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Title: A Popular History Of England From the Earliest Times To The Reign Of Queen Victoria - Vol. IV
Author: Witt, Madame de (Henriette Elizabeth), Guizot, François
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Popular History Of England From the Earliest Times To The Reign Of Queen Victoria - Vol. IV" ***

[Transcriber's notes:
This work is derviced from

This quote sums up this last volume:
 "The bitter time of revolutions had ended for England."--pg. 16]

Napoleon Received On The Bellerophon.


                   A Popular

              History Of England

           From the Earliest Times

      _To The Reign Of Queen Victoria _


                  M. GUIZOT

   Author OF "The Popular History of France," etc.

           _Authorized Edition _


                 Vol. IV

Publisher's Logo: ALDI DISCIP ANGLVS

                  New York
            John W. Lovell Company

     150 Worth Street, corner Mission Place



              List Of Illustrations.

                  Volume Four.

Napoleon Received on the Bellerophon. -- Frontispiece.

King James at the Battle of Boyne. -- 34

The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. -- 42

Visit of Louis XIV to the Death-Bed of James II. -- 86

Queen Anne. -- 94

Shrewsbury Invested with the White Rod. -- 134

George I. -- 136

The Mysterious Letter. -- 176

George II. -- 178

Charles Edward. -- 198

Arrest of Charles Edward.-- 222

Portrait of Pitt. -- 224

Death of Wolfe. -- 242

George III. -- 254

Franklin -- 286

The Last Speech of the Earl of Chatham. -- 290

Surrender to Nelson at Cape St. Vincent. -- 374

The Battle of Aboukir. -- 382

See what a Little Place you Occupy in the World. -- 398

Death of Nelson. -- 410

Waterloo. -- 438

George IV. -- 444

Windsor Castle. -- 460

Wellington in the Mob. -- 475



                   Table Of Contents.

Chapter XXXII.   William and Mary
                 Establishment of Parliamentary Government

Chapter XXXIII.  Queen Anne
                 War of the Spanish Succession

Chapter XXXIV.   George I.
                 and the Protestant Succession

Chapter XXXV.    George II.

Chapter XXXVI.   George III.
                 The American War

Chapter XXXVII.  George III.
                 Pitt and the French Revolution

Chapter XXXVIII. George III.
                 Addington and Pitt

Chapter XXXIX.   George III.
                 and the Emperor Napoleon

Chapter XL.      George IV.
                 Regent and King

Chapter XLI.     William IV.
                 Parliamentary Reform




              History Of England,

                    Vol. IV.

    From the Accession of William and Mary
    to the Reign of Queen Victoria,




                 History Of England.

                    Chapter XXXII.

                   William And Mary.

       Establishment Of Parliamentary Government.


King James had abandoned England, fleeing from the storm which he
had raised, obstinate in his ideas and holding persistently to
the hope of a return, which his people was resolved to prevent at
any price. William of Orange had entered London; but he had not
established his quarters at Whitehall, and he refused to take the
crown by right of conquest. Shrewd and far-seeing, he did not
wish to belie the promises of his declaration, or, by parading
its defeat, to irritate the English army, which he hoped soon to
command. He had not conquered England, which had called him to
her aid and had voluntarily submitted to him; and he desired to
keep the supreme power with her free consent. A provisory
assembly was formed of those lords who were in London, as well as
of members of the House of Commons who had sat in Parliament
under the reign of King Charles II.; and the aldermen of London
and a deputation of the City Council were invited to participate
in the proceedings. At his departure, King James had left a
letter: some peers asked to be informed of its contents. "I have
seen the missive," said Godolphin, "and can assure your Lordships
that you would find nothing in it which could give you any


Aware of the blind obstinacy of the fugitive King, the peers of
the realm presented their address to the prince on the 25th of
December; some days later the Commons followed their example.
"Your Highness, led by the hand of God and called by the voice of
the people, has saved our dearest interests," said the
addresses--"the Protestant religion, which is Christianity in its
primitive purity, our laws, which are the ancient titles on which
rest our lives, liberties and possessions, and without which this
world would be only a desert in our eyes. This divine mission has
been respected by the nobility, the people, and the brave
soldiers of England. They have laid down their arms at your
approach." The same thanks and same requests were presented by
the Scotch lords who happened to be in London; the Earl of Arran
alone, son of the Duke of Hamilton, had proposed to treat with
King James. "All cry, Hosanna! to-day," said the Prince of Orange
to Dykvelt and his Dutch friends, who brought him the
congratulations of his native country, and were delighted at the
enthusiasm shown everywhere in England; "but in a day or two
perhaps they will repeat quite as loudly: 'Crucify him! crucify
him!'" Resolved as he was to govern England, William caught a
glimpse, though he did not foresee their extent, of the
difficulties and obstacles which the great enterprise he was
asked to attempt would meet with in England itself. Nevertheless
he accepted his mission without wavering.


On the 22nd of January, 1689, a Convention, which soon declared
itself Parliament, assembled at Westminster, elected arbitrarily
on circular letters sent forth in the name of the Prince of
Orange. The parties were already beginning to divide; the great
national unanimity which had willed and accomplished the
revolution was yielding to different passions and opinions. In
this supreme crisis of the government of England, the Tories,
numerous in the House of Lords, weak in the House of Commons,
hesitated, according to their political and religious
complexions, between negotiations with King James, the
establishment of a regency, leaving to the fugitive monarch the
vain title of king, or the declaration that the throne was
vacant, and the calling of the Princess Mary to the crown as its
natural heiress. No one dared to assert the legitimacy of the
Prince of Wales. Some of the Whigs, a party which included in its
ranks a number of dissenters, proposed that Parliament should
proclaim the nation's right to depose a prince guilty of bad
government; the others, less involved in revolutionary schemes,
though just as firmly resolved to deliver England from the
misgovernment of King James, sought to cover the national will
with a legal form. "It is said that kings have a divine right of
their own," cried Sir Robert Howard; "nations also have
_their_ divine right."

On the 26th of January the House of Commons ended by passing a
resolution couched as follows: "King James II., having undertaken
to overthrow the Constitution of the realm by not fulfilling the
original contract of King and people, has broken the fundamental
laws of the Kingdom by the advice of Jesuits and other corrupt
counsellors; by his voluntary retirement he has abdicated the
government, in consequence of which the throne has become
vacant." The form of the resolution was open to criticism; only
its gist was important. The Commons soon added to their
declaration of the vacancy of the throne a second equally grave
resolution: "The reign of a Catholic monarch is incompatible with
the security and welfare of this Protestant nation." The two
resolutions were sent up to the Lords.


