페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

it a pretext for destroying them, is uncertain ; but justified, and such as I have never repented build. the king very soon began to show that they were ing upon. Those who blamed it in the first heat to expect neither favour nor mercy at his hands. were soon after obliged to change their language: Upon his landing at Greenwich, when the court for what other resolution could I take? The mecame to wait upon him, and Lord Oxford among thod of prosecution designed against me would have the number, he studiously avoided taking any no. put me out of a condition immediately to act for tice of him, and testified his resentment by the ca- myself, or to serve those who were less exposed resses he bestowed upon the members of the opposite than me, but who were however in danger. On faction. A regency had been some time before the other hand, how few were there on whose asappointed to govern the kingdom, and Addison sistance I could depend, or to whom I would even was made Secretary. Bolingbroke still maintain in these circumstances be obliged? The ferment ed his place of State Secretary, but subject to the in the nation was wrought up to a considerable contempt of the great, and the insults of the mean. height; but there was at that time no reason to The first step taken by them to mortify him, was expect that it could influence the proceedings in to order all letters and packets, directed to the Sec- Parliament, in favour of those who should be acretary of State, to be sent to Mr. Addison ; so cused : left to its own movement, it was much that Bolingbroke was in fact removed from his more proper to quicken than slacken the prosecuoffice, that is, the execution of it, in two days tions; and who was there to guide its motions ? after the queen's death. But this was not the The tories, who had been true to one another to worst; for his mortifications were continually the last, were a handful, and no great vigour could heightened by the daily humiliation of waiting at be expected from them; the whimsicals, disapthe door of the apartment where the regency sat, pointed of the figure which they hoped to make, with a bag in his hand, and being all the time, as began indeed to join their old friends. One of it were, exposed to the insolence of those who the principal among them, namely, the Earl of Anwere tempted by their natural malevolence, or who glesea, was so very good as to confess to me, that expected to make their court to those in power by if the court had called the servants of the late abusing him.

queen to account, and stopped there, he must have Upon this sudden turn of fortune, when the considered himself as a judge, and acted according seals were taken from him, he went into the coun- to his conscience on what should have appeared to try; and having received a message from court to him; but that war had been declared to the whole be present when the seal was taken from the door tory party, and that now the state of things was of the secretary's office, he excused himself, alleg- altered. This discourse needed no commentary, ing, that so trifling a ceremony might as well be and proved to me, that I had never erred in the performed by one of the under secretaries, but at judgment I made of this set of men. Could I then the same time requested the honour of kissing the resolved to be obliged to them, or to suffer with king's hand, to whom he testified the utmost sub- Oxford ? As much as I still was heated by the mission. This request, however, was rejected disputes, in which I had been all my life engaged with disdain ; the king had been taught to regard against the whigs, I would sooner have chosen to him as an enemy, and threw himself entirely on owe my security to their indulgence, than to the whigs for safety and protection.

the assistance of the whimsicals; but I thought The new Parliament, mostly composed of whigs, banishment, with all her train of evils, preferable met on the 17th of March, and in the king's speech to either.” from the throne many inflaming hints were given, Such was the miserable situation to which he and many methods of violence chalked out to the was reduced upon this occasion : of all the number two Houses. “The first steps (says Lord Bo- of his former flatterers and dependants, scarcely lingbroke, speaking on this occasion) in both were was one found remaining. Every hour brought perfectly answerable; and, to the shame of the fresh reports of his alarming situation, and the danpeerage be it spoken, I saw at that time several gers which threatened him and his party on all lords concur to condemn, in one general vote, all sides. Prior, who had been employed in negothat they had approved in a former Parliament by ciating the treaty of Utrecht, was come over to many particular resolutions. Among several Dover, and promised to reveal all he knew. The bloody resolutions proposed and agitated at this Duke of Marlborough planted his creatures round time, the resolution of impeaching me of high his lordship, who artfully endeavoured to increase treason was taken, and I took that of leaving Eng. the danger; and an impeachment was actually land, not in a panic terror, improved by the arti- preparing in which he was accused of high treason. fices of the Duke of Marlborough, whom I knew it argued therefore no great degree of timidity in even at that time too well to act by his advice or his lordship, to take the first opportunity to withinformation in any case, but on such grounds as draw from danger, and to suffer the first boilings the proceedings which soon followed sufficiently lof popular animosity to quench the flame that had heen raised against him : accordingly, having made redoubled alaưrity. Mr., afterwards Sir Rober a gallant show of despising the machinations against Walpole, who had suffered a good deal lvy his ashim, having appeared in a very unconcerned man- tachment to the whig interest during the former ner at the play-house in Drury-lane, and having reign, now undertook to bring in and conduct the bespoke another play for the night ensuing; having charge against him in the House of Commons. subscribed to a new opera that was to be acted His impeachment consisted of six articles, which some time after, and talked of making an elaborate Walpole read to the House, in substance as fol. defence; he went off that same night in disguise lows:- First, that whereas the Lord Bolingbroke 10 Dover, as a servant to Le Vigne, a messenger be had assured the Dutch ministers, that the queen longing to the French king; and there one Wil- his mistress would make no peace but in concert liam Morgan, who had been a captain in General with them, yet he had sent Mr. Prior to France Hill's regiment of dragoons, hired a vessel, and that same year with proposals for a treaty of peace carried him over to Calais, where the governor at. with that monarch, without the consent of the altended him in his coach, and carried him to his lies. Secondly, that he advised and promoted the house with all possible distinction.

