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appears to have been rough, turbulent, factious, and shallow. Montague had distinguished himself early by his poetical genius; but he soon converted his attention to the cultivation of more solid talents. He rendered himself remarkable for his eloquence, discernment, and knowledge of the English constitution. To a delicate taste, he united an eager appetite for political studies. The first catered for the enjoyments of fancy; the other was subservient to his ambition. He, at the same time, was the distinguished encourager of the liberal arts, and the professed patron of projectors. In his private deportment, he was liberal, easy, and entertaining; as a statesman, bold, dogmatical, and aspiring.

§ III. The terrors of a standing army had produced such a universal ferment in the nation, that the dependants of the court in the house of commons durst not openly oppose the reduction of the forces: but they shifted the battery, and employed all their address in persuading the house to agree, that a very small number should be retained. When the commons voted, That all the forces raised since the year 1680, should be disbanded, the courtiers desired the vote might be recommitted, on pretence that it restrained the king to the old tory regiments, on whose fidelity he could not rely. This motion, however, was overruled by a considerable majority. Then they proposed an amendment, which was rejected; and afterward moved, That the sum of 500,000l. per annum should be granted for the maintenance of guards and garrisons. This provision would have maintained a very considerable number; but they were again disappointed, and fain to embrace a composition with the other party, by which 350,000l. were allotted for the maintenanc of ten thousand men; and they afterward obtained an addition of three thousand marines. The king was extremely mortified at these resolutions of the commons; and even declared to his particular friends, that he would never have intermed

dled with the affairs of the nation, had he foreseen they would make such returns of ingratitude and distrust. His displeasure was aggravated by the resentment expressed against Sunderland, who was supposed to have advised the unpopular measure of retaining a standing army. This nobleman, dreading the vengeance of the commons, resolved to avert the fury of the impending storm, by resigning his office, and retiring from court, contrary to the entreaties of his friends, and the earnest desire of his majesty.

§ IV. The house of commons, in order to sweeten the unpalatable cup they had presented to the king, voted the sum of 700,000l. per annum for the support of the civil list, distinct from all other services. Then they passed an act prohibiting the currency of silver hammered coin, including a clause for making out new exchequer bills, in lieu of those which were or might be filled up with endorsements: they framed another to open the correspondence with France, under a variety of provisos: a third for continuing the emprisonment of certain persons who had been concerned in the late conspiracy: a fourth granting farther time for administering oaths with respect to tallies and orders in the exchequer and bank of England. These bills having received the royal assent, they resolved to grant a supply, which, together with the funds already settled for that purpose, should be sufficient to answer and cancel all exchequer bills, to the amount of 2,700,000l. Another supply was voted for the payment and reduction of the army, including half-pay to such commission-officers as were natural-born subjects of England. They granted 1,400,000%. to make good deficiencies. They resolved, That the sum of 2,348,102/. was necessary to pay off arrears, subsistence, contingencies, general officers, guards, and garrisons; of which sum 855,502/. remained in the hands of the paymaster. Then they took into consideration the subsidies due to foreign powers, and the sums

owing to contractors for bread and forage. Examining farther the debts of the nation, they found the general debt of the navy amounted to 1,392,7421. That of the ordnance was equal to 204,1577. The transport-debt contracted for the reduction of Ireland, and other services, did not fall short of 466,4937.; and they owed 49,9297. for quartering and clothing the army, which had been raised by one act of parliament in the year 1677, and disbanded by another in the year 1679. As this enormous load of debt could not be discharged at once, the commons passed a number of votes for raising sums of money, by which it was considerably lightened; and settled the funds for those purposes by the continuation of the land-tax, and other impositions. With respect to the civil list, it was raised by a new subsidy of tonnage and poundage, the hereditary and temporary excise, a weekly portion from the revenue of the post-office, the first-fruits and tenths of the clergy, the fines in the alienation-office, and post-fines, the revenue of the winelicence, money arising by sheriffs, proffers, and compositions in the exchequer, and seizures, the income of the dutchy of Cornwall, the rents of all other crown-lands in England or Wales, and the duty of four and a half per cent. upon specie from Barbadoes and the Leeward islands. The bill imported, That the overplus arising from these funds should be accounted for to parliament. Six hundred thousand pounds of this money was allotted for the purposes of the civil list: the rest was granted for the jointure of 50,000l. per annum, to be paid to queen Mary d'Esté, according to the stipulation at Ryswick; and to maintain a court for the duke of Gloucester, son of the princess Anne of Denmark, now in the ninth year of his age: but the jointure was never paid; nor would the king allow above 15,000l. per annum for the use of the duke of Gloucester, to whom Burnet, bishop of Salisbury, was appointed preceptor.