The Protestant declaration was unanimously voted. The King of
England, head of the Anglican Church, should naturally belong to
that Church. In regard to the vacancy of the throne, the Tories
insisted on previously debating the question of a regency,
proposed some time before by Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury,
and now advocated by Lord Rochester and Lord Nottingham. Divided
between their conviction of the dangers that King James caused
the country to incur, and their sentiments of loyalty, the
members of this fraction of the Tory party hoped to remain
faithful to their oath of allegiance by treating the truant
monarch like an invalid incapable of governing, and hence obliged
to delegate his powers to the Prince of Orange. This course
having been rejected, Lord Danby admitted the throne to be
vacant, and demanded that the Princess Mary be declared queen,
according to the principle that the throne could not remain
unoccupied. The Whigs, with Halifax at their head, loudly
maintained the right of the nation to choose its monarch. King
James was alive, and the princess could not then be his heiress;
the throne became elective, and the Prince of Orange alone was
worthy of being called to it.

The discussion between the two houses, as well as that inside the
House of Lords, was waxing hot; the crowd was pressing to the
gates of the palace. Lord Lovelace informed the peers that he was
charged with a petition demanding the immediate proclamation of
the Prince and Princess of Orange as King and Queen of England.
"By whom has the petition been signed?" was asked. "No man has
yet put his hand to it," answered the bold nobleman, the first to
meet the Prince of Orange when he landed; "but when I shall bring
it here, there will be signers enough."
The same threats were made to the House of Commons. The princess
was detained in Holland by the state of the sea, encumbered by
ice. Danby was zealously pleading her cause before the Lords,
without William, who remained faithful to his promise of
committing to the Convention all grave political questions,
interfering in any way in the debate. One of his friends, a
Dutchman, probably Dykvelt, accidentally was present at the
debate; he was pressed to say what he might know of the prince's
sentiments. The Dutchman held out for a long time. "I can only
guess his Highness's state of mind," he said at last; "but since
you want to know what I fancy, I think he would scarcely care to
be his wife's gentleman of the bedchamber; but I actually know
nothing at all." "I know enough, and even a little too much,"
retorted Danby.

Finally Burnet made up his mind to reveal what the princess had
lately confided to him. "I know, for a long time," he said, "that
she had determined, even in case she should have mounted the
throne in the regular order of succession, to hand over her power
to her husband, with the sanction of Parliament." At the same
time Mary wrote to Danby: "I am the prince's wife, and I have no
other desire than to remain subjected to him; the greatest wrong
that could be done me would be to put me forward as his rival;
and I shall never hold as friends those who would follow such a

In a moment the impetuous Tories maintained the rights of
Princess Anne, threatened by the elevation of William of Orange;
the Churchills were enlisted in her cause, though the princess
was making no objections to the exaltation of her brother-in-law,
when the prince summoned the leaders of both parties to the House
of Lords. He summed up in a few words the various alternatives
agitated in Parliament.
"I have kept silent hitherto," he added; "I have used neither
solicitation nor threats; I have not even let my views or desires
transpire. I have neither the right nor the inclination to impose
anything on the Convention. I only reserve the privilege of
refusing functions which I could not perform with honor to myself
or advantage to the country. I am resolved never to be regent,
and I shall not accept that fraction of administrative power
which the princess, raised to the throne, could entrust to me. I
esteem her as much as a man can esteem a woman; but I am not so
made that I can be tied to the apron-string of the best of wives.
There is but one rôle which I can honorably fill: if the Houses
offer me the crown for my life, I will accept it; if not, I will
return without regret to my native land." The prince ended by
saying that he thought it just to secure the succession to the
Princess Anne and her children, in preference to the posterity
which he might have by another wife than Princess Mary.

The question was decided: William and Mary were to reign together
as sovereigns of England, and the government was entrusted to
William. A conference between the two houses soon resulted in a
vote. Lord Nottingham demanded a modification in the oaths of
allegiance "I don't approve the acts of the Convention," he said,
"but I want to be able to promise to obey the new sovereigns
faithfully." The House of Commons had charged Somers with drawing
up the Declaration of Rights. The jurist's name had for the first
time resounded with éclat during the trial of the bishops, and
already his rare abilities, the power and subtilty of his mind,
as well as his masculine eloquence, had placed him in a high
rank, destined soon to be the highest. After a firm and plain
statement of the people's rights, Parliament declared William and
Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, King and Queen of England,
during their lives. After them the crown devolved upon Princess
Anne and her children; in their default, it reverted to the issue
of William.


Princess Mary had just landed in England; she had hardly arrived
at Whitehall, and already people criticised her attitude and the
first indications of her character. Those who had seen her had
found her in high spirits, determined to enjoy her new grandeur,
forgetful of the catastrophe which hurled her father from the
throne she was about to occupy. Burnet himself was shocked. "I
had always noticed so much good feeling in her whole conduct,"
said he, "that my surprise was extreme to see her deficient in it
on this occasion. Some days later I took the liberty of asking
her, how it could be that the misfortunes of a father had made so
little impression on her. She took my frankness in good part, as
usual, and assured me that it was not for want of having felt
them keenly, if she had had the air of not thinking of them; but
because she had been directed in a letter to affect much gayety.
It was possible that she had overdone the rôle they had made for
her, so strange was it to her true disposition." On the 13th of
February, the two houses betook themselves formally to Whitehall,
to offer the crown to the Prince and Princess of Orange. Halifax
was spokesman. "We accept with gratitude what you offer us," said
William. "For my own part, I can assure you that these laws of
England which I have already defended, will be the rule of my
conduct. I shall apply myself constantly to develop the
prosperity of the realm; and, to aid me in the task, I count upon
the counsel of the two Houses, which I am inclined to put before
my own." The public proclamation before the great gate of the
palace was hailed by the acclamations of the crowd. The
revolution was consummated; a new reign was commencing.


With the new reign began a new era. The revolution of 1688 had
been singularly moderate and reasonable; it had not claimed a new
right, it had not added a liberty to the rights and liberties
which England then enjoyed; it had not changed a custom; it did
not renounce one of the forms or ceremonies observed in the old
times, and dear to the veneration of the people; it had simply
proclaimed in principle and established in fact that the nation
regarded its rights and liberties as its most precious treasure,
that it placed them above hereditary titles and the rights of the
throne. Liberal as well as legal, it demanded from the prince a
certain measure of good government and of respect for the
national wishes, at the same time that it unrolled from the mists
of the past those grand principles of the compact of sovereign
and people, which England had known how to keep and guard through
perils and through oppression. The work of liberty was not yet
complete; all its seeds rested in the Declaration of Rights drawn
up by Somers, and solemnly accepted by the new sovereigns. The
bitter time of revolutions had ended for England.

