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mystery and concealment. I trust I need not add, that whatever small portion of fair influence I may at any time possess with the Prince, it shall be uniformly exerted to promote those feelings of duty and affection towards their Majesties, which, though seemingly interrupted by adverse circumstances, I am sure are in his heart warm and unalterable-and, as far as I may presume, that general concord throughout his illustrious family, which must be looked to by every honest subject as an essential part of the public strength at this momentous period. I have the honour to be, with great respect and esteem,

66

"Your obedient Servant,

Right Hon. Henry Addington."

"R. B. SHERIDAN."

The same views that influenced Mr. Sheridan Lord Moira, and others, in supporting an Administration which, with all its defects, they considered preferable to a relapse into the hands of Mr. Pitt, had led Mr. Tierney, at the close of the last Session, to confer upon it a still more efficient sanction, by enrolling himself in its ranks as Treasurer of the Navy. In the early part of the present year, another ornament of the Whig party, Mr. Erskine, was on the point of following in the same footsteps, by accepting, from Mr. Addington, the office of Attorney-General. He had, indeed, proceeded so far in his intention as to submit the overtures of the Minister to the consideration of the Prince, in a letter which was transmitted to His Royal Highness by Sheridan. The answer of

the Prince, conveyed also through Sheridan, while it expressed the most friendly feelings towards Erskine, declined, at the same time, giving any opinion as to either his acceptance or refusal of the office of Attorney-General, if offered to him under the present circumstances. His Royal Highness also added the expression of his sincere regret, that a proposal of this nature should have been submitted to his consideration by one, of whose attachment and fidelity to himself he was well convinced, but who ought to have felt, from the line of conduct adopted and persevered in by His Royal Highness, that he was the very last person that should have been applied to for either his opinion or countenance respecting the political conduct or connexions of any public character, -especially of one so intimately connected with him, and belonging to his family.

If, at any time, Sheridan had entertained the idea of associating himself, by office, with the Ministry of Mr. Addington, (and proposals to this effect were, it is certain, made to him,) his knowledge of the existence of such feelings as prompted this answer to Mr. Erskine would, of course, have been sufficient to divert him from the intention.

The following document, which I have found, in his own hand-writing, and which was intended, apparently, for publication in the newspapers, contains some particulars with respect to the proceedings of his party at this time, which, coming

from such a source, may be considered as authentic:

:

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"STATE OF PARTIES.

Among the various rumours of Coalitions, or attempted Coalitions, we have already expressed our disbelief in that reported to have taken place between the Grenville-Windhamites and Mr. Fox. At least, if it was ever in negotiation, we have reason to think it received an early check, arising from a strong party of the Old Opposition protesting against it. The account of this transaction, as whispered in the political circles, is as follows:

"In consequence of some of the most respectable members of the Old Opposition being sounded on the subject, a meeting was held at Norfolk-House; when it was determined, with very few dissentient voices, to present a friendly remonstrance on the subject to Mr. Fox, stating the manifold reasons which obviously presented themselves against such a procedure, both as affecting Character and Party. It was urged that the present Ministers had, on the score of innovation on the Constitution, given the Whigs no pretence for complaint whatever; and, as to their alleged incapacity, it remained to be proved that they were capable of committing errors and producing miscarriages, equal to those which had marked the councils of their predecessors, whom the measure in question was expressly calculated to replace in power. At such a momentous crisis, therefore, waving all considerations of past political provocation, to attempt, by the strength and combination of party, to expel the Ministers of His Majesty's choice, and to force into his closet those whom

the Whigs ought to be the first to rejoice that he had excluded from it, was stated to be a proceeding which would assuredly revolt the public feeling, degrade the character of Parliament, and produce possibly incalculable mischief to the country.

"We understand that Mr. Fox's reply was, that he would never take any political step against the wishes and advice of the majority of his old friends.

"The paper is said to have been drawn up by Mr. Erskine, and to have been presented to Mr. Fox by His Grace of Norfolk, on the day His Majesty was pronounced to be recovered from his first illness. Rumour places among the supporters of this measure the written authority of the Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Moira, with the signatures of Messrs. Erskine, Sheridan, Shum, Curwen, Western, Brogden, and a long et cætera. It is said also that the Prince's sanction had been previously given to the Duke, -His Royal Highness deprecating all Party-struggle, at a moment when the defence of all that is dear to Britons ought to be the single sentiment that should fill the public mind.

"We do not vouch for the above being strictly accurate; but we are confident that it is not far from the truth."

The illness of the King, referred to in this paper, had been first publicly announced in the month of February, and was for some time considered of so serious a nature, that arrangements were actually in progress for the establishment of a Regency. Mr. Sheridan, who now formed a sort of connecting link between Carlton-House and the Minister, took, of course, a leading part

in the negotiations preparatory to such a measure. It appears, from a letter of Mr. Fox on the subject, that the Prince and another person, whom it is unnecessary to name, were at one moment not a little alarmed by a rumour of an intention to associate the Duke of York and the Queen in the Regency. Mr. Fox, however, begs of Sheridan to tranquillize their minds on this point:the intentions (he adds) of " the Doctor," though bad enough in all reason, do not go to such lengths; and a proposal of this nature, from any other quarter, could be easily defeated.

Within about two months from the date of the Remonstrance, which, according to a statement already given, was presented to Mr. Fox by his brother Whigs, one of the consequences which it prognosticated from the connexion of their party with the Grenvilles took place, in the resignation of Mr. Addington and the return of Mr. Pitt to power.

The confidence of Mr. Pitt, in thus taking upon himself, almost single-handed, the government of the country at such an awful crisis, was, he

*To the infliction of this nickname on his friend, Mr. Addington, Sheridan was, in no small degree, accessory, by applying to those who disapproved of his administration, and yet gave no reasons for their disapprobation, the well-known lines,

"I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
And why, I cannot tell;
But this I know full well,

I do not love thee, Doctor Fell."

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