Bolingbroke gradually superseded Oxford in the leadership. Lady Masham, the queen's favourite, quarrelled with Oxford and identified herself with Bolingbroke's interests.
The illuminations and bonfire at Lord Bolingbroke's house in Golden Square were "particularly fine and remarkable," 6 but he was immediately dismissed from office.
But once more Bolingbroke's "fortune turned rotten at the very moment it grew ripe," 4 and his projects and hopes were ruined by the king's death in June.
The discovery that the poet had printed secretly 1500 copies of The Patriot King caused him to publish a correct version in 1749, and stirred up a further altercation with Warburton, who defended his friend against Bolingbroke's bitter aspersions, the latter, whose conduct was generally reprehended, publishing a Familiar Epistle to the most Impudent Man Living.
Burke wrote his Vindication of Natural Society in imitation of Bolingbroke's style, but in refutation of his principles; and in the Reflections on the French Revolution he exclaims, "Who now reads Bolingbroke, who ever read him through?"
Burke denies that Bolingbroke's words left "any permanent impression on his mind."
Bolingbroke's conversation, described by Lord Chesterfield as "such a flowing happiness of expression that even his most familiar conversations if taken down in writing would have borne the press without the least correction," his delightful companionship, his wit, good looks, and social qualities which charmed during his lifetime and made firm friendships with men of the most opposite character, can now only be faintly imagined.
Both kinds reflect in their Voltairian superficiality Bolingbroke's manner of life, which was throughout uninspired by any great ideas or principles and thoroughly false and superficial.
He was succeeded in the title as 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, according to the special remainder, by his nephew Frederick, 3rd Viscount St John (a title granted to Bolingbroke's father in 1716), from whom the title has descended.
With the young prince, the future king, Bute's intimacy was equally marked; he became his constant companion and confidant, and used his influence to inspire him with animosity against the Whigs and with the high notions of the sovereign's powers and duties found in Bolingbroke's Patriot King and Blackstone's Commentaries.
5 See Bolingbroke's Letter to Sir W.
Though himself contemporary with the earlier deists, Bolingbroke's principal works were posthumously published of ter interest in the controversy had declined.
Warburton was further kept busy by the attacks on his Divine Legation from all quarters, by a dispute with Bolingbroke respecting Pope's behaviour in the affair of Bolingbroke's Patriot King, by his edition of Pope's works (1751) and by a vindication in 1750 of the alleged miraculous interruption of the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem undertaken by Julian, in answer to Conyers Middleton.
He wrote a defence of revealed religion in his View of Lord Bolingbroke's Philosophy (1754), and Hume's Natural History of Religion called forth some Remarks ...
Their schemes of policy diverged as widely as their characters: Bolingbroke's brain teemed with the wildest plans, which Oxford might have more effectually discountenanced had he been prepared with anything in their place.
Bolingbroke's daring spirit, however, recoiled from no extreme, and, fortunately for Swift, he added so much of his own to the latter's MS. that the production was first delayed and then, upon the news of Anne's death, immediately suppressed.
Almost the first acts of Bolingbroke's ephemeral premiership were to order him a thousand pounds from the exchequer and despatch him the most flattering invitations.