페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

this answer to his master, who acquiesced in this out into seven heads, in which he was accused of determination, and declared he would instantly set treachery, incapacity, and neglect. The first was, out for Lorrain, at the same time assuring Boling- that he was never to be found by those who came broke of his firm reliance on his integrity. to him about business; and if by chance or strata

However, the Pretender, instead of taking post gem they got hold of him, he affected being in a for Lorrain, as he had promised, went to a little hurry, and by putting them off to another time, house in the Bois de Boulogne, where his female still avoided giving them any answer. The second ministers resided, and there continued for several was, that the Earl of Mar complained, by six difdays, seeing the Spanish and Swedish ministers, ferent messengers at different times, before the and even the regent himself. It might have been Chevalier came from Dunkirk, of bis being in in these interviews that he was set against his new want of arms and ammunition, and prayed a speedy secretary, and taught to believe that he had been relief; and though the things demanded were in remiss in his duty and false to his trust: be this as my lord's power, there was not so much as one it will, a few days after the Duke of Ormond came pound of powder in any of the ships which by his to see Bolingbroke, and, having tirst prepared him lordship’s directions parted from France. Thirdly, for the surprise, put into his hands a note directed the Pretender himself after his arrival sent Geneto the duke, and a little scrip of paper directed to ral Hamilton to inform him, that his want of arms the secretary: they were both in the Pretender's and ammunition was such, that he should be oblighand-writing, and dated as if written by him on ed to leave Scotland, unless he received speedy rehis way to Lorrain; but in this Bolingbroke was lief; yet Lord Bolingbroke amused Mr. Hamilton not to be deceived, who knew the place of his pre- twelve days together, and did not introduce him sent residence. In one of these papers the Pre- to any of the French ministers, though he was retender declared that he had no further occasion for ferred to them for a particular account of affairs; the secretary's service; and the other was an order or so much as communicated his letters to the to him to give up the papers in his office ; all which, queen, or any body else. Fourthly, the Count de he observes, might have been contained in a letter- Castel Blanco had for several months at Havre a case of a moderate size. He gave the duke the considerable quantity of arms and ammunition, seals, and some papers which he could readily come and did daily ask his lordship's orders how to dis at; but for some others, in which there were seve- pose of them, but never got any instructions. ral insinuations, under the Pretender's own hand, Fifthly, the Pretender's friends at the French reflecting upon the duke himself, these he took court had for some time past no very good opinion care to convey by a safe hand, since it would have of his lordship’s integrity, and a very bad one of been very improper that the duke should have seen his discretion. Sixthly, at a time when mang them. As he thus gave up without scruple all the merchants in France would have carried privately papers which remained in his hands, because he any quantity of arms and ammunition into Scotwas determined never to make use of them, so he land, his lordship desired a public order for the endeclares he took a secret pride in never asking for barkation, which being a thing not to be granted, those of his own which were in the Pretender's is said to have been done in order to urge a denial hands; contenting himself with making the duke Lastly, the Pretender wrote to his lordship by every understand, how little necd there was to get rid of occasion after his arrival in Scotland; and ihough a man in this manner, who only wanted an oppor- there were many opportunities of writing in retunity to get rid of the Pretender and his cause. turn, yet, from the time he landed there to the day In fact, if we survey the measures taken on the he left it, he never received any letter from his one side, and the abilities of the man on the other, lordship. Such were the articles, by a very extrait will not appear any way wonderful that he ordinary reverse of fortune, preferred against Lord should be disgusted with a party, who had neither Bolingbroke, in less than a year after similar artiprinciple to give a foundation to their hopes, union cles were drawn up against him by the opposite to advance them, nor abilities to put them in party at home. It is not easy to find out what he motion.

