The Project Gutenberg eBook of The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 4

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Title: The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 4

Author: Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay Macaulay

Release date: June 26, 2008 [eBook #2613]
Most recently updated: January 10, 2013

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Martin Adamson and David Widger



VOLUME 4 (of 5)

(Chapters XVIII-XXII)

by Thomas Babington Macaulay.

Porter & Coates










William's Voyage to Holland
William's Entrance into the Hague
Congress at the Hague
William his own Minister for Foreign Affairs
William obtains a Toleration for the Waldenses; Vices inherent in the Nature
     of Coalitions
Siege and Fall of Mons
William returns to England; Trials of Preston and Ashton
Execution of Ashton
Preston's Irresolution and Confessions
Lenity shown to the Conspirators
Turner; Penn
Death of George Fox; his Character
Interview between Penn and Sidney
Preston pardoned
Joy of the Jacobites at the Fall of Mons
The vacant Sees filled
Tillotson Archbishop of Canterbury
Conduct of Sancroft
Difference between Sancroft and Ken
Hatred of Sancroft to the Established Church; he provides for the episcopal
     Succession among the Nonjurors
The new Bishops
Sherlock Dean of Saint Paul's
Treachery of some of William's Servants
William returns to the Continent
The Campaign of 1691 in Flanders
The War in Ireland; State of the English Part of Ireland
State of the Part of Ireland which was subject to James
Dissensions among the Irish at Limerick
Return of Tyrconnel to Ireland
Arrival of a French Fleet at Limerick; Saint Ruth
The English take the Field
Fall of Ballymore; Siege and Fall of Athlone
Retreat of the Irish Army
Saint Ruth determines to fight
Battle of Aghrim
Fall of Galway
Death of Tyrconnel
Second Siege of Limerick
The Irish desirous to capitulate
Negotiations between the Irish Chiefs and the Besiegers
The Capitulation of Limerick
The Irish Troops required to make their Election between their Country and France
Most of the Irish Troops volunteer for France
Many of the Irish who had volunteered for France desert
The last Division of the Irish Army sails from Cork for France
State of Ireland after the War


Opening of the Parliament
Debates on the Salaries and Fees of Official Men
Act excluding Papists from Public Trust in Ireland
Debates on the East India Trade
Debates on the Bill for regulating Trials in Cases of High Treason
Plot formed by Marlborough against the Government of William
Marlborough's Plot disclosed by the Jacobites
Disgrace of Marlborough; Various Reports touching the Cause of Marlborough's Disgrace.
Rupture between Mary and Anne
Fuller's Plot
Close of the Session; Bill for ascertaining the Salaries of the Judges rejected
Misterial Changes in England
Ministerial Changes in Scotland
State of the Highlands
Breadalbane employed to negotiate with the Rebel Clans
William goes to the Continent; Death of Louvois
The French Government determines to send an Expedition against England
James believes that the English Fleet is friendly to him
Conduct of Russell
A Daughter born to James
Preparations made in England to repel Invasion
James goes down to his Army at La Hogue
James's Declaration
Effect produced by James's Declaration
The English and Dutch Fleets join; Temper of the English Fleet
Battle of La Hogue
Rejoicings in England
Young's Plot


Foreign Policy of William
The Northern Powers
The Pope
Conduct of the Allies
The Emperor
William succeeds in preventing the Dissolution of the Coalition
New Arrangements for the Government of the Spanish Netherlands
Lewis takes the Field
Siege of Namur
Lewis returns to Versailles
Battle of Steinkirk
Conspiracy of Grandval
Return of William to England
Naval Maladministration
Earthquake at Port Royal
Distress in England; Increase of Crime
Meeting of Parliament; State of Parties
The King's Speech; Question of Privilege raised by the Lords
Debates on the State of the Nation
Bill for the Regulation of Trials in Cases of Treason
Case of Lord Mohun
Debates on the India Trade
Ways and Means; Land Tax
Origin of the National Debt
Parliamentary Reform
The Place Bill
The Triennial Bill
The First Parliamentary Discussion on the Liberty of the Press
State of Ireland
The King refuses to pass the Triennial Bill
Ministerial Arrangements
The King goes to Holland; a Session of Parliament in Scotland


State of the Court of Saint Germains
Feeling of the Jacobites; Compounders and Noncompounders
Change of Ministry at Saint Germains; Middleton
New Declaration put forth by James
Effect of the new Declaration
French Preparations for the Campaign; Institution of the Order of Saint Lewis
Middleton's Account of Versailles
William's Preparations for the Campaign
Lewis takes the Field
Lewis returns to Versailles
Manoeuvres of Luxemburg
Battle of Landen
Miscarriage of the Smyrna Fleet
Excitement in London
Jacobite Libels; William Anderton
Writings and Artifices of the Jacobites
Conduct of Caermarthen
Now Charter granted to the East India Company
Return of William to England; Military Successes of France
Distress of France
A Ministry necessary to Parliamentary Government
The First Ministry gradually formed
Sunderland advises the King to give the Preference to the Whigs
Reasons for preferring the Whigs
Chiefs of the Whig Party; Russell
Chiefs of the Tory Party; Harley
Meeting of Parliament
Debates about the Naval Miscarriages
Russell First Lord of the Admiralty; Retirement of Nottingham
Shrewsbury refuses Office
Debates about the Trade with India
Bill for the Regulation of Trials in Cases of Treason
Triennial Bill
Place Bill
Bill for the Naturalisation of Foreign Protestants
Ways and Means; Lottery Loan
The Bank of England
Prorogation of Parliament; Ministerial Arrangements; Shrewsbury Secretary of State
New Titles bestowed
French Plan of War; English Plan of War
Expedition against Brest
Naval Operations in the Mediterranean
War by Land
Complaints of Trenchard's Administration
The Lancashire Prosecutions
Meeting of the Parliament; Death of Tillotson
Tenison Archbishop of Canterbury; Debates on the Lancashire Prosecutions
Place Bill
Bill for the Regulation of Trials in Cases of Treason; the Triennial Bill passed
Death of Mary
Funeral of Mary
Greenwich Hospital founded


Effect of Mary's Death on the Continent
Death of Luxemburg
Distress of William
Parliamentary Proceedings; Emancipation of the Press
Death of Halifax
Parliamentary Inquiries into the Corruption of the Public Offices
Vote of Censure on the Speaker
Foley elected Speaker; Inquiry into the Accounts of the East India Company
Suspicious Dealings of Seymour
Bill against Sir Thomas Cook
Inquiry by a joint Committee of Lords and Commons
Impeachment of Leeds
Disgrace of Leeds
Lords Justices appointed; Reconciliation between William and the Princess Anne
Jacobite Plots against William's Person
Charnock; Porter
Goodman; Parkyns
Session of the Scottish Parliament; Inquiry into the Slaughter of Glencoe
War in the Netherlands; Marshal Villeroy
The Duke of Maine
Jacobite Plots against the Government during William's Absence
Siege of Namur
Surrender of the Town of Namur
Surrender of the Castle of Namur
Arrest of Boufflers
Effect of the Emancipation of the English Press
Return of William to England; Dissolution of the Parliament
William makes a Progress through the Country
The Elections
Alarming State of the Currency
Meeting of the Parliament; Loyalty of the House of Commons
Controversy touching the Currency
Parliamentary Proceedings touching the Currency
Passing of the Act regulating Trials in Cases of High Treason
Parliamentary Proceedings touching the Grant of Crown Lands in Wales to Portland
Two Jacobite Plots formed
Berwick's Plot; the Assassination Plot; Sir George Barclay
Failure of Berwick's Plot
Detection of the Assassination Plot
Parliamentary Proceedings touching the Assassination Plot
State of Public Feeling
Trial of Charnock, King and Keyes
Execution of Charnock, King and Keyes
Trial of Friend
Trial of Parkyns
Execution of Friend and Parkyns
Trials of Rookwood, Cranburne and Lowick
The Association
Bill for the Regulation of Elections
Act establishing a Land Bank


Military Operations in the Netherlands
Commercial Crisis in England
Financial Crisis
Efforts to restore the Currency
Distress of the People; their Temper and Conduct
Negotiations with France; the Duke of Savoy deserts the Coalition
Search for Jacobite Conspirators in England; Sir John Fenwick
Capture of Fenwick
Fenwick's Confession
Return of William to England
Meeting of Parliament; State of the Country; Speech of William at the
     Commencement of the Session
Resolutions of the House of Commons
Return of Prosperity
Effect of the Proceedings of the House of Commons on Foreign Governments
Restoration of the Finances
Effects of Fenwick's Confession
Resignation of Godolphin
Feeling of the Whigs about Fenwick
William examines Fenwick
Disappearance of Goodman
Parliamentary Proceedings touching Fenwick's Confession
Bill for attainting Fenwick
Debates of the Commons on the Bill of Attainder
The Bill of Attainder carried up to the Lords
Artifices of Monmouth
Debates of the Lords on the Bill of Attainder
Proceedings against Monmouth
Position and Feelings of Shrewsbury
The Bill of Attainder passed; Attempts to save Fenwick
Fenwick's Execution; Bill for the Regulating of Elections
Bill for the Regulation of the Press
Bill abolishing the Privileges of Whitefriars and the Savoy
Close of the Session; Promotions and Appointments
State of Ireland
State of Scotland
A Session of Parliament at Edinburgh; Act for the Settling of Schools
Case of Thomas Aikenhead
Military Operations in the Netherlands
Terms of Peace offered by France
Conduct of Spain; Conduct of the Emperor
Congress of Ryswick
William opens a distinct Negotiation
Meetings of Portland and Boufflers
Terms of Peace between France and England settled
Difficulties caused by Spain and the Emperor
Attempts of James to prevent a general Pacification
The Treaty of Ryswick signed; Anxiety in England
News of the Peace arrives in England
Dismay of the Jacobites
General Rejoicing
The King's Entry into London
The Thanksgiving Day


 William's Voyage to Holland—William's Entrance into the Hague—Congress
 at the Hague—William his own Minister for Foreign Affairs—William
 obtains a Toleration for the Waldenses; Vices inherent in the Nature of
 Coalitions—Siege and Fall of Mons—William returns to England; Trials
 of Preston and Ashton—Execution of Ashton—Preston's Irresolution
 and Confessions—Lenity shown to the Conspirators—Dartmouth—Turner;
 Penn—Death of George Fox; his Character—Interview between Penn and
 Sidney—Preston pardoned—Joy of the Jacobites at the Fall of Mons—The
 vacant Sees filled—Tillotson Archbishop of Canterbury—Conduct of
 Sancroft—Difference between Sancroft and Ken—Hatred of Sancroft to the
 Established Church; he provides for the episcopal Succession among the
 Nonjurors—The new Bishops—Sherlock Dean of Saint Paul's—Treachery
 of some of William's Servants—Russell—Godolphin—Marlborough—William
 returns to the Continent—The Campaign of 1691 in Flanders—The War
 in Ireland; State of the English Part of Ireland—State of the Part
 of Ireland which was subject to James—Dissensions among the Irish at
 Limerick—Return of Tyrconnel to Ireland—Arrival of a French Fleet at
 Limerick; Saint Ruth—The English take the Field—Fall of Ballymore;
 Siege and Fall of Athlone—Retreat of the Irish Army—Saint Ruth
 determines to fight—Battle of Aghrim—Fall of Galway—Death
 of Tyrconnel—Second Siege of Limerick—The Irish desirous to
 capitulate—Negotiations between the Irish Chiefs and the Besiegers—The
 Capitulation of Limerick—The Irish Troops required to make their
 Election between their Country and France—Most of the Irish Troops
 volunteer for France—Many of the Irish who had volunteered for
 France desert—The last Division of the Irish Army sails from Cork for
 France—State of Ireland after the War

ON the eighteenth of January 1691, the King, having been detained some days by adverse winds, went on board at Gravesend. Four yachts had been fitted up for him and for his retinue. Among his attendants were Norfolk, Ormond, Devonshire, Dorset, Portland, Monmouth, Zulestein, and the Bishop of London. Two distinguished admirals, Cloudesley Shovel and George Rooke, commanded the men of war which formed the convoy. The passage was tedious and disagreeable. During many hours the fleet was becalmed off the Godwin Sands; and it was not till the fifth day that the soundings proved the coast of Holland to be near. The sea fog was so thick that no land could be seen; and it was not thought safe for the ships to proceed further in the darkness. William, tired out by the voyage, and impatient to be once more in his beloved country, determined to land in an open boat. The noblemen who were in his train tried to dissuade him from risking so valuable a life; but, when they found that his mind was made up, they insisted on sharing the danger. That danger proved more serious than they had expected. It had been supposed that in an hour the party would be on shore. But great masses of floating ice impeded the progress of the skiff; the night came on; the fog grew thicker; the waves broke over the King and the courtiers. Once the keel struck on a sand bank, and was with great difficulty got off. The hardiest mariners showed some signs of uneasiness. But William, through the whole night, was as composed as if he had been in the drawingroom at Kensington. "For shame," he said to one of the dismayed sailors "are you afraid to die in my company?" A bold Dutch seaman ventured to spring out, and, with great difficulty, swam and scrambled through breakers, ice and mud, to firm ground. Here he discharged a musket and lighted a fire as a signal that he was safe. None of his fellow passengers, however, thought it prudent to follow his example. They lay tossing in sight of the flame which he had kindled, till the first pale light of a January morning showed them that they were close to the island of Goree. The King and his Lords, stiff with cold and covered with icicles, gladly landed to warm and rest themselves. 1

After reposing some hours in the hut of a peasant, William proceeded to the Hague. He was impatiently expected there for, though the fleet which brought him was not visible from the shore, the royal salutes had been heard through the mist, and had apprised the whole coast of his arrival. Thousands had assembled at Honslaerdyk to welcome him with applause which came from their hearts and which went to his heart. That was one of the few white days of a life, beneficent indeed and glorious, but far from happy. After more than two years passed in a strange land, the exile had again set foot on his native soil. He heard again the language of his nursery. He saw again the scenery and the architecture which were inseparably associated in his mind with the recollections of childhood and the sacred feeling of home; the dreary mounds of sand, shells and weeds, on which the waves of the German Ocean broke; the interminable meadows intersected by trenches; the straight canals; the villas bright with paint and adorned with quaint images and inscriptions. He had lived during many weary months among a people who did not love him, who did not understand him, who could never forget that he was a foreigner. Those Englishmen who served him most faithfully served him without enthusiasm, without personal attachment, and merely from a sense of public duty. In their hearts they were sorry that they had no choice but between an English tyrant and a Dutch deliverer. All was now changed. William was among a population by which he was adored, as Elizabeth had been adored when she rode through her army at Tilbury, as Charles the Second had been adored when he landed at Dover. It is true that the old enemies of the House of Orange had not been inactive during the absence of the Stadtholder. There had been, not indeed clamours, but mutterings against him. He had, it was said, neglected his native land for his new kingdom. Whenever the dignity of the English flag, whenever the prosperity of the English trade was concerned, he forgot that he was a Hollander. But, as soon as his well remembered face was again seen, all jealousy, all coldness, was at an end. There was not a boor, not a fisherman, not an artisan, in the crowds which lined the road from Honslaerdyk to the Hague, whose heart did not swell with pride at the thought that the first minister of Holland had become a great King, had freed the English, and had conquered the Irish. It would have been madness in William to travel from Hampton Court to Westminster without a guard; but in his own land he needed no swords or carbines to defend him. "Do not keep the people off;" he cried: "let them come close to me; they are all my good friends." He soon learned that sumptuous preparations were making for his entrance into the Hague. At first he murmured and objected. He detested, he said, noise and display. The necessary cost of the war was quite heavy enough. He hoped that his kind fellow townsmen would consider him as a neighbour, born and bred among them, and would not pay him so bad a compliment as to treat him ceremoniously. But all his expostulations were vain. The Hollanders, simple and parsimonious as their ordinary habits were, had set their hearts on giving their illustrious countryman a reception suited to his dignity and to his merit; and he found it necessary to yield. On the day of his triumph the concourse was immense. All the wheeled carriages and horses of the province were too few for the multitude of those who flocked to the show. Many thousands came sliding or skating along the frozen canals from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leyden, Haarlem, Delft. At ten in the morning of the twenty-sixth of January, the great bell of the Town House gave the signal. Sixteen hundred substantial burghers, well armed, and clad in the finest dresses which were to be found in the recesses of their wardrobes, kept order in the crowded streets. Balconies and scaffolds, embowered in evergreens and hung with tapestry, hid the windows. The royal coach, escorted by an army of halberdiers and running footmen, and followed by a long train of splendid equipages, passed under numerous arches rich with carving and painting, amidst incessant shouts of "Long live the King our Stadtholder." The front of the Town House and the whole circuit of the marketplace were in a blaze with brilliant colours. Civic crowns, trophies, emblems of arts, of sciences, of commerce and of agriculture, appeared every where. In one place William saw portrayed the glorious actions of his ancestors. There was the silent prince, the founder of the Batavian commonwealth, passing the Meuse with his warriors. There was the more impetuous Maurice leading the charge at Nieuport. A little further on, the hero might retrace the eventful story of his own life. He was a child at his widowed mother's knee. He was at the altar with Diary's hand in his. He was landing at Torbay. He was swimming through the Boyne. There, too, was a boat amidst the ice and the breakers; and above it was most appropriately inscribed, in the majestic language of Rome, the saying of the great Roman, "What dost thou fear? Thou hast Caesar on board." The task of furnishing the Latin mottoes had been intrusted to two men, who, till Bentley appeared, held the highest place among the classical scholars of that age. Spanheim, whose knowledge of the Roman medals was unrivalled, imitated, not unsuccessfully, the noble conciseness of those ancient legends which he had assiduously studied; and he was assisted by Graevius, who then filled a chair at Utrecht, and whose just reputation had drawn to that University multitudes of students from every part of Protestant Europe. 2 When the night came, fireworks were exhibited on the great tank which washes the walls of the Palace of the Federation. That tank was now as hard as marble; and the Dutch boasted that nothing had ever been seen, even on the terrace of Versailles, more brilliant than the effect produced by the innumerable cascades of flame which were reflected in the smooth mirror of ice. 3 The English Lords congratulated their master on his immense popularity. "Yes," said he; "but I am not the favourite. The shouting was nothing to what it would have been if Mary had been with me."

A few hours after the triumphal entry, the King attended a sitting of the States General. His last appearance among them had been on the day on which he embarked for England. He had then, amidst the broken words and loud weeping of those grave Senators, thanked them for the kindness with which they had watched over his childhood, trained his young mind, and supported his authority in his riper years; and he had solemnly commended his beloved wife to their care. He now came back among them the King of three kingdoms, the head of the greatest coalition that Europe had seen during a hundred and eighty years; and nothing was heard in the hall but applause and congratulations. 4

But this time the streets of the Hague were overflowing with the equipages and retinues of princes and ambassadors who came flocking to the great Congress. First appeared the ambitious and ostentatious Frederic, Elector of Brandenburg, who, a few years later, took the title of King of Prussia. Then arrived the young Elector of Bavaria, the Regent of Wirtemberg, the Landgraves of Hesse Cassel and Hesse Darmstadt, and a long train of sovereign princes, sprung from the illustrious houses of Brunswick, of Saxony, of Holstein, and of Nassau. The Marquess of Gastanaga, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, repaired to the assembly from the viceregal Court of Brussels. Extraordinary ministers had been sent by the Emperor, by the Kings of Spain, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden, and by the Duke of Savoy. There was scarcely room in the town and the neighbourhood for the English Lords and gentlemen and the German Counts and Barons whom curiosity or official duty had brought to the place of meeting. The grave capital of the most thrifty and industrious of nations was as gay as Venice in the Carnival. The walks cut among those noble limes and elms in which the villa of the Princes of Orange is embosomed were gay with the plumes, the stars, the flowing wigs, the embroidered coats and the gold hilted swords of gallants from London, Berlin and Vienna. With the nobles were mingled sharpers not less gorgeously attired than they. At night the hazard tables were thronged; and the theatre was filled to the roof. Princely banquets followed one another in rapid succession. The meats were served in gold; and, according to that old Teutonic fashion with which Shakspeare had made his countrymen familiar, as often as any of the great princes proposed a health, the kettle drums and trumpets sounded. Some English lords, particularly Devonshire, gave entertainments which vied with those of Sovereigns. It was remarked that the German potentates, though generally disposed to be litigious and punctilious about etiquette, associated, on this occasion, in an unceremonious manner, and seemed to have forgotten their passion for genealogical and heraldic controversy. The taste for wine, which was then characteristic of their nation, they had not forgotten. At the table of the Elector of Brandenburg much mirth was caused by the gravity of the statesmen of Holland, who, sober themselves, confuted out of Grotius and Puffendorf the nonsense stuttered by the tipsy nobles of the Empire. One of those nobles swallowed so many bumpers that he tumbled into the turf fire, and was not pulled out till his fine velvet suit had been burned. 5

In the midst of all this revelry, business was not neglected. A formal meeting of the Congress was held at which William presided. In a short and dignified speech, which was speedily circulated throughout Europe, he set forth the necessity of firm union and strenuous exertion. The profound respect with which he was heard by that splendid assembly caused bitter mortification to his enemies both in England and in France. The German potentates were bitterly reviled for yielding precedence to an upstart. Indeed the most illustrious among them paid to him such marks of deference as they would scarcely have deigned to pay to the Imperial Majesty, mingled with the crowd in his antechamber, and at his table behaved as respectfully as any English lord in waiting. In one caricature the allied princes were represented as muzzled bears, some with crowns, some with caps of state. William had them all in a chain, and was teaching them to dance. In another caricature, he appeared taking his ease in an arm chair, with his feet on a cushion, and his hat on his head, while the Electors of Brandenburg and Bavaria, uncovered, occupied small stools on the right and left; the crowd of Landgraves and Sovereign dukes stood at humble distance; and Gastanaga, the unworthy successor of Alva, awaited the orders of the heretic tyrant on bended knee. 6

It was soon announced by authority that, before the beginning of summer, two hundred and twenty thousand men would be in the field against France. 7 The contingent which each of the allied powers was to furnish was made known. Matters about which it would have been inexpedient to put forth any declaration were privately discussed by the King of England with his allies. On this occasion, as on every other important occasion during his reign, he was his own minister for foreign affairs. It was necessary for the sake of form that he should be attended by a Secretary of State; and Nottingham had therefore followed him to Holland. But Nottingham, though, in matters concerning the internal government of England, he enjoyed a large share of his master's confidence, knew little more about the business of the Congress than what he saw in the Gazettes.

This mode of transacting business would now be thought most unconstitutional; and many writers, applying the standard of their own age to the transactions of a former age, have severely blamed William for acting without the advice of his ministers, and his ministers for submitting to be kept in ignorance of transactions which deeply concerned the honour of the Crown and the welfare of the nation. Yet surely the presumption is that what the most honest and honourable men of both parties, Nottingham, for example, among the Tories, and Somers among the Whigs, not only did, but avowed, cannot have been altogether inexcusable; and a very sufficient excuse will without difficulty be found.

The doctrine that the Sovereign is not responsible is doubtless as old as any part of our constitution. The doctrine that his ministers are responsible is also of immemorial antiquity. That where there is no responsibility there can be no trustworthy security against maladministration, is a doctrine which, in our age and country, few people will be inclined to dispute. From these three propositions it plainly follows that the administration is likely to be best conducted when the Sovereign performs no public act without the concurrence and instrumentality of a minister. This argument is perfectly sound. But we must remember that arguments are constructed in one way, and governments in another. In logic, none but an idiot admits the premises and denies the legitimate conclusion. But in practice, we see that great and enlightened communities often persist, generation after generation, in asserting principles, and refusing to act upon those principles. It may be doubted whether any real polity that ever existed has exactly corresponded to the pure idea of that polity. According to the pure idea of constitutional royalty, the prince reigns and does not govern; and constitutional royalty, as it now exists in England, comes nearer than in any other country to the pure idea. Yet it would be a great error to imagine that our princes merely reign and never govern. In the seventeenth century, both Whigs and Tories thought it, not only the right, but the duty, of the first magistrate to govern. All parties agreed in blaming Charles the Second for not being his own Prime Minister; all parties agreed in praising James for being his own Lord High Admiral; and all parties thought it natural and reasonable that William should be his own Foreign Secretary.

It may be observed that the ablest and best informed of those who have censured the manner in which the negotiations of that time were conducted are scarcely consistent with themselves. For, while they blame William for being his own Ambassador Plenipotentiary at the Hague, they praise him for being his own Commander in Chief in Ireland. Yet where is the distinction in principle between the two cases? Surely every reason which can be brought to prove that he violated the constitution, when, by his own sole authority, he made compacts with the Emperor and the Elector of Brandenburg, will equally prove that he violated the constitution, when, by his own sole authority, he ordered one column to plunge into the water at Oldbridge and another to cross the bridge of Slane. If the constitution gave him the command of the forces of the State, the constitution gave him also the direction of the foreign relations of the State. On what principle then can it be maintained that he was at liberty to exercise the former power without consulting any body, but that he was bound to exercise the latter power in conformity with the advice of a minister? Will it be said that an error in diplomacy is likely to be more injurious to the country than an error in strategy? Surely not. It is hardly conceivable that any blunder which William might have made at the Hague could have been more injurious to the public interests than a defeat at the Boyne. Or will it be said that there was greater reason for placing confidence in his military than in his diplomatic skill? Surely not. In war he showed some great moral and intellectual qualities; but, as a tactician, he did not rank high; and of his many campaigns only two were decidedly successful. In the talents of a negotiator, on the other hand, he has never been surpassed. Of the interests and the tempers of the continental courts he knew more than all his Privy Council together. Some of his ministers were doubtless men of great ability, excellent orators in the House of Lords, and versed in our insular politics. But, in the deliberations of the Congress, Caermarthen and Nottingham would have been found as far inferior to him as he would have been found inferior to them in a parliamentary debate on a question purely English. The coalition against France was his work. He alone had joined together the parts of that great whole; and he alone could keep them together. If he had trusted that vast and complicated machine in the hands of any of his subjects, it would instantly have fallen to pieces.

Some things indeed were to be done which none of his subjects would have ventured to do. Pope Alexander was really, though not in name, one of the allies; it was of the highest importance to have him for a friend; and yet such was the temper of the English nation that an English minister might well shrink from having any dealings, direct or indirect, with the Vatican. The Secretaries of State were glad to leave a matter so delicate and so full of risk to their master, and to be able to protest with truth that not a line to which the most intolerant Protestant could object had ever gone out of their offices.

It must not be supposed however that William ever forgot that his especial, his hereditary, mission was to protect the Reformed Faith. His influence with Roman Catholic princes was constantly and strenuously exerted for the benefit of their Protestant subjects. In the spring of 1691, the Waldensian shepherds, long and cruelly persecuted, and weary of their lives, were surprised by glad tidings. Those who had been in prison for heresy returned to their homes. Children, who had been taken from their parents to be educated by priests, were sent back. Congregations, which had hitherto met only by stealth and with extreme peril, now worshipped God without molestation in the face of day. Those simple mountaineers probably never knew that their fate had been a subject of discussion at the Hague, and that they owed the happiness of their firesides, and the security of their humble temples to the ascendency which William exercised over the Duke of Savoy. 8

No coalition of which history has preserved the memory has had an abler chief than William. But even William often contended in vain against those vices which are inherent in the nature of all coalitions. No undertaking which requires the hearty and long continued cooperation of many independent states is likely to prosper. Jealousies inevitably spring up. Disputes engender disputes. Every confederate is tempted to throw on others some part of the burden which he ought himself to bear. Scarcely one honestly furnishes the promised contingent. Scarcely one exactly observes the appointed day. But perhaps no coalition that ever existed was in such constant danger of dissolution as the coalition which William had with infinite difficulty formed. The long list of potentates, who met in person or by their representatives at the Hague, looked well in the Gazettes. The crowd of princely equipages, attended by manycoloured guards and lacqueys, looked well among the lime trees of the Voorhout. But the very circumstances which made the Congress more splendid than other congresses made the league weaker than other leagues. The more numerous the allies, the more numerous were the dangers which threatened the alliance. It was impossible that twenty governments, divided by quarrels about precedence, quarrels about territory, quarrels about trade, quarrels about religion, could long act together in perfect harmony. That they acted together during several years in imperfect harmony is to be ascribed to the wisdom, patience and firmness of William.

The situation of his great enemy was very different. The resources of the French monarchy, though certainly not equal to those of England, Holland, the House of Austria, and the Empire of Germany united, were yet very formidable; they were all collected in a central position; they were all under the absolute direction of a single mind. Lewis could do with two words what William could hardly bring about by two months of negotiation at Berlin, Munich, Brussels, Turin and Vienna. Thus France was found equal in effective strength to all the states which were combined against her. For in the political, as in the natural world, there may be an equality of momentum between unequal bodies, when the body which is inferior in weight is superior in velocity.

This was soon signally proved. In March the princes and ambassadors who had been assembled at the Hague separated and scarcely had they separated when all their plans were disconcerted by a bold and skilful move of the enemy.

Lewis was sensible that the meeting of the Congress was likely to produce a great effect on the public mind of Europe. That effect he determined to counteract by striking a sudden and terrible blow. While his enemies were settling how many troops each of them should furnish, he ordered numerous divisions of his army to march from widely distant points towards Mons, one of the most important, if not the most important, of the fortresses which protected the Spanish Netherlands. His purpose was discovered only when it was all but accomplished. William, who had retired for a few days to Loo, learned, with surprise and extreme vexation, that cavalry, infantry, artillery, bridges of boats, were fast approaching the fated city by many converging routes. A hundred thousand men had been brought together. All the implements of war had been largely provided by Louvois, the first of living administrators. The command was entrusted to Luxemburg, the first of living generals. The scientific operations were directed by Vauban, the first of living engineers. That nothing might be wanting which could kindle emulation through all the ranks of a gallant and loyal army, the magnificent King himself had set out from Versailles for the camp. Yet William had still some faint hope that it might be possible to raise the siege. He flew to the Hague, put all the forces of the States General in motion, and sent pressing messages to the German Princes. Within three weeks after he had received the first hint of the danger, he was in the neighbourhood of the besieged city, at the head of near fifty thousand troops of different nations. To attack a superior force commanded by such a captain as Luxemburg was a bold, almost a desperate, enterprise. Yet William was so sensible that the loss of Mons would be an almost irreparable disaster and disgrace that he made up his mind to run the hazard. He was convinced that the event of the siege would determine the policy of the Courts of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Those Courts had lately seemed inclined to join the coalition. If Mons fell, they would certainly remain neutral; they might possibly become hostile. "The risk," he wrote to Heinsius, "is great; yet I am not without hope. I will do what can be done. The issue is in the hands of God." On the very day on which this letter was written Mons fell. The siege had been vigorously pressed. Lewis himself, though suffering from the gout, had set the example of strenuous exertion. His household troops, the finest body of soldiers in Europe, had, under his eye, surpassed themselves. The young nobles of his court had tried to attract his notice by exposing themselves to the hottest fire with the same gay alacrity with which they were wont to exhibit their graceful figures at his balls. His wounded soldiers were charmed by the benignant courtesy with which he walked among their pallets, assisted while wounds were dressed by the hospital surgeons, and breakfasted on a porringer of the hospital broth. While all was obedience and enthusiasm among the besiegers, all was disunion and dismay among the besieged. The duty of the French lines was so well performed that no messenger sent by William was able to cross them. The garrison did not know that relief was close at hand. The burghers were appalled by the prospect of those horrible calamities which befall cities taken by storm. Showers of shells and redhot bullets were falling in the streets. The town was on fire in ten places at once. The peaceful inhabitants derived an unwonted courage from the excess of their fear, and rose on the soldiers. Thenceforth resistance was impossible; and a capitulation was concluded. The armies then retired into quarters. Military operations were suspended during some weeks; Lewis returned in triumph to Versailles; and William paid a short visit to England, where his presence was much needed. 9

He found the ministers still employed in tracing out the ramifications of the plot which had been discovered just before his departure. Early in January, Preston, Ashton and Elliot had been arraigned at the Old Bailey. They claimed the right of severing in their challenges. It was therefore necessary to try them separately. The audience was numerous and splendid. Many peers were present. The Lord President and the two Secretaries of State attended in order to prove that the papers produced in Court were the same which Billop had brought to Whitehall. A considerable number of judges appeared on the bench; and Holt presided. A full report of the proceedings has come down to us, and well deserves to be attentively studied, and to be compared with the reports of other trials which had not long before taken place under the same roof. The whole spirit of the tribunal had undergone in a few months a change so complete that it might seem to have been the work of ages. Twelve years earlier, unhappy Roman Catholics, accused of wickedness which had never entered into their thoughts, had stood in that dock. The witnesses for the Crown had repeated their hideous fictions amidst the applauding hums of the audience. The judges had shared, or had pretended to share, the stupid credulity and the savage passions of the populace, had exchanged smiles and compliments with the perjured informers, had roared down the arguments feebly stammered forth by the prisoners, and had not been ashamed, in passing the sentence of death, to make ribald jests on purgatory and the mass. As soon as the butchery of Papists was over, the butchery of Whigs had commenced; and the judges had applied themselves to their new work with even more than their old barbarity. To these scandals the Revolution had put an end. Whoever, after perusing the trials of Ireland and Pickering, of Grove and Berry, of Sidney, Cornish and Alice Lisle, turns to the trials of Preston and Ashton, will be astonished by the contrast. The Solicitor General, Somers, conducted the prosecutions with a moderation and humanity of which his predecessors had left him no example. "I did never think," he said, "that it was the part of any who were of counsel for the King in cases of this nature to aggravate the crime of the prisoners, or to put false colours on the evidence." 10 Holt's conduct was faultless. Pollexfen, an older man than Holt or Somers, retained a little,—and a little was too much,—of the tone of that bad school in which he had been bred. But, though he once or twice forgot the austere decorum of his place, he cannot be accused of any violation of substantial justice. The prisoners themselves seem to have been surprised by the fairness and gentleness with which they were treated. "I would not mislead the jury, I'll assure you," said Holt to Preston, "nor do Your Lordship any manner of injury in the world." "No, my Lord;" said Preston; "I see it well enough that Your Lordship would not." "Whatever my fate may be," said Ashton, "I cannot but own that I have had a fair trial for my life."

The culprits gained nothing by the moderation of the Solicitor General or by the impartiality of the Court; for the evidence was irresistible. The meaning of the papers seized by Billop was so plain that the dullest juryman could not misunderstand it. Of those papers part was fully proved to be in Preston's handwriting. Part was in Ashton's handwriting but this the counsel for the prosecution had not the means of proving. They therefore rested the case against Ashton on the indisputable facts that the treasonable packet had been found in his bosom, and that he had used language which was quite unintelligible except on the supposition that he had a guilty knowledge of the contents. 11

Both Preston and Ashton were convicted and sentenced to death. Ashton was speedily executed. He might have saved his life by making disclosures. But though he declared that, if he were spared, he would always be a faithful subject of Their Majesties, he was fully resolved not to give up the names of his accomplices. In this resolution he was encouraged by the nonjuring divines who attended him in his cell. It was probably by their influence that he was induced to deliver to the Sheriffs on the scaffold a declaration which he had transcribed and signed, but had not, it is to be hoped, composed or attentively considered. In this paper he was made to complain of the unfairness of a trial which he had himself in public acknowledged to have been eminently fair. He was also made to aver, on the word of a dying man, that he knew nothing of the papers which had been found upon him. Unfortunately his declaration, when inspected, proved to be in the same handwriting with one of the most important of those papers. He died with manly fortitude. 12

Elliot was not brought to trial. The evidence against him was not quite so clear as that on which his associates had been convicted; and he was not worth the anger of the government. The fate of Preston was long in suspense. The Jacobites affected to be confident that the government would not dare to shed his blood. He was, they said, a favourite at Versailles, and his death would be followed by a terrible retaliation. They scattered about the streets of London papers in which it was asserted that, if any harm befell him, Mountjoy, and all the other Englishmen of quality who were prisoners in France, would be broken on the wheel. 13 These absurd threats would not have deferred the execution one day. But those who had Preston in their power were not unwilling to spare him on certain conditions. He was privy to all the counsels of the disaffected party, and could furnish information of the highest value. He was informed that his fate depended on himself. The struggle was long and severe. Pride, conscience, party spirit, were on one side; the intense love of life on the other. He went during a time irresolutely to and fro. He listened to his brother Jacobites; and his courage rose. He listened to the agents of the government; and his heart sank within him. In an evening when he had dined and drunk his claret, he feared nothing. He would die like a man, rather than save his neck by an act of baseness. But his temper was very different when he woke the next morning, when the courage which he had drawn from wine and company had evaporated, when he was alone with the iron grates and stone walls, and when the thought of the block, the axe and the sawdust rose in his mind. During some time he regularly wrote a confession every forenoon when he was sober, and burned it every night when he was merry. 14 His nonjuring friends formed a plan for bringing Sancroft to visit the Tower, in the hope, doubtless, that the exhortations of so great a prelate and so great a saint would confirm the wavering virtue of the prisoner. 15 Whether this plan would have been successful may be doubted; it was not carried into effect; the fatal hour drew near; and the fortitude of Preston gave way. He confessed his guilt, and named Clarendon, Dartmouth, the Bishop of Ely and William Penn, as his accomplices. He added a long list of persons against whom he could not himself give evidence, but who, if he could trust to Penn's assurances, were friendly to King James. Among these persons were Devonshire and Dorset. 16 There is not the slightest reason to believe that either of these great noblemen ever had any dealings, direct or indirect, with Saint Germains. It is not, however, necessary to accuse Penn of deliberate falsehood. He was credulous and garrulous. The Lord Steward and the Lord Chamberlain had shared in the vexation with which their party had observed the leaning of William towards the Tories; and they had probably expressed that vexation unguardedly. So weak a man as Penn, wishing to find Jacobites every where, and prone to believe whatever he wished, might easily put an erroneous construction on invectives such as the haughty and irritable Devonshire was but too ready to utter, and on sarcasms such as, in moments of spleen, dropped but too easily from the lips of the keenwitted Dorset. Caermarthen, a Tory, and a Tory who had been mercilessly persecuted by the Whigs, was disposed to make the most of this idle hearsay. But he received no encouragement from his master, who, of all the great politicians mentioned in history, was the least prone to suspicion. When William returned to England, Preston was brought before him, and was commanded to repeat the confession which had already been made to the ministers. The King stood behind the Lord President's chair and listened gravely while Clarendon, Dartmouth, Turner and Penn were named. But as soon as the prisoner, passing from what he could himself testify, began to repeat the stories which Penn had told him, William touched Caermarthen on the shoulder and said, "My Lord, we have had too much of this." 17 This judicious magnanimity had its proper reward. Devonshire and Dorset became from that day more zealous than ever in the cause of the master who, in spite of calumny for which their own indiscretion had perhaps furnished some ground, had continued to repose confidence in their loyalty. 18

Even those who were undoubtedly criminal were generally treated with great lenity. Clarendon lay in the Tower about six months. His guilt was fully established; and a party among the Whigs called loudly and importunately for his head. But he was saved by the pathetic entreaties of his brother Rochester, by the good offices of the humane and generous Burnet, and by Mary's respect for the memory of her mother. The prisoner's confinement was not strict. He was allowed to entertain his friends at dinner. When at length his health began to suffer from restraint, he was permitted to go into the country under the care of a warder; the warder was soon removed; and Clarendon was informed that, while he led a quiet rural life, he should not be molested. 19

The treason of Dartmouth was of no common dye. He was an English seaman; and he had laid a plan for betraying Portsmouth to the French, and had offered to take the command of a French squadron against his country. It was a serious aggravation of his guilt that he had been one of the very first persons who took the oaths to William and Mary. He was arrested and brought to the Council Chamber. A narrative of what passed there, written by himself, has been preserved. In that narrative he admits that he was treated with great courtesy and delicacy. He vehemently asserted his innocence. He declared that he had never corresponded with Saint Germains, that he was no favourite there, and that Mary of Modena in particular owed him a grudge. "My Lords," he said, "I am an Englishman. I always, when the interest of the House of Bourbon was strongest here, shunned the French, both men and women. I would lose the last drop of my blood rather than see Portsmouth in the power of foreigners. I am not such a fool as to think that King Lewis will conquer us merely for the benefit of King James. I am certain that nothing can be truly imputed to me beyond some foolish talk over a bottle." His protestations seem to have produced some effect; for he was at first permitted to remain in the gentle custody of the Black Rod. On further inquiry, however, it was determined to send him to the Tower. After a confinement of a few weeks he died of apoplexy; but he lived long enough to complete his disgrace by offering his sword to the new government, and by expressing in fervent language his hope that he might, by the goodness of God and of Their Majesties, have an opportunity of showing how much he hated the French. 20

Turner ran no serious risk; for the government was most unwilling to send to the scaffold one of the Seven who had signed the memorable petition. A warrant was however issued for his apprehension; and his friends had little hope that he would escape; for his nose was such as none who had seen it could forget; and it was to little purpose that he put on a flowing wig and that he suffered his beard to grow. The pursuit was probably not very hot; for, after skulking a few weeks in England, he succeeded in crossing the Channel, and remained some time in France. 21

A warrant was issued against Penn; and he narrowly escaped the messengers. It chanced that, on the day on which they were sent in search of him, he was attending a remarkable ceremony at some distance from his home. An event had taken place which a historian, whose object is to record the real life of a nation, ought not to pass unnoticed. While London was agitated by the news that a plot had been discovered, George Fox, the founder of the sect of Quakers, died.

More than forty years had elapsed since Fox had begun to see visions and to cast out devils. 22 He was then a youth of pure morals and grave deportment, with a perverse temper, with the education of a labouring man, and with an intellect in the most unhappy of all states, that is to say, too much disordered for liberty, and not sufficiently disordered for Bedlam. The circumstances in which he was placed were such as could scarcely fail to bring out in the strongest form the constitutional diseases of his mind. At the time when his faculties were ripening, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, were striving for mastery, and were, in every corner of the realm, refuting and reviling each other. He wandered from congregation to congregation; he heard priests harangue against Puritans; he heard Puritans harangue against priests; and he in vain applied for spiritual direction and consolation to doctors of both parties. One jolly old clergyman of the Anglican communion told him to smoke tobacco and sing psalms; another advised him to go and lose some blood. 23 The young inquirer turned in disgust from these advisers to the Dissenters, and found them also blind guides. 24 After some time he came to the conclusion that no human being was competent to instruct him in divine things, and that the truth had been communicated to him by direct inspiration from heaven. He argued that, as the division of languages began at Babel, and as the persecutors of Christ put on the cross an inscription in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, the knowledge of languages, and more especially of Latin, Greek and Hebrew, must be useless to a Christian minister. 25 Indeed, he was so far from knowing many languages, that he knew none; nor can the most corrupt passage in Hebrew be more unintelligible to the unlearned than his English often is to the most acute and attentive reader. 26 One of the precious truths which were divinely revealed to this new apostle was, that it was falsehood and adulation to use the second person plural instead of the second person singular. Another was, that to talk of the month of March was to worship the bloodthirsty god Mars, and that to talk of Monday was to pay idolatrous homage to the moon. To say Good morning or Good evening was highly reprehensible, for those phrases evidently imported that God had made bad days and bad nights. 27 A Christian was bound to face death itself rather than touch his hat to the greatest of mankind. When Fox was challenged to produce any Scriptural authority for this dogma, he cited the passage in which it is written that Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace with their hats on; and, if his own narrative may be trusted, the Chief Justice of England was altogether unable to answer this argument except by crying out, "Take him away, gaoler." 28 Fox insisted much on the not less weighty argument that the Turks never show their bare heads to their superiors; and he asked, with great animation, whether those who bore the noble name of Christians ought not to surpass Turks in virtue. 29 Bowing he strictly prohibited, and, indeed, seemed to consider it as the effect of Satanical influence; for, as he observed, the woman in the Gospel, while she had a spirit of infirmity, was bowed together, and ceased to bow as soon as Divine power had liberated her from the tyranny of the Evil One. 30 His expositions of the sacred writings were of a very peculiar kind. Passages, which had been, in the apprehension of all the readers of the Gospels during sixteen centuries, figurative, he construed literally. Passages, which no human being before him had ever understood in any other than a literal sense, he construed figuratively. Thus, from those rhetorical expressions in which the duty of patience under injuries is enjoined he deduced the doctrine that selfdefence against pirates and assassins is unlawful. On the other hand, the plain commands to baptize with water, and to partake of bread and wine in commemoration of the redemption of mankind, he pronounced to be allegorical. He long wandered from place to place, teaching this strange theology, shaking like an aspen leaf in his paroxysms of fanatical excitement, forcing his way into churches, which he nicknamed steeple houses interrupting prayers and sermons with clamour and scurrility, 31 and pestering rectors and justices with epistles much resembling burlesques of those sublime odes in which the Hebrew prophets foretold the calamities of Babylon and Tyre. 32 He soon acquired great notoriety by these feats. His strange face, his strange chant, his immovable hat and his leather breeches were known all over the country; and he boasts that, as soon as the rumour was heard, "The Man in Leather Breeches is coming," terror seized hypocritical professors, and hireling priests made haste to get out of his way. 33 He was repeatedly imprisoned and set in the stocks, sometimes justly, for disturbing the public worship of congregations, and sometimes unjustly, for merely talking nonsense. He soon gathered round him a body of disciples, some of whom went beyond himself in absurdity. He has told us that one of his friends walked naked through Skipton declaring the truth. 34 and that another was divinely moved to go naked during several years to marketplaces, and to the houses of gentlemen and clergymen. 35 Fox complains bitterly that these pious acts, prompted by the Holy Spirit, were requited by an untoward generation with hooting, pelting, coachwhipping and horsewhipping. But, though he applauded the zeal of the sufferers, he did not go quite to their lengths. He sometimes, indeed, was impelled to strip himself partially. Thus he pulled off his shoes and walked barefoot through Lichfield, crying, "Woe to the bloody city." 36 But it does not appear that he ever thought it his duty to appear before the public without that decent garment from which his popular appellation was derived.

If we form our judgment of George Fox simply by looking at his own actions and writings, we shall see no reason for placing him, morally or intellectually, above Ludowick Muggleton or Joanna Southcote. But it would be most unjust to rank the sect which regards him as its founder with the Muggletonians or the Southcotians. It chanced that among the thousands whom his enthusiasm infected were a few persons whose abilities and attainments were of a very different order from his own. Robert Barclay was a man of considerable parts and learning. William Penn, though inferior to Barclay in both natural and acquired abilities, was a gentleman and a scholar. That such men should have become the followers of George Fox ought not to astonish any person who remembers what quick, vigorous and highly cultivated intellects were in our own times duped by the unknown tongues. The truth is that no powers of mind constitute a security against errors of this description. Touching God and His ways with man, the highest human faculties can discover little more than the meanest. In theology the interval is small indeed between Aristotle and a child, between Archimedes and a naked savage. It is not strange, therefore, that wise men, weary of investigation, tormented by uncertainty, longing to believe something, and yet seeing objections to every thing, should submit themselves absolutely to teachers who, with firm and undoubting faith, lay claim to a supernatural commission. Thus we frequently see inquisitive and restless spirits take refuge from their own scepticism in the bosom of a church which pretends to infallibility, and, after questioning the existence of a Deity, bring themselves to worship a wafer. And thus it was that Fox made some converts to whom he was immeasurably inferior in every thing except the energy of his convictions. By these converts his rude doctrines were polished into a form somewhat less shocking to good sense and good taste. No proposition which he had laid down was retracted. No indecent or ridiculous act which he had done or approved was condemned; but what was most grossly absurd in his theories and practices was softened down, or at least not obtruded on the public; whatever could be made to appear specious was set in the fairest light; his gibberish was translated into English; meanings which he would have been quite unable to comprehend were put on his phrases; and his system, so much improved that he would not have known it again, was defended by numerous citations from Pagan philosophers and Christian fathers whose names he had never heard. 37 Still, however, those who had remodelled his theology continued to profess, and doubtless to feel, profound reverence for him; and his crazy epistles were to the last received and read with respect in Quaker meetings all over the country. His death produced a sensation which was not confined to his own disciples. On the morning of the funeral a great multitude assembled round the meeting house in Gracechurch Street. Thence the corpse was borne to the burial ground of the sect near Bunhill Fields. Several orators addressed the crowd which filled the cemetery. Penn was conspicuous among those disciples who committed the venerable corpse to the earth. The ceremony had scarcely been finished when he learned that warrants were out against him. He instantly took flight, and remained many months concealed from the public eye. 38

A short time after his disappearance, Sidney received from him a strange communication. Penn begged for an interview, but insisted on a promise that he should be suffered to return unmolested to his hiding place. Sidney obtained the royal permission to make an appointment on these terms. Penn came to the rendezvous, and spoke at length in his own defence. He declared that he was a faithful subject of King William and Queen Mary, and that, if he knew of any design against them, he would discover it. Departing from his Yea and Nay, he protested, as in the presence of God, that he knew of no plot, and that he did not believe that there was any plot, unless the ambitious projects of the French government might be called plots. Sidney, amazed probably by hearing a person, who had such an abhorrence of lies that he would not use the common forms of civility, and such an abhorrence of oaths that he would not kiss the book in a court of justice, tell something very like a lie, and confirm it by something very like an oath, asked how, if there were really no plot, the letters and minutes which had been found on Ashton were to be explained. This question Penn evaded. "If," he said, "I could only see the King, I would confess every thing to him freely. I would tell him much that it would be important for him to know. It is only in that way that I can be of service to him. A witness for the Crown I cannot be for my conscience will not suffer me to be sworn." He assured Sidney that the most formidable enemies of the government were the discontented Whigs. "The Jacobites are not dangerous. There is not a man among them who has common understanding. Some persons who came over from Holland with the King are much more to be dreaded." It does not appear that Penn mentioned any names. He was suffered to depart in safety. No active search was made for him. He lay hid in London during some months, and then stole down to the coast of Sussex and made his escape to France. After about three years of wandering and lurking he, by the mediation of some eminent men, who overlooked his faults for the sake of his good qualities, made his peace with the government, and again ventured to resume his ministrations. The return which he made for the lenity with which he had been treated does not much raise his character. Scarcely had he again begun to harangue in public about the unlawfulness of war, when he sent a message earnestly exhorting James to make an immediate descent on England with thirty thousand men. 39

Some months passed before the fate of Preston was decided. After several respites, the government, convinced that, though he had told much, he could tell more, fixed a day for his execution, and ordered the sheriffs to have the machinery of death in readiness. 40 But he was again respited, and, after a delay of some weeks, obtained a pardon, which, however, extended only to his life, and left his property subject to all the consequences of his attainder. As soon as he was set at liberty he gave new cause of offence and suspicion, and was again arrested, examined and sent to prison. 41 At length he was permitted to retire, pursued by the hisses and curses of both parties, to a lonely manor house in the North Riding of Yorkshire. There, at least, he had not to endure the scornful looks of old associates who had once thought him a man of dauntless courage and spotless honour, but who now pronounced that he was at best a meanspirited coward, and hinted their suspicions that he had been from the beginning a spy and a trepan. 42 He employed the short and sad remains of his life in turning the Consolation of Boethius into English. The translation was published after the translator's death. It is remarkable chiefly on account of some very unsuccessful attempts to enrich our versification with new metres, and on account of the allusions with which the preface is filled. Under a thin veil of figurative language, Preston exhibited to the public compassion or contempt his own blighted fame and broken heart. He complained that the tribunal which had sentenced him to death had dealt with him more leniently than his former friends, and that many, who had never been tried by temptations like his, had very cheaply earned a reputation for courage by sneering at his poltroonery, and by bidding defiance at a distance to horrors which, when brought near, subdue even a constant spirit.

The spirit of the Jacobites, which had been quelled for a time by the detection of Preston's plot, was revived by the fall of Mons. The joy of the whole party was boundless. The nonjuring priests ran backwards and forwards between Sam's Coffee House and Westminster Hall, spreading the praises of Lewis, and laughing at the miserable issue of the deliberations of the great Congress. In the Park the malecontents wore their biggest looks, and talked sedition in their loudest tones. The most conspicuous among these swaggerers was Sir John Fenwick, who had, in the late reign, been high in favour and in military command, and was now an indefatigable agitator and conspirator. In his exultation he forgot the courtesy which man owes to woman. He had more than once made himself conspicuous by his impertinence to the Queen. He now ostentatiously put himself in her way when she took her airing; and, while all around him uncovered and bowed low, gave her a rude stare and cocked his hat in her face. The affront was not only brutal, but cowardly. For the law had provided no punishment for mere impertinence, however gross; and the King was the only gentleman and soldier in the kingdom who could not protect his wife from contumely with his sword. All that the Queen could do was to order the parkkeepers not to admit Sir John again within the gates. But, long after her death, a day came when he had reason to wish that he had restrained his insolence. He found, by terrible proof, that of all the Jacobites, the most desperate assassins not excepted, he was the only one for whom William felt an intense personal aversion. 43

A few days after this event the rage of the malecontents began to flame more fiercely than ever. The detection of the conspiracy of which Preston was the chief had brought on a crisis in ecclesiastical affairs. The nonjuring bishops had, during the year which followed their deprivation, continued to reside in the official mansions which had once been their own. Burnet had, at Mary's request, laboured to effect a compromise. His direct interference would probably have done more harm than good. He therefore judiciously employed the agency of Rochester, who stood higher in the estimation of the nonjurors than any statesman who was not a nonjuror, and of Trevor, who, worthless as he was, had considerable influence with the High Church party. Sancroft and his brethren were informed that, if they would consent to perform their spiritual duty, to ordain, to institute, to confirm, and to watch over the faith and the morality of the priesthood, a bill should be brought into Parliament to excuse them from taking the oaths. 44 This offer was imprudently liberal; but those to whom it was made could not consistently accept it. For in the ordination service, and indeed in almost every service of the Church, William and Mary were designated as King and Queen. The only promise that could be obtained from the deprived prelates was that they would live quietly; and even this promise they had not all kept. One of them at least had been guilty of treason aggravated by impiety. He had, under the strong fear of being butchered by the populace, declared that he abhorred the thought of calling in the aid of France, and had invoked God to attest the sincerity of this declaration. Yet, a short time after, he had been detected in plotting to bring a French army into England; and he had written to assure the Court of Saint Germains that he was acting in concert with his brethren, and especially with Sancroft. The Whigs called loudly for severity. Even the Tory counsellors of William owned that indulgence had been carried to the extreme point. They made, however, a last attempt to mediate. "Will you and your brethren," said Trevor to Lloyd, the nonjuring Bishop of Norwich, "disown all connection with Doctor Turner, and declare that what he has in his letters imputed to you is false?" Lloyd evaded the question. It was now evident that William's forbearance had only emboldened the adversaries whom he had hoped to conciliate. Even Caermarthen, even Nottingham, declared that it was high time to fill the vacant sees. 45

Tillotson was nominated to the Archbishopric, and was consecrated on Whitsunday, in the church of St. Mary Le Bow. Compton, cruelly mortified, refused to bear any part in the ceremony. His place was supplied by Mew, Bishop of Winchester, who was assisted by Burnet, Stillingfleet and Hough. The congregation was the most splendid that had been seen in any place of worship since the coronation. The Queen's drawingroom was, on that day, deserted. Most of the peers who were in town met in the morning at Bedford House, and went thence in procession to Cheapside. Norfolk, Caermarthen and Dorset were conspicuous in the throng. Devonshire, who was impatient to see his woods at Chatsworth in their summer beauty, had deferred his departure in order to mark his respect for Tillotson. The crowd which lined the streets greeted the new Primate warmly. For he had, during many years, preached in the City; and his eloquence, his probity and the singular gentleness of his temper and manners, had made him the favourite of the Londoners. 46 But the congratulations and applauses of his friends could not drown the roar of execration which the Jacobites set up. According to them, he was a thief who had not entered by the door, but had climbed over the fences. He was a hireling whose own the sheep were not, who had usurped the crook of the good shepherd, and who might well be expected to leave the flock at the mercy of every wolf. He was an Arian, a Socinian, a Deist, an Atheist. He had cozened the world by fine phrases, and by a show of moral goodness: but he was in truth a far more dangerous enemy of the Church than he could have been if he had openly proclaimed himself a disciple of Hobbes, and had lived as loosely as Wilmot. He had taught the fine gentlemen and ladies who admired his style, and who were constantly seen round his pulpit, that they might be very good Christians, and yet might believe the account of the Fall in the book of Genesis to be allegorical. Indeed they might easily be as good Christians as he; for he had never been christened; his parents were Anabaptists; he had lost their religion when he was a boy; and he had never found another. In ribald lampoons he was nicknamed Undipped John. The parish register of his baptism was produced in vain. His enemies still continued to complain that they had lived to see fathers of the Church who never were her children. They made up a story that the Queen had felt bitter remorse for the great crime by which she had obtained a throne, that in her agony she had applied to Tillotson, and that he had comforted her by assuring her that the punishment of the wicked in a future state would not be eternal. 47 The Archbishop's mind was naturally of almost feminine delicacy, and had been rather softened than braced by the habits of a long life, during which contending sects and factions had agreed in speaking of his abilities with admiration and of his character with esteem. The storm of obloquy which he had to face for the first time at more than sixty years of age was too much for him. His spirits declined; his health gave way; yet he neither flinched from his duty nor attempted to revenge himself on his persecutors. A few days after his consecration, some persons were seized while dispersing libels in which he was reviled. The law officers of the Crown proposed to institute prosecutions; but he insisted that nobody should be punished on his account. 48 Once, when he had company with him, a sealed packet was put into his hands; he opened it; and out fell a mask. His friends were shocked and incensed by this cowardly insult; but the Archbishop, trying to conceal his anguish by a smile, pointed to the pamphlets which covered his table, and said that the reproach which the emblem of the mask was intended to convey might be called gentle when compared with other reproaches which he daily had to endure. After his death a bundle of the savage lampoons which the nonjurors had circulated against him was found among his papers with this indorsement: "I pray God forgive them; I do." 49

The temper of the deposed primate was very different. He seems to have been under a complete delusion as to his own importance. The immense popularity which he had enjoyed three years before, the prayers and tears of the multitudes who had plunged into the Thames to implore his blessing, the enthusiasm with which the sentinels of the Tower had drunk his health under the windows of his prison, the mighty roar of joy which had risen from Palace Yard on the morning of his acquittal, the triumphant night when every window from Hyde Park to Mile End had exhibited seven candles, the midmost and tallest emblematical of him, were still fresh in his recollection; nor had he the wisdom to perceive that all this homage had been paid, not to his person, but to that religion and to those liberties of which he was, for a moment, the representative. The extreme tenderness with which the new government had long persisted in treating him seems to have confirmed him in his error. That a succession of conciliatory messages was sent to him from Kensington, that he was offered terms so liberal as to be scarcely consistent with the dignity of the Crown and the welfare of the State, that his cold and uncourteous answers could not tire out the royal indulgence, that, in spite of the loud clamours of the Whigs, and of the provocations daily given by the Jacobites, he was residing, fifteen months after deprivation, in the metropolitan palace, these things seemed to him to indicate not the lenity but the timidity of the ruling powers. He appears to have flattered himself that they would not dare to eject him. The news, therefore, that his see had been filled threw him into a passion which lasted as long as his life, and which hurried him into many foolish and unseemly actions. Tillotson, as soon as he was appointed, went to Lambeth in the hope that he might be able, by courtesy and kindness, to soothe the irritation of which he was the innocent cause. He stayed long in the antechamber, and sent in his name by several servants; but Sancroft would not even return an answer. 50 Three weeks passed; and still the deprived Archbishop showed no disposition to move. At length he received an order intimating to him the royal pleasure that he should quit the dwelling which had long ceased to be his own, and in which he was only a guest. He resented this order bitterly, and declared that he would not obey it. He would stay till he was pulled out by the Sheriff's officers. He would defend himself at law as long as he could do so without putting in any plea acknowledging the authority of the usurpers. 51 The case was so clear that he could not, by any artifice of chicanery, obtain more than a short delay. When judgment had been given against him, he left the palace, but directed his steward to retain possession. The consequence was that the steward was taken into custody and heavily fined. Tillotson sent a kind message to assure his predecessor that the fine should not be exacted. But Sancroft was determined to have a grievance, and would pay the money. 52

From that time the great object of the narrowminded and peevish old man was to tear in pieces the Church of which he had been the chief minister. It was in vain that some of those nonjurors, whose virtue, ability and learning were the glory of their party, remonstrated against his design. "Our deprivation,"—such was the reasoning of Ken,—"is, in the sight of God, a nullity. We are, and shall be, till we die or resign, the true Bishops of our sees. Those who assume our titles and functions will incur the guilt of schism. But with us, if we act as becomes us, the schism will die; and in the next generation the unity of the Church will be restored. On the other hand, if we consecrate Bishops to succeed us, the breach may last through ages, and we shall be justly held accountable, not indeed for its origin, but for its continuance." These considerations ought, on Sancroft's own principles, to have had decisive weight with him; but his angry passions prevailed. Ken quietly retired from the venerable palace of Wells. He had done, he said, with strife, and should henceforth vent his feelings not in disputes but in hymns. His charities to the unhappy of all persuasions, especially to the followers of Monmouth and to the persecuted Huguenots, had been so large that his whole private fortune consisted of seven hundred pounds, and of a library which he could not bear to sell. But Thomas Thynne, Viscount Weymouth, though not a nonjuror, did himself honour by offering to the most virtuous of the nonjurors a tranquil and dignified asylum in the princely mansion of Longleat. There Ken passed a happy and honoured old age, during which he never regretted the sacrifice which he had made to what he thought his duty, and yet constantly became more and more indulgent to those whose views of duty differed from his. 53

Sancroft was of a very different temper. He had, indeed, as little to complain of as any man whom a revolution has ever hurled down from an exalted station. He had at Fressingfield, in Suffolk, a patrimonial estate, which, together with what he had saved during a primacy of twelve years, enabled him to live, not indeed as he had lived when he was the first peer of Parliament, but in the style of an opulent country gentleman. He retired to his hereditary abode; and there he passed the rest of his life in brooding over his wrongs. Aversion to the Established Church became as strong a feeling in him as it had been in Martin Marprelate. He considered all who remained in communion with her as heathens and publicans. He nicknamed Tillotson the Mufti. In the room which was used as a chapel at Fressingfield no person who had taken the oaths, or who attended the ministry of any divine who had taken the oaths, was suffered to partake of the sacred bread and wine. A distinction, however, was made between two classes of offenders. A layman who remained in communion with the Church was permitted to be present while prayers were read, and was excluded only from the highest of Christian mysteries. But with clergymen who had sworn allegiance to the Sovereigns in possession Sancroft would not even pray. He took care that the rule which he had laid down should be widely known, and, both by precept and by example, taught his followers to look on the most orthodox, the most devout, the most virtuous of those who acknowledged William's authority with a feeling similar to that with which the Jew regarded the Samaritan. 54 Such intolerance would have been reprehensible, even in a man contending for a great principle. But Sancroft was contending merely for a name. He was the author of the scheme of Regency. He was perfectly willing to transfer the whole kingly power from James to William. The question which, to this smallest and sourest of minds, seemed important enough to justify the excommunicating of ten thousand priests and of five millions of laymen was, whether the magistrate to whom the whole kingly power was transferred should assume the kingly title. Nor could Sancroft bear to think that the animosity which he had excited would die with himself. Having done all that he could to make the feud bitter, he determined to make it eternal. A list of the divines who had been ejected from their benefices was sent by him to Saint Germains with a request that James would nominate two who might keep up the episcopal succession. James, well pleased, doubtless, to see another sect added to that multitude of sects which he had been taught to consider as the reproach of Protestantism, named two fierce and uncompromising nonjurors, Hickes and Wagstaffe, the former recommended by Sancroft, the latter recommended by Lloyd, the ejected Bishop of Norwich. 55 Such was the origin of a schismatical hierarchy, which, having, during a short time, excited alarm, soon sank into obscurity and contempt, but which, in obscurity and contempt, continued to drag on a languid existence during several generations. The little Church, without temples, revenues or dignities, was even more distracted by internal disputes than the great Church, which retained possession of cathedrals, tithes and peerages. Some nonjurors leaned towards the ceremonial of Rome; others would not tolerate the slightest departure from the Book of Common Prayer. Altar was set up against altar. One phantom prelate pronounced the consecration of another phantom prelate uncanonical. At length the pastors were left absolutely without flocks. One of these Lords spiritual very wisely turned surgeon; another left what he had called his see, and settled in Ireland; and at length, in 1805, the last Bishop of that society which had proudly claimed to be the only true Church of England dropped unnoticed into the grave. 56

The places of the bishops who had been ejected with Sancroft were filled in a manner creditable to the government. Patrick succeeded the traitor Turner. Fowler went to Gloucester. Richard Cumberland, an aged divine, who had no interest at Court, and whose only recommendations were his piety and erudition, was astonished by learning from a newsletter which he found on the table of a coffeehouse that he had been nominated to the See of Peterborough. 57 Beveridge was selected to succeed Ken; he consented; and the appointment was actually announced in the London Gazette. But Beveridge, though an honest, was not a strongminded man. Some Jacobites expostulated with him; some reviled him; his heart failed him; and he retracted. While the nonjurors were rejoicing in this victory, he changed his mind again; but too late. He had by his irresolution forfeited the favour of William, and never obtained a mitre till Anne was on the throne. 58 The bishopric of Bath and Wells was bestowed on Richard Kidder, a man of considerable attainments and blameless character, but suspected of a leaning towards Presbyterianism. About the same time Sharp, the highest churchman that had been zealous for the Comprehension, and the lowest churchman that felt a scruple about succeeding a deprived prelate, accepted the Archbishopric of York, vacant by the death of Lamplugh. 59

In consequence of the elevation of Tillotson to the See of Canterbury, the Deanery of Saint Paul's became vacant. As soon as the name of the new Dean was known, a clamour broke forth such as perhaps no ecclesiastical appointment has ever produced, a clamour made up of yells of hatred, of hisses of contempt, and of shouts of triumphant and half insulting welcome; for the new Dean was William Sherlock.

The story of his conversion deserves to be fully told; for it throws great light on the character of the parties which then divided the Church and the State. Sherlock was, in influence and reputation, though not in rank, the foremost man among the nonjurors. His authority and example had induced some of his brethren, who had at first wavered, to resign their benefices. The day of suspension came; the day of deprivation came; and still he was firm. He seemed to have found, in the consciousness of rectitude, and in meditation on the invisible world, ample compensation for all his losses. While excluded from the pulpit where his eloquence had once delighted the learned and polite inmates of the Temple, he wrote that celebrated Treatise on Death which, during many years, stood next to the Whole Duty of Man in the bookcases of serious Arminians. Soon, however, it began to be suspected that his resolution was giving way. He declared that he would be no party to a schism; he advised those who sought his counsel not to leave their parish churches; nay, finding that the law which had ejected him from his cure did not interdict him from performing divine service, he officiated at Saint Dunstan's, and there prayed for King William and Queen Mary. The apostolical injunction, he said, was that prayers should be made for all in authority, and William and Mary were visibly in authority. His Jacobite friends loudly blamed his inconsistency. How, they asked, if you admit that the Apostle speaks in this passage of actual authority, can you maintain that, in other passages of a similar kind, he speaks only of legitimate authority? Or how can you, without sin, designate as King, in a solemn address to God, one whom you cannot, without sin, promise to obey as King? These reasonings were unanswerable; and Sherlock soon began to think them so; but the conclusion to which they led him was diametrically opposed to the conclusion to which they were meant to lead him. He hesitated, however, till a new light flashed on his mind from a quarter from which there was little reason to expect any thing but tenfold darkness. In the reign of James the First, Doctor John Overall, Bishop of Exeter, had written an elaborate treatise on the rights of civil and ecclesiastical governors. This treatise had been solemnly approved by the Convocations of Canterbury and York, and might therefore be considered as an authoritative exposition of the doctrine of the Church of England. A copy of the manuscript was in Sancroft's possession; and he, soon after the Revolution, sent it to the press. He hoped, doubtless, that the publication would injure the new government; but he was lamentably disappointed. The book indeed condemned all resistance in terms as strong as he could himself have used; but one passage which had escaped his notice was decisive against himself and his fellow schismatics. Overall, and the two Convocations which had given their sanction to Overall's teaching, pronounced that a government, which had originated in rebellion, ought, when thoroughly settled, to be considered as ordained by God and to be obeyed by Christian men. 60 Sherlock read, and was convinced. His venerable mother the Church had spoken; and he, with the docility of a child, accepted her decree. The government which had sprung from the Revolution might, at least since the battle of the Boyne and the flight of James from Ireland, be fairly called a settled government, and ought therefore to be passively obeyed till it should be subverted by another revolution and succeeded by another settled government.

Sherlock took the oaths, and speedily published, in justification of his conduct, a pamphlet entitled The Case of Allegiance to Sovereign Powers stated. The sensation produced by this work was immense. Dryden's Hind and Panther had not raised so great an uproar. Halifax's Letter to a Dissenter had not called forth so many answers. The replies to the Doctor, the vindications of the Doctor, the pasquinades on the Doctor, would fill a library. The clamour redoubled when it was known that the convert had not only been reappointed Master of the Temple, but had accepted the Deanery of Saint Paul's, which had become vacant in consequence of the deprivation of Sancroft and the promotion of Tillotson. The rage of the nonjurors amounted almost to frenzy. Was it not enough, they asked, to desert the true and pure Church, in this her hour of sorrow and peril, without also slandering her? It was easy to understand why a greedy, cowardly hypocrite should refuse to take the oaths to the usurper as long as it seemed probable that the rightful King would be restored, and should make haste to swear after the battle of the Boyne. Such tergiversation in times of civil discord was nothing new. What was new was that the turncoat should try to throw his own guilt and shame on the Church of England, and should proclaim that she had taught him to turn against the weak who were in the right, and to cringe to the powerful who were in the wrong. Had such indeed been her doctrine or her practice in evil days? Had she abandoned her Royal Martyr in the prison or on the scaffold? Had she enjoined her children to pay obedience to the Rump or to the Protector? Yet was the government of the Rump or of the Protector less entitled to be called a settled government than the government of William and Mary? Had not the battle of Worcester been as great a blow to the hopes of the House of Stuart as the battle of the Boyne? Had not the chances of a Restoration seemed as small in 1657 as they could seem to any judicious man in 1691? In spite of invectives and sarcasms, however, there was Overall's treatise; there were the approving votes of the two Convocations; and it was much easier to rail at Sherlock than to explain away either the treatise or the votes. One writer maintained that by a thoroughly settled government must have been meant a government of which the title was uncontested. Thus, he said, the government of the United Provinces became a settled government when it was recognised by Spain, and, but for that recognition, would never have been a settled government to the end of time. Another casuist, somewhat less austere, pronounced that a government, wrongful in its origin, might become a settled government after the lapse of a century. On the thirteenth of February 1789, therefore, and not a day earlier, Englishmen would be at liberty to swear allegiance to a government sprung from the Revolution. The history of the chosen people was ransacked for precedents. Was Eglon's a settled government when Ehud stabbed him? Was Joram's a settled government when Jehe shot him? But the leading case was that of Athaliah. It was indeed a case which furnished the malecontents with many happy and pungent allusions; a kingdom treacherously seized by an usurper near in blood to the throne; the rightful prince long dispossessed; a part of the sacerdotal order true, through many disastrous years, to the Royal House; a counterrevolution at length effected by the High Priest at the head of the Levites. Who, it was asked, would dare to blame the heroic pontiff who had restored the heir of David? Yet was not the government of Athaliah as firmly settled as that of the Prince of Orange?

Hundreds of pages written at this time about the rights of Joash and the bold enterprise of Jehoiada are mouldering in the ancient bookcases of Oxford and Cambridge. While Sherlock was thus fiercely attacked by his old friends, he was not left unmolested by his old enemies. Some vehement Whigs, among whom Julian Johnson was conspicuous, declared that Jacobitism itself was respectable when compared with the vile doctrine which had been discovered in the Convocation Book. That passive obedience was due to Kings was doubtless an absurd and pernicious notion. Yet it was impossible not to respect the consistency and fortitude of men who thought themselves bound to bear true allegiance, at all hazards, to an unfortunate, a deposed, an exiled oppressor. But the theory which Sherlock had learned from Overall was unmixed baseness and wickedness. A cause was to be abandoned, not because it was unjust, but because it was unprosperous. Whether James had been a tyrant or had been the father of his people was quite immaterial. If he had won the battle of the Boyne we should have been bound as Christians to be his slaves. He had lost it; and we were bound as Christians to be his foes. Other Whigs congratulated the proselyte on having come, by whatever road, to a right practical conclusion, but could not refrain from sneering at the history which he gave of his conversion. He was, they said, a man of eminent learning and abilities. He had studied the question of allegiance long and deeply. He had written much about it. Several months had been allowed him for reading, prayer and reflection before he incurred suspension, several months more before he incurred deprivation. He had formed an opinion for which he had declared himself ready to suffer martyrdom; he had taught that opinion to others; and he had then changed that opinion solely because he had discovered that it had been, not refuted, but dogmatically pronounced erroneous by the two Convocations more than eighty years before. Surely, this was to renounce all liberty of private judgment, and to ascribe to the Synods of Canterbury and York an infallibility which the Church of England had declared that even Oecumenical Councils could not justly claim. If, it was sarcastically said, all our notions of right and wrong, in matters of vital importance to the well being of society, are to be suddenly altered by a few lines of manuscript found in a corner of the library at Lambeth, it is surely much to be wished, for the peace of mind of humble Christians, that all the documents to which this sort of authority belongs should be rummaged out and sent to the press as soon as possible; for, unless this be done, we may all, like the Doctor when he refused the oaths last year, be committing sins in the full persuasion that we are discharging duties. In truth, it is not easy to believe that the Convocation Book furnished Sherlock with any thing more than a pretext for doing what he had made up his mind to do. The united force of reason and interest had doubtless convinced him that his passions and prejudices had led him into a great error. That error he determined to recant; and it cost him less to say that his opinion had been changed by newly discovered evidence, than that he had formed a wrong judgment with all the materials for the forming of a right judgment before him. The popular belief was that his retractation was the effect of the tears, expostulations and reproaches of his wife. The lady's spirit was high; her authority in the family was great; and she cared much more about her house and her carriage, the plenty of her table and the prospects of her children, than about the patriarchal origin of government or the meaning of the word Abdication. She had, it was asserted, given her husband no peace by day or by night till he had got over his scruples. In letters, fables, songs, dialogues without number, her powers of seduction and intimidation were malignantly extolled. She was Xanthippe pouring water on the head of Socrates. She was Dalilah shearing Samson. She was Eve forcing the forbidden fruit into Adam's mouth. She was Job's wife, imploring her ruined lord, who sate scraping himself among the ashes, not to curse and die, but to swear and live. While the ballad makers celebrated the victory of Mrs. Sherlock, another class of assailants fell on the theological reputation of her spouse. Till he took the oaths, he had always been considered as the most orthodox of divines. But the captious and malignant criticism to which his writings were now subjected would have found heresy in the Sermon on the Mount; and he, unfortunately, was rash enough to publish, at the very moment when the outcry against his political tergiversation was loudest, his thoughts on the mystery of the Trinity. It is probable that, at another time, his work would have been hailed by good Churchmen as a triumphant answer to the Socinians and Sabellians. But, unhappily, in his zeal against Socinians and Sabellians, he used expressions which might be construed into Tritheism. Candid judges would have remembered that the true path was closely pressed on the right and on the left by error, and that it was scarcely possible to keep far enough from danger on one side without going very close to danger on the other. But candid judges Sherlock was not likely to find among the Jacobites. His old allies affirmed that he had incurred all the fearful penalties denounced in the Athanasian Creed against those who divide the substance. Bulky quartos were written to prove that he held the existence of three distinct Deities; and some facetious malecontents, who troubled themselves very little about the Catholic verity, amused the town by lampoons in English and Latin on his heterodoxy. "We," said one of these jesters, "plight our faith to one King, and call one God to attest our promise. We cannot think it strange that there should be more than one King to whom the Doctor has sworn allegiance, when we consider that the Doctor has more Gods than one to swear by." 61

Sherlock would, perhaps, have doubted whether the government to which he had submitted was entitled to be called a settled government, if he had known all the dangers by which it was threatened. Scarcely had Preston's plot been detected; when a new plot of a very different kind was formed in the camp, in the navy, in the treasury, in the very bedchamber of the King. This mystery of iniquity has, through five generations, been gradually unveiling, but is not yet entirely unveiled. Some parts which are still obscure may possibly, by the discovery of letters or diaries now reposing under the dust of a century and a half, be made clear to our posterity. The materials, however, which are at present accessible, are sufficient for the construction of a narrative not to be read without shame and loathing. 62

We have seen that, in the spring of 1690, Shrewsbury, irritated by finding his counsels rejected, and those of his Tory rivals followed, suffered himself, in a fatal hour, to be drawn into a correspondence with the banished family. We have seen also by what cruel sufferings of body and mind he expiated his fault. Tortured by remorse, and by disease the effect of remorse, he had quitted the Court; but he had left behind him men whose principles were not less lax than his, and whose hearts were far harder and colder.

Early in 1691, some of these men began to hold secret communication with Saint Germains. Wicked and base as their conduct was, there was in it nothing surprising. They did after their kind. The times were troubled. A thick cloud was upon the future. The most sagacious and experienced politician could not see with any clearness three months before him. To a man of virtue and honour, indeed, this mattered little. His uncertainty as to what the morrow might bring forth might make him anxious, but could not make him perfidious. Though left in utter darkness as to what concerned his interests, he had the sure guidance of his principles. But, unhappily, men of virtue and honour were not numerous among the courtiers of that age. Whitehall had been, during thirty years, a seminary of every public and private vice, and swarmed with lowminded, doubledealing, selfseeking politicians. These politicians now acted as it was natural that men profoundly immoral should act at a crisis of which none could predict the issue. Some of them might have a slight predilection for William; others a slight predilection for James; but it was not by any such predilection that the conduct of any of the breed was guided. If it had seemed certain that William would stand, they would all have been for William. If it had seemed certain that James would be restored, they would all have been for James. But what was to be done when the chances appeared to be almost exactly balanced? There were honest men of one party who would have answered, To stand by the true King and the true Church, and, if necessary, to die for them like Laud. There were honest men of the other party who would have answered, To stand by the liberties of England and the Protestant religion, and, if necessary, to die for them like Sidney. But such consistency was unintelligible to many of the noble and the powerful. Their object was to be safe in every event. They therefore openly took the oath of allegiance to one King, and secretly plighted their word to the other. They were indefatigable in obtaining commissions, patents of peerage, pensions, grants of crown land, under the great seal of William; and they had in their secret drawers promises of pardon in the handwriting of James.

Among those who were guilty of this wickedness three men stand preeminent, Russell, Godolphin and Marlborough. No three men could be, in head and heart, more unlike to one another; and the peculiar qualities of each gave a peculiar character to his villany. The treason of Russell is to be attributed partly to fractiousness; the treason of Godolphin is to be attributed altogether to timidity; the treason of Marlborough was the treason of a man of great genius and boundless ambition.

It may be thought strange that Russell should have been out of humour. He had just accepted the command of the united naval forces of England and Holland with the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. He was Treasurer of the Navy. He had a pension of three thousand pounds a year. Crown property near Charing Cross, to the value of eighteen thousand pounds, had been bestowed on him. His indirect gains must have been immense. But he was still dissatisfed. In truth, with undaunted courage, with considerable talents both for war and for administration, and with a certain public spirit, which showed itself by glimpses even in the very worst parts of his life, he was emphatically a bad man, insolent, malignant, greedy, faithless. He conceived that the great services which he had performed at the time of the Revolution had not been adequately rewarded. Every thing that was given to others seemed to him to be pillaged from himself. A letter is still extant which he wrote to William about this time. It is made up of boasts, reproaches and sneers. The Admiral, with ironical professions of humility and loyalty, begins by asking permission to put his wrongs on paper, because his bashfulness would not suffer him to explain himself by word of mouth. His grievances were intolerable. Other people got grants of royal domains; but he could get scarcely any thing. Other people could provide for their dependants; but his recommendations were uniformly disregarded. The income which he derived from the royal favour might seem large; but he had poor relations; and the government, instead of doing its duty by them, had most unhandsomely left them to his care. He had a sister who ought to have a pension; for, without one, she could not give portions to her daughters. He had a brother who, for want of a place, had been reduced to the melancholy necessity of marrying an old woman for her money. Russell proceeded to complain bitterly that the Whigs were neglected, that the Revolution had aggrandised and enriched men who had made the greatest efforts to avert it. And there is reason to believe that this complaint came from his heart. For, next to his own interests, those of his party were dear to him; and, even when he was most inclined to become a Jacobite, he never had the smallest disposition to become a Tory. In the temper which this letter indicates, he readily listened to the suggestions of David Lloyd, one of the ablest and most active emissaries who at this time were constantly plying between France and England. Lloyd conveyed to James assurances that Russell would, when a favourable opportunity should present itself, try to effect by means of the fleet what Monk had effected in the preceding generation by means of the army. 63 To what extent these assurances were sincere was a question about which men who knew Russell well, and who were minutely informed as to his conduct, were in doubt. It seems probable that, during many months, he did not know his own mind. His interest was to stand well, as long as possible, with both Kings. His irritable and imperious nature was constantly impelling him to quarrel with both. His spleen was excited one week by a dry answer from William, and the next week by an absurd proclamation from James. Fortunately the most important day of his life, the day from which all his subsequent years took their colour, found him out of temper with the banished King.

Godolphin had not, and did not pretend to have, any cause of complaint against the government which he served. He was First Commissioner of the Treasury. He had been protected, trusted, caressed. Indeed the favour shown to him had excited many murmurs. Was it fitting, the Whigs had indignantly asked, that a man who had been high in office through the whole of the late reign, who had promised to vote for the Indulgence, who had sate in the Privy Council with a Jesuit, who had sate at the Board of Treasury with two Papists, who had attended an idolatress to her altar, should be among the chief ministers of a Prince whose title to the throne was derived from the Declaration of Rights? But on William this clamour had produced no effect; and none of his English servants seems to have had at this time a larger share of his confidence than Godolphin.

Nevertheless, the Jacobites did not despair. One of the most zealous among them, a gentleman named Bulkeley, who had formerly been on terms of intimacy with Godolphin, undertook to see what could be done. He called at the Treasury, and tried to draw the First Lord into political talk. This was no easy matter; for Godolphin was not a man to put himself lightly into the power of others. His reserve was proverbial; and he was especially renowned for the dexterity with which he, through life, turned conversation away from matters of state to a main of cocks or the pedigree of a racehorse. The visit ended without his uttering a word indicating that he remembered the existence of King James.

Bulkeley, however, was not to be so repulsed. He came again, and introduced the subject which was nearest his heart. Godolphin then asked after his old master and mistress in the mournful tone of a man who despaired of ever being reconciled to them. Bulkeley assured him that King James was ready to forgive all the past. "May I tell His Majesty that you will try to deserve his favour?" At this Godolphin rose, said something about the trammels of office and his wish to be released from them, and put an end to the interview.

Bulkeley soon made a third attempt. By this time Godolphin had learned some things which shook his confidence in the stability of the government which he served. He began to think, as he would himself have expressed it, that he had betted too deep on the Revolution, and that it was time to hedge. Evasions would no longer serve his turn. It was necessary to speak out. He spoke out, and declared himself a devoted servant of King James. "I shall take an early opportunity of resigning my place. But, till then, I am under a tie. I must not betray my trust." To enhance the value of the sacrifice which he proposed to make, he produced a most friendly and confidential letter which he had lately received from William. "You see how entirely the Prince of Orange trusts me. He tells me that he cannot do without me, and that there is no Englishman for whom he has so great a kindness; but all this weighs nothing with me in comparison of my duty to my lawful King."

If the First Lord of the Treasury really had scruples about betraying his trust, those scruples were soon so effectually removed that he very complacently continued, during six years, to eat the bread of one master, while secretly sending professions of attachment and promises of service to another.

The truth is that Godolphin was under the influence of a mind far more powerful and far more depraved than his own. His perplexities had been imparted to Marlborough, to whom he had long been bound by such friendship as two very unprincipled men are capable of feeling for each other, and to whom he was afterwards bound by close domestic ties.

