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services, but that those services had been declined. It is clear. therefore, that the Maids of Honor were desirous to have an agent of high station and character. And they were right. For the sum which they demanded was so large that no ordinary jobber could safely be intrusted with the care of their interests. As Sir Francis Warre excused himself from undertaking the negotiation, it became necessary for the Maids of Honor and their advisers to choose somebody who might supply his place; and they chose Penne. Which of the two Pennes, then, must have been their choice, George, a petty broker to whom a percentage on sixtyfive pounds was an object, and whose highest ambition was to derive an infamous livelihood from cards and dice, or William, not inferior in social position to any commoner in the kingdom ? Is it possible to believe that the ladies who, in January, employed the Duke of Somerset to procure for them an agent in the first rank of the English gentry, and who did not think an attorney, though occupying a respectable post in a respectable corporation, good enough for their purpose, would, in February, have resolved to trust everything to a fellow who was as much below Bird as Bird was below Warre? But, it is said, Sunderland's letter is dry and distant; and he never would have written in such a style to William Penn with whom he was on friendly terms. Can it be necessary for me to reply that the official communications which a Minister of State makes to his dearest friends and nearest relations are as cold and formal as those which he makes to strangers ? Will it be contended that the General Wellesley, to whom the Marquess Wellesley, when Governor of India, addressed so many letters beginning with “Sir,” and ending with “I have the honour to be your obedient servant,” cannot possibly have been his Lordship's brother Arthur 2 But, it is said, Oldmixon tells a different story. According to him, a Popish lawyer, named Brent, and a subordinate jobber, named Crane, were the agents in the matter of the Taunton girls. Now it is notorious that of all our historians Oldmixon is the least trustworthy. His most positive assertion would be of no value when opposed to such evidence as is furnished by Sunderland's letter. But Oldmixon asserts nothing positively. Not only does he not assert positively that Brent and Crane acted for the Maids of Honor: but he does not even assert positively that the Maids of Honor were at all concerned. He goes no further than “It was said,” and “It was reported.” It is plain, therefore, that he was very imperfectly informed. I do not think it impossible, however, that there may have been some foundation for the rumor which he mentions. We have seen that one busy lawyer, named Bird, volunteered to look after the interest of the Maids of Honor, and that they were forced to tell him that they did not want his services. Other persons, and among them the two whom Oldmixon names, may have tried to thrust themselves into so lucrative a job, and may, by pretending to interest at Court, have succeeded in obtaining a little money from terrified families. But nothing can be more clear than that the authorized agent of the Maids of Honor was the Mr Penne to whom the Secretary of State wrote; and I firmly be. lieve that Mr. Penne to have been William the Quaker.
If it be said that it is incredible that so good a man would have been concerned in so bad an affair, I can only answer that this affair was very far indeed from being the worst in which he was concerned.
For these reasons l ieave the text, and shall leave it, exactly as it originally stood. (1857.)
NOTES TO WOLUME II
Page 25, note *.
See also The Hazard of a Death-bed Repentance, argued from the Remorse of Conscience of W-, late D– of D , when dying, a most absurd pamphlet by John Dunton, which reached a tenth edition.
Page 25, note f.
In Halifax's Letter to a Dissenter will be found a remarkable allusion to this discussion.
Page 50, note *.
In a highly curious paper which was written in 1687, almost certainly by Bonrepaux, and which is now in the French archives, Sunderland is described thus:–“La passion qu'il a pour le jeu, et les pertes considerables qu'il y fait, incommodent fort ses affaires. Il n'aime pas le vin; et il hait les femmes.”
Page 52, note t.
“Beats time with politic head, and all approves,
Page 154, line 35, note.
It has lately been asserted that Dryden's pension was restored long before he turned Papist, and that therefore it ought not to be considered as the price of his apostasy. But this is an entire mistake. Dryden's pension was restored by letters patent of the 4th of March 1683; and his apostasy had been the talk of the town at least six weeks before. See Evelyn's Diary, January 19, 1683. (1857.)
Page 178, line 27, note.
