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What? Is this an entire surrender?
My lord, I find my heart so full of grief and indignation, that I must beg pardon not to finish the last part of my discourse: but pause that I may drop a tear as the prelude to so
sad a story!"
* [This fervent, appeal had no effect. The Fo of Union was ratified by a majority of thirty-three out of two hundred and one members. That it was carried by bribery is now matter of history. , Documents have been brought to light showing
that the sum of K20,000 was sent to Queensberry for this purpose by the English Ministers; and the names of those to whom the
money was paid are given in full.—ED1j.
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE, EARL OF ORFORD
Walpole was in some respects the most modern of eighteenth century statesmen; it was he who first adopted, in his speeches before Parliament, that easy, colloquial style which now prevails, there, and which Englishmen like, because it makes no pretence of addressing anything but the plainest common-sense. He was, as a politician, entirely unprincipled, and yet he had neither the ambition nor the cynicism which are usually associated with such a character; he was constitutionally an indolent man, and a weak one; but he loved the surroundings of public life; he enjoyed the ascendancy which high place and his own exceptional talent gave him over men; and he could not resist the will of his King, who supplied by persistence and obstinacy what was lacking in him in the way of brains and magnanimity. Walpole would more than once have acted a nobler and more far-seeing part than he actually did, had it not been for the sinister influence of George II; but in the end he always yielded to the latter, and thereby rendered his own lot an unhappy one; for his conscience, refusing to be utterly smothered, stirred reproachfully in his breast, and his pride was hurt by the servility and baseness of the rôle which he was too often forced to play. More than once in his career did this outwardly gay and indifferent man of the world confess himself to be the most miserable of men.
He received his early education at Eton School, and at the University of Cambridge; and afterwards “completed ” it—as the phrase was—by a tour on the Continent, visiting France and Germany. He entered Parliament in 1701, and a few years later was made member of the council for Prince George; he embraced Whig principles, and was appointed Secretary at War in 1708. He was also treasurer of the navy; and when in 1710, Henry Sacheverell, a clergyman and Tory, who had been an associate of Addison, and was noted for his eloquence as a preacher, criticised the Whig ministry in two sermons preached at Southwark, he was prosecuted at the instance of Godolphin, the aged statesman and financier, assisted by Walpole, and sentenced to three years' suspension. But the Marlboroughs fell that year, and Godolphin with them, and the clergyman was reinstated by a Tory ministry. Before his reinstatement, Walpole had been accused and convicted of bribery, expelled from Parliament, and committed to the Tower; but he was too useful a man to stay there, and in the following year (1713) we find him once more in the House; and his career thenceforth was outwardly a blaze of success; he was twice prime minister, and was created Earl of Orford in 1742. He died three years afterwards.
ON A MOTION FOR HIS REMOVAL
T has been observed by several gentlemen, in vindication of this motion, that if it should be carried, neither my life, liberty, nor estate will be affected. But do the honorable gentlemen consider my character and reputation as of no moment? Is it no imputation to be arraigned before this House, in which I have sat forty years, and to have my name transmitted to posterity with disgrace and infamy? I will not conceal my sentiments, that to be named in Parliament as a subject of inquiry is to me a matter of great concern. But I have the satisfaction, at the same time, to reflect, that the impression to be made depends upon the consistency of the charge and the motives of the prosecutors." Had the charge been reduced to specific allegations, I should have felt myself called upon for a specific defence. Had I served a weak or wicked master, and implicitly obeyed his dictates, obedience to his commands must have been my only justification. But as it has been my good fortune to serve a master who wants no bad ministers, and would have hearkened to none, my defence must rest on my own conduct. The consciousness of innocence is also a sufficient support against my present prosecutors. A further justification is derived from a consideration of the views and abilities of the prosecutors. Had I been guilty of great enormities, they want neither zeal and inclination to bring them forward, nor ability to place them in the most prominent point of view. But as I am con
would be graciously pleased to remove Commons, February, 1741. Sandys, the the Right Honorable. Sir Robert Walleader of the opposition against Wal. pple, Knight of the Most Noble Order pole, made a long speech to the effect of the Garter, First Commissioner for that Walpole had been at the head of executing the office of Treasurer of affairs for twenty years, and that the the Exchequer, Chancellor and Under people were tired of him as a minister Treasurer of the Exchequer, and one of and hated him as a man; he concluded His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy
1 [A speech delivered in the House of
by moving “that an humble address §: food to His Majesty, that he
Council, from His Majesty's presence and councils forever.”]