Marlborough was in a very different situation from that of William's other servants. Lloyd might make overtures to Russell, and Bulkeley to Godolphin. But all the agents of the banished Court stood aloof from the traitor of Salisbury. That shameful night seemed to have for ever separated the perjured deserter from the Prince whom he had ruined. James had, even in the last extremity, when his army was in full retreat, when his whole kingdom had risen against him, declared that he would never pardon Churchill, never, never. By all the Jacobites the name of Churchill was held in peculiar abhorrence; and, in the prose and verse which came forth daily from their secret presses, a precedence in infamy, among all the many traitors of the age, was assigned to him. In the order of things which had sprung from the Revolution, he was one of the great men of England, high in the state, high in the army. He had been created an Earl. He had a large share in the military administration. The emoluments, direct and indirect, of the places and commands which he held under the Crown were believed at the Dutch Embassy to amount to twelve thousand pounds a year. In the event of a counterrevolution it seemed that he had nothing in prospect but a garret in Holland, or a scaffold on Tower Hill. It might therefore have been expected that he would serve his new master with fidelity, not indeed with the fidelity of Nottingham, which was the fidelity of conscientiousness, not with the fidelity of Portland, which was the fidelity of affection, but with the not less stubborn fidelity of despair.

Those who thought thus knew but little of Marlborough. Confident in his own powers of deception, he resolved, since the Jacobite agents would not seek him, to seek them. He therefore sent to beg an interview with Colonel Edward Sackville.

Sackville was astonished and not much pleased by the message. He was a sturdy Cavalier of the old school. He had been persecuted in the days of the Popish plot for manfully saying what he thought, and what every body now thinks, about Oates and Bedloe. 64 Since the Revolution he had put his neck in peril for King James, had been chased by officers with warrants, and had been designated as a traitor in a proclamation to which Marlborough himself had been a party. 65 It was not without reluctance that the stanch royalist crossed the hated threshold of the deserter. He was repaid for his effort by the edifying spectacle of such an agony of repentance as he had never before seen. "Will you," said Marlborough, "be my intercessor with the King? Will you tell him what I suffer? My crimes now appear to me in their true light; and I shrink with horror from the contemplation. The thought of them is with me day and night. I sit down to table; but I cannot eat. I throw myself on my bed; but I cannot sleep. I am ready to sacrifice every thing, to brave every thing, to bring utter ruin on my fortunes, if only I may be free from the misery of a wounded spirit." If appearances could be trusted, this great offender was as true a penitent as David or as Peter. Sackville reported to his friends what had passed. They could not but acknowledge that, if the arch traitor, who had hitherto opposed to conscience and to public opinion the same cool and placid hardihood which distinguished him on fields of battle, had really begun to feel remorse, it would be absurd to reject, on account of his unworthiness, the inestimable services which it was in his power to render to the good cause. He sate in the interior council; he held high command in the army; he had been recently entrusted, and would doubtless again be entrusted, with the direction of important military operations. It was true that no man had incurred equal guilt; but it was true also that no man had it in his power to make equal reparation. If he was sincere, he might doubtless earn the pardon which he so much desired. But was he sincere? Had he not been just as loud in professions of loyalty on the very eve of his crime? It was necessary to put him to the test. Several tests were applied by Sackville and Lloyd. Marlborough was required to furnish full information touching the strength and the distribution of all the divisions of the English army; and he complied. He was required to disclose the whole plan of the approaching campaign; and he did so. The Jacobite leaders watched carefully for inaccuracies in his reports, but could find none. It was thought a still stronger proof of his fidelity that he gave valuable intelligence about what was doing in the office of the Secretary of State. A deposition had been sworn against one zealous royalist. A warrant was preparing against another. These intimations saved several of the malecontents from imprisonment, if not from the gallows; and it was impossible for them not to feel some relenting towards the awakened sinner to whom they owed so much.

He however, in his secret conversations with his new allies, laid no claim to merit. He did not, he said, ask for confidence. How could he, after the villanies which he had committed against the best of Kings, hope ever to be trusted again? It was enough for a wretch like him to be permitted to make, at the cost of his life, some poor atonement to the gracious master, whom he had indeed basely injured, but whom he had never ceased to love. It was not improbable that, in the summer, he might command the English forces in Flanders. Was it wished that he should bring them over in a body to the French camp? If such were the royal pleasure, he would undertake that the thing should be done. But on the whole he thought that it would be better to wait till the next session of Parliament. And then he hinted at a plan which he afterwards more fully matured, for expelling the usurper by means of the English legislature and the English army. In the meantime he hoped that James would command Godolphin not to quit the Treasury. A private man could do little for the good cause. One who was the director of the national finances, and the depository of the gravest secrets of state, might render inestimable services.

Marlborough's pretended repentance imposed so completely on those who managed the affairs of James in London that they sent Lloyd to France, with the cheering intelligence that the most depraved of all rebels had been wonderfully transformed into a loyal subject. The tidings filled James with delight and hope. Had he been wise, they would have excited in him only aversion and distrust. It was absurd to imagine that a man really heartbroken by remorse and shame for one act of perfidy would determine to lighten his conscience by committing a second act of perfidy as odious and as disgraceful as the first. The promised atonement was so wicked and base that it never could be made by any man sincerely desirous to atone for past wickedness and baseness. The truth was that, when Marlborough told the Jacobites that his sense of guilt prevented him from swallowing his food by day and taking his rest at night, he was laughing at them. The loss of half a guinea would have done more to spoil his appetite and to disturb his slumbers than all the terrors of an evil conscience. What his offers really proved was that his former crime had sprung, not from an ill regulated zeal for the interests of his country and his religion, but from a deep and incurable moral disease which had infected the whole man. James, however, partly from dulness and partly from selfishness, could never see any immorality in any action by which he was benefited. To conspire against him, to betray him, to break an oath of allegiance sworn to him, were crimes for which no punishment here or hereafter could be too severe. But to murder his enemies, to break faith with his enemies was not only innocent but laudable. The desertion at Salisbury had been the worst of crimes; for it had ruined him. A similar desertion in Flanders would be an honourable exploit; for it might restore him.

The penitent was informed by his Jacobite friends that he was forgiven. The news was most welcome; but something more was necessary to restore his lost peace of mind. Might he hope to have, in the royal handwriting, two lines containing a promise of pardon? It was not, of course, for his own sake that he asked this. But he was confident that, with such a document in his hands, he could bring back to the right path some persons of great note who adhered to the usurper, only because they imagined that they had no mercy to expect from the legitimate King. They would return to their duty as soon as they saw that even the worst of all criminals had, on his repentance, been generously forgiven. The promise was written, sent, and carefully treasured up. Marlborough had now attained one object, an object which was common to him with Russell and Godolphin. But he had other objects which neither Russell nor Godolphin had ever contemplated. There is, as we shall hereafter see, strong reason to believe that this wise, brave, wicked man, was meditating a plan worthy of his fertile intellect and daring spirit, and not less worthy of his deeply corrupted heart, a plan which, if it had not been frustrated by strange means, would have ruined William without benefiting James, and would have made the successful traitor master of England and arbiter of Europe.

Thus things stood, when, in May 1691, William, after a short and busy sojourn in England, set out again for the Continent, where the regular campaign was about to open. He took with him Marlborough, whose abilities he justly appreciated, and of whose recent negotiations with Saint Germains he had not the faintest suspicion. At the Hague several important military and political consultations were held; and, on every occasion, the superiority of the accomplished Englishman was felt by the most distinguished soldiers and statesmen of the United Provinces. Heinsius, long after, used to relate a conversation which took place at this time between William and the Prince of Vaudemont, one of the ablest commanders in the Dutch service. Vaudemont spoke well of several English officers, and among them of Talmash and Mackay, but pronounced Marlborough superior beyond comparison to the rest. "He has every quality of a general. His very look shows it. He cannot fail to achieve something great." "I really believe, cousin," answered the King, "that my Lord will make good every thing that you have said of him."

There was still a short interval before the commencement of military operations. William passed that interval in his beloved park at Loo. Marlborough spent two or three days there, and was then despatched to Flanders with orders to collect all the English forces, to form a camp in the neighbourhood of Brussels, and to have every thing in readiness for the King's arrival.

And now Marlborough had an opportunity of proving the sincerity of those professions by which he had obtained from a heart, well described by himself as harder than a marble chimneypiece, the pardon of an offence such as might have moved even a gentle nature to deadly resentment. He received from Saint Germains a message claiming the instant performance of his promise to desert at the head of his troops. He was told that this was the greatest service which he could render to the Crown. His word was pledged; and the gracious master who had forgiven all past errors confidently expected that it would be redeemed. The hypocrite evaded the demand with characteristic dexterity. In the most respectful and affectionate language he excused himself for not immediately obeying the royal commands. The promise which he was required to fulfil had not been quite correctly understood. There had been some misapprehension on the part of the messengers. To carry over a regiment or two would do more harm than good. To carry over a whole army was a business which would require much time and management. 66 While James was murmuring over these apologies, and wishing that he had not been quite so placable, William arrived at the head quarters of the allied forces, and took the chief command.

The military operations in Flanders recommenced early in June and terminated at the close of September. No important action took place. The two armies marched and countermarched, drew near and receded. During some time they confronted each other with less than a league between them. But neither William nor Luxemburg would fight except at an advantage; and neither gave the other any advantage. Languid as the campaign was, it is on one account remarkable. During more than a century our country had sent no great force to make war by land out of the British isles. Our aristocracy had therefore long ceased to be a military class. The nobles of France, of Germany, of Holland, were generally soldiers. It would probably have been difficult to find in the brilliant circle which surrounded Lewis at Versailles a single Marquess or Viscount of forty who had not been at some battle or siege. But the immense majority of our peers, baronets and opulent esquires had never served except in the trainbands, and had never borne a part in any military exploit more serious than that of putting down a riot or of keeping a street clear for a procession. The generation which had fought at Edgehill and Lansdowne had nearly passed away. The wars of Charles the Second had been almost entirely maritime. During his reign therefore the sea service had been decidedly more the mode than the land service; and, repeatedly, when our fleet sailed to encounter the Dutch, such multitudes of men of fashion had gone on board that the parks and the theatres had been left desolate. In 1691 at length, for the first time since Henry the Eighth laid siege to Boulogne, an English army appeared on the Continent under the command of an English king. A camp, which was also a court, was irresistibly attractive to many young patricians full of natural intrepidity, and ambitious of the favour which men of distinguished bravery have always found in the eyes of women. To volunteer for Flanders became the rage among the fine gentlemen who combed their flowing wigs and exchanged their richly perfumed snuffs at the Saint James's Coffeehouse. William's headquarters were enlivened by a crowd of splendid equipages and by a rapid succession of sumptuous banquets. For among the high born and high spirited youths who repaired to his standard were some who, though quite willing to face a battery, were not at all disposed to deny themselves the luxuries with which they had been surrounded in Soho Square. In a few months Shadwell brought these valiant fops and epicures on the stage. The town was made merry with the character of a courageous but prodigal and effeminate coxcomb, who is impatient to cross swords with the best men in the French household troops, but who is much dejected by learning that he may find it difficult to have his champagne iced daily during the summer. He carries with him cooks, confectioners and laundresses, a waggonload of plate, a wardrobe of laced and embroidered suits, and much rich tent furniture, of which the patterns have been chosen by a committee of fine ladies. 67

While the hostile armies watched each other in Flanders, hostilities were carried on with somewhat more vigour in other parts of Europe. The French gained some advantages in Catalonia and in Piedmont. Their Turkish allies, who in the east menaced the dominions of the Emperor, were defeated by Lewis of Baden in a great battle. But nowhere were the events of the summer so important as in Ireland.

From October 1690 till May 1691, no military operation on a large scale was attempted in that kingdom. The area of the island was, during the winter and spring, not unequally divided between the contending races. The whole of Ulster, the greater part of Leinster and about one third of Munster had submitted to the English. The whole of Connaught, the greater part of Munster, and two or three counties of Leinster were held by the Irish. The tortuous boundary formed by William's garrisons ran in a north eastern direction from the bay of Castlehaven to Mallow, and then, inclining still further eastward, proceeded to Cashel. From Cashel the line went to Mullingar, from Mullingar to Longford, and from Longford to Cavan, skirted Lough Erne on the west, and met the ocean again at Ballyshannon. 68

On the English side of this pale there was a rude and imperfect order. Two Lords Justices, Coningsby and Porter, assisted by a Privy Council, represented King William at Dublin Castle. Judges, Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace had been appointed; and assizes were, after a long interval, held in several county towns. The colonists had meanwhile been formed into a strong militia, under the command of officers who had commissions from the Crown. The trainbands of the capital consisted of two thousand five hundred foot, two troops of horse and two troops of dragoons, all Protestants and all well armed and clad. 69 On the fourth of November, the anniversary of William's birth, and on the fifth, the anniversary of his landing at Torbay, the whole of this force appeared in all the pomp of war. The vanquished and disarmed natives assisted, with suppressed grief and anger, at the triumph of the caste which they had, five months before, oppressed and plundered with impunity. The Lords Justices went in state to Saint Patrick's Cathedral; bells were rung; bonfires were lighted; hogsheads of ale and claret were set abroach in the streets; fireworks were exhibited on College Green; a great company of nobles and public functionaries feasted at the Castle; and, as the second course came up, the trumpets sounded, and Ulster King at Arms proclaimed, in Latin, French and English, William and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Great Britain, France, and Ireland. 70

Within the territory where the Saxon race was dominant, trade and industry had already begun to revive. The brazen counters which bore the image and superscription of James gave place to silver. The fugitives who had taken refuge in England came back in multitudes; and, by their intelligence, diligence and thrift, the devastation caused by two years of confusion and robbery was soon in part repaired. Merchantmen heavily laden were constantly passing and repassing Saint George's Channel. The receipts of the custom houses on the eastern coast, from Cork to Londonderry, amounted in six months to sixty-seven thousand five hundred pounds, a sum such as would have been thought extraordinary even in the most prosperous times. 71

The Irish who remained within the English pale were, one and all, hostile to the English domination. They were therefore subjected to a rigorous system of police, the natural though lamentable effect of extreme danger and extreme provocation. A Papist was not permitted to have a sword or a gun. He was not permitted to go more than three miles out of his parish except to the market town on the market day. Lest he should give information or assistance to his brethren who occupied the western half of the island, he was forbidden to live within ten miles of the frontier. Lest he should turn his house into a place of resort for malecontents, he was forbidden to sell liquor by retail. One proclamation announced that, if the property of any Protestant should be injured by marauders, his loss should be made good at the expense of his Popish neighbours. Another gave notice that, if any Papist who had not been at least three months domiciled in Dublin should be found there, he should be treated as a spy. Not more than five Papists were to assemble in the capital or its neighbourhood on any pretext. Without a protection from the government no member of the Church of Rome was safe; and the government would not grant a protection to any member of the Church of Rome who had a son in the Irish army. 72

In spite of all precautions and severities, however, the Celt found many opportunities of taking a sly revenge. Houses and barns were frequently burned; soldiers were frequently murdered; and it was scarcely possible to obtain evidence against the malefactors, who had with them the sympathies of the whole population. On such occasions the government sometimes ventured on acts which seemed better suited to a Turkish than to an English administration. One of these acts became a favourite theme of Jacobite pamphleteers, and was the subject of a serious parliamentary inquiry at Westminster. Six musketeers were found butchered only a few miles from Dublin. The inhabitants of the village where the crime had been committed, men, women, and children, were driven like sheep into the Castle, where the Privy Council was sitting. The heart of one of the assassins, named Gafney, failed him. He consented to be a witness, was examined by the Board, acknowledged his guilt, and named some of his accomplices. He was then removed in custody; but a priest obtained access to him during a few minutes. What passed during those few minutes appeared when he was a second time brought before the Council. He had the effrontery to deny that he had owned any thing or accused any body. His hearers, several of whom had taken down his confession in writing, were enraged at his impudence. The Lords justices broke out; "You are a rogue; You are a villain; You shall be hanged; Where is the Provost Marshal?" The Provost Marshal came. "Take that man," said Coningsby, pointing to Gafney; "take that man, and hang him." There was no gallows ready; but the carriage of a gun served the purpose; and the prisoner was instantly tied up without a trial, without even a written order for the execution; and this though the courts of law were sitting at the distance of only a few hundred yards. The English House of Commons, some years later, after a long discussion, resolved, without a division, that the order for the execution of Gafney was arbitrary and illegal, but that Coningsby's fault was so much extenuated by the circumstances in which he was placed that it was not a proper subject for impeachment. 73

It was not only by the implacable hostility of the Irish that the Saxon of the pale was at this time harassed. His allies caused him almost as much annoyance as his helots. The help of troops from abroad was indeed necessary to him; but it was dearly bought. Even William, in whom the whole civil and military authority was concentrated, had found it difficult to maintain discipline in an army collected from many lands, and composed in great part of mercenaries accustomed to live at free quarters. The powers which had been united in him were now divided and subdivided. The two Lords justices considered the civil administration as their province, and left the army to the management of Ginkell, who was General in Chief. Ginkell kept excellent order among the auxiliaries from Holland, who were under his more immediate command. But his authority over the English and the Danes was less entire; and unfortunately their pay was, during part of the winter, in arrear. They indemnified themselves by excesses and exactions for the want of that which was their due; and it was hardly possible to punish men with severity for not choosing to starve with arms in their hands. At length in the spring large supplies of money and stores arrived; arrears were paid up; rations were plentiful; and a more rigid discipline was enforced. But too many traces of the bad habits which the soldiers had contracted were discernible till the close of the war. 74

In that part of Ireland, meanwhile, which still acknowledged James as King, there could hardly be said to be any law, any property, or any government. The Roman Catholics of Ulster and Leinster had fled westward by tens of thousands, driving before them a large part of the cattle which had escaped the havoc of two terrible years. The influx of food into the Celtic region, however, was far from keeping pace with the influx of consumers. The necessaries of life were scarce. Conveniences to which every plain farmer and burgess in England was accustomed could hardly be procured by nobles and generals. No coin was to be seen except lumps of base metal which were called crowns and shillings. Nominal prices were enormously high. A quart of ale cost two and sixpence, a quart of brandy three pounds. The only towns of any note on the western coast were Limerick and Galway; and the oppression which the shopkeepers of those towns underwent was such that many of them stole away with the remains of their stocks to the English territory, where a Papist, though he had to endure much restraint and much humiliation, was allowed to put his own price on his goods, and received that price in silver. Those traders who remained within the unhappy region were ruined. Every warehouse that contained any valuable property was broken open by ruffians who pretended that they were commissioned to procure stores for the public service; and the owner received, in return for bales of cloth and hogsheads of sugar, some fragments of old kettles and saucepans, which would not in London or Paris have been taken by a beggar.

As soon as a merchant ship arrived in the bay of Galway or in the Shannon, she was boarded by these robbers. The cargo was carried away; and the proprietor was forced to content himself with such a quantity of cowhides, of wool and of tallow as the gang which had plundered him chose to give him. The consequence was that, while foreign commodities were pouring fast into the harbours of Londonderry, Carrickfergus, Dublin, Waterford and Cork, every mariner avoided Limerick and Galway as nests of pirates. 75

The distinction between the Irish foot soldier and the Irish Rapparee had never been very strongly marked. It now disappeared. Great part of the army was turned loose to live by marauding. An incessant predatory war raged along the line which separated the domain of William from that of James. Every day companies of freebooters, sometimes wrapped in twisted straw which served the purpose of armour, stole into the English territory, burned, sacked, pillaged, and hastened back to their own ground. To guard against these incursions was not easy; for the peasantry of the plundered country had a strong fellow feeling with the plunderers. To empty the granary, to set fire to the dwelling, to drive away the cows, of a heretic was regarded by every squalid inhabitant of a mud cabin as a good work. A troop engaged in such a work might confidently expect to fall in, notwithstanding all the proclamations of the Lords justices, with some friend who would indicate the richest booty, the shortest road, and the safest hiding place. The English complained that it was no easy matter to catch a Rapparee. Sometimes, when he saw danger approaching, he lay down in the long grass of the bog; and then it was as difficult to find him as to find a hare sitting. Sometimes he sprang into a stream, and lay there, like an otter, with only his mouth and nostrils above the water. Nay, a whole gang of banditti would, in the twinkling of an eye, transform itself into a crowd of harmless labourers. Every man took his gun to pieces, hid the lock in his clothes, stuck a cork in the muzzle, stopped the touch hole with a quill, and threw the weapon into the next pond. Nothing was to be seen but a train of poor rustics who had not so much as a cudgel among them, and whose humble look and crouching walk seemed to show that their spirit was thoroughly broken to slavery. When the peril was over, when the signal was given, every man flew to the place where he had hid his arms; and soon the robbers were in full march towards some Protestant mansion. One band penetrated to Clonmel, another to the vicinity of Maryborough; a third made its den in a woody islet of firm ground, surrounded by the vast bog of Allen, harried the county of Wicklow, and alarmed even the suburbs of Dublin. Such expeditions indeed were not always successful. Sometimes the plunderers fell in with parties of militia or with detachments from the English garrisons, in situations in which disguise, flight and resistance were alike impossible. When this happened every kerne who was taken was hanged, without any ceremony, on the nearest tree. 76

At the head quarters of the Irish army there was, during the winter, no authority capable of exacting obedience even within a circle of a mile. Tyrconnel was absent at the Court of France. He had left the supreme government in the hands of a Council of Regency composed of twelve persons. The nominal command of the army he had confided to Berwick; but Berwick, though, as was afterwards proved, a man of no common courage and capacity, was young and inexperienced. His powers were unsuspected by the world and by himself; 77 and he submitted without reluctance to the tutelage of a Council of War nominated by the Lord Lieutenant. Neither the Council of Regency nor the Council of War was popular at Limerick. The Irish complained that men who were not Irish had been entrusted with a large share in the administration. The cry was loudest against an officer named Thomas Maxwell. For it was certain that he was a Scotchman; it was doubtful whether he was a Roman Catholic; and he had not concealed the dislike which he felt for that Celtic Parliament which had repealed the Act of Settlement and passed the Act of Attainder. 78 The discontent, fomented by the arts of intriguers, among whom the cunning and unprincipled Henry Luttrell seems to have been the most active, soon broke forth into open rebellion. A great meeting was held. Many officers of the army, some peers, some lawyers of high note and some prelates of the Roman Catholic Church were present. It was resolved that the government set up by the Lord Lieutenant was unknown to the constitution. Ireland, it was said, could be legally governed, in the absence of the King, only by a Lord Lieutenant, by a Lord Deputy or by Lords Justices. The King was absent. The Lord Lieutenant was absent. There was no Lord Deputy. There were no Lords Justices. The Act by which Tyrconnel had delegated his authority to a junto composed of his creatures was a mere nullity. The nation was therefore left without any legitimate chief, and might, without violating the allegiance due to the Crown, make temporary provision for its own safety. A deputation was sent to inform Berwick that he had assumed a power to which he had no right, but that nevertheless the army and people of Ireland would willingly acknowledge him as their head if he would consent to govern by the advice of a council truly Irish. Berwick indignantly expressed his wonder that military men should presume to meet and deliberate without the permission of their general. They answered that there was no general, and that, if His Grace did not choose to undertake the administration on the terms proposed, another leader would easily be found. Berwick very reluctantly yielded, and continued to be a puppet in a new set of hands. 79

Those who had effected this revolution thought it prudent to send a deputation to France for the purpose of vindicating their proceedings. Of the deputation the Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork and the two Luttrells were members. In the ship which conveyed them from Limerick to Brest they found a fellow passenger whose presence was by no means agreeable to them, their enemy, Maxwell. They suspected, and not without reason, that he was going, like them, to Saint Germains, but on a very different errand. The truth was that Berwick had sent Maxwell to watch their motions and to traverse their designs. Henry Luttrell, the least scrupulous of men, proposed to settle the matter at once by tossing the Scotchman into the sea. But the Bishop, who was a man of conscience, and Simon Luttrell, who was a man of honour, objected to this expedient. 80

Meanwhile at Limerick the supreme power was in abeyance. Berwick, finding that he had no real authority, altogether neglected business, and gave himself up to such pleasures as that dreary place of banishment afforded. There was among the Irish chiefs no man of sufficient weight and ability to control the rest. Sarsfield for a time took the lead. But Sarsfield, though eminently brave and active in the field, was little skilled in the administration of war, and still less skilled in civil business. Those who were most desirous to support his authority were forced to own that his nature was too unsuspicious and indulgent for a post in which it was hardly possible to be too distrustful or too severe. He believed whatever was told him. He signed whatever was set before him. The commissaries, encouraged by his lenity, robbed and embezzled more shamelessly than ever. They sallied forth daily, guarded by pikes and firelocks, to seize, nominally for the public service, but really for themselves, wool, linen, leather, tallow, domestic utensils, instruments of husbandry, searched every pantry, every wardrobe, every cellar, and even laid sacrilegious hands on the property of priests and prelates. 81

Early in the spring the government, if it is to be so called, of which Berwick was the ostensible head, was dissolved by the return of Tyrconnel. The Luttrells had, in the name of their countrymen, implored James not to subject so loyal a people to so odious and incapable a viceroy. Tyrconnel, they said, was old; he was infirm; he needed much sleep; he knew nothing of war; he was dilatory; he was partial; he was rapacious; he was distrusted and hated by the whole nation. The Irish, deserted by him, had made a gallant stand, and had compelled the victorious army of the Prince of Orange to retreat. They hoped soon to take the field again, thirty thousand strong; and they adjured their King to send them some captain worthy to command such a force. Tyrconnel and Maxwell, on the other hand, represented the delegates as mutineers, demagogues, traitors, and pressed James to send Henry Luttrell to keep Mountjoy company in the Bastille. James, bewildered by these criminations and recriminations, hesitated long, and at last, with characteristic wisdom, relieved himself from trouble by giving all the quarrellers fair words and by sending them all back to have their fight out in Ireland. Berwick was at the same time recalled to France. 82

Tyrconnel was received at Limerick, even by his enemies, with decent respect. Much as they hated him, they could not question the validity of his commission; and, though they still maintained that they had been perfectly justified in annulling, during his absence, the unconstitutional arrangements which he had made, they acknowledged that, when he was present, he was their lawful governor. He was not altogether unprovided with the means of conciliating them. He brought many gracious messages and promises, a patent of peerage for Sarsfield, some money which was not of brass, and some clothing, which was even more acceptable than money. The new garments were not indeed very fine. But even the generals had long been out at elbows; and there were few of the common men whose habiliments would have been thought sufficient to dress a scarecrow in a more prosperous country. Now, at length, for the first time in many months, every private soldier could boast of a pair of breeches and a pair of brogues. The Lord Lieutenant had also been authorised to announce that he should soon be followed by several ships, laden with provisions and military stores. This announcement was most welcome to the troops, who had long been without bread, and who had nothing stronger than water to drink. 83

During some weeks the supplies were impatiently expected. At last, Tyrconnel was forced to shut himself up; for, whenever he appeared in public, the soldiers ran after him clamouring for food. Even the beef and mutton, which, half raw, half burned, without vegetables, without salt, had hitherto supported the army, had become scarce; and the common men were on rations of horseflesh when the promised sails were seen in the mouth of the Shannon. 84

A distinguished French general, named Saint Ruth, was on board with his staff. He brought a commission which appointed him commander in chief of the Irish army. The commission did not expressly declare that he was to be independent of the viceregal authority; but he had been assured by James that Tyrconnel should have secret instructions not to intermeddle in the conduct of the war. Saint Ruth was assisted by another general officer named D'Usson. The French ships brought some arms, some ammunition, and a plentiful supply of corn and flour. The spirits of the Irish rose; and the Te Deum was chaunted with fervent devotion in the cathedral of Limerick. 85

Tyrconnel had made no preparations for the approaching campaign. But Saint Ruth, as soon as he had landed, exerted himself strenuously to redeem the time which had been lost. He was a man of courage, activity and resolution, but of a harsh and imperious nature. In his own country he was celebrated as the most merciless persecutor that had ever dragooned the Huguenots to mass. It was asserted by English Whigs that he was known in France by the nickname of the Hangman; that, at Rome, the very cardinals had shown their abhorrence of his cruelty; and that even Queen Christina, who had little right to be squeamish about bloodshed, had turned away from him with loathing. He had recently held a command in Savoy. The Irish regiments in the French service had formed part of his army, and had behaved extremely well. It was therefore supposed that he had a peculiar talent for managing Irish troops. But there was a wide difference between the well clad, well armed and well drilled Irish, with whom he was familiar, and the ragged marauders whom he found swarming in the alleys of Limerick. Accustomed to the splendour and the discipline of French camps and garrisons, he was disgusted by finding that, in the country to which he had been sent, a regiment of infantry meant a mob of people as naked, as dirty and as disorderly as the beggars, whom he had been accustomed to see on the Continent besieging the door of a monastery or pursuing a diligence up him. With ill concealed contempt, however, he addressed himself vigorously to the task of disciplining these strange soldiers, and was day and night in the saddle, galloping from post to post, from Limerick to Athlone, from Athlone to the northern extremity of Lough Rea, and from Lough Rea back to Limerick. 86

It was indeed necessary that he should bestir himself; for, a few days after his arrival, he learned that, on the other side of the Pale, all was ready for action. The greater part of the English force was collected, before the close of May, in the neighbourhood of Mullingar. Ginkell commanded in chief. He had under him the two best officers, after Marlborough, of whom our island could then boast, Talmash and Mackay. The Marquess of Ruvigny, the hereditary chief of the refugees, and elder brother of the brave Caillemot, who had fallen at the Boyne, had joined the army with the rank of major general. The Lord Justice Coningsby, though not by profession a soldier, came down from Dublin, to animate the zeal of the troops. The appearance of the camp showed that the money voted by the English Parliament had not been spared. The uniforms were new; the ranks were one blaze of scarlet; and the train of artillery was such as had never before been seen in Ireland. 87

On the sixth of June Ginkell moved his head quarters from Mullingar. On the seventh he reached Ballymore. At Ballymore, on a peninsula almost surrounded by something between a swamp and a lake, stood an ancient fortress, which had recently been fortified under Sarsfield's direction, and which was defended by above a thousand men. The English guns were instantly planted. In a few hours the besiegers had the satisfaction of seeing the besieged running like rabbits from one shelter to another. The governor, who had at first held high language, begged piteously for quarter, and obtained it. The whole garrison were marched off to Dublin. Only eight of the conquerors had fallen. 88

Ginkell passed some days in reconstructing the defences of Ballymore. This work had scarcely been performed when he was joined by the Danish auxiliaries under the command of the Duke of Wirtemberg. The whole army then moved westward, and, on the nineteenth of June, appeared before the walls of Athlone. 89

Athlone was perhaps, in a military point of view, the most important place in the island. Rosen, who understood war well, had always maintained that it was there that the Irishry would, with most advantage, make a stand against the Englishry. 90 The town, which was surrounded by ramparts of earth, lay partly in Leinster and partly in Connaught. The English quarter, which was in Leinster, had once consisted of new and handsome houses, but had been burned by the Irish some months before, and now lay in heaps of ruin. The Celtic quarter, which was in Connaught, was old and meanly built. 91 The Shannon, which is the boundary of the two provinces, rushed through Athlone in a deep and rapid stream, and turned two large mills which rose on the arches of a stone bridge. Above the bridge, on the Connaught side, a castle, built, it was said, by King John, towered to the height of seventy feet, and extended two hundred feet along the river. Fifty or sixty yards below the bridge was a narrow ford. 92

During the night of the nineteenth the English placed their cannon. On the morning of the twentieth the firing began. At five in the afternoon an assault was made. A brave French refugee with a grenade in his hand was the first to climb the breach, and fell, cheering his countrymen to the onset with his latest breath. Such were the gallant spirits which the bigotry of Lewis had sent to recruit, in the time of his utmost need, the armies of his deadliest enemies. The example was not lost. The grenades fell thick. The assailants mounted by hundreds. The Irish gave way and ran towards the bridge. There the press was so great that some of the fugitives were crushed to death in the narrow passage, and others were forced over the parapets into the waters which roared among the mill wheels below. In a few hours Ginkell had made himself master of the English quarter of Athlone; and this success had cost him only twenty men killed and forty wounded. 93

But his work was only begun. Between him and the Irish town the Shannon ran fiercely. The bridge was so narrow that a few resolute men might keep it against an army. The mills which stood on it were strongly guarded; and it was commanded by the guns of the castle. That part of the Connaught shore where the river was fordable was defended by works, which the Lord Lieutenant had, in spite of the murmurs of a powerful party, forced Saint Ruth to entrust to the care of Maxwell. Maxwell had come back from France a more unpopular man than he had been when he went thither. It was rumoured that he had, at Versailles, spoken opprobriously of the Irish nation; and he had, on this account, been, only a few days before, publicly affronted by Sarsfield. 94 On the twenty-first of June the English were busied in flinging up batteries along the Leinster bank. On the twenty-second, soon after dawn, the cannonade began. The firing continued all that day and all the following night. When morning broke again, one whole side of the castle had been beaten down; the thatched lanes of the Celtic town lay in ashes; and one of the mills had been burned with sixty soldiers who defended it. 95

Still however the Irish defended the bridge resolutely. During several days there was sharp fighting hand to hand in the strait passage. The assailants gained ground, but gained it inch by inch. The courage of the garrison was sustained by the hope of speedy succour. Saint Ruth had at length completed his preparations; and the tidings that Athlone was in danger had induced him to take the field in haste at the head of an army, superior in number, though inferior in more important elements of military strength, to the army of Ginkell. The French general seems to have thought that the bridge and the ford might easily be defended, till the autumnal rains and the pestilence which ordinarily accompanied them should compel the enemy to retire. He therefore contented himself with sending successive detachments to reinforce the garrison. The immediate conduct of the defence he entrusted to his second in command, D'Usson, and fixed his own head quarters two or three miles from the town. He expressed his astonishment that so experienced a commander as Ginkell should persist in a hopeless enterprise. "His master ought to hang him for trying to take Athlone; and mine ought to hang me if I lose it." 96

Saint Ruth, however, was by no means at ease. He had found, to his great mortification, that he had not the full authority which the promises made to him at Saint Germains had entitled him to expect. The Lord Lieutenant was in the camp. His bodily and mental infirmities had perceptibly increased within the last few weeks. The slow and uncertain step with which he, who had once been renowned for vigour and agility, now tottered from his easy chair to his couch, was no unapt type of the sluggish and wavering movement of that mind which had once pursued its objects with a vehemence restrained neither by fear nor by pity, neither by conscience nor by shame. Yet, with impaired strength, both physical and intellectual, the broken old man clung pertinaciously to power. If he had received private orders not to meddle with the conduct of the war, he disregarded them. He assumed all the authority of a sovereign, showed himself ostentatiously to the troops as their supreme chief, and affected to treat Saint Ruth as a lieutenant. Soon the interference of the Viceroy excited the vehement indignation of that powerful party in the army which had long hated him. Many officers signed an instrument by which they declared that they did not consider him as entitled to their obedience in the field. Some of them offered him gross personal insults. He was told to his face that, if he persisted in remaining where he was not wanted, the ropes of his pavilion should be cut. He, on the other hand, sent his emissaries to all the camp fires, and tried to make a party among the common soldiers against the French general. 97

The only thing in which Tyrconnel and Saint Ruth agreed was in dreading and disliking Sarsfield. Not only was he popular with the great body of his countrymen; he was also surrounded by a knot of retainers whose devotion to him resembled the devotion of the Ismailite murderers to the Old Man of the Mountain. It was known that one of these fanatics, a colonel, had used language which, in the mouth of an officer so high in rank, might well cause uneasiness. "The King," this man had said, "is nothing to me. I obey Sarsfield. Let Sarsfield tell me to kill any man in the whole army; and I will do it." Sarsfield was, indeed, too honourable a gentleman to abuse his immense power over the minds of his worshippers. But the Viceroy and the Commander in Chief might not unnaturally be disturbed by the thought that Sarsfield's honour was their only guarantee against mutiny and assassination. The consequence was that, at the crisis of the fate of Ireland, the services of the first of Irish soldiers were not used, or were used with jealous caution, and that, if he ventured to offer a suggestion, it was received with a sneer or a frown. 98

A great and unexpected disaster put an end to these disputes. On the thirtieth of June Ginkell called a council of war. Forage began to be scarce; and it was absolutely necessary that the besiegers should either force their way across the river or retreat. The difficulty of effecting a passage over the shattered remains of the bridge seemed almost insuperable. It was proposed to try the ford. The Duke of Wirtemberg, Talmash, and Ruvigny gave their voices in favour of this plan; and Ginkell, with some misgivings, consented. 99

It was determined that the attempt should be made that very afternoon. The Irish, fancying that the English were about to retreat, kept guard carelessly. Part of the garrison was idling, part dosing. D'Usson was at table. Saint Ruth was in his tent, writing a letter to his master filled with charges against Tyrconnel. Meanwhile, fifteen hundred grenadiers; each wearing in his hat a green bough, were mustered on the Leinster bank of the Shannon. Many of them doubtless remembered that on that day year they had, at the command of King William, put green boughs in their hats on the banks of the Boyne. Guineas had been liberally scattered among these picked men; but their alacrity was such as gold cannot purchase. Six battalions were in readiness to support the attack. Mackay commanded. He did not approve of the plan; but he executed it as zealously and energetically as if he had himself been the author of it. The Duke of Wirtemberg, Talmash, and several other gallant officers, to whom no part in the enterprise had been assigned, insisted on serving that day as private volunteers; and their appearance in the ranks excited the fiercest enthusiasm among the soldiers.

It was six o'clock. A peal from the steeple of the church gave the signal. Prince George of Hesse Darmstadt, and Gustavus Hamilton, the brave chief of the Enniskilleners, descended first into the Shannon. Then the grenadiers lifted the Duke of Wirtemberg on their shoulders, and, with a great shout, plunged twenty abreast up to their cravats in water. The stream ran deep and strong; but in a few minutes the head of the column reached dry land. Talmash was the fifth man that set foot on the Connaught shore. The Irish, taken unprepared, fired one confused volley and fled, leaving their commander, Maxwell, a prisoner. The conquerors clambered up the bank over the remains of walls shattered by a cannonade of ten days. Mackay heard his men cursing and swearing as they stumbled among the rubbish. "My lads," cried the stout old Puritan in the midst of the uproar, "you are brave fellows; but do not swear. We have more reason to thank God for the goodness which He has shown us this day than to take His name in vain." The victory was complete. Planks were placed on the broken arches of the bridge and pontoons laid on the river, without any opposition on the part of the terrified garrison. With the loss of twelve men killed and about thirty wounded the English had, in a few minutes, forced their way into Connaught. 100

At the first alarm D'Usson hastened towards the river; but he was met, swept away, trampled down, and almost killed by the torrent of fugitives. He was carried to the camp in such a state that it was necessary to bleed him. "Taken!" cried Saint Ruth, in dismay. "It cannot be. A town taken, and I close by with an army to relieve it!" Cruelly mortified, he struck his tents under cover of the night, and retreated in the direction of Galway. At dawn the English saw far off, from the top of King John's ruined castle, the Irish army moving through the dreary region which separates the Shannon from the Suck. Before noon the rearguard had disappeared. 101

Even before the loss of Athlone the Celtic camp had been distracted by factions. It may easily be supposed, therefore, that, after so great a disaster, nothing was to be heard but crimination and recrimination. The enemies of the Lord Lieutenant were more clamorous than ever. He and his creatures had brought the kingdom to the verge of perdition. He would meddle with what he did not understand. He would overrule the plans of men who were real soldiers. He would entrust the most important of all posts to his tool, his spy, the wretched Maxwell, not a born Irishman, not a sincere Catholic, at best a blunderer, and too probably a traitor. Maxwell, it was affirmed, had left his men unprovided with ammunition. When they had applied to him for powder and ball, he had asked whether they wanted to shoot larks. Just before the attack he had told them to go to their supper and to take their rest, for that nothing more would be done that day. When he had delivered himself up a prisoner, he had uttered some words which seemed to indicate a previous understanding with the conquerors. The Lord Lieutenant's few friends told a very different story. According to them, Tyrconnel and Maxwell had suggested precautions which would have made a surprise impossible. The French General, impatient of all interference, had omitted to take those precautions. Maxwell had been rudely told that, if he was afraid, he had better resign his command. He had done his duty bravely. He had stood while his men fled. He had consequently fallen into the hands of the enemy; and he was now, in his absence, slandered by those to whom his captivity was justly imputable. 102 On which side the truth lay it is not easy, at this distance of time, to pronounce. The cry against Tyrconnel was, at the moment, so loud, that he gave way and sullenly retired to Limerick. D'Usson, who had not yet recovered from the hurts inflicted by his own runaway troops, repaired to Galway. 103

Saint Ruth, now left in undisputed possession of the supreme command, was bent on trying the chances of a battle. Most of the Irish officers, with Sarsfield at their head, were of a very different mind. It was, they said, not to be dissembled that, in discipline, the army of Ginkell was far superior to theirs. The wise course, therefore, evidently was to carry on the war in such a manner that the difference between the disciplined and the undisciplined soldier might be as small as possible. It was well known that raw recruits often played their part well in a foray, in a street fight or in the defence of a rampart; but that, on a pitched field, they had little chance against veterans. "Let most of our foot be collected behind the walls of Limerick and Galway. Let the rest, together with our horse, get in the rear of the enemy, and cut off his supplies. If he advances into Connaught, let us overrun Leinster. If he sits down before Galway, which may well be defended, let us make a push for Dublin, which is altogether defenceless." 104 Saint Ruth might, perhaps, have thought this advice good, if his judgment had not been biassed by his passions. But he was smarting from the pain of a humiliating defeat. In sight of his tent, the English had passed a rapid river, and had stormed a strong town. He could not but feel that, though others might have been to blame, he was not himself blameless. He had, to say the least, taken things too easily. Lewis, accustomed to be served during many years by commanders who were not in the habit of leaving to chance any thing which could be made secure by wisdom, would hardly think it a sufficient excuse that his general had not expected the enemy to make so bold and sudden an attack. The Lord Lieutenant would, of course, represent what had passed in the most unfavourable manner; and whatever the Lord Lieutenant said James would echo. A sharp reprimand, a letter of recall, might be expected. To return to Versailles a culprit; to approach the great King in an agony of distress; to see him shrug his shoulders, knit his brow and turn his back; to be sent, far from courts and camps, to languish at some dull country seat; this was too much to be borne; and yet this might well be apprehended. There was one escape; to fight, and to conquer or to perish.

In such a temper Saint Ruth pitched his camp about thirty miles from Athlone on the road to Galway, near the ruined castle of Aghrim, and determined to await the approach of the English army.

His whole deportment was changed. He had hitherto treated the Irish soldiers with contemptuous severity. But now that he had resolved to stake life and fame on the valour of the despised race, he became another man. During the few days which remained to him he exerted himself to win by indulgence and caresses the hearts of all who were under his command. 105 He, at the same time, administered to his troops moral stimulants of the most potent kind. He was a zealous Roman Catholic; and it is probable that the severity with which he had treated the Protestants of his own country ought to be partly ascribed to the hatred which he felt for their doctrines. He now tried to give to the war the character of a crusade. The clergy were the agents whom he employed to sustain the courage of his soldiers. The whole camp was in a ferment with religious excitement. In every regiment priests were praying, preaching, shriving, holding up the host and the cup. While the soldiers swore on the sacramental bread not to abandon their colours, the General addressed to the officers an appeal which might have moved the most languid and effeminate natures to heroic exertion. They were fighting, he said, for their religion, their liberty and their honour. Unhappy events, too widely celebrated, had brought a reproach on the national character. Irish soldiership was every where mentioned with a sneer. If they wished to retrieve the fame of their country, this was the time and this the place. 106

The spot on which he had determined to bring the fate of Ireland to issue seems to have been chosen with great judgment. His army was drawn up on the slope of a hill, which was almost surrounded by red bog. In front, near the edge of the morass, were some fences out of which a breastwork was without difficulty constructed.

On the eleventh of July, Ginkell, having repaired the fortifications of Athlone and left a garrison there, fixed his headquarters at Ballinasloe, about four miles from Aghrim, and rode forward to take a view of the Irish position. On his return he gave orders that ammunition should be served out, that every musket and bayonet should be got ready for action, and that early on the morrow every man should be under arms without beat of drum. Two regiments were to remain in charge of the camp; the rest, unincumbered by baggage, were to march against the enemy.

Soon after six, the next morning, the English were on the way to Aghrim. But some delay was occasioned by a thick fog which hung till noon over the moist valley of the Suck; a further delay was caused by the necessity of dislodging the Irish from some outposts; and the afternoon was far advanced when the two armies at length confronted each other with nothing but the bog and the breastwork between them. The English and their allies were under twenty thousand; the Irish above twenty-five thousand.

Ginkell held a short consultation with his principal officers. Should he attack instantly, or wait till the next morning? Mackay was for attacking instantly; and his opinion prevailed. At five the battle began. The English foot, in such order as they could keep on treacherous and uneven ground, made their way, sinking deep in mud at every step, to the Irish works. But those works were defended with a resolution such as extorted some words of ungracious eulogy even from men who entertained the strongest prejudices against the Celtic race. 107 Again and again the assailants were driven back. Again and again they returned to the struggle. Once they were broken, and chased across the morass; but Talmash rallied them, and forced the pursuers to retire. The fight had lasted two hours; the evening was closing in; and still the advantage was on the side of the Irish. Ginkell began to meditate a retreat. The hopes of Saint Ruth rose high. "The day is ours, my boys," he cried, waving his hat in the air. "We will drive them before us to the walls of Dublin." But fortune was already on the turn. Mackay and Ruvigny, with the English and Huguenot cavalry, had succeeded in passing the bog at a place where two horsemen could scarcely ride abreast. Saint Ruth at first laughed when he saw the Blues, in single file, struggling through the morass under a fire which every moment laid some gallant hat and feather on the earth. "What do they mean?" he asked; and then he swore that it was pity to see such fine fellows rushing to certain destruction. "Let them cross, however;" he said. "The more they are, the more we shall kill." But soon he saw them laying hurdles on the quagmire. A broader and safer path was formed; squadron after squadron reached firm ground: the flank of the Irish army was speedily turned. The French general was hastening to the rescue when a cannon ball carried off his head. Those who were about him thought that it would be dangerous to make his fate known. His corpse was wrapped in a cloak, carried from the field, and laid, with all secresy, in the sacred ground among the ruins of the ancient monastery of Loughrea. Till the fight was over neither army was aware that he was no more. To conceal his death from the private soldiers might perhaps have been prudent. To conceal it from his lieutenants was madness. The crisis of the battle had arrived; and there was none to give direction. Sarsfield was in command of the reserve. But he had been strictly enjoined by Saint Ruth not to stir without orders; and no orders came. Mackay and Ruvigny with their horse charged the Irish in flank. Talmash and his foot returned to the attack in front with dogged determination. The breastwork was carried. The Irish, still fighting, retreated from inclosure to inclosure. But, as inclosure after inclosure was forced, their efforts became fainter and fainter. At length they broke and fled. Then followed a horrible carnage. The conquerors were in a savage mood. For a report had been spread among them that, during the early part of the battle, some English captives who had been admitted to quarter had been put to the sword. Only four hundred prisoners were taken. The number of the slain was, in proportion to the number engaged, greater than in any other battle of that age. But for the coming on of a moonless night, made darker by a misty rain, scarcely a man would have escaped. The obscurity enabled Sarsfield, with a few squadrons which still remained unbroken, to cover the retreat. Of the conquerors six hundred were killed, and about a thousand wounded.

The English slept that night on the field of battle. On the following day they buried their companions in arms, and then marched westward. The vanquished were left unburied, a strange and ghastly spectacle. Four thousand Irish corpses were counted on the field of battle. A hundred and fifty lay in one small inclosure, a hundred and twenty in another. But the slaughter had not been confined to the field of battle. One who was there tells us that, from the top of the hill on which the Celtic camp had been pitched, he saw the country, to the distance of near four miles, white with the naked bodies of the slain. The plain looked, he said, like an immense pasture covered by flocks of sheep. As usual, different estimates were formed even by eyewitnesses. But it seems probable that the number of the Irish who fell was not less than seven thousand. Soon a multitude of dogs came to feast on the carnage. These beasts became so fierce, and acquired such a taste for human flesh, that it was long dangerous for men to travel this road otherwise than in companies. 108

The beaten army had now lost all the appearance of an army, and resembled a rabble crowding home from a fair after a faction fight. One great stream of fugitives ran towards Galway, another towards Limerick. The roads to both cities were covered with weapons which had been flung away. Ginkell offered sixpence for every musket. In a short time so many waggon loads were collected that he reduced the price to twopence; and still great numbers of muskets came in. 109

The conquerors marched first against Galway. D'Usson was there, and had under him seven regiments, thinned by the slaughter of Aghrim and utterly disorganized and disheartened. The last hope of the garrison and of the Roman Catholic inhabitants was that Baldearg O'Donnel, the promised deliverer of their race, would come to the rescue. But Baldearg O'Donnel was not duped by the superstitious veneration of which he was the object. While there remained any doubt about the issue of the conflict between the Englishry and the Irishry, he had stood aloof. On the day of the battle he had remained at a safe distance with his tumultuary army; and, as soon as he had learned that his countrymen had been put to rout, he fled, plundering and burning all the way, to the mountains of Mayo. Thence he sent to Ginkell offers of submission and service. Ginkell gladly seized the opportunity of breaking up a formidable band of marauders, and of turning to good account the influence which the name of a Celtic dynasty still exercised over the Celtic race. The negotiation however was not without difficulties. The wandering adventurer at first demanded nothing less than an earldom. After some haggling he consented to sell the love of a whole people, and his pretensions to regal dignity, for a pension of five hundred pounds a year. Yet the spell which bound his followers to hire was not altogether broken. Some enthusiasts from Ulster were willing to fight under the O'Donnel against their own language and their own religion. With a small body of these devoted adherents, he joined a division of the English army, and on several occasions did useful service to William. 110

When it was known that no succour was to be expected from the hero whose advent had been foretold by so many seers, the Irish who were shut up in Galway lost all heart. D'Usson had returned a stout answer to the first summons of the besiegers; but he soon saw that resistance was impossible, and made haste to capitulate. The garrison was suffered to retire to Limerick with the honours of war. A full amnesty for past offences was granted to the citizens; and it was stipulated that, within the walls, the Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to perform in private the rites of their religion. On these terms the gates were thrown open. Ginkell was received with profound respect by the Mayor and Aldermen, and was complimented in a set speech by the Recorder. D'Usson, with about two thousand three hundred men, marched unmolested to Limerick. 111

At Limerick, the last asylum of the vanquished race, the authority of Tyrconnel was supreme. There was now no general who could pretend that his commission made him independent of the Lord Lieutenant; nor was the Lord Lieutenant now so unpopular as he had been a fortnight earlier. Since the battle there had been a reflux of public feeling. No part of that great disaster could be imputed to the Viceroy. His opinion indeed had been against trying the chances of a pitched field, and he could with some plausibility assert that the neglect of his counsels had caused the ruin of Ireland. 112

He made some preparations for defending Limerick, repaired the fortifications, and sent out parties to bring in provisions. The country, many miles round, was swept bare by these detachments, and a considerable quantity of cattle and fodder was collected within the walls. There was also a large stock of biscuit imported from France. The infantry assembled at Limerick were about fifteen thousand men. The Irish horse and dragoons, three or four thousand in number, were encamped on the Clare side of the Shannon. The communication between their camp and the city was maintained by means of a bridge called the Thomond Bridge, which was protected by a fort. These means of defence were not contemptible. But the fall of Athlone and the slaughter of Aghrim had broken the spirit of the army. A small party, at the head of which were Sarsfield and a brave Scotch officer named Wauchop, cherished a hope that the triumphant progress of Ginkell might be stopped by those walls from which William had, in the preceding year, been forced to retreat. But many of the Irish chiefs loudly declared that it was time to think of capitulating. Henry Luttrell, always fond of dark and crooked politics, opened a secret negotiation with the English. One of his letters was intercepted; and he was put under arrest; but many who blamed his perfidy agreed with him in thinking that it was idle to prolong the contest. Tyrconnel himself was convinced that all was lost. His only hope was that he might be able to prolong the struggle till he could receive from Saint Germains permission to treat. He wrote to request that permission, and prevailed, with some difficulty, on his desponding countrymen to bind themselves by an oath not to capitulate till an answer from James should arrive. 113

A few days after the oath had been administered, Tyrconnel was no more. On the eleventh of August he dined with D'Usson. The party was gay. The Lord Lieutenant seemed to have thrown off the load which had bowed down his body and mind; he drank; he jested; he was again the Dick Talbot who had diced and revelled with Grammont. Soon after he had risen from table, an apoplectic stroke deprived him of speech and sensation. On the fourteenth he breathed his last. The wasted remains of that form which had once been a model for statuaries were laid under the pavement of the Cathedral; but no inscription, no tradition, preserves the memory of the spot. 114

As soon as the Lord Lieutenant was no more, Plowden, who had superintended the Irish finances while there were any Irish finances to superintend, produced a commission under the great seal of James. This commission appointed Plowden himself, Fitton and Nagle, Lords justices in the event of Tyrconnel's death. There was much murmuring when the names were made known. For both Plowden and Fitton were Saxons. The commission, however, proved to be a mere nullity. For it was accompanied by instructions which forbade the Lords justices to interfere in the conduct of the war; and, within the narrow space to which the dominions of James were now reduced, war was the only business. The government was, therefore, really in the hands of D'Usson and Sarsfield. 115

On the day on which Tyrconnel died, the advanced guard of the English army came within sight of Limerick. Ginkell encamped on the same ground which William had occupied twelve months before. The batteries, on which were planted guns and bombs, very different from those which William had been forced to use, played day and night; and soon roofs were blazing and walls crashing in every corner of the city. Whole streets were reduced to ashes. Meanwhile several English ships of war came up the Shannon and anchored about a mile below the city. 116

Still the place held out; the garrison was, in numerical strength, little inferior to the besieging army; and it seemed not impossible that the defence might be prolonged till the equinoctial rains should a second time compel the English to retire. Ginkell determined on striking a bold stroke. No point in the whole circle of the fortifications was more important, and no point seemed to be more secure, than the Thomond Bridge, which joined the city to the camp of the Irish horse on the Clare bank of the Shannon. The Dutch General's plan was to separate the infantry within the ramparts from the cavalry without; and this plan he executed with great skill, vigour and success. He laid a bridge of tin boats on the river, crossed it with a strong body of troops, drove before him in confusion fifteen hundred dragoons who made a faint show of resistance, and marched towards the quarters of the Irish horse. The Irish horse sustained but ill on this day the reputation which they had gained at the Boyne. Indeed, that reputation had been purchased by the almost entire destruction of the best regiments. Recruits had been without much difficulty found. But the loss of fifteen hundred excellent soldiers was not to be repaired. The camp was abandoned without a blow. Some of the cavalry fled into the city. The rest, driving before them as many cattle as could be collected in that moment of panic, retired to the hills. Much beef, brandy and harness was found in the magazines; and the marshy plain of the Shannon was covered with firelocks and grenades which the fugitives had thrown away. 117

The conquerors returned in triumph to their camp. But Ginkell was not content with the advantage which he had gained. He was bent on cutting off all communication between Limerick and the county of Clare. In a few days, therefore, he again crossed the river at the head of several regiments, and attacked the fort which protected the Thomond Bridge. In a short time the fort was stormed. The soldiers who had garrisoned it fled in confusion to the city. The Town Major, a French officer, who commanded at the Thomond Gate, afraid that the pursuers would enter with the fugitives, ordered that part of the bridge which was nearest to the city to be drawn up. Many of the Irish went headlong into the stream and perished there. Others cried for quarter, and held up handkerchiefs in token of submission. But the conquerors were mad with rage; their cruelty could not be immediately restrained; and no prisoners were made till the heaps of corpses rose above the parapets. The garrison of the fort had consisted of about eight hundred men. Of these only a hundred and twenty escaped into Limerick. 118

This disaster seemed likely to produce a general mutiny in the besieged city. The Irish clamoured for the blood of the Town Major who had ordered the bridge to be drawn up in the face of their flying countrymen. His superiors were forced to promise that he should be brought before a court martial. Happily for him, he had received a mortal wound, in the act of closing the Thomond Gate, and was saved by a soldier's death from the fury of the multitude. 119 The cry for capitulation became so loud and importunate that the generals could not resist it. D'Usson informed his government that the fight at the bridge had so effectually cowed the spirit of the garrison that it was impossible to continue the struggle. 120 Some exception may perhaps be taken to the evidence of D'Usson; for undoubtedly he, like every Frenchman who had held any command in the Irish army, was weary of his banishment, and impatient to see Paris again. But it is certain that even Sarsfield had lost heart. Up to this time his voice had been for stubborn resistance. He was now not only willing, but impatient to treat. 121 It seemed to him that the city was doomed. There was no hope of succour, domestic or foreign. In every part of Ireland the Saxons had set their feet on the necks of the natives. Sligo had fallen. Even those wild islands which intercept the huge waves of the Atlantic from the bay of Galway had acknowledged the authority of William. The men of Kerry, reputed the fiercest and most ungovernable part of the aboriginal population, had held out long, but had at length been routed, and chased to their woods and mountains. 122 A French fleet, if a French fleet were now to arrive on the coast of Munster, would find the mouth of the Shannon guarded by English men of war. The stock of provisions within Limerick was already running low. If the siege were prolonged, the town would, in all human probability, be reduced either by force or by blockade. And, if Ginkell should enter through the breach, or should be implored by a multitude perishing with hunger to dictate his own terms, what could be expected but a tyranny more inexorably severe than that of Cromwell? Would it not then be wise to try what conditions could be obtained while the victors had still something to fear from the rage and despair of the vanquished; while the last Irish army could still make some show of resistance behind the walls of the last Irish fortress?

On the evening of the day which followed the fight at the Thomond Gate, the drums of Limerick beat a parley; and Wauchop, from one of the towers, hailed the besiegers, and requested Ruvigny to grant Sarsfield an interview. The brave Frenchman who was an exile on account of his attachment to one religion, and the brave Irishman who was about to become an exile on account of his attachment to another, met and conferred, doubtless with mutual sympathy and respect. 123 Ginkell, to whom Ruvigny reported what had passed, willingly consented to an armistice. For, constant as his success had been, it had not made him secure. The chances were greatly on his side. Yet it was possible that an attempt to storm the city might fail, as a similar attempt had failed twelve months before. If the siege should be turned into a blockade, it was probable that the pestilence which had been fatal to the army of Schomberg, which had compelled William to retreat, and which had all but prevailed even against the genius and energy of Marlborough, might soon avenge the carnage of Aghrim. The rains had lately been heavy. The whole plain might shortly be an immense pool of stagnant water. It might be necessary to move the troops to a healthier situation than the bank of the Shannon, and to provide for them a warmer shelter than that of tents. The enemy would be safe till the spring. In the spring a French army might land in Ireland; the natives might again rise in arms from Donegal to Kerry; and the war, which was now all but extinguished, might blaze forth fiercer than ever.

A negotiation was therefore opened with a sincere desire on both sides to put an end to the contest. The chiefs of the Irish army held several consultations at which some Roman Catholic prelates and some eminent lawyers were invited to assist. A preliminary question, which perplexed tender consciences, was submitted by the Bishops. The late Lord Lieutenant had persuaded the officers of the garrison to swear that they would not surrender Limerick till they should receive an answer to the letter in which their situation had been explained to James. The Bishops thought that the oath was no longer binding. It had been taken at a time when the communications with France were open, and in the full belief that the answer of James would arrive within three weeks. More than twice that time had elapsed. Every avenue leading to the city was strictly guarded by the enemy. His Majesty's faithful subjects, by holding out till it had become impossible for him to signify his pleasure to them, had acted up to the spirit of their promise. 124

The next question was what terms should be demanded. A paper, containing propositions which statesmen of our age will think reasonable, but which to the most humane and liberal English Protestants of the seventeenth century appeared extravagant, was sent to the camp of the besiegers. What was asked was that all offences should be covered with oblivion, that perfect freedom of worship should be allowed to the native population, that every parish should have its priest, and that Irish Roman Catholics should be capable of holding all offices, civil and military, and of enjoying all municipal privileges. 125

Ginkell knew little of the laws and feelings of the English; but he had about him persons who were competent to direct him. They had a week before prevented him from breaking a Rapparee on the wheel; and they now suggested an answer to the propositions of the enemy. "I am a stranger here," said Ginkell; "I am ignorant of the constitution of these kingdoms; but I am assured that what you ask is inconsistent with that constitution; and therefore I cannot with honour consent." He immediately ordered a new battery to be thrown up, and guns and mortars to be planted on it. But his preparations were speedily interrupted by another message from the city. The Irish begged that, since he could not grant what they had demanded, he would tell them what he was willing to grant. He called his advisers round him, and, after some consultation, sent back a paper containing the heads of a treaty, such as he had reason to believe that the government which he served would approve. What he offered was indeed much less than what the Irish desired, but was quite as much as, when they considered their situation and the temper of the English nation, they could expect. They speedily notified their assent. It was agreed that there should be a cessation of arms, not only by land, but in the ports and bays of Munster, and that a fleet of French transports should be suffered to come up the Shannon in peace and to depart in peace. The signing of the treaty was deferred till the Lords justices, who represented William at Dublin, should arrive at Ginkell's quarters. But there was during some days a relaxation of military vigilance on both sides. Prisoners were set at liberty. The outposts of the two armies chatted and messed together. The English officers rambled into the town. The Irish officers dined in the camp. Anecdotes of what passed at the friendly meetings of these men, who had so lately been mortal enemies, were widely circulated. One story, in particular, was repeated in every part of Europe. "Has not this last campaign," said Sarsfield to some English officers, "raised your opinion of Irish soldiers?" "To tell you the truth," answered an Englishman, "we think of them much as we always did." "However meanly you may think of us," replied Sarsfield, "change Kings with us, and we will willingly try our luck with you again." He was doubtless thinking of the day on which he had seen the two Sovereigns at the head of two great armies, William foremost in the charge, and James foremost in the flight. 126

On the first of October, Coningsby and Porter arrived at the English headquarters. On the second the articles of capitulation were discussed at great length and definitely settled. On the third they were signed. They were divided into two parts, a military treaty and a civil treaty. The former was subscribed only by the generals on both sides. The Lords justices set their names to the latter. 127

By the military treaty it was agreed that such Irish officers and soldiers as should declare that they wished to go to France should be conveyed thither, and should, in the meantime, remain under the command of their own generals. Ginkell undertook to furnish a considerable number of transports. French vessels were also to be permitted to pass and repass freely between Britanny and Munster. Part of Limerick was to be immediately delivered up to the English. But the island on which the Cathedral and the Castle stand was to remain, for the present, in the keeping of the Irish.

The terms of the civil treaty were very different from those which Ginkell had sternly refused to grant. It was not stipulated that the Roman Catholics of Ireland should be competent to hold any political or military office, or that they should be admitted into any corporation. But they obtained a promise that they should enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion as were consistent with the law, or as they had enjoyed in the reign of Charles the Second.

To all inhabitants of Limerick, and to all officers and soldiers in the Jacobite army, who should submit to the government and notify their submission by taking the oath of allegiance, an entire amnesty was promised. They were to retain their property; they were to be allowed to exercise any profession which they had exercised before the troubles; they were not to be punished for any treason, felony, or misdemeanour committed since the accession of the late King; nay, they were not to be sued for damages on account of any act of spoliation or outrage which they might have committed during the three years of confusion. This was more than the Lords justices were constitutionally competent to grant. It was therefore added that the government would use its utmost endeavours to obtain a Parliamentary ratification of the treaty. 128

As soon as the two instruments had been signed, the English entered the city, and occupied one quarter of it. A narrow, but deep branch of the Shannon separated them from the quarter which was still in the possession of the Irish. 129

In a few hours a dispute arose which seemed likely to produce a renewal of hostilities. Sarsfield had resolved to seek his fortune in the service of France, and was naturally desirous to carry with him to the Continent such a body of troops as would be an important addition to the army of Lewis. Ginkell was as naturally unwilling to send thousands of men to swell the forces of the enemy. Both generals appealed to the treaty. Each construed it as suited his purpose, and each complained that the other had violated it. Sarsfield was accused of putting one of his officers under arrest for refusing to go to the Continent. Ginkell, greatly excited, declared that he would teach the Irish to play tricks with him, and began to make preparations for a cannonade. Sarsfield came to the English camp, and tried to justify what he had done. The altercation was sharp. "I submit," said Sarsfield, at last: "I am in your power." "Not at all in my power," said Ginkell, "go back and do your worst." The imprisoned officer was liberated; a sanguinary contest was averted; and the two commanders contented themselves with a war of words. 130 Ginkell put forth proclamations assuring the Irish that, if they would live quietly in their own land, they should be protected and favoured, and that if they preferred a military life, they should be admitted into the service of King William. It was added that no man, who chose to reject this gracious invitation and to become a soldier of Lewis, must expect ever again to set foot on the island. Sarsfield and Wauchop exerted their eloquence on the other side. The present aspect of affairs, they said, was doubtless gloomy; but there was bright sky beyond the cloud. The banishment would be short. The return would be triumphant. Within a year the French would invade England. In such an invasion the Irish troops, if only they remained unbroken, would assuredly bear a chief part. In the meantime it was far better for them to live in a neighbouring and friendly country, under the parental care of their own rightful King, than to trust the Prince of Orange, who would probably send them to the other end of the world to fight for his ally the Emperor against the Janissaries.

The help of the Roman Catholic clergy was called in. On the day on which those who had made up their minds to go to France were required to announce their determination, the priests were indefatigable in exhorting. At the head of every regiment a sermon was preached on the duty of adhering to the cause of the Church, and on the sin and danger of consorting with unbelievers. 131 Whoever, it was said, should enter the service of the usurpers would do so at the peril of his soul. The heretics affirmed that, after the peroration, a plentiful allowance of brandy was served out to the audience, and that, when the brandy had been swallowed, a Bishop pronounced a benediction. Thus duly prepared by physical and moral stimulants, the garrison, consisting of about fourteen thousand infantry, was drawn up in the vast meadow which lay on the Clare bank of the Shannon. Here copies of Ginkell's proclamation were profusely scattered about; and English officers went through the ranks imploring the men not to ruin themselves, and explaining to them the advantages which the soldiers of King William enjoyed. At length the decisive moment came. The troops were ordered to pass in review. Those who wished to remain in Ireland were directed to file off at a particular spot. All who passed that spot were to be considered as having made their choice for France. Sarsfield and Wauchop on one side, Porter, Coningsby and Ginkell on the other, looked on with painful anxiety. D'Usson and his countrymen, though not uninterested in the spectacle, found it hard to preserve their gravity. The confusion, the clamour, the grotesque appearance of an army in which there could scarcely be seen a shirt or a pair of pantaloons, a shoe or a stocking, presented so ludicrous a contrast to the orderly and brilliant appearance of their master's troops, that they amused themselves by wondering what the Parisians would say to see such a force mustered on the plain of Grenelle. 132

First marched what was called the Royal regiment, fourteen hundred strong. All but seven went beyond the fatal point. Ginkell's countenance showed that he was deeply mortified. He was consoled, however, by seeing the next regiment, which consisted of natives of Ulster, turn off to a man. There had arisen, notwithstanding the community of blood, language and religion, an antipathy between the Celts of Ulster and those of the other three provinces; nor is it improbable that the example and influence of Baldearg O'Donnel may have had some effect on the people of the land which his forefathers had ruled. 133 In most of the regiments there was a division of opinion; but a great majority declared for France. Henry Luttrell was one of those who turned off. He was rewarded for his desertion, and perhaps for other services, with a grant of the large estate of his elder brother Simon, who firmly adhered to the cause of James, with a pension of five hundred pounds a year from the Crown, and with the abhorrence of the Roman Catholic population. After living in wealth, luxury and infamy, during a quarter of a century, Henry Luttrell was murdered while going through Dublin in his sedan chair; and the Irish House of Commons declared that there was reason to suspect that he had fallen by the revenge of the Papists. 134 Eighty years after his death his grave near Luttrellstown was violated by the descendants of those whom he had betrayed, and his skull was broken to pieces with a pickaxe. 135 The deadly hatred of which he was the object descended to his son and to his grandson; and, unhappily, nothing in the character either of his son or of his grandson tended to mitigate the feeling which the name of Luttrell excited. 136

When the long procession had closed, it was found that about a thousand men had agreed to enter into William's service. About two thousand accepted passes from Ginkell, and went quietly home. About eleven thousand returned with Sarsfield to the city. A few hours after the garrison had passed in review, the horse, who were encamped some miles from the town, were required to make their choice; and most of them volunteered for France. 137

Sarsfield considered the troops who remained with him as under an irrevocable obligation to go abroad; and, lest they should be tempted to retract their consent, he confined them within the ramparts, and ordered the gates to be shut and strongly guarded. Ginkell, though in his vexation he muttered some threats, seems to have felt that he could not justifiably interfere. But the precautions of the Irish general were far from being completely successful. It was by no means strange that a superstitious and excitable kerne, with a sermon and a dram in his head, should be ready to promise whatever his priests required; neither was it strange that, when he had slept off his liquor, and when anathemas were no longer ringing in his ears, he should feel painful misgivings. He had bound himself to go into exile, perhaps for life, beyond that dreary expanse of waters which impressed his rude mind with mysterious terror. His thoughts ran on all that he was to leave, on the well known peat stack and potatoe ground, and on the mud cabin, which, humble as it was, was still his home. He was never again to see the familiar faces round the turf fire, or to hear the familiar notes of the old Celtic songs. The ocean was to roll between him and the dwelling of his greyheaded parents and his blooming sweetheart. Here were some who, unable to bear the misery of such a separation, and, finding it impossible to pass the sentinels who watched the gates, sprang into the river and gained the opposite bank. The number of these daring swimmers, however, was not great; and the army would probably have been transported almost entire if it had remained at Limerick till the day of embarkation. But many of the vessels in which the voyage was to be performed lay at Cork; and it was necessary that Sarsfield should proceed thither with some of his best regiments. It was a march of not less than four days through a wild country. To prevent agile youths, familiar with all the shifts of a vagrant and predatory life, from stealing off to the bogs, and woods under cover of the night, was impossible.

Indeed, many soldiers had the audacity to run away by broad daylight before they were out of sight of Limerick Cathedral. The Royal regiment, which had, on the day of the review, set so striking an example of fidelity to the cause of James, dwindled from fourteen hundred men to five hundred. Before the last ships departed, news came that those who had sailed by the first ships had been ungraciously received at Brest. They had been scantily fed; they had been able to obtain neither pay nor clothing; though winter was setting in, they slept in the fields with no covering but the hedges. Many had been heard to say that it would have been far better to die in old Ireland than to live in the inhospitable country to which they had been banished. The effect of those reports was that hundreds, who had long persisted in their intention of emigrating, refused at the last moment to go on board, threw down their arms, and returned to their native villages. 138

Sarsfield perceived that one chief cause of the desertion which was thinning his army was the natural unwillingness of the men to leave their families in a state of destitution. Cork and its neighbourhood were filled with the kindred of those who were going abroad. Great numbers of women, many of them leading, carrying, suckling their infants, covered all the roads which led to the place of embarkation. The Irish general, apprehensive of the effect which the entreaties and lamentations of these poor creatures could not fail to produce, put forth a proclamation, in which he assured his soldiers that they should be permitted to carry their wives and families to France. It would be injurious to the memory of so brave and loyal a gentleman to suppose that when he made this promise he meant to break it. It is much more probable that he had formed an erroneous estimate of the number of those who would demand a passage, and that he found himself, when it was too late to alter his arrangements, unable to keep his word. After the soldiers had embarked, room was found for the families of many. But still there remained on the water side a great multitude clamouring piteously to be taken on board. As the last boats put off there was a rush into the surf. Some women caught hold of the ropes, were dragged out of their depth, clung till their fingers were cut through, and perished in the waves. The ships began to move. A wild and terrible wail rose from the shore, and excited unwonted compassion in hearts steeled by hatred of the Irish race and of the Romish faith. Even the stern Cromwellian, now at length, after a desperate struggle of three years, left the undisputed lord of the bloodstained and devastated island, could not hear unmoved that bitter cry, in which was poured forth all the rage and all the sorrow of a conquered nation. 139

The sails disappeared. The emaciated and brokenhearted crowd of those whom a stroke more cruel than that of death had made widows and orphans dispersed, to beg their way home through a wasted land, or to lie down and die by the roadside of grief and hunger. The exiles departed, to learn in foreign camps that discipline without which natural courage is of small avail, and to retrieve on distant fields of battle the honour which had been lost by a long series of defeats at home. In Ireland there was peace. The domination of the colonists was absolute. The native population was tranquil with the ghastly tranquillity of exhaustion and of despair. There were indeed outrages, robberies, fireraisings, assassinations. But more than a century passed away without one general insurrection. During that century, two rebellions were raised in Great Britain by the adherents of the House of Stuart. But neither when the elder Pretender was crowned at Scone, nor when the younger held his court at Holyrood, was the standard of that House set up in Connaught or Munster. In 1745, indeed, when the Highlanders were marching towards London, the Roman Catholics of Ireland were so quiet that the Lord Lieutenant could, without the smallest risk, send several regiments across Saint George's Channel to recruit the army of the Duke of Cumberland. Nor was this submission the effect of content, but of mere stupefaction and brokenness of heart. The iron had entered into the soul. The memory of past defeats, the habit of daily enduring insult and oppression, had cowed the spirit of the unhappy nation. There were indeed Irish Roman Catholics of great ability, energy and ambition; but they were to be found every where except in Ireland, at Versailles and at Saint Ildefonso, in the armies of Frederic and in the armies of Maria Theresa. One exile became a Marshal of France. Another became Prime Minister of Spain. If he had staid in his native land he would have been regarded as an inferior by all the ignorant and worthless squireens who drank the glorious and immortal memory. In his palace at Madrid he had the pleasure of being assiduously courted by the ambassador of George the Second, and of bidding defiance in high terms to the ambassador of George the Third. 140 Scattered over all Europe were to be found brave Irish generals, dexterous Irish diplomatists, Irish Counts, Irish Barons, Irish Knights of Saint Lewis and of Saint Leopold, of the White Eagle and of the Golden Fleece, who, if they had remained in the house of bondage, could not have been ensigns of marching regiments or freemen of petty corporations. These men, the natural chiefs of their race, having been withdrawn, what remained was utterly helpless and passive. A rising of the Irishry against the Englishry was no more to be apprehended than a rising of the women and children against the men. 141

There were indeed, in those days, fierce disputes between the mother country and the colony; but in those disputes the aboriginal population had no more interest than the Red Indians in the dispute between Old England and New England about the Stamp Act. The ruling few, even when in mutiny against the government, had no mercy for any thing that looked like mutiny on the part of the subject many. None of those Roman patriots, who poniarded Julius Caesar for aspiring to be a king, would have had the smallest scruple about crucifying a whole school of gladiators for attempting to escape from the most odious and degrading of all kinds of servitude. None of those Virginian patriots, who vindicated their separation from the British empire by proclaiming it to be a selfevident truth that all men were endowed by the Creator with an unalienable right to liberty, would have had the smallest scruple about shooting any negro slave who had laid claim to that unalienable right.

And, in the same manner, the Protestant masters of Ireland, while ostentatiously professing the political doctrines of Locke and Sidney, held that a people who spoke the Celtic tongue and heard mass could have no concern in those doctrines. Molyneux questioned the supremacy of the English legislature. Swift assailed, with the keenest ridicule and invective, every part of the system of government. Lucas disquieted the administration of Lord Harrington. Boyle overthrew the administration of the Duke of Dorset. But neither Molyneux nor Swift, neither Lucas nor Boyle, ever thought of appealing to the native population. They would as soon have thought of appealing to the swine. 142 At a later period Henry Flood excited the dominant class to demand a Parliamentary reform, and to use even revolutionary means for the purpose of obtaining that reform. But neither he, nor those who looked up to him as their chief, and who went close to the verge of treason at his bidding, would consent to admit the subject class to the smallest share of political power. The virtuous and accomplished Charlemont, a Whig of the Whigs, passed a long life in contending for what he called the freedom of his country. But he voted against the law which gave the elective franchise to Roman Catholic freeholders; and he died fixed in the opinion that the Parliament House ought to be kept pure from Roman Catholic members. Indeed, during the century which followed the Revolution, the inclination of an English Protestant to trample on the Irishry was generally proportioned to the zeal which he professed for political liberty in the abstract. If he uttered any expression of compassion for the majority oppressed by the minority, he might be safely set down as a bigoted Tory and High Churchman. 143

All this time hatred, kept down by fear, festered in the hearts of the children of the soil. They were still the same people that had sprung to arms in 1641 at the call of O'Neill, and in 1689 at the call of Tyrconnel. To them every festival instituted by the State was a day of mourning, and every public trophy set up by the State was a memorial of shame. We have never known, and can but faintly conceive, the feelings of a nation doomed to see constantly in all its public places the monuments of its subjugation. Such monuments every where met the eye of the Irish Roman Catholics. In front of the Senate House of their country, they saw the statue of their conqueror. If they entered, they saw the walls tapestried with the defeats of their fathers. At length, after a hundred years of servitude, endured without one vigorous or combined struggle for emancipation, the French revolution awakened a wild hope in the bosoms of the oppressed. Men who had inherited all the pretensions and all the passions of the Parliament which James had held at the Kings Inns could not hear unmoved of the downfall of a wealthy established Church, of the flight of a splendid aristocracy, of the confiscation of an immense territory. Old antipathies, which had never slumbered, were excited to new and terrible energy by the combination of stimulants which, in any other society, would have counteracted each other. The spirit of Popery and the spirit of Jacobinism, irreconcilable antagonists every where else, were for once mingled in an unnatural and portentous union. Their joint influence produced the third and last rising up of the aboriginal population against the colony. The greatgrandsons of the soldiers of Galmoy and Sarsfield were opposed to the greatgrandsons of the soldiers of Wolseley and Mitchelburn. The Celt again looked impatiently for the sails which were to bring succour from Brest; and the Saxon was again backed by the whole power of England. Again the victory remained with the well educated and well organized minority. But, happily, the vanquished people found protection in a quarter from which they would once have had to expect nothing but implacable severity. By this time the philosophy of the eighteenth century had purifed English Whiggism from that deep taint of intolerance which had been contracted during a long and close alliance with the Puritanism of the seventeenth century. Enlightened men had begun to feel that the arguments by which Milton and Locke, Tillotson and Burnet, had vindicated the rights of conscience might be urged with not less force in favour of the Roman Catholic than in favour of the Independent or the Baptist. The great party which traces its descent through the Exclusionists up to the Roundheads continued during thirty years, in spite of royal frowns and popular clamours, to demand a share in all the benefits of our free constitution for those Irish Papists whom the Roundheads and the Exclusionists had considered merely as beasts of chase or as beasts of burden. But it will be for some other historian to relate the vicissitudes of that great conflict, and the late triumph of reason and humanity. Unhappily such a historian will have to relate that the triumph won by such exertions and by such sacrifices was immediately followed by disappointment; that it proved far less easy to eradicate evil passions than to repeal evil laws; and that, long after every trace of national and religious animosity had been obliterated from the Statute Book, national and religious animosities continued to rankle in the bosoms of millions. May he be able also to relate that wisdom, justice and time gradually did in Ireland what they had done in Scotland, and that all the races which inhabit the British isles were at length indissolubly blended into one people!


 Opening of the Parliament—Debates on the Salaries and Fees of Official
 Men—Act excluding Papists from Public Trust in Ireland—Debates on the
 East India Trade—Debates on the Bill for regulating Trials in Cases
 of High Treason—Plot formed by Marlborough against the Government of
 William—Marlborough's Plot disclosed by the Jacobites—Disgrace
 of Marlborough; Various Reports touching the Cause of Marlborough's
 Disgrace.—Rupture between Mary and Anne—Fuller's Plot—Close of
 the Session; Bill for ascertaining the Salaries of the Judges
 rejected—Misterial Changes in England—Ministerial Changes in
 Scotland—State of the Highlands—Breadalbane employed to negotiate
 with the Rebel Clans—Glencoe—William goes to the Continent; Death of
 Louvois—The French Government determines to send an Expedition
 against England—James believes that the English Fleet is friendly to
 him—Conduct of Russell—A Daughter born to James—Preparations made
 in England to repel Invasion—James goes down to his Army at La
 Hogue—James's Declaration—Effect produced by James's Declaration—The
 English and Dutch Fleets join; Temper of the English Fleet—Battle of La
 Hogue—Rejoicings in England—Young's Plot

ON the nineteenth of October 1691, William arrived at Kensington from the Netherlands. 144 Three days later he opened the Parliament. The aspect of affairs was, on the whole, cheering. By land there had been gains and losses; but the balance was in favour of England. Against the fall of Mons might well be set off the taking of Athlone, the victory of Aghrim, the surrender of Limerick and the pacification of Ireland. At sea there had been no great victory; but there had been a great display of power and of activity; and, though many were dissatisfied because more had not been done, none could deny that there had been a change for the better. The ruin caused by the foibles and vices of Torrington had been repaired; the fleet had been well equipped; the rations had been abundant and wholesome; and the health of the crews had consequently been, for that age, wonderfully good. Russell, who commanded the naval forces of the allies, had in vain offered battle to the French. The white flag, which, in the preceding year, had ranged the Channel unresisted from the Land's End to the Straits of Dover, now, as soon as our topmasts were descried twenty leagues off, abandoned the open sea, and retired into the depths of the harbour of Brest. The appearance of an English squadron in the estuary of the Shannon had decided the fate of the last fortress which had held out for King James; and a fleet of merchantmen from the Levant, valued at four millions sterling, had, through dangers which had caused many sleepless nights to the underwriters of Lombard Street, been convoyed safe into the Thames. 145 The Lords and Commons listened with signs of satisfaction to a speech in which the King congratulated them on the event of the war in Ireland, and expressed his confidence that they would continue to support him in the war with France. He told them that a great naval armament would be necessary, and that, in his opinion, the conflict by land could not be effectually maintained with less than sixty-five thousand men. 146

He was thanked in affectionate terms; the force which he asked was voted; and large supplies were granted with little difficulty. But when the Ways and Means were taken into consideration, symptoms of discontent began to appear. Eighteen months before, when the Commons had been employed in settling the Civil List, many members had shown a very natural disposition to complain of the amount of the salaries and fees received by official men. Keen speeches had been made, and, what was much less usual, had been printed; there had been much excitement out of doors; but nothing had been done. The subject was now revived. A report made by the Commissioners who had been appointed in the preceding year to examine the public accounts disclosed some facts which excited indignation, and others which raised grave suspicion. The House seemed fully determined to make an extensive reform; and, in truth, nothing could have averted such a reform except the folly and violence of the reformers. That they should have been angry is indeed not strange. The enormous gains, direct and indirect, of the servants of the public went on increasing, while the gains of every body else were diminishing. Rents were falling; trade was languishing; every man who lived either on what his ancestors had left him or on the fruits of his own industry was forced to retrench. The placeman alone throve amidst the general distress. "Look," cried the incensed squires, "at the Comptroller of the Customs. Ten years ago, he walked, and we rode. Our incomes have been curtailed; his salary has been doubled; we have sold our horses; he has bought them; and now we go on foot, and are splashed by his coach and six." Lowther vainly endeavoured to stand up against the storm. He was heard with little favour by the country gentlemen who had not long before looked up to him as one of their leaders. He had left them; he had become a courtier; he had two good places, one in the Treasury, the other in the household. He had recently received from the King's own hand a gratuity of two thousand guineas. 147 It seemed perfectly natural that he should defend abuses by which he profited. The taunts and reproaches with which he was assailed were insupportable to his sensitive nature. He lost his head, almost fainted away on the floor of the House, and talked about righting himself in another place. 148 Unfortunately no member rose at this conjuncture to propose that the civil establishment of the kingdom should be carefully revised, that sinecures should be abolished, that exorbitant official incomes should be reduced, and that no servant of the State should be allowed to exact, under any pretence, any thing beyond his known and lawful remuneration. In this way it would have been possible to diminish the public burdens, and at the same time to increase the efficiency of every public department. But unfortunately those who were loudest in clamouring against the prevailing abuses were utterly destitute of the qualities necessary for the work of reform. On the twelfth of December, some foolish man, whose name has not come down to us, moved that no person employed in any civil office, the Speaker, Judges and Ambassadors excepted, should receive more than five hundred pounds a year; and this motion was not only carried, but carried without one dissentient voice. 149

Those who were most interested in opposing it doubtless saw that opposition would, at that moment, only irritate the majority, and reserved themselves for a more favourable time. The more favourable time soon came. No man of common sense could, when his blood had cooled, remember without shame that he had voted for a resolution which made no distinction between sinecurists and laborious public servants, between clerks employed in copying letters and ministers on whose wisdom and integrity the fate of the nation might depend. The salary of the Doorkeeper of the Excise Office had been, by a scandalous job, raised to five hundred a year. It ought to have been reduced to fifty. On the other hand, the services of a Secretary of State who was well qualified for his post would have been cheap at five thousand. If the resolution of the Commons bad been carried into effect, both the salary which ought not to have exceeded fifty pounds, and the salary which might without impropriety have amounted to five thousand, would have been fixed at five hundred. Such absurdity must have shocked even the roughest and plainest foxhunter in the House. A reaction took place; and when, after an interval of a few weeks, it was proposed to insert in a bill of supply a clause in conformity with the resolution of the twelfth of December, the Noes were loud; the Speaker was of opinion that they had it; the Ayes did not venture to dispute his opinion; the senseless plan which had been approved without a division was rejected without a division; and the subject was not again mentioned. Thus a grievance so scandalous that none of those who profited by it dared to defend it was perpetuated merely by the imbecility and intemperance of those who attacked it. 150

Early in the Session the Treaty of Limerick became the subject of a grave and earnest discussion. The Commons, in the exercise of that supreme power which the English legislature possessed over all the dependencies of England, sent up to the Lords a bill providing that no person should sit in the Irish Parliament, should hold any Irish office, civil, military or ecclesiastical, or should practise law or medicine in Ireland, till he had taken the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and subscribed the Declaration against Transubstantiation. The Lords were not more inclined than the Commons to favour the Irish. No peer was disposed to entrust Roman Catholics with political power. Nay, it seems that no peer objected to the principle of the absurd and cruel rule which excluded Roman Catholics from the liberal professions. But it was thought that this rule, though unobjectionable in principle, would, if adopted without some exceptions, be a breach of a positive compact. Their Lordships called for the Treaty of Limerick, ordered it to be read at the table, and proceeded to consider whether the law framed by the Lower House was consistent with the engagements into which the government had entered. One discrepancy was noticed. It was stipulated by the second civil article, that every person actually residing in any fortress occupied by an Irish garrison, should be permitted, on taking the Oath of Allegiance, to resume any calling which he had exercised before the Revolution. It would, beyond all doubt, have been a violation of this covenant to require that a lawyer or a physician, who had been within the walls of Limerick during the siege, should take the Oath of Supremacy and subscribe the Declaration against Transubstantiation, before he could receive fees. Holt was consulted, and was directed to prepare clauses in conformity with the terms of the capitulation.