could have done thus to disoblige all sides; but he Bolingbroke, being thus dismissed from the Pre- had learned by this time to make out happiness tender's service, supposed that he had got rid of from the consciousness of his own designs, and the trouble and the ignominy of so mean an em-consider all the rest of mankind as uniting in a ployment at the same time; but he was mistaken: faction to oppress virtue. he was no sooner rejected from the office than ar- But though it was mortifying to be thus rejected ticles of impeachment were preferred against him, on both sides, yet he was not remiss in vindicating in the same manner as he had before been im- himself from all. Against these articles of im. peached in England, though not with such effectual peachment, therefore, he drew up an elaborate an. injury to his person and fortune. The articles of swer in which he vindicates himself with great his impeachment by the Pretender were branched plausibility. He had long, as he asserts, wisbal to leave the Pretender's service, but was entirely at At all periods of his exile, he still looked towards a loss how to conduct himself in so difficult a re home with secret regret; and had even taken every signation ; but at length, says he, the Pretender opportunity to apply to those in power, either to and his council disposed of things better for me soften his prosecutions, or lessen the number of his than I could have done for myself. I had resolved, enemies at home. In accepting his office under the on his return from Scotland, to follow him till his Pretender, he made it a condition to be at liberty to residence should be fixed somewhere; after which, the post whenever he should think proper; having served the tories in this, which I looked and being now disgracefully dismissed, he turned upon as their last struggle for power, and having his mind entirely towards making his peace in continued to act in the Pretender's affairs till the England, and employing all the unfortunate expeend of the term for which I embarked with him, 1 rience he had acquired to undeceive his tory friends, should have esteemed myself to be at liberty, and and to promote the union and quiet of his native should, in the civilest manner I was able, have country. It was not a little favourable to his hopes, taken my leave of him. Had we parted thus, that about this time, though unknown to him, the I should have remained in a very strange situation Earl of Stair, ambassador to the French court, hau all the rest of my life; on one side he would have received full power to treat with him whilst he was thought that he had a right on any future occasion engaged with the Pretender; but yet had never to call me out of my retreat, the tories would pro- made him any proposals, which might be consider. bably have thought the same thing; my resolution ed as the grossest outrage. But when the breach was taken to refuse them both, and I foresaw that with the Pretender was universally known, the both would condemn me; on the other side, the earl sent one Monsieur Saludin, a gentleman of consideration of his having kept measures with me, Geneva, to Lord Bolingbroke, to communicate to joined to that of having once openly declared for him his Majesty King George's favourable dispohim, would have created a point of honour, by tion to grant him a pardon, and his own earnest which I should have been tied down, not only from desire to serve him as far as he was able. This ever engaging against him, but also from making was an offer by much too advantageous for Bolingmy peace at home. The Pretender cut this Gordian broke, in his wretched circumstances, to refuse; he knot asunder at one blow; he broke the links of embraced it, as became him to do, with all possible that chain which former engagements had fastened sense of the king's goodness, and of the ambassaon me, and gave me a right to esteem myself as dor's friendship. They had frequent conferences free from all obligations of keeping measures with shortly after upon the subject. The turn which him, as I should have continued if I had never en- the English ministry gave the matter, was to enter gaged in his interest.

into a treaty to reverse his attainder, and to stipuIt is not to be supposed that one so very delicate late the conditions on which this act of grace should to preserve his honour, would previously have be granted him: but this method of negociation he basely betrayed his employer; a man, conscious of would by no means submit to; the notion of a acting so infamous a part, would have undertaken treaty shocked him, and he resolved never to be reno defence, but let the accusations, which could stored, rather than go that way to work. Accordnot materially affect him, blow over, and wait for ingly, he opened himself without any reserve to the calm that was to succeed in tranquillity. He Lord Stair, and told him, that he looked upon himappeals to all the ministers with whom he transact- self obliged in honour and conscience to undeceive ed business, for the integrity of his proceedings at his friends in England, both as to the state of forthat juncture; and had he been really guilty, eign affairs, as to the management of the Jacobite when he opposed the ministry here after his return, interest abroad, and as to the characters of the they would not have failed to brand and detect his persons; in every one of which points he knew duplicity. The truth is, that he perhaps was the them to be most grossly and most dangerously demost disinterested minister at that time in the Pre. luded. He observed, that the treatment he had lender's court; as he had spent great sums of his received from the Pretender and his adherents, own money in his service, and never would be would justify him to the world in doing this; that, obliged to him for a farthing, in which case he be- if he remained in exile all his life, he might be as lieves he was single. His integrity is much less sured that he would never have more to do with impeachable on this occasion than his ambition; for the Jacobite cause; and that, if he were restored, all the steps he took may be fairly ascribed to his he would give it an effectual blow, in making that displeasure at having the Duke of Ormond and the apology which the Pretender had put him under a Earl of Mar treated more confidentially than bim- necessity of making : that in doing this, he flatterself. It was his aim always to be foremost in every ed himself that he should contribute something toadministration, and he could not bear to act as wards the establishment of the king's government, subaltern to so paltry a court as that of the Pre- and to the union of his subjects. He added, tha tender's.

lif the court thought him sincere in those profes.

