DEATH OF LORD CLARENDON--MARLBOROUGH'S VICTORIES--LETTER TO M. P.--COMMENTARY AND EVENTS IN TEN YEARS' WAR--THE CHEVALIER AND QUEEN ANNE--POSITION OF NONJURORS--MRS. LESLIE'S HEALTH--GOOD OLD CAUSE--WARRANT--OUTLAWED--MR. CHERRY.
DURING that exciting and memorable period from the peace of Ryswick to that of Utrecht, or the opening twelve years of the eighteenth century, the hand of death had been busy as ever. And many friends and opponents of Leslie had been numbered among the lost--Nonjurors and Tories, as well as Whigs and Revolutionists. Conspicuous among the former was Henry, second Lord Clarendon, who died October 20, 1709. A more generous, high-minded, and conscientious statesman has never existed, who with integrity combined talents of a very superior order, and great industry in the discharge of whatever public duties he undertook. These qualifications were clearly exhibited during his government of Ireland, when he had such a difficult task to perform, of trying to satisfy King James without doing violence to the constitution, and cither complying with, or coming into open collision with the incendiary Tyrconnel, who did as much as his master for his ruin. If Lord Clarendon lost his balance for a little while when the Prince of Orange first arrived in England, it was no wonder, considering the agitation produced by his son's defection, and the fatuity of the King's conduct, which made it doubtful what was the duty of subjects whom he appeared to have deserted without a sufficient cause. But he soon recovered his equilibrium, and returned at the gravest risk to his allegiance, when he found that James with the memory of his father's fate before him had retired under threats of personal violence. After that he took no further active part in public affairs, and ceased to contend against the inevitable, though he could not be induced, like his brother the Earl of Rochester, to accept a settlement professedly which at heart he secretly disavowed. To him the title and estates passed, because Lord Cornbury had died before his father. What a difference the turn of events had made to Leslie as his chaplain; for in the earl's prosperity he could have surely read his own, united to him as he was also by ties of personal affection and esteem. In misfortune, however, these suffered no relaxation, but proved a source of mutual consolation; and it was in Lord Clarendon's society more than any other living person perhaps beyond his immediate family, that he most delighted. Not only had other esteemed friends bee: removed by death, but some had succumbed in order to escape it, to the next necessity and alternative of taking the oaths for the sake of bread. Revolutionists who spoke warmly about tenderness towards Dissenters felt no compassion for Nonjurors, nor would allow them a conscience Those, therefore, who had no kind patrons like Ken, no admirers like Hickes, nor could turn to another profession like Wagstaffe, nor gain a scanty subsistence by their pen as the learned Collier, nor had some private resources unexhausted like Leslie, were reduced to very terrible straits indeed. Thus it is related of one that a gentleman, meeting him in a new cassock and gown, asked if he had swallowed the oaths? To which he replied, with what anguish of spirit may readily be understood, "Yes, I have; but I stayed till I had nothing else to swallow." For assistance of such cruelly distressed Nonjurors, Leslie had been forward to collect and contribute even beyond his ability, nor did he ever utter one word of reproach against those who yielded to the pressure, except when any, not to escape starvation but to obtain lucrative appointments, deserted their colours, or like Higden affected a change of convictions, and challenged public criticism by writing in support of their new alliances.
In order to appreciate the next productions of his pen which call for notice, it is necessary to bear in mind the general history of that period; whereas he wrote to throw light upon public affairs, and unveil the motives of actors both in and behind the scenes. These were "Natural Reflections upon the Present Debates about Peace and War, in Two Letters to a Member of Parliament, from his Steward in the Country," dated December, 1711, and March, 1711-12. It is of no consequence whether the member of Parliament was a real person or an imaginary one like the steward; though it is not impossible that he might have undertaken some secular business, such as this of collecting rents and looking after property. He returned to London only for a short time, and never again continuously resided there for more than some weeks at a time, owing to various circumstances which will be mentioned in due course. Therefore he had leisure for this occupation; his former experience at Glaslough and legal knowledge eminently qualified him for it; nor could any landlord have better provided for his own interests, while conferring a favour without wounding the most delicate sensibility. If some passages be read side by side with a relation of the more important or interesting events which occurred, they will serve mutually to illustrate each other, and give sufficient idea of the pamphlet as a whole, which when published attracted very general attention, and contributed in no inconsiderable degree to hasten that which was its main drift and purpose, the composition of a European peace upon just and honourable terms.
