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pretend to give such a sum : I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that
meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay mne by lending this sum to him, injoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a krave to stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning, and make the most of a little.
XCIII. Letters from the Earl of Orford to Governor Pownall.
Strawberry-hill, Oct. 20, 1783. I AM extremely obliged to you, Sir, for the valuable communication you have made to me. It is extremely so to me, as it does justice to a memory that I revere to the highest degree; and I flatter myself that it would be acceptable to that part of the world that loves truth; and that part will be the majority as fast as they pass away who have an interest in preferring falshood. Happily, truth is longer-lived than the passions of individuals; and, when mankind are not misled, they can distinguish white from black.
I myself do not pretend to be unprejudiced; I must be so to the best of fathers; I should be ashamed to be quite impartial. No wonder then, Sir, if I am greatly pleased with so able a justification. Yet I am not so blind but that I can discern solid reasons for admiring your Defence. You have placed that Defence on sound and new grounds; and, though very briefly, have very learnedly stated and distinguished the landmarks of our Constitution, and the encroachments made on it, by justly referring the principles of liberty to the Saxon system, and imputing the corruptions of it to the Norman. This was a great deal too deep for that superficial mountebank Hume to go; for, a mountebank he was. He mounted a freteau in the garb of a philosophic empiric, but dispensed no drugs but what he was
authorised to vend by a royal patent, and which were full of Turkish opium. He had studied nothing relative to the English Constitution before Queen Elizabeth, and had selected some of her most arbitrary acts to countenance those of the Stuarts, and even hers, he misrepresented; for, her worst deeds were levelled against the nobility, those of the Stuarts against the people; hers, consequently, were rather an obligation to the people ; for, the most heinous part of common despotism is, that it produces a thousand despots instead of one. Moley Moloch cannot lop off many heads with his own hand; at least he takes those in his way, those of his courtiers; but his bashaws and viceroys spread destruction every where.
The flimsy, ignorant, blundering, manner in which Hume executed the reigns preceding Henry VII. is a proof of how little he had examined the history of our Constitution.
I could say much, much more, Sir, in commendation of your work, were I not apprehensive of being biassed by the subject. Still, that it would not be from Hattery I will prove, by taking the liberty of making two objections, and they are only to the last page but one. Perhaps you will think that my first objection does shew that I am too much biassed.
I own, I am sorry to see my father compared to Sylla ; the latter was a sanguinary usurper, a monster--the former the mildest, most forgiving, best-natured of men, and a legal minister. Nor, I fear, will the only light in which you compare them stand the test. Sylla resigned his power voluntarily, insolently, perhaps timidly, as he might think he had a better chance of dying in his bed if he retreated. than by continuing to rule by force. My father did not retire by his own option : he had lost the majority of the House of Commons. Sylla, you say, Sir, retired unimpeached—it is true, but covered with blood. My father was not impeached, in our strict sense of the word, but, to my great joy, he was in effect. A secret committee, a worse inquisition than a jury,was named-not to try him, but to sift his life forcrimes; and out of such a jury, chosen in the dark, and not one of whom he might challenge, he had some determined enemies, many opponents, and but two he could suppose his friends. And what was the consequence? A man, charged with every state crime almost fortwenty years, was proved to have done what? paid some writers much inore than they deserved, for having defended him against ten thousand and teir thousand libels (some of which had been written by his inquisitors,) all which libels were confessed to have been
lies by his inquisitors themselves : for, they could not produce a shadow of one of the crimes with which they had charged him ! I must own, Sir, I think that Sylla and my father ought to be set in opposition rather than paralleled.
My other objection is still more serious; and, if I am so happy as to convince you, I shall hope that you will alter the paragraph, as it seems to impute something to Sir Robert of which he was not only most innocent, but of which, if he had been guilty, I should think bim extremely so, for he would have been very ungrateful.
