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question ? Not they! You will find Canning and his Protestant friends brought into collision before the Government is a month old.


with you that some of the Whigs will come in and make the gruel thick and slab, but the charm will not be then wound up, for many adverse spirits will be brought into activity and life by the introduction of these potent ingredients.

The partial arrangement with the Whigs will at first bring strength like a glass of gin, but weakness will follow, as one glass of gin will lead to two, and so on until the bottle is empty.” “ As to the delay on the Catholic question, I still think it most mischievous to Mr. Canning's views, that he has found out the danger of tampering with the Whigs, and to avoid it is playing a fast and loose game with the Catholic question, which may at first induce people to take office under him, but which cannot last beyond the first ten days after the meeting of Parliament, when Mr. Canning's sincerity in favour of the Catholic cause will be tried and put to the test, and the disposition of the Protestant part of the Cabinet to meet his views will be ascertained. This is so like the game of 1806, that I wonder Canning should not see the danger.” “As I now read the Government, it is singularly weak and cannot last; it is made up of several ranks and deputies, with no one powerful connection except the Duke of Devonshire.” "A mixed Government under Lord Liverpool is a different thing from one under Mr. Canning. Upon the former's honest “No Popery' opinions, the inoculation of ever so small a portion of Catholic

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matter, was autant de gagné; upon the latter's avowed
Catholic propensities, the smallest introduction of Pro-
testant views is autant de perdu. Lord Lyndhurst,
Bexley, and Anglesey insure the Government not
being one which will support Catholic claims as a
Government. The rest of the Cabinet insure every
attempt being made individually to carry that ques-
tion. If the question is brought forward as a Cabinet
question, the Government must dissolve. Then where
will be the benefit arising to the Catholics out of the
new formation of the ministry. They have lost Lord
Eldon's opposition and the Duke of Wellington's, and
instead of them have got, at the hands of their friends,
Lord Lyndhurst, who has made the only violent speech
against them. So much for the Catholics. Then for
the Protestants, what have they to expect ? A di-
vided garrison, and a rebel governor. Constant watch
and ward against the enemy without, and no sleep
or rest within the walls. Lord Liverpool kept the
master-key in his pocket, and, while it was there, the
Protestants slept in security. But what master-key
has Canning ? The result of the last six weeks has
proved the master-key is in other hands, and yet
that he has one so like it, that it will open most of the
doors, though not all. But through those which it
can open the enemy may enter. As to the Govern-
ment itself, what is to be hoped for an administration
in which the majority does not constitute the mastery,
'letting I dare not wait upon I would,' and afraid of

urging the only question to which they are pledged,
lest they should be turned out by the minority of
their own selecting? In 1806 we got into the same


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scrape, but the mine was sprung upon us, and we were not aware of our danger. Mr. Canning has put on Lord Grenville's breeches with his eyes open, knowing the nature, size, and depth of the garment which he has induced. I will venture to prophesy that, before many months, he will cut a most deplorable figure in them.” *

Such were the impressions and vaticinations of a Canningite (though it must in fairness be added, a disappointed one) over the formation of this transition Ministry, which, though followed, as might be expected, by a short reaction, led to the prevalence of principles of government now indeed considered by all as matters of course, but then viewed with apprehension and even horror. In the following extract from a letter to Mrs. Austen, allusions will be found to Mr. Ward's connection with these arrangements.

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“ You looked for mine or my son's name, you say, in the late changes †; mine you will see no more. All my feelings forbid it. I have now lost every man to whom I ever looked up, or could ever follow, and I would not lead, even if I could. In short, I am grown old, and am content to be so, knowing what I know, and feeling what I feel. The place I haveţ is just the very best I could have with these feelings, keeping me just enough in the political world to say I am not out of it, and giving me, therefore, precisely the quantum of public interest to make me the more relish

* Extracts from letters during April, 1827, from the Duke of Buckingham to R. P. Ward, Esq.

† The formation of a Ministry of which Mr. Canning was head. | Auditor of the Civil List, afterwards abolished (see p. 181.).

my dear private life. Hence nothing Mr. Canning could have given me could have equalled what I have. Had he doubled my public income (which he could not), I must have spent the difference, exchanged a certainty* for an uncertainty, and quiet for turmoil, by no means compensated by returning to Parliament and being Right Honourable. This I fairly told a noble friend of mine, who came twice to me, observing, that he believed they wanted me in more active office. As he himself had refused the seals of Secretary of State, he could not, and did not, wonder at my feeling; and so we moralised very prettily, à la De Vere, upon all that was passing. But though I had lost all ambition as to myself, I had occasion to observe its workings in others, with no very raised opinions of its effects on human nature. In one (a very high quarter, indeed) I was confidentially employed, and saw enough to have added a whole volume to De Vere.' In short, it is no affectation to say, that I have realised what Tremaine only dreamed, and view the world at a distance.”


His next letters, in the summer of the following year, are occupied with details as to arrangements on his second marriage, which took place in July, 1828. The lady to whom he was then united, Mrs. Plumer Lewint, of Gilston Park, in the county of Herts,

* His post was not a political one, and the chance of its abolition never occurred to him.

† It was upon this occasion that he received permission to adopt the surname of Plumer, before that of Ward.

had extended her admiration for his writings to their author, and at her beautiful seat in Hertfordshire he was able to enjoy the sort of rural life which, from the days when his young imagination had dwelt on Sir Roger de Coverley, formed the great object of his ambition. At a period when worldly prosperity seemed showered upon him, his happiness was much dashed by the deplorable state of the health of his three daughters. The fatal complaint which had caused their mother's death settled successively and irrevocably on each. He lost first the two eldest, who fell victims to the same insidious disease within two days of each other. His letters at this time I forbear to quote, as they are full of the melancholy feeling which so many deprivations were calculated to call forth.

At this period occurred a transaction which so deeply affected Mr. Ward, that he printed, for private circulation among his friends, the correspondence to which it gave rise. This event was no less than his being suddenly deprived of the office which he had accepted under the impression that it was for life. His appointment to be Auditor of the Civil List has been already alluded to, and the nature of the office will be best understood by his own account of it.

“ The office of Auditor of the Civil List was created by Mr. Perceval for the express and avowed purpose of keeping it out of debt; as such the creation was proposed to Parliament, and as such approved. Its salary was 14001. a year, and the reason given, and approved, for so large a sum, was its responsibility;

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