Page images

though by no means favourites of ours-implicitly from the pen of Walpole.

The Irish adventurer' was Colonel Barré, whose services his party-so long Walpole's own—rewarded with a pension, but on the death of Sir Edward Walpole, which happened shortly after this, they gave him the Clerkship of the Pells, which was of much greater value. It shows how blind self-interest is to its own blots, that Walpole should forget that what was proposed for Colonel Barré at the close of a long and distinguished public life was not half the amount of what he himself and his two brothers had, each, 'picked from the public pocket,' even from their boyhood.

We said, in a former part of this article, that Walpole and Mason quarrelled—as Walpole did with all, and Mason, we believe, with most of those whom they called their friends. Horace gives a summary of this difference in the Walpoliana, which Mr. Mitford reproduces in his preface, but with some omissions and mistakes; the following is the genuine version :

• I shall tell you a great secret, the cause of my late difference with Mr. Mason (1785). Lord Harcourt, Mason, and I, used often to meet together, as we cordially agreed in our sentiments of the public measures pursued during this reign. But when the India Bill of Fox came to be agitated, Mason took a decided part against it ; nay, wrote to me that, upon this occasion, every one ought to assist the King; and warmly recommended it to me to use my influence in that cause.

• You may imagine I was a little surprised at this new style of my old friend, and the impertinence of giving his advice unasked. I returned a light ironical answer. As Mason had, in a sermon preached before the archbishop of York, publicly declared that he would not accept of a bishopric, if offered to him, I jeeringly told him that I supposed his antipathy to a bishopric had subsided. Ile being also the first promoter of the York Associations (for Parliamentary Reform], which I never approved, I added, that I supposed he intended to use that fool Wyvill as a tool of popularity. For Wyvill is so stupid that he cannot even write English; and the first York Association paper, which was written by Wyvill, is neither sense nor grammar.

• To return to Lord Harcourt. He was so obnoxious to the Court, that when his mother lately died, the Queen did not send a message to his countess, to say that she would call on her ; though this be always done in etiquette to a countess, and as constantly refused. In consequence Lord and Lady Harcourt never went near the Court. But when Fox's India Bill came to the House of Lords, Lord Harcourt, probably by Mason's suggestions, remained to the very last of the question, and much distinguished himself against it. The consequence was, that a few days after, Lord Harcourt called on me to say that the King had sent him a message requesting his acceptance of the embassy to Spain : and he concluded with begging my advice on the occasion. I told him


age of

at once, that since the King had sent such a message, I thought it was in fact begging pardon: “and, my Lord, I think you must go to Court, and return thanks for the offer, as you do not accept it.' But, lo and behold ! in a day or two Lady Harcourt was made lady of the bed-chamber to the Queen, and Lord Harcourt was constantly dangling in the drawing-room.

Soon after Mason, in another letter, asked me what I thought of Lord Harcourt's becoming such a courtier, &c. I was really shocked to see a man, who had professed so much, treat such a matter so lightly, and returned a pretty severe answer. Among other matters, I said ironically, that, since Lord Harcourt had given his cap-and-dagger ring to little master, he (Mason) need no longer wonder at my love for my bust of Caligula. For Lord Harcourt used formerly always to wear a seal-ring with the cap of liberty between two daggers, when he went to court : but he gave it to a little boy (Lady Jersey's] upon his change. And I, though a warm friend of republicanism, have a small bust of Caligula in bronze, much admired for its fine workmanship.

The consequence of these differences has been, that we call on each other, but are on the coldest terms.

* I ought to have mentioned that Mr. Mason, in his latter epistle to me, condoled with me on the death of my brother, by which I lost 14001. a year. In my answer, I told him there was no room for condolence in the affair, my brother having attained the seventyseven, and I myself being an old man of sixty-eight; so that it was time for the old child to give over buying of baubles. I added, that Mr. Mason well knew that the place had been twice offered to me for my oon life, but I had refused, and left it on the old footing of my brother’s.'— Walpoliana, p. 90.

On this last assertion we feel it our duty to say that there is every reason to believe that the statement is not true in the sense in which the speaker would have us understand it. Horace had not been offered the place for his own life additionally--that was the hitch—but he was offered to have his name substituted for Sir Edward's, if the latter would consentwhich of course could not be proposed to the brother.

In the same as we believe very trustworthy report of Horace's confidential conversation with Pinkerton, we read:

*Mason too has turned a kind of courtier, though he was formerly so noted, that, being one of the King's chaplains, and it being his turn to preach before the royal family, the Queen ordered another to perform the office ; but when the substitute began to read prayers, Mason also began the same service. He did not say whether he proceeded; but this I had from his own mouth ; and as it happened at the chapel of St. James's, it is surprising that the town did not know it. Mason in consequence resigned the chaplaincy.'- Ibid.

This, we see, is a very different story from that which Mason had conveyed to the Lord Chamberlain Hertford through Walpole,


and was no doubt a subsequent and confidential communication of his real motives, and is quite enough to account for his personal animosity against the King and Queen.

Amongst the many deficiencies of illustration with which we have to reproach the editor, one of the most serious is, that he should have taken no notice of the angry and sarcastic letter which completed Walpole's rupture with Mason, and which is to be found (misdated 1780) in a kind of appendix to the last livraison of the Letters to Sir Horace Mann (vol. iv. p. 315). As that work belongs to the same publisher as this, there could have been no objection on the score of copyright to its reproduction in what is, no doubt, its properest place, Had the editor never seen it? or was it thought discreditable to both his heroes ? At all events it belongs so essentially to this series and to the subjects we have been discussing, that we must find room for the most prominent passages of it. We are only sorry not to have the letter of Mason which provoked it. Its true date must have been in February or March 1784–shortly after the letter of the 2nd February (ii, p. 363), in which Walpole jeered Mason about his nolo episcopari pledge. To this Mason replied we know not what—and then, no doubt, Walpole rejoined as follows:

* To the Rev. W. Mason.