“ he had not the comfort to see that he had established his own family by any thing which he received from the gratitude of that Hanover family, or from the gratitude of that country, which he had saved and served.” Good Sir, what does this sentence seem to imply, but that either Sir Robert himself, or his family, thought, or think, that the kings George I. and II. or England, were ungrateful for not rewarding his services? Defend him and us from such a charge! He nor we ever had such a thought. Was it not rewarding him to make him prime-minister, and maintain and support him against all his enemies for twenty years together? Did not George I. make his eldest son a peer, and give to the father and son a valuable patent place in the Custom-house for three lives? Did not George II. give my elder brother the auditor's place, and to my other brother and me other rich places for our lives; for, though in the gift of the First Lord of the Treasury, do we not owe them to the king, who made him so? Did not the late king make my father an earl, and dismiss him with a pension of 4000l. a
for his life? Could he or we not think these ample rewards ? What rapacious sordid wretches must he and we have been, and be, could we entertain such an idea! As far have we all been froin thinking him neglected by his country: Did not his country see and know those rewards ? and could it think those rewards inadequate ? Besides, Sir, great as I hold my father's services, they were solid and silent, not ostensible: they were of a kind to which I hold your justification a more suitable reward than pecuniary recompences. To have fixed the House of Hanover on the throne; to have inaintained this country in peace and affluence for 20 years ; with the other services you record, Sir, were actions, the éclat of which must be illustrated by time and reflexion,and whose splendour has been brought forwarder than I wish it had, by comparison with a period very dissimilar.
jf Sir Robert had not the comfort of leaving his family in
affluence, it was not imputable to his king or his country. Perhaps I am proud that he did not. He died 40,000l. in debt--that was the wealth of a man that had been taxed as the plunderer of his country! Yet, with all my adoration of my father, I am just enough to own that it was his own fault if he died so poor. He had made Houghton much too magnificent for the moderate estate which he left to support it;
he never, I repeat it with truth, never got any money but in the South-sea and while he was paymaster, his fondness for bis paternal seat, and his boundless generosity, were too expensive for his fortune. I will mention one instance, which will shew how little he was disposed to turn the favour of the Crown to his own profit: he laid out 14,000). of his own money on Richmond new park.
I can produce other reasons too why Sir Robert's family were not in so comfortable a situation as the world, deluded by misrepresentation, might expect to see them at his death. My eldest brother had been a very bad economist during his father's life, and died himself 50,000l. in debt, or more; so that, to this day, neither Sir Edward nor I have received the 5,000l. apiece which Sir Robert left us as our fortunes. I do not love to charge the dead; therefore will only say, that Lady Orford, reckoned a vast fortune, which till she died she never proved, wasted vast sums; nor did my brother or father ever receive but 20,000l. which she brought at first, and which were spent on the wedding and christening ; I mean, including her jewels.
I beg your pardon, Sir, for this tedious detail, which is minutely, perhaps too minutely, true; but, when I took the liberty of contesting any part of a work which I admire so much, I owed it to you and to myself to assign my reasons. I trust they will satisfy you; and, if they do, I am sure you will alter a paragraph against which it is the duty of the family to reclaim. Ďear as my father's memory is to my soul, I can never subscribe to the position that he was unrewarded by the House of Hanover. I have the honour to be, Sir, with great respect and gratitude, your most obliged and obedient humble servant,
HOR. WALPOLE, P.S. I did not take the liberty of retaining your Essay, Sir; but should be very happy to have a copy of it at your leisure.
Berkeley-Square, Nov. 7, 1783. You must allow me, Sir, to repeat my thanks for the second copy of your Tract on my father, and for your great condescension in altering the two passages to wbich 1 presumed to object, and which are now not only more consonant to exactness, but, I hope, no disparagement to the piece. To me they are quite satisfactory; and it is a comfort to me too, that what I begged to have changed was not any reflection prejudicial to his memory, but, in the first point, a parallel not entirely similar in circumstances; and, in the other, a sort of censure on others to which I could not subscribe. With all my veneration for my father's memory, I should not remonstrate against just censure on him. Happily, to do justice to him, most iniquitous calumnies ought to be removed, and then there would remain yirtues and merits enough far to outweigh human errors, from which the best men, like him, cannot be exempt. Let his enemies, aye, and his friends, be compared with him—and then justice would be done!
Your Essay, Sir, will, I hope, some time or other, clear the way to his vindication. It points out the true way of examining his character, and is itself, as far as it goes, unanswerable. As such, what an obligation must it be to, Sir, your most grateful and obedient humble servant,
XCIV. Letters from Bishops Hoadly and Butler, and the Duchess
of Marlborough, to Sir Robert Walpole. MR. URBAN, THE three letters which accompany this must certainly be an agreeable treat to your readers. They are from two of the nost shining ornaments of the Episcopal Bench to a Prime Minister;
and are remarkable for the dignified man: ner in which one of them requests a Translation ; and the other accepts a vacant See. A fourth, from the famous Duchess of Marlborough, in the character of Ranger of Windsor Park, is also a curiosity. Their genuineness is unquestionable ; and you may engrave, if you please, the