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force. This led to supineness and apathy as to public exertion, which would in the end ruin us; the disposition, therefore, must be changed, by forcing them to exert themselves, which would not be if Government did everything in civil war, they nothing: hence his wish for a volunteer force. All this was exceedingly sound, and showed the reach of his reflecting mind as an observer of human nature, as well as a statesman and soldier, more than any thing I have yet seen.
ILLNESS OF MRS. WARD. - DIARY CONTINUED. — THE DUKE'S KINDNESS. - FORTIFICATIONS AT HULL. -DEATH OF
THE KING. PROGRESS OF THE QUEEN'S TRIAL. — CONCLUSION OF DIARY.
ANXIETY about the health of Mrs. Ward interrupted, for a time, not only his Diary, but his attendance in Parliament or even at the office. She had been long in very delicate health, but the insidious complaint which was to rob him in succession of so many of the nearest and dearest to him had now begun to pronounce itself most decidedly. Change of air, under the advice of the most distinguished physicians, was tried in vain, and every means adopted to ward off that blow which was so soon to fall on him. He alludes to his sad trial on recommencing his Diary at the beginning of the
January 8th, 1820.- From the 9th of December to this day, it has pleased God to chasten me with the visitation of the dangerous illness of my nearest and dearest friend, which has kept me from all intercourse with everybody and thing. I have been excused from Parliament, and was for some time little at the office. The Duke once began talking of business when she was at the worst, but I told him I was overset, and begged off. I shall not soon forget the kindness of his look and manner, when getting up from his chair he squeezed my hand with friendliness, and postponed the subject. Since that I saw him but once. I was obliged, however, at the beginning, to move a vote of credit of 250,0001, in the Committee of Supply, upon which Mr. Hume, who seems to spend his time in conning over figures without sense to apply them, asked why the estimates, which this year are above 1,310,0001. were not brought down to the scale of 1792 before the French war, when he had made the discovery that they were sometimes under 400,0001. I told him to look at the half-pay, the consequence of five and twenty years' war, and he would find the answer, for it amounted to the whole sum. I could have easily added to the exposure of a man who, though he troubles the House perpetually with his figures, knows so little of common sense as to have proposed to reduce the pay of the army to one half per man, but was not in spirits. All the measures against the Radicals passed by great and increasing majorities; and I learn from my nephew, the Bank Director (William Ward, Esq.), that Ministers have got great credit among all ranks in the City, except the Radicals themselves, and the vain and vulgar coxcomb, Waithman, for their firm, wise, and moderate conduct.
Called upon Wellesley Pole, who had been confined a week with a cold. I found him in his library candles lighted, a roaring fire, and his reading-desk, most like a statesman, but his book was “ Ivanhoe” (a popular romance of Scott's). We laughed, but im
other business. As Master of the Mint he talked of the Bullion question, and said, if the Ministry only continued as steady upon it as they had been, the prosperity of commerce was insured, and the Bank might command the gold market. He agreed that Radicalism had been already put to flight, merely by Parliament's showing itself, that Ministers had much gained, and the Opposition lost. The latter, he thought, had been greater fools than ever in playing their own cards, which is true. The Grenvilles, he said, wanted to come in, which I could have told him; not, indeed, Ld. Grenville, but the Marquis of Buckingham: there was, however, no room. I mentioned to him Ld. Sidmouth's hint of his willingness to retire when it might be thought advantageous to his colleagues; but added his feeling that he was bound in honour to go through with the Radical measures. Pole said, laughing, “That will at least give him five years, if he pleases” (the duration of the principal measure). He added that he had heard the same of Bragge Bathurst; and that, as Vansittart had come in for 100,0001. by the death of his mother, he might probably not be anxious to remain. I said, I did not think that would operate, for Vansittart's heart and pleasure seemed to be in office. He replied, he was afraid he was doing ill, and was not much approved by the moneyed interest; but whether they made room or not, he observed, Peel was first to be provided for, and probably Canning would look to a change before new people came in. He thought Peel had done ill in quitting Ireland as he did, when he
had such a following. I said, I believed what he had told me, that he was tired of it. He answered that might be, but he should not have risked what had happened the falling off of the Irish Members. Thinking he only quitted Ireland to become a greater Minister, they all addressed and flattered him with their regrets and professions; but, his promotion being delayed, he now could not command a vote among them, and was reduced, as a leader of party, to the few votes of his own family and Fitzgerald; in short, it was a foolish thing to think of influence without office, let the ability be ever so great. I said Ld. Bath had found it so, when he thought the whole kingdom had been at his heels. As to Fitzgerald, Pole said he had put himself too high, and was therefore nothing, nor would he allow him much merit as Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland. I thought there was here a little bias against his successor, even with his high and honourable mind. When I asked why more was not done for him, he replied, that having refused the Vice-Treasurership, Ministers thought they had done enough in offering it, and were not bound to do more; the reduction of it by the H. of Commons from 3000l. to 2000l. a year, was not their fault. N.B. Fitzgerald was supposed to have been designated Clerk of the Pleas in the room of Ld. Buckinghamshire, with a regulated salary from the fees of three or four thousand a year. It is now rendered an efficient office, and its purpose as a sinecure recompense service done away, and this by Ministers themselves. Yet the senseless, and in some