The bill, as amended by Holt, was sent back to the Commons. They at first rejected the amendment, and demanded a conference. The conference was granted. Rochester, in the Painted Chamber, delivered to the managers of the Lower House a copy of the Treaty of Limerick, and earnestly represented the importance of preserving the public faith inviolate. This appeal was one which no honest man, though inflamed by national and religious animosity, could resist. The Commons reconsidered the subject, and, after hearing the Treaty read, agreed, with some slight modifications, to what the Lords had proposed. 151

The bill became a law. It attracted, at the time, little notice, but was, after the lapse of several generations, the subject of a very acrimonious controversy. Many of us can well remember how strongly the public mind was stirred, in the days of George the Third and George the Fourth, by the question whether Roman Catholics should be permitted to sit in Parliament. It may be doubted whether any dispute has produced stranger perversions of history. The whole past was falsified for the sake of the present. All the great events of three centuries long appeared to us distorted and discoloured by a mist sprung from our own theories and our own passions. Some friends of religious liberty, not content with the advantage which they possessed in the fair conflict of reason with reason, weakened their case by maintaining that the law which excluded Irish Roman Catholics from Parliament was inconsistent with the civil Treaty of Limerick. The First article of that Treaty, it was said, guaranteed to the Irish Roman Catholic such privileges in the exercise of his religion as he had enjoyed in the time of Charles the Second. In the time of Charles the Second no test excluded Roman Catholics from the Irish Parliament. Such a test could not therefore, it was argued, be imposed without a breach of public faith. In the year 1828, especially, this argument was put forward in the House of Commons as if it had been the main strength of a cause which stood in need of no such support. The champions of Protestant ascendency were well pleased to see the debate diverted from a political question about which they were in the wrong, to a historical question about which they were in the right. They had no difficulty in proving that the first article, as understood by all the contracting parties, meant only that the Roman Catholic worship should be tolerated as in time past. That article was drawn up by Ginkell; and, just before he drew it up, he had declared that he would rather try the chance of arms than consent that Irish Papists should be capable of holding civil and military offices, of exercising liberal professions, and of becoming members of municipal corporations. How is it possible to believe that he would, of his own accord, have promised that the House of Lords and the House of Commons should be open to men to whom he would not open a guild of skinners or a guild of cordwainers? How, again, is it possible to believe that the English Peers would, while professing the most punctilious respect for public faith, while lecturing the Commons on the duty of observing public faith, while taking counsel with the most learned and upright jurist of the age as to the best mode of maintaining public faith, have committed a flagrant violation of public faith and that not a single lord should have been so honest or so factious as to protest against an act of monstrous perfidy aggravated by hypocrisy? Or, if we could believe this, how can we believe that no voice would have been raised in any part of the world against such wickedness; that the Court of Saint Germains and the Court of Versailles would have remained profoundly silent; that no Irish exile, no English malecontent, would have uttered a murmur; that not a word of invective or sarcasm on so inviting a subject would have been found in the whole compass of the Jacobite literature; and that it would have been reserved for politicians of the nineteenth century to discover that a treaty made in the seventeenth century had, a few weeks after it had been signed, been outrageously violated in the sight of all Europe? 152

On the same day on which the Commons read for the first time the bill which subjected Ireland to the absolute dominion of the Protestant minority, they took into consideration another matter of high importance. Throughout the country, but especially in the capital, in the seaports and in the manufacturing towns, the minds of men were greatly excited on the subject of the trade with the East Indies; a fierce paper war had during some time been raging; and several grave questions, both constitutional and commercial, had been raised, which the legislature only could decide.

It has often been repeated, and ought never to be forgotten, that our polity differs widely from those politics which have, during the last eighty years, been methodically constructed, digested into articles, and ratified by constituent assemblies. It grew up in a rude age. It is not to be found entire in any formal instrument. All along the line which separates the functions of the prince from those of the legislator there was long a disputed territory. Encroachments were perpetually committed, and, if not very outrageous, were often tolerated. Trespass, merely as trespass, was commonly suffered to pass unresented. It was only when the trespass produced some positive damage that the aggrieved party stood on his right, and demanded that the frontier should be set out by metes and bounds, and that the landmarks should thenceforward be punctiliously respected.

Many of those points which had occasioned the most violent disputes between our Sovereigns and their Parliaments had been finally decided by the Bill of Rights. But one question, scarcely less important than any of the questions which had been set at rest for ever, was still undetermined. Indeed, that question was never, as far as can now be ascertained, even mentioned in the Convention. The King had undoubtedly, by the ancient laws of the realm, large powers for the regulation of trade; but the ablest judge would have found it difficult to say what was the precise extent of those powers. It was universally acknowledged that it belonged to the King to prescribe weights and measures, and to coin money; that no fair or market could be held without authority from him; that no ship could unload in any bay or estuary which he had not declared to be a port. In addition to his undoubted right to grant special commercial privileges to particular places, he long claimed a right to grant special commercial privileges to particular societies and to particular individuals; and our ancestors, as usual, did not think it worth their while to dispute this claim, till it produced serious inconvenience. At length, in the reign of Elizabeth, the power of creating monopolies began to be grossly abused; and, as soon as it began to be grossly abused, it began to be questioned. The Queen wisely declined a conflict with a House of Commons backed by the whole nation. She frankly acknowledged that there was reason for complaint; she cancelled the patents which had excited the public clamours; and her people, delighted by this concession, and by the gracious manner in which it had been made, did not require from her an express renunciation of the disputed prerogative.

The discontents which her wisdom had appeased were revived by the dishonest and pusillanimous policy which her successor called Kingcraft. He readily granted oppressive patents of monopoly. When he needed the help of his Parliament, he as readily annulled them. As soon as the Parliament had ceased to sit, his Great Seal was put to instruments more odious than those which he had recently cancelled. At length that excellent House of Commons which met in 1623 determined to apply a strong remedy to the evil. The King was forced to give his assent to a law which declared monopolies established by royal authority to be null and void. Some exceptions, however, were made, and, unfortunately, were not very clearly defined. It was especially provided that every Society of Merchants which had been instituted for the purpose of carrying on any trade should retain all its legal privileges. 153 The question whether a monopoly granted by the Crown to such a company were or were not a legal privilege was left unsettled, and continued to exercise, during many years, the ingenuity of lawyers. 154 The nation, however, relieved at once from a multitude of impositions and vexations which were painfully felt every day at every fireside, was in no humour to dispute the validity of the charters under which a few companies to London traded with distant parts of the world.

Of these companies by far the most important was that which had been, on the last day of the sixteenth century, incorporated by Queen Elizabeth under the name of the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading to the East Indies. When this celebrated body began to exist, the Mogul monarchy was at the zenith of power and glory. Akbar, the ablest and best of the princes of the House of Tamerlane, had just been borne, full of years and honours, to a mausoleum surpassing in magnificence any that Europe could show. He had bequeathed to his posterity an empire containing more than twenty times the population and yielding more than twenty times the revenue of the England which, under our great Queen, held a foremost place among European powers. It is curious and interesting to consider how little the two countries, destined to be one day so closely connected, were then known to each other. The most enlightened Englishmen looked on India with ignorant admiration. The most enlightened natives of India were scarcely aware that England existed. Our ancestors had a dim notion of endless bazaars, swarming with buyers and sellers, and blazing with cloth of gold, with variegated silks and with precious stones; of treasuries where diamonds were piled in heaps and sequins in mountains; of palaces, compared with which Whitehall and Hampton Court were hovels; of armies ten times as numerous as that which they had seen assembled at Tilbury to repel the Armada. On the other hand, it was probably not known to one of the statesmen in the Durbar of Agra that there was near the setting sun a great city of infidels, called London, where a woman reigned, and that she had given to an association of Frank merchants the exclusive privilege of freighting ships from her dominions to the Indian seas. That this association would one day rule all India, from the ocean to the everlasting snow, would reduce to profound obedience great provinces which had never submitted to Akbar's authority, would send Lieutenant Governors to preside in his capital, and would dole out a monthly pension to his heir, would have seemed to the wisest of European or of Oriental politicians as impossible as that inhabitants of our globe should found an empire in Venus or Jupiter.

Three generations passed away; and still nothing indicated that the East India Company would ever become a great Asiatic potentate. The Mogul empire, though undermined by internal causes of decay, and tottering to its fall, still presented to distant nations the appearance of undiminished prosperity and vigour. Aurengzebe, who, in the same month in which Oliver Cromwell died, assumed the magnificent title of Conqueror of the World, continued to reign till Anne had been long on the English throne. He was the sovereign of a larger territory than had obeyed any of his predecessors. His name was great in the farthest regions of the West. Here he had been made by Dryden the hero of a tragedy which would alone suffice to show how little the English of that age knew about the vast empire which their grandchildren were to conquer and to govern. The poet's Mussulman princes make love in the style of Amadis, preach about the death of Socrates, and embellish their discourse with allusions to the mythological stories of Ovid. The Brahminical metempyschosis is represented as an article of the Mussulman creed; and the Mussulman Sultanas burn themselves with their husbands after the Brahminical fashion. This drama, once rapturously applauded by crowded theatres, and known by heart to fine gentlemen and fine ladies, is now forgotten. But one noble passage still lives, and is repeated by thousands who know not whence it comes. 155

Though nothing yet indicated the high political destiny of the East India Company, that body had a great sway in the City of London. The offices, which stood on a very small part of the ground which the present offices cover, had escaped the ravages of the fire. The India House of those days was a building of timber and plaster, rich with the quaint carving and lattice-work of the Elizabethan age. Above the windows was a painting which represented a fleet of merchantmen tossing on the waves. The whole edifice was surmounted by a colossal wooden seaman, who, from between two dolphins, looked down on the crowds of Leadenhall Street. 156 In this abode, narrow and humble indeed when compared with the vast labyrinth of passages and chambers which now bears the same name, the Company enjoyed, during the greater part of the reign of Charles the Second, a prosperity to which the history of trade scarcely furnishes any parallel, and which excited the wonder, the cupidity and the envious animosity of the whole capital. Wealth and luxury were then rapidly increasing. The taste for the spices, the tissues and the jewels of the East became stronger day by day. Tea, which, at the time when Monk brought the army of Scotland to London, had been handed round to be stared at and just touched with the lips, as a great rarity from China, was, eight years later, a regular article of import, and was soon consumed in such quantities that financiers began to consider it as a fit subject for taxation. The progress which was making in the art of war had created an unprecedented demand for the ingredients of which gunpowder is compounded. It was calculated that all Europe would hardly produce in a year saltpetre enough for the siege of one town fortified on the principles of Vauban. 157 But for the supplies from India, it was said, the English government would be unable to equip a fleet without digging up the cellars of London in order to collect the nitrous particles from the walls. 158 Before the Restoration scarcely one ship from the Thames had ever visited the Delta of the Ganges. But, during the twenty-three years which followed the Restoration, the value of the annual imports from that rich and populous district increased from eight thousand pounds to three hundred thousand.

The gains of the body which had the exclusive possession of this fast growing trade were almost incredible. The capital which had been actually paid up did not exceed three hundred and seventy thousand pounds; but the Company could, without difficulty, borrow money at six per cent., and the borrowed money, thrown into the trade, produced, it was rumoured, thirty per cent. The profits were such that, in 1676, every proprietor received as a bonus a quantity of stock equal to that which he held. On the capital, thus doubled, were paid, during five years, dividends amounting on an average to twenty per cent. annually. There had been a time when a hundred pounds of the stock could be purchased for sixty. Even in 1664 the price in the market was only seventy. But in 1677 the price had risen to two hundred and forty-five; in 1681 it was three hundred; it subsequently rose to three hundred and sixty; and it is said that some sales were effected at five hundred. 159

The enormous gains of the Indian trade might perhaps have excited little murmuring if they had been distributed among numerous proprietors. But while the value of the stock went on increasing, the number of stockholders went on diminishing. At the time when the prosperity of the Company reached the highest point, the management was entirely in the hands of a few merchants of enormous wealth. A proprietor then had a vote for every five hundred pounds of stock that stood in his name. It is asserted in the pamphlets of that age that five persons had a sixth part, and fourteen persons a third part of the votes. 160 More than one fortunate speculator was said to derive an annual income of ten thousand pounds from the monopoly; and one great man was pointed out on the Royal Exchange as having, by judicious or lucky purchases of stock, created in no long time an estate of twenty thousand a year. This commercial grandee, who in wealth and in the influence which attends wealth vied with the greatest nobles of his time, was Sir Josiah Child. There were those who still remembered him an apprentice, sweeping one of the counting houses of the City. But from a humble position his abilities had raised him rapidly to opulence, power and fame. At the time of the Restoration he was highly considered in the mercantile world. Soon after that event he published his thoughts on the philosophy of trade. His speculations were not always sound; but they were the speculations of an ingenious and reflecting man. Into whatever errors he may occasionally have fallen as a theorist, it is certain that, as a practical man of business, he had few equals. Almost as soon as he became a member of the committee which directed the affairs of the Company, his ascendency was felt. Soon many of the most important posts, both in Leadenhall Street and in the factories of Bombay and Bengal, were filled by his kinsmen and creatures. His riches, though expended with ostentatious profusion, continued to increase and multiply. He obtained a baronetcy; he purchased a stately seat at Wanstead; and there he laid out immense sums in excavating fishponds, and in planting whole square miles of barren land with walnut trees. He married his daughter to the eldest son of the Duke of Beaufort, and paid down with her a portion of fifty thousand pounds. 161

But this wonderful prosperity was not uninterrupted. Towards the close of the reign of Charles the Second the Company began to be fiercely attacked from without, and to be at the same time distracted by internal dissensions. The profits of the Indian trade were so tempting, that private adventurers had often, in defiance of the royal charter, fitted out ships for the Eastern seas. But the competition of these interlopers did not become really formidable till the year 1680. The nation was then violently agitated by the dispute about the Exclusion Bill. Timid men were anticipating another civil war. The two great parties, newly named Whigs and Tories, were fiercely contending in every county and town of England; and the feud soon spread to every corner of the civilised world where Englishmen were to be found.

The Company was popularly considered as a Whig body. Among the members of the directing committee were some of the most vehement Exclusionists in the City. Indeed two of them, Sir Samuel Barnardistone and Thomas Papillon, drew on themselves a severe persecution by their zeal against Popery and arbitrary power. 162 Child had been originally brought into the direction by these men; he had long acted in concert with them; and he was supposed to hold their political opinions. He had, during many years, stood high in the esteem of the chiefs of the parliamentary opposition, and had been especially obnoxious to the Duke of York. 163 The interlopers therefore determined to affect the character of loyal men, who were determined to stand by the throne against the insolent tribunes of the City. They spread, at all the factories in the East, reports that England was in confusion, that the sword had been drawn or would immediately be drawn, and that the Company was forward in the rebellion against the Crown. These rumours, which, in truth, were not improbable, easily found credit among people separated from London by what was then a voyage of twelve months. Some servants of the Company who were in ill humour with their employers, and others who were zealous royalists, joined the private traders. At Bombay, the garrison and the great body of the English inhabitants declared that they would no longer obey any body who did not obey the King; they imprisoned the Deputy Governor; and they proclaimed that they held the island for the Crown. At Saint Helena there was a rising. The insurgents took the name of King's men, and displayed the royal standard. They were, not without difficulty, put down; and some of them were executed by martial law. 164

If the Company had still been a Whig Company when the news of these commotions reached England, it is probable that the government would have approved of the conduct of the mutineers, and that the charter on which the monopoly depended would have had the fate which about the same time befell so many other charters. But while the interlopers were, at a distance of many thousands of miles, making war on the Company in the name of the King, the Company and the King had been reconciled. When the Oxford Parliament had been dissolved, when many signs indicated that a strong reaction in favour of prerogative was at hand, when all the corporations which had incurred the royal displeasure were beginning to tremble for their franchises, a rapid and complete revolution took place at the India House. Child, who was then Governor, or, in the modern phrase, Chairman, separated himself from his old friends, excluded them from the direction, and negotiated a treaty of peace and of close alliance with the Court. 165 It is not improbable that the near connection into which he had just entered with the great Tory house of Beaufort may have had something to do with this change in his politics. Papillon, Barnardistone, and their adherents, sold their stock; their places in the committee were supplied by persons devoted to Child; and he was thenceforth the autocrat of the Company. The treasures of the Company were absolutely at his disposal. The most important papers of the Company were kept, not in the muniment room of the office in Leadenhall Street, but in his desk at Wanstead. The boundless power which he exercised at the India House enabled him to become a favourite at Whitehall; and the favour which he enjoyed at Whitehall confirmed his power at the India House. A present of ten thousand guineas was graciously received from him by Charles. Ten thousand more were accepted by James, who readily consented to become a holder of stock. All who could help or hurt at Court, ministers, mistresses, priests, were kept in good humour by presents of shawls and silks, birds' nests and atar of roses, bulses of diamonds and bags of guineas. 166 Of what the Dictator expended no account was asked by his colleagues; and in truth he seems to have deserved the confidence which they reposed in him. His bribes, distributed with judicious prodigality, speedily produced a large return. Just when the Court became all powerful in the State, he became all powerful at the Court. Jeffreys pronounced a decision in favour of the monopoly, and of the strongest acts which had been done in defence of the monopoly. James ordered his seal to be put to a new charter which confirmed and extended all the privileges bestowed on the Company by his predecessors. All captains of Indiamen received commissions from the Crown, and were permitted to hoist the royal ensigns. 167 John Child, brother of Sir Josiah, and Governor of Bombay, was created a baronet by the style of Sir John Child of Surat: he was declared General of all the English forces in the East; and he was authorised to assume the title of Excellency. The Company, on the other hand, distinguished itself among many servile corporations by obsequious homage to the throne, and set to all the merchants of the kingdom the example of readily and even eagerly paying those customs which James, at the commencement of his reign, exacted without the authority of Parliament. 168

It seemed that the private trade would now be utterly crushed, and that the monopoly, protected by the whole strength of the royal prerogative, would be more profitable than ever. But unfortunately just at this moment a quarrel arose between the agents of the Company in India and the Mogul Government. Where the fault lay is a question which was vehemently disputed at the time, and which it is now impossible to decide. The interlopers threw all the blame on the Company. The Governor of Bombay, they affirmed, had always been grasping and violent; but his baronetcy and his military commission had completely turned his head. The very natives who were employed about the factory had noticed the change, and had muttered, in their broken English, that there must be some strange curse attending the word Excellency; for that, ever since the chief of the strangers was called Excellency, every thing had gone to ruin. Meanwhile, it was said, the brother in England had sanctioned all the unjust and impolitic acts of the brother in India, till at length insolence and rapine, disgraceful to the English nation and to the Christian religion, had roused the just resentment of the native authorities. The Company warmly recriminated. The story told at the India House was that the quarrel was entirely the work of the interlopers, who were now designated not only as interlopers but as traitors. They had, it was alleged, by flattery, by presents, and by false accusations, induced the viceroys of the Mogul to oppress and persecute the body which in Asia represented the English Crown. And indeed this charge seems not to have been altogether without foundation. It is certain that one of the most pertinacious enemies of the Childs went up to the Court of Aurengzebe, took his station at the palace gate, stopped the Great King who was in the act of mounting on horseback, and, lifting a petition high in the air, demanded justice in the name of the common God of Christians and Mussulmans. 169 Whether Aurengzebe paid much attention to the charges brought by infidel Franks against each other may be doubted. But it is certain that a complete rupture took place between his deputies and the servants of the Company. On the sea the ships of his subjects were seized by the English. On land the English settlements were taken and plundered. The trade was suspended; and, though great annual dividends were still paid in London, they were no longer paid out of annual profits.

Just at this conjuncture, while every Indiaman that arrived in the Thames was bringing unwelcome news from the East, all the politics of Sir Josiah were utterly confounded by the Revolution. He had flattered himself that he had secured the body of which he was the chief against the machinations of interlopers, by uniting it closely with the strongest government that had existed within his memory. That government had fallen; and whatever had leaned on the ruined fabric began to totter. The bribes had been thrown away. The connections which had been the strength and boast of the corporation were now its weakness and its shame. The King who had been one of its members was an exile. The judge by whom all its most exorbitant pretensions had been pronounced legitimate was a prisoner. All the old enemies of the Company, reinforced by those great Whig merchants whom Child had expelled from the direction, demanded justice and vengeance from the Whig House of Commons, which had just placed William and Mary on the throne. No voice was louder in accusation than that of Papillon, who had, some years before, been more zealous for the charter than any man in London. 170 The Commons censured in severe terms the persons who had inflicted death by martial law at Saint Helena, and even resolved that some of those offenders should be excluded from the Act of Indemnity. 171 The great question, how the trade with the East should for the future be carried on, was referred to a Committee. The report was to have been made on the twenty-seventh of January 1690; but on that very day the Parliament ceased to exist.

The first two sessions of the succeeding Parliament were so short and so busy that little was said about India in either House. But, out of Parliament, all the arts both of controversy and of intrigue were employed on both sides. Almost as many pamphlets were published about the India trade as about the oaths. The despot of Leadenhall Street was libelled in prose and verse. Wretched puns were made on his name. He was compared to Cromwell, to the King of France, to Goliath of Gath, to the Devil. It was vehemently declared to be necessary that, in any Act which might be passed for the regulation of our traffic with the Eastern seas, Sir Josiah should be by name excluded from all trust. 172

There were, however, great differences of opinion among those who agreed in hating Child and the body of which he was the head. The manufacturers of Spitalfields, of Norwich, of Yorkshire, and of the Western counties, considered the trade with the Eastern seas as rather injurious than beneficial to the kingdom. The importation of Indian spices, indeed, was admitted to be harmless, and the importation of Indian saltpetre to be necessary. But the importation of silks and of Bengals, as shawls were then called, was pronounced to be a curse to the country. The effect of the growing taste for such frippery was that our gold and silver went abroad, and that much excellent English drapery lay in our warehouses till it was devoured by the moths. Those, it was said, were happy days for the inhabitants both of our pasture lands and of our manufacturing towns, when every gown, every hanging, every bed, was made of materials which our own flocks had furnished to our own looms. Where were now the brave old hangings of arras which had adorned the walls of lordly mansions in the days of Elizabeth? And was it not a shame to see a gentleman, whose ancestors had worn nothing but stuffs made by English workmen out of English fleeces, flaunting in a calico shirt and a pair of silk stockings? Clamours such as these had, a few years before, extorted from Parliament the Act which required that the dead should be wrapped in woollen; and some sanguine clothiers hoped that the legislature would, by excluding all Indian textures from our ports, impose the same necessity on the living. 173

But this feeling was confined to a minority. The public was, indeed, inclined rather to overrate than to underrate the benefits which might be derived by England from the Indian trade. What was the most effectual mode of extending that trade was a question which excited general interest, and which was answered in very different ways.

A small party, consisting chiefly of merchants resident at Bristol and other provincial seaports, maintained that the best way to extend trade was to leave it free. They urged the well known arguments which prove that monopoly is injurious to commerce; and, having fully established the general law, they asked why the commerce between England and India was to be considered as an exception to that law. Any trader ought, they said, to be permitted to send from any port a cargo to Surat or Canton as freely as he now sent a cargo to Hamburg or Lisbon. 174 In our time these doctrines may probably be considered, not only as sound, but as trite and obvious. In the seventeenth century, however, they were thought paradoxical. It was then generally held to be a certain, and indeed an almost selfevident truth, that our trade with the countries lying beyond the Cape of Good Hope could be advantageously carried on only by means of a great Joint Stock Company. There was no analogy, it was said, between our European trade and our Indian trade. Our government had diplomatic relations with the European States. If necessary, a maritime force could easily be sent from hence to the mouth of the Elbe or of the Tagus. But the English Kings had no envoy at the Court of Agra or Pekin. There was seldom a single English man of war within ten thousand miles of the Bay of Bengal or of the Gulf of Siam. As our merchants could not, in those remote seas, be protected by their Sovereign, they must protect themselves, and must, for that end, exercise some of the rights of sovereignty. They must have forts, garrisons and armed ships. They must have power to send and receive embassies, to make a treaty of alliance with one Asiatic prince, to wage war on another. It was evidently impossible that every merchant should have this power independently of the rest. The merchants trading to India must therefore be joined together in a corporation which could act as one man. In support of these arguments the example of the Dutch was cited, and was generally considered as decisive. For in that age the immense prosperity of Holland was every where regarded with admiration, not the less earnest because it was largely mingled with envy and hatred. In all that related to trade, her statesmen were considered as oracles, and her institutions as models.

The great majority, therefore, of those who assailed the Company assailed it, not because it traded on joint funds and possessed exclusive privileges, but because it was ruled by one man, and because his rule had been mischievous to the public, and beneficial only to himself and his creatures. The obvious remedy, it was said, for the evils which his maladministration had produced was to transfer the monopoly to a new corporation so constituted as to be in no danger of falling under the dominion either of a despot or of a narrow oligarchy. Many persons who were desirous to be members of such a corporation, formed themselves into a society, signed an engagement, and entrusted the care of their interests to a committee which contained some of the chief traders of the City. This society, though it had, in the eye of the law, no personality, was early designated, in popular speech, as the New Company; and the hostilities between the New Company and the Old Company soon caused almost as much excitement and anxiety, at least in that busy hive of which the Royal Exchange was the centre, as the hostilities between the Allies and the French King. The headquarters of the younger association were in Dowgate; the Skinners lent their stately hall; and the meetings were held in a parlour renowned for the fragrance which exhaled from a magnificent wainscot of cedar. 175

While the contention was hottest, important news arrived from India, and was announced in the London Gazette as in the highest degree satisfactory. Peace had been concluded between the great Mogul and the English. That mighty potentate had not only withdrawn his troops from the factories, but had bestowed on the Company privileges such as it had never before enjoyed. Soon, however, appeared a very different version of the story. The enemies of Child had, before this time, accused him of systematically publishing false intelligence. He had now, they said, outlied himself. They had obtained a true copy of the Firman which had put an end to the war; and they printed a translation of it. It appeared that Aurengzebe had contemptuously granted to the English, in consideration of their penitence and of a large tribute, his forgiveness for their past delinquency, had charged them to behave themselves better for the future, and had, in the tone of a master, laid on them his commands to remove the principal offender, Sir John Child, from power and trust. The death of Sir John occurred so seasonably that these commands could not be obeyed. But it was only too evident that the pacification which the rulers of the India House had represented as advantageous and honourable had really been effected on terms disgraceful to the English name. 176

During the summer of 1691, the controversy which raged on this subject between the Leadenhall Street Company and the Dowgate Company kept the City in constant agitation. In the autumn, the Parliament had no sooner met than both the contending parties presented petitions to the House of Commons. 177 The petitions were immediately taken into serious consideration, and resolutions of grave importance were passed. The first resolution was that the trade with the East Indies was beneficial to the kingdom; the second was that the trade with the East Indies would be best carried on by a joint stock company possessed of exclusive privileges. 178 It was plain, therefore, that neither those manufacturers who wished to prohibit the trade, nor those merchants at the outports who wished to throw it open, had the smallest chance of attaining their objects. The only question left was the question between the Old and the New Company. Seventeen years elapsed before that question ceased to disturb both political and commercial circles. It was fatal to the honour and power of one great minister, and to the peace and prosperity of many private families. The tracts which the rival bodies put forth against each other were innumerable. If the drama of that age may be trusted, the feud between the India House and Skinners' Hall was sometimes as serious an impediment to the course of true love in London as the feud of the Capulets and Montagues had been at Verona. 179 Which of the two contending parties was the stronger it is not easy to say. The New Company was supported by the Whigs, the Old Company by the Tories. The New Company was popular; for it promised largely, and could not be accused of having broken its promises; it made no dividends, and therefore was not envied; it had no power to oppress, and had therefore been guilty of no oppression. The Old Company, though generally regarded with little favour by the public, had the immense advantage of being in possession, and of having only to stand on the defensive. The burden of framing a plan for the regulation of the India trade, and of proving that plan to be better than the plan hitherto followed, lay on the New Company. The Old Company had merely to find objections to every change that was proposed; and such objections there was little difficulty in finding. The members of the New Company were ill provided with the means of purchasing support at Court and in Parliament. They had no corporate existence, no common treasury. If any of them gave a bribe, he gave it out of his own pocket, with little chance of being reimbursed. But the Old Company, though surrounded by dangers, still held its exclusive privileges, and still made its enormous profits. Its stock had indeed gone down greatly in value since the golden days of Charles the Second; but a hundred pounds still sold for a hundred and twenty-two. 180 After a large dividend had been paid to the proprietors, a surplus remained amply sufficient, in those days, to corrupt half a cabinet; and this surplus was absolutely at the disposal of one able, determined and unscrupulous man, who maintained the fight with wonderful art and pertinacity.

The majority of the Commons wished to effect a compromise, to retain the Old Company, but to remodel it, to impose on it new conditions, and to incorporate with it the members of the New Company. With this view it was, after long and vehement debates and close divisions, resolved that the capital should be increased to a million and a half. In order to prevent a single person or a small junto from domineering over the whole society, it was determined that five thousand pounds of stock should be the largest quantity that any single proprietor could hold, and that those who held more should be required to sell the overplus at any price not below par. In return for the exclusive privilege of trading to the Eastern seas, the Company was to be required to furnish annually five hundred tons of saltpetre to the Crown at a low price, and to export annually English manufactures to the value of two hundred thousand pounds. 181

A bill founded on these resolutions was brought in, read twice, and committed, but was suffered to drop in consequence of the positive refusal of Child and his associates to accept the offered terms. He objected to every part of the plan; and his objections are highly curious and amusing. The great monopolist took his stand on the principles of free trade. In a luminous and powerfully written paper he exposed the absurdity of the expedients which the House of Commons had devised. To limit the amount of stock which might stand in a single name would, he said, be most unreasonable. Surely a proprietor whose whole fortune was staked on the success of the Indian trade was far more likely to exert all his faculties vigorously for the promotion of that trade than a proprietor who had risked only what it would be no great disaster to lose. The demand that saltpetre should be furnished to the Crown for a fixed sum Child met by those arguments, familiar to our generation, which prove that prices should be left to settle themselves. To the demand that the Company should bind itself to export annually two hundred thousand pounds' worth of English manufactures he very properly replied that the Company would most gladly export two millions' worth if the market required such a supply, and that, if the market were overstocked, it would be mere folly to send good cloth half round the world to be eaten by white ants. It was never, he declared with much spirit, found politic to put trade into straitlaced bodices, which, instead of making it grow upright and thrive, must either kill it or force it awry.

The Commons, irritated by Child's obstinacy, presented an address requesting the King to dissolve the Old Company, and to grant a charter to a new Company on such terms as to His Majesty's wisdom might seem fit. 182 It is plainly implied in the terms of this address that the Commons thought the King constitutionally competent to grant an exclusive privilege of trading to the East Indies.

The King replied that the subject was most important, that he would consider it maturely, and that he would, at a future time, give the House a more precise answer. 183 In Parliament nothing more was said on the subject during that session; but out of Parliament the war was fiercer than ever; and the belligerents were by no means scrupulous about the means which they employed. The chief weapons of the New Company were libels; the chief weapons of the Old Company were bribes.

In the same week in which the bill for the regulation of the Indian trade was suffered to drop, another bill which had produced great excitement and had called forth an almost unprecedented display of parliamentary ability, underwent the same fate.

During the eight years which preceded the Revolution, the Whigs had complained bitterly, and not more bitterly than justly, of the hard measure dealt out to persons accused of political offences. Was it not monstrous, they asked, that a culprit should be denied a sight of his indictment? Often an unhappy prisoner had not known of what he was accused till he had held up his hand at the bar. The crime imputed to him might be plotting to shoot the King; it might be plotting to poison the King. The more innocent the defendant was, the less likely he was to guess the nature of the charge on which he was to be tried; and how could he have evidence ready to rebut a charge the nature of which he could not guess? The Crown had power to compel the attendance of witnesses. The prisoner had no such power. If witnesses voluntarily came forward to speak in his favour, they could not be sworn. Their testimony therefore made less impression on a jury than the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution, whose veracity was guaranteed by the most solemn sanctions of law and of religion. The juries, carefully selected by Sheriffs whom the Crown had named, were men animated by the fiercest party spirit, men who had as little tenderness for an Exclusionist of a Dissenter as for a mad dog. The government was served by a band of able, experienced and unprincipled lawyers, who could, by merely glancing over a brief, distinguish every weak and every strong point of a case, whose presence of mind never failed them, whose flow of speech was inexhaustible, and who had passed their lives in dressing up the worse reason so as to make it appear the better. Was it not horrible to see three or four of these shrewd, learned and callous orators arrayed against one poor wretch who had never in his life uttered a word in public, who was ignorant of the legal definition of treason and of the first principles of the law of evidence, and whose intellect, unequal at best to a fencing match with professional gladiators, was confused by the near prospect of a cruel and ignominious death? Such however was the rule; and even for a man so much stupefied by sickness that he could not hold up his hand or make his voice heard, even for a poor old woman who understood nothing of what was passing except that she was going to be roasted alive for doing an act of charity, no advocate was suffered to utter a word. That a state trial so conducted was little better than a judicial murder had been, during the proscription of the Whig party, a fundamental article of the Whig creed. The Tories, on the other hand, though they could not deny that there had been some hard cases, maintained that, on the whole, substantial justice had been done. Perhaps a few seditious persons who had gone very near to the frontier of treason, but had not actually passed that frontier, might have suffered as traitors. But was that a sufficient reason for enabling the chiefs of the Rye House Plot and of the Western Insurrection to elude, by mere chicanery, the punishment of their guilt? On what principle was the traitor to have chances of escape which were not allowed to the felon? The culprit who was accused of larceny was subject to all the same disadvantages which, in the case of regicides and rebels, were thought so unjust; ye nobody pitied him. Nobody thought it monstrous that he should not have time to study a copy of his indictment, that his witnesses should be examined without being sworn, that he should be left to defend himself, without the help of counsel against the best abilities which the Inns of Court could furnish. The Whigs, it seemed, reserved all their compassion for those crimes which subvert government and dissolve the whole frame of human society. Guy Faux was to be treated with an indulgence which was not to be extended to a shoplifter. Bradshaw was to have privileges which were refused to a boy who had robbed a henroost.

The Revolution produced, as was natural, some change in the sentiments of both the great parties. In the days when none but Roundheads and Nonconformists were accused of treason, even the most humane and upright Cavaliers were disposed to think that the laws which were the safeguard of the throne could hardly be too severe. But, as soon as loyal Tory gentlemen and venerable fathers of the Church were in danger of being called in question for corresponding with Saint Germains, a new light flashed on many understandings which had been unable to discover the smallest injustice in the proceedings against Algernon Sidney and Alice Lisle. It was no longer thought utterly absurd to maintain that some advantages which were withheld from a man accused of felony might reasonably be allowed to a man accused of treason. What probability was there that any sheriff would pack a jury, that any barrister would employ all the arts of sophistry and rhetoric, that any judge would strain law and misrepresent evidence, in order to convict an innocent person of burglary or sheep stealing? But on a trial for high treason a verdict of acquittal must always be considered as a defeat of the government; and there was but too much reason to fear that many sheriffs, barristers and judges might be impelled by party spirit, or by some baser motive, to do any thing which might save the government from the inconvenience and shame of a defeat. The cry of the whole body of Tories was that the lives of good Englishmen who happened to be obnoxious to the ruling powers were not sufficiently protected; and this cry was swelled by the voices of some lawyers who had distinguished themselves by the malignant zeal and dishonest ingenuity with which they had conducted State prosecutions in the days of Charles and James.

The feeling of the Whigs, though it had not, like the feeling of the Tories, undergone a complete change, was yet not quite what it had been. Some, who had thought it most unjust that Russell should have no counsel and that Cornish should have no copy of his indictment, now began to mutter that the times had changed; that the dangers of the State were extreme; that liberty, property, religion, national independence, were all at stake; that many Englishmen were engaged in schemes of which the object was to make England the slave of France and of Rome; and that it would be most unwise to relax, at such a moment, the laws against political offences. It was true that the injustice with which, in the late reigns, State trials had been conducted, had given great scandal. But this injustice was to be ascribed to the bad kings and bad judges with whom the nation had been cursed. William was now on the throne; Holt was seated for life on the bench; and William would never exact, nor would Holt ever perform, services so shameful and wicked as those for which the banished tyrant had rewarded Jeffreys with riches and titles. This language however was at first held but by few. The Whigs, as a party, seem to have felt that they could not honourably defend, in the season of their prosperity, what, in the time of their adversity, they had always designated as a crying grievance. A bill for regulating trials in cases of high treason was brought into the House of Commons, and was received with general applause. Treby had the courage to make some objections; but no division took place. The chief enactments were that no person should be convicted of high treason committed more than three years before the indictment was found; that every person indicted for high treason should be allowed to avail himself of the assistance of counsel, and should be furnished, ten days before the trial, with a copy of the indictment, and with a list of the freeholders from among whom the jury was to be taken; that his witnesses should be sworn, and that they should be cited by the same process by which the attendance of the witnesses against him was secured.

The Bill went to the Upper House, and came back with an important amendment. The Lords had long complained of the anomalous and iniquitous constitution of that tribunal which had jurisdiction over them in cases of life and death. When a grand jury has found a bill of indictment against a temporal peer for any offence higher than a misdemeanour, the Crown appoints a Lord High Steward; and in the Lord High Steward's Court the case is tried. This Court was anciently composed in two very different ways. It consisted, if Parliament happened to be sitting, of all the members of the Upper House. When Parliament was not sitting, the Lord High Steward summoned any twelve or more peers at his discretion to form a jury. The consequence was that a peer accused of high treason during a recess was tried by a jury which his prosecutors had packed. The Lords now demanded that, during a recess as well as during a session, every peer accused of high treason should be tried by the whole body of the peerage.

The demand was resisted by the House of Commons with a vehemence and obstinacy which men of the present generation may find it difficult to understand. The truth is that some invidious privileges of peerage which have since been abolished, and others which have since fallen into entire desuetude, were then in full force, and were daily used. No gentleman who had had a dispute with a nobleman could think, without indignation, of the advantages enjoyed by the favoured caste. If His Lordship were sued at law, his privilege enabled him to impede the course of justice. If a rude word were spoken of him, such a word as he might himself utter with perfect impunity, he might vindicate his insulted dignity both by civil and criminal proceedings. If a barrister, in the discharge of his duty to a client, spoke with severity of the conduct of a noble seducer, if an honest squire on the racecourse applied the proper epithets to the tricks of a noble swindler, the affronted patrician had only to complain to the proud and powerful body of which he was a member. His brethren made his cause their own. The offender was taken into custody by Black Rod, brought to the bar, flung into prison, and kept there till he was glad to obtain forgiveness by the most degrading submissions. Nothing could therefore be more natural than that an attempt of the Peers to obtain any new advantage for their order should be regarded by the Commons with extreme jealousy. There is strong reason to suspect that some able Whig politicians, who thought it dangerous to relax, at that moment, the laws against political offences, but who could not, without incurring the charge of inconsistency, declare themselves adverse to any relaxation, had conceived a hope that they might, by fomenting the dispute about the Court of the Lord High Steward, defer for at least a year the passing of a bill which they disliked, and yet could not decently oppose. If this really was their plan, it succeeded perfectly. The Lower House rejected the amendment; the Upper House persisted; a free conference was held; and the question was argued with great force and ingenuity on both sides.

The reasons in favour of the amendment are obvious, and indeed at first sight seem unanswerable. It was surely difficult to defend a system under which the Sovereign nominated a conclave of his own creatures to decide the fate of men whom he regarded as his mortal enemies. And could any thing be more absurd than that a nobleman accused of high treason should be entitled to be tried by the whole body of his peers if his indictment happened to be brought into the House of Lords the minute before a prorogation, but that, if the indictment arrived a minute after the prorogation, he should be at the mercy of a small junto named by the very authority which prosecuted him? That any thing could have been said on the other side seems strange; but those who managed the conference for the Commons were not ordinary men, and seem on this occasion to have put forth all their powers. Conspicuous among them was Charles Montague, who was rapidly attaining a foremost rank among the orators of that age. To him the lead seems on this occasion to have been left; and to his pen we owe an account of the discussion, which gives a very high notion of his talents for debate. "We have framed"—such was in substance his reasoning,—"we have framed a law which has in it nothing exclusive, a law which will be a blessing to every class, from the highest to the lowest. The new securities, which we propose to give to innocence oppressed by power, are common between the premier peer and the humblest day labourer. The clause which establishes a time of limitation for prosecutions protects us all alike. To every Englishman accused of the highest crime against the state, whatever be his rank, we give the privilege of seeing his indictment, the privilege of being defended by counsel, the privilege of having his witnesses summoned by writ of subpoena and sworn on the Holy Gospels. Such is the bill which we sent up to your Lordships; and you return it to us with a clause of which the effect is to give certain advantages to your noble order at the expense of the ancient prerogatives of the Crown. Surely before we consent to take away from the King any power which his predecessors have possessed for ages, and to give it to your Lordships, we ought to be satisfied that you are more likely to use it well than he. Something we must risk; somebody we must trust; and; since we are forced, much against our will, to institute what is necessarily an invidious comparison, we must own ourselves unable to discover any reason for believing that a prince is less to be trusted than an aristocracy.

"Is it reasonable, you ask, that you should be tried for your lives before a few members of your House, selected by the Crown? Is it reasonable, we ask in our turn, that you should have the privilege of being tried by all the members of your House, that is to say, by your brothers, your uncles, your first cousins, your second cousins, your fathers in law, your brothers in law, your most intimate friends? You marry so much into each other's families, you live so much in each other's society, that there is scarcely a nobleman who is not connected by consanguinity or affinity with several others, and who is not on terms of friendship with several more. There have been great men whose death put a third or fourth part of the baronage of England into mourning. Nor is there much danger that even those peers who may be unconnected with an accused lord will be disposed to send him to the block if they can with decency say 'Not Guilty, upon my honour.' For the ignominious death of a single member of a small aristocratical body necessarily leaves a stain on the reputation of his fellows. If, indeed, your Lordships proposed that every one of your body should be compelled to attend and vote, the Crown might have some chance of obtaining justice against a guilty peer, however strongly connected. But you propose that attendance shall be voluntary. Is it possible to doubt what the consequence will be? All the prisoner's relations and friends will be in their places to vote for him. Good nature and the fear of making powerful enemies will keep away many who, if they voted at all, would be forced by conscience and honour to vote against him. The new system which you propose would therefore evidently be unfair to the Crown; and you do not show any reason for believing that the old system has been found in practice unfair to yourselves. We may confidently affirm that, even under a government less just and merciful than that under which we have the happiness to live, an innocent peer has little to fear from any set of peers that can be brought together in Westminster Hall to try him. How stands the fact? In what single case has a guiltless head fallen by the verdict of this packed jury? It would be easy to make out a long list of squires, merchants, lawyers, surgeons, yeomen, artisans, ploughmen, whose blood, barbarously shed during the late evil times, cries for vengeance to heaven. But what single member of your House, in our days, or in the days of our fathers, or in the days of our grandfathers, suffered death unjustly by sentence of the Court of the Lord High Steward? Hundreds of the common people were sent to the gallows by common juries for the Rye House Plot and the Western Insurrection. One peer, and one alone, my Lord Delamere, was brought at that time before the Court of the Lord High Steward; and he was acquitted. But, it is said, the evidence against him was legally insufficient. Be it so. So was the evidence against Sidney, against Cornish, against Alice Lisle; yet it sufficed to destroy them. But, it is said, the peers before whom my Lord Delamere was brought were selected with shameless unfairness by King James and by Jeffreys. Be it so. But this only proves that, under the worst possible King, and under the worst possible High Steward, a lord tried by lords has a better chance for life than a commoner who puts himself on his country. We cannot, therefore, under the mild government which we now possess, feel much apprehension for the safety of any innocent peer. Would that we felt as little apprehension for the safety of that government! But it is notorious that the settlement with which our liberties are inseparably bound up is attacked at once by foreign and by domestic enemies. We cannot consent at such a crisis to relax the restraints which have, it may well be feared, already proved too feeble to prevent some men of high rank from plotting the ruin of their country. To sum up the whole, what is asked of us is that we will consent to transfer a certain power from their Majesties to your Lordships. Our answer is that, at this time, in our opinion, their Majesties have not too much power, and your Lordships have quite power enough."

These arguments, though eminently ingenious, and not without real force, failed to convince the Upper House. The Lords insisted that every peer should be entitled to be a Trier. The Commons were with difficulty induced to consent that the number of Triers should never be less than thirty-six, and positively refused to make any further concession. The bill was therefore suffered to drop. 184

It is certain that those who in the conference on this bill represented the Commons, did not exaggerate the dangers to which the government was exposed. While the constitution of the Court which was to try peers for treason was under discussion, a treason planned with rare skill by a peer was all but carried into execution.

Marlborough had never ceased to assure the Court of Saint Germains that the great crime which he had committed was constantly present to his thoughts, and that he lived only for the purpose of repentance and reparation. Not only had he been himself converted; he had also converted the Princess Anne. In 1688, the Churchills had, with little difficulty, induced her to fly from her father's palace. In 1691, they, with as little difficulty, induced her to copy out and sign a letter expressing her deep concern for his misfortunes and her earnest wish to atone for her breach of duty. 185 At the same time Marlborough held out hopes that it might be in his power to effect the restoration of his old master in the best possible way, without the help of a single foreign soldier or sailor, by the votes of the English Lords and Commons, and by the support of the English army. We are not fully informed as to all the details of his plan. But the outline is known to us from a most interesting paper written by James, of which one copy is in the Bodleian Library, and another among the archives of the French Foreign Office.

The jealousy with which the English regarded the Dutch was at this time intense. There had never been a hearty friendship between the nations. They were indeed near of kin to each other. They spoke two dialects of one widespread language. Both boasted of their political freedom. Both were attached to the reformed faith. Both were threatened by the same enemy, and would be safe only while they were united. Yet there was no cordial feeling between them. They would probably have loved each other more, if they had, in some respects, resembled each other less. They were the two great commercial nations, the two great maritime nations. In every sea their flags were found together, in the Baltic and in the Mediterranean, in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Straits of Malacca. Every where the merchant of London and the merchant of Amsterdam were trying to forestall each other and to undersell each other. In Europe the contest was not sanguinary. But too often, in barbarous countries, where there was no law but force, the competitors had met, burning with cupidity, burning with animosity, armed for battle, each suspecting the other of hostile designs and each resolved to give the other no advantage. In such circumstances it is not strange that many violent and cruel acts should have been perpetrated. What had been done in those distant regions could seldom be exactly known in Europe. Every thing was exaggerated and distorted by vague report and by national prejudice. Here it was the popular belief that the English were always blameless, and that every quarrel was to be ascribed to the avarice and inhumanity of the Dutch. Lamentable events which had taken place in the Spice Islands were repeatedly brought on our stage. The Englishmen were all saints and heroes; the Dutchmen all fiends in human shape, lying, robbing, ravishing, murdering, torturing. The angry passions which these pieces indicated had more than once found vent in war. Thrice in the lifetime of one generation the two nations had contended, with equal courage and with various fortune, for the sovereignty of the German Ocean. The tyranny of James, as it had reconciled Tories to Whigs and Churchmen to Nonconformists, had also reconciled the English to the Dutch. While our ancestors were looking to the Hague for deliverance, the massacre of Amboyna and the great humiliation of Chatham had seemed to be forgotten. But since the Revolution the old feeling had revived. Though England and Holland were now closely bound together by treaty, they were as far as ever from being bound together by affection. Once, just after the battle of Beachy Head, our countrymen had seemed disposed to be just; but a violent reaction speedily followed. Torrington, who deserved to be shot, became a popular favourite; and the allies whom he had shamefully abandoned were accused of persecuting him without a cause. The partiality shown by the King to the companions of his youth was the favourite theme of the sewers of sedition. The most lucrative posts in his household, it was said, were held by Dutchmen; the House of Lords was fast filling with Dutchmen; the finest manors of the Crown were given to Dutchmen; the army was commanded by Dutchmen. That it would have been wise in William to exhibit somewhat less obtrusively his laudable fondness for his native country, and to remunerate his early friends somewhat more sparingly, is perfectly true. But it will not be easy to prove that, on any important occasion during his whole reign, he sacrificed the interests of our island to the interests of the United Provinces. The English, however, were on this subject prone to fits of jealousy which made them quite incapable of listening to reason. One of the sharpest of those fits came on in the autumn of 1691. The antipathy to the Dutch was at that time strong in all classes, and nowhere stronger than in the Parliament and in the army. 186

Of that antipathy Marlborough determined to avail himself for the purpose, as he assured James and James's adherents, of effecting a restoration. The temper of both Houses was such that they might not improbably be induced by skilful management to present a joint address requesting that all foreigners might be dismissed from the service of their Majesties. Marlborough undertook to move such an address in the Lords; and there would have been no difficulty in finding some gentleman of great weight to make a similar motion in the Commons.

If the address should be carried, what could William do? Would he yield? Would he discard all his dearest, his oldest, his most trusty friends? It was hardly possible to believe that he would make so painful, so humiliating a concession. If he did not yield, there would be a rupture between him and the Parliament; and the Parliament would be backed by the people. Even a King reigning by a hereditary title might well shrink from such a contest with the Estates of the Realm. But to a King whose title rested on a resolution of the Estates of the Realm such a contest must almost necessarily be fatal. The last hope of William would be in the army. The army Marlborough undertook to manage; and it is highly probable that what he undertook he could have performed. His courage, his abilities, his noble and winning manners, the splendid success which had attended him on every occasion on which he had been in command, had made him, in spite of his sordid vices, a favourite with his brethren in arms. They were proud of having one countryman who had shown that he wanted nothing but opportunity to vie with the ablest Marshal of France. The Dutch were even more disliked by the English troops than by the English nation generally. Had Marlborough therefore, after securing the cooperation of some distinguished officers, presented himself at the critical moment to those regiments which he had led to victory in Flanders and in Ireland, had he called on them to rally round him, to protect the Parliament, and to drive out the aliens, there is strong reason to think that the call would have been obeyed. He would then have had it in his power to fulfil the promises which he had so solemnly made to his old master.

Of all the schemes ever formed for the restoration of James or of his descendants, this scheme promised the fairest. That national pride, that hatred of arbitrary power, which had hitherto been on William's side, would now be turned against him. Hundreds of thousands who would have put their lives in jeopardy to prevent a French army from imposing a government on the English, would have felt no disposition to prevent an English army from driving out the Dutch. Even the Whigs could scarcely, without renouncing their old doctrines, support a prince who obstinately refused to comply with the general wish of his people signified to him by his Parliament. The plot looked well. An active canvass was made. Many members of the House of Commons, who did not at all suspect that there was any ulterior design, promised to vote against the foreigners. Marlborough was indefatigable in inflaming the discontents of the army. His house was constantly filled with officers who heated each other into fury by talking against the Dutch. But, before the preparations were complete, a strange suspicion rose in the minds of some of the Jacobites. That the author of this bold and artful scheme wished to pull down the existing government there could be little doubt. But was it quite certain what government he meant to set up? Might he not depose William without restoring James? Was it not possible that a man so wise, so aspiring, and so wicked, might be meditating a double treason, such as would have been thought a masterpiece of statecraft by the great Italian politicians of the fifteenth century, such as Borgia would have envied, such as Machiavel would have extolled to the skies?

What if this consummate dissembler should cheat both the rival kings? What if, when he found himself commander of the army and protector of the Parliament, he should proclaim Queen Anne? Was it not possible that the weary and harassed nation might gladly acquiesce in such a settlement? James was unpopular because he was a Papist, influenced by Popish priests. William was unpopular because he was a foreigner, attached to foreign favourites. Anne was at once a Protestant and an Englishwoman. Under her government the country would be in no danger of being overrun either by Jesuits or by Dutchmen. That Marlborough had the strongest motives for placing her on the throne was evident. He could never, in the court of her father, be more than a repentant criminal, whose services were overpaid by a pardon. In her court the husband of her adored friend would be what Pepin Heristal and Charles Martel had been to the Chilperics and Childeberts. He would be the chief director of the civil and military government. He would wield the whole power of England. He would hold the balance of Europe. Great kings and commonwealths would bid against each other for his favour, and exhaust their treasuries in the vain hope of satiating his avarice. The presumption was, therefore, that, if he had the English crown in his hands, he would put in on the head of the Princess. What evidence there was to confirm this presumption is not known; but it is certain that something took place which convinced some of the most devoted friends of the exiled family that he was meditating a second perfidy, surpassing even the feat which he had performed at Salisbury. They were afraid that if, at that moment, they succeeded in getting rid of William, the situation of James would be more hopeless than ever. So fully were they persuaded of the duplicity of their accomplice, that they not only refused to proceed further in the execution of the plan which he had formed, but disclosed his whole scheme to Portland.

William seems to have been alarmed and provoked by this intelligence to a degree very unusual with him. In general he was indulgent, nay, wilfully blind to the baseness of the English statesmen whom he employed. He suspected, indeed he knew, that some of his servants were in correspondence with his competitor; and yet he did not punish them, did not disgrace them, did not even frown on them. He thought meanly, and he had but too good reason for thinking meanly, of the whole of that breed of public men which the Restoration had formed and had bequeathed to the Revolution. He knew them too well to complain because he did not find in them veracity, fidelity, consistency, disinterestedness. The very utmost that he expected from them was that they would serve him as far as they could serve him without serious danger to themselves. If he learned that, while sitting in his council and enriched by his bounty, they were trying to make for themselves at Saint Germains an interest which might be of use to them in the event of a counterrevolution he was more inclined to bestow on them the contemptuous commendation which was bestowed of old on the worldly wisdom of the unjust steward than to call them to a severe account. But the crime of Marlborough was of a very different kind. His treason was not that of a fainthearted man desirous to keep a retreat open for himself in every event, but that of a man of dauntless courage, profound policy and measureless ambition. William was not prone to fear; but, if there was anything on earth that he feared, it was Marlborough. To treat the criminal as he deserved was indeed impossible; for those by whom his designs had been made known to the government would never have consented to appear against him in the witness box. But to permit him to retain high command in that army which he was then engaged in seducing would have been madness.

Late in the evening of the ninth of January the Queen had a painful explanation with the Princess Anne. Early the next morning Marlborough was informed that their Majesties had no further occasion for his services, and that he must not presume to appear in the royal presence. He had been loaded with honours, and with what he loved better, riches. All was at once taken away.

The real history of these events was known to very few. Evelyn, who had in general excellent sources of information, believed that the corruption and extortion of which Marlborough was notoriously guilty had roused the royal indignation. The Dutch ministers could only tell the States General that six different stories were spread abroad by Marlborough's enemies. Some said that he had indiscreetly suffered an important military secret to escape him; some that he had spoken disrespectfully of their Majesties; some that he had done ill offices between the Queen and the Princess; some that he had been forming cabals in the army; some that he had carried on an unauthorised correspondence with the Danish government about the general politics of Europe; and some that he had been trafficking with the agents of the Court of Saint Germains. 187 His friends contradicted every one of these stories, and affirmed that his only crime was his dislike of the foreigners who were lording it over his countrymen, and that he had fallen a victim to the machinations of Portland, whom he was known to dislike, and whom he had not very politely described as a wooden fellow. The mystery, which from the first overhung the story of Marlborough's disgrace, was darkened, after the lapse of fifty years, by the shameless mendacity of his widow. The concise narrative of James dispels the mystery, and makes it clear, not only why Marlborough was disgraced, but also how several of the reports about the cause of his disgrace originated. 188

Though William assigned to the public no reason for exercising his undoubted prerogative by dismissing his servant, Anne had been informed of the truth; and it had been left to her to judge whether an officer who had been guilty of a foul treason was a fit inmate of the palace. Three weeks passed. Lady Marlborough still retained her post and her apartments at Whitehall. Her husband still resided with her; and still the King and Queen gave no sign of displeasure. At length the haughty and vindictive Countess, emboldened by their patience, determined to brave them face to face, and accompanied her mistress one evening to the drawingroom at Kensington. This was too much even for the gentle Mary. She would indeed have expressed her indignation before the crowd which surrounded the card tables, had she not remembered that her sister was in a state which entitles women to peculiar indulgence. Nothing was said that night; but on the following day a letter from the Queen was delivered to the Princess. Mary declared that she was unwilling to give pain to a sister whom she loved, and in whom she could easily pass over any ordinary fault; but this was a serious matter. Lady Marlborough must be dismissed. While she lived at Whitehall her lord would live there. Was it proper that a man in his situation should be suffered to make the palace of his injured master his home? Yet so unwilling was His Majesty to deal severely with the worst offenders, that even this had been borne, and might have been borne longer, had not Anne brought the Countess to defy the King and Queen in their own presence chamber. "It was unkind," Mary wrote, "in a sister; it would have been uncivil in an equal; and I need not say that I have more to claim." The Princess, in her answer, did not attempt to exculpate or excuse Marlborough, but expressed a firm conviction that his wife was innocent, and implored the Queen not to insist on so heartrending a separation. "There is no misery," Anne wrote, "that I cannot resolve to suffer rather than the thoughts of parting from her."

The Princess sent for her uncle Rochester, and implored him to carry her letter to Kensington, and to be her advocate there. Rochester declined the office of messenger, and, though he tried to restore harmony between his kinswomen, was by no means disposed to plead the cause of the Churchills. He had indeed long seen with extreme uneasiness the absolute dominion exercised over his younger niece by that unprincipled pair. Anne's expostulation was sent to the Queen by a servant. The only reply was a message from the Lord Chamberlain, Dorset, commanding Lady Marlborough to leave the palace. Mrs. Morley would not be separated from Mrs. Freeman. As to Mr. Morley, all places where he could have his three courses and his three bottles were alike to him. The Princess and her whole family therefore retired to Sion House, a villa belonging to the Duke of Somerset, and situated on the margin of the Thames. In London she occupied Berkeley House, which stood in Piccadilly, on the site now covered by Devonshire House. 189 Her income was secured by Act of Parliament; but no punishment which it was in the power of the Crown to inflict on her was spared. Her guard of honour was taken away. The foreign ministers ceased to wait upon her. When she went to Bath the Secretary of State wrote to request the Mayor of that city not to receive her with the ceremonial with which royal visitors were usually welcomed. When she attended divine service at Saint James's Church she found that the rector had been forbidden to show her the customary marks of respect, to bow to her from his pulpit, and to send a copy of his text to be laid on her cushion. Even the bellman of Piccadilly, it was said, perhaps falsely, was ordered not to chaunt her praises in his doggrel verse under the windows of Berkeley House. 190

That Anne was in the wrong is clear; but it is not equally clear that the King and Queen were in the right. They should have either dissembled their displeasure, or openly declared the true reasons for it. Unfortunately, they let every body see the punishment, and they let scarcely any body know the provocation. They should have remembered that, in the absence of information about the cause of a quarrel, the public is naturally inclined to side with the weaker party, and that this inclination is likely to be peculiarly strong when a sister is, without any apparent reason, harshly treated by a sister. They should have remembered, too, that they were exposing to attack what was unfortunately the one vulnerable part of Mary's character. A cruel fate had put enmity between her and her father. Her detractors pronounced her utterly destitute of natural affection; and even her eulogists, when they spoke of the way in which she had discharged the duties of the filial relation, were forced to speak in a subdued and apologetic tone. Nothing therefore could be more unfortunate than that she should a second time appear unmindful of the ties of consanguinity. She was now at open war with both the two persons who were nearest to her in blood. Many who thought that her conduct towards her parent was justified by the extreme danger which had threatened her country and her religion, were unable to defend her conduct towards her sister. While Mary, who was really guilty in this matter of nothing more than imprudence, was regarded by the world as an oppressor, Anne, who was as culpable as her small faculties enabled her to be, assumed the interesting character of a meek, resigned sufferer. In those private letters, indeed, to which the name of Morley was subscribed, the Princess expressed the sentiments of a fury in the style of a fishwoman, railed savagely at the whole Dutch nation, and called her brother in law sometimes the abortion, sometimes the monster, sometimes Caliban. 191 But the nation heard nothing of her language and saw nothing of her deportment but what was decorous and submissive. The truth seems to have been that the rancorous and coarseminded Countess gave the tone to Her Highness's confidential correspondence, while the graceful, serene and politic Earl was suffered to prescribe the course which was to be taken before the public eye. During a short time the Queen was generally blamed. But the charm of her temper and manners was irresistible; and in a few months she regained the popularity which she had lost. 192

It was a most fortunate circumstance for Marlborough that, just at the very time when all London was talking about his disgrace, and trying to guess at the cause of the King's sudden anger against one who had always seemed to be a favourite, an accusation of treason was brought by William Fuller against many persons of high consideration, was strictly investigated, and was proved to be false and malicious. The consequence was that the public, which rarely discriminates nicely, could not, at that moment, be easily brought to believe in the reality of any Jacobite conspiracy.

That Fuller's plot is less celebrated than the Popish plot is rather the fault of the historians than of Fuller, who did all that man could do to secure an eminent place among villains. Every person well read in history must have observed that depravity has its temporary modes, which come in and go out like modes of dress and upholstery. It may be doubted whether, in our country, any man ever before the year 1678 invented and related on oath a circumstantial history, altogether fictitious, of a treasonable plot, for the purpose of making himself important by destroying men who had given him no provocation. But in the year 1678 this execrable crime became the fashion, and continued to be so during the twenty years which followed. Preachers designated it as our peculiar national sin, and prophesied that it would draw on us some awful national judgment. Legislators proposed new punishments of terrible severity for this new atrocity. 193 It was not however found necessary to resort to those punishments. The fashion changed; and during the last century and a half there has perhaps not been a single instance of this particular kind of wickedness.

The explanation is simple. Oates was the founder of a school. His success proved that no romance is too wild to be received with faith by understandings which fear and hatred have disordered. His slanders were monstrous; but they were well timed; he spoke to a people made credulous by their passions; and thus, by impudent and cruel lying, he raised himself in a week from beggary and obscurity to luxury, renown and power. He had once eked out the small tithes of a miserable vicarage by stealing the pigs and fowls of his parishioners. 194 He was now lodged in a palace; he was followed by admiring crowds; he had at his mercy the estates and lives of Howards and Herberts. A crowd of imitators instantly appeared. It seemed that much more might be got, and that much less was risked, by testifying to an imaginary conspiracy than by robbing on the highway or clipping the coin. Accordingly the Bedloes, Dangerfields, Dugdales, Turberviles, made haste to transfer their industry to an employment at once more profitable and less perilous than any to which they were accustomed. Till the dissolution of the Oxford Parliament Popish plots were the chief manufacture. Then, during seven years, Whig plots were the only plots which paid. After the Revolution Jacobite plots came in; but the public had become cautious; and though the new false witnesses were in no respect less artful than their predecessors, they found much less encouragement. The history of the first great check given to the practices of this abandoned race of men well deserves to be circumstantially related.

In 1689, and in the beginning of 1690, William Fuller had rendered to the government service such as the best governments sometimes require, and such as none but the worst men ever perform. His useful treachery had been rewarded by his employers, as was meet, with money and with contempt. Their liberality enabled him to live during some months like a fine gentleman. He called himself a Colonel, hired servants, clothed them in gorgeous liveries, bought fine horses, lodged in Pall Mall, and showed his brazen forehead, overtopped by a wig worth fifty guineas, in the antechambers of the palace and in the stage box at the theatre. He even gave himself the airs of a favourite of royalty, and, as if he thought that William could not live without him, followed His Majesty first to Ireland, and then to the Congress of Princes at the Hague. Fuller afterwards boasted that, at the Hague, he appeared with a retinue fit for an ambassador, that he gave ten guineas a week for an apartment, and that the worst waistcoat which he condescended to wear was of silver stuff at forty shillings a yard. Such profusion, of course, brought him to poverty. Soon after his return to England he took refuge from the bailiffs in Axe Yard, a place lying within the verge of Whitehall. His fortunes were desperate; he owed great sums; on the government he had no claim; his past services had been overpaid; no future service was to be expected from him having appeared in the witness box as evidence for the Crown, he could no longer be of any use as a spy on the Jacobites; and by all men of virtue and honour, to whatever party they might belong, he was abhorred and shunned.

Just at this time, when he was in the frame of mind in which men are open to the worst temptations, he fell in with the worst of tempters, in truth, with the Devil in human shape. Oates had obtained his liberty, his pardon, and a pension which made him a much richer man than nineteen twentieths of the members of that profession of which he was the disgrace. But he was still unsatisfied. He complained that he had now less than three hundred a year. In the golden days of the Plot he had been allowed three times as much, had been sumptuously lodged in the palace, had dined on plate and had been clothed in silk. He clamoured for an increase of his stipend. Nay, he was even impudent enough to aspire to ecclesiastical preferment, and thought it hard that, while so many mitres were distributed, he could not get a deanery, a prebend, or even a living. He missed no opportunity of urging his pretensions. He haunted the public offices and the lobbies of the Houses of Parliament. He might be seen and heard every day, hurrying, as fast as his uneven legs would carry him, between Charing Cross and Westminster Hall, puffing with haste and self importance, chattering about what he had done for the good cause, and reviling, in the style of the boatmen on the river, all the statesmen and divines whom he suspected of doing him ill offices at Court, and keeping him back from a bishopric. When he found that there was no hope for him in the Established Church, he turned to the Baptists. They, at first, received him very coldly; but he gave such touching accounts of the wonderful work of grace which had been wrought in his soul, and vowed so solemnly, before Jehovah and the holy angels, to be thenceforth a burning and shining light, that it was difficult for simple and well meaning people to think him altogether insincere. He mourned, he said, like a turtle. On one Lord's day he thought he should have died of grief at being shut out from fellowship with the saints. He was at length admitted to communion; but before he had been a year among his new friends they discovered his true character, and solemnly cast him out as a hypocrite. Thenceforth he became the mortal enemy of the leading Baptists, and persecuted them with the same treachery, the same mendacity, the same effrontery, the same black malice which had many years before wrought the destruction of more celebrated victims. Those who had lately been edified by his account of his blessed experiences stood aghast to hear him crying out that he would be revenged, that revenge was God's own sweet morsel, that the wretches who had excommunicated him should be ruined, that they should be forced to fly their country, that they should be stripped to the last shilling. His designs were at length frustrated by a righteous decree of the Court of Chancery, a decree which would have left a deep stain on the character of an ordinary man, but which makes no perceptible addition to the infamy of Titus Oates. 195 Through all changes, however, he was surrounded by a small knot of hotheaded and foulmouthed agitators, who, abhorred and despised by every respectable Whig, yet called themselves Whigs, and thought themselves injured because they were not rewarded for scurrility and slander with the best places under the Crown.

In 1691, Titus, in order to be near the focal point of political intrigue and faction, had taken a house within the precinct of Whitehall. To this house Fuller, who lived hard by, found admission. The evil work which had been begun in him, when he was still a child, by the memoirs of Dangerfield, was now completed by the conversation of Oates. The Salamanca Doctor was, as a witness, no longer formidable; but he was impelled, partly by the savage malignity which he felt towards all whom he considered as his enemies, and partly by mere monkeylike restlessness and love of mischief, to do, through the instrumentality of others, what he could no longer do in person. In Fuller he had found the corrupt heart, the ready tongue and the unabashed front which are the first qualifications for the office of a false accuser. A friendship, if that word may be so used, sprang up between the pair. Oates opened his house and even his purse to Fuller. The veteran sinner, both directly and through the agency of his dependents, intimated to the novice that nothing made a man so important as the discovering of a plot, and that these were times when a young fellow who would stick at nothing and fear nobody might do wonders. The Revolution,—such was the language constantly held by Titus and his parasites,—had produced little good. The brisk boys of Shaftesbury had not been recompensed according to their merits. Even the Doctor, such was the ingratitude of men, was looked on coldly at the new Court. Tory rogues sate at the council board, and were admitted to the royal closet. It would be a noble feat to bring their necks to the block. Above all, it would be delightful to see Nottingham's long solemn face on Tower Hill. For the hatred with which these bad men regarded Nottingham had no bounds, and was probably excited less by his political opinions, in which there was doubtless much to condemn, than by his moral character, in which the closest scrutiny will detect little that is not deserving of approbation. Oates, with the authority which experience and success entitle a preceptor to assume, read his pupil a lecture on the art of bearing false witness. "You ought," he said, with many oaths and curses, "to have made more, much more, out of what you heard and saw at Saint Germains. Never was there a finer foundation for a plot. But you are a fool; you are a coxcomb; I could beat you; I would not have done so. I used to go to Charles and tell him his own. I called Lauderdale rogue to his face. I made King, Ministers, Lords, Commons, afraid of me. But you young men have no spirit." Fuller was greatly edified by these exhortations. It was, however, hinted to him by some of his associates that, if he meant to take up the trade of swearing away lives, he would do well not to show himself so often at coffeehouses in the company of Titus. "The Doctor," said one of the gang, "is an excellent person, and has done great things in his time; but many people are prejudiced against him; and, if you are really going to discover a plot, the less you are seen with him the better." Fuller accordingly ceased to frequent Oates's house, but still continued to receive his great master's instructions in private.

To do Fuller justice, he seems not to have taken up the trade of a false witness till he could no longer support himself by begging or swindling. He lived for a time on the charity of the Queen. He then levied contributions by pretending to be one of the noble family of Sidney. He wheedled Tillotson out of some money, and requited the good Archbishop's kindness by passing himself off as His Grace's favourite nephew. But in the autumn of 1691 all these shifts were exhausted. After lying in several spunging houses, Fuller was at length lodged in the King's Bench prison, and he now thought it time to announce that he had discovered a plot. 196

He addressed himself first to Tillotson and Portland; but both Tillotson and Portland soon perceived that he was lying. What he said was, however, reported to the King, who, as might have been expected, treated the information and the informant with cold contempt. All that remained was to try whether a flame could be raised in the Parliament.

Soon after the Houses met, Fuller petitioned the Commons to hear what he had to say, and promised to make wonderful disclosures. He was brought from his prison to the bar of the House; and he there repeated a long romance. James, he said, had delegated the regal authority to six commissioners, of whom Halifax was first. More than fifty lords and gentlemen had signed an address to the French King, imploring him to make a great effort for the restoration of the House of Stuart. Fuller declared that he had seen this address, and recounted many of the names appended to it. Some members made severe remarks on the improbability of the story and on the character of the witness. He was, they said, one of the greatest rogues on the face of the earth; and he told such things as could scarcely be credited if he were an angel from heaven. Fuller audaciously pledged himself to bring proofs which would satisfy the most incredulous. He was, he averred, in communication with some agents of James. Those persons were ready to make reparation to their country. Their testimony would be decisive; for they were in possession of documentary evidence which would confound the guilty. They held back only because they saw some of the traitors high in office and near the royal person, and were afraid of incurring the enmity of men so powerful and so wicked. Fuller ended by asking for a sum of money, and by assuring the Commons that he would lay it out to good account. 197 Had his impudent request been granted, he would probably have paid his debts, obtained his liberty, and absconded; but the House very wisely insisted on seeing his witnesses first. He then began to shuffle. The gentlemen were on the Continent, and could not come over without passports. Passports were delivered to him; but he complained that they were insufficient. At length the Commons, fully determined to get at the truth, presented an address requesting the King to send Fuller a blank safe conduct in the largest terms. 198 The safe conduct was sent. Six weeks passed, and nothing was heard of the witnesses. The friends of the lords and gentlemen who had been accused represented strongly that the House ought not to separate for the summer without coming to some decision on charges so grave. Fuller was ordered to attend. He pleaded sickness, and asserted, not for the first time, that the Jacobites had poisoned him. But all his plans were confounded by the laudable promptitude and vigour with which the Commons acted. A Committee was sent to his bedside, with orders to ascertain whether he really had any witnesses, and where those witnesses resided. The members who were deputed for this purpose went to the King's Bench prison, and found him suffering under a disorder, produced, in all probability, by some emetic which he had swallowed for the purpose of deceiving them. In answer to their questions he said that two of his witnesses, Delaval and Hayes, were in England, and were lodged at the house of a Roman Catholic apothecary in Holborn. The Commons, as soon as the Committee had reported, sent some members to the house which he had indicated. That house and all the neighbouring houses were searched. Delaval and Hayes were not to be found, nor had any body in the vicinity ever seen such men or heard of them. The House, therefore, on the last day of the session, just before Black Rod knocked at the door, unanimously resolved that William Fuller was a cheat and a false accuser; that he had insulted the Government and the Parliament; that he had calumniated honourable men, and that an address should be carried up to the throne, requesting that he might be prosecuted for his villany. 199 He was consequently tried, convicted, and sentenced to fine, imprisonment and the pillory. The exposure, more terrible than death to a mind not lost to all sense of shame, he underwent with a hardihood worthy of his two favourite models, Dangerfield and Oates. He had the impudence to persist, year after year, in affirming that he had fallen a victim to the machinations of the late King, who had spent six thousand pounds in order to ruin him. Delaval and Hayes—so this fable ran—had been instructed by James in person. They had, in obedience to his orders, induced Fuller to pledge his word for their appearance, and had then absented themselves, and left him exposed to the resentment of the House of Commons. 200 The story had the reception which it deserved, and Fuller sank into an obscurity from which he twice or thrice, at long intervals, again emerged for a moment into infamy.

On the twenty-fourth of February 1692, about an hour after the Commons had voted Fuller an impostor, they were summoned to the chamber of the Lords. The King thanked the Houses for their loyalty and liberality, informed them that he must soon set out for the Continent, and commanded them to adjourn themselves. He gave his assent on that day to many bills, public and private; but when the title of one bill, which had passed the Lower House without a single division and the Upper House without a single protest, had been read by the Clerk of the Crown, the Clerk of the Parliaments declared, according to the ancient form, that the King and the Queen would consider of the matter. Those words had very rarely been pronounced before the accession of William. They have been pronounced only once since his death. But by him the power of putting a Veto on laws which had been passed by the Estates of the Realm was used on several important occasions. His detractors truly asserted that he rejected a greater number of important bills than all the Kings of the House of Stuart put together, and most absurdly inferred that the sense of the Estates of the Realm was much less respected by him than by his uncles and his grandfather. A judicious student of history will have no difficulty in discovering why William repeatedly exercised a prerogative to which his predecessors very seldom had recourse, and which his successors have suffered to fall into utter desuetude.

His predecessors passed laws easily because they broke laws easily. Charles the First gave his assent to the Petition of Right, and immediately violated every clause of that great statute. Charles the Second gave his assent to an Act which provided that a Parliament should be held at least once in three years; but when he died the country had been near four years without a Parliament. The laws which abolished the Court of High Commission, the laws which instituted the Sacramental Test, were passed without the smallest difficulty; but they did not prevent James the Second from reestablishing the Court of High Commission, and from filling the Privy Council, the public offices, the courts of justice, and the municipal corporations with persons who had never taken the Test. Nothing could be more natural than that a King should not think it worth while to withhold his assent from a statute with which he could dispense whenever he thought fit.

The situation of William was very different. He could not, like those who had ruled before him, pass an Act in the spring and violate it in the summer. He had, by assenting to the Bill of Rights, solemnly renounced the dispensing power; and he was restrained, by prudence as well as by conscience and honour, from breaking the compact under which he held his crown. A law might be personally offensive to him; it might appear to him to be pernicious to his people; but, as soon as he had passed it, it was, in his eyes, a sacred thing. He had therefore a motive, which preceding Kings had not, for pausing before he passed such a law. They gave their word readily, because they had no scruple about breaking it. He gave his word slowly, because he never failed to keep it.

But his situation, though it differed widely from that of the princes of the House of Stuart, was not precisely that of the princes of the House of Brunswick. A prince of the House of Brunswick is guided, as to the use of every royal prerogative, by the advice of a responsible ministry; and this ministry must be taken from the party which predominates in the two Houses, or, at least, in the Lower House. It is hardly possible to conceive circumstances in which a Sovereign so situated can refuse to assent to a bill which has been approved by both branches of the legislature. Such a refusal would necessarily imply one of two things, that the Sovereign acted in opposition to the advice of the ministry, or that the ministry was at issue, on a question of vital importance, with a majority both of the Commons and of the Lords. On either supposition the country would be in a most critical state, in a state which, if long continued, must end in a revolution. But in the earlier part of the reign of William there was no ministry. The heads of the executive departments had not been appointed exclusively from either party. Some were zealous Whigs, others zealous Tories. The most enlightened statesmen did not hold it to be unconstitutional that the King should exercise his highest prerogatives on the most important occasions without any other guidance than that of his own judgment. His refusal, therefore, to assent to a bill which had passed both Houses indicated, not, as a similar refusal would now indicate, that the whole machinery of government was in a state of fearful disorder, but merely that there was a difference of opinion between him and the two other branches of the legislature as to the expediency of a particular law. Such a difference of opinion might exist, and, as we shall hereafter see, actually did exist, at a time when he was, not merely on friendly, but on most affectionate terms with the Estates of the Realm.

The circumstances under which he used his Veto for the first time have never yet been correctly stated. A well meant but unskilful attempt had been made to complete a reform which the Bill of Rights had left imperfect. That great law had deprived the Crown of the power of arbitrarily removing the judges, but had not made them entirely independent. They were remunerated partly by fees and partly by salaries. Over the fees the King had no control; but the salaries he had full power to reduce or to withhold. That William had ever abused this power was not pretended; but it was undoubtedly a power which no prince ought to possess; and this was the sense of both Houses. A bill was therefore brought in by which a salary of a thousand a year was strictly secured to each of the twelve judges. Thus far all was well. But unfortunately the salaries were made a charge on the hereditary revenue. No such proposition would now be entertained by the House of Commons, without the royal consent previously signified by a Privy Councillor. But this wholesome rule had not then been established; and William could defend the proprietary rights of the Crown only by putting his negative on the bill. At the time there was, as far as can now be ascertained, no outcry. Even the Jacobite libellers were almost silent. It was not till the provisions of the bill had been forgotten, and till nothing but its title was remembered, that William was accused of having been influenced by a wish to keep the judges in a state of dependence. 201

The Houses broke up; and the King prepared to set out for the Continent. Before his departure he made some changes in his household and in several departments of the government; changes, however, which did not indicate a very decided preference for either of the great political parties. Rochester was sworn of the Council. It is probable that he had earned this mark of royal favour by taking the Queen's side in the unhappy dispute between her and her sister. Pembroke took charge of the Privy Seal, and was succeeded at the Board of Admiralty by Charles Lord Cornwallis, a moderate Tory; Lowther accepted a seat at the same board, and was succeeded at the Treasury by Sir Edward Seymour. Many Tory country gentlemen, who had looked on Seymour as their leader in the war against placemen and Dutchmen, were moved to indignation by learning that he had become a courtier. They remembered that he had voted for a Regency, that he had taken the oaths with no good grace, that he had spoken with little respect of the Sovereign whom he was now ready to serve for the sake of emoluments hardly worthy of the acceptance of a man of his wealth and parliamentary interest. It was strange that the haughtiest of human beings should be the meanest, that one who seethed to reverence nothing on earth but himself should abase himself for the sake of quarter day. About such reflections he troubled himself very little. He found, however, that there was one disagreeable circumstance connected with his new office. At the Board of Treasury he must sit below the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The First Lord, Godolphin, was a peer of the realm; and his right to precedence, according to the rules of the heralds, could not be questioned. But every body knew who was the first of English commoners. What was Richard Hampden that he should take the place of a Seymour, of the head of the Seymours? With much difficulty, the dispute was compromised. Many concessions were made to Sir Edward's punctilious pride. He was sworn of the Council. He was appointed one of the Cabinet. The King took him by the hand and presented him to the Queen. "I bring you," said William, "a gentleman who will in my absence be a valuable friend." In this way Sir Edward was so much soothed and flattered that he ceased to insist on his right to thrust himself between the First Lord and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In the same Commission of Treasury in which the name of Seymour appeared, appeared also the name of a much younger politician, who had during the late session raised himself to high distinction in the House of Commons, Charles Montague. This appointment gave great satisfaction to the Whigs, in whose esteem Montague now stood higher than their veteran chiefs Sacheverell and Littleton, and was indeed second to Somers alone.

Sidney delivered up the seals which he had held during more than a year, and was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Some months elapsed before the place which he had quitted was filled up; and during this interval the whole business which had ordinarily been divided between two Secretaries of State was transacted by Nottingham. 202

While these arrangements were in progress, events had taken place in a distant part of the island which were not, till after the lapse of many months, known in the best informed circles of London, but which gradually obtained a fearful notoriety, and which, after the lapse of more than a hundred and sixty years, are never mentioned without horror.

