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think, with safety and without dishonour. The votes put the question of guilt or innocence out of doubt; the withdrawing is grounded upon mere expediency, and has nothing to do with the verdict; had we given up before the third reading, it would have been different. I was too happy to concur, and said that all would now gradually, I hoped, subside; that all that sober people wanted was an end one way or the other, and that in the City, in particular, I found from my friends there it was an opinion that trade and adventure would again open if there was only a decision. He said there were many questions yet to come, but they were of minor importance. I told him what Congreve had said, that if Ministers left the King it would drive him frantic, which seemed to strike him, and he agreed that Congreve was not unlikely to have heard this.
Arbuthnot being upon business, I then left him.
The triumph in the streets was not so great as might have been expected, considering that it is in the streets that the Queen's party is chiefly to be found. Ld. Fitzroy told me he had heard that Ld. Blessington brought a report to the Lds. that the Guards on duty had huzzaed the moment the news was known. Seymour, Bathurst, and all the officers on duty, contradicted this in the most positive manner, and said there was not a seinblance of it. Yet this lie will, I have no doubt, be spread by Wood and others, and embodied in all the Radical papers
whose existence is lie. In the evening saw Pole, who was in great spirits. At night there was an illumination
and some rioting. The Duke would not light up, and sat at home all the evening, and so quiet, he said, that he began to think he was a popular Minister.
The Duke of Montrose and Ld. Sheffield, it seems, have protested against the withdrawing the Bill, and ground their reasons upon the clearness of the proofs of guilt that had swayed the House. * dined with me.
He had been very active in the House in every stage against the Bill, and, in a letter he wrote me, called it an unnecessary and unjustifiable measure. To-day he had been particularly eager, and obtained a vote in Ld. Portsmouth, which he had not meant to give. Ld. P.'s weakness of intellect might perhaps, too, have
prevented him from attending the trial; however he had done so, voted for the second reading, and intended to vote for the third. His infirmity sometimes required that a friend should tell him the time for voting, and the words he was to use. Ld. de Dunstanville was about to do this, when Ld. *** called “Order!" loudly and repeatedly; and Ld. P., frightened and nervous, said Not content instead of Content as he intended. I reproached Ld. *** with this, but he laughingly gloried in it, and thus the most honest, honourable, virtuous man that perhaps ever lived, is not exempt from being hurried into injustice when heated by a particular object. He was loud against what he called the meanness of those Bishops who, objecting to the Divorce clause, yet declined voting against the Bill. With all this he thinks the Queen decidedly guilty ; and when I said, I suppose you mean
to present at Brandenburgh House, he, with a sudden change to solemnity, and with great emphasis, exclaimed “NEVER.” His feeling is caused by his notion of the Scripture doctrine of divorce, in which I think him totally wrong, and his sense of the King's early treatment of the Queen, in which he is, perhaps, not far from being right. This, however, does not affect the real question. We looked at his button-hole for the order of St. Caroline, &c., all which he bore with his usual good humour. Yet from not mixing, perhaps, a great deal with the world, how much is this excellent man mistaken! Nov. ilth, 1820. — Vansittart called upon me on
, business; he, too, thought the Bill wisely given up, and told me Parliament would be prorogued. There was no truth in the supposition that any negotiation was on foot with the Queen relative to her going abroad. Indeed, said Vansittart, I know not that the H. of Commons would give her 50,000l. a year on any terms, after the proofs of infamous conduct that have been given. People begin to canvass the propriety of withdrawing the Bill, and criticise the reasons drawn from the smallness of the last majority. Questions of the most immense and vital importance have been carried into laws, and acted upon for ever after, upon smaller majorities than that upon the third reading.
Nov. 16th, 1820.–At Vansittart's by appointment on business. After it was over, I asked if there was any truth in the report that an important communication was to be made to Parliament on the 23rd,
I did not believe it. He said certainly not; and he he hoped Black Rod would be so close upon the Speaker's heels, that there would not be time for a single word to be said. We discussed prorogation to January, which he thought wise, because it would give time for spirits to cool, and the excitement about the Queen to subside. In the course of conversation he said that Ministers were bound in honour, at whatever expense of struggle and courage, to stand by the King as long as he was firm to them. That he was very firm and in good spirits, but not very
well. There was a Cabinet to-day, but the prorogation not decided.
Saw Ld. C. Somerset, who seemed full of fears at the giving up the Bill, and thought the Whigs and Radicals would triumph so as to force us out.
Nov. 17th.— Another Cabinet. I hear the Queen has written to Ld. Liverpool to demand a Palace, as if she was an innocent person. This the Cabinet have resolved to refuse, being determined, at all hazards, to act upon their conviction of her guilt. They have, therefore, resolved to stand or fall upon this and her restoration to the Liturgy. They do not mean by this to oppose a liberal allowance for her comfort, and had accordingly told her that she might have what money she chose to provide herself a house; but I am not prepared to say the refusal of the Palace is a proper measure. I am at least much swayed with the notion that not to enhance her conse
quence, by opposing her in trifles, would be the wisest way to let the subject dwindle.
Nov. 18th, 1820. — Called upon Becket (Judge-Ad
, vocate-General), Lady Ann was low about Ld. Lonsdale, and B. feared his case had been mistaken. As to politics, he rejoiced in the decision on the Palace, and thought there was a change appearing against the Queen. He said that by January he would bet the King was uppermost, which he would not be if Parliament met now. I see no signs of it. There has, however, been a considerable difference between the Cabinet and the King on the meeting of Parliament, in which after a struggle the King yielded. It seems the King always yields if firmly opposed. On this I cannot help calling to mind a conversation with Sir Thos. Tyrwhitt, my old college acquaintance, and who, with a thousand little vanities and odd peculiarities, was perhaps the fairest man the King had about him when Prince.
With Courtenay at the India Board. Canning arrives in town this evening from Paris.
November 20th, 1820.- Heard from Lord Kenyon, who had got to Gridlington. He gave a ludicrous account of his distresses on the way. The mob, it seerns, at t*
not understanding his real sentiments of the Queen, and taking him (as well they might) for one of her partisans de bon cæur, like Alderman Wood or Sir R. Wilson, had attempted to draw him through the town, and prepared flags, with
* Blank in the original.