making a separate treaty of convention with France, The news of Lord Bolingbroke's flight was soon which was signed in September. Thirdly, that he known over the whole town; and the next day a disclosed to M. Mesnager, the French minister at letter from him to Lord Lansdowne was handed London, this convention, which was the prelimiabout in print, to the following effect :

nary instructions to her majesty's plenipotentiaries

at Utrecht. Fourthly, that her majesty's final in"My Lord,

structions to her plenipotentiaries were disclosed "I left the town so abruptly, that I had no time by him to the Abbot Gualtier, who was an emissa. to take leave of you or any of my friends. You ry of France. Fifthly, that he disclosed to the will excuse me, when you know that I had certain French the manner how Tournay in Flanders and repeated informations, from some who are in might be gained by them. And lastly, that he adthe secret of affairs, that a resolution was taken, vised and promoted the yielding up Spain and the hy those who have power to execute it, to pursue West Indies to the Duke of Anjou, then an enemy me to the scaffold. My blood was to have been to her majesty. These were urged by Walpole the cement of a new alliance, nor could my inno- with great vehemence, and aggravated with all the cence be any security, after it had once been de- eloquence of which he was master. He challenged manded from abroad, and resolved on at home, that any person in behalf of the accused, and asserted, it was necessary to cut me off. Had there been that to vindicate, were in a manner to share his the least reason to hope for a fair and open trial, guilt. In this universal consternation of the tory after having been already prejudged unheard by party, none was for some time seen to stir; but at the two Houses of Parliament, I should not have length General Ross, who had received favours from declined the strictest examination. I challenge the his lordship, boldly stood up, and said, he wondered most inveterate of my enemies to produce any one that no man more capable was found to appear in instance of a criminal correspondence, or the least defence of the accused. However, in atteinpting corruption of any part of the administration in to proceed, he hesitated so much that he was which I was concerned. If my zeal for the honour obliged to sit down, observing, that he would reand dignity of my Royal Mistress, and the true in- serve what he had to say to another opportunity, terest of my country, have any where transported It may easily be supposed, that the whigs found no me to let slip a warm or unguarded expression, I great difficulty in passing the vote for his impearhhope the most favourable interpretation will be put ment through the House of Commons. It was upon it. It is a comfort that will remain with me brought into that House on the 10th of June, 1715, in all my misfortunes, that I served her majesty it was sent up to the House of Lords on the 6th faithfully and dutifully, in that especially which of August ensuing, and in consequence of which she had most at heart, relieving her people from a he was attainted by them of high treason on the bloody and expensive war, and that I have also been 10th of September. Nothing could be more unjust too much an Englishman to sacrifice the interests than such a sentence; but justice had been dronned of my country to any foreign ally; and it is for this in the spirit of party. crime only that I am now driven from thence. You Bolingbroke, thus finding all hopes cut off at xhall hear more at large from me shortly. home, began to think of improving his wretched

Yours," etc. fortune upon the continent. He had left England

with a very small fortune, and his attainder totally No sooner was it universally known that he was cut off all resources for the future. In this de. .etired to France, than his flight was construed pressed situation he began to listen to some propointo a proof of his guilt; and his enemies accord- sals which were made by the Pretender, who was ingly set about driving on his impeachment with then residing at Bar, in France, and who was de