Soon after the Estates of Scotland had separated in the autumn of 1690, a change was made in the administration of that kingdom. William was not satisfied with the way in which he had been represented in the Parliament House. He thought that the rabbled curates had been hardly treated. He had very reluctantly suffered the law which abolished patronage to be touched with his sceptre. But what especially displeased him was that the Acts which established a new ecclesiastical polity had not been accompanied by an Act granting liberty of conscience to those who were attached to the old ecclesiastical polity. He had directed his Commissioner Melville to obtain for the Episcopalians of Scotland an indulgence similar to that which Dissenters enjoyed in England. 203 But the Presbyterian preachers were loud and vehement against lenity to Amalekites. Melville, with useful talents, and perhaps with fair intentions, had neither large views nor an intrepid spirit. He shrank from uttering a word so hateful to the theological demagogues of his country as Toleration. By obsequiously humouring their prejudices he quelled the clamour which was rising at Edinburgh; but the effect of his timid caution was that a far more formidable clamour soon rose in the south of the island against the bigotry of the schismatics who domineered in the north, and against the pusillanimity of the government which had not dared to withstand that bigotry. On this subject the High Churchman and the Low Churchman were of one mind, or rather the Low Churchman was the more angry of the two. A man like South, who had during many years been predicting that, if ever the Puritans ceased to be oppressed, they would become oppressors, was at heart not ill pleased to see his prophecy fulfilled. But in a man like Burnet, the great object of whose life had been to mitigate the animosity which the ministers of the Anglican Church felt towards the Presbyterians, the intolerant conduct of the Presbyterians could awaken no feeling but indignation, shame and grief. There was, therefore, at the English Court nobody to speak a good word for Melville. It was impossible that in such circumstances he should remain at the head of the Scottish administration. He was, however, gently let down from his high position. He continued during more than a year to be Secretary of State; but another Secretary was appointed, who was to reside near the King, and to have the chief direction of affairs. The new Prime Minister for Scotland was the able, eloquent and accomplished Sir John Dalrymple. His father, the Lord President of the Court of Session, had lately been raised to the peerage by the title of Viscount Stair; and Sir John Dalrymple was consequently, according to the ancient usage of Scotland, designated as the Master of Stair. In a few months Melville resigned his secretaryship, and accepted an office of some dignity and emolument, but of no political importance. 204

The Lowlands of Scotland were, during the year which followed the parliamentary session of 1690, as quiet as they had ever been within the memory of man; but the state of the Highlands caused much anxiety to the government. The civil war in that wild region, after it had ceased to flame, had continued during some time to smoulder. At length, early in the year 1691, the rebel chiefs informed the Court of Saint Germains that, pressed as they were on every side, they could hold out no longer without succour from France. James had sent them a small quantity of meal, brandy and tobacco, and had frankly told them that he could do nothing more. Money was so scarce among them that six hundred pounds sterling would have been a most acceptable addition to their funds, but even such a sum he was unable to spare. He could scarcely, in such circumstances, expect them to defend his cause against a government which had a regular army and a large revenue. He therefore informed them that he should not take it ill of them if they made their peace with the new dynasty, provided always that they were prepared to rise in insurrection as soon as he should call on them to do so. 205

Meanwhile it had been determined at Kensington, in spite of the opposition of the Master of Stair, to try the plan which Tarbet had recommended two years before, and which, if it had been tried when he recommended it, would probably have prevented much bloodshed and confusion. It was resolved that twelve or fifteen thousand pounds should be laid out in quieting the Highlands. This was a mass of treasure which to an inhabitant of Appin or Lochaber seemed almost fabulous, and which indeed bore a greater proportion to the income of Keppoch or Glengarry than fifteen hundred thousand pounds bore to the income of Lord Bedford or Lord Devonshire. The sum was ample; but the King was not fortunate in the choice of an agent. 206

John Earl of Breadalbane, the head of a younger branch of the great House of Campbell, ranked high among the petty princes of the mountains. He could bring seventeen hundred claymores into the field; and, ten years before the Revolution, he had actually marched into the Lowlands with this great force for the purpose of supporting the prelatical tyranny. 207 In those days he had affected zeal for monarchy and episcopacy; but in truth he cared for no government and no religion. He seems to have united two different sets of vices, the growth of two different regions, and of two different stages in the progress of society. In his castle among the hills he had learned the barbarian pride and ferocity of a Highland chief. In the Council Chamber at Edinburgh he had contracted the deep taint of treachery and corruption. After the Revolution he had, like too many of his fellow nobles, joined and betrayed every party in turn, had sworn fealty to William and Mary, and had plotted against them. To trace all the turns and doublings of his course, during the year 1689 and the earlier part of 1690, would be wearisome. 208 That course became somewhat less tortuous when the battle of the Boyne had cowed the spirit of the Jacobites. It now seemed probable that the Earl would be a loyal subject of their Majesties, till some great disaster should befall them. Nobody who knew him could trust him; but few Scottish statesmen could then be trusted; and yet Scottish statesmen must be employed. His position and connections marked him out as a man who might, if he would, do much towards the work of quieting the Highlands; and his interest seemed to be a guarantee for his zeal. He had, as he declared with every appearance of truth, strong personal reasons for wishing to see tranquillity restored. His domains were so situated that, while the civil war lasted, his vassals could not tend their herds or sow their oats in peace. His lands were daily ravaged; his cattle were daily driven away; one of his houses had been burned down. It was probable, therefore, that he would do his best to put an end to hostilities. 209

He was accordingly commissioned to treat with the Jacobite chiefs, and was entrusted with the money which was to be distributed among them. He invited them to a conference at his residence in Glenorchy. They came; but the treaty went on very slowly. Every head of a tribe asked for a larger share of the English gold than was to be obtained. Breadalbane was suspected of intending to cheat both the clans and the King. The dispute between the rebels and the government was complicated with another dispute still more embarrassing. The Camerons and Macdonalds were really at war, not with William, but with Mac Callum More; and no arrangement to which Mac Callum More was not a party could really produce tranquillity. A grave question therefore arose, whether the money entrusted to Breadalbane should be paid directly to the discontented chiefs, or should be employed to satisfy the claims which Argyle had upon them. The shrewdness of Lochiel and the arrogant pretensions of Glengarry contributed to protract the discussions. But no Celtic potentate was so impracticable as Macdonald of Glencoe, known among the mountains by the hereditary appellation of Mac Ian. 210

Mac Ian dwelt in the mouth of a ravine situated not far from the southern shore of Lochleven, an arm of the sea which deeply indents the western coast of Scotland, and separates Argyleshire from Invernesshire. Near his house were two or three small hamlets inhabited by his tribe. The whole population which he governed was not supposed to exceed two hundred souls. In the neighbourhood of the little cluster of villages was some copsewood and some pasture land; but a little further up the defile no sign of population or of fruitfulness was to be seen. In the Gaelic tongue Glencoe signifies the Glen of Weeping; and in truth that pass is the most dreary and melancholy of all the Scottish passes, the very Valley of the Shadow of Death. Mists and storms brood over it through the greater part of the finest summer; and even on those rare days when the sun is bright, and when there is no cloud in the sky, the impression made by the landscape is sad and awful. The path lies along a stream which issues from the most sullen and gloomy of mountain pools. Huge precipices of naked stone frown on both sides. Even in July the streaks of snow may often be discerned in the rifts near the summits. All down the sides of the crags heaps of ruin mark the headlong paths of the torrents. Mile after mile the traveller looks in vain for the smoke of one hut, for one human form wrapped in plaid, and listens in vain for the bark of a shepherd's dog or the bleat of a lamb. Mile after mile the only sound that indicates life is the faint cry of a bird of prey from some stormbeaten pinnacle of rock. The progress of civilisation, which has turned so many wastes into fields yellow with harvests or gay with apple blossoms, has only made Glencoe more desolate. All the science and industry of a peaceful age can extract nothing valuable from that wilderness; but, in an age of violence and rapine, the wilderness itself was valued on account of the shelter which it afforded to the plunderer and his plunder. Nothing could be more natural than that the clan to which this rugged desert belonged should have been noted for predatory habits. For, among the Highlanders generally, to rob was thought at least as honourable an employment as to cultivate the soil; and, of all the Highlanders, The Macdonalds of Glencoe had the least productive soil, and the most convenient and secure den of robbers. Successive governments had tried to punish this wild race; but no large force had ever been employed for that purpose; and a small force was easily resisted or eluded by men familiar with every recess and every outlet of the natural fortress in which they had been born and bred. The people of Glencoe would probably have been less troublesome neighbours if they had lived among their own kindred. But they were an outpost of the Clan Donald, separated from every other branch of their own family, and almost surrounded by the domains of the hostile race of Diarmid. 211 They were impelled by hereditary enmity, as well as by want, to live at the expense of the tribe of Campbell. Breadalbane's property had suffered greatly from their depredations; and he was not of a temper to forgive such injuries. When, therefore, the Chief of Glencoe made his appearance at the congress in Glenorchy, he was ungraciously received. The Earl, who ordinarily bore himself with the solemn dignity of a Castilian grandee, forgot, in his resentment, his wonted gravity, forgot his public character, forgot the laws of hospitality, and, with angry reproaches and menaces, demanded reparation for the herds which had been driven from his lands by Mac Ian's followers. Mac Ian was seriously apprehensive of some personal outrage, and was glad to get safe back to his own glen. 212 His pride had been wounded; and the promptings of interest concurred with those of pride. As the head of a people who lived by pillage, he had strong reasons for wishing that the country might continue to be in a perturbed state. He had little chance of receiving one guinea of the money which was to be distributed among the malecontents. For his share of that money would scarcely meet Breadalbane's demands for compensation; and there could be little doubt that, whoever might be unpaid, Breadalbane would take care to pay himself. Mac Ian therefore did his best to dissuade his allies from accepting terms from which he could himself expect no benefit; and his influence was not small. His own vassals, indeed, were few in number; but he came of the best blood of the Highlands; he had kept up a close connection with his more powerful kinsmen; nor did they like him the less because he was a robber; for he never robbed them; and that robbery, merely as robbery, was a wicked and disgraceful act, had never entered into the mind of any Celtic chief. Mac Ian was therefore held in high esteem by the confederates. His age was venerable; his aspect was majestic; and he possessed in large measure those intellectual qualities which, in rude societies, give men an ascendency over their fellows. Breadalbane found himself, at every step of the negotiation, thwarted by the arts of his old enemy, and abhorred the name of Glencoe more and more every day. 213

But the government did not trust solely to Breadalbane's diplomatic skill. The authorities at Edinburgh put forth a proclamation exhorting the clans to submit to King William and Queen Mary, and offering pardon to every rebel who, on or before the thirty-first of December 1691, should swear to live peaceably under the government of their Majesties. It was announced that those who should hold out after that day would be treated as enemies and traitors. 214 Warlike preparations were made, which showed that the threat was meant in earnest. The Highlanders were alarmed, and, though the pecuniary terms had not been satisfactorily settled, thought it prudent to give the pledge which was demanded of them. No chief, indeed, was willing to set the example of submission. Glengarry blustered, and pretended to fortify his house. 215 "I will not," said Lochiel, "break the ice. That is a point of honour with me. But my tacksmen and people may use their freedom." 216 His tacksmen and people understood him, and repaired by hundreds to the Sheriff to take the oaths. The Macdonalds of Sleat, Clanronald, Keppoch, and even Glengarry, imitated the Camerons; and the chiefs, after trying to outstay each other as long as they durst, imitated their vassals.

The thirty-first of December arrived; and still the Macdonalds of Glencoe had not come in. The punctilious pride of Mac Ian was doubtless gratified by the thought that he had continued to defy the government after the boastful Glengarry, the ferocious Keppoch, the magnanimous Lochiel had yielded: but he bought his gratification dear.

At length, on the thirty-first of December, he repaired to Fort William, accompanied by his principal vassals, and offered to take the oaths. To his dismay he found that there was in the fort no person competent to administer them. Colonel Hill, the Governor, was not a magistrate; nor was there any magistrate nearer than Inverary. Mac Ian, now fully sensible of the folly of which he had been guilty in postponing to the very last moment an act on which his life and his estate depended, set off for Inverary in great distress. He carried with him a letter from Hill to the Sheriff of Argyleshire, Sir Colin Campbell of Ardkinglass, a respectable gentleman, who, in the late reign, had suffered severely for his Whig principles. In this letter the Colonel expressed a goodnatured hope that, even out of season, a lost sheep, and so fine a lost sheep, would be gladly received. Mac Ian made all the haste in his power, and did not stop even at his own house, though it lay nigh to the road. But at that time a journey through Argyleshire in the depth of winter was necessarily slow. The old man's progress up steep mountains and along boggy valleys was obstructed by snow storms; and it was not till the sixth of January that he presented himself before the Sheriff at Inverary. The Sheriff hesitated. His power, he said, was limited by the terms of the proclamation, and he did not see how he could swear a rebel who had not submitted within the prescribed time. Mac Ian begged earnestly and with tears that he might be sworn. His people, he said, would follow his example. If any of them proved refractory, he would himself send the recusant to prison, or ship him off for Islanders. His entreaties and Hill's letter overcame Sir Colin's scruples. The oath was administered; and a certificate was transmitted to the Council at Edinburgh, setting forth the special circumstances which had induced the Sheriff to do what he knew not to be strictly regular. 217

The news that Mac Ian had not submitted within the prescribed time was received with cruel joy by three powerful Scotchmen who were then at the English Court. Breadalbane had gone up to London at Christmas in order to give an account of his stewardship. There he met his kinsman Argyle. Argyle was, in personal qualities, one of the most insignificant of the long line of nobles who have borne that great name. He was the descendant of eminent men, and the parent of eminent men. He was the grandson of one of the ablest of Scottish politicians; the son of one of the bravest and most truehearted of Scottish patriots; the father of one Mac Callum More renowned as a warrior and as an orator, as the model of every courtly grace, and as the judicious patron of arts and letters, and of another Mac Callum More distinguished by talents for business and command, and by skill in the exact sciences. Both of such an ancestry and of such a progeny Argyle was unworthy. He had even been guilty of the crime, common enough among Scottish politicians, but in him singularly disgraceful, of tampering with the agents of James while professing loyalty to William. Still Argyle had the importance inseparable from high rank, vast domains, extensive feudal rights, and almost boundless patriarchal authority. To him, as to his cousin Breadalbane, the intelligence that the tribe of Glencoe was out of the protection of the law was most gratifying; and the Master of Stair more than sympathized with them both.

The feeling of Argyle and Breadalbane is perfectly intelligible. They were the heads of a great clan; and they had an opportunity of destroying a neighbouring clan with which they were at deadly feud. Breadalbane had received peculiar provocation. His estate had been repeatedly devastated; and he had just been thwarted in a negotiation of high moment. Unhappily there was scarcely any excess of ferocity for which a precedent could not be found in Celtic tradition. Among all warlike barbarians revenge is esteemed the most sacred of duties and the most exquisite of pleasures; and so it had long been esteemed among the Highlanders. The history of the clans abounds with frightful tales, some perhaps fabulous or exaggerated, some certainly true, of vindictive massacres and assassinations. The Macdonalds of Glengarry, for example, having been affronted by the people of Culloden, surrounded Culloden church on a Sunday, shut the doors, and burned the whole congregation alive. While the flames were raging, the hereditary musician of the murderers mocked the shrieks of the perishing crowd with the notes of his bagpipe. 218 A band of Macgregors, having cut off the head of an enemy, laid it, the mouth filled with bread and cheese, on his sister's table, and had the satisfaction of seeing her go mad with horror at the sight. They then carried the ghastly trophy in triumph to their chief. The whole clan met under the roof of an ancient church. Every one in turn laid his hand on the dead man's scalp, and vowed to defend the slayers. 219 The inhabitants of Eigg seized some Macleods, bound them hand and foot, and turned them adrift in a boat to be swallowed up by the waves or to perish of hunger. The Macleods retaliated by driving the population of Eigg into a cavern, lighting a fire at the entrance, and suffocating the whole race, men, women and children. 220 It is much less strange that the two great Earls of the house of Campbell, animated by the passions of Highland chieftains, should have planned a Highland revenge, than that they should have found an accomplice, and something more than an accomplice, in the Master of Stair.

The Master of Stair was one of the first men of his time, a jurist, a statesman, a fine scholar, an eloquent orator. His polished manners and lively conversation were the delight of aristocratical societies; and none who met him in such societies would have thought it possible that he could bear the chief part in any atrocious crime. His political principles were lax, yet not more lax than those of most Scotch politicians of that age. Cruelty had never been imputed to him. Those who most disliked him did him the justice to own that, where his schemes of policy were not concerned, he was a very goodnatured man. 221 There is not the slightest reason to believe that he gained a single pound Scots by the act which has covered his name with infamy. He had no personal reason to wish the Glencoe men ill. There had been no feud between them and his family. His property lay in a district where their tartan was never seen. Yet he hated them with a hatred as fierce and implacable as if they had laid waste his fields, burned his mansion, murdered his child in the cradle.

To what cause are we to ascribe so strange an antipathy? This question perplexed the Master's contemporaries; and any answer which may now be offered ought to be offered with diffidence. 222 The most probable conjecture is that he was actuated by an inordinate, an unscrupulous, a remorseless zeal for what seemed to him to be the interest of the state. This explanation may startle those who have not considered how large a proportion of the blackest crimes recorded in history is to be ascribed to ill regulated public spirit. We daily see men do for their party, for their sect, for their country, for their favourite schemes of political and social reform, what they would not do to enrich or to avenge themselves. At a temptation directly addressed to our private cupidity or to our private animosity, whatever virtue we have takes the alarm. But, virtue itself may contribute to the fall of him who imagines that it is in his power, by violating some general rule of morality, to confer an important benefit on a church, on a commonwealth, on mankind. He silences the remonstrances of conscience, and hardens his heart against the most touching spectacles of misery, by repeating to himself that his intentions are pure, that his objects are noble, that he is doing a little evil for the sake of a great good. By degrees he comes altogether to forget the turpitude of the means in the excellence of the end, and at length perpetrates without one internal twinge acts which would shock a buccaneer. There is no reason to believe that Dominic would, for the best archbishopric in christendom, have incited ferocious marauders to plunder and slaughter a peaceful and industrious population, that Everard Digby would for a dukedom have blown a large assembly of people into the air, or that Robespierre would have murdered for hire one of the thousands whom he murdered from philanthropy.

The Master of Stair seems to have proposed to himself a truly great and good end, the pacification and civilisation of the Highlands. He was, by the acknowledgment of those who most hated him, a man of large views. He justly thought it monstrous that a third part of Scotland should be in a state scarcely less savage than New Guinea, that letters of fire and sword should, through a third part of Scotland, be, century after century, a species of legal process, and that no attempt should be made to apply a radical remedy to such evils. The independence affected by a crowd of petty sovereigns, the contumacious resistance which they were in the habit of offering to the authority of the Crown and of the Court of Session, their wars, their robberies, their fireraisings, their practice of exacting black mail from people more peaceable and more useful than themselves, naturally excited the disgust and indignation of an enlightened and politic gownsman, who was, both by the constitution of his mind and by the habits of his profession, a lover of law and order. His object was no less than a complete dissolution and reconstruction of society in the Highlands, such a dissolution and reconstruction as, two generations later, followed the battle of Culloden. In his view the clans, as they existed, were the plagues of the kingdom; and of all the clans, the worst was that which inhabited Glencoe. He had, it is said, been particularly struck by a frightful instance of the lawlessness and ferocity of those marauders. One of them, who had been concerned in some act of violence or rapine, had given information against his companions. He had been bound to a tree and murdered. The old chief had given the first stab; and scores of dirks had then been plunged into the wretch's body. 223 By the mountaineers such an act was probably regarded as a legitimate exercise of patriarchal jurisdiction. To the Master of Stair it seemed that people among whom such things were done and were approved ought to be treated like a pack of wolves, snared by any device, and slaughtered without mercy. He was well read in history, and doubtless knew how great rulers had, in his own and other countries, dealt with such banditti. He doubtless knew with what energy and what severity James the Fifth had put down the mosstroopers of the border, how the chief of Henderland had been hung over the gate of the castle in which he had prepared a banquet for the King; how John Armstrong and his thirty-six horsemen, when they came forth to welcome their sovereign, had scarcely been allowed time to say a single prayer before they were all tied up and turned off. Nor probably was the Secretary ignorant of the means by which Sixtus the Fifth had cleared the ecclesiastical state of outlaws. The eulogists of that great pontiff tell us that there was one formidable gang which could not be dislodged from a stronghold among the Apennines. Beasts of burden were therefore loaded with poisoned food and wine, and sent by a road which ran close to the fastness. The robbers sallied forth, seized the prey, feasted and died; and the pious old Pope exulted greatly when he heard that the corpses of thirty ruffians, who had been the terror of many peaceful villages, had been found lying among the mules and packages. The plans of the Master of Stair were conceived in the spirit of James and of Sixtus; and the rebellion of the mountaineers furnished what seemed to be an excellent opportunity for carrying those plans into effect. Mere rebellion, indeed, he could have easily pardoned. On Jacobites, as Jacobites, he never showed any inclination to bear hard. He hated the Highlanders, not as enemies of this or that dynasty, but as enemies of law, of industry and of trade. In his private correspondence he applied to them the short and terrible form of words in which the implacable Roman pronounced the doom of Carthage. His project was no less than this, that the whole hill country from sea to sea, and the neighbouring islands, should be wasted with fire and sword, that the Camerons, the Macleans, and all the branches of the race of Macdonald, should be rooted out. He therefore looked with no friendly eye on schemes of reconciliation, and, while others were hoping that a little money would set everything right, hinted very intelligibly his opinion that whatever money was to be laid out on the clans would be best laid out in the form of bullets and bayonets. To the last moment he continued to flatter himself that the rebels would be obstinate, and would thus furnish him with a plea for accomplishing that great social revolution on which his heart was set. 224 The letter is still extant in which he directed the commander of the forces in Scotland how to act if the Jacobite chiefs should not come in before the end of December. There is something strangely terrible in the calmness and conciseness with which the instructions are given. "Your troops will destroy entirely the country of Lochaber, Lochiel's lands, Keppoch's, Glengarry's and Glencoe's. Your power shall be large enough. I hope the soldiers will not trouble the government with prisoners." 225

This despatch had scarcely been sent off when news arrived in London that the rebel chiefs, after holding out long, had at last appeared before the Sheriffs and taken the oaths. Lochiel, the most eminent man among them, had not only declared that he would live and die a true subject to King William, but had announced his intention of visiting England, in the hope of being permitted to kiss His Majesty's hand. In London it was announced exultingly that every clan, without exception, had submitted in time; and the announcement was generally thought most satisfactory. 226 But the Master of Stair was bitterly disappointed. The Highlands were then to continue to be what they had been, the shame and curse of Scotland. A golden opportunity of subjecting them to the law had been suffered to escape, and might never return. If only the Macdonalds would have stood out, nay, if an example could but have been made of the two worst Macdonalds, Keppoch and Glencoe, it would have been something. But it seemed that even Keppoch and Glencoe, marauders who in any well governed country would have been hanged thirty years before, were safe. 227 While the Master was brooding over thoughts like these, Argyle brought him some comfort. The report that Mac Ian had taken the oaths within the prescribed time was erroneous. The Secretary was consoled. One clan, then, was at the mercy of the government, and that clan the most lawless of all. One great act of justice, nay of charity, might be performed. One terrible and memorable example might be given. 228

Yet there was a difficulty. Mac Ian had taken the oaths. He had taken them, indeed, too late to be entitled to plead the letter of the royal promise; but the fact that he had taken them was one which evidently ought not to have been concealed from those who were to decide his fate. By a dark intrigue, of which the history is but imperfectly known, but which was, in all probability, directed by the Master of Stair, the evidence of Mac Ian's tardy submission was suppressed. The certificate which the Sheriff of Argyleshire had transmitted to the Council at Edinburgh, was never laid before the board, but was privately submitted to some persons high in office, and particularly to Lord President Stair, the father of the Secretary. These persons pronounced the certificate irregular, and, indeed, absolutely null; and it was cancelled.

Meanwhile the Master of Stair was forming, in concert with Breadalbane and Argyle, a plan for the destruction of the people of Glencoe. It was necessary to take the King's pleasure, not, indeed, as to the details of what was to be done, but as to the question whether Mac Ian and his people should or should not be treated as rebels out of the pale of the ordinary law. The Master of Stair found no difficulty in the royal closet. William had, in all probability, never heard the Glencoe men mentioned except as banditti. He knew that they had not come in by the prescribed day. That they had come in after that day he did not know. If he paid any attention to the matter, he must have thought that so fair an opportunity of putting an end to the devastations and depredations from which a quiet and industrious population had suffered so much ought not to be lost.

An order was laid before him for signature. He signed it, but, if Burnet may be trusted, did not read it. Whoever has seen anything of public business knows that princes and ministers daily sign, and indeed must sign, documents which they have not read; and of all documents a document relating to a small tribe of mountaineers, living in a wilderness not set down in any map, was least likely to interest a Sovereign whose mind was full of schemes on which the fate of Europe might depend. 229 But, even on the supposition that he read the order to which he affixed his name, there seems to be no reason for blaming him. That order, directed to the Commander of the Forces in Scotland, runs thus: "As for Mac Ian of Glencoe and that tribe, if they can be well distinguished from the other Highlanders, it will be proper, for the vindication of public justice, to extirpate that set of thieves." These words naturally bear a sense perfectly innocent, and would, but for the horrible event which followed, have been universally understood in that sense. It is undoubtedly one of the first duties of every government to extirpate gangs of thieves. This does not mean that every thief ought to be treacherously assassinated in his sleep, or even that every thief ought to be publicly executed after a fair trial, but that every gang, as a gang, ought to be completely broken up, and that whatever severity is indispensably necessary for that end ought to be used. If William had read and weighed the words which were submitted to him by his Secretary, he would probably have understood them to mean that Glencoe was to be occupied by troops, that resistance, if resistance were attempted, was to be put down with a strong hand, that severe punishment was to be inflicted on those leading members of the clan who could be proved to have been guilty of great crimes, that some active young freebooters, who were more used to handle the broad sword than the plough, and who did not seem likely to settle down into quiet labourers, were to be sent to the army in the Low Countries, that others were to be transported to the American plantations, and that those Macdonalds who were suffered to remain in their native valley were to be disarmed and required to give hostages for good behaviour. A plan very nearly resembling this had, we know, actually been the subject of much discussion in the political circles of Edinburgh. 230 There can be little doubt that William would have deserved well of his people if he had, in this manner, extirpated not only the tribe of Mac Ian, but every Highland tribe whose calling was to steal cattle and burn houses.

The extirpation planned by the Master of Stair was of a different kind. His design was to butcher the whole race of thieves, the whole damnable race. Such was the language in which his hatred vented itself. He studied the geography of the wild country which surrounded Glencoe, and made his arrangements with infernal skill. If possible, the blow must be quick, and crushing, and altogether unexpected. But if Mac Ian should apprehend danger and should attempt to take refuge in the territories of his neighbours, he must find every road barred. The pass of Rannoch must be secured. The Laird of Weems, who was powerful in Strath Tay, must be told that, if he harbours the outlaws, he does so at his peril. Breadalbane promised to cut off the retreat of the fugitives on one side, Mac Callum More on another. It was fortunate, the Secretary wrote, that it was winter. This was the time to maul the wretches. The nights were so long, the mountain tops so cold and stormy, that even the hardiest men could not long bear exposure to the open air without a roof or a spark of fire. That the women and the children could find shelter in the desert was quite impossible. While he wrote thus, no thought that he was committing a great wickedness crossed his mind. He was happy in the approbation of his own conscience. Duty, justice, nay charity and mercy, were the names under which he disguised his cruelty; nor is it by any means improbable that the disguise imposed upon himself. 231

Hill, who commanded the forces assembled at Fort William, was not entrusted with the execution of the design. He seems to have been a humane man; he was much distressed when he learned that the government was determined on severity; and it was probably thought that his heart might fail him in the most critical moment. He was directed to put a strong detachment under the orders of his second in command, Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton. To Hamilton a significant hint was conveyed that he had now an excellent opportunity of establishing his character in the estimation of those who were at the head of affairs. Of the troops entrusted to him a large proportion were Campbells, and belonged to a regiment lately raised by Argyle, and called by Argyle's name, It was probably thought that, on such an occasion, humanity might prove too strong for the mere habit of military obedience, and that little reliance could be placed on hearts which had not been ulcerated by a feud such as had long raged between the people of Mac Ian and the people of Mac Callum More.

Had Hamilton marched openly against the Glencoe men and put them to the edge of the sword, the act would probably not have wanted apologists, and most certainly would not have wanted precedents. But the Master of Stair had strongly recommended a different mode of proceeding. If the least alarm were given, the nest of robbers would be found empty; and to hunt them down in so wild a region would, even with all the help that Breadalbane and Argyle could give, be a long and difficult business. "Better," he wrote, "not meddle with them than meddle to no purpose. When the thing is resolved, let it be secret and sudden." 232 He was obeyed; and it was determined that the Glencoe men should perish, not by military execution, but by the most dastardly and perfidious form of assassination.

On the first of February a hundred and twenty soldiers of Argyle's regiment, commanded by a captain named Campbell and a lieutenant named Lindsay, marched to Glencoe. Captain Campbell was commonly called in Scotland Glenlyon, from the pass in which his property lay. He had every qualification for the service on which he was employed, an unblushing forehead, a smooth lying tongue, and a heart of adamant. He was also one of the few Campbells who were likely to be trusted and welcomed by the Macdonalds; for his niece was married to Alexander, the second son of Mac Ian.

The sight of the red coats approaching caused some anxiety among the population of the valley. John, the eldest son of the Chief, came, accompanied by twenty clansmen, to meet the strangers, and asked what this visit meant. Lieutenant Lindsay answered that the soldiers came as friends, and wanted nothing but quarters. They were kindly received, and were lodged under the thatched roofs of the little community. Glenlyon and several of his men were taken into the house of a tacksman who was named, from the cluster of cabins over which he exercised authority, Inverriggen. Lindsay was accommodated nearer to the abode of the old chief. Auchintriater, one of the principal men of the clan, who governed the small hamlet of Auchnaion, found room there for a party commanded by a serjeant named Barbour. Provisions were liberally supplied. There was no want of beef, which had probably fattened in distant pastures; nor was any payment demanded; for in hospitality, as in thievery, the Gaelic marauders rivalled the Bedouins. During twelve days the soldiers lived familiarly with the people of the glen. Old Mac Ian, who had before felt many misgivings as to the relation in which he stood to the government, seems to have been pleased with the visit. The officers passed much of their time with him and his family. The long evenings were cheerfully spent by the peat fire with the help of some packs of cards which had found their way to that remote corner of the world, and of some French brandy which was probably part of James's farewell gift to his Highland supporters. Glenlyon appeared to be warmly attached to his niece and her husband Alexander. Every day he came to their house to take his morning draught. Meanwhile he observed with minute attention all the avenues by which, when the signal for the slaughter should be given, the Macdonalds might attempt to escape to the hills; and he reported the result of his observations to Hamilton.

Hamilton fixed five o'clock in the morning of the thirteenth of February for the deed. He hoped that, before that time, he should reach Glencoe with four hundred men, and should have stopped all the earths in which the old fox and his two cubs,-so Mac Ian and his sons were nicknamed by the murderers,—could take refuge. But, at five precisely, whether Hamilton had arrived or not, Glenlyon was to fall on, and to slay every Macdonald under seventy.

The night was rough. Hamilton and his troops made slow progress, and were long after their time. While they were contending with the wind and snow, Glenlyon was supping and playing at cards with those whom he meant to butcher before daybreak. He and Lieutenant Lindsay had engaged themselves to dine with the old Chief on the morrow.

Late in the evening a vague suspicion that some evil was intended crossed the mind of the Chief's eldest son. The soldiers were evidently in a restless state; and some of them uttered strange cries. Two men, it is said, were overheard whispering. "I do not like this job;" one of them muttered, "I should be glad to fight the Macdonalds. But to kill men in their beds—" "We must do as we are bid," answered another voice. "If there is any thing wrong, our officers must answer for it." John Macdonald was so uneasy that, soon after midnight, he went to Glenlyon's quarters. Glenlyon and his men were all up, and seemed to be getting their arms ready for action. John, much alarmed, asked what these preparations meant. Glenlyon was profuse of friendly assurances. "Some of Glengarry's people have been harrying the country. We are getting ready to march against them. You are quite safe. Do you think that, if you were in any danger, I should not have given a hint to your brother Sandy and his wife?" John's suspicions were quieted. He returned to his house, and lay down to rest.

It was five in the morning. Hamilton and his men were still some miles off; and the avenues which they were to have secured were open. But the orders which Glenlyon had received were precise; and he began to execute them at the little village where he was himself quartered. His host Inverriggen and nine other Macdonalds were dragged out of their beds, bound hand and foot, and murdered. A boy twelve years old clung round the Captain's legs, and begged hard for life. He would do any thing; he would go any where; he would follow Glenlyon round the world. Even Glenlyon, it is said, showed signs of relenting; but a ruffian named Drummond shot the child dead.

At Auchnaion the tacksman Auchintriater was up early that morning, and was sitting with eight of his family round the fire, when a volley of musketry laid him and seven of his companions dead or dying on the floor. His brother, who alone had escaped unhurt, called to Serjeant Barbour, who commanded the slayers, and asked as a favour to be allowed to die in the open air. "Well," said the Serjeant, "I will do you that favour for the sake of your meat which I have eaten." The mountaineer, bold, athletic, and favoured by the darkness, came forth, rushed on the soldiers who were about to level their pieces at him, flung his plaid over their faces, and was gone in a moment.

Meanwhile Lindsay had knocked at the door of the old Chief and had asked for admission in friendly language. The door was opened. Mac Ian, while putting on his clothes and calling to his servants to bring some refreshment for his visitors, was shot through the head. Two of his attendants were slain with him. His wife was already up and dressed in such finery as the princesses of the rude Highland glens were accustomed to wear. The assassins pulled off her clothes and trinkets. The rings were not easily taken from her fingers but a soldier tore them away with his teeth. She died on the following day.

The statesman, to whom chiefly this great crime is to be ascribed, had planned it with consummate ability: but the execution was complete in nothing but in guilt and infamy. A succession of blunders saved three fourths of the Glencoe men from the fate of their chief. All the moral qualities which fit men to bear a part in a massacre Hamilton and Glenlyon possessed in perfection. But neither seems to have had much professional skill; Hamilton had arranged his plan without making allowance for bad weather, and this in a country and at a season when the weather was very likely to be bad. The consequence was that the fox earths, as he called them, were not stopped in time. Glenlyon and his men committed the error of despatching their hosts with firearms instead of using the cold steel. The peal and flash of gun after gun gave notice, from three different parts of the valley at once; that murder was doing. From fifty cottages the half naked peasantry fled under cover of the night to the recesses of their pathless glen. Even the sons of Mac Ian, who had been especially marked out for destruction, contrived to escape. They were roused from sleep by faithful servants. John, who, by the death of his father, had become the patriarch of the tribe, quitted his dwelling just as twenty soldiers with fixed bayonets marched up to it. It was broad day long before Hamilton arrived. He found the work not even half performed. About thirty corpses lay wallowing in blood on the dunghills before the doors. One or two women were seen among the number, and, a yet more fearful and piteous sight, a little hand, which had been lopped in the tumult of the butchery from some infant. One aged Macdonald was found alive. He was probably too infirm to fly, and, as he was above seventy, was not included in the orders under which Glenlyon had acted. Hamilton murdered the old man in cold blood. The deserted hamlets were then set on fire; and the troops departed, driving away with them many sheep and goats, nine hundred kine, and two hundred of the small shaggy ponies of the Highlands.

It is said, and may but too easily be believed, that the sufferings of the fugitives were terrible. How many old men, how many women with babes in their arms, sank down and slept their last sleep in the snow; how many, having crawled, spent with toil and hunger, into nooks among the precipices, died in those dark holes, and were picked to the bone by the mountain ravens, can never be known. But it is probable that those who perished by cold, weariness and want were not less numerous than those who were slain by the assassins. When the troops had retired, the Macdonalds crept out of the caverns of Glencoe, ventured back to the spot where the huts had formerly stood, collected the scorched corpses from among the smoking ruins, and performed some rude rites of sepulture. The tradition runs that the hereditary bard of the tribe took his seat on a rock which overhung the place of slaughter, and poured forth a long lament over his murdered brethren, and his desolate home. Eighty years later that sad dirge was still repeated by the population of the valley. 233

The survivors might well apprehend that they had escaped the shot and the sword only to perish by famine. The whole domain was a waste. Houses, barns, furniture, implements of husbandry, herds, flocks, horses, were gone. Many months must elapse before the clan would be able to raise on its own ground the means of supporting even the most miserable existence. 234

It may be thought strange that these events should not have been instantly followed by a burst of execration from every part of the civilised world. The fact, however, is that years elapsed before the public indignation was thoroughly awakened, and that months elapsed before the blackest part of the story found credit even among the enemies of the government. That the massacre should not have been mentioned in the London Gazettes, in the Monthly Mercuries which were scarcely less courtly than the Gazettes, or in pamphlets licensed by official censors, is perfectly intelligible. But that no allusion to it should be found in private journals and letters, written by persons free from all restraint, may seem extraordinary. There is not a word on the subject in Evelyn's Diary. In Narcissus Luttrell's Diary is a remarkable entry made five weeks after the butchery. The letters from Scotland, he says, described that kingdom as perfectly tranquil, except that there was still some grumbling about ecclesiastical questions. The Dutch ministers regularly reported all the Scotch news to their government. They thought it worth while, about this time, to mention that a collier had been taken by a privateer near Berwick, that the Edinburgh mail had been robbed, that a whale, with a tongue seventeen feet long and seven feet broad, had been stranded near Aberdeen. But it is not hinted in any of their despatches that there was any rumour of any extraordinary occurrence in the Highlands. Reports that some of the Macdonalds had been slain did indeed, in about three weeks, travel through Edinburgh up to London. But these reports were vague and contradictory; and the very worst of them was far from coming up to the horrible truth. The Whig version of the story was that the old robber Mac Ian had laid an ambuscade for the soldiers, that he had been caught in his own snare, and that he and some of his clan had fallen sword in hand. The Jacobite version, written at Edinburgh on the twenty-third of March, appeared in the Paris Gazette of the seventh of April. Glenlyon, it was said, had been sent with a detachment from Argyle's regiment, under cover of darkness, to surprise the inhabitants of Glencoe, and had killed thirty-six men and boys and four women. 235 In this there was nothing very strange or shocking. A night attack on a gang of freebooters occupying a strong natural fortress may be a perfectly legitimate military operation; and, in the obscurity and confusion of such an attack, the most humane man may be so unfortunate as to shoot a woman or a child. The circumstances which give a peculiar character to the slaughter of Glencoe, the breach of faith, the breach of hospitality, the twelve days of feigned friendship and conviviality, of morning calls, of social meals, of healthdrinking, of cardplaying, were not mentioned by the Edinburgh correspondent of the Paris Gazette; and we may therefore confidently infer that those circumstances were as yet unknown even to inquisitive and busy malecontents residing in the Scottish capital within a hundred miles of the spot where the deed had been done. In the south of the island the matter produced, as far as can now be judged, scarcely any sensation. To the Londoner of those days Appin was what Caffraria or Borneo is to us. He was not more moved by hearing that some Highland thieves had been surprised and killed than we are by hearing that a band of Amakosah cattle stealers has been cut off, or that a bark full of Malay pirates has been sunk. He took it for granted that nothing had been done in Glencoe beyond what was doing in many other glens. There had been a night brawl, one of a hundred night brawls, between the Macdonalds and the Campbells; and the Campbells had knocked the Macdonalds on the head.

By slow degrees the whole truth came out. From a letter written at Edinburgh about two months after the crime had been committed, it appears that the horrible story was already current among the Jacobites of that city. In the summer Argyle's regiment was quartered in the south of England, and some of the men made strange confessions, over their ale, about what they had been forced to do in the preceding winter. The nonjurors soon got hold of the clue, and followed it resolutely; their secret presses went to work; and at length, near a year after the crime had been committed, it was published to the world. 236 But the world was long incredulous. The habitual mendacity of the Jacobite libellers had brought on them an appropriate punishment. Now, when, for the first time, they told the truth, they were supposed to be romancing. They complained bitterly that the story, though perfectly authentic, was regarded by the public as a factious lie. 237 So late as the year 1695, Hickes, in a tract in which he endeavoured to defend his darling tale of the Theban legion against the unanswerable argument drawn from the silence of historians, remarked that it might well be doubted whether any historian would make mention of the massacre of Glencoe. There were in England, he said, many thousands of well educated men who had never heard of that massacre, or who regarded it as a mere fable. 238

Nevertheless the punishment of some of the guilty began very early. Hill, who indeed can hardly be called guilty, was much disturbed. Breadalbane, hardened as he was, felt the stings of conscience or the dread of retribution. A few days after the Macdonalds had returned to their old dwellingplace, his steward visited the ruins of the house of Glencoe, and endeavoured to persuade the sons of the murdered chief to sign a paper declaring that they held the Earl guiltless of the blood which had been shed. They were assured that, if they would do this, all His Lordship's great influence should be employed to obtain for them from the Crown a free pardon and a remission of all forfeitures. 239 Glenlyon did his best to assume an air of unconcern. He made his appearance in the most fashionable coffeehouse at Edinburgh, and talked loudly and self-complacently about the important service in which he had been engaged among the mountains. Some of his soldiers, however, who observed him closely, whispered that all this bravery was put on. He was not the man that he had been before that night. The form of his countenance was changed. In all places, at all hours, whether he waked or slept, Glencoe was for ever before him. 240

But, whatever apprehensions might disturb Breadalbane, whatever spectres might haunt Glenlyon, the Master of Stair had neither fear nor remorse. He was indeed mortified; but he was mortified only by the blunders of Hamilton and by the escape of so many of the damnable breed. "Do right, and fear nobody;" such is the language of his letters. "Can there be a more sacred duty than to rid the country of thieving? The only thing that I regret is that any got away." 241

On the sixth of March, William, entirely ignorant, in all probability, of the details of the crime which has cast a dark shade over his glory, had set out for the Continent, leaving the Queen his viceregent in England. 242

He would perhaps have postponed his departure if he had been aware that the French Government had, during some time, been making great preparations for a descent on our island. 243 An event had taken place which had changed the policy of the Court of Versailles. Louvois was no more. He had been at the head of the military administration of his country during a quarter of a century; he had borne a chief part in the direction of two wars which had enlarged the French territory, and had filled the world with the renown of the French arms; and he had lived to see the beginning of a third war which tasked his great powers to the utmost. Between him and the celebrated captains who carried his plans into execution there was little harmony. His imperious temper and his confidence in himself impelled him to interfere too much with the conduct of troops in the field, even when those troops were commanded by Conde, by Turenne or by Luxemburg. But he was the greatest Adjutant General, the greatest Quartermaster General, the greatest Commissary General, that Europe had seen. He may indeed be said to have made a revolution in the art of disciplining, distributing, equipping and provisioning armies. In spite, however, of his abilities and of his services, he had become odious to Lewis and to her who governed Lewis. On the last occasion on which the King and the minister transacted business together, the ill humour on both sides broke violently forth. The servant, in his vexation, dashed his portfolio on the ground. The master, forgetting, what he seldom forgot, that a King should be a gentleman, lifted his cane. Fortunately his wife was present. She, with her usual prudence, caught his arm. She then got Louvois out of the room, and exhorted him to come back the next day as if nothing had happened. The next day he came; but with death in his face. The King, though full of resentment, was touched with pity, and advised Louvois to go home and take care of himself. That evening the great minister died. 244

Louvois had constantly opposed all plans for the invasion of England. His death was therefore regarded at Saint Germains as a fortunate event. 245 It was however necessary to look sad, and to send a gentleman to Versailles with some words of condolence. The messenger found the gorgeous circle of courtiers assembled round their master on the terrace above the orangery. "Sir," said Lewis, in a tone so easy and cheerful that it filled all the bystanders with amazement, "present my compliments and thanks to the King and Queen of England, and tell them that neither my affairs nor theirs will go on the worse by what has happened." These words were doubtless meant to intimate that the influence of Louvois had not been exerted in favour of the House of Stuart. 246 One compliment, however, a compliment which cost France dear, Lewis thought it right to pay to the memory of his ablest servant. The Marquess of Barbesieux, son of Louvois, was placed, in his twenty-fifth year, at the head of the war department. The young man was by no means deficient in abilities, and had been, during some years, employed in business of grave importance. But his passions were strong; his judgment was not ripe; and his sudden elevation turned his head. His manners gave general disgust. Old officers complained that he kept them long in his antechamber while he was amusing himself with his spaniels and his flatterers. Those who were admitted to his presence went away disgusted by his rudeness and arrogance. As was natural at his age, he valued power chiefly as the means of procuring pleasure. Millions of crowns were expended on the luxurious villa where he loved to forget the cares of office in gay conversation, delicate cookery and foaming champagne. He often pleaded an attack of fever as an excuse for not making his appearance at the proper hour in the royal closet, when in truth he had been playing truant among his boon companions and mistresses. "The French King," said William, "has an odd taste. He chooses an old woman for his mistress, and a young man for his minister." 247

There can be little doubt that Louvois, by pursuing that course which had made him odious to the inmates of Saint Germains, had deserved well of his country. He was not maddened by Jacobite enthusiasm. He well knew that exiles are the worst of all advisers. He had excellent information; he had excellent judgment; he calculated the chances; and he saw that a descent was likely to fail, and to fail disastrously and disgracefully. James might well be impatient to try the experiment, though the odds should be ten to one against him. He might gain; and he could not lose. His folly and obstinacy had left him nothing to risk. His food, his drink, his lodging, his clothes, he owed to charity. Nothing could be more natural than that, for the very smallest chance of recovering the three kingdoms which he had thrown away, he should be willing to stake what was not his own, the honour of the French arms, the grandeur and the safety of the French monarchy. To a French statesman such a wager might well appear in a different light. But Louvois was gone. His master yielded to the importunity of James, and determined to send an expedition against England. 248

The scheme was, in some respects, well concerted. It was resolved that a camp should be formed on the coast of Normandy, and that in this camp all the Irish regiments which were in the French service should be assembled under their countryman Sarsfield. With them were to be joined about ten thousand French troops. The whole army was to be commanded by Marshal Bellefonds.

A noble fleet of about eighty ships of the line was to convoy this force to the shores of England. In the dockyards both of Brittany and of Provence immense preparations were made. Four and forty men of war, some of which were among the finest that had ever been built, were assembled in the harbour of Brest under Tourville. The Count of Estrees, with thirty-five more, was to sail from Toulon. Ushant was fixed for the place of rendezvous. The very day was named. In order that there might be no want either of seamen or of vessels for the intended expedition, all maritime trade, all privateering was, for a time, interdicted by a royal mandate. 249 Three hundred transports were collected near the spot where the troops were to embark. It was hoped that all would be ready early in the spring, before the English ships were half rigged or half manned, and before a single Dutch man of war was in the Channel. 250

James had indeed persuaded himself that, even if the English fleet should fall in with him, it would not oppose him. He imagined that he was personally a favourite with the mariners of all ranks. His emissaries had been busy among the naval officers, and had found some who remembered him with kindness, and others who were out of humour with the men now in power. All the wild talk of a class of people not distinguished by taciturnity or discretion was reported to him with exaggeration, till he was deluded into a belief that he had more friends than enemies on board of the vessels which guarded our coasts. Yet he should have known that a rough sailor, who thought himself ill used by the Admiralty, might, after the third bottle, when drawn on by artful companions, express his regret for the good old times, curse the new government, and curse himself for being such a fool as to fight for that government, and yet might be by no means prepared to go over to the French on the day of battle. Of the malecontent officers, who, as James believed, were impatient to desert, the great majority had probably given no pledge of their attachment to him except an idle word hiccoughed out when they were drunk, and forgotten when they were sober. One those from whom he expected support, Rear Admiral Carter, had indeed heard and perfectly understood what the Jacobite agents had to say, had given them fair words, and had reported the whole to the Queen and her ministers. 251

But the chief dependence of James was on Russell. That false, arrogant and wayward politician was to command the Channel Fleet. He had never ceased to assure the Jacobite emissaries that he was bent on effecting a Restoration. Those emissaries fully reckoned, if not on his entire cooperation, yet at least on his connivance; and there could be no doubt that, with his connivance, a French fleet might easily convoy an army to our shores. James flattered himself that, as soon as he had landed, he should be master of the island. But in truth, when the voyage had ended, the difficulties of his enterprise would have been only beginning. Two years before he had received a lesson by which he should have profited. He had then deceived himself and others into the belief that the English were regretting him, were pining for him, were eager to rise in arms by tens of thousands to welcome him. William was then, as now, at a distance. Then, as now, the administration was entrusted to a woman. Then, as now, there were few regular troops in England. Torrington had then done as much to injure the government which he served as Russell could now do. The French fleet had then, after riding, during several weeks, victorious and dominant in the Channel, landed some troops on the southern coast. The immediate effect had been that whole counties, without distinction of Tory or Whig, Churchman or Dissenter, had risen up, as one man, to repel the foreigners, and that the Jacobite party, which had, a few days before, seemed to be half the nation, had crouched down in silent terror, and had made itself so small that it had, during some time, been invisible. What reason was there for believing that the multitude who had, in 1690, at the first lighting of the beacons, snatched up firelocks, pikes, scythes, to defend, their native soil against the French, would now welcome the French as allies? And of the army by which James was now to be accompanied the French formed the least odious part. More than half of that army was to consist of Irish Papists; and the feeling, compounded of hatred and scorn, with which the Irish Papists had long been regarded by the English Protestants, had by recent events been stimulated to a vehemence before unknown. The hereditary slaves, it was said, had been for a moment free; and that moment had sufficed to prove that they knew neither how to use nor how to defend their freedom. During their short ascendency they had done nothing but slay, and burn, and pillage, and demolish, and attaint, and confiscate. In three years they had committed such waste on their native land as thirty years of English intelligence and industry would scarcely repair. They would have maintained their independence against the world, if they had been as ready to fight as they were to steal. But they had retreated ignominiously from the walls of Londonderry. They had fled like deer before the yeomanry of Enniskillen. The Prince whom they now presumed to think that they could place, by force of arms, on the English throne, had himself, on the morning after the rout of the Boyne, reproached them with their cowardice, and told them that he would never again trust to their soldiership. On this subject Englishmen were of one mind. Tories, Nonjurors, even Roman Catholics, were as loud as Whigs in reviling the ill fated race. It is, therefore, not difficult to guess what effect would have been produced by the appearance on our soil of enemies whom, on their own soil, we had vanquished and trampled down.

James, however, in spite of the recent and severe teaching of experience, believed whatever his correspondents in England told him; and they told him that the whole nation was impatiently expecting him, that both the West and the North were ready to rise, that he would proceed from the place of landing to Whitehall with as little opposition as when, in old times, he returned from a progress. Ferguson distinguished himself by the confidence with which he predicted a complete and bloodless victory. He and his printer, he was absurd enough to write, would be the two first men in the realm to take horse for His Majesty. Many other agents were busy up and down the country, during the winter and the early part of the spring. It does not appear that they had much success in the counties south of Trent. But in the north, particularly in Lancashire, where the Roman Catholics were more numerous and more powerful than in any other part of the kingdom, and where there seems to have been, even among the Protestant gentry, more than the ordinary proportion of bigoted Jacobites, some preparations for an insurrection were made. Arms were privately bought; officers were appointed; yeomen, small farmers, grooms, huntsmen, were induced to enlist. Those who gave in their names were distributed into eight regiments of cavalry and dragoons, and were directed to hold themselves in readiness to mount at the first signal. 252

One of the circumstances which filled James, at this time, with vain hopes, was that his wife was pregnant and near her delivery. He flattered himself that malice itself would be ashamed to repeat any longer the story of the warming pan, and that multitudes whom that story had deceived would instantly return to their allegiance. He took, on this occasion, all those precautions which, four years before, he had foolishly and perversely forborne to take. He contrived to transmit to England letters summoning many Protestant women of quality to assist at the expected birth; and he promised, in the name of his dear brother the Most Christian King, that they should be free to come and go in safety. Had some of these witnesses been invited to Saint James's on the morning of the tenth of June 1688, the House of Stuart might, perhaps, now be reigning in our island. But it is easier to keep a crown than to regain one. It might be true that a calumnious fable had done much to bring about the Revolution. But it by no means followed that the most complete refutation of that fable would bring about a Restoration. Not a single lady crossed the sea in obedience to James's call. His Queen was safely delivered of a daughter; but this event produced no perceptible effect on the state of public feeling in England. 253

Meanwhile the preparations for his expedition were going on fast. He was on the point of setting out for the place of embarkation before the English government was at all aware of the danger which was impending. It had been long known indeed that many thousands of Irish were assembled in Normandy; but it was supposed that they had been assembled merely that they might be mustered and drilled before they were sent to Flanders, Piedmont, and Catalonia. 254 Now, however, intelligence, arriving from many quarters, left no doubt that an invasion would be almost immediately attempted. Vigorous preparations for defence were made. The equipping and manning of the ships was urged forward with vigour. The regular troops were drawn together between London and the sea. A great camp was formed on the down which overlooks Portsmouth. The militia all over the kingdom was called out. Two Westminster regiments and six City regiments, making up a force of thirteen thousand fighting men, were arrayed in Hyde Park, and passed in review before the Queen. The trainbands of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey marched down to the coast. Watchmen were posted by the beacons. Some nonjurors were imprisoned, some disarmed, some held to bail. The house of the Earl of Huntingdon, a noted Jacobite, was searched. He had had time to burn his papers and to hide his arms; but his stables presented a most suspicious appearance. Horses enough to mount a whole troop of cavalry were at the mangers; and this evidence, though not legally sufficient to support a charge of treason, was thought sufficient, at such a conjuncture, to justify the Privy Council in sending him to the Tower. 255 Meanwhile James had gone down to his army, which was encamped round the basin of La Hogue, on the northern coast of the peninsula known by the name of the Cotentin. Before he quitted Saint Germains, he held a Chapter of the Garter for the purpose of admitting his son into the order. Two noblemen were honoured with the same distinction, Powis, who, among his brother exiles, was now called a Duke, and Melfort, who had returned from Rome, and was again James's Prime Minister. 256 Even at this moment, when it was of the greatest importance to conciliate the members of the Church of England, none but members of the Church of Rome were thought worthy of any mark of royal favour. Powis indeed was an eminent member of the English aristocracy; and his countrymen disliked him as little as they disliked any conspicuous Papist. But Melfort was not even an Englishman; he had never held office in England; he had never sate in the English Parliament; and he had therefore no pretensions to a dignity peculiarly English. He was moreover hated by all the contending factions of all the three kingdoms. Royal letters countersigned by him had been sent both to the Convention at Westminster and to the Convention at Edinburgh; and, both at Westminster and at Edinburgh, the sight of his odious name and handwriting had made the most zealous friends of hereditary right hang down their heads in shame. It seems strange that even James should have chosen, at such a conjuncture, to proclaim to the world that the men whom his people most abhorred were the men whom he most delighted to honour.

Still more injurious to his interests was the Declaration in which he announced his intentions to his subjects. Of all the State papers which were put forth even by him it was the most elaborately and ostentatiously injudicious. When it had disgusted and exasperated all good Englishmen of all parties, the Papists at Saint Germains pretended that it had been drawn up by a stanch Protestant, Edward Herbert, who had been Chief Justice of the Common Pleas before the Revolution, and who now bore the empty title of Chancellor. 257 But it is certain that Herbert was never consulted about any matter of importance, and that the Declaration was the work of Melfort and of Melfort alone. 258 In truth, those qualities of head and heart which had made Melfort the favourite of his master shone forth in every sentence. Not a word was to be found indicating that three years of banishment had made the King wiser, that he had repented of a single error, that he took to himself even the smallest part of the blame of that revolution which had dethroned him, or that he purposed to follow a course in any respect differing from that which had already been fatal to him. All the charges which had been brought against him he pronounced to be utterly unfounded. Wicked men had put forth calumnies. Weak men had believed those calumnies. He alone had been faultless. He held out no hope that he would consent to any restriction of that vast dispensing power to which he had formerly laid claim, that he would not again, in defiance of the plainest statutes, fill the Privy Council, the bench of justice, the public offices, the army, the navy, with Papists, that he would not reestablish the High Commission, that he would not appoint a new set of regulators to remodel all the constituent bodies of the kingdom. He did indeed condescend to say that he would maintain the legal rights of the Church of England; but he had said this before; and all men knew what those words meant in his mouth. Instead of assuring his people of his forgiveness, he menaced them with a proscription more terrible than any which our island had ever seen. He published a list of persons who had no mercy to expect. Among these were Ormond, Caermarthen, Nottingham, Tillotson and Burnet. After the roll of those who were doomed to death by name, came a series of categories. First stood all the crowd of rustics who had been rude to His Majesty when he was stopped at Sheerness in his flight. These poor ignorant wretches, some hundreds in number, were reserved for another bloody circuit. Then came all persons who had in any manner borne a part in the punishment of any Jacobite conspirator; judges, counsel, witnesses, grand jurymen, petty jurymen, sheriffs and undersheriffs, constables and turnkeys, in short, all the ministers of justice from Holt down to Ketch. Then vengeance was denounced against all spies and all informers who had divulged to the usurpers the designs of the Court of Saint Germains. All justices of the peace who should not declare for their rightful Sovereign the moment that they heard of his landing, all gaolers who should not instantly set political prisoners at liberty, were to be left to the extreme rigour of the law. No exception was made in favour of a justice or of a gaoler who might be within a hundred yards of one of William's regiments, and a hundred miles from the nearest place where there was a single Jacobite in arms.

It might have been expected that James, after thus denouncing vengeance against large classes of his subjects, would at least have offered a general amnesty to the rest. But of general amnesty he said not a word. He did indeed promise that any offender who was not in any of the categories of proscription, and who should by any eminent service merit indulgence, should receive a special pardon. But, with this exception, all the offenders, hundreds of thousands in number, were merely informed that their fate should be decided in Parliament.

The agents of James speedily dispersed his Declaration over every part of the kingdom, and by doing so rendered a great service to William. The general cry was that the banished oppressor had at least given Englishmen fair warning, and that, if, after such a warning, they welcomed him home, they would have no pretence for complaining, though every county town should be polluted by an assize resembling that which Jeffreys had held at Taunton. That some hundreds of people,—the Jacobites put the number so low as five hundred,—were to be hanged without mercy was certain; and nobody who had concurred in the Revolution, nobody who had fought for the new government by sea or land, no soldier who had borne a part in the conquest of Ireland, no Devonshire ploughman or Cornish miner who had taken arms to defend his wife and children against Tourville, could be certain that he should not be hanged. How abject too, how spiteful, must be the nature of a man who, engaged in the most momentous of all undertakings, and aspiring to the noblest of all prizes, could not refrain from proclaiming that he thirsted for the blood of a multitude of poor fishermen, because, more than three years before, they had pulled him about and called him Hatchetface. If, at the very moment when he had the strongest motives for trying to conciliate his people by the show of clemency, he could not bring himself to hold towards them any language but that of an implacable enemy, what was to be expected from him when he should be again their master? So savage was his nature that, in a situation in which all other tyrants have resorted to blandishments and fair promises, he could utter nothing but reproaches and threats. The only words in his Declaration which had any show of graciousness were those in which he promised to send away the foreign troops as soon as his authority was reestablished; and many said that those words, when examined, would be found full of sinister meaning. He held out no hope that he would send away Popish troops who were his own subjects. His intentions were manifest. The French might go; but the Irish would remain. The people of England were to be kept down by these thrice subjugated barbarians. No doubt a Rapparee who had run away at Newton Butler and the Boyne might find courage enough to guard the scaffolds on which his conquerors were to die, and to lay waste our country as he had laid waste his own.

The Queen and her ministers, instead of attempting to suppress James's manifesto, very wisely reprinted it, and sent it forth licensed by the Secretary of State, and interspersed with remarks by a shrewd and severe commentator. It was refuted in many keen pamphlets; it was turned into doggrel rhymes; and it was left undefended even by the boldest and most acrimonious libellers among the nonjurors. 259

Indeed, some of the nonjurors were so much alarmed by observing the effect which this manifesto produced, that they affected to treat it as spurious, and published as their master's genuine Declaration a paper full of gracious professions and promises. They made him offer a free pardon to all his people with the exception of four great criminals. They made him hold out hopes of great remissions of taxation. They made him pledge his word that he would entrust the whole ecclesiastical administration to the nonjuring bishops. But this forgery imposed on nobody, and was important only as showing that even the Jacobites were ashamed of the prince whom they were labouring to restore. 260

No man read the Declaration with more surprise and anger than Russell. Bad as he was, he was much under the influence of two feelings, which, though they cannot be called virtuous, have some affinity to virtue, and are respectable when compared with mere selfish cupidity. Professional spirit and party spirit were strong in him. He might be false to his country, but not to his flag; and, even in becoming a Jacobite, he had not ceased to be a Whig. In truth, he was a Jacobite only because he was the most intolerant and acrimonious of Whigs. He thought himself and his faction ungratefully neglected by William, and was for a time too much blinded by resentment to perceive that it would be mere madness in the old Roundheads, the old Exclusionists, to punish William by recalling James. The near prospect of an invasion, and the Declaration in which Englishmen were plainly told what they had to expect if that invasion should be successful, produced, it should seem, a sudden and entire change in Russell's feelings; and that change he distinctly avowed. "I wish," he said to Lloyd, "to serve King James. The thing might be done, if it were not his own fault. But he takes the wrong way with us. Let him forget all the past; let him grant a general pardon; and then I will see what I can do for him." Lloyd hinted something about the honours and rewards designed for Russell himself. But the Admiral, with a spirit worthy of a better man, cut him short. "I do not wish to hear anything on that subject. My solicitude is for the public. And do not think that I will let the French triumph over us in our own sea. Understand this, that if I meet them I fight them, ay, though His Majesty himself should be on board."

This conversation was truly reported to James; but it does not appear to have alarmed him. He was, indeed, possessed with a belief that Russell, even if willing, would not be able to induce the officers and sailors of the English navy to fight against their old King, who was also their old Admiral.

The hopes which James felt, he and his favourite Melfort succeeded in imparting to Lewis and to Lewis's ministers. 261 But for those hopes, indeed, it is probable that all thoughts of invading England in the course of that year would have been laid aside. For the extensive plan which had been formed in the winter had, in the course of the spring, been disconcerted by a succession of accidents such as are beyond the control of human wisdom. The time fixed for the assembling of all the maritime forces of France at Ushant had long elapsed; and not a single sail had appeared at the place of rendezvous. The Atlantic squadron was still detained by bad weather in the port of Brest. The Mediterranean squadron, opposed by a strong west wind, was vainly struggling to pass the pillars of Hercules. Two fine vessels had gone to pieces on the rocks of Ceuta. 262 Meanwhile the admiralties of the allied powers had been active. Before the end of April the English fleet was ready to sail. Three noble ships, just launched from our dockyards, appeared for the first time on the water. 263 William had been hastening the maritime preparations of the United Provinces; and his exertions had been successful. On the twenty-ninth of April a fine squadron from the Texel appeared in the Downs. Soon came the North Holland squadron, the Maes squadron, the Zealand squadron. 264 The whole force of the confederate powers was assembled at Saint Helen's in the second week of May, more than ninety sail of the line, manned by between thirty and forty thousand of the finest seamen of the two great maritime nations. Russell had the chief command. He was assisted by Sir Ralph Delaval, Sir John Ashley, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Rear Admiral Carter, and Rear Admiral Rooke. Of the Dutch officers Van Almonde was highest in rank.

No mightier armament had ever appeared in the British Channel. There was little reason for apprehending that such a force could be defeated in a fair conflict. Nevertheless there was great uneasiness in London. It was known that there was a Jacobite party in the navy. Alarming rumours had worked their way round from France. It was said that the enemy reckoned on the cooperation of some of those officers on whose fidelity, in this crisis, the safety of the State might depend. Russell, as far as can now be discovered, was still unsuspected. But others, who were probably less criminal, had been more indiscreet. At all the coffee houses admirals and captains were mentioned by name as traitors who ought to be instantly cashiered, if not shot. It was even confidently affirmed that some of the guilty had been put under arrest, and others turned out of the service. The Queen and her counsellors were in a great strait. It was not easy to say whether the danger of trusting the suspected persons or the danger of removing them were the greater. Mary, with many painful misgivings, resolved, and the event proved that she resolved wisely, to treat the evil reports as calumnious, to make a solemn appeal to the honour of the accused gentlemen, and then to trust the safety of her kingdom to their national and professional spirit.

On the fifteenth of May a great assembly of officers was convoked at Saint Helen's on board the Britannia, a fine three decker, from which Russell's flag was flying. The Admiral told them that he had received a despatch which he was charged to read to them. It was from Nottingham. The Queen, the Secretary wrote, had been informed that stories deeply affecting the character of the navy were in circulation. It had even been affirmed that she had found herself under the necessity of dismissing many officers. But Her Majesty was determined to believe nothing against those brave servants of the State. The gentlemen who had been so foully slandered might be assured that she placed entire reliance on them. This letter was admirably calculated to work on those to whom it was addressed. Very few of them probably had been guilty of any worse offence than rash and angry talk over their wine. They were as yet only grumblers. If they had fancied that they were marked men, they might in selfdefence have become traitors. They became enthusiastically loyal as soon as they were assured that the Queen reposed entire confidence in their loyalty. They eagerly signed an address in which they entreated her to believe that they would, with the utmost resolution and alacrity, venture their lives in defence of her rights, of English freedom and of the Protestant religion, against all foreign and Popish invaders. "God," they added, "preserve your person, direct your counsels, and prosper your arms; and let all your people say Amen." 265

The sincerity of these professions was soon brought to the test. A few hours after the meeting on board of the Britannia the masts of Tourville's squadron were seen from the cliffs of Portland. One messenger galloped with the news from Weymouth to London, and roused Whitehall at three in the morning. Another took the coast road, and carried the intelligence to Russell. All was ready; and on the morning of the seventeenth of May the allied fleet stood out to sea. 266

Tourville had with him only his own squadron, consisting of forty-four ships of the line. But he had received positive orders to protect the descent on England, and not to decline a battle. Though these orders had been given before it was known at Versailles that the Dutch and English fleets had joined, he was not disposed to take on himself the responsibility of disobedience. He still remembered with bitterness the reprimand which his extreme caution had drawn upon him after the fight of Beachy Head. He would not again be told that he was a timid and unenterprising commander, that he had no courage but the vulgar courage of a common sailor. He was also persuaded that the odds against him were rather apparent than real. He believed, on the authority of James and Melfort, that the English seamen, from the flag officers down to the cabin boys, were Jacobites. Those who fought would fight with half a heart; and there would probably be numerous desertions at the most critical moment. Animated by such hopes he sailed from Brest, steered first towards the north east, came in sight of the coast of Dorsetshire, and then struck across the Channel towards La Hogue, where the army which he was to convoy to England had already begun to embark on board of the transports. He was within a few leagues of Barfleur when, before daybreak, on the morning of the nineteenth of May, he saw the great armament of the allies stretching along the eastern horizon. He determined to bear down on them. By eight the two lines of battle were formed; but it was eleven before the firing began. It soon became plain that the English, from the Admiral downward, were resolved to do their duty. Russell had visited all his ships, and exhorted all his crews. "If your commanders play false," he said, "overboard with them, and with myself the first." There was no defection. There was no slackness. Carter was the first who broke the French line. He was struck by a splinter of one of his own yard arms, and fell dying on the deck. He would not be carried below. He would not let go his sword. "Fight the ship," were his last words: "fight the ship as long as she can swim." The battle lasted till four in the afternoon. The roar of the guns was distinctly heard more than twenty miles off by the army which was encamped on the coast of Normandy. During the earlier part of the day the wind was favourable to the French; they were opposed to half of the allied fleet; and against that half they maintained the conflict with their usual courage and with more than their usual seamanship. After a hard and doubtful fight of five hours, Tourville thought that enough had been done to maintain the honour of the white flag, and began to draw off. But by this time the wind had veered, and was with the allies. They were now able to avail themselves of their great superiority of force. They came on fast. The retreat of the French became a flight. Tourville fought his own ship desperately. She was named, in allusion to Lewis's favourite emblem, the Royal Sun, and was widely renowned as the finest vessel in the world. It was reported among the English sailors that she was adorned with an image of the Great King, and that he appeared there, as he appeared in the Place of Victories, with vanquished nations in chains beneath his feet. The gallant ship, surrounded by enemies, lay like a great fortress on the sea, scattering death on every side from her hundred and four portholes. She was so formidably manned that all attempts to board her failed. Long after sunset, she got clear of her assailants, and, with all her scuppers spouting blood, made for the coast of Normandy. She had suffered so much that Tourville hastily removed his flag to a ship of ninety guns which was named the Ambitious. By this time his fleet was scattered far over the sea. About twenty of his smallest ships made their escape by a road which was too perilous for any courage but the courage of despair. In the double darkness of night and of a thick sea fog, they ran, with all their sails spread, through the boiling waves and treacherous rocks of the Race of Alderney, and, by a strange good fortune, arrived without a single disaster at Saint Maloes. The pursuers did not venture to follow the fugitives into that terrible strait, the place of innumerable shipwrecks. 267

Those French vessels which were too bulky to venture into the Race of Alderney fled to the havens of the Cotentin. The Royal Sun and two other three deckers reached Cherburg in safety. The Ambitious, with twelve other ships, all first rates or second rates, took refuge in the Bay of La Hogue, close to the headquarters of the army of James.

The three ships which had fled to Cherburg were closely chased by an English squadron under the command of Delaval. He found them hauled up into shoal water where no large man of war could get at them. He therefore determined to attack them with his fireships and boats. The service was gallantly and successfully performed. In a short time the Royal Sun and her two consorts were burned to ashes. Part of the crews escaped to the shore; and part fell into the hands of the English. 268

Meanwhile Russell with the greater part of his victorious fleet had blockaded the Bay of La Hogue. Here, as at Cherburg, the French men of war had been drawn up into shallow water. They lay close to the camp of the army which was destined for the invasion of England. Six of them were moored under a fort named Lisset. The rest lay under the guns of another fort named Saint Vaast, where James had fixed his headquarters, and where the Union flag, variegated by the crosses of Saint George and Saint Andrew, hung by the side of the white flag of France. Marshal Bellefonds had planted several batteries which, it was thought, would deter the boldest enemy from approaching either Fort Lisset or Fort Saint Vaast. James, however, who knew something of English seamen, was not perfectly at ease, and proposed to send strong bodies of soldiers on board of the ships. But Tourville would not consent to put such a slur on his profession.

Russell meanwhile was preparing for an attack. On the afternoon of the twenty-third of May all was ready. A flotilla consisting of sloops, of fireships, and of two hundred boats, was entrusted to the command of Rooke. The whole armament was in the highest spirits. The rowers, flushed by success, and animated by the thought that they were going to fight under the eyes of the French and Irish troops who had been assembled for the purpose of subjugating England, pulled manfully and with loud huzzas towards the six huge wooden castles which lay close to Fort Lisset. The French, though an eminently brave people, have always been more liable to sudden panics than their phlegmatic neighbours the English and Germans. On this day there was a panic both in the fleet and in the army. Tourville ordered his sailors to man their boats, and would have led them to encounter the enemy in the bay. But his example and his exhortations were vain. His boats turned round and fled in confusion. The ships were abandoned. The cannonade from Fort Lisset was so feeble and ill directed that it did no execution. The regiments on the beach, after wasting a few musket shots, drew off. The English boarded the men of war, set them on fire, and having performed this great service without the loss of a single life, retreated at a late hour with the retreating tide. The bay was in a blaze during the night; and now and then a loud explosion announced that the flames had reached a powder room or a tier of loaded guns. At eight the next morning the tide came back strong; and with the tide came back Rooke and his two hundred boats. The enemy made a faint attempt to defend the vessels which were near Fort Saint Vaast. During a few minutes the batteries did some execution among the crews of our skiffs; but the struggle was soon over. The French poured fast out of their ships on one side; the English poured in as fast on the other, and, with loud shouts, turned the captured guns against the shore. The batteries were speedily silenced. James and Melfort, Bellefonds and Tourville, looked on in helpless despondency while the second conflagration proceeded. The conquerors, leaving the ships of war in flames, made their way into an inner basin where many transports lay. Eight of these vessels were set on fire. Several were taken in tow. The rest would have been either destroyed or carried off, had not the sea again begun to ebb. It was impossible to do more, and the victorious flotilla slowly retired, insulting the hostile camp with a thundering chant of "God save the King."

Thus ended, at noon on the twenty-fourth of May, the great conflict which had raged during five days over a wide extent of sea and shore. One English fireship had perished in its calling. Sixteen French men of war, all noble vessels, and eight of them three-deckers, had been sunk or burned down to the keel. The battle is called, from the place where it terminated, the battle of La Hogue. 269

The news was received in London with boundless exultation. In the fight on the open sea, indeed, the numerical superiority of the allies had been so great that they had little reason to boast of their success. But the courage and skill with which the crews of the English boats had, in a French harbour, in sight of a French army, and under the fire of French batteries, destroyed a fine French fleet, amply justified the pride with which our fathers pronounced the name of La Hogue. That we may fully enter into their feelings, we must remember that this was the first great check that had ever been given to the arms of Lewis the Fourteenth, and the first great victory that the English had gained over the French since the day of Agincourt. The stain left on our fame by the shameful defeat of Beachy Head was effaced. This time the glory was all our own. The Dutch had indeed done their duty, as they have always done it in maritime war, whether fighting on our side or against us, whether victorious or vanquished. But the English had borne the brunt of the fight. Russell who commanded in chief was an Englishman. Delaval who directed the attack on Cherburg was an Englishman. Rooke who led the flotilla into the Bay of La Hogue was an Englishman. The only two officers of note who had fallen, Admiral Carter and Captain Hastings of the Sandwich, were Englishmen. Yet the pleasure with which the good news was received here must not be ascribed solely or chiefly to national pride. The island was safe. The pleasant pastures, cornfields and commons of Hampshire and Surrey would not be the seat of war. The houses and gardens, the kitchens and dairies, the cellars and plate chests, the wives and daughters of our gentry and clergy would not be at the mercy of Irish Rapparees, who had sacked the dwellings and skinned the cattle of the Englishry of Leinster, or of French dragoons accustomed to live at free quarters on the Protestants of Auvergne. Whigs and Tories joined in thanking God for this great deliverance; and the most respectable nonjurors could not but be glad at heart that the rightful King was not to be brought back by an army of foreigners.

The public joy was therefore all but universal. During several days the bells of London pealed without ceasing. Flags were flying on all the steeples. Rows of candles were in all the windows. Bonfires were at all the corners of the streets. 270 The sense which the government entertained of the services of the navy was promptly, judiciously and gracefully manifested. Sidney and Portland were sent to meet the fleet at Portsmouth, and were accompanied by Rochester, as the representative of the Tories. The three Lords took down with them thirty-seven thousand pounds in coin, which they were to distribute as a donative among the sailors. 271 Gold medals were given to the officers. 272 The remains of Hastings and Carter were brought on shore with every mark of honour. Carter was buried at Portsmouth, with a great display of military pomp. 273 The corpse of Hastings was brought up to London, and laid, with unusual solemnity, under the pavement of Saint James's Church. The footguards with reversed arms escorted the hearse. Four royal state carriages, each drawn by six horses, were in the procession; a crowd of men of quality in mourning cloaks filled the pews; and the Bishop of Lincoln preached the funeral sermon. 274 While such marks of respect were paid to the slain, the wounded were not neglected. Fifty surgeons, plentifully supplied with instruments, bandages, and drugs, were sent down in all haste from London to Portsmouth. 275 It is not easy for us to form a notion of the difficulty which there then was in providing at short notice commodious shelter and skilful attendance for hundreds of maimed and lacerated men. At present every county, every large town, can boast of some spacious palace in which the poorest labourer who has fractured a limb may find an excellent bed, an able medical attendant, a careful nurse, medicines of the best quality, and nourishment such as an invalid requires. But there was not then, in the whole realm, a single infirmary supported by voluntary contribution. Even in the capital the only edifices open to the wounded were the two ancient hospitals of Saint Thomas and Saint Bartholomew. The Queen gave orders that in both these hospitals arrangements should be made at the public charge for the reception of patients from the fleet. 276 At the same time it was announced that a noble and lasting memorial of the gratitude which England felt for the courage and patriotism of her sailors would soon rise on a site eminently appropriate. Among the suburban residences of our kings, that which stood at Greenwich had long held a distinguished place. Charles the Second liked the situation, and determined to rebuild the house and to improve the gardens. Soon after his Restoration, he began to erect, on a spot almost washed by the Thames at high tide, a mansion of vast extent and cost. Behind the palace were planted long avenues of trees which, when William reigned, were scarcely more than saplings, but which have now covered with their massy shade the summer rambles of several generations. On the slope which has long been the scene of the holiday sports of the Londoners, were constructed flights of terraces, of which the vestiges may still be discerned. The Queen now publicly declared, in her husband's name, that the building commenced by Charles should be completed, and should be a retreat for seamen disabled in the service of their country. 277

One of the happiest effects produced by the good news was the calming of the public mind. During about a month the nation had been hourly expecting an invasion and a rising, and had consequently been in an irritable and suspicious mood. In many parts of England a nonjuror could not show himself without great risk of being insulted. A report that arms were hidden in a house sufficed to bring a furious mob to the door. The mansion of one Jacobite gentleman in Kent had been attacked, and, after a fight in which several shots were fired, had been stormed and pulled down. 278 Yet such riots were by no means the worst symptoms of the fever which had inflamed the whole society. The exposure of Fuller, in February, had, as it seemed, put an end to the practices of that vile tribe of which Oates was the patriarch. During some weeks, indeed, the world was disposed to be unreasonably incredulous about plots. But in April there was a reaction. The French and Irish were coming. There was but too much reason to believe that there were traitors in the island. Whoever pretended that he could point out those traitors was sure to be heard with attention; and there was not wanting a false witness to avail himself of the golden opportunity.

This false witness was named Robert Young. His history was in his own lifetime so fully investigated, and so much of his correspondence has been preserved, that the whole man is before us. His character is indeed a curious study. His birthplace was a subject of dispute among three nations. The English pronounced him Irish. The Irish, not being ambitious of the honour of having him for a countryman, affirmed that he was born in Scotland. Wherever he may have been born, it is impossible to doubt where he was bred; for his phraseology is precisely that of the Teagues who were, in his time, favourite characters on our stage. He called himself a priest of the Established Church; but he was in truth only a deacon; and his deacon's orders he had obtained by producing forged certificates of his learning and moral character. Long before the Revolution he held curacies in various parts of Ireland; but he did not remain many days in any spot. He was driven from one place by the scandal which was the effect of his lawless amours. He rode away from another place on a borrowed horse, which he never returned. He settled in a third parish, and was taken up for bigamy. Some letters which he wrote on this occasion from the gaol of Cavan have been preserved. He assured each of his wives, with the most frightful imprecations, that she alone was the object of his love; and he thus succeeded in inducing one of them to support him in prison, and the other to save his life by forswearing herself at the assizes. The only specimens which remain to us of his method of imparting religious instruction are to be found in these epistles. He compares himself to David, the man after God's own heart, who had been guilty both of adultery and murder. He declares that he repents; he prays for the forgiveness of the Almighty, and then intreats his dear honey, for Christ's sake, to perjure herself. Having narrowly escaped the gallows, he wandered during several years about Ireland and England, begging, stealing, cheating, personating, forging, and lay in many prisons under many names. In 1684 he was convicted at Bury of having fraudulently counterfeited Sancroft's signature, and was sentenced to the pillory and to imprisonment. From his dungeon he wrote to implore the Primate's mercy. The letter may still be read with all the original bad grammar and bad spelling. 279 The writer acknowledged his guilt, wished that his eyes were a fountain of water, declared that he should never know peace till he had received episcopal absolution, and professed a mortal hatred of Dissenters. As all this contrition and all this orthodoxy produced no effect, the penitent, after swearing bitterly to be revenged on Sancroft, betook himself to another device. The Western Insurrection had just broken out. The magistrates all over the country were but too ready to listen to any accusation that might be brought against Whigs and Nonconformists. Young declared on oath that, to his knowledge, a design had been formed in Suffolk against the life of King James, and named a peer, several gentlemen, and ten Presbyterian ministers, as parties to the plot. Some of the accused were brought to trial; and Young appeared in the witness box; but the story which he told was proved by overwhelming evidence to be false. Soon after the Revolution he was again convicted of forgery, pilloried for the fourth or fifth time, and sent to Newgate. While he lay there, he determined to try whether he should be more fortunate as an accuser of Jacobites than he had been as an accuser of Puritans. He first addressed himself to Tillotson. There was a horrible plot against their Majesties, a plot as deep as hell; and some of the first men in England were concerned in it. Tillotson, though he placed little confidence in information coming from such a source, thought that the oath which he had taken as a Privy Councillor made it his duty to mention the subject to William. William, after his fashion, treated the matter very lightly. "I am confident," he said, "that this is a villany; and I will have nobody disturbed on such grounds." After this rebuff, Young remained some time quiet. But when William was on the Continent, and when the nation was agitated by the apprehension of a French invasion and of a Jacobite insurrection, a false accuser might hope to obtain a favourable audience. The mere oath of a man who was well known to the turnkeys of twenty gaols was not likely to injure any body. But Young was master of a weapon which is, of all weapons, the most formidable to innocence. He had lived during some years by counterfeiting hands, and had at length attained such consummate skill in that bad art that even experienced clerks who were conversant with manuscript could scarcely, after the most minute comparison, discover any difference between his imitations and the originals. He had succeeded in making a collection of papers written by men of note who were suspected of disaffection. Some autographs he had stolen; and some he had obtained by writing in feigned names to ask after the characters of servants or curates. He now drew up a paper purporting to be an Association for the Restoration of the banished King. This document set forth that the subscribers bound themselves in the presence of God to take arms for His Majesty, and to seize on the Prince of Orange, dead or alive. To the Association Young appended the names of Marlborough, of Cornbury, of Salisbury, of Sancroft, and of Sprat, Bishop of Rochester and Dean of Westminster.

The next thing to be done was to put the paper into some hiding place in the house of one of the persons whose signatures had been counterfeited. As Young could not quit Newgate, he was forced to employ a subordinate agent for this purpose. He selected a wretch named Blackhead, who had formerly been convicted of perjury and sentenced to have his ears clipped. The selection was not happy; for Blackhead had none of the qualities which the trade of a false witness requires except wickedness. There was nothing plausible about him. His voice was harsh. Treachery was written in all the lines of his yellow face. He had no invention, no presence of mind, and could do little more than repeat by rote the lies taught him by others.

This man, instructed by his accomplice, repaired to Sprat's palace at Bromley, introduced himself there as the confidential servant of an imaginary Doctor of Divinity, delivered to the Bishop, on bended knee, a letter ingeniously manufactured by Young, and received, with the semblance of profound reverence, the episcopal benediction. The servants made the stranger welcome. He was taken to the cellar, drank their master's health, and entreated them to let him see the house. They could not venture to show any of the private apartments. Blackhead, therefore, after begging importunately, but in vain, to be suffered to have one look at the study, was forced to content himself with dropping the Association into a flowerpot which stood in a parlour near the kitchen.

Every thing having been thus prepared, Young informed the ministers that he could tell them something of the highest importance to the welfare of the State, and earnestly begged to be heard. His request reached them on perhaps the most anxious day of an anxious month. Tourville had just stood out to sea. The army of James was embarking. London was agitated by reports about the disaffection of the naval officers. The Queen was deliberating whether she should cashier those who were suspected, or try the effect of an appeal to their honour and patriotism. At such a moment the ministers could not refuse to listen to any person who professed himself able to give them valuable information. Young and his accomplice were brought before the Privy Council. They there accused Marlborough, Cornbury, Salisbury, Sancroft and Sprat of high treason. These great men, Young said, had invited James to invade England, and had promised to join him. The eloquent and ingenious Bishop of Rochester had undertaken to draw up a Declaration which would inflame the nation against the government of King William. The conspirators were bound together by a written instrument. That instrument, signed by their own hands, would be found at Bromley if careful search was made. Young particularly requested that the messengers might be ordered to examine the Bishop's flowerpots.

