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if we throw them into fetters, the enemy may surprise us. Therefore, I must look upon the bill now before us as a step, and a most necessary step too, for introducing Arbitrary Power into this kingdom. It is a step so necessary, that if any future ambitious king or guilty minister should form to himself so wicked a design, he will have reason to thank us for having done so much of the work to his hand: but such thanks, or thanks from such a man, I am convinced every one of your Lordships would blush to receive, and scorn to deserve.”

In the ensuing session of parliament, great com. plaint was made of the depredations committed by the Spaniards on the British subjects trading to South America. When this affair was before the Lords, Chesterfield with his usual eloquence advised the most vigorous measures to procure satisfaction, and considering the navy as the natural strength of the kingdom, voted against the proposed augmentaion of the army. The dispute with Spain being settled in 1739 by a Convention, which his Lordship deemed dishonourable and injurious to his country, he opposed the address of thanks to the King, which the ministry wished to push through both Houses with precipitation, and was one of the Forty Peers who protested against it. From the Commons it encountered a stronger mark of disapprobation, for it occasioned the celebrated Secession.

In the winter of the same year, however, it was discovered that the patriotic party were in the right: for, advantageous as the Convention was to Spain, that Court did not adhere to it; and the ministry found themselves ander the necessity of advising a declaration of war. This event recalled the Opposi

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tion to their duty in parliament, and drew down upon the Cabinet Lord Chesterfield's animated and severe reprehensions.

During the same session, his Lordship took the lead in a violent debate upon the revival of the Pension Bill;* but all his eloquence and argument upon this occasion proved fruitless.

On the meeting of a new parliament in 1741, two different motions were made for addresses on the royal speech. . Of these, one by the Duke of Argyle, conveying oblique reflexions upon the tardy and ineffectual operations of the fleet against Spain, was powerfully seconded by Lord Chesterfield; but it's antagonist, through ministerial influence, was carried by' a majority of twenty eight votes. His Lordship was, also, a strong advocate for the bill to indemnify such persons as should give evidence, in the course of the inquiry into the administration of Sir Robert Walpole.

In 1741, his health being much impaired, he was advised to make a tour on the continent. In his way to the Spa, he saw at Brussels Voltaire, with whom he had contracted a friendship in England, and who read to him several passages of his new tragedy of Mahomet.? At Spa, his reputation, and the facility with which he accommodated himself to the manners of different nations, drew upon him much flattering notice; and his panegyric of the rising Frederick of Prussia, uttered to the Envoy of that Monarch, procured for him a pressing invitation to the court of Berlin, with which he would gladly

* A bill, intended to exclude pensioners of the crown from seats in the House of Commons.

have complied, had he not been prevented by other engagements. A short stay at Paris introduced him to the most distinguished of both sexes for rank and talents in that capital; where he was equally gratified, and admired. His residence in the South of France was shortened by the state of political affairs at home.

In the year following, his Majesty having opened the session by a speech, acquainting the two Houses that he had augmented the British forces in the Low Countries with 16,000 Hanoverians,' the Earl of Chesterfield in the ensuing debate moved the previous question: and soon afterward, upon a motion for dismissing those troops, he was extremely vehement in it's favour; making use of some severe expressions concerning the King's partiality to his electoral dominions, which were not forgotten in the formation of the Cabinet immediately succeeding that of Sir Robert Walpole. In the new administration, he had no place.

About the same time, the bill for repealing the heavy duties which had been laid on spirituous liquors and licences for retailing those liquors, and for imposing others at an easy rate,* encountered a strong opposition in the House of Peers. Lord Chesterfield, upon this occasion, was not silent.

In 1744, when it was certain that an invasion by the Pretender was in great forwardness, the Commons passed a bill for inflicting the penalties of high treason upon those who should maintain a correspondence with his sons. On it's introduction into

* By some writers falsely called the "Gin-Act,' whereas it was a repeal of that act.

the other House, the Chancellor Hardwicke moved, that “a clause should be inserted for continuing the penalty of treason upon the posterity of those, who should be convicted of such correspondence.' Against this, Chesterfield strenuously exerted himself; representing it as an illiberal expedient, repugnant alike to the precepts of religion, the law of nations, and the rules of common justice, and tending to involve the innocent with the guilty. The clause, however, was inserted; and being sent back to the Lower House with this amendment, was carried after a long debate, in which Mr. Pitt, and some other members who had countenanced the original bill, voted against it.

At the close of this year, upon another change in the ministry, some of his Lordship's friends urging the King to recall him to a station which he had formerly filled with so much honour, he was again nominated Embassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the States General, and embarked for the Hague January 11, 1745. The object of his mission was, to engage the Dutch to enter heartily into the war, and to furnish their quota of troops and shipping. It was the business of the Abbé de la Ville, the French Envoy, to prevent them from listening to these proposals. The two ministers, therefore, could not visit each other; but on their accidentally meeting in company, Chesterfield begged to be introduced to his political adversary, observing, “ Though we are national enemies, I flatter myself we may be personal friends.” By this engaging address, he found means (as he informs his son, in his · Letters) to “ fish out from him whereabouts he was.” Having carried his point, he returned to London in May,

with a letter from their High Mightinesses, in which they greatly extolled his services; and found that his Majesty, in the anticipation of his success, had appointed him, during his absence, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Soon afterward, it was thought expedient that he should go over to his new charge, the court having received certain intelligence of the preparations of France to invade some part of the British Islands. His administration during his viceroyship is, to this hour, a subject of grateful remembrance across the channel :* it gave such satisfaction indeed at that critical juncture, that most of the Irish counties and chief cities entered into voluntary associations for the support of his Majesty's person and government. In April, 1746, he left Ireland, equally esteemed by the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, and followed by the universal regret of that generous nation.

* From this period, he invariably called the Irish his countrymen.' His first speech to a young Secretary, whom he took with him was, “ Sir, you will receive the emoluments of the place ; but I will do the business myself, being determined to have no first minister.” In a similar spirit of decision he declared, that if any one should successfully apply for an office in the King's gift through any other channel, he would immediately throw up his appointment.' Thus attended by vigour on one hand and conciliation on the other, through his strict integrity and the undisguised frankness of his system of policy he kept every thing quiet in that kingdom, while his native island was over-run with terror and commotion. A characteristic instance of his behaviour, with respect to the Catholics, is on record. Being informed by a zealous Protestant, that one of his coachmen went privately to mass :' “ Does he indeed ?” he said: “ Well, I will take care, that he shall never drive me thither."

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