semble.’ Swift also states that he partly broke off his habits of drinking, but did not refrain from ‘other liberties.’ The account is sufficiently confirmed by many passages in the ‘Journal to Stella.’ The ‘Brothers Club,’ founded by him in June 1711, was intended to bring together the leading politicians and authors, and to direct the patronage of literature (Journal to Stella, 21 June 1711, and St. John's letter to Orrery, 12 June), and rivalled the Whig Kit-cat Club. It became, however, chiefly political and convivial. Lady Bolingbroke appears to have been attached to her husband in spite of many wrongs, and was pitied and liked by Swift (see, e.g., Journal of 10 April 1711). They set up together in a new house at Golden Square, then the most fashionable part of the town, at the end of 1711. He spent his holidays with her at Bucklebury, where he indulged in hunting, knew all his hounds by name, and smoked and drank with the country squires (Journal to Stella, 4 and 5 Aug. 1711, and Swift to Bolingbroke, 14 Sept. 1714). They were never formally separated, though Bolingbroke's misconduct was flagrant (see Wentworth Papers, 1883, pp. 294, 395). Macknight's assertion that Bolingbroke had a ‘separate establishment’ at Ashdown Park is a mistake. He was at Ashdown Park, in the neighbourhood of Bucklebury, for a few days' hunting in October (Corresp. iv. 318, &c.), but his time was passed between London and Windsor. Lady Bolingbroke's letter in August is a playful reference to her being ‘discarded’ by Oxford, not by Bolingbroke. Voltaire is responsible for the story of the woman who said upon his taking office, ‘Seven thousand guineas a year, my girls, and all for us!’ (Works, 1819, &c. lvii. 273). Upon his dismissal Bolingbroke retired to Bucklebury. His papers had been seized, and a pamphlet called ‘The Secret History of the White Staff,’ said to have been written by Defoe at Oxford's instigation, endeavoured to show that Bolingbroke's high-handed policy was leading him to the Jacobites, and that Oxford had done his best to resist. A pamphlet in answer has been attributed to Bolingbroke. The new parliament was controlled by the whigs. Bolingbroke, on the motion for an answer to the king's speech, spoke against a passage reflecting upon the queen's ministers (22 March). He was defeated by 66 to 33, and in the House of Commons an address prepared by Walpole announced that an attack was to be made upon the authors of the treaty. Bolingbroke showed himself at Drury Lane, and bespoke a play, but instantly set out for Dover. Thence (27 March) he wrote a letter to his friend, Lord Lansdowne (reprinted in Somers Tracts, vol. xiii.), and passed over to Calais in disguise. The letter, which was shown about, protested his innocence, but said that he knew of a design to ‘pursue him to the scaffold.’ Marlborough seems to have given him a hint to fly, though he denies, in the letter to Sir W. Wyndham, that he was moved by Marlborough's ‘artifices.’ He ‘knew him too well.’ Bolingbroke says in the same place that one motive was his hatred for Oxford, whom he would not consult even for their common defence. If he supposed Oxford to have inspired the ‘Secret History,’ he might probably infer that his old colleague was ready to make peace by betraying him. Meanwhile a ‘committee of secrecy’ was appointed, and made its report, through Walpole, on 9 June. A motion for his impeachment was unanimously carried (10 June). An act of attainder, unless he should surrender by 10 Sept., was passed on 18 Aug., and his name, with that of the Duke of Ormonde, was erased from the roll of peers on 14 Sept. (Parl. Hist. vii. 66, 143, 214).
Bolingbroke was warmly received in France. His first step apparently was to tell the English ambassador, Lord Stair, that he intended to retire to an ‘obscure retreat,’ and would make no engagement with the Jacobites (Letters to Stair and Stanhope in Macknight, pp. 451–2). Berwick, however, says (p. 225) that Bolingbroke saw him at once and declared his goodwill, to the Jacobite cause. He retired to Lyons and in July received a messenger from the tories which determined him to have an interview with the Pretender at Commercy. He consented to be James's secretary of state. His first letter in that capacity (Stanhope, History, vol. i. App.) is dated 23 July (12 July O.S.). The bill of attainder, by a reference to which he justifies himself in his letter to Wyndham, was not yet introduced, but his assailants had no doubt sufficiently indicated their intentions.
Bolingbroke was now minister in a mock court, and found it hard, as Stair afterwards told the elder Horace Walpole (3 March 1716), to ‘play his part with a grave enough face.’ It was full of Irish priests, whom he especially despised, and who heartly disliked him, and of refugees cherishing absurd illusions, and as ignorant of England as of Japan. His own account of his conduct is probably correct enough. He thought, he says, that the English people were inclining daily towards Jacobitism. He was, however, fully convinced that a rising would be impracticable unless it were supported by the French. He hoped that Louis XIV, though not likely to intend a new war, might be