The ministers were seriously alarmed. The story was circumstantial; and part of it was probable. Marlborough's dealings with Saint Germains were well known to Caermarthen, to Nottingham, and to Sidney. Cornbury was a tool of Marlborough, and was the son of a nonjuror and of a notorious plotter. Salisbury was a Papist. Sancroft had, not many months before, been, with too much show of reason, suspected of inviting the French to invade England. Of all the accused persons Sprat was the most unlikely to be concerned in any hazardous design. He had neither enthusiasm nor constancy. Both his ambition and his party spirit had always been effectually kept in order by his love of ease and his anxiety for his own safety. He had been guilty of some criminal compliances in the hope of gaining the favour of James, had sate in the High Commission, had concurred in several iniquitous decrees pronounced by that court, and had, with trembling hands and faltering voice, read the Declaration of Indulgence in the choir of the Abbey. But there he had stopped. As soon as it began to be whispered that the civil and religious constitution of England would speedily be vindicated by extraordinary means, he had resigned the powers which he had during two years exercised in defiance of law, and had hastened to make his peace with his clerical brethren. He had in the Convention voted for a Regency; but he had taken the oaths without hesitation; he had borne a conspicuous part in the coronation of the new Sovereigns; and by his skilful hand had been added to the Form of Prayer used on the fifth of November those sentences in which the Church expresses her gratitude for the second great deliverance wrought on that day. 280 Such a man, possessed of a plentiful income, of a seat in the House of Lords, of one agreeable house among the elms of Bromley, and of another in the cloisters of Westminster, was very unlikely to run the risk of martyrdom. He was not, indeed, on perfectly good terms with the government. For the feeling which, next to solicitude for his own comfort and repose, seems to have had the greatest influence on his public conduct, was his dislike of the Puritans; a dislike which sprang, not from bigotry, but from Epicureanism. Their austerity was a reproach to his slothful and luxurious life; their phraseology shocked his fastidious taste; and, where they were concerned, his ordinary good nature forsook him. Loathing the nonconformists as he did, he was not likely to be very zealous for a prince whom the nonconformists regarded as their protector. But Sprat's faults afforded ample security that he would never, from spleen against William, engage in any plot to bring back James. Why Young should have assigned the most perilous part in an enterprise full of peril to a man singularly pliant, cautious and selfindulgent, it is difficult to say.

The first step which the ministers took was to send Marlborough to the Tower. He was by far the most formidable of all the accused persons; and that he had held a traitorous correspondence with Saint Germains was a fact which, whether Young were perjured or not, the Queen and her chief advisers knew to be true. One of the Clerks of the Council and several messengers were sent down to Bromley with a warrant from Nottingham. Sprat was taken into custody. All the apartments in which it could reasonably be supposed that he would have hidden an important document were searched, the library, the diningroom, the drawingroom, the bedchamber, and the adjacent closets. His papers were strictly examined. Much food prose was found, and probably some bad verse, but no treason. The messengers pried into every flowerpot that they could find, but to no purpose. It never occurred to them to look into the room in which Blackhead had hidden the Association: for that room was near the offices occupied by the servants, and was little used by the Bishop and his family. The officers returned to London with their prisoner, but without the document which, if it had been found, might have been fatal to him.

Late at night he was brought to Westminster, and was suffered to sleep at his deanery. All his bookcases and drawers were examined; and sentinels were posted at the door of his bedchamber, but with strict orders to behave civilly and not to disturb the family.

On the following day he was brought before the Council. The examination was conducted by Nottingham with great humanity and courtesy. The Bishop, conscious of entire innocence, behaved with temper and firmness. He made no complaints. "I submit," he said, "to the necessities of State in such a time of jealousy and danger as this." He was asked whether he had drawn up a Declaration for King James, whether he had held any correspondence with France, whether he had signed any treasonable association, and whether he knew of any such association. To all these questions he, with perfect truth, answered in the negative, on the word of a Christian and a Bishop. He was taken back to his deanery. He remained there in easy confinement during ten days, and then, as nothing tending to criminate him had been discovered, was suffered to return to Bromley.

Meanwhile the false accusers had been devising a new scheme. Blackhead paid another visit to Bromley, and contrived to take the forged Association out of the place in which he had hid it, and to bring it back to Young. One of Young's two wives then carried it to the Secretary's Office, and told a lie, invented by her husband, to explain how a paper of such importance had come into her hands. But it was not now so easy to frighten the ministers as it had been a few days before. The battle of La Hogue had put an end to all apprehensions of invasion. Nottingham, therefore, instead of sending down a warrant to Bromley, merely wrote to beg that Sprat would call on him at Whitehall. The summons was promptly obeyed, and the accused prelate was brought face to face with Blackhead before the Council. Then the truth came out fast. The Bishop remembered the villanous look and voice of the man who had knelt to ask the episcopal blessing. The Bishop's secretary confirmed his master's assertions. The false witness soon lost his presence of mind. His cheeks, always sallow, grew frightfully livid. His voice, generally loud and coarse, sank into a whisper. The Privy Councillors saw his confusion, and crossexamined him sharply. For a time he answered their questions by repeatedly stammering out his original lie in the original words. At last he found that he had no way of extricating himself but by owning his guilt. He acknowledged that he had given an untrue account of his visit to Bromley; and, after much prevarication, he related how he had hidden the Association, and how he had removed it from its hiding place, and confessed that he had been set on by Young.

The two accomplices were then confronted. Young, with unabashed forehead, denied every thing. He knew nothing about the flowerpots. "If so," cried Nottingham and Sidney together, "why did you give such particular directions that the flowerpots at Bromley should be searched?" "I never gave any directions about the flowerpots," said Young. Then the whole board broke forth. "How dare you say so? We all remember it." Still the knave stood up erect, and exclaimed, with an impudence which Oates might have envied, "This hiding is all a trick got up between the Bishop and Blackhead. The Bishop has taken Blackhead off; and they are both trying to stifle the plot." This was too much. There was a smile and a lifting up of hands all round the board. "Man," cried Caermarthen, "wouldst thou have us believe that the Bishop contrived to have this paper put where it was ten to one that our messengers had found it, and where, if they had found it, it might have hanged him?"

The false accusers were removed in custody. The Bishop, after warmly thanking the ministers for their fair and honourable conduct, took his leave of them. In the antechamber he found a crowd of people staring at Young, while Young sate, enduring the stare with the serene fortitude of a man who had looked down on far greater multitudes from half the pillories in England. "Young," said Sprat, "your conscience must tell you that you have cruelly wronged me. For your own sake I am sorry that you persist in denying what your associate has confessed." "Confessed!" cried Young; "no, all is not confessed yet; and that you shall find to your sorrow. There is such a thing as impeachment, my Lord. When Parliament sits you shall hear more of me." "God give you repentance," answered the Bishop. "For, depend upon it, you are in much more danger of being damned than I of being impeached." 281

Forty-eight hours after the detection of this execrable fraud, Marlborough was admitted to bail. Young and Blackhead had done him an inestimable service. That he was concerned in a plot quite as criminal as that which they had falsely imputed to him, and that the government was to possession of moral proofs of his guilt, is now certain. But his contemporaries had not, as we have, the evidence of his perfidy before them. They knew that he had been accused of an offence of which he was innocent, that perjury and forgery had been employed to ruin him, and that, in consequence of these machinations, he had passed some weeks in the Tower. There was in the public mind a very natural confusion between his disgrace and his imprisonment. He had been imprisoned without sufficient cause. Might it not, in the absence of all information, be reasonably presumed that he had been disgraced without sufficient cause? It was certain that a vile calumny, destitute of all foundation, had caused him to be treated as a criminal in May. Was it not probable, then, that calumny might have deprived him of his master's favour in January?

Young's resources were not yet exhausted. As soon as he had been carried back from Whitehall to Newgate, he set himself to construct a new plot, and to find a new accomplice. He addressed himself to a man named Holland, who was in the lowest state of poverty. Never, said Young, was there such a golden opportunity. A bold, shrewd, fellow might easily earn five hundred pounds. To Holland five hundred pounds seemed fabulous wealth. What, he asked, was he to do for it? Nothing, he was told, but to speak the truth, that was to say, substantial truth, a little disguised and coloured. There really was a plot; and this would have been proved if Blackhead had not been bought off. His desertion had made it necessary to call in the help of fiction. "You must swear that you and I were in a back room upstairs at the Lobster in Southwark. Some men came to meet us there. They gave a password before they were admitted. They were all in white camlet cloaks. They signed the Association in our presence. Then they paid each his shilling and went away. And you must be ready to identify my Lord Marlborough and the Bishop of Rochester as two of these men." "How can I identify them?" said Holland, "I never saw them." "You must contrive to see them," answered the tempter, "as soon as you can. The Bishop will be at the Abbey. Anybody about the Court will point out my Lord Marlborough." Holland immediately went to Whitehall, and repeated this conversation to Nottingham. The unlucky imitator of Oates was prosecuted, by order of the government, for perjury, subornation of perjury, and forgery. He was convicted and imprisoned, was again set in the pillory, and underwent, in addition to the exposure, about which he cared little, such a pelting as had seldom been known. 282 After his punishment, he was, during some years, lost in the crowd of pilferers, ringdroppers and sharpers who infested the capital. At length, in the year 1700, he emerged from his obscurity, and excited a momentary interest. The newspapers announced that Robert Young, Clerk, once so famous, had been taken up for coining, then that he had been found guilty, then that the dead warrant had come down, and finally that the reverend gentleman had been hanged at Tyburn, and had greatly edified a large assembly of spectators by his penitence. 283


 Foreign Policy of William—The Northern Powers—The Pope—Conduct of
 the Allies—The Emperor—Spain—William succeeds in preventing the
 Dissolution of the Coalition—New Arrangements for the Government of
 the Spanish Netherlands—Lewis takes the Field—Siege of Namur—Lewis
 returns to Versailles—Luxemburg—Battle of Steinkirk—Conspiracy
 of Grandval—Return of William to England—Naval
 Maladministration—Earthquake at Port Royal—Distress in England;
 Increase of Crime—Meeting of Parliament; State of Parties—The King's
 Speech; Question of Privilege raised by the Lords—Debates on the
 State of the Nation—Bill for the Regulation of Trials in Cases of
 Treason—Case of Lord Mohun—Debates on the India Trade—Supply—Ways
 and Means; Land Tax—Origin of the National Debt—Parliamentary
 Reform—The Place Bill—The Triennial Bill—The First Parliamentary
 Discussion on the Liberty of the Press—State of Ireland—The King
 refuses to pass the Triennial Bill—Ministerial Arrangements—The King
 goes to Holland; a Session of Parliament in Scotland

WHILE England was agitated, first by the dread of an invasion, and then by joy at the deliverance wrought for her by the valour of her seamen, important events were taking place on the Continent. On the sixth of March the King had arrived at the Hague, and had proceeded to make his arrangements for the approaching campaign. 284

The prospect which lay before him was gloomy. The coalition of which he was the author and the chief had, during some months, been in constant danger of dissolution. By what strenuous exertions, by what ingenious expedients, by what blandishments, by what bribes, he succeeded in preventing his allies from throwing themselves, one by one, at the feet of France, can be but imperfectly known. The fullest and most authentic record of the labours and sacrifices by which he kept together, during eight years, a crowd of fainthearted and treacherous potentates, negligent of the common interest and jealous of each other, is to be found in his correspondence with Heinsius. In that correspondence William is all himself. He had, in the course of his eventful life, to sustain some high parts for which he was not eminently qualified; and, in those parts, his success was imperfect. As Sovereign of England, he showed abilities and virtues which entitle him to honourable mention in history; but his deficiencies were great. He was to the last a stranger amongst us, cold, reserved, never in good spirits, never at his ease. His kingdom was a place of exile. His finest palaces were prisons. He was always counting the days which must elapse before he should again see the land of his birth, the clipped trees, the wings of the innumerable windmills, the nests of the storks on the tall gables, and the long lines of painted villas reflected in the sleeping canals. He took no pains to hide the preference which he felt for his native soil and for his early friends; and therefore, though he rendered great services to our country, he did not reign in our hearts. As a general in the field, again, he showed rare courage and capacity; but, from whatever cause, he was, as a tactician, inferior to some of his contemporaries, who, in general powers of mind, were far inferior to him. The business for which he was preeminently fitted was diplomacy, in the highest sense of the word. It may be doubted whether he has ever had a superior in the art of conducting those great negotiations on which the welfare of the commonwealth of nations depends. His skill in this department of politics was never more severely tasked or more signally proved than during the latter part of 1691 and the earlier part of 1692.

One of his chief difficulties was caused by the sullen and menacing demeanour of the Northern powers. Denmark and Sweden had at one time seemed disposed to join the coalition; but they had early become cold, and were fast becoming hostile. From France they flattered themselves that they had little to fear. It was not very probable that her armies would cross the Elbe, or that her fleets would force a passage through the Sound. But the naval strength of England and Holland united might well excite apprehension at Stockholm and Copenhagen. Soon arose vexatious questions of maritime right, questions such as, in almost every extensive war of modern times, have arisen between belligerents and neutrals. The Scandinavian princes complained that the legitimate trade between the Baltic and France was tyrannically interrupted. Though they had not in general been on very friendly terms with each other, they began to draw close together, intrigued at every petty German court, and tried to form what William called a Third Party in Europe. The King of Sweden, who, as Duke of Pomerania, was bound to send three thousand men for the defence of the Empire, sent, instead of them, his advice that the allies would make peace on the best terms which they could get. 285 The King of Denmark seized a great number of Dutch merchantships, and collected in Holstein an army which caused no small uneasiness to his neighbours. "I fear," William wrote, in an hour of deep dejection, to Heinsius, "I fear that the object of this Third Party is a peace which will bring in its train the slavery of Europe. The day will come when Sweden and her confederates will know too late how great an error they have committed. They are farther, no doubt, than we from the danger; and therefore it is that they are thus bent on working our ruin and their own. That France will now consent to reasonable terms is not to be expected; and it were better to fall sword in hand than to submit to whatever she may dictate." 286

While the King was thus disquieted by the conduct of the Northern powers, ominous signs began to appear in a very different quarter. It had, from the first, been no easy matter to induce sovereigns who hated, and who, in their own dominions, persecuted, the Protestant religion, to countenance the revolution which had saved that religion from a great peril. But happily the example and the authority of the Vatican had overcome their scruples. Innocent the Eleventh and Alexander the Eighth had regarded William with ill concealed partiality. He was not indeed their friend; but he was their enemy's enemy; and James had been, and, if restored, must again be, their enemy's vassal. To the heretic nephew therefore they gave their effective support, to the orthodox uncle only compliments and benedictions. But Alexander the Eighth had occupied the papal throne little more than fifteen months. His successor, Antonio Pignatelli, who took the name of Innocent the Twelfth, was impatient to be reconciled to Lewis. Lewis was now sensible that he had committed a great error when he had roused against himself at once the spirit of Protestantism and the spirit of Popery. He permitted the French Bishops to submit themselves to the Holy See. The dispute, which had, at one time, seemed likely to end in a great Gallican schism, was accommodated; and there was reason to believe that the influence of the head of the Church would be exerted for the purpose of severing the ties which bound so many Catholic princes to the Calvinist who had usurped the British throne.

Meanwhile the coalition, which the Third Party on one side and the Pope on the other were trying to dissolve, was in no small danger of falling to pieces from mere rottenness. Two of the allied powers, and two only, were hearty in the common cause; England, drawing after her the other British kingdoms; and Holland, drawing after her the other Batavian commonwealths. England and Holland were indeed torn by internal factions, and were separated from each other by mutual jealousies and antipathies; but both were fully resolved not to submit to French domination; and both were ready to bear their share, and more than their share, of the charges of the contest. Most of the members of the confederacy were not nations, but men, an Emperor, a King, Electors, Dukes; and of these men there was scarcely one whose whole soul was in the struggle, scarcely one who did not hang back, who did not find some excuse for omitting to fulfil his engagements, who did not expect to be hired to defend his own rights and interests against the common enemy. But the war was the war of the people of England and of the people of Holland. Had it not been so, the burdens which it made necessary would not have been borne by either England or Holland during a single year. When William said that he would rather die sword in hand than humble himself before France, he expressed what was felt, not by himself alone, but by two great communities of which he was the first magistrate. With those two communities, unhappily, other states had little sympathy. Indeed those two communities were regarded by other states as rich, plaindealing, generous dupes are regarded by needy sharpers. England and Holland were wealthy; and they were zealous. Their wealth excited the cupidity of the whole alliance; and to that wealth their zeal was the key. They were persecuted with sordid importunity by all their confederates, from Caesar, who, in the pride of his solitary dignity, would not honour King William with the title of Majesty, down to the smallest Margrave who could see his whole principality from the cracked windows of the mean and ruinous old house which he called his palace. It was not enough that England and Holland furnished much more than their contingents to the war by land, and bore unassisted the whole charge of the war by sea. They were beset by a crowd of illustrious mendicants, some rude, some obsequious, but all indefatigable and insatiable. One prince came mumping to them annually with a lamentable story about his distresses. A more sturdy beggar threatened to join the Third Party, and to make a separate peace with France, if his demands were not granted. Every Sovereign too had his ministers and favourites; and these ministers and favourites were perpetually hinting that France was willing to pay them for detaching their masters from the coalition, and that it would be prudent in England and Holland to outbid France.

Yet the embarrassment caused by the rapacity of the allied courts was scarcely greater than the embarrassment caused by their ambition and their pride. This prince had set his heart on some childish distinction, a title or a cross, and would do nothing for the common cause till his wishes were accomplished. That prince chose to fancy that he had been slighted, and would not stir till reparation had been made to him. The Duke of Brunswick Lunenburg would not furnish a battalion for the defence of Germany unless he was made an Elector. 287 The Elector of Brandenburg declared that he was as hostile as he had ever been to France; but he had been ill used by the Spanish government; and he therefore would not suffer his soldiers to be employed in the defence of the Spanish Netherlands. He was willing to bear his share of the war; but it must be in his own way; he must have the command of a distinct army; and he must be stationed between the Rhine and the Meuse. 288 The Elector of Saxony complained that bad winter quarters had been assigned to his troops; he therefore recalled them just when they should have been preparing to take the field, but very coolly offered to send them back if England and Holland would give him four hundred thousand rixdollars. 289

It might have been expected that at least the two chiefs of the House of Austria would have put forth, at this conjuncture, all their strength against the rival House of Bourbon. Unfortunately they could not be induced to exert themselves vigorously even for their own preservation. They were deeply interested in keeping the French out of Italy. Yet they could with difficulty be prevailed upon to lend the smallest assistance to the Duke of Savoy. They seemed to think it the business of England and Holland to defend the passes of the Alps, and to prevent the armies of Lewis from overflowing Lombardy. To the Emperor indeed the war against France was a secondary object. His first object was the war against Turkey. He was dull and bigoted. His mind misgave him that the war against France was, in some sense, a war against the Catholic religion; and the war against Turkey was a crusade. His recent campaign on the Danube had been successful. He might easily have concluded an honourable peace with the Porte, and have turned his arms westward. But he had conceived the hope that he might extend his hereditary dominions at the expense of the Infidels. Visions of a triumphant entry into Constantinople and of a Te Deum in Saint Sophia's had risen in his brain. He not only employed in the East a force more than sufficient to have defended Piedmont and reconquered Loraine; but he seemed to think that England and Holland were bound to reward him largely for neglecting their interests and pursuing his own. 290

Spain already was what she continued to be down to our own time. Of the Spain which had domineered over the land and the ocean, over the Old and the New World, of the Spain which had, in the short space of twelve years, led captive a Pope and a King of France, a Sovereign of Mexico and a Sovereign of Peru, of the Spain which had sent an army to the walls of Paris and had equipped a mighty fleet to invade England, nothing remained but an arrogance which had once excited terror and hatred, but which could now excite only derision. In extent, indeed, the dominions of the Catholic King exceeded those of Rome when Rome was at the zenith of power. But the huge mass lay torpid and helpless, and could be insulted or despoiled with impunity. The whole administration, military and naval, financial and colonial, was utterly disorganized. Charles was a fit representative of his kingdom, impotent physically, intellectually and morally, sunk in ignorance, listlessness and superstition, yet swollen with a notion of his own dignity, and quick to imagine and to resent affronts. So wretched had his education been that, when he was told of the fall of Mons, the most important fortress in his vast empire, he asked whether Mons was in England. 291 Among the ministers who were raised up and pulled down by his sickly caprice, was none capable of applying a remedy to the distempers of the State. In truth to brace anew the nerves of that paralysed body would have been a hard task even for Ximenes. No servant of the Spanish Crown occupied a more important post, and none was more unfit for an important post, than the Marquess of Gastanaga. He was Governor of the Netherlands; and in the Netherlands it seemed probable that the fate of Christendom would be decided. He had discharged his trust as every public trust was then discharged in every part of that vast monarchy on which it was boastfully said that the sun never set. Fertile and rich as was the country which he ruled, he threw on England and Holland the whole charge of defending it. He expected that arms, ammunition, waggons, provisions, every thing, would be furnished by the heretics. It had never occurred to him that it was his business, and not theirs, to put Mons in a condition to stand a siege. The public voice loudly accused him of having sold that celebrated stronghold to France. But it is probable that he was guilty of nothing worse than the haughty apathy and sluggishness characteristic of his nation.

Such was the state of the coalition of which William was the head. There were moments when he felt himself overwhelmed, when his spirits sank, when his patience was wearied out, and when his constitutional irritability broke forth. "I cannot," he wrote, "offer a suggestion without being met by a demand for a subsidy." 292 "I have refused point blank," he wrote on another occasion, when he had been importuned for money, "it is impossible that the States General and England can bear the charge of the army on the Rhine, of the army in Piedmont, and of the whole defence of Flanders, to say nothing of the immense cost of the naval war. If our allies can do nothing for themselves, the sooner the alliance goes to pieces the better." 293 But, after every short fit of despondency and ill humour, he called up all the force of his mind, and put a strong curb on his temper. Weak, mean, false, selfish, as too many of the confederates were, it was only by their help that he could accomplish what he had from his youth up considered as his mission. If they abandoned him, France would be dominant without a rival in Europe. Well as they deserved to be punished, he would not, to punish them, acquiesce in the subjugation of the whole civilised world. He set himself therefore to surmount some difficulties and to evade others. The Scandinavian powers he conciliated by waiving, reluctantly indeed, and not without a hard internal struggle, some of his maritime rights. 294 At Rome his influence, though indirectly exercised, balanced that of the Pope himself. Lewis and James found that they had not a friend at the Vatican except Innocent; and Innocent, whose nature was gentle and irresolute, shrank from taking a course directly opposed to the sentiments of all who surrounded him. In private conversations with Jacobite agents he declared himself devoted to the interests of the House of Stuart; but in his public acts he observed a strict neutrality. He sent twenty thousand crowns to Saint Germains; but he excused himself to the enemies of France by protesting that this was not a subsidy for any political purpose, but merely an alms to be distributed among poor British Catholics. He permitted prayers for the good cause to be read in the English College at Rome; but he insisted that those prayers should be drawn up in general terms, and that no name should be mentioned. It was in vain that the ministers of the Houses of Stuart and Bourbon adjured him to take a more decided course. "God knows," he exclaimed on one occasion, "that I would gladly shed my blood to restore the King of England. But what can I do? If I stir, I am told that I am favouring the French, and helping them to set up an universal monarchy. I am not like the old Popes. Kings will not listen to me as they listened to my predecessors. There is no religion now, nothing but wicked, worldly policy. The Prince of Orange is master. He governs us all. He has got such a hold on the Emperor and on the King of Spain that neither of them dares to displease him. God help us! He alone can help us." And, as the old man spoke, he beat the table with his hand in an agony of impotent grief and indignation. 295

To keep the German princes steady was no easy task; but it was accomplished. Money was distributed among them, much less indeed than they asked, but much more than they had any decent pretence for asking. With the Elector of Saxony a composition was made. He had, together with a strong appetite for subsidies, a great desire to be a member of the most select and illustrious orders of knighthood. It seems that, instead of the four hundred thousand rixdollars which he had demanded, he consented to accept one hundred thousand and the Garter. 296 His prime minister Schoening, the most covetous and perfidious of mankind, was secured by a pension. 297 For the Duke of Brunswick Lunenburg, William, not without difficulty, procured the long desired title of Elector of Hanover. By such means as these the breaches which had divided the coalition were so skilfully repaired that it appeared still to present a firm front to the enemy. William had complained bitterly to the Spanish government of the incapacity and inertness of Gastanaga. The Spanish government, helpless and drowsy as it was, could not be altogether insensible to the dangers which threatened Flanders and Brabant. Gastanaga was recalled; and William was invited to take upon himself the government of the Low Countries, with powers not less than regal. Philip the Second would not easily have believed that, within a century after his death, his greatgrandson would implore the greatgrandson of William the Silent to exercise the authority of a sovereign at Brussels. 298

The offer was in one sense tempting; but William was too wise to accept it. He knew that the population of the Spanish Netherlands was firmly attached to the Church of Rome. Every act of a Protestant ruler was certain to be regarded with suspicion by the clergy and people of those countries. Already Gastanaga, mortified by his disgrace, had written to inform the Court of Rome that changes were in contemplation which would make Ghent and Antwerp as heretical as Amsterdam and London. 299 It had doubtless also occurred to William that if, by governing mildly and justly, and by showing a decent respect for the ceremonies and the ministers of the Roman Catholic religion, he should succeed in obtaining the confidence of the Belgians, he would inevitably raise against himself a storm of obloquy in our island. He knew by experience what it was to govern two nations strongly attached to two different Churches. A large party among the Episcopalians of England could not forgive him for having consented to the establishment of the presbyterian polity in Scotland. A large party among the Presbyterians of Scotland blamed him for maintaining the episcopal polity in England. If he now took under his protection masses, processions, graven images, friaries, nunneries, and, worst of all, Jesuit pulpits, Jesuit confessionals and Jesuit colleges, what could he expect but that England and Scotland would join in one cry of reprobation? He therefore refused to accept the government of the Low Countries, and proposed that it should be entrusted to the Elector of Bavaria. The Elector of Bavaria was, after the Emperor, the most powerful of the Roman Catholic potentates of Germany. He was young, brave, and ambitious of military distinction. The Spanish Court was willing to appoint him, and he was desirous to be appointed; but much delay was caused by an absurd difficulty. The Elector thought it beneath him to ask for what he wished to have. The formalists of the Cabinet of Madrid thought it beneath the dignity of the Catholic King to give what had not been asked. Mediation was necessary, and was at last successful. But much time was lost; and the spring was far advanced before the new Governor of the Netherlands entered on his functions. 300

William had saved the coalition from the danger of perishing by disunion. But by no remonstrance, by no entreaty, by no bribe, could he prevail on his allies to be early in the field. They ought to have profited by the severe lesson which had been given them in the preceding year. But again every one of them lingered, and wondered why the rest were lingering; and again he who singly wielded the whole power of France was found, as his haughty motto had long boasted, a match for a multitude of adversaries. 301 His enemies, while still unready, learned with dismay that he had taken the field in person at the head of his nobility. On no occasion had that gallant aristocracy appeared with more splendour in his train. A single circumstance may suffice to give a notion of the pomp and luxury of his camp. Among the musketeers of his household rode, for the first time, a stripling of seventeen, who soon afterwards succeeded to the title of Duke of Saint Simon, and to whom we owe those inestimable memoirs which have preserved, for the delight and instruction of many lands and of many generations, the vivid picture of a France which has long passed away. Though the boy's family was at that time very hard pressed for money, he travelled with thirty-five horses and sumpter mules. The princesses of the blood, each surrounded by a group of highborn and graceful ladies, accompanied the King; and the smiles of so many charming women inspired the throng of vain and voluptuous but highspirited gentlemen with more than common courage. In the brilliant crowd which surrounded the French Augustus appeared the French Virgil, the graceful, the tender, the melodious Racine. He had, in conformity with the prevailing fashion, become devout, had given up writing for the theatre; and, having determined to apply himself vigorously to the discharge of the duties which belonged to him as historiographer of France, he now came to see the great events which it was his office to record. 302 In the neighbourhood of Mons, Lewis entertained the ladies with the most magnificent review that had ever been seen in modern Europe. A hundred and twenty thousand of the finest troops in the world were drawn up in a line eight miles long. It may be doubted whether such an army had ever been brought together under the Roman eagles. The show began early in the morning, and was not over when the long summer day closed. Racine left the ground, astonished, deafened, dazzled, and tired to death. In a private letter he ventured to give utterance to an amiable wish which he probably took good care not to whisper in the courtly circle: "Would to heaven that all these poor fellows were in their cottages again with their wives and their little ones!" 303

After this superb pageant Lewis announced his intention of attacking Namur. In five days he was under the walls of that city, at the head of more than thirty thousand men. Twenty thousand peasants, pressed in those parts of the Netherlands which the French occupied, were compelled to act as pioneers. Luxemburg, with eighty thousand men, occupied a strong position on the road between Namur and Brussels, and was prepared to give battle to any force which might attempt to raise the siege. 304 This partition of duties excited no surprise. It had long been known that the great Monarch loved sieges, and that he did not love battles. He professed to think that the real test of military skill was a siege. The event of an encounter between two armies on an open plain was, in his opinion, often determined by chance; but only science could prevail against ravelins and bastions which science had constructed. His detractors sneeringly pronounced it fortunate that the department of the military art which His Majesty considered as the noblest was one in which it was seldom necessary for him to expose to serious risk a life invaluable to his people.

Namur, situated at the confluence of the Sambre and the Meuse, was one of the great fortresses of Europe. The town lay in the plain, and had no strength except what was derived from art. But art and nature had combined to fortify that renowned citadel which, from the summit of a lofty rock, looks down on a boundless expanse of cornfields, woods and meadows, watered by two fine rivers. The people of the city and of the surrounding region were proud of their impregnable castle. Their boast was that never, in all the wars which had devastated the Netherlands, had skill or valour been able to penetrate those walls. The neighbouring fastnesses, famed throughout the world for their strength, Antwerp and Ostend, Ypres, Lisle and Tournay, Mons and Valenciennes, Cambray and Charleroi, Limburg and Luxemburg, had opened their gates to conquerors; but never once had the flag been pulled down from the battlements of Namur. That nothing might be wanting to the interest of the siege, the two great masters of the art of fortification were opposed to each other. Vauban had during many years been regarded as the first of engineers; but a formidable rival had lately arisen, Menno, Baron of Cohorn, the ablest officer in the service of the States General. The defences of Namur had been recently strengthened and repaired under Cohorn's superintendence; and he was now within the walls. Vauban was in the camp of Lewis. It might therefore be expected that both the attack and the defence would be conducted with consummate ability.

By this time the allied armies had assembled; but it was too late. 305 William hastened towards Namur. He menaced the French works, first from the west, then from the north, then from the east. But between him and the lines of circumvallation lay the army of Luxemburg, turning as he turned, and always so strongly posted that to attack it would have been the height of imprudence. Meanwhile the besiegers, directed by the skill of Vauban and animated by the presence of Lewis, made rapid progress. There were indeed many difficulties to be surmounted and many hardships to be endured. The weather was stormy; and, on the eighth of June, the feast of Saint Medard, who holds in the French Calendar the same inauspicious place which in our Calendar belongs to Saint Swithin, the rain fell in torrents. The Sambre rose and covered many square miles on which the harvest was green. The Mehaigne whirled down its bridges to the Meuse. All the roads became swamps. The trenches were so deep in water and mire that it was the business of three days to move a gun from one battery to another. The six thousand waggons which had accompanied the French army were useless. It was necessary that gunpowder, bullets, corn, hay, should be carried from place to place on the backs of the war horses. Nothing but the authority of Lewis could, in such circumstances, have maintained order and inspired cheerfulness. His soldiers, in truth, showed much more reverence for him than for what their religion had made sacred. They cursed Saint Medard heartily, and broke or burned every image of him that could be found. But for their King there was nothing that they were not ready to do and to bear. In spite of every obstacle they constantly gained ground. Cohorn was severely wounded while defending with desperate resolution a fort which he had himself constructed, and of which he was proud. His place could not be supplied. The governor was a feeble man whom Gastanaga had appointed, and whom William had recently advised the Elector of Bavaria to remove. The spirit of the garrison gave way. The town surrendered on the eighth day of the siege, the citadel about three weeks later. 306

The history of the fall of Namur in 1692 bears a close resemblance to the history of the fail of Mons in 1691. Both in 1691 and in 1692, Lewis, the sole and absolute master of the resources of his kingdom, was able to open the campaign, before William, the captain of a coalition, had brought together his dispersed forces. In both years the advantage of having the first move decided the event of the game. At Namur, as at Mons, Lewis, assisted by Vauban conducted the siege; Luxemburg covered it; William vainly tried to raise it, and, with deep mortification, assisted as a spectator at the victory of his enemy.

In one respect however the fate of the two fortresses was very different. Mons was delivered up by its own inhabitants. Namur might perhaps have been saved if the garrison had been as zealous and determined as the population. Strange to say, in this place, so long subject to a foreign rule, there was found a patriotism resembling that of the little Greek commonwealths. There is no reason to believe that the burghers cared about the balance of power, or had any preference for James or for William, for the Most Christian King or for the Most Catholic King. But every citizen considered his own honour as bound up with the honour of the maiden fortress. It is true that the French did not abuse their victory. No outrage was committed; the privileges of the municipality were respected, the magistrates were not changed. Yet the people could not see a conqueror enter their hitherto unconquered castle without tears of rage and shame. Even the barefooted Carmelites, who had renounced all pleasures, all property, all society, all domestic affection, whose days were all fast days, who passed month after month without uttering a word, were strangely moved. It was in vain that Lewis attempted to soothe them by marks of respect and by munificent bounty. Whenever they met a French uniform they turned their heads away with a look which showed that a life of prayer, of abstinence and of silence had left one earthly feeling still unsubdued. 307

This was perhaps the moment at which the arrogance of Lewis reached the highest point. He had achieved the last and the most splendid military exploit of his life. His confederated foes, English, Dutch and German, had, in their own despite, swelled his triumph, and had been witnesses of the glory which made their hearts sick. His exultation was boundless. The inscriptions on the medals which he struck to commemorate his success, the letters by which he enjoined the prelates of his kingdom to sing the Te Deum, were boastful and sarcastic. His people, a people among whose many fine qualities moderation in prosperity cannot be reckoned, seemed for a time to be drunk with pride. Even Boileau, hurried along by the prevailing enthusiasm, forgot the good sense and good taste to which he owed his reputation. He fancied himself a lyric poet, and gave vent to his feelings in a hundred and sixty lines of frigid bombast about Alcides, Mars, Bacchus, Ceres, the lyre of Orpheus, the Thracian oaks and the Permessian nymphs. He wondered whether Namur, had, like Troy, been built by Apollo and Neptune. He asked what power could subdue a city stronger than that before which the Greeks lay ten years; and he returned answer to himself that such a miracle could be wrought only by Jupiter or by Lewis. The feather in the hat of Lewis was the loadstar of victory. To Lewis all things must yield, princes, nations, winds, waters. In conclusion the poet addressed himself to the banded enemies of France, and tauntingly bade them carry back to their homes the tidings that Namur had been taken in their sight. Before many months had elapsed both the boastful king and the boastful poet were taught that it is prudent as well as graceful to be modest in the hour of victory.

One mortification Lewis had suffered even in the midst of his prosperity. While he lay before Namur, he heard the sounds of rejoicing from the distant camp of the allies. Three peals of thunder from a hundred and forty pieces of cannon were answered by three volleys from sixty thousand muskets. It was soon known that these salutes were fired on account of the battle of La Hogue. The French King exerted himself to appear serene. "They make a strange noise," he said, "about the burning of a few ships." In truth he was much disturbed, and the more so because a report had reached the Low Countries that there had been a sea fight, and that his fleet had been victorious. His good humour however was soon restored by the brilliant success of those operations which were under his own immediate direction. When the siege was over, he left Luxemburg in command of the army, and returned to Versailles. At Versailles the unfortunate Tourville soon presented himself, and was graciously received. As soon as he appeared in the circle, the King welcomed him in a loud voice. "I am perfectly satisfied with you and with my sailors. We have been beaten, it is true; but your honour and that of the nation are unsullied." 308

Though Lewis had quitted the Netherlands, the eyes of all Europe were still fixed on that region. The armies there had been strengthened by reinforcements drawn from many quarters. Every where else the military operations of the year were languid and without interest. The Grand Vizier and Lewis of Baden did little more than watch each other on the Danube. Marshal Noailles and the Duke of Medina Sidonia did little more than watch each other under the Pyrenees. On the Upper Rhine, and along the frontier which separates France from Piedmont, an indecisive predatory war was carried on, by which the soldiers suffered little and the cultivators of the soil much. But all men looked, with anxious expectation of some great event, to the frontier of Brabant, where William was opposed to Luxemburg.

Luxemburg, now in his sixty-sixth year, had risen, by slow degrees, and by the deaths of several great men, to the first place among the generals of his time. He was of that noble house of Montmorency which united many mythical and many historical titles to glory, which boasted that it sprang from the first Frank who was baptized into the name of Christ in the fifth century, and which had, since the eleventh century, given to France a long and splendid succession of Constables and Marshals. In valour and abilities Luxemburg was not inferior to any of his illustrious race. But, highly descended and highly gifted as he was, he had with difficulty surmounted the obstacles which impeded him in the road to fame. If he owed much to the bounty of nature and fortune, he had suffered still more from their spite. His features were frightfully harsh, his stature was diminutive; a huge and pointed hump rose on his back. His constitution was feeble and sickly. Cruel imputations had been thrown on his morals. He had been accused of trafficking with sorcerers and with vendors of poison, had languished long in a dungeon, and had at length regained his liberty without entirely regaining his honour. 309 He had always been disliked both by Louvois and by Lewis. Yet the war against the European coalition had lasted but a very short time when both the minister and the King felt that the general who was personally odious to them was necessary to the state. Conde and Turenne were no more; and Luxemburg was without dispute the first soldier that France still possessed. In vigilance, diligence and perseverance he was deficient. He seemed to reserve his great qualities for great emergencies. It was on a pitched field of battle that he was all himself. His glance was rapid and unerring. His judgment was clearest and surest when responsibility pressed heaviest on him and when difficulties gathered thickest around him. To his skill, energy and presence of mind his country owed some glorious days. But, though eminently successful in battles, he was not eminently successful in campaigns. He gained immense renown at William's expense; and yet there was, as respected the objects of the war, little to choose between the two commanders. Luxemburg was repeatedly victorious; but he had not the art of improving a victory. William was repeatedly defeated; but of all generals he was the best qualified to repair a defeat.

In the month of July William's headquarters were at Lambeque. About six miles off, at Steinkirk, Luxemburg had encamped with the main body of his army; and about six miles further off lay a considerable force commanded by the Marquess of Boufflers, one of the best officers in the service of Lewis.

The country between Lambeque and Steinkirk was intersected by innumerable hedges and ditches; and neither army could approach the other without passing through several long and narrow defiles. Luxemburg had therefore little reason to apprehend that he should be attacked in his entrenchments; and he felt assured that he should have ample notice before any attack was made; for he had succeeded in corrupting an adventurer named Millevoix, who was chief musician and private secretary of the Elector of Bavaria. This man regularly sent to the French headquarters authentic information touching the designs of the allies.

The Marshal, confident in the strength of his position and in the accuracy of his intelligence, lived in his tent as he was accustomed to live in his hotel at Paris. He was at once a valetudinarian and a voluptuary; and, in both characters, he loved his ease. He scarcely ever mounted his horse. Light conversation and cards occupied most of his hours. His table was luxurious; and, when he had sate down to supper, it was a service of danger to disturb him. Some scoffers remarked that in his military dispositions he was not guided exclusively by military reasons, that he generally contrived to entrench himself in some place where the veal and the poultry were remarkably good, and that he was always solicitous to keep open such communications with the sea as might ensure him, from September to April, a regular supply of Sandwich oysters.

If there were any agreeable women in the neighbourhood of his camp, they were generally to be found at his banquets. It may easily be supposed that, under such a commander, the young princes and nobles of France vied with one another in splendour and gallantry. 310

While he was amusing himself after his wonted fashion, the confederate princes discovered that their counsels were betrayed. A peasant picked up a letter which had been dropped, and carried it to the Elector of Bavaria. It contained full proofs of the guilt of Millevoix. William conceived a hope that he might be able to take his enemies in the snare which they had laid for him. The perfidious secretary was summoned to the royal presence and taxed with his crime. A pen was put into his hand; a pistol was held to his breast; and he was commanded to write on pain of instant death. His letter, dictated by William, was conveyed to the French camp. It apprised Luxemburg that the allies meant to send out a strong foraging party on the next day. In order to protect this party from molestation, some battalions of infantry, accompanied by artillery, would march by night to occupy the defiles which lay between the armies. The Marshal read, believed and went to rest, while William urged forward the preparations for a general assault on the French lines.

The whole allied army was under arms while it was still dark. In the grey of the morning Luxemburg was awakened by scouts, who brought tidings that the enemy was advancing in great force. He at first treated the news very lightly. His correspondent, it seemed, had been, as usual, diligent and exact. The Prince of Orange had sent out a detachment to protect his foragers, and this detachment had been magnified by fear into a great host. But one alarming report followed another fast. All the passes, it was said, were choked with multitudes of foot, horse and artillery, under the banners of England and of Spain, of the United Provinces and of the Empire; and every column was moving towards Steinkirk. At length the Marshal rose, got on horseback, and rode out to see what was doing.

By this time the vanguard of the allies was close to his outposts. About half a mile in advance of his army was encamped a brigade named from the province of Bourbonnais. These troops had to bear the first brunt of the onset. Amazed and panicstricken, they were swept away in a moment, and ran for their lives, leaving their tents and seven pieces of cannon to the assailants.

Thus far William's plans had been completely successful but now fortune began to turn against him. He had been misinformed as to the nature of the ground which lay between the station of the brigade of Bourbonnais and the main encampment of the enemy. He had expected that he should be able to push forward without a moment's pause, that he should find the French army in a state of wild disorder, and that his victory would be easy and complete. But his progress was obstructed by several fences and ditches; there was a short delay; and a short delay sufficed to frustrate his design. Luxemburg was the very man for such a conjuncture. He had committed great faults; he had kept careless guard; he had trusted implicitly to information which had proved false; he had neglected information which had proved true; one of his divisions was flying in confusion; the other divisions were unprepared for action. That crisis would have paralysed the faculties of an ordinary captain; it only braced and stimulated those of Luxemburg. His mind, nay his sickly and distorted body, seemed to derive health and vigour from disaster and dismay. In a short time he had disposed every thing. The French army was in battle order. Conspicuous in that great array were the household troops of Lewis, the most renowned body of fighting men in Europe; and at their head appeared, glittering in lace and embroidery hastily thrown on and half fastened, a crowd of young princes and lords who had just been roused by the trumpet from their couches or their revels, and who had hastened to look death in the face with the gay and festive intrepidity characteristic of French gentlemen. Highest in rank among these highborn warriors was a lad of sixteen, Philip Duke of Chartres, son of the Duke of Orleans, and nephew of the King of France. It was with difficulty and by importunate solicitation that the gallant boy had extorted Luxemburg's permission to be where the fire was hottest. Two other youths of royal blood, Lewis Duke of Bourbon, and Armand Prince of Conti, showed a spirit worthy of their descent. With them was a descendant of one of the bastards of Henry the Fourth, Lewis Duke of Vendome, a man sunk in indolence and in the foulest vice, yet capable of exhibiting on a great occasion the qualities of a great soldier. Berwick, who was beginning to earn for himself an honourable name in arms, was there; and at his side rode Sarsfield, whose courage and ability earned, on that day, the esteem of the whole French army. Meanwhile Luxemburg had sent off a pressing message to summon Boufflers. But the message was needless. Boufflers had heard the firing, and, like a brave and intelligent captain, was already hastening towards the point from which the sound came.

Though the assailants had lost all the advantage which belongs to a surprise, they came on manfully. In the front of the battle were the British commanded by Count Solmes. The division which was to lead the way was Mackay's. He was to have been supported, according to William's plan, by a strong body of foot and horse. Though most of Mackay's men had never before been under fire, their behaviour gave promise of Blenheim and Ramilies. They first encountered the Swiss, who held a distinguished place in the French army. The fight was so close and desperate that the muzzles of the muskets crossed. The Swiss were driven back with fearful slaughter. More than eighteen hundred of them appear from the French returns to have been killed or wounded. Luxemburg afterwards said that he had never in his life seen so furious a struggle. He collected in haste the opinion of the generals who surrounded him. All thought that the emergency was one which could be met by no common means. The King's household must charge the English. The Marshal gave the word; and the household, headed by the princes of the blood, came on, flinging their muskets back on their shoulders. "Sword in hand," was the cry through all the ranks of that terrible brigade: "sword in hand. No firing. Do it with the cold steel." After a long and desperate resistance the English were borne down. They never ceased to repeat that, if Solmes had done his duty by them, they would have beaten even the household. But Solmes gave them no effective support. He pushed forward some cavalry which, from the nature of the ground, could do little or nothing. His infantry he would not suffer to stir. They could do no good, he said, and he would not send them to be slaughtered. Ormond was eager to hasten to the assistance of his countrymen, but was not permitted. Mackay sent a pressing message to represent that he and his men were left to certain destruction; but all was vain. "God's will be done," said the brave veteran. He died as he had lived, like a good Christian and a good soldier. With him fell Douglas and Lanier, two generals distinguished among the conquerors of Ireland. Mountjoy too was among the slain. After languishing three years in the Bastile, he had just been exchanged for Richard Hamilton, and, having been converted to Whiggism by wrongs more powerful than all the arguments of Locke and Sidney, had instantly hastened to join William's camp as a volunteer. 311 Five fine regiments were entirely cut to pieces. No part of this devoted band would have escaped but for the courage and conduct of Auverquerque, who came to the rescue in the moment of extremity with two fresh battalions. The gallant manner in which he brought off the remains of Mackay's division was long remembered with grateful admiration by the British camp fires. The ground where the conflict had raged was piled with corpses; and those who buried the slain remarked that almost all the wounds had been given in close fighting by the sword or the bayonet.

It was said that William so far forgot his wonted stoicism as to utter a passionate exclamation at the way in which the English regiments had been sacrificed. Soon, however, he recovered his equanimity, and determined to fall back. It was high time; for the French army was every moment becoming stronger, as the regiments commanded by Boufflers came up in rapid succession. The allied army returned to Lambeque unpursued and in unbroken order. 312

The French owned that they had about seven thousand men killed and wounded. The loss of the allies had been little, if at all, greater. The relative strength of the armies was what it had been on the preceding day; and they continued to occupy their old positions. But the moral effect of the battle was great. The splendour of William's fame grew pale. Even his admirers were forced to own that, in the field, he was not a match for Luxemburg. In France the news was received with transports of joy and pride. The Court, the Capital, even the peasantry of the remotest provinces, gloried in the impetuous valour which had been displayed by so many youths, the heirs of illustrious names. It was exultingly and fondly repeated all over the kingdom that the young Duke of Chartres could not by any remonstrances be kept out of danger, that a ball had passed through his coat that he had been wounded in the shoulder. The people lined the roads to see the princes and nobles who returned from Steinkirk. The jewellers devised Steinkirk buckles; the perfumers sold Steinkirk powder. But the name of the field of battle was peculiarly given to a new species of collar. Lace neckcloths were then worn by men of fashion; and it had been usual to arrange them with great care. But at the terrible moment when the brigade of Bourbonnais was flying before the onset of the allies, there was no time for foppery; and the finest gentlemen of the Court came spurring to the front of the line of battle with their rich cravats in disorder. It therefore became a fashion among the beauties of Paris to wear round their necks kerchiefs of the finest lace studiously disarranged; and these kerchiefs were called Steinkirks. 313

In the camp of the allies all was disunion and discontent. National jealousies and animosities raged without restraint or disguise. The resentment of the English was loudly expressed. Solmes, though he was said by those who knew him well to have some valuable qualities, was not a man likely to conciliate soldiers who were prejudiced against him as a foreigner. His demeanour was arrogant, his temper ungovernable. Even before the unfortunate day of Steinkirk the English officers did not willingly communicate with him, and the private men murmured at his harshness. But after the battle the outcry against him became furious. He was accused, perhaps unjustly, of having said with unfeeling levity, while the English regiments were contending desperately against great odds, that he was curious to see how the bulldogs would come off. Would any body, it was asked, now pretend that it was on account of his superior skill and experience that he had been put over the heads of so many English officers? It was the fashion to say that those officers had never seen war on a large scale. But surely the merest novice was competent to do all that Solmes had done, to misunderstand orders, to send cavalry on duty which none but infantry could perform, and to look on at safe distance while brave men were cut to pieces. It was too much to be at once insulted and sacrificed, excluded from the honours of war, yet pushed on all its extreme dangers, sneered at as raw recruits, and then left to cope unsupported with the finest body of veterans in the world. Such were the complains of the English army; and they were echoed by the English nation.

Fortunately about this time a discovery was made which furnished both the camp at Lambeque and the coffeehouses of London with a subject of conversation much less agreeable to the Jacobites than the disaster of Steinkirk.

A plot against the life of William had been, during some months, maturing in the French War Office. It should seem that Louvois had originally sketched the design, and had bequeathed it, still rude, to his son and successor Barbesieux. By Barbesieux the plan was perfected. The execution was entrusted to an officer named Grandval. Grandval was undoubtedly brave, and full of zeal for his country and his religion. He was indeed flighty and half witted, but not on that account the less dangerous. Indeed a flighty and half witted man is the very instrument generally preferred by cunning politicians when very hazardous work is to be done. No shrewd calculator would, for any bribe, however enormous, have exposed himself to the fate of Chatel, of Ravaillac, or of Gerarts. 314

Grandval secured, as he conceived, the assistance of two adventurers, Dumont, a Walloon, and Leefdale, a Dutchman. In April, soon after William had arrived in the Low Countries, the murderers were directed to repair to their post. Dumont was then in Westphalia. Grandval and Leefdale were at Paris. Uden in North Brabant was fixed as the place where the three were to meet and whence they were to proceed together to the headquarters of the allies. Before Grandval left Paris he paid a visit to Saint Germains, and was presented to James and to Mary of Modena. "I have been informed," said James, "of the business. If you and your companions do me this service, you shall never want."

After this audience Grandval set out on his journey. He had not the faintest suspicion that he had been betrayed both by the accomplice who accompanied him and by the accomplice whom he was going to meet. Dumont and Leefdale were not enthusiasts. They cared nothing for the restoration of James, the grandeur of Lewis, or the ascendency of the Church of Rome. It was plain to every man of common sense that, whether the design succeeded or failed, the reward of the assassins would probably be to be disowned, with affected abhorrence, by the Courts of Versailles and Saint Germains, and to be torn with redhot pincers, smeared with melted lead, and dismembered by four horses. To vulgar natures the prospect of such a martyrdom was not alluring. Both these men, therefore, had, almost at the same time, though, as far as appears, without any concert, conveyed to William, through different channels, warnings that his life was in danger. Dumont had acknowledged every thing to the Duke of Zell, one of the confederate princes. Leefdale had transmitted full intelligence through his relations who resided in Holland. Meanwhile Morel, a Swiss Protestant of great learning who was then in France, wrote to inform Burnet that the weak and hotheaded Grandval had been heard to talk boastfully of the event which would soon astonish the world, and had confidently predicted that the Prince of Orange would not live to the end of the next month.

These cautions were not neglected. From the moment at which Grandval entered the Netherlands, his steps were among snares. His movements were watched; his words were noted; he was arrested, examined, confronted with his accomplices, and sent to the camp of the allies. About a week after the battle of Steinkirk he was brought before a Court Martial. Ginkell, who had been rewarded for his great services in Ireland with the title of Earl of Athlone, presided; and Talmash was among the judges. Mackay and Lanier had been named members of the board; but they were no more; and their places were filled by younger officers.

The duty of the Court Martial was very simple; for the prisoner attempted no defence. His conscience had, it should seem, been suddenly awakened. He admitted, with expressions of remorse, the truth of all the charges, made a minute, and apparently an ingenuous, confession, and owned that he had deserved death. He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and underwent his punishment with great fortitude and with a show of piety. He left behind him a few lines, in which he declared that he was about to lose his life for having too faithfully obeyed the injunctions of Barbesieux.

His confession was immediately published in several languages, and was read with very various and very strong emotions. That it was genuine could not be doubted; for it was warranted by the signatures of some of the most distinguished military men living. That it was prompted by the hope of pardon could hardly be supposed; for William had taken pains to discourage that hope. Still less could it be supposed that the prisoner had uttered untruths in order to avoid the torture. For, though it was the universal practice in the Netherlands to put convicted assassins to the rack in order to wring out from them the names of their employers and associates, William had given orders that, on this occasion, the rack should not be used or even named. It should be added, that the Court did not interrogate the prisoner closely, but suffered him to tell his story in his own way. It is therefore reasonable to believe that his narrative is substantially true; and no part of it has a stronger air of truth than his account of the audience with which James had honoured him at Saint Germains.

In our island the sensation produced by the news was great. The Whigs loudly called both James and Lewis assassins. How, it was asked, was it possible, without outraging common sense, to put an innocent meaning on the words which Grandval declared that he had heard from the lips of the banished King of England? And who that knew the Court of Versailles would believe that Barbesieux, a youth, a mere novice in politics, and rather a clerk than a minister, would have dared to do what he had done without taking his master's pleasure? Very charitable and very ignorant persons might perhaps indulge a hope that Lewis had not been an accessory before the fact. But that he was an accessory after the fact no human being could doubt. He must have seen the proceedings of the Court Martial, the evidence, the confession. If he really abhorred assassination as honest men abhor it, would not Barbesieux have been driven with ignominy from the royal presence, and flung into the Bastile? Yet Barbesieux was still at the War Office; and it was not pretended that he had been punished even by a word or a frown. It was plain, then, that both Kings were partakers in the guilt of Grandval. And if it were asked how two princes who made a high profession of religion could have fallen into such wickedness, the answer was that they had learned their religion from the Jesuits. In reply to these reproaches the English Jacobites said very little; and the French government said nothing at all. 315

The campaign in the Netherlands ended without any other event deserving to be recorded. On the eighteenth of October William arrived in England. Late in the evening of the twentieth he reached Kensington, having traversed the whole length of the capital. His reception was cordial. The crowd was great; the acclamations were loud; and all the windows along his route, from Aldgate to Piccadilly, were lighted up. 316

But, notwithstanding these favourable symptoms, the nation was disappointed and discontented. The war had been unsuccessful by land. By sea a great advantage had been gained, but had not been improved. The general expectation had been that the victory of May would be followed by a descent on the coast of France, that Saint Maloes would he bombarded, that the last remains of Tourville's squadron would be destroyed, and that the arsenals of Brest and Rochefort would be laid in ruins. This expectation was, no doubt, unreasonable. It did not follow, because Rooke and his seamen had silenced the batteries hastily thrown up by Bellefonds, that it would be safe to expose ships to the fire of regular fortresses. The government, however, was not less sanguine than the nation. Great preparations were made. The allied fleet, having been speedily refitted at Portsmouth, stood out again to sea. Rooke was sent to examine the soundings and the currents along the shore of Brittany. 317 Transports were collected at Saint Helens. Fourteen thousand troops were assembled on Portsdown under the command of Meinhart Schomberg, who had been rewarded for his father's services and his own with the highest rank in the Irish peerage, and was now Duke of Leinster. Under him were Ruvigny, who, for his good service at Aghrim, had been created Earl of Galway, La Melloniere and Cambon with their gallant bands of refugees, and Argyle with the regiment which bore his name, and which, as it began to be rumoured, had last winter done something strange and horrible in a wild country of rocks and snow, never yet explored by any Englishman.

On the twenty-sixth of July the troops were all on board. The transports sailed, and in a few hours joined the naval armament in the neighbourhood of Portland. On the twenty-eighth a general council of war was held. All the naval commanders, with Russell at their head, declared that it would be madness to carry their ships within the range of the guns of Saint Maloes, and that the town must be reduced to straits by land before the men of war in the harbour could, with any chance of success, be attacked from the sea. The military men declared with equal unanimity that the land forces could effect nothing against the town without the cooperation of the fleet. It was then considered whether it would be advisable to make an attempt on Brest or Rochefort. Russell and the other flag officers, among whom were Rooke, Shovel, Almonde and Evertsen, pronounced that the summer was too far spent for either enterprise. 318 We must suppose that an opinion in which so many distinguished admirals, both English and Dutch, concurred, however strange it may seem to us, was in conformity with what were then the established principles of the art of maritime war. But why all these questions could not have been fully discussed a week earlier, why fourteen thousand troops should have been shipped and sent to sea, before it had been considered what they were to do, or whether it would be possible for them to do any thing, we may reasonably wonder. The armament returned to Saint Helens, to the astonishment and disgust of the whole nation. 319 The ministers blamed the commanders; the commanders blamed the ministers. The recriminations exchanged between Nottingham and Russell were loud and angry. Nottingham, honest, industrious, versed in civil business, and eloquent in parliamentary debate, was deficient in the qualities of a war minister, and was not at all aware of his deficiencies. Between him and the whole body of professional sailors there was a feud of long standing. He had, some time before the Revolution, been a Lord of the Admiralty; and his own opinion was that he had then acquired a profound knowledge of maritime affairs. This opinion however he had very much to himself. Men who had passed half their lives on the waves, and who had been in battles, storms and shipwrecks, were impatient of his somewhat pompous lectures and reprimands, and pronounced him a mere pedant, who, with all his book learning, was ignorant of what every cabin boy knew. Russell had always been froward, arrogant and mutinous; and now prosperity and glory brought out his vices in full strength. With the government which he had saved he took all the liberties of an insolent servant who believes himself to be necessary, treated the orders of his superiors with contemptuous levity, resented reproof, however gentle, as an outrage, furnished no plan of his own, and showed a sullen determination to execute no plan furnished by any body else. To Nottingham he had a strong and a very natural antipathy. They were indeed an ill matched pair. Nottingham was a Tory; Russell was a Whig. Nottingham was a speculative seaman, confident in his theories. Russell was a practical seaman, proud of his achievements. The strength of Nottingham lay in speech; the strength of Russell lay in action. Nottingham's demeanour was decorous even to formality; Russell was passionate and rude. Lastly Nottingham was an honest man; and Russell was a villain. They now became mortal enemies. The Admiral sneered at the Secretary's ignorance of naval affairs; the Secretary accused the Admiral of sacrificing the public interests to mere wayward humour; and both were in the right. 320

While they were wrangling, the merchants of all the ports in the kingdom raised a cry against the naval administration. The victory of which the nation was so proud was, in the City, pronounced to have been a positive disaster. During some months before the battle all the maritime strength of the enemy had been collected in two great masses, one in the Mediterranean and one in the Atlantic. There had consequently been little privateering; and the voyage to New England or Jamaica had been almost as safe as in time of peace. Since the battle, the remains of the force which had lately been collected under Tourville were dispersed over the ocean. Even the passage from England to Ireland was insecure. Every week it was announced that twenty, thirty, fifty vessels belonging to London or Bristol had been taken by the French. More than a hundred prices were carried during that autumn into Saint Maloes alone. It would have been far better, in the opinion of the shipowners and of the underwriters, that the Royal Sun had still been afloat with her thousand fighting men on board than that she should be lying a heap of ashes on the beach at Cherburg, while her crew, distributed among twenty brigantines, prowled for booty over the sea between Cape Finisterre and Cape Clear. 321

The privateers of Dunkirk had long been celebrated; and among them, John Bart, humbly born, and scarcely able to sign his name, but eminently brave and active, had attained an undisputed preeminence. In the country of Anson and Hawke, of Howe and Rodney, of Duncan, Saint Vincent and Nelson, the name of the most daring and skilful corsair would have little chance of being remembered. But France, among whose many unquestioned titles to glory very few are derived from naval war, still ranks Bart among her great men. In the autumn of 1692 this enterprising freebooter was the terror of all the English and Dutch merchants who traded with the Baltic. He took and destroyed vessels close to the eastern coast of our island. He even ventured to land in Northumberland, and burned many houses before the trainbands could be collected to oppose him. The prizes which he carried back into his native port were estimated at about a hundred thousand pounds sterling. 322 About the same time a younger adventurer, destined to equal or surpass Bart, Du Guay Trouin, was entrusted with the command of a small armed vessel. The intrepid boy,—for he was not yet twenty years old,—entered the estuary of the Shannon, sacked a mansion in the county of Clare, and did not reimbark till a detachment from the garrison of Limerick marched against him. 323

While our trade was interrupted and our shores menaced by these rovers, some calamities which no human prudence could have averted increased the public ill humour. An earthquake of terrible violence laid waste in less than three minutes the flourishing colony of Jamaica. Whole plantations changed their place. Whole villages were swallowed up. Port Royal, the fairest and wealthiest city which the English had yet built in the New World, renowned for its quays, for its warehouses, and for its stately streets, which were said to rival Cheapside, was turned into a mass of ruins. Fifteen hundred of the inhabitants were buried under their own dwellings. The effect of this disaster was severely felt by many of the great mercantile houses of London and Bristol. 324

A still heavier calamity was the failure of the harvest. The summer had been wet all over Western Europe. Those heavy rains which had impeded the exertions of the French pioneers in the trenches of Namur had been fatal to the crops. Old men remembered no such year since 1648. No fruit ripened. The price of the quarter of wheat doubled. The evil was aggravated by the state of the silver coin, which had been clipped to such an extent that the words pound and shilling had ceased to have a fixed meaning. Compared with France indeed England might well be esteemed prosperous. Here the public burdens were heavy; there they were crushing. Here the labouring man was forced to husband his coarse barley loaf; but there it not seldom happened that the wretched peasant was found dead on the earth with halfchewed grass in his mouth. Our ancestors found some consolation in thinking that they were gradually wearing out the strength of their formidable enemy, and that his resources were likely to be drained sooner than theirs. Still there was much suffering and much repining. In some counties mobs attacked the granaries. The necessity of retrenchment was felt by families of every rank. An idle man of wit and pleasure, who little thought that his buffoonery would ever be cited to illustrate the history of his times, complained that, in this year, wine ceased to be put on many hospitable tables where he had been accustomed to see it, and that its place was supplied by punch. 325

A symptom of public distress much more alarming than the substitution of brandy and lemons for claret was the increase of crime. During the autumn of 1692 and the following winter, the capital was kept in constant terror by housebreakers. One gang, thirteen strong, entered the mansion of the Duke of Ormond in Saint James's Square, and all but succeeded in carrying off his magnificent plate and jewels. Another gang made an attempt on Lambeth Palace. 326 When stately abodes, guarded by numerous servants, were in such danger, it may easily be believed that no shopkeeper's till or stock could be safe. From Bow to Hyde Park, from Thames Street to Bloomsbury, there was no parish in which some quiet dwelling had not been sacked by burglars. 327 Meanwhile the great roads were made almost impassable by freebooters who formed themselves into troops larger than had before been known. There was a sworn fraternity of twenty footpads which met at an alehouse in Southwark. 328 But the most formidable band of plunderers consisted of two and twenty horsemen. 329 It should seem that, at this time, a journey of fifty miles through the wealthiest and most populous shires of England was as dangerous as a pilgrimage across the deserts of Arabia. The Oxford stage coach was pillaged in broad day after a bloody fight. 330 A waggon laden with fifteen thousand pounds of public money was stopped and ransacked. As this operation took some time, all the travellers who came to the spot while the thieves were busy were seized and guarded. When the booty had been secured the prisoners were suffered to depart on foot; but their horses, sixteen or eighteen in number, were shot or hamstringed, to prevent pursuit. 331 The Portsmouth mail was robbed twice in one week by men well armed and mounted. 332 Some jovial Essex squires, while riding after a hare, were themselves chased and run down by nine hunters of a different sort, and were heartily glad to find themselves at home again, though with empty pockets. 333

The friends of the government asserted that the marauders were all Jacobites; and indeed there were some appearances which gave colour to the assertion. For example, fifteen butchers, going on a market day to buy beasts at Thame, were stopped by a large gang, and compelled first to deliver their moneybags, and then to drink King James's health in brandy. 334 The thieves, however, to do them justice, showed, in the exercise of their calling, no decided preference for any political party. Some of them fell in with Marlborough near Saint Albans, and, notwithstanding his known hostility to the Court and his recent imprisonment, compelled him to deliver up five hundred guineas, which he doubtless never ceased to regret to the last moment of his long career of prosperity and glory. 335

When William, on his return from the Continent, learned to what an extent these outrages were carried, he expressed great indignation, and announced his resolution to put down the malefactors with a strong hand. A veteran robber was induced to turn informer, and to lay before the King a list of the chief highwaymen, and a full account of their habits and of their favourite haunts. It was said that this list contained not less than eighty names. 336 Strong parties of cavalry were sent out to protect the roads; and this precaution, which would, in ordinary circumstances, have excited much murmuring, seems to have been generally approved. A fine regiment, now called the Second Dragoon Guards, which had distinguished itself in Ireland by activity and success in the irregular war against the Rapparees, was selected to guard several of the great avenues of the capital. Blackheath, Barnet, Hounslow, became places of arms. 337 In a few weeks the roads were as safe as usual. The executions were numerous for, till the evil had been suppressed, the King resolutely refused to listen to any solicitations for mercy. 338 Among those who suffered was James Whitney, the most celebrated captain of banditti in the kingdom. He had been, during some months, the terror of all who travelled from London either northward or westward, and was at length with difficulty secured after a desperate conflict in which one soldier was killed and several wounded. 339 The London Gazette announced that the famous highwayman had been taken, and invited all persons who had been robbed by him to repair to Newgate and to see whether they could identify him. To identify him should have been easy; for he had a wound in the face, and had lost a thumb. 340 He, however, in the hope of perplexing the witnesses for the Crown, expended a hundred pounds in procuring a sumptuous embroidered suit against the day of trial. This ingenious device was frustrated by his hardhearted keepers. He was put to the bar in his ordinary clothes, convicted and sentenced to death. 341 He had previously tried to ransom himself by offering to raise a fine troop of cavalry, all highwaymen, for service in Flanders; but his offer had been rejected. 342 He had one resource still left. He declared that he was privy to a treasonable plot. Some Jacobite lords had promised him immense rewards if he would, at the head of his gang, fall upon the King at a stag hunt in Windsor Forest. There was nothing intrinsically improbable in Whitney's story. Indeed a design very similar to that which he imputed to the malecontents was, only three years later, actually formed by some of them, and was all but carried into execution. But it was far better that a few bad men should go unpunished than that all honest men should live in fear of being falsely accused by felons sentenced to the gallows. Chief Justice Holt advised the King to let the law take its course. William, never much inclined to give credit to stories about conspiracies, assented. The Captain, as he was called, was hanged in Smithfield, and made a most penitent end. 343

Meanwhile, in the midst of discontent, distress and disorder, had begun a session of Parliament singularly eventful, a session from which dates a new era in the history of English finance, a session in which some grave constitutional questions, not yet entirely set at rest, were for the first time debated.

It is much to be lamented that any account of this session which can be framed out of the scanty and dispersed materials now accessible must leave many things obscure. The relations of the parliamentary factions were, during this year, in a singularly complicated state. Each of the two Houses was divided and subdivided by several lines. To omit minor distinctions, there was the great line which separated the Whig party from the Tory party; and there was the great line which separated the official men and their friends and dependents, who were sometimes called the Court party, from those who were sometimes nicknamed the Grumbletonians and sometimes honoured with the appellation of the Country party. And these two great lines were intersecting lines. For of the servants of the Crown and of their adherents about one half were Whigs and one half Tories. It is also to be remembered that there was, quite distinct from the feud between Whigs and Tories, quite distinct also from the feud between those who were in and those who were out, a feud between the Lords as Lords and the Commons as Commons. The spirit both of the hereditary and of the elective chamber had been thoroughly roused in the preceding session by the dispute about the Court of the Lord High Steward; and they met in a pugnacious mood.

The speech which the King made at the opening of the session was skilfully framed for the purpose of conciliating the Houses. He came, he told them, to ask for their advice and assistance. He congratulated them on the victory of La Hogue. He acknowledged with much concern that the operations of the allies had been less successful by land than by sea; but he warmly declared that, both by land and by sea, the valour of his English subjects had been preeminently conspicuous. The distress of his people, he said, was his own; his interest was inseparable from theirs; it was painful to him to call on them to make sacrifices; but from sacrifices which were necessary to the safety of the English nation and of the Protestant religion no good Englishman and no good Protestant would shrink. 344

The Commons thanked the King in cordial terms for his gracious speech. 345 But the Lords were in a bad humour. Two of their body, Marlborough and Huntingdon, had, during the recess, when an invasion and an insurrection were hourly expected, been sent to the Tower, and were still under recognisances. Had a country gentleman or a merchant been taken up and held to bail on even slighter grounds at so alarming a crisis, the Lords would assuredly not have interfered. But they were easily moved to anger by any thing that looked like an indignity offered to their own order. They not only crossexamined with great severity Aaron Smith, the Solicitor of the Treasury, whose character, to say the truth, entitled him to little indulgence, but passed; by thirty-five votes to twenty-eight, a resolution implying a censure on the judges of the King's Bench, men certainly not inferior in probity, and very far superior in legal learning, to any peer of the realm. The King thought it prudent to soothe the wounded pride of the nobility by ordering the recognisances to be cancelled; and with this concession the House was satisfied, to the great vexation of the Jacobites, who had hoped that the quarrel would be prosecuted to some fatal issue, and who, finding themselves disappointed, vented their spleen by railing at the tameness of the degenerate barons of England. 346

Both Houses held long and earnest deliberations on the state of the nation. The King, when he requested their advice, had, perhaps, not foreseen that his words would be construed into an invitation to scrutinise every part of the administration, and to offer suggestions touching matters which parliaments have generally thought it expedient to leave entirely to the Crown. Some of the discontented peers proposed that a Committee, chosen partly by the Lords and partly by the Commons, should be authorised to inquire into the whole management of public affairs. But it was generally apprehended that such a Committee would become a second and more powerful Privy Council, independent of the Crown, and unknown to the Constitution. The motion was therefore rejected by forty-eight votes to thirty-six. On this occasion the ministers, with scarcely an exception, voted in the majority. A protest was signed by eighteen of the minority, among whom were the bitterest Whigs and the bitterest Tories in the whole peerage. 347

The Houses inquired, each for itself, into the causes of the public calamities. The Commons resolved themselves into a Grand Committee to consider of the advice to be given to the King. From the concise abstracts and fragments which have come down to us it seems that, in this Committee, which continued to sit many days, the debates wandered over a vast space. One member spoke of the prevalence of highway robbery; another deplored the quarrel between the Queen and the Princess, and proposed that two or three gentlemen should be deputed to wait on Her Majesty and try to make matters up. A third described the machinations of the Jacobites in the preceding spring. It was notorious, he said, that preparations had been made for a rising, and that arms and horses had been collected; yet not a single traitor had been brought to justice. 348

The events of the war by land and sea furnished matter for several earnest debates. Many members complained of the preference given to aliens over Englishmen. The whole battle of Steinkirk was fought over again; and severe reflections were thrown on Solmes. "Let English soldiers be commanded by none but English generals," was the almost universal cry. Seymour, who had once been distinguished by his hatred of the foreigners, but who, since he had been at the Board of Treasury, had reconsidered his opinions, asked where English generals were to be found. "I have no love for foreigners as foreigners; but we have no choice. Men are not born generals; nay, a man may be a very valuable captain or major, and not be equal to the conduct of an army. Nothing but experience will form great commanders. Very few of our countrymen have that experience; and therefore we must for the present employ strangers." Lowther followed on the same side. "We have had a long peace; and the consequence is that we have not a sufficient supply of officers fit for high commands. The parks and the camp at Hounslow were very poor military schools, when compared with the fields of battle and the lines of contravallation in which the great commanders of the continental nations have learned their art." In reply to these arguments an orator on the other side was so absurd as to declare that he could point out ten Englishmen who, if they were in the French service, would be made Marshals. Four or five colonels who had been at Steinkirk took part in the debate. It was said of them that they showed as much modesty in speech as they had shown courage in action; and, from the very imperfect report which has come down to us, the compliment seems to have been not undeserved. They did not join in the vulgar cry against the Dutch. They spoke well of the foreign officers generally, and did full justice to the valour and conduct with which Auverquerque had rescued the shattered remains of Mackay's division from what seemed certain destruction. But in defence of Solmes not a word was said. His severity, his haughty manners, and, above all, the indifference with which he had looked on while the English, borne down by overwhelming numbers, were fighting hand to hand with the French household troops, had made him so odious that many members were prepared to vote for an address requesting that he might be removed, and that his place might be filled by Talmash, who, since the disgrace of Marlborough, was universally allowed to be the best officer in the army. But Talmash's friends judiciously interfered. "I have," said one of them, "a true regard for that gentleman; and I implore you not to do him an injury under the notion of doing him a kindness. Consider that you are usurping what is peculiarly the King's prerogative. You are turning officers out and putting officers in." The debate ended without any vote of censure on Solmes. But a hope was expressed, in language not very parliamentary, that what had been said in the Committee would be reported to the King, and that His Majesty would not disregard the general wish of the representatives of his people. 349

The Commons next proceeded to inquire into the naval administration, and very soon came to a quarrel with the Lords on that subject. That there had been mismanagement somewhere was but too evident. It was hardly possible to acquit both Russell and Nottingham; and each House stood by its own member. The Commons had, at the opening of the session, unanimously passed a vote of thanks to Russell for his conduct at La Hogue. They now, in the Grand Committee of Advice, took into consideration the miscarriages which had followed the battle. A motion was made so vaguely worded that it could hardly be said to mean any thing. It was understood however to imply a censure on Nottingham, and was therefore strongly opposed by his friends. On the division the Ayes were a hundred and sixty-five, the Noes a hundred and sixty-four. 350

On the very next day Nottingham appealed to the Lords. He told his story with all the skill of a practised orator, and with all the authority which belongs to unblemished integrity. He then laid on the table a great mass of papers, which he requested the House to read and consider. The Peers seem to have examined the papers seriously and diligently. The result of the examination was by no means favourable to Russell. Yet it was thought unjust to condemn him unheard; and it was difficult to devise any way in which their Lordships could hear him. At last it was resolved to send the papers down to the Commons with a message which imported that, in the opinion of the Upper House, there was a case against the Admiral which he ought to be called upon to answer. With the papers was sent an abstract of the contents. 351

The message was not very respectfully received. Russell had, at that moment, a popularity which he little deserved, but which will not surprise us when we remember that the public knew nothing of his treasons, and knew that he was the only living Englishman who had won a great battle. The abstract of the papers was read by the clerk. Russell then spoke with great applause; and his friends pressed for an immediate decision. Sir Christopher Musgrave very justly observed that it was impossible to pronounce judgment on such a pile of despatches without perusing them; but this objection was overruled. The Whigs regarded the accused member as one of themselves; many of the Tories were dazzled by the splendour of his recent victory; and neither Whigs nor Tories were disposed to show any deference for the authority of the Peers. The House, without reading the papers, passed an unanimous resolution expressing warm approbation of Russell's whole conduct. The temper of the assembly was such that some ardent Whigs thought that they might now venture to propose a vote of censure on Nottingham by name. But the attempt failed. "I am ready," said Lowther,—and he doubtless expressed what many felt,—"I am ready to support any motion that may do honour to the Admiral; but I cannot join in an attack on the Secretary of State. For, to my knowledge, their Majesties have no more zealous, laborious or faithful servant than my Lord Nottingham." Finch exerted all his mellifluous eloquence in defence of his brother, and contrived, without directly opposing himself to the prevailing sentiment, to insinuate that Russell's conduct had not been faultless. The vote of censure on Nottingham was not pressed. The vote which pronounced Russell's conduct to have been deserving of all praise was communicated to the Lords; and the papers which they had sent down were very unceremoniously returned. 352 The Lords, much offended, demanded a free conference. It was granted; and the managers of the two Houses met in the Painted Chamber. Rochester, in the name of his brethren, expressed a wish to be informed of the grounds on which the Admiral had been declared faultless. To this appeal the gentlemen who stood on the other side of the table answered only that they had not been authorised to give any explanation, but that they would report to those who had sent them what had been said. 353

By this time the Commons were thoroughly tired of the inquiry into the conduct of the war. The members had got rid of much of the ill humour which they had brought up with them from their country seats by the simple process of talking it away. Burnet hints that those arts of which Caermarthen and Trevor were the great masters were employed for the purpose of averting votes which would have seriously embarrassed the government. But, though it is not improbable that a few noisy pretenders to patriotism may have been quieted with bags of guineas, it would be absurd to suppose that the House generally was influenced in this manner. Whoever has seen anything of such assemblies knows that the spirit with which they enter on long inquiries very soon flags, and that their resentment, if not kept alive by injudicious opposition, cools fast. In a short time every body was sick of the Grand Committee of Advice. The debates had been tedious and desultory. The resolutions which had been carried were for the most part merely childish. The King was to be humbly advised to employ men of ability and integrity. He was to be humbly advised to employ men who would stand by him against James. The patience of the House was wearied out by long discussions ending in the pompous promulgation of truisms like these. At last the explosion came. One of the grumblers called the attention of the Grand Committee to the alarming fact that two Dutchmen were employed in the Ordnance department, and moved that the King should be humbly advised to dismiss them. The motion was received with disdainful mockery. It was remarked that the military men especially were loud in the expression of contempt. "Do we seriously think of going to the King and telling him that, as he has condescended to ask our advice at this momentous crisis, we humbly advise him to turn a Dutch storekeeper out of the Tower? Really, if we have no more important suggestion to carry up to the throne, we may as well go to our dinners." The members generally were of the same mind. The chairman was voted out of the chair, and was not directed to ask leave to sit again. The Grand Committee ceased to exist. The resolutions which it had passed were formally reported to the House. One of them was rejected; the others were suffered to drop; and the Commons, after considering during several weeks what advice they should give to the King, ended by giving him no advice at all. 354

The temper of the Lords was different. From many circumstances it appears that there was no place where the Dutch were, at this time, so much hated as in the Upper House. The dislike with which an Englishman of the middle class regarded the King's foreign friends was merely national. But the dislike with which an English nobleman regarded them was personal. They stood between him and Majesty. They intercepted from him the rays of royal favour. The preference given to them wounded him both in his interests and in his pride. His chance of the Garter was much smaller since they had become his competitors. He might have been Master of the Horse but for Auverquerque, Master of the Robes but for Zulestein, Groom of the Stole but for Bentinck. 355 The ill humour of the aristocracy was inflamed by Marlborough, who, at this time, affected the character of a patriot persecuted for standing up against the Dutch in defence of the interests of his native land, and who did not foresee that a day would come when he would be accused of sacrificing the interests of his native land to gratify the Dutch. The Peers determined to present an address, requesting William not to place his English troops under the command of a foreign general. They took up very seriously that question which had moved the House of Commons to laughter, and solemnly counselled their Sovereign not to employ foreigners in his magazines. At Marlborough's suggestion they urged the King to insist that the youngest English general should take precedence of the oldest general in the service of the States General. It was, they said, derogatory to the dignity of the Crown, that an officer who held a commission from His Majesty should ever be commanded by an officer who held a similar commission from a republic. To this advice, evidently dictated by an ignoble malevolence to Holland, William, who troubled himself little about votes of the Upper House which were not backed by the Lower, returned, as might have been expected, a very short and dry answer. 356

While the inquiry into the conduct of the war was pending, the Commons resumed the consideration of an important subject which had occupied much of their attention in the preceding year. The Bill for the Regulation of Trials in cases of High Treason was again brought in, but was strongly opposed by the official men, both Whigs and Tories. Somers, now Attorney General, strongly recommended delay. That the law, as it stood, was open to grave objections, was not denied; but it was contended that the proposed reform would, at that moment, produce more harm than good. Nobody would assert that, under the existing government, the lives of innocent subjects were in any danger. Nobody would deny that the government itself was in great danger. Was it the part of wise men to increase the perils of that which was already in serious peril for the purpose of giving new security to that which was already perfectly secure? Those who held this language were twitted with their inconsistency, and asked why they had not ventured to oppose the bill in the preceding session. They answered very plausibly that the events which had taken place during the recess had taught an important lesson to all who were capable of learning. The country had been threatened at once with invasion and insurrection. No rational man doubted that many traitors had made preparations for joining the French, and had collected arms, ammunition and horses for that purpose. Yet, though there was abundant moral evidence against these enemies of their country, it had not been possible to find legal evidence against a single one of them. The law of treason might, in theory, be harsh, and had undoubtedly, in times past, been grossly abused. But a statesman who troubled himself less about theory than about practice, and less about times past than about the time present, would pronounce that law not too stringent but too lax, and would, while the commonwealth remained in extreme jeopardy, refuse to consent to any further relaxation. In spite of all opposition, however, the principle of the bill was approved by one hundred and seventy-one votes to one hundred and fifty-two. But in the committee it was moved and carried that the new rules of procedure should not come into operation till after the end of the war with France. When the report was brought up the House divided on this amendment, and ratified it by a hundred and forty-five votes to a hundred and twenty-five. The bill was consequently suffered to drop. 357 Had it gone up to the Peers it would in all probability have been lost after causing another quarrel between the Houses. For the Peers were fully determined that no such bill should pass, unless it contained a clause altering the constitution of the Lord High Steward's Court; and a clause altering the constitution of the Lord High Steward's Court would have been less likely than ever to find favour with the Commons. For in the course of this session an event took place which proved that the great were only too well protected by the law as it stood, and which well deserves to be recorded as a striking illustration of the state of manners and morals in that age.

Of all the actors who were then on the English stage the most graceful was William Mountford. He had every physical qualification for his calling, a noble figure, a handsome face, a melodious voice. It was not easy to say whether he succeeded better in heroic or in ludicrous parts. He was allowed to be both the best Alexander and the best Sir Courtly Nice that ever trod the boards. Queen Mary, whose knowledge was very superficial, but who had naturally a quick perception of what was excellent in art, admired him greatly. He was a dramatist as well as a player, and has left us one comedy which is not contemptible. 358

The most popular actress of the time was Anne Bracegirdle. There were on the stage many women of more faultless beauty, but none whose features and deportment had such power to fascinate the senses and the hearts of men. The sight of her bright black eyes and of her rich brown cheek sufficed to put the most turbulent audience into good humour. It was said of her that in the crowded theatre she had as many lovers as she had male spectators. Yet no lover, however rich, however high in rank, had prevailed on her to be his mistress. Those who are acquainted with the parts which she was in the habit of playing, and with the epilogues which it was her especial business to recite, will not easily give her credit for any extraordinary measure of virtue or of delicacy. She seems to have been a cold, vain and interested coquette, who perfectly understood how much the influence of her charms was increased by the fame of a severity which cost her nothing, and who could venture to flirt with a succession of admirers in the just confidence that no flame which she might kindle in them would thaw her own ice. 359 Among those who pursued her with an insane desire was a profligate captain in the army named Hill. With Hill was closely bound in a league of debauchery and violence Charles Lord Mohun, a young nobleman whose life was one long revel and brawl. Hill, finding that the beautiful brunette was invincible, took it into his head that he was rejected for a more favoured rival, and that this rival was the brilliant Mountford. The jealous lover swore over his wine at a tavern that he would stab the villain. "And I," said Mohun, "will stand by my friend." From the tavern the pair went, with some soldiers whose services Hill had secured, to Drury Lane where the lady resided. They lay some time in wait for her. As soon as she appeared in the street she was seized and hurried to a coach. She screamed for help; her mother clung round her; the whole neighbourhood rose; and she was rescued. Hill and Mohun went away vowing vengeance. They swaggered sword in hand during two hours about the streets near Mountford's dwelling. The watch requested them to put up their weapons. But when the young lord announced that he was a peer, and bade the constables touch him if they durst, they let him pass. So strong was privilege then; and so weak was law. Messengers were sent to warn Mountford of his danger; but unhappily they missed him. He came. A short altercation took place between him and Mohun; and, while they were wrangling, Hill ran the unfortunate actor through the body, and fled.

