« AnteriorContinuar »
Darching to the relief of Stanhope. Prepara-| the greatest security of the Whigs. That tions were instantly made for a general action. affection had at length turned to deadly averOn the day following that on which the Eng- sion. While the great party which had long lish had delivered their arms, was fought the swayed the destinies of Europe was underobstinate and bloody battle of Villa Viciosa. mined by bedchamber-women at St. James's, a Staremberg remained master of the field. Ven- violent storm gathered in the country. A fool. dome reaped all the fruits of the engagement. ish parson had preached a foolish sermon The allies spiked their cannon, and retired to-against the principles of the Revolution. The wards Arragon. But even in Arragon they wisest members of the government were for found no place of rest. Vendome was behind letting the man alone. But Godolphin, inthem. The guerilla parties were around them. flamed with all the zeal of a new-made Whig, They fled to Catalonia; but Catalonia was in- and exasperated by a nickname which was vaded by a French army from Roussillon. At applied to him in this unfortunate discourse, length the Austrian general with six thousand insisted that the preacher should be impeached. harassed and dispirited men, the remains of a The exhortations of the mild and sagacious great and victorious army, took refuge in Bar- Somers were disregarded. The impeachment celona; almost the only place in Spain which was brought; the doctor was convicted; and recognised the authority of Charles.
the accusers were ruined. The clergy came Philip was now much safer at Madrid than to the rescue of the persecuted clergyman. his grandfather at Paris. All hope of conquer. The country gentlemen came to the rescue of ing Spain in Spain was at an end. But in the clergy. A display of Tory feelings, such other quarters the house of Bourbon was re- as England had not witnessed since the closing duced to the last extremity. The French days of Charles the Second's reign, appalled armies had undergone a series of defeats in the ministers, and gave boldness to the queen. Germany, in Italy, and in the Netherlands. An She turned out the Whigs, called Harley and immense force, flushed with victory, and com- St. John to power, and dissolved the Parliamanded by the greatest generals of the age, ment. The elections went strongly against was on the borders of France. Louis had the late government. Stanhope, who had in been forced to humble himself before the con- his absence been put in nomination for Westquerors. He had even offered to abandon the minster, was defeated by a Tory candidate. cause of his grandson; and his offer had been The new ministers, finding themselves masters rejected. But a great turn in affairs was ap- of the new Parliament, were induced by the proaching
strongest motives to conclude a peace with The English administration, which had com- France. The whole system of alliance in menced the war against the house of Bourbon, which the country was engaged was a Whig was an administration composed of Tories. system. The general by whom the English But the war was a Whig war. It was the armies had constantly been led to victory, and favourite scheme of William, the Whig king. for whom it was impossible to find a substiLouis had provoked it, by recognising, as tute, was now, whatever he might formerly sovereign of England, a prince peculiarly hate- have been, a Whig general. If Marlborough ful to the Whigs. It had placed England in a were discarded, it was probable that some position of marked hostility to that power, great disaster would follow. Yet, if he were from which alone the Pretender could expect to retain his command, every great action sufficient succour. It had joined England in which he might perform would raise the credit the closest union to a Protestant and republic of the party in opposition. can state; a state which had assisted in bring. A peace was therefore concluded between ing about the Revolution, and which was England and the princes of the house of Bour willing to guaranty the execution of the Act of bon. Of that peace Lord Mahon speaks in Settlement. Marlborough and Godolphin found terms of the severest reprehension. He is that they were more zealously supported by indeed, an excellent Whig of the time of the their old opponents than by their old associ- first Lord Stanhope. “I cannot but pause for ates. Those ministers who were zealous for a moment,” says he, “to observe how much the war were gradually converted to Whigism. the course of a century has inverted the mean The rest dropped off
, and were succeeded by ing of our party nicknames; how much a moWhigs. Cowper became Chancellor. Sun- dern Tory resembles a Whig of Queen Anne's derland, in spite of the very just antipathy of reign, and a Tory of Queen Anne's reign a Anne, was made Secretary of State. On the modern Whig." death of the Prince of Denmark, a more exten- We grant one-half of Lord Mahon's proposi sive change took place. Wharton became tion; from the other half we altogether dissent Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Somers Presi- We allow that a modern Tory resembles, in dent of the Council. At length the administra- many things, a Whig of Queen Anne's reign. tion was wholly in the hands of the Low It is natural that such should be the case. The Church party.
