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Fox's book. It was repeated, during Sir Patrick's own life, in all the papers of the time, and in all the historians since. Sir Patrick lived nearly forty good years after this accusation of Argyle was made public, and thirty-six of those years in great credit, honour, and publicity. If he had thought that the existence of such an accusation constituted a kind of moral necessity for the publication of his narrative, it is evident that he would himself have published it; and if it was not necessary, then, while he was alive to suffer by the censure of his leader, or to profit by its refutation, it is not easy to understand how it should be necessary now, when 130 years have elapsed from the date of it, and the bones of its author have reposed for nearly a century in their peaceful and honoured monument.
That the narrative never was published before, though the censure, to which it is supposed to be an antidote, had been published for more than a century, is a pretty satisfactory proof that those who were most interested and best qualified to judge, either did not consider the censure as very deadly, or the antidote as very effectual. We are very well contented to leave it doubtful which of these was the case, and we are convinced that all the readers of Mr. Rose's book will agree that it is still very doubtful. Sir Patrick, in his narrative, no doubt, says that Argyle was extremely arrogant, self-willed, and obstinate ; but it is equally certain that the Earl said of him that he was jealous, disobedient, and untractable. Both were men of honour and veracity, and, we doubt not, believed what they said. It is even possible that both may have said truly ; but, at this distance of time, and with no new evidence but the averment of one of the parties, it would be altogether ridiculous to pretend to decide which may have come nearest to an impartial statement. Before the publication of the present narrative, it is plain from Woodrow, Burnet, and other writers, that considerable blame was generally laid on Argyle for his peremptoriness and obstinacy; and now that the narrative is published it is still more apparent than ever that he had some ground for the charges he made against his officers. The whole tenor of it shows that they were constantly in the habit of checking and thwarting him, and we have already seen that it gives a very lame and unsatisfactory account of their strange desertion of him, when their fortunes appeared to be desperate.
It is perfectly plain, therefore, we conceive, that the publication of Mr. Fox's book constituted neither a necessity nor an intelligible inducement for the publication of this narrative, and that the narrative, now that it is published, has no tendency to remove any slight shade of censure that history may have thrown over the temper or prudence of Sir Patrick Hume. But, even if all this had been otherwise—if Mr. Fox had, for the first time, insinuated a censure on this defunct Whig, and if the narrative had contained the most complete refutation of such a censure--this might indeed have accounted for the publication of Sir Patrick's narrative ; but it could not have accounted at all for the publication of Mr. Rose's book-the only thing to be accounted for. The narrative is given as an appendix of 65 pages to a volume of upwards of 300. In publishing the narrative, Mr. Rose did not assume the character of “an author," and was not called upon, by the responsibility of that character, to explain to the world his reasons for “submitting himself to their judgment.” It is only for his book, then, exclusive of the narrative, that Mr. Rose can be understood to be offering an apology, and the apology he offers is that it sprung from the impulse of private friendship. When the matter is looked into, however, it turns out, that though private friendship may, by a great stretch, be supposed to have dictated the publication of the appendix, it can by no possibility account, or help to account, for the composition of the book. Nay, the tendency and tenor of the book is such as this ardent and romantic friendship must necessarily condemn. It contains nothing whatever in praise or in defence of Sir Patrick Hume ; but it contains a very keen and not a very candid attack upon his party and his principles. Professing to be published from anxiety to vindicate and exalt the memory of an insurgent revolution Whig, it consists almost entirely of an attempt to depreciate Whig principles, and openly to decry and vilify such of Mr. Fox's opinions as Sir Patrick Hume constantly exemplified in his actions. There never was an effect, we believe, imputed to so improbable a cause.
Finally, we may ask, if Mr. Rose's view, in this publication, was merely to vindicate the memory of Sir Patrick Hume, why he did not put into Mr. Fox's hands the information which would have rendered all vindication unnecessary? It was known to all the world for several years that Mr. Fox was engaged in the history of that period, and if Mr. Rose really thought that the papers in his custody gave a different view of Sir Patrick's conduct from that exhibited in the printed authorities, was it not his duty to put Mr. Fox upon his guard against being misled by them, and to communicate to him those invaluable documents to which he could have access in no other way? Did he doubt that Mr. Fox would have the candour to state the truth, or that he would have stated with pleasure anything that could exalt the character of a revolution Whig? Did he imagine that any statement of his could ever attain equal notoriety and effect with a statement in Mr. Fox's history? Or did he poorly withhold this information that he might detract from the value of that history, and have to boast to the public that there was one point upon which he was better informed than that illustrious statesman ? As to the preposterous apology which seems to be hinted at in the book itself, viz., that it was Mr. Fox's business to have asked for these papers, and not Mr. Rose's to have. offered them, we shall only observe that it stands on a point of etiquette which would scarcely be permitted to govern the civilities of tradesmen's wives, and that it seems not a little unreasonable to lay Mr. Fox under the necessity of asking for papers the very existence of which he could have no reason to expect.
