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EXTRACT FROM WALPOLE.
PRINTED AT STRAWBERRY HILL, 1758.
“ Charles Whitworth (afterwards Lord Whitworth), eldest son of Richard Whitworth, Esq. of Staffordshire, was bred under that accomplished Minister Mr. Stepney, and having attended him through several Courts of Germany, was in the year 1702 appointed Resident at the Diet of Ratisbon. In 1704 he has named Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of St. Petersburgh, being sent Embassador Extraordinary thither on a more solemn and important occasion in 1710. M. de Matueof, the Czar's Minister at London, had been arrested in the public street by two bailiffs, at the suit of some tradesmen to whom he was in debt. This affront had like to have been attended with very serious consequences. The Czar, who had been absolute enough to civilize savages, had no idea, could conceive none, of the privileges of a nation civilized in the only rational manner, by laws and liberties. He demanded immediate and severe punishment of the offenders ; he demanded it of a Princess whom he thought interested to assert the sacredness of the persons of monarchs, even in their representatives; and he demanded it with threats of wreaking his vengeance on all English merchants and subjects established in his dominions. In this light the menace was formidable ;-otherwise happily the rights of a whole people were more sacred here than the persons of foreign ministers. The Czar's memorials urged the Queen with the satisfaction which she had extorted herself, when only the boat and servants of the Earl of Manchester had been insulted at Venice. That State had broken through their fundamental laws to content the Queen of Great Britain. How noble a picture, of Government, when a Monarch that can force another nation to infringe its constitution, dare not violate his own! One may imagine with what difficulties our Secretaries of State must have laboured through all the ambages of phrase in English, French, German, and Russ, to explain, to Muscovite ears, and Muscovite understandings the meaning of indictments, pleadings, precedents, juries, and verdicts ; * and how impatiently Peter must have listened to promises of a hearing next term! With what astonishment must he have beheld a great Queen, engaging to endeavour to prevail on her Parliament to pass an Act to prevent
* Mr. Dayrolles in his letter to the Russian Embassador, March 10, 1705, gives him a particular account of the Trial before the Lord Chief Justice Holt. VOL. III.
any such outrage for the future! What honour does it reflect on the memory of that Princess to see her not blush to own to an arbitrary Emperor, that even to appease him she dared not put the meanest subjects to death uncondemned by law! -" There are,” says she, in one of her dispatches to him, “ insuperable difficulties with respect to the ancient and fundamental laws of the Government of our people, which do not permit so severe and rigorous a sentence to be given, as your Imperial Majesty at first seemed to expect in this case; and we persuade ourself, that your Imperial Majesty, who are a Prince famous for clemency and for exact justice, will not require us, who are the guardian and protectress of the laws, to inflict a punishment upon our subjects which the law does not empower us to do." Words so venerable and heroic, that this broil ought to become history, and be exempted from the oblivion due to the squabbles of Embassadors and their privileges. If Anne deserved praise for her conduct on this occasion, it reflects still greater glory on Peter, that this ferocious man had patience to listen to these details, and had moderation and justice enough to be persuaded by the reason of them. Mr. Whitworth had the honour of terminating this quarrel.
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS,
THE RISING GENERATION.
FIRST PRINTED IN 1815.