[ocr errors]

sirous of admitting Bolingbroke into his secret ed on the message which the bearer of the letter councils. A proposal of this nature had been made had brought me from England. In the progress bim shortly after his arrival at Paris, and before of the conversation with the messenger, he related his attainder at home; but, while he had yet any a number of facts, which satisfied me as to the hopes of succeeding in England, he absolutely re- general disposition of the people; but he gave me fused, and made the best applications his ruined little satisfaction as to the measures taken to imfortune would permit, to prevent the extremity prove this disposition, for driving the business on of his prosecution.

with vigour, if it tended to a revolution, or for supHe had for some time waited for an opportunity porting it to advantage, if it spun into a war. When of determining himself, even after he found it vain I questioned him concerning several persons whose to think of making his peace at home. He let his disinclination to the government admitted no doubt, Jacobite friends in England know that they had and whose names, quality, and experience were but to command him, and he was ready to venture very essential to the success of the undertaking, he in their service the little all that remained, as frank- owned to me that they kept a great reserve, and ly as he had exposed all that was gone. At length, did at most but encourage others to act by general says he, talking of himself, these commands came, and dark expressions. I received this account and and were executed in the following manner. The this summons ill in my bed; yet important as the person who was sent to me arrived in the begin- matter was, a few minutes served to determine me. ning of July, 1715, at the place I had retired to in The circumstances wanting to form a reasonable Dauphiny. He spoke in the name of all his friends inducement to engage did not excuse me; but whose authority could influence me; and he brought the smart of a bill of attainder tingled in every word, that Scotland was not only ready to take vein, and I looked on my party to be under oparms, but under some sort of dissatisfaction to be pression, and to call for my assistance. Besides withheld from begirning: that in England the which, I considered first that I should be certainly people were exasperated against the government informed, when I conferred with the Chevalier, of to such a degree, that, far from wanting to be en- many particulars unknown to this gentleman : for couraged, they could not be restrained from insult-| 1 did not imagine that the English could be so ing it on every occasion; that the whole tory party near to take up arms as he represented them to was become avowedly Jacobites; that many officers be, on no other foundation than that which he exof the army, and the majority of the soldiers, were posed. well affected to the cause; that the city of London In this manner, having for some time debated was ready to rise, and that the enterprises for seiz- with himself, and taken his resolution, he lost no ing of several places were ripe for execution; in a time in repairing to the Pretender at Commercy, word, that most of the principal tories were in con- and took the seals of that nominal king, as he had vert with the Duke of Ormond: for I had pressed formerly those of his potent mistress. But this was particularly to be informed whether his grace acted a terrible falling off indeed; and the very first conalone, or if not, who were his council; and that the versation he had with this weak projector, gave others were so disposed, that there remained no him the most unfavourable expectations of future doubt of their joining as soon as the first blow success. He talked to me, says his lordship, like should be struck. He added, that my friends were a man who expected every moment to set out for a little surprised to observe that I lay neuter in such England or Scotland, but who did not very well a conjuncture. He represented to me the danger know for which : and when he entered into the I ran, of being prevented by people of all sides from particulars of his affairs, I found, that concerning having the merit of engaging early in this enter the former he had nothing more circumstantial or prise, and how unaccountable it would be for a man, positive to go upon than what I have already reimpeached and attainted under the present govern-lated. But the Duke of Ormond had been for some ment, to take no share in bringing about a revolu- time, I can not say how long, engaged with the tion, so near at hand and so certain. He entreated Chevalier: he had taken the direction of this whole that I would defer no longer to join the Chevalier, atlair, as far as it related to England, upon himself; to advise and assist in carrying on his affairs, and and had received a commission for this purpose, to solicit and negociate at the court of France, which contained the most ample powers that could where my friends ima that I should not fail be given. But still, however, all was unsettled, to meet a favourable reception, and whence they undetermined, and ill understood. The duke had made no doubt of receiving assistance in a situation asked from France a small body of forces, a sum of affairs so critical, so unexpected, and so promis- of money, and a quantity of ammunition: but to ing. He concluded, by giving me a letter from the the first part of the request he received a flat deniPretender, whom he had seen in his way to me, al, but was made to hope that some arms and some in which I was pressed to repair without loss of ammunition might be given. This was but a very time lu Commercs; and this instance was ground-gloomy prospect; yet hope swelled the depressed party so high, that they talked of nothing less than ambitious views of the French, the most privata an instant and ready revolution. It was their in- transactions came to light; and such of the more terest to be secret and industrious; but, rendered prudent plotters, who supposed that they had trust. sanguine by their passions, they made no doubt of ed their heads to the keeping of one or two friends, subverting a government with which they were were in reality at the mercy of numbers. Into angry, and gave as great an alarm as would have such company, exclaims our noble writer, was I been imprudent at the eve of a general insurrec- fallen for my sins. Still, however, he went on, tion.

