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"acquainted with the inclinations and true interest "of his people; weak, capricious, transported with "unbounded ambition, and INSATIABLE AVARICE." Though we were still at peace, twelve hundred thousand pounds were borrowed from the sinking fund for the service of the current year. A subsidy of fifty-six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds. was, not long after, voted to the king of Denmark, and another million sterling abstracted from the sinking fund.

In February 1735, the accounts of the navy were laid before the parliament. One article may serve as a specimen of the rest. About two hundred and fifty thousand pounds were exacted, not for building of fhips, but for the pretended building of houses for the commifsioners and other officers of admiralty *. Walpole had not even paid parliament the previous compliment of consulting them. In 1736, a million was again borrowed from the sinking fund, and still in the midst of a profound peace. It is natural enough that the word Walpole has become synonymous to bribery. Pulteney, and some of the opposition, were but little better. They wanted the minister to settle an hundred thousand pounds a-year on the prince of Wales. It had been fixed at about half that sum; and this revenue was, it seems, unequal to his necefsities. Though a temperate and moderate man, he died bankrupt, and his debts are at this day unpaid. For the discharge of them by his family would have been only an act of justice, not a political job.

* Beatson's Naval Memoirs, vol. i. page 25.

In August 1739, Britain entered into a treaty with the landgrave of Hefse for four years. We were to pay him two hundred and fifty thousand crowns per annum, and to be supplied with six thousand men.

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On the 20th October 1740, died our once projected king of Spain, the emperor Charles vi. He was succeeded by his daughter Maria Theresa. George II. by one of his endless treaties, had engaged to defend her dominions, if attacked, with an army of twelve thousand men. In April 1741, he informed the House of Peers, that he had ordered the subsidy troops of Denmark and Hefse Cafsel, to be ready to march to her afsistance. Sir Robert Walpole moved, that an aid of two hundred thousand pounds fhould be granted to her. Mr Shippen protested against any such interposition in the affairs of Germany. He remarked, "that had such a connection been

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foreseen, it might for ever have precluded from "the succefsion that illustrious family to whom the "nation were indebted for such numberless blessings, “such continued felicity!" The two hundred thousand pounds were voted*, and three hundred thousand pounds additional, to enable his majesty effectually to support the queen of Hungary. Another million was borrowed from the sinking fund.

Since the accefsion of the House of Brunswick, they had entered into at least some hundreds of separate treaties with almost every different prince

• Smollet, from whom I am abridging, a few pages after states this sum at three hundred thousand pounds. And Beatson says that in April 1741, two hundred thousand pounds were granted to his majesty for a secret expedition. Naval memoirs vol. 1. p. 76.

and state in Christendom. By one of these transactions, concluded about this time, Frederick tells us, "that the kings of Poland and England had formed

an offensive alliance, by which they divided the Prufsian provinces. Their imagination fattened "on that prey; and while they declaimed against ❝ the ambition of a young prince, they were already


enjoying his spoils *." Had their most sacred anajesties been able to read Shakespeare, one might have suspected that Falstaff was their favourite hero.


Now," says the knight, "' fhall I see the bottom "of Justice Shallow. If the young dace be a bait "for the old pike, I see no reason in the law of nature but I may snap at him." But the dominions of a Frederick were not to be partitioned by such adversaries as George or Augustus. In 1742 when Walpole found himself in a minority, a message was sent to the prince of Wales, importing, that if he and his party would make proper advances, fifty thousand pounds per annum should be added to his revenue, and two hundred thousand pounds should be disbursed to, pay his debts. It is needlefs to expatiate on such a proposal. It was rejected; and even the friends of the prince, when they mounted the saddle, seem to have been ashamed of attempting so profligate a project; for in March 1751, at the distance of nine years, they suffered his royal highness to die insolvent. Walpole was driven from his post, and a committee were appointed to inquire into his conduct. It appeared," that, during the last ten years, he had touched for secret service, one million four hun

History of my own times, chap. ii.

VOL. ix.


"dred and fifty-three thousand four hundred pounds of the public money * " Of this sum more than fifty thousand pounds had been paid to scribblers in defence of his ministry. A crowd of scandalous and pitiful circumstances were discovered, though the inquiry was stifled in the bud. Walpole used to boast that every man had his price, and he frankly profefsed the most sovereign contempt for every pretence of honesty or public spirit. Such was the master who, with absolute authority, governed the freemen of England for twenty years. Yet he had three excellent qualities,-he possessed much good nature, despised personal revenge, and detested war. Parliamentary bribery was very bad; but military butchery was a thousand times worse. He therefore differed from his succefsors in office, as a pickpocket differs from an afsafsin. One of the first acts of parliament, after his resignation, was to provide for the subsidies to Denmark, and Hefse Cafsel; and five hundred thousand pounds for the queen of Hungary. The supplies of the year amounted to near six millions sterling, of which more than one half was borrowed from the sinking fund, or the bank of England, Thus did the nation "lavish her blood and "treasure, in supporting the interest and allies of


a puny electorate, in the north of Germanyt!" We now see one good reason why the French and Spanish privateers, took three thousand two hundred and thirty-eight British vefsels. The money which ought to have been expended in squadrons for their protection, was bestowed on those enemies of mankind, the despots of Germany. Charity begins at † Smollet.

* Smollet.

27 home, says the proverb, and when your own house is on fire, you will hardly be persuaded to run a mile to extinguish the flames of another. Such a history affords about as much entertainment and satisfaction as the chronicle of Tyburn. The balance both of virtues and abilities turns perhaps in favour of the triple tree. What is the guilt of a simple footpad to that of a tyrant, who wantonly drives whole empires into an ocean of blood? The British cabinet

may be considered as a kind of volcano in the moral world, spreading destruction in the proportion of an Alps to a mole hill beyond the petty ravages of Etna, or Vesuvius.

Laurencekirk, April 16. 1792.



In the year 1777, two soldiers took a fancy to go hear a sermon; the orator was Mr Murray, well known for his doctrine of universal salvation. In the afternoon of the same day, another preacher exhibited; but his doctrine was diametrically the reverse of what they had heard in the morning.

"Tom,” said one of them, "do you hear how differently these folks preach? Which of them do you intend to believe?" "I'll be d--n'd," says Tom," if I believe either of 'em yet a while, till I see it come out in general orders."

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