Life of William, Earl of Shelburne/Volume 1/Chapter 1




William Fitzmaurice, afterwards Earl of Shelburne, was born on the 13th of May 1737.[1] He has left the following account of his own early life:

"I was born in Dublin in the house of Dr. Hort, then Bishop of Kilmore, afterwards Archbishop of Tuam, in Bride Street, Dublin, who married my mother's sister. I spent the four first years of my life in the remotest part of the south of Ireland, under the government of an old grandfather[2] who reigned, or rather tyrannised, equally over his own family and the neighbouring country, as if it was his family, in the same manner as I suppose his ancestors, Lords of Kerry, had done for generations since the time of Henry II., who granted to our family 100,000 acres in those remote parts in consideration of their services against the Irish, with the title of Barons of Kerry.[3] I have seen the original grant in the possession of my father, and it must be now in my brother's. It is a curiosity on account of its simplicity and brevity, compared with grants of a later date, not being longer than a common writ of subpœna or a summons to Parliament. Both title and estates descending through so many generations from father to son in a country quite uncivilized, peopled by Catholicks, reduced by frequent rebellions, and laws passed in consequence, my ancestors necessarily exercised an absolute power over a great tract of country, and the more so as they had in general preserved their loyalty and their attachment to the English Government.[4] My grandfather did not want the manners of the country nor the habits of his family to make him a tyrant. He was so by nature. He was the most severe character which can be imagined, obstinate and inflexible; he had not much understanding, but strong nerves and great perseverance, and no education, except what he had in the army, where he served in his youth, with a good degree of reputation for personal bravery and activity. He was a handsome man, and, luckily for me and mine, married a very ugly woman, who brought into his family whatever degree of sense may have appeared in it, or whatever wealth is likely to remain in it, the daughter of Sir William Petty,[5] known by his services and his works, and still more particularly to his family by a very singular will.[6]

"Sir William Petty, in consequence of being Ireton's secretary, became accidentally a trustee in some family transaction, which becoming in the course of some law proceeding necessarily known to the King and Lord Chancellor Clarendon, he was advised by his friends to suppress it, at the risk of injuring the Cromwell family; but he appears to have spurned such an act of ingratitude, and says in one of his letters that so far from forfeiting his favour of the King and Chancellor, they both told him they thought much better of him, and they esteemed him the more for it.[7] The great qualities of his daughter are mentioned by Dean Swift in his letters.

"My grandfather had ceased all intercourse with his eldest son, who was gentleman-like and spirited, but weak and debauched, and married into a very weak family, the Earl of Cavan's.[8] As soon as he heard that a son was born of this marriage he exclaimed, 'the House of Lixnaw is no more'; and so it literally proved, for the present Lord Kerry, after being educated under the direction of the Chancellor of Ireland and being left a good deal to himself, fell in love with a married lady twenty years older than himself, the daughter of an eminent Roman Catholick lawyer, and, obtaining a divorce, married her an extraordinary, vain woman.[9] Having their way to fight up to get into good company, and having no posterity, they sold every acre of land which had been in our family since Henry the Second's time, converting the remainder into life-rents; to which she brought a very considerable addition of her own, which for want of children descended to her sister, and they will thus have fulfilled the singular prediction I have here related.

"My grandfather, soon after he married, had retired to the seat of his ancestors, disgusted with some injury which he conceived to have been done to him in point of military promotion. My grandmother was of an ambitious active disposition, and during her life, by dint of superior understanding, address, and temper (for he made an excessive bad husband as appears by several letters), sometimes drew him back into the world, and by a conduct which was a perfect model of sense, prudence, and spirit, educated her children well, gained her family consideration at home and abroad, furnished several houses, supported a style of living superior to any family whatever in Ireland, and with all this improved his fortune. After her death he buried both himself and family in the south of Ireland, where the great event of the year was the almanack, which he would allow nobody to read but himself, and served him in the stead of all other books. He read it to them every evening till a new one came out, for the satisfaction of descanting on every person who formed it of whom he had known while he lived in the world, stating what he might have been if he had continued in it, and not forgetting those that had passed him by, upon whom he bestowed his abuse pretty freely. With all this he had high principles of honour and a strict love of justice, which made him govern the country better than he did his own family. He kept that barbarous country in strict subordination.[10] He protected strangers and their property and took care that the laws should be executed, and all violences repressed. He governed his own family as he did the country. In consequence his children did not love him, but dreaded him; his servants the same. By all I have heard I was the only object of his affection for the four last years of his life.[11] He determined to charge himself with my education, which was to have been pretty much upon the plan which has since made the subject of so much refinement. Whether through affection or fear, he made such an impression upon me, that I perfectly remember him and several things concerning him at this moment. I can say with very great truth that, since I can remember, I have never forgot a kindness nor an injury, though I have forgiven many of the latter, having, thank God, by reading, reflection, and observation, rooted whatever degree of revenge I had by nature out of my character, of which I could give many proofs. I have dwelt upon his character, because I ceased from his death to be an object of affection with anybody except Lady A. Denny,[12] to whom I owe any good I either learned or imbibed in the early part of my education. My grandfather died leaving the foundation of three families. His eldest son[13] inherited the family estate, which would amount to £20,000 a year at this time if it had not been dissipated by his son, the present Earl of Kerry,[14] who is likely to die leaving a very ancient title without an acre of land out of so much which has escaped so long. His second son, my father, inherited from him what then amounted to nearly £3000 a year, and, being improvable, now produces about £6000 a year, which my father left to my brother on account of my inheriting from him the Petty Estates, for want of heirs male under the will of my grand uncle, Henry, Earl of Shelburne.[15]

"My father was forty-five years old when he emerged from the state of slavery and feudal habits which have been described. He had been bred at Westminster School, and I do not know by what accident, passed some time afterwards in the south of France, but was obliged to spend most of his years in attendance upon his father in his Court of Lixnaw, where he could not acquire many new ideas in an ignorant neighbourhood, and under a sense of domestic tyranny, except what his own reflection bred. I must, however, do justice to my grandfather by saying, that he had an acknowledged love of honour, justice, and truth, which ought to balance his excess of severity. As far as I can learn both were the characteristics of the House of Lixnaw for many generations, and are distinguishable to this day in the small remains of it. I hope I have introduced a degree of softness into it, but I must acknowledge, out of regard to the truth, with which I profess to write these memoranda, that it has arisen more from self-discipline, good company, and observation of the world, than from my own nature.

"If it had not been for the disadvantages I have described, my father, with his fortune and the favour of accidents, would, I am persuaded, have made a distinguished man. He had an uncommon good plain understanding, great firmness, and love of justice, saw things public and private en grand, but was not broke to the world's little activity; had all the habits and principles of his father's Court worked into his very nature, and no notion of governing his children particularly except by fear. My mother, on the other hand, was active to excess, and enterprising as far as her talents could carry her one of the most passionate characters I ever met with, but good-natured and forgiving when it was over with a boundless love of power, economical to excess in the most minute particulars, and persevering, by which means she was always sure to gain her ends of my father, who, upon the whole, loved a quiet life.[16] If it had not been for her continual energy my father would have passed the remainder of his life in Ireland, and I might at this time be the chief of some little provincial faction.[17]

"In Scotland, I suppose I saw the last of the feudal lords, like my ancestors, in the person of the last Duke of Douglas. When I was introduced to him at Holyrood House by appointment, he met me at the top of the stairs with his hat and sword. Lord Dunmore, General Scot, the father of Lady Tichfield, and Mr. John Home, the poet, went with me. He spoke occasionally to Lord Dunmore, but not much, and did not open his lips to General Scot. When anything was said about his family he nodded to Mr. John Home to narrate what regarded it. I happened to say something about the Highlands, which I had misapprehended or been misinformed about, at which Lord Dunmore laughed. The Duke drew up and vindicated fully what I had said, signifying by his manner to Lord Dunmore his disapprobation. I told him that I had seen a new house he was building in the Highlands. He said he heard that the Earl of Northumberland was building a house in the north of England, the kitchen of which was as large as his whole house, upon which the Duchess of Douglas, an enterprising woman, as may be seen from the famous Douglas Cause,[18] observed that, if the Douglases were to meet the Percys once more in the field, then would the question be, whose kitchen was the largest? Upon this, the Duke nodded to Mr. Home to state some of the great battles in which the Douglas family had distinguished themselves. I told him that I hoped to wait upon him in London. He said he feared not; he could be of no use there; he was not sufficiently informed to carry any weight there; he could neither read nor write without great difficulty. I told him that many of the greatest men in the history of both kingdoms could do neither, to which he assented.

"Under the circumstances I have described, I had no great chance of a very liberal education; no great example before me; no information in my way, except what I might be able to acquire by my own observation or by chance; good-breeding within my own family, which made part of the feudal system, but out of it nothing but those uncultivated, undisciplined manners and that vulgarity which make all Irish society so justly odious all over Europe. I must, however, make one illustrious exception to all that has been said within and without my family, in the person of Lady Arabella Denny, to whose virtues, talents, temper, taste, true religion, and goodness of every kind, it is impossible for me to do sufficient justice, any more than to the unspeakable gratitude I owe her. If it was not for her I should have scarce known how to read, write, or articulate, to being able to do which I am indebted, perhaps, for the greatest part of the little reputation I have lived to gain in the House of Lords. It was to her alone I owed any alleviation of the domestic brutality and ill-usage I daily experienced at home. She was the only example I had before me of the two qualities of mind which most adorn and dignify life—amiability and independence. She was married young to a neighbouring gentleman, one of the oldest family among the English-Irish, a very good sort of man, uninformed and ignorant, but who had a brother, Sir —— Denny, a coward, a savage, and a fool, who set himself to make her life unhappy. She knew that if she complained, or even told her husband, it would make an irreconcileable breach between the two brothers, and therefore she could not reconcile it to her principles. She told me however that, finding she could not endure his brutality, and that her nerves began to fail her, she had recourse to the following stratagem. She determined to learn privately to fire a pistol. When she had practised sufficiently to become a very good shot, she prevailed upon him, without letting him into the secret, to accompany her to the retired spot where she practised, and showed him how dexterous she had become, telling him at the same time that she suffered so much from his brutality, that if he did not alter his behaviour, she was determined to apply the skill she had obtained by coming behind him, or by the surest means she could invent, his ill-usage having made her regardless as to her own life. After this conversation he immediately changed his manner, and never afterwards gave her the least trouble. It is impossible to form any judgment of her merit in this transaction without having known her feminine manners, character, and figure. She told me that before she had recourse to this stratagem, in a little apothecary's shop which she kept for the benefit of the poor, furnished with shelves, she was obliged to put the laudanum upon the upper shelf, that the motion of going up the step-ladder to get at it might make her change so desperate a resolution. When her husband died she had too much experience ever to become a slave again, and she refused two or three of the most respectable marriages Ireland afforded. Her husband left her the means of devoting herself to public charities of different kinds, an account of which deserves to be collected for an example to her sex; with all which she mixed decency, hospitality, and elegance in house and table as well as a variety of innocent resources. She frequently told me it was all owing to order. I am determined if I live a very few years to collect everything I can about her, for her life deserves much better to be examined and recorded than that of Madame de Maintenon or Madame Roland, or even Catherine II. of Russia, if it was not for the public events originating from the vices and crimes of the last personage. As to morals, whoever knows anything of Ireland knows how rare they are in any rank of life. In England they are much oftener to be met with among the middling classes, who are obliged to be active and diligent to make their own and their children's fortune, than among the higher classes, whose fortunes are made and who have no motive for exertion except ambition, which may be one case in a hundred. In Ireland there was, at that time at least, no middling class, and the manners of the better sort were, and still are, justly proverbial.

"From the time I was four years old till I was fourteen, my education was neglected to the greatest degree. I was first sent to an ordinary publick school. I was then shut up with a private tutor, my father and mother being in England. My tutor was a narrow-minded clergyman, whose name was Pélissier, of a French refugee family, with no great parts and no great learning, as good-humoured and as good-natured as a narrow mind is capable of being, with a dash of that pertness of character which commonly belongs to the French. There was, indeed, one advantage which I might have found in his society, and that of his friends and family, which was learning French, for they spoke little else. My father particularly insisted on it, but that very circumstance determined me against it. As I was crossed in everything, I was determined to cross in my turn, and succeeded perfectly in this instance, much to my own disadvantage. I loved Lady Arabella Denny because she loved me. She inculcated into me a sense of duty towards God, the publick, and my neighbours, which has never quitted me. I have somewhere a paper, which my schoolmaster, Dr. Ford, gave me upon leaving him, containing his idea of my character and turn of mind. He was a sensible man; I remember his telling me when he gave me the paper that he saw I was neglected, and that if I did not take care of my own education I might chance to go without any, which made him write down his observations, that I might, if I came to reflect on my situation, apply to more purpose.[19] I remember the turn of the paper was to recommend logick and mathematicks, that my capacity was more calculated for what required strong action than to the more elegant and refined walks of life. He made me read some civil law and some Latin and Greek. I found I had some taste for Greek, and if I had continued to apply, might have made some proficiency in it. Dr. Ford indeed took a personal liking to me, and, independent of the ordinary school exercises, took a good deal of pains to teach me a little logick, which was the only study for which I had a real taste, and for which I could perceive in myself a natural talent.

"To give an idea of the narrow-mindedness of my tutor, I remember being invited to dinner with my father's attorney, who was of a remarkably mean adulating turn, and used to make me blush with his professions of attachment to my family. I told him I would dine with him upon condition that he did not drink my father's nor mother's health. The old dotard tells this to my stupid tutor. He consults a friend of his, one Colonel Browne, and all three agree that it argued such a determined depravity and wickedness of character that it must not be concealed from my father and mother, who were accordingly apprised in great form, by letter, of this alarming symptom of my disposition and character. To do my father justice he paid no regard to it.

"Soon after fifteen I came to London, where I was suffered to go about, to pick up what acquaintance offered, and in short had no restraint except in the article of money, of which I should not have had sufficient to answer the most common purposes, if it was not for old aunts again and cousins.

"Dr. Hort was my father's adviser. He was born of low-born but decent parents, at Marshfield in Wiltshire; he was bred among the Dissenters, and early connected with some very eminent men of that persuasion; and afterwards got acquainted with the famous Dr. Cheyne, a Scotch physician of considerable eminence at Bath. It was at that time a very small town in comparison of the present, and the customs of the place comparatively simple. The roads were so bad that the journey from London to Bath took up four or five days. The most famous inns on the road were two miserable houses now standing, at one of which Princess Amelia lodged in ——, and it was a good day's journey from thence to Bath. In those days the first men in the kingdom who were ordered to Bath for their health used to live mostly and sometimes lodge with their physicians and apothecaries, by which means it is surprising how very well informed I have myself found some of the old apothecaries, and what a good ton of conversation: for example Mr. Colborne, whose family owe a considerable fortune to the accident of a rich citizen lodging at their house. By this means it fell to Dr. Cheyne's lot to converse much with the Marquis of Wharton, who asked him if he could recommend him a tutor for his son, afterwards Duke of Wharton. This gave Dr. Cheyne an opportunity of recommending Mr. Hort, who in consequence found his way among the best circles in London, being a very handsome man and remarkably decent in his manners. The scandalous chronicle says that he made himself acceptable to some of the first ladies in London, among others to Lady Allen, a rich Jewess, a very amiable woman, who had even in my time a conversation of the first people in London at her house, and proved one of Mr. Hort's best friends through life. He went to Ireland with the Earl of Wharton, and becoming a bishop there married my mother's sister, by whom he had three daughters and two sons. The present representative of the family is Sir John Hort, whom I made a baronet and consul-general to Lisbon.

. . . . . .

"It is more than a year since I wrote the above.[20] I am determined not to read it over. If I did I am sure I should be disgusted, and not have resolution to continue anything of the sort. I have dwelt on the manner in which I passed my early years, because it cost me more to unlearn the habits, manners, and principles which I then imbibed, than would have served to qualify me for any rôle whatever through life. I am conscious of the force of several of them to this hour, which I have not been able to root properly out. The only apology I can make is that it was the fault of my parents, not my own; the only atonement is that I have educated my children in a quite different manner, and I am afraid have gone into an opposite extreme; and I have ever unceasingly endeavoured to promote the liberty of my native country, not by vain words, but by solid acts; not neglecting inferior considerations such as regarded education, morals, industry, and agriculture. Arrived at the age of sixteen I had nobody to teach me, and everything to learn, of which I was fully aware, but I had, what I was not at all aware of, everything to unlearn: no such easy matter.

"At sixteen I went to Christ Church, where I had again the misfortune to fall under a narrow-minded tutor.[21] He had, however, better parts, and knew more of the world, and I was more independent of him. It has by one or other accident been my fate through life always to fall in with clever but unpopular connections. I begun to see my own situation, and to feel the necessity I was under of repairing lost time. Christ Church is composed, nineteen out of twenty, of those who have been bred at Westminster. The other students are called commoners, being nominated by the canons. My tutor, Mr. Hollwell, was a commoner, and was fool enough to set himself up in a pointed opposition to the Westminsters.

