding myself at his feet.
P.-1 love you too well to encourage you to undertake so useless a com- mission. If you will not credit me, you will, perhaps, credit the King himself. Take and read all our correspondence for these last six months.
" The Prince here opened an escritoire, and took out a large bundle of papers, which he read to me. It consisted of various letters which had passed between him and the King, beginning with that in which he asked his leave to go abroad in autumn 1784, as mentioned in my first conversation.
"It is needless to attempt to relate precisely the contents of this correspond- ence; it is sufficient to observe that the Prince's letters were full of respect and deference, written with great plainness of style and simplicity. Those of the King were also well written, but harsh and severe; constantly refusing every request the Prince made, and reprobating in each of them his extravagance and dissipated manner of living. They were void of every expression of parental kindness or affection ; and, after both hearing them read and perusing them myself, I was compelled to subscribe to the Prince's opinion, and to confess there was very little appearance of making any impression on his Majesty in favour of his Royal Highness. I resumed, however, the conversation as follows.
" H.-1 am hurt to a degree, Sir, at what I have read. But still, Sir, the Queen must have a reconciliation so much at heart, that through her and your sisters it surely might be effected.
" P.—Look ye, Harris: I cannot bring myself to say I am in the wrong when I am in the right. The King has used me ill; and 1 wish the public knew what you now know, and was to pronounce between us. 11.-1 should be very sorry, indeed, Sir, if this was known beyond these walls; for I am much mistaken if the public would not pronounce a judgment widely different from that you think. It is not sufficient, Sir, fur the King to be wrong in one point : Sir, unless you are in the right in all, and as long as any part of your conduct is open to censure, the voice of the public (considering your relative situations) will always go with the King. " P.—That is a cruel truth, if it be true what you say; but it is of no use to investigate it ; my case never will go to that tribunal. You are, however, convinced of the impracticability of y our scheme, as much, I hope, as I am of your kind regard in proposing it to me. " Ef.-1 would not willingly renounce an idea which by its accomplishment is to relieve your Royal Highness from a state of distress, and, I may say, dis- credit, and place you in one of affluence and comfort. May I suggest, Sir, the idea of your marrying ? It would, I should think, be moat agreeable to tie King, and, I am certain, most grateful to the nation. " P. (with vehemence;—I never will marry ! My resolution is taken on that subject. I have settled it with Frederick. No, I never will marry ! " H.—Give me leave to say, Sir, most respectfully, that you cannot have really come to such a resolution ; and you must marry, Sir : you owe it to the country, to the King, to yourself. " P.—I owe nothing to the King. Frederick will marry, and the Crown will descend to his children ; and as for myself, I do not see how it affects me. " you are married, Sir, and have children, you have no solid hold on the affections of the people, even while you are Prince of Wales; but if you come to the throne a bachelor, and his Royal Highness the Duke of York is married and has sons to succeed you, your situation when King will be more painful than it is at this moment. Our own history furnishes strong examples of the truth of what I say. " The Prince was greatly struck with this observation. He walked about the room, apparently angry. I moved towards the door, saying, 1 perceive, Sir, I have said too much: you will allow me to withdraw. I am sure 1 shill be forgiven an hour hence.'
" P.—You are forgiven now, my dear Harris. I am angry with myself, not with you. Don't question me any more. I will think of what you said. Adieu. God bless you."
Note by the diplomatist when he had found the key-
" 1 left England in June, and saw the Prince no more in private. In De- cember following a report took place, of the Prince having formed a serious connexiin (it was called marriage) with Mrs. Fitzberbert ; and in March 1786, he declared his resolution of setting aside 30,0001. a year to pay his debts, and reduced his establishment, sold his horses, &c. " It is clear to me both these ideas were in his mind when he spoke with me, and that the great obstacle in the way of his accepting my proposal was Mrs. Fitzherbert. '
The extracts from the Diaries of 1792-93 are of a very interest- ing character ; involving the history of English party from the time when the Old Whig dissatisfaction against Fox seems first to have broken out in a conversational speech of Bunice at a private meet- ing at Burlington House, nearly up to the public secession of the whole party and their junction with PITT. This break was preceded by various negotiations with PITT, or among the Old Whigs them- selves. The Premier aimed at a fair union of parties, with the object of combining the " strength and utility" of the country : he offered to the in-corners the disposal of four great posts, includ- ing the Chancellorship, besides lesser patronage. This coalition was prevented by the peevishness, temper, and " impracticability" displayed by Fox—according to Lord MALMESBURY on this occa- sion only ; his ostensible reason being, that PITT was insincere and merely aimed at disuniting the Opposition. When this negotiation was broken off, the Whigs began to differ among themselves. The aristocratical portion were dissatisfied with the principles Fox maintained, and with his leaning to GREY, LAMBTON, and the ex- treme Reforming party ; and they urged an open disavowal. ' head of this party, the Duke of PORTLAND, was greatly under the influence of Fox and old associations, and very weak in character; so that, although giving his consent in private, he was shaken in his resolution when the great orator talked to him, and could not be brought to screw up his courage to a public speech; but, with- out a will of his own, almost shuffled along doing nothing. The details of all this must be read in the book ; for, though highly curious, yet being memorandums from a diary, they are too curt for effective display with the space left to us. Assuming that these papers will be completed, we shall look with interest for their continuation. The letters relating to the Brunswick mission will above all be valuable, as throwing light upon a much-mooted question of royal history, and curious as ex- hibiting a judgment upon CAROLINE before she became Princess of Wales, by the keenest of observers and most competent of judges. We trust that no mistaken delicacy will prevent Lord MALMES- BURY from placing his ancestor's views fully before the public ; a hope we are the more inclined to indulge front the spirit and ability displayed by his editorship of these volumes,—displayed in a way, too, that very few can perceive or appreciate, because it consists in doing only what is necessary, and consequently leaving very little "to show."