Marlborough had pursued his amazing career of conquest almost without a single check or reverse, scarcely delay, nor this last, ever attributable to any want of enterprise or foresight on his part. From Ramillies in 1706, May 12, to Malplaquet or Blareignes, September n, 1709, and then on to Douay, including Oudenarde, Louvain, Brussels, Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Lisle, Mons, and other battles and sieges in which his own life was freely, almost too freely, risked, but the most miserable mismanagement occurred. Only such a commander could have exercised the influence he possessed over soldiers, who went into battle on some occasions at his desire saying prayers, but without either bread or water having been tasted for hours. All obeyed cheerfully; and no one ever conquered him but his wife. The fight at Ramillies only occupied two hours.. while that at Blenheim had taken seven; yet victory was no less hardly gained, or more splendid in the one than tin other. At Douay he confessed to a doubt about success which he had never felt before. Proposals of peace made once and again he was instrumental in causing to be rejected, though he constantly affirmed that complaints against him of desiring to prolong the war were unjust. Certainly his conduct gave too much occasion for this suspicion, and if he was not guilty, his relations in the Ministry and others in high offices were to a large degree. Those who bore the burden and longed for peace formed a far larger portion of the nation, but were often affrighted into suffering silence by fear of being called Jacobites or Frenchified. To this refer these observations in the letter: "Except some who are visibly gainers by the war, and a few bitter Whigs whom we know to be their tools, there is not one countryman I believe in England who is not weary, and does not wish for peace. The country is exhausted, and the poor increase so fast upon us, that if no remedy be applied they must in time eat us up. Good substantial tradesmen and many thousand hands employed in manufactures who were able to contribute towards the poor, are now grown so themselves, and put upon the parishes. . . . Conjurors who would enchant us out of our senses are only such as having great employments in the war, and vast sums in the funds, which pay no taxes charge in armour, and feel nothing of the burden. The general (Marlborough) and the ministry (Whig), having refused to accept very advantageous offers of peace after the battle of Ramillies, were forced to take in a set of men with a previous bargain to screen them from their miscarriages (in Spain and by sea). We have nothing but a decayed trade to trust to, and our credit is crazy, without any projects for restoring it. A merchant would stand ill upon the Exchange if there were such disputes about his credit. . . . If we cannot force otherwise than by defending a town which shall cost us a campaign, when will the war end at this rate? It is the just terror of inspectors. ... As to the disposal of public moneys, which is the true cause of all opposition to peace, £35,302,107 up to 1710, unaccounted for in grants to Parliament, is a heavy charge which must light somewhere, and is a substantial reason why some men should be afraid of peace, as night-birds of the day. As also why the old preliminaries were not accepted by some, who made not so little as £100,100 a year by the war." The frightful revelations made in Parliament, despite the strongest efforts to screen several persons including Marlborough, more than corroborated this severe reflection, and the next about the unreasonable manner in which the King of France was dealt with, who had offered most honourable conditions of peace. "They stood out upon one article, which I dare say not one of themselves would have submitted to if he had been in the King of France's place. They will be content to wait like a Welshman, who, to be tried for his life, had the choice of the twelve honestest men he knew for his jury, and named the twelve apostles; but being told that they were not here, and it would be a great while before they arrived, replied he was in no hurry, but could stay till then."
Allusion was made in the letter to Dr. Charlett of the "great things Marlborough was reported to be about to do with the King of Sweden;" and he did effect them. King Charles XII., whom Louis had in vain made the greatest efforts to win over to his side, was charmed by Marlborough's happy manner and speeches into the interest of the allies. But his grand successes in Poland lured him to his ruin. He was bent upon a wild scheme of conquering the Czar, so invaded Muscovy; but the issue of his ambition was a terrible defeat at Pultowa, and he fled in Turkey, there to plot and stir up strife between the Sultan and the Czar. Herein lay a warning which the letter well pointed out ought to be taken to heart by other sovereigns, conquerors, and nations. "The Czar courted that king for peace, and but a few hours before the battle of Pultowa offered him safe and honourable terms, such as we may suppose the King of France willing to grant; but his heart was lifted up. Secure of victory from his many successes, but not that the Almighty would not turn against him, he did not see that when reasonable satisfaction is refused, from that time forth right and wrong change sides; and God, who had so wonderfully asserted his right against such an unequal force, now forsook him. He was struck as it were with a thunderbolt in a moment, and remains an instance to all Christian princes not to lose the opportunity of giving peace owing to selfish views, or trusting to their own strength and conduct."
Bishops, clergy, and dissenting ministers were concerned in urging on demands for war, and discouraging all proposals for peace, therefore it was a most seasonable and proper thing that religious people should be reminded of the responsibility incurred by acquiescence in this policy. "The blood and desolation of war is so terrible a remedy that nothing but the utmost necessity can excuse it. God will require a severe account of those princes and powers of the earth, to whom He has committed this sword of vengeance for every life unnecessarily lost, and it will be reckoned murder in His sight if the war be not just, or a reasonable peace refused. When the bias of the mind is for peace, difficulties lessen, and men inherit the blessing of peacemakers, which they are not capable of who delight in war."