"I should mention that my father, before I left London, used to carry me when he made visits, and introduced me to several old people, telling me that they might be dead when I left Oxford, and I might hereafter be glad to have it to say that I had seen them. I saw by this means Lord Chesterfield and Lord Granville, and was wonderfully struck with the difference of their manner. I saw them the same morning, and happening to go to Lord Chesterfield first, and being much struck with his wit and brilliancy and good breeding, I expected all the same in Lord Granville, but finding him quite plain and simple in his manner, and something both commanding and captivating, more in his countenance and general manner than in anything he said, I was much at a loss to account for the difference of impression. I never saw either of them afterwards. He likewise carried me to the House of Commons, and I shall never forget the scolding he gave me for not staying to hear Lord North speak a second time, having heard him once, and disliking his manner. My father inferred from it to me that I never could be anybody. Lord North was then rising into reputation as a speaker. The Duke of Newcastle had the appearance of a 'hubble-bubble' man as he himself always described the Irish: Lord Shannon, of a calm, sagacious man. The chief thing that struck me was a basket of apples in his room and his not offering me one, but this was before I left Ireland.

"The Westminsters, always the ruling party at Christ Church,[22] have preserved their esprit-de-corps, so far as I have been able to trace, since Queen Elizabeth's reign, more or less powerful according to the individuals which have succeeded. At this time they were at the head of everything. The Duke of Newcastle and the Newcastles were at the head of everything: first as instruments, then as partners of Sir Robert Walpole. Another of the Westminster and Christ Church cabal was Mr. Stone, who was entirely a chamber councillor, and never took any part in public. I take him to have been a very cool-headed, cautious, and wise man. There were two archbishops of York of this set: Drummond and Markham. The first always appeared to me a plain, sensible, strong-minded man, and not an intriguer by nature: his brother, Lord Kinnoul, a drudge, always in the Duke of Newcastle's service. Markham was a darker character. Murray, afterwards Lord Mansfield, had by far the best talents—public and private—of the set. Lord George Sackville, one of the worst men living, was another Westminster.

"Mr. Hollwell was not without learning, and certainly laid himself out to be serviceable to me in point of reading. I read with him a good deal of natural law and the law of nations, some history, part of Livy, and translated some of the Orations of Demosthenes with tolerable care. I read by myself a great deal of religion. Surely it is natural for a person of the least reflection, if they are taught to believe in the Bible, &c., to be restless till they know the sum of what it contains, and come to some decisive judgment upon a subject so interesting as their future existence and eternal welfare. The certainty of ninety-nine out of a hundred never bestowing a thought upon the subject tells a volume in regard to mankind, and opens a very extraordinary view of the world, accounting for a great deal of otherways unaccountable matter. I had no enlightened person to give me a lift. I was left to grope my own way, and consequently lost a great deal of two years till at last I made up my own mind, and have never since had an anxious thought upon the subject. I was afterwards much struck with Machiavel's Discourses on Livy, Demosthenes, and by the law of nature more than the law of nations. I attended Blackstone's lectures with great care, and profited considerably by them. I got little or no knowledge of the world, however. I came full of prejudices. My tutor added to those prejudices by connecting me with the anti-Westminsters, who were far from the most fashionable part of the college, and a small minority.

"Dr. Gregory succeeded Dr. Conybeare,[23] and was very kind to me, conversed familiarly and frequently with me, had kept good company, was a gentleman, though not a scholar, and gave me notions of people and things which were afterwards useful to me. I likewise fell into habits with Dr. King, President of St. Mary Hall, a Tory and Jacobite, but a gentleman and an orator. He had a great deal of historical knowledge[24] and of anecdote, having been intimately connected with the heads of the Tory party from the reign of Queen Anne.[25]

"I was likewise much connected during all the time I was at college with Mr. Hamilton Boyle, afterwards Earl of Cork. As to the rest, the college was very low: a proof of it is, that no one who was there in my time has made much figure either as a publick man or man of letters. The Duke of Portland is the only one I recollect to have his name come before the publick.

"In 1756 the loss of Fort Oswego, of Minorca, together with Byng's defeat, the desperate state of the East Indies, and perhaps more than all, the irresolution and incapacity of those nearest the King, viz. the Duke of Newcastle and his friends, had bred a general panick, which was inflamed by two out of three of the factions then existing.[26]

"Previous, however, to my giving any further account of myself or of such things as may have come within my knowledge, I shall give some account of the condition of politics about the time I entered publick life.

"It is necessary, however, to make one fundamental observation. It is common to attribute the happiness and comfort which this country enjoyed from the period of the Revolution till the commencement of the present reign, to the excellence of our constitution, to the Whigs, and to a variety of other causes, whereas I conceive the true cause to have been the existence of a Pretender with a very just right to the Throne upon all Tory and monarchical principles and all old prejudices, but without sufficient capacity to disturb the reigning family, or to accommodate himself to the new principles which have been making a slow but certain progress ever since the discovery of the press. Cardinal Wolsey, upon the first discovery of printing, told the clergy to be on their guard, for if they did not destroy the press the press would destroy them. The consequence was that, during the period alluded to, there was a King and no King, instead of all that fine theory which Montesquieu[27] and all the admirers of the English constitution suppose, and all the theory of action and reaction. The Hanover family never imagined they would continue, and as their only chance threw themselves into the arms of the old Whigs, abjuring the rights and the manners of Royalty, in other words, telling the people, 'We are your slaves and blackamoors.'[28] Under the Tudors we had been an absolute despotism. The Stewarts wanted to be kings, but under them, before and after the great Rebellion, it was nothing but anarchy and sedition. I have often thought that Cromwell's speeches give a very faithful picture of his time, and am confirmed in it by Lord Hardwicke.

"In the seventeenth century, France was, on the whole, systematically and wisely governed with some slight interruptions. Louis XIV. was a King in every sense of the word. He identified himself as few Kings do with the publick, with whom he was one and the same. Monsieur de Montyon sent me several original letters which passed between Louis and Colbert and his other Ministers, which evidently prove his great economy and that he never let go his authority—a great point. He had great qualities if not great talents. Over-devotion and religious prejudice are to be excused in an old man, and are to be attributed more to the monarchy than to the man, at least more to the combination of both than to the man alone. England, on the other hand, was left in great measure to nature, for the feebleness, the prejudices, and the total incapacity of the Stewarts, did not deserve to be called an administration, and only served to give the popular party time to form itself. Cromwell has never had justice done him. Hume and almost all the historians have seized upon some prominent circumstances of his character, as painters and actors lay hold of the caricature to ensure a likeness. He was not always a hypocrite. Mr. Hume does not do justice to Cromwell's character in supposing him incapable of truth and simplicity on every occasion. His speeches to his Parliament give, I am persuaded, a very true picture of the times. Compare them with the Clarendon Papers published at Oxford, as much if not more worth reading than the History. The late Sir Edward Bayntun told me that he had an original copy of a letter written by a Sir Edward Bayntun, his maternal ancestor—a very considerable man in the west—to Cromwell when a private man, desiring one of his daughters for his son, on account of the exemplary manner of their education and the reputation his home had for good order and decency. I have an original letter of Richard Cromwell to his brother in Ireland after his father's death, which gives a singular picture of the moment. It must be allowed that, while he had power, short as the moment was, he did set more things forward than all the Kings who reigned during the century, King William included. England was never so much respected abroad; while at home, though Cromwell could not settle the Government, talents of every kind began to show themselves, which were immediately crushed or put to sleep at the Restoration. The best and most unexceptional regulations of different kinds are to be found in his ordinances and proclamations remaining to this day unexecuted; and during his life he not only planned but enforced and executed the greatest measures of which the country was then susceptible. (See his conversations with Ludlow, particularly about a reform of the law, and his wish to make Ireland a field of experiment, and an example to England.[29]) It requires experience in Government to know the immense distance between planning and executing. All the difficulty is with the last. It requires no small labour to open the eyes of either the public or of individuals, but when that is accomplished, you are not got a third of the way. The real difficulty remains in getting people to apply the principles which they have admitted, and of which they are now so fully convinced. Then springs the mine composed of private interests and personal animosity. There cannot be a better instance than what is now depending. Professor Adam Smith's principles have remained unanswered for above thirty years, and yet when it is attempted to act upon any of them, what a clamour![30] If the Emperor Joseph had been content to sow and not to plant, he would have done more good, and saved a great deal of ill. Men require to be bribed into doing good, or permitting it to be done.

"Richard Cromwell lived many years after the Restoration till late into Queen Anne's reign in a private station, quiet and contented. He was by accident obliged to attend the Court of Chancery in some private cause, when Lord Cowper was Chancellor, who was much of a gentleman, and immediately ordered a chair to be set for him. To form a judgment of Charles the Second's reign, see Hume, Macpherson, Ralph, the State trials, and above all Sir William Temple's works, and the French memoirs of the time. For James the Second see the same, besides a multitude of tracts and letters. There is a singular account of his final departure in either the London or Gentleman's Magazine, written by a country gentleman, I think, from Faversham in Kent.

"The Revolution brought in William III., a proud sagacious Dutchman, and his reign filled up the remainder of the century. Most men are led by some ruling passion; his was War, and War against the French, for which it is easy to trace a complication of motives. Nothing can be more false and absurd than the enthusiasm entertained for his character, on account of his supposed love of liberty. He saw too much of it in Holland, where, by his plans for undermining it and by his ambition, he sowed the seeds of a great deal of the confusion and corruption which put an end to the Government of that ill-used country. When Parliament sent away his Dutch Guards, he said, if he had had children or any posterity, he would not have suffered it. I cannot trace a single act of inferior regulation that we owe to him, which did not immediately gratify his ambition. The history of his favourites is scandalous. None of the families which he brought over with him have proved either an ornament or a service to this country, Bentincks, Nassaus, Keppels, &c.—Admiral Keppel was no exception. The grants he gave them were enormous, indiscreet, unjust, and unmerited. If he had divided the Irish forfeitures, which Parliament luckily stopped him from heaping on his Dutch favourites, among the French Protestants, he would have insured the tranquillity of Ireland for evermore, and promoted the wealth and industry of both Kingdoms. He came to this country as he would come to a campaign, to answer his political purposes in the first instance; and, in the next, to provide for his followers. His sagacity proved itself on all occasions.

"The Revolution produced a still greater real than apparent change in Government opinion and manners. (See Cibber's Life, which, though an idle book, is interesting.[31]) He says, for some time before the Revolution, it was in the mouth of everybody that there would be a Revolution, but nobody knew how it would be effected. King William made a barbarous use of the Duke of Monmouth. King James says that he was not his brother's son, but his picture at Bowood says he was.

"Queen Mary and Queen Anne were both feminine characters. I take Queen Mary to have had most sense and most force of the two. She made the best of wives to a saturnine, disagreeable husband, to say no worse of him. Queen Anne's reign was in fact the reign of the Duke of Marlborough, owing to the ascendant which the Duchess of Marlborough had acquired over the Queen, which she abused abominably, as well as that she had over her husband. She was a most extraordinary person, but like most women ran wild with the habits of power, having nobody to control her. She used to say that it was not fear of the Devil that kept her out of a line of intrigue, but she was determined to be in no man's power. After power, avarice appears to have been her ruling passion. Mr. Bryan, who was tutor to the present Duke of Marlborough, a man of great accuracy as well as worth, told me that he found among the papers at Blenheim proof of a transaction which at once illustrates the character of the Duke and Duchess. A very old friend of the Duke's youth, after having lost sight of him by some accident for a number of years, presented himself to him when commanding the army in Flanders and was very cordially received. The Duke asked him what he could do to serve him. He said a Majority or Lieutenant-Colonelcy of Horse, I forget which, would satisfy all his ambition, of which the Duke assuring him, sent him with letters, which made him think himself sure of his object: but finding the business to train,[32] it was a long time before he could give credit to the Duchess of Marlborough being the person who retarded his promotion. As soon, however, as he was able to ascertain it, he returned to Flanders to the Duke, who prevented his speaking by telling him that he knew what he had to say, and said the shortest way was to give a sum of money, two or three thousand pounds, telling him how it might find its way to the Duchess, which would put an end to all difficulties; and so it did. Mrs. Lloyd told me that, looking over the papers at Blenheim, all the Duke's letters were full of his wishes to retire, and that he might pass the rest of his days in peace and quiet: not so his Duchess. Lord Bolingbroke[33] said, when he waited on the Duke of Marlborough sometimes before he was up, he used to be found sitting in the window in a thin linen gown put on carelessly, and, without seeming to attend, would hit off a point which had taken them a long time to discuss; but the worst of it was they never heard of anything else the whole day after. The French have always denied the Duke of Marlborough's military talents, though he always beat them. The Duke of Argyle said that he had general talents (like William Murray, Lord Mansfield), which would have enabled him to make pretty much the same figure in whatever line he adopted. He was most undoubtedly an excessively wise man, with wonderful command of temper, and uncommon sagacity, a master of intrigue, but no literature whatever. When Lord Oxford was sent to the Tower, the Duke of Berwick, who had owed him some obligation, sent to know whether he could do anything to serve him, and in the meantime sent him an original letter from the Duke of Marlborough to the Pretender for him to make any use of he thought proper. Lord Oxford asked his counsel, Serjeant Cummins, whether it could be of any; he said: 'A great deal; I would advise your Lordship to send your son, Lord Harley, with it to his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, but as I have known such things sometimes snatched and tore up, I would keep the original, and send only an exact copy.' Lord Harley waited accordingly on the Duke of Marlborough, saying that he waited on his Grace by his father's directions with it, and nothing more. The Duke read it attentively, and said: 'My Lord, this is not my hand.' Lord Harley said: 'My father has the original;' upon which civil bows passed without a word more, but the prosecution in a few weeks after was dropped.[34] In 1716, when the Duke of Marlborough was in a state of dotage, and the country was in a state of general panic under the apprehension of a sudden invasion, the Court sent to ask his advice. They found him with all the appearance of a driveller in an armed chair; all that they could get him to say was: 'Keep the army together; don't divide it.'

"The last four years of Queen Anne passed in divisions and faction fighting between Lord Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke. It was impossible that they should ever agree. They were both men devoted to ambition. One was all surface; the other all substance; Oxford a Whig; Bolingbroke a Tory; and different in ages, which encouraged Bolingbroke to attack Oxford, though I imagine much his inferior in point of courage. The fact was that Bolingbroke was both a political and personal coward. Mr. Pitt has told me that a relation of his, Mr. Cholmondeley, of Vale Royal in Cheshire, upon the death of Queen Anne, came from the country in his boots to Lord Bolingbroke and asked him, 'Well, my Lord, what is to be done?' but he found him quite palsied. Bishop Atterbury urged the party as strongly as possible to proclaim the Pretender. They asked him who would venture to do it; he said: 'I will send for my lawn sleeves this instant, and do it on horseback at Charing Cross if you will support me.' Lord Oxford, on the other hand, was sincerely well disposed to the Hanover succession. (See their letters to him, and see what faith is to be put in Princes.) I have been told by some of the old people that when Lord Oxford came into the House of Lords after the accession of George I. and his consequent disgrace, every Peer left the side bench where he placed himself, and the Prince of Wales went alone and placed himself next him with a great German hat, looking at him in a bullying attitude, to the great satisfaction of the House. Sir Eardley Wilmot has told me that his father, a very sensible man, was High Sheriff of Derbyshire the year of the Revolution, and that the people were ten to one against the Revolution. The Church to a man was violently active against the House of Hanover. The old Lord Ilchester told me that, for a long time after the accession, cannon were obliged to be kept at Whitehall to keep the mob in order and to protect the King from the Park to Westminster. An old Mr. Mildmay, whose epitaph may be seen, written by himself, at Sherborne, in Dorsetshire, told me that he returned a young man from abroad, and inquiring for his father found that he was at dinner at the King's Arms with Lord Bolingbroke and the party, where he went and had all manner of questions put to him about Hanover, which he answered so much to their satisfaction that Lord Bolingbroke took him aside when the company were breaking up, and said to him: 'Young man, you appear a smart young man; if you will enlist with me I will do the best I can for you; I think I have the best end of the staff.' He made him afterwards his secretary, and sent him on a famous affronting message to Lord Oxford, which he was to deliver to him at his full levée at the cockpit, for which his tall thin figure and petulant address was admirably calculated, but it failed of his object.

"It would be worth examining how it was possible under such circumstances for the Whigs to maintain their ground. The Queen was undoubtedly disposed to favour a second restoration, but however she may have loved her family, she loved herself more, and was afraid of risking her own power while she lived. Much is to be laid to the account of the character of the deposed family, who were from the beginning to the end a most infatuated race.

"Sacheverel's trial was a curious picture of the principles of the two parties, and deserves to be read with all attention and considered. People talk of public opinion; and what creates or constitutes public opinion? Numbers certainly do not. Sacheverel's trial gives a just notion of what is called the constitution, which degenerated in the reigns of George I. and George II. into a systematic false government; and is to be found described and detailed in the Walpole Papers, till there appeared with George III. a new epoch, which it will be the business of these memorandums to illustrate: to state in the first place the new impulse which was imperceptibly given to things, and the trifling incidents which afterwards originated the greater events. 'Born and bred in this country, George the Third gloried in the name of Briton.'[35]

"The foreign affairs during this period and till after the Peace of Utrecht, have been fully laid open in a variety of memoirs and collections of different sorts, French and English, which only serve to prove the ignorance of all. Kingdoms, principalities, islands, were handed from one Power to another, with far less examination than a private estate is bought or sold. The people were as little consulted as the sheep or the oxen which pass from one landed proprietor to another, indeed, much less considered; for, in the one case, they are counted and valued, but in the other, they are thrown in as a makeweight into one or other scale, without the least examination or regard to their inclinations or separate interests, and their good never appears. Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, were tossed from one hand to another as were also principal cities, but of all the foreign transactions in which this country was ever engaged, see what regards Lorraine.[36] Lord Bolingbroke's letters, lately published, show how little real knowledge he had under that imposing style, and what Alderman Beckford used to call that diarrhœa of words.[37] How much influence it has always had, and how little it ought to have. Compare the letters of Lord Strafford and Lord Bolingbroke: what a difference of character!

