Walpole sat at the controlling centre of a vast empire of patronage.
The jobs at his disposal conferred honour as well as cash on the holder
and they were dangled on a string by the great political puppeteer.
In retrospect, we can see that Walpole built Britain's, in fact the world's,
回顾历史 我们不难发现 沃波尔建立了全英 乃至世界
first modern party political machine.
He had placemen in parliament primed to vote as he directed.
He had George I and then George II eating out of the palm of his hand.
And in case anyone was tempted to flirt with the Opposition,
he had the kind of information that could make life really difficult for them.
In short, Walpole had the goods.
总之 沃波尔权倾朝野 风光无限
The goods, in fact, in every sense of the word.
For as well as looking after the country's interest,
Walpole made sure he looked after his own.
Just how much of a fortune he made for himself
is spectacularly on view here at his country house in Norfolk, Houghton Hall.
Houghton was the Whig Xanadu, the last word in opulence.
Anything that riches could buy, Walpole bought.
Marble, mahogany, figured damask,shimmering silks and satins, classical sculpture,
大理石 红木 花纹锦缎 绚丽丝绸 传世雕像
glorious Renaissance and Baroque art,all shipped to his East Anglian pleasure dome.
甚至文艺复兴的杰作 巴洛克时期的珍品 都被珍藏于他的东盎格鲁圆顶珍宝室中