Lady Mary Wortley Montague eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 370 pages of information about Lady Mary Wortley Montague.

“When King George ascended the throne, he was surrounded by all his German ministers and playfellows, male and female.  Baron Goertz was the most considerable among them both for birth and fortune.  He had managed the King’s treasury, for thirty years, with the utmost fidelity and economy; and had the true German honesty, being a plain, sincere and unambitious man.  Bernstorff, the Secretary, was of a different turn.  He was avaricious, artful, and designing, and had got his share in the King’s councils by bribing his women.  Robethon was employed in these matters, and had the sanguine ambition of a Frenchman.  He resolved there should be an English ministry of his choosing; and, knowing none of them personally but Townshend, he had not failed to recommend him to his master, and his master to the King, as the only proper person for the important post of Secretary of State; and he entered upon that office with universal applause, having at that time a very popular character, which he might probably have retained for ever if he had not been entirely governed by his wife and her brother Robert Walpole, whom he immediately advanced to be Paymaster, esteemed a post of exceeding profit, and very necessary for his indebted estate.

“But he had yet higher views, or rather he found it necessary to move higher, lest he should not be able to keep that.  The Earl of Wharton, now Marquis, both hated and despised him.  His large estate, the whole income of which was spent in the service of the party and his own parts, made him considerable, though his profligate life lessened that weight that a more regular conduct would have given him.

“Lord Halifax, who was now advanced to the dignity of Earl, and graced with the Garter, and First Commissioner of the Treasury, treated him with contempt.  The Earl of Nottingham, who had the real merit of having renounced the ministry in Queen Anne’s reign, when he thought they were going to alter the succession, was not to be reconciled to Walpole, whom he looked upon as stigmatised for corruption.

“The Duke of Marlborough, who in his old age was making the same figure at Court that he did when he first came into it—­I mean, bowing and smiling in the antechamber while Townshend was in the closet,—­was not, however, pleased with the Walpole, who began to behave to him with the insolence of new favour, and his Duchess, who never restrained her tongue in her life, used to make public jokes of the beggary she first knew him in, when her caprice gave him a considerable place, against the opinion of Lord Godolphin and the Duke of Marlborough.

“To balance these, he had introduced some friends of his own, by his recommendation to Lord Townshend (who did nothing but by his instigation).  Colonel Stanhope was made the Secretary of State.  He had been unfortunate in Spain, and there did not want those who attributed it to ill conduct; but he was called generous, brave, true to his friends, and had an air of probity which prejudiced the world in his favour.

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Lady Mary Wortley Montague from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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