"The Walpole letters, an invaluable collection lately published by Mr. Cox,[38] give a perfect idea of the manner in which Government was carried on from the accession to the resignation of Sir Robert Walpole. The character of the Hanover family will be seen lain open, which necessarily makes the ground-work of the history of the times, for nothing can be more mistaken than the common notion that Kings are ciphers and indolent. See the private history of Louis XIV., XV., and XVI. Indolence, when it is not the result of weakness or vice, is a very great virtue, especially in Kings. It requires a very strong mind to forbear meddling, and not only a very good head, but a very good heart also—an union which falls to the lot of few—to govern active habits. It will be seen in the history of the time quam parvâ sapientiâ regitur mundus, at least with how little wisdom England was governed during the reigns of George I. and George II., how the seeds were sown of all that has happened since, with the commencement and progress of a system of corruption which must sink from under us after rotting the national character, and all the bulwarks of the constitution. In the meantime the country enjoyed fifty years of unexampled prosperity. Commerce increased as rapidly as could be desired; property was secure under a steady administration of justice, subject to no changes of principles; and population increased as the course of nature rendered indispensable; liberty was untouched; the public morals were kept within due bounds; and order generally prevailed. Foreigners attribute all this to the English Constitution, which in fact was owing to the single circumstance of a Pretender, who kept the reigning family in perpetual awe, supported as they were by an immense body of property among the Tories, a considerable party among the Lords and Commons, Scotland almost entirely devoted to him, and a great chance of Ireland by means of the Catholics. This obliged the Hanover family not only to be upon their guard, but to court the people incessantly and to support Revolution doctrines and principles, upon which ground they stood.

"I have heard old people of good authority say that Lord Sunderland, who was the most intriguing man that ever existed after his father—whether he was as corrupt or quite so bad a man as his father, I cannot tell—first got the Court after the accession and formed the leading party, consisting of the Craggs, Lord Carteret, the Stanhopes, Lord Macclesfield, and others.[39] Lord Sunderland was not only the most intriguing but the most passionate man of his time. In making up one of his Administrations, it was recommended to him to nominate Sir James Lowther one of his Treasury, on account of his great property. He appointed him one morning to come to Marlborough House; the morning was bad; nobody came in to Lord Sunderland, who at last rung his bell to know whether Sir James Lowther had been there. The servants answered that nobody had called; upon his repeating the inquiry the servants said that there was an old man, somewhat wet, sitting by the fireside in the hall, who they supposed had some petition to deliver to his Lordship. When he went out, it proved to be Sir James Lowther. Lord Sunderland desired him to be sent about his business, saying that no such mean fellow should sit at his Treasury. Henry, Lord Holland, speaking of those times, said he asked Sir Robert Walpole why he never came to an understanding with Lord Sunderland. He answered: 'You little know Lord Sunderland. If I had so much as hinted at it, his temper was so violent that he would have done his best to throw me out of the window.'

"After the Revolution the Tory and Jacobite parties had become almost identified by their together opposing the Court for so many years, and still more by the persecution which they suffered in common, for it was the policy of Sir Robert Walpole to confound them as much as possible, so as to throw the Jacobite odium upon every man who opposed government. Dr. King was one of the chief Jacobites. His most famous exploit was when, in 1754, in his speech upon opening the Ratcliffe Library at Oxford, before a full theatre he introduced three times the word ' Redeat,' pausing each time for a considerable space, during which the most unbounded applause shook the theatre, which was filled with a vast body of Peers, members of Parliament, and men of property. Before this, and soon after the rebellion, Dr. King, speaking of the Duke of Cumberland, described him as a man, qui timet omnia præter Deum. I presented this same Dr. King to George III. in 1761, seven years after he made his Ratcliffe speech.

"The old kings were for twenty years in the habit of leaving everything to Sir Robert Walpole.[40] He was Minister in the full sense of the word. His business was of course to keep down and not to raise talents to rival his own. Besides, he had no turn for foreign affairs. He had, I take it, more wisdom than elevation. He came forward at the end of the Queen's time; suffered from the Tories, and contracted a dread of the Pretender which never quitted him, I have been well assured. His thoughts were always bent on keeping the present family secure by means of a large majority in both Houses. He had besides, I believe, talents for administering the revenue and principles regarding it far from contemptible. He was himself a man of business. He kept those immediately under him diligent and tolerably honest. His practice at his levée, I have heard, was when he was applied to for revenue matters to refer to Scrope, the principal of the secretaries of the Treasury, and to say: 'If he will agree to it I will. If not, I can't.' Since his time commis and under-secretaries have commenced politicians and their masters commis. But his two great plans for a sinking fund and a general excise were both thwarted by the then Opposition, who on their part made no one general proposition which could stand the test of history. He was a man of plain, coarse manners. His forte was managing the House of Commons, where he had been bred in the midst of the most serious party intrigues and convulsions which could distract a country.

"Lord Melcombe told me several things about Sir Robert Walpole. He said he was inconceivably coarse and low mannered. He gave me an instance. When he went down with Sir Robert Walpole, which he frequently did, to Houghton, they were obliged to pass a bad common and were more than once benighted on it, which made him represent to Sir Robert how becoming it would be and how suitable to his rank to have flambeaux ready for such occasions. Sir Robert said he would give orders accordingly. The first time the circumstance occurred again, Lord Melcombe reminded Sir Robert Walpole. He stopped the coach and enquired of the servants for the links. They said they were in the coach; he then obliged them both to get out in a cold dark night, but the links he obtained were some links of sausages. Such was the vulgarity of Sir Robert's diction and habits that he had used the phraseology of Drury Lane and Covent Garden, and called the lights links, which the stupidity of the servants interpreted 'links of sausages.' Everybody agrees that he was coarse in his conversation, particularly about women, scouting all sentiment and sentimental love. He was, however, their slave in his turn. When some of his friends were going to tell him some infidelity of Mrs. ——, he stopped their mouths by saying that he wished to hear nothing of the sort: she was indispensable to his happiness. He was not at all so to hers. Seeing Mr. Fox reading in the library of Houghton, he said: 'You can read. It is a great happiness. I totally neglected it while I was in business, which has been the whole of my life, and to such a degree that I cannot now read a page—a warning to all Ministers.'

"Sir Edward Bayntun was the successful candidate at Chippenham, and, according to the prejudices of the times, decided the fate of that Ministry.[41] Lord Melcombe said that, in one of the jumbles of a division in the House of Commons, he happened to find himself near to Sir Robert, who told him: 'Young man, I will tell you the history of all your friends as they come in, one by one. Such an one, I saved his brother from being hanged; such another, from starving; such another, I advanced both his sons,' &c., in short, a history of perfidy and ingratitude—the experience of twenty years of power. By all that I have been able to learn Sir Robert Walpole was, out of sight, the ablest man of his time and the most capable. His letters about Wood's halfpence do him great honour. More critical times might have produced an abler man, and there is no doubt that many faults may be found in his manners and character, but comparing him with all the other men who presented themselves as candidates for power, he was the first, and most calculated to carry on the mode of Government adopted by the Hanover family, of 'King' and 'no King' or 'the House of Commons for ever.'

"I ought to be partial to one of his rivals, if not his principal rival—the House of Commons apart—Lord Carteret, whose daughter I afterwards married. He was a fine person, of commanding beauty, the best Greek scholar of the age, overflowing with wit, not so much a diseur de bons-mots like Lord Chesterfield, as a man of true, comprehensive ready wit, which at once saw to the bottom, and whose imagination never failed him, and was joined to great natural elegance. He had a species of oratory more calculated for the Senate than the people. He was a bon-vivant and kept a large, plain, hospitable table. He said that such a man was a stupid man, but an admirable hearer. He said his house was the neutral port of the Finchs, who carried on the conversation by each of them addressing him and never each other.[42] He said, when all his other stories failed him, Ireland was a constant resource. During his stay there as Lord-Lieutenant, there was no end of the ridicule with which it supplied him.[43] Both he and Sir Robert Walpole were above money, particularly the former. Lord Carteret was more careless than extravagant. When his daughter Lady Georgina was going to be married to Mr. Spencer, much against the inclination of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough—with whom he had been in great favour, but had lost it on some political account—he suffered the day to be fixed for signing the settlements and solemnizing the marriage without any thought how he was to pay her fortune. His family, knowing that he had not the money, was under vast uneasiness as the day approached, and, as far as they could venture, reminded him of it, to no purpose till the very day before Sir—Worsley, Lady Carteret's father, came to him and, speaking of the marriage, said he hoped he was prepared with Lady Georgina's fortune, because he knew the Duchess of Marlborough's violence and her aversion to the marriage. He said undoubtedly that it could not be supposed that he was unprepared. 'Because if you are,' says Sir—Worsley, 'I have £5000 at my bankers, with which I can accommodate you.' He said: 'Can you really! If so, I shall be much obliged to you, for, to say the truth, I have not a hundred pounds towards it.' At one time he had an execution in his house, brought by a coal merchant to whom he owed £2000. His coach, &c., was stopped. As soon as it was taken off, he saw a man in the hall whose face he did not recollect. It was the merchant. He went up to him, made a very gracious bow, and the man served him to the day of his death.

"He died at Bath, previous to which he was delirious, and imagined himself in the other world, where, meeting an old Clerk of the House of Commons, he gave him an account of all that had happened in the interval between their deaths, with infinite wit, accuracy, and humour, insomuch that it was a pity it was not taken down. The worst check he met with in his political career was the death of Lord Sunderland, to whom he had entirely devoted himself.[44] The next was the death of Mr. Craggs.[45] His death left Sir Robert Walpole master of the field, at least for some years. If their deaths had not taken place there is no saying what might have happened. Lord Sunderland always had the Court and the Germans with him. The Craggs, father and son, were remarkable men. Old Mr. Craggs used to say it was as rare to meet with men perfectly wicked as to meet with men perfectly honest or perfectly able, but that he was one. Once when he was entrusted with Lord Sunderland's interests while the latter attended the King to Hanover, Walpole and his party got hold of some story very much against Lord Sunderland, which it was impossible to counteract by any common means. Old Craggs sent to Sir Robert Walpole to see him and acknowledged the fact, but told him if the least use was attempted to be made of it, he would that moment go before the Lord Mayor and swear that he, Walpole, had a conversation with the Pretender. Walpole said it was a gross falsehood. Craggs said that might be, but he would swear it, and accompany it with such circumstances as would make it believed, and that Walpole knew he was able and capable of it. And it had the effect: the matter dropped. His son had been ill-educated, but applied himself with wonderful diligence after he came of age to repair his want of education, and employed different people to make collections and abstracts for him upon different subjects. Still, even if both Lord Sunderland and the Craggs had lived, I do not imagine it would have made much difference; it might have occasioned more intrigue both within and without doors and some short struggle, but the Walpoles must have got the better in the end, especially upon the plan which the Court had adopted, perhaps necessarily, of governing by the House of Commons, for which Sir Robert was eminently qualified by the plainness and soundness of his understanding, his steadiness, experience, and country conviviality, and his merits which stood very high among the Whigs at the latter end of the Queen's reign. He was just the opposite of the Duke of Newcastle. He thought for himself, had no such people as Stone, William Murray, &c., to think for him. Instead of Mr. Stone doing his business and he Mr. Stone's, he did nobody's business, nor suffered anybody to do his. At his levée, when he was applied to about revenue matters, he used to say, 'Convince Lowndes, and I have no objection.'[46] He confined the Secretaries of the Treasury to the official business, and did not suffer them ever to meddle with the higher lines, or the Cabinet, or the House of Commons. One of the most bustling members of the House of Commons who was always supposed to have a private pension, had nothing more than the privilege of breakfasting with his valet de chambre. He was of a perfectly even temper, and the most good-natured man living. Once he lost his temper at a Council, but he broke up the Council immediately after, saying no man was fit for business with a ruffled temper. When George I. died, he waited on George II. to acquaint him, who desired him to go to Sir Spencer Compton to congratulate him, and to assure him of his cordial support: taking it for granted that he would be called up to the House of Lords and have one of the White Staffs, which was all that he expected. Sir Spencer Compton, who was a dull heavy man, made no answer, except that he believed that it was usual for a King on his accession to say a few words to the Council, and wished Walpole to consider it. He immediately began to see daylight, and proposed a meeting at Devonshire House, and when there a small committee to draw up what should be said. It quickly returned with a paper approving all that Walpole's administration had done. Lord Bute told me that, apprized of this, he had lying by him, for several years before George II. died, a declaration to put into the present King's hands, who proposed it to the Cabinet, where Mr. Pitt, expressing great admiration of the language, desired leave to object to only two words, 'bloody and expensive' war, in the place of which he proposed inserting, 'just and necessary.' I have seen hundreds of instances where a want of habit of committing your thoughts to paper offhand, or of what is called 'composition' at the Secretary of State's office, has produced the most serious consequences. It opens the door to all commis, whose necessary impudence sticks at nothing, who, once consulted, quickly find the weakness of their principals, and whose modesty suppresses and conceals even from themselves their own powers which are generally far superior. Presence of mind again is a gift with which everybody is not endowed. If Lord Bute had bestowed his time on thinking what measures he should pursue whenever the event happened, instead of the composition of what he should say, he would have abided by the words 'bloody and expensive,' by which means he would have got the wind of Mr. Pitt by fair and noble means, for nothing could be more prepared than the public was, but it has seldom happened that those who come in by the back ever after prefer the great stairs.

"Sir Robert Walpole finding that he had so far succeeded beyond his expectations, next turned his thoughts to the Queen, with whom Sir Spencer Compton had had some difference of opinion and had disappointed about her establishment. The Queen imagined, because the King said so, she had no influence upon him, a common error when ladies are concerned. Sir Robert Walpole promised her everything she desired, and by that means gained her cordial support, which he steadily enjoyed to the day of her death, when his positive influence on the King died also.[47] Lord Melcombe's unsteadiness of temper made him the first to quit his friend, Sir Robert Walpole, and so little did he know of what was going forward that the day before Sir Robert Walpole was declared Minister, he asked somebody whether Walpole was staying to be kicked out. The same thing nearly happened to him at the end of his life. It may be seen by his diary that he was among the last to discover Lord Bute's influence, notwithstanding his access to Leicester House and that he appears to have had nothing else to think about except the politicks of that House.

"Mr. Pulteney, afterwards Earl of Bath, was the House of Commons rival of Sir Robert Walpole. He was by all accounts the greatest House of Commons orator that had ever appeared. He had a sharp cutting wit, both in and out of the House, was an elegant scholar, avaricious in the most supreme degree, as was his father before him (his wife the same), vindictive, torn with little passions, unequal and uneven, sometimes in very high and sometimes in very low spirits, and full of little enmities. Examine his long opposition, and it will be seen he never did any good nor attempted any. His great occupation was to raise the mob in order to turn out Sir Robert Walpole. He not only did no good, but he did a great deal of mischief by dint of clamour and abuse. Never was faction carried such lengths.

"Sir Robert Walpole led a very unhappy life some years before his resignation, as appears by several Diaries which will be published sooner or later. I have heard Alderman Beckford say that he was a young man, and a very active instrument in and out of doors. Among other things he was concerned in bringing the famous Jenkins to the bar of the House of Commons in 1738, to prove the cruelty of the Spaniards on the coast of America. This man pretended to have had his ears cut off by the Spaniards. Alderman Beckford has frequently assured me that if any member had had the fancy to have lifted up his wig, they would have found his ears as whole as their own. At last, the violence of the clamour out of doors, the treachery of Sir Robert's old friends, his loss in the Queen, the King's indifference if not timidity (who thought of nothing but Germany), the activity of young men who were getting up in various lines, and who naturally pushed out the old ones, all put together obliged Sir Robert to resign. The town was taken. All was anarchy and confusion. Places and Pensions, as always happen, lay at the bottom of all that passed, the distribution of which requires no extraordinary capacity, and consequently lets in everybody into consultations, where the greatest fool has as much to say as the wisest man of the party and often more. There was little or no principle anywhere, and very little real grievance to be complained of, except Hanover and the German influence, which nobody, however bold in the height of opposition, cared to touch, when every man thought himself upon the eve of having something, and consequently did not care to make himself personally odious at Court.

"Mr. Pulteney had no talent for administration I believe by nature; but if he had any he must have lost them in the years of the nonsense of a nonsensical opposition. He told me himself that there was no describing the tumult things were in. Opposition is at anyrate an arrière bande without subordination. This one by all accounts was particularly so, and out of the House of Commons Mr. Pulteney had neither dignity nor sense to keep any order. He was timid about taking the Treasury, fearing to be accountable for the Secret Service, and in short had strongly imbibed several notions which I suppose he had begun by imposing on the House of Commons. He was run down, as a man without firmness and conduct always must be. He spoke in the House of Lords afterwards, but without the least success. I asked him once, why more was not done for the public, upon which he flew into a degree of passion, and said there was no comprehending or describing the confusion that prevailed; that he lost his head, and was obliged to go out of town for three or four days to keep his senses, which I well remembering, was upon my guard when I found myself in somewhat of a similar situation in 1782. Mr. Garrick told me that in his long experience of the Play House, he could never judge whether a piece would succeed, except by experiment; that things which cost him the most to get up perpetually failed, and produced him nothing. On the other hand, very silly things from which he expected nothing, produced him a great deal. Lord Chatham told me that he could never be sure of the Publick passions, that all that he could do was to watch, and be the first to follow them.

