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his zeal for its cause when the Commois considered the state of the nation with regard to the protestant succes. sion : and he had now the honour to procure the assurance of the House to the new king (which attended the address of condolence and congratulation), “That the Commons would make good all parliamentary funds." It is therefore not surprising that his promotion soon took place after the king's arrival; and that in a few days he was appoiuted receiver and paymaster general of all the guards and garri. sons, and of all other the land forces in Great Britain, payınaster of the royal hospital at Chelsea, and likewise a privy counsellor. On the opening of a new parliament, a committee of secrecy was chosen to inquire into the conduct of the late ministry, of which Walpole was appointed chairman; and, by his management, articles of impeachment were read against the earl of Oxford, lord Bolingbroke, the duke of Ormond, and the earl of Strafford. The eminent service he was thought to have done the nation and the crown, by the vigorous prosecution of those mipisters who were deemed the chief instruments of the peace, was soon rewarded by the extraordinary promotions of first commissioner of the treasury, and chancellor and undertreasurer of the exchequer. · In two years time a misunderstanding appeared amongst his majesty's servants; and it became evident that the interest of secretary Stanhope and his adherents began to outweigh that of the exchequer, and that Walpole's power was visibly on the decline. King George had purchased of the king of Denmark the duchies of Bremen and Verden, which his Danish majesty had gained by conquest from Charles XII. of Sweden. The Swedish hero, enraged to see his dominions publicly set to sale, conceived a resentment against the purchaser, and formed a design to gratify his revenge on the electorate of Hanover. Upon a mes, sage sent to the House of Commons by the king, secretary Stanhope mored for a supply, to enable his majesty to concert such measures with foreign princes and states as might prevent any change or apprehensions from the designs of Sweden for the future. This occasioned a warm debate, in which it was remarkable that Walpole kept a profound silence. The country-party insisted that such a proceeding was contrary to the act of settlement. They insinuated that the peace of the empire was only a pretence, but that the security of the new acquisitions was the real object of this unprecedented supply; and they took occasion to observe too, that his majesty's own ministers seemed to be divided. But Walpole thought proper, on this surmise, to speak in favour of the supply, which was carried by a majority of four voices only. In a day or two be resigned all his places to the king; and, if the true cause of his defection from the court had been his disapprobation of the measures then pursuing, his conduct would have been con. sidered in this instance as noble and praiseworthy. But they who consider the intrigues of party, and that he spoke in favour of these measures, will find little room to suppose that his resignation proceeded from any attachment to liberty or love of his country. He resigned most probably with a view to be restored with greater plenitude of power; and the number of his friends, who accompanied him in his resignation, prove it to have been a mere factious movement. On the day of his resignation he brought in the famous sinking-fund bill: he presented it as a country-gentleman ; and said he hoped it would not fare the worse for having two fathers; and that his successor (Mr. Stanhope) would bring it to perfection. His calling bimself the father of a project, which has since been so often employed to other purposes than were at first declared, gave bis enemies frequent opportunity for satire and ridicule; and it has been sarcastically observed, that the father of this fund appeared in a very bad light when viewed in the capacity of a nurse. In the course of the debates on this bill, a warm contest arose between Wal. pole and Stanhope : on some severe reflections thrown upon him, the former lost his usual serenity of temper, and replied with great warmth and impetuosity. The acrimony on both sides produced unbecoming espressions, the be. traying of private conversation, and the revealing a piece of secret history, viz. “ the scandalous practice of selling places and reversions.” A member said on the occasion, « I am sorry to see these two great men fall foul of one another : however, in my opinion, we must still look on them as patriots and fathers of their country: and, since they have by mischance discovered their nakedness, we ought, according to the custom of the East, to cover it, by turning our backs upon them.”
In the next session of parliament Walpole opposed the ministry in every thing; and even Wyndham or Shippen did not exceed him in patriotism. Upon a motion in the
House for continuing the army, he made a speech of above an hour long, and displayed the danger of a standing army in a free country, with all the powers of eloquence. Early in 1720 tbe rigour of the patriot began to soften, and the complaisance of the courtier to appear; and he was again appointed paymaster of the forces, and several of his friends were found soon after in the list of promotions. No doubt now remained of his entire conversion to courtbieasures; for, before the end of the year, we find himn pleading as strongly for the forces required by the war. office as he bad before declaimed against them, even though at this time the same pretences for keeping them on foot did not exist.
