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find food for thought in carrying the comparison beyond the limits of the Iberian peninsula and noting the similarities and differences between the various Cortes and the English parliaments of the same period. Their investigations will probably lead them to the conclusion that, speaking broadly, the claim of the people to a share in the government was considerably more fully recognized, theoretically at least, in Spain than in England, at that stage of their development.
ROGER BIGELOW MERRIMAN.
HORACE WALPOLE'S MEMOIRS OF THE REIGN OF
GEORGE THE THIRD, II.
In the first part of this article an attempt was made to show that Walpole's Memoirs of George III., supposedly written between the years 1766 and 1772, give expression to a theory of the reign of George III, which is inconsistent with ideas expressed by the author in letters written between 1760 and 1772. It was discovered, further, that in 1775 Walpole “transcribed " at least a considerable portion of the Memoirs, and that in 1784 he inserted some new material in the fourth volume. And, finally, it was found that the insertions of 1784 expressed opinions in marked contrast with the opinions of the letters written before 1775, but identical with the opinions of the letters written after that date. A more difficult question now presents itself: to what extent were the first three volumes revised in 1784? Having answered this question, an effort will be made to estimate the general importance of the revision as a whole.
It will be remembered that the only precise references to a date subsequent to 1775, except in the foot-notes, occur in the fourth volume. It will also be remembered that the note in which Walpole says “as I transcribe these Memoirs—in June, 1775", is at page 24 of volume three. It might be assumed, therefore, that Walpole continued the "transcribing " until he reached the ministry of Lord North, and then laid the work aside because the American war was changing his opinion of Lord North, and because even the beginning of North's ministry could be treated satisfactorily only after the result of the quarrel with America was known. This assumption would explain why there is no reference to a date subsequent to 1775 in the first three volumes, which is a fact needing explanation if we suppose that the first three volumes, as well as the fourth, were revised in 1784. The difficulty with this hypothesis is that there are many passages in the first volume which, without specifically referring to dates or events subsequent to 1775, have all the other marks leading one to suppose that they were written in 1784 rather than at any earlier date. These passages are scattered throughout the first volume, and they embody opinions about Bute and the “ Junto", the Scots and the Tories, the prerogative, Lord North, and the king, which we do not find Walpole giving expression to elsewhere until after 1775. Let us examine some of these passages.
The tone of much of the first volume is given at the outset. Two paragraphs are devoted to elaborating the statement that "No British monarch has ascended the throne with so many advantages as George the Third."! And yet, in spite of these advantages, “A passionate, domineering woman, and a Favourite, without talents, soon drew a cloud over this shining prospect. Without anticipating events too hastily, let it suffice to say that the measure of war was pushed, without even a desire that it should be successful; and that, although successful, it was unnaturally checked by a peace, too precipitate, too indigested, and too shameful, to merit the coldest eulogy of moderation.” At the time of the peace, as we have seen from the letters, Walpole was for peace at any price. To be sure, he did not vote for the peace. But neither did he vote against it. His reason for not voting at all was undoubtedly the fact that Fox tried to bribe him to vote with the government. Now, if Walpole wanted peace at any price, as the letters assert, this offer of a bribe put him in an impossible position : he wished to vote for the peace, but he wished also to show Fox that he could not be bribed; to leave the House before the vote was taken was the most natural escape from such a dilemma. On the other hand, if Walpole believed, as he says in the Memoirs, that the peace was "too shameful to merit the coldest eulogy of moderation ", there was every reason for voting against it; the offer of a bribe would be only an additional reason for doing just that thing. These events, it is true, occurred before Walpole began to write the Memoirs; but at no time from 1766 to 1772 does he express, in the letters, any pronounced opposition to the Peace of Paris. He says very little about it, indeed, until towards the close of the American war. Then, the prospect of another treaty with France, likely indeed to prove shameful, turned his attention to the last one, which now seemed shameful too. France“ never wants a Lord Bolingbroke or a Lord Bute to negotiate for our shame”, he writes in 1780.4 ° And again, in 1783, he refers to “The Peace of Paris, more ignominious as the termination of a most triumphant war".
1 Memoirs, I. 3, 4. ? Ibid., pp. 4, 5.
3 Walpole explains his refusal to vote for or against the peace, in the Memoirs, thus : “ Yet was I not so steeled by the glories of the war as to be insensible to the yearnings of humanity; and therefore, ignominious as the articles were, my conscience would not suffer me to speak against a treaty that would stop such effusion of blood.” Memoirs, l. 167. The sentiments expressed in the letters (see first installment, January number, p. 262, n. 41) and Walpole's own account of Fox's attempt to bribe him (Memoirs, I. 168) make it impossible to accept this explanation as the true one.
