THE PROBLEM AND ITS CONDITIONS
IN 1727 Swift met Bolingbroke, Pope, and Arbuthnot for the last time; that autumn he went back to Ireland for good, and the Augustan circle was dispersed. The next summer Pope took a riding tour on an elderly pony that rolled Lord Cobham's lawns at Stowe; only on his journey did he discover that this veteran had been brave Derwentwater's charger in the '15.
Much the same is our first impression of party history in the eighteenth century. It moves at a jog-trot, all battle and tumult gone, on the flat plain which lies between the storms of Queen Anne's reign and the passion of the French Revolution. Was there, then, no continuity whatever between the party of Bolingbroke and the party of Pitt and Canning? and if there were Tories in those days, who should be taken as their type? Historians have given every sort of answer; some holding that the Tories were still the party of the Church, others that they had sunk to mere faction; some making Mansfield the essential Tory, some North, and others, again, the younger Pitt.
Only one relic of the Augustan Tories lingered on into the youth of Pitt and Dundas. This was Allen first Lord Bathurst, one of the famous 'twelve' created to carry the Peace of Utrecht, dear friend of Pope and all his circle. His prescription, he once told Swift, was to laugh as long as he lived, and laughter seemed to make life long, for he had spoken to Richard Cromwell and lived to see his own son Chancellor in the North ministry; 'now the old gentleman has gone to bed,' this youthful father would say, 'let us have another bottle'. He had swiftly abandoned Jacobitism, spoke of his Tory friends as 'the country party',* took office under Carteret, and was thought of as governor for George III. But his sober son burned his correspondence with all the links it might have given us in his party's transition.____________________