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haps that which is most easily excited, men will never sacrifice themselves for a cause which they only half approve.
The Mogul Sultan Acbar bore this inscription upon one of his seals, I never knew a man lost upon a straight road.' It had been well for Marlborough's reputation, and for his happiness, if that saying had been taught him in his youth; for by the crooked policy which he pursued, he brought upon himself greater dangers than those which he was endeavouring to avert. He was committed to the Tower upon an accusation brought by one Young, a villain who, having forged letters with such skill that Marlborough said he himself should have been deceived by the. imitation, hid them in a flower-pot at the Bishop of Rochester's. The place was searched upon his information, and the evidence which was then discovered, appeared at first to be conclusive against the persons whose lives this wretch intended to sacrifice. The forgery was detected, but Marlborough was dismissed from his employments. His name was erased from the list of privycounsellors, and he was detained some time after the falsehood of the accusation against him had been proved. Undoubtedly William was apprized of his correspondence with the exiled King. Marlborough had the consciousness of innocence to support him, as to the specific fact of which he was accused; but he must have felt very differently, when Sir John Fenwick, in the hope of saving his own life, charged him with having accepted a pardon from James, and undertaken to secure the army for his service. Fenwick had good reason to believe the charge, but he had no means of proving it, his information resting only upon the indirect communications of certain French agents, who told him all they knew, and probably passed upon him their hopes and conjectures for facts. On this occasion Mordaunt, then Lord Monmouth, afterwards the famous Earl of Peterborough, acted with peculiar infamy; he supplied Fenwick with written directions how to conduct his defence, so as to implicate the persons whom he had accused; and yet when Fenwick did not think proper to follow these directions, this most inconsistent man voted for the attainder against him. The charge could not be substantiated, and Fenwick died with the shame of having betrayed the cause for which he suffered.
Magnanimity was William's characteristic virtue-and in that how many virtues are included! he knew how far Marlborough had gone, and could make allowance for the motives which induced him to play a double part. And though he had prejudices against him, arising from court-quarrels and the jealousies between the Queen and her sister, he was nevertheless sagacious enough to perceive, and just enough to acknowledge, his extraor
dinary capacity. He frequently expressed his concern that he could not employ a nobleman who was equally distinguished for political and inilitary talents. Other generals,' he said, found every thing impracticable which was proposed to them; but Marlborough appeared never to discover a difficulty.' At length he appointed him governor to the Duke of Gloucester; and with a gracefulness of compliment which has seldom been exceeded, when he delivered the Prince into his care, said,' Teach him to be like yourself, and he will not want accomplishments.'
When the ungenerous usage which William had experienced from Parliament led him, in the bitterness of his heart, to determine upon renouncing a throne where his best intentions were thwarted by a party-spirit, which has from that day been the worst evil and the peculiar disgrace of England, Marlborough was one of the few persons to whom he imparted his design. And when, after the accession of Philip V. to the throne of Spain, William prepared for war, he appointed Marlborough to command the forces in the Netherlands, and to negociate the treaties for the renewal of the Grand Alliance. This was an arduous task: he had to reconcile jarring interests, to allay or at least suspend inveterate enmities, to moderate extravagant pretensions, and to conciliate impracticable young sovereigns, in whom will and passion were paramount, and obstinate ministers who had grown old in imbecility and error. In addition to these difficulties, both William and the Dutch government urged him, in his treaty with the Emperor, to fix the number of troops which England should supply, without waiting for the sanction of Parliament. On this point Marlborough stood firm; in his correspondence with the English ministers he says, I am fully persuaded that if the King should be prevailed upon to settle this by his own authority, we shall never see a quiet day more in England, and consequently not only ruin ourselves, but also undo the liberties of Europe; for if the King and Parliament begin with a dispute, France will give what laws she pleases.' And to Godolphin he says that, if the cabinet should be induced to take this step, and send out orders to him, I am so persuaded that the doing of this by His Majesty's authority would prove fatal to himself and the kingdom, that I should desire to be recalled: for, before God, I will die sooner than do so fatal a thing.' These representations had the effect of dissuading the King from an intention which seems to have originated in an imperfect understanding of the coustitution, certainly not in any desire of increasing his power by unconstitutional means. The last advice of William to his successor was, that she should look upon Marlborough as the most pro
per person in her dominions to lead her armies, and direct her councils.
Well was it for England and for Europe, that Marlborough, owing to accidental circumstances, possessed that influence over the mind of the new sovereign to which he was justly entitled by his surpassing talents: for the exigencies of the time required the full exertion of such talents. William himself, great general as he was, had scarcely been able, with the aid of all his allies, to make head against the overwhelming power of France: but Spain was now detached from the alliance, and ranged on the side of France; and by virtue of that connection, Louis XIV. had obtained complete possession of the Spanish Netherlands, (which had been the bulwark of Holland,) for all purposes of offensive war. Bavaria also was become the ally of the French, whose arms, by this connection, were at once introduced into the heart of the empire. The power of France exceeded all precedent in modern history. The French are eminently a military people; their education, their habits of mind and of body, their universal cleverness, their vivacity, their buoyant spirit, the hardness and the lightness of their character, their virtues and their vices, fit them above all others for a military life: and half a century had brought their armies to the highest state of discipline, under officers alike characterized by the love and knowledge of their profession. The kingdom had also the advantage of a firm government, under a sovereign of no common talents, who, more than any other of the European kings, possessed the unbounded affection of his subjects, because his character was completely suited to that of the people whom he governed. There was no vacillation in his councils; whoever might be minister, the same system was steadily pursued; a system of aggrandizement, which disregarded all treaties, all obligations moral and religious, and against which there could be no security; that system during the whole of his long reign, the longest in the annals of Europe, he had pursued without intermission and without remorse.
