Just Published, Illustrated with Portraits,
THE THIRD AND FOURTH VOLUMES,
COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM
, AND COMPLETING THE WORK, OF THE
MEMOIRS OF THE COURT & CABINETS
OF GEORGE III.
FROM ORIGINAL FAMILY DOCUMENTS.
BY THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM & CHANDOS, K.G.
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
FROM THE TIMES, MAY 30th.--" These volumes consist, in the main,
of letters written by the two brothers, Lord Grenville and Mr. T. Grenville, to their elder brother, the Marquis of Buckingham, for his information, as to the political circumstances of the time. In the two former
volumes a great amount of curious gossip, and of valuable information,
was contained relative to the formation of the Coalition Ministry, the
King's illness in
, and the early period of the war with revolutionary
. Volumes 3 and 4 take up the tale where volumes 1 and 2 had
left it; and herein we find a tolerably connected narrative of the many
stirring historical events which occurred between
, when Lord
Grenville and Talleyrand were in correspondence respecting Bonaparte's
proposals for peace, until the return of the King's malady in
the debates in Parliament relative to the regency. The present collection
is more valuable than the last, inasmuch as Lord Grenville, having
attained higher dignity and experience, is a more dispassionate observer
of passing events. Whoever would desire to read the running comments
of so eminent and well informed a man as Lord Grenville, upon a decade
so interesting as that of
-10, would do well to consult these
volumes. Lord Grenville was certainly among the most far-sighted men
of his time; and to him, from the first, belongs the credit of appreciating truly Napoleon Bonaparte's position and designs. He did so even
to a higher degree than Pitt; and it is most remarkable how far his
predictions have been verified by the event, even when submitted to the
sharp test of the judgment of posterity. The principal points on which
light is thrown by the present correspondence are, the negotiations
before and after the Treaty of Amiens until the time of its rupture-the
true character of Addington's Administration, and the relations between
"the Doctor" and Pitt-the formation of the Pitt and Sidmouth Cabinet,
when the King's prejudices against Charles Fox were found to be insurmountable-the Grenville and Fox short Administration-the Duke of
Portland's Cabinet-the expedition to Portugal, with its climax at
Cintra-the Duke of York's scandal with Mrs. Clarke-Sir John Moore's
retreat, with the earlier Spanish campaigns of Sir Arthur Wellesley; and,
finally, the disastrous ' Walcheren' affair. There is much curious matter
interposed in the shape of precis upon the situation of affairs, written
from time to time by Lord Grenville himself; and perhaps still more,
curious reports made to the Marquis of Buckingham by a certain - ,
whose name remains a mystery, but who seems to have been tolerably
well acquainted with the arcana imperii at the beginning of the century.
There is much in these volumes which well deserves perusal. There is
a portion of their contents which possesses nearly as high a claim upon
our instant and careful consideration as the Minutes of the Sebastopol
FROM THE. ATHENEUM.-" THE present volumes exhibit the same
features as the former portion of the series. The general reader is entertained, and the reader for historical purposes is enlightened. Of their
value and importance, there cannot be two opinions. There are abundant
revelations of interest to arrest attention in many of these papers. On
the characters of George the Fourth and the Duke of Wellington, there
are some very valuable letters. In Court scandals, the affairs of the
Duke of York and Mrs Clarke are brought under notice; and in what
we may designate as public scandals, the ' horrors of routine' receive
abunduant illustrations in the letters about the Walcheren Expedition, and
on the Peninsular War. Our extracts sufficiently show the high interest
belonging to these volumes."
FROM THE EXAMINER.-" These volumes worthily complete an undertaking which will earn for the Duke of Buckingham the thanks of not a few
historians. We have before us the secret movements of parties, the motives
of individuals, the minute anatomy of every political act and word laid bare.
All the town gossip has been preserved; we have innumerable authentic anecdotes, and full personal details about every person on the public stage,
and as for the King and his unhappy family, we have their sayings and
doings, their whims and blunders, and every scrap of scandal connected
with their domestic affairs, made out for nearly every day in every year."
FROM THE SPECTATOR -" These volumes throw new light on the
great subjects of the period. There is a good deal of interest in their
comments, especially on such matters as the Walcheren Expedition-Mrs. Clarke's exposure of the Duke of York-the intrigues of Canning,
who comes out badly-the behaviour of the Prince of Wales, who comes
out selfish, small. and false. The letters of the leading correspondents are
of a high class. The collection is well edited for popular purposes."
FROM THE STANDARD.-" These volumes comprehend a period the
most important in the events relating to our domestic affairs and foreign
relations to be found in the British annals, told, not only by eye witnesses, but by the very men who put them in motion. The volumes now
published immeasurably exceed their predecessors in interest and importance. They must tind a place in the library of every English gentleman."
FROM THE OBSERVER.-" A more valuable addition to the political
literature of the country has not been produced for some time, than these
memoirs. They throw a flood of light upon the policy and conduct of
the successive governments of this country during the latter period of the
eventful reign of George III. They admit us into the secret arcana of
the actions and the motives of the principal actors in the great events
which took place, and while they afford some glimpses of noble and
heroic conduct, they expose a vast mass of that hollowness of profession,
and those selfish motives, which, by turns, animated and influenced the
conduct, of many of our public men. The opinions expressed, as well as
the facts stated, may be read with interest by all parties, and studied
with peculiar profit by the historian. The noble editor of these interesting volumes deserves the thanks of the public for the ability he has
displayed in arranging these valuable contributions to the political history
of our country."
HURST AND BLACKETT, Publishers, Successors to HENRY COLBURN,
13, Great Marlborough Street.