Графични страници
PDF файл


“ he sure of 1,800,000 French livres or 2,000,000 for SECTION “ these two or three years," and in that month the latter

Ib. p. xii. sum had been agreed upon. No part of this sum was ". ever paid, and the affairs of Portugal, and the King's Ib. p. xiv. necessities becoming urgent, Clarendon negotiated the lz: P: * sale of Dunkirk to France, which there is some reason to suspect was a measure he neither proposed nor approved of. However, as minister, he conducted the negotiation, and in September, 1662, it was settled, that Charles was to receive 5,000,000 of livres. It is to be observed here, that no son of the Earl of Clarendon is mentioned to have taken any part in these negotiations, * and therefore Mr. Rose is mistaken when he asserts, that “the Chancellor, and his son” were agents in them. Whatever praise, or blame is connected with them belongs exclusively to Clarendon himself.

The first negotiation appears to have been for a loan of 50,000l. ; the second for assistance in the war in favour of Portugal, the nature of which is not particularly explained, but seems to have been for a subsidy, rather than a loan; and, the third, for the sale of Dunkirk. The plan of this work does not make it requisite to enter here into a defence of the conduct of the Earl of Clarendon, in all or any of these transactions; but it may be proper to add a few remarks in support of an observation made by Mr. Fox, that his adminis

* His eldest Son was trusted with the secret, and wrote a letter in cipher for his father. Clar. St. Pap. Supp. iii. p.ü.


tration was less exceptionable by far, than any of those, which succeeded it. There is no evidence that any money was received by Clarendon, or through any measures advised by him, till the price of Dunkirk was paid. Nor in the application he originally made, or the negotiations founded upon it, did he condescend to degrade himself, his King, or his country, by making any concessions, or propositions inconsistent with the honour of any of them: Louis the Fourteenth was not to direct, or be admitted to any participation in the internal government, or domestic concerns of England; Charles was not to become the pensioner of a foreign power. The Earl of Clarendon, from any thing appearing in the State Papers, would have been shocked, and in as strong terms, as Mr. Rose has used, might, if not restrained by a consideration of respect for monarchy, have expressed his detestation of the “ debasing conduct,” of the “ profligacy of the “ monarch,” submitting to such base practices: and his deep indignation at the “infamy” attending them.-To the charge of having negotiated, first a loan, and then a subsidy for his Sovereign, and when he failed in both, of consenting to and negotiating the sale of Dunkirk to relieve him from embarrassment, Clarendon must plead guilty ; but proofs are yet wanting, that he was the agent in any money transactions, which were inconsistent with the national honour, unless the sale of Dunkirk, to which resort was had at last, may be


deemed one. - His refusal of the proffered bribe of France SECTION forms a pleasing contrast with the infamous conduct of some subsequent ministers, who made no scruple to receive money from that power.


The cautious and just manner, in which Mr. Fox alludes to the report of Clarendon's having been privy to the King's receiving money from Lewis, does equal credit to his candour, and sagacity. If the political atmosphere, to which Mr. Rose ascribes such powerful effects, and by which he is so often influenced bimself, had really infected Mr. Fox's ingenuous mind, would an extraordinary, and in Mr. Rose's judgment an over scrupulous tenderness for Clarendon's reputation have been one of the symptoms of such contagion? It would have been rather an act of justice than of candour, if Mr. Rose, when he noticed Mr. Fox's doubt of Clarendon's guilt, had stated that the testimony of such a writer, biassed, as he has insinuated he was, afforded a strong presumption of the innocence of the party; or, if that innocence were questionable, as Mr. Rose seems to imagine, that the easy belief of Mr. Fox in the truth of it was incontrovertible evidence of the candour, with which he examined the character of those persons, from whose political principles he most widely differed, and of whose political conduct he could not approve.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

We shall not attend Mr. Rose in his inquiry into the extent, to which the corrupt intercourse of the King, and his ministers with France was carried after Clarendon's disgrace, because he has been anticipated by Dalrymple, whose argument, and arrangement of proofs Mr. Rose has contented himself with following, and adopting. But, as the Observer and Historian are at last agreed, we shall pass over ten pages, chiefly occupied with extracts from Correspondence, and congratulate the reader upon his having arrived at the end of the section. Our congratulations may also be extended to Mr. Rose, upon there being “ so little ground for “ any difference of opinion, as to render it unnecessary “ to call the public attention to” any thing, said by Mr. Fox, “ of the arbitrary and oppressive measures," during the remainder of the reign of Charles the Second. Indeed they could scarcely be described by any person in expressions more strong, or less respectful to Kings, than those to which we have before made allusion, and in which Mr. Rose has thought fit to declare his abhorrence and indignation of them. :

kose, p. 67.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »