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L. Letters from Addison to Lord Wharton.


Mr. Addison to Lord Wharton.

London, Aug. 24, 1910. THIS morning I had the honour of a visit from Mr. Bertie, who, upon my acquainting him with your Lordship’s concern for his brother's election, declared himself very much obliged to your Lordship; but said, his brother was so tired with sitting in the House, that he would not be in it again upon any consideration. I hear from my Lord Dartmouth's*

I office, that all the particulars which I had in charge to his Lordship have been already complied with, except that about proroguing the parliament, which I have desired may be dispatched forthwith to your Excellency, in case it be judged necessary.

The privy council is to meet this night, in order (as it was said yesterday) to place my Lord Peterborough at the head of the Admiraltyt, and to determine on the dissolution : but this morning I hear, from very good hands, that there is advice of the Prince of Wales being ready to embark with a body of troops at Dunkirk, and that the Admiralty is to attend the privy council upon this occasion.

It is said, the Duke of Queensborough has had intimations of such a designed invasion above a month ago from several parts of Scotland. This report, I believe, comes from Sir George Byog, and is of such a nature, that I should be cautious of mentioning it to any body but your Excellency.

Among the prints which I send you by this post, the “Essay upon Credit” is said to be written by Mr. Harley; and that of “ Bickerstaff detected}," by Mr. Congreye. Dr. Garth (under whose hands I am at present) will not excuse me if I do not present his most humble duty to your Lordship. The Doctor this morning shewed me a copy of verses which he has made in praise of the late lord treasurer.


* Then Secretary of State. Edit.

This did not take place. Edit.

This pamphlet has been sometimes ascribed to Rowe, but more com. nonly to Yalden. EDIT.

This • Epistle to Lord Godolphin' is printed with Garth's Poems, Epit.

The Lord Islay is lately returned from Scotland ; and, it is said, the Duke of Argyle is expected every day from Flanders. I am, with the greatest respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,


Reports of the Town, transmitted to Lord Wharton, by Mr.

Addison, with the above letter. The reports of the town (as to public affairs) are very various : what I have the honour to write to your Lordship is the talk of the considerable people of the one side ; but, as they are none of them in the secret, cannot be entirely depended upon.

The Duke of Queensborough, it is said, will be succeeded* by the Lord Marr, or as others are positive, by the Duke of Shrewsbury. If the first happen, he is to be lord

: high steward of the household ; if the second, to be lord high chamberlain. The D. of Queensborough declares he has heard nothing of his removal. I was yesterday above an hour in private at his office with the Lord Marr.

Mr. Boyle is to make way for Mr. St. Johnt.

The D. of Somerset represents himself as actuated by personal piques in what he has done ; and has resolved to adhere to the whiggish principles. It is generally said he is fallen off from the new ministers, and that he has recommended whigs to all his boroughs.

The Duke of Newcastle is very well with Mr. Harley, for whom, they say, he had formerly a great friendship and esteem.

My Lord Somers is thought to have great personal interest in her Majesty, but not sufficient to support his party : so that he seems to lye-by in expectation of proper opportunities.

Mr. Hampden refused to be a commissioner of the treasury, unless the parliament might be continued : it was certainly offered him; and as they say, by the Queen herself, who (upon his answer relating to the parliament) told him, " she had not sent for him for his advice on that particular.”

Mr. Benson, a reputed whig, could not withstand the same temptation.

This event did not

* As one of the three principal secretaries of state. take place. Edit.

+ This conjecture was right. Boit.

Sir Simon Harcourt, it is said, desires to be AttorneyGeneral*. Lord Guernsey, or Baron Price, or both, are talked of to succeed the lord chancellort. The Earl Rivers, after having received his arrears for the Spanish service, and equipage-money for his embassy, fell ill; and, as some fancy, will not recover in haste.

It is pretended by the whigs, the Elector of Hanover has given assurances that he will not accept the offer of general; and that he is very much displeased with the fashionable doctrine of hereditary right.

The Lord Rochester is by no mean pleased with the new ministry, and lifted up bis hands with some astonishment upon bearing in what manner the late lord treasurer was dismissed. It is said, the letter for that purpose was delivered to his Lordship by a groom, and that he was directed by it to break his staff without giving himself the trouble of expostulations.

I heard this morning, from good hands, the Duke of Shrewsbury talks of laying downs. Sir Theodore Johnson [Janssen) has furnished the treasury with some money.