"One day, some time after the House of Lords was up and the House empty, the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Hardwicke, and Mr. Pulteney were observed to have a long and warm conversation, which ended for that time by Mr. Pulteney's going away in a great passion and the others following him. One of the Clerks soon after perceived a paper torn into several pieces where they had been standing, which he was at the pains of putting together, and found it was the King's letter creating Mr. Pulteney Earl of Bath, to which, however, he was at last reconciled, and other arrangements soon followed more upon the principle of a borough Election than that of a Monarchy limited or unlimited. The terms obtained for the Publick only serve to show how very narrow and short-sighted were the views of all. The Court and the Publick, however, continued to be tossed about for some years[48] till such time as the Pelhams, with the assistance of the old Whig connections, their own rank, considerable property, generosity, and hospitality, and great deference to the public, more than any sort of talent, got the acknowledged ascendant. The King put himself into the hands of Lord Granville,[49] who had full powers for a moment, but the Whigs, at the instigation of the Pelhams, signed a round-robin against him, and the King did not choose to try the experiments which his Grandson is about, nor was that time by any means ripe, I believe, for them, though Lord Granville thought otherwise. Lord Granville stood high both in the eyes of the King and the Publick, and could not have been passed by. He was the opposite of Sir Robert Walpole. He had been bred a Tory, was a great scholar, brilliant, witty, despised the House of Commons, loved society when he shone, could not stoop to cultivate. He was ambitious, but with a mixture of love of ease and of letters. He looked to the crown, and to the brilliancy of his own actions for support.[50] He had served in foreign embassies,[51] when very young, was the favourite of the favourite, Lord Sunderland. He conceived he had slept in the bosom of the King (his own phrase). But he was fundamentally mistaken. The King had not courage or activity or sufficient knowledge of the country or perhaps of mankind to take such a line. Lord Hervey offered to support Lord Granville, with Sir Robert Walpole's friends; Mr. Wilmington the same; but the discordant temper of Lord Bath interfered, whose meanness and revenge always equalled with his irresolution. Lord Granville always said Lord Bath ruined everything; and it was true, for all Sir Robert Walpole's friends hated the Pelhams, and would have supported Lord Granville; but he would not quit Lord Bath, whose head went perpetually wrong.[52] The King also was dismayed by the general combination which took place among his servants against Lord Granville. They all went and resigned. Lord Granville followed them into the closet, and finding from the King's first sentence that he was shook, took his part and retired.[53] It was generally supposed that the King had a decided preference for him, but I have very good reason to believe that it went no further than liking his conversation better than that of the other Ministers, on account of his knowing more of foreign affairs and because having been in Lord Sunderland's school, he was naturally inclined to the Germans.

"During the first twenty years of George II.[54] there were three parties, first, the old Whigs, who entirely composed the administration; secondly, the discontented Whigs, who one after another quarrelled with Sir Robert Walpole and the main body; thirdly, the Tories, to whose character and principles sufficient justice has not been done owing to the never-ceasing outcry of Ministers in confounding them with the Jacobites. In fact they were the landed interest of England who desired to see an honourable, dignified government, conducted with order and due economy and due subordination, in opposition to the Whigs, who courted the mob in the first instance, and in the next the commercial interest.[55] The Tories, being men of property and precluded from all degree of Court favour since Queen Anne's time, lived upon their estates, never went to London but to attend Parliament, and that for a short time, while the Whigs surrounded the Court, governed the two Kingdoms, knew confidentially all that passed at home and abroad, were in the secret of everything, and provided for younger brothers, cousins, nephews and dependants, whose wits were sharpened by their advancement. The Jacobites were, in fact, quite a distinct party, which likewise had its sub-divisions, consisting of men of great rank, great property and great numbers. The Duke of Beaufort was at the head of what was called the 'Remitters,' who remitted annually large sums to the Pretender till the party was finally broken up. All Scotland was enthusiastically devoted to the exiled family, with a very few exceptions. In 1756, going through the country as a traveller, I heard many of them, sober as well as drunk, avow it in the most unreserved manner.

"The House of Commons in those days must have been very different from what it has become in our times, for we see all the distinguished men, Oxford, Bolingbroke and others, seeking to be advanced to the Peerage instead of considering it as a retirement.[56] Sir Robert Walpole raised it not only by talents which were particularly adapted to it, but by using it as one of the best instruments of the false government adopted at the accession of the House of Hanover and persevered in during the reigns of George I. and George II.

"The diary of Lord Melcombe gives not only a very just idea of the manner of carrying on the Government of England during his own time, but of the English Government for a long time to come; in short, till some public event alters the ordinary course of things, allowing for the difference between a quiet Court whose only object was to get through, and such an active and numerous royal family as the present.[57]

"The removal of Lord Granville left the field open for the Pelhams, who had always betrayed Sir Robert Walpole,[58] and had every talent for obtaining Ministry, none for governing the kingdom, except decency, integrity, and Whig principles. Their forte was cunning, plausibility, and cultivation of mankind; they knew all the allures of the Court; they were in the habits of administration; they had been long keeping a party together. The Duke of Newcastle had sacrificed a part of one of the best estates in the kingdom to this object, and was ready to sacrifice the rest. You will find his character perfectly painted in a letter of his own: great ambition—great activity—no talent. Such characters never fail to attract a group of intriguers, common toadies and professional men, who have not the means of opening the door for themselves, and who have not property or influence to support themselves. The one supplies what the other wants; besides the chapter of accidents always does a great deal. The group which surrounded the Duke of Newcastle was Murray, Stone, Drummond and Markham. All these men happened to be bred at Westminster together and kept through life an intimate correspondence, each seeking to make their separate fortunes by whatever means offered, and giving each other a lift when occasion offered. The Duke of Newcastle continuing in power for such a number of years was of course the standard about which they continued to rally. Lord Mansfield was the best and only really good head among them. Mr. Pelham had still more plausible manners than his brother, who rather cajoled than imposed on mankind, passing for a man of less understanding than he was.[59] Mr. Pelham stood first of any description in the House of Commons now Mr. Pulteney was gone, both in point of rank, family, age, office, and above all, for a character of moderation which procured him many friends, and kept off many enemies, who are mostly created by high pretensions and superiority of manner.

"It is difficult enough to conceive how the war of 1741 was blundered through or how the nation submitted to hiring and paying such numbers of foreign troops, and subsidizing so many German Princes, with such an occurrence as the rebellion of 1745. The whole terminated by a Peace,[60] which paid no regard whatever to the commercial grievances which were the subject of so much clamour as to occasion the war and the downfall of Sir Robert Walpole, but agreed to deliver up Maestricht for the glory of the French arms, though it was to be redelivered to the Dutch; that Great Britain was to deliver up Cape Breton and all conquests made in the East and West Indies, and that two noblemen were to be sent as hostages until the restitution was completed; but the right of English subjects to navigate the American seas without being subject to search was left to commissaries, nor were the limits of Acadia ascertained. All the nation gained by Mr. Pulteney's long opposition was a Place Bill, and all they gained by the war was expense and incessant disgrace. Except Dettingen in 1743 there were as many defeats as battles on the continent.[61] The war appears to have been much better carried on for England during the first years by Sir Robert Walpole. What is remarkable is, that Admiral Vernon in opposition declared he could take Portobello. The Ministry employed him and he took it.[62]

"Sir Robert Walpole having been everything for so many years, Mr. Pulteney being nothing and Lord Granville being got rid of, a gap was left which Mr. Pelham, the most inoffensive and patient of men, very naturally filled for some years, long enough to tempt such talents and ambition as existed among the younger part of both Houses, to look forward. He lived just long enough for the purpose, and died just in time to save himself the misery of fighting battles to which he was unequal, and the disgrace of retiring wounded and marked. When he died, his poor brother, the Duke of Newcastle, offered a most inviting object; 'hubble-bubble,' busy and unsteady. He attracted all manner of attack. Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt, the most prominent men of the time, alternately and separately courted, bullied, and frightened him; each offering to act under him, in hopes of governing him and through him the country. They had seen the Spanish war turn out Sir Robert Walpole, and reasoned naturally enough that the Duke of Newcastle, so much his inferior in point of understanding, and every kind of capacity except cunning, could never stand a French war. On this point they were perfectly agreed, and required little or no co-operation, for war naturally makes itself, if there is no trouble taken to prevent it: and this I take to be the real cause of the war of 1755.

"Immediately upon Mr. Pelham's death three parties made their appearance, and there happened to be just as many courts.[63] The Duke of Newcastle's party, of course, remained out of all comparison the most numerous, the most powerful and dignified. They were besides in possession. But Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt had risen to great consideration; the one educated under Sir Robert Walpole and brought up in all the principles of that school, or rather in a still worse, that of Lord Hervey and Mr. Winnington, men remarkable for their profligacy, their debauchery—which was supposed to exceed the common bounds—and their total contempt and disregard of all principle; they were supposed to have given Sir Robert Walpole great trouble before they quitted by their unreasonable pretensions and interested demands. The other, Mr. Pitt, was bred in the Opposition and more particularly in Lord Cobham's House, which was a school which commonly went by the name of Cobham's cubs, consisting of Pitt, Lyttleton and the Grenvilles, to which many men of promising talents attached themselves, such as Mr. Potter, Wilkes, &c.—Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox were just begun to be balanced and played against each other by Mr. Pelham, of whom they both agreed to me in one character, and gave several instances of the cunning and duplicity of the two brothers which I cannot recollect. Mr. Pitt told me that Mr. Pelham used to send for him when they quarrelled, which they perpetually did, to negotiate between them, and went so far as to press him to be Secretary of State, in the room of his brother, without the smallest meaning or sincerity whatever.[64] Upon Mr. Pelham's death the Duke of Newcastle brought Mr. Pitt into Parliament,[65] and there exists a letter of his to this day among the family papers containing some very strong professions of attachment, to which he did not pay much regard afterwards.[66] Mr. Fox was not wanting in his cant likewise, but, finding probably that they could not govern, could not resist the temptation of joining to attack the Castle of Whiggism. The Duke of Newcastle was obliged to collect all the second people he could and to have recourse to the professions, who furnished him with two very remarkable men, in the instances of Lord Hardwicke and Lord Mansfield. Unluckily, however, he not only wanted aid in the House of Commons but in the Cabinet too. He had no resolution nor mind of his own.

"There was an old man in the Secretary of State's office, Mr. Morin, afterwards my Secretary, who was clerk in the Duke of Newcastle's time and appointed to attend at his house. He told me that it was a great pity that the Duke of Newcastle should do Mr. Stone's business and Mr. Stone the Duke of Newcastle's; that he used to attend at Newcastle House till twelve at night doing nothing, and then the Duke would sit down to write despatches and cut out work for him to copy the whole night. The Duke of Newcastle once showed Sir Robert Walpole a despatch. Sir Robert said it was incomparably drawn, and had but one fault, which was that nothing should be wrote at all. Lord Chesterfield used to say of him that he lost an hour in the morning and was all the day looking after it. To show the difference of characters, Mr. Weston was Under-Secretary of Lord Granville, who was in the habit of giving the heads of what he would have wrote to Mr. Weston; and never had occasion to alter one word, except on some occasion a who for a which. It is difficult to say to whom this does most honour; to Lord Granville or to Mr. Weston. But Mr. Weston was no politician, and never went out of his office. Mr. Stone intrigued and caballed. On the other hand Lord Chatham made an intolerable labour of it, as will be seen by his despatches, which will be found to be more of speeches. Besides writing the Duke had a vast dexterity in distributing places, promising and afterwards keeping or breaking his word as he found it convenient. Lord Holland (Mr. Fox) told me that he had occasion to reprove him about his not keeping a promise he had made of some piece of preferment; the Duke of Newcastle acknowledged the truth of what Mr. Fox said, but alleged that he had resigned since, which put an end to all previous promises: he had been out only a few days. He was in truth governed in all matters of judgment by a set of intriguers, the principal of which were Mr. Murray the present Lord Mansfield, Mr. Stone his secretary, Dr. Stone, Dr. Markham, the present Archbishop of York, and some others of the same stamp. Stone, Primate of Ireland, was brother to Mr. Stone, the Under-Secretary, but of a very different character. He affected to be a sort of Cardinal de Retz, deeply read in French memoirs, calculated like his great original to do a great deal of mischief, and no good. Markham was a darker character: a strong-boned Irishman, of six foot height, a bold manly man, liberal in private life, calculated to stick at nothing in publick; a classical scholar rather better than ordinary. They took advantage of his good nature, his love of bustle, &c., and left the detail of business to him, which he mistook, as many men are apt to do, for real business, while they were taken up in adapting all the great interests of the kingdom to their own little interests, and to keeping the power of everything and the government within their own circle.

"Out of this school came the famous or rather infamous Lord George Sackville,[67] who begun a career, every step of which was marked with infamy, by embroiling Ireland, where, in conjunction with Dr. Stone, the Primate, he begun plans, which neither of them had courage or sense to carry through, and laid the foundation of all that has since happened in that country. It is easy to conceive that such a set could not suffer, without a very jealous eye, such men as either Mr. Fox or Mr. Pitt to come about the Duke of Newcastle, nor could they from their situation play them one against the other like Mr. Pelham, while the Duke of Newcastle's inefficiency tempted the ambition of both to aspire at the whole. Mr. Fox besides had found means to obtain the favour and confidence of the Duke of Cumberland. The King's known predilection for His Royal Highness, the Duke's own dignity, force of character, the great appanage voted him by parliament after the battle of Culloden, his connections among the nobility, whom he cultivated with a great spirit of magnificence and condescension, his contempt of money and well-judged generosity upon many occasions, his numberless military dependants (having been so long Commander-in-Chief with powers which knew no limits), made him since the death of the Prince the object of every one's attention: while the greatness of his situation and his known implacability of temper covered his severity, which approached to brutality wherever his power extended, by preventing the poor victims of his passion from complaining or, if they did complain, from being heard.[68] His connections among the nobility covered his bad choice of favourites among the army, and the dignity of his deportment made it difficult for the mass of mankind to comprehend an unfortunate disposition which he had to encourage the lowest tattling, and to rejoice in every little ridicule or slander which could be cast on any officer. Mr. Fox avowed himself, and was avowed, as his Minister; he canvassed members of Parliament in the Duke's name; he promised or threatened in the same, and upon all occasions was ready to interfere and intercede with the Duke, when his passions led him, as they often did, to acts of severity and not unfrequent injustice, upon the suggestions of Lord Albemarle and a string of ill-natured smooth sycophants, who made the conversation of the Duke's table even when commanding, consist of a perpetual persiflage, which in the army went by the name of 'Cherry Cobbin.' This connection of Mr. Fox's, however, could not fail of giving great cause of jealousy to Mr. Pitt, his rival though his ally. Various circumstances inflamed it, and made it easy for another Court, namely that of the Princess Dowager, to break the new alliance.

"The Princess had since the death of the Prince lived in retirement.[69] She was neglected by the King, but her children were left under her management. It seems to have been her fate through life to have been neglected and undervalued, and under cover of that neglect to have compassed all her points and obtained more power than would fall to the lot even of an ambitious person in her situation. The Prince, her husband, is universally allowed to have been the weakest of men. He had, however, a strange mixture of cunning, incessant activity, and habits of such complete hypocrisy as would seem to have required more talent and force of character. His pictures, of which there are many, give a very exact representation of his character. His characteristic was activity, which continues to be that of the family to this hour: a great misfortune where there is not a very good head to conduct it. Happy is the country which has either a Marcus Aurelius, or an indolent Prince with plain common sense. His character cannot fail to be known to posterity from every quarter, for he was easy of access to all descriptions, and thought himself that he had more cunning than anybody; that there was no man, let his ability be what it would, that was a match for him. He was an incessant talker, and equally ready with his pen and tongue. He had great powers of deceit, which only served to multiply his contradictions. He was false to such a degree, that he lost all shame. I have heard the King say he was the best bred man in England, which only served to multiply his contradictions. His sole employment was intrigue either among men or women. In his intercourse with the latter, he fell into the hands of Lady Archibald Hamilton, a little woman not handsome, but of an agreeable face, captivating manners, and the highest, most domineering spirit. She obtained a complete ascendancy over the Prince, to such a degree that he pledged himself by every solemn tie which it was possible to invent to marry her, as soon as her husband Lord Archibald Hamilton died, who, however, though old, lived longer than was convenient to his wife or to the Prince. Circumstances obliged the Prince to take the resolution to marry, and Lady Archibald thought fit to permit it, for without her it could not have proceeded. She had still influence enough to decide in great measure his choice, and thought she had pitched upon one whose figure and understanding made it impossible that she could ever arrive at any influence. Lady Archibald continued after the marriage to rule as before with absolute sway, the Princess appearing to submit to everything. The courtiers of every denomination directed their homage solely to her, without bestowing a single attention elsewhere. Mr. Pitt and the Grenvilles among others, followed this course, which I have heard assigned as the reason of the unconquerable aversion which George Grenville afterwards experienced on the part of the present King.