The Emperor of Austria and the States had both opposed a peace whenever proposed, but the pretence of withstanding the ambition of the King of France could no longer be sustained, when he submitted to fair conditions, and his country was evidently exhausted by war and famine. Nor had cither fulfilled their engagements in regard to expenses. Besides, if Austria were allowed to annex Spain, and had already made short work of the pope's interference, it might become as dangerous as ever France had been. But now this emperor was dead of small-pox, which almost simultaneously carried off the dauphin; therefore his resentments, whatever justifications they had afforded for commencement of the war, could not be pleaded rightly in support of its continuance with his successor. It was urged by a pamphleteer on the other side, first as an excuse for the emperor's failure to contribute his share of expenses, "Has not the house of Austria been exhausted by continual wars for thirty years past, and its weakness discovered by inability to compel the princes of the empire to do their parts?" Then within a few pages the writer sets himself to magnify the new emperor's resources. Which elicitated this retort, "If the emperor cannot make such efforts he is a poor ally, and we have no reason to continue the war, or hopes to be better used than we have been. On the other hand, if he is able to make such efforts as will recover Spain, etc., we have reason to look about us lest we breed up an eagle to pick out our own eyes. What if, as King of Spain, he should revive his claim upon the State . . . Who knows not that the Dutch were in all the management of the "good old cause" against King Charles I. and acted the second part in the reign of Charles II. But it seems not the last, for they are pursuing Queen Anne with their memorials prompted by agents from the discontented party here. . . . Our allies can give us no more promises than they have done, but they never kept them in any one campaign, either as to their quota of men or money, or the time of taking the field. And we were forced; make good all their deficiencies every year. Do we expect anything else from them if we should continue the war twenty years longer? It is generous to help a neighbour in distress, but not over prudent to do it without all regard to our own interest. Charity begins at home, and I would not take a thorn out of another man's foot to put it in my own."
England was at war in Spain, but it was said by the Whigs, not against Spain. This was like the bombardment of Alexandria in 1883, "a warlike operation," but not war in Egypt; or in 1884, the French expedition against Foochow in China, "anticipating a declaration of war "in a practical manner. England was only engaged in forcing upon them King Charles from Austria, whom the nation did not want, to prevent the French keeping there another King Philip, whom a majority at least liked better. And what had been done by ten years' war? Little or nothing of any use, at an enormous cost and many failures; notwithstanding all the splendid courage of the gallant but eccentric Peterborough, or the efforts of Stanhope, who was doubtless brave but neither skilful nor successful with a single exception, the capture of Portmahon in a poor little island. In Spain, since the siege of Gibraltar, nothing had been effected at all, and the people deeply embittered against England. So the letter declared, "They tell us we must have no peace till all Spain be reduced, but they tell us not when that shall be, or that it is ever likely. We must fight on, and tax on, till the Greek Calends. They were invited to join us as their friends, and have told us to our cost that we quite mistook their inclinations, must guess again, and that another ten years' war would not make them abandon their king or his son, to whom they have sworn."
The Protestant interest had once been put forward as a ground of war on the Continent. It was a curious reason to assign in the first instance for alliance with the emperor, a more bigoted Papist than Louis; but since that it had been more curious still, for some of the allied princes had renounced Protestantism for Popery, and in none of the treaties for peace had this interest ever been mentioned either by the agents of England or the States, therefore it was answered now. "Have not the Austrians always persecuted Protestants most cruelly? Will not what was done in Hungary and Bohemia at least equal the severities to Huguenots in France? And yet there was not one article in favour of the Protestants of any country whatever in the grand alliance for this present war, or in the former preliminaries offered by all these powers. By what the Protestant interest abroad has gained, or is likely to gain by the war, the sooner it is ended the better."
Upon the sea no more had been gained, but a sad series of losses and disasters entailed. A grand enterprise had been designed in 1707, which was to be very secretly and suddenly accomplished. First Calais was to be taken, and then Toulon. The former was abandoned, and the latter failed completely; nor was that the worst. In returning, Sir Cloudesley Shovel's vessel, the Association, with two others of the fleet, ran too near the Scilly Isles, then called the "Bishop and his Clerks" or the Dog Isles, struck upon the Gillston rock, and sank in a very few minutes with some three thousand souls on board. Lord Dursley managed to steer his vessel more safely, and carried home the grievous tidings of the fate of his superior officer and comrades. How far any blame was due to want of caution on Sir Cloudesley's part was of course a disputed point among experienced naval men, though beyond a doubt he was a brave commander, who from a cabin-box had risen to the highest post by dint of his own great talents; so his loss was an