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among the Stuart papers at Windsor, and published in the first volume of my History of England.* This letter, bearing date September 25, 1715, is in the handwriting of Bolingbroke, who was then at Paris, acting as Secretary of State for the Pretender. Writing to his royal master, he complains how much his proceedings are divulged. "I
must still say," he writes, “ that since I have been in business I never “observed so little secret as there has been in your Majesty's affairs. “For instance, a gentleman belonging to Stair named the very number “ of battalions which we expected from Sweden ; and the Marquis “d'Effiat told me the very sums which Marlborough has advanced to “ you." Here the evidence is no doubt only indirect. But I must observe, that Bolingbroke writing a private letter to James, and alluding to Marlborough's loan as to a certain fact, could have no imaginable motive for misrepresentation on this point; and I must own myself convinced that even by these two sentences the second charge is sufficiently proved.' (P. 72.)
The hesitating tone of this passage a little surprises us. The only possible doubt as to the meaning of the transaction seems to be whether Marlborough, when he made the advance, was aware that it would be used for the invasion of Scotland. This does not seem clear; but it is surely not very important. We had fancied that nothing in history was established on more unquestionable evidence than the negotiations of Marlborough with the Pretender at the end of Anne's reign, of which Lord Stanhope here speaks so cautiously, seeking, as it were, to modify the effect of a document first published by himself as Lord Mahon. The proofs are so abundant that it is difficult to make a selection; but let us couple this letter with a passage selected by M. Grimblot* from one by D'Iberville to
* Appendix to vol. i. p. xxxiii.
† We quote from an article by M. Grimblot in the ‘ Revue Nou"velle,' entitled Documens inédits de l'Histoire d'Angleterre: Intrigues Jacobites à l'avènement de la maison de Hanovre.' The author has explored and used the official documents contained in the French archives respecting the intrigues of the Jacobite agents. We are not sure, however, that he has added anything of importance to what had been extracted from the same source by Sir James Mackintosh, by Lord Stanhope himself in his earlier volumes, and by the author of a Review on Cooke's Life of Bolingbroke,' in vol. Ixii. of this Journal (which M. Grimblot by mistake attributes to Macaulay; it was, in fact, written by Mr. Allen, of Holland House). But his criticisms and speculations merit attention. His general conclusion is, that neither Harley nor Bolingbroke were in earnest in their affected devotion to the Pretender; that they deceived and played upon D'Iberville and De Torcy ; but that Bolingbroke was so far the inore honest of the two, that he told his French fellow-conspirators that the
De Torcy, preserved in the French archives. It is dated, let us observe, on the 31st August, 1714, a few days after the arrival of Marlborough in England after his continental absence :- M. le comte d'Oxford a sacrifié à M. l'Electeur • d'Hanovre depuis plusieurs mois les lettres de mylord Marl• borough à M. le duc de Berwick, touchant le chevalier, à la marge desquelles il y a des notes de votre main. M. de
Bolingbroke le tient d'un homme qui ne peut en avoir été • instruit que par ce prince.' Surely these disclosures abundantly warrant the inference which M. Grimblot draws from them; They explain, better than all the conjectures which • have been hitherto made, for what reasons the Duke of Marl• borough and his son-in-law, Lord Sunderland, were not com• prised by the Elector of Hanover among the eighteen peers
who, together with the seven great officers of state, were ap* pointed to govern Great Britain after the death of the Queen • until the arrival of the new sovereign.' The conjectures noticed by M. Grimblot are those mentioned in the fourth chapter of Lord Mahon's history; a supposed personal pique of the Elector against Marlborough, dating from the campaign of 1708, and a 'resolution to avoid a second Junta. We must repeat that M. Grimblot has found to our mind a much more probable solution of the riddle than either of these, and that nothing could have prevented Lord Stanhope from arriving at the same, except his loyal determination to see Marlborough's character on the bright side.
Let us remember, further, that the Duke had abstained, much to the disgust of his own partisans, as Lord Stanhope himself shows, from joining the general Whig association for bringing in Hanover, while waiting for the Queen's death.* He held off as cautiously from joining his old friends on his arrival shortly after in England. Bothmar, the Hanoverian envoy, was perplexed to the last degree by his ambiguous conduct. But the Stuart papers clear it up abundantly. In August, 1715, we have Bolingbroke asking King James, · May
Pretender had no chance of success so long as he remained a Catholic; and that finding his warnings disregarded, he withdrew—for a timefrom the connexion.
* According to a marginal note of Horace Walpole in a copy of Maty's Memoirs of Lord Chesterfield' (printed by the Philobiblon Society), “It is very true that the Whigs sent Lord Cadogan to Flanders • to propose to the Duke of Marlborough to bring over the army for the defence of the religion and Constitution of the country ; but the Duke refused.' This expresses, at all events, the Walpolean tradition on the subject.
• I presume to ask whether something particular has been said * to Marlborough? He is at this moment much perplexed, • and openly pushed at.' And the Pretender replies :- I do ‘not see why, when Raucourt' (James himself) goes to Scot• land, he might not write a letter to Malbranche' (Marlborough) to require his attendance there or his declaring
openly for him in England, for which an order would of necessity oblige Malbranche to pull off the mask and trim no • longer. Surely nothing can be plainer. If it be true (as has been reported by some) that Marlborough helped King George to come over with a princely sum of 20,0001., at the very time when, as we have seen, he was subsidising the Pretender also, this would only prove his propensity for hedging,’and anxiety to secure himself by paying blackmail to both parties. We can see no fair reason for rejecting his enemy Pope's explanation of his conduct, however humiliating. He wanted to
• secure the vast riches he had amassed together, whichever side should succeed.'
