« PreviousContinue »
play. Several little epigrams and fongs, which have a good deal of wit in them, were also written by Mr. Budgell near this period of time, all which, together with the known affection of Mr. Addifon for him, raifed his character fo much, as to make him be very generally known and talked of.
His father's death in 1711 threw into his hands all the eftates of the family, which were about 959 1. a year, although they were left incumbered with fome debts, as his father was a man of pride and fpirit, kept a coach and fix, and always lived beyond his income, notwithstanding his fpiritual preferments, and the money he had received with his wives. Dr. Budgell had been twice mar. ried, and by his first lady left five children living after him, three of whom were fons, Euftace, our author, Gilbert, a Clergyman, and William, the fellow of New College in Oxford. By his laft wife (who was Mrs, Fortefcue, mother to the late mafter of the rolls, and who furvived him) he had no iffue. Notwithstanding this accefs of fortune, Mr. Budgell in no wife altered his manner of living; he was at fmall expence about his perfon, fuck very clofe to bufinefs, and gave general fatisfaction in the difcharge of his office.
Upon the laying down of the Spectator, the Guardian was fet up, and in this work our author had a hand along with Mr. Addifon and Sir Richard Steele. In the preface it is faid, thofe papers marked with an afterifk are by Mr. Budgell.
In the year 1713 he publifhed a very elegant tranflation of Theophraftus's Characters, which Mr. Addifon in the Lover fays, is the best verfion
extant of any ancient author in the English language. It was dedicated to the lord Hallifax, who was the greatest patron our author ever had, and with whom he always lived in the greatest intimacy.
Mr. Budgell having regularly made his progrefs in the secretary of ftate's office in Ireland; upon the arrival of his late Majefty in England, was appointed under fecretary to Mr. Addison, and chief secretary to the Lords Juftices of Ireland. He was made likewife deputy clerk of the council in that kingdom, and foon after chofe member of the Irish parliament, where he became a very good fpeaker. The post of under secretary is reckoned worth 1500l. a year, and that of deputy clerk to the council 250 1. a year. Mr. Budgell fet out for Ireland the 8th of October, 1714, officiated in his place in the privy council the 14th, took poffeffion of the fecretary's office, and was immediately admitted secretary to the Lords Juftices. In the fame year at a public entertainment at the Inns of Court in Dublin, he, with many people of distinction, was made an honorary bencher. At his firft entering upon the fecretary'sTM place, after the removal of the tories on the acceffion of his late Majefty, he lay under very great difficulties; all the former clerks of his office refufing to ferve, all the books with the form of bufinefs being fecreted, and every thing thrown into the utmost confufion; yet he furmounted these difficulties with very uncommon refolution, affiduity, and ability, to his great honour and applaufe..
Within a twelvemonth of his entering upon his employments, the rebellion broke out, and as, for feveral years (during all the abfences of the lord lieutenant) he had discharged the office of fecretary of state, and as no tranfport office at that time fubfifted, he was extraordinarily charged with the care of the embarkation, and the providing of fhipping (which is generally the province of a field-officer) for all the troops to be tranfported to Scotland. However, he went through this exten-" five and unufual complication of bufinefs, with great exactnefs and ability, and with very fingu
lar difinterestedness, for he took no extraordinary fervice money on this account, nor any gratuity, or fees for any of the commiffions which paffed through his office for the colonels and officers of militia then raifing in Ireland. The Lords Jufices preffed him to draw up a warrant for a very handfome prefent, on account of his great zeal, and late extraordinary pains (for he had often fat up whole nights in his office) but he very genteely and firmly refused it.