It was not long before he acquired full ministerial power, being appointed first lord commissioner of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer; and, when the king went abroad in 1723, he was nominated one of the lords justices for the administration of government, and was sworn sole secretary of state. About this time he received another distinguished mark of the royal favour ; his eldest son, then on his travels, being created a peer, by the title of Baron Walpole of Walpole. In 1725 he was made knight of the bath; and, the year after, knight of the garter. Into any detail of the measures of his administration, during the long time he remained prime or rather sole minister, it would be impossible to enter in a work like this. They are indeed so closely involved in the history of the nation and of Europe, as to belong almost entirely to that department. His merit has been often canvassed with all the severity of critical inquiry, and it is difficult to discern the truth through the exaggerations and misrepresentations of party. But this difficulty has been lately removed in a very great measure by Mr. Coxe's elaboraie “ Memoirs of sir Robert Walpole," a work admirably calculated to abate the credulity of the public in the accounts of party-writers. Although sir Robert had been called “the father of corruption" (which, however, he was not, but certainly a great improver of it), and is said to have boasted that he kgew every man's price *, yet, in 1742, the opposition .* This accusation reminds us of reported, that "all men have their another against the late Mr. Burke, price ;” but speaking of a particular who is represented as having called number of bis opponents, he said " All the people “ the swipish multitude,” those men have their price," and in the when he spoke only of a particular event many of them jastiged his obclass, as a swinish multitude. Sir Ro- servation.-Coxe's Memoirs, p. 757, bert Walpole did not say, as usually 4to edit.
prevailed, and he was not any longer able to carry a ma. jority in the House of Commons. He now resigned all his places, and fled for shelter behind the throne. But there is so little appearance of his credit receiving any diminution that he was soon after created earl of Orford, and most of his friends and dependants continued in their places. The king too granted him a pension of 40001. in consideration of his long and faithful services,
The remainder of his life he spent in tranquillity and retirement, and died, 1745, in his seventy-first year. What. erer objections his ministerial conduct may be liable to, yet in his private character he is universally allowed to have had amiable and benevolent qualities. That he wa's a tender parent, a kind master, a beneficent patron, a firm friend, an agreeable companion, are points that have been seldom disputed; and Pope, who was no friend to courts and courtiers, has paid him, gratis, a handsomer compliment on the last of these heads than all this liberality could ever purchase. In answer to his friend, who persuades him to go and see sir Robert, he says,
“ Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill exchang'd for pow'r ;
Smile without art, and win without a bribe.” About the end of queen Anne's reign, and the beginning of George the First, he wrote the following pamphlets, 1. “ The Sovereign's Answer to the Gloucestershire Address.” The sovereign meant Charles duke of Somerset, so nick-named by the whigs. 2. “ Answer to the 'Representation of the House of Lords on the state of the Nary," 1709. 3. “ The Debts of the Nation stated and considered, in four papers,” 1710; the third and fourth, Mr. Coxe thinks, were not his. 4. “ The Thirty-five millions accounted for," 1710. 5.“ A Letter from a foreign Minister in England to Monsieur Pettecum," 1710. This likewise Mr. Coxe doubts, but thinks he might have written an answer to it, as it was a vindication of the tories. 6. “ Four Letters to a friend in Scotland upon Sacheverell's Trial;" falsely attributed in the “ General Dictionary” to Mr. Maynwaring. 7. “ A short History of the Parliament.” It is an account of the last Session of the queen, 8. “ The South-Sea Scheme considered.” 9. “A pamphlet against the Peerage-Bill," 1719. 10. " The Report of the Secret Committee, June 9th, 1715." 11. " The Thoughts of a Member of the Lower-house, in relation to a project for restraining and limiting the power of the Crown in the future creation of peers," 1719. 12. " The Report of the Secret Committee, June 9, 1715.” 13. “A private Letter from General Churchill after Lord Orford's retirement,” which has been considered as indicating a love of retirement, and contempt of grandeur; but it will probably appear to be rather an affectation of contentment with a situation which he could no longer change. Amidst all his knowledge, he had laid up very little for the pur. poses of retirement.
Mr. Coxe has also enriched the bistorical library with memoirs of HORATIO LORD WALPOLE, brother to sir Robert, first earl of Orford. Horatio was born in 1678, and came early into public life. In 1706 he accompanied general Stanhope to Barcelona, as private secretary, and in 1707 was appointed secretary to Henry Boyle, esq. then chan. cellor of the Exchequer. In 1708, he went as secretary of an embassy to the emperor of Germany, and was present in the same capacity at the congress of Gertruydenberg in 1709. On sir Robert's being nominated first lord of the treasury in 1715, he was made secretary to that board. In 1716 he was sent as envoy to the Hague; and in 1717 succeeded to the office of surveyor and auditor-general of all his majesty's revenues in America, in consequence of a reversionary grant obtained some time before. In 1720 he was appointed secretary to the duke of Grafton, when lord-lieutenant of Ireland. In 1723 he commenced his embassy at Paris, where he resided till 1727 as ambassador. In 1730 he was made cofferer of his majesty's household. In 1733 he was sent plenipotentiary to the Statesgeneral; in 1741 was appointed a teller of the exchequer, and in 1756 was created a peer of England, by the title of lord Walpole of Wolterton. His lordship died Feb. 5, 1757.
By Mr. Coxe's memoirs, lord Walpole is placed in a far more important point of view than he had heretofore obtained, and it appears that no one could be more intrusted with the secret springs of ministerial action; but he partook of the obloquy which followed his brother, and has consequently been misrepresented by those compilers of history who depend for their information on party pamphlets., Lord Hardwicke said of him, that “he negociated with firmness and address; and with the love of peace,