Yet the day of rest had not come. The reign of William III. was
to remain constantly troublesome, disputed, stormy. The reasons
of this were various and complicated. In the first place stood
his birth; he was a Dutchman in heart as in race, a stranger in
his tastes as in his manners to England, which never forgot the
fact. Both free and Protestant, the two countries were
nevertheless separated by wide divergencies. In England the Whigs
and Tories divided among them the upper classes; the tendencies
toward republicanism existed in the dark among a certain number
of dissenters; the Anglican Church, the Presbyterians, the
Catholics, were royalists by taste as by principle.
In Holland, on the other hand, the mercantile patriciate remained
nearly everywhere zealously attached to the republican form; the
partisans of the stadtholdership of the house of Orange were
counted in the army and among the great property-holders: and
part of the provinces of Guelders and Friesland was equally
devoted to it.

Brought up in Holland in the midst of parties which he understood
and whose springs he had moved for a long time, sympathizing with
the very persons there who hereditarily opposed his family and
his policy, William III. found himself in England as much a
stranger as he was generally considered. Cold and reserved, like
a man surrounded by enemies or critics, he only had confidence in
the Dutch; he lavished his personal favors on Dutchmen alone; he
only opened his heart and unbent his countenance for Dutchmen.
This marked preference for his native land and this eagerness to
flee from the soil of his new country so soon as the summer could
bring him back to Holland, were a constant reproach and source of
weakness to the King of England. In Holland alone he breathed at
ease; there, alone he freely spread the wings of his grand
policy, more European than English, difficult to be imported by a
foreign prince into a new kingdom still entirely peopled for him
with secret or open enemies.

For a long time England had remained isolated from the
combinations of continental politics; lowered in her own eyes and
those of Europe, she had submitted, under Charles III. and James
II., to the yoke of France, against which William III. proudly
stood erect, demanding from England, as from Holland, the last
sacrifices to sustain the cause of European independence. It was
not without disquiet and a certain insular jealousy that the
English saw themselves drawn into all the political complications
on the continent; they had given themselves to William of Orange,
but they preserved towards him a secret distrust, silently nursed
by the persistent distrust of the Church of England.
William was a Protestant; but, a Calvinist by conviction,
accustomed to the widest toleration in his own country, which had
become the refuge of all persons suffering persecution, he found
himself in England confronted by the Anglican Church, which was
divided in regard to him, and had partially remained faithful to
the fugitive monarch he had dethroned; obliged to struggle at
once against the anti-Catholic spirit which had carried him to
the throne and against the intolerance towards dissenters, which
was contrary to all his principles. Dutchman, European statesman,
tolerant Calvinist, he met throughout England distrust and
impediments which all the success of the revolution of 1688 could
not dispel, and which the personal superiority of the new king
never wholly succeeded in repressing.

The Church silent and sombre, the army sad and humiliated,
parties keenly exasperated--such was the domestic situation of
William on the morrow of his triumph, when the uprising of
Ireland menaced the peace of the kingdom, and the whole
government still remained to be organized. Responsible and
concordant ministers did not exist then: William called around
him counsellors from different sides--Whigs, Tories, trimmers;
Danby, Nottingham, Halifax, Shrewsbury, Herbert, Mordaunt.
Disagreements were not slow to display themselves. The Tories had
alone exercised power for some years. They were more experienced
and skilful in public affairs than the Whigs; the latter were for
the most part sincerely devoted to the new government, jealous
and suspicious toward their adversaries, who had now become their
Traps and intrigues, sometimes violent scenes, succeeded one
another without intermission, fettering and retarding the march
of the government, sapping the popularity of the King, to whom
all parties appealed, and who tried in vain to calm them all. An
attack of John Hampden on Halifax appeared so violent that
somebody cried in the House of Commons: "This is called a speech:
it is a libel!"

William was weary of parliamentary struggles and eager to return
to the camp life, which he always preferred to politics, when he
pronounced, on the 27th of January, 1690, the dissolution of
Parliament. The state of his affairs in Ireland imperatively
demanded his presence.

Fleeing from England and the dangers which there threatened, as
he thought, his liberty and life, King James had found in France,
at the court of Louis XIV., the most generous and splendid
hospitality. Lodged by the king at the castle of Saint-Germain,
and in every respect treated as a sovereign and equal, James II.
had asked and obtained from his royal host the aid which he
needed not only to exist in France, but to undertake the conquest
of rebellious and Protestant England by means of Ireland, which
remained Catholic and true. Civil war had already broken out in
this little kingdom; the cession by James of all the civil power
to the Catholics and indigenous inhabitants disquieted knots of
Protestants, scattered as colonists over certain districts. The
small town of Kenmore, the cities of Enniskillen and Londonderry,
were filled with refugees of their religion and race, driven by
the tyranny exercised upon them to that refuge which the Scotch
Presbyterians had lately founded in Ulster. Tyrconnel had tried
in vain to maintain an appearance of order; the Irish population,
whose passions had been long aroused, would not yield to his
influence. Ireland was in flames, when James II. landed at
Kinsale on the 12th of March, 1689.
He had embarked at Brest, accompanied by a small body of French
officers under the orders of the Count de Rosen. With him Louis
XIV. had sent Count d'Avaux, charged with the diplomatic part of
the expedition, and with plans to be tried among the English
malcontents. From the start, this clever politician, familiar
with complicated continental intrigues, foresaw the trouble that
the fallen monarch, whose cause he was to plead, would occasion
him. "It will not be an easy thing to keep any secret with the
King of England," wrote Count d'Avaux to Louis XIV.; "he has told
before the sailors of the St. Michel, what he ought to have
reserved for his most confidential friends. Another thing which
will give us trouble is his irresolution, for he often changes
his mind and does not always settle on the best course. He
frequently dwells upon little things, on which he employs his
whole time, and passes lightly over most essential matters.
Moreover he listens to everybody, and one has to spend as much
time in removing the impressions which bad advice has produced on
him, as in inspiring him with correct ones." "All the troops
Tyrconnel had been able to raise, were occupied with the
Protestant rising in Ulster," says King James in his Memoirs;
"the Catholics of the country had no arms, while the Protestants
had an abundance, and the best horses in the kingdom; there were
only eight small field-pieces in condition to accompany the army;
no provisions or ammunition in the magazine, little powder or
balls, no money in the chest, and all the officers gone to

To this gloomy picture of the condition of his forces in Ireland,
James might have added the embarrassments about to be caused by
an intractable Parliament, and the pretensions, as immoderate as
they were absurd, of partisans, who thought they had a right to
lay down the law for the sovereign they persisted in serving.
The indigenous Irish claimed the entire independence of their
country, threatening, if James refused it, to appeal to France,
and place themselves thenceforth under her protection. The
English exiles who accompanied the king, despising Ireland and
the Irish, only aspired to reseat their sovereign on the throne
of England.