aggravation of the terrible calamity. One single feature of the story had a painless aspect. The only survivor from the three ships of war was the chaplain, who had gone from his own vessel to administer the last Sacrament to a dying man in another, and was saved by being cast by the waves upon a reef. After this, the country rang with complaints from the merchants of there being no convoys for their ships, or these being intercepted by the French, so that commerce was at a standstill. It could not, therefore, be in the interests of trade that war was continued, any more than in the landed interest or religion. And still less for the sake of posterity, for which an enormous heap of debt was being laid up with the most lavish recklessness, as the present day can testify. Revolutionary Whigs were the first who introduced the practice of going to war at the expense of descendants, and leaving to future generations as their only legacy a national debt; but once begun, it found such favour that at last multitudes of good simple folk have been persuaded that in it lies the chief safety of the nation. What if an idea here foreshadowed be already on the eve of accomplishment? "Posterity may not think fit to be undone because their fathers were madmen. They may either cancel these debts or tax the funds till they make them pay themselves. Nor can Whigs take this ill, for it is their current doctrine that we are not bound by the rules and laws of their forefathers, but that every man is born free, and to consult his own preservation." "The wit of man cannot find out ways and means to oblige posterity; no, not themselves neither further than they have a mind to. How many laws of our forefathers and Acts of Parliament have Whigs broke through to carry on their designs? Necessity with them answers all arguments, and this necessity has no law." Chancellors of the Exchequer have more than once acted upon these suggestions, perhaps they may further improve upon them. Whatever was the ten years' war about? What was it for? Historians do not agree, nor speak positively upon the point; nor need they, since contemporaries in its favour were as little agreed or decided. William began it, but that seemed no reason by itself for continuing to play a desperate game. He had not the experience of those ten years to satisfy him of the unreasonableness of his undertaking. The letter concluded with some excellent remarks, as pertinent now as ever, upon that old stalking-horse of ambitious and meddlesome politicians, the balance of power, "That is, a new partition of the world, that no one nation may be an overbalance to another in riches or power, of which we have had several schemes, no two of which agree together; and this is thought the only method to procure a firm and lasting peace, without regard of taking from any by violence what is truly and justly their own. It is impossible to bring nations to an equal balance of power or riches. Or if it were done, if all the nations were reduced to an equal balance even of a grain weight, then a grain on any side would cast the balance. This ten thousand accidents every day would produce. So that we must balance the wisdom, the industry, and courage of men as well as their honesty and conscience, and likewise to secure Providence not to favour one more than another It is indeed no other than to take the judgment of the world out of the hands of Providence and entrust it to our own skill and management. Instead of 'Dieu et mon Droit,' it is 'ye maintiendray!" "God has divided the world into nations greater and lesser as He has thought fit And He keeps the balance of power in His own hands; but men would fain have it in their own. We must be content when we do otherwise. He often lets us see our folly as well as irreligion by suffering many years of war to leave us nothing but repentance for all the blood and treasure we have expended."
What much aggravated discontent in England as well as distress, was the influx of foreigners. Some Protestant refugees had been settled in different parts of the kingdom, and collections made for their relief under the queen's authority; others sent to Ireland and North America at the public expense. This generosity naturally induced numbers more to swarm over, till their support became a serious blunder; and what was worse, they were not content with toleration and maintenance in England, but soon began a work of proselytizing, and joined with Dissenters in opposition to the Church, till many both poor and rich cried out for their removal. This was alluded to in the following terms:--"Our Popish allies grant us nothing in favour of Protestants at their court, and we have seen them fall a sacrifice to the Jesuit interest at Vienna. . . . Which, if not the design of some half-faced Protestants whose religion was subservient to their ambition, was certainly the effect of this confederated war, and laid the axe to the root of Reformation abroad--also filled us with a fresh set of refugees, their prince being willing to part with his Protestant subjects. As the cry is on one side, 'No peace without Spain,' may we not on the other side honestly say, 'No more war till the Churches in the Palatinate taken since it began be restored, and Protestants in Hungary and Silesia restored to their liberties'?"
The "Letter" has thus been reviewed at length in consideration of the great importance and variety of the subjects included in it, also in order to exhibit at a glance both the events which took place, and the feeling produced in the heart of the English nation, which by no means beat in unison with their will who had the direction of affairs, and of which Leslie had good opportunities of judging by his independent position in politics, if he was not quite a disinterested spectator of the game between the two parties, Whig and Tory.
