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6. The conclufion of the treaty of Seville, and consequently the re-establithment of the commerce, with articles for all due and reas fonable fatisfaction, was a sensible stroak to the united party of the torys and difcontented whigs. However, having made a coalition, and appointed a general mufter in parliament, they were resolved to keep up their fpirits, and to attempt the attacks; and, therefore, they at first gave out unaccountable and false infinuations, to deceive themselves and their friends of the points of Gibraltar, and the privileges of trade, not being sufficiently secured. But the explicit terms of the treaty of Seville, when published, fatisfyed so well all considerate men, and the tryall of that point in the house of lords, with fo great a majority, to the advantage of the court, foon made the adverfaries fenfible, that it was impoffible for them to distress the ministers, or to doe any service to the emperour on that heada i
C. They therefore had recourse to another scheme, which might serve their purpose, if compassed, as well; which was to create, if pofble, a coolness and jealousy between England and France; and for that end, the reparation made by the townsmen of Duokirk to that port, afforded, as they imagined, not only a plausible pretext to accuse the ministers of indolence, neglect, or cowardice, in not putting a stop to the proceedings of France, in a point fo popular, and of such confequence to this pation, but also of laying an im putation upon France, as violating the most folemn treatys, at a time of fo ftrict an allyance. The secrecy and art with which this point was managed and conducted, and the industry employed to create a ferment through the kingdom, and especially in this city, of a design of restoring the harbour of Dunkirk, had indeed occafioned a great flame both within and out of the parliament, upon the first opening of it. But the ministry having obtained fo much time, as to have this matter seriously enquired into, and to make impartiall people, see the wicked intention of this malicious enquiry, done with no other view, but to create a jealousy between Eng. land and France, and to encourage the emperour, and consequently, if possible, to destroy the treaty of Seville, or to put a stop to the execution of it, these machinations of the party opposite to the court, served only to turn to their own confusion; and I never saw in my life such a spirit as there was in, parliament, at the great day of Dunkirk, to support the ministry, their measures, and the alliances of the Hanover confederates, and such a rage and resentment against the opposite party, and their allys abroad, so that nothing was more clear that day, than that altho' the whigs in some popular points, such as place-bills, will follow their own inclinations, yett this parliament is determined to support the present administration and measures both at home and abroad'; and are sensible of the malicious contrivances of some to bring matters into confusion, for their own private ends.' Vol. ii. P. 671.
A long and curious account is given by lr Thomas Robinie
son (January, 16, 1731) of his conferences with prince Eugene
and other ministers of the court of Vienna. The firmness of the British negotiator appears to advantage on this occafion.
The eagerness of fir Robert Walpole for peace is displayed in the following extract from an epistle to the earl of Waldegrave.
« The favorable prospect of a general pacification in Europe gave me so much pleasure and satisfaction, that I am allways ex-tremely concerned when•I see any' unnecessary rubs or difficulties arise that may obstruct or retard the conclusion of this desirable work. From the time that his eminency the cardinal and monfieur le Garde des Sceaux entered into that friendly and confiden. tial manner of tranfacting businesse with your lordship, I promifed myself all reasonable successe. " It is the continuance of that, and that alone, which can bring this great affair to a happy conclufion; and I cannot upon this occafion omitt this opportunity of defiring your lordship, if you think it worth the trouble, to make my fincerest compliments to his eminency upon that agreeable prospect, and for the great fare he has had in conducting and forwarding this important transaction, which I make no doubt but he. will perfevere to see perfected and fully accomplished ; that it may for ever be remembered to his honour that he gave a generall peace to Europe, threatened allmost immediately with a generall war, a work that required not only the great creditt and influence which he fo juftly holds in the councils of Europe, but that great capacity, temper, and resolution which have been seen and admired through his whole administration, and his eminency knows that ia these great undertakings
· Fine coronatur, fine probatur opus.' Vol. iii. P. 314. ; Many interesting letters from the earl of Waldegrave, relative to the intrigues and counsels of the French court, from 1734 to 1737, are here given.
The epiftles from 1737 to 1742, refer to the disputes between Great-Britain and Spain, to parliamentary transactions, and the diffenfions of parties.-Walpole's account of his retreat from office, may be selected from this part of the correfpondence. In a letter to the duke of Devonshire (February 2, 1742), he says,
• It is determined that the king shall to-morrow, when he pales the malt-act, direct the two houses to adjourn themselves for a fortnight, to give time for settling a new administration. I shall go up immediately to the house of peers with the title of earl of Or. ford. Lord Wilmington will be put at the head of the treasury : but what further steps will be taken, are yet by no means seçtled among themselves.
* To give your grace a Mort view of this great revolution, I myft inform you that the panick was so great among whát I should call my own friends, that they all declared my retiring was become absolutely necessary, as the only means to carry on the publick bu-, finesse, and this to be attended with honour and security, &c. This was fixed with the D. of N- [Newcastle], lord Ch-r [the chancellor Hardwicke], lord Ca-tt [Carteret], and Mr. Pulteney, but the king has declared lord Will-n (Wilmington), my successor, which leaves the presidentship open, so that lord C-tt can be only president, except one of the secretaries be removed for him. This had fallen upon the D. of N. if I had not prevented it. But I am of opinion that the whig party must be kept together, which may be done with this parliament, if' a whig administration be formed. The prince was not acquainted with this sudden step till this morning, and I have just heard he receives it in a proper manner.