An attempt has been made to vindicate Penn's conduct on this occasion, and to fasten on me the charge of having calumniated him. It is asserted that, instead of being engaged, on behalf of the government, in the work of seduction, he was really engaged, on behalf of Kiffin, in the work of intercession. In support of this view the following passage is triumphantly quoted from Kiffin's Memoirs of himself. “I used all the means I could to be excused both by some lords near the King, and also by Sir Nicholas Butler, and Mr. Penn. But it was all in vain . . . .” There the quotation ends, not at a full stop, but at a semicolon. The remainder of the sentence, which fully bears out all that I have said, is carefully suppressed. Kiffin proceeds thus:– “I was told that they (Nicholas and Penn) knew I had an interest that might serve the King, and although they knew my sufferings were great, in cutting off my two grandchildren, and losing their estates, yet it should be made up to me, both in their estates, and also in what honor or advantage I could reasonably desire for myself. But I thank the Lord, these proffers were no snare to me.”
Page 181, note *.
See also Avaux, January 10, 1687. Penn's letters were regularly put, by one of his Quaker friends who resided at the Hague, into the hands of the Prince.
Page 231, line 29, note.
See Penn's Letter to Bailey, one of the Fellows of the College, in the Impartial Relation printed at Oxford in 1688. It has lately been asserted that Penn most certainly did not write this letter. Now, the evidence which proves the letter to be his is irresistible. Bailey, to whom the letter was addressed, ascribed it to Penn, and sent an answer to Penn. In a very short time both the letter and the answer appeared in print. Many thousands of copies were circulated. Penn was pointed out to the whole world as the author of the letter; and it is not pretended that he met this public accusation with a public contradiction. Everybody therefore believed, and was perfectly warranted in believing, that he was the author. The letter was repeatedly quoted as his, during his own lifetime, not merely in fugitive pamphlets, such as the History of the Ecclesiastical Commission, published in 1711, but in grave and elaborate books which were meant to descend to posterity. Boyer, in his History of William the Third, printed immediately after that King's death, and reprinted in 1703, pronounced the letter to be Penn's, and added some severe reflections on the writer. Kennet, in the bulky History of England published in 1706, a history which had a large sale and produced a great sensation, adopted the very words of Boyer. When *hese works appeared, Penn was not only alive, but in the full enjoyment of his faculties. He cannot have been ignorant of the charge brought against him by writers of so much note; and it was not his practice to hold his peace when unjust charges were brought against him ever, by obscure scribblers. In 1695, a pam
phlet on the Exclusion Bill was falsely imputed to him in an anonymous libel. Contemptible as was the quarter from which the calumny proceeded, he hastened to vindicate himself. His denial, distinct, solemn, and indignant, speedily came forth in print. Is it possible to doubt that he would, if he could, have confounded Boyer and Kennet by a similar denial 2 He however silently suffered them to tell the whole nation, during many years, that this letter was written by “William Penn the head of the Quakers, or, as some then thought, an ambitious, crafty Jesuit, who under a phanatical outside, promoted King James's designs.” He died without attempting to clear himself. In the year of his death appeared Eachard's huge volume, containing the History of England from the Restoration to the Revolution; and Eachard, though often differing with Boyer and Kennet, agreed with them in unhesitatingly ascribing the letter to Penn. Such is the evidence on one side. I am not àware that any evidence deserving a serious answer has been produced on the other. (1857.)
Page 232, line 6, note.
Here again I have been accused of calumniating Penn; and some show of a case has been made out by suppression amounting to falsification. It is asserted that Penn did not “begin to hint at a compromise;” and in proof of this assertion, a few words, quoted from the letter in which Hough gives an account of the interview, are printed in italics. These words are, “I thank God, he did not offer any proposal by way of accommodation.” These words, taken by themselves, undoubtedly seem to prove that Penn did not begin to hint at a compromise. But their effect is very different indeed when they are read in connection with words which immediately follow, without the intervention of a full stop, but which have been carefully suppressed. The whole sentence runs thus: “I thank God, he did not offer any proposal by way of accommodation; only once, upon the mention of the Bishop of Oxford's indisposition, he said, smiling, “If the Bishop of Oxford die, Dr. Hough may be made Bishop. What think you of that, gentlemen o’” Can anything be clearer than that the latter part of the sentence limits the general assertion contained in the former part 2 Everybody knows that only is perpetually used as synonymous with except that. Instances will readily occur to all who are well acquainted with the English Bible, a book from the authority of which there is no appeal when the question is about the force of an English word. We read in the Book of Genesis, to go no further, that every living thing was destroyed; and Noah only remained, and they that were with him in the ark; and that Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh ; only the land of the priests bought he not. The defenders of Penn reason exactly like a commentator who should construe these passages to mean that Noah was drowned in the flood, and that Joseph bought the land of the priests for Pharaoh. (1857.)