worst things of one age or nation often resemIn the year 1710, a violent change took ble the best things of another. The livery of place. The queen had always been a Tory at an English footinan outshines the royal robes heart. Her religious feelings were all on the of King Pomarre. A modern shopkeeper's side of the Established Church. Her family house is as well furnished as the house of a feelings pleaded in favour of her exiled bro- considerable merchant in Anne's reign. Very ther. Her interest disposed her to favour the plain people now wear finer cloth than Beau zealots of prerogative. The affection which Fielding or Beau Edgworth could have pro she felt for the Duchess of Marlborough was cured in Queen Anne's reign. We won.
rather trust to the apothecary of a modern vil- fully qualified to sit with Halifax and Somers lage than to the physician of a large town in at the Kit-Cat. Anne's reign. A modern boarding-school miss Though, therefore, we admit that a modern could tell the most learned professor of Anne's Tory bears some resemblance to a Whig of reign some things in geography, astronomy, Queen Anne's reign, we can by no means ad. and chemistry, which would surprise him. mit that a Tory of Anne's reign resembled
The science of governmeni is an experi- a modern Whig. Have the modern Whigs mental science; and therefore it is, like all passed laws for the purpose of closing the enother experimental sciences, a progressive trance of the House of Commons against the science. Lord Mahon would have been a new interests created by trade? Do the mo very good Whig in the days of Harley. But dern Whigs hold the doctrine of divine right? Harley, whom Lord Mahon censures so se Have the modern Whigs laboured to exclude verely, was very Whigish when compared all dissenters from office and power? Tho, even with Clarendon; and Clarendon was modern Whigs are, indeed, like the Tories or quite a democrat, when compared with Lord 1712, desirous of peace and of close union Burleigh. If Lord Mahon lives, as we hope with France. But is there no difference be. he will, fifty years longer, we have no doubt iween the France of 1712 and the France of that, as he now boasts of the resemblance 1832? Is France now the stronghold of the which the Tories of our time bear to the “Popish tyranny” and the “arbitrary power” Whigs of the Revolution, he will then boast of against which our ancestors fought and praythe resemblance borne by the Tories of 1882, ed? Lord Mahon will find, we think, that his to those immortal patriots, the Whigs of the parallel is, in all essential circumstances, as Reform Bill.
incorrect as that which Fluellen drew between Society, we believe, is constantly advancing Macedon and Monmouth; or as that which in knowledge. The tail is now where the an ingenious Tory lately discovered between head was some generations ago. But the head Archbishop Williams and Archbishop Ver and the tail still keep their distance. A nurse of this century is as wise as a justice of the We agree with Lord Mahon in thinking quorun and cust-alorum in Shallow's time. highly of the Whigs of Queen Anne's reign. The wooden spoon of this year would puzzle But that part of their conduct which he selects a senior wrangler of the reign of George the for especial praise, is precisely the part which Second. A boy from the National School we think most objectionable. We revere them reads and spells better than half the knights as the great champions of political and intelof the shire in the October Club. But there is lectual liberty. It is true, that, when raised to still as wide a difference as ever between jus-power, they were not exempt from the faults tices and nurses, senior wranglers and wooden which power naturally engenders. It is true, spoons, members of Parliament and children that they were men born in the seventeenth at charity schools. In the same way, though century, and that they were therefore ignorant a Tory may now be very like what a Whig of many truths which are familiar to the men was one hundred and twenty years, the Whig of the nineteenth century. But they were, is as much in advance of the Tory as ever. what the reformers of the Church were before The stag, in the Treatise on the Bathos, who them, and what the reformers of the House of "feared his hind feet would overtake the fore,” Commons have been since—the leaders of was not more mistaken than Lord Mahon, if their species in a right direction. It is true, he thinks that he has really come up with the that they did not allow to political discussion Whigs. The absolute position of the parties that latitude which to us appears reasonable has been altered; the relative position remains and safe; but to them we owe the removal of unchanged. Through the whole of that great the Censorship. It is true that they did not movement, which began before these party carry the principle of religious liberty to its names existed, and which will continue after full extent; but to them we owe the Tolerathey have become obsolete ; through the whole tion Act. of that great movement, of which the char- Though, however, we think that the Whigs ter of John, the institution of the House of of Anne's reign were, as a body, far superior Commons, the extinction of villanage, the in wisdom and public virtue to their contemposeparation from the See of Rome, the expul- raries the Tories, we by no means hold oursion of the Stuarts, the reform of the repre- selves bound to defend all the measures of our sentative system, are successive stages, there favourite party. A life of action, if it is to be have been, under some name or other, two sets useful, must be a life of compromise. But of men; those who were vefore their age, and speculation admits of no compromise. A pubthose who were behind it; those who were the lic man is often under the necessity of conwisest among their contemporaries, and those senting to measures which he dislikes, lest he whe gloried in being no wiser than their great should endanger the success of measures which grandfathers. It is delightful to think, that in he thinks of vital importance. But the histodue time the last of those who struggle in the rian lies under no such necessity. On the conrear of the great march, will occupy the place trary, it is one of his most sacred duties to now occupied by the advanced guard. The point out clearly the errors of those whose Tory Parliament of 1710 would have passed general conduct he admires. sora most liberal Parliament in the days of It seems to us, then, that on the great ques. Elizabeth ; and there are few members of the tion which divided England during the last four Collservative Club, who would not have been years of Anne's reign, the Tories were in the
right and the Whigs in the wrong. That ques might become heir by blood to the French tion was, whether England ought to conclude crown, and that thus two great monarchies peace without exacting from Philip a resigna- might be united under one sovereign. tion of the Spanish crown.
