The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.
§ 1. Revival of Controversy after the death of Henry Pelham
It was not merely the conflict of personal ambitions that was in question. Great public issues were rapidly raised and discussed, if, as rapidly, let fall again. The sober middle class were weary of the prevailing corruption which handed over the country’s government to glaring incompetence. Tories, abandoning their vain hopes of a revolution, were eager to loose England from the Hanoverian tether which involved her in the intricacies of German politics, and to have done with the long feud with France. And both parties were anxious to see power held by men more representative than were the members of the existing narrow whig oligarchy, who, on their side, still believed in their hereditary mission to rule. Material for honest discussion there was in plenty.