"The Prince's life may be judged in some degree from the account given of it in Lord Melcombe's Diary, a man who passed his life with great men whom he did not know, and in the midst of affairs which he never comprehended, but recites facts from which others may draw deductions which he never could. The Prince's activity could only be equalled by his childishness and his falsehood. His life was such a tissue of both as could only serve to show that there is nothing which mankind will not put up with where power is lodged. In the year of the Rebellion, when the account of the rebels arriving at Derby threw all London in consternation, when the King, his father, was erecting his standard at Barnet, and his younger brother, the Duke, was come from the army in Flanders and gone to meet the Pretender, he was found playing at blindman's-buff with his pages. Mr. Hamilton, Lady Archibald's brother, has told me that he sent a favourite German page for him in such a hurry, when it was understood that the late Duke of Marlborough had left the Opposition to go to Court, that he was not suffered to sit down to his dinner which was on the table, nor to stay for his coach, but was obliged to go in the page's hackney-coach to attend the Prince, who gave him directions to go instantly in search of the Duke from His Royal Highness; but, in a few minutes' conversation, forgot the business so far as to insist on his first staying a game of cricket with him and the pages, with little bats and balls, in a large room in Norfolk House. His duplicity was such that Lord Melcombe once brought him a country member of parliament, whom he left with the Prince, that he might be brought over to vote with Opposition, and he could not refrain—for his conceit of himself kept pace with his duplicity and his folly with both—pointing at Lord Melcombe, who afterwards crossed the window, saying that he was counted a man of parts, but that he had touched him for £2000 that morning. He had a notion that he could get round anybody by talking nonsense to them, and after playing a dirty trick, or being caught in some infamous lie by such a man as Lord Granville, or any other the ablest men of the time, he would take them into a corner and say he had 'raccommoded all that,' or played 'Firmo Firmo'[70] with them. He once sent for Mr. Fox, assuring him that he had taken every precaution that it should not be known; admitting him at a private door, or by means of a confidential page, while he contrived to have some one to see him go out, that should tell Mr. Pelham immediately, and that it should go to the King. But Mr. Fox was beforehand with him, for he acquainted Mr. Pelham before he went, and went by his advice. The late Lord Lyttleton complained of Lord Granville, whom he had brought about the Prince, deserting him as he called it. When he reproached him for making such use as he had done of the Prince, Lord Granville asked, 'What the devil else he could think he ever went to the Prince for?' The Prince gave Mr. Hamilton a full-length picture of himself, his hand upon a Prayer Book, which was understood to have represented his solemn engagement to marry his sister. Mr. Hamilton has often told me that he despised the man so heartily, he could not endure to hang it up, and it lies ever since in a storeroom. After these engagements with Lady Archibald, he wanted to make an occasional use of Mr. Hamilton's house. Mr. Hamilton refused it. The Prince taking him to task in Carlton House gardens, some strong expressions passed, and the Prince challenged him to fight him in the grove which makes part of the garden; but Lady Archibald took care to be near enough to interpose and save her hero from all harm.

"While all this passed the Princess was left to herself, neglected by her husband, kept down by Lady Archibald, and suffering all the mortifications attendant upon great and insignificant situations in all Courts. Naturally given to dissimulation and intrigue, she had both time and opportunity to improve these important qualifications; she was surrounded with nothing else, and the perpetual mortifications she submitted to pressed and obliged her to exert both. She had an eye which almost turned in the socket, and carried a good deal of insinuation, and if attentively examined a great deal of observation. She had resolution equal to any enterprise, and had a perfect command of temper. Her more than want of beauty, the Prince's dissipated life, and Lady Archibald's established power and high spirit, which made her too proud to indulge suspicion, much more to take those precautions and practise that vigilance without which it is impossible to exist in the humblest Court, gave her full scope to play what game she pleased without observation. She took the part of shutting her eyes on the Prince's attachments, and contented herself with making the most of such moments as were allotted to her by flattering his vanity, which was excessive, entering into all his little tricks to gain popularity, and offering herself a ready instrument in all his plans of falsehood and deception. It may be judged by a single authentick anecdote what an adept she was in these tricks. When the King and the Prince were at declared enmity, and the Prince brought the Princess to lye in at Norfolk House, the étiquette of the Court required that the Queen should pay the Princess a visit of ceremony. The Prince of course attended to hand her in and out. It was winter time. There was no Porte-Cochère. A mob of course assembled to see the Queen come in and out. This did not prevent the Prince, as soon as he had handed the Queen into the carriage, before the door was shut, falling on his knees in the midst of the puddle and imploring the Queen's intercession. The Queen's surprise and embarrass was excessive under all the circumstances, with her and the King's temper considered, heightened with regards, by which two such actors knew how to convey to each other what neither could say in the given situation. The Prince however completely gained his point, of convincing the mob that he was the tenderest and most dutiful of sons, and the King and the Queen the most hard-hearted of parents. It is said to have enraged the Queen beyond all measure.[71] Lady Archibald had put off the Prince's marriage as long as possible, expecting the chapter of accidents in regard to Lord Archibald, till the publick called for it and it became indispensable. Her next resource was to look out for the plainest Princess in all Germany, and from whose character she had least to apprehend. The Princess of Wales—beauty out of the question—turned out the direct opposite of what was expected or intended, and in the end proved an overmatch for Lady Archibald. It was some time however before anything happened to show the power she had imperceptibly gained, nor was it even suspected till Lady Archibald resigned, in consequence of an affront cast on Lord Archibald, contrived, as was supposed, expressly to drive her to such a step, by those who knew her spirit and that it was not made to brook any insult. Part of her family affirm that the Princess had for a long time before intercepted and read her correspondence with the Prince by corrupting the page who was entrusted with it. Another part of her family are satisfied that it was the Prince himself who betrayed her through the natural falsehood and fickleness of his temper, and being grown impatient of her control which knew no management. If fame says true, the Princess did not want for society, and it is supposed had more admirers than one. However that be, she in the end avowed a particular confidence in the Earl of Bute, a nephew of the Duke of Argyle, who had run away with the daughter of Mr. Wortley Montague, and afterwards led a life of singular retirement, with a strange mixture of solitary pomp in it, in the Island of Bute. Coming back to London after some time, he lived in a society fond of the stage and used to act for their own amusement, where he gained some reputation as an actor. This was the first means of his introduction to the Court of Leicester House, where a play was going forward in which a part was allotted him. Thence he came into the Princess's family, and I believe there is no doubt that he found there a kind protectress in Lady Howe, who was Lady of the Bedchamber, where he was supposed to have arrived at last. I believe it is certain that Lady Howe at last forgave him. Though old and ugly she conceived she had a right to his constancy, and was not disposed to yield it very willingly to her mistress. As far as I have heard, this and everything of the sort passed unobserved during the Prince's life, which furnished sufficient matter of observation of itself, and gave abundant time and opportunity to persons of more discretion to do what they liked.

"This was the scene when the Prince unexpectedly died.[72] The Duke of Newcastle, whose ambition equalled his folly, was not content with forty years enjoyment at fifty-five years of age, with the prospect of enjoying it during the remainder of George II.'s reign, and the certainty of either enjoying a great portion of it as long as he should survive, or at least commanding his own terms whenever he should retire; and could not restrain his activity from laying for a monopoly of it in the next reign.[73] Frederick, Prince of Wales, died in 1751: the present King being then twelve years of age. It became necessary to consider of his establishment and more particularly of his education, and that of his brothers, which had been very much neglected during his father's life, who was the weakest Prince that ever came out of Germany. The Duke of Newcastle made a faint attempt to insist upon their removal to St. James's. Lord Granville laughed at the folly of their looking to a future reign, 'when they would be young gentlemen of seventy and upwards.' Mr. Fox and Mr. Pitt were kept from taking a very forward part from the suspicion above mentioned, and I suppose an apprehension that they might be left in the lurch by his unsteady Grace, where all real power at the time rested. The Princess played the part of the widow and the mother with every show of affecting tenderness possible.[74]

. . . . . .

"It appears by Lord Melcombe's diary that everything was kept perfectly quiet for a considerable time after. The Princess acted her part with singular propriety. She lived retired without the least ostentation. The Publick supposed her occupied and attached to her numerous family. The Court was old; the Ministry was old; there was a long generation between them and the heir-apparent and his brothers and sisters. The old King, who had been always violent against his son, sought to prove himself in the right by his tenderness for the Princess. She knew admirably how to improve the appearance if not the reality of this to her advantage. She likewise omitted no proper occasion of showing herself and her sons and daughter in situations which might interest the publick, descending to the excess of affability, which naturally produced a contrast with the manners of the Duke, which were so lofty as to make him generally unpopular.[75] He was supported by the army on the one hand; on the other by Mr. Fox and his party, who were distinguished by their looseness of manners and an avowed disregard of every kind of principle. These circumstances added to other parts of his character and the known predilection of the King, made several people doubt how far his designs might tend, and their suspicions were industriously heightened by the emissaries of Leicester House. The Prince himself was more particularly impressed with them. Thus was laid the foundation of a building, which withstood every attack which the constitution and people of England could devise for thirty years,[76] of so hard a composition as to resist the effects of the greatest misfortunes and the grossest misconduct known in any country except Spain, and not qualified, as when a breach has been made and the assailants entered, it has been but for a moment till they have been expelled again: the Earl of Bute having contrived such a lock to it as a succession of the ablest men have not been able to pick, nor has he ever let the key be so much as seen by which he has held it.[77] His Lordship had the address at this time, to make the Prince feel him his safeguard, his friend, and his comforter, whose counsels were not only to defend him against the Duke and the old Ministry, but against the Whigs in general, whom he represented as having from a levelling republican party degenerated into an aristocratical faction, who kept his grandfather in chains, and were determined to make a mere pageant of the Throne. He had even the dexterity to take the Prince's part occasionally against the Princess herself, being sure of his first hold. All this was greatly facilitated by the Prince's education having at first been totally neglected, and next by both his father's and mother's treatment, which went the length of the most decided contempt of him, if not aversion, setting up his brother the Duke of York's understanding and parts in opposition to his, and undervaluing everything he said or did. Upon the Prince's death the Princess changed her manner, took the turn of caressing her eldest son, and keeping both his brothers and sisters at the greatest distance possible, for the purpose not only of courting her eldest son, but of preventing any connection or habits taking place which might interfere with her and Lord Bute's plan. But she could not get rid of her manner so totally, which had a great want of feeling in it towards all her children, as not to give Lord Bute frequent occasions of interfering, which he improved, so as to make the Prince believe he risked everything for his sake. One of the shrewdest men I ever knew, Sir Robert Wilmot, who was secretary to the Lord Chamberlain, told me that he had occasion to attend the Princess soon after the accession, in Carleton Gardens, when with a look she sent away her children who were with her, and entered into an examination with him about old carpets and furniture which were lying in the storerooms at St. James's.

"It was some time after the Prince's death before Lord Bute appeared. The Princess, as has been mentioned, had a difficult part to act, which she did abroad with great success, towards the old King, his court, and the publick, and even at home she passed her evenings with a very small party of select people of a certain race, more distinguished for their propriety and correctness of conduct than for their wit, and out of any political line, so as to give no offence to any party. Lord Bute's finger appeared as soon as the Princess had succeeded so far as general impressions went, by his advising Her Royal Highness to see Mr. Pitt, which she did at Mr. George Grenville's house in Upper Brook Street privately of an evening. It must be supposed that Mr. Pitt lent a very ready ear to the first beck of the Princess-Dowager. It has been before stated that Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox stood first of any persons in the House of Commons upon Mr. Pelham's death, with the reason of their present junction against the Duke of Newcastle,[78] a natural one, on account of his character—a most unnatural one in every other respect. Nothing could be more dissimilar than their characters, talents, habits, education; and though they both had views of arriving at the first place in Ministry, yet they differed totally in the means and road which was to lead to it.

"Mr. Pitt was a younger brother of no great family, as I believe the founder of it was Governor Pitt his grandfather, commonly known by the name of Diamond Pitt, on account of a vast large diamond which he obtained I know not how in the East Indies. I have never had an opportunity of inquiring much about his family or origin; but if they were not remarkable for their rank or property, they must have been so for their talents. It is no scandal to say there was a great degree of madness in the family; one sister is now confined, another described to be so on account of a most profligate life which she led, which prevented her being admitted into any company, and I believe there was a third in the style of the second. His sister, Miss Anne Pitt, was a very uncommon woman of great insinuation, and great force of character. She got into the intimacy of the Duchess of Bedford, Lady Bute and other great families; but it lasted only for a time, and I believe ended ill. At this time she and her brother kept house together. It may be supposed that such a union could not last long. One day she heard such an unusual number of raps at the door that she rung her bell, and could not help remarking that her brother had an unusual number of visitors. The servant replied that his master went out early, and had fixed up a notice that the house was to let, which made a number of people call to look at it. The elder brother was not confined, but obliged to lead a very retired life, first in England, and afterwards to live abroad in very bad circumstances, though he inherited a very considerable fortune and a considerable parliamentary interest, part of which has descended and is now enjoyed by his son, Lord Camelford.[79] He dissipated a great deal, and immersed himself in irretrievable distress by bad projects, and by bad economy unaccompanied with generosity or dignity, so as not to leave him a single friend in his distress. In 1756 I accidentally came across this elder brother at Utrecht, who struck me as such a remarkable man that I stopped on purpose, and sat up all night with him. He abounded in anecdote, having been attached to and in great favour with the Prince of Wales to the time of his death. His temper resembled his brother's, but there was no bounds to his violence. He branded his brother with the most abusive epithets, and told many particulars of him which I have forgot. Upon inquiry afterwards his brother did much the same by him, so that one or other must have been ——. There is a Spanish proverb that where there happens to be a small crack in the brain a great deal of light often comes in. He had a very considerable Parliamentary interest, but the violence of his temper got the better of him, and misled him upon almost all occasions. Lord Chatham's temper was sincerely violent, but he could control it.[80] Mr. William Pitt was by all accounts a very singular character from the time he went to Eton, where he was distinguished, and must have had a very early turn of observation by his telling me, that his reason for preferring private to publick education was, that he scarce observed a boy who was not cowed for life at Eton; that a publick school might suit a boy of a turbulent forward disposition, but would not do where there was any gentleness. He came into the world, as I have said, under the protection of Lord Cobham. Lord Cobham's character can be best described by those who knew him; but I have always understood him to have been an officer bred in the Queen's time, licentious, factious, and no speaker, but who passed his whole time in clapping young men upon the back, keeping house with a good economy, and saying things at his table which nobody else would say in a private room, with a good degree of shrewdness however in his conversation as well as his conduct.

"Mr. Pitt's setting out in the army and being turned out by Sir Robert Walpole is very well known.[81] He told me that Sir Robert offered him the troop which was afterwards given to General Con way, so that if he had continued in the army he would have been immediately above him. He likewise told me that during the time he was Cornet of Horse there was not a military book which he did not read through. It may be easily conceived what progress an ardent mind with a dash of madness and certainly a most extraordinary imagination, must have made, steadily directing his mind and time from his earliest youth, as Mr. Wilkes says, 'to the studying of words and rounding of sentences,' for he was totus in hoc, not appearing to have applied to any other branch of science whatever. It is remarkable that neither he nor Lord Granville could write a common letter well. Of his imagination he used to say himself that it was so strong that most things returned to him with stronger force the second time than the first. He was so attentive to forming his own taste, that he would not look at a bad print if he could avoid it, wishing not to hazard his eye for a moment. He either sacrificed or kept down every other passion with a view to forward his ambition. One particular is sufficient to show the extraordinary command he must have had over himself from his setting out. In 1754, or thereabouts, Sir George Lyttleton quitted the above-mentioned set, and was gained by Lord Hardwicke to join the Duke of Newcastle, when he made a figure very different from what he had made, and very inferior to what could be expected of him. Mr. Pitt was the only one who was not in the least surprised, when it was discovered, for the first time, that Mr. Pitt had enjoyed his exclusive confidence for a number of years, and had governed his conduct, with a perfect knowledge of the weakness of his character, without disclosing it, or suffering his particular intimacy to be discovered, while it was supposed there was no secret amongst the whole set, but that everything was shared in common.[82] Lord Lyttleton was a fine poet, a good scholar, a dull historian, an amiable man, but a miserable politician. He was the most absent creature living. Among a thousand good qualities he had great filial piety, and made a necessity of informing his father in the country of the most secret purposes of his party. They had formed, it seems, a project of opposition before Mr. Pelham's death; it was of the utmost importance to keep it secret; Lord Lyttleton would not trust his letter giving an account of it to the post, but desired a trusty friend going into the country to call upon him for it, but when he did so gave him a trifling letter which he had written at the same time, and afterwards sent the letter intended for his father to the post without a direction. It was opened there, of course, as all such letters necessarily are. The office immediately sent it to Mr. Pelham; Mr. Pelham, after some consideration, desired Mr. Nugent, a common friend of his and Sir G. Lyttleton's, to give it to him, explaining exactly how the matter happened. Mr. Nugent opened the matter with as much delicacy as he could, but shunned Sir George most excessively, whose chief complaint in the first moments of his distraction was, that William Pitt, with his unreasonable temper, would call it absence, and repeatedly asked Mr. Nugent, as a reasonable man, whether he saw any absence in it? It was the fashion to say that Mr. Pitt was violent, impetuous, romantick, a despiser of money, intrigue, and patronage, ignorant of the characters of men, and one who disregarded consequences. Nothing could be less just than the whole of this, which may be judged by the leading features of his life, without relying on any private testimony. He certainly was above avarice, but as to everything else, he only repressed his desires and acted; he was naturally ostentatious to a degree of ridicule; profuse in his house and family beyond what any degree of prudence could warrant. His marriage certainly had no sentiment in it. The transaction at the time of his resignation[83] does not carry with it an absolute indifference as to money or other advantages, nor did there appear in any of his subsequent negotiations, in or out of power, that he went beyond what was necessary to satisfy the people at the time, or to secure his wished for situation. He acted the part so well that everybody was persuaded that he had a perfect contempt of both patronage and money, though those that lived to see him near, after George the Second's death, and when it suited George III. to make him nominal Minister in 1766, saw plainly the contrary; which in fact gave George III. and Lord Bute the advantage over him in every negotiation during the whole of George III.'s eventful reign. In truth, it was his favourite maxim that a little new went a great way. He depended on taking quick turns, which was his forte: example, Wilkes. He did not cultivate men because he felt it an incumbrance, and thought that he could act to more advantage without the incumbrance of a party. He told me himself in 1767, that the world were much mistaken in thinking that he did not like patronage, for he was but a little man in 1755, and was obliged to act the part he did; and he proved very sufficiently that he did, by catching at everything that dropped in almost every department, and as to caution, there is no describing the pains and consideration which he gave to the minutest action. It would not be believed how much time he took to compose the most trifling note. One time when he had a dispute with Sir Fletcher Norton in the House of Commons, he told me with some warmth that such an expression which he had used in his speeches could not be excepted against, for he had tried it upon paper three times before he determined to use it. He had had a fine voice and very happy articulation. He passed his time studying words and expressions, always with a view to throw the responsibility of every measure upon some other, while he held a high pompous unmeaning language. Yet good as his parts were, he was afraid to trust to them, and was a complete artificial character. It gave him great advantages to serve a turn, by enabling him to change like lightning from one set of principles to another, for which to do him justice, he had an extraordinary quick eye, which enabled him to judge mankind en masse, what would do and not do: by nature insolent and overbearing, at the same time so versatile that he could bend to anything. What took much from his character was that he was always acting, always made up, and never natural, in a perpetual state of exertion, incapable of friendship, or of any act which tended to it, and constantly upon the watch, and never unbent. He told me that, independent of the consideration of his health and circumstances, he should for reasons of policy have always lived as he did a few miles out of town. I was in the most intimate political habits with him for ten years, the time that I was Secretary of State included, he Minister, and necessarily was with him at all hours in town and country, without drinking a glass of water in his house or company, or five minutes' conversation out of the way of business. I went to see him afterwards in Somersetshire, where I fell into more familiar habits with him, which continued and confirmed me in all that I have said. He was tall in his person, and as genteel as a martyr to the gout could be, with the eye of a hawk,[84] a little head, thin face, long aquiline nose, and perfectly erect. He was very well bred, and preserved all the manners of the vieille cour, with a degree of pedantry however in his conversation, especially when he affected levity. I never found him when I have gone to him, which was always by appointment, with so much as a book before him, but always sitting alone in a drawing-room waiting the hour of appointment, and in the country with his hat and stick in his hand.