"My Lord Melford is neither a good Frenchman nor a good
Irishman," said Count d'Avaux; "he only thinks of England."
Despite a proclamation of toleration by James, there was a
general understanding to re-establish the absolute supremacy of
Catholicism in Ireland; the act of establishment of Charles II.
was repealed; the lands of Catholics, lately confiscated to the
benefit of Protestants, returned to their original owners; one
law of proscription embraced all the fugitive or refugee
Protestants in the northern counties; the endowments of the
Anglican Church were taken from it. The fanatics triumphed; the
King was anxious and disgusted. He estimated better than his
advisers, the strength of Protestantism, even in Ireland; he
glanced at the effect of his measures in England. After long
hesitation, which still followed him after starting and made him
turn back for a moment, James set out to besiege the town of
Londonderry in person.

The place was small, badly fortified, and encumbered with
refugees, who had brought no provisions there. Its governor,
Lundy, proved a traitor to the garrison and citizens. Before
flying pusillanimously, he attempted several times to betray them
to the enemy. The religious and patriotic zeal of the inhabitants
triumphed over all obstacles. An Anglican clergyman, George
Walker, and Major Henry Baker, had taken command of the troops in
the town by the natural and legitimate ascendancy of their
Determined to accept no capitulation, they were braving the
repeated attacks of the Irish army, as well as the cruel assaults
of famine, when Lord Strabane was instructed to offer the
inhabitants the royal pardon. "The people of Londonderry have
done nothing that requires a pardon," replied Major Murray; "they
recognize no other sovereigns but King William and Queen Mary.
Your lordship might not find yourself safe, if you stayed here
much longer, or if you repeated the same offers; allow me to
accompany you outside our lines."

King James II. returned to Dublin. The town held out a hundred
and five days, in spite of the cruelties of the Count de Rosen,
who had roused the indignation of James himself, when, on the
30th of July, upon receipt of a formal order from London, Colonel
Kirke, lately dispatched from England to the aid of Londonderry,
made a last effort to force the barricade constructed by the
enemy across the river. "If we don't deliver the brave citizens
of Londonderry, the whole world will rise against us," cried
Birch, in the House of Commons. "A barricade! well, let it be
forced! Shall we let our brothers perish almost before our eyes?"
The barricade was forced, and the population of Derry, decimated,
dying, but still indomitable, at last saw the vessels, which
brought the aid so long expected, advance majestically by the
narrow channel which alone the drought had left navigable.
Thanksgivings and cries of joy were still echoing in the town,
when a line of flames already indicated the retreat of the
Jacobite army. The siege of Londonderry was raised.


The same day the inhabitants of Enniskillen, who had spiritedly
held their town in face of the enemy's troops, pursued the Irish
in retreat to the village of Newtown Butler. There, at the foot
of a hill, in front of a bog, the battle took place. "Advance or
retreat?" their leader Wolseley, detailed by Kirke, had asked his
improvised soldiers. "Advance! advance!" shouted the Protestants.
The rout of King James's partisans was complete, and the massacre
frightful. Nothing could check the violence of religious and
political hatreds among a half civilized population. "The
dragoons, who had fled in the morning, retreated with the rest of
the cavalry without firing a pistol," wrote the Count d'Avaux,
"and they all ran away in such a panic that they threw away
muskets, pistols, and sabres, and most of them having run their
horses to death, took off their clothes, to go quicker on foot."

While the arms of King James met with these severe checks in
Ireland, he received news from England which for a moment
disquieted his counsellors; but soon reanimated, by the very
imminence of the danger, the natural courage of the Irish race.
The illustrious Marshal Schomberg, who was driven by the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes from the adopted country he had
gloriously served, the lieutenant of William III. when he first
set foot in England, had just embarked for Ireland at the head of
a numerous body of troops. Other alarming intelligence was added
to this: the last efforts of the Scotch insurrection had
miscarried; and all hope of a Jacobite restoration was dying out
in the hereditary kingdom of the Stuarts.

A tyranny which England had never endured had long been pressing
on Scotland: an oppressive and corrupt government had met little
opposition in a timid or venal Parliament; a religion hateful to
the nation had been imposed on it by law. The Revolution of 1688
lent to the condition of things and of feelings in Scotland a
wholly different character from that which it had assumed in
There King James had been dethroned in the name of violated law.
All legal forms had been observed in the election of the
Parliament which proclaimed William and Mary. At Edinburg the
reaction was violent, and passions were destructive; the Anglican
pastors were maltreated and insulted. The first act of the
Convention convoked by the Prince of Orange was the abolition of
episcopacy. Everywhere the Presbyterians recovered power as well
as liberty; everywhere the Covenanters, long kept down with an
iron hand, proudly held up their heads. At the same time, at the
moment when the Parliament of Scotland, after a lively debate,
decided to recognize the legitimacy of the revolution by
proclaiming in its towns the new sovereigns of England, an
insurrection broke out in the Scottish Highlands under the
conduct of Viscount Dundee, lately celebrated under the name of
Graham of Claverhouse. He was sustained in his campaign in favor
of King James by the Earl of Balcarras. Both had visited the
Prince of Orange at London, both had claimed the protection of
the government. "Take care, my lord," William had said to
Balcarras, who was excusing himself for not voting for the
deposition of James. "Remain inside the limits of the law; if you
violate it, expect to be given up to it." Balcarras and Dundee
had received the last orders of James II. "I commit to you my
affairs in Scotland," the monarch had said, as he made ready to
fly; "Balcarras will take care of my civil affairs and Dundee
will command my troops." It was with great difficulty that the
latter had been able to escape from the Convention where he had
had the audacity to present himself. "Where do you purpose
going?" Balcarras had asked him. "Where the shade of Montrose
shall lead me," replied the intrepid partisan; and he disappeared
at the head of fifty dragoons, the remnant of the famous
regiments which had lately cut the Covenanters in pieces. The
latter had not forgotten the fact.


The English Jacobites belonged almost entirely to the Anglican
Church, being passionately and ancestrally devoted to its cause,
as well as to the House of Stuart. The Irish Jacobites were
Catholics and separatists, convinced that the greatness of their
native country, like that of the Roman Church, depended on the
restoration of King James. The Scotch Jacobites actively engaged
in the struggle were Episcopalians, lately triumphant, but now
oppressed in their religion, or Highlanders uniting against the
power of the Clan Campbell and its chief, the Earl of Argyle,
_Mac Callum More_, as he was called in the mountains. It was
Argyle who, standing before the throne at Whitehall, had
pronounced the words of the royal oath, repeated after him by the
new sovereigns. At its last clause William had paused for a
moment: its purport was that he should destroy all heretics and
enemies of God. "I could not engage to become a persecutor," said
the king aloud. "Neither the tenor of the oath nor the laws of
Scotland impose this obligation on your majesty," replied one of
the delegates. "It is on this condition that I swear," returned
William; "and I beg you, my lords and gentlemen, to be witnesses
of this."