ܪ

sions, a treaty with him was unnecessary; and to his personal safety, but as yet neither restoring if they did not believe so, then a treaty would be him to his family inheritance, his titie, nor a seal dangerous to him. The Earl of Stair, who has in Parliament. also confirmed this account of Lord Bolingbroke's, To obtain this favour had been the governing in a letter to Mr. Craggs, readily came into his principle of his politics for some years before; and sentiments on this head, and soon after the king upon the first notice of his good fortune, he pre approved it upon their representations; he accord- pared to return to his native country, where, howingly received a promise of pardon from George 1., ever, his dearest connexions were either dead, or who, on the 21 of July, 1716, created his father declared themselves suspicious of his former conBaron of Battersea, in the county of Surrey, and duct in support of their party. It is observable ihat Viscount St. John. This seemed preparatory to Bishop Atterbury, who was banished at this time his own restoration; and, instead of prosecuting for a supposed treasonable correspondence in favour any further ambitious schemes against the govern- of the tories, was set on shore at Calais, just when ment, he rather began to turn his mind to philoso- Lord Bolingbroke arrived there on his return to phy; and since he could not gratify his ambition to England. So extraordinary a reverse of fortune its full extent, he endeavoured to learn the art of could not fail of strongly affecting that good predespising it. The variety of distressful events that late, who observed with some emotion, that he perhad hitherto attended all his struggles, at last had ceived himself to be exchanged: he presently left it thrown him into a state of reflection, and this pro- to his auditors to imagine, whether his country duced, by way of relief, a consolatio philosophica, were the loser or the gainer by such an exchange. which he wrote the same year, under the title of Lord Bolingbroke, upon his return to his native "Reflections upon Exile.” In this piece, in which country, began to make very vigorous applications he professes to imitate the manner of Seneca, he for further favours from the crown: his pardon, with some wit draws his own picture, and repre- without the means of support, was but an empty, sents himself as suffering persecution, for having or perhaps it might be called a distressful act of served his country with abilities and integrity. A kindness, as it brought him back among his former state of exile thus incurred, he very justly shows to friends in a state of inferiority his pride could not he rather honourable than distressful; and indeed endure. However, his applications were soon after there are few men who will deny, that the com- successful, for in about two years after his return pany of strangers to virtue is better than the com- he obtained an act of Parliament to restore him to pany of enemies to it. Besides this philosophical his family inheritance, which amounted to nearly tract, he also wrote this year several letters, in an- three thousand pounds a-year. He was also enaswer to the charges laid upon him by the Pretender bled by the same to possess any purchase he should and his adherents; and the following year he drew make of any other estate in the kingdom; and he up a vindication of his whole conduct with respect accordingly pitched upon a seat of Lord Tanker. to the tories, in the form of a letter to Sir William ville's, at Dawley, near Uxbridge, in Middleser, Windham.