Nothing has been said of the Chevalier, because he did not count as a figure nominally on the board, nor was therefore mentioned in the letter; but that he was to direct some of the moves became clear enough when his removal from France to Lorraine was actually stipulated for in the conditions of peace at Utrecht. This one was most painful to the chivalrous King of France; to Austria any treaty would have been distasteful by which no longer war should be carried on at England's expense for their security and aggrandizement. Now, then, some account of the Chevalier is due, and the more necessary because the time had come when Leslie's personal relations with him became intimate, and of the most paramount and perilous concern to himself and his family. While the dissatisfaction caused in Scotland by the Union was at its height, his adherents there thought he ought to make another effort to recover his crown; but any such effort, however ready he was, remained impracticable, because the French king pleaded inability to afford assistance, and the French Government was secretly resolved it should not be given He had, therefore, to seek laurels of a much humbler kind by volunteering in the ranks of Vendome, the French commander, who if in private character base beyond description showed a genius in military affairs by no means inferior to any one's but that of Marlborough, though Leslie spoke of him slightingly. [See Burnet, vol. iv. pp. 14, 74, 121, 192.] So the Chevalier after all must be counted a pawn on the board between the players in the game itself. Queen Anne had been very indignant at the descent upon Scotland, and then first applied to him the word "Pretender" in a speech to Parliament, though he had often been termed "pretended prince" before. No actual compact was ever made between him and her, such as he proposed. But her private inclination may have reverted in his direction to some extent the more just, because that project of bringing over one of the house of Hanover was being persistently pressed upon her; though she had to preserve an impenetrable silence on the subject in private, and in public say what her ministers advised. Her feelings must have alternated from time to time between the Chevalier and the Hanoverian family, with little love for the one and none for the other, according to circumstances and the conduct of their avowed or supposed adherents, till she hardly knew what to think, nor dared to move. That Marlborough was in a similar dilemma of feeling and opinion for several years, needs no further proof than his own letters; but the stain upon his memory is ineffacable of having been ready at any moment to betray cither as he had betrayed King James, affording a most melancholy reflection. Incomparably brave, clever, graceful, kind, and tender, he was also incomparably false. When, therefore, dismissed from his employments, none could help feeling that whatever ungenerous influences had been at work for his fall, that fall had been richly merited. Other men called traitors and more loudly condemned than he, were very far from deserving any such opprobrium. They simply refused to forsake the cause they had once sworn to serve, or to shackle their consciences with new and contrary oaths. None could have been more free from all taint of treachery or falsehood, even if their judgment were at fault. Of course the death of King James II. and of William made some change in the position of individuals and parties; and if Whig governments had been wise, they would have left this change to do its natural work. But they were no more wise than just, so Jacobites and Nonjurors were tempted and forced into a decisive attitude they might never have assumed, especially when the right was claimed of tendering to any person the oath of abjuration at the peril of his freedom or even life. The majority in England of Jacobites or Nonjurors were well content to yield a passive obedience, and even more to Queen Anne, if the Government could only have been content to let them alone and leave the future to Providence. One exception to the general tenor of legislation was the Act of Grace, in 1709; but as none had more need of such oblivion than Maryborough and Godolphin themselves, they might well have given it a very cordial support.