So much moderation and prudence remained without effect upon the
Highlanders. Argyle was employed in the new government. However
unimportant his part in it was to be, from the capacity and
character of the earl, the traditional foes of his clan, the
Camerons, the Macleans, the Macgregors, naturally, went over to
the other camp. When Dundee, threatened with arrest, left the
little castle where he had quartered himself since fleeing from
Edinburg, he found the Highlanders already risen under the
command of Lochiel, chief of the Camerons, and Colin Keppoch, one
of the Macdonalds.
Bringing in his suite some Lowland gentlemen, capturing some
Whigs, whom he carried with him as prisoners, sending the fiery
cross before him, and accompanied everywhere by the terror of his
name, Dundee soon found himself at the head of an army of five or
six thousand men, all brave, hardy, inured to fatigue,
undisciplined and tumultuous, incapable of fighting according to
the ordinary rules of war, and, consequently, of making a long
resistance to regular troops. "We would not have time to learn
your mode of fighting," said Lochiel, "and we would have time to
forget our own."

Dundee was uneasy; he asked King James to send him considerable
reinforcements. He waited through the month of June, encamped at
Lochaber, until the forces of General Mackay, tired of pursuing
him without coming up to him, retreated into the Lowlands. The
castle of Edinburg, long held by the Duke of Gordon for King
James, had just capitulated. The numerous dependents of the
Marquis of Athole were waiting for him to declare himself; his
eldest son, Lord Murray, had embraced King William's party; the
confidential agent of the marquis, Stewart of Badenoch, served
King James. Lord Murray had presented himself before Blair
Castle. The garrison which occupied it, in behalf of his father,
refused him admittance to the fortress. He had laid siege to it,
when Dundee and all the Highland chiefs descended impetuously
from the mountains to the relief of the garrison.

The siege was raised when they arrived. Murray's soldiers had
abandoned it; filling their caps with the water of a spring, they
had drunk to the health of King James, and dispersed. But Mackay
and his troops already occupied the defile of Killiecrankie,
which led to the fortress. Dundee resolved to attack them.
The aged Lochiel moved to and fro among the ranks of the
Highlanders, whose fierce cries the echoes repeated; while the
tone of the enemy was feeble and faint. "We shall carry the day,"
said Lochiel; "that is not the cry of men about to conquer." He
charged the enemy at the head of his clan with sword in hand, and
bare feet, like his soldiers.

A first discharge had not checked the forward motion of the
Highlanders, and Mackay's soldiers were reloading their pieces,
when the torrent of mountaineers came down upon them. Reeling,
overthrown, deafened by the shouts, dazzled by the sheen of
swords, the men threw away their muskets and began to fly.
Mackay, intrepid in defeat, called to his aid his cavalry,
dreaded by the mountaineers. Only Dundee could have rallied his
troops, carried away by their eagerness to plunder. Dundee was
dead in his glory, struck, it was told afterwards, by a silver
button used as a ball and discharged at him by the superstition
of the soldiers. "He is invulnerable to lead and iron," said the
covenanters, who had not long ago seen him urging on his soldiers
in the middle of a rain of balls. The intrepid soldier, the bold
and skilful leader, the pitiless persecutor, had been mortally
wounded while leading a small body of horse to the front. Falling
from his charger, a soldier had received him in his arms. "How
goes it?" asked Dundee. "Well for King James," answered the
trooper, "but I grieve for your lordship." "Small matter about
me, if things go well for him," murmured Dundee. These were his
last words. His body, wrapped in the plaids of the Highlanders,
was borne to Blair Castle.


The death of Dundee was in truth the end of the Scotch rising.
Irregular and indecisive actions were continued for some time
between the Highlanders and the Cameronian regiments, inflamed
against each other by religious and political passions. Meantime
the mountaineers returned gradually to their flocks. On
separating, their chiefs declared that they remained the faithful
subjects of King James, always ready to serve him.

They had ceased fighting for him when Marshal Schomberg landed at
Antrim, on the 13th of August. Soon master of Carrick-Fergus, he
had much difficulty in protecting the Irish regiments against the
rage of the Protestant colonists. The courage of the Jacobites
revived a little: twenty thousand men were assembled under the
walls of Drogheda. After one day's march, Schomberg had
entrenched himself in a strong position near Dundalk.

The inexperienced zeal of the Irish, as well as of the English
recruits brought by Schomberg, led them to desire immediate
battle; but Rosen and Schomberg were old commanders, accustomed
to weigh the chances of war and the valor of armies; and neither
was eager to give battle. In spite of the maladies which ravaged
his army, of the bad quality of the provisions, and of the
injurious rumors circulated against him in England as well as
Ireland, Schomberg remained shut up in his camp at Dundalk
without the enemy's daring to attack him. When he returned to the
north, at the beginning of November, the Irish had taken up their
winter quarters and did not disturb themselves about his retreat.
"I declare," wrote the marshal, from Lisburn to William III.,
"that if it were not for the profound obedience I have for your
majesty's orders, I should prefer the honor of being inactive at
your court to the command of an army in Ireland composed as was
that of the past campaign; and if I had hazarded a battle, which
would have been hard to do if the enemy wished to remain in his
camp, I should perhaps have lost all that you possess in this
kingdom, without speaking of the consequences which might have
resulted from it in Scotland, and even in England."


Europe was again in flames when Schomberg wrote thus to King
William; but the true chief of the coalition against Louis XIV.
was not able to leave his kingdom or to place himself at the head
of the forces which he had sent to the assistance of his allies;
the difficulties of parliamentary government and the war in
Ireland kept him in his own dominions. The new Parliament had met
on the 20th of March, 1690. The Tories were numerous, energetic
and confident in it. The king committed the direction of his
affairs to Danby, whom he had just made Marquis of Caermarthen.
He then announced formally to the Houses his intention of
crossing into Ireland. The parties had for a short time thought
of interfering with this resolution. "I find they are beginning
to be much distressed at my journey to Ireland," wrote William to
his friend Bentinck whom he had made Duke of Portland, and who
was then in Holland; "especially the Whigs, who fear to lose me
too soon, before they have made what they want of me; for, as for
their friendship, you know one must not count upon that in this
country. I have said nothing as yet of my design to Parliament,
but I propose to do so next week. Meantime I have begun to make
my preparations, and everybody speaks publicly of them."

The new Commons voted that they would sustain and maintain the
government of their majesties, King William and Queen Mary, with
all their power, as well by their counsels as by their
assistance. "I thank you for your address, gentlemen," replied
William. "I have already had occasion to expose my life for the
nation; rest assured I shall continue to do so in future." Yet
the two Houses had resolved to subject the royal revenues to the
necessity of a repeated vote.
William was hurt at this; the civil lists granted to Charles II.
and James II. had been granted for their lives. "The gentry of
England have had confidence in King James, who was the enemy of
their religion and laws," he observed to Burnet; "they distrust
me, who have preserved their religion and laws." The discontent
which he was quick to feel and bitter in expressing, never
disturbed the justice and loftiness natural to the spirit of
William III. When the Whigs proposed a bill of abjuration,
intended to disquiet the consciences of a large number of
moderate and honorable Tories, the king let his friends know that
he had no desire to impose a painful test upon his subjects. The
motion, much modified, was brought before the House of Lords. "I
have taken many oaths," said old Lord Wharton, formerly colonel
in the service of the Long Parliament, "and I have not kept them
all: I ask God not to impute to me this sin; but I should not
like to spread anew a snare into which my own soul or that of my
neighbor might fall."

