The incidents and opinions which will be found in these volumes derive their chief value from the fact that they are recorded by a bystander and spectator, who was not, and did not aspire to be, an actor in the occurrences he witnessed, but who lived on terms of intimacy with many of the most active politicians of his times, in both the leading parties in the State, although he strictly belonged to neither of them, and was wholly indifferent to mere party interests. Mr. Greville himself, in communicating a portion of [xiii] his manuscripts to one of his friends, wrote of them in the following terms:— You will find the greater part political, not often narrative; mostly allusions and comments on passing events, the details of which were not notorious and accessible; some miscellanea of a different description, personal, social, official; you will find public characters freely, flippantly perhaps, and frequently very severely dealt with; in some cases you will be surprised to see my opinions of certain men, some of whom, in many respects, I may perhaps think differently of now. Gibbon said of certain Pagan philosophers, that ‘their lives were spent in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue.’ I cannot boast of having passed my life in the practice of virtue, but I may venture to say that I have always pursued truth; and you will see evidence of the efforts I have made to get at it, and to sum up conflicting statements of facts with a sort of judicial impartiality.
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Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville (2 April 1794 – 17 January 1865) was an English diarist and an amateur cricketer who played first-class cricket from 1819 to 1827. His father Charles Greville was a son of 1st Earl of Warwick, and his mother was Lady Charlotte Bentinck, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Portland (former leader of the Whig party and Prime Minister).
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