where he settled with his lady, and taid himself out Nor was he so entirely devoted to the fatigues of to enjoy the rural pleasures in perfection, since the business, but that he gave pleasure a share in its more glorious ones of ambition were denied him. pursuits. He had never much agreed with the la- With this resolution he began to improve his new dy he first married, and after a short cohabitation purchase in a very peculiar style, giving it all the they separated, and lived ever after asunder. She air of a country farm, and adorning even his hall therefore remained in England upon his going into with all the implements of husbandry. We have exile, and by proper application to the throne, was a sketch of his way of living in this retreat in a letallowed a sufficient maintenance to support her ter of Pope's to Swift, who omits no opportunity with becoming dignity: however, she did not long of representing his lordship in the most amiable survive luis first disgrace; and upon his becoming points of view. This letter is dated from Dawley, a widower he began to think of trying his fortune the country farm abovementioned, and begins thus: once more in a state which was at first so unfa-"I now hold the pen for my Lord Bolingbroke, vourable. For this purpose he cast his eye on the who is reading your letter between two bay-cocks; widow of Villette, a niece to the famous Madame but his attention is somewhat diverted, by casting Maintenon; a young lady of great merit and un- his eyes on the clouds, not in the admiration of what derstanding, possessed of a very large fortune, but you say, but for fear of a shower. He is pleasel encumbered with a long and troublesome law-suit., with your placing him in the triumvirate between in the company of this very sensible woman he yourself and me; though he says he doubts he shall passed his time in France, sometimes in the coun- fare like Lepidus, while one of us runs away with try, and sometimes at the capital, till the year 1723, all the power, like Augustus, and another with all in which, after the breaking up of the Parliament, the pleasure, like Antony. It is upon a foresight his majesty was pleased to grant him a pardon as of this, that he has fitted up his farm, and you will agree that this scheme of retreat is not founded tended to espouse his cause, alleged that it was upon weak appearances. Upon his return from very right to admit him to his inheritance; and Bath, he finds all peccant humours are purged out when Lord Williain Pawlet moved for a clause to of him; and his great temperance and economy are disqualify him from sitting in either House, Wal60 signal, that the first is fit for my constitution, pole rejected the motion, secretly satisfied with a and the latter would enable you to lay up so much resolution which had been settled in the cabinet, money as to buy a bishopric in England. As to that he should never more he admitted into any the return of his health and vigour, were you here, share of power. To this artful method of evading you might inquire of his hay-makers; but as to his his pretensions, Bolingbroke was no stranger; and temperance, I can answer that for one whole day he was now resolved to shake that power which we have had nothing for dinner but mutton-broth, thus endeavoured to obstruct the increase of his beans and bacon, and a barn-door fowl. Now his own: taking, therefore, his part in the opposition lordship is run after his cart, I have a moment left with Pulteney, while the latter engaged to manage to myself to tell you, that I overheard him yesterday the House of Commons, Bolingbroke undertook to agree with a painter for two hundred pounds, to enlighten the people. Accordingly, he soon dispaint his country hall with rakes, spades, prongs, tinguished himself by a multitude of pieces, written etc. and other ornaments, merely to countenance during the latter part of George the First's reign, his calling this place a farm.” What Pope here and likewise the beginning of that which succeedsays of his engagements with a painter, was shortly ed. These were conceived with great vigour and after executed; the hall was painted accordingly boldness; and now, once more engaged in the serin black crayons only, so that at first view it brought vice of his country, though disarmed, gagged, and to mind the figures often seen scratched with char- almost bound, as he declared himself to be, yet he coal, or the smoke of a candle, upon the kitchen resolved not to abandon his cause, as long as he walls of farm-houses. The whole, however, pro- could depend on the firmness and integrity of those duced a most striking effect, and over the door at coadjutors, who did not labour under the same disthe entrance into it was this motto: Satis beatus advantages with himself. His letters, in a paper ruris honoribus. His lordship seemed to be ex- called the Craftsman, were particularly distinguishtremely happy in this pursuit of moral tranquillity, ed in this political contest; and though several of and in the exultation of his heart could not fail of the most expert politicians of the time joined in communicating his satisfaction to his friend Swift. this paper, his essays were peculiarly relished by "I am in my own farm,” says he, "and here the public. However, it is the fate of things writ. shoot strong and tenacious roots: I have caught ten to an occasion, seldom to survive that occasion: hold of the earth, to use a gardener's phrase, and the Craftsman, though written with great spirit neither my enemies nor my friends will find it an and sharpness, is now almost forgotten, although, easy matter to transplant me again.”

when it was published as a weekly paper, it sold There is not, perhaps, a stronger instance in the much more rapidly than even the Spectator. Beworld than his lordship, that an ambitious mind can side this work he published several other separate never be fairly subdued, but will still seek for those pamphlets, which were afterwards reprinted in the gratifications which retirement can never supply. second edition of his works, and which were very All this time he was mistaken in his passion for popular in their day. This political warfare consolitude, and supposed that to be the child of philo- tinued for ten years, during which time he laboured sophy, which was only the effect of spleen : it was with great strength and perseverance, and drew up in vain that he attempted to take root in the shade such a system of politics, as some have supposed to of obscurity; he was originally bred in the glare be the most complete now existing. But, as upon of public occupation, and he secretly once more all other occasions, he had the mortification once wished for transplantation. He was only a titular more to see those friends desert him, upon whose lord, he had not been thoroughly restored; and, as assistance he most firmly relied, and all that web he was excluded from a seat in the House of Peers, of fine-spun speculation actually destroyed at once, he burned with impatience to play a part in that by the ignorance of some and the perfidy of others. conspicuous theatre. Impelled by this desire, he He then declared that he was perfectly cured of his could no longer be restrained in obscurity, but once patriotic frenzy; he fell out not only with Pulteney more entered into the bustle of public business, and for his selfish views, but with his old friends the disavowing all obligations to the minister, he em- stories, for abandoning their cause as desperate barked in the opposition against him, in which he averring, that the faint and unsteady exercise of had several powerful coadjutors: but previously he parts on one side, was a crime but one degree infe. had taken care to prefer a petition to the House rior to the iniquitous misapplication of them on the of Commons, desiring to be reinstated in his former other. But he could not take leave of a controversy emoluments and capacities. This petition at first in which he had been so many years engaged, withoccasioned very warm debates : Walpole, who pre-lout giving a parting blow, in which he seemed to summon up all his vigour at once : and where, as and disappointment had driven him there, many of the poet says,

his friends as well as his enemies supposed that he Animam in vulnere posuit.

was once again gone over to the Pretender. Among

the number who entertained this suspicion was Thus inimitable piece is entitled, “ A Dissertation Swift, whom Pope, in one of his letters, very roundon Parties,” and of all his masterly pieces it is in ly chides for harbouring such an unjust opinion. general esteemed the best.