Acting upon the suggestion conveyed in the titles of some contemporary pamphlets, the "Wisdom of looking Forward," and the "Case in View," political affairs have been anticipated for a few years in order to render intelligible Leslie's own position and prospects in regard to them, Yet to do so more clearly the precepts shall be reversed. and the titles of other pamphlets acted upon, the "Wisdom of looking Backwards," and the "Case in Fact," by a survey of the history of Nonjurors considered as such rather than as Jacobites, which many were only in a very passive sense. Leslie was both; actively engaging in politics, yet, how moderate his resistance to the de facto possession was may be inferred from these words: "It is the concern of every true son of the Church of England to pray for the queen's life and a happy and speedy peace." If similar moderation had been exhibited on the other side, and the disposal of events left to Providence instead of attempting to forestall the future by provisions and securities for the Hanover succession of the most unreasonable and vexatious description, the probability is, not that the nation would have decided to return to the house of Stuart, though the apprehensions of revolutionists on this score betray the unreality of their pretensions to represent its sentiments, but that enthusiasm for the latter would have been greatly diminished.
Leslie continued to be the chief medium of communication between the court of S. Germain and the Nonjurors as an ecclesiastical body, from the time of the first consecrations till the peace of Utrecht or the queen's death. But of course this position neither entitled him to assume any authority over Nonjurors, nor brought him into conflict with their bishops, Hickes and Wagstaffe. No occasion for jealousy of any kind ever arose, and their cordial relations with each other prevented any temptation to it. He did not even officiate usually in their congregations, which met with little disturbance after the first fever of the Revolution, because any regular practice of ministration would have probably provoked further measures of repression like that on his preaching at Ely House, and furnished fresh fuel for Observators and Reviews. Though, therefore, he had leisure to devote himself to more general work of a political character, none the less he remained heartily devoted to their community. The death of Dr. Lloyd, April, 1709, deprived-bishop of Norwich, occasioned that crisis which Dodwell's "Case in View" had premonished them to prepare for. Bishop Ken only remained now of the former canonical succession, and he had voluntarily, after being offered the see of Wells from Queen Anne, ceded his right in favour of Dr. Hooper. Poor Kidder, who with his wife perished in the miserable storm of 1703, had been "the stranger" who "led astray his lambs and sheep, to break from Catholic and hallow'd bounds, contracting latitudinarian taint." But when "that tremendous stroke freed the flock from uncanonic yoke"--and Heaven, through Queen Anne, in Hooper "sent a successor to his mind," the saintly prelate not only waived his own claim in order to the other's acceptance of the queen's offer, but supported him in whatever ways he conscientiously could. He had taken no part in the consecrations, even objected to them. Dodwell professed ignorance and refused to be hampered by recognition of them, when the "Case in Fact" was realized. He, with Nelson and some others, thought the schism in the Church ought now to close, the blame of which hitherto lay at the door of the Establishment, but henceforth would lie at that of the Nonjurors if it were continued. He argued very forcibly in favour of his position in both pamphlets and a "Further Prospect," 1707; but his earnestness led him to overweight his case by statements which are clearly untenable upon canonical and ecclesiastical grounds. His objections to the jurisdiction of Hickes and Wagstaffe would nullify all episcopal authority whatever in times of persecution. He stood on much safer ground when he insisted upon the original cause of separation being at an end, and the Christian duty of union superseding all minor scruples. However, it is not necessary to rediscuss the question at length on his side or the opponents', but confine attention to the fact that mm there had occurred a schism in the Nonjuring community itself, or rather a re-absorption in the other portion of the Church of England of many of its most influential and prominent members. Leslie sided with the party who stood out against reconciliation; but he has nowhere in his writings treated of the subject directly, so that his opinions can only be inferred from his conduct. On March 17, 1711, the last of the deprived prelates was relieved from all his sufferings, at Longleat, and buried at Frome Selwood; where since then a beautiful church has been erected by a faithful priest, not unworthy of being remembered with him. [Rev. J. W. Bennet.] And on June 6 Dodwell went to rest, only preceded a few months by another friend and associate, the learned Thomas Smith. [Edited Ep. Ignatius and Ap. Ep. iv. 277-279.] Dr. Hickes was at that time very ill, but lived on for some years longer. Under these circumstances Leslie might well have felt reluctant to say anything beyond the necessities of the occasion, or run the risk of infusing any clement of bitterness into the dispute, which might give pain to old and valued friends.