It would have been easy for Louis to effect the subjugation of Europe, had not this country opposed. But the situation of England must have appeared to him as unfavourable as that of his own kingdom was advantageous, in all those points which he had been accustomed to contemplate as constituting the essential strength of states. A woman was at the head of a feeble government, a factious legislature and a divided nation. Her talents were of the common standard; there was little in her personal character which deserved respect, but few persons have ever been more largely entitled to compassion. The rank in which she was born placed her in an unhappy situation, wherein the path of
duty was not plain. The strongest intellect and the purest mind might have hesitated how to act, between a sense of what was due on the one hand to the king her father, and on the other to the religion of her country, in which she had been so carefully brought up, that neither her father's example, nor the perversion of her mother had, in the slightest degree, shaken her attachment to the principles of the English Church. Her part was taken, not with deliberation, but in a time of confusion, alarm and fear: in that crisis she preferred her public to her private duty, and her own heart ever afterwards punished her for the sacrifice of a natural and sure feeling to a doubtful obligation. When the king heard that she also had deserted him, he burst into tears, and exclaimed, God help me! even my own children have forsaken me! Anne must have called to mind this exclamation with a bitterness at least equal to that in which it was uttered, when, after having borne eight immature births, and nine living children, she saw the last of them expire, when he was the acknowledged heir to the crown, and when the promise of his virtues and talents might have satisfied the wisest desires and the most ambitious hopes. She attended on him,' says Burnet, during his sickness, with great tenderness, but with a grave composedness that amazed all who saw it; she bore his death with a resignation and piety that were indeed very singular.' It might have occurred to the bishop that this composedness was the demeanour of one who submitted to the stroke as a judicial visitation, and in her inward soul acknowledged how fitting it was that she, who had sinned against a parent, should be punished in her children. Under that impression she corresponded with her father, and requested he would sanction her acceptance of the crown in the event of William's death, declaring her readiness to restore it whenever it should be practicable. James would hear of no such compromise. If he had survived William, Anne would have had a second conflict with herself, more painful than the first. His decease placed her in a different situation. She could have no personal affection for her brother, and it appears that she had been so far imposed upon by the impudent story of the warming-pan as to doubt his birth,-though not to disbelieve it.
Louis, who knew of her correspondence with her father, could not have supposed that she should, in any degree, be the dupe of so gross a falsehood. He reckoned the Queen's conscience among his allies; and he was statesman enough to understand that public measures depend more upon the personal disposition of the governors, than upon any principle of policy, or any other causes whatsoever. He had not yet learnt to fear the English armies, and probably thought that in losing William they had lost their VOL. XXIII. NO. 45.-Q. R. greatest
Coxe-Life of Marlborough.
greatest strength. The English councils he had a right to despise, -fluctuation perpétuelle dans la conduite d'Angleterre, was the indignant exclamation of De Witt. Unanimity in a nation was regarded by him as of such importance, that, for the sake of obtaining it, he had stained his history by a most inhuman and wholesale persecution: it is likely, therefore, that he calculated the religious animosities which prevailed among the English, at more than they were worth in his favour. With the strength of the jacobites he was perfectly acquainted, and he knew the price of a patriot. Every thing in the comparison seemed to ensure the success of France in the approaching contest, for he was altogether ignorant of the spirit and the resources of England.
The hopes which he entertained from the disposition of the queen were frustrated by the ascendancy of the countess of Marlborough. The intimacy between them, which had commenced in early youth, had ripened into a romantic friendship, in which rank on the one side, and talents on the other, established something like equality. The happiness of the countess was not increased by the power of which she found herself possessed upon the queen's accession: her influence, however, at this time was one of the most fortunate accidents in English history. The garter was given to her husband, he was appointed captaingeneral of the forces at home and abroad, and at his instance Godolphin was made lord high treasurer a statesman worthy to be his colleague. The only son of Godolphin had married Marlborough's eldest daughter, lady Henrietta. Lady Anne, the second, was married to Lord Spencer, son of the Earl of Sunderland. Marlborough and Godolphin were both Tories, but more than any men of their generation free from the narrowness and asperity of party-spirit; for they were both men of sound judgment, as well as mature years and political experience, upright principles, and true English feeling. The ministry was formed by the queen without their interference; she consulted her private inclinations and antipathies, and composed it of the most decided Tories, men who were so intolerant, that, not contented with filling all the higher offices of the state and the law, they would not have suffered a single Whig to officiate as justice of the peace, if Marlborough and Godolphin had not interposed and restrained them. This interposition became a cause of disunion in the ministry, even from its commencement. The queen's uncle, Lord Rochester, was at the head of the tories; his father, in all important respects the most valuable of our English historians, is also the model of an English statesman, for the general justness of his views, and the uniform integrity of his life. Rochester had neither inherited his moderation nor his wisdom, nor