So far, unhappily, as to Marlborough : but, when we come to judge others, it should be remembered that not only many a politician, but many a private Englishman of fortune, who was neither an unprincipled intriguer like Harley and Bolingbroke, nor an avaricious trimmer on such a scale as Marlborough, was no doubt in almost equal perplexity, and thought it no gross dereliction of principle to try to stand well with both sides, at a moment when the issue was so doubtful as in the last years of Anne. • Il y a girouettes et girouettes,' as the author of the preface to the amusing French history of those personages remarks. We must not transfer the notions of more settled times, when loyalty to governments has become so ordinary a virtue as to be of no special account, to periods of revolutionary change, when that virtue means in truth adherence to a cause, not to a government;
nd he who cares but little for the cause (as is the wont of the great majority of mankind) has really only a somewhat shadowy duty to perform in adhering stubbornly to a government. A Vicar of Bray is of course a despicable character, because higher than mere political principle was scandalised by his changes; but we should hardly find it in our hearts to condemn very unrelentingly an Englishman who through the same reigns had stuck to his place in the Customs, or colonelship in the army, with the adhesiveness which characterised that proverbial clergyman. But besides this, it should be remembered that there were dynastic reasons, so to speak, which rendered a wavering line of political conduct, at this particular conjuncture, more natural and excusable than on some similar occasions. These are well stated by Dr. Somerville, in his Dissertation on the Danger • to the Protestant Succession during the last years of Anne,' which is printed at the end of his History of that reign; and we are glad to turn to it as an example of considerate good sense on a subject which has occasioned so much rather overzealous declamation:
• Those obligations which restrained persons who were in office under King William from professing attachment to the abdicated sovereign, lost much of their influence at the accession of Queen Anne. The rights, or claims, of William and James were irreconcilable. The enforcement, or effect, of the one was founded on the exclusion or destruction of the other. But the right of Queen Anne appeared to the Jacobites more perfect than that of William, because it was of a lineal or hereditary nature, a qualification upon which they laid the principal stress. Nor did the acknowledgment of her title militate to the final overthrow of her brother's. As it seemed probable, from his youth and health, that he would survive his sister, it was only a temporary superseding or postponing his actual authority to a period when it might be hoped that the juncture of events would remove dangers which must have attended his accession immediately upon the death of William. He might change his religion, and satisfy the nation by giving ample securities for the prevention of mischief dreaded from his adhering to it. The Queen, whatever she declared or professed at present, might alter her sentiments, and wish to devolve the succession upon her brother. Upon these principles and conjectures it appeared to some that there was no dishonour and little danger in a divided allegiance; and that they might look forward to the lineal heir without any breach of their fidelity to the reigning Prince.'
But after all which has been said on the subject, and by no one with fuller insight into it than by Lord Stanhope, we must confess that there is something which at once disappoints and piques curiosity in the very imperfect knowledge which we seem to possess of the real motives of events, from the negotiations for the Peace of Utrecht to the arrival of George the First; the subjects of the last chapters of the present work, and first of its author's former · History.' Painful investigations, and long-delayed disclosures, have thrown abundance of light on the conduct of particular men, and the outward history of particular stages in the crisis. The intrigues we know ; but intrigues rarely determine in a free country the general current of affairs. The causes which moved the nation, and thereby made England what it has been ever since, seem to us to remain but partially disclosed ; and have rather had additional obscurity thrown over them by the special revelations to which we refer. Lord Stanhope's present volume leaves the Tories in triumph. The Peace of Utrecht had just been concluded; mortifying, no doubt, to the just pride of the nation, but entailing, at all events, a vast relief from present burdens, and constituting one of that class of occurrences with which most people are at heart well pleased, even when they affect to depreciate them. The House of Lords, notwithstanding a profligate addition to the peerage, remained a stumbling block in the way of the Court; but to the old dissenting and commonwealth interest which still formed the basis of Whig strength, the House of Lords was a natural enemy, and only an accidental ally. In the popular House, the Commons, on the other hand, Ministers could count on devoted majorities. They had all the indomitable English Church feeling which, in the case of Sacheverell, their opponents had so foolishly affronted, to back them. Their personal strength in debate,
. led by Harley and St. John, was for the time superior to that of their antagonists; in fact, the Whigs could only count, in the Commons, on one debater of much value-Walpole, whom the dying Sunderland recommended to the Duchess of Marlborough as the future champion of the cause, and whom the Tories had thought it worth their while to invest prematurely with importance by a party charge of corruption. All seems to the eye of the historical reader, at this point of his journey, going straight and smoothly towards the obvious end, for which Harley and St. John were either working, or pretending to work; the restoration of the direct line in the person of the Pretender, with abundance of securities and concessions, such as a triumphant church and squire party might dictate. Nor is it by any means so certain as might at first be supposed, that the higher class of Whigs themselves, with the exception perhaps of Somers--the high-minded and philosophical class, so to speak-would have been greatly disinclined to follow in the road which Marlborough and his rivals (not associates, for he had none) in selfishness seemed to be opening to them. To their minds the religious objection, so prevalent among their supporters, would probably have far less weight. It is not unlikely that in their hearts they believed that a Sovereign, incapacitated from exercising strong personal influence by his difference in religion from the majority of his people, would be more easily managed in a constitutional way than a foreign Protestant with continental notions of royalty. There is a singular passage in Swift's · Examiner' (1711), in which he taunts the leading Whigs with their habit of avoiding to contest the legitimacy of the Pretender, and throwing over the warming-pan fable by which their cause had so largely profited :
VOL. CXXXII. NO. CCLXX.