He had some other serious matters on hand at this time sufficient to occupy his undivided attention. Burnet had made a violent speech in the House of Lords, assailing him with more than ordinary bitterness and disregard for facts. This was followed up by a sermon in Salisbury Cathedral on the anniversary of the Restoration, when he did not deem it unbecoming the sacredness of the place his own office or the occasion, to indulge in personalities scarcely less inaccurate or acrimonious. So pleased was he, further, with his performances, as to secure their immediate publication. Here he was more careful, for the sermon and the speech were reproduced so exactly as delivered, that it showed his boast of extempore speaking and preaching meant only what it still may be presumed to do on the lips of those who most ostentatiously make it. He must have desired that Leslie should know how he had attacked him; that posterity also might have the benefit, he secretly committed at the same time to the "History of his Own Times" a digest of his utterances on these occasions, when the victim of his malice might be no longer alive to confute them. Probably he reckoned upon immunity then, for he knew too well by experience the force of Leslie's pen--this was, indeed, the cause of his wrath--because the Rehearsal had been stopped by the Whig Government under urgent pressure of himself and his associates. However, he was soon convinced of his mistake by a reply beneath which he writhed bitterly, and though he found his revenge in a prosecution which caused Leslie much trouble and inconvenience, this could not heal the wound, or take away the shame of the castigation he had wantonly provoked. It consisted in a pamphlet entitled "The Good Old Cause, or Lying in Truth," by one "Misodolus" (hater of deceit) professing to defend the bishop from a speech palmed upon him by some impostor, and to dissect a sermon as falsely attributed to him. Speeches in Parliament, where then the daily press had no access, were a matter of privilege dangerous to touch, and those reported generally came from the authors themselves, so that what have been thus preserved were not those most worthy in other people's opinion. When, therefore, the Bishop Sarum's speech came forth to the public, it was evident by what means, and what importance he attributed to his attack upon Leslie, at which in its original form during delivery many peers were known to have expressed great disgust. One allusion in it will illustrate his recklessness of speech in general. He referred to some proceeding Convocation, where he had persuaded the Upper House to reject a proposal of the Lower to censure some books, on the authority of Chief Justice Holt, that without a royal licence it would render them liable to a praemunire--a terrible instrument of royalty which Whig statesmen have so often since threatened clergy with, that it has come to be like the boy's cry of "Wolf!" in the fable. When inquiry was made, the Chief Justice denied he had expressed or held such an opinion, or had spoken upon the subject at all! In order to reply at length to the sermon, Leslie adopted this ingenious plan, which in itself conveyed a moral, of treating it as a forgery, from the discredit ,of which he ought to be relieved. The substance was as follows: '"The notion of kings having their power from God came in with the Reformation in opposition to Popery.' It is scandalous to put this on the Bishop, for none knows better that all the ancient Fathers have it, who took it from Holy Scripture. 'The Scriptures did only establish the several constitutions and government, that were in the world.' What before there were any? Did kings derive authority from laws which derived theirs from them? By what authority, then, did kings make those laws? When I go before you, and you go before me, which goes first? 'S. Paul's doctrine against resistance was meant only for the Jews,' Then he mistook his direction. Did he mean nothing for the Gentiles, who wrote to them? 'Apostles did not determine how much was due to the emperor and how much to the senate.' It is a pity, indeed. S. Paul commands to submit to the king as supreme, and takes not the least notice of the senate, not being skilled in the doctrine of co-ordinate powers, which were impossible had he been a Whig. He finds the Apocrypha more to his purpose; but the only book in it (Maccabees) which he quotes is not allowed to be read in church. 'Mattathias, a private priest, began the resistance against the Syrians.' This is far from the case of natural born subjects, for after the death of Alexander the Jews were free, and Syrians were not then lawful sovereigns. The sixth Article would have cut the throat of this speech, so he left out its words, that 'the Church doth not accept the Apocrypha to establish any doctrine.' 'Queen Elizabeth assisted the Lords of the Congregation in Scotland against Queen Mary, and rebels in France and Holland against their natural princes.' If he had inferred from that her subjects might rebel against her, she would have made it a wry-faced argument. But did Queen Elizabeth do well? They in their turns abetted rebellion in England; for you know one good turn deserves another, and the one precedent is as good as the other. But let us look at her thoughts of resisting supreme powers in her own words to the Scots: ' If they shall determine anything to the deprivation of their sovereign of her royal estate, we will make ourselves a plain party against them to her revenge, for example to all posterity; for we do not think it consonant in nature that the head should be subject to the foot.' He instances Charles I. giving aid to the Rochellers. Richelieu made sufficient reprisal, who said he would find the king work at home. and sent the covenant into Scotland transcribed from the Holy League in France. 'It was no wonder if, after such a war, the doctrine of non-resistance was preached with more than ordinary warmth, yet some kept these in view though they did not think it necessary to mention them.' Not necessary? To preach the Word by halves, and speak only smooth things! Then why, if he did not think fit to tell all in a published sermon, enjoin an entire obedience and an absolute submission to that supreme power God hath put in our sovereign's hands, if he thought it only limited and conditional?' I told King James it was impossible for him to reign in quiet, being of the Romish religion. He answered me quick, Does not the Church of England maintain the doctrine of passive obedience? I told him not to depend on that, for there was a distinction which would be found out when men should think they needed it.' Why did you not tell him your own distinction? It might have saved that unfortunate prince. No, that was none of your design, but you kept it till he should be effectually ruined, and then you would tell it to justify all your treachery to him. They say his Confessor was a Jesuit, but you outdid him at mental reservation, equivocation, and hidden distinction. To tell him that nature might rebel against principle had been honest advice; but to say that you dodged in your principles and in your preaching was to call yourself a devil. After that the bishop preached his sermon for absolute submission! You complain very much of a distinction some have in taking the Abjuration Oath, still saving their allegiance to the Pretender. Why, sir, would you have none use distinctions but yourself? If a man may preach and pray with distinctions, why not swear? Maybe you may put it on the bishop that he had some reserve when he prayed for the Prince of Wales at the Hague. We are now come to the head of slander and innuendoes against particular persons. He says, 'Towards the end of the last reign a bold attempt was made on the king's supremacy by an incendiary, who is supposed to have no small share in this matter now before your lordships,' We must not guess whom he means. Must any one, who wrote as himself did, for the non-dependency of the Church upon the State as to her purely spiritual authority, be called an incendiary, and supposed to have no small share in the matter before their lordships? If that was true, you do that person a great deal of honour to make him instrumental in reviving that true Christian doctrine essential to the being of a Church as a society distinct from others and under a government of her own. ' Since resistance was used in the Revolution and invited by King William, and the limitation of our obedience if the king turn Papist, this puts an end to the notion.' Yes! But another than you possibly imagine! If a prince should turn Papist and you take arms, I doubt you would find judges, and law too, to end the dispute in another manner than you please. For hereditary right and natural allegiance are stubborn things which will not bend to an Act of Parliament, nor to a thousand usurpations. You told King James not to trust to passive obedience, for there was a distinction. And distinctions are dangerous things about one's neck to draw it into a noose, which sometimes prove too narrow to get one's head through.
