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It was now expected by the Whigs, and by a great part of the public, that they should come into office. At first the conduct of the Prince Regent favoured this supposition. He applied to Grey and Grenville to draw up the answer that he should return to the two Houses on their addresses on his appointment. But he did not quite like this answer, and got Sheridan to make some alterations in it. He then returned the paper to Grey and Grenville, as in the form that he approved. But these noblemen declared that they would have nothing more to do with the paper so altered; and Sheridan, on his part, suggested to the prince that he would find such men as Ministers very domineering and impracticable. Nor was this allLord Grenville and his family held enormous patronage. Like all the Whigs, the Grenvilles, however they might study the interests of the country, studied emphatically their own. Grenville had long held, by a patent for life, the office of Auditor to the Exchequer; and in accepting office in "All the Talents" Ministry, he managed to obtain also the office of First Lord of the Treasury. The Auditorship of the Exchequer was instituted as a check on the Treasury, but neither Lord Grenville nor his friends saw any impropriety in destroying this check by putting both offices into the same hands. They declared this union was very safe and compatible, and a Bill was brought in for the purpose. But when the King had become both blind and insane, and no Regent was yet appointed, Lord Grenville, being no longer First Lord of the Treasury, but Perceval, he suddenly discovered that he could not obey the order of the Treasury for the issues of money to the different services. It was strictly necessary that the Great Seal, or the Privy Seal, or the Sign Manual, should be attached to the Treasury orders, or, failing these, that they should be sanctioned by an express Act of Parliament. As neither Great nor Privy Seal, nor Sign Manual was possible until a regent was appointed, Lord Grenville's conscience would not let him pass the orders of the Treasury, and all payments of army, navy, and civil service were brought to a stand. Perceval, after in vain striving hard to overcome the scruples, or rather the party obstinacy of Grenville, was compelled to go to the House of Parliament, and get the obstacle removed by a resolution of both Houses. The notice of the public being thus turned by Grenville to his holding of this office, and his readiness to unite the two offices in his own person, which his pretended scruples of conscience now invested with so much danger, produced a prejudice against him and his party, which was hostile to their coming into power. Besides this, the Opposition were greatly divided in their notions of foreign policy. Grey and his immediate section of the party felt bound, by their advocacy of Fox's principles, to oppose the war; Grenville and his friends were for a merely defensive war, and for leaving Portugal and Spain, and the other Continental nations, to fight their own battles; whilst Lord Holland, who had travelled in Spain, and was deeply interested in its language and literature, was enthusiastic for the cause of the Peninsula, and the progress which Wellington was making there. It was utterly impossible that, with such divided views, they could make an energetic Ministry at this moment, and it was equally certain that they could not again form an "All the Talents" by coalition with the Conservatives. And, beyond all this, it does not appear that the Regent was anxious to try them. Like all heirs-apparent of the house of Hanover, he had united with the Opposition during his youth, but his friendship appeared now anything but ardent. Sheridan still possessed something of his favour, and the Earl of Moira was high in it; but for the rest, the prince seemed quite as much disposed to take the Tories into his favour; and he, as well as the royal dukes, his brothers, was as much bent on the vigorous prosecution of the war as the Tories themselves. No Ministry which would have carried that on languidly, still less which would have opposed it, would have suited him any more than it would have done his father. The King, too, was not so deeply sunk in his unhappy condition but that he had intervals lucid enough to leave him alive to these questions, and he showed so much anxiety respecting the possible change of the Ministry, and fresh measures regarding the war, that his physicians declared that such a change would plunge him into hopeless madness and probably end his life. The Queen wrote to the prince, saying how much satisfaction his conduct in regard to these matters had given to his father, and he wrote to Mr. Perceval, declaring that this consideration determined him not to change the Ministry at all. At the same time he expressed to the Minister his dissatisfaction with the restrictions which had been imposed upon him. Perceval, even at the risk of offending the prince, justified the conduct of Ministers and Parliament. In this he might be the more bold, as it was clear that there was no longer any danger of a Whig Government.
He rolled another cigarette, and sat smoking it unmoved. And she went into the mess tent.
As the woollen manufactures of Ireland had received a check from the selfishness of the English manufacturers, it was sought to compensate the Protestants of Ulster by encouraging the linen manufacture there, which the English did not value so much as their woollen. A Board was established in Dublin in 1711, and one also in Scotland in 1727, for the purpose of superintending the trade, and bounties and premiums on exportation were offered. In these favourable circumstances the trade rapidly grew, both in Ireland and Scotland. In 1750 seven and a half million yards of linen were annually woven in Scotland alone.