"It was a long time before I could learn from Mr. Pitt his opinion of Mr. Fox's private character. He then told me that he thought him the blackest man that ever lived; that he was a great dealer in anonymous letters to set people at variance with each other, and suggest to each such opinions as he thought convenient; that he carried it so far, that to his latter end, whenever he went about purchasing an estate, he had recourse to methods of undervaluing it, and deterring others from bidding for it; that he dealt much also in newspaper abuse, though he was continually complaining and crying about it; that he educated his children without the least regard to morality, and with such extravagant vulgar indulgence, that the great change which has taken place among our youth has been dated from the time of his son's going to Eton. His letters to his sons still exist in the family, inciting them to extravagance.

"It will easily be imagined that, considering their respective characters, the union between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Fox could not be very sincere, especially as Mr. Fox had a sort of precedence of him, by going into. the King as Secretary at War, and for the moment got himself much looked up to by means of the Duke of Cumberland, and a variety of connections, which he was daily enlisting, and more particularly by the opposition which he made to the Marriage Bill proposed by Lord Hardwicke.[85] Though he did not succeed against it, he gained himself great reputation, and some degree of popularity by the spirit and wit with which he opposed and attacked Lord Hardwicke. Finally, he accepted the seals in 1755.

"Such were the dramatis personæ previous to the war, which commenced by Captain Howe's capture of two French men-of-war in that year.

"The war was contrived by the Duke of Cumberland underhand. Mr. Fox was his instrument. Mr. Pitt was not sorry for it as things stood. The Duke of Newcastle was frightened, bullied, and betrayed into it. The consequence of this situation was that no plan was laid, no preparations whatever thought of.

"The Duke of Newcastle in Council proposed seizing the French men-of-war. Lord Granville laughed at that, and was the cause of seizing the merchant-men upon the principle of common sense, 'If you hit, hit hard,' which measure, suggested by Lord Granville who could not be considered as more than a looker-on in Council, saved us from Ruin.

"The French had no idea of war. I have the best authority for being certain that it was not wished or expected by the French. The Court, the nobility, the people all disliked it. I had several long conversations with Cardinal Bernis about it at Rome in 1771, since it has become matter of history, and with various other persons intimately informed of what passed at that time in both countries. M. de Mirepoix, their Ambassador, was completely deceived, perhaps not intentionally, by the Duke of Newcastle. Lord Albemarle died in the crisis; his corpse was insulted upon account of his debts, or on account of his dying scandalously indebted with nothing to pay.[86]

"The French Ministry and Court were in confusion, the King determined to have no Prime Minister, indifferent as to every thing else which fell under the influence of Madame de Pompadour. She brought Cardinal Bernis forward, whom the King found with her in such a manner as to alarm the Abbé for his person, instead of which he made him Minister. The Cardinal told me at Rome in 1771, that the cabals ran so high against him at Court that the only struggle there was how to give the most certain intelligence to England of the design against Minorca,[87] on purpose that it might fail, which carried them so far that he told me he was at last persuaded that we must believe it was given out so publickly on purpose to deceive.

"With us the war set out under the conduct of the Duke of Cumberland. He sent Braddock, a brave but blundering officer of the Guards to North America. Upon his defeat,[88] Lord Loudon, another of the Duke's school, was appointed to succeed him, but he was a mere pen-and-ink man. He took the command himself in Germany. He had never showed himself an able officer, and was now become very inefficient on account of his great corpulency added to his short sight. He had no able persons about him, and lost the Battle of Hastenbeck[89] from trusting to the report of an Hanoverian Quartermaster-General, who assured him that a wood upon his right was not penetrable. It happened to be the gentleman's own wood, and he did not like to have it cut. The Duke's unwieldiness and consequent inactivity prevented his examining it. How many such instances occur in all business, particularly war. No eyes can be trusted. The French came upon that side, but still all might have been saved if the Duke had had confidence in himself. Both sides thought themselves beat for a considerable time, but the French recovered their senses first.[90] Wonderful upon what slight matters great events, and particularly battles turn, and how things often conduct themselves, if men are not frightened and do not run away. At the Battle of Dettingen in the preceding war, there literally was no Commander. Lord Stair had resigned two days before; the army did not know whom to obey. The King however, who had no sense but courage, marched with his son the Duke, which gave a spirit to the whole army. Lord Stair assumed the command of his own accord seeing the confusion, and the battle was gained. Count La Lippe who was present, described to me the situation. Nothing could be more ridiculous than the scene at head-quarters, the King, his Ministers, Lord Granville, the Generals, none understanding each other.

"The fleet under Admiral Byng was beat. The Admiral shot very unjustly, as everybody agreed owing entirely to Lord Hardwicke, to turn the unpopularity from his son-in-law, Lord Anson. It is not surprising that a Ministry composed like that which succeeded should soon give way. The Duke of Newcastle and all the Whig families—the Princess of Wales and the heir-apparent—Mr. Pitt with the city and the cry of the people—all against them, the King old and timid and incapable of preference during his whole life.[91] Besides, Mr. Fox had neither courage nor elevation of mind; he had sunk under the first panick which prevailed very generally on the loss of Minorca, and thought and called Mr. Pitt a madman for taking the Government, which he was persuaded for a long time would burst for want of success in his hands.[92] Mr. Pitt, in the course of the negotiation which preceded his return to Ministry took a step which surprised everybody. He was apprehensive that Lord Hardwicke and the Duke of Newcastle misrepresented what he said in the Closet, which made him take the sudden resolution, after one of his conferences, to take the part of driving directly to Lady Yarmouth and telling her all that passed, requesting that she would tell the King the truth. This ripened the negociation and laid the foundation of cordial support in an important quarter, which he ever after cultivated by every means possible, and went so far as to pronounce a publick eulogium upon the virtues of the Countess of Yarmouth in the House of Commons. In the first of these changes Mr. Pitt told me that the King took a resolution to do nothing. When the Ministers went into him he would neither say Yes or No nor sign anything. He said nobody could compel him, and that he did not like them, and this flagrante bello. It lasted a week till Mr. Pitt went to Lady Yarmouth and told her it would not do, that they must resign: and she brought all about. The whole of this was so much out of his generally received character that the old courtiers were confounded with being outdone at their own game, and Lord Bute often told me that he could never have conceived Pitt would have condescended to so much meanness, but Lord Bute with the mass of the people were dupes to the imposture of Mr. Pitt's character. There was nothing to which he would not stoop to gain his point. He knew the value of condescension, and reserved himself for the moment when he was almost certain of gaining his point by it: till then he pranced and vapoured. He likewise mixed into his conduct strict honour in details, which I have often observed deceive many men in great affairs, as the multitude have no great compass, and provided a man does not play false in the common intercourse of life, and is punctual in common dealing, if he be a cunning dextrous man with loose views, he will escape detection in large views by sacrificing lesser. The Duke of Newcastle was at bottom an honester man, but he lost the reputation of one by good nature and want of resolution in conducting the common patronage of the Treasury. Mr. Pitt likewise gained consideration by his justness and fairness towards the Duke of Cumberland in regard to the Convention of Closterseven.[93] The King was displeased with his conduct, alleged that he had not authority to conclude it, and under this impression referred it to a Cabinet, where the Duke of Newcastle and his friends took the part most likely to recommend them at Court, when Mr. Pitt on the contrary, declared he thought the Duke justified by his instructions, at the same time that he differed from the policy of the instructions, and I believe voted for putting the army again into motion under the command of the Prince of Brunswick. This gained him considerable reputation, for it was well known that he was fundamentally adverse to the Duke of Cumberland.

"Thus the war produced a strong Council and a strong Government. The Cabinet Council was composed of the Duke of Newcastle, Mr. Pitt Secretary of State, Lord Keeper Henley, Lord Hardwicke, Lord Mansfield, Lord Granville, Lord Holdernesse, Lord Anson, and Lord Ligonier.[94] There were no party politicks and consequently no difference of opinion. I have heard Lord Chatham say they were the most agreeable conversations he ever experienced. The Duke of Newcastle, a very good-humoured man, was abundantly content with the whole patronage being left to him, in consequence of which he enjoyed full levees, promised and broke his word, cajoled and flattered all mankind, and, like the fly upon the chariot-wheel, imagined that he carried on the Government. Lord Keeper Henley was kept down by Lord Harwicke, whose great ambition was to see his son Charles Yorke Chancellor. He inspired his son with the same passion who, after his death, abandoned all his friends to accomplish it, and cut his throat the night he had accepted.[95] Lord Hardwicke again was kept in order by Lord Granville's wit, who took advantage of the meeting of the balance of all parties to pay off old scores, and to return all that he owed to the Pelhams and the Yorkes. He had a rooted aversion to Lord Hardwicke and to all his family, I don't precisely know for what reason; but he got the secret of cowing Lord Hardwicke, whose pretensions to classical learning gave Lord Granville, who really was a very fine classical scholar, a great opportunity. To this was added his knowledge of civil law, in which Lord Hardwicke was deficient, and above all his wit, but whatever way he got the key, he used it on all occasions unmercifully. In one of the shortlived administrations at the commencement of the war, Lord Granville, who had generally dined, turned round to say, 'I am thinking that all over Europe they are waiting our determination and canvassing our characters. The Duke of Newcastle, they'll say, is a man of great fortune, who has spent a great deal of it in support of the present family; Fox, they'll say, is an impudent fellow who has fought his way here through the House of Commons; as for me they know me throughout Europe, they know my talents and my character, but I am thinking they will all be asking, Qui est ce —— de Chancelier? How came he there?'

"Lord Mansfield was a very able advocate, but of no kind of force or elevation, and cowed by Mr. Pitt in the House of Commons, with the imputation of early Jacobitism constantly hanging round his neck, besides belonging to the Duke of Newcastle. I have heard from different members of the Cabinet, that he never opened his lips during that administration. He was the most diligent of human beings. It is a great mistake to suppose that these remarkable men are not diligent. I have known many, and never knew an instance to the contrary. I remember I had some business with him at my first setting out, and could not help expressing to him my astonishment at his extent of reading. He said he knew the Τόποι pretty well. William Murray was sixteen years of age when he came out of Scotland, and spoke such broad Scotch that he stands entered in the University Books at Oxford as born at Bath, the Vice-Chancellor mistaking Bath for Perth. He certainly was by nature a very eminent man, bred like all the great families of Scotland an intriguing aristocrat, poor and indefatigable, very friendly and very timid. He contrived, like several of the Scotch, Lord Loughborough, &c., to get rid of his brogue, but always spoke in a feigned voice like Leoni the Jew singer. His eloquence was of an argumentative metaphysical cast, and his great art always appeared to me to be to watch his opportunity to introduce a proposition unperceived, when his cause was ever so bad, afterwards found a true argument upon it, of which nobody could be more capable, and then give way to his imagination in which he was by no means wanting, nor in scholarship, particularly classical learning, thanks to Westminster. I have seen a speech of his before the Cabinet Council, when Lord Ravensworth brought an accusation against him of having drunk the Pretender's health at the house of one Fawcett. The speech exists, though not printed. It was shown me by Lord Sydney. I remember against one of the articles of accusation, viz. that, when Solicitor-General prosecuting the rebels of 1745, he never applied the epithet Rebels, nor any other harsh epithet against them, his reply was that he had the happiness to serve a most gracious sovereign, to whom he would ill-pay his Court if he was to load the unfortunate victims to mistaken opinions with harsh and cruel epithets; that if he had lived in the time he would not for all Lord Coke's favour, wealth and power, have left such a blot upon his memory as the abuse with which he loaded Sir Walter Raleigh. I alluded to this in the House of Lords when he loaded the Americans with every reproach that the English language could invent. The speech certainly was sent me underhand by a friend of Lord Mansfield for the purpose.[96]

"Like the generality of Scotch, Lord Mansfield had no regard to truth whatever.[97] Sir Thomas Clerk, Master of the Rolls, said to Sir Eardley Wilmot, 'You and I have lived long in the world, and of course have met with a great many liars, but did you ever know such a liar as Will. Murray, whom we have seen capable of lying before twelve people, every one of whom he knows knows also that he lies.' But the worst part of his character as a judge was what Mr. Pitt called inventing law, and no fond parent could be more attached to his offspring than he was to. such inventions. He had a most indecent habit of attending the appeals against his own decrees in the House of Lords. Lord Bathurst, when Chancellor,[98] was so overawed by Lord Mansfield's manner that he literally, as Speaker, decided a cause against a decree of his own, when, upon counting the house some time after, there was a majority of one against Lord Mansfield's opinion, but it was too late. Lord Bathurst was flustered, and, in his confusion, gave it against. At the same time nobody was enough interested to call for a division. Mr. Hume told me that, after one of his Sunday evening circles, Lord Mansfield was boasting to him, which he was apt to do, of the quantity of business which he went through. Mr. Hume said, 'How was it possible!' Lord Mansfield said he would tell him his secret. When he went to the sittings at the Council or any of the other Courts he called for a list of the causes, and he could easily distinguish which would draw attention, and those he studied as well as he could or as his time permitted; the others he left to chance or off-hand opinions. Lord Camden always said that he was sure Lord Mansfield never decided a cause right or wrong from a pure motive all his life.

"Lord Holdernesse supported himself, as many a man has done before him and since, by his insignificance.

"Lord Ligonier was an old woman supported by the routine of office, and having no opinion of his own.

"Lord Anson the same; he had married Lord Hardwicke's daughter. Lord Hardwicke with great deliberation and sanctity sacrificed Admiral Byng to be shot, contrary to every rule of justice and to the best naval opinions, to stem the public clamour and save his son-in-law.

"Such was the Cabinet which had to carry through the war, under the direction of Mr. Pitt, who did it by the following means: first, by leaving the Duke of Newcastle the undisturbed enjoyment of the whole patronage of the Crown, the only idea he had of power; secondly, by indulging Mr. Fox's love of money, which took full possession of him as soon as Mr. Pitt had shut the door on his ambition;[99] and, thirdly (having, by this time, secured the public confidence, and got rid of his rivals by one means or another), by applying himself to gain the Court through the surest channel, Lady Yarmouth, and determining to go every length to please the King in his ruling passion and that of the Hanover family, viz. German measures and personal avarice. He unsaid everything with which he had made the House of Commons and the publick echo in order to get into power. The King told him that confidence was a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom,[100] yet, by perseverance, the success of his measures, and an assiduous cultivation of Lady Yarmouth, he made his ground so good that, if George the Second had lived longer, he would have become sole minister, and have had the sole power.

"Mr. Fox was content all this time to sit in the dark, making money by applying the publick moneys in his hands to various uses, particularly stock-jobbing, and devoting his interest and arts to get as large a balance as possible to be left on his hands on account of the different services, and filling up the rest of his time with writing anonymous letters and making whatever mischief he could venture without attracting punishment. Mr. Pitt had greatness of mind to look down upon this and a great deal more, for the sake of publick union.