The grand jury of Middlesex, consisting of gentlemen of note, found a bill of murder against Hill and Mohun. Hill escaped. Mohun was taken. His mother threw herself at William's feet, but in vain. "It was a cruel act," said the King; "I shall leave it to the law." The trial came on in the Court of the Lord High Steward; and, as Parliament happened to be sitting, the culprit had the advantage of being judged by the whole body of the peerage. There was then no lawyer in the Upper House. It therefore became necessary, for the first time since Buckhurst had pronounced sentence on Essex and Southampton, that a peer who had never made jurisprudence his special study should preside over that grave tribunal. Caermarthen, who, as Lord President, took precedence of all the nobility, was appointed Lord High Steward. A full report of the proceedings has come down to us. No person, who carefully examines that report, and attends to the opinion unanimously given by the judges in answer to a question which Nottingham drew up, and in which the facts brought out by the evidence are stated with perfect fairness, can doubt that the crime of murder was fully brought home to the prisoner. Such was the opinion of the King who was present during the trial; and such was the almost unanimous opinion of the public. Had the issue been tried by Holt and twelve plain men at the Old Bailey, there can be no doubt that a verdict of Guilty would have been returned. The Peers, however, by sixty-nine votes to fourteen, acquitted their accused brother. One great nobleman was so brutal and stupid as to say, "After all the fellow was but a player; and players are rogues." All the newsletters, all the coffeehouse orators, complained that the blood of the poor was shed with impunity by the great. Wits remarked that the only fair thing about the trial was the show of ladies in the galleries. Letters and journals are still extant in which men of all shades of opinion, Whigs, Tories, Nonjurors, condemn the partiality of the tribunal. It was not to be expected that, while the memory of this scandal was fresh in the public mind, the Commons would be induced to give any new advantage to accused peers. 360

The Commons had, in the meantime, resumed the consideration of another highly important matter, the state of the trade with India. They had, towards the close of the preceding session, requested the King to dissolve the old Company and to constitute a new Company on such terms as he should think fit; and he had promised to take their request into his serious consideration. He now sent a message to inform them that it was out of his power to do what they had asked. He had referred the charter of the old Company to the Judges, and the judges had pronounced that, under the provisions of that charter, the old Company could not be dissolved without three years' notice, and must retain during those three years the exclusive privilege of trading to the East Indies. He added that, being sincerely desirous to gratify the Commons, and finding himself unable to do so in the way which they had pointed out, he had tried to prevail on the old Company to agree to a compromise; but that body stood obstinately on its extreme rights; and his endeavours had been frustrated. 361

This message reopened the whole question. The two factions which divided the City were instantly on the alert. The debates in the House were long and warm. Petitions against the old Company were laid on the table. Satirical handbills against the new Company were distributed in the lobby. At length, after much discussion, it was resolved to present an address requesting the King to give the notice which the judges had pronounced necessary. He promised to bear the subject in mind, and to do his best to promote the welfare of the kingdom. With this answer the House was satisfied, and the subject was not again mentioned till the next session. 362

The debates of the Commons on the conduct of the war, on the law of treason and on the trade with India, occupied much time, and produced no important result. But meanwhile real business was doing in the Committee of Supply and the Committee of Ways and Means. In the Committee of Supply the estimates passed rapidly. A few members declared it to be their opinion that England ought to withdraw her troops from the Continent, to carry on the war with vigour by sea, and to keep up only such an army as might be sufficient to repel any invader who might elude the vigilance of her fleets. But this doctrine, which speedily became and long continued to be the badge of one of the great parties in the state, was as yet professed only by a small minority which did not venture to call for a division. 363

In the Committee of Ways and Means, it was determined that a great part of the charge of the year should be defrayed by means of an impost, which, though old in substance, was new in form. From a very early period to the middle of the seventeenth century, our Parliaments had provided for the extraordinary necessities of the government chiefly by granting subsidies. A subsidy was raised by an impost on the people of the realm in respect of their reputed estates. Landed property was the chief subject of taxation, and was assessed nominally at four shillings in the pound. But the assessment was made in such a way that it not only did not rise in proportion to the rise in the value of land or to the fall in the value of the precious metals, but went on constantly sinking, till at length the rate was in truth less than twopence in the pound. In the time of Charles the First a real tax of four shillings in the pound on land would probably have yielded near a million and a half; but a subsidy amounted to little more than fifty thousand pounds. 364

The financiers of the Long Parliament devised a more efficient mode of taxing estates. The sum which was to be raised was fixed. It was then distributed among the counties in proportion to their supposed wealth, and was levied within each county by a rate. The revenue derived from these assessments in the time of the Commonwealth varied from thirty-five thousand pounds to a hundred and twenty thousand pounds a month.

After the Restoration the legislature seemed for a time inclined to revert, in finance as in other things, to the ancient practice. Subsidies were once or twice granted to Charles the Second. But it soon appeared that the old system was much less convenient than the new system. The Cavaliers condescended to take a lesson in the art of taxation from the Roundheads; and, during the interval between the Restoration and the Revolution, extraordinary calls were occasionally met by assessments resembling the assessments of the Commonwealth. After the Revolution, the war with France made it necessary to have recourse annually to this abundant source of revenue. In 1689, in 1690 and in 1691, great sums had been raised on the land. At length in 1692 it was determined to draw supplies from real property more largely than ever. The Commons resolved that a new and more accurate valuation of estates should be made over the whole realm, and that on the rental thus ascertained a pound rate should be paid to the government.

Such was the origin of the existing land tax. The valuation made in 1692 has remained unaltered down to our own time. According to that valuation, one shilling in the pound on the rental of the kingdom amounted, in round numbers, to half a million. During a hundred and six years, a land tax bill was annually presented to Parliament, and was annually passed, though not always without murmurs from the country gentlemen. The rate was, in time of war, four shillings in the pound. In time of peace, before the reign of George the Third, only two or three shillings were usually granted; and, during a short part of the prudent and gentle administration of Walpole, the government asked for only one shilling. But, after the disastrous year in which England drew the sword against her American colonies, the rate was never less than four shillings. At length, in the year 1798, the Parliament relieved itself from the trouble of passing a new Act every spring. The land tax, at four shillings in the pound, was made permanent; and those who were subject to it were permitted to redeem it. A great part has been redeemed; and at present little more than a fiftieth of the ordinary revenue required in time of peace is raised by that impost which was once regarded as the most productive of all the resources of the State. 365

The land tax was fixed, for the year 1693, at four shillings in the pound, and consequently brought about two millions into the Treasury. That sum, small as it may seem to a generation which has expended a hundred and twenty millions in twelve months, was such as had never before been raised here in one year by direct taxation. It seemed immense both to Englishmen and to foreigners. Lewis, who found it almost impossible to wring by cruel exactions from the beggared peasantry of France the means of supporting the greatest army and the most gorgeous court that had existed in Europe since the downfall of the Roman empire, broke out, it is said, into an exclamation of angry surprise when he learned that the Commons of England had, from dread and hatred of his power, unanimously determined to lay on themselves, in a year of scarcity and of commercial embarrassment, a burden such as neither they nor their fathers had ever before borne. "My little cousin of Orange," he said, "seems to be firm in the saddle." He afterwards added: "No matter, the last piece of gold will win." This however was a consideration from which, if he had been well informed touching the resources of England, he would not have derived much comfort. Kensington was certainly a mere hovel when compared to his superb Versailles. The display of jewels, plumes and lace, led horses and gilded coaches, which daily surrounded him, far outshone the splendour which, even on great public occasions, our princes were in the habit of displaying. But the condition of the majority of the people of England was, beyond all doubt, such as the majority of the people of France might well have envied. In truth what was called severe distress here would have been called unexampled prosperity there.

The land tax was not imposed without a quarrel between the Houses. The Commons appointed commissioners to make the assessment. These commissioners were the principal gentlemen of every county, and were named in the bill. The Lords thought this arrangement inconsistent with the dignity of the peerage. They therefore inserted a clause providing that their estates should be valued by twenty of their own order. The Lower House indignantly rejected this amendment, and demanded an instant conference. After some delay, which increased the ill humour of the Commons, the conference took place. The bill was returned to the Peers with a very concise and haughty intimation that they must not presume to alter laws relating to money. A strong party among the Lords was obstinate. Mulgrave spoke at great length against the pretensions of the plebeians. He told his brethren that, if they gave way, they would abdicate that authority which had belonged to the baronage of England ever since the foundation of the monarchy, and that they would have nothing left of their old greatness except their coronets and ermines. Burnet says that this speech was the finest that he ever heard in Parliament; and Burnet was undoubtedly a good judge of speaking, and was neither partial to Mulgrave nor zealous for the privileges of the aristocracy. The orator, however, though he charmed his hearers, did not succeed in convincing them. Most of them shrank from a conflict in which they would have had against them the Commons united as one man, and the King, who, in case of necessity, would undoubtedly have created fifty peers rather than have suffered the land tax bill to be lost. Two strong protests, however, signed, the first by twenty-seven, the second by twenty-one dissentients, show how obstinately many nobles were prepared to contend at all hazards for the dignity of their caste. Another conference was held; and Rochester announced that the Lords, for the sake of the public interest, waived what they must nevertheless assert to be their clear right, and would not insist on their amendment. 366 The bill passed, and was followed by bills for laying additional duties on imports, and for taxing the dividends of joint stock companies.

Still, however, the estimated revenue was not equal to the estimated expenditure. The year 1692 had bequeathed a large deficit to the year 1693; and it seemed probable that the charge for 1693 would exceed by about five hundred thousand pounds the charge for 1692. More than two millions had been voted for the army and ordnance, near two millions for the navy. 367 Only eight years before fourteen hundred thousand pounds had defrayed the whole annual charge of government. More than four times that sum was now required. Taxation, both direct and indirect, had been carried to an unprecedented point; yet the income of the state still fell short of the outlay by about a million. It was necessary to devise something. Something was devised, something of which the effects are felt to this day in every part of the globe.

There was indeed nothing strange or mysterious in the expedient to which the government had recourse. It was an expedient familiar, during two centuries, to the financiers of the Continent, and could hardly fail to occur to any English statesman who compared the void in the Exchequer with the overflow in the money market.

During the interval between the Restoration and the Revolution the riches of the nation had been rapidly increasing. Thousands of busy men found every Christmas that, after the expenses of the year's housekeeping had been defrayed out of the year's income, a surplus remained; and how that surplus was to be employed was a question of some difficulty. In our time, to invest such a surplus, at something more than three per cent., on the best security that has ever been known in the world, is the work of a few minutes. But in the seventeenth century a lawyer, a physician, a retired merchant, who had saved some thousands and who wished to place them safely and profitably, was often greatly embarrassed. Three generations earlier, a man who had accumulated wealth in a profession generally purchased real property or lent his savings on mortgage. But the number of acres in the kingdom had remained the same; and the value of those acres, though it had greatly increased, had by no means increased so fast as the quantity of capital which was seeking for employment. Many too wished to put their money where they could find it at an hour's notice, and looked about for some species of property which could be more readily transferred than a house or a field. A capitalist might lend on bottomry or on personal security; but, if he did so, he ran a great risk of losing interest and principal. There were a few joint stock companies, among which the East India Company held the foremost place; but the demand for the stock of such companies was far greater than the supply. Indeed the cry for a new East India Company was chiefly raised by persons who had found difficulty in placing their savings at interest on good security. So great was that difficulty that the practice of hoarding was common. We are told that the father of Pope the poet, who retired from business in the City about the time of the Revolution, carried to a retreat in the country a strong box containing near twenty thousand pounds, and took out from time to time what was required for household expenses; and it is highly probable that this was not a solitary case. At present the quantity of coin which is hoarded by private persons is so small that it would, if brought forth, make no perceptible addition to the circulation. But, in the earlier part of the reign of William the Third, all the greatest writers on currency were of opinion that a very considerable mass of gold and silver was hidden in secret drawers and behind wainscots.

The natural effect of this state of things was that a crowd of projectors, ingenious and absurd, honest and knavish, employed themselves in devising new schemes for the employment of redundant capital. It was about the year 1688 that the word stockjobber was first heard in London. In the short space of four years a crowd of companies, every one of which confidently held out to subscribers the hope of immense gains, sprang into existence; the Insurance Company, the Paper Company, the Lutestring Company, the Pearl Fishery Company, the Glass Bottle Company, the Alum Company, the Blythe Coal Company, the Swordblade Company. There was a Tapestry Company which would soon furnish pretty hangings for all the parlours of the middle class and for all the bedchambers of the higher. There was a Copper Company which proposed to explore the mines of England, and held out a hope that they would prove not less valuable than those of Potosi. There was a Diving Company which undertook to bring up precious effects from shipwrecked vessels, and which announced that it had laid in a stock of wonderful machines resembling complete suits of armour. In front of the helmet was a huge glass eye like that of a cyclop; and out of the crest went a pipe through which the air was to be admitted. The whole process was exhibited on the Thames. Fine gentlemen and fine ladies were invited to the show, were hospitably regaled, and were delighted by seeing the divers in their panoply descend into the river and return laden with old iron, and ship's tackle. There was a Greenland Fishing Company which could not fail to drive the Dutch whalers and herring busses out of the Northern Ocean. There was a Tanning Company which promised to furnish leather superior to the best that was brought from Turkey or Russia. There was a society which undertook the office of giving gentlemen a liberal education on low terms, and which assumed the sounding name of the Royal Academies Company. In a pompous advertisement it was announced that the directors of the Royal Academies Company had engaged the best masters in every branch of knowledge, and were about to issue twenty thousand tickets at twenty shillings each. There was to be a lottery; two thousand prizes were to be drawn; and the fortunate holders of the prizes were to be taught, at the charge of the Company, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, conic sections, trigonometry, heraldry, japanning, fortification, bookkeeping and the art of playing the theorbo. Some of these companies took large mansions and printed their advertisements in gilded letters. Others, less ostentatious, were content with ink, and met at coffeehouses in the neighbourhood of the Royal Exchange. Jonathan's and Garraway's were in a constant ferment with brokers, buyers, sellers, meetings of directors, meetings of proprietors. Time bargains soon came into fashion. Extensive combinations were formed, and monstrous fables were circulated, for the purpose of raising or depressing the price of shares. Our country witnessed for the first time those phenomena with which a long experience has made us familiar. A mania of which the symptoms were essentially the same with those of the mania of 1720, of the mania of 1825, of the mania of 1845, seized the public mind. An impatience to be rich, a contempt for those slow but sure gains which are the proper reward of industry, patience and thrift, spread through society. The spirit of the cogging dicers of Whitefriars took possession of the grave Senators of the City, Wardens of Trades, Deputies, Aldermen. It was much easier and much more lucrative to put forth a lying prospectus announcing a new stock, to persuade ignorant people that the dividends could not fall short of twenty per cent., and to part with five thousand pounds of this imaginary wealth for ten thousand solid guineas, than to load a ship with a well chosen cargo for Virginia or the Levant. Every day some new bubble was puffed into existence, rose buoyant, shone bright, burst, and was forgotten. 368

The new form which covetousness had taken furnished the comic poets and satirists with an excellent subject; nor was that subject the less welcome to them because some of the most unscrupulous and most successful of the new race of gamesters were men in sad coloured clothes and lank hair, men who called cards the Devil's books, men who thought it a sin and a scandal to win or lose twopence over a backgammon board. It was in the last drama of Shadwell that the hypocrisy and knavery of these speculators was, for the first time, exposed to public ridicule. He died in November 1692, just before his Stockjobbers came on the stage; and the epilogue was spoken by an actor dressed in deep mourning. The best scene is that in which four or five stern Nonconformists, clad in the full Puritan costume, after discussing the prospects of the Mousetrap Company and the Fleakilling Company, examine the question whether the godly may lawfully hold stock in a Company for bringing over Chinese ropedancers. "Considerable men have shares," says one austere person in cropped hair and bands; "but verily I question whether it be lawful or not." These doubts are removed by a stout old Roundhead colonel who had fought at Marston Moor, and who reminds his weaker brother that the saints need not themselves see the ropedancing, and that, in all probability, there will be no ropedancing to see. "The thing," he says, "is like to take; the shares will sell well; and then we shall not care whether the dancers come over or no." It is important to observe that this scene was exhibited and applauded before one farthing of the national debt had been contracted. So ill informed were the numerous writers who, at a later period, ascribed to the national debt the existence of stockjobbing and of all the immoralities connected with stockjobbing. The truth is that society had, in the natural course of its growth, reached a point at which it was inevitable that there should be stockjobbing whether there were a national debt or not, and inevitable also that, if there were a long and costly war, there should be a national debt.

How indeed was it possible that a debt should not have been contracted, when one party was impelled by the strongest motives to borrow, and another was impelled by equally strong motives to lend? A moment had arrived at which the government found it impossible, without exciting the most formidable discontents, to raise by taxation the supplies necessary to defend the liberty and independence of the nation; and, at that very moment, numerous capitalists were looking round them in vain for some good mode of investing their savings, and, for want of such a mode, were keeping their wealth locked up, or were lavishing it on absurd projects. Riches sufficient to equip a navy which would sweep the German Ocean and the Atlantic of French privateers, riches sufficient to maintain an army which might retake Namur and avenge the disaster of Steinkirk, were lying idle, or were passing away from the owners into the hands of sharpers. A statesman might well think that some part of the wealth which was daily buried or squandered might, with advantage to the proprietor, to the taxpayer and to the State, be attracted into the Treasury. Why meet the extraordinary charge of a year of war by seizing the chairs, the tables, the beds of hardworking families, by compelling one country gentleman to cut down his trees before they were ready for the axe, another to let the cottages on his land fall to ruin, a third to take away his hopeful son from the University, when Change Alley was swarming with people who did not know what to do with their money and who were pressing every body to borrow it?

It was often asserted at a later period by Tories, who hated the national debt most of all things, and who hated Burnet most of all men, that Burnet was the person who first advised the government to contract a national debt. But this assertion is proved by no trustworthy evidence, and seems to be disproved by the Bishop's silence. Of all men he was the least likely to conceal the fact that an important fiscal revolution had been his work. Nor was the Board of Treasury at that time one which much needed, or was likely much to regard, the counsels of a divine. At that Board sate Godolphin the most prudent and experienced, and Montague the most daring and inventive of financiers. Neither of these eminent men could be ignorant that it had long been the practice of the neighbouring states to spread over many years of peace the excessive taxation which was made necessary by one year of war. In Italy this practice had existed through many generations. France had, during the war which began in 1672 and ended in 1679, borrowed not less than thirty millions of our money. Sir William Temple, in his interesting work on the Batavian federation, had told his countrymen that, when he was ambassador at the Hague, the single province of Holland, then ruled by the frugal and prudent De Witt, owed about five millions sterling, for which interest at four per cent. was always ready to the day, and that when any part of the principal was paid off the public creditor received his money with tears, well knowing that he could find no other investment equally secure. The wonder is not that England should have at length imitated the example both of her enemies and of her allies, but that the fourth year of her arduous and exhausting struggle against Lewis should have been drawing to a close before she resorted to an expedient so obvious.

On the fifteenth of December 1692 the House of Commons resolved itself into a Committee of Ways and Means. Somers took the chair. Montague proposed to raise a million by way of loan; the proposition was approved; and it was ordered that a bill should be brought in. The details of the scheme were much discussed and modified; but the principle appears to have been popular with all parties. The moneyed men were glad to have a good opportunity of investing what they had hoarded. The landed men, hard pressed by the load of taxation, were ready to consent to any thing for the sake of present ease. No member ventured to divide the House. On the twentieth of January the bill was read a third time, carried up to the Lords by Somers, and passed by them without any amendment. 369

By this memorable law new duties were imposed on beer and other liquors. These duties were to be kept in the Exchequer separate from all other receipts, and were to form a fund on the credit of which a million was to be raised by life annuities. As the annuitants dropped off, their annuities were to be divided among the survivors, till the number of survivors was reduced to seven. After that time, whatever fell in was to go to the public. It was therefore certain that the eighteenth century would be far advanced before the debt would be finally extinguished. The rate of interest was to be ten per cent. till the year 1700, and after that year seven per cent. The advantages offered to the public creditor by this scheme may seem great, but were not more than sufficient to compensate him for the risk which he ran. It was not impossible that there might be a counterrevolution; and it was certain that, if there were a counterrevolution, those who had lent money to William would lose both interest and principal.

Such was the origin of that debt which has since become the greatest prodigy that ever perplexed the sagacity and confounded the pride of statesmen and philosophers. At every stage in the growth of that debt the nation has set up the same cry of anguish and despair. At every stage in the growth of that debt it has been seriously asserted by wise men that bankruptcy and ruin were at hand. Yet still the debt went on growing; and still bankruptcy and ruin were as remote as ever. When the great contest with Lewis the Fourteenth was finally terminated by the Peace of Utrecht, the nation owed about fifty millions; and that debt was considered, not merely by the rude multitude, not merely by foxhunting squires and coffeehouse orators, but by acute and profound thinkers, as an incumbrance which would permanently cripple the body politic; Nevertheless trade flourished; wealth increased; the nation became richer and richer. Then came the war of the Austrian Succession; and the debt rose to eighty millions. Pamphleteers, historians and orators pronounced that now, at all events, our case was desperate. Yet the signs of increasing prosperity, signs which could neither be counterfeited nor concealed, ought to have satisfied observant and reflecting men that a debt of eighty millions was less to the England which was governed by Pelham than a debt of fifty millions had been to the England which was governed by Oxford. Soon war again broke forth; and, under the energetic and prodigal administration of the first William Pitt, the debt rapidly swelled to a hundred and forty millions. As soon as the first intoxication of victory was over, men of theory and men of business almost unanimously pronounced that the fatal day had now really arrived. The only statesman, indeed, active or speculative, who did not share in the general delusion was Edmund Burke. David Hume, undoubtedly one of the most profound political economists of his time, declared that our madness had exceeded the madness of the Crusaders. Richard Coeur de Lion and Saint Lewis had not gone in the face of arithmetical demonstration. It was impossible to prove by figures that the road to Paradise did not lie through the Holy Land; but it was possible to prove by figures that the road to national ruin was through the national debt. It was idle, however, now to talk about the road; we had done with the road; we had reached the goal; all was over; all the revenues of the island north of Trent and west of Reading were mortgaged. Better for us to have been conquered by Prussia or Austria than to be saddled with the interest of a hundred and forty millions. 370 And yet this great philosopher—for such he was—had only to open his eyes, and to see improvement all around him, cities increasing, cultivation extending, marts too small for the crowd of buyers and sellers, harbours insufficient to contain the shipping, artificial rivers joining the chief inland seats of industry to the chief seaports, streets better lighted, houses better furnished, richer wares exposed to sale in statelier shops, swifter carriages rolling along smoother roads. He had, indeed, only to compare the Edinburgh of his boyhood with the Edinburgh of his old age. His prediction remains to posterity, a memorable instance of the weakness from which the strongest minds are not exempt. Adam Smith saw a little and but a little further. He admitted that, immense as the burden was, the nation did actually sustain it and thrive under it in a way which nobody could have foreseen. But he warned his countrymen not to repeat so hazardous an experiment. The limit had been reached. Even a small increase might be fatal. 371 Not less gloomy was the view which George Grenville, a minister eminently diligent and practical, took of our financial situation. The nation must, he conceived, sink under a debt of a hundred and forty millions, unless a portion of the load were borne by the American colonies. The attempt to lay a portion of the load on the American colonies produced another war. That war left us with an additional hundred millions of debt, and without the colonies whose help had been represented as indispensable. Again England was given over; and again the strange patient persisted in becoming stronger and more blooming in spite of all the diagnostics and prognostics of State physicians. As she had been visibly more prosperous with a debt of a hundred and forty millions than with a debt of fifty millions, so she, as visibly more prosperous with a debt of two hundred and forty millions than with a debt of a hundred and forty millions. Soon however the wars which sprang from the French Revolution, and which far exceeded in cost any that the world had ever seen, tasked the powers of public credit to the utmost. When the world was again at rest the funded debt of England amounted to eight hundred millions. If the most enlightened man had been told, in 1792, that, in 1815, the interest on eight hundred millions would be duly paid to the day at the Bank, he would have been as hard of belief as if he had been told that the government would be in possession of the lamp of Aladdin or of the purse of Fortunatus. It was in truth a gigantic, a fabulous debt; and we can hardly wonder that the cry of despair should have been louder than ever. But again that cry was found to have been as unreasonable as ever. After a few years of exhaustion, England recovered herself. Yet, like Addison's valetudinarian, who continued to whimper that he was dying of consumption till he became so fat that he was shamed into silence, she went on complaining that she was sunk in poverty till her wealth showed itself by tokens which made her complaints ridiculous. The beggared, the bankrupt society not only proved able to meet all its obligations, but, while meeting those obligations, grew richer and richer so fast that the growth could almost be discerned by the eye. In every county, we saw wastes recently turned into gardens; in every city, we saw new streets, and squares, and markets, more brilliant lamps, more abundant supplies of water; in the suburbs of every great seat of industry, we saw villas multiplying fast, each embosomed in its gay little paradise of lilacs and roses. While shallow politicians were repeating that the energies of the people were borne down by the weight of the public burdens, the first journey was performed by steam on a railway. Soon the island was intersected by railways. A sum exceeding the whole amount of the national debt at the end of the American war was, in a few years, voluntarily expended by this ruined people in viaducts, tunnels, embankments, bridges, stations, engines. Meanwhile taxation was almost constantly becoming lighter and lighter; yet still the Exchequer was full. It may be now affirmed without fear of contradiction that we find it as easy to pay the interest of eight hundred millions as our ancestors found it, a century ago, to pay the interest of eighty millions.

It can hardly be doubted that there must have been some great fallacy in the notions of those who uttered and of those who believed that long succession of confident predictions, so signally falsified by a long succession of indisputable facts. To point out that fallacy is the office rather of the political economist than of the historian. Here it is sufficient to say that the prophets of evil were under a double delusion. They erroneously imagined that there was an exact analogy between the case of an individual who is in debt to another individual and the case of a society which is in debt to a part of itself; and this analogy led them into endless mistakes about the effect of the system of funding. They were under an error not less serious touching the resources of the country. They made no allowance for the effect produced by the incessant progress of every experimental science, and by the incessant efforts of every man to get on in life. They saw that the debt grew; and they forgot that other things grew as well as the debt.

A long experience justifies us in believing that England may, in the twentieth century, be better able to bear a debt of sixteen hundred millions than she is at the present time to bear her present load. But be this as it may, those who so confidently predicted that she must sink, first under a debt of fifty millions, then under a debt of eighty millions then under a debt of a hundred and forty millions, then under a debt of two hundred and forty millions, and lastly under a debt of eight hundred millions, were beyond all doubt under a twofold mistake. They greatly overrated the pressure of the burden; they greatly underrated the strength by which the burden was to be borne.

It may be desirable to add a few words touching the way in which the system of funding has affected the interests of the great commonwealth of nations. If it be true that whatever gives to intelligence an advantage over brute force and to honesty an advantage over dishonesty has a tendency to promote the happiness and virtue of our race, it can scarcely be denied that, in the largest view, the effect of this system has been salutary. For it is manifest that all credit depends on two things, on the power of a debtor to pay debts, and on his inclination to pay them. The power of a society to pay debts is proportioned to the progress which that society has made in industry, in commerce, and in all the arts and sciences which flourish under the benignant influence of freedom and of equal law. The inclination of a society to pay debts is proportioned to the degree in which that society respects the obligations of plighted faith. Of the strength which consists in extent of territory and in number of fighting men, a rude despot who knows no law but his own childish fancies and headstrong passions, or a convention of socialists which proclaims all property to be robbery, may have more than falls to the lot of the best and wisest government. But the strength which is derived from the confidence of capitalists such a despot, such a convention, never can possess. That strength,—and it is a strength which has decided the event of more than one great conflict,—flies, by the law of its nature, from barbarism and fraud, from tyranny and anarchy, to follow civilisation and virtue, liberty and order.

While the bill which first created the funded debt of England was passing, with general approbation, through the regular stages, the two Houses discussed, for the first time, the great question of Parliamentary Reform.

It is to be observed that the object of the reformers of that generation was merely to make the representative body a more faithful interpreter of the sense of the constituent body. It seems scarcely to have occurred to any of them that the constituent body might be an unfaithful interpreter of the sense of the nation. It is true that those deformities in the structure of the constituent body, which, at length, in our own days, raised an irresistible storm of public indignation, were far less numerous and far less offensive in the seventeenth century than they had become in the nineteenth. Most of the boroughs which were disfranchised in 1832 were, if not positively, yet relatively, much more important places in the reign of William the Third than in the reign of William the Fourth. Of the populous and wealthy manufacturing towns, seaports and watering places, to which the franchise was given in the reign of William the Fourth, some were, in the reign of William the Third, small hamlets, where a few ploughmen or fishermen lived under thatched roofs; some were fields covered with harvests, or moors abandoned to grouse; With the exception of Leeds and Manchester, there was not, at the time of the Revolution, a single town of five thousand inhabitants which did not send two representatives to the House of Commons. Even then, however, there was no want of startling anomalies. Looe, East and West, which contained not half the population or half the wealth of the smallest of the hundred parishes of London, returned as many members as London. 372 Old Sarum, a deserted ruin which the traveller feared to enter at night lest he should find robbers lurking there, had as much weight in the legislature as Devonshire or Yorkshire. 373 Some eminent individuals of both parties, Clarendon, for example, among the Tories, and Pollexfen among the Whigs, condemned this system. Yet both parties were, for very different reasons, unwilling to alter it. It was protected by the prejudices of one faction and by the interests of the other. Nothing could be more repugnant to the genius of Toryism than the thought of destroying at a blow institutions which had stood through ages, for the purpose of building something more symmetrical out of the ruins. The Whigs, on the other hand, could not but know that they were much more likely to lose than to gain by a change in this part of our polity. It would indeed be a great mistake to imagine that a law transferring political power from small to large constituent bodies would have operated in 1692 as it operated in 1832.

In 1832 the effect of the transfer was to increase the power of the town population. In 1692 the effect would have been to make the power of the rural population irresistible. Of the one hundred and forty-two members taken away in 1832 from small boroughs more than half were given to large and flourishing towns. But in 1692 there was hardly one large and flourishing town which had not already as many members as it could, with any show of reason, claim. Almost all therefore that was taken from the small boroughs must have been given to the counties; and there can be no doubt that whatever tended to raise the counties and to depress the towns must on the whole have tended to raise the Tories and to depress the Whigs. From the commencement of our civil troubles the towns had been on the side of freedom and progress, the country gentlemen and the country clergymen on the side of authority and prescription. If therefore a reform bill, disfranchising small constituent bodies and giving additional members to large constituent bodies, had become law soon after the Revolution, there can be little doubt that a decided majority of the House of Commons would have consisted of rustic baronets and squires, high Churchmen, high Tories, and half Jacobites. With such a House of Commons it is almost certain that there would have been a persecution of the Dissenters; it is not easy to understand how there could have been an union with Scotland; and it is not improbable that there would have been a restoration of the Stuarts. Those parts of our constitution therefore which, in recent times, politicians of the liberal school have generally considered as blemishes, were, five generations ago, regarded with complacency by the men who were most zealous for civil and religious freedom.

But, while Whigs and Tories agreed in wishing to maintain the existing rights of election, both Whigs and Tories were forced to admit that the relation between the elector and the representative was not what it ought to be. Before the civil wars the House of Commons had enjoyed the fullest confidence of the nation. A House of Commons, distrusted, despised, hated by the Commons, was a thing unknown. The very words would, to Sir Peter Wentworth or Sir Edward Coke, have sounded like a contradiction in terms. But by degrees a change took place. The Parliament elected in 1661, during that fit of joy and fondness which followed the return of the royal family, represented, not the deliberate sense, but the momentary caprice of the nation. Many of the members were men who, a few months earlier or a few months later, would have had no chance of obtaining seats, men of broken fortunes and of dissolute habits, men whose only claim to public confidence was the ferocious hatred which they bore to rebels and Puritans. The people, as soon as they had become sober, saw with dismay to what an assembly they had, during their intoxication, confided the care of their property, their liberty and their religion. And the choice, made in a moment of frantic enthusiasm, might prove to be a choice for life. As the law then stood, it depended entirely on the King's pleasure whether, during his reign, the electors should have an opportunity of repairing their error. Eighteen years passed away. A new generation grew up. To the fervid loyalty with which Charles had been welcomed back to Dover succeeded discontent and disaffection. The general cry was that the kingdom was misgoverned, degraded, given up as a prey to worthless men and more worthless women, that our navy had been found unequal to a contest with Holland, that our independence had been bartered for the gold of France, that our consciences were in danger of being again subjected to the yoke of Rome. The people had become Roundheads; but the body which alone was authorised to speak in the name of the people was still a body of Cavaliers. It is true that the King occasionally found even that House of Commons unmanageable. From the first it had contained not a few true Englishmen; others had been introduced into it as vacancies were made by death; and even the majority, courtly as it was, could not but feel some sympathy with the nation. A country party grew up and became formidable. But that party constantly found its exertions frustrated by systematic corruption. That some members of the legislature received direct bribes was with good reason suspected, but could not be proved. That the patronage of the Crown was employed on an extensive scale for the purpose of influencing votes was matter of notoriety. A large proportion of those who gave away the public money in supplies received part of that money back in salaries; and thus was formed a mercenary band on which the Court might, in almost any extremity, confidently rely.

The servility of this Parliament had left a deep impression on the public mind. It was the general opinion that England ought to be protected against all risk of being ever again represented, during a long course of years, by men who had forfeited her confidence, and who were retained by a fee to vote against her wishes and interests. The subject was mentioned in the Convention; and some members wished to deal with it while the throne was still vacant. The cry for reform had ever since been becoming more and more importunate. The people, heavily pressed by taxes, were naturally disposed to regard those who lived on the taxes with little favour. The war, it was generally acknowledged, was just and necessary; and war could not be carried on without large expenditure. But the larger the expenditure which was required for the defence of the nation, the more important it was that nothing should be squandered. The immense gains of official men moved envy and indignation. Here a gentleman was paid to do nothing. There many gentlemen were paid to do what would be better done by one. The coach, the liveries, the lace cravat and diamond buckles of the placeman were naturally seen with an evil eye by those who rose up early and lay down late in order to furnish him with the means of indulging in splendour and luxury. Such abuses it was the especial business of a House of Commons to correct. What then had the existing House of Commons done in the way of correction? Absolutely nothing. In 1690, indeed, while the Civil List was settling, some sharp speeches had been made. In 1691, when the Ways and Means were under consideration, a resolution had been passed so absurdly framed that it had proved utterly abortive. The nuisance continued, and would continue while it was a source of profit to those whose duty was to abate it. Who could expect faithful and vigilant stewardship from stewards who had a direct interest in encouraging the waste which they were employed to check? The House swarmed with placemen of all kinds, Lords of the Treasury, Lords of the Admiralty, Commissioners of Customs, Commissioners of Excise, Commissioners of Prizes, Tellers, Auditors, Receivers, Paymasters, Officers of the Mint, Officers of the household, Colonels of regiments, Captains of men of war, Governors of forts. We send up to Westminster, it was said, one of our neighbours, an independent gentleman, in the full confidence that his feelings and interests are in perfect accordance with ours. We look to him to relieve us from every burden except those burdens without which the public service cannot be carried on, and which therefore, galling as they are, we patiently and resolutely bear. But before he has been a session in Parliament we learn that he is a Clerk of the Green Cloth or a Yeoman of the Removing Wardrobe, with a comfortable salary. Nay, we sometimes learn that he has obtained one of those places in the Exchequer of which the emoluments rise and fall with the taxes which we pay. It would be strange indeed if our interests were safe in the keeping of a man whose gains consist in a percentage on our losses. The evil would be greatly diminished if we had frequent opportunities of considering whether the powers of our agent ought to be renewed or revoked. But, as the law stands, it is not impossible that he may hold those powers twenty or thirty years. While he lives, and while either the King or the Queen lives, it is not likely that we shall ever again exercise our elective franchise, unless there should be a dispute between the Court and the Parliament. The more profuse and obsequious a Parliament is, the less likely it is to give offence to the Court. The worse our representatives, therefore, the longer we are likely to be cursed with them.

The outcry was loud. Odious nicknames were given to the Parliament. Sometimes it was the Officers' Parliament; sometimes it was the Standing Parliament, and was pronounced to be a greater nuisance than even a standing army.

Two specifics for the distempers of the State were strongly recommended, and divided the public favour. One was a law excluding placemen from the House of Commons. The other was a law limiting the duration of Parliaments to three years. In general the Tory reformers preferred a Place Bill, and the Whig reformers a Triennial Bill; but not a few zealous men of both parties were for trying both remedies.

Before Christmas a Place Bill was laid on the table of the Commons. That bill has been vehemently praised by writers who never saw it, and who merely guessed at what it contained. But no person who takes the trouble to study the original parchment, which, embrowned with the dust of a hundred and sixty years, reposes among the archives of the House of Lords, will find much matter for eulogy.

About the manner in which such a bill should have been framed there will, in our time, be little difference of opinion among enlightened Englishmen. They will agree in thinking that it would be most pernicious to open the House of Commons to all placemen, and not less pernicious to close that House against all placemen. To draw with precision the line between those who ought to be admitted and those who ought to be excluded would be a task requiring much time, thought and knowledge of details. But the general principles which ought to guide us are obvious. The multitude of subordinate functionaries ought to be excluded. A few functionaries who are at the head or near the head of the great departments of the administration ought to be admitted.

The subordinate functionaries ought to be excluded, because their admission would at once lower the character of Parliament and destroy the efficiency of every public office. They are now excluded, and the consequence is that the State possesses a valuable body of servants who remain unchanged while cabinet after cabinet is formed and dissolved, who instruct every successive minister in his duties, and with whom it is the most sacred point of honour to give true information, sincere advise, and strenuous assistance to their superior for the time being. To the experience, the ability and the fidelity of this class of men is to be attributed the ease and safety with which the direction of affairs has been many times, within our own memory, transferred from Tories to Whigs and from Whigs to Tories. But no such class would have existed if persons who received salaries from the Crown had been suffered to sit without restriction in the House of Commons. Those commissionerships, assistant secretaryships, chief clerkships, which are now held for life by persons who stand aloof from the strife of parties, would have been bestowed on members of Parliament who were serviceable to the government as voluble speakers or steady voters. As often as the ministry was changed, all this crowd of retainers would have been ejected from office, and would have been succeeded by another set of members of Parliament who would probably have been ejected in their turn before they had half learned their business. Servility and corruption in the legislature, ignorance and incapacity in all the departments of the executive administration, would have been the inevitable effects of such a system.

Still more noxious, if possible, would be the effects of a system under which all the servants of the Crown, without exception, should be excluded from the House of Commons. Aristotle has, in that treatise on government which is perhaps the most judicious and instructive of all his writings, left us a warning against a class of laws artfully framed to delude the vulgar, democratic in seeming, but oligarchic in effect. 374 Had he had an opportunity of studying the history of the English constitution, he might easily have enlarged his list of such laws. That men who are in the service and pay of the Crown ought not to sit in an assembly specially charged with the duty of guarding the rights and interests of the community against all aggression on the part of the Crown is a plausible and a popular doctrine. Yet it is certain that if those who, five generations ago, held that doctrine, had been able to mould the constitution according to their wishes, the effect would have been the depression of that branch of the legislature which springs from the people and is accountable to the people, and the ascendency of the monarchical and aristocratical elements of our polity. The government would have been entirely in patrician hands. The House of Lords, constantly drawing to itself the first abilities in the realm, would have become the most august of senates, while the House of Commons would have sunk almost to the rank of a vestry. From time to time undoubtedly men of commanding genius and of aspiring temper would have made their appearance among the representatives of the counties and boroughs. But every such man would have considered the elective chamber merely as a lobby through which he must pass to the hereditary chamber. The first object of his ambition would have been that coronet without which he could not be powerful in the state. As soon as he had shown that he could be a formidable enemy and a valuable friend to the government, he would have made haste to quit what would then have been in every sense the Lower House for what would then have been in every sense the Upper. The conflict between Walpole and Pulteney, the conflict between Pitt and Fox, would have been transferred from the popular to the aristocratic part of the legislature. On every great question, foreign, domestic or colonial, the debates of the nobles would have been impatiently expected and eagerly devoured. The report of the proceedings of an assembly containing no person empowered to speak in the name of the government, no person who had ever been in high political trust, would have been thrown aside with contempt. Even the control of the purse of the nation must have passed, not perhaps in form, but in substance, to that body in which would have been found every man who was qualified to bring forward a budget or explain an estimate. The country would have been governed by Peers; and the chief business of the Commons would have been to wrangle about bills for the inclosing of moors and the lighting of towns.

These considerations were altogether overlooked in 1692. Nobody thought of drawing a line between the few functionaries who ought to be allowed to sit in the House of Commons and the crowd of functionaries who ought to be shut out. The only line which the legislators of that day took pains to draw was between themselves and their successors. Their own interest they guarded with a care of which it seems strange that they should not have been ashamed. Every one of them was allowed to keep the places which he had got, and to get as many more places as he could before the next dissolution of Parliament, an event which might not happen for many years. But a member who should be chosen after the first of February 1693 was not to be permitted to accept any place whatever. 375

In the House of Commons the bill passed through all its stages rapidly and without a single division. But in the Lords the contest was sharp and obstinate. Several amendments were proposed in committee; but all were rejected. The motion that the bill should pass was supported by Mulgrave in a lively and poignant speech, which has been preserved, and which proves that his reputation for eloquence was not unmerited. The Lords who took the other side did not, it should seem, venture to deny that there was an evil which required a remedy; but they maintained that the proposed remedy would only aggravate the evil. The patriotic representatives of the people had devised a reform which might perhaps benefit the next generation; but they had carefully reserved to themselves the privilege of plundering the present generation. If this bill passed, it was clear that, while the existing Parliament lasted, the number of placemen in the House of Commons would be little, if at all, diminished; and, if this bill passed, it was highly probable that the existing Parliament would last till both King William and Queen Mary were dead. For as, under this bill, Their Majesties would be able to exercise a much greater influence over the existing Parliament than over any future Parliament, they would naturally wish to put off a dissolution as long as possible. The complaint of the electors of England was that now, in 1692, they were unfairly represented. It was not redress, but mockery, to tell them that their children should be fairly represented in 1710 or 1720. The relief ought to be immediate; and the way to give immediate relief was to limit the duration of Parliaments, and to begin with that Parliament which, in the opinion of the country, had already held power too long.

The forces were so evenly balanced that a very slight accident might have turned the scale. When the question was put that the bill do pass, eighty-two peers were present. Of these forty-two were for the bill, and forty against it. Proxies were then called. There were only two proxies for the bill; there were seven against it; but of the seven three were questioned, and were with difficulty admitted. The result was that the bill was lost by three votes.

The majority appears to have been composed of moderate Whigs and moderate Tories. Twenty of the minority protested, and among them were the most violent and intolerant members of both parties, such as Warrington, who had narrowly escaped the block for conspiring against James, and Aylesbury, who afterwards narrowly escaped the block for conspiring against William. Marlborough, who, since his imprisonment, had gone all lengths in opposition to the government, not only put his own name to the protest, but made the Prince of Denmark sign what it was altogether beyond the faculties of His Royal Highness to comprehend. 376

It is a remarkable circumstance that neither Caermarthen, the first in power as well as in abilities of the Tory ministers, nor Shrewsbury, the most distinguished of those Whigs who were then on bad terms with the Court, was present on this important occasion. Their absence was in all probability the effect of design; for both of them were in the House no long time before and no long time after the division.

A few days later Shrewsbury laid on the table of the Lord a bill for limiting the duration of Parliaments. By this bill it was provided that the Parliament then sitting should cease to exist on the first of January 1694, and that no future Parliament should last longer than three years.

Among the Lords there seems to have been almost perfect unanimity on this subject. William in vain endeavoured to induce those peers in whom he placed the greatest confidence to support his prerogative. Some of them thought the proposed change salutary; others hoped to quiet the public mind by a liberal concession; and others had held such language when they were opposing the Place Bill that they could not, without gross inconsistency, oppose the Triennial Bill. The whole House too bore a grudge to the other House, and had a pleasure in putting the other House in a most disagreeable dilemma. Burnet, Pembroke, nay, even Caermarthen, who was very little in the habit of siding with the people against the throne, supported Shrewsbury. "My Lord," said the King to Caermarthen, with bitter displeasure, "you will live to repent the part which you are taking in this matter." 377 The warning was disregarded; and the bill, having passed the Lords smoothly and rapidly, was carried with great solemnity by two judges to the Commons.

Of what took place in the Commons we have but very meagre accounts; but from those accounts it is clear that the Whigs, as a body, supported the bill, and that the opposition came chiefly from Tories. Old Titus, who had been a politician in the days of the Commonwealth, entertained the House with a speech in the style which had been fashionable in those days. Parliaments, he said, resembled the manna which God bestowed on the chosen people. They were excellent while they were fresh; but if kept too long they became noisome; and foul worms were engendered by the corruption of that which had been sweeter than honey. Littleton and other leading Whigs spoke on the same side. Seymour, Finch, and Tredenham, all stanch Tories, were vehement against the bill; and even Sir John Lowther on this point dissented from his friend and patron Caermarthen. Several Tory orators appealed to a feeling which was strong in the House, and which had, since the Revolution, prevented many laws from passing. Whatever, they said, comes from the Peers is to be received with suspicion; and the present bill is of such a nature that, even if it were in itself good, it ought to be at once rejected merely because it has been brought down from them. If their Lordships were to send us the most judicious of all money bills, should we not kick it to the door? Yet to send us a money bill would hardly be a grosser affront than to send us such a bill as this. They have taken an initiative which, by every rule of parliamentary courtesy, ought to have been left to us. They have sate in judgment on us, convicted us, condemned us to dissolution, and fixed the first of January for the execution. Are we to submit patiently to so degrading a sentence, a sentence too passed by men who have not so conducted themselves as to have acquired any right to censure others? Have they ever made any sacrifice of their own interest, of their own dignity, to the general welfare? Have not excellent bills been lost because we would not consent to insert in them clauses conferring new privileges on the nobility? And now that their Lordships are bent on obtaining popularity, do they propose to purchase it by relinquishing even the smallest of their own oppressive privileges? No; they offer to their country that which will cost them nothing, but which will cost us and will cost the Crown dear. In such circumstances it is our duty to repel the insult which has been offered to us, and, by doing so, to vindicate the lawful prerogative of the King.

Such topics as these were doubtless well qualified to inflame the passions of the House of Commons. The near prospect of a dissolution could not be very agreeable to a member whose election was likely to be contested. He must go through all the miseries of a canvass, must shake hands with crowds of freeholders or freemen, must ask after their wives and children, must hire conveyances for outvoters, must open alehouses, must provide mountains of beef, must set rivers of ale running, and might perhaps, after all the drudgery and all the expense, after being lampooned, hustled, pelted, find himself at the bottom of the poll, see his antagonists chaired, and sink half ruined into obscurity. All this evil he was now invited to bring on himself, and invited by men whose own seats in the legislature were permanent, who gave up neither dignity nor quiet, neither power nor money, but gained the praise of patriotism by forcing him to abdicate a high station, to undergo harassing labour and anxiety, to mortgage his cornfields and to hew down his woods. There was naturally much irritation, more probably than is indicated by the divisions. For the constituent bodies were generally delighted with the bill; and many members who disliked it were afraid to oppose it. The House yielded to the pressure of public opinion, but not without a pang and a struggle. The discussions in the committee seem to have been acrimonious. Such sharp words passed between Seymour and one of the Whig members that it was necessary to put the Speaker in the chair and the mace on the table for the purpose of restoring order. One amendment was made. The respite which the Lords had granted to the existing Parliament was extended from the first of January to Lady Day, in order that there might be full time for another session. The third reading was carried by two hundred votes to a hundred and sixty-one. The Lords agreed to the bill as amended; and nothing was wanting but the royal assent. Whether that assent would or would not be given was a question which remained in suspense till the last day of the session. 378

One strange inconsistency in the conduct of the reformers of that generation deserves notice. It never occurred to any one of those who were zealous for the Triennial Bill that every argument which could be urged in favour of that bill was an argument against the rules which had been framed in old times for the purpose of keeping parliamentary deliberations and divisions strictly secret. It is quite natural that a government which withholds political privileges from the commonalty should withhold also political information. But nothing can be more irrational than to give power, and not to give the knowledge without which there is the greatest risk that power will be abused. What could be more absurd than to call constituent bodies frequently together that they might decide whether their representative had done his duty by them, and yet strictly to interdict them from learning, on trustworthy authority, what he had said or how he had voted? The absurdity however appears to have passed altogether unchallenged. It is highly probable that among the two hundred members of the House of Commons who voted for the third reading of the Triennial Bill there was not one who would have hesitated about sending to Newgate any person who had dared to publish a report of the debate on that bill, or a list of the Ayes and the Noes. The truth is that the secrecy of parliamentary debates, a secrecy which would now be thought a grievance more intolerable than the Shipmoney or the Star Chamber, was then inseparably associated, even in the most honest and intelligent minds, with constitutional freedom. A few old men still living could remember times when a gentleman who was known at Whitehall to have let fall a sharp word against a court favourite would have been brought before the Privy Council and sent to the Tower. Those times were gone, never to return. There was no longer any danger that the King would oppress the members of the legislature; and there was much danger that the members of the legislature might oppress the people. Nevertheless the words Privilege of Parliament, those words which the stern senators of the preceding generation had murmured when a tyrant filled their chamber with his guards, those words which a hundred thousand Londoners had shouted in his ears when he ventured for the last time within the walls of their city; still retained a magical influence over all who loved liberty. It was long before even the most enlightened men became sensible that the precautions which had been originally devised for the purpose of protecting patriots against the displeasure of the Court now served only to protect sycophants against the displeasure of the nation.

It is also to be observed that few of those who showed at this time the greatest desire to increase the political power of the people were as yet prepared to emancipate the press from the control of the government. The Licensing Act, which had passed, as a matter of course, in 1685, expired in 1693, and was renewed, not however without an opposition, which, though feeble when compared with the magnitude of the object in dispute, proved that the public mind was beginning dimly to perceive how closely civil freedom and freedom of conscience are connected with freedom of discussion.

On the history of the Licensing Act no preceding writer has thought it worth while to expend any care or labour. Yet surely the events which led to the establishment of the liberty of the press in England, and in all the countries peopled by the English race, may be thought to have as much interest for the present generation as any of those battles and sieges of which the most minute details have been carefully recorded.

During the first three years of William's reign scarcely a voice seems to have been raised against the restrictions which the law imposed on literature. Those restrictions were in perfect harmony with the theory of government held by the Tories, and were not, in practice, galling to the Whigs. Roger Lestrange, who had been licenser under the last two Kings of the House of Stuart, and who had shown as little tenderness to Exclusionists and Presbyterians in that character as in his other character of Observator, was turned out of office at the Revolution, and was succeeded by a Scotch gentleman, who, on account of his passion for rare books, and his habit of attending all sales of libraries, was known in the shops and coffeehouses near Saint Paul's by the name of Catalogue Fraser. Fraser was a zealous Whig. By Whig authors and publishers he was extolled as a most impartial and humane man. But the conduct which obtained their applause drew on him the abuse of the Tories, and was not altogether pleasing to his official superior Nottingham. 379 No serious difference however seems to have arisen till the year 1692. In that year an honest old clergyman named Walker, who had, in the time of the Commonwealth, been Gauden's curate, wrote a book which convinced all sensible and dispassionate readers that Gauden, and not Charles the First, was the author of the Icon Basilike. This book Fraser suffered to be printed. If he had authorised the publication of a work in which the Gospel of Saint John or the Epistle to the Romans had been represented as spurious, the indignation of the High Church party could hardly have been greater. The question was not literary, but religious. Doubt was impiety. In truth the Icon was to many fervent Royalists a supplementary revelation. One of them indeed had gone so far as to propose that lessons taken out of the inestimable little volume should be read in the churches. 380 Fraser found it necessary to resign his place; and Nottingham appointed a gentleman of good blood and scanty fortune named Edmund Bohun. This change of men produced an immediate and total change of system; for Bohun was as strong a Tory as a conscientious man who had taken the oaths could possibly be. He had been conspicuous as a persecutor of nonconformists and a champion of the doctrine of passive obedience. He had edited Filmer's absurd treatise on the origin of government, and had written an answer to the paper which Algernon Sidney had delivered to the Sheriffs on Tower Hill. Nor did Bohun admit that, in swearing allegiance to William and Mary, he had done any thing inconsistent with his old creed. For he had succeeded in convincing himself that they reigned by right of conquest, and that it was the duty of an Englishman to serve them as faithfully as Daniel had served Darius or as Nehemiah had served Artaxerxes. This doctrine, whatever peace it might bring to his own conscience, found little favour with any party. The Whigs loathed it as servile; the Jacobites loathed it as revolutionary. Great numbers of Tories had doubtless submitted to William on the ground that he was, rightfully or wrongfully, King in possession; but very few of them were disposed to allow that his possession had originated in conquest. Indeed the plea which had satisfied the weak and narrow mind of Bohun was a mere fiction, and, had it been a truth, would have been a truth not to be uttered by Englishmen without agonies of shame and mortification. 381 He however clung to his favourite whimsy with a tenacity which the general disapprobation only made more intense. His old friends, the stedfast adherents of indefeasible hereditary right, grew cold and reserved. He asked Sancroft's blessing, and got only a sharp word, and a black look. He asked Ken's blessing; and Ken, though not much in the habit of transgressing the rules of Christian charity and courtesy, murmured something about a little scribbler. Thus cast out by one faction, Bohun was not received by any other. He formed indeed a class apart; for he was at once a zealous Filmerite and a zealous Williamite. He held that pure monarchy, not limited by any law or contract, was the form of government which had been divinely ordained. But he held that William was now the absolute monarch, who might annul the Great Charter, abolish trial by jury, or impose taxes by royal proclamation, without forfeiting the right to be implicitly obeyed by Christian men. As to the rest, Bohun was a man of some learning, mean understanding and unpopular manners. He had no sooner entered on his functions than all Paternoster Row and Little Britain were in a ferment. The Whigs had, under Fraser's administration, enjoyed almost as entire a liberty as if there had been no censorship. But they were now as severely treated as in the days of Lestrange. A History of the Bloody Assizes was about to be published, and was expected to have as great a run as the Pilgrim's Progress. But the new licenser refused his Imprimatur. The book, he said, represented rebels and schismatics as heroes and martyrs; and he would not sanction it for its weight in gold. A charge delivered by Lord Warrington to the grand jury of Cheshire was not permitted to appear, because His Lordship had spoken contemptuously of divine right and passive obedience. Julian Johnson found that, if he wished to promulgate his notions of government, he must again have recourse, as in the evil times of King James, to a secret press. 382 Such restraint as this, coming after several years of unbounded freedom, naturally produced violent exasperation. Some Whigs began to think that the censorship itself was a grievance; all Whigs agreed in pronouncing the new censor unfit for his post, and were prepared to join in an effort to get rid of him.

Of the transactions which terminated in Bohun's dismission, and which produced the first parliamentary struggle for the liberty of unlicensed printing, we have accounts written by Bohun himself and by others; but there are strong reasons for believing that in none of those accounts is the whole truth to be found. It may perhaps not be impossible, even at this distance of time, to put together dispersed fragments of evidence in such a manner as to produce an authentic narrative which would have astonished the unfortunate licenser himself.

There was then about town a man of good family, of some reading, and of some small literary talent, named Charles Blount. 383 In politics he belonged to the extreme section of the Whig party. In the days of the Exclusion Bill he had been one of Shaftesbury's brisk boys, and had, under the signature of Junius Brutus, magnified the virtues and public services of Titus Oates, and exhorted the Protestants to take signal vengeance on the Papists for the fire of London and for the murder of Godfrey. 384 As to the theological questions which were in issue between Protestants and Papists, Blount was perfectly impartial. He was an infidel, and the head of a small school of infidels who were troubled with a morbid desire to make converts. He translated from the Latin translation part of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, and appended to it notes of which the flippant profaneness called forth the severe censure of an unbeliever of a very different order, the illustrious Bayle. 385 Blount also attacked Christianity in several original treatises, or rather in several treatises purporting to be original; for he was the most audacious of literary thieves, and transcribed, without acknowledgment, whole pages from authors who had preceded him. His delight was to worry the priests by asking them how light existed before the sun was made, how Paradise could be bounded by Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates, how serpents moved before they were condemned to crawl, and where Eve found thread to stitch her figleaves. To his speculations on these subjects he gave the lofty name of the Oracles of Reason; and indeed whatever he said or wrote was considered as oracular by his disciples. Of those disciples the most noted was a bad writer named Gildon, who lived to pester another generation with doggrel and slander, and whose memory is still preserved, not by his own voluminous works, but by two or three lines in which his stupidity and venality have been contemptuously mentioned by Pope. 386

Little as either the intellectual or the moral character of Blount may seem to deserve respect, it is in a great measure to him that we must attribute the emancipation of the English press. Between him and the licensers there was a feud of long standing. Before the Revolution one of his heterodox treatises had been grievously mutilated by Lestrange, and at last suppressed by orders from Lestrange's superior the Bishop of London. 387 Bohun was a scarcely less severe critic than Lestrange. Blount therefore began to make war on the censorship and the censor. The hostilities were commenced by a tract which came forth without any license, and which is entitled A Just Vindication of Learning and of the Liberty of the Press, by Philopatris. 388 Whoever reads this piece, and is not aware that Blount was one of the most unscrupulous plagiaries that ever lived, will be surprised to find, mingled with the poor thoughts and poor words of a thirdrate pamphleteer, passages so elevated in sentiment and style that they would be worthy of the greatest name in letters. The truth is that the just Vindication consists chiefly of garbled extracts from the Areopagitica of Milton. That noble discourse had been neglected by the generation to which it was addressed, had sunk into oblivion, and was at the mercy of every pilferer. The literary workmanship of Blount resembled the architectural workmanship of those barbarians who used the Coliseum and the Theatre of Pompey as quarries, who built hovels out of Ionian friezes and propped cowhouses on pillars of lazulite. Blount concluded, as Milton had done, by recommending that any book might be printed without a license, provided that the name of the author or publisher were registered. 389 The Just Vindication was well received. The blow was speedily followed up. There still remained in the Areopagitica many fine passages which Blount had not used in his first pamphlet. Out of these passages he constructed a second pamphlet entitled Reasons for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. 390 To these Reasons he appended a postscript entitled A Just and True Character of Edmund Bohun. This character was written with extreme bitterness. Passages were quoted from the licenser's writings to prove that he held the doctrines of passive obedience and nonresistance. He was accused of using his power systematically for the purpose of favouring the enemies and silencing the friends of the Sovereigns whose bread he ate; and it was asserted that he was the friend and the pupil of his predecessor Sir Roger.

Blount's Character of Bohun could not be publicly sold; but it was widely circulated. While it was passing from hand to hand, and while the Whigs were every where exclaiming against the new censor as a second Lestrange, he was requested to authorise the publication of an anonymous work entitled King William and Queen Mary Conquerors. 391 He readily and indeed eagerly complied. For in truth there was between the doctrines which he had long professed and the doctrines which were propounded in this treatise a coincidence so exact that many suspected him of being the author; nor was this suspicion weakened by a passage to which a compliment was paid to his political writings. But the real author was that very Blount who was, at that very time, labouring to inflame the public both against the Licensing Act and the licenser. Blount's motives may easily be divined. His own opinions were diametrically opposed to those which, on this occasion, he put forward in the most offensive manner. It is therefore impossible to doubt that his object was to ensnare and to ruin Bohun. It was a base and wicked scheme. But it cannot be denied that the trap was laid and baited with much skill. The republican succeeded in personating a high Tory. The atheist succeeded in personating a high Churchman. The pamphlet concluded with a devout prayer that the God of light and love would open the understanding and govern the will of Englishmen, so that they might see the things which belonged to their peace. The censor was in raptures. In every page he found his own thoughts expressed more plainly than he had ever expressed them. Never before, in his opinion, had the true claim of their Majesties to obedience been so clearly stated. Every Jacobite who read this admirable tract must inevitably be converted. The nonjurors would flock to take the oaths. The nation, so long divided, would at length be united. From these pleasing dreams Bohun was awakened by learning, a few hours after the appearance of the discourse which had charmed him, that the titlepage had set all London in a flame, and that the odious words, King William and Queen Mary Conquerors, had moved the indignation of multitudes who had never read further. Only four days after the publication he heard that the House of Commons had taken the matter up, that the book had been called by some members a rascally book, and that, as the author was unknown, the Serjeant at Arms was in search of the licenser. 392 Bohun's mind had never been strong; and he was entirely unnerved and bewildered by the fury and suddenness of the storm which had burst upon him. He went to the House. Most of the members whom he met in the passages and lobbies frowned on him. When he was put to the bar, and, after three profound obeisances, ventured to lift his head and look round him, he could read his doom in the angry and contemptuous looks which were cast on him from every side. He hesitated, blundered, contradicted himself, called the Speaker My Lord, and, by his confused way of speaking, raised a tempest of rude laughter which confused him still more. As soon as he had withdrawn, it was unanimously resolved that the obnoxious treatise should be burned in Palace Yard by the common hangman. It was also resolved, without a division, that the King should be requested to remove Bohun from the office of licenser. The poor man, ready to faint with grief and fear, was conducted by the officers of the House to a place of confinement. 393

But scarcely was he in his prison when a large body of members clamorously demanded a more important victim. Burnet had, shortly after he became Bishop of Salisbury, addressed to the clergy of his diocese a Pastoral Letter, exhorting them to take the oaths. In one paragraph of this letter he had held language bearing some resemblance to that of the pamphlet which had just been sentenced to the flames. There were indeed distinctions which a judicious and impartial tribunal would not have failed to notice. But the tribunal before which Burnet was arraigned was neither judicious nor impartial. His faults had made him many enemies, and his virtues many more. The discontented Whigs complained that he leaned towards the Court, the High Churchmen that he leaned towards the Dissenters; nor can it be supposed that a man of so much boldness and so little tact, a man so indiscreetly frank and so restlessly active, had passed through life without crossing the schemes and wounding the feelings of some whose opinions agreed with his. He was regarded with peculiar malevolence by Howe. Howe had never, even while he was in office, been in the habit of restraining his bitter and petulant tongue; and he had recently been turned out of office in a way which had made him ungovernably ferocious. The history of his dismission is not accurately known, but it was certainly accompanied by some circumstances which had cruelly galled his temper. If rumour could be trusted, he had fancied that Mary was in love with him, and had availed himself of an opportunity which offered itself while he was in attendance on her as Vice Chamberlain to make some advances which had justly moved her indignation. Soon after he was discarded, he was prosecuted for having, in a fit of passion, beaten one of his servants savagely within the verge of the palace. He had pleaded guilty, and had been pardoned; but from this time he showed, on every occasion, the most rancorous personal hatred of his royal mistress, of her husband, and of all who were favoured by either. It was known that the Queen frequently consulted Burnet; and Howe was possessed with the belief that her severity was to be imputed to Burnet's influence. 394 Now was the time to be revenged. In a long and elaborate speech the spiteful Whig—for such he still affected to be—represented Burnet as a Tory of the worst class. "There should be a law," he said, "making it penal for the clergy to introduce politics into their discourses. Formerly they sought to enslave us by crying up the divine and indefeasible right of the hereditary prince. Now they try to arrive at the same result by telling us that we are a conquered people." It was moved that the Bishop should be impeached. To this motion there was an unanswerable objection, which the Speaker pointed out. The Pastoral Letter had been written in 1689, and was therefore covered by the Act of Grace which had been passed in 1690. Yet a member was not ashamed to say, "No matter: impeach him; and force him to plead the Act." Few, however, were disposed to take a course so unworthy of a House of Commons. Some wag cried out, "Burn it; burn it;" and this bad pun ran along the benches, and was received with shouts of laughter. It was moved that the Pastoral Letter should be burned by the common hangman. A long and vehement debate followed. For Burnet was a man warmly loved as well as warmly hated. The great majority of the Whigs stood firmly by him; and his goodnature and generosity had made him friends even among the Tories. The contest lasted two days. Montague and Finch, men of widely different opinions, appear to have been foremost among the Bishop's champions. An attempt to get rid of the subject by moving the previous question failed. At length the main question was put; and the Pastoral Letter was condemned to the flames by a small majority in a full house. The Ayes were a hundred and sixty-two; the Noes a hundred and fifty-five. 395 The general opinion, at least of the capital, seems to have been that Burnet was cruelly treated. 396

He was not naturally a man of fine feelings; and the life which he had led had not tended to make them finer. He had been during many years a mark for theological and political animosity. Grave doctors had anathematized him; ribald poets had lampooned him; princes and ministers had laid snares for his life; he had been long a wanderer and an exile, in constant peril of being kidnapped, struck in the boots, hanged and quartered. Yet none of these things had ever seemed to move him. His selfconceit had been proof against ridicule, and his dauntless temper against danger. But on this occasion his fortitude seems to have failed him. To be stigmatized by the popular branch of the legislature as a teacher of doctrines so servile that they disgusted even Tories, to be joined in one sentence of condemnation with the editor of Filmer, was too much. How deeply Burnet was wounded appeared many years later, when, after his death, his History of his Life and Times was given to the world. In that work he is ordinarily garrulous even to minuteness about all that concerns himself, and sometimes relates with amusing ingenuousness his own mistakes and the censures which those mistakes brought upon him. But about the ignominious judgment passed by the House of Commons on his Pastoral Letter he has preserved a most significant silence. 397

The plot which ruined Bohun, though it did no honour to those who contrived it, produced important and salutary effects. Before the conduct of the unlucky licenser had been brought under the consideration of Parliament, the Commons had resolved, without any division, and, as far as appears, without any discussion, that the Act which subjected literature to a censorship should be continued. But the question had now assumed a new aspect; and the continuation of the Act was no longer regarded as a matter of course. A feeling in favour of the liberty of the press, a feeling not yet, it is true, of wide extent or formidable intensity, began to show itself. The existing system, it was said, was prejudicial both to commerce and to learning. Could it be expected that any capitalist would advance the funds necessary for a great literary undertaking, or that any scholar would expend years of toil and research on such an undertaking, while it was possible that, at the last moment, the caprice, the malice, the folly of one man might frustrate the whole design? And was it certain that the law which so grievously restricted both the freedom of trade and the freedom of thought had really added to the security of the State? Had not recent experience proved that the licenser might himself be an enemy of their Majesties, or, worse still, an absurd and perverse friend; that he might suppress a book of which it would be for their interest that every house in the country should have a copy, and that he might readily give his sanction to a libel which tended to make them hateful to their people, and which deserved to be torn and burned by the hand of Ketch? Had the government gained much by establishing a literary police which prevented Englishmen from having the History of the Bloody Circuit, and allowed them, by way of compensation, to read tracts which represented King William and Queen Mary as conquerors?

In that age persons who were not specially interested in a public bill very seldom petitioned Parliament against it or for it. The only petitions therefore which were at this conjuncture presented to the two Houses against the censorship came from booksellers, bookbinders and printers. 398 But the opinion which these classes expressed was certainly not confined to them.

The law which was about to expire had lasted eight years. It was renewed for only two years. It appears, from an entry in the journals of the Commons which unfortunately is defective, that a division took place on an amendment about the nature of which we are left entirely in the dark. The votes were ninety-nine to eighty. In the Lords it was proposed, according to the suggestion offered fifty years before by Milton and stolen from him by Blount, to exempt from the authority of the licenser every book which bore the name of an author or publisher. This amendment was rejected; and the bill passed, but not without a protest signed by eleven peers who declared that they could not think it for the public interest to subject all learning and true information to the arbitrary will and pleasure of a mercenary and perhaps ignorant licenser. Among those who protested were Halifax, Shrewsbury and Mulgrave, three noblemen belonging to different political parties, but all distinguished by their literary attainments. It is to be lamented that the signatures of Tillotson and Burnet, who were both present on that day, should be wanting. Dorset was absent. 399

Blount, by whose exertions and machinations the opposition to the censorship had been raised, did not live to see that opposition successful. Though not a very young man, he was possessed by an insane passion for the sister of his deceased wife. Having long laboured in vain to convince the object of his love that she might lawfully marry him, he at last, whether from weariness of life, or in the hope of touching her heart, inflicted on himself a wound of which, after languishing long, he died. He has often been mentioned as a blasphemer and selfmurderer. But the important service which, by means doubtless most immoral and dishonourable, he rendered to his country, has passed almost unnoticed. 400

Late in this busy and eventful session the attention of the Houses was called to the state of Ireland. The government of that kingdom had, during the six months which followed the surrender of Limerick, been in an unsettled state. It was not till the Irish troops who adhered to Sarsfield had sailed for France, and till the Irish troops who had made their election to remain at home had been disbanded, that William at length put forth a proclamation solemnly announcing the termination of the civil war. From the hostility of the aboriginal inhabitants, destitute as they now were of chiefs, of arms and of organization, nothing was to be apprehended beyond occasional robberies and murders. But the war cry of the Irishry had scarcely died away when the first faint murmurs of the Englishry began to be heard. Coningsby was during some months at the head of the administration. He soon made himself in the highest degree odious to the dominant caste. He was an unprincipled man; he was insatiable of riches; and he was in a situation in which riches were easily to be obtained by an unprincipled man. Immense sums of money, immense quantities of military stores had been sent over from England. Immense confiscations were taking place in Ireland. The rapacious governor had daily opportunities of embezzling and extorting; and of those opportunities he availed himself without scruple or shame. This however was not, in the estimation of the colonists, his greatest offence. They might have pardoned his covetousness; but they could not pardon the clemency which he showed to their vanquished and enslaved enemies. His clemency indeed amounted merely to this, that he loved money more than he hated Papists, and that he was not unwilling to sell for a high price a scanty measure of justice to some of the oppressed class. Unhappily, to the ruling minority, sore from recent conflict and drunk with recent victory, the subjugated majority was as a drove of cattle, or rather as a pack of wolves. Man acknowledges in the inferior animals no rights inconsistent with his own convenience; and as man deals with the inferior animals the Cromwellian thought himself at liberty to deal with the Roman Catholic. Coningsby therefore drew on himself a greater storm of obloquy by his few good acts than by his many bad acts. The clamour against him was so violent that he was removed; and Sidney went over, with the full power and dignity of Lord Lieutenant, to hold a Parliament at Dublin. 401

But the easy temper and graceful manners of Sidney failed to produce a conciliatory effect. He does not indeed appear to have been greedy of unlawful gain. But he did not restrain with a sufficiently firm hand the crowd of subordinate functionaries whom Coningsby's example and protection had encouraged to plunder the public and to sell their good offices to suitors. Nor was the new Viceroy of a temper to bear hard on the feeble remains of the native aristocracy. He therefore speedily became an object of suspicion and aversion to the Anglosaxon settlers. His first act was to send out the writs for a general election. The Roman Catholics had been excluded from every municipal corporation; but no law had yet deprived them of the county franchise. It is probable however that not a single Roman Catholic freeholder ventured to approach the hustings. The members chosen were, with few exceptions, men animated by the spirit of Enniskillen and Londonderry, a spirit eminently heroic in times of distress and peril, but too often cruel and imperious in the season of prosperity and power. They detested the civil treaty of Limerick, and were indignant when they learned that the Lord Lieutenant fully expected from them a parliamentary ratification of that odious contract, a contract which gave a licence to the idolatry of the mass, and which prevented good Protestants from ruining their Popish neighbours by bringing civil actions for injuries done during the war. 402

On the fifth of October 1692 the Parliament met at Dublin in Chichester House. It was very differently composed from the assembly which had borne the same title in 1689. Scarcely one peer, not one member of the House of Commons, who had sate at the King's Inns, was to be seen. To the crowd of O's and Macs, descendants of the old princes of the island, had succeeded men whose names indicated a Saxon origin. A single O, an apostate from the faith of his fathers, and three Macs, evidently emigrants from Scotland, and probably Presbyterians, had seats in the assembly.

The Parliament, thus composed, had then less than the powers of the Assembly of Jamaica or of the Assembly of Virginia. Not merely was the Legislature which sate at Dublin subject to the absolute control of the Legislature which sate at Westminster: but a law passed in the fifteenth century, during the administration of the Lord Deputy Poynings, and called by his name, had provided that no bill which had not been considered and approved by the Privy Council of England should be brought into either House in Ireland, and that every bill so considered and approved should be either passed without amendment or rejected. 403

The session opened with a solemn recognition of the paramount authority of the mother country. The Commons ordered their clerk to read to them the English Act which required them to take the Oath of Supremacy and to subscribe the Declaration against Transubstantiation. Having heard the Act read, they immediately proceeded to obey it. Addresses were then voted which expressed the warmest gratitude and attachment to the King. Two members, who had been untrue to the Protestant and English interest during the troubles, were expelled. Supplies, liberal when compared with the resources of a country devastated by years of predatory war, were voted with eagerness. But the bill for confirming the Act of Settlement was thought to be too favourable to the native gentry, and, as it could not be amended, was with little ceremony rejected. A committee of the whole House resolved that the unjustifiable indulgence with which the Irish had been treated since the battle of the Boyne was one of the chief causes of the misery of the kingdom. A Committee of Grievances sate daily till eleven in the evening; and the proceedings of this inquest greatly alarmed the Castle. Many instances of gross venality and knavery on the part of men high in office were brought to light, and many instances also of what was then thought a criminal lenity towards the subject nation. This Papist had been allowed to enlist in the army; that Papist had been allowed to keep a gun; a third had too good a horse; a fourth had been protected against Protestants who wished to bring actions against him for wrongs committed during the years of confusion. The Lord Lieutenant, having obtained nearly as much money as he could expect, determined to put an end to these unpleasant inquiries. He knew, however, that if he quarrelled with the Parliament for treating either peculators or Papists with severity, he should have little support in England. He therefore looked out for a pretext, and was fortunate enough to find one. The Commons had passed a vote which might with some plausibility be represented as inconsistent with the Poynings statute. Any thing which looked like a violation of that great fundamental law was likely to excite strong disapprobation on the other side of Saint George's Channel. The Viceroy saw his advantage, and availed himself of it. He went to the chamber of the Lords at Chichester House, sent for the Commons, reprimanded them in strong language, charged them with undutifully and ungratefully encroaching on the rights of the mother country, and put an end to the session. 404

Those whom he had lectured withdrew full of resentment. The imputation which he had thrown on them was unjust. They had a strong feeling of love and reverence for the land from which they sprang, and looked with confidence for redress to the supreme Parliament. Several of them went to London for the purpose of vindicating themselves and of accusing the Lord Lieutenant. They were favoured with a long and attentive audience, both by the Lords and by the Commons, and were requested to put the substance of what had been said into writing. The humble language of the petitioners, and their protestations that they had never intended to violate the Poynings statute, or to dispute the paramount authority of England, effaced the impression which Sidney's accusations had made. Both Houses addressed the King on the state of Ireland. They censured no delinquent by name; but they expressed an opinion that there had been gross maladministration, that the public had been plundered, and that Roman Catholics had been treated with unjustifiable tenderness. William in reply promised that what was amiss should be corrected. His friend Sidney was soon recalled, and consoled for the loss of the viceregal dignity with the lucrative place of Master of the Ordnance. The government of Ireland was for a time entrusted to Lords justices, among whom Sir Henry Capel, a zealous Whig, very little disposed to show indulgence to Papists, had the foremost place.

The prorogation drew nigh; and still the fate of the Triennial Bill was uncertain. Some of the ablest ministers thought the bill a good one; and, even had they thought it a bad one, they would probably have tried to dissuade their master from rejecting it. It was impossible, however, to remove from his mind the impression that a concession on this point would seriously impair his authority. Not relying on the judgment of his ordinary advisers, he sent Portland to ask the opinion of Sir William Temple. Temple had made a retreat for himself at a place called Moor Park, in the neighbourhood of Farnham. The country round his dwelling was almost a wilderness. His amusement during some years had been to create in the waste what those Dutch burgomasters among whom he had passed some of the best years of his life, would have considered as a paradise. His hermitage had been occasionally honoured by the presence of the King, who had from a boy known and esteemed the author of the Triple Alliance, and who was well pleased to find, among the heath and furze of the wilds of Surrey, a spot which seemed to be part of Holland, a straight canal, a terrace, rows of clipped trees, and rectangular beds of flowers and potherbs.

Portland now repaired to this secluded abode and consulted the oracle. Temple was decidedly of opinion that the bill ought to pass. He was apprehensive that the reasons which led him to form this opinion might not be fully and correctly reported to the King by Portland, who was indeed as brave a soldier and as trusty a friend as ever lived, whose natural abilities were not inconsiderable, and who, in some departments of business, had great experience, but who was very imperfectly acquainted with the history and constitution of England. As the state of Sir William's health made it impossible for him to go himself to Kensington, he determined to send his secretary thither. The secretary was a poor scholar of four or five and twenty, under whose plain garb and ungainly deportment were concealed some of the choicest gifts that have ever been bestowed on any of the children of men; rare powers of observation, brilliant wit, grotesque invention, humour of the most austere flavour, yet exquisitely delicious, eloquence singularly pure, manly and perspicuous. This young man was named Jonathan Swift. He was born in Ireland, but would have thought himself insulted if he had been called an Irishman. He was of unmixed English blood, and, through life, regarded the aboriginal population of the island in which he first drew breath as an alien and a servile caste. He had in the late reign kept terms at the University of Dublin, but had been distinguished there only by his irregularities, and had with difficulty obtained his degree. At the time of the Revolution, he had, with many thousands of his fellow colonists, taken refuge in the mother country from the violence of Tyrconnel, and had thought himself fortunate in being able to obtain shelter at Moor Park. 405 For that shelter, however, he had to pay a heavy price. He was thought to be sufficiently remunerated for his services with twenty pounds a year and his board. He dined at the second table. Sometimes, indeed, when better company was not to be had, he was honoured by being invited to play at cards with his patron; and on such occasions Sir William was so generous as to give his antagonist a little silver to begin with. 406 The humble student would not have dared to raise his eyes to a lady of family; but, when he had become a clergyman, he began, after the fashion of the clergymen of that generation, to make love to a pretty waitingmaid who was the chief ornament of the servants' hall, and whose name is inseparably associated with his in a sad and mysterious history.

Swift many years later confessed some part of what he felt when he found himself on his way to Court. His spirit had been bowed down, and might seem to have been broken, by calamities and humiliations. The language which he was in the habit of holding to his patron, as far as we can judge from the specimens which still remain, was that of a lacquey, or rather of a beggar. 407 A sharp word or a cold look of the master sufficed to make the servant miserable during several days. 408 But this tameness was merely the tameness with which a tiger, caught, caged and starved, submits to the keeper who brings him food. The humble menial was at heart the haughtiest, the most aspiring, the most vindictive, the most despotic of men. And now at length a great, a boundless prospect was opening before him. To William he was already slightly known. At Moor Park the King had sometimes, when his host was confined by gout to an easy chair, been attended by the secretary about the grounds. His Majesty had condescended to teach his companion the Dutch way of cutting and eating asparagus, and had graciously asked whether Mr. Swift would like to have a captain's commission in a cavalry regiment. But now for the first time the young man was to stand in the royal presence as a counsellor. He was admitted into the closet, delivered a letter from Temple, and explained and enforced the arguments which that letter contained, concisely, but doubtless with clearness and ability. There was, he said, no reason to think that short Parliaments would be more disposed than long Parliaments to encroach on the just prerogatives of the Crown. In fact the Parliament which had, in the preceding generation, waged war against a king, led him captive, sent him to the prison, to the bar, to the scaffold, was known in our annals as emphatically the Long Parliament. Never would such disasters have befallen the monarchy but for the fatal law which secured that assembly from dissolution. 409 There was, it must be owned, a flaw in this reasoning which a man less shrewd than William might easily detect. That one restriction of the royal prerogative had been mischievous did not prove that another restriction would be salutary. It by no means followed because one sovereign had been ruined by being unable to get rid of a hostile Parliament that another sovereign might not be ruined by being forced to part with a friendly Parliament. To the great mortification of the ambassador, his arguments failed to shake the King's resolution. On the fourteenth of March the Commons were summoned to the Upper House; the title of the Triennial Bill was read; and it was announced, after the ancient form, that the King and Queen would take the matter into their consideration. The Parliament was then prorogued.

Soon after the prorogation William set out for the Continent. It was necessary that, before his departure, he should make some important changes. He was resolved not to discard Nottingham, on whose integrity, a virtue rare among English statesmen, he placed a well founded reliance. Yet, if Nottingham remained Secretary of State, it was impossible to employ Russell at sea. Russell, though much mortified, was induced to accept a lucrative post in the household; and two naval officers of great note in their profession, Killegrew and Delaval, were placed at the Board of Admiralty and entrusted with the command of the Channel Fleet. 410 These arrangements caused much murmuring among the Whigs; for Killegrew and Delaval were certainly Tories, and were by many suspected of being Jacobites. But other promotions which took place at the same time proved that the King wished to bear himself evenly between the hostile factions. Nottingham had, during a year, been the sole Secretary of State. He was now joined with a colleague in whose society he must have felt himself very ill at ease, John Trenchard. Trenchard belonged to the extreme section of the Whig party. He was a Taunton man, animated by that spirit which had, during two generations, peculiarly distinguished Taunton. He had, in the days of Popeburnings and of Protestant flails, been one of the renowned Green Riband Club; he had been an active member of several stormy Parliaments; he had brought in the first Exclusion Bill; he had been deeply concerned in the plots formed by the chiefs of the opposition; he had fled to the Continent; he had been long an exile; and he had been excepted by name from the general pardon of 1686. Though his life had been passed in turmoil, his temper was naturally calm; but he was closely connected with a set of men whose passions were far fiercer than his own. He had married the sister of Hugh Speke, one of the falsest and most malignant of the libellers who brought disgrace on the cause of constitutional freedom. Aaron Smith, the solicitor of the Treasury, a man in whom the fanatic and the pettifogger were strangely united, possessed too much influence over the new Secretary, with whom he had, ten years before, discussed plans of rebellion at the Rose. Why Trenchard was selected in preference to many men of higher rank and greater ability for a post of the first dignity and importance, it is difficult to say. It seems however that, though he bore the title and drew the salary of Secretary of State, he was not trusted with any of the graver secrets of State, and that he was little more than a superintendent of police, charged to look after the printers of unlicensed books, the pastors of nonjuring congregations, and the haunters of treason taverns. 411

Another Whig of far higher character was called at the same time to a far higher place in the administration. The Great Seal had now been four years in commission. Since Maynard's retirement, the constitution of the Court of Chancery had commanded little respect. Trevor, who was the First Commissioner, wanted neither parts nor learning; but his integrity was with good reason suspected; and the duties which, as Speaker of the House of Commons, he had to perform during four or five months in the busiest part of every year, made it impossible for him to be an efficient judge in equity. Every suitor complained that he had to wait a most unreasonable time for a judgment, and that, when at length a judgment had been pronounced, it was very likely to be reversed on appeal. Meanwhile there was no efficient minister of justice, no great functionary to whom it especially belonged to advise the King touching the appointment of judges, of Counsel for the Crown, of Justices of the Peace. 412 It was known that William was sensible of the inconvenience of this state of things; and, during several months, there had been flying rumours that a Lord Keeper or a Lord Chancellor would soon be appointed. 413 The name most frequently mentioned was that of Nottingham. But the same reasons which had prevented him from accepting the Great Seal in 1689 had, since that year, rather gained than lost strength. William at length fixed his choice on Somers.

Somers was only in his forty-second year; and five years had not elapsed since, on the great day of the trial of the Bishops, his powers had first been made known to the world. From that time his fame had been steadily and rapidly rising. Neither in forensic nor in parliamentary eloquence had he any superior. The consistency of his public conduct had gained for him the entire confidence of the Whigs; and the urbanity of his manners had conciliated the Tories. It was not without great reluctance that he consented to quit an assembly over which he exercised an immense influence for an assembly where it would be necessary for him to sit in silence. He had been but a short time in great practice. His savings were small. Not having the means of supporting a hereditary title, he must, if he accepted the high dignity which was offered to him, preside during some years in the Upper House without taking part in the debates. The opinion of others, however, was that he would be more useful as head of the law than as head of the Whig party in the Commons. He was sent for to Kensington, and called into the Council Chamber. Caermarthen spoke in the name of the King. "Sir John," he said, "it is necessary for the public service that you should take this charge upon you; and I have it in command from His Majesty to say that he can admit of no excuse." Somers submitted. The seal was delivered to him, with a patent which entitled him to a pension of two thousand a year from the day on which he should quit his office; and he was immediately sworn in a Privy Councillor and Lord Keeper. 414

The Gazette which announced these changes in the administration, announced also the King's departure. He set out for Holland on the twenty-fourth of March.