This narrative of. Sir Patrick Hume has now lain in the archives of his family for 130 years unknown and unsuspected to all but its immediate proprietor; and, distinguished as Sir Patrick was in his day in Scotland, it certainly does not imply any extraordinary stupidity in Mr. Fox not to know by intuition that there were papers of his in existence which might afford him some lights on the subject of his history.
We may appear to have dwelt too long on these preliminary considerations, since the intrinsic value of Mr. Rose's observations certainly will not be affected by the truth or the fallacy of the motives he has assigned for publishing them. It is impossible, however, not to see that when a writer assigns a false motive for his coming forward, he is commonly conscious that the real one is discreditable; and that to expose the hollowness of such a pretence, is to lay the foundation of a wholsesome distrust of his general fairness and temper. Anybody certainly had a right to publish remarks on Mr. Fox's work-and nobody a better right than Mr. Rose; and if he had stated openly that all the habits and connections of his life had led him to wish to see that work discredited, no one would have been entitled to complain of his exertions in the cause. When he chooses to disguise this motive, however, and to assign another which does not at all account for the phenomenon, we are so far from forgetting the existence of the other, that we are internally convinced of its being much stronger than we should otherwise have suspected ; and that it is only dissembled, because it exists in a degree that could not have been decently avowed. For the same reason, therefore, of enabling our readers more distinctly to appreciate the intellect and temper of this right honourable author, we must say a word or two more of his Introduction, before proceeding to the substance of his remarks.
Besides the edifying history of his motive for writing, we are favoured, in that singular piece, with a number of his opinions upon points no way connected with Mr. Fox or his history, and with a copious account of his labours and studies in all kinds of juridical and constitutional learning. In order to confirm an opinion that a minute knowledge of our ancient history is not necessary to understand our actual constitution, he takes an unintelligible survey of the progress of our Government, from the days of King Alfred-and quotes Lord Coke, Plowden, Doomsday Book, Lord Ellesmere, Rhymer's Fædera, Dugdale's Origines, the Rolls of Parliament, Whitelock, and Abbott's Records ; but above all,“ a report which I made several years ago on the state of the records in my custody.” He then goes on, in the most obliging manner, to inform his readers that“ Vertots Account of the Revolutions of Rome has been found very useful by persons who have read the Roman History ; but the best model that I have met with for such a work as appears to me to be much wanted, is a short History of Poland, which I translated nearly forty years ago, but did not publish ; the manuscript of which His Majesty at the time did me the honour to accept; and it probably is still in His Majesty's library.” -Introduction, pp. xxiv. XXV.
Truly all this is very interesting, and very much to the purpose ;but scarcely more so than eight or nine pages that follow, containing a long account of the conversations which Lord Marchmont had with Lord Bolingbroke, about the politics of Queen Anne's ministers, and which Mr. Rose now gives to the world from his ręcollection of various
conversations between himself and Lord Marchmont. He tells us, moreover, that, accustomed as he has been to official accuracy in statement, he had naturally a quick eye for mistakes in fact or in deduction ;--that having long enjoyed the confidence and affectionate friendship of Mr. Pitt," he has been more scrupulous than he would otherwise have been in ascertaining the grounds of his animadversions on the work of his great rival ;--and that, notwithstanding all this anxiety, and the want of “ disembarrassment of mind” and “leisure of time,” he has compiled this volume in about as many weeks as Mr. Fox took years to the work on which it comments !
