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of placemen would be strictly limited. Statesmen observed with concern the great force which the democratic element in the country bad almost silently acquired during the long and pacific ministry of Walpole. The increasing numbers and wealth of the trading classes, the growth of the great towns, the steady progress of the press, and the discredit which corruption had brought upon the Parliament, had all contributed to produce a spirit beyond the walls of the Legislature such as had never before been shown, except when ecclesiastical interests were concerned. Political agitation assumed new dimensions, and doctrines about the duty of representatives subordinating their judgments to those of their electors, which had scarcely been heard in England since the Commonwealth, were freely expressed. A very able political writer, who had been an ardent opponent of Walpole, but who was much terrified at the aspect the country had assumed upon his fall, has left us a lively picture of what he termed the republican spirit that had so strangely arisen.' He notices as a new and curious fact the 'instructions' drawn up by some of the electors of London, of Westminster, and several other cities to their representatives, prescribing the measures that were required, and asserting or implying that it was the duty of every Member of Parliament to vote in every instance as his constituents should direct him in the House of Commons,' contrary to the constant and allowed principle of our Constitution that no man, after he is chosen, is to consider himself as a member for any particular place, but as a representative for the whole nation.' He complains that the views of the popular interest, inflamed, distracted, and misguided as it has been of late, are such as they were never imagined to have been ;' that a party of malcontents, assuming to themselves, though very falsely, the title of the People, claim with it a pretension which no people could have a right to claim, of creating themselves into a new order in the State, affecting a superiority to the whole Legislature, insolently taking upon them to dictate to all the three estates, in which the absolute power of the Government, by all the laws


of this country, has indisputably resided ever since it was a Government, and endeavouring in effect to animate the people to resume into their own hands that vague and loose authority which exists (unless in theory) in the people of no country upon earth, and the inconvenience of which is so obvious that it is the first step of mankind, when formed into society, to divest themselves of it, and to delegate it for ever from themselves."1

In these movements of public opinion we may clearly trace the conditions that rendered possible the career of Pitt. On the present occasion, however, they were doomed to a speedy disappointment. Petitions poured into Westminster, and for a time Pulteney was the object of a popularity such as few English politicians have ever enjoyed. But in a few days the prospect was overclouded. Statesmen of the most opposite parties had concurred for the purpose of hurling Walpole from power; but when they succeeded, their disunion was at once apparent, and the hollowness of their pretensions to purity was exposed. Pulteney fulfilled his rash pledge of not taking office, but, by a fatal error of judgment, he accepted the earldom of Bath, as well as a seat in the Cabinet, and his influence was irrevocably destroyed. He lost all credit with the nation for disinterestedness. He was removed from the House of Commons, which he might have led, and his attempts to exercise a controlling direction over affairs without accepting the responsibility of office utterly failed. The King, it is said, indignant at his conduct, at first shrank from giving him the peerage which in the course of his career he had already three times refused, but the old minister, perceiving clearly the error of his rival, persuaded his master to yield. I have turned the key of the Cabinet on him,' he exclaimed, with a significant gesture, and he soon after

'Faction Detected by the Evidence of Facts. This very remarkable pamphlet (which went through many editions) has been ascribed to Lord Egmont.

2 His intentions appear to have been known before the fall of Wal

pole. Sir R. Wilmot, in a letter to the Duke of Devonshire, Jan. 12, 1741-2, said: 'Pulteney's terms seem to be a peerage, and a place in the Cabinet Council, if he can get it.'Coxe's Walpole, iii. 587.

wards greeted him with mock gravity in the House of Lords, 'Here we are, my Lord, the two most insignificant men in the kingdom.' Pulteney, indeed, was utterly overwhelmed by the reproaches of the Tories, by the poignant satires of Sir Hanbury Williams, and by the execration of the people. For years he had discharged the easy task of criticising abuses which he was not called upon to remedy. He had made himself the great adversary of all corrupt influence, the idol of all who aspired to reform, but no sooner had the hour for action arrived than he shrank ignobly from the helm. Henceforth his political life was a wretched tissue of disappointed hopes. He tried in vain to grasp the reins of power on the death of Lord Wilmington. He tried to assist Carteret in forming an administration in 1746. He declared himself in the next reign a supporter of the Tory Bute, but he never again enjoyed either popular or royal favour. In a few years he was powerless and almost forgotten. He had always loved money too much, and under the influence of age and disappointment this failing is said to have deepened into an avarice not less sordid than that which had clouded the noble faculties of Marlborough.

