Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/80

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imagined that, as soon as he chose to coalesce with those to whom he had recently been opposed, all his followers would imitate his example. He soon found that it was much easier to inflame animosities than to appease them. The great body of Whigs and Presbyterians shrank from the fellowship of the Jacobites. Some waverers were purchased by the government; nor was the purchase expensive, for a sum which would hardly be missed in the English Treasury was immense in the estimation of the needy barons of the North.[1] Thus the scale was turned; and, in the Scottish Parliaments of that age, the turn of the scale was every thing; the tendency of majorities was always to increase, the tendency of minorities to diminish.

The first question on which a vote was taken related to the election for a borough. The ministers carried their point by six voices.[2] In an instant every thing was changed; the spell was broken; the Club, from being a bugbear, became a laughingstock; the timid and the venal passed over in crowds from the weaker to the stronger side. It was in vain that the opposition attempted to revive the disputes of the preceding year. The King had wisely authorised Melville to give up the Committee of Articles. The Estates, on the other hand, showed no disposition to pass another Act of Incapacitation, to censure the government for opening the Courts of justice, or to question the right of the Sovereign to name the judges. An extraordinary supply was voted, small, according to the notions of English financiers, but large for the means of Scotland. The sum granted was a hundred and sixty-two thousand pounds sterling, to be raised in the course of four years.[3]

The Jacobites, who found that they had forsworn themselves to no purpose, sate, bowed down by shame and writhing with vexation, while Montgomery, who had deceived himself and them, and who, in his rage, had utterly lost, not indeed his parts and his fluency, but all decorum and selfcommand, scolded

  1. See the instructions to the Lord High Commissioner in the Leven and Melville Papers.
  2. Balcarras.
  3. Act. Parl. June 7, 1690.