• You must blame yourself, not me, if you are displeased with my letters, which you forced from me. I had done all I could, both by silence and by more than once or twice declaring I did not choose to write on politics, to avoid any political discussions with you. I could not be ignorant of Lord Harcourt's conversion, which for a moment had so much diverted the towni; but I did not take the liberty to mention it to him. Neither was I quite ignorant of your change of sentiments; yet should never have uttered a syllable to you on that occasion, had you not chosen to notify it to me. Then I most certainly had an equal right to declare that my principles were not changed-especially not by a circumstance, serious indeed in itself, but ludicrous if it had produced such an effect on me as to make me think the power of the Crown had diminished, was diminishing, and ought to be increased. Ought did not become you or me.

* I am so far from being hurt at your quarrelling with me, that I thank you extremely for it, and still so cordially wish you whatever you may wish for yourself, that I should delight in seeing you Archbishop of York; for, as you are excellent at distinctions, you can as certainly discern the difference between an Archbishop and a Bishop as between a King and his Crown. I am, Sir, with due regard and esteem, your most obedient humble servant,

H. W. • P.S.—Your pert and ignorant cabal at York, picking up factious slander from party libels, stigmatized that excellent man [Sir Robert Walpole] as the patron of corruption, though all his views and


all his notions tended to nothing but to preserve the present family on the throne and the nation in peace and aftuence. Your own blind ambition of being the head of a party, which had no precise system in view, has made you embrace every partial sound which you took for popularity; and being enraged at every man who would not be dictated to by your crude visions, you have foundered into a thousand absurdities; and though you set out with pretending to reform Parliament, in order to lower the influence of the Crown, you have plunged into the most preposterous support of prerogative because Lord North, then the Crown minister, declared against your innovations, and has since fallen into disgrace with the King. am not so little rooted in my principles as to imitate or co-operate with you. I am going out of the world, and am determined to die as I have lived, consistent. You are not much younger than I am, and ought to have acted a more temperate and rational part; but that is no business of mine.' :

Walpole, after all, did Mason the credit of believing that his conversion was honest :- from a silly hope of seeing his favourite scheme of parliamentary reform prosper in Mr. Pitt's hands.' (Walpoliana, p. 91.) Walpole himself, whose sagacity never failed him except when a side glance at his sinecures distorted his vision, never gave in to the delusion of parliamentary reform> he all along foresaw that so great and radical a change must inevitably alter the balance of the Constitution. The French Revolution reclaimed Walpole altogether. He then no doubt began to think more leniently of Mason's apostacy ;-but it is not till after a lapse of twelve years, 1784-1796, that one letter from each of the parties testifies that they had returned to some habits of intercourse—though not we presume of friendship.

So ends this curious chapter in the history of faction ; and however disgusting and contemptible some parts of the conduct of both Walpole and Mason must appear, we are disposed to forgive the mischief they did for tlie lesson that they afford. It is some satisfaction to think that they both saw with regret-and we hope with repentance--the mischievous effects of those disorganizing principles which they had so long and so strenuously deavoured to propagate.

Mr. Mitford has touched slightly on the new hypothesis that Walpole or Mason may have had some share in Junius. We will not now enter into that labyrinth further than to venture a prophecy that if ever Junius is discovered, he also will be found to have died at least a penitent, and perhaps a courtier.




nunc primum edidit Emmanuel Miller. Oxonii. 1851. WITHIN the last twelvemonth the country has received

several very valuable presents from the Delegates of the Clarendon press.

Wycliffe's Bible, especially, has at length issued from that noble institution, complete, in a handsome form; edited—we cannot doubt, from the high character of the gentlemen employed—with trustworthy care and accuracy; and, considering the size and splendour of the volumes, at moderate cost :a work which, in its bearings on the history of our national religion and of the English language, will deserve, we trust will receive, a more ample notice in this journal. Nor is it without pride that we find one of our English Universities, so soon as the discovery of a work, or rather the largest and more important part of a work, by a writer so celebrated and so influential as Origen, was announced, ready at once to undertake the publication, with no timid or jealous mistrust as to what theological opinions it might favour, or on what controversies it might throw unexpected light. Satisfied, on due inquiry, that he who had discovered, or at least affiliated, the treatise was perfectly competent to edit it, the Delegates of the Clarendon lend their press, their resources, and the authority of their high name to a foreign scholar, and leave him at full liberty to conduct and accomplish his work according to his own judgment.

The editor, Emmanuel Miller, appears in the title-page without any further designation or description. He is, as we understand, by birth a Frenchman, and resident in Paris, of acknowledged eminence as a Greek scholar, and noted for rare sagacity in exploring the hidden treasures of ancient and neglected libraries. M. Miller's researches in the Escurial did not, we believe, first disinter, but the fear of his active rivalry forced forward the somewhat tardy and dilatory publication, by those who were before in the field, of certain remarkable fragments of Nicolaus of Damas

These fragments contain an account of the death of Julius Cæsar, more nearly contemporary (Nicolaus lived in the court of Augustus) than that of any other writer now extant. They do not indeed add any new particulars to the history of that great event ; but Mr. Merivale does not seem to have been aware that these extracts had been published, first, in Germany, and again, within the last year, in a large and useful volume, by the Didots --the second of the Fragments of the Greek Historians. We may possibly, therefore, render some service to more secluded English



« PreviousContinue »