Mr. Addifon, upon becoming principal fecretary of ftate in England in 1717, procured the place of accomptant and comptroller general of the revenue in Ireland for Mr. Budgell, which is worth 4001. a year, and might have had him for his under fecretary, but it was thought more expedient for his Majesty's fervice, that Mr. Budgell fhould continue where he was. Our author held thefe feveral places until the year 1718, at which time the duke of Bolton was appointed lord lieutenant. His grace carried one Mr. Edward Webster over with him (who had been an under clerk in the Treasury) and made him a privy counsellor and his fecretary. This gentleman, 'twas faid, infifted upon the quartering a friend on the under fecretary, which produced a mifunderstanding between them; for Mr. Budgell pofitively declared, he would never fubmit to any fuch condition whilft he executed the office, and affected to treat Mr. Webfter himself, his education, abilities, and family, with the utmoft contempt. He was indifcreet enough, prior to this, to write a lampoon, in which the lord lieutenant was not fpared he would publish it (fo fond was he of this brat of his brain) in oppofition to Mr. Addifon's opinion, who ftrongly perfuaded him to fupprefs it; as the publication, Mr. Addifon faid, could neither ferve his intereft, or reputation. Hence many difcontents arofe between them, 'till at length the lord lieutenant, in fupport of his fecre.
fecretary, fuperfeded Mr. Budgell, and very foon after got him removed from the place of accomptant-general. However, upon the first of thefe removals taking place, and upon fome hints being given by his private fecretary, captain Guy Dickens (now our minister at Stockholm) that it would not probably be fafe for him to remain any longer in Ireland, he immediately entrusted his papers and private concerns to the hands of his brother William, then a clerk in his office, and fet out for England. Soon after his arrival he published a pamphlet reprefenting his cafe, intituled, A Letter to the Lord * * * * from Euftace Budgell, Efq; Accomptant General of Ireland, and late Secretary to their Excellencies the Lords Justices of that Kingdom; eleven hundred copies of which were fold off in one day, fo great was the curiofity of the public in that particular. Afterwards too in the Poft-Boy of January 17, 1718-19, he published an Advertisement to justify his character against a report that had been fpread to his disadvantage: and he did not fcruple to declare in all companies that his life was attempted by his enemies, or otherwife he should have attended his feat in the Irish Parliament. His behaviour, about this time, made many of his friends judge he was become delirious; his paffions were certainly exceeding ftrong, nor were his vanity and jealoufy lefs. Upon his coming to England he had loft no time in waiting upon Mr. Addifon, who had refigned the feals, and was retired into the country for the fake of his health; but Mr. Addison found it impoffible to ftem the tide of oppofition, which was every where running against his kinfman, through the influence and power of the duke of Bolton. He therefore diffwaded him in the ftrongest manner from publishing his cafe, but to no manner of purpose, which made him tell a friend in great anxiety, Mr Budgell was wifer than any mant B. 4
"he ever knew, and yet he fuppofed the world would hardly believe he acted contrary to his advice.' Our author's great and noble friend the lord Hallifax was dead, and my lord Orrery, who held him in the highest esteem, had it not in his power to procure him any redrefs. However, Mr. Addison had got a promise from lord Sunderland, that as foon as the prefent clamour was a little abated, he would do fomething for him.
Mr. Budgell had held the confiderable places of under fecretary to the Lord Lieutenant, and fecretary to the Lords Juftices for four years, during which time he had never been abfent four days from his office, nor ten miles from Dublin. His application was indefatigable, and his natural fpirits capable of carrying him through any difficulty. He had lived always genteelly, but frugally, and had saved a large fum of money, which he now engaged in the South-Sea fcheme. During his abode in Ireland, he had collected materials for writing a Hiftory of that kingdom, for which he had great advantages, by having an eafy recourse to all the public offices; but what is become of it, and whether he ever finished it, we are not certainly informed. It is undoubtedly a confiderable lofs, because there is no tolerable hiftory of that nation, and because we might have expected a fatisfactory account from so pleasing a writer.
He wrote a pamphlet, after he came to England, against the famous Peerage Bill, which was very well received by the public, but highly offended the earl of Sunderland. It was exceedingly cried up by the oppofition, and produced fome overtures of friendship at the time, from Mr. Robert Walpole, to our author. Mr. Addifon's death, in the year 1719, put an end, however, to all his hopes of fucceeding at court, where he continued, nevertheless, to make several attempts, but was conftantly kept down by the weight of the duke of