steering in the wide ocean without a compass, till Such was the state of things when Bolingbroke the death of Louis XIV., and the arrival of the arrived to take up his new office at Commercy; and Duke of Ormond at Paris, rendered all his enalthough he saw the deplorable state of the party deavours abortive: yet, not withstanding these unwith which he was embarked, yet he resolved to favourable circumstances, he still continued to visgive his affairs the best complexion he was able, patch several messages and directions for England, and set out for Paris, in order to procure from that to which he received very evasive and ambiguous court the necessary succours for his new master's answers. Among the number of these, he drew invasion of England. But his reception and ne- up a paper at Chaville, in concert with the Duke gociations at Paris were still more unpromising of Ormond, Marshal Berwick, and De Torey, than those at Commercy; and nothing but absolute which was sent to England just before the death of infatuation seemed to dictate every measure taken the King of France, representing that France could by the party. He there found a multitude of not answer the demands of their memorial, and people at work, and every one doing what seemed praying directions what to do. A reply to this good in his own eyes; no subordination, no order, came to him through the French Secretary of State, no concert. The Jacobites had wrought one another wherein they declared themselves unable to say up to look upon the success of the present designs any thing, till they saw what turn affairs would as infallible : every meeting-house which the popu- take on the death of the king, which had reached lace demolished, as he himself says, every little their ears. Upon another occasion, a message drunken riot which happened, served to confirm coming from Scotland to press the Chevalier to them in these sanguine expectations; and there was hasten their rising, he dispatched a messenger to hardly one among them, who would lose the air London to the Earl of Mar, to tell him that the of contributing by his intrigues to the restoration, concurrence of England in the insurrection was ar. which he took for granted would be brought about ' dently wished and expected: but, instead of that in a few weeks. Care and hope, says our author nobleman's waiting for instructions, he had already very humorously, sat on every busy Irish face; gone into the Highlands, and there actually put those who could read and write had letters to show, himself at the head of his clans. After this, in and those who had not arrived to this pitch of eru- concert with the Duke of Ormond, he dispatched dition had their secrets to whisper. No sex was one Mr. Hamilton, who got all the papers by heart, excluded from this ministry; Fanny Oglethorpe for fear of a miscarriage, to their friends in Engkept her corner in it; and Olive Trant, a woman land, to inform them, that though the Chevalier of the same mixed reputation, was the great wheel was destitute of succour, and all reasonable hopes of this political machine. The ridiculous corres- of it, yet he would land as they pleased in England pondence was carried on with England by people or Scotland at a minute's warning; and therefore of like importance, and who were busy in sound- they might rise immediately after they had sent ing the alarm in the ears of an enemy, whom it dispatches to him. To this message Mr. Hamil. was their interest to surprise. By these means, as ton returned very soon with an answer given by he himself continues to inform us, the government Lord Lansdowne, in the name of all the persons of England was put on its guard, so that before he privy to the secret, that since affairs grew daily came to Paris, what was doing had been discover. worse, and would not mend by delay, the maled. The little armament made at Havre de Grace, contents in England had resolved to declare imwhich furnished the only means to the Pretender mediately, and would be ready to join the Duke of landing on the coasts of Britain, and which had of Ormond on his landing; adding, that his person exhar:sted the treasury of St. Germain's, was talk-would be as safe in England as in Scotland, and ed of publicly. The Earl of Stair, the English that in every other respect it was better he should minister at that city, very soon discovered its desti- land in England; that they had used their utmost nation, and all the particulars of the intended in- endeavours, and hoped the western counties would vasion; the names of the persons from whom sup- be in a good posture to receive him; and inat he plies came, and who were particularly active in the should land as near as possible to Plymouth. With design, were whispered about at tea-tables and these assurances the duke embarked, though he coffee-houses. In short, what by the indiscretion had heard before of the seizure of many of his most of the projectors, what by the private interests and zealous adherents, of the dispersion of many more