"By length of time, but chiefly by the incapacity and imbecility of the House of Stuart, the Jacobites were now breathing their last gasp. Mr. Pitt began to restore them to military confidence in the instance of the Scotch Highlanders; they were eminently qualified, and proved a considerable resource towards carrying on the war by their numbers. Admiral Boscawen used to say that the Scotch were 'good soles' but 'bad upper leather.' Mr. Pitt likewise brought forward the most producible into administration, and about the Court as grooms, &c.; not many, for it is wonderful how those that are long out of employment or business of any kind, fall off in talent and knowledge of mankind.

"It became necessary for me to take some resolution for myself; home detestable; no prospect of a decent allowance to go abroad, neither happiness nor quiet.[101] The war broke out; I determined upon going into the army; luckily, my father, by the advice of Mr. Fox, placed me in the 20th Regiment, where I came under General Wolfe. The brilliancy of his conduct as an officer, his figure, his address, the circumstances of the times, his being taken up by Mr. Pitt, his victory at Quebec, his death, will give him a considerable place in history. He was handsome in his person, thin, tall, well-made, with blue eyes, which rather marked life than penetration. He asked me what allowance my father gave me, and, upon finding it did not exceed £600 a year, he told me I must borrow, and not touch my pay, but give it among distressed officers as occasion offered. I told him my father set the Duke of Richmond as an example before me. He said I should be the most unpopular man in England if I attempted to imitate him, that he had a line under his forehead, which marked neither greatness nor goodness, and he was a miser. He said this from no resentment, for he was well with the Duke of Richmond, who always looked up to him.

"General Wolfe had had no education. He was the son of a dull Irishman, who was Colonel of the Guards, and saved Sir Robert Walpole's life, or at least Sir Robert thought so, in some of the riots about the House of Commons in the last years of his Ministry. Whether he was upon duty or no, I do not know. Sir Robert offered him anything; he considered, and desired leave to ride through the park; Sir Robert desired him to consider again, and proposed an Irish peerage to him, but he still kept to his first request. He carried Colonel Wolfe with him when a boy to Flanders, which took him out of the way of all school learning. He was so sensible of this defect that when a Captain and the regiment was quartered at Glasgow, he learned Latin, and read with a Scotch professor there; he learned to dance afterwards at Paris; he was always reading Pope's Homer, Marcus Aurelius, &c., and I must do him the justice to say that the trouble he took about me was more from principle and elevation of mind than any particular liking; he behaved very nobly, forgave and preferred his enemies, and bore their ingratitude afterwards with great manliness; he did not regard money; he was animated and amiable to a great degree in his conversation; he criticised himself very freely, and laid bare his failings; he used to harangue the regiment with good success, and had great arts of" popularity. He told me his mother was amiable, but I have not understood since that she was remarkable for her understanding.

"Colonel Barré wrote his letter from Quebec, where he was wore down by the factions and want of discipline among our own troops, promoted by General Murray and Lord Townshend, upon no plan but madness in the last and mischief and malignity in the first.[102]

"His principal talent was forming of troops. His manners were calculated for it. I was much beholden to him. He made me read not only military books, but philosophy; he gave me liberal notions of every kind; he unprejudiced my mind; he advised me in everything, so particularly as to make me lists of company to ask to supper, which, with other such friendly hints, made me popular in the regiment and gained me friends who never quitted me, and he connected me with all the military men of character then coming forward, among others General Clerke, the planner of the expedition against Rochefort, with whom I fell into a most intimate connection, especially after General Wolfe's departure to Louisburg, whither I could not obtain leave to attend him.

"Among the first measures Mr. Pitt set forward, besides the renewal of the German war, was the expedition against Rochefort. It was suggested by General Clerke. The grounds and conduct of it are fully and I believe fairly discussed in the pamphlets of the time, and the trials which followed it. I remember nothing which will not be to be found in those proceedings. I was very young and inexperienced of my age. The imbecility of both generals and admirals was notorious. The best proof of the goodness of General Clerke's intelligence is that Rochefort twenty years after was in the same situation he then described it. I was in Lord Howe's ship, the Magnanime, which was the leading ship; and so bad was our naval intelligence that we imagined that but two ships could sail through the Pertuis d'Ambroche abreast, without being sunk with the fire from both sides—so contrary to the truth, that almost all the whole fleet could have passed, nor did a man or a ship suffer. Mr. Potter wrote the best pamphlet against the generals. The events of 1757 are well summed up in the Annual Register for 1758. Captain Speak however is not mentioned in the account of what passed in the East Indies, who contributed most essentially to our success, and distinguished himself under very particular circumstances.

"In 1758 the French made Marshal Belleisle Secretary of War; a sort of military pedant, immersed in details and passionately fond of all new projects and projectors. Their army in Germany was first commanded by Mareschal d'Estries, a sensible, reasonable man, but I believe diffident as a general and of no great compass.[103] Marshal Richelieu was a mere courtier, brave and nothing else, attached to the old French style, enemy of the modern discipline, a plunderer, no knowledge of war, valued himself upon his ignorance, but gave full scope in other respects to any who showed talents in his army, declaring he knew enough, of course to make the merit always his own. Comte de Clermont, who commanded this year at Crevelt, I know nothing of. Marshal Contades now came forward; the fourth commander.

"The expedition against the coast of France was suggested by Prince Ferdinand upon a general idea. Mr. Pitt adopted it without any particular plan, intelligence, or instruction whatever, as may be seen by the instructions published at the end of General Bligh's Defence, which contained the whole of what was suggested by Ministry. Mr. Pitt's great aim was to draw them up so as to throw all the blame in case of failure on the military commanders. He was accustomed to deliver them amid a conversation, all oratory and no substance, tending to encourage the operation and promising supplies, in which respect he never failed, but taking care to commit himself as little as possible further in case of the worst and in fact had no information to give, having no intelligence and never having applied his mind to such subjects. All the rest of the Cabinet were against it. The Court, who thought of nothing but Germany, wished all the troops there. The Duke of Newcastle and his friends, on that account as well as old Continental principles and secret jealousy and enmity to Pitt, were strong against it. The Duke of Cumberland the same, for very much the same reasons. Lord Granville, a species of neutral man, was in opinion against it. The Army necessarily followed the Court and the ton of the times. Besides an army individually never likes fighting, and when there is a loophole for it very quickly adopts the opinion collectively. The Duke of Cumberland, under whom the army had been formed and made, was not an officer himself, and had no talents to form any, nor liberality of mind to take them up when they presented themselves. He made only sergeants and corporals, who were dreadfully frightened when they came to think of a chief command. There were interspersed in the army a few men of high rank or House of Commons talents. But it is not reasonable to expect much talent among men of the first description; and the second had applied their minds to a very different course, and had continued in the army from the accident of early destination as younger brothers, before better prospects opened to them, and kept in it, finding the advantages and patronage of it very great, but always considered it as a secondary pursuit. It couJd not be expected that any of these, much approved expeditions against the coast of France. Under the above circumstances however the Duke of Marlborough, a good-natured man, tired of being happy at home, took it into his head to serve, with no qualification for it whatever except personal courage and high rank. He was easily prevailed upon. It stood so much in Lord George Sackville's way, that he could not well decline, having already done so the year before, and he trusted to the Duke of Marlborough and his own contrivances that he would wriggle through it. The rest followed like black cattle. From the first moment of the army's landing, Lord George Sackville's cowardice was notorious to the whole army—and, what was worse, to himself. I saw myself, though very young, that he did not know how to go about anything, and that he had no confidence whatever in himself, and nothing but insignificant people about him. The consequence was the expedition failed: the power of everything being lodged with him, and the talents too, such as they were, for I saw none anywhere else.

"The army were glad to be rid of a troublesome service, and for that as well as many other reasons, said nothing. The Court and the power of Ministry which were for Continental operations in preference to expeditions, gained fresh strength. It became now the interest of the Duke of Marlborough, and of Lord George Sackville still more immediately, to cry down all expeditions, at least on the coast of France, and Prince Ferdinand, who had originally recommended them, when the question came to be between his having the troops with him or their being so employed, did not hesitate which to choose.

"The sensible conduct would have been for Prince Ferdinand, when he recommended the measure to have recommended an officer too, who had seen service, and was capable of planning more or less of a campaign; or for Mr. Pitt never to have set them forward without such a man at setting out, and it showed great incapacity in the latter to trust Lord Ligonier, the nominal commander-in-chief, to find an officer as he would a shoemaker, as if one was to be found in every street. A very little army under a capable officer may perform wonders, whereas a great army under an ordinary man is the most powerless thing in nature, and more likely to profit than hurt an enemy by the profusion which always attends it. I have an undoubted certainty that a great deal might have been done upon the coast of France by a capable man from the joint testimony of every French officer, minister or inhabitant, for I have travelled over the very country since. St. Maloes would have surrendered upon the smallest effort, and of itself would have made a strong point d'appui. But still larger holds might have been taken, and whole provinces possessed and defended with a small force. Brest itself might have been taken as I am able to prove; a great part of the troops must have been recalled from Germany; Paris might easily have been brought to feel the pannick; and the Court inquiéted, which would have brought about a peace sooner than anything else. But we were totally ignorant of the French coast as well as of the Fort ou Foible of the country; and Mr. Pitt knew no more than other people. The first thing therefore which any Minister should do in case of an invasion or of any projected attack is to find great and able officers, if they are not in the country to purchase them at any price, in whatever part of Europe they are to be had—as France did with Marshal Saxe; Portugal with Comte la Lippe; we ourselves with regard to Prince Ferdinand. What would have been done in these three instances if it had not been for these three men? The King of Prussia even was not above buying Marshal Keith.[104] It is easier to find a general for defensive than for offensive war—and you may safer trust your own country to defence with your own officers, because there they have many advantages; caution is most requisite; and to gain time is everything. Besides they are assisted with the good sense as well as the whole force of the country, which are both necessarily exerted to a great degree, and the door necessarily open to whatever talents may be to be found.

"When there is a want of Generals, Prince Generals are always ready to offer themselves, and it must be acknowledged that there are some advantages which attend upon them more than upon other men: first, on account of the strange deference which men pay to birth, particularly royal birth—they have likewise a facility in corresponding with sovereigns, connected and related, and many means of information which are useful in an army, particularly in an allied army. But on the other hand they have seldom the capacity of generals who rise by their own merit, and never their experience, knowledge of mankind and facility. They have always low favourites and flatterers, and sometimes very corrupt ones. A Minister therefore, if he has full power, had better find some soldier of fortune, who is an honest man, and may be depended upon, if he has an offensive war in contemplation. As for defensive or home war, he will easily find some man of a sensible plain understanding, of acknowledged courage, with a habit of deciding without too much obstinacy, and he need not be afraid of his acquiring quickly military knowledge sufficient to defend a country. As to expeditions, they depend upon intelligence, and as far as I can judge from the experience of two wars had better be many than great. They are easier kept secret, and one success will make up for two disappointments. The enemy is kept in perpetual alarm, and it is very hard if in large frontiers and scattered dominions some place is not found undefended, some officer caught napping, some garrison indisposed to obey. Mr. Pitt took his officers by accident he encouraged them going out, supported them while on service, but was the first to desert them on the least failure and to shift the blame from off his own shoulders, even when there was no foundation for any crime, and a false cry raised from jealousy, or he would readily sacrifice the officer as the shortest way of getting it over. I am confident from what I have seen that there is no possible situation which can justify despair in war. The events are so uncertain, that a single moment changes the fate of kingdoms. A spirit of enterprise is always sure of succeeding, if directed with the smallest portion of sense. Combination is what is most of all requisite, and to keep the clue in your hands—and the great point in a Minister is to resist pannicks, which spread unaccountably and are contagious beyond what can be imagined. How unaccountable was the pannick which struck this country upon the taking Minorca—a place of no consequence—and the country capable of such great and noble efforts as it made afterwards, and so superior to France in every respect. It spread however to such a degree that no one was exempt. Mr. Fox, a man of as great natural sagacity as ever lived, told Mr. Hamilton, his private intimate friend, that Mr. Pitt, his rival whom he detested, would well deserve the victory he had obtained over him, if he could extricate the country so as to save it from ruin. Mr. Pitt whose recommendation was the courage and firmness of which he assumed the character appears—and that in his very despatches—to have possessed himself little better. Witness his offer of Gibraltar to the Spaniards, and many other traits.[105] I have never been able to find there was a single man in publick affairs, who did not believe that we were utterly ruined.[106] The same in regard to the Rebellion of 1745,[107] when mountains of wealth might have been made in the stocks, and yet no fortunes were made and no reasonable method of accounting for either than might be given for any epidemick disease. In armies it would be endless to number up the foolish causes and the dreadful effects of pannicks. A Minister therefore cannot guard himself sufficiently against the contagion of what may arise.

"It is not surprising in the situation above described, the army reduced to 6000 men—the best sent to Germany under the Duke of Marlborough and Lord George Sackville—the service blown upon, and the enemy upon their guard, that the command went abegging. Many were offered it and all refused. General Dury, a favourite adjutant of the Duke's hesitated greatly; but was immediately decided against it, upon the receipt of an anonymous letter sent him express advising him strongly against it. I have reason to believe that this letter had originated from the fun of some young officers, who imagined they would from circumstances have very little weight if General Dury was appointed, and that they might have some if it went elsewhere. At last General Bligh was sent for from Ireland—an old, dull, brave, honest man.[108]

· · · · · ·

"It is common with most men to attribute all events to some one cause. It suits the pedantry of the historians, who are for making everything into a system, and it saves others the great trouble of combining and thinking. But no great river arises from one source, but on examination will be found to come from the accidental junction of a number of small streams. Besides I am convinced that there are two classes of causes, one ostensible and plausible, calculated to meet the publick eye and mind: the other from private and bye motives, which men scarcely dare to own to themselves.[109] How few actions in life are there which cannot be traced to motives of the latter sort. The uncertain limits of the French and English territories in North America, which ought to have been settled at the Treaty of Utrecht instead of being left as a subject of subsequent negotiation (a dangerous example which determined me to leave nothing to be settled by subsequent negotiation in the peace of 1783), and the mutual claims of Austria and Prussia in Silesia, quickly joined in producing the war of 1756. The real motives so far as regards the Continent are abundantly developed by the papers published by the King of Prussia, which were found in the archives at Dresden. But I am confident the real causes on our side were entirely of a domestic nature, and arising from the plan above-mentioned adopted by the Hanover family of governing by a House of Commons: the same cause which produced the Spanish war, which prevented the carrying into execution the Sinking Fund as first proposed by Sir Robert Walpole, and the Excise proposed by him, which has since been adopted and carried to such a length as never occurred to his imagination. Governing by the House of Commons is in fact converting the Legislature into a false Executive, and lays the foundation of a succession of Parties and Factions. One generation naturally drives out another. An old Ministry, like an old house, contains a great number of cobwebs and some dirt, while activity, talent and enterprise naturally belong to the younger part. At the same time it should be remembered that building a new house is expensive, and most commonly without a plan; for how can a plan be framed, much less executed, in the midst of tumult and misunderstanding? Our Constitution, at least as it has been administered for the last ninety years, is admirably calculated to resist grievances, but the moment that is done degenerates. I am sorry to say upon an experience of forty years, that the publick is incapable of embracing two objects at a time, or of extending their views beyond the object immediately before them. The worship of images and idols prevailing over the greatest part of the globe is proof—and for that reason they consider men more than things; which is the only thing they are good for, and in that they are repeatedly deceived. Yet it operates together with the freedom of the Press as a considerable check upon absolute power. It promotes emulation among the candidates for power, and though not so well calculated to build as to destroy, yet it keeps the publick awake and operates as a powerful negative, which in fact is the great requisite in all governments; for Providence has so constituted the world, that very little government is necessary.

"After the assembly at Philadelphia had sat a long time, from day to day, considering what form of Government they should adopt, Dr. Franklin rose (and from his great reputation for sagacity and wisdom excited profound attention, some great plan being expected), to express his apprehension that if some plan was not speedily adopted, the people out of doors would learn a most dangerous secret, that things might go on very well without any positive form of government. How are all markets supplied? All the Governments of Europe have been more or less occupied about the supply of their capitals, except London, which has never wanted. The grazier and the gardener know the amount of the demand ten times better than any legislator. What mischief has been done by legislating about corn, from which England even has not been exempt! Holland has left the corn trade entirely free, and has never felt what scarcity was. A negative Government will not do in order to make conquests or to keep distant Governments in dependence. But is that intended, or what good purpose of any kind does it answer? See a MS. on this subject which I wrote among my papers, the only paper I ever corrected which I mislaid, but must be found.

"The worst of factions and parties is that the leader of a party is obliged to follow the prejudices of the moment, which are accidental, and must be suited to the level of the meanest capacity in order to take in numbers, which are always governed by passion, never by reason, and never fail to think the more violent counsels the best, and thus quickly lose all sense of reason."