* Letters, XI. 235. 5 Ibid., XII. 412.
It is in keeping with this attitude towards the Peace of Paris that Walpole takes pains in the Memoirs to justify Pitt in resigning in October, 1761, although in the letters he condemns him, and is merry and bitter by turns over the pension. In the letters we learn that the resignation is a fatal event. “Next to pitying our country ... I feel for the young King. It is hard to have so bright a dawn so soon overcast !”6 “ It is a most unhappy event."? “You may see what a beneficial, what a splendid peace we might have had; you will not so easily find the reason why we rejected it.”'s The Memoirs read very differently. “His hands tied, the nation affronted, and duped by the partial breaking off of the treaty with France, no proper resentment permitted against Spain, Mr. Pitt found he could do no farther good. His character had been lost by acquiescence; and nothing could rouse the nation, but his quitting the sphere of business, where he was so treacherously controlled.”9 In the next chapter Walpole details the speeches in Parliament in the November following the resignation. Pitt's great speech is given at considerable length, and is characterized, at the close, as
guarded, artful, and inflammatory ".10 But at the close of the chapter there is a paragraph which reads like an apology for leaving with the reader what is perhaps an unfavorable impression of the Great Commoner. The tone of the paragraph is so in keeping with the tone of the letters of 1783-1784 that it may be worth while to quote it in full.
The recapitulation of many speeches may perhaps weary the reader, but, in equity, he must remember that at this period at least it was essential to detail them. When Mr. Pitt was driven from the management of the war, he existed as a public man; but in his speeches and past services, his own defence of his measures was necessary from his own mouth. Libels on libels were published against him, and he wrote none. I am sensible that I do not do justice to his arguments, and less to his eloquence; but what I give was faithfully taken from his own mouth in the House of Commons; and unless better transcripts appear, this rude sketch may be welcome to posterity. No flattery is intended to him. When I thought him blameable, I have marked it, as will appear hereafter, with the same impartiality. The debates, too, of a free nation, arrived at the summit of its glory, may be worthy the attention of future times. Our descendants will see what their ancestors were in arms and eloquence, and what liberty they enjoyed of discussing their own interests. Grant, Heaven, they may not read it with a sigh; reading it in bondage and ignominy!"
& Letters, V. 124.
The shameful peace and the reverses of Pitt were due, Walpole gives us to understand, to Lord Bute and his tools, the Scots and the Tories. These constituted the “Junto" which, through the princess, exercised a controlling influence in the government. And the settled purpose of the Junto was to restore the prerogative. “ The King would be King", it was publicly asserted. “The prerogative was to shine out”;13 “ The views of the Court were so fully manifested afterwards, that no doubt can be entertained but a plan had been early formed of carrying the prerogative to very unusual
The Tories .. came to Court ... but they came with all their old prejudices. They abjured their ancient master, but retained their principles; ... Prerogative became a fashionable word; and the language of the times was altered before the Favourite dared to make any variation in the Ministry.”:15 The influence of the Junto did not end with Lord Bute's ministry, for, as Bute himself said, “whatever the ministers might think, they should find he himself was minister still.” And Walpole adds, “A memorable sentence, confirmed by facts, and of which the contrary assertion was vainly attempted afterwards to be imposed upon the world.”16 Lord North, too, instead of the “honest” and “moderate ” man of the letters, is a tool of the Junto. "Lord North was the chief manager for the Court . . . his coarse figure, and rude untempered style, contributed to make the cause into which he had unnecessarily thrust himself appear still more odious."17
This attitude, which pervades the first volume, is not at all what one expects after reading the letters of the period when the first draft was composed. There is reason, as will be seen presently, for supposing that in the original draft Walpole was mainly intent on detailing the events of the period covered by the second and third volumes, which was the period in which he was himself active in politics, and that the events of the period covered by the first volume were briefly sketched as a kind of introduction. Whether this assumption is tenable or not, but especially if it is tenable, we should expect to find in the first volume less emphasis on the Junto and Lord Bute and more on the “Cabal” and Grenville, because after 1763 it was never Bute so much as Grenville whom Walpole disliked and feared: it was Grenville who was responsible for the dismissal of Conway; it was Grenville who bungled the Regency affair: