Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/276

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the Treasury by Sir Edward Seymour. Many Tory country gentlemen, who had looked on Seymour as their leader in the war against placemen and Dutchmen, were moved to indignation by learning that he had become a courtier. They remembered that he had voted for a Regency, that he had taken the oaths with no good grace, that he had spoken with little respect of the Sovereign whom he was now ready to serve for the sake of emoluments hardly worthy of the acceptance of a man of his wealth and parliamentary interest. It was strange that the haughtiest of human beings should be the meanest, that one who seethed to reverence nothing on earth but himself should abase himself for the sake of quarter day. About such reflections he troubled himself very little. He found, however, that there was one disagreeable circumstance connected with his new office. At the Board of Treasury he must sit below the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The First Lord, Godolphin, was a peer of the realm; and his right to precedence, according to the rules of the heralds, could not be questioned. But every body knew who was the first of English commoners. What was Richard Hampden that he should take the place of a Seymour, of the head of the Seymours? With much difficulty, the dispute was compromised. Many concessions were made to Sir Edward's punctilious pride. He was sworn of the Council. He was appointed one of the Cabinet. The King took him by the hand and presented him to the Queen. "I bring you," said William, "a gentleman who will in my absence be a valuable friend." In this way Sir Edward was so much soothed and flattered that he ceased to insist on his right to thrust himself between the First Lord and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In the same Commission of Treasury in which the name of Seymour appeared, appeared also the name of a much younger politician, who had during the late session raised himself to high distinction in the House of Commons, Charles Montague. This appointment gave great satisfaction to the Whigs, in whose esteem Montague now stood higher than their veteran chiefs Sacheverell and Littleton, and was indeed second to Somers alone.

Sidney delivered up the seals which he had held during more