The first danger appears to us altogether No parliamentary struggle from the time of chimerical. Family affection has seldom prothe Exclusion Bill to the time of the Reform duced much effect on the policy of princes. Bill, has been so violent as that which took The state of Europe at the time of the peace place between the authors of the Traty of of Utrecht proved that in politics the lies of Utrecht and the War Party. The Commons interest are much stronger than those of con. were for peace; the Lords were for vigorous sanguinity. The Elector of Bavaria had been hostilities. The queen was compelled to driven from his dominions by his father-inchoose which of her two highest prerogatives law; Victor Amadeus was in arms against his she would exercise: whether she would create sons-in-law; Anne was seated on a throne Peers or dissolve the Parliament. The ties from which she had assisted to push a most of party superseded the ties of neighbourhood indulgent father. It is true that Philip had and of blood; the members of the hostile fac- been accustomed from childhood to regard tions would scarcely speak to each other or his grandfather with profound veneration. It bow to each other; the women appeared at the was probable, therefore, that the influence of theatres bearing the badges of their political Louis at Madrid would be very great; but sect. The schism extended to the most remote Louis was more than seventy years old; he counties of England. Talents such as had could not live long; his heir was an infant never before been displayed in political con- in the cradle. There was surely no reason to trovery were enlisted in the service of the hos- think that the policy of the King of Spain tile parties. On the one side was Steele, gay, would be swayed by his regard for a nephew lively, drunk with animal spirits and with fac- whom he had never seen. tious animosity; and Addison, with his polished In fact, soon after the peace the two branches satire, his inexhaustible fertility of fancy, and of the house of Bourbon began to quarrel. A his graceful simplicity of style. In the front close alliance was formed between Philip and of the opposite ranks appeared a darker and Charles, lately competitors for the Castilian fiercer spirit--the apostate politician, the ribald crown. A Spanish princess, betrothed to the priest, the perjured lover-a heart burning with King of France, was sent back in the most inhatred against the whole human race-a mind sulting manner to her native country, and a richly stored with images from the dunghill decree was put forth by the court of Madrid and the lazar-house. The ministers triumphed, commanding every Frenchman to leave Spain. and the peace was concluded. Then came the It is true that, fifty years after the peace of reaction. A new sovereign ascended the throne. Utrecht, an alliance of peculiar strictness was The Whigs enjoyed the confidence of the king formed between the French and Spanish goand of the Parliament. The unjust severity vernments. But it is certain that both governwith which the Tories had treated Marlborough ments were actuated on that occasion, pot by and Walpole was more than retaliated. Har domestic affection, but by common interests ley and Prior were thrown into prison; Boling- and common enmities. Their compact, though broke and Ormond were compelled to take re- called the Family Compact, was as purely a fuge in a foreign land. The wounds inflicted political compact as the league of Cambrai or in this desperate conflict continued to rankle the league of Pilnitz. for many years. It was long before the mem- The second danger was, that Philip might bers of either party could discuss the question have succeeded to the crown of his native of the peace of Utrecht with calmness and im- country. This did not happen. But it might partiality. That the Whig ministers had sold have happened; and at one time it seemed us to the Dutch, and the Tory ministers had very likely to happen. A sickly child alone sold us to the French; that the war had been stood between the King of Spain and the heri. carried on only to fill the pockets of Marlbo- tage of Louis the Fourteenth. Philip, it is true, rough; that the peace had been concluded only solemnly renounced his claims to the French to facilitate the bringing over the Pretender; crown. But the manner in which he had obthese imputations and many others, utterly un- tained possession of the Spanish crown had founded or grossly exaggerated, were hurled lately proved the inefficacy of such renunciabackward and forward by the political dis- tions. The French lawyers declared the reputants of the last century. In our time the nunciation null, as being inconsistent with question may be discussed without irritation. the fundamental law of the monarchy. The We will state, as concisely as possible, the French people would probably have sided with reasons which have led us to the conclusion him whom they would have considered as the at which we have arrived.