For the Observations themselves, we must say that we have perused them with considerable pleasure-not certainly from any extraordinary gratification which we derived from the justness of the sentiments, or the elegance of the style, but from a certain agreeable surprise which we experienced on finding how few parts of Mr. Fox's doctrine were considered as vulnerable even by Mr. Rose ; and in how large a proportion of his freest and strongest observations that jealous observer has expressed his most cordial concurrence. The Right Honourable George Rose, we rather believe, is commonly considered as one of the least Whiggish or democratical of all the public characters who have lived in our times; and he has himself acknowledged, that a long habit of political opposition to Mr. Fox had perhaps given him a stronger bias against his favourite doctrines than he might otherwise have entertained. It was therefore no slight consolation to us to find that the true principles of English liberty had made so great a progress in the opinions of all men in upper life, as to extort such an ample admission of them, even from a person of Mr. Rose's habits and connections. As we fear, however, that the same justness and liberality of thinking are by no means general among the more obscure retainers of party throughout the country, we think it may not be without its use to quote a few of the passages to which we have alluded, just to let the vulgar Tories in the provinces see how much of their favourite doctrines has been abjured by their more enlightened chief and leaders in the seat of Government.
In the first place there are all the passages (which it would be useless and tedious to recite) in which the patriotism and public virtue of Sir P. Hume are held up to the admiration of posterity. Now, Sir P. Hume, that true and sincere lover of his country, whose “talents and virtues his Sovereign acknowledged and rewarded,” and “whose honours have been attended by the suffrage of his country, and the approbation of good men," was, even in the reign of Charles, concerned in designs analagous to those of Russell and Sydney ;-and very soon after the accession of James, and (as Mr. Rose thinks) before that monarch had done anything in the least degree blamable, rose up openly in arms, and endeavoured to stir up the people to overthrow the existing Government. Even Mr. Fox hesitates as to the wisdom and the virtue of those engaged in such enterprises ;- and yet Mr. Rose professing to see danger in that writer's excessive zeal for liberty, writes a book to extol the patriotism of a premature insurgent,
After this, we need not quote our author's warm panegyrics on the Revolution—" that glorious event to which the measures of James necessarily led,”—or on the character of Lord Somers, “whose wisdom, talents, political courage and virtue, would alone have been sufficient to insure the success of that measure.” It may surprise some of his political admirers a little more, however, to find him professing that he “concurs with Mr. Fox as to the expediency of the Bill of Exclusion (that boldest and most decided of all Whig measures); and “thinks that the events which took place in the next reign afford a strong justification of the conduct of the promoters of that measure.” When his Tory friends have digested that sentiment, they may look at his patriotic invectives against the degrading connection of the two last of the Stuart Princes with the Court of France; and the “scandalous profligacy by which Charles and his successor betrayed the best interests of their country for miserable stipends." There is something very edifying, indeed, though we should fear a little alarming to courtly tempers, in the warmth with which our author winds up his diatribe on this interesting subject. “Every one,” he observes, “ who carries on a clandestine correspondence with a foreign power, in matters touching the interests of Great Britain, is primâ facie guilty of a great moral as well as political crime. If a subject, he is a traitor to his king and his country; and if a monarch, he is a traitor to the crown which he wears, and to the empire which he governs. There may, by possibility, be circumstances to extenuate the former ; there can be none to lessen our detestation of the latter.”——(pp. 149, 150.)
Conformably with these sentiments, Mr. Rose expresses his concurrence with all that Mr. Fox says of the arbitrary and oppressive measures which distinguished the latter part of Charles' reign; declares that “he has manifested great temperance and forbearance in the character which he gives of Jeffries, and understated the enormity of the cruel and detestable proceedings of the Scottish Government in its unheard-of acts of power, and the miseries and persecutions which it inflicted ;" admits that Mr. Fox's work treated of a period “in which the tyranny of the Sovereign at home was not redeemed by any glory or success abroad;" and speaks of the Revolution as the era when the full measure of the Monarch's tyrannical usurpations made resistance a duty paramount to every consideration of personal or public danger.
It is scarcely possible, we conceive, to read these, and many other passages which might be quoted from the work before us, without taking the author for a Whig; and it certainly is not easy to comprehend how the writer of them could quarrel with anything in Mr. Fox's history for want of deference and veneration for the monarchical part of our constitution. To say the truth, we have not always been able to satisfy ourselves of the worthy author's consistency; and holding, as we are inclined to do, that his natural and genuine sentiments are liberal and manly, we can only account for the narrowness and unfairness of some of his remarks by supposing them to originate from the habits of his practical politics, and of that long course of opposition in