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ment from Bute he set about his Memoirs of George III. But, by a just retribution, these two works exhibit the most indisputable proofs of the corruption and malignity of the writer, and afford the best justification of the ministers he traduces.
From these two affairs is to be dated Walpole's special rancour against the King, Lord Bute, and the whole Court and Government
his constant professions of terror at Scottish influence, long after Lord Bute's influence had vanished-his coalition with Mason, who, we have no doubt, at his instigation assumed for his satires the pseudonyme of Nsalcolm Macgregor-and a degree of violence, acharnement, against Scotland and the Scotch which seems almost absolute insanity. As this is really the chief feature, and certainly the greatest curiosity of these volumes, we must give our readers some specimens of this patriotism. He tells Mason:
• Your writings will outlive the laws of England-I scorn to say Britain, since it implies Scotland.'—i. 155. Again :
• Prithee leave England to its folly—to its ruin-to the Scotch. They have reduced her to a skeleton, and the bones will stick in their own throats.'
Alarmed and shocked, as he affects to be—and as we believe in his sane moments he really was-at war in general, and at war with France especially, he is equally so at the prospect of a good understanding with her, which he thinks can only be a scheme to forward the project of the Scotch for enslaving England:
* Lord Stormont is the negotiator, and Lord Mansfield, who has not courage even to be Chancellor, has conrage and villany enough to assist him in enslaving us, as the Chancellor [of France Maupeou] has enslaved his own country.'--i. 76. Even when at last the war has broken out, and England is, he says, ' disgraced and ruined, and can never again be what it has been,' he has still one consolation left:• Scotland will not triumph.'—i. 349.
The victories of France will be over the Scots. ... Dr. Franklin has triumphed over a Scot Ambassador.'-i. 352. And he urges his fellow-labourer to pursue that idea' in some future libel on the Court.
As matters looked worse, there was amidst the general gloom one comfortable thought'--that America had been • inspired to chastise the traitor Scots that attacked her. They have made a blessed harvest of their machinations. If there is a drachm of sense under a Crown, a Scot hereafter will be reckoned pestilential.'— i. 39.
VOL. LXXXIX. NO. CLXXVII.
So, when he wishes to stigmatise the object of his own peculiar vexation, he has no worse name to call him by than MacJenkinson. In August 1778, because Lord Mansfield was a Scot, Walpole believes that the Chief Justice has • drawn out, servilely copied, and recommended' for imitation the successive steps of James II. ; only doubting whether he has done so ' in order that the House of Hanover may be ruined' by such “manæuvres '-or whether he really hopes to consolidate a despotism for them—and
fatters himself he could succeed where Jeffries and the Jesuits failed.'
• That rests on RIGHT DIVINE all regal claims,
-Ep. to Shebbeare. As we have seen, in the first of the satires, Lord Mansfield will
Ilang the knave without a jury.' Even in the Protestant riots of 1780, the disordered imagination of Walpole sees a new Popish Plot fomented, if not devised, by the King, Lord Mansfield, and the Ministers, for the purpose of getting rid of juries and parliaments, and establishing a military tyranny on the ruins of the constitution :
• Anti-Catholicism seems not only to have had little, but even only a momentary hand in the riots. I am inclined to believe that a Court plot was engrafted early on the prospect of tumults. So few and such no-precautions were taken, that it is not very injurious to conclude that a necessity for calling the army together to suppress an insurrection was no very disagreeable opportunity. It has certainly answered so roundly, that I do believe the machinist (the King?] would forgive the imputation in consideration of the honour it would do his policy. Lord Mansfield (whose house and library had been burned] has risen like a phenix from the flames, and vomits martial-law, as if all lawbooks were burned as we
* This was the moment I have long dreaded. I had no doubt the Court wished for insurrections. It was strong enough at home to suppress them, and the suppression would unite all the military and militia, and all under one standard; and so I am persuaded it has already....
-... Lord Mansfield will have courage to coin what law he pleases while the House of Lords is guarded by drayoons; and the Chancellor, whom all sides blindly concur in crying up to the skies, has spirit enough of his own to execute any enterprise to which he shall be commanded, and is as ready as Maupeou to annihilate
parliaments, if timidity and cunning did not prefer voting despotism.'ii. 109, 110, 112. This is stark Bedlam. Their strictly personal insults to George
III. are equally numerous, and still more notoriously calumnious. Walpole says (March 1773) that his ministers are as great rogues and fools as those of Charles or James II., butfor King James, I can find no parallel-he was sincere in his religion.'-i. 61.
While the ‘Postscript to the Heroic Epistle' was on the stocks, Mason (i. 82) invites Walpole to-send him a curious anecdote or two relating to that supreme pattern of fraternal affection 'as he sneeringly calls the King, in allusion to his just and yet, as it turned out, placable vexation at the clandestine marriages of his two brothers.
In the midst of a high-flown tirade of morality and patriotism, Walpole expresses bis contempt for that “paltry thing of ermine and velvet-a king!'-i. 147.
And he is delighted to think that the Heroic Epistle vexed his monarch personally, and he exhorts Mason to follow up the blow:
*Point all your lightnings at that wretch Dalrymple, and yet make him but the footstool to the throne, as you made poor simple Chambers.' -i. 75.
