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The position of the Government, however, on the conclusion of the peace, was very strong, for it was warmly supported by the Queen and by the two most powerful classes in England. The Church was gratified by the measures against the Dissenters. The country gentry had obtained in 1711 a Bill which they believed of the highest value to their interests. In 1703, before the ascendancy of the Tories in the ministry had been overthrown, a Bill was carried through the House of Commons, providing that no person who did not possess sufficient real estates should be chosen member of that House; but the measure was thrown out by the Whig majority in the Lords. The Government now, however, succeeded in carrying through both Houses a measure providing that all Members of Parliament, except the eldest sons of peers and those who sat for Universities or for Scotch constituencies, must possess landed property, the borough members to the extent of 300l., the county members to the extent of 600l. a-year. In times of peace, when no abnormal agency was disturbing the natural disposition of parties, it was believed that the ascendancy of the Tories must be indisputable; the desire for peace arising from many causes had for some time been growing in the country, and there was a general and well-founded conviction that the war had been needlessly prolonged through party motives; that no results could be hoped for at all equivalent to the sacrifices that were demanded; and that the allies had thrown upon England a very unfair and excessive proportion of the burden. Still, when all this was admitted, there was much in the foreign policy of the Government to give a great shock to the national pride. The abrupt termination of the splendid victories of Marlborough; the disgrace of the great general who had raised England to a loftier pinnacle than she had occupied in the palmiest days of Elizabeth; the many shameful, humiliating, and violent incidents which occurred during the negotiations; the final triumphs of France, due in a great measure to an English defection; the abandonment of the Catalan insurgents; the manifest inadequacy of the concessions exacted from France

by the treaty, were all keenly felt by those large classes who were not blindly attached to party interests. Besides this, the great question of the succession to the throne began to rise into a greater prominence, and filled the minds of men with anxiety and doubt.

The characters of the ministers were not fitted to reassure them. With the exception of Ormond, none of the Tory leaders were personally popular, though a certain transient enthusiasm had for a few weeks centred upon Oxford after the attempt upon his life by Guiscard in 1711. The character of Oxford bore in many respects a curious resemblance to that of Godolphin. Both of them were slow, cautious, temporising, moderate, and somewhat selfish men; tedious and inefficient in debate, and entirely without sympathy with the political and religious fanaticisms of their parties. Yet both statesmen passed in the race of ambition several who were far superior to them in intellect, and the qualities to which they owed their success were in a great degree the same. A good private character, great patience, courage, and perseverance, much sobriety of judgment and much moderation in victory, characterised both. But here the resemblance ceased. Cock-fighting, racing, and gambling occupied most of the leisure of Godolphin, while the literary tastes of Oxford made him the idol of the great writers of his day, and reacted very favourably on his position in history. He had, indeed, like Addison and Bolingbroke, the vice of hard-drinking; but in other respects his private life was unassailable. His simple manners, his wide culture, his generous but discriminating patronage of literature, his fidelity in friendship, his freedom from all sordid pecuniary views, gained for him in the circle of those who knew him well, a large measure of respect and even of affection. But in public life his faults were graver than those of Godolphin, and he was far inferior to him in the solid qualities of statesmanship. Though his business habits and his recognised caution and moderation gave him some weight with the mercantile classes, he had no pretension to the consum

mate financial ability of his rival. He had been Speaker during three parliaments, and his political knowledge was chiefly a knowledge of the forms of the House, and of the dispositions of its members. His special skill lay not in the higher walks of administration, but in parliamentary tactics and in political intrigues, and his intrigues seem to have seldom had any object except his own aggrandisement. He had that kind of mind and character that can attach itself firmly to no party or set of principles, and seeks only for compromise and delay. He was insincere, dilatory, mysterious, and irresolute, entirely incapable of giving his full confidence to his colleagues, of taking any prompt decision, or of committing himself without reserve to one line of policy. And these defects he showed at a time when resolution and frankness were supremely necessary. One high political quality, it is true, he possessed perhaps more conspicuously than any of his contemporaries. It is the strength of slow and sluggish temperaments that they can often bear the vicissitudes of fortune with a calm constitutional courage rarely attained by more nervous and highly organised natures, and this attribute Oxford pre-eminently displayed. The keenest observer then living pronounced him to be, of all men he had ever known, the least changed either by adversity or prosperity1; and he was in this respect rather remarkably distinguished from his brilliant colleague. The genius and daring of Bolingbroke were, indeed, incontestable, but his defects as a party leader were scarcely less. No statesman was ever truer to the interests of his party, but, by a strange contradiction, no leader was ever less fitted to represent it. His eminently Italian character, delighting in elaborate intrigue, the contrast between his private life and his stoical professions, his notorious indifference to the religious tenets which were the very basis of the politics of his party, shook