rightful heir. Saint Simon, though much less The dangers which were to be apprehended the slave of prejudice than most of his coun from the peace were two; first, the danger that trymen, and though strongly attached to the Philip might be induced, by feelings of private regent, declared, in the presence of that prince, affection, to act in strict concert with the elder that he never would support the claims of the branch of his house, to favour the French trade house of Orleans against those of the King at the expense of England, and to side with the of Spain. “If such," he said, “ be my feel. French government in future wars; secondly, ings, what must be the feelings of others?" the danger that the posterity of the Duke of i Bolingbroke, it is certain, was fully convinced Burgundy might become extinct, that Philip, that the renunciation was worth no more than
the paper on which it was written, and de- , we think that an estimate approximating to manded it only for the purpose of blinding the the truth, may, without much difficulty, be English Parliament and people.
formed. The allies had been victorious in Yet, though it was at one time probable that Germany, Italy, and Flanders. It was by no the posterity of the Duke of Burgundy would means improbable that they might fight their become extinct, and though it is almost certain way into the very heart of France. But at no that if the posterity of the Duke of Burgundy time since the commencement of the war had had become extinct, Philip would have suc- their prospects been so dark in that country cessfully preferred his claim to the crown of which was the very object of the struggle. In France, we still defend the principle of the Spain they held only a few square leagues. Treaty of Utrecht. In the first place, Charles The temper of the great majority of the nation had, soon after the battle of Villa Viciosa, in- was decidedly hostile to them. If they had herited, by the death of his elder brother, all persisted, if they had obtained success equal to the dominions of the house of Austria. It their highest expectations, if they had gained a might be argued, that if to these dominions he series of victories as splendid as those of had added the whole monarchy of Spain, the Blenheim and Ramilies, if Paris had fallen, if balance of power would be seriously endan-Louis had been a prisoner, we still doubt gered. The union of the Austrian dominions whether they would have accomplished their and Spain would not, it is true, have been so object. They would still have had to carry on alarming an event as the union of France and interminable hostilities against the whole poSpain. But Charles was actually emperor. pulation of a country which affords peculiar Philip was not, and never might be, King of facilities to irregular warfare; and in which France. The certainty of the less evil mightinvading armies suffer more from famine than well be set against the chance of the greater from the sword. evil.
We are, therefore, for the peace of Utrecht But, in fact, we do not believe that Spain It is true, that we by no means admire the would long have remained under the govern- statesmen who concluded that peace. Hariey, ment either of the emperor or of the King of we believe, was a solemn trifler. St. John a France. The character of the Spanish people brilliant knave. The great body of their fol. was a better security to the nations of Europe lowers consisted of the country clergy and the than any will, any instrument of renunciation, country gentry; two classes of men who were or any treaty. The same energy which the then immeasurably inferior in respectability people of Castile had put forth when Madrid and intelligence to decent shopkeepers or was occupied by the allied armies, they would farmers of our time. Parson Barnabas, Par have again put forth as soon as it appeared son Trulliber, Sir Wilful Witwould, Sir Fran. that their country was about to become a pro- cis Wronghead, Squire Western, Squire Sul vince of France. Though they were no longer len-such were the people who composed the masters abroad, they were by no means dis- main strength of the Tory party for sixty years posed to see foreigners set over them at home. after the Revolution. It is true, that the means If Philip had become King of France, and had by which the Tories came into power in 1710 attempted to govern Spain by mandates from were most disreputable. It is true, that the Versailles, a second Grand Alliance would manner in which they used their power was easily have effected what the first had failed to often unjust and cruel. It is true, that in order accomplish. The Spanish nation would have to bring about their favourite project of peace, rallied against him as zealously as it had be they resorted to slander and deception, without fore rallied round him. And of this he seems the slightest scruple. It is true, that they to have been fully aware. For many years the passed off on the British nation a renunciation favourite hope of his heart was that he might which they knew to be invalid. It is true, that ascend the throne of his grandfather; but he they gave up the Catalans to the vengeance of seems never to have thought it possible that Philip, in a manner inconsistent with humahe could reign at once in the country of his nity and national honour. But on the great adoption and in the country of his birth. question of Peace or War, we cannot but think
These were the dangers of the peace; and that, though their motives may have been they seem to us to be of no very formidable selfish and malevolent, their decision was kind. Against these dangers are to be set off beneficial to the state. the evils of war and the risk of failure. The But we have already exceeded our limits. It evils of the war-the waste of life, the suspen- remains only for us to bid Lord Mahon heartily sion of trade, the expenditure of wealth, the farewell, and to assure him, that whatever disaccumulation of debt-require no illustration. like we may feel for his political opinions, we The chances of failure it is difficult at this dis- shall always meet him with pleasure on the cance of time to calculate with accuracy. But neutral ground of literature.