The Earl of Macclesfield, who had accompanied William of Orange
at the time of his arrival in England, supported the words of
Lord Wharton. "I am surprised," said Churchill, who had lately
become Earl of Marlborough, "that your Lordship has any objection
to the bill, after the part you have played in the revolution."
"The noble earl exaggerates the part I have had in the
deliverance of my country," retorted Macclesfield: "I have always
been ready to risk my life in defence of her laws and liberties,
but there are things that I should not have liked to do, even in
this cause. I have been a rebel against a bad king; others have
gone further than I."


Marlborough was silent; the King, who was present, became grave.
Some days later, before bidding farewell to the Parliament, he
transmitted to it by Lord Caermarthen an act of pardon, a free
and spontaneous amnesty, to which the practice of preceding
reigns had not accustomed England. The regicides who were still
alive and a certain number of the most guilty satellites of King
James, were alone excepted from the general pardon. These had,
for the most part, sought safety upon the continent; those who
were in England were informed that new crimes alone could expose
them to the vengeance of the laws. The act of pardon was passed
on the 20th of May; on the same date the king prorogued the
Parliament, committing to the queen the cares of government. A
council composed of nine persons was to assist in this important
task. Four Whigs and five Tories sat in this confidential
ministry. William had provided with far-seeing tenderness for all
the wants of his wife. "I put my trust in God," he said to
Burnet, whom he had made Bishop of Salisbury, and to whom he
unveiled the melancholy state of his soul, in presence of so many
troubles and dangers. "I shall complete my task or fall in its
performance. The poor queen alone distresses me. If you love me,
see her often; give her all the aid you can. As for myself,
separated from her, I shall be very glad to find myself on
horseback and under canvas once more; I am fitter to command an
army than to direct your Houses of Parliament. But though I know
I am doing my duty, it is hard for my wife to feel that her
father confronts me on the field of battle. God grant that no
harm may befall him. Pray for me, doctor."

William embarked at Highlake on the 11th of June; three days
later he landed at Carrick-Fergus. The same evening he reached
Belfast. Schomberg had arrived before him. At the same time James
left Dublin for his camp on the northern frontier of Leicester.
He was accompanied by Lauzun, who had recently come from France
with four Irish regiments, equipped and drilled at the expense of
Louis XIV. "For the love of God," Louvois had said to Lauzun, of
whom he had a rather poor opinion, "Don't let yourself be carried
away by your desire to come to blows; endeavor to tire the
English, and above all maintain discipline." Careless and
venturous as he was, Lauzun was astonished at the disorder which
he found everywhere in Ireland. "It is a chaos like that
described in Genesis," he wrote to Louvois; "I would not spend
another month here for the whole world."

William III. urged on his preparations and hurried his advance,
eagerly desiring to attack the enemy. Schomberg wanted to hold
him back. "I have not come here to let the grass grow under my
feet," said the King of England. "This country is worth making
one's own," he added, as he gazed upon the beautiful, though
semi-civilized places he was passing through. The valley of the
Boyne, on the confines of the counties of Lowth and Meath,
reminded him of the rich meadows of England. The tents of the
enemy were pitched beneath Drogheda; the standards of the houses
of Stuart and Bourbon floated over the walls of the town. "I am
very glad to see you at last, gentlemen," said William of Orange,
viewing the motions of the Jacobite army from afar; "if you
escape me now, it will be my fault." One part of the army of King
James was concealed by the undulations of the ground. "Strong or
weak," said William, "I shall soon know which they are."


The two armies were almost equal in numbers: twenty-five or
thirty thousand were mustered on either side. "Although it is
true that the soldiers seem determined to do their best and are
exasperated against the rebels," wrote d'Avaux, who had just
returned to France with Rosen, who was superceded by Lauzun, "yet
that is not the only requisite for fighting a battle. The
subaltern officers are bad; and, excepting a very few, there are
none to take care of the soldiers, the arms and the discipline.
More confidence is placed in the cavalry, the greater part of
which is good enough." William had brought with him his veteran
Dutch and German regiments; representatives of all the Protestant
churches of Europe were there in arms against the enemies of
their liberties. None were more impetuous than the Irish
Protestants, burning to avenge their recent injuries, and the
French Huguenots, who flocked from all quarters against the
monarch whom Louis XIV. sustained. "I am sure," the Baron
d'Avejon, lieutenant colonel in King William's service, had
written to Geneva, "that you will not fail to have published in
all the French churches of Switzerland the obligation which rests
on all refugees to come and help us in this campaign, in which
the glory of God, and, consequently, the reestablishment of his
Church in our country are at stake." Vain hopes! which explain
the zeal of the French Protestants against the Irish and King
James. Two refugees--Marshal Schomberg, and M. de Caillemotte,
younger brother of Ruvigny--led them at the battle of the Boyne,
exclaiming: "Forward, my children, to glory! Forward! behold our

On the morning of the first of July, King William, who was
wounded on the shoulder the evening before while making a
reconnaissance, was on horseback from daybreak. The armies joined
battle in the river. At first Schomberg had remained on the bank,
directing the movement of his troops. He rallied around him the
Huguenot regiments, shaken by the death of their leader
Caillemotte. The moment the marshal stepped aground, after
crossing the Boyne, a detachment of Irish cavalry surrounded him;
he was dead when his friends succeeded in rejoining him.
The native infantry had promptly taken to flight; nevertheless
the regiments from France and the Irish gentlemen fought
furiously. King William had entered the river at the head of the
left wing, with difficulty guiding his horse with his wounded
arm. He drew his sword with his left hand, and, charging at the
head of the Enniskillen Protestants, he dashed upon the enemy.
"You will be my guards today," he had said to the brave settlers;
"I have often heard of you, let us see what you can do." The heat
of battle expanded the heart of the grave and silent prince,
whose unconquerable reserve his best friends frequently deplored:
he moved about in every direction, receiving bullets on his
pistol-butt and the top of his boot, following up the victory
which at every point declared itself for him. King James had
taken no part in the action; he had remained afar, viewing the
combat from the heights of Dunmore. When he was certain that
fortune was against him, he turned bridle, accompanied by some
horsemen. In the evening he reached Dublin, bearing the news of
his own defeat. Irritated and humiliated, he bitterly reproached
his partisans with the cowardice of their countrymen. "I shall
never in my life command an Irish army," said he. "I must now
think of my safety alone; let each man do the same." Next day at
sunrise he left Dublin, and on the 3d of July he took ship at
Waterford. He soon landed at Brest, and related the history of
the battle in detail. "From the account of the battle that I have
heard the king and several of his suite give," wrote one of his
first hearers, "it does not seem to me that he was very well
informed of what took place in the action, and that he only knows
the rout of his troops." "Those who love the King of England
ought to be glad to know of his safety," said the Marshal de
Luxembourg, in Germany; "but those who love his glory have to
deplore the part he has played."