“You should be cautious,” says he, "of censuring Having finished this, which was received with any motion or action of Lord Bolingbroke, because the utmost avidity, he resolved to take leave, not you hear it only from a shallow, envious, and ma. only of his enemies and friends, but even of his licious reporter. What you writ to me about him, country; and in this resolution, in the year 1736, I find, to my great scandal, repeated in one of he once more retired to France, where he looked your's to another. Whatever you might hint in to his native country with a mixture of anger and me, was this for the profane? The thing, if true, pity, and upon his former professing friends with should be concealed : but it is, I assure you, absoa share of contempt and indignation. “I expect lutely untrue in every circumstance. He has little,” says he, "from the principal actors that tread fixed in a very agreeable retirement near Fontainethe stage at present. They are divided, not so bleau, and makes it his whole business vacare lit. much as it seemed, and as they would have it be- teris." lieved, about measures; the true division is about This reproof from Pope was not more friendly their different ends. Whilst the minister was not than it was true: Lord Bolingbroke was too well hard pushed, nor the prospect of succeeding to him acquainted with the forlorn state of that party, and near, they appeared to have but one end, the re- the folly of its conductors, once more to embark in formation of the government. The destruction of their desperate concerns. He now saw that he the minister was pursued only as a preliminary, but had gone as far towards reinstating himself in the of essential and indisputable necessity, to that end; full possession of his former honours as the mere but when his destruction seemed to approach, the dint of parts and application could go, and was at object of his succession interposed to the sight of length experimentally convinced, that the decree many, and the reformation of the government was was absolutely irreversible, and the door of the no longer their point of view. They had divided House of Lords finally shut against him. He the skin, at least in their thought, before they had therefore, at Pope's suggestion, retired merely to taken the beast. The common fear of hastening be at leisure from the broils of opposition, for the his downfal for others, made them all faint in the calmer pleasures of philosophy. Thus the decline chase. It was this, and this alone that saved him, of his life, though less brilliant, became more amiand put off his evil day.”

able; and even his happiness was improved by age, Such were his cooler reflections, after he had which had rendered his passions more moderate, laid down bis political pen, to employ it in a man- and his wishes more attainable. ner that was much more agreeable to his usual pro- But he was far from suffering even in solitude his fessions, and his approaching age. He had long em-hours to glide away in torpid inactivity. That acployed the few hours he could spare, on subjects of tive, restless disposition still continued to actuate his a more general and important nature to the interests pursuits ; and having lost the season for gaining of mankind; but as he was frequently interrrupted power over his contemporaries, he was now reby the alarms of party, he made no great proficiency solved upon acquiring fame from posterity. He in his design. Still, however, he kept it in view, had not been long in his retreat near Fontaineand he makes frequent mention in his letters to bleau, when he began a course of " Letters on the Swift, of his intentions to give metaphysics a new study and use of history, for the use of a young and useful turn. "I know,” says he, “in one of nobleman.” In these he does not follow the these, how little regard you pay to writings of this methods of St. Real and others who have treatkind; but I imagine, that if you can like any, ited this subject, who make history the great foun. must be those that strip metaphysics of all their tain of all knowledge; he very wisely confines its bombast, keep within the sight of every well con- benefits, and supposes them rather to consist in stituted eye, and never bewilder themselves, whilst deducing general maxims from particular facts, they pretend to guide the reason of others.” than in illustrating maxims by the application of

Having now arrived at the sixtieth year of his historical passages. In mentioning ecclesiastical age, and being blessed with a very competent share history, he gives his opinion very freely upon the of fortune, he returned into France, far from the subject of the divine original of the sacred books, noise and hurry of party ; for his seat at Dawley which he supposes to have no such foundation. was too near to devote the rest of his life to retire- This new system of thinking, which he had always ment and study. Upon his going to that country, propagated in conversation, and which he now be ile it was generally known that disdain, vexation, gan to adopt in his more laboured compositions,

« 이전계속 »