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Early in 1738, the difference with Spain, which the next year resulted in war, begins to colour the correspondence. Mr. Walpole was strongly in favour of peace, arguing against the wild 6 notion of leaving the people of England and the Queen of “ Spain to worry one another.—Could the King and the “ ministry say fight dog, fight bear, between the people of “ England and the Queen of Spain, and if our King was once “ engaged, wouid France quietly say so with respect to him and “ Spain ?”
A remarkable letter of Walpole's in October 1740 describes the resources of France both in men and money.
On the accession of Frederick the Great, there were many speculations about his character and probable policy. A good understanding between him and his uncle George II. was hindered by the narrow views and jealousies of one particular country, Hanover. The Queen Dowager of Prussia acted as mediatrix between her brother and son, but in July Walpole found that a reconciliation so effected would relate only to family concerns, and not produce a political union, which Europe, England, and Hanover wanted, and in September Frederick gave offence, which would scarcely be forgiven, by his inquisitiveness about a certain will, doubtless either that of George I., which George II. is said to have destroyed, or that of his divorced wife, the grand parents of Frederick. In August Walpole thinks that though Frederick has not his father's bad qualities he has no very good ones, at least no great ones, but a month later that the Liége affair proved he had one good point, that he would strike, which his father would never do; and a fortnight later Walpole suggests having at Berlin a petit maître who might gain his favour. A year later he takes him to be a most arrant coward.
After 1740, the whole of the subsequent correspondence is so full of the events of the war, which from a German became a general European one, and of the consequent negotiations between the different states of Europe, that it cannot be noticed in detail, though much of it is of considerable interest. It may be remarked that Frederick is frequently designated Anti-Mac, i.e. AntiMachiavel, in allusion to the book of that name published soon after his accession when Trevor suspecter Voltaire of having foisted in the boldest and most exceptionable passages, especially those that are taxed with irreligion, and regrets that he had not obliged the public with it in the very same dress and condition in which he received it. In some of the later letters the French King is, curiously enough, spoken of as Mr. Nelson.
After Sir R. Walpole's resignation the conduct of affairs was hindered by the dissensions in the Cabinet between Lord Carteret and the other ministers, and after Carteret's retirement in November 1744 by the King's aversion to the ministers that were forced on him. Numerous allusions to this state of things occur.
In May 1743 Horatio Walpole writes :—“Since his Majesty is " determined to go, and stay I do not know where, and to do I “ don't know what, I heartily pray that he may be glorious and “ successful abroad, in order to be easy in his government when “ he returns again to us; for in the confusion things are at “ present here under a divided, distracted, and, I am afraid, weak “ administration, without any one person having the credit and
confidence of his master or the goodwill of his fellow subjects, “ any disgrace on the other side or even inaction will cause a 6 mnost troublesome and boisterous scene the next sessions." And in August Weston mentions the dissatisfaction of the ministers in England at the dryness and reserve of their correspondent (Lord Carteret) abroad, and fears that the mala sarta gratia of 1742 will not be long lived. The Dutch complained of the want of harmony and union among the King's servants, to which they attributed the want of forecast and system, and steadiness in English measures. In May 1744, H. Walpole speaks of the perpetual and irreconcileable discord among the ministers, and in June Henry Pelham writes: “We “ were very nearly falling to pieces on the demand made by the “ Pensionary for our paying the 6,000 Dutch as auxiliaries even “ after they came into Flanders.”
After Lord Carteret's retirement the King was always trying to get rid of his ministers. In June 1745, Lord Chesterfield writes: “At home things stand on the foot of six month's “ warning; and at the return from Hanover we are to know our “ fate, and to be really in, or really out; we are now neither.” Even just after Preston Pans, Weston writes :—“The Jeu de
“ Cabinet is again in vogue. Who will win that game I can't “ tell, but there is almost always a difference between that and “ all other games, viz., that the standers by are the greatest “ sufferers"; while finally in February 1746 occurred the extraordinary phenomenon of the resignation of the ministry, the attempt of Earl Granville and the Earl of Bath to form a new one, and the return of the old, all in forty-eight hours.
There was as much discord between England and her allies abroad as in the Cabinet Letters from the army in Flanders in 1744 and 1745 describe dissensions among the allied generals; for instance, in July 1744, General Wentworth writes : “A council of “ war was held yesterday at the Marshal [Wade]'s quarters . .. “ The time was principally taken up in disagreeable expostula“ tions, which never can do any good. Every party seemed to “ have their particular interest in view, to which all other points “ were to be sacrificed, nor after consuming some hours in fruitless “ debates, did they conclude upon anything very material, and, as “ far as I can judge, did not break up in very good temper.” And at the close of the campaign : “ The Marshal begins to think of “ returning home, undoubtedly with great pleasnre, for, if I be “ not much mistaken, no mortal was ever more weary of a jail “ than he is of his command.” It was hoped that the Duke of Cumberland's appointment would prit an end to these quarrels, but disputes on points of etiquette arose between him and the Prince of Waldeck, who commanded the Dutch contingent.