He left orders that the Estates of Scotland should, after a recess of more than two years and a half, be again called together. Hamilton, who had lived many months in retirement, had, since the fall of Melville, been reconciled to the Court, and now consented to quit his retreat, and to occupy Holyrood House as Lord High Commissioner. It was necessary that one of the Secretaries of State for Scotland should be in attendance on the King. The Master of Stair had therefore gone to the Continent. His colleague, Johnstone, was chief manager for the Crown at Edinburgh, and was charged to correspond regularly with Carstairs, who never quitted William. 415

It might naturally have been expected that the session would be turbulent. The Parliament was that very Parliament which had in 1689 passed, by overwhelming majorities, all the most violent resolutions which Montgomery and his club could frame, which had refused supplies, which had proscribed the ministers of the Crown, which had closed the Courts of justice, which had seemed bent on turning Scotland into an oligarchical republic. In 1690 the Estates had been in a better temper. Yet, even in 1690, they had, when the ecclesiastical polity of the realm was under consideration, paid little deference to what was well known to be the royal wish. They had abolished patronage; they had sanctioned the rabbling of the episcopal clergy; they had refused to pass a Toleration Act. It seemed likely that they would still be found unmanageable when questions touching religion came before them; and such questions it was unfortunately necessary to bring forward. William had, during the recess, attempted to persuade the General Assembly of the Church to receive into communion such of the old curates as should subscribe the Confession of Faith and should submit to the government of Synods. But the attempt had failed; and the Assembly had consequently been dissolved by the Lord Commissioner. Unhappily, the Act which established the Presbyterian polity had not defined the extent of the power which was to be exercised by the Sovereign over the Spiritual Courts. No sooner therefore had the dissolution been announced than the Moderator requested permission to speak. He was told that he was now merely a private person. As a private person he requested a hearing, and protested, in the name of his brethren, against the royal mandate. The right, he said, of the office bearers of the Church to meet and deliberate touching her interests was derived from her Divine Head, and was not dependent on the pleasure of the temporal magistrate. His brethren stood up, and by an approving murmur signified their concurrence in what their President had said. Before they retired they fixed a day for their next meeting. 416 It was indeed a very distant day; and when it came neither minister nor elder attended; for even the boldest members shrank from a complete rupture with the civil power. But, though there was not open war between the Church and the Government, they were estranged from each other, jealous of each other, and afraid of each other. No progress had been made towards a reconciliation when the Estates met; and which side the Estates would take might well be doubted.

But the proceedings of this strange Parliament, in almost every one of its sessions, falsified all the predictions of politicians. It had once been the most unmanageable of senates. It was now the most obsequious. Yet the old men had again met in the old hall. There were all the most noisy agitators of the club, with the exception of Montgomery, who was dying of want and of a broken heart in a garret far from his native land. There was the canting Ross and the perfidious Annandale. There was Sir Patrick Hume, lately created a peer, and henceforth to be called Lord Polwarth, but still as eloquent as when his interminable declamations and dissertations ruined the expedition of Argyle. But the whole spirit of the assembly had undergone a change. The members listened with profound respect to the royal letter, and returned an answer in reverential and affectionate language. An extraordinary aid of a hundred and fourteen thousand pounds sterling was granted to the Crown. Severe laws were enacted against the Jacobites. The legislation on ecclesiastical matters was as Erastian as William himself could have desired. An Act was passed requiring all ministers of the Established Church to swear fealty to their Majesties, and directing the General Assembly to receive into communion those Episcopalian ministers, not yet deprived, who should declare that they conformed to the Presbyterian doctrine and discipline. 417 Nay, the Estates carried adulation so far as to make it their humble request to the King that he would be pleased to confer a Scotch peerage on his favourite Portland. This was indeed their chief petition. They did not ask for redress of a single grievance. They contented themselves with hinting in general terms that there were abuses which required correction, and with referring the King for fuller information to his own Ministers, the Lord High Commissioner and the Secretary of State. 418

There was one subject on which it may seem strange that even the most servile of Scottish Parliaments should have kept silence. More than a year had elapsed since the massacre of Glencoe; and it might have been expected that the whole assembly, peers, commissioners of shires, commissioners of burghs, would with one voice have demanded a strict investigation into that great crime. It is certain, however, that no motion for investigation was made. The state of the Gaelic clans was indeed taken into consideration. A law was passed for the more effectual suppressing of depredations and outrages beyond the Highland line; and in that law was inserted a special proviso reserving to Mac Callum More his hereditary jurisdiction. But it does not appear, either from the public records of the proceedings of the Estates, or from those private letters in which Johnstone regularly gave Carstairs an account of what had passed, that any speaker made any allusion to the fate of Mac Ian and his kinsmen. 419 The only explanation of this extraordinary silence seems to be that the public men who were assembled in the capital of Scotland knew little and cared little about the fate of a thieving tribe of Celts. The injured clan, bowed down by fear of the allpowerful Campbells, and little accustomed to resort to the constituted authorities of the kingdom for protection or redress, presented no petition to the Estates. The story of the butchery had been told at coffeehouses, but had been told in different ways. Very recently, one or two books, in which the facts were but too truly related, had come forth from the secret presses of London. But those books were not publicly exposed to sale. They bore the name of no responsible author. The Jacobite writers were, as a class, savagely malignant and utterly regardless of truth. Since the Macdonalds did not complain, a prudent man might naturally be unwilling to incur the displeasure of the King, of the ministers, and of the most powerful family in Scotland, by bringing forward an accusation grounded on nothing but reports wandering from mouth to mouth, or pamphlets which no licenser had approved, to which no author had put his name, and which no bookseller ventured to place in his shop-window. But whether this be or be not the true solution, it is certain that the Estates separated quietly after a session of two months, during which, as far as can now be discovered, the name of Glencoe was not once uttered in the Parliament House.


 State of the Court of Saint Germains—Feeling of the Jacobites;
 Compounders and Noncompounders—Change of Ministry at Saint Germains;
 Middleton—New Declaration put forth by James—Effect of the new
 Declaration—French Preparations for the Campaign; Institution of the
 Order of Saint Lewis—Middleton's Account of Versailles—William's
 Preparations for the Campaign—Lewis takes the Field—Lewis returns to
 Versailles—Manoeuvres of Luxemburg—Battle of Landen—Miscarriage
 of the Smyrna Fleet—Excitement in London—Jacobite Libels; William
 Anderton—Writings and Artifices of the Jacobites—Conduct of
 Caermarthen—Now Charter granted to the East India Company—Return of
 William to England; Military Successes of France—Distress of France—A
 Ministry necessary to Parliamentary Government—The First Ministry
 gradually formed—Sunderland—Sunderland advises the King to give the
 Preference to the Whigs—Reasons for preferring the Whigs—Chiefs of
 the Whig Party; Russell—Somers—Montague—Wharton—Chiefs of the Tory
 Party; Harley—Foley—Howe—Meeting of Parliament—Debates about the
 Naval Miscarriages—Russell First Lord of the Admiralty; Retirement
 of Nottingham—Shrewsbury refuses Office—Debates about the Trade with
 India—Bill for the Regulation of Trials in Cases of Treason—Triennial
 Bill—Place Bill—Bill for the Naturalisation of Foreign
 Protestants—Supply—Ways and Means; Lottery Loan—The Bank of
 England—Prorogation of Parliament; Ministerial Arrangements; Shrewsbury
 Secretary of State—New Titles bestowed—French Plan of War; English
 Plan of War—Expedition against Brest—Naval Operations in
 the Mediterranean—War by Land—Complaints of Trenchard's
 Administration—The Lancashire Prosecutions—Meeting of the Parliament;
 Death of Tillotson—Tenison Archbishop of Canterbury; Debates on the
 Lancashire Prosecutions—Place Bill—Bill for the Regulation of Trials
 in Cases of Treason; the Triennial Bill passed—Death of Mary—Funeral
 of Mary—Greenwich Hospital founded

IT is now time to relate the events which, since the battle of La Hogue, had taken place at Saint Germains.

James, after seeing the fleet which was to have convoyed him back to his kingdom burned down to the water edge, had returned in no good humour to his abode near Paris. Misfortune generally made him devout after his own fashion; and he now starved himself and flogged himself till his spiritual guides were forced to interfere. 420

It is difficult to conceive a duller place than Saint Germains was when he held his Court there; and yet there was scarcely in all Europe a residence more enviably situated than that which the generous Lewis had assigned to his suppliants. The woods were magnificent, the air clear and salubrious, the prospects extensive and cheerful. No charm of rural life was wanting; and the towers of the most superb city of the Continent were visible in the distance. The royal apartments were richly adorned with tapestry and marquetry, vases of silver and mirrors in gilded frames. A pension of more than forty thousand pounds sterling was annually paid to James from the French Treasury. He had a guard of honour composed of some of the finest soldiers in Europe. If he wished to amuse himself with field sports, he had at his command an establishment far more sumptuous than that which had belonged to him when he was at the head of a great kingdom, an army of huntsmen and fowlers, a vast arsenal of guns, spears, buglehorns and tents, miles of network, staghounds, foxhounds, harriers, packs for the boar and packs for the wolf, gerfalcons for the heron and haggards for the wild duck. His presence chamber and his antechamber were in outward show as splendid as when he was at Whitehall. He was still surrounded by blue ribands and white staves. But over the mansion and the domain brooded a constant gloom, the effect, partly of bitter regrets and of deferred hopes, but chiefly of the abject superstition which had taken complete possession of his own mind, and which was affected by almost all those who aspired to his favour. His palace wore the aspect of a monastery. There were three places of worship within the spacious pile. Thirty or forty ecclesiastics were lodged in the building; and their apartments were eyed with envy by noblemen and gentlemen who had followed the fortunes of their Sovereign, and who thought it hard that, when there was so much room under his roof, they should be forced to sleep in the garrets of the neighbouring town. Among the murmurers was the brilliant Anthony Hamilton. He has left us a sketch of the life of Saint Germains, a slight sketch indeed, but not unworthy of the artist to whom we owe the most highly finished and vividly coloured picture of the English Court in the days when the English Court was gayest. He complains that existence was one round of religious exercises; that, in order to live in peace, it was necessary to pass half the day in devotion or in the outward show of devotion; that, if he tried to dissipate his melancholy by breathing the fresh air of that noble terrace which looks down on the valley of the Seine, he was driven away by the clamour of a Jesuit who had got hold of some unfortunate Protestant royalists from England, and was proving to them that no heretic could go to heaven. In general, Hamilton said, men suffering under a common calamity have a strong fellow feeling and are disposed to render good offices to each other. But it was not so at Saint Germains. There all was discord, jealousy, bitterness of spirit. Malignity was concealed under the show of friendship and of piety. All the saints of the royal household were praying for each other and backbiting each other from morning, to night. Here and there in the throng of hypocrites might be remarked a man too highspirited to dissemble. But such a man, however advantageously he might have made himself known elsewhere, was certain to be treated with disdain by the inmates of that sullen abode. 421

Such was the Court of James, as described by a Roman Catholic. Yet, however disagreeable that Court may have been to a Roman Catholic, it was infinitely more disagreeable to a Protestant. For the Protestant had to endure, in addition to all the dulness of which the Roman Catholic complained, a crowd of vexations from which the Roman Catholic was free. In every competition between a Protestant and a Roman Catholic the Roman Catholic was preferred. In every quarrel between a Protestant and a Roman Catholic the Roman Catholic was supposed to be in the right. While the ambitious Protestant looked in vain for promotion, while the dissipated Protestant looked in vain for amusement, the serious Protestant looked in vain for spiritual instruction and consolation. James might, no doubt, easily have obtained permission for those members of the Church of England who had sacrificed every thing in his cause to meet privately in some modest oratory, and to receive the eucharistic bread and wine from the hands of one of their own clergy; but he did not wish his residence to be defiled by such impious rites. Doctor Dennis Granville, who had quitted the richest deanery, the richest archdeaconry and one of the richest livings in England, rather than take the oaths, gave mortal offence by asking leave to read prayers to the exiles of his own communion. His request was refused; and he was so grossly insulted by his master's chaplains and their retainers that he was forced to quit Saint Germains. Lest some other Anglican doctor should be equally importunate, James wrote to inform his agents in England that he wished no Protestant divine to come out to him. 422 Indeed the nonjuring clergy were at least as much sneered at and as much railed at in his palace as in his nephew's. If any man had a claim to be mentioned with respect at Saint Germains, it was surely Sancroft. Yet it was reported that the bigots who were assembled there never spoke of him but with aversion and disgust. The sacrifice of the first place in the Church, of the first place in the peerage, of the mansion at Lambeth and the mansion at Croydon, of immense patronage and of a revenue of more than five thousand a year was thought but a poor atonement for the great crime of having modestly remonstrated against the unconstitutional Declaration of Indulgence. Sancroft was pronounced to be just such a traitor and just such a penitent as Judas Iscariot. The old hypocrite had, it was said, while affecting reverence and love for his master, given the fatal signal to his master's enemies. When the mischief had been done and could not be repaired, the conscience of the sinner had begun to torture him. He had, like his prototype, blamed himself and bemoaned himself. He had, like his prototype, flung down his wealth at the feet of those whose instrument he had been. The best thing that he could now do was to make the parallel complete by hanging himself. 423

James seems to have thought that the strongest proof of kindness which he could give to heretics who had resigned wealth, country, family, for his sake, was to suffer them to be beset, on their dying beds, by his priests. If some sick man, helpless in body and in mind, and deafened by the din of bad logic and bad rhetoric, suffered a wafer to be thrust into his mouth, a great work of grace was triumphantly announced to the Court; and the neophyte was buried with all the pomp of religion. But if a royalist, of the highest rank and most stainless character, died professing firm attachment to the Church of England, a hole was dug in the fields; and, at dead of night, he was flung into it and covered up like a mass of carrion. Such were the obsequies of the Earl of Dunfermline, who had served the House of Stuart with the hazard of his life and to the utter ruin of his fortunes, who had fought at Killiecrankie, and who had, after the victory, lifted from the earth the still breathing remains of Dundee. While living he had been treated with contumely. The Scottish officers who had long served under him had in vain entreated that, when they were formed into a company, he might still be their commander. His religion had been thought a fatal disqualification. A worthless adventurer, whose only recommendation was that he was a Papist, was preferred. Dunfermline continued, during a short time, to make his appearance in the circle which surrounded the Prince whom he had served too well; but it was to no purpose. The bigots who ruled the Court refused to the ruined and expatriated Protestant Lord the means of subsistence; he died of a broken heart; and they refused him even a grave. 424

The insults daily offered at Saint Germains to the Protestant religion produced a great effect in England. The Whigs triumphantly asked whether it were not clear that the old tyrant was utterly incorrigible; and many even of the nonjurors observed his proceedings with shame, disgust and alarm. 425 The Jacobite party had, from the first, been divided into two sections, which, three or four years after the Revolution, began to be known as the Compounders and the Noncompounders. The Compounders were those who wished for a restoration, but for a restoration accompanied by a general amnesty, and by guarantees for the security of the civil and ecclesiastical constitution of the realm. The Noncompounders thought it downright Whiggery, downright rebellion; to take advantage of His Majesty's unfortunate situation for the purpose of imposing on him any condition. The plain duty of his subjects was to bring him back. What traitors he would punish and what traitors he would spare, what laws he would observe and with what laws he would dispense, were questions to be decided by himself alone. If he decided them wrongly, he must answer for his fault to heaven and not to his people.

The great body of the English Jacobites were more or less Compounders. The pure Noncompounders were chiefly to be found among the Roman Catholics, who, very naturally, were not solicitous to obtain any security for a religion which they thought heretical, or for a polity from the benefits of which they were excluded. There were also some Protestant nonjurors, such as Kettlewell and Hickes, who resolutely followed the theory of Filmer to all the extreme consequences to which it led. But, though Kettlewell tried to convince his countrymen that monarchical government had been ordained by God, not as a means of making them happy here, but as a cross which it was their duty to take up and bear in the hope of being recompensed for their sufferings hereafter, and though Hickes assured them that there was not a single Compounder in the whole Theban legion, very few churchmen were inclined to run the risk of the gallows merely for the purpose of reestablishing the High Commission and the Dispensing Power.

The Compounders formed the main strength of the Jacobite party in England; but the Noncompounders had hitherto had undivided sway at Saint Germains. No Protestant, no moderate Roman Catholic, no man who dared to hint that any law could bind the royal prerogative, could hope for the smallest mark of favour from the banished King. The priests and the apostate Melfort, the avowed enemy of the Protestant religion and of civil liberty, of Parliaments, of trial by jury and of the Habeas Corpus Act, were in exclusive possession of the royal ear. Herbert was called Chancellor, walked before the other officers of state, wore a black robe embroidered with gold, and carried a seal; but he was a member of the Church of England; and therefore he was not suffered to sit at the Council Board. 426

The truth is that the faults of James's head and heart were incurable. In his view there could be between him and his subjects no reciprocity of obligation. Their duty was to risk property, liberty, life, in order to replace him on the throne, and then to bear patiently whatever he chose to inflict upon them. They could no more pretend to merit before him than before God. When they had done all, they were still unprofitable servants. The highest praise due to the royalist who shed his blood on the field of battle or on the scaffold for hereditary monarchy was simply that he was not a traitor. After all the severe discipline which the deposed King had undergone, he was still as much bent on plundering and abasing the Church of England as on the day when he told the kneeling fellows of Magdalene to get out of his sight, or on the day when he sent the Bishops to the Tower. He was in the habit of declaring that he would rather die without seeing England again than stoop to capitulate with those whom he ought to command. 427 In the Declaration of April 1692 the whole man appears without disguise, full of his own imaginary rights, unable to understand how any body but himself can have any rights, dull, obstinate and cruel. Another paper which he drew up about the same time shows, if possible, still more clearly, how little he had profited by a sharp experience. In that paper he set forth the plan according to which he intended to govern when he should be restored. He laid it down as a rule that one Commissioner of the Treasury, one of the two Secretaries of State, the Secretary at War, the majority of the Great Officers of the Household, the majority of the Lords of the Bedchamber, the majority of the officers of the army, should always be Roman Catholics. 428

It was to no purpose that the most eminent Compounders sent from London letter after letter filled with judicious counsel and earnest supplication. It was to no purpose that they demonstrated in the plainest manner the impossibility of establishing Popish ascendancy in a country where at least forty-nine fiftieths of the population and much more than forty-nine fiftieths of the wealth and the intelligence were Protestant. It was to no purpose that they informed their master that the Declaration of April 1692 had been read with exultation by his enemies and with deep affliction by his friends, that it had been printed and circulated by the usurpers, that it had done more than all the libels of the Whigs to inflame the nation against him, and that it had furnished those naval officers who had promised him support with a plausible pretext for breaking faith with him, and for destroying the fleet which was to have convoyed him back to his kingdom. He continued to be deaf to the remonstrances of his best friends in England till those remonstrances began to be echoed at Versailles. All the information which Lewis and his ministers were able to obtain touching the state of our island satisfied them that James would never be restored unless he could bring himself to make large concessions to his subjects. It was therefore intimated to him, kindly and courteously, but seriously, that he would do well to change his counsels and his counsellors. France could not continue the war for the purpose of forcing a Sovereign on an unwilling nation. She was crushed by public burdens. Her trade and industry languished. Her harvest and her vintage had failed. The peasantry were starving. The faint murmurs of the provincial Estates began to be heard. There was a limit to the amount of the sacrifices which the most absolute prince could demand from those whom he ruled. However desirous the Most Christian King might be to uphold the cause of hereditary monarchy and of pure religion all over the world, his first duty was to his own kingdom; and, unless a counterrevolution speedily took place in England, his duty to his own kingdom might impose on him the painful necessity of treating with the Prince of Orange. It would therefore be wise in James to do without delay whatever he could honourably and conscientiously do to win back the hearts of his people.

Thus pressed, James unwillingly yielded. He consented to give a share in the management of his affairs to one of the most distinguished of the Compounders, Charles Earl of Middleton.

Middleton's family and his peerage were Scotch. But he was closely connected with some of the noblest houses of England; he had resided long in England; he had been appointed by Charles the Second one of the English Secretaries of State, and had been entrusted by James with the lead of the English House of Commons. His abilities and acquirements were considerable; his temper was easy and generous; his manners were popular; and his conduct had generally been consistent and honourable. He had, when Popery was in the ascendant, resolutely refused to purchase the royal favour by apostasy. Roman Catholic ecclesiastics had been sent to convert him; and the town had been much amused by the dexterity with which the layman baffled the divines. A priest undertook to demonstrate the doctrine of transubstantiation, and made the approaches in the usual form. "Your Lordship believes in the Trinity." "Who told you so?" said Middleton. "Not believe in the Trinity!" cried the priest in amazement. "Nay," said Middleton; "prove your religion to be true if you can; but do not catechize me about mine." As it was plain that the Secretary was not a disputant whom it was easy to take at an advantage, the controversy ended almost as soon as it began. 429 When fortune changed, Middleton adhered to the cause of hereditary monarchy with a stedfastness which was the more respectable because he would have had no difficulty in making his peace with the new government. His sentiments were so well known that, when the kingdom was agitated by apprehensions of an invasion and an insurrection, he was arrested and sent to the Tower; but no evidence on which he could be convicted of treason was discovered; and, when the dangerous crisis was past, he was set at liberty. It should seem indeed that, during the three years which followed the Revolution, he was by no means an active plotter. He saw that a Restoration could be effected only with the general assent of the nation, and that the nation would never assent to a Restoration without securities against Popery and arbitrary power. He therefore conceived that, while his banished master obstinately refused to give such securities, it would be worse than idle to conspire against the existing government.

Such was the man whom James, in consequence of strong representations from Versailles, now invited to join him in France. The great body of Compounders learned with delight that they were at length to be represented in the Council at Saint Germains by one of their favourite leaders. Some noblemen and gentlemen, who, though they had not approved of the deposition of James, had been so much disgusted by his perverse and absurd conduct that they had long avoided all connection with him, now began to hope that he had seen his error. They had refused to have any thing to do with Melfort; but they communicated freely with Middleton. The new minister conferred also with the four traitors whose infamy has been made preeminently conspicuous by their station, their abilities, and their great public services; with Godolphin, the great object of whose life was to be in favour with both the rival Kings at once, and to keep, through all revolutions and counterrevolutions, his head, his estate and a place at the Board of Treasury; with Shrewsbury, who, having once in a fatal moment entangled himself in criminal and dishonourable engagements, had not had the resolution to break through them; with Marlborough, who continued to profess the deepest repentance for the past and the best intentions for the future; and with Russell, who declared that he was still what he had been before the day of La Hogue, and renewed his promise to do what Monk had done, on condition that a general pardon should be granted to all political offenders, and that the royal power should be placed under strong constitutional restraints.

Before Middleton left England he had collected the sense of all the leading Compounders. They were of opinion that there was one expedient which would reconcile contending factions at home, and lead to the speedy pacification of Europe. This expedient was that James should resign the Crown in favour of the Prince of Wales, and that the Prince of Wales should be bred a Protestant. If, as was but too probable, His Majesty should refuse to listen to this suggestion, he must at least consent to put forth a Declaration which might do away the unfavourable impression made by his Declaration of the preceding spring. A paper such as it was thought expedient that he should publish was carefully drawn up, and, after much discussion, approved.

Early in the year 1693, Middleton, having been put in full possession of the views of the principal English Jacobites, stole across the Channel, and made his appearance at the Court of James. There was at that Court no want of slanderers and sneerers whose malignity was only the more dangerous because it wore a meek and sanctimonious air. Middleton found, on his arrival, that numerous lies, fabricated by the priests who feared and hated him, were already in circulation. Some Noncompounders too had written from London that he was at heart a Presbyterian and a republican. He was however very graciously received, and was appointed Secretary of State conjointly with Melfort. 430

It very soon appeared that James was fully resolved never to resign the Crown, or to suffer the Prince of Wales to be bred a heretic; and it long seemed doubtful whether any arguments or entreaties would induce him to sign the Declaration which his friends in England had prepared. It was indeed a document very different from any that had yet appeared under his Great Seal. He was made to promise that he would grant a free pardon to all his subjects who should not oppose him after he should land in the island; that, as soon as he was restored, he would call a Parliament; that he would confirm all such laws, passed during the usurpation, as the Houses should tender to him for confirmation; that he would waive his right to the chimney money; that he would protect and defend the Established Church in the enjoyment of all her possessions and privileges; that he would not again violate the Test Act; that he would leave it to the legislature to define the extent of his dispensing power; and that he would maintain the Act of Settlement in Ireland.

He struggled long and hard. He pleaded his conscience. Could a son of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church bind himself to protect and defend heresy, and to enforce a law which excluded true believers from office? Some of the ecclesiastics who swarmed in his household told him that he could not without sin give any such pledge as his undutiful subjects demanded. On this point the opinion of Middleton, who was a Protestant, could be of no weight. But Middleton found an ally in one whom he regarded as a rival and an enemy. Melfort, scared by the universal hatred of which he knew himself to be the object, and afraid that he should be held accountable, both in England and in France, for his master's wrongheadedness, submitted the case to several eminent Doctors of the Sorbonne. These learned casuists pronounced the Declaration unobjectionable in a religious point of view. The great Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, who was regarded by the Gallican Church as a father scarcely inferior in authority to Cyprian or Augustin, showed, by powerful arguments, both theological and political, that the scruple which tormented James was precisely of that sort against which a much wiser King had given a caution in the words, "Be not righteous overmuch." 431 The authority of the French divines was supported by the authority of the French government. The language held at Versailles was so strong that James began to be alarmed. What if Lewis should take serious offence, should think his hospitality ungratefully requited, should conclude a peace with the usurpers, and should request his unfortunate guests to seek another asylum? It was necessary to submit. On the seventeenth of April 1693 the Declaration was signed and sealed. The concluding sentence was a prayer. "We come to vindicate our own right and to establish the liberties of our people; and may God give us success in the prosecution of the one as we sincerely intend the confirmation of the other!" 432 The prayer was heard. The success of James was strictly proportioned to his sincerity. What his sincerity was we know on the best evidence. Scarcely had he called on heaven to witness the truth of his professions, when he directed Melfort to send a copy of the Declaration to Rome with such explanations as might satisfy the Pope. Melfort's letter ends thus: "After all, the object of this Declaration is only to get us back to England. We shall fight the battle of the Catholics with much greater advantage at Whitehall than at Saint Germains." 433

Meanwhile the document from which so much was expected had been despatched to London. There it was printed at a secret press in the house of a Quaker; for there was among the Quakers a party, small in number, but zealous and active, which had imbibed the politics of William Penn. 434 To circulate such a work was a service of some danger; but agents were found. Several persons were taken up while distributing copies in the streets of the city. A hundred packets were stopped in one day at the Post Office on their way to the fleet. But, after a short time, the government wisely gave up the endeavour to suppress what could not be suppressed, and published the Declaration at full length, accompanied by a severe commentary. 435

The commentary, however, was hardly needed. The Declaration altogether failed to produce the effect which Middleton had anticipated. The truth is that his advice had not been asked till it mattered not what advice he gave. If James had put forth such a manifesto in January 1689, the throne would probably not have been declared vacant. If he had put forth such a manifesto when he was on the coast of Normandy at the head of an army, he would have conciliated a large part of the nation, and he might possibly have been joined by a large part of the fleet. But both in 1689 and in 1692 he had held the language of an implacable tyrant; and it was now too late to affect tenderness of heart and reverence for the constitution of the realm. The contrast between the new Declaration and the preceding Declaration excited, not without reason, general suspicion and contempt. What confidence could be placed in the word of a Prince so unstable, of a Prince who veered from extreme to extreme? In 1692 nothing would satisfy him but the heads and quarters of hundreds of poor ploughmen and boatmen who had, several years before, taken some rustic liberties with him at which his grandfather Henry the Fourth would have had a hearty laugh. In 1693 the foulest and most ungrateful treasons were to be covered with oblivion. Caermarthen expressed the general sentiment. "I do not," he said, "understand all this. Last April I was to be hanged. This April I am to have a free pardon. I cannot imagine what I have done during the past year to deserve such goodness." The general opinion was that a snare was hidden under this unwonted clemency, this unwonted respect for law. The Declaration, it was said, was excellent; and so was the Coronation oath. Every body knew how King James had observed his Coronation oath; and every body might guess how he would observe his Declaration. While grave men reasoned thus, the Whig jesters were not sparing of their pasquinades. Some of the Noncompounders, meantime, uttered indignant murmurs. The King was in bad hands, in the hands of men who hated monarchy. His mercy was cruelty of the worst sort. The general pardon which he had granted to his enemies was in truth a general proscription of his friends. Hitherto the judges appointed by the usurper had been under a restraint, imperfect indeed, yet not absolutely nugatory. They had known that a day of reckoning might come, and had therefore in general dealt tenderly with the persecuted adherents of the rightful King. That restraint His Majesty had now taken away. He had told Holt and Treby that, till he should land in England, they might hang royalists without the smallest fear of being called to account. 436

But by no class of people was the Declaration read with so much disgust and indignation as by the native aristocracy of Ireland. This then was the reward of their loyalty. This was the faith of kings. When England had cast James out, when Scotland had rejected him, the Irish had still been true to him; and he had, in return, solemnly given his sanction to a law which restored to them an immense domain of which they had been despoiled. Nothing that had happened since that time had diminished their claim to his favour. They had defended his cause to the last; they had fought for him long after he had deserted them; many of them, when unable to contend longer against superior force, had followed him into banishment; and now it appeared that he was desirous to make peace with his deadliest enemies at the expense of his most faithful friends. There was much discontent in the Irish regiments which were dispersed through the Netherlands and along the frontiers of Germany and Italy. Even the Whigs allowed that, for once, the O's and Macs were in the right, and asked triumphantly whether a prince who had broken his word to his devoted servants could be expected to keep it to his foes? 437

While the Declaration was the subject of general conversation in England, military operations recommenced on the Continent. The preparations of France had been such as amazed even those who estimated most highly her resources and the abilities of her rulers. Both her agriculture and her commerce were suffering. The vineyards of Burgundy, the interminable cornfields of the Beauce, had failed to yield their increase; the looms of Lyons were silent; and the merchant ships were rotting in the harbour of Marseilles. Yet the monarchy presented to its numerous enemies a front more haughty and more menacing than ever. Lewis had determined not to make any advance towards a reconciliation with the new government of England till the whole strength of his realm had been put forth in one more effort. A mighty effort in truth it was, but too exhausting to be repeated. He made an immense display of force at once on the Pyrenees and on the Alps, on the Rhine and on the Meuse, in the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. That nothing might be wanting which could excite the martial ardour of a nation eminently highspirited, he instituted, a few days before he left his palace for the camp, a new military order of knighthood, and placed it under the protection of his own sainted ancestor and patron. The new cross of Saint Lewis shone on the breasts of the gentlemen who had been conspicuous in the trenches before Mons and Namur, and on the fields of Fleurus and Steinkirk; and the sight raised a generous emulation among those who had still to win an honourable fame in arms. 438

In the week in which this celebrated order began to exist Middleton visited Versailles. A letter in which he gave his friends in England an account of his visit has come down to us. 439 He was presented to Lewis, was most kindly received, and was overpowered by gratitude and admiration. Of all the wonders of the Court,—so Middleton wrote,—its master was the greatest. The splendour of the great King's personal merit threw even the splendour of his fortunes into the shade. The language which His Most Christian Majesty held about English politics was, on the whole, highly satisfactory. Yet in one thing this accomplished prince and his able and experienced ministers were strangely mistaken. They were all possessed with the absurd notion that the Prince of Orange was a great man. No pains had been spared to undeceive them; but they were under an incurable delusion. They saw through a magnifying glass of such power that the leech appeared to them a leviathan. It ought to have occurred to Middleton that possibly the delusion might be in his own vision and not in theirs. Lewis and the counsellors who surrounded him were far indeed from loving William. But they did not hate him with that mad hatred which raged in the breasts of his English enemies. Middleton was one of the wisest and most moderate of the Jacobites. Yet even Middleton's judgment was so much darkened by malice that, on this subject, he talked nonsense unworthy of his capacity. He, like the rest of his party, could see in the usurper nothing but what was odious and contemptible, the heart of a fiend, the understanding and manners of a stupid, brutal, Dutch boor, who generally observed a sulky silence, and, when forced to speak, gave short testy answers in bad English. The French statesmen, on the other hand, judged of William's faculties from an intimate knowledge of the way in which he had, during twenty years, conducted affairs of the greatest moment and of the greatest difficulty. He had, ever since 1673, been playing against themselves a most complicated game of mixed chance and skill for an immense stake; they were proud, and with reason, of their own dexterity at that game; yet they were conscious that in him they had found more than their match. At the commencement of the long contest every advantage had been on their side. They had at their absolute command all the resources of the greatest kingdom in Europe; and he was merely the servant of a commonwealth, of which the whole territory was inferior in extent to Normandy or Guienne. A succession of generals and diplomatists of eminent ability had been opposed to him. A powerful faction in his native country had pertinaciously crossed his designs. He had undergone defeats in the field and defeats in the senate; but his wisdom and firmness had turned defeats into victories. Notwithstanding all that could be done to keep him down, his influence and fame had been almost constantly rising and spreading. The most important and arduous enterprise in the history of modern Europe had been planned and conducted to a prosperous termination by him alone. The most extensive coalition that the world had seen for ages had been formed by him, and would be instantly dissolved if his superintending care were withdrawn. He had gained two kingdoms by statecraft, and a third by conquest; and he was still maintaining himself in the possession of all three in spite of both foreign and domestic foes. That these things had been effected by a poor creature, a man of the most ordinary capacity, was an assertion which might easily find credence among the nonjuring parsons who congregated at Sam's Coffee-house, but which moved the laughter of the veteran politicians of Versailles.

While Middleton was in vain trying to convince the French that William was a greatly overrated man, William, who did full justice to Middleton's merit, felt much uneasiness at learning that the Court of Saint Germains had called in the help of so able a counsellor. 440 But this was only one of a thousand causes of anxiety which during that spring pressed on the King's mind. He was preparing for the opening of the campaign, imploring his allies to be early in the field, rousing the sluggish, haggling with the greedy, making up quarrels, adjusting points of precedence. He had to prevail on the Cabinet of Vienna to send timely succours into Piedmont. He had to keep a vigilant eye on those Northern potentates who were trying to form a third party in Europe. He had to act as tutor to the Elector of Bavaria in the Netherlands. He had to provide for the defence of Liege, a matter which the authorities of Liege coolly declared to be not at all their business, but the business of England and Holland. He had to prevent the House of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel from going to blows with the House of Brunswick Lunenburg; he had to accommodate a dispute between the Prince of Baden and the Elector of Saxony, each of whom wished to be at the head of an army on the Rhine; and he had to manage the Landgrave of Hesse, who omitted to furnish his own contingent, and yet wanted to command the contingents furnished by other princes. 441

And now the time for action had arrived. On the eighteenth of May Lewis left Versailles; early in June he was under the walls of Namur. The Princesses, who had accompanied him, held their court within the fortress. He took under his immediate command the army of Boufflers, which was encamped at Gembloux. Little more than a mile off lay the army of Luxemburg. The force collected in that neighbourhood under the French lilies did not amount to less than a hundred and twenty thousand men. Lewis had flattered himself that he should be able to repeat in 1693 the stratagem by which Mons had been taken in 1691 and Namur in 1692; and he had determined that either Liege or Brussels should be his prey. But William had this year been able to assemble in good time a force, inferior indeed to that which was opposed to him, but still formidable. With this force he took his post near Louvain, on the road between the two threatened cities, and watched every movement of the enemy.

Lewis was disappointed. He found that it would not be possible for him to gratify his vanity so safely and so easily as in the two preceding years, to sit down before a great town, to enter the gates in triumph, and to receive the keys, without exposing himself to any risk greater than that of a staghunt at Fontainebleau. Before he could lay siege either to Liege or to Brussels he must fight and win a battle. The chances were indeed greatly in his favour; for his army was more numerous, better officered and better disciplined than that of the allies. Luxemburg strongly advised him to march against William. The aristocracy of France anticipated with intrepid gaiety a bloody but a glorious day, followed by a large distribution of the crosses of the new order. William himself was perfectly aware of his danger, and prepared to meet it with calm but mournful fortitude. 442 Just at this conjuncture Lewis announced his intention to return instantly to Versailles, and to send the Dauphin and Boufflers, with part of the army which was assembled near Namur, to join Marshal Lorges who commanded in the Palatinate. Luxemburg was thunderstruck. He expostulated boldly and earnestly. Never, he said, was such an opportunity thrown away. If His Majesty would march against the Prince of Orange, victory was almost certain. Could any advantage which it was possible to obtain on the Rhine be set against the advantage of a victory gained in the heart of Brabant over the principal army and the principal captain of the coalition? The Marshal reasoned; he implored; he went on his knees; but in vain; and he quitted the royal presence in the deepest dejection. Lewis left the camp a week after he had joined it, and never afterwards made war in person.

The astonishment was great throughout his army. All the awe which he inspired could not prevent his old generals from grumbling and looking sullen, his young nobles from venting their spleen, sometimes in curses and sometimes in sarcasms, and even his common soldiers from holding irreverent language round their watchfires. His enemies rejoiced with vindictive and insulting joy. Was it not strange, they asked, that this great prince should have gone in state to the theatre of war, and then in a week have gone in the same state back again? Was it necessary that all that vast retinue, princesses, dames of honour and tirewomen, equerries and gentlemen of the bedchamber, cooks, confectioners and musicians, long trains of waggons, droves of led horses and sumpter mules, piles of plate, bales of tapestry, should travel four hundred miles merely in order that the Most Christian King might look at his soldiers and then return? The ignominious truth was too evident to be concealed. He had gone to the Netherlands in the hope that he might again be able to snatch some military glory without any hazard to his person, and had hastened back rather than expose himself to the chances of a pitched field. 443 This was not the first time that His Most Christian Majesty had shown the same kind of prudence. Seventeen years before he had been opposed under the wails of Bouchain to the same antagonist. William, with the ardour of a very young commander, had most imprudently offered battle. The opinion of the ablest generals was that, if Lewis had seized the opportunity, the war might have been ended in a day. The French army had eagerly asked to be led to the onset. The King had called his lieutenants round him and had collected their opinions. Some courtly officers to whom a hint of his wishes had been dexterously conveyed had, blushing and stammering with shame, voted against fighting. It was to no purpose that bold and honest men, who prized his honour more than his life, had proved to him that, on all principles of the military art, he ought to accept the challenge rashly given by the enemy. His Majesty had gravely expressed his sorrow that he could not, consistently with his public duty, obey the impetuous movement of his blood, had turned his rein, and had galloped back to his quarters. 444 Was it not frightful to think what rivers of the best blood of France, of Spain, of Germany and of England, had flowed, and were destined still to flow, for the gratification of a man who wanted the vulgar courage which was found in the meanest of the hundreds of thousands whom he had sacrificed to his vainglorious ambition?

Though the French army in the Netherlands had been weakened by the departure of the forces commanded by the Dauphin and Boufflers, and though the allied army was daily strengthened by the arrival of fresh troops, Luxemburg still had a superiority of force; and that superiority he increased by an adroit stratagem. He marched towards Liege, and made as if he were about to form the siege of that city. William was uneasy, and the more uneasy because he knew that there was a French party among the inhabitants. He quitted his position near Louvain, advanced to Nether Hespen, and encamped there with the river Gette in his rear. On his march he learned that Huy had opened its gates to the French. The news increased his anxiety about Liege, and determined him to send thither a force sufficient to overawe malecontents within the city, and to repel any attack from without. 445 This was exactly what Luxemburg had expected and desired. His feint had served its purpose. He turned his back on the fortress which had hitherto seemed to be his object, and hastened towards the Gette. William, who had detached more than twenty thousand men, and who had but fifty thousand left in his camp, was alarmed by learning from his scouts, on the eighteenth of July, that the French General, with near eighty thousand, was close at hand.

It was still in the King's power, by a hasty retreat, to put the narrow, but deep, waters of the Gette, which had lately been swollen by rains, between his army and the enemy. But the site which he occupied was strong; and it could easily be made still stronger. He set all his troops to work. Ditches were dug, mounds thrown up, palisades fixed in the earth. In a few hours the ground wore a new aspect; and the King trusted that he should be able to repel the attack even of a force greatly outnumbering his own. Nor was it without much appearance of reason that he felt this confidence. When the morning of the nineteenth of July broke, the bravest men of Lewis's army looked gravely and anxiously on the fortress which had suddenly sprung up to arrest their progress. The allies were protected by a breastwork. Here and there along the entrenchments were formed little redoubts and half moons. A hundred pieces of cannon were disposed along the ramparts. On the left flank, the village of Romsdorff rose close to the little stream of Landen, from which the English have named the disastrous day. On the right was the village of Neerwinden. Both villages were, after the fashion of the Low Countries, surrounded by moats and fences; and, within these enclosures, the little plots of ground occupied by different families were separated by mud walls five feet in height and a foot in thickness. All these barricades William had repaired and strengthened. Saint Simon, who, after the battle, surveyed the ground, could hardly, he tells us, believe that defences so extensive and so formidable could have been created with such rapidity.

Luxemburg, however, was determined to try whether even this position could be maintained against the superior numbers and the impetuous valour of his soldiers. Soon after sunrise the roar of cannon began to be heard. William's batteries did much execution before the French artillery could be so placed as to return the fire. It was eight o'clock before the close fighting began. The village of Neerwinden was regarded by both commanders as the point on which every thing depended. There an attack was made by the French left wing commanded by Montchevreuil, a veteran officer of high reputation, and by Berwick, who, though young, was fast rising to a high place among the captains of his time. Berwick led the onset, and forced his way into the village, but was soon driven out again with a terrible carnage. His followers fled or perished; he, while trying to rally them, and cursing them for not doing their duty better, was surrounded by foes. He concealed his white cockade, and hoped to be able, by the help of his native tongue, to pass himself off as an officer of the English army. But his face was recognised by one of his mother's brothers, George Churchill, who held on that day the command of a brigade. A hurried embrace was exchanged between the kinsmen; and the uncle conducted the nephew to William, who, as long as every thing seemed to be going well, remained in the rear. The meeting of the King and the captive, united by such close domestic ties, and divided by such inexpiable injuries, was a strange sight. Both behaved as became them. William uncovered, and addressed to his prisoner a few words of courteous greeting. Berwick's only reply was a solemn bow. The King put on his hat; the Duke put on his hat; and the cousins parted for ever.

By this time the French, who had been driven in confusion out of Neerwinden, had been reinforced by a division under the command of the Duke of Bourbon, and came gallantly back to the attack. William, well aware of the importance of this post, gave orders that troops should move thither from other parts of his line. This second conflict was long and bloody. The assailants again forced an entrance into the village. They were again driven out with immense slaughter, and showed little inclination to return to the charge.

Meanwhile the battle had been raging all along the entrenchments of the allied army. Again and again Luxemburg brought up his troops within pistolshot of the breastwork; but he could bring them no nearer. Again and again they recoiled from the heavy fire which was poured on their front and on their flanks. It seemed that all was over. Luxemburg retired to a spot which was out of gunshot, and summoned a few of his chief officers to a consultation. They talked together during some time; and their animated gestures were observed with deep interest by all who were within sight.

At length Luxemburg formed his decision. A last attempt must be made to carry Neerwinden; and the invincible household troops, the conquerors of Steinkirk, must lead the way.

The household troops came on in a manner worthy of their long and terrible renown. A third time Neerwinden was taken. A third time William tried to retake it. At the head of some English regiments he charged the guards of Lewis with such fury that, for the first time in the memory of the oldest warrior, that far famed band gave way. 446 It was only by the strenuous exertions of Luxemburg, of the Duke of Chartres, and of the Duke of Bourbon, that the broken ranks were rallied. But by this time the centre and left of the allied army had been so much thinned for the purpose of supporting the conflict at Neerwinden that the entrenchments could no longer be defended on other points. A little after four in the afternoon the whole line gave way. All was havoc and confusion. Solmes had received a mortal wound, and fell, still alive, into the hands of the enemy. The English soldiers, to whom his name was hateful, accused him of having in his sufferings shown pusillanimity unworthy of a soldier. The Duke of Ormond was struck down in the press; and in another moment he would have been a corpse, had not a rich diamond on his finger caught the eye of one of the French guards, who justly thought that the owner of such a jewel would be a valuable prisoner. The Duke's life was saved; and he was speedily exchanged for Berwick. Ruvigny, animated by the true refugee hatred of the country which had cast him out, was taken fighting in the thickest of the battle. Those into whose hands he had fallen knew him well, and knew that, if they carried him to their camp, his head would pay for that treason to which persecution had driven him. With admirable generosity they pretended not to recognise him, and suffered him to make his escape in the tumult.

It was only on such occasions as this that the whole greatness of William's character appeared. Amidst the rout and uproar, while arms and standards were flung away, while multitudes of fugitives were choking up the bridges and fords of the Gette or perishing in its waters, the King, having directed Talmash to superintend the retreat, put himself at the head of a few brave regiments, and by desperate efforts arrested the progress of the enemy. His risk was greater than that which others ran. For he could not be persuaded either to encumber his feeble frame with a cuirass, or to hide the ensigns of the garter. He thought his star a good rallying point for his own troops, and only smiled when he was told that it was a good mark for the enemy. Many fell on his right hand and on his left. Two led horses, which in the field always closely followed his person, were struck dead by cannon shots. One musket ball passed through the curls of his wig, another through his coat; a third bruised his side and tore his blue riband to tatters. Many years later greyhaired old pensioners who crept about the arcades and alleys of Chelsea Hospital used to relate how he charged at the head of Galway's horse, how he dismounted four times to put heart into the infantry, how he rallied one corps which seemed to be shrinking; "That is not the way to fight, gentlemen. You must stand close up to them. Thus, gentlemen, thus." "You might have seen him," an eyewitness wrote, only four days after the battle, "with his sword in his hand, throwing himself upon the enemy. It is certain that one time, among the rest, he was seen at the head of two English regiments, and that he fought seven with these two in sight of the whole army, driving them before him above a quarter of an hour. Thanks be to God that preserved him." The enemy pressed on him so close that it was with difficulty that he at length made his way over the Gette. A small body of brave men, who shared his peril to the last, could hardly keep off the pursuers as he crossed the bridge. 447

Never, perhaps, was the change which the progress of civilisation has produced in the art of war more strikingly illustrated than on that day. Ajax beating down the Trojan leader with a rock which two ordinary men could scarcely lift, Horatius defending the bridge against an army, Richard the Lionhearted spurring along the whole Saracen line without finding an enemy to stand his assault, Robert Bruce crushing with one blow the helmet and head of Sir Henry Bohun in sight of the whole array of England and Scotland, such are the heroes of a dark age. In such an age bodily vigour is the most indispensable qualification of a warrior. At Landen two poor sickly beings, who, in a rude state of society, would have been regarded as too puny to bear any part in combats, were the souls of two great armies. In some heathen countries they would have been exposed while infants. In Christendom they would, six hundred years earlier, have been sent to some quiet cloister. But their lot had fallen on a time when men had discovered that the strength of the muscles is far inferior in value to the strength of the mind. It is probable that, among the hundred and twenty thousand soldiers who were marshalled round Neerwinden under all the standards of Western Europe, the two feeblest in body were the hunchbacked dwarf who urged forward the fiery onset of France, and the asthmatic skeleton who covered the slow retreat of England.

The French were victorious; but they had bought their victory dear. More than ten thousand of the best troops of Lewis had fallen. Neerwinden was a spectacle at which the oldest soldiers stood aghast. The streets were piled breast high with corpses. Among the slain were some great lords and some renowned warriors. Montchevreuil was there, and the mutilated trunk of the Duke of Uzes, first in order of precedence among the whole aristocracy of France. Thence too Sarsfield was borne desperately wounded to a pallet from which he never rose again. The Court of Saint Germains had conferred on him the empty title of Earl of Lucan; but history knows him by the name which is still dear to the most unfortunate of nations. The region, renowned in history as the battle field, during many ages, of the most warlike nations of Europe, has seen only two more terrible days, the day of Malplaquet and the day of Waterloo. During many months the ground was strewn with skulls and bones of men and horses, and with fragments of hats and shoes, saddles and holsters. The next summer the soil, fertilised by twenty thousand corpses, broke forth into millions of poppies. The traveller who, on the road from Saint Tron to Tirlemont, saw that vast sheet of rich scarlet spreading from Landen to Neerwinden, could hardly help fancying that the figurative prediction of the Hebrew prophet was literally accomplished, that the earth was disclosing her blood, and refusing to cover the slain. 448

There was no pursuit, though the sun was still high in the heaven when William crossed the Gette. The conquerors were so much exhausted by marching and fighting that they could scarcely move; and the horses were in even worse condition than the men. Their general thought it necessary to allow some time for rest and refreshment. The French nobles unloaded their sumpter horses, supped gaily, and pledged one another in champagne amidst the heaps of dead; and, when night fell, whole brigades gladly lay down to sleep in their ranks on the field of battle. The inactivity of Luxemburg did not escape censure. None could deny that he had in the action shown great skill and energy. But some complained that he wanted patience and perseverance. Others whispered that he had no wish to bring to an end a war which made him necessary to a Court where he had never, in time of peace, found favour or even justice. 449 Lewis, who on this occasion was perhaps not altogether free from some emotions of jealousy, contrived, it was reported, to mingle with the praise which he bestowed on his lieutenant blame which, though delicately expressed, was perfectly intelligible. "In the battle," he said, "the Duke of Luxemburg behaved like Conde; and since the battle the Prince of Orange has behaved like Turenne."

In truth the ability and vigour with which William repaired his terrible defeat might well excite admiration. "In one respect," said the Admiral Coligni, "I may claim superiority over Alexander, over Scipio, over Caesar. They won great battles, it is true. I have lost four great battles; and yet I show to the enemy a more formidable front than ever." The blood of Coligni ran in the veins of William; and with the blood had descended the unconquerable spirit which could derive from failure as much glory as happier commanders owed to success. The defeat of Landen was indeed a heavy blow. The King had a few days of cruel anxiety. If Luxemburg pushed on, all was lost. Louvain must fall, and Mechlin, Nieuport, and Ostend. The Batavian frontier would be in danger. The cry for peace throughout Holland might be such as neither States General nor Stadtholder would be able to resist. 450 But there was delay; and a very short delay was enough for William. From the field of battle he made his way through the multitude of fugitives to the neighbourhood of Louvain, and there began to collect his scattered forces. His character is not lowered by the anxiety which, at that moment, the most disastrous of his life, he felt for the two persons who were dearest to him. As soon as he was safe, he wrote to assure his wife of his safety. 451 In the confusion of the flight he had lost sight of Portland, who was then in very feeble health, and had therefore run more than the ordinary risks of war. A short note which the King sent to his friend a few hours later is still extant. 452 "Though I hope to see you this evening, I cannot help writing to tell you how rejoiced I am that you got off so well. God grant that your health may soon be quite restored. These are great trials, which he has been pleased to send me in quick succession. I must try to submit to his pleasure without murmuring, and to deserve his anger less."

His forces rallied fast. Large bodies of troops which he had, perhaps imprudently, detached from his army while he supposed that Liege was the object of the enemy, rejoined him by forced marches. Three weeks after his defeat he held a review a few miles from Brussels. The number of men under arms was greater than on the morning of the bloody day of Landen; their appearance was soldierlike; and their spirit seemed unbroken. William now wrote to Heinsius that the worst was over. "The crisis," he said, "has been a terrible one. Thank God that it has ended thus." He did not, however, think it prudent to try at that time the event of another pitched field. He therefore suffered the French to besiege and take Charleroy; and this was the only advantage which they derived from the most sanguinary battle fought in Europe during the seventeenth century.

The melancholy tidings of the defeat of Landen found England agitated by tidings not less melancholy from a different quarter. During many months the trade with the Mediterranean Sea had been almost entirely interrupted by the war. There was no chance that a merchantman from London or from Amsterdam would, if unprotected, reach the Pillars of Hercules without being boarded by a French privateer; and the protection of armed vessels was not easily to be obtained. During the year 1691, great fleets, richly laden for Spanish, Italian and Turkish markets, had been gathering in the Thames and the Texel. In February 1693, near four hundred ships were ready to start. The value of the cargoes was estimated at several millions sterling. Those galleons which had long been the wonder and envy of the world had never conveyed so precious a freight from the West Indies to Seville. The English government undertook, in concert with the Dutch government, to escort the vessels which were laden with this great mass of wealth. The French government was bent on intercepting them.

The plan of the allies was that seventy ships of the line and about thirty frigates and brigantines should assemble in the Channel under the command of Killegrew and Delaval, the two new Lords of the English Admiralty, and should convoy the Smyrna fleet, as it was popularly called, beyond the limits within which any danger could be apprehended from the Brest squadron. The greater part of the armament might then return to guard the Channel, while Rooke, with twenty sail, might accompany the trading vessels and might protect them against the squadron which lay at Toulon. The plan of the French government was that the Brest squadron under Tourville and the Toulon squadron under Estrees should meet in the neighbourhood of the Straits of Gibraltar, and should there lie in wait for the booty.

Which plan was the better conceived may be doubted. Which was the better executed is a question which admits of no doubt. The whole French navy, whether in the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean, was moved by one will. The navy of England and the navy of the United Provinces were subject to different authorities; and, both in England and in the United Provinces, the power was divided and subdivided to such an extent that no single person was pressed by a heavy responsibility. The spring came. The merchants loudly complained that they had already lost more by delay than they could hope to gain by the most successful voyage; and still the ships of war were not half manned or half provisioned. The Amsterdam squadron did not arrive on our coast till late in April; the Zealand squadron not till the middle of May. 453 It was June before the immense fleet, near five hundred sail, lost sight of the cliffs of England.

Tourville was already on the sea, and was steering southward. But Killegrew and Delaval were so negligent or so unfortunate that they had no intelligence of his movements. They at first took it for granted that he was still lying in the port of Brest. Then they heard a rumour that some shipping had been seen to the northward; and they supposed that he was taking advantage of their absence to threaten the coast of Devonshire. It never seems to have occurred to them as possible that he might have effected a junction with the Toulon squadron, and might be impatiently waiting for his prey in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar. They therefore, on the sixth of June, having convoyed the Smyrna fleet about two hundred miles beyond Ushant, announced their intention to part company with Rooke. Rooke expostulated, but to no purpose. It was necessary for him to submit, and to proceed with his twenty men of war to the Mediterranean, while his superiors, with the rest of the armament, returned to the Channel.

It was by this time known in England that Tourville had stolen out of Brest, and was hastening to join Estrees. The return of Killegrew and Delaval therefore excited great alarm. A swift sailing vessel was instantly despatched to warn Rooke of his danger; but the warning never reached him. He ran before a fair wind to Cape Saint Vincent; and there he learned that some French ships were lying in the neighbouring Bay of Lagos. The first information which he received led him to believe that they were few in number; and so dexterously did they conceal their strength that, till they were within half an hour's sail, he had no suspicion that he was opposed to the whole maritime strength of a great kingdom. To contend against fourfold odds would have been madness. It was much that he was able to save his squadron from titter destruction. He exerted all his skill. Two or three Dutch men of war, which were in the rear, courageously sacrificed themselves to save the fleet. With the rest of the armament, and with about sixty merchant ships, Rooke got safe to Madeira and thence to Cork. But more than three hundred of the vessels which he had convoyed were scattered over the ocean. Some escaped to Ireland; some to Corunna; some to Lisbon; some to Cadiz; some were captured, and more destroyed. A few, which had taken shelter under the rock of Gibraltar, and were pursued thither by the enemy, were sunk when it was found that they could not be defended. Others perished in the same manner under the batteries of Malaga. The gain to the French seems not to have been great; but the loss to England and Holland was immense. 454

Never within the memory of man had there been in the City a day of more gloom and agitation than that on which the news of the encounter in the Bay of Lagos arrived. Many merchants, an eyewitness said, went away from the Royal Exchange, as pale as if they had received sentence of death. A deputation from the merchants who had been sufferers by this great disaster went up to the Queen with an address representing their grievances. They were admitted to the Council Chamber, where she was seated at the head of the Board. She directed Somers to reply to them in her name; and he addressed to them a speech well calculated to soothe their irritation. Her Majesty, he said, felt for them from her heart; and she had already appointed a Committee of the Privy Council to inquire into the cause of the late misfortune, and to consider of the best means of preventing similar misfortunes in time to come. 455 This answer gave so much satisfaction that the Lord Mayor soon came to the palace to thank the Queen for her goodness, to assure her that, through all vicissitudes, London would be true to her and her consort, and to inform her that, severely as the late calamity had been felt by many great commercial houses, the Common Council had unanimously resolved to advance whatever might be necessary for the support of the government. 456

The ill humour which the public calamities naturally produced was inflamed by every factious artifice. Never had the Jacobite pamphleteers been so savagely scurrilous as during this unfortunate summer. The police was consequently more active than ever in seeking for the dens from which so much treason proceeded. With great difficulty and after long search the most important of all the unlicensed presses was discovered. This press belonged to a Jacobite named William Anderton, whose intrepidity and fanaticism marked him out as fit to be employed on services from which prudent men and scrupulous men shrink. During two years he had been watched by the agents of the government; but where he exercised his craft was an impenetrable mystery. At length he was tracked to a house near Saint James's Street, where he was known by a feigned name, and where he passed for a working jeweller. A messenger of the press went thither with several assistants, and found Anderton's wife and mother posted as sentinels at the door. The women knew the messenger, rushed on him, tore his hair, and cried out "Thieves" and "Murder." The alarm was thus given to Anderton. He concealed the instruments of his calling, came forth with an assured air, and bade defiance to the messenger, the Censor, the Secretary, and Little Hooknose himself. After a struggle he was secured. His room was searched; and at first sight no evidence of his guilt appeared. But behind the bed was soon found a door which opened into a dark closet. The closet contained a press, types and heaps of newly printed papers. One of these papers, entitled Remarks on the Present Confederacy and the Late Revolution, is perhaps the most frantic of all the Jacobite libels. In this tract the Prince of Orange is gravely accused of having ordered fifty of his wounded English soldiers to be burned alive. The governing principle of his whole conduct, it is said, is not vainglory, or ambition, or avarice, but a deadly hatred of Englishmen and a desire to make them miserable. The nation is vehemently adjured, on peril of incurring the severest judgments, to rise up and free itself from this plague, this curse, this tyrant, whose depravity makes it difficult to believe that he can have been procreated by a human pair. Many copies were also found of another paper, somewhat less ferocious but perhaps more dangerous, entitled A French Conquest neither desirable nor practicable. In this tract also the people are exhorted to rise in insurrection. They are assured that a great part of the army is with them. The forces of the Prince of Orange will melt away; he will be glad to make his escape; and a charitable hope is sneeringly expressed that it may not be necessary to do him any harm beyond sending him back to Loo, where he may live surrounded by luxuries for which the English have paid dear.

The government, provoked and alarmed by the virulence of the Jacobite pamphleteers, determined to make Anderton an example. He was indicted for high treason, and brought to the bar of the Old Bailey. Treby, now Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Powell, who had honourably distinguished himself on the day of the trial of the bishops, were on the Bench. It is unfortunate that no detailed report of the evidence has come down to us, and that we are forced to content ourselves with such fragments of information as can be collected from the contradictory narratives of writers evidently partial, intemperate and dishonest. The indictment, however, is extant; and the overt acts which it imputes to the prisoner undoubtedly amount to high treason. 457 To exhort the subjects of the realm to rise up and depose the King by force, and to add to that exhortation the expression, evidently ironical, of a hope that it may not be necessary to inflict on him any evil worse than banishment, is surely an offence which the least courtly lawyer will admit to be within the scope of the statute of Edward the Third. On this point indeed there seems to have been no dispute, either at the trial or subsequently.

The prisoner denied that he had printed the libels. On this point it seems reasonable that, since the evidence has not come down to us, we should give credit to the judges and the jury who heard what the witnesses had to say.

One argument with which Anderton had been furnished by his advisers, and which, in the Jacobite pasquinades of that time, is represented as unanswerable, was that, as the art of printing had been unknown in the reign of Edward the Third, printing could not be an overt act of treason under a statute of that reign. The judges treated this argument very lightly; and they were surely justified in so treating it. For it is an argument which would lead to the conclusion that it could not be an overt act of treason to behead a King with a guillotine or to shoot him with a Minie rifle.

It was also urged in Anderton's favour,—and this was undoubtedly an argument well entitled to consideration,—that a distinction ought to be made between the author of a treasonable paper and the man who merely printed it. The former could not pretend that he had not understood the meaning of the words which he had himself selected. But to the latter those words might convey no idea whatever. The metaphors, the allusions, the sarcasms, might be far beyond his comprehension; and, while his hands were busy among the types, his thoughts might be wandering to things altogether unconnected with the manuscript which was before him. It is undoubtedly true that it may be no crime to print what it would be a great crime to write. But this is evidently a matter concerning which no general rule can be laid down. Whether Anderton had, as a mere mechanic, contributed to spread a work the tendency of which he did not suspect, or had knowingly lent his help to raise a rebellion, was a question for the jury; and the jury might reasonably infer from his change of his name, from the secret manner in which he worked, from the strict watch kept by his wife and mother, and from the fury with which, even in the grasp of the messengers, he railed at the government, that he was not the unconscious tool, but the intelligent and zealous accomplice of traitors. The twelve, after passing a considerable time in deliberation, informed the Court that one of them entertained doubts. Those doubts were removed by the arguments of Treby and Powell; and a verdict of Guilty was found.

The fate of the prisoner remained during sometime in suspense. The Ministers hoped that he might be induced to save his own neck at the expense of the necks of the pamphleteers who had employed him. But his natural courage was kept up by spiritual stimulants which the nonjuring divines well understood how to administer. He suffered death with fortitude, and continued to revile the government to the last. The Jacobites clamoured loudly against the cruelty of the judges who had tried him and of the Queen who had left him for execution, and, not very consistently, represented him at once as a poor ignorant artisan who was not aware of the nature and tendency of the act for which he suffered, and as a martyr who had heroically laid down his life for the banished King and the persecuted Church. 458

The Ministers were much mistaken if they flattered themselves that the fate of Anderton would deter others from imitating his example. His execution produced several pamphlets scarcely less virulent than those for which he had suffered. Collier, in what he called Remarks on the London Gazette, exulted with cruel joy over the carnage of Landen, and the vast destruction of English property on the coast of Spain. 459 Other writers did their best to raise riots among the labouring people. For the doctrine of the Jacobites was that disorder, in whatever place or in whatever way it might begin, was likely to end in a Restoration. A phrase which, without a commentary, may seem to be mere nonsense, but which was really full of meaning, was often in their mouths at this time, and was indeed a password by which the members of the party recognised each other: "Box it about; it will come to my father." The hidden sense of this gibberish was, "Throw the country into confusion; it will be necessary at last to have recourse to King James." 460 Trade was not prosperous; and many industrious men were out of work. Accordingly songs addressed to the distressed classes were composed by the malecontent street poets. Numerous copies of a ballad exhorting the weavers to rise against the government were discovered in the house of that Quaker who had printed James's Declaration. 461 Every art was used for the purpose of exciting discontent in a much more formidable body of men, the sailors; and unhappily the vices of the naval administration furnished the enemies of the State with but too good a choice of inflammatory topics. Some seamen deserted; some mutinied; then came executions; and then came more ballads and broadsides representing those executions as barbarous murders. Reports that the government had determined to defraud its defenders of their hard earned pay were circulated with so much effect that a great crowd of women from Wapping and Rotherhithe besieged Whitehall, clamouring for what was due to their husbands. Mary had the good sense and good nature to order four of those importunate petitioners to be admitted into the room where she was holding a Council. She heard their complaints, and herself assured them that the rumour which had alarmed them was unfounded. 462 By this time Saint Bartholomew's day drew near; and the great annual fair, the delight of idle apprentices and the horror of Puritanical Aldermen, was opened in Smithfield with the usual display of dwarfs, giants, and dancing dogs, the man that ate fire, and the elephant that loaded and fired a musket. But of all the shows none proved so attractive as a dramatic performance which, in conception, though doubtless not in execution, seems to have borne much resemblance to those immortal masterpieces of humour in which Aristophanes held up Cleon and Lamachus to derision. Two strollers personated Killegrew and Delaval. The Admirals were represented as flying with their whole fleet before a few French privateers, and taking shelter under the grins of the Tower. The office of Chorus was performed by a Jackpudding who expressed very freely his opinion of the naval administration. Immense crowds flocked to see this strange farce. The applauses were loud; the receipts were great; and the mountebanks, who had at first ventured to attack only the unlucky and unpopular Board of Admiralty, now, emboldened by impunity and success, and probably prompted and rewarded by persons of much higher station than their own, began to cast reflections on other departments of the government. This attempt to revive the license of the Attic Stage was soon brought to a close by the appearance of a strong body of constables who carried off the actors to prison. 463 Meanwhile the streets of London were every night strewn with seditious handbills. At all the taverns the zealots of hereditary right were limping about with glasses of wine and punch at their lips. This fashion had just come in; and the uninitiated wondered much that so great a number of jolly gentlemen should have suddenly become lame. But, those who were in the secret knew that the word Limp was a consecrated word, that every one of the four letters which composed it was the initial of an august name, and that the loyal subject who limped while he drank was taking off his bumper to Lewis, James, Mary, and the Prince. 464

It was not only in the capital that the Jacobites, at this time, made a great display of their wit. They mustered strong at Bath, where the Lord President Caermarthen was trying to recruit his feeble health. Every evening they met, as they phrased it, to serenade the Marquess. In other words they assembled under the sick man's window, and there sang doggrel lampoons on him. 465

It is remarkable that the Lord President, at the very time at which he was insulted as a Williamite at Bath, was considered as a stanch Jacobite at Saint Germains. How he came to be so considered is a most perplexing question. Some writers are of opinion that he, like Shrewsbury, Russell, Godolphin and Marlborough, entered into engagements with one king while eating the bread of the other. But this opinion does not rest on sufficient proofs. About the treasons of Shrewsbury, of Russell, of Godolphin and of Marlborough, we have a great mass of evidence, derived from various sources, and extending over several years. But all the information which we possess about Caermarthen's dealings with James is contained in a single short paper written by Melfort on the sixteenth of October 1693. From that paper it is quite clear that some intelligence had reached the banished King and his Ministers which led them to regard Caermarthen as a friend. But there is no proof that they ever so regarded him, either before that day or after that day. 466 On the whole, the most probable explanation of this mystery seems to be that Caermarthen had been sounded by some Jacobite emissary much less artful than himself, and had, for the purpose of getting at the bottom of the new scheme of policy devised by Middleton, pretended to be well disposed to the cause of the banished King, that an exaggerated account of what had passed had been sent to Saint Germains, and that there had been much rejoicing there at a conversion which soon proved to have been feigned. It seems strange that such a conversion should even for a moment have been thought sincere. It was plainly Caermarthen's interest to stand by the sovereigns in possession. He was their chief minister. He could not hope to be the chief minister of James. It can indeed hardly be supposed that the political conduct of a cunning old man, insatiably ambitious and covetous, was much influenced by personal partiality. But, if there were any person to whom Caermarthen was partial, that person was undoubtedly Mary. That he had seriously engaged in a plot to depose her, at the risk of his head if he failed, and with the certainty of losing immense power and wealth if he succeeded, was a story too absurd for any credulity but the credulity of exiles.

Caermarthen had indeed at that moment peculiarly strong reasons for being satisfied with the place which he held in the counsels of William and Mary. There is but too strong reason to believe that he was then accumulating unlawful gain with a rapidity unexampled even in his experience.

The contest between the two East India Companies was, during the autumn of 1693, fiercer than ever. The House of Commons, finding the Old Company obstinately averse to all compromise, had, a little before the close of the late session, requested the King to give the three years' warning prescribed by the Charter. Child and his fellows now began to be seriously alarmed. They expected every day to receive the dreaded notice. Nay, they were not sure that their exclusive privilege might not be taken away without any notice at all; for they found that they had, by inadvertently omitting to pay the tax lately imposed on their stock at the precise time fixed by law, forfeited their Charter; and, though it would, in ordinary circumstances, have been thought cruel in the government to take advantage of such a slip, the public was not inclined to allow the Old Company any thing more than the strict letter of the bond. Every thing was lost if the Charter were not renewed before the meeting of Parliament. There can be little doubt that the proceedings of the corporation were still really directed by Child. But he had, it should seem, perceived that his unpopularity had injuriously affected the interests which were under his care, and therefore did not obtrude himself on the public notice. His place was ostensibly filled by his near kinsman Sir Thomas Cook, one of the greatest merchants of London, and Member of Parliament for the borough of Colchester. The Directors placed at Cook's absolute disposal all the immense wealth which lay in their treasury; and in a short time near a hundred thousand pounds were expended in corruption on a gigantic scale. In what proportions this enormous sum was distributed among the great men at Whitehall, and how much of it was embezzled by intermediate agents, is still a mystery. We know with certainty however that thousands went to Seymour and thousands to Caermarthen.

The effect of these bribes was that the Attorney General received orders to draw up a charter regranting the old privileges to the old Company. No minister, however, could, after what had passed in Parliament, venture to advise the Crown to renew the monopoly without conditions. The Directors were sensible that they had no choice, and reluctantly consented to accept the new Charter on terms substantially the same with those which the House of Commons had sanctioned.

It is probable that, two years earlier, such a compromise would have quieted the feud which distracted the City. But a long conflict, in which satire and calumny had not been spared, had heated the minds of men. The cry of Dowgate against Leadenhall Street was louder than ever. Caveats were entered; petitions were signed; and in those petitions a doctrine which had hitherto been studiously kept in the background was boldly affirmed. While it was doubtful on which side the royal prerogative would be used, that prerogative had not been questioned. But as soon as it appeared that the Old Company was likely to obtain a regrant of the monopoly under the Great Seal, the New Company began to assert with vehemence that no monopoly could be created except by Act of Parliament. The Privy Council, over which Caermarthen presided, after hearing the matter fully argued by counsel on both sides, decided in favour of the Old Company, and ordered the Charter to be sealed. 467

The autumn was by this time far advanced, and the armies in the Netherlands had gone into quarters for the winter. On the last day of October William landed in England. The Parliament was about to meet; and he had every reason to expect a session even more stormy than the last. The people were discontented, and not without cause. The year had been every where disastrous to the allies, not only on the sea and in the Low Countries, but also in Servia, in Spain, in Italy, and in Germany. The Turks had compelled the generals of the Empire to raise the siege of Belgrade. A newly created Marshal of France, the Duke of Noailles, had invaded Catalonia and taken the fortress of Rosas. Another newly created Marshal, the skilful and valiant Catinat, had descended from the Alps on Piedmont, and had, at Marsiglia, gained a complete victory over the forces of the Duke of Savoy. This battle is memorable as the first of a long series of battles in which the Irish troops retrieved the honour lost by misfortunes and misconduct in domestic war. Some of the exiles of Limerick showed, on that day, under the standard of France, a valour which distinguished them among many thousands of brave men. It is remarkable that on the same day a battalion of the persecuted and expatriated Huguenots stood firm amidst the general disorder round the standard of Savoy, and fell fighting desperately to the last.

The Duke of Lorges had marched into the Palatinate, already twice devastated, and had found that Turenne and Duras had left him something to destroy. Heidelberg, just beginning to rise again from its ruins, was again sacked, the peaceable citizens butchered, their wives and daughters foully outraged. The very choirs of the churches were stained with blood; the pyxes and crucifixes were torn from the altars; the tombs of the ancient Electors were broken open; the corpses, stripped of their cerecloths and ornaments, were dragged about the streets. The skull of the father of the Duchess of Orleans was beaten to fragments by the soldiers of a prince among the ladies of whose splendid Court she held the foremost place.

And yet a discerning eye might have perceived that, unfortunate as the confederates seemed to have been, the advantage had really been on their side. The contest was quite as much a financial as a military contest. The French King had, some months before, said that the last piece of gold would carry the day; and he now began painfully to feel the truth of the saying. England was undoubtedly hard pressed by public burdens; but still she stood up erect. France meanwhile was fast sinking. Her recent efforts had been too much for her strength, and had left her spent and unnerved. Never had her rulers shown more ingenuity in devising taxes or more severity in exacting them; but by no ingenuity, by no severity, was it possible to raise the sums necessary for another such campaign as that of 1693. In England the harvest had been abundant. In France the corn and the wine had again failed. The people, as usual, railed at the government. The government, with shameful ignorance or more shameful dishonesty, tried to direct the public indignation against the dealers in grain. Decrees appeared which seemed to have been elaborately framed for the purpose of turning dearth into famine. The nation was assured that there was no reason for uneasiness, that there was more than a sufficient supply of food, and that the scarcity had been produced by the villanous arts of misers, who locked up their stores in the hope of making enormous gains. Commissioners were appointed to inspect the granaries, and were empowered to send to market all the corn that was not necessary for the consumption of the proprietors. Such interference of course increased the suffering which it was meant to relieve. But in the midst of the general distress there was an artificial plenty in one favoured spot. The most arbitrary prince must always stand in some awe of an immense mass of human beings collected in the neighbourhood of his own palace. Apprehensions similar to those which had induced the Caesars to extort from Africa and Egypt the means of pampering the rabble of Rome induced Lewis to aggravate the misery of twenty provinces for the purpose of keeping one huge city in good humour. He ordered bread to be distributed in all the parishes of the capital at less than half the market price. The English Jacobites were stupid enough to extol the wisdom and humanity of this arrangement. The harvest, they said, had been good in England and bad in France; and yet the loaf was cheaper at Paris than in London; and the explanation was simple. The French had a sovereign whose heart was French, and who watched over his people with the solicitude of a father, while the English were cursed with a Dutch tyrant, who sent their corn to Holland. The truth was that a week of such fatherly government as that of Lewis would have raised all England in arms from Northumberland to Cornwall. That there might be abundance at Paris, the people of Normandy and Anjou were stuffing themselves with nettles. That there might be tranquillity at Paris, the peasantry were fighting with the bargemen and the troops all along the Loire and the Seine. Multitudes fled from those rural districts where bread cost five sous a pound to the happy place where bread was to be had for two sous a pound. It was necessary to drive the famished crowds back by force from the barriers, and to denounce the most terrible punishments against all who should not go home and starve quietly. 468

Lewis was sensible that the strength of France had been overstrained by the exertions of the last campaign. Even if her harvest and her vintage had been abundant, she would not have been able to do in 1694 what she had done in 1693; and it was utterly impossible that, in a season of extreme distress, she should again send into the field armies superior in number on every point to the armies of the coalition. New conquests were not to be expected. It would be much if the harassed and exhausted land, beset on all sides by enemies, should be able to sustain a defensive war without any disaster. So able a politician as the French King could not but feel that it would be for his advantage to treat with the allies while they were still awed by the remembrance of the gigantic efforts which his kingdom had just made, and before the collapse which had followed those efforts should become visible.

He had long been communicating through various channels with some members of the confederacy, and trying to induce them to separate themselves from the rest. But he had as yet made no overture tending to a general pacification. For he knew that there could be no general pacification unless he was prepared to abandon the cause of James, and to acknowledge the Prince and Princess of Orange as King and Queen of England. This was in truth the point on which every thing turned. What should be done with those great fortresses which Lewis had unjustly seized and annexed to his empire in time of peace, Luxemburg which overawed the Moselle, and Strasburg which domineered over the Upper Rhine; what should be done with the places which he had recently won in open war, Philipsburg, Mons and Namur, Huy and Charleroy; what barrier should be given to the States General; on what terms Lorraine should be restored to its hereditary Dukes; these were assuredly not unimportant questions. But the all important question was whether England was to be, as she had been under James, a dependency of France, or, as she was under William and Mary, a power of the first rank. If Lewis really wished for peace, he must bring himself to recognise the Sovereigns whom he had so often designated as usurpers. Could he bring himself to recognise them? His superstition, his pride, his regard for the unhappy exiles who were pining at Saint Germains, his personal dislike of the indefatigable and unconquerable adversary who had been constantly crossing his path during twenty years, were on one side; his interests and those of his people were on the other. He must have been sensible that it was not in his power to subjugate the English, that he must at last leave them to choose their government for themselves, and that what he must do at last it would be best to do soon. Yet he could not at once make up his mind to what was so disagreeable to him. He however opened a negotiation with the States General through the intervention of Sweden and Denmark, and sent a confidential emissary to confer in secret at Brussels with Dykvelt, who possessed the entire confidence of William. There was much discussion about matters of secondary importance; but the great question remained unsettled. The French agent used, in private conversation, expressions plainly implying that the government which he represented was prepared to recognise William and Mary; but no formal assurance could be obtained from him. Just at the same time the King of Denmark informed the allies that he was endeavouring to prevail on France not to insist on the restoration of James as an indispensable condition of peace, but did not say that his endeavours had as yet been successful. Meanwhile Avaux, who was now Ambassador at Stockholm, informed the King of Sweden, that, as the dignity of all crowned heads had been outraged in the person of James, the Most Christian King felt assured that not only neutral powers, but even the Emperor, would try to find some expedient which might remove so grave a cause of quarrel. The expedient at which Avaux hinted doubtless was that James should waive his rights, and that the Prince of Wales should be sent to England, bred a Protestant, adopted by William and Mary, and declared their heir. To such an arrangement William would probably have had no personal objection. But we may be assured that he never would have consented to make it a condition of peace with France. Who should reign in England was a question to be decided by England alone. 469

It might well be suspected that a negotiation conducted in this manner was merely meant to divide the confederates. William understood the whole importance of the conjuncture. He had not, it may be, the eye of a great captain for all the turns of a battle. But he had, in the highest perfection, the eye of a great statesman for all the turns of a war. That France had at length made overtures to him was a sufficient proof that she felt herself spent and sinking. That those overtures were made with extreme reluctance and hesitation proved that she had not yet come to a temper in which it was possible to have peace with her on fair terms. He saw that the enemy was beginning to give ground, and that this was the time to assume the offensive, to push forward, to bring up every reserve. But whether the opportunity should be seized or lost it did not belong to him to decide. The King of France might levy troops and exact taxes without any limit save that which the laws of nature impose on despotism. But the King of England could do nothing without the support of the House of Commons; and the House of Commons, though it had hitherto supported him zealously and liberally, was not a body on which he could rely. It had indeed got into a state which perplexed and alarmed all the most sagacious politicians of that age. There was something appalling in the union of such boundless power and such boundless caprice. The fate of the whole civilised world depended on the votes of the representatives of the English people; and there was no public man who could venture to say with confidence what those representatives might not be induced to vote within twenty-four hours. 470 William painfully felt that it was scarcely possible for a prince dependent on an assembly so violent at one time, so languid at another, to effect any thing great. Indeed, though no sovereign did so much to secure and to extend the power of the House of Commons, no sovereign loved the House of Commons less. Nor is this strange; for he saw that House at the very worst. He saw it when it had just acquired the power and had not yet acquired the gravity of a senate. In his letters to Heinsius he perpetually complains of the endless talking, the factious squabbling, the inconstancy, the dilatoriness, of the body which his situation made it necessary for him to treat with deference. His complaints were by no means unfounded; but he had not discovered either the cause or the cure of the evil.

The truth was that the change which the Revolution had made in the situation of the House of Commons had made another change necessary; and that other change had not yet taken place. There was parliamentary government; but there was no Ministry; and, without a Ministry, the working of a parliamentary government, such as ours, must always be unsteady and unsafe.

It is essential to our liberties that the House of Commons should exercise a control over all the departments of the executive administration. And yet it is evident that a crowd of five or six hundred people, even if they were intellectually much above the average of the members of the best Parliament, even if every one of them were a Burleigh, or a Sully, would be unfit for executive functions. It has been truly said that every large collection of human beings, however well educated, has a strong tendency to become a mob; and a country of which the Supreme Executive Council is a mob is surely in a perilous situation.

Happily a way has been found out in which the House of Commons can exercise a paramount influence over the executive government, without assuming functions such as can never be well discharged by a body so numerous and so variously composed. An institution which did not exist in the times, of the Plantagenets, of the Tudors or of the Stuarts, an institution not known to the law, an institution not mentioned in any statute, an institution of which such writers as De Lolme and Blackstone take no notice, began to exist a few years after the Revolution, grew rapidly into importance, became firmly established, and is now almost as essential a part of our polity as the Parliament itself. This institution is the Ministry.

The Ministry is, in fact, a committee of leading members of the two Houses. It is nominated by the Crown; but it consists exclusively of statesmen whose opinions on the pressing questions of the time agree, in the main, with the opinions of the majority of the House of Commons. Among the members of this committee are distributed the great departments of the administration. Each Minister conducts the ordinary business of his own office without reference to his colleagues. But the most important business of every office, and especially such business as is likely to be the subject of discussion in Parliament, is brought under the consideration of the whole Ministry. In Parliament the Ministers are bound to act as one man on all questions relating to the executive government. If one of them dissents from the rest on a question too important to admit of compromise, it is his duty to retire. While the Ministers retain the confidence of the parliamentary majority, that majority supports them against opposition, and rejects every motion which reflects on them or is likely to embarrass them. If they forfeit that confidence, if the parliamentary majority is dissatisfied with the way in which patronage is distributed, with the way in which the prerogative of mercy is used, with the conduct of foreign affairs, with the conduct of a war, the remedy is simple. It is not necessary that the Commons should take on themselves the business of administration, that they should request the Crown to make this man a bishop and that man a judge, to pardon one criminal and to execute another, to negotiate a treaty on a particular basis or to send an expedition to a particular place. They have merely to declare that they have ceased to trust the Ministry, and to ask for a Ministry which they can trust.

It is by means of Ministries thus constituted, and thus changed, that the English government has long been conducted in general conformity with the deliberate sense of the House of Commons, and yet has been wonderfully free from the vices which are characteristic of governments administered by large, tumultuous and divided assemblies. A few distinguished persons, agreeing in their general opinions, are the confidential advisers at once of the Sovereign and of the Estates of the Realm. In the closet they speak with the authority of men who stand high in the estimation of the representatives of the people. In Parliament they speak with the authority of men versed in great affairs and acquainted with all the secrets of the State. Thus the Cabinet has something of the popular character of a representative body; and the representative body has something of the gravity of a cabinet.

Sometimes the state of parties is such that no set of men who can be brought together possesses the full confidence and steady support of a majority of the House of Commons. When this is the case, there must be a weak Ministry; and there will probably be a rapid succession of weak Ministries. At such times the House of Commons never fails to get into a state which no person friendly to representative government can contemplate without uneasiness, into a state which may enable us to form some faint notion of the state of that House during the earlier years of the reign of William. The notion is indeed but faint; for the weakest Ministry has great power as a regulator of parliamentary proceedings; and in the earlier years of the reign of William there was no Ministry at all.

No writer has yet attempted to trace the progress of this institution, an institution indispensable to the harmonious working of our other institutions. The first Ministry was the work, partly of mere chance, and partly of wisdom, not however of that highest wisdom which is conversant with great principles of political philosophy, but of that lower wisdom which meets daily exigencies by daily expedients. Neither William nor the most enlightened of his advisers fully understood the nature and importance of that noiseless revolution,—for it was no less,—which began about the close of 1693, and was completed about the close of 1696. But every body could perceive that, at the close of 1693, the chief offices in the government were distributed not unequally between the two great parties, that the men who held those offices were perpetually caballing against each other, haranguing against each other, moving votes of censure on each other, exhibiting articles of impeachment against each other, and that the temper of the House of Commons was wild, ungovernable and uncertain. Everybody could perceive that at the close of 1696, all the principal servants of the Crown were Whigs, closely bound together by public and private ties, and prompt to defend one another against every attack, and that the majority of the House of Commons was arrayed in good order under those leaders, and had learned to move, like one man, at the word of command. The history of the period of transition and of the steps by which the change was effected is in a high degree curious and interesting.