1 Swift. See the noble lines of Pope on Harley

'A soul supreme in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride,
The rage of power, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.'

the confidence of the country gentry and country clergy, who formed the bulk of his followers; and he exhibited, on some occasions, an astonishing combination of recklessness and insincerity. In England the House of Commons was mainly Tory; but in the House of Lords the balance of power, even after the creation of the twelve peers, hung doubtfully; and there were several eminent men who had gone cordially with the Tories on the question of the peace, but whose allegiance on other questions was less certain. In Ireland, on the contrary, the peers were entirely subservient to the ministry, while the House of Commons was in violent opposition, and strenuously maintained the principles of the Revolution. Scotland had lost her parliament, but there can be little doubt that her dominant sentiment was Jacobite. In 1711 the Duchess of Gordon openly presented the Faculty of Advocates with a medal representing on one side the Pretender, with the words 'Cujus est,' and on the other the British Islands, with the motto 'reddite';' and the medal was accepted with thanks by that body. Among the Highlanders and the Episcopalian gentry Jacobitism had always been very powerful, and the Presbyterians of the Lowlands, who might naturally be regarded as the implacable enemies of a Catholic sovereign, and especially of a sovereign of the House of Stuart, were so bitterly hostile to the Union that great numbers of them were prepared to subordinate their whole policy to the single end of obtaining its repeal. Their discontent was greatly increased by the toleration accorded to the Episcopalians, and the Jacobites entertained ardent, though, no doubt, exaggerated, expectations, that the Pretender, by promising repeal, could rally all Scotland to his cause.2 The Scotch Jacobite party, however, suffered a

See an engraving of this medal in Boyer's Anne (folio ed.), p. 511.

2 This appears very prominently in the Stuart papers. I may give as a sample a few lines from a very able memorial on the state of Jacobitism in the kingdom by Lesley (April, 1711): 'The affair of Greenshields, a minister of the Church of England,

whom the Parliament has lately protected against the Presbyterians of Scotland, has irritated the latter to such a degree that they would concur in whatever might deliver them from the Union with England, which is universally detested in Scotland, where they are persuaded that nothing can deliver them from it but

very serious loss in 1712 by the death of the Duke of Hamilton, who was killed in a duel with Lord Mohun.

In England the probabilities of the next succession were so nearly balanced that there were few leading statesmen who did not more or less enter into Jacobite intrigues, some of them in order to obtain a refuge for themselves in case of a restoration, others in order to obtain the parliamentary support of the Jacobite contingent, and others again through a sincere, desire to revert to the old line. In the first category may be placed Marlborough and Godolphin. In July, 1710, when the Godolphin ministry was on the eve of dissolution Marlborough was engaged in intimate correspondence with the Pretender, and a letter is preserved written to him by the wife of the Pretender, imploring him in the most urgent terms not to resign his command, but to retain it in the interests of the Stuarts. As late as 1713, at a time when Marlborough was engaged in the closest correspondence with the Hanoverian party, and when, as there is little reason to doubt, he was sincerely wedded to the Hanoverian cause, a Jacobite agent reports a conversation with him, in which he gave the strongest assurances of his attachment to the cause of the Stuarts.2

the return of their sovereign. . . . There is not a man in Great Britain who is not convinced that if the King of England had landed the last time in Scotland he would have infallibly succeeded.'- Macpherson's Original Papers, ii. 211. See, too, the Lockhart Papers. On the other hand, Boyer says that one of the good results of toc abortive invasion of Scotland in 1708 was that it opened the eyes of the Scotch Presbyterians, most of whom, having been seduced by the Pretender's partisans, had till then appeared obstinately averse to the Union.'-Boyer's Anne, p. 336. As late as 1717, Lockhart, reviewing the prospects of Jacobitism in Scotland, wrote: Though the King (the Pretender) does not want some friends in the western shires, yet the gross of the people, both gentry and commons, are either Pres

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