(99) Sir Spencer Compton, afterwards Earl of Wilmington, was so far from resenting Sir Robert’s superior talents, that he remained steadfastly -,attached to him; and when the famous motion for removing Sir Robert was made in both Houses, Lord Wilmington, though confined to his bed, and with his head blistered, rose and went to the House of Lords, to vote against a measure that avowed its own injustice, by being grounded only on popular clamour.
(100) It was the town residence of the Sidneys, Earls of Leicester, of whom it was hired, as it was afterwards by Frederick, Prince of Wales, on a similar quarrel with his father. He added to it Savile House, belonging to Sir George Savile, for his children.
(101) Mr. Croker, in his biographical notice of Lady Suffolk, prefixed to the edition of her Letters, thus satisfactorily confutes this anecdote: “On this it is to be observed, that George the Second was proclaimed on the 14th of June 1727, that Swift returned to Ireland in the September of the same year, and that the first creation of peers in that reign did not take place till the 28th of May 1728. Is it credible, that Mrs. Howard should have made such a request of the new King, and suffered so decided a refusal ten or eleven months before any peers were made? But, again, upon this first creation of peers Mrs. Howard’s brother is the second name. Is it probable that, with so great an object for her own family in view, she risked a solicitation for Lord Bathurst? But that which seems most convincing, is Swift’s own correspondence. In a letter to Mrs. of the 9th of July 1727, in which, rallying her on the solicitation to which the new King would be exposed, he says, — ’for my part, you may be secure, that I will never venture to recommend even a mouse to Mrs. Cole’s cat, or a shoe-cleaner to your meanest domestic.’” Vol. i. p. xxv-E.
(102) “This,” says her biographer, “is a complete mistake, to give it no harsher name. The Character which Swift left behind, and which was published in his posthumous works, is the very same which Lady Suffolk had in her possession. If it be not flattering, it is to Swift’s honour that he ’did not condescend to flatter her in the days of her highest favour; and the accusation of having written another less favourable, is wholly false.” Ibid. vol. i. p. xxxviii.-E.
(103) “It certainly would have been extraordinary,” observes Mr. Croker, “that Lord Chesterfield, in 1137, when he was on terms of the most familiar friendship with Lady Suffolk, should have published a deprecatory character of her, and in revenge too, for being disgraced at court-Lady Suffolk being at the same time in disgrace also. But, unluckily for Walpole’s conjecture, the character of Eudosia (a female savant, as the name imports,) has not the slightest resemblance to Lady Suffolk, and contains no allusion to courts or courtiers.” Ibid. vol. ii. p. xxxiii-E.