speaker, Addington, desiring him to ‘open Mr. Pitt's eyes’ as to the danger of the proposal, though he speaks of Pitt's approval of it as not absolutely certain (Life of Sidmouth, i. 285). On 1 Feb. 1801 he received a letter from Pitt, written the night before, which contained the first intimation from his minister as to the course he intended to adopt. In this letter Pitt stated that he should be forced to resign unless the measure could be brought forward with the king's ‘full concurrence, and with the whole weight of government.’ In reply George offered that if Pitt would abstain from bringing forward the measure, he, for his part, would be silent on the subject, adding, ‘further I cannot go, for I cannot sacrifice my duty to any consideration.’ On 5 Feb. 1801 the king sorrowfully accepted his minister's resignation (Life of Pitt, iii. App. xxiii–xxxii.) During the progress of the correspondence he received a letter from Loughborough written with the object of ingratiating himself. George showed Pitt, in a letter written on 18 Feb., that his esteem for him was unabated. He sent for Addington, who succeeded in forming an administration, but before the new ministers received their seals the worry and excitement of the crisis caused the king another attack of insanity. For some days he dwelt with much agitation on the sacredness of his coronation oath (Life of Sidmouth, i. 286; Malmesbury, iv. 22). On the 15th he took a severe cold; on the 22nd his mental alienation was unmistakable, and on the 23rd he was unconscious until evening, when he said, ‘I am better now, but I will remain true to the church’ (Life of Pitt, iii. 294). On 2 March his disease reached a crisis (Rose, Diaries, i. 325), and from that day he continued to get better. He ordered his physician Willis to write to Pitt on the 6th. ‘Tell him,’ he said, ‘I am now quite well—quite recovered from my illness, but what has he not to answer for who is the cause of my having been ill at all?’ Pitt sent the king an assurance ‘that during his reign he would never agitate the catholic question,’ on which George said, ‘Now my mind will be at ease’ (ib. p. 360; Life of Pitt, iii. 304). On 14 March he received Pitt's resignation with many expressions of kindness, and handed the seals to Addington, whom he styled the next day ‘his own chancellor of the exchequer.’ He also gave the great seal to Eldon, from, as he said, ‘my heart’ (Life of Sidmouth, i. 353; Life of Eldon, i. 368). The excitement of these interviews occasioned a relapse, and he was forced to live for some time in complete seclusion at Kew, under the care of the Willises; he was not sufficiently recovered to be out of their hands until 28 June, when he left for Weymouth. This illness aged him considerably, and it was observed that he stooped more and was less firm on his legs (Malmesbury, iv. 62). In the course of the summer he offered to pay 30,000l. from the privy purse for the settlement of Pitt's debts; this offer was gratefully declined (Rose, Diaries, ii. 214). A wild plot to overturn the government and assassinate the king was discovered in October 1802 [see Despard, Edward Marcus].
George did not expect much from the negotiations with France, and spoke of the peace as ‘experimental’ (Malmesbury, iv. 63, 69; Life of Eldon, i. 398). It is doubtful whether he cordially approved of the tone adopted by his ministers towards France, but the rumour that he regretted Pitt in October was an exaggeration; he was personally fond of Addington, whose character and opinions were in many points like his own; though two years later, after Addington had left office, he came to believe that he had parted with him feeling that he ‘was not equal to the government of the country’ (Rose, ii. 156). Nothing was told him about the negotiations between Pitt and Addington in 1803 until they were ended; then on 20 April Addington informed the king of them, evidently making his own story good, for George was indignant at Pitt's conduct, talked of his ‘putting the crown in commission,’ and said that Pitt ‘carried his plan of removals so extremely far, and so high, that it might reach him’ (Malmesbury, iv. 185). He attributed the attacks made upon the administration to ‘faction.’ On 13 June he heard of the surrender of Hanover to the French, and received the news ‘with great magnanimity and a real kingliness of mind’ (ib. p. 270). During the alarm of invasion on 26 Oct. he held a review of twenty-seven thousand volunteers in Hyde Park; he declared that if the French landed he would meet them at the head of his troops, and drew up a scheme of arrangements to be adopted in case of invasion (Auckland Correspondence, iv. 184). About the middle of January 1804 he caught a severe cold; he had been much annoyed by the conduct of the Prince of Wales in publishing the correspondence of 1803 on the subject of his offer to serve in the army, and this may have made his attack more serious; at all events his mind became again deranged, and for a while his life was in danger. The disease fluctuated a good deal; on 27 Feb. he was sensible, but perfect quiet was necessary for some time longer. His condition prolonged the existence of the administration; the opposition could not let matters con-