WALPOLE'S LETTERS TO SIR HORACE MANN.*
[EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1833.]
We cannot transcribe this title-page without The conformation of his mind was such, strong feelings of regret. The editing of these that whatever was little, seemed to him great, volumes was the last of the useful and modest and whatever was great, seemed to him little. services rendered to literature by a nobleman Serious business was a trifle to him, and trifles of amiable manners, of untarnished public and were his serious business. To chai with blueprivate character, and of cultivated mind. On stockings; to write little copies of complimentthis, as on other occasions, Lord Dover per- ary verses on little occasions; to superintend formed his part diligently, judiciously, and a private press; to preserve from natural decay without the slightest ostentation. He had two the perishable topics of Ranelagh and White's; merits, both of which are rarely found together to record divorces and bets, Miss Chudleigh's in a commentator. He was content to be absurdities and George Selwyn's good saymerely a commentator-to keep in the back- ings; to decorate a grotesque house with pieground, and to leave the foreground to the crust battlements; to procure rare engravings author whom he had undertaken to illustrate. and antique chimney-boards; to match odd Yet, though willing to be an attendant, he was gauntlets; to lay out a maze of walks within by no means a slave; nor did he consider it as five acres of ground-these were the grave part of his editorial duty to see no faults in the employments of his long life. From these he writer to whom he faithfully and assiduously turned to politics as to an amusement. After rendered the humblest literary offices.
the labours of the print-shop and the auctionThe faults of Horace Walpole's head and room, he unbent his mind in the House of hcart are indeed sufficiently glaring. His Commons. And, having indulged in the rewritings, it is true, rank as high among the creation of making laws and voting millions delicacies of intellectual epicures as the Stras- he returned to more important pursuits—to burgh pies among the dishes described in the researches after Queen Mary's comb, Wolsey's Almanack des Gourmands. But, as the pâté-de- red hat, the pipe which Van Tromp smoked foie-gras owes its excellence to the diseases of during his last seafight, and the spur which the wretched animal which furnishes it, and King William struck into the flank of Sorrel. would be good for nothing if it were not made In every thing in which he busied himselfof livers preternaturally swollen, so none but in the fine arts, in literature, in public affairs an unhealthy and disorganized mind could -he was drawn by some strange attraction have produced such literary luxuries as the from the great to the little, and from the usesul works of Walpole.
to the odd. The politics in which he took the He was, unless we have formed a very erro- keenest interest were politics scarcely deservneous judgment of his character, the most ing of the name. The growlings of George the eccentric, the most artificial, the most fastidi- Second, the Airtations of Princess Emily with ous, the most capricious of men. His min the Duke of Grafton, the amours of Prince was a bundle of inconsistent whims and affecta- Frederic with Lady Middlesex, the squabbles tions. His features were covered by mask between Gold Stick and the Master of the Buck. within mask. When the outer disguise of hounds, the disagreements between the tutors obvious affectation was removed, you were of Prince George-these matters engaged still as far as ever from seeing the real man. almost all the attention which Walpole could He played innumerable parts, and overacted spare from matters more important still;—from them all. When he talked misanthropy, he bidding for Zinckes and Petitots, from cheap, out-Timoned Timon. When he talked philan- ening fragments of tapestry, and handles of old thropy, he left Howard at an immeasurable lances, from joining bits of painted glass, and distance. He scoffed at courts, and kept a from setting up memorials of departed cats and chronicle of their most trifling scandal; at dogs. While he was fetching and carrying society, and was blown about by its slightest the gossip of Kensington Palace and Carlton veerings of opinion; at literary fame, and left House, he fancied that he was engaged in fair copies of his private letters, with copious politics, and when he recorded that gossip, he notes, to be published after his decease; at fancied that he was writing history. rank, and never for a moment forgot that he He was, as he has himself told us, fond of was an honourable; at the practice of entail, faction as an amusement. He loved mischief. and tasked the ingenuity of conveyancers to tie but he loved quiet; and he was constantly on up his villa in the strictest seulement. the watch for opportunities of gratifying buth
his tastes at once. He sometiines contrived, * Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, lo Sir Ho. without showing himself, to disturb the course race Mann, British Envoy at the Court of Tuscany. Now of ministerial negotiations, and to spread confirst published from the originals in the possession of the fusion through the political circles. He does
not himself pretend that, on these occasicus,
8vo. London. 1833.