King James at the Battle of Boyne.


Queen Mary was more pre-occupied about her father's safety than
her own glory. She wrote to her husband on the 5th of July: "I
was uneasy to know what had become of the king, my father; I only
dared to ask Lord Nottingham, and I have had the satisfaction of
learning that he was safe and sound. I know I have no need of
asking you to spare him; but add this to your clemency--let the
world know that for love of me you wish no harm to befall his

The joy in England was complete when it was known that King
William had entered Dublin on the 6th. The rumor of his death had
been spread for a short time in Paris, where it had given rise to
popular rejoicings. The governor of the Bastile had even had
cannon fired. King James set about undeceiving the court and
city. His royal illusions were not yet dispelled. "My subjects
love me still," he used to say; "they await me impatiently in
England." When he arrived at Versailles, his first care was to
press Louis XIV. to send an army of invasion at once. "All the
forces of England are in Ireland," said he; "my people will rise
in my behalf." Tourville had just attempted a descent on the
coasts of Devonshire, but the peasants had taken arms and the
Cornish miners had emerged from the bowels of the earth to repel
the invasion. The French sailors contented themselves with
burning Teignmouth, and took to sea again more proud of the
triumph they had lately gained (July 10) over the united English
and Dutch fleets at Beachy Head, than humiliated at their check
on the English coast. One cry re-echoed in all the southern
countries: "God bless King William and Queen Mary!"


King William had felt deeply the disaster of his fleet. The news
had reached him a few days after that of the battle of Fleurus,
which had been won by the Marshal de Luxembourg from the Prince
de Waldeck, commanding the allied forces. "I cannot express to
you," wrote William to Heinsius, "how I am distressed at these
two great great disasters which almost simultaneously have fallen
upon the arms of the Republic. That of the fleet affects me the
more deeply, because I have been informed that my vessels have
not properly assisted those of the States, and left them in a
critical position. I have ordered an inquiry to take place; the
queen has given similar orders; no personal consideration shall
prevent my rigorously punishing the guilty." William had a right
to feel in the bottom of his soul a secret pride for his native
country. The Dutch vessels had born the whole weight of the
contest at Beachy Head, while the Marshal de Luxembourg wrote
after the battle of Fleurus: "Prince de Waldeck will never forget
the French cavalry, and I shall remember the Dutch infantry. It
has done still better than the Spaniards at Rocroi."

The indignation of England was great against Admiral Herbert,
created Lord Torrington, who was wrongfully accused of treason.
An inquiry was held upon his conduct, and many people were found
to be compromised in a Jacobite plot. Lord Clarendon, the queen's
uncle, was of the number. Before his departure to Ireland the
king had already had proof of his intrigues. The queen interceded
for him. William had summoned Lord Rochester. "Your brother has
plotted against me," he had said, "I am assured. I have been
advised to except him from the amnesty, but I have been unwilling
to cause this grief to the queen. It is for her sake that I
forgive the past; but let Lord Clarendon take care in future; he
will perceive that I am not jesting." This kind advice had not
sufficed; Lord Clarendon's name was connected anew with Jacobite
plots. The advisers of the queen hesitated to accuse him in her
"I know," said Mary, "and everybody knows as well as I, that Lord
Clarendon is accused of things too grave to suffer him to be
excepted from the precautionary measures." A warrant was signed
for Clarendon's arrest. "I am more grieved for Lord Clarendon
than people will believe," the queen wrote to her husband.

William returned to England, after meeting with a repulse before
the walls of Limerick, defended by the Irish with the patriotic
and sectarian zeal which had before animated the Protestant
citizens of Londonderry. Lauzun and the auxiliary regiments,
after withdrawing to Galway, had just embarked for France. King
William bid Marlborough to make a descent upon Cork and Kinsale.
The two places fell into the hands of that able general, and five
weeks from his departure from Portsmouth he paid his respects to
the king at Kensington. "There is not in Europe a general, having
so little experience in war, who is worthier of great commands
than the Earl of Marlborough," William said generously, for he
did not like him. The return of the king, and his journey from
Bristol to London, had been greeted with national transports of
joy. He had left in Ireland the Dutch general Ginckel, a resolute
and prudent man, at the head of an army, well disciplined, well
equipped, and well victualled. Before the close of the following
year, Ginckel had completed his task of pacifying Ireland. On the
20th of June, 1691, in spite of the presence and exertions of
Saint-Ruth, who had come with reinforcements from France, he
carried by storm the town of Athlone, the true key of Connaught,
and the strongest place in Ireland. "His master should have him
hanged for attempting to take Athlone," said the French general,
"and my master can do the same to me, if I lose it." On the 12th
of July Saint-Ruth was killed at the battle of Aghrim, and the
Irish signally defeated. On the 26th of August, Ginckel laid
siege to Limerick.


Tyrconnel had just breathed his last, old and prematurely worn
out by fatigue and debauches. King James's troops were commanded
by Lord Sarsfield, the most able and brilliant of the Irish
officers. On the 1st of August a capitulation was signed, and was
soon followed by a treaty. The Irish regiments were permitted to
choose between the service of William and that of Louis XIV. A
large number of soldiers went over spontaneously to France,
forming in the armies of Louis XIV. and Louis XV. that Irish
brigade, whose name has become famous. "Has this last campaign
altered your opinion of our military qualities?" asked Sarsfield
of the English officers. "To tell the truth," answered they, "we
think almost the same of them as we have always thought." "Well,"
replied Sarsfield, "whatever bad opinion you may have of us, only
let us change our king and begin again, and you will see."
Ginckel was raised to the dignity of Earl of Athlone and Aghrim.
King William and Parliament had ratified the terms offered by the
general to the Irish; the struggle was over, the conquest
consummated; the Protestant colonists, lately oppressed, became
the masters, and often the oppressors of the indigenous race,
which was dejected and decimated. Scotland was absorbed with the
triumph of the Presbyterians, who had just legally recovered the
religious supremacy in their country, to the great detriment of
Episcopalians and Cameronians. The English Parliament had voted
supplies generously, the Jacobite plots were exploded; the trial
of Lord Torrington had ended in an acquittal, which never
succeeded in erasing from the king's mind a distrust, which was
merited by the dissolute life and known intemperance of the
William had not waited for this first interval of domestic peace
to respond to the needs of his soul, and the imperious call of
political necessity. On the 18th of January, 1691, in spite of
the severity of the season, he had embarked at Gravesend for
Holland. "I yearn for this moment more than I can express to
you," he wrote six months before to Heinsius.

