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opposite extreme of cynicism. He knew that he was speaking the secret sentiments of the great majority of his hearers, that among the declaimers against corruption were some of the most treacherous and unprincipled politicians of the time, and that personal disappointment and baffled ambition had their full share in swelling the ranks of his opponents; but when every allowance is made for this, his language must appear grossly culpable. He profoundly lowered the moral tone of public life, and thus, as an acute observer has said, 'While he seemed to strengthen the superstructure, he weakened the foundations of our constitution." Nor is it true that the politicians of the time were universally corrupt. Godolphin and Bolingbroke had both retired from their ministerial careers poor men. Oxford was in this respect beyond all reproach. Neither Pulteney, nor Windham, nor Onslow, nor Carteret, nor Shippen, nor Barnard, nor Pitt, whatever their other faults, could be suspected of personal corruption. Above all, there was the public opinion of England which was deeply scandalised by the extent to which parliamentary corruption had arisen, and by the cynicism with which it was avowed, and on this point, though on this alone, Walpole never respected it. Like many men of low morals and of coarse and prosaic natures, he was altogether incapable of appreciating as an element of political calculation the force which moral sentiments exercise upon mankind, and this incapacity was one of the great causes of his fall. His own son has made the memorable admission that Walpole never was thought honest till he was out of power."2


Through these faults, as well as through the discontent which always follows the great prolongation of a single administration, a powerful though heterogeneous Opposition was gradually formed, and the small band of Tories were reinforced by a considerable section of discontented Whigs, who seceded under the guidance of Pulteney, Carteret, and Chesterfield, and by several young men of promise or genius. Pulteney, who usually led

Browne's Estimate, i. p. 115.

* Walpole's Memoirs of George II. i. 236.

the phalanx, had been for many years the friend and colleague! of Walpole. He had co-operated with him during the depres sion of the party under Queen Anne, defended him when he was expelled from the House in 1712, assumed the office of Secretary of War in the Whig ministry of 1714, taken the same side with Walpole in the Whig schism of 1717, and he appeared at one time likely to rise at least as high in the State. He was a country gentleman of good character, old family, and large property, a scholar, a writer, and a wit, and probably the most graceful and brilliant speaker in the House of Commons in the interval between the withdrawal of St. John and the appearance of Pitt. His separation from Walpole appears to have been wholly due to personal motives. Possessing abilities and parliamentary standing which entitled him, in his own opinion and in the opinion of many others, to rank as the equal of Walpole, he found that Walpole allowed his colleagues little more influence than if they were his clerks, and was always seeking, by direct or indirect means, to displace them when they became prominent. He is said to have been bitterly offended when Carteret, having in 1724 resigned the position of Secretary of State, the claims of Newcastle were preferred to his own, and the offer of a peerage, which was intended only to remove him from the centre of power, and afterwards of a very unimportant place, completed his alienation. He went into violent opposition, rejected scornfully the overtures of the minister, who when too late perceived his error, dedicated all his powers to the subversion of the administration, and became the most skilful exponent of the popular feeling about the corruption of Parliament, the subservience of Walpole to France and to Spain, and the dangers of a standing army in time of peace. He was bitterly opposed to the Gallican sympathies of Walpole, and especially to the Treaty of Hanover, and was for some time in very close and confidential communication with the ministers of the Emperor.1 Of all the opponents of Walpole he was probably the most forSee the intercepted letters of Count Palm printed in Coxe's Life of Walpole.

midable, for he seems to have been at least his equal as a debater; his great social talents made him popular among politicians, and he at the same time exercised a powerful influence beyond the walls of Parliament. The Craftsman,' which for many years contained the bitterest and ablest attacks on Walpole, was founded, inspired, and perhaps in part written by Pulteney in conjunction with Bolingbroke. He was also the author of two or three pamphlets of more than ordinary merit, of several happy witticisms which are still remembered, and of a political song which was once among the most popular in the language. When accused of being actuated in his opposition by sordid motives, he incautiously pledged himself never again to accept office, and in the hour of his triumph he remembered his pledge; but he cannot be acquitted of having shaped his career through a feeling of personal rancour, he never exhibited either the business talents or the tact and prescience of statesmanship so conspicuous in his rival, and he probably contributed more than any other single man to plunge the country into the Spanish war.

