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Mr. Bird (Mr. Beaumont’s former tutor and friend) called upon me and I had a long conversation with him. He is a shrewd and sensible man and I do not think so ill of him as I did before we met. I take him however to be selfish and somewhat deficient both in the feelings and manners of a gentleman. He was originally in a low situation of life and his connection with a family constituted as that governed by Mrs. Beaumont must necessarily have been, would tend more to give him dexterity of manner, and steadiness of purpose, than either liberal feelings or openness of conduct. I talked to him calmly but firmly and unless he be a very complete hypocrite, he was so deeply affected as to speak without reserve and to tell me many things which in his cooler moments he would have concealed. I began by telling him that I had by no means a good opinion of him or his character; I then stated to him what I conceived to be Mr. Beaumont’s real situation and let him see also that I was well acquainted with the disposition and qualities of Mrs. B and her whole family and with the circumstances attending his own situation with respect to them. Thus at once all reserve was at an end between us and as I knew him to be greatly embarrassed, and at a loss what to do, and as I had no personal interest to gain, I believe he told me the truth and the whole truth, but whether or not nothing but the truth, I cannot say.
Surtees Society editor’s note: Rev. Christopher Bird. In 1817 Wentworth Beaumont had written to the Prime Minister soliciting the appointment of Bird to the living at Halifax vacant by the death of Dr. Coldhurst. B.M. Add. MSS. 38269, fo. 257.