and the consternation of all; so that upon his ar- of Britain in their first voyage, and then to cruise rival at Plymouth, finding nothing in readiness, he under the Pretender's commission. He had acreturned to Britany. In these circumstances the tually agreed for some, and had it in his power to Pretender himself sent to have a vessel got ready have made the same bargain with others: Sweden for him at Dunkirk, in which he went to Scotland, on the one side, and Scotland on the other, could leaving Lord Bolingbroke all this while at Paris, have afforded them retreats; and, if the war had to try if by any means some assistance might not been kept up in any part of the mountains, this be procured, without which all hopes of success armament would have been of the utmost advanwere at an end. It was during this negociation tage. But all his projects and negociations failed upon this miserable proceeding, that he was sent by the Pretender's precipitate return, who was not for by Mrs. Trant (a woman who had for some above six weeks in his expedition, and flew out of time before ingratiated herself with the Regent of Scotland even before all had been tried in his deFrance, by supplying him with mistresses from fence. England), to a little house in the Bois de Boulogne, The expedition being in this manner totally dewhere she lived with Mademoiselle Chausery, an feated, Bolingbroke now began to think that it was old superannuated waiting-woman belonging to his duty as well as interest to save the poor rethe regent. By these he was acquainted with the mains of the disappointed party. He never had measures they had taken for the service of the any great opinion of the Pretender's success beDuke of Ormond; although Bolingbroke, who was fore he set off; but when this adventurer had taken actual secretary to the negociation, had never been the last step which it was in his power to make, admitted to a confidence in their secrets. He was our secretary then resolved to suffer neither him, therefore a little surprised at finding such mean nor the Scotch, to be any longer bubbles of their agents employed without his privity, and very soon own credulity, and of the scandalous artifices of found them utterly unequal to the task. He quick- the French court. In a conversation he had with ly therefore withdrew himself from such wretched the Marshal de Huxelles, he took occasion to deauxiliaries, and the regent himself seemed pleased clare, that he would not be the instrument of amusat his defection.

ing the Scotch ; and since he was able to do them In the mean time the Pretender set sail from Dun- no other service, he would at least inform them kirk for Scotland; and though Bolingbroke had of what little dependence they might place upon all along perceived that his cause was hopeless, assistance from rance. He added, that he would and his projects ill-designed ; although he had met send them vessels, which, with those already on with nothing but opposition and disappointment in the coast of Scotland, might serve to bring off the bis service; yet he considered that this of all others Pretender, the Earl of Mar, and as many others was the time he could not be permitted to relax in as possible. The Marshal approved his resoluthe cause. He now therefore neglected no means, tion, and advised him to execute it, as the only forgot no argument which his understanding could thing which was left to do; but in the mean time suggest, in applying to the court of France; but the Pretender landed at Graveline, and gave orders his success was not answerable to his industry. to stop all vessels bound on his account to Scot. The King of France, not able to furnish the Pre- land; and Bolingbroke saw him the morning after tender with money himself, had written some time his arrival at St. Germain's, and he received him before his death to his grandson the King of Spain, with open arms. and had obtained from him a promise of forty As it was the secretary's business, as soon as thousand crowns. A small part of this sum had Bolingbroke heard of his return, he went to acbeen received by the queen's treasurer at St. Ger- quaint the French court with it; when it was remain's, and had been sent to Scotland, or employ- commended to him to advise the Pretender to proed in defray the expenses which were daily mak-ceed to Bar with all possible diligence; and in this ing on the coast; at the same time Bolingbroke measure Bolingbroke entirely concurred. But the pressed the Spanish ambassador at Paris, and so- Pretender himself was in no such haste : he had fcited the minister at the court of Spain. He a mind to stay some time at St. Germain's, and in took care to have a number of officers picked out the neighbourhood of Paris, and to have a private of the Irish troops which serve in France, gave meeting with the regent: he accordingly sent them their routes, and sent a ship to receive and Bolingbroke to solicit this meeting, who exerted all 'ransport them to Scotland. Still, however, the his influence in the negociation. He wrote and money came in so slowly, and in such trifling sums, spoke to the Marshall de Huxelles, who answered that it turned to little account, and the officers him by word of mouth and by letters, refusing were on their way to the Pretender. At the same him by both, and assuring him that the regent said ume he formed a design of engaging French pri- the things which were asked were puerilities, and vateers in the expedition, that were to have carried swore he would not see him. The secretary, no whatever should be recessary to send to any part ways displeased with his ill success, returned with:

« 이전계속 »