Sir Jobn Dalrymple was, as Walpole himself admits, a uretch-only because he was a Scot and had the honesty to publish the evidence from the French archives of the profligate corruption of some of Walpole's Whig saints; and Mason responds to these provocations with sundry lamentations on the degradation of England :
Since Scottish kingcraft reassumed the throne.' Mr. Wilberforce said of the modern Whigs, during the last French war, that they wished for as much public calamity as might bring themselves into power. This was still more true of Walpole and Mason, who rejoiced in the disasters of the American war, without any restriction; they exaggerate every failure, attenuate every advantage; they blazon
the smallest as well as the greatest, of the enemy;
and when at last Rodney's victory of the 12th of April 1782, restored our naval superiority, the only allusion to it in this correspondence is an innendo that if it had happened a little sooner it might have encouraged the Court to establish a Bastille, and that, as it is, it is lucky that a fleet cannot be employed to get rid of a House of Commons ! The gaiety of their letters is in direct proportion with the gloom of public affairs; and when to all our difficulties in America the war in India was superadded, the patriot Mason writes
Was I to tell you that I drink to Hyder Ally's health every day in a glass of port, it might tempt you to pledge me in your glass of orange juice; pray do so!'-ii. 174.
They not only imagined the ruin of their country, but rejoiced in it; and it is an additional proof of the obstinate blindness which faction inflicts on 'men, otherwise the most clear-sighted, that at the very time that Walpole was venting all this calumnious nonsense, he could thus write to Sir Horace Mann of persons whose example he was following :
* Last night I took up, to divert my thoughts, a volume of letters to Swift from Boling broke, Bathurst, and Gay; and what was there but lamentations on the ruin of England from wretches who thought their own want of power a proof that their country was undone.'--Letter, 13 January, 1780.
He did not see that he and Mason were not only imitating, but surpassing the venomous railings of the mock patriots' (ib.) of the former generation.
The Memoirs of George III. and this Correspondence are, when examined by a discriminating eye, the fullest and most effective answers that could be made to the clamours of that day; they expose the futility of the pretences, the meanness of the intrigues, the inconsistencies, the selfishness of the pretended patriots; and certainly, of all the personages that their their verse, their satires or their letters, exhibit to posterity, there are no two that, as to honesty, candour and truth, cut a worse figure than Walpole and Mason themselves. Let us allow them to complete the picture by a few more touches of their own.
Their party is at last triumphant--Lord North is ousted—the Patriots are in the cabinet. What follows? The first circumstance we meet is a paltry affair—a mere straw to show the direction of the wind. Patriot Mason has a poor relation, a broken tradesman, to whom he makes an allowance; he, with a double good-nature for the poor man and for his own pocket, wishes to get him a certain little place under the Crown. He loses no time, and even before the new ministers are warm in their offices, applies to Walpole to exert his influence for his friend. Patriot Walpole, after saying that he had “for forty good years made it a rule not to ask any favour from
minister' which rule we beg leave to add he invariably broke by asking favours for himself from every successive minister, from Mr. Pelham to Lord North, inclusive-Patriot Walpole, we say, consents to advocate the poor relation's job, and applies to the Duke of Richmond accordingly. All this might have been very natural, and in our opinion not at all reprehensible in any but just these men
who had spent so many years in influencing the public mind against royal and ministerial patronage; and who had lately received with such joy the Resolution that the power of the Crown ought to be diminished.' But there is a still better scene in this little farce. - The Duke of Richmond, by some accident, did not immediately reply to Walpole's application. Walpole wonders—but imagines the Duke is making inquiries. Another day passes--Walpole grows uneasy.
Another and another pass-still no answer. Walpole blazes up into the most highminded indignation : his eyes are opened, - his vanity reprimanded'-" his pride wounded'-' he would not in any case have haunted the new ministry, but now he would as soon step into a care of scorpions, or even join those wretches the old ministers, as have anything to do with these ungrateful men.'—. 280. There's pure and disinterested patriotism for you! In a week this indignation no doubt gets round to the Duke-who apologizes--and gives the place; Mason's poor relation is salaried—Walpole outwardly (not inwardly) appeased; and we-after all the greatest gainers--have the moral of the
It was perhaps this little incident that prompted Walpole to discover and communicate to Mason the humiliating fact that the new ministers--so long their pride and hope were quite as bad and in some respects rather worse than the 'wretches' their pre
All is barefaced faction ; ambition and interest have cut away their vizors, or sold them parlous dear. Both sides are alike : one cannot value either. Whenever the nation gets an advantage, it is like a halfgnawed bone tossed to a dog under the table.'-ii. 309.
Even from the first formation of the new ministry, he says,there never had been any union. Pride, rashness, folly, and knarery have dissipated even pretences, and everything is to begin anew. Fon have youth or courage enough to commence a fresh chace, I have na objection. For myself, I confess I am too old; nor am I eager to be aiding and abetting more Irish adventurers in getting pensions of 30001. a year. They have picked the pockets of others full as honest as themselves, and call it saving the nation's money!'--ii. 313.
Before we give more faith to this vituperation of the new ministers than we did to that of the former wretches,' we should like to know whether Walpole had renewed to Lord Rockingham the little request about being made independent in the Exchequer office, which, in spite of the excellent rule of never asking a favour, he had made to all his predecessors; perhaps time may reveal that secret as it has done all the rest. In the meanwhile We hesitate to take the character of the Rockingham party