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Crawford of Enrol) to disobey the command. He read the history, and was extremely pleased with it. "Mr Hume told me, that the Duke de Choiseul, at the time Lord Hertford was in France, expressed the greatest inclination for peace, and a good correspondence between France and Britain. He assured Lord Hertford, that if the court of Britain would relinquish Falkland island, he would undertake to procure from the court of Spain the payment of the Manilla ransom. Lord Hertford communicated the proposal to Mr Grenville, who slighted it. Lord Hertford told Mr Hume the same day an extraordinary instance of the violence of faction. Towards the end of Queen Anne's reign, when the Whig ministers were turned out of all their places at home, and the Duke of Marlborough still continued in the command of the army abroad, the discarded ministers met, and wrote a letter, which was signed by Lord Somers, Lord Townshend, Lord Sunderland, and Sir Robert Walpole, desiring the Duke to bring over the troops he could depend on, and that they would seize the Queen's person, and proclaim the Elector of Hanover Regent. The Duke of Marlborough answered the letter, and said it was madness to think of such a thing. Mr Horace Walpole, Sir R. Walpole's youngest son, confirmed the truth of this anecdote, which he had heard his father repeat often and often; and Mr
Walpole allowed Mr Hume to quote him as his authority, and make what use he pleased of it. When George I. came to England, he hesitated whether to make a Whig or a Tory administration, but the German minister, Bernstorf, determined him to take the side of the Whigs, who had made a purse of thirty thousand guineas, and given it to this German. George I. was of a moderate and gentle temper.—He regretted all his life, that he had given way to the violence of the Whigs in the beginning of his reign. Whenever any difficulty occurred in Parliament, he used to blame the impeachment of the Tories,—" Ce diable de impeachment," as he called it.
"The Whigs, in the end of Queen Anne's reign, bribed the Emperor's ministers, not to consent to the peace, and to send over Prince Eugene with proposals to continue the war. *
"This anecdote from Lord Bath. Another anecdote Mr Hume mentioned, but distrusted the authority, for it was David Mallet who told Mr Hume, that he had evidence in his custody of a design to assassinate Lord Oxford.
"Prior, after the accession, was reduced to such poverty by the persecution he met with, that he was obliged to publish his works by subscription. Lord Bathurst told Mr Hume, that he was with Prior reading the pieces that were to be published,
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and he thought there was not enough to make two small volumes. He asked Prior if he had no more poems? He said, No more that he thought good enough.—' What is that?' said Bathurst, pointing to a roll of paper, 'A trifle,' said Prior, 'that I wrote in three weeks, not worthy of your attention or that of the public.' Lord Bathurst desired to see it. This neglected piece was Alma."
"Last night, when Mr Hume was going to bed, he complained of cold. One part of his malady had been a continual heat, so that he could not endure a soft or warm bed, and lay in the night with a single sheet upon him; he desired to have an additional covering. Colin observed to him, that he thought it a good symptom. Mr Hume said he thought so too, for it was a good thing to be like other people. This morning he is wonderfully well, which is visible in his countenance and colour, and even the firmness of his step. Talking of the state of the nation, which he continually laments, he mentioned an anecdote of the former war. He was at Turin with General Sinclair, after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, and, considering the superiority which the French arms had gained, he could not conceive why France granted such good terms to Britain. He desired General Sinclair to touch upon that subject with the King of Sardinia. That Prince, who was very familiar with the General, said he was at a loss to give any account of that matter; but, many years after,when Mr Hume was minister in France, and lived in great intimacy with Monsieur Puysieux, Secretary of State, who had negociated the peace of Aix, Mr Hume asked him the reason of the conduct of France at that time? Puysieux told him, that it was the king's aversion to war; that he knew more of it than any man alive, for, the year before the peace, he was ordered by the king to propose pretty near the same terms. He remonstrated against making the offer; said that at least the proposal should come from England; and that there was always some advantage to be gained by receiving, rather than propounding terms. The king was impatient, and obliged Puysieux to write the letter, (which General Ligonier carried,) with those terms which next year were agreed to by the British court. Mr John Home said he knew that the King of France promoted the peace of Paris from the aversion he had to war; and the peace was made at a time when it seemed impossible for Britain to carry on a war of such extent, and retain her scattered conquests. Mr Hume mentioned another singular anecdote concerning the beginning of the last war. When a squadron of the English fleet attacked and took two French men of war, the Alcide and the Lys, Louis XV. was so averse to war, that he would have pocketed the insult; and Madame Pompadour said it was better to put up with the affront, than to go to war without any object but the point of honour. It is known, that neither the king, nor the ministers of England, wished for war. The French King abhorred the thought of war !—What then was the cause? Chiefly the fear of the popular clamour, and of the opposition in the Duke of Newcastle's mind. Mr Hume thinks Lord North no great minister, but does not see a better; cannot give any reason for the incapacity and want of genius, civil and military, which marks this period. He looks upon the country as on the verge of decline. His fears seem rather too great, and things are not quite so bad as he apprehends; but certainly the first show of statesmen, generals, and admirals, is, without comparison, the worst that has been seen in this country. I said to Mr Hume, that I thought the great consideration to be acquired by speaking in Parliament, was the cause of that want of every other quality in men of rank; they do speak readily, but there are many orators who can neither judge nor act well."