Lord Chesterfield, in July 1745, gives an illustration worth noticing of the system of subsidies. “I refer myself to Mr. “ Pelliam's letter with regard to the Cologne affair, and will only “ say that after bribing that Elector's ministers to influence him " to take our money, it is a little hard, that we must afterwards “ bribe him himself into it; I take it to be a trick of Mr. “ Champigny's in order to go snacks with his master in a sum “ which he will say he procured him unexpectedly, and by his “ own dexterity.”
From Florence came occasionally news from Horace Mann of the doings and plans of the Jacobites at Rome. In January 1744, he describes Charles Edward's secret departure for France, and in the following April the dejection and consternation there at the failure of the Dunkirk Expedition. It appears that the first
project was to invade Hanover with the Pretender's son. Two intercepted Jarobite letters of July and August from Paris and Rome relate to the Prince's expedition to Scotland. The first allusion to it in the English letters calendared is in Henry Pelham's of 10-21 September. He writes : “I heartily wish the troops “ were arrived, both Dutch and English, for, though I look upon " these Highland rebels as a sort of rabble, yet if there is no “ force to oppose 'em, they may come in time to be considerable. “ We have scarce any regular troops in the country, and between " you and I, I don't find that zeal to venture purses and lives " that I formerly remember. I don't care to look out for the “ reasons." In less than two months a great change had taken place. Early in November Weston writes : “There is a strong “ party for abandoning the Continent entirely, and dying, if we “ must die, se defendendo. Where all this will end, God knows. " But I doubt it must be little less than a miracle to save us.” Subsequent letters report the expedition to Derby and the subsequent retreat. In December it was reported that Charles Edward's brother was heading a second expedition to Scotland, and he was at first supposed to be one of the prisoners captured by the Sheerness..
J. Stuart Mackenzie, the Lord Bute's younger brother, who had met Trevor at the Hague, gives an account of the battle of Falkirk, of which he was an eye-witness, and a letter from Sir Everard Fawkener from Aberdeen shortly before Culloden describes the condition of the Royal army.
A letter written by Lord Carteret's orders the evening of the battle contains an account of Dettingen, and there is also an account of the battle of Raucoux in 1746. Letters from Sir John Ligonier and Colonel Graeme of the Dutch Service give their personal observations at Fontenoy.
Coxe, after writing his life of Sir Robert Walpole, had access to this collection, then in the possession of Trevor's son, the second Viscount Hampden, and printed a large number of the most interesting letters in his Memoirs of Horatio Lord Walpole, and one each in his House of Austria and Pelham Administration, unfortunately with a great number of mistakes, some of which completely alter the sense. For instance in one, “people of all ranks” appears as “people of rank" and in that giving an account of H. Walpole's first interview with the King, after the death of Queen Caroline, the conclusion should be “Although his (the “ King's) value and esteem for Sir Robert Walpole was certainly “ greater on account of the Queen's judicious approbation (Coxe, “ apostrophe) of him yet she (Coxe, he) knew that he himself “ had made him his chosen minister as superior and preferable “ to all his subjects." These mistakes have been noticed in the Calendar, and the true readings given by Mr. F. H. Blackburne Daniell, who has prepared the report on these papers.
The papers of the Earl of Lindsey, here calendared by Mr. Richard Ward, can scarcely be called the family correspondence of the Earls of Lindsey, to whom they belong, inasmuch as they do not contain more than half a dozen letters written from or to any person who ever bore that title. Historically speaking, they should be described as Danby or Osborne papers, as they relate almost exclusively to members of that family, and especially to Sir Thomas Osborne, of Kiveton, afterwards Earl of Danby and Duke of Leeds, who was Lord Treasurer under Charles II., and was impeached by the House of Commons for intrigues with France, and confined in the Tower for many years. He married Lady Bridget Bertie, daughter of Montagu, Earl of Lindsey.
In the second volume of the new series of the Retrospective Review is contained an article intituled the Bertie Letters, the writer of which letters was Charles Bertie, who was the son of the last-mentioned Earl of Lindsey. His name frequently appears in the present series, and several of the letters are written by or to him. It is stated in that article that the letters there referred to occupy the first two hundred pages of a thin folio volume in the library of the Earl of Lindsey at Uffington. It is from Uffington, where Charles Bertie lived, that the papers now under consideration come, but that folio volume is not amongst them. A few, however, of his earlier letters comprised in this Calendar would appear to be part of that correspondence which seems to have related principally to his foreign employments.