Page images


by it; which I impute not to our Honefty and Virbut to our Folly, Malice, Infatuation, and the great Hafte we are in to be undone. The Parliament has paffed fuch a Cenfure upon the Duke, that I dare aver no equal Number of Men in all the World, of what Nation or Religion foever, would have done. But the laying him afide is fo ftrange a thing, that People are put to all their Shifts to account for it; and to make it go down with the World, muft invent, exaggerate, and fay and do any thing, to make him appear worthy of fuch Ufage; but I expect it will turn to his Enemies Mifchief, as it certainly does to his Honour, that after fo keen and malicious an Inquifition into his Conduct, their great Mafter should be able to accufe him of nothing, but of doing what all Generals have done before him, and what King William always did.

In May 1712, he published FOUR Sermons, on extraordinary Occafions*, with a PREFACE, which was ordered to be burnt by a Vote of the Majority of the House of Commons. Upon this moft unjust Affront, his Lordship wrote the following Letter to the Bishop of Salisbury.

* 1. On the Death of Queen Mary. 2. On the Death of the D. of Gloucester. 3. On the Death of King William. 4. On the Acceffion of Q. Anne.



The Bishop of Salisbury.


June 17. 1712.

Received the Favour of your Lordship's Letter, and took it, as I know it was intended, very kindly. The Manner of my receiving the Indignity put upon my Preface, was neither like a Chriftian nor Philofopher, but like a very worldly Man. I knew the whole Procefs, and knew it to be a Piece of Revenge taken by a wicked Party, that found themselves forely ftung; and it affected me accordingly, i. e. very little. I am not one that love to be the Talk of the Town, and in this Part I confefs I was uneafy, although I think the Talk was very much in my Favour. The Complaint was made by Hungerford,† and feconded by Manley, ‡ (People that should indeed have been ordered to have burnt it) and thirded by what we call the Court, and carried by Numbers, without a wife Word faid against it. Sir Peter King, Sir Jofeph Jekyll, Mr. Lechmere, and others of the Robe, were very

*For Printing, a few Months before, his excellent Sermon against Thofe that Delight in War. Wherein he had fet the ungenerous Treatment thewn the Duke of Marlborough, in fuch a Light, as will reflect everlafting Infamy upon his Perfecutors, the Profeffed Enemies of their Country.

A fneering, trifling, Wrangler, and much more noted, at the Bar, for Noife and Clamour, than a Knowledge of the Laws of his Country.

A Tool of Hungerford's, par Nobile Fratrum.


Strenuous Advocates in its Behalf, and fo were other Gentlemen, but to no great Purpose, for the Court divided 119, and my Friends but 54. If their Defign was to intimidate me, they have loft it utterly or, if to fupprefs the Book, it happens much otherwife, for every Body's Curiofity is awakened by this Ufage, and the Bookfeller finds his Account in it, above any one elfe. The Spectator has conveyed above 14,000 of them into other People's Hands, that would otherwife have never feen or heard of it. In a Word, My Lord, when I confider that thefe Gentlemen have used me no worfe, than, I think, they have used their own Country, the Emperor, the States, the Houfe of Hanover, and all our Allies Abroad, as well as all the Bravest, Wisest, and the Honefteft Men we have at Home, I am more inclined to become vain, than any ways deprefs'd at what has befallen me, and intend to fet up for a Man of Merit upon this very Stock.

But Plea

fantry apart, my Heart is wounded within me, when I confider feriously whereabouts we are, and whither we are tending. The Court-Party do now own publickly, that except the Allies accept of the Conditions that are offered them, King Philip is not to make any Renunciation; and certainly the Allies cannot accept of thofe Conditions, unless they are diStreffed to the laft Degree. We must and shall have a feparate Peace in spite of all that can be faid, and that must be without a Renunciation on the Part of France, and without a Guaranty from the Allies; and what a Peace is that like to be? It is now faid, that England is to constrain the King of France to content the States with a Barrier to their liking, and that the rest will come in, or stand out without any Danger; but I am afraid England has loft all her conftraining Power, and that France


thinks he has us in her Hands, and may use us as fhe pleafes, which I dare fay, will be as fcurvily as we deferve. What a Change has Two Years made? Your Lordship may now imagine you are growing young again, for we are fallen, methinks, into the very Dregs of Charles the Second's Politicks; faving, that then they were more reasonable, because our Enemy was then in fo full Power and Luftre, as might both terrify and dazzle a poor luxurious Prince, who would not be disturbed, nor feemed to care much what became of England after be was gone. The prefent Times may put you in Mind of thofe, with this bad Difference still, that now the ruinous Effects of thofe Advices feem to be taking Place after an Interval of five, or fix, and twenty Years; and after fuch an Interruption, as one would have thought fhould have quite baffled and destroyed them. I find, my Lord, upon reading my Letter, that I have entred upon deep Matters, which, confidering the Times, and the Spâ Waters I have taken, I ought not to have done. You will, I hope, excufe me, for methought I was talking with you, who, I believe favour me. I have, I thank God, an intire Truft in his Goodness, and know he has hitherto preferved us beyond all reafonable Hopes, without, and againft, all our Defervings; but will be ftill go on to fave us against our Will, and in the Midst of our Endeavours to deftroy ourselves? I hope He will, for else I think we are a loft People. I pray God to preferve your Lordship, and all your Family. I am,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's most humble Servant,



About three Years after the writing of this Letter, he had a true Senfe of the great Bleffing this Nation enjoyed, by having both its Civil and Religious Rights fixed on fuch a fure and lasting Foundation as that of the Proteftant Succeffion, by the Arrival of King George I. For, though neither You nor I, faid this good Bishop to an intimate Friend, are to look for any Amendment of our Fortunes; yet, we have now the Satisfaction, that we fhall enjoy our little Properties in Quiet and Security, and tranfmit them fafe to our Children.Such was the great Tranquillity of his Mind! He never afpired after, or was follicitous for a Change; but yet his Deferts were juftly, and foon, confidered by his Majefty; for, on the Demise of Bishop Moore, he was tranflated to the See of Ely. This Promotion he had enjoyed almost Nine Years when he died, Anno 1723.


« EelmineJätka »