LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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In Whig Society 1775-1818
Duchess of Devonshire to Lady Melbourne, [Janury 1802]

Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
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Dearest Love,

I am as anxious as it is possible to be. I am convinc’d that in the first instance, no one considered the attack to affect Mr. Grey, but that it was a manœuvre of L[ad]y H[olland] & Tierney to make mischief & shelter the latter. I have a proof of this because L[ad]y Holland, when she wrote my Sister the acc[oun]t of the Speech, said it was very ill-natur’d to Tierney. Now had not the other been an after thought she would have mention’d it then.

Hare1 as far as he can judge thinks as I do. One good thing is that Mr. G[rey] has no thoughts of going to town & I have wrote him with Hare’s approbation a conciliatory letter—& telling him what I could alone say perhaps to him—that I thought Tierney had a mind to draw him into the scrape by making him suppose that Sheridan had meant him. It could not be—Sheridan could not compare a man, who listen’d to overture to see if an arrangement could be made & a man, who pretending, as Tierney did, to belong to no party, chose not only to be of the Whig Club but to insinuate himself into their secrets & Councils, & in fact brought more abuse on them from his jacobin allures than any other—then leaves them for his own advantage & joins the

1 James Hare, wit and politician and friend of Fox, 1740-1804.

D. of Portland whom he had represented as his Enemy & Oppresser.

That Mr. Grey, pleas’d with peace, beset by Relations & dazzled by the overtures Addington might make of repealing odious Acts, might examine, if there was not a chance of arrangement, I cannot blame or wonder at, especially as he was soon convincd there was not & went into the Country for an intention of staying perhaps the whole year. That Tierney or any one should rank him with a man who has join’d as T. has done & is probable [sic] only waiting for his election for a place is too bad.

The excuse of their writing to Sheridan perhaps was his indiscretion. They had indiscreet friends however, for I knew of the negotiation even in its infancy & this Mr. Grey knows (this however you must tell no-one, for by experience you know how jealous people are of being thought to confide in one). Why are Lauderdale & Loo angry with Sheridan—in short write for pity.

Direct to Hardwick near Mansfield. I have so much pain on my heart I am going to put on a blister.

I cannot read it over, excuse faults.