A more remarkable man, but a less formidable politician, was Carteret, afterwards Lord Granville, who at the time of the downfall of Walpole led the Whig Opposition in the House of Lords. He had entered the Upper House in 1711, had joined the Sunderland section of the Whigs in 1717, had been appointed ambassador to Sweden in the following year, and had afterwards accepted several brief diplomatic missions in Germany and France. On the death of Sunderland he made some unsuccessful efforts to perpetuate the division of the party, but his opposition to Walpole was at first rather latent than avowed. He became Secretary of State in 1721, but, disagreeing with

Horace Walpole (to H. Mann, April 27, 1753) asserts that the printer of the Craftsman' assured him Pulteney never wrote a "Craftsman" himself, only gave hints for them,' though much of his reputation was founded upon them. As Pulteney was confessedly a skilful writer and pam

phleteer, this story seems very improbable.

2 The Honest Jury; or, Caleb Triumphant,' written on the occasion of the acquittal of the Craftsman' on a charge of libel.- Wilkins' Collection of Political Ballads, ii. 232–236.

his colleague Lord Townshend, he was compelled to relinquish the post in 1724, when he became Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. After several differences with the ministry in England he resigned this appointment in 1730, and from that time became a leader of Opposition and a close ally of Pulteney. Of all the leading English statesmen of the eighteenth century he is, perhaps, the one of whose real merits it is most difficult to speak with confidence. Like Charles Townshend in the next generation, he was a man who had the very highest reputation for ability among his contemporaries, but whose ability we are obliged to take altogether upon trust, for, except some unpublished despatches, often full of fire and force, and a few detached sayings, he has left no monument behind him. His career was, on the whole, unsuccessful. His speeches have perished. His policy has come down to us chiefly through the representations of his opponents, and he himself appears to have taken no part in political literature. Yet Horace Walpole and Chesterfield, who disliked him, have both spoken of him as the ablest man of his time. Swift and Smollett have expressed warm admiration for his genius, and Chatham, who was at one time his bitter opponent, has left on record his opinion that in the upper departments of Government he had no equal. In the range and variety of his knowledge he was unrivalled among the politicians of his time, and the singular versatility of his intellect made him almost equally conspicuous as an orator, a linguist, a statesman, a scholar, and a wit. Having travelled much in Germany, he was probably the only English statesman intimately acquainted with its laws, manners, and internal politics; and his thorough knowledge of the language, then a very rare accomplishment in England, gave him a special influence with the Hanoverian kings. In Parliament he was placed, by

Lord Granville, they say, is dying. When he dies the ablest head in England dies too, take him for all in all.'-Chesterfield to his son, Dec, 13, 1762. See, too, his admirable portrait of Granville in his 'Characters.' Walpole pronounced

him to be a greater genius than Sir R. Walpole, Mansfield, or Chatham.' -Memoirs of George II. iii. 85.

2 Parl. Hist. xvi. 1097. He added, 'I feel a pride in declaring that to his patronage, to his friendship and instruction, I owe whatever I am.'

the confession of all parties, in the foremost rank of debaters, but good judges complained that his eloquence was somewhat turgid and declamatory in its style, that he was more to be dreaded as an opponent than to be desired as a colleague, and that he was almost equally unfitted, by his defects and by his merits, for the position of a parliamentary leader. He was of a careless, sanguine, impulsive, and desultory nature, easily and extravagantly elated and never depressed, delighting in intrigue and in strokes of sudden and brilliant daring, but apt to treat politics as a game, and almost wholly destitute of settled principles, fixity of purpose, and earnestness of character. His mind teemed with large schemes, and he could carry them out with courage and with skill, but he was no equally expert in dealing with details, and he looked with a contempt which had at least an affinity to virtue upon the arts of management, conciliation, and corruption, by which Walpole and Pelham secured their Parliamentary influence. 'What is it to me,' he once said, 'who is a judge or who a bishop? It is my business to make kings and emperors, and to maintain the balance of Europe.' His temper was naturally imperious. He was entirely indifferent to money. He drank hard. He overflowed with riotous animal spirits, scoffed and ranted at his colleagues or treated them with the most supercilious contempt; and though he could be at times the most generous and engaging of men, though no other statesman bore defeat with such unforced good humour, or showed himself so free from rancour against his opponents, he was not popular in the Cabinet and not trusted in Parliament. To the King, on the other hand, he was eminently acceptable. He succeeded in very skilfully flattering and almost winning the Queen at the very time when he was a leading counsellor in the rival party of her son. He had a strong natural leaning, intensified by education, to high monarchical views. He would gladly have based his power altogether on royal favour; he delighted in framing his measures with the King alone, and was the only English statesman who fully shared and perhaps fully understood the King's German policy.

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