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For the communication of the following important Papers, the Public is indebted to the liberal spirit of Lord Kenyon. His Lordship recently placed them in my hands, with authority to publish them in any mode which I should deem most proper. Entrusted with so honourable a Commission, I could not long hesitate in what manner it would be best discharged. It was evident, that the valuable Documents, confided to me, were to be given to the world in the state in which I received them, entire and alone, “ unmixed with baser matter.” Accordingly, even one or two inaccuracies of language have been left untouched ;-they are, indeed, only a gratifying proof of the earnestness of the writer, who was more intent on the solemn importance of his subject, than on the niceties of diction.—A very few notes have been subjoined in illustration.
I may be permitted to add, that if there were a single line in these papers, which could in any degree impair the dignity of our late revered Monarch, no consideration could have induced me to be the instrument of communicating them to the world. But the perusal of them can excite but one feeling towards his memory, that of increased veneration for his single-minded, uncompromising, conscientious regard to the solemn obligation, which the duties of his high office, and, above all, his Oath, had imposed upon him. Long
may it be, as it long has been, and as, we thank God, it now in an eminent degree continues to be, the first boast of every loyal Englishman, that his Sovereign feels and acknowledges, with humble reverence, the full force of that Divine Sanction, which is equally binding on the conscience of the King and of the lowliest of his people !
For the publication of the Letters of Mr. Pitt no apology can be necessary. The friends of that great man can only be gratified by the production of this additional evidence of his inflexible integrity, and of his readiness to relinquish the dearest objects of honourable ambition, rather than tarnish his honour, or desert his principles.
The Papers, marked 1, 2, 4, 5, are printed from originals in the hand-writing of his late Majesty: 3 and 6, from originals in the hand-writing of the late Lord Kenyon: A, B, C, D, E, are from copies taken, on the 15th of February, 1801, by the present Lord Kenyon, from originals communicated to his father on that day by the late King.
LONDON, 25th May, 1827.