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JAMES TO MR. MENZIES.
Rome, July 20. 1721. Your letter relating to Lord Sunderland is very satisfactory; that affair seems to be in a good way, and in so good hands that there is nothing to be recommended but the continuance of the same prudent and zealous management.
EARL OF ORRERY TO JAMES.
October 28. 1721. The expectations of your friends to have a new Parliament this winter by the interest of the Earl of Sunderland were disappointed. About the latter end of the last Session he gave us reason to believe he should carry that point, which we thought the most material of any that it was proper at that season to ask: he now says, as I hear, that the Elector of Hanover was worked up into such an aversion against it by others belonging to the Ministry, and by the Germans about him, that he did not think it fit to push the matter too far, but gave way, and by that means got the other Ministers to declare openly that they would not think of prolonging this Parliament by a new law, but would contribute all in their power to have the present Session short, and then would have a new Parliament. This is the substance of the apology he makes, as I am informed ; and he pretends still to be a wellwisher to the Tories, who cannot but be a little shocked with this disappointment.
I should be very glad if any one would assist the cause with a constant supply of money, which is continnally wanted for several purposes, for intelligence abroad, which we are very deficient in, and would be of great use to us if we could from very good hands be informed of the transactions, views, and intrigues of the European Courts for maintaining several useful agents both here and in other places, many of whom perpetually want a comfortable subsistence, and particularly at this time of distress, when money is very scarce almost with every body, are driven I doubt to great necessity; and, if there be new elections, I am afraid a considerable sum will be wanted for carrying them on successfully, for corruption is so great among all degrees of men, that though the present spirit, if it continues, will do a great deal in the matter, yet there are so many little venal boroughs, that it is to be apprehended a majority will hardly be carried by the inclinations of the people only.
JAMES TO LORD LANSDOWNE.
April 13. 1722. It is certain that although the five persons now con. cerned were yet more considerable than they are, and though we were sure that they were to act all of them with the greatest union and the utmost vigour, it is not to be imagined that they alone could do the work; and of those five I do not see any one both willing and fit in all respects to act a principal part with the rest of my other friends who might come into the project; and yet how is it possible things can go on without a head and one chief person to direct and manage matters on the other side, and to correspond with this? In the way things have gone on hitherto, diversity of opinions, even joined to disputes and multiplicity of (in some manner) useless letters, have been the chief effect; whereas could what I mention above be compassed, affairs would certainly be carried on with much less confusion and much more harmony and secrecy. I am sensible it will not be easy to find such a person ; but were Lord Oxford willing to undertake the task, I know nobody so capable of performing it to advantage. Lord Arran would certainly agree to it, and as the others of that club are disgusted with the Bishop of Rochester, they would, I dare say, heartily enter into it; while, on the other hand, Lord Orrery, Lord Gower, and all that set of friends, would no doubt be pleased with the proposition, although they would not maybe have submitted so cheerfully to the Bishop of Rochester: so that all put together, even laying my Lord Oxford's capacity aside, I cannot think of any other person so capable of uniting all the different sets of my friends as him, neither do I see any other method of acting on a sure foundation but this.
EARL OF ORRERY TO JAMES.
November 15. 1723. THE chief foundation of any reasonable project must be a good number of regular forces, without which I doubt there will not be encouragement enough for great numbers of the people to rise, or of the army to desert; the body of the people are certainly well disposed towards your interests. It is not an extravagant computation, I believe, that four in five of the whole nation wish well to you, but people of reflection and fortunes will hardly venture their lives and estates unless they see they have some tolerable chance to succeed, and soldiers will hardly desert unless there be a body of soldiers to desert to. Those that govern at present are generally despised and abhorred, but their power is too great not to be feared, and it is the more feared because they are cruel, without principles, and act in the most arbitrary manner without regard to the known laws or constitution ; they have a large army, well paid, well clothed, and well provided for in all respects, ammunition and magazines of all kinds, a large fleet, and the officers of it generally, I believe, devoted to them; the command of all the public money; and by the fatal corruption that prevails almost over the whole nation, the absolute power in both Houses of Parliament. This is a true state of the strength of your enemies — formidable it is and requires a proportional strength to contend with it, or some well laid stratagem to supply the place of such a strength. But there is still another and perhaps a greater disadvantage that your cause lies under, which is the indolence, inactivity, and
almost despair of many of your chief friends ; they have, indeed, great reason to appear quiet, and to act with the utmost caution, and I could wish they would endeavour to lull the Government as it were asleep, and to make them believe there are no farther thoughts of designs against them.
But where there can be a confidence, there they ought to speak with freedom to one another, and never cease proposing some scheme or other till a project can at last be framed to the satisfaction of reasonable people, and a right method of execution agreed upon. But few of your chief friends are very capable, and some of those that are have other infirmities that hinder them from serving the cause in a right manner.
I don't care to say more upon this melancholy subject.
LORD LANSDOWNE TO JAMES.
July 10. 1724. OUR western people have been in a tumultuous way
of late, as well as the northern Cameronians. Their leader gave himself the name of Lord Mar, and fought a sharp battle, which lasted above two hours ; in the end, regular troops coming in upon them, they were dispersed, and poor Mar was taken: it is odds but he will be hanged, which you will be very sorry for, I am sure, for the name's sake. Thus the only blood that has been drawn in either kingdom has been by a real Mar and a feigned
Madame de Villette's journey into England was to save no less a sum than fifty thousand pounds, which was lodged in her name in the hands of a banker, who pretended to make a discovery of it to the Government as a forfeiture, upon offering to prove her married to Lord Bolingbroke. It is uncertain how, with all her dexterity, she will be able to clear herself of this difficulty. She has not the luck to please at Court; elle parle trop, et sans respect, was the character given her by the MasVOL. II.
ter of the house.* You can tell, Sir, whether that is a just character: she is your old acquaintance.
DUKE OF WHARTON TO JAMES.
London, Feb. 3. 1725. THERE is a strong report of Lord Bolingbroke’s Bill being at last fixed; and I had the other day a very long conference on that subject with Lord Bathurst, who, when I represented to him Lord Bolingbroke's behaviour to your Majesty, and quoted your own authority for the assertion, answered, that he had not learned to jurare in verba magistri, to which I only replied, Juravi. 'We esteem Lord Bathurst entirely departed from your cause, though he will not yet leave us in Parliamentary disputes. I hope his friend Sir William Wyndham will not follow him in his politics as he does in his pleasures.
DUKE OF WHARTON TO JAMES.
May 1. 1725. The rage which inflames both parties in the city, who seem entirely sensible of this fatal law (the City Bill), increases every day, and will blaze more and more as they feel the great distractions which must attend the execution of it. The Ministers were alarmed for fear the Common Council of London should have gone (as we had determined they should) to the Duke of Hanover for protection. The enemy, having notice of this design, brought him down to give the Royal Assent on the Tuesday;
• King George