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THE TIME OF GEORGE III.
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME SECOND.
THERE remains little addition necessary to the general Introduction in the first volume of the Statesmen. One or two particulars only require notice.
The circumstances connected with the marriage of George IV. and Mrs. Fitzherbert are referred to in this volume, but not in detail. Since that account was first published in 1839, the information of the Rev. S. Johnes, who was acquainted with all the particulars, has been received, and it fully confirms the opinion there cited, of the ceremony having been performed at the house of her uncle, Mr. Errington, Such, indeed, was the belief entertained by the Queen's Counsel in 1820, when some discussion arose practically upon the subject. Mr. Johnes had promised the Prince to officiate; but in the course of the same evening, when he returned home, he recollected a prior promise which he had made to Admiral Payne, who, knowing that the Prince looked to Mr. Johnes, had made him promise he would not. Next morning he went to Carlton House, and stated his refusal in consequence of that promise. He never was forgiven by the Prince. The prevailing belief of his having performed the ceremony arises from this circumstance:
he knew who officiated, but always refused to tell; probably because the party was still alive, and if so, was liable to the penalties of a præmunire. Mrs. Fitzherbert was very anxious that her memory should be vindicated, by the whole circumstances being disclosed as soon as the parties implicated were no more. She knew that her papers would remove all doubts upon the subject. One was a will, in the Prince's handwriting, leaving everything to her disposal; another was a marriage settlement of great length, with the certificate of the marriage annexed. In Lord J. Russell's publication of Mr. Fox's Memoirs and Letters, there is one from the Prince, solemnly denying the truth of the report then current, that such a marriage was in contemplation, or ever had been. This denial is dated ten days before the event actually happened.
The Letters of George III. to Lord North, in the former volume, were in the possession of Lord Glenbervie, Son-in-law and Executor of Lord North. He lent them to George IV., who never returned them, and there is reason to believe that they were destroyed. Fortunately they had before been lent to Sir James Mackintosh, when engaged in his historical work, which he had hoped he might bring down to the end of the American war. With this view he made a careful copy of those letters, or parts of letters, which were the most important, and a short abstract of the others. The whole of his MS., in his own hand-writing, was returned to Lady Charlotte Lindsay, Lord North's only surviving daughter, and by her it was communicated several years before the account of her father was written. It is printed in the former volume without any alteration whatever, the explanatory notes only having been added.
Lady Charlotte's interesting letter respecting her father was written in 1839, and appeared in the first Edition of this work, as did the one from Lady Louisa
Stuart, Lord Bute's daughter. These letters having been by an oversight omitted in the former volume, are inserted in the Appendix to this. It may be added that Lady Louisa Stuart always denied in the most positive terms the notion of her father having had any intercourse with George III. after he retired from office. She was quite aware of the scene at Princess Amelia's villa, described in the former volume, p. 49.
In the Introduction to that volume, mention is made of the testimony borne, by their surviving friends, to the impartiality of the judgments pronounced upon statesmen with whom the author most widely differed. He thinks that in treating of Lord Castlereagh, the form of the expressions used, rather than the substance of the opinion given, may be open to objection; and he has therefore materially modified those expressions. But it is also right to add, that he, very possibly, had fallen into the common error so natural and so hard to be avoided, of underrating the capacity of the statesman because of his inferiority in debate; and he has now endeavoured to repair the injustice which may in some degree have been done, although allowance, possibly not ample enough, had been before stated as fit to be made for this source of error-an error peculiar to countries having Parliamentary government. While some of our statesmen are thus undervalued, not a few are entirely overlooked, as if they belonged to another class. An instance may be given in Sir C. Stuart, afterwards Lord Stuart de Rothsay. If the Duke of Wellington had been asked to name the person not in the army, whose co-operation in the Peninsular War, especially during the earlier and more arduous portion of it, he most highly prized, it is not doubtful that he would at once have named this great diplomatist, for whom he ever entertained a very high regard, from an intimate knowledge of his strict in