* Your grace may easily imagine that a great deal more might be faid upon this subject, than is proper to committ to paper; and when I have an opportunity, I fhall explain fome things to you which are scarce credible
. I believe the D. of A. ( Argyle], lord Ch-d [Chesterfield], and lord Cobhamn, have not been in the secret; and into what share they will lett them, and how go on without satisfying them, I do not fee; and all that I shall say is, that they who thought they had but one obstacle to remove to make all things easy, I believe, before they have begun their scheme, encounter such difficulties that they are already. almost at a Itand: but during the recesse the scene must open to fhew the actors.
I Thall be very glad when the businesse of Ireland will permitt your grace to come among us. Few honeft men are to be found, and still fewer dukes of Devon. One of the greatest prides and pleasures of my life is, that I have the honour to call you my friend; which is a title that I will never forfeit nor abandon. As occurrences happen, I will be watchfull; and may still have more opportunities of observing than it will be prudent for me to make use of. I will conclude with acquainting you that the king has behav'd towards me with more grace and steadinesse than can ever be enough acknowledg'd, and never yielded at all to the change till I made it
Vol. jii. P. 592. To the diligence and industry of Mr. Coxe, manifested in these volumes, we readily bear testimony. The memoirs form the best account, hitherto published, of the period in which fir Robert Walpole flourished: the letters and other papers are, in general, well felected ; and, to the future nára rator of the history of the present century, the work will be of great utility.
Crit. Rev. VOL. XXIV. Oct, 1798. N
Private Memoirs relative to the last Year of the Reign of Lewis
the Sixteenth, late King of France. By Ant. Fr. Bertrand de Moleville, Minister of State at that Time. Translated from the ariginal Manuscript of the Author, which has never been published, with five Portraits, from original Pictures, of the Royal Family of France. 3 Vols. 8vo. Il. Is. Boards. Cadell and Davies. 1797.
M. De Moleville informs us, that these memoirs were written with a view of doing justice to the character of Louis XVI. and would not have been published during the life of the author if it had not been suggested to him, that it would be fair to submit them to the contradiction of such contemporaries as might chink themselves interested in refuting them. Whatever reafons may have induced the writer so long to with-hold them from the public, the present is certainly an auspicious period for their appearance. The enthusiasın which gave popularity to the French revolution has subsided. The conduct of the late and present rulers of France has provoked comparisons by no means unfavourable to the administration of Louis XVI; the asperities of public opinion have been in fome measure softened by a general with for peace; and tyranny, in a democratic thape, has appeared more hideous than when it bore a inonarchical form. The conduct of Louis may now be reviewed with calmness. Whether it provoked the revolution is an important consideration with all who wish to derive falutary lessons from that stupendoụs event, and who may be at this time balancing the advantages and disadvantages of courts and republics, of kings and directors, in the promotion of public peace and happiness. For this purpose the volumes before us may be recommended as highly useful. We meet 'with less prejudice in favour of old establishiments, and more sense and candour in judging of innovations than we should have expected from one who was a minister under the ancien régime, and whole opinion respecting the proper weight of the people in government is not precisely that which the British conititurion sanctions.
The introduction is an appeal from M. de Moleville to his countrymen in favour of well-regulated monarchy. In reviewing the state of France prior to the year 1989, he represents the convocation of the etats-generaux a6 absolutely, though unfortunately, necessary, and as a measure from which important advantages might have arisen, had not the indifference and fel6 shness of M. de Maurepas excited the fermentation of the impure elements of the revolution, the incapacity and extravagant violence of the archbishop of Sens conducted the king and the monarchy to the mouth of the volcano, and
the vanity and ambition of M. Necker precipitated them into it. Pursuing thefe opinions more in detail
, our author confiders the dismission of M. de Calonne (before the king had put an end to the assembly of Notables); "and the consequent nomination of the archbishop of Sens, as the immediate causes of the revolution. It appears, that on this occafion the queen, who certainly was not distinguished by political fagacity, joined in the common prejudice against M. de Calonne, whose character is here ably defended. Of the archbishop, this writer obferves, that no man's character seems ever to have been more misunderstood. He was ' fuppofed to poffefs energy, because he was violent ; learning, because he was positive; genius, because he had vivacity; and talents for governing, because he criticised the administrations of all his
predeceffors.' Whatever truth there may be in this sketch, we cannot doubt of his being a principal instrument in accelerat-' ing the revolution, when we learn that, after having exhausted the royal treasury, drained every resource, annihilated public credit, and ruined the powers of the crown, by employing, upon the flightest occasion, those acts of royal authority which should be only resorted to upon the last extremity, such as lits de justice, lettres de cachet, the banishment and imprifonment of the magistrates, he at length, with boldness, but without confideration, atteinpted to free the government from the restraint of enregistering the laws in the sovereign courts of the kingdom, and of supplying [10 Jupply] this by enregister ing them in a new court, called Cour Plenière, which he pretended to re-establish, although no such court had ever existed in France.'' Measures of this description will be found to account for hatred of courts, for revolutions, and their worst consequences, in a more rational way than the laboured plots imputed to the sophists or the illuminés.
M. de Moleville was sent as one of the cominiffioners to Bretagne, to reform the magistracy upon the archbishop's new plan, which, however, was not communicated to him till after his arrival in that part of France; and, on his resignation of an office so repugnant to his feelings, he received a peremptory order from the king to execute his late commands. The whole of this history, which is given at considerable length, is a striking proof that the archbishop was the most unfit man to govern France at that time, and the consequences of these proceedings were insurrections at Rennes, in which the grand revolution, which was afterwards to burst forth, was accurately epitomised. The correspondence of our author with ministers, 'on these events, turned upon the necessity of
qualifying the measures of the archbishop, of abandoning the miserable Cour Plenière, and, above all, of suspending the execution of the new laws in Bretagne, until they should receive