LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

In Whig Society 1775-1818
Duchess of Devonshire to Lady Melbourne, [2 February 1802]

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

I have done all I can, but I have found the Speech, & reading it again & with an idea that did not at first strike me—I do own I think it very bad & that a less succeptable person might have suppos’d that Juggles & persons who had alterd their plans jar destructive ones, seem’d more
like addressing the Plural, than an individual such as
Tierney. I am furious at it. If to listen to proposals of arrangement merely to see if on the grounds of peace something might not be done to restore Whig principles—& finding this in vain leaving London, can be calld a juggle what was Sheridan’s plan two years back?—& can this be applied in a more offensive manner than by classing such an independent Character as Mr. G[rey]’s with a self-interested time serving fellow as Tierney. Do not think I am giving way to my usual wrath (?) unconditionally. I allow that Tierney has great talents: that he has perseverance beyond most men—that he resolv’d to let no opportunity slip of shewing these talents to advantage, i.e., selling himself to advantage, & that he has done so. That ten years ago, had anybody said Tierney would have the place which I believe (tho not at liberty to say what it is) is destined to him, he would have been laugh’d at. But he knew his own powers of mind, & not only exerted them, but exerted them hi a masterly manner. But I believe, as to principle, he has just as much now as he had at any period of his life, when he got chose of the Whig Club or in his first adherence or subsequent quarrel with the Duke of Portland. I think him an agreeable man, & I do not suppose him to be an ilnaturd man when self is out of the case—but is this man, when he has made a bargain any body knew he would make, to be compard with my—[sic] never, never, never.

I have done how ever all I can, but I am myself furious with Sheridan.