Walpole also, or, to give him his new title, Orford, soon disappeared from the scene, but his influence endured to the last. For a time his life seemed in imminent danger. The cry of the people for his blood was fierce and general, and politicians of most parties had pledged themselves to impeach him. It soon, however, appeared that, with the exception of Pitt, Chesterfield, and the Duke of Argyle, no man of importance was anxious to push matters to extremity, while many and various influences favoured him. Those who had come in immediate contact with him could hardly be wholly insensible to his many great qualities and to the eminent services he had rendered to the country and the dynasty. The King and House of Lords were warmly in his favour. The Prince of Wales was reconciled to him. Newcastle, though he had often quarrelled with him, was anxious for many reasons to shield him, and negotiated with great tact to prevent the complete triumph of his ene

mies. Pulteney was alarmed at the sudden impulse given to the Jacobite party, and at the loud cry for the suppression of the standing army, which might, if it succeeded, be fatal to the dynasty, and it was impossible to form an administration without including a considerable section of the former Government. Besides this, corrupt influence had pervaded all parties. No party sincerely wished to change the system, and therefore all parties shrank from exposing it. Walpole was compelled, indeed, to relinquish his pension, which two years after he resumed, and Pulteney was reluctantly obliged to urge on his impeachment, but, as might have been expected, it was without result. Carteret himself took a leading part in the House of Lords in opposing the Bill granting indemnity to those who gave evidence against Walpole, and the blunders of the new ministers, if they did not restore the popularity of the fallen statesman, at least speedily diverted into new channels the indignation of the people.

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He retained his influence with the King to the last, and he used it successfully to divide his adversaries, to perpetuate the exclusion of the Tory party, and to bring the Pelhams into the forefront. He died in 1745, after great suffering, which he bore with great courage. A few days before he died,' writes his biographer, the Duke of Cumberland, who had ineffectually remonstrated with the King against a marriage with the Princess of Denmark, who was deformed, sent his governor, Mr. Poyntz, to consult the Earl of Orford on the best methods which he could adopt to avoid the match. After a moment's reflection, Orford (who was well aware of the penurious character of the King) advised him to give his consent to the marriage on condition of receiving an ample and immediate establishment, 'and believe me,' he added, when I say the match will be no longer pressed.' The Duke followed the advice, and the event happened as the dying statesman had foretold.'2


1 Coxe's Pelham. Introd. sec. 3.

Coxe's Walpole, i. 743. See, too, Horace Walpole's Memoirs of George II. vol. i. p. 105.

The political changes which immediately followed the retirement of Walpole may be speedily dismissed. For several years they consisted chiefly of the antagonism of Carteret and Pulteney with the Pelhams. Pulteney, as I have said, though accepting a seat in the Cabinet, at first declined office, but at his desire the Earl of Wilmington, the old colleague of Walpole and a man of the most moderate intelligence, became the nominal head of the Government. He had broken away from Walpole on the question of the Spanish war, but was otherwise thoroughly identified with the former Government. Carteret obtained the Secretaryship of State for the Northern Department, which involved the direction of foreign affairs. Newcastle occupied the corresponding post in home affairs; his brother, Henry Pelham, was Paymaster of the Forces, and Lord Hardwicke continued to be Chancellor. With two or three exceptions the Tories were still excluded from office, as were also Chesterfield and Pitt, who were personally displeasing to the King, and the offices of the Government were divided in tolerably fair proportions between the followers of the great Whig leaders and the personal adherents of the Prince of Wales. In spite of all the clamour that had been raised about the abuses under Walpole, the system of home government continued essentially the same. The Septennial Act was maintained against every attack; and if there was a little more decorum in the government, there was probably quite as much corruption.

The foreign policy of the Government, however, gained considerably in energy, and the change was but one of many circumstances that favoured Maria Theresa. We have already seen that by October 1741 her fortunes had sunk to the lowest ebb, but a great revulsion speedily set in. The martial enthusiasm of the Hungarians, the subsidy from England, and the brilliant military talents of General Khevenhuller, restored her armies. Vienna was put in a state of defence, and at the same time jealousies and suspicion made their way among the confederates. The Electors of Bavaria and Saxony were already in

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