"The sham sermon dissected! When will the persecution of this good bishop cease? Out comes another scandal upon him. A sermon on May 29. The subject of sermons on this day used to be a detection of those wicked principles and pretences which brought on that fatal Revolution. On the contrary, this is a downright vindication and recommendation of them to posterity. He fathers all this upon Christ and makes Him patron of the "good old cause." This was preaching directly against the intendment of the day, as if old Bradshaw had come back by transmigration into this fouler body, and the spirit of rebellion by this second distillation. His principle is that possession gives right, which justifies Oliver. . . . But Oliver had a young Pretender against him, who at last prevailed. This is a full answer to all the sermon. The reader cannot miss applying it. There was none against the Roman emperor in our Saviour's time, therefore the text, 'Render to Caesar,' was applicable to him, but not to that Oliver to whom it was here applied. 'A good government, settled in a long possession, is to be submitted to. Those who let claims sleep may well be supposed to relinquish them.' How long? The usurpations of our three Henrys lasted above three-score years, yet this did not determine the claim of the house of York. But can a claim be said to sleep while it is continually kept up and asserted? For the consequences drawn from our Lord's words are quite foreign to His design, and show the sadness of this cause of resistance, which is forced to seek refuge in strained constructions. And as he has dressed our constitution, we may well say there is not the like upon earth. He has made it up of three co-ordinate powers--all opposition, contradiction, and nonsense. The right of the crown 'is made not only a part, but in a manner the whole of a constitution. How wildly have we reckoned who put its total subversion upon the tyranny of princes, for then that can never be! 'I have gone further into this matter' (the birth of the Prince of Wales, called a secret fact by him) 'than I have ever clone formerly, but the day and the present temper------'Why? What had this to do with the day? And what is the temper? Is it to draw a parallel? Thistles again! Very hard that you cannot speak a word without trapping yourself. I think you should never speak more. There may come a time when you may--repent. 'We do now celebrate the happy conclusion of a long and fatal series of confusions and wars, after we had gone from our ancient establishment of law and government.' The nation saw no way to recover itself but by returning to its ancient constitution, all in one voice concurring to call the king home from a long unhappy wandering. ' The royal family owed the Restoration wholly to the duty and affection of subjects, without any obligation to foreigners.' That was apropos, and may serve for a thanksgiving the next 29th May. It is good to have a sermon beforehand. This was spoken like an oracle. Keep out foreigners, for they are merciless and there is no way to do that but by returning to our duty. In cases of competition for the crown, they will put in their oar. I fancy, sir, that you and I begin to agree pretty well. Our squabble now is but the falling out of lovers, and you know ' an inconstant lover is worse than a thief.' Return from wherein you are fallen, and you shall find me--there. Till then, adieu."
Nonjurors, Jacobites, Tories, Church-people, not only high but low, were transported with delight at this exposure and rebuke, because the coarse and cowardly thrusts of the unscrupulous prelate behind his screens at Leslie were appreciated very differently from his expectation, and caused unbounded indignation. Though he had spent his life in treason, gossip, and arts of popularity, no man was more distrusted by persons in high station, or more intensely detested by the populace, who nicknamed him "Gibby." It is a significant fact that, whereas Leslie, who adopted what was not deemed the popular cause, had scarcely any but political opponents and personal friends among them, Burnet and Hoadly both were mobbed once or twice, and even an outrage committed at the burial of the former, some four years after this affair. However, he still had his Whig friends in power, and the queen afraid to strike. Moreover, she did not like the allusions to young Pretenders. Burnet, therefore, who was infuriated beyond description, went with. tears and gnashing of teeth to her and her ministers. Both were disposed to assist in the work of revenge, the latter little guessing that their own contemptuous dismissal should follow next. Upon July 24, 1710, a warrant was issued against Leslie, to which he put in no appearance. On August 8 he was outlawed, and on September 9 a proclamation for his apprehension, on account of some "positions tending to bring in the Pretender." In another statement it was said that he had "represented all the laws for twenty years to be no good." If he had said so, however imprudent, it would have been very nearly the exact state of the case, and what many people were thinking. But no such representation could have been tortured, even by lawyers, out of his words. Nor were there any positions which could justly bear such a construction about the Pretender as was put upon them. He was condemned in his absence for what enemies chose to think he meant. Under the Revolution thoughts and meanings were not so safe as under hereditary rule, or else Burnet had been beheaded many a time before he was invested with Scotch cambric. Yet how poor a compliment these proceedings conveyed to him! Not a word in them of any libel or wrong done him, because every word was so severely true and capable of proof, but only "positions tending"--the tendency being according to the interpreters, not the author--in the direction of a person never once mentioned. It was a curious circumstance that Middleton, at S. Germain, had presumed to find fault with Leslie on exactly opposite grounds, that he had used unguarded language too favourable to Queen Anne. [Hanover and Stuart Papers.] He did not specify, but no doubt referred to, closing numbers of the Rehearsal, or the letters upon the war. No notice was taken of this; and before long Middleton, with others at the court of S. Germain, became importunate for his arrival there. He went instead to a house provided by the kindness of Mr. Cherry, and remained there for nearly six months--partly because Mrs. Leslie was out of health so much that a long journey was not deemed safe. It is also said he was disguised in regimentals. Mr. Secretan is mistaken in adding that it was "at Mr. Cherry's expense and by his advice that he afterwards went to Bar-le-Duc;" [Life of Nelson.] for such an obligation had no need to be incurred at that time, and the visit was subsequently from the Chevalier's own earnest entreaty, backed by a request from his Protestant attendants. None the less is Mr. Cherry's hospitality deserving of warm acknowledgment, and his name to be gratefully entwined with remembrance of Charles Leslie. Retirement to S. Germain might appear to have been an easy escape from the difficulties of his situation at this period. But reluctance to adopt that course can be well explained by remembrance of the queen-mother's inveterate hostility against the Church of England, with ceaseless efforts of her priests to proselytize any and every body whose importunities and shallow arguments could only annoy him. Then, moreover, political factions and jealousies were rife there incessantly, each enthusiastic about plans and projects with which the wisest and bravest friends of the Stuart cause could have no sympathy.