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willing enough to yield their concern in it to the commander-in-chief. As to the rest, I have heard from military men, that the judgment and capacity which make resistance useless or impracticable, are rated much higher than even the resolution which overcomes it.”
At the time of writing this letter, Lord George had been dismissed the service eight years. So that he might with truth say he was not a soldier.
30 Aug. 1768-" The dismission of an experienced and deserving commander requires some attention."
This alludes to Sir Jeffery Amherst, the friend of Lord George.
21 Feb. 1770—“Instead of attempting to answer what I really do not understand, permit me to explain to the public what I really know. In exchange for your regiment you accepted of a colonel's half-pay (at least two hundred and twenty pounds a year), and an annuity of two hundred pounds for your own and Lady Draper's life jointly." 7 Feb. 1769—"As to the state of the army,
I should be glad to know where you have received your intelligence. Was it in the rooms at Bath, or at your retreat at Clifton ? The reports of reviewing generals, comprehend only a few regiments in England, which as they are imme
diately under the royal inspection, are perhaps in some tolerable order. But do you know any thing of the troops in the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and North America ?”
This was a question which Lord George could put with confidence, and answer with precision. The first from his friend General Clavering, who went over to Guadaloupe the same year that he went to Germany—the second from General Fowke, who was recalled from Gibraltar-the third from Lord Amherst, who was a considerable time at Montreal.
19 Oct. 1768—“ His Grace had honourably flesht his maiden sword in the field of opposition, and had gone through all the discipline of the minority with credit.”
20 Nov. 1769—“If Captain Garth did not wilfully abandon his guard, why does he not demand a court-martial to clear his character ?
After the aspersions which had been thrown out against Lord George's character, he did demand a court-martial, and obtained it.
19 Nov. 1770_“I don't so much question Mr. Hervey's being able to give good advice, as that other little man's being either willing or able to follow it; but I should be glad to know which of them is to be responsible to the country for the management of the army, or whether they are invested with equal powers? Is Lord
Barrington the marksman, and General Hervey only the stalking horse ? Or does the latter command, and that other do only as he is bid ? This point I think ought to be explained; for if we don't know who commands the army, and any mischief should happen, the secretary-at-war and adjutant general will of course lay the blame on each other, and the nation never know which of them ought to be punished.”
24 Nov. 1770—“ Far be it from me to impeach his Majesty's judgment in military matters. Our gracious Sovereign cannot possibly have a meaner opinion of his general officers than I have. Yet, I own, there is one circumstance that a little surprises me. These poor creatures, it is agreed on all hands, have neither capacity nor experience ; but one would think, that as sol. diers and gentlemen, they might shew a little spirit when they are insulted. What! will they go to court again, to bow and cringe,-and fawn upon
* * who orders his official servant to point them out to their country, as a knot of asses !”
“On the very next day after the Accession of George the Third, and while the late King lay dead in his palace, Lord George Sackville made his appearance at St. James's, and was admitted to kiss the King's hand. This was looked upon as such an outrage on the memory of
the late King, and on the honour of those ministers who had the conduct of the German war, that they were perfectly astonished at it. They remonstrated strongly, and Lord George did not make his appearance at St James's during the remainder of that administration.”Court Anecdotes.
This is a fact, so that we cannot wonder at the writer's precautionary remark.
28 Jan. 1772—“ It is unlucky for the army that
you should be so thoroughly convinced as you are, how extremely low you stand in their opinion. The consciousness that you are despised and detested by every individual in it, from the drummer, whose discipline might be of service to you, to the general officer, makes you desperate about your conduct and character. You think you are arrived at a state of security, and that being plunged to the very heels in infamy, the dipping has made
invulnerable.” Again—" My Lord, the rest of the world laugh at your choice; but we soldiers feel it as an indignity to the whole army, and be assured we shall resent it accordingly. Not that I think you pay much regard to the sensations of any thing under the degree of a general officer, and even that rank you have publicly stigmatized in the most opprobrious terms. Yet some of them, though, in your wise opinion, not qualified to
command, are entitled to respect. Let us suppose a case, which every man acquainted with the War-Office will admit to be very probable. Suppose a lieutenant-general, who perhaps may be a peer, or a member of the House of Commons, does you the honour to wait upon you for instructions relative to his regiment, &c.”
Lord George having been dismissed from the army, was not qualified to command, yet he considered himself entitled to respect. He had been a lieutenant-general, and commander-inchief, was the son of a peer, also a member of the House of Commons. This paragraph merits particular notice in connection with Lord Barrington's influence with the King at the time of his dismissal.
10 March 1772–“ Pray, my Lord, will you be so good as to explain to us, of what nature were those services which he first rendered to your Lordship? Was he winged like a messenger? or stationary like a centinel ?”
Again" His zeal in the execution of this honourable office promoted him to another door, where he also stands centry.”
23 March 1772-" The army indeed is come to a fine pass, with a gambling broker at the head of it!"
17 Feb. 17724" That stern and insolent minister at the War-office is pointed out to univer.