Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Coleman confesses that he got money from Barillon, to be distributed in the House of Commons." * Any one would suppose from this passage, that Coleman had so distributed the money. But, strange to say, it appears from the journals, that Coleman, though he received money, and the members of parliament to whom it was to be distributed were pointed out, affirms that he did not distribute it.

This will be seen by the following extract from the Journals of the House, of Commons, 7th Nov. 1678.

"Mr. Coleman says, That he received, in the last session, of Monsieur Barillon, two thousand five hundred pounds, which he entrusted him with, to distribute to members of the House of Commons, to prevent a rupture between the two crowns; and that accordingly he had prepared guineas to distribute amongst them, but that he gave none to any member of parliament, but applied them to his own use:

"That the French ambassador demanded an account of the two thousand five hundred pounds; and that he replied he had distributed it to members of the House of Commons, but desired to be excused as to their names:

"That about the time of the treaty with

* Dal. App. p. 201.

Monsieur Barillon on this occasion, Monsieur Barillon proposed several members to whom money might be given:

"That to some of them the said Mr. Coleman promised to give it; and told Monsieur Barillon he had done accordingly."

Notwithstanding this confession, some persons may believe that the money was distributed by Coleman, and that he was afraid to own it before the House of Commons. But if he had given it to members of the Opposition, who were at that time the most violent in prosecuting him, it is strange that, before his death at least, he should not have revealed a secret so fatal to them.*

Towards the end of I678, Barillon formed a connection with Montague, as we have seen, to ruin Lord Danby. By his dispatches of 27th October, 24th November, and 22d December, he appears to have been continually busied in extending this party. He seems, by means of Algernon Sydney, to have had some correspondence with Lord Halifax. But in November I679, the treaty between the two Kings having been broken off, he received orders from

* Whatever difference of opinion may arise on this point, there can be none with regard to the candour and honesty of Sir John Dalrymple.

VOL. r. O

Lewis to renew his connection with the popular party. He then tells us, December 14. 16'79, that he has seen Lord Hollis, who is well aware that the Court will adhere to the design' of governing absolutely, and that France alone can facilitate the success of such a design. He therefore wished the nation might not be stirred up against France, but he refused to accept even the present of a snuff-box from her ambassador. * Barillon then mentions, that, not to give suspicion by two frequent visits to Lord Hollis, he corresponded with him through Sir John Baber, by whose means also he had a strict connection with Mr. Lyttleton. He also mentions connections with Mr. Powle and Mr. Harbord ; and these four, he says, have touched what was promised them. In the same letter he mentions Sydney as having been of great use to him, and his name appears in the account

* I must attribute it to negligence in the late Mr. Rose, that he has accused Lord Hollis of receiving money, and that he quotes a dispatch of December 22d, 1678, as giving lists of the members of parliament who received money. This important mistake of a whole year has no doubt been occasioned by a reference, in Barillou's account of the 14th December, 1679, to his former account of the preceding year. * Mr. Rose fully accounts for such errors, by saying that he was not employed in writing his book many more weeks than Mr. Fox was years.

[ocr errors]

for 500 guineas. But in another dispatch, of December 5. 1680, where he gives a more particular account of these connections, he says the greater part of them could not be made by himself; "few were to be found who would directly treat with, or have any commerce with me, by which they might have exposed their fortunes and their lives. I made use of Mr. Montague, and Mrs. Hervey, his sister; of Mr. Harbord, Algernon Sydney, and Sieur Beber." He tells us afterwards, that Sydney's connections are with obscure people; so that he must be left out of the question. The persons, then, who managed these affairs, were Mr. Harbord, Mr. Montague, Mrs. Hervey, and Sir John Baber. Of Mr. Harbord we know nothing but his parliamentary politics. The character of Mr. Montague is one of the meanest that is to be found in history, and his sister seems to have been concerned in all his intrigues. Sir John Baber was a leader of the Presbyterians, who at one time belonged to Keeper Bridgman *, was at bottom attached to the Duke of York t, and received a regular pension from the Court for selling his party. t I will now put it to the

* Echard. | North.

f Barillon, Dal. App. 282.

good sense of the reader, whether it is more probable that such a man as Hampden, a gentleman of independent fortune and firm principles, who was afterwards sentenced to pay a fine of 40,0001. and actually paid 00001. for his liberation from prison, should accept a bribe of .5001.; or that Barillon should be deceived, as he had been before by Coleman, by corrupt and worthless emissaries. It would be the less difficult for them to blind his eyes, as all he wished from the Opposition was to refuse the supplies, which they were already determined not to grant, without the Exclusion Bill; and so little did he dream of influencing them in the choice of a successor, that he did not dare to let them see that he was instructed to oppose the Duke of Monmouth, though his Master had ordered him to traverse his pretensions by every means in his power. It seems most probable, upon the whole, that Barillon was persuaded he wras buying the first speakers in Parliament, and ruling the decisions of the House of Commons, whilst, in fact, he was only paying a few skilful intriguers. This view is supported by an expression of Algernon Sydney: "You know," he writes to Saville, "M. de Barillon governs us, if he be not mistaken." But his representation of Sydney is still more at variance with itself, than with that great man's

« ПредишнаНапред »