  1. In the first edition the date was incorrectly given as the 20th of May.
  2. Thomas Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry. Antony Petty, of Romsey, clothier, had a son, William, afterwards Sir William Petty, who died December 16th, 1687. His widow, Lady Petty, was made Baroness Shelburne in the Peerage of Ireland, and his eldest son, Charles, Baron of Shelburne, by a simultaneous creation, December 31st, 1687. The barony of Shelburne became extinct by the death of Charles, Lord Shelburne, without children in 1696. It was revived in favour of his brother Henry, October 26th, 1699, who was further created Viscount Dunkerron and Earl of Shelburne in the Peerage of Ireland, April 29th, 1719. These titles became extinct on his decease without issue April 17th, 1751, when his estates and property passed under the term of his will—to John Fitzmaurice, the fifth and second surviving son of Anne Petty, daughter of Sir William Petty, by her marriage with Thomas Fitzmaurice, Earl of Kerry, on condition of his using the name and bearing the arms of Petty. John Fitzmaurice was in the same year raised to the Peerage of Ireland under the titles of Baron Dunkerron and Viscount Fitzmaurice. In 1753 the earldom of Shelburne in the Peerage of Ireland was conferred upon him, and in 1760 he was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom by the title of Baron Wycombe.
  3. The Earldom of Kerry was not created until 1723.
  4. See Sydney Papers and Moryson's Itinerary. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  5. Anne Petty.
  6. This will is printed at length in vol. xxiv. of the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy as an appendix to Mr. Hardinge's paper on the townland surveys in Ireland from 1640 to 1688, and in the appendix to the Life of Sir William Petty, p. 318, by the present author.
  7. See The Life of Sir William Petty, ch. v. 133.
  8. The second Earl of Kerry married Lady Gertrude Lambart.
  9. Anastasia, daughter and co-heiress of Peter Daly, of Queensbury, Co. Galway, married Peter Daly, of Callow, her cousin, from whom she was divorced. She is buried in Westminster Abbey, and on her tomb is to be read an inscription suggestive of the mental qualities mentioned by Lord Shelburne.
  10. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter written in November 1757, says: "Let them (the Irish Administration) make Kerry and Connaught know that there is a God, a King, and a Government: three things to which they are at present utter strangers."—Lord Chesterfield's Letters (edited by Mr. John Bradshaw), vol. i. Introduction, xxii.
  11. The first Earl of Kerry died in 1741.
  12. Lady Arabella Fitzmaurice, sister of John, Earl of Shelburne, married Mr. Alfred Denny, grandson of the Earl of Coningsby, and died in 1785. She left a curious will of which the following is an extract: "With regard to my own person my desires are very moderate: that I may not be buried till I am certainly dead; that I may be permitted to lie on my bed for 72 hours, and longer, if no signs of putrefaction appear, and that change happening, that I may be put into a leaden coffin, and my jugular veins opened, and then enclosed in an oak coffin, and conveyed to the church of Tralee on a hearse with but one mourning-coach; two servants and the driver of each carriage to be allowed their expenses on the road, the servants 4s. 4d., and the drivers 2s. 8d. per day for fourteen days only, being full time for their return. I leave my chamber clock to Sir John Hort because he values time and makes a good use of it." Dr. Priestley describes Lady Arabella Denny as a woman of "good understanding and great piety." She is also frequently mentioned in Wesley's Journals.
  13. William, second Earl of Kerry, died in 1747. The third family mentioned by Lord Shelburne is that of his younger brother, who married Mary O'Brien, Countess of Orkney in her own right. Her grandson succeeded to the title.
  14. Francis Thomas, third Earl of Kerry, dissipated the greater portion of his inheritance and invested part of it in French assignats. On his decease in 1818 the title of Earl of Kerry, with the Kerry property reduced to the burial-place of Lixnaw passed to the younger branch of the family then represented by Henry, third Marquis of Lansdowne. (See an article by Mr. Alger in the English Historical Review, x. 40, October 1891.)
  15. Henry, Earl of Shelburne, died in 1751.
  16. John, Earl of Shelburne, married his first cousin, Mary Fitzmaurice of Gallant. There is a letter at Holland House to Lord Holland from Lord Kildare, attributing the faults of the character of Lord Shelburne to his mother.
  17. Mary, Lady Shelburne, died in 1780. Walpole, alluding to her death, speaks of her "superabundant cunning" (Correspondence, vii. 475). John, Earl of Shelburne, bought the Bowood property. His monument is in the mausoleum in the park.
  18. I conceived such a prejudice upon the sight of the present Lord Douglas's face and figure that I could not allow myself to vote in this cause. If ever I saw a Frenchman he is one. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  19. Lord Shelburne, down to the end of his life, continued to complain of his neglected education. See Jeremy Bentham's Works, x. 186.
  20. In the margin of the MS. is December 18th, 1801. The earlier part is dated December 13th, 1800.
  21. 1753.
  22. Lord Chesterfield observes, "Westminster School is undoubtedly the seat of illiberal manners and brutal behaviour."—Letters, ed. Bradshaw, i. 313.
  23. As Dean of Christ Church.
  24. See his Latin orations, and pamphlet against Dr. Gilbert, Bishop of Sarum, afterwards Archbishop of York, whom he styled always "Plumbeus." He had a silver stand-dish with this inscription, "Hoc ex plumbo fit," being purchased by the sale of this pamphlet. See The Toast and Fitzosborne's Letters, written by Mr. Melmoth, his son-in-law, and his character there under the name of Mezentius. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  25. Dr. King made a complete renunciation of his Jacobite principles on the accession of George III. Blackstone to Shelburne, August 4th, 1761.
  26. The factions referred to are those of the Newcastle Whigs; the Duke of Cumberland's friends represented by Mr. Fox in the ministry; and the Leicester House party, which had relations with Mr. Pitt. See below, p. 42.
  27. Esprit des Lois, xi. ch. vi.
  28. "When the excitement of this great event (the Revolution of 1688) had a little subsided, when the rights and liberties of the nation had been secured by its Parliament, the leaders of the Whigs, including many of the most powerful and ancient families ot the kingdom, commenced a favourite scheme of that party, which was to reduce the King of England to the situation of a Venetian Doge."—Vindication of the English Constitution in a Letter to a noble Lord, by Disraeli the Younger, p. 168. "Kings, Lords, and Commons, the Venetian Constitution," exclaimed Sir Joseph. "But they were phrases," said Coningsby, "not facts. The King was a Doge; the Cabinet the Council of Ten. Your Parliament, that you call Lords and Commons, was nothing more than the great council of nobles." "The resemblance was complete," said Millbank, "and no wonder, for it was not accidental: the Venetian Constitution was intentionally copied."—Disraeli, Coningsby, bk. vii. ch. iv. 506, ed. 1895.
  29. See Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. by Mr. C. H. Firth, i. 146.
  30. Written in 1801.
  31. It bears the title of An Apology for his own Life.
  32. A Gallicism, "trainer."
  33. When Secretary at War.
  34. The above story is told in vol. lxii. of the Edinburgh Review in a notice of Mr. Cooke's Life of Bolingbroke; with the addition that the Duke made an ineffectual attempt to seize and destroy the letter.
  35. These words occur in the speech with which George III. opened Parliament in 1760.
  36. The allusion is to the Treaty of Vienna, 1735, which, through English mediation, ended the war of the Polish succession. Lorraine was given to Stanislas Lezcinski, the dethroned King of Poland, for life, and the reversion was vested in France. The Duke of Lorraine was compensated with the succession to Tuscany.
  37. Lord Chesterfield and Lord Chatham, on the other hand, both commend Lord Bolingbroke's works as inimitable models of style. Letters of Lord Chesterfield, ed. Bradshaw, i. 390. Chatham Correspondence, i. 109.
  38. In 1798.
  39. 1714-1721.
  40. From 1721 to 1742.
  41. The Ministry of Sir Robert Walpole fell on the question of the Chippingham election petition in 1742.
  42. The family of the Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham.
  43. Lord Carteret became Lord-Lieutenant in 1724.
  44. In 1722.
  45. In 1721. His father took poison in the same year a few weeks later. Lord Carteret, in consequence of want of support, had to resign the Secretaryship of State in 1724. He then accepted the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, which he held till 1731, but without possessing any influence on the course of English politics.
  46. Secretary to the Treasury.
  47. In 1737.
  48. I.e. from February 1742 to 1746. From the first of these Hates to August 25th, 1743, Lord Wilmington (Sir Spencer Compton) was at the head of the Treasury. He was succeeded by Mr. Pelham, between whom and Lord Carteret, the Secretary of State, the struggle continued till November in the following year.
  49. 1744 was a remarkable year in the life of Lord Carteret. In April he married his second wife, Lady Sophia Fermor, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Pomfret. She was the mother of the first Lady Shelburne. He became Lord Granville in October, owing to the death of his mother, a Peeress in her own right. In November he had to resign the Secretaryship of State through the intrigues of the Pelhams. In 1746, during the Rebellion, when the so-called "Short-lived Administration" was formed, and in 1757, when another attempt was made to get rid of the Newcastle connection, Lord Granville seemed again near to obtaining the leading position in the State.
  50. "Lord Granville's maxim was 'Give any man the Crown on his side and he can defy everything.'" H. Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, November 26th, 1744. Correspondence, i. 330.
  51. Sunderland sent him as Ambassador to Sweden in 1719.
  52. See Sir Charles Hanbury's verses. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  53. In November 1744.
  54. 1727-1747.
  55. The Tories are first noted as a political party distinct from Jacobitism by Horace Walpole. Journal of the Reign of George II. ii. 12.
  56. This was not the opinion of Sir Robert Walpole. Dr. King, in his Anecdotes of his own time, tells the story how the first time Lord Orford met Lord Bath in the House of Lords, he said to him: "Here we are, my Lord, the two most insignificant fellows in England."
  57. "As to the manners of that time, an old servant at Whetham, near Bowood, told me that when her master went up to Parliament, her mistress used to go up to a small farm-house within a quarter of a mile, to stay till Mr. Earnley, her master, came back, and the great house was meanwhile shut up, though no very large one now, notwithstanding that it is considerably enlarged since that time, the beginning of the reign of George II. Lady Shrewsbury was the first who, in Queen Anne's time, began card parties in a small house, which belonged afterwards to General Conway, and now to the Prince. In my time, at Devizes, when families visited each other, the men were shown upstairs to the men, the women to the women. The men immediately sat down to wine or beer, and when they had done sent to tell the women. Several of the best gentlemen, members for the county, drunk nothing but beer." (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  58. Vide Lord Hervey's diary. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  59. See Sir Robert Walpole's letter about Ireland to the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Townsend. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  60. The peace of Aachen, 1748.
  61. Fontenoy, Rocoux and Laffeld, in 1745, 1746 and 1747 respectively.
  62. In 1742. The offer of Admiral Vernon, and his unexpected success, recalls the offer of Cleon, related by Thucydides, to take Sphacteria and his equally unexpected victory. Thucydides, iv. 28.
  63. The three courts are St. James, Leicester House, and that of the Duke of Cumberland. See supra, p. 16.
  64. See the letters in the Chatham Correspondence, i. 31-54.
  65. For the borough of Aldborough in Yorkshire.
  66. This is probably the letter given at vol. i. p. 85 of the Chatham Correspondence.
  67. See infra, page 236, for the character of Lord George Sackville by Lord Shelburne. The Duke of Dorset was twice Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and on the second occasion took Lord George Sackville with him as Secretary.
  68. In regard to the character of the Duke of Cumberland and his brutal temper see George II. and his Ministers, by R. Lucas, 41-42; and the authorities there quoted.
  69. Frederick, Prince of Wales, married Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. He died in 1751.
  70. Apparently the name of some game of chance.
  71. Two accounts of the above incident are to be found in the MSS. left by Lord Shelburne (see Preface). Of these the shorter account, which was given in the first edition of this book, appears in the MS. on which this chapter is mainly founded, and was printed in the first edition. The longer and completer account, which is now printed above, is contained in the MS. which in most other respects is not so complete. But it is certainly more correct, and it tallies with the accounts given of the incident in Walpole, Memoirs of George II., i. 74, and in Lord Hervey's Memoirs, ii. 409. See also Walpole, Reminiscences, iv. 309. The defeat of Lady Archibald by the Princess recalls the overthrow of the Princesse des Ursins by Elizabeth Farnese, whom the Princesse herself had induced Philip V. of Spain to marry as his second wife in 1714.
  72. On the 25th of March 1751.
  73. The Duke of Newcastle was born in 1694. His first appointment was that of Lord Chamberlain in 1717.
  74. A sheet of the narrative is here missing.
  75. The Duke of Cumberland.
  76. 1752 to 1782.
  77. The allusion is to the continued influence of Mr. Jenkinson, Bute's former secretary, and Mr. John Robinson, Patronage Secretary of the Treasury, and the party of the King's friends in the House of Commons.
  78. In 1754-1755.
  79. As to Thomas Pitt (Lord Camelford) see Vol. II. p. 257; also Buckingham, Courts and Cabinets of George III., i. 190.
  80. The account of this incident is also taken from the less complete MS. in substitution for the shorter account from the complete MS. printed in the first edition.
  81. May 17th, 1736. The occasion was a speech, full of veiled satire, on Pulteney's motion for an address to the King on the marriage of the Prince of Wales on April 29th.
  82. Sir George Lyttleton was created a Peer in 1756, on retiring from the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, to which he had been appointed in 1755. Lord Chesterfield describes him as "wrapped up like a Laputan in intense thought, or possibly in no thought at all," and expresses a fear that if his son, who was also "inattentive, awkward, and distrait," should meet Sir George at dinner the pair would "run their heads against each other, cut each other's fingers instead of the meat, or die by the precipitate infusion of scalding soup."—Letters (ed. Bradshaw), i. 245, 273.
  83. In 1762.
  84. In the lets complete MS. these words are substituted: "An eye that would cut a diamond."
  85. In 1753. See Lord Stanhope's History, iv. ch. xxxi.
  86. The English Ambassador at Paris.
  87. In 1755. The expedition was in 1756.
  88. In 1755.
  89. In 1757.
  90. See the Memoirs of Frederic the Great, i. 489.
  91. In November 1755 Pitt had been dismissed from office by Newcastle at the bidding of the King. In November 1756 the Duke found it impossible to carry on the Government any longer, and resigned the Treasury, leaving his colleagues in the lurch. The Administration of the Duke of Devonshire, with Pitt as Secretary of State, then succeeded, and lasted until the dismissal of Pitt in April 1757. An "Inter-ministerium" of seven weeks followed. After an attempt by Lord Waldegrave, Lord Granville, and Fox to form an Administration, and other equally unsuccessful combinations, the Duke of Newcastle returned to power, with Pitt as Secretary of State, on the Z7th of June 1757. Lord Granville, who had become Lord President in 1751, continued to ho!d that office. Fox accepted the office of Paymaster, but without a seat in the Cabinet.
  92. When he took office with the Duke of Devonshire in November 1756. See Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George II., ii, 259.
  93. See Count La Lippe's letter to Marshal Richelieu. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  94. Lord Temple was Privy Seal.
  95. In 1770.
  96. See infra, p. 488.
  97. It may be noted that notwithstanding this sweeping condemnation Lord Shelburne selected two Scotchmen to negotiate the peace with the American Colonies. See infra, Vol. II., pp. 119, 170.
  98. 1771-1778.
  99. Mr. Fox was Paymaster in this administration.
  100. Mr. Pitt used this expression at a later period with considerable effect on his own account. Speech on the Stamp Act, January 14th, 1766, on his reasons for declining to take office with the Rockingham connection.
  101. Lord Shelburne left the University in 1757 before taking a degree, having received a commission in the 20th Regiment of Foot. In 1758 he exchanged into the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards, now the Scots Guards.
  102. The letter concludes, "I am so far recovered as to do business, but my constitution is entirely ruined, without the consolation of having done any considerable service to the State, or without any prospect of it." September 9th, 1759. General Wolfe to the Secretary of State.
  103. Marshal d'Estrées was the victor of Hastenbeck in 1757, but owing to Court intrigues was superseded by the Duc de Richelieu, who concluded the capitulation of Closterseven with the Duke of Cumberland. The Duc de Richelieu was superseded in 1758 by the Abbé de Clermont, who was defeated by the Duke of Brunswick at Crevelt, and superseded in his turn by Marshal de Contades, who was beaten at Minden by the Duke of Brunswick in 1759. The Comte or Abbé de Clermont had received the tonsure at nine years of age, but had a papal dispensation, which enabled him to bear arms, while retaining the numerous abbayes with which he was endowed. The Duc de Richelieu is frequently mentioned by Lord Chesterfield as the type of person who obtains high positions by superficial accomplishments while lacking any sort of ability. "Women alone formed and raised him." "These early connections gave him those manners, graces, and addresses which you see he has, and which I can assure you are all that he has; for, strip him of them and he will be one of the poorest men in Europe." His natural parts would, he says, never have entitled him "to the smallest office in the excise. …"—Letters, ed. Bradshaw i. 362; ii. 323, October 22nd, 1750; May 2nd, 1752.
  104. Marshal Keith first took service in Russia whence he passed into the service of Frederic II.
  105. A similar proposal had been made by Stanhope in 1718.
  106. "Whoever is in, or whoever is out, I am sure we are undone, both at home and abroad: at home by our increasing debt and expenses; abroad by our ill luck and incapacity. … We are no longer a nation. I never yet saw so dreadful a prospect."—Lord Chesterfield to Mr. Dayrolles, July 4th, 1757, Chesterfield Letters, iii. 1170. "It is time for England to slip her cables, and float away into some unknown ocean."—Horace Walpole to Mann, September 3rd, 1757, Correspondence, iii. 103.
  107. When I was in office in 1767 there were some pacquets sealed up in the Secretary's Office, entitled most secret, and supposed to be the correspondence of Scots Leaders in the Rebellion. I never opened them. When I came into Ministry in 1782 they were gone. (Note by Lord Shelburne.)
  108. General Dury went out, however, as second-in-command, and was killed in 1758 at St. Cast. Horace Walpole, in the Journal of the Reign of George II., iii. 137, accuses General Bligh of "having been actuated in these enterprises by a young Lord Fitzmaurice and the adventurer Clarke" (the Lieutenant Robert Clerke alluded to above, p. 72).
  109. This passage is an echo of the chapter in which Thucydides distinguishes between the avowed and the real causes of the Peloponnesian war, i. ch. xxiii.