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Visit of George IV. to Ireland page 6

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On the 30th of August the duke of Montrose wrote from Dublin Castle to lord Eldon, giving the most glowing account of the effects of the royal visit. "All has passed in this country," he writes, "with the most complete success, and it is generally expected that not only this country but the whole empire may reap lasting advantages from his majesty's visit, whilst the striking, gracious, and graceful manner in which the king has conducted all public displays is remarkable. It is not a little remarkable, also, the command over themselves which the whole nation have had, from the highest to the lowest; and men assure me they hardly know the people, under the restraint and manner which they have imposed upon themselves since the residence of his majesty amongst them. It is an extraordinary circumstance, deserving of attention, and which, had I not seen it, I could not have believed. At the theatre, though full of enthusiasm, they had a quietness and a desire to conduct themselves with propriety I never saw before. I have seen no drunkennessť no unregulated marks of loyalty and affection in the city; elsewhere, indeed, they have pressed upon the king, to see and to touch him, a little inconveniently, and marked, perhaps, with some superstition, as if some good would happen to them in some way or other from having touched the king or his clothes. "

The duke evinces shrewdness and penetration when he observes that he cannot attribute all this to abstract affection, and that though they were grateful for his majesty's visit, he had no doubt " that expectation of further advantages had great influence on their feelings and conduct." He was right; their gratitude referred more to favours to come than to favours past; and when the expected favours did not come, it was found that the gratitude had given place to a feeling of a very different character. The king seems to have been quite as much intoxicated with joy as the Irish nation. It was love at first sight, and of the most ardent description:

The mutual flame was quickly caught-
And quickly, too, revealed;
For neither bosom lodged a wish
That virtue keeps concealed."

The duke of Montrose continues: - "The manner in which his majesty has been received has had a great effect on his majesty's feelings, and requires discretion not to hurry his majesty into expressions which discretion may lament, or into comparisons more open, perhaps, than politic; also, perhaps, into grounds of expectation and hope which can hardly be realised. However, I have not seen anything which does not do honour to the feelings of the people and of the king. I think lord Sidmouth is on his guard, and most important it is for his majesty, or any king, on such occasions, to have men of experience and high in the state near his person." The whole of the royal party were evidently much pleased, and agreeably disappointed, with Dublin. The duke proceeds - " I have been surprised with this city, its superior inhabitants, and the taste and order with which their displays have been made; and I observe the clergy stand more conspicuous and forward in high society in this place than anywhere, except at Rome. This must become a much greater country than it is, though it certainly wants capital and the residence of its nobility and gentry; the latter will secure the increase of the former, though time must be required, under the most favourable circumstances; and the Irish flatter themselves the king's visit will encourage and promote that desirable object." It is interesting to remark the effect produced by the state of agriculture at that time upon the mind of a Scotch peer. " The country," he says, " appears to be cultivated without capital; no good farm-houses, nor any farm-yards, nor stock-yards, are to be seen in this part of Ireland. The land appears to be let too high; to be very little manured; ploughed, and when exhausted left to rest; but naturally productive, and capable of improvement. I only speak of the land near Dublin."

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