§ V. The commons having discussed the ways and

means for raising the supplies of the ensuing year, which rose almost to five millions, took cognizance of some fraudulent endorsements of exchequer-bills, a species of forgery which had been practised by a confederacy, consisting of Charles Duncomb, receiver-general of the excise, Bartholomew Burton, who possessed a place in that branch of the revenue, John Knight, treasurer of the customs, and Reginald Marriot, a deputy-teller of the exchequer. This last became evidence, and the proof turning out very strong and full, the house resolved to make examples of the delinquents. Duncomb and Knight, both members of parliament, were expelled, and committed to the Tower: Burton was sent to Newgate; and bills of pains and penalties were ordered to be brought in against them. The first, levelled at Duncomb, passed the lower house, though not without great opposition; but was rejected in the house of lords by the majority of one voice. Duncomb, who was extremely rich, is said to have paid dear for his escape. The other two bills met with the same fate. The peers discharged Duncomb from his confinement: but he was recommitted by the commons, and remained in custody till the end of the session. While the commons were employed on ways and means, some of the members in the opposition proposed, that one-fourth part of the money arising from improper grants of the crown should be appropriated to the service of the public; but this was a very unpalatable expedient, as it affected not only the whigs of king William's reign, but also the tories who had been gratified by Charles II. and his brother. A great number of petitions were presented against this measure, and so many difficulties raised, that both parties agreed to lay it aside. In the course of this inquiry, they discovered that one Railton held a grant in trust for Mr. Montague, chancellor of the exchequer. A mo

a Burnet. Kennet. State Tracts. Burchet. Lives of the Admirals, Tindal. Ralph. Voltaire.

tion was immediately made, that he should withdraw; but passed in the negative by a great majority. Far from prosecuting this minister, the house voted it was their opinion, That Mr. Montague, for his good services to the government, did deserve his majesty's favour.

§ VI. This extraordinary vote was a sure presage of success in the execution of a scheme which Montague had concerted against the East India company. They had been sounded about advancing a sum of money for the public service, by way of loan, in consideration of a parliamentary settlement; and they offered to raise 700,000l. on that condition: but, before they formed this resolution, another body of merchants, under the auspices of Montague, offered to lend two millions at eight per cent., provided they might be gratified with an exclusive privilege of trading to the East Indies. This proposal was very well received by the majority in the house of commons. A bill for this purpose was brought in, with additional clauses of regulation. A petition was presented by the old company, representing their rights and claims under so many royal charters ; the regard due to the property of above a thousand families interested in the stock; as also to the company's property in India, amounting to 44,000l. of yearly revenue. They alleged they had expended a million in fortifications: that during the war they had lost twelve great ships, worth 1,500,000l.: that since the last subscription, they had contributed 295,000l. to the customs, with above 85,000l. in taxes: that they had furnished six thousand barrels of gunpowder on a very pressing occasion: and 80,000l. for the circulation of exchequer bills, at a very critical juncture, by desire of the lords of the treasury, who owned that their compliance was a very important service to the government. No regard being paid to their remonstrances, they undertook to raise the loan of two millions, and immediately subscribed 200,000l. as the first payment. The two

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