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the Treasurer took care to procure an earldom for himself.*

His own account of the transaction may be admitted, perhaps, to justify in some measure the manæuvres, to which it led :

“ I continued,” says he, “ in the House of Commons during that important session which preceded the peace, and which by the spirit shown through the whole course of it, and the resolutions taken in it, rendered the conclusion of the treaties practicable. After this, I was dragged into the House of Lords in such a manner as to make my promotion a punishment, not a reward, being there left to defend the treaties alone.

“ It would not have been hard (continues he) to have forced the Earl of Oxford to use me better. His good intentions began to be very much doubted of: the truth is, no opinion of his sincerity had ever taken root in the party; and, which was worse perhaps for a man in his station, the opinion of his capacity began to fall apace. He was so hard pushed in the House of Lords in the beginning of 1712, that he had been forced, in the middle of the session, to persuade the Queen to make a promotion of Twelve Peers at once; which was an unprecedented and invidious measure, to be excused by nothing but the necessity, and hardly by that. In the House of Commons, his credit was low, and my reputation very high. You know the nature of that assembly: they grow, like hounds, fond of the man who shows them game, and by whose halloo they are used to be en

* Bolingbroke was, also, refused the Order of the Garter, although six vacant ribands were conferred, among which Oxford was not forgotten.

couraged. The thread of the negotiations, which could not stand still a moment without going back, was in my hands : and before another man could have made himself master of the business, much time would have been lost, and great inconveniences would have followed. Some, who opposed the Court soon afterward, began to waver then: and, if I had not wanted the inclination, I should have wanted no help to do mischief. I knew the way of quitting my employments, and of retiring from court when the service of my party required it: but I could not bring myself up to that resolution, when the consequence of it must have been the breaking of my party, and the distress of the public affairs. I thought my mistress treated me ill; but the sense of that duty which I owed her came in aid of other considerations, and prevailed over my resentment. These sentiments, indeed, are so much out of fashion, that a man who avows them is in danger of passing for a bubble in the world ; yet they were, in the conjuncture I speak of, the true motives of my conduct; and you saw me go on as cheerfully in the troublesome and dangerous work assigned me, as if I had been under the utmost satisfaction. I began, indeed, in my heart to renounce the friendship, which till that time I had preserved inviolable, for Oxford. I was not aware of all his treachery, nor of the base and little means which he employed then, and continued to employ afterward, to ruin me in the opinion of the Queen, and everywhere else. I saw, however, that he had no friendship for any body; and that with respect to me, instead of having the ability to render that merit, which I endeavoured to acquire, an additional strength to himself, it became the ob

ject of his jealousy and a reason for undermining me.”

These animosities at length terminated, on Bolingbroke's side, in thorough aversion.*

His Lordship’s conduct, during the four last years of the reign of Queen Anne, brought in question both his religious and his political principles : for, though educated among the Dissenters, and (as it has since appeared) attached to no system of religion whatever, he became a zealous High Churchman; and, while he openly professed an inclination to serve the House of Hanover, was secretly occupied in promoting the interest of the Pretender. Hence it is evident, that he humoured the temper of his royal mistress at that time, with a view of being made Premier.

In 1714, soon after the accession of George I., the Seals were taken from him, and all his papers secured. During the short session however which succeeded, he applied himself with his usual vigour to keep up the spirit of those, who had been friends to the ex-administration, without omitting any proper occasion of testifying his respect and duty to his Majesty; in which spirit he assisted in settling the Civil List, and other necessary points. But soon after the meeting of the new parliament, finding an impeachment of that ministry resolved upon, he privately withdrew to France, in the latter end of March, 1715.

Upon his arrival at Paris, he received an invitation from the Pretender, then at Bar, to engage in his

* " I abhorred Oxford,” says he (in his · Letter to Sir W. Wyndham') “to that degree, that I could not bear to be joined with him in any case."

service. This he absolutely refused, with the hope of preventing the prosecution against him in England from being carried to extremities. But on receiving intimation from his friends at home of a projected revolution, he accepted the offered Secretaryship of State at Commercy, and proceeding from Dauphiné for Paris, instantly set about soliciting from the French Court the succours necessary for the meditated invasion of England.

The vote for impeaching him had passed the House of Commons in the June preceding; and six Articles* had been sent up by them to the Lords: proclamations were, in due course, issued for him to surrender; and, upon his non-appearance, he was in September attainted of high treason.

Upon this occasion Sir Joseph Jekyl, a gentleman

* The Articles of Impeachment, carried into the Lower House by Mr. Robert Walpole, were in substance as follows:

61. That whereas he had assured the ministers of the States General in 1711, by order from her Majesty, that she would make no peace but in concert with them, he had sent Mr. Prior to France that same year with proposals of a separate treaty ;

• 2. That he had advised and promoted the making of a separate treaty or convention with France, which was signed in September;

• 3. That he had disclosed to M. Mesnager, the French Minister at London, this convention, which was the preliminary instruction to her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries at Utrecht in October;

•4. That her Majesty's final instructions to her said Plenipotentiaries were imparted by him to the Abbé Gualtier, an emissary of France;

65. That he had discovered to the French the manner, in which they might make themselves masters of Tournay; and

6. That he had advised and promoted the yielding up of Spain and the West Indies to the Duke of Anjou, at that time an enemy to her Majesty.'

of great legal knowledge and of the most unbiassed integrity (a member of the Secret Committee) observed, that there was matter more than enough to prove the charge against Lord Bolingbroke, though nothing in his judgement appeared to justify a charge against the Earl of Oxford.'*

It is remarkable, that Bolingbroke's disloyal engagement with the Pretender had the same unfortunate issue ; for the year 1715 had scarcely expired, when the seals and papers of his new office were demanded, and by an accusation divided into seven Articles, he was impeached of treachery,t incapacity, and neglect.

Thus discarded abroad, he resolved to make his

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* There does not now, however, remain a doubt, that both these noblemen, in connivance with the Queen, had concerted a plan to place the Pretender on the throne of Great Britain: that Oxford, in particular, had caballed with the Jacobites chiefly in order to overturn the Whig ministry, and to facilitate the peace; and that the real cause of his dismission from office was, his refusal to continue those points, which Bolingbroke offered still to pursue. The whole plan and progress of the conspiracy is detailed in the most unequivocal manner by Marshal Berwick, who was principally concerned in the correspondence.

+ For this imputation there does not appear to have been the least ground. He even refused, in his subsequent negotiation with the Earl of Stair, then Embassador at the French court, to disclose any confidential secrets, or to betray his Tory friends. The real cause of his dismission was, some scurrilous expressions uttered, in a state of intoxication, against the Pretender: in consequence of which, after supping with that Per. sonage one night, and receiving from him assurance of his unalterable kindness, he was required to surrender the Seals to the Duke of Ormond at nine the next morning. The Queen-Mother in vain attempted to sooth, and to detain, him. He told her, in reply, that he was a freeman; and that he wished his right arm might rot off, if ever he drew his sword, or employed his pen, in their service.

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