The tories having threatened to buy up the stocks if they should fall upon the lord treasurer's dismission, the Duke of Beaufort accordingly laid out about 50001. and was followed by two or three others with smaller suns; which lifted them up for one day, after which they fell again.

The tories address is said to be written by Mr. Hoadly; the whigs' by Mr. Atterburyil ; Petticum's letter by Mr. Walpole.

The clergy of the city of London are about presenting an address to her Majesty, which, they say, is finely penned by Dr. Atterbury; and some imagine it will immediately precede the dissolution. Collings the messenger is this evening arrived express from the Duke of Marlborough, with an account of the surrender of Bethune ; and it is said that he brings further intelligence of the Duke's having received advices from Spain, just before he came away, of a second battle, wherein 12,000 men were killed, and King Charles obtained the victory.

* And was successful. Edit.

+ Neither of them succeeded. The seals were put in commission, Sept. 29; and given to Sir Simon Harcourt, as lord-keeper, Oct. 9. Eprr.

This is fully confirmed by Swift's Journal, Letters to Stella. EDIT.

The Duke was then lord chamberlain of the household. Edit. il So the original; but by a slip of the pen, undoubtedly, as the reverse is well known to have been the fact. EDIT.


Mr. Addison to Lord Wharton,

London, Oct. 17, 1710.

I RECEIVED the honour of your Lordship’s of the 15th, and have sent the commissions mentioned in it according to your Lordship’s commands, not hearing as yet of any thing that has passed which should hinder your Lordship from signing them. I must, however, acquaint your Lordship with a passage in one of Dawson's letters, dated the 3d instant, which did not come to my hands till last night, having been sent after me to Malmesbury by mistake.

I had mentioned to him, as your Lordship had told me you would have it believed, and as you had yourself written the post before to some of your friends in Ireland, that you had signified to her Majesty your unwillingness to continue in that government when all your friends were dismissed; or to that purpose: but at the same time told him, that I believed your Lordship would not be out of it till some months after. In answer to that letter, he writes to me in the following words:

“ You might be assured, that whatever you write to me was lodged in a safe band; but what you desired should not be taken notice of came over hither by twenty letters in the same post; and the Whitehall letters from both secretaries' offices, which came hither by the same packet with yours, positively mention my Lord Lieutenant's resignation of his government to her Majesty on the 22d of the last month; so that it is here no secret, and every body looks upon it that liis Excellency cannot act any inore on his commission, but that the government is absolutely in the hands of the lords justices till a new governor is appointed.

I will not take any notice of the receipt of this letter till I hear further from your Lordship: having by the last post, and all along, written in the character of secretary to the lord-lieutenant. Your Lordship is doubtless the best judge of this matter, how far the resignation went, and how far it was accepted; or whether it could be accepted effectually but by superseding your Lordship's commission. I shail only take notice, that your Lordship's letters to the secretary of state, and to the lords justices in Ireland, the first relating to the horses that are wanting there, and the other to the draughting of 250 dragoons for the embarkation; both of them bear date Sept. 23. The Irish gentleinen are



positive that your Lordship will be succeeded by the Duke of Ormond; though there goes a whisper among some of your Lordship’s friends, that my Lord Rivers is certainly designed for that government.

Nobody here knows what to think of the present state of affairs. Those who got the last parliament dissolved are as much astonished, and they say troubled, for the glut of tories that will be in the next, as the whigs themselves. I am, with great respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient and most humble servant,



Mr. Addison to Major Dunbar*, on receiving a bank-bill of

300 guineas. SIR,

June 26, 1715. I FIND there is a very strong opposition formed against you; but I shall wait on my lord-lieutenantt this morning, and lay your case before him as advantageously as I can, if he is not engaged in other company.

company. I am afraid what you say of his Grace does not portend you any good.

And now, Sir, believe me, when I assure you I never did, nor ever will, on any pretence whatsoever, take more than the stated and customary fees of my office. I might keep the contrary practice concealed from the world, were I capable of it, but I could not from myself; and I hope I shall always fear the reproaches of my own beart more than those of all mankind. In the mean time, if I can serve a gentleman of merit, and such a character as you bear in the world, the satisfaction I meet with on such an occasion is always a sufficient, and the only, reward to, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,


1786, Feb.

* We are aware that this letter has been elsewhere printed, but without acknowledgments (which we are not ashamed of making) to Curll, who ori. givally produced it to public notice. The honour it reflects on Addison's in. tegrity is a sufficient apology for reprinting it. EDIT,

to The Earl of Sunderland. Edit:

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