Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/108

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invective and contemptuous sarcasm.[1] All who were supposed to be closely connected with him by political ties came in for a portion of this abuse; and none had so large a portion as Lowther. The feeling indicated by these satires was strong among the Whigs in Parliament. Several of them deliberated on a plan of attack, and were in hopes that they should be able to raise such a storm as would make it impossible for him to remain at the head of affairs. It should seem that, at this time, his influence in the royal closet was not quite what it had been. Godolphin, whom he did not love, and could not control, but whose financial skill had been greatly missed during the summer, was brought back to the Treasury, and made First Commissioner. Lowther, who was the Lord President's own man, still sate at the board, but no longer presided there. It is true that there was not then such a difference as there now is between the First Lord and his colleagues. Still the change was important and significant. Marlborough, whom Caermarthen disliked, was, in military affairs, not less trusted than Godolphin in financial affairs. The seals which Shrewsbury had resigned in the summer had ever since been lying in William's secret drawer. The Lord President probably expected that he should be consulted before they were given away; but he was disappointed. Sidney was sent for from Ireland; and the seals were delivered to him. The first intimation which the Lord President received of this important appointment was not made in a manner likely to soothe his feelings. "Did you meet the new Secretary of State going out?" said William. "No, Sir," answered the Lord President; "I met nobody but my Lord Sidney." "He is the new Secretary," said William. "He will do till I find a fit man; and he will be quite willing to resign as soon as I find a fit man. Any other person that I could put in would think himself ill used if I were to put him out." If William had said all that was in his mind, he would probably have added that Sidney, though not a great orator or statesman, was one of the very few English politicians

  1. "Let him with his blue riband be
    Tied close up to the gallows tree
    For my lady a cart; and I'd contrive it,
    Her dancing son and heir should drive it."