After the reports that had gone abroad, to the effect that the Government were about to settle the question, and that they had even prepared a Bill on the subject, this letter from the Prime Minister to the Roman Catholic Primate was most disappointing. Besides, it was absurd to expect that the subject could be buried in oblivion. The Duke, no doubt, had in his mind the difficulty with the king, and the excitement of Protestant feeling in England, which was exasperated by the violence of the debates in the Catholic Association, and the tone of menace and defiance which that body had assumed. This obstacle was not lessened by the letter in question, the purport of which was communicated to Mr. O'Connell, and also to the Lord-Lieutenant. The latter wrote an admirable letter in reply, which led to serious consequences. On the 22nd of December Dr. Curtis sent him the Duke's letter, and a copy of his own answer to it. He acknowledged that it conveyed information which he had not himself received, though entitled, from his position, to receive it first. He then frankly offered his opinion as to the course which it behoved the Catholics to pursue. He was perfectly convinced that the final and cordial settlement of the question could alone give peace, harmony, and prosperity to all classes of his Majesty's subjects. He advised that the Duke of Wellington should by every means be propitiated; for if any man could carry the measure, it was he. All personal and offensive insinuations should therefore be suppressed, and ample allowance should be made for the difficulties of his situation. "Difficult," said Lord Anglesey, "it certainly is; for he has to overcome the very strong prejudices and the interested motives of many persons of the highest influence, as well as allay the real alarm of many of the more ignorant Protestants." As to burying in oblivion the question for a short time, the Viceroy considered the thing utterly impossible, and, if possible, not at all desirable. He recommended, on the contrary, that all constitutional means should be used to forward the cause, coupled with the utmost forbearance, and the most submissive obedience to the law. Personality offered no advantage. It offended those who could assist, and confirmed predisposed aversion. "Let the Catholic," said his lordship, "trust to the justice of his cause, and to the growing liberality of mankind. Unfortunately, he has lost some friends, and fortified enemies, during the last six months, by unwearied and unnecessary violence. Brute force, he should be assured, can effect nothing. It is the legislature that must decide this great question, and my anxiety is that it should be met by the Parliament under the most favourable circumstances, and that the opposers of Catholic Emancipation shall be disarmed by the patient forbearance as well as by the unwearied perseverance of its advocates.".