The statesman who had the chief share in forming the first English Ministry had once been but too well known, but had long hidden himself from the public gaze, and had but recently emerged from the obscurity in which it had been expected that he would pass the remains of an ignominious and disastrous life. During that period of general terror and confusion which followed the flight of James, Sunderland had disappeared. It was high time; for of all the agents of the fallen government he was, with the single exception of Jeffreys, the most odious to the nation. Few knew that Sunderland's voice had in secret been given against the spoliation of Magdalene College and the prosecution of the Bishops; but all knew that he had signed numerous instruments dispensing with statutes, that he had sate in the High Commission, that he had turned or pretended to turn Papist, that he had, a few days after his apostasy, appeared in Westminster Hall as a witness against the oppressed fathers of the Church. He had indeed atoned for many crimes by one crime baser than all the rest. As soon as he had reason to believe that the day of deliverance and retribution was at hand, he had, by a most dexterous and seasonable treason, earned his pardon. During the three months which preceded the arrival of the Dutch armament in Torbay, he had rendered to the cause of liberty and of the Protestant religion services of which it is difficult to overrate either the wickedness or the utility. To him chiefly it was owing that, at the most critical moment in our history, a French army was not menacing the Batavian frontier and a French fleet hovering about the English coast. William could not, without staining his own honour, refuse to protect one whom he had not scrupled to employ. Yet it was no easy task even for William to save that guilty head from the first outbreak of public fury. For even those extreme politicians of both sides who agreed in nothing else agreed in calling for vengeance on the renegade. The Whigs hated him as the vilest of the slaves by whom the late government had been served, and the Jacobites as the vilest of the traitors by whom it had been overthrown. Had he remained in England, he would probably have died by the hand of the executioner, if indeed the executioner had not been anticipated by the populace. But in Holland a political refugee, favoured by the Stadtholder, might hope to live unmolested. To Holland Sunderland fled, disguised, it is said, as a woman; and his wife accompanied him. At Rotterdam, a town devoted to the House of Orange, he thought himself secure. But the magistrates were not in all the secrets of the Prince, and were assured by some busy Englishmen that His Highness would be delighted to hear of the arrest of the Popish dog, the Judas, whose appearance on Tower Hill was impatiently expected by all London. Sunderland was thrown into prison, and remained there till an order for his release arrived from Whitehall. He then proceeded to Amsterdam, and there changed his religion again. His second apostasy edified his wife as much as his first apostasy had edified his master. The Countess wrote to assure her pious friends in England that her poor dear lord's heart had at last been really touched by divine grace, and that, in spite of all her afflictions, she was comforted by seeing him so true a convert. We may, however, without any violation of Christian charity, suspect that he was still the same false, callous, Sunderland who, a few months before, had made Bonrepaux shudder by denying the existence of a God, and had, at the same time, won the heart of James by pretending to believe in transubstantiation. In a short time the banished man put forth an apology for his conduct. This apology, when examined, will be found to amount merely to a confession that he had committed one series of crimes in order to gain James's favour, and another series in order to avoid being involved in James's ruin. The writer concluded by announcing his intention to pass all the rest of his life in penitence and prayer. He soon retired from Amsterdam to Utrecht, and at Utrecht made himself conspicuous by his regular and devout attendance on the ministrations of Huguenot preachers. If his letters and those of his wife were to be trusted, he had done for ever with ambition. He longed indeed to be permitted to return from exile, not that he might again enjoy and dispense the favours of the Crown, not that his antechambers might again be filled by the daily swarm of suitors, but that he might see again the turf, the trees and the family pictures of his country seat. His only wish was to be suffered to end his troubled life at Althorpe; and he would be content to forfeit his head if ever he went beyond the palings of his park. 471

While the House of Commons, which had been elected during the vacancy of the throne, was busily engaged in the work of proscription, he could not venture to show himself in England. But when that assembly had ceased to exist, he thought himself safe. He returned a few days after the Act of Grace had been laid on the table of the Lords. From the benefit of that Act he was by name excluded; but he well knew that he had now nothing to fear. He went privately to Kensington, was admitted into the closet, had an audience which lasted two hours, and then retired to his country house. 472

During many months be led a secluded life, and had no residence in London. Once in the spring of 1692, to the great astonishment of the public, he showed his face in the circle at Court, and was graciously received. 473 He seems to have been afraid that he might, on his reappearance in Parliament, receive some marked affront. He therefore, very prudently, stole down to Westminster, in the dead time of the year, on a day to which the Houses stood adjourned by the royal command, and on which they met merely for the purpose of adjourning again. Sunderland had just time to present himself, to take the oaths, to sign the declaration against transubstantiation, and to resume his seat. None of the few peers who were present had an opportunity of making any remark. 474 It was not till the year 1692 that he began to attend regularly. He was silent; but silent he had always been in large assemblies, even when he was at the zenith of power. His talents were not those of a public speaker. The art in which he surpassed all men was the art of whispering. His tact, his quick eye for the foibles of individuals, his caressing manners, his power of insinuation, and, above all, his apparent frankness, made him irresistible in private conversation. By means of these qualities he had governed James, and now aspired to govern William.

To govern William, indeed, was not easy. But Sunderland succeeded in obtaining such a measure of favour and influence as excited much surprise and some indignation. In truth, scarcely any mind was strong enough to resist the witchery of his talk and of his manners. Every man is prone to believe in the gratitude and attachment even of the most worthless persons on whom he has conferred great benefits. It can therefore hardly be thought strange that the most skilful of all flatterers should have been heard with favour, when he, with every outward sign of strong emotion, implored permission to dedicate all his faculties to the service of the generous protector to whom he owed property, liberty, life. It is not necessary, however, to suppose that the King was deceived. He may have thought, with good reason, that, though little confidence could be placed in Sunderland's professions, much confidence might be placed in Sunderland's situation; and the truth is that Sunderland proved, on the whole, a more faithful servant than a much less depraved man might have been. He did indeed make, in profound secresy, some timid overtures towards a reconciliation with James. But it may be confidently affirmed that, even had those overtures been graciously received,—and they appear to have been received very ungraciously,—the twice turned renegade would never have rendered any real service to the Jacobite cause. He well knew that he had done that which at Saint Germains must be regarded as inexpiable. It was not merely that he had been treacherous and ungrateful. Marlborough had been as treacherous and ungrateful; and Marlborough had been pardoned. But Marlborough had not been guilty of the impious hypocrisy of counterfeiting the signs of conversion. Marlborough had not pretended to be convinced by the arguments of the Jesuits, to be touched by divine grace, to pine for union with the only true Church. Marlborough had not, when Popery was in the ascendant, crossed himself, shrived himself, done penance, taken the communion in one kind, and, as soon as a turn of fortune came, apostatized back again, and proclaimed to all the world that, when he knelt at the confessional and received the host, he was merely laughing at the King and the priests. The crime of Sunderland was one which could never be forgiven by James; and a crime which could never be forgiven by James was, in some sense, a recommendation to William. The Court, nay, the Council, was full of men who might hope to prosper if the banished King were restored. But Sunderland had left himself no retreat. He had broken down all the bridges behind him. He had been so false to one side that he must of necessity be true to the other. That he was in the main true to the government which now protected him there is no reason to doubt; and, being true, he could not but be useful. He was, in some respects, eminently qualified to be at that time an adviser of the Crown. He had exactly the talents and the knowledge which William wanted. The two together would have made up a consummate statesman. The master was capable of forming and executing large designs, but was negligent of those small arts in which the servant excelled. The master saw farther off than other men; but what was near no man saw so clearly as the servant. The master, though profoundly versed in the politics of the great community of nations, never thoroughly understood the politics of his own kingdom. The servant was perfectly well informed as to the temper and the organization of the English factions, and as to the strong and weak parts of the character of every Englishman of note.

Early in 1693, it was rumoured that Sunderland was consulted on all important questions relating to the internal administration of the realm; and the rumour became stronger when it was known that he had come up to London in the autumn before the meeting of Parliament and that he had taken a large mansion near Whitehall. The coffeehouse politicians were confident that he was about to hold some high office. As yet, however, he had the wisdom to be content with the reality of power, and to leave the show to others. 475

His opinion was that, as long as the King tried to balance the two great parties against each other, and to divide his favour equally between them, both would think themselves ill used, and neither would lend to the government that hearty and steady support which was now greatly needed. His Majesty must make up his mind to give a marked preference to one or the other; and there were three weighty reasons for giving the preference to the Whigs.

In the first place, the Whigs were on principle attached to the reigning dynasty. In their view the Revolution had been, not merely necessary, not merely justifiable, but happy and glorious. It had been the triumph of their political theory. When they swore allegiance to William, they swore without scruple or reservation; and they were so far from having any doubt about his title that they thought it the best of all titles. The Tories, on the other hand, very generally disapproved of that vote of the Convention which had placed him on the throne. Some of them were at heart Jacobites, and had taken the oath of allegiance to him only that they might be able to injure him. Others, though they thought it their duty to obey him as King in fact, denied that he was King by right, and, if they were loyal to him, were loyal without enthusiasm. There could, therefore, be little doubt on which of the two parties it would be safer for him to rely.

In the second place, as to the particular matter on which his heart was at present set, the Whigs were, as a body, prepared to support him strenuously, and the Tories were, as a body, inclined to thwart him. The minds of men were at this time much occupied by the question, in what way the war ought to be carried on. To that question the two parties returned very different answers. An opinion had during many months been growing among the Tories that the policy of England ought to be strictly insular; that she ought to leave the defence of Flanders and the Rhine to the States General, the House of Austria and the Princes of the Empire; that she ought to carry on hostilities with vigour by sea, but to keep up only such an army as might, with the help of the militia, be sufficient to repel an invasion. It was plain that, if this system were adopted, there might be an immediate reduction of the taxes which pressed most heavily on the nation. But the Whigs maintained that this relief would be dearly purchased. Many thousands of brave English soldiers were now in Flanders. Yet the allies had not been able to prevent the French from taking Mons in 1691, Namur in 1692, Charleroy in 1693. If the English troops were withdrawn, it was certain that Ostend, Ghent, Liege, Brussels would fall. The German Princes would hasten to make peace, each for himself. The Spanish Netherlands would probably be annexed to the French monarchy. The United Provinces would be again in as great peril as in 1672, and would accept whatever terms Lewis might be pleased to dictate. In a few months, he would be at liberty to put forth his whole strength against our island. Then would come a struggle for life and death. It might well be hoped that we should be able to defend our soil even against such a general and such an army as had won the battle of Landen. But the fight must be long and hard. How many fertile counties would be turned into deserts, how many flourishing towns would be laid in ashes, before the invaders were destroyed or driven out! One triumphant campaign in Kent and Middlesex would do more to impoverish the nation than ten disastrous campaigns in Brabant. It is remarkable that this dispute between the two great factions was, during seventy years, regularly revived as often as our country was at war with France. That England ought never to attempt great military operations on the Continent continued to be a fundamental article of the creed of the Tories till the French Revolution produced a complete change in their feelings. 476 As the chief object of William was to open the campaign of 1694 in Flanders with an immense display of force, it was sufficiently clear to whom he must look for assistance.

In the third place, the Whigs were the stronger party in Parliament. The general election of 1690, indeed, had not been favourable to them. They had been, for a time, a minority; but they had ever since been constantly gaining ground; they were now in number a full half of the Lower House; and their effective strength was more than proportioned to their number; for in energy, alertness and discipline, they were decidedly superior to their opponents. Their organization was not indeed so perfect as it afterwards became; but they had already begun to look for guidance to a small knot of distinguished men, which was long afterwards widely known by the name of the junto. There is, perhaps, no parallel in history, ancient or modern, to the authority exercised by this council, during twenty troubled years, over the Whig body. The men who acquired that authority in the days of William and Mary continued to possess it, without interruption, in office and out of office, till George the First was on the throne.

One of these men was Russell. Of his shameful dealings with the Court of Saint Germains we possess proofs which leave no room for doubt. But no such proofs were laid before the world till he had been many years dead. If rumours of his guilt got abroad, they were vague and improbable; they rested on no evidence; they could be traced to no trustworthy author; and they might well be regarded by his contemporaries as Jacobite calumnies. What was quite certain was that he sprang from an illustrious house, which had done and suffered great things for liberty and for the Protestant religion, that he had signed the invitation of the thirtieth of June, that he had landed with the Deliverer at Torbay, that he had in Parliament, on all occasions, spoken and voted as a zealous Whig, that he had won a great victory, that he had saved his country from an invasion, and that, since he had left the Admiralty, every thing had gone wrong. We cannot therefore wonder that his influence over his party should have been considerable.

But the greatest man among the members of the junto, and, in some respects, the greatest man of that age, was the Lord Keeper Somers. He was equally eminent as a jurist and as a politician, as an orator and as a writer. His speeches have perished; but his State papers remain, and are models of terse, luminous, and dignified eloquence. He had left a great reputation in the House of Commons, where he had, during four years, been always heard with delight; and the Whig members still looked up to him as their leader, and still held their meetings under his roof. In the great place to which he had recently been promoted, he had so borne himself that, after a very few months, even faction and envy had ceased to murmur at his elevation. In truth, he united all the qualities of a great judge, an intellect comprehensive, quick and acute, diligence, integrity, patience, suavity. In council, the calm wisdom which he possessed in a measure rarely found among men of parts so quick and of opinions so decided as his, acquired for him the authority of an oracle. The superiority of his powers appeared not less clearly in private circles. The charm of his conversation was heightened by the frankness with which he poured out his thoughts. 477 His good temper and his good breeding never failed. His gesture, his look, his tones were expressive of benevolence. His humanity was the more remarkable, because he had received from nature a body such as is generally found united with a peevish and irritable mind. His life was one long malady; his nerves were weak; his complexion was livid; his face was prematurely wrinkled. Yet his enemies could not pretend that he had ever once, during a long and troubled public life, been goaded, even by sudden provocation, into vehemence inconsistent with the mild dignity of his character. All that was left to them was to assert that his disposition was very far from being so gentle as the world believed, that he was really prone to the angry passions, and that sometimes, while his voice was soft, and his words kind and courteous, his delicate frame was almost convulsed by suppressed emotion. It will perhaps be thought that this reproach is the highest of all eulogies.

The most accomplished men of those times have told us that there was scarcely any subject on which Somers was not competent to instruct and to delight. He had never travelled; and, in that age, an Englishman who had not travelled was generally thought incompetent to give an opinion on works of art. But connoisseurs familiar with the masterpieces of the Vatican and of the Florentine gallery allowed that the taste of Somers in painting and sculpture was exquisite. Philology was one of his favourite pursuits. He had traversed the whole vast range of polite literature, ancient and modern. He was at once a munificent and severely judicious patron of genius and learning. Locke owed opulence to Somers. By Somers Addison was drawn forth from a cell in a college. In distant countries the name of Somers was mentioned with respect and gratitude by great scholars and poets who had never seen his face. He was the benefactor of Leclerc. He was the friend of Filicaja. Neither political nor religious differences prevented him from extending his powerful protection to merit. Hickes, the fiercest and most intolerant of all the nonjurors, obtained, by the influence of Somers, permission to study Teutonic antiquities in freedom and safety. Vertue, a strict Roman Catholic, was raised by the discriminating and liberal patronage of Somers from poverty and obscurity to the first rank among the engravers of the age.

The generosity with which Somers treated his opponents was the more honourable to him because he was no waverer in politics. From the beginning to the end of his public life he was a steady Whig. His voice was indeed always raised, when his party was dominant in the State, against violent and vindictive counsels; but he never forsook his friends, even when their perverse neglect of his advice had brought them to the verge of ruin.

His powers of mind and his acquirements were not denied, even by his detractors. The most acrimonious Tories were forced to admit, with an ungracious snarl, which increased the value of their praise, that he had all the intellectual qualities of a great man, and that in him alone, among his contemporaries, brilliant eloquence and wit were to be found associated with the quiet and steady prudence which ensures success in life. It is a remarkable fact, that, in the foulest of all the many libels that were published against him, he was slandered under the name of Cicero. As his abilities could not be questioned, he was charged with irreligion and immorality. That he was heterodox all the country vicars and foxhunting squires firmly believed; but as to the nature and extent of his heterodoxy there were many different opinions. He seems to have been a Low Churchman of the school of Tillotson, whom he always loved and honoured; and he was, like Tillotson, called by bigots a Presbyterian, an Arian, a Socinian, a Deist, and an Atheist.

The private life of this great statesman and magistrate was malignantly scrutinised; and tales were told about his libertinism which went on growing till they became too absurd for the credulity even of party spirit. At last, long after he had been condemned to flannel and chicken broth, a wretched courtesan, who had probably never seen him except in the stage box at the theatre, when she was following her vocation below in a mask, published a lampoon in which she described him as the master of a haram more costly than the Great Turk's. There is, however, reason to believe that there was a small nucleus of truth round which this great mass of fiction gathered, and that the wisdom and selfcommand which Somers never wanted in the senate, on the judgment seat, at the council board, or in the society of wits, scholars and philosophers, were not always proof against female attractions. 478

Another director of the Whig party was Charles Montague. He was often, when he had risen to power, honours and riches, called an upstart by those who envied his success. That they should have called him so may seem strange; for few of the statesmen of his time could show such a pedigree as his. He sprang from a family as old as the Conquest; he was in the succession to an earldom, and was, by the paternal side, cousin of three earls. But he was the younger son of a younger brother; and that phrase had, ever since the time of Shakspeare and Raleigh, and perhaps before their time, been proverbially used to designate a person so poor as to be broken to the most abject servitude or ready for the most desperate adventure.

Charles Montague was early destined for the Church, was entered on the foundation of Westminster, and, after distinguishing himself there by skill in Latin versification, was sent up to Trinity College, Cambridge. At Cambridge the philosophy of Des Cartes was still dominant in the schools. But a few select spirits had separated from the crowd, and formed a fit audience round a far greater teacher. 479 Conspicuous among the youths of high promise who were proud to sit at the feet of Newton was the quick and versatile Montague. Under such guidance the young student made considerable proficiency in the severe sciences; but poetry was his favourite pursuit; and when the University invited her sons to celebrate royal marriages and funerals, he was generally allowed to have surpassed his competitors. His fame travelled to London; he was thought a clever lad by the wits who met at Will's, and the lively parody which he wrote, in concert with his friend and fellow student Prior, on Dryden's Hind and Panther, was received with great applause.

At this time all Montague's wishes pointed towards the Church. At a later period, when he was a peer with twelve thousand a year, when his villa on the Thames was regarded as the most delightful of all suburban retreats, when he was said to revel in Tokay from the Imperial cellar, and in soups made out of birds' nests brought from the Indian Ocean, and costing three guineas a piece, his enemies were fond of reminding him that there had been a time when he had eked out by his wits an income of barely fifty pounds, when he had been happy with a trencher of mutton chops and a flagon of ale from the College buttery, and when a tithe pig was the rarest luxury for which he had dared to hope. The Revolution came, and changed his whole scheme of life. He obtained, by the influence of Dorset, who took a peculiar pleasure in befriending young men of promise, a seat in the House of Commons. Still, during a few months, the needy scholar hesitated between politics and divinity. But it soon became clear that, in the new order of things, parliamentary ability must fetch a higher price than any other kind of ability; and he felt that in parliamentary ability he had no superior. He was in the very situation for which he was peculiarly fitted by nature; and during some years his life was a series of triumphs.

Of him, as of several of his contemporaries, especially of Mulgrave and of Sprat, it may be said that his fame has suffered from the folly of those editors who, down to our own time, have persisted in reprinting his rhymes among the works of the British poets. There is not a year in which hundreds of verses as good as any that he ever wrote are not sent in for the Newdigate prize at Oxford and for the Chancellor's medal at Cambridge. His mind had indeed great quickness and vigour, but not that kind of quickness and vigour which produces great dramas or odes; and it is most unjust to him that his loan of Honour and his Epistle on the Battle of the Boyne should be placed side by side with Comus and Alexander's Feast. Other eminent statesmen and orators, Walpole, Pulteney, Chatham, Fox, wrote poetry not better than his. But fortunately for them, their metrical compositions were never thought worthy to be admitted into any collection of our national classics.

It has long been usual to represent the imagination under the figure of a wing, and to call the successful exertions of the imagination flights. One poet is the eagle; another is the swan; a third modestly compares himself to the bee. But none of these types would have suited Montague. His genius may be compared to that pinion which, though it is too weak to lift the ostrich into the air, enables her, while she remains on the earth, to outrun hound, horse and dromedary. If the man who possesses this kind of genius attempts to ascend the heaven of invention, his awkward and unsuccessful efforts expose him to derision. But if he will be content to stay in the terrestrial region of business, he will find that the faculties which would not enable him to soar into a higher sphere will enable him to distance all his competitors in the lower. As a poet Montague could never have risen above the crowd. But in the House of Commons, now fast becoming supreme in the State, and extending its control over one executive department after another, the young adventurer soon obtained a place very different from the place which he occupies among men of letters. At thirty, he would gladly have given all his chances in life for a comfortable vicarage and a chaplain's scarf. At thirty-seven, he was First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and a Regent of the kingdom; and this elevation he owed not at all to favour, but solely to the unquestionable superiority of his talents for administration and debate.

The extraordinary ability with which, at the beginning of the year 1692, he managed the conference on the Bill for regulating Trials in cases of Treason, placed him at once in the first rank of parliamentary orators. On that occasion he was opposed to a crowd of veteran senators renowned for their eloquence, Halifax, Rochester, Nottingham, Mulgrave, and proved himself a match for them all. He was speedily seated at the Board of Treasury; and there the clearheaded and experienced Godolphin soon found that his young colleague was his master. When Somers had quitted the House of Commons, Montague had no rival there. Sir Thomas Littleton, once distinguished as the ablest debater and man of business among the Whig members, was content to serve under his junior. To this day we may discern in many parts of our financial and commercial system the marks of the vigorous intellect and daring spirit of Montague. His bitterest enemies were unable to deny that some of the expedients which he had proposed had proved highly beneficial to the nation. But it was said that these expedients were not devised by himself. He was represented, in a hundred pamphlets, as the daw in borrowed plumes. He had taken, it was affirmed, the hint of every one of his great plans from the writings or the conversation of some ingenious speculator. This reproach was, in truth, no reproach. We can scarcely expect to find in the same human being the talents which are necessary for the making of new discoveries in political science, and the talents which obtain the assent of divided and tumultuous assemblies to great practical reforms. To be at once an Adam Smith and a Pitt is scarcely possible. It is surely praise enough for a busy politician that he knows how to use the theories of others, that he discerns, among the schemes of innumerable projectors, the precise scheme which is wanted and which is practicable, that he shapes it to suit pressing circumstances and popular humours, that he proposes it just when it is most likely to be favourably received, that he triumphantly defends it against all objectors, and that he carries it into execution with prudence and energy; and to this praise no English statesman has a fairer claim than Montague.

It is a remarkable proof of his selfknowledge that, from the moment at which he began to distinguish himself in public life, he ceased to be a versifier. It does not appear that, after he became a Lord of the Treasury, he ever wrote a couplet, with the exception of a few well turned lines inscribed on a set of toasting glasses which were sacred to the most renowned Whig beauties of his time. He wisely determined to derive from the poetry of others a glory which he never would have derived from his own. As a patron of genius and learning he ranks with his two illustrious friends, Dorset and Somers. His munificence fully equalled theirs; and, though he was inferior to them in delicacy of taste, he succeeded in associating his name inseparably with some names which will last as long as our language.

Yet it must be acknowledged that Montague, with admirable parts and with many claims on the gratitude of his country, had great faults, and unhappily faults not of the noblest kind. His head was not strong enough to bear without giddiness the speed of his ascent and the height of his position. He became offensively arrogant and vain. He was too often cold to his old friends, and ostentatious in displaying his new riches. Above all, he was insatiably greedy of praise, and liked it best when it was of the coarsest and rankest quality. But, in 1693, these faults were less offensive than they became a few years later.

With Russell, Somers and Montague, was closely connected, during a quarter of a century a fourth Whig, who in character bore little resemblance to any of them. This was Thomas Wharton, eldest son of Philip Lord Wharton. Thomas Wharton has been repeatedly mentioned in the course of this narrative. But it is now time to describe him more fully. He was in his forty-seventh year, but was still a young man in constitution, in appearance and in manners. Those who hated him most heartily,—and no man was hated more heartily,—admitted that his natural parts were excellent, and that he was equally qualified for debate and for action. The history of his mind deserves notice; for it was the history of many thousands of minds. His rank and abilities made him so conspicuous that in him we are able to trace distinctly the origin and progress of a moral taint which was epidemic among his contemporaries.

He was born in the days of the Covenant, and was the heir of a covenanted house. His father was renowned as a distributor of Calvinistic tracts, and a patron of Calvinistic divines. The boy's first years were past amidst Geneva bands, heads of lank hair, upturned eyes, nasal psalmody, and sermons three hours long. Plays and poems, hunting and dancing, were proscribed by the austere discipline of his saintly family. The fruits of this education became visible, when, from the sullen mansion of Puritan parents, the hotblooded, quickwitted young patrician emerged into the gay and voluptuous London of the Restoration. The most dissolute cavaliers stood aghast at the dissoluteness of the emancipated precisian. He early acquired and retained to the last the reputation of being the greatest rake in England. Of wine indeed he never became the slave; and he used it chiefly for the purpose of making himself the master of his associates. But to the end of his long life the wives and daughters of his nearest friends were not safe from his licentious plots. The ribaldry of his conversation moved astonishment even in that age. To the religion of his country he offered, in the mere wantonness of impiety, insults too foul to be described. His mendacity and his effrontery passed into proverbs. Of all the liars of his time he was the most deliberate, the most inventive and the most circumstantial. What shame meant he did not seem to understand. No reproaches, even when pointed and barbed with the sharpest wit, appeared to give him pain. Great satirists, animated by a deadly personal aversion, exhausted all their strength in attacks upon him. They assailed him with keen invective; they assailed him with still keener irony; but they found that neither invective nor irony could move him to any thing but an unforced smile and a goodhumoured curse; and they at length threw down the lash, acknowledging that it was impossible to make him feel. That, with such vices, he should have played a great part in life, should have carried numerous elections against the most formidable opposition by his personal popularity, should have had a large following in Parliament, should have risen to the highest offices of the State, seems extraordinary. But he lived in times when faction was almost a madness; and he possessed in an eminent degree the qualities of the leader of a faction. There was a single tie which he respected. The falsest of mankind in all relations but one, he was the truest of Whigs. The religious tenets of his family he had early renounced with contempt; but to the politics of his family he stedfastly adhered through all the temptations and dangers of half a century. In small things and in great his devotion to his party constantly appeared. He had the finest stud in England; and his delight was to win plates from Tories. Sometimes when, in a distant county, it was fully expected that the horse of a High Church squire would be first on the course, down came, on the very eve of the race, Wharton's Careless, who had ceased to run at Newmarket merely for want of competitors, or Wharton's Gelding, for whom Lewis the Fourteenth had in vain offered a thousand pistoles. A man whose mere sport was of this description was not likely to be easily beaten in any serious contest. Such a master of the whole art of electioneering England had never seen. Buckinghamshire was his own especial province; and there he ruled without a rival. But he extended his care over the Whig interest in Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Wiltshire. Sometimes twenty, sometimes thirty, members of Parliament were named by him. As a canvasser he was irresistible. He never forgot a face that he had once seen. Nay, in the towns in which he wished to establish an interest, he remembered, not only the voters, but their families. His opponents were confounded by the strength of his memory and the affability of his deportment, and owned, that it was impossible to contend against a great man who called the shoemaker by his Christian name, who was sure that the butcher's daughter must be growing a fine girl, and who was anxious to know whether the blacksmith's youngest boy was breeched. By such arts as these he made himself so popular that his journeys to the Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions resembled royal progresses. The bells of every parish through which he passed were rung, and flowers were strewed along the road. It was commonly believed that, in the course of his life, he expended on his parliamentary interest not less than eighty thousand pounds, a sum which, when compared with the value of estates, must be considered as equivalent to more than three hundred thousand pounds in our time.

But the chief service which Wharton rendered to the Whig party was that of bringing in recruits from the young aristocracy. He was quite as dexterous a canvasser among the embroidered coats at the Saint James's Coffeehouse as among the leathern aprons at Wycombe and Aylesbury. He had his eye on every boy of quality who came of age; and it was not easy for such a boy to resist the arts of a noble, eloquent and wealthy flatterer, who united juvenile vivacity to profound art and long experience of the gay world. It mattered not what the novice preferred, gallantry or field sports, the dicebox or the bottle. Wharton soon found out the master passion, offered sympathy, advice and assistance, and, while seeming to be only the minister of his disciple's pleasures, made sure of his disciple's vote.

The party to whose interests Wharton, with such spirit and constancy, devoted his time, his fortune, his talents, his very vices, judged him, as was natural, far too leniently. He was widely known by the very undeserved appellation of Honest Tom. Some pious men, Burnet, for example, and Addison, averted their eyes from the scandal which he gave, and spoke of him, not indeed with esteem, yet with goodwill. A most ingenious and accomplished Whig, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, author of the Characteristics, described Wharton as the most mysterious of human beings, as a strange compound of best and worst, of private depravity and public virtue, and owned himself unable to understand how a man utterly without principle in every thing but politics should in politics be as true as steel. But that which, in the judgment of one faction, more than half redeemed all Wharton's faults, seemed to the other faction to aggravate them all. The opinion which the Tories entertained of him is expressed in a single line written after his death by the ablest man of that party; "He was the most universal villain that ever I knew." 480 Wharton's political adversaries thirsted for his blood, and repeatedly tried to shed it. Had he not been a man of imperturbable temper, dauntless courage and consummate skill in fence, his life would have been a short one. But neither anger nor danger ever deprived him of his presence of mind; he was an incomparable swordsman; and he had a peculiar way of disarming opponents which moved the envy of all the duellists of his time. His friends said that he had never given a challenge, that he had never refused one, that he had never taken a life, and yet that he had never fought without having his antagonist's life at his mercy. 481

The four men who have been described resembled each other so little that it may be thought strange that they should ever have been able to act in concert. They did, however, act in the closest concert during many years. They more than once rose and more than once fell together. But their union lasted till it was dissolved by death. Little as some of them may have deserved esteem, none of them can be accused of having been false to his brethren of the Junto.

While the great body of the Whigs was, under these able chiefs, arraying itself in order resembling that of a regular army, the Tories were in a state of an ill drilled and ill officered militia. They were numerous; and they were zealous; but they can hardly be said to have had, at this time, any chief in the House of Commons. The name of Seymour had once been great among them, and had not quite lost its influence. But, since he had been at the Board of Treasury, he had disgusted them by vehemently defending all that he had himself, when out of place, vehemently attacked. They had once looked up to the Speaker, Trevor; but his greediness, impudence and venality were now so notorious that all respectable gentlemen, of all shades of opinion, were ashamed to see him in the chair. Of the old Tory members Sir Christopher Musgrave alone had much weight. Indeed the real leaders of the party were two or three men bred in principles diametrically opposed to Toryism, men who had carried Whiggism to the verge of republicanism, and who had been considered not merely as Low Churchmen, but as more than half Presbyterians. Of these men the most eminent were two great Herefordshire squires, Robert Harley and Paul Foley.

The space which Robert Harley fills in the history of three reigns, his elevation, his fall, the influence which, at a great crisis, he exercised on the politics of all Europe, the close intimacy in which he lived with some of the greatest wits and poets of his time, and the frequent recurrence of his name in the works of Swift, Pope, Arbuthnot, and Prior, must always make him an object of interest. Yet the man himself was of all men the least interesting. There is indeed a whimsical contrast between the very ordinary qualities of his mind and the very extraordinary vicissitudes of his fortune.

He was the heir of a Puritan family. His father, Sir Edward Harley, had been conspicuous among the patriots of the Long parliament, had commanded a regiment under Essex, had, after the Restoration, been an active opponent of the Court, had supported the Exclusion Bill, had harboured dissenting preachers, had frequented meetinghouses, and had made himself so obnoxious to the ruling powers that at the time of the Western Insurrection, he had been placed under arrest, and his house had been searched for arms. When the Dutch army was marching from Torbay towards London, he and his eldest son Robert declared for the Prince of Orange and a free Parliament, raised a large body of horse, took possession of Worcester, and evinced their zeal against Popery by publicly breaking to pieces, in the High Street of that city, a piece of sculpture which to rigid precisians seemed idolatrous. Soon after the Convention became a Parliament, Robert Harley was sent up to Westminster as member for a Cornish borough. His conduct was such as might have been expected from his birth and education. He was a Whig, and indeed an intolerant and vindictive Whig. Nothing would satisfy him but a general proscription of the Tories. His name appears in the list of those members who voted for the Sacheverell clause; and, at the general election which took place in the spring of 1690, the party which he had persecuted made great exertions to keep him out of the House of Commons. A cry was raised that the Harleys were mortal enemies of the Church; and this cry produced so much effect that it was with difficulty that any of them could obtain a seat. Such was the commencement of the public life of a man whose name, a quarter of a century later, was inseparably coupled with the High Church in the acclamations of Jacobite mobs. 482

Soon, however, it began to be observed that in every division Harley was in the company of those gentlemen who held his political opinions in abhorrence; nor was this strange; for he affected the character of a Whig of the old pattern; and before the Revolution it had always been supposed that a Whig was a person who watched with jealousy every exertion of the prerogative, who was slow to loose the strings of the public purse, and who was extreme to mark the faults of the ministers of the Crown. Such a Whig Harley still professed to be. He did not admit that the recent change of dynasty had made any change in the duties of a representative of the people. The new government ought to be observed as suspiciously, checked as severely, and supplied as sparingly as the old one. Acting on these principles he necessarily found himself acting with men whose principles were diametrically opposed to his. He liked to thwart the King; they liked to thwart the usurper; the consequence was that, whenever there was an opportunity of thwarting William, the Roundhead stayed in the House or went into the lobby in company with the whole crowd of Cavaliers.

Soon Harley acquired the authority of a leader among those with whom, notwithstanding wide differences of opinion, he ordinarily voted. His influence in Parliament was indeed altogether out of proportion to his abilities. His intellect was both small and slow. He was unable to take a large view of any subject. He never acquired the art of expressing himself in public with fluency and perspicuity. To the end of his life he remained a tedious, hesitating and confused speaker. 483

He had none of the external graces of an orator. His countenance was heavy, his figure mean and somewhat deformed, and his gestures uncouth. Yet he was heard with respect. For, such as his mind was, it had been assiduously cultivated. His youth had been studious; and to the last he continued to love books and the society of men of genius and learning. Indeed he aspired to the character of a wit and a poet, and occasionally employed hours which should have been very differently spent in composing verses more execrable than the bellman's. 484 His time however was not always so absurdly wasted. He had that sort of industry and that sort of exactness which would have made him a respectable antiquary or King at Arms. His taste led him to plod among old records; and in that age it was only by plodding among old records that any man could obtain an accurate and extensive knowledge of the law of Parliament. Having few rivals in this laborious and unattractive pursuit, he soon began to be regarded as an oracle on questions of form and privilege. His moral character added not a little to his influence. He had indeed great vices; but they were not of a scandalous kind. He was not to be corrupted by money. His private life was regular. No illicit amour was imputed to him even by satirists. Gambling he held in aversion; and it was said that he never passed White's, then the favourite haunt of noble sharpers and dupes, without an exclamation of anger. His practice of flustering himself daily with claret was hardly considered as a fault by his contemporaries. His knowledge, his gravity and his independent position gained for him the ear of the House; and even his bad speaking was, in some sense, an advantage to him. For people are very loth to admit that the same man can unite very different kinds of excellence. It is soothing to envy to believe that what is splendid cannot be solid, that what is clear cannot be profound. Very slowly was the public brought to acknowledge that Mansfield was a great jurist, and that Burke was a great master of political science. Montague was a brilliant rhetorician, and, therefore, though he had ten times Harley's capacity for the driest parts of business, was represented by detractors as a superficial, prating pretender. But from the absence of show in Harley's discourses many people inferred that there must be much substance; and he was pronounced to be a deep read, deep thinking gentleman, not a fine talker, but fitter to direct affairs of state than all the fine talkers in the world. This character he long supported with that cunning which is frequently found in company with ambitious and unquiet mediocrity. He constantly had, even with his best friends, an air of mystery and reserve which seemed to indicate that he knew some momentous secret, and that his mind was labouring with some vast design. In this way he got and long kept a high reputation for wisdom. It was not till that reputation had made him an Earl, a Knight of the Garter, Lord High Treasurer of England, and master of the fate of Europe, that his admirers began to find out that he was really a dull puzzleheaded man. 485

Soon after the general election of 1690, Harley, generally voting with the Tories, began to turn Tory. The change was so gradual as to be almost imperceptible; but was not the less real. He early began to hold the Tory doctrine that England ought to confine herself to a maritime war. He early felt the true Tory antipathy to Dutchmen and to moneyed men. The antipathy to Dissenters, which was necessary to the completeness of the character, came much later. At length the transformation was complete; and the old haunter of conventicles became an intolerant High Churchman. Yet to the last the traces of his early breeding would now and then show themselves; and, while he acted after the fashion of Laud, he sometimes wrote in the style of Praise God Barebones. 486

Of Paul Foley we know comparatively little. His history, up to a certain point, greatly resembles that of Harley: but he appears to have been superior to Harley both in parts and in elevation of character. He was the son of Thomas Foley, a new man, but a. man of great merit, who, having begun life with nothing, had created a noble estate by ironworks, and who was renowned for his spotless integrity and his munificent charity. The Foleys were, like their neighbours the Harleys, Whigs and Puritans. Thomas Foley lived on terms of close intimacy with Baxter, in whose writings he is mentioned with warm eulogy. The opinions and the attachments of Paul Foley were at first those of his family. But be, like Harley, became, merely from the vehemence of his Whiggism, an ally of the Tories, and might, perhaps, like Harley, have been completely metamorphosed into a Tory, if the process of transmutation had not been interrupted by death. Foley's abilities were highly respectable, and had been improved by education. He was so wealthy that it was unnecessary for him to follow the law as a profession; but he had studied it carefully as a science. His morals were without stain; and the greatest fault which could be imputed to him was that he paraded his independence and disinterestedness too ostentatiously, and was so much afraid of being thought to fawn that he was always growling.

Another convert ought to be mentioned. Howe, lately the most virulent of the Whigs, had been, by the loss of his place, turned into one of the most virulent of the Tories. The deserter brought to the party which he had joined no weight of character, no capacity or semblance of capacity for great affairs, but much parliamentary ability of a low kind, much spite and much impudence. No speaker of that time seems to have had, in such large measure, both the power and the inclination to give pain.

The assistance of these men was most welcome to the Tory party; but it was impossible that they could, as yet, exercise over that party the entire authority of leaders. For they still called themselves Whigs, and generally vindicated their Tory votes by arguments grounded on Whig principles. 487

From this view of the state of parties in the House of Commons, it seems clear that Sunderland had good reason for recommending that the administration should be entrusted to the Whigs. The King, however, hesitated long before he could bring himself to quit that neutral position which he had long occupied between the contending parties. If one of those parties was disposed to question his title, the other was on principle hostile to his prerogative. He still remembered with bitterness the unreasonable and vindictive conduct of the Convention Parliament at the close of 1689 and the beginning of 1690; and he shrank from the thought of being entirely in the hands of the men who had obstructed the Bill of Indemnity, who had voted for the Sacheverell clause, who had tried to prevent him from taking the command of his army in Ireland, and who had called him an ungrateful tyrant merely because he would not be their slave and their hangman. He had once, by a bold and unexpected effort, freed himself from their yoke; and he was not inclined to put it on his neck again. He personally disliked Wharton and Russell. He thought highly of the capacity of Caermarthen, of the integrity of Nottingham, of the diligence and financial skill of Godolphin. It was only by slow degrees that the arguments of Sunderland, backed by the force of circumstances, overcame all objections.

On the seventh of November 1693 the Parliament met; and the conflict of parties instantly began. William from the throne pressed on the Houses the necessity of making a great exertion to arrest the progress of France on the Continent. During the last campaign, he said, she had, on every point, had a superiority of force; and it had therefore been found impossible to cope with her. His allies had promised to increase their armies; and he trusted that the Commons would enable him to do the same. 488

The Commons at their next sitting took the King's speech into consideration. The miscarriage of the Smyrna fleet was the chief subject of discussion. The cry for inquiry was universal: but it was evident that the two parties raised that cry for very different reasons. Montague spoke the sense of the Whigs. He declared that the disasters of the summer could not, in his opinion, be explained by the ignorance and imbecility of those who had charge of the naval administration. There must have been treason. It was impossible to believe that Lewis, when he sent his Brest squadron to the Straits of Gibraltar, and left the whole coast of his kingdom from Dunkirk to Bayonne unprotected, had trusted merely to chance. He must have been well assured that his fleet would meet with a vast booty under a feeble convoy. As there had been treachery in some quarters, there had been incapacity in others. The State was ill served. And then the orator pronounced a warm panegyric on his friend Somers. "Would that all men in power would follow the example of my Lord Keeper! If all patronage were bestowed as judiciously and disinterestedly as his, we should not see the public offices filled with men who draw salaries and perform no duties." It was moved and carried unanimously, that the Commons would support their Majesties, and would forthwith proceed to investigate the cause of the disaster in the Bay of Lagos. 489 The Lords of the Admiralty were directed to produce a great mass of documentary evidence. The King sent down copies of the examinations taken before the Committee of Council which Mary had appointed to inquire into the grievances of the Turkey merchants. The Turkey merchants themselves were called in and interrogated. Rooke, though too ill to stand or speak, was brought in a chair to the bar, and there delivered in a narrative of his proceedings. The Whigs soon thought that sufficient ground had been laid for a vote condemning the naval administration, and moved a resolution attributing the miscarriage of the Smyrna fleet to notorious and treacherous mismanagement. That there had been mismanagement could not be disputed; but that there had been foul play had certainly not been proved. The Tories proposed that the word "treacherous" should be omitted. A division took place; and the Whigs carried their point by a hundred and forty votes to a hundred and three. Wharton was a teller for the majority. 490

It was now decided that there had been treason, but not who was the traitor. Several keen debates followed. The Whigs tried to throw the blame on Killegrew and Delaval, who were Tories; the Tories did their best to make out that the fault lay with the Victualling Department, which was under the direction of Whigs. But the House of Commons has always been much more ready to pass votes of censure drawn in general terms than to brand individuals by name. A resolution clearing the Victualling Office was proposed by Montague, and carried, after a debate of two days, by a hundred and eighty-eight votes to a hundred and fifty-two. 491 But when the victorious party brought forward a motion inculpating the admirals, the Tories came up in great numbers from the country, and, after a debate which lasted from nine in the morning till near eleven at night, succeeded in saving their friends. The Noes were a hundred and seventy, and the Ayes only a hundred and sixty-one. Another attack was made a few days later with no better success. The Noes were a hundred and eighty-five, the Ayes only a hundred and seventy-five. The indefatigable and implacable Wharton was on both occasions tellers for the minority. 492

In spite of this check the advantage was decidedly with the Whigs; The Tories who were at the head of the naval administration had indeed escaped impeachment; but the escape had been so narrow that it was impossible for the King to employ them any longer. The advice of Sunderland prevailed. A new Commission of Admiralty was prepared; and Russell was named First Lord. He had already been appointed to the command of the Channel fleet.

His elevation made it necessary that Nottingham should retire. For, though it was not then unusual to see men who were personally and politically hostile to each other holding high offices at the same time, the relation between the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State, who had charge of what would now be called the War Department, was of so peculiar a nature that the public service could not be well conducted without cordial cooperation between them; and between Nottingham and Russell such cooperation was not to be expected. "I thank you," William said to Nottingham, "for your services. I have nothing to complain of in your conduct. It is only from necessity that I part with you." Nottingham retired with dignity. Though a very honest man, he went out of office much richer than he had come in five years before. What were then considered as the legitimate emoluments of his place were great; he had sold Kensington House to the Crown for a large sum; and he had probably, after the fashion of that time, obtained for himself some lucrative grants. He laid out all his gains in purchasing land. He heard, he said, that his enemies meant to accuse him of having acquired wealth by illicit means. He was perfectly ready to abide the issue of an inquiry. He would not, as some ministers had done, place his fortune beyond the reach of the justice of his country. He would have no secret hoard. He would invest nothing in foreign funds. His property should all be such as could be readily discovered and seized. 493

During some weeks the seals which Nottingham had delivered up remained in the royal closet. To dispose of them proved no easy matter. They were offered to Shrewsbury, who of all the Whig leaders stood highest in the King's favour; but Shrewsbury excused himself, and, in order to avoid further importunity, retired into the country. There he soon received a pressing letter from Elizabeth Villiers. This lady had, when a girl, inspired William with a passion which had caused much scandal and much unhappiness in the little Court of the Hague. Her influence over him she owed not to her personal charms,—for it tasked all the art of Kneller to make her look tolerably on canvass,—not to those talents which peculiarly belong to her sex,—for she did not excel in playful talk, and her letters are remarkably deficient in feminine ease and grace—, but to powers of mind which qualified her to partake the cares and guide the counsels of statesmen. To the end of her life great politicians sought her advice. Even Swift, the shrewdest and most cynical of her contemporaries, pronounced her the wisest of women, and more than once sate, fascinated by her conversation, from two in the afternoon till near midnight. 494 By degrees the virtues and charms of Mary conquered the first place in her husband's affection. But he still, in difficult conjunctures, frequently applied to Elizabeth Villiers for advice and assistance. She now implored Shrewsbury to reconsider his determination, and not to throw away the opportunity of uniting the Whig party for ever. Wharton and Russell wrote to the same effect. In reply came flimsy and unmeaning excuses: "I am not qualified for a court life; I am unequal to a place which requires much exertion; I do not quite agree with any party in the State; in short, I am unfit for the world; I want to travel; I want to see Spain." These were mere pretences. Had Shrewsbury spoken the whole truth, he would have said that he had, in an evil hour, been false to the cause of that Revolution in which he had borne so great a part, that he had entered into engagements of which he repented, but from which he knew not how to extricate himself, and that, while he remained under those engagements, he was unwilling to enter into the service of the existing government. Marlborough, Godolphin and Russell, indeed, had no scruple about corresponding with one King while holding office under the other. But Shrewsbury had, what was wanting to Marlborough, Godolphin and Russell, a conscience, a conscience which indeed too often failed to restrain him from doing wrong, but which never failed to punish him. 495

In consequence of his refusal to accept the Seals, the ministerial arrangements which the King had planned were not carried into entire effect till the end of the session. Meanwhile the proceedings of the two Houses had been highly interesting and important.

Soon after the Parliament met, the attention of the Commons was again called to the state of the trade with India; and the charter which had just been granted to the Old Company was laid before them. They would probably have been disposed to sanction the new arrangement, which, in truth, differed little from that which they had themselves suggested not many months before, if the Directors had acted with prudence. But the Directors, from the day on which they had obtained their charter, had persecuted the interlopers without mercy, and had quite forgotten that it was one thing to persecute interlopers in the Eastern Seas, and another to persecute them in the port of London. Hitherto the war of the monopolists against the private trade had been generally carried on at the distance of fifteen thousand miles from England. If harsh things were done, the English did not see them done, and did not hear of them till long after they had been done; nor was it by any means easy to ascertain at Westminster who had been right and who had been wrong in a dispute which had arisen three or four years before at Moorshedabad or Canton. With incredible rashness the Directors determined, at the very moment when the fate of their company was in the balance, to give the people of this country a near view of the most odious features of the monopoly. Some wealthy merchants of London had equipped a fine ship named the Redbridge. Her crew was numerous, her cargo of immense value. Her papers had been made out for Alicant: but there was some reason to suspect that she was really bound for the countries lying beyond the Cape of Good Hope. She was stopped by the Admiralty, in obedience to an order which the Company obtained from the Privy Council, doubtless by the help of the Lord President. Every day that she lay in the Thames caused a heavy expense to the owners. The indignation in the City was great and general. The Company maintained that from the legality of the monopoly the legality of the detention necessarily followed. The public turned the argument round, and, being firmly convinced that the detention was illegal, drew the inference that the monopoly must be illegal too. The dispute was at the height when the Parliament met. Petitions on both sides were speedily laid on the table of the Commons; and it was resolved that these petitions should be taken into consideration by a Committee of the whole House. The first question on which the conflicting parties tried their strength was the choice of a chairman. The enemies of the Old Company proposed Papillon, once the closest ally and subsequently the keenest opponent of Child, and carried their point by a hundred and thirty-eight votes to a hundred and six. The Committee proceeded to inquire by what authority the Redbridge had been stopped. One of her owners, Gilbert Heathcote, a rich merchant and a stanch Whig, appeared at the bar as a witness. He was asked whether he would venture to deny that the ship had really been fitted out for the Indian trade. "It is no sin that I know of," he answered, "to trade with India; and I shall trade with India till I am restrained by Act of Parliament." Papillon reported that in the opinion of the Committee, the detention of the Redbridge was illegal. The question was then put, that the House would agree with the Committee. The friends of the Old Company ventured on a second division, and were defeated by a hundred and seventy-one votes to a hundred and twenty-five. 496

The blow was quickly followed up. A few days later it was moved that all subjects of England had equal right to trade to the East Indies unless prohibited by Act of Parliament; and the supporters of the Old Company, sensible that they were in a minority, suffered the motion to pass without a division. 497

This memorable vote settled the most important of the constitutional questions which had been left unsettled by the Bill of Rights. It has ever since been held to be the sound doctrine that no power but that of the whole legislature can give to any person or to any society an exclusive privilege of trading to any part of the world.

The opinion of the great majority of the House of Commons was that the Indian trade could be advantageously carried on only by means of a joint stock and a monopoly. It might therefore have been expected that the resolution which destroyed the monopoly of the Old Company would have been immediately followed by a law granting a monopoly to the New Company. No such law, however, was passed. The Old Company, though not strong enough to defend its own privileges, was able, with the help of its Tory friends, to prevent the rival association from obtaining similar privileges. The consequence was that, during some years, there was nominally a free trade with India. In fact, the trade still lay under severe restrictions. The private adventurer found indeed no difficulty in sailing from England; but his situation was as perilous as ever when he had turned the Cape of Good Hope. Whatever respect might be paid to a vote of the House of Commons by public functionaries in London, such a vote was, at Bombay or Calcutta, much less regarded than a private letter from Child; and Child still continued to fight the battle with unbroken spirit. He sent out to the factories of the Company orders that no indulgence should be shown to the intruders. For the House of Commons and for its resolutions he expressed the bitterest contempt. "Be guided by my instructions," he wrote, "and not by the nonsense of a few ignorant country gentlemen who have hardly wit enough to manage their own private affairs, and who know nothing at all about questions of trade." It appears that his directions were obeyed.

Every where in the East, during this period of anarchy, servant of the Company and the independent merchant waged war on each other, accused each other of piracy, and tried by every artifice to exasperate the Mogul government against each other. 498

The three great constitutional questions of the preceding year were, in this year, again brought under the consideration of Parliament. In the first week of the session, a Bill for the Regulation of Trials in cases of High Treason, a Triennial Bill, and a Place Bill were laid on the table of the House of Commons.

None of these bills became a law. The first passed the Commons, but was unfavourably received by the Peers. William took so much interest in the question that he came down to the House of Lords, not in his crown and robes, but in the ordinary dress of a gentleman, and sate through the whole debate on the second reading. Caermarthen spoke of the dangers to which the State was at that time exposed, and entreated his brethren not to give, at such a moment, impunity to traitors. He was powerfully supported by two eminent orators, who had, during some years, been on the uncourtly side of every question, but who, in this session, showed a disposition to strengthen the hands of the government, Halifax and Mulgrave. Marlborough, Rochester and Nottingham spoke for the bill; but the general feeling was so clearly against them that they did not venture to divide. It is probable, however, that the reasons urged by Caermarthen were not the reasons which chiefly swayed his hearers. The Peers were fully determined that the bill should not pass without a clause altering the constitution of the Court of the Lord High Steward: they knew that the Lower House was as fully determined not to pass such a clause; and they thought it better that what must happen at last should happen speedily, and without a quarrel. 499

The fate of the Triennial Bill confounded all the calculations of the best informed politicians of that time, and may therefore well seem extraordinary to us. During the recess, that bill had been described in numerous pamphlets, written for the most part by persons zealous for the Revolution and for popular principles of government, as the one thing needful, as the universal cure for the distempers of the State. On the first, second and third readings in the House of Commons no division took place. The Whigs were enthusiastic. The Tories seemed to be acquiescent. It was understood that the King, though he had used his Veto for the purpose of giving the Houses an opportunity of reconsidering the subject, had no intention of offering a pertinacious opposition to their wishes. But Seymour, with a cunning which long experience had matured, after deferring the conflict to the last moment, snatched the victory from his adversaries, when they were most secure. When the Speaker held up the bill in his hands, and put the question whether it should pass, the Noes were a hundred and forty-six, the Ayes only a hundred and thirty-six. 500 Some eager Whigs flattered themselves that their defeat was the effect of a surprise, and might be retrieved. Within three days, therefore, Monmouth, the most ardent and restless man in the whole party, brought into the Upper House a bill substantially the same with that which had so strangely miscarried in the Lower. The Peers passed this bill very expeditiously, and sent it down to the Commons. But in the Commons it found no favour. Many members, who professed to wish that the duration of parliaments should be limited, resented the interference of the hereditary branch of the legislature in a matter which peculiarly concerned the elective branch. The subject, they said, is one which especially belongs to us; we have considered it; we have come to a decision; and it is scarcely parliamentary, it is certainly most indelicate, in their Lordships, to call upon us to reverse that decision. The question now is, not whether the duration of parliaments ought to be limited, but whether we ought to submit our judgment to the authority of the Peers, and to rescind, at their bidding, what we did only a fortnight ago. The animosity with which the patrician order was regarded was inflamed by the arts and the eloquence of Seymour. The bill contained a definition of the words, "to hold a Parliament." This definition was scrutinised with extreme jealousy, and was thought by many, with very little reason, to have been framed for the purpose of extending the privileges, already invidiously great, of the nobility. It appears, from the scanty and obscure fragments of the debates which have come down to us, that bitter reflections were thrown on the general conduct, both political and judicial, of the Peers. Old Titus, though zealous for triennial parliaments, owned that he was not surprised at the ill humour which many gentlemen showed. "It is true," he said, "that we ought to be dissolved; but it is rather hard, I must own, that the Lords are to prescribe the time of our dissolution. The Apostle Paul wished to be dissolved; but, I doubt, if his friends had set him a day, he would not have taken it kindly of them." The bill was rejected by a hundred and ninety-seven votes to a hundred and twenty-seven. 501

The Place Bill, differing very little from the Place Bill which had been brought in twelve months before, passed easily through the Commons. Most of the Tories supported it warmly; and the Whigs did not venture to oppose it. It went up to the Lords, and soon came back completely changed. As it had been originally drawn, it provided that no member of the House of Commons, elected after the first of January, 1694, should accept any place of profit under the Crown, on pain of forfeiting his seat, and of being incapable of sitting again in the same Parliament. The Lords had added the words, "unless he be afterwards again chosen to serve in the same Parliament." These words, few as they were, sufficed to deprive the bill of nine tenths of its efficacy, both for good and for evil. It was most desirable that the crowd of subordinate public functionaries should be kept out of the House of Commons. It was most undesirable that the heads of the great executive departments should be kept out of that House. The bill, as altered, left that House open both to those who ought and to those who ought not to have been admitted. It very properly let in the Secretaries of State and the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but it let in with them Commissioners of Wine Licenses and Commissioners of the Navy, Receivers, Surveyors, Storekeepers, Clerks of the Acts and Clerks of the Cheque, Clerks of the Green Cloth and Clerks of the Great Wardrobe. So little did the Commons understand what they were about that, after framing a law, in one view most mischievous, and in another view most beneficial, they were perfectly willing that it should be transformed into a law quite harmless and almost useless. They agreed to the amendment; and nothing was now wanting but the royal sanction.

That sanction certainly ought not to have been withheld, and probably would not have been withheld, if William had known how unimportant the bill now was. But he understood the question as little as the Commons themselves. He knew that they imagined that they had devised a most stringent limitation of the royal power; and he was determined not to submit, without a struggle, to any such limitation. He was encouraged by the success with which he had hitherto resisted the attempts of the two Houses to encroach on his prerogative. He had refused to pass the bill which quartered the judges on his hereditary revenue; and the Parliament had silently acquiesced in the justice of the refusal. He had refused to pass the Triennial Bill; and the Commons had since, by rejecting two Triennial Bills, acknowledged that he had done well. He ought, however, to have considered that, on both these occasions, the announcement of his refusal was immediately followed by the announcement that the Parliament was prorogued. On both these occasions, therefore, the members had half a year to think and to grow cool before the next sitting. The case was now very different. The principal business of the session was hardly begun: estimates were still under consideration: bills of supply were still depending; and, if the Houses should take a fit of ill humour, the consequences might be serious indeed.

He resolved, however, to run the risk. Whether he had any adviser is not known. His determination seems to have taken both the leading Whigs and the leading Tories by surprise. When the Clerk had proclaimed that the King and Queen would consider of the bill touching free and impartial proceedings in Parliament, the Commons retired from the bar of the Lords in a resentful and ungovernable mood. As soon as the Speaker was again in his chair there was a long and tempestuous debate. All other business was postponed. All committees were adjourned. It was resolved that the House would, early the next morning, take into consideration the state of the nation. When the morning came, the excitement did not appear to have abated. The mace was sent into Westminster Hall and into the Court of Requests. All members who could be found were brought into the House. That none might be able to steal away unnoticed, the back door was locked, and the key laid on the table. All strangers were ordered to retire. With these solemn preparations began a sitting which reminded a few old men of some of the first sittings of the Kong Parliament. High words were uttered by the enemies of the government. Its friends, afraid of being accused of abandoning the cause of the Commons of England for the sake of royal favour, hardly ventured to raise their voices. Montague alone seems to have defended the King. Lowther, though high in office and a member of the cabinet, owned that there were evil influences at work, and expressed a wish to see the Sovereign surrounded by counsellors in whom the representatives of the people could confide. Harley, Foley and Howe carried every thing before them. A resolution, affirming that those who had advised the Crown on this occasion were public enemies, was carried with only two or three Noes. Harley, after reminding his hearers that they had their negative voice as the King had his, and that, if His Majesty refused then redress, they could refuse him money, moved that they should go up to the Throne, not, as usual, with a Humble Address, but with a Representation. Some members proposed to substitute the more respectful word Address: but they were overruled; and a committee was appointed to draw up the Representation.

Another night passed; and, when the House met again, it appeared that the storm had greatly subsided. The malignant joy and the wild hopes which the Jacobites had, during the last forty-eight hours, expressed with their usual imprudence, had incensed and alarmed the Whigs and the moderate Tories. Many members too were frightened by hearing that William was fully determined not to yield without an appeal to the nation. Such an appeal might have been successful: for a dissolution, on any ground whatever, would, at that moment, have been a highly popular exercise of the prerogative. The constituent bodies, it was well known, were generally zealous for the Triennial Bill, and cared comparatively little about the Place Bill. Many Tory members, therefore, who had recently voted against the Triennial Bill, were by no means desirous to run the risks of a general election. When the Representation which Harley and his friends had prepared was read, it was thought offensively strong. After being recommitted, shortened and softened, it was presented by the whole House. William's answer was kind and gentle; but he conceded nothing. He assured the Commons that he remembered with gratitude the support which he had on many occasions received from them, that he should always consider their advice as most valuable, and that he should look on counsellors who might attempt to raise dissension between him and his Parliament as his enemies but he uttered not a word which could be construed into an acknowledgment that he had used his Veto ill, or into a promise that he would not use it again.

The Commons on the morrow took his speech into consideration. Harley and his allies complained that the King's answer was no answer at all, threatened to tack the Place Bill to a money bill, and proposed to make a second representation pressing His Majesty to explain himself more distinctly. But by this time there was a strong reflux of feeling in the assembly. The Whigs had not only recovered from their dismay, but were in high spirits and eager for conflict. Wharton, Russell and Littleton maintained that the House ought to be satisfied with what the King had said. "Do you wish," said Littleton, "to make sport for your enemies? There is no want of them. They besiege our very doors. We read, as we come through the lobby, in the face and gestures of every nonjuror whom we pass, delight at the momentary coolness which has arisen between us and the King. That should be enough for us. We may be sure that we are voting rightly when we give a vote which tends to confound the hopes of traitors." The House divided. Harley was a teller on one side, Wharton on the other. Only eighty-eight voted with Harley, two hundred and twenty-nine with Wharton. The Whigs were so much elated by their victory that some of them wished to move a vote of thanks to William for his gracious answer; but they were restrained by wiser men. "We have lost time enough already in these unhappy debates," said a leader of the party. "Let us get to Ways and Means as fast as we can. The best form which our thanks can take is that of a money bill."

Thus ended, more happily than William had a right to expect, one of the most dangerous contests in which he ever engaged with his Parliament. At the Dutch Embassy the rising and going down of this tempest had been watched with intense interest; and the opinion there seems to have been that the King had on the whole lost neither power nor popularity by his conduct. 502

Another question, which excited scarcely less angry feeling in Parliament and in the country, was, about the same time, under consideration. On the sixth of December, a Whig member of the House of Commons obtained leave to bring in a bill for the Naturalisation of Foreign Protestants. Plausible arguments in favour of such a bill were not wanting. Great numbers of people, eminently industrious and intelligent, firmly attached to our faith, and deadly enemies of our deadly enemies, were at that time without a country. Among the Huguenots who had fled from the tyranny of the French King were many persons of great fame in war, in letters, in arts and in sciences; and even the humblest refugees were intellectually and morally above the average of the common people of any kingdom in Europe. With French Protestants who had been driven into exile by the edicts of Lewis were now mingled German Protestants who had been driven into exile by his arms. Vienna, Berlin, Basle, Hamburg, Amsterdam, London, swarmed with honest laborious men who had once been thriving burghers of Heidelberg or Mannheim, or who had cultivated vineyards along the banks of the Neckar and the Rhine. A statesman might well think that it would be at once generous and politic to invite to the English shores and to incorporate with the English people emigrants so unfortunate and so respectable. Their ingenuity and their diligence could not fail to enrich any land which should afford them an asylum; nor could it be doubted that they would manfully defend the country of their adoption against him whose cruelty had driven them from the country of their birth.

The first two readings passed without a division. But, on the motion that the bill should be committed, there was a debate in which the right of free speech was most liberally used by the opponents of the government. It was idle, they said, to talk about the poor Huguenots or the poor Palatines. The bill was evidently meant for the benefit, not of French Protestants or German Protestants, but of Dutchmen, who would be Protestants, Papists or Pagans for a guilder a head, and who would, no doubt, be as ready to sign the Declaration against Transubstantiation in England as to trample on the Cross in Japan. They would come over in multitudes. They would swarm in every public office. They would collect the customs, and gauge the beer barrels. Our Navigation Laws would be virtually repealed. Every merchant ship that cleared out from the Thames or the Severn would be manned by Zealanders and Hollanders and Frieslanders. To our own sailors would be left the hard and perilous service of the royal navy. For Hans, after filling the pockets of his huge trunk hose with our money by assuming the character of a native, would, as soon as a pressgang appeared, lay claim to the privileges of an alien. The intruders would soon rule every corporation. They would elbow our own Aldermen off the Royal Exchange. They would buy the hereditary woods and halls of our country gentlemen. Already one of the most noisome of the plagues of Egypt was among us. Frogs had made their appearance even in the royal chambers. Nobody could go to Saint James's without being disgusted by hearing the reptiles of the Batavian marshes croaking all round him; and if this bill should pass, the whole country would be as much infested by the loathsome brood as the palace already was.

The orator who indulged himself most freely in this sort of rhetoric was Sir John Knight, member for Bristol, a coarseminded and spiteful Jacobite, who, if he had been an honest man, would have been a nonjuror. Two years before, when Mayor of Bristol, he had acquired a discreditable notoriety by treating with gross disrespect a commission sealed with the great seal of the Sovereigns to whom he had repeatedly sworn allegiance, and by setting on the rabble of his city to hoot and pelt the Judges. 503 He now concluded a savage invective by desiring that the Serjeant at Arms would open the doors, in order that the odious roll of parchment, which was nothing less than a surrender of the birthright of the English people, might be treated with proper contumely. "Let us first," he said, "kick the bill out of the House; and then let us kick the foreigners out of the kingdom."

On a division the motion for committing the bill was carried by a hundred and sixty-three votes to a hundred and twenty-eight. 504 But the minority was zealous and pertinacious; and the majority speedily began to waver. Knight's speech, retouched and made more offensive, soon appeared in print without a license. Tens of thousands of copies were circulated by the post, or dropped in the streets; and such was the strength of national prejudice that too many persons read this ribaldry with assent and admiration. But, when a copy was produced in the House, there was such an outbreak of indignation and disgust, as cowed even the impudent and savage nature of the orator. Finding himself in imminent danger of being expelled and sent to prison, he apologized, and disclaimed all knowledge of the paper which purported to be a report of what he had said. He escaped with impunity; but his speech was voted false, scandalous and seditious, and was burned by the hangman in Palace Yard. The bill which had caused all this ferment was prudently suffered to drop. 505

Meanwhile the Commons were busied with financial questions of grave importance. The estimates for the year 1694 were enormous. The King proposed to add to the regular army, already the greatest regular army that England had ever supported, four regiments of dragoons, eight of horse, and twenty-five of infantry. The whole number of men, officers included, would thus be increased to about ninety-four thousand. 506 Cromwell, while holding down three reluctant kingdoms, and making vigorous war on Spain in Europe and America, had never had two thirds of the military force which William now thought necessary. The great body of the Tories, headed by three Whig chiefs, Harley, Foley and Howe, opposed any augmentation. The great body of the Whigs, headed by Montague and Wharton, would have granted all that was asked. After many long discussions, and probably many close divisions, in the Committee of Supply, the King obtained the greater part of what he demanded. The House allowed him four new regiments of dragoons, six of horse, and fifteen of infantry. The whole number of troops voted for the year amounted to eighty-three thousand, the charge to more than two millions and a half, including about two hundred thousand pounds for the ordnance. 507

The naval estimates passed much more rapidly; for Whigs and Tories agreed in thinking that the maritime ascendency of England ought to be maintained at any cost. Five hundred thousand pounds were voted for paying the arrears due to seamen, and two millions for the expenses of the year 1694. 508

The Commons then proceeded to consider the Ways and Means. The land tax was renewed at four shillings in the pound; and by this simple but powerful machinery about two millions were raised with certainty and despatch. 509 A poll tax was imposed. 510 Stamp duties had long been among the fiscal resources of Holland and France, and had existed here during part of the reign of Charles the Second, but had been suffered to expire. They were now revived; and they have ever since formed an important part of the revenue of the State. 511 The hackney coaches of the capital were taxed, and were placed under the government of commissioners, in spite of the resistance of the wives of the coachmen, who assembled round Westminster Hall and mobbed the members. 512 But, notwithstanding all these expedients, there was still a large deficiency; and it was again necessary to borrow. A new duty on salt and some other imposts of less importance were set apart to form a fund for a loan. On the security of this fund a million was to be raised by a lottery, but a lottery which had scarcely any thing but the name in common with the lotteries of a later period. The sum to be contributed was divided into a hundred thousand shares of ten pounds each. The interest on each share was to be twenty shillings annually, or, in other words, ten per cent., during sixteen years. But ten per cent. for sixteen years was not a bait which was likely to attract lenders. An additional lure was therefore held out to capitalists. On one fortieth of the shares much higher interest was to be paid than on the other thirty-nine fortieths. Which of the shares should be prizes was to be determined by lot. The arrangements for the drawing of the tickets were made by an adventurer of the name of Neale, who, after squandering away two fortunes, had been glad to become groom porter at the palace. His duties were to call the odds when the Court played at hazard, to provide cards and dice, and to decide any dispute which might arise on the bowling green or at the gaming table. He was eminently skilled in the business of this not very exalted post, and had made such sums by raffles that he was able to engage in very costly speculations, and was then covering the ground round the Seven Dials with buildings. He was probably the best adviser that could have been consulted about the details of a lottery. Yet there were not wanting persons who thought it hardly decent in the Treasury to call in the aid of a gambler by profession. 513

By the lottery loan, as it was called, one million was obtained. But another million was wanted to bring the estimated revenue for the year 1694 up to a level with the estimated expenditure. The ingenious and enterprising Montague had a plan ready, a plan to which, except under the pressure of extreme pecuniary difficulties, he might not easily have induced the Commons to assent, but which, to his large and vigorous mind, appeared to have advantages, both commercial and political, more important than the immediate relief to the finances. He succeeded, not only in supplying the wants of the State for twelve months, but in creating a great institution, which, after the lapse of more than a century and a half, continues to flourish, and which he lived to see the stronghold, through all vicissitudes, of the Whig party, and the bulwark, in dangerous times, of the Protestant succession.

In the reign of William old men were still living who could remember the days when there was not a single banking house in the city of London. So late as the time of the Restoration every trader had his own strong box in his own house, and, when an acceptance was presented to him, told down the crowns and Caroluses on his own counter. But the increase of wealth had produced its natural effect, the subdivision of labour. Before the end of the reign of Charles the Second, a new mode of paying and receiving money had come into fashion among the merchants of the capital. A class of agents arose, whose office was to keep the cash of the commercial houses. This new branch of business naturally fell into the hands of the goldsmiths, who were accustomed to traffic largely in the precious metals, and who had vaults in which great masses of bullion could lie secure from fire and from robbers. It was at the shops of the goldsmiths of Lombard Street that all the payments in coin were made. Other traders gave and received nothing but paper.

This great change did not take place without much opposition and clamour. Oldfashioned merchants complained bitterly that a class of men who, thirty years before, had confined themselves to their proper functions, and had made a fair profit by embossing silver bowls and chargers, by setting jewels for fine ladies, and by selling pistoles and dollars to gentlemen setting out for the Continent, had become the treasurers, and were fast becoming the masters, of the whole City. These usurers, it was said, played at hazard with what had been earned by the industry and hoarded by the thrift of other men. If the dice turned up well, the knave who kept the cash became an alderman; if they turned up ill, the dupe who furnished the cash became a bankrupt. On the other side the conveniences of the modern practice were set forth in animated language. The new system, it was said, saved both labour and money. Two clerks, seated in one counting house, did what, under the old system, must have been done by twenty clerks in twenty different establishments. A goldsmith's note might be transferred ten times in a morning; and thus a hundred guineas, locked in his safe close to the Exchange, did what would formerly have required a thousand guineas, dispersed through many tills, some on Ludgate Hill, some in Austin Friars, and some in Tower Street. 514

Gradually even those who had been loudest in murmuring against the innovation gave way and conformed to the prevailing usage. The last person who held out, strange to say, was Sir Dudley North. When, in 1680, after residing many years abroad, he returned to London, nothing astonished or displeased him more than the practice of making payments by drawing bills on bankers. He found that he could not go on Change without being followed round the piazza by goldsmiths, who, with low bows, begged to have the honour of serving him. He lost his temper when his friends asked where he kept his cash. "Where should I keep it," he asked, "but in my own house?" With difficulty he was induced to put his money into the hands of one of the Lombard Street men, as they were called. Unhappily, the Lombard Street man broke, and some of his customers suffered severely. Dudley North lost only fifty pounds; but this loss confirmed him in his dislike of the whole mystery of banking. It was in vain, however, that he exhorted his fellow citizens to return to the good old practice, and not to expose themselves to utter ruin in order to spare themselves a little trouble. He stood alone against the whole community. The advantages of the modern system were felt every hour of every day in every part of London; and people were no more disposed to relinquish those advantages for fear of calamities which occurred at long intervals than to refrain from building houses for fear of fires, or from building ships for fear of hurricanes. It is a curious circumstance that a man who, as a theorist, was distinguished from all the merchants of his time by the largeness of his views and by his superiority to vulgar prejudices, should, in practice, have been distinguished from all the merchants of his time by the obstinacy with which he adhered to an ancient mode of doing business, long after the dullest and most ignorant plodders had abandoned that mode for one better suited to a great commercial society. 515

No sooner had banking become a separate and important trade, than men began to discuss with earnestness the question whether it would be expedient to erect a national bank. The general opinion seems to have been decidedly in favour of a national bank; nor can we wonder at this; for few were then aware that trade is in general carried on to much more advantage by individuals than by great societies; and banking really is one of those few trades which can be carried on to as much advantage by a great society as by an individual. Two public banks had long been renowned throughout Europe, the Bank of Saint George at Genoa, and the Bank of Amsterdam. The immense wealth which was in the keeping of those establishments, the confidence which they inspired, the prosperity which they had created, their stability, tried by panics, by wars, by revolutions, and found proof against all, were favourite topics. The bank of Saint George had nearly completed its third century. It had begun to receive deposits and to make loans before Columbus had crossed the Atlantic, before Gama had turned the Cape, when a Christian Emperor was reigning at Constantinople, when a Mahomedan Sultan was reigning at Granada, when Florence was a Republic, when Holland obeyed a hereditary Prince. All these things had been changed. New continents and new oceans had been discovered. The Turk was at Constantinople; the Castilian was at Granada; Florence had its hereditary Prince; Holland was a Republic; but the Bank of Saint George was still receiving deposits and making loans. The Bank of Amsterdam was little more than eighty years old; but its solvency had stood severe tests. Even in the terrible crisis of 1672, when the whole Delta of the Rhine was overrun by the French armies, when the white flags were seen from the top of the Stadthouse, there was one place where, amidst the general consternation and confusion, tranquillity and order were still to be found; and that place was the Bank. Why should not the Bank of London be as great and as durable as the Banks of Genoa and of Amsterdam? Before the end of the reign of Charles the Second several plans were proposed, examined, attacked and defended. Some pamphleteers maintained that a national bank ought to be under the direction of the King. Others thought that the management ought to be entrusted to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of the capital. 516 After the Revolution the subject was discussed with an animation before unknown. For, under the influence of liberty, the breed of political projectors multiplied exceedingly. A crowd of plans, some of which resemble the fancies of a child or the dreams of a man in a fever, were pressed on the government. Preeminently conspicuous among the political mountebanks, whose busy faces were seen every day in the lobby of the House of Commons, were John Briscoe and Hugh Chamberlayne, two projectors worthy to have been members of that Academy which Gulliver found at Lagado. These men affirmed that the one cure for every distemper of the State was a Land Bank. A Land Bank would work for England miracles such as had never been wrought for Israel, miracles exceeding the heaps of quails and the daily shower of manna. There would be no taxes; and yet the Exchequer would be full to overflowing. There would be no poor rates; for there would be no poor. The income of every landowner would be doubled. The profits of every merchant would be increased. In short, the island would, to use Briscoe's words, be the paradise of the world. The only losers would be the moneyed men, those worst enemies of the nation, who had done more injury to the gentry and yeomanry than an invading army from France would have had the heart to do. 517

These blessed effects the Land Bank was to produce simply by issuing enormous quantities of notes on landed security. The doctrine of the projectors was that every person who had real property ought to have, besides that property, paper money to the full value of that property. Thus, if his estate was worth two thousand pounds, he ought to have his estate and two thousand pounds in paper money. 518 Both Briscoe and Chamberlayne treated with the greatest contempt the notion that there could be an overissue of paper as long as there was, for every ten pound note, a piece of land in the country worth ten pounds. Nobody, they said, would accuse a goldsmith of overissuing as long as his vaults contained guineas and crowns to the full value of all the notes which bore his signature. Indeed no goldsmith had in his vaults guineas and crowns to the full value of all his paper. And was not a square mile of rich land in Taunton Dean at least as well entitled to be called wealth as a bag of gold or silver? The projectors could not deny that many people had a prejudice in favour of the precious metals, and that therefore, if the Land Bank were bound to cash its notes, it would very soon stop payment. This difficulty they got over by proposing that the notes should be inconvertible, and that every body should be forced to take them.

The speculations of Chamberlayne on the subject of the currency may possibly find admirers even in our own time. But to his other errors he added an error which began and ended with him. He was fool enough to take it for granted, in all his reasonings, that the value of an estate varied directly as the duration. He maintained that if the annual income derived from a manor were a thousand pounds, a grant of that manor for twenty years must be worth twenty thousand pounds, and a grant for a hundred years worth a hundred thousand pounds. If, therefore, the lord of such a manor would pledge it for a hundred years to the Land Bank, the Land Bank might, on that security, instantly issue notes for a hundred thousand pounds. On this subject Chamberlayne was proof to ridicule, to argument, even to arithmetical demonstration. He was reminded that the fee simple of land would not sell for more than twenty years' purchase. To say, therefore, that a term of a hundred years was worth five times as much as a term of twenty years, was to say that a term of a hundred years was worth five times the fee simple; in other words, that a hundred was five times infinity. Those who reasoned thus were refuted by being told that they were usurers; and it should seem that a large number of country gentlemen thought the refutation complete. 519

In December 1693 Chamberlayne laid his plan, in all its naked absurdity, before the Commons, and petitioned to be heard. He confidently undertook to raise eight thousand pounds on every freehold estate of a hundred and fifty pounds a year which should be brought, as he expressed it, into his Land Bank, and this without dispossessing the freeholder. 520 All the squires in the House must have known that the fee simple of such an estate would hardly fetch three thousand pounds in the market. That less than the fee simple of such an estate could, by any device, be made to produce eight thousand pounds, would, it might have been thought, have seemed incredible to the most illiterate foxhunter that could be found on the benches. Distress, however, and animosity had made the landed gentlemen credulous. They insisted on referring Chamberlayne's plan to a committee; and the committee reported that the plan was practicable, and would tend to the benefit of the nation. 521 But by this time the united force of demonstration and derision had begun to produce an effect even on the most ignorant rustics in the House. The report lay unnoticed on the table; and the country was saved from a calamity compared with which the defeat of Landen and the loss of the Smyrna fleet would have been blessings.

All the projectors of this busy time, however, were not so absurd as Chamberlayne. One among them, William Paterson, was an ingenious, though not always a judicious, speculator. Of his early life little is known except that he was a native of Scotland, and that he had been in the West Indies. In what character he had visited the West Indies was a matter about which his contemporaries differed. His friends said that he had been a missionary; his enemies that he had been a buccaneer. He seems to have been gifted by nature with fertile invention, an ardent temperament and great powers of persuasion, and to have acquired somewhere in the course of his vagrant life a perfect knowledge of accounts.

This man submitted to the government, in 1691, a plan of a national bank; and his plan was favourably received both by statesmen and by merchants. But years passed away; and nothing was done, till, in the spring of 1694, it became absolutely necessary to find some new mode of defraying the charges of the war. Then at length the scheme devised by the poor and obscure Scottish adventurer was taken up in earnest by Montague. With Montague was closely allied Michael Godfrey, the brother of that Sir Edmondsbury Godfrey whose sad and mysterious death had, fifteen years before, produced a terrible outbreak of popular feeling. Michael was one of the ablest, most upright and most opulent of the merchant princes of London. He was, as might have been expected from his near connection with the martyr of the Protestant faith, a zealous Whig. Some of his writings are still extant, and prove him to have had a strong and clear mind.

By these two distinguished men Paterson's scheme was fathered. Montague undertook to manage the House of Commons, Godfrey to manage the City. An approving vote was obtained from the Committee of Ways and Means; and a bill, the title of which gave occasion to many sarcasms, was laid on the table. It was indeed not easy to guess that a bill, which purported only to impose a new duty on tonnage for the benefit of such persons as should advance money towards carrying on the war, was really a bill creating the greatest commercial institution that the world had ever seen.

The plan was that twelve hundred thousand pounds should be borrowed by the government on what was then considered as the moderate interest of eight per cent. In order to induce capitalists to advance the money promptly on terms so favourable to the public, the subscribers were to be incorporated by the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The corporation was to have no exclusive privilege, and was to be restricted from trading in any thing but bills of exchange, bullion and forfeited pledges.

As soon as the plan became generally known, a paper war broke out as furious as that between the swearers and the nonswearers, or as that between the Old East India Company and the New East India Company. The projectors who had failed to gain the ear of the government fell like madmen on their more fortunate brother. All the goldsmiths and pawnbrokers set up a howl of rage. Some discontented Tories predicted ruin to the monarchy. It was remarkable, they said, that Banks and Kings had never existed together. Banks were republican institutions. There were flourishing banks at Venice, at Genoa, at Amsterdam and at Hamburg. But who had ever heard of a Bank of France or a Bank of Spain? 522 Some discontented Whigs, on the other hand, predicted ruin to our liberties. Here, they said, is an instrument of tyranny more formidable than the High Commission, than the Star Chamber, than even the fifty thousand soldiers of Oliver. The whole wealth of the nation will be in the hands of the Tonnage Bank,—such was the nickname then in use;—and the Tonnage Bank will be in the hands of the Sovereign. The power of the purse, the one great security for all the rights of Englishmen, will be transferred from the House of Commons to the Governor and Directors of the new Company. This last consideration was really of some weight, and was allowed to be so by the authors of the bill. A clause was therefore most properly inserted which inhibited the Bank from advancing money to the Crown without authority from Parliament. Every infraction of this salutary rule was to be punished by forfeiture of three times the sum advanced; and it was provided that the King should not have power to remit any part of the penalty.

The plan, thus amended, received the sanction of the Commons more easily than might have been expected from the violence of the adverse clamour. In truth, the Parliament was under duress. Money must be had, and could in no other way be had so easily. What took place when the House had resolved itself into a committee cannot be discovered; but, while the Speaker was in the chair, no division took place. The bill, however, was not safe when it had reached the Upper House. Some Lords suspected that the plan of a national bank had been devised for the purpose of exalting the moneyed interest at the expense of the landed interest. Others thought that this plan, whether good or bad, ought not to have been submitted to them in such a form. Whether it would be safe to call into existence a body which might one day rule the whole commercial world, and how such a body should be constituted, were questions which ought not to be decided by one branch of the Legislature. The Peers ought to be at perfect liberty to examine all the details of the proposed scheme, to suggest amendments, to ask for conferences. It was therefore most unfair that the law establishing the Bank should be sent up as part of a law granting supplies to the Crown. The Jacobites entertained some hope that the session would end with a quarrel between the Houses, that the Tonnage Bill would be lost, and that William would enter on the campaign without money. It was already May, according to the New Style. The London season was over; and many noble families had left Covent Garden and Soho Square for their woods and hayfields. But summonses were sent out. There was a violent rush back to town. The benches which had lately been deserted were crowded. The sittings began at an hour unusually early, and were prolonged to an hour unusually late. On the day on which the bill was committed the contest lasted without intermission from nine in the morning till six in the evening. Godolphin was in the chair. Nottingham and Rochester proposed to strike out all the clauses which related to the Bank. Something was said about the danger of setting up a gigantic corporation which might soon give law to the King and the three Estates of the Realm. But the Peers seemed to be most moved by the appeal which was made to them as landlords. The whole scheme, it was asserted, was intended to enrich usurers at the expense of the nobility and gentry. Persons who had laid by money would rather put it into the Bank than lend it on mortgage at moderate interest. Caermarthen said little or nothing in defence of what was, in truth, the work of his rivals and enemies. He owned that there were grave objections to the mode in which the Commons had provided for the public service of the year. But would their Lordships amend a money bill? Would they engage in a contest of which the end must be that they must either yield, or incur the grave responsibility of leaving the Channel without a fleet during the summer? This argument prevailed; and, on a division, the amendment was rejected by forty-three votes to thirty-one. A few hours later the bill received the royal assent, and the Parliament was prorogued. 523 In the City the success of Montague's plan was complete. It was then at least as difficult to raise a million at eight per cent. as it would now be to raise thirty millions at four per cent. It had been supposed that contributions would drop in very slowly; and a considerable time had therefore been allowed by the Act. This indulgence was not needed. So popular was the new investment that on the day on which the books were opened three hundred thousand pounds were subscribed; three hundred thousand more were subscribed during the next forty-eight hours; and, in ten days, to the delight of all the friends of the government, it was announced that the list was full. The whole sum which the Corporation was bound to lend to the State was paid into the Exchequer before the first instalment was due. 524 Somers gladly put the Great Seal to a charter framed in conformity with the terms prescribed by Parliament; and the Bank of England commenced its operations in the house of the Company of Grocers. There, during many years, directors, secretaries and clerks might be seen labouring in different parts of one spacious hall. The persons employed by the bank were originally only fifty-four. They are now nine hundred. The su