The English fleet had arrived in sight of the coasts of Holland.
The voyage had been unpleasant; disembarkation seemed impossible:
enormous blocks of ice encumbered the channel, while a thick fog
hid the land. For eighteen hours the four little ships were
obliged to keep to sea. The king was, as usual, weak and
suffering, yet he had wished to put off in an open boat, to gain
his natal soil the quicker. The whole night was spent before he
could step on dry land; the cold was intense, and the danger
serious. Some of the sailors were in despair. "Fie!" said William
to them, "are you afraid to die with me?" Some great British
noblemen, the Dukes of Ormond and Norfolk, the Earls of
Devonshire, Dorset and Monmouth, were with him; Portland and
Zulestein were glad to accompany their beloved sovereign to
Holland. It was only at daybreak, by the feeble light of a
winter's morning, that they were able at last to land on the
island of Goree. The king rested there some hours before taking
the road to the Hague.

Joy beamed on the face which the English were accustomed to find
stern and haughty. Heart was responding to heart; England had
accepted its deliverance from the hand of William III., without
affinity for him and through necessity. The Dutch loved the heir
of the greatest name in their nation and of their race, the
liberator of their country, the man who had carried to the throne
of England the glory, the name and the manners of his Dutch
The people pressed upon his steps. "Let them alone," said the
king; "let them come near me and all be my friends." A splendid
reception had been prepared at the Hague: he was opposed to the
pageant and the ceremonies, and murmured against this useless
expenditure. "It is quite enough to have to bear the cost of the
war," he observed. His countrymen spared him neither a speech nor
a salvo of artillery; the joy of the population was at its
height. "It would be quite another thing if Mary had accompanied
me," said the king to those who congratulated him upon his
triumph; "she is more popular than I."

The States-General were solemnly convened. William was more moved
than he had been formerly on leaving his native country. "When I
took leave of you," he said, "I informed you of my intention to
cross over to England, to save, thanks to your aid, that kingdom
from a deluge of evils present and to come. Providence has
blessed my enterprise, and the nation has offered me the crown of
the three kingdoms. I have accepted it, not from ambition, God is
my witness, but to put the religion, the welfare, the peace of
Great Britain beyond the power of any assault, and to be able to
protect the allies, the republic in particular, against the
supremacy of France. I have loved this country from my earliest
youth, and, if anything could increase this love, it is the
certainty that I have found a reciprocal attachment in the hearts
of my countrymen. If it pleases God that I should become the
instrument which Providence may deign to use in order to restore
repose to Europe and re-establish security in your state, I shall
have lived long enough and shall go down tranquilly to the


It was at the Hague that the Congress of the Grand Alliance had
met. Having become King of England, and controlling the forces of
a great kingdom, William of Orange remained its chief,
notwithstanding princely jealousies and rivalries, by that
ascendancy of genius which had carried him to the first rank when
he was as yet but the stadtholder of a petty republic. The
assembled princes or their envoys were not used to hear such bold
language employed against the all-powerful king of France as that
of William at the opening of the Diet. "The states of Europe,"
said the king, "have been too long given up to a spirit of
division, indolence, or attention to their private interests. We
may rest assured that the interest of each is inseparable from
the general interest of all. The King of France's forces are
great; he will sweep away everything like a torrent. It will be
vain to oppose him with murmurs and protests against injustice.
It is not the resolutions of diets, or hopes founded on fanciful
rumors, but powerful armies, and a firm union among the allies
which can stay the common enemy in his triumphant career and in
the effervescence of his power. It is with the sword that we must
wrest from his hands the liberties of Europe which he aims at
smothering, or we must endure the yoke of slavery forever. For my
part I shall spare neither my credit, my forces nor my person, to
attain this glorious result, and I shall come in the spring at
the head of my troops to conquer or die with my allies."

The spring had not come yet, and Mons had been already invested
on the 15th of March by a French army. Louis XIV. arrived there
with the Dauphin on the 12th, and, despite the impetuous efforts
of William to relieve the place in time, it capitulated almost in
sight of the allied army. The vigilance of Marshal de Luxembourg
baffled William's maneuvres throughout the campaign.


When he returned to England in October, the advantage was with
France everywhere on the Continent. The Duke of Savoy had adhered
to the Grand Alliance, but Nice had fallen into the power of
Catinat. Opening the session of Parliament, the King spoke
complacently of the successful issue of the war in Ireland; at
the same time he warned the representatives of the nation that a
great effort would be necessary against the King of France, and
in order to support the Grand Alliance. The subsidies had been
voted without opposition, and the House was engaged with the
affairs of the East India Company, when a strange report was
spread abroad: the Earl of Malborough, lately at the head of the
English contingent to the allied army, while the king of England
was absent, had been suddenly stripped of his employment and his
dignities. The Princess Anne, who persisted in keeping her
favorite with her, had to retire with her to the country. The
causes of Malborough's disgrace remained a mystery, which
occasioned the most diverse conjectures, and allowed the enemies
of William and Mary to attribute unworthy or frivolous motives to
them. The cause was grave, and the necessity absolute: the Earl
of Marlborough was hatching a new treason. In the Parliament and
the army all was ready to attempt a Jacobite restoration.

James II. himself wrote in November, 1692: "Last year my friends
formed the design of recalling me by act of Parliament. The
method was arranged, and Lord Churchill was to propose in
Parliament to expel all foreigners, as well from the army and the
council as from the kingdom. If the Prince of Orange had agreed
to this measure, they would have had him in their hands; if he
had resisted it, they would have made Parliament declare against
him, and at the same time Lord Churchill with the army was to
declare himself for the Parliament; the fleet was to do the same,
and they were to recall me. They had commenced to move in the
matter and had gained a large party, when some indiscreet
subjects, thinking they were serving me, and that what Lord
Churchill was doing was not for me, but for the Princess of
Denmark, had the imprudence to discover the whole thing to
Bentinck, and thus averted the blow."

Duke And Duchess Of Marlborough.


The original manuscript of Burnet's Memoirs also contains the
following: "Marlborough busied himself with decrying the conduct
of the king and with depreciating him in all his conversations,
seeking to rouse the dislike of the English for the Dutch, who,
he said, enjoyed a larger share of the king's confidence and
favor than they did. It was a point on which it was easy to
excite the English, too much inclined, as they are, to despise
all other nations and to esteem themselves immoderately. This was
the subject of all the conversations at Marlborough's residence,
where English officers met incessantly. The king had told me that
he had good reasons for believing also that the earl had made his
peace with King James, and had opened a correspondence with

William III. had learned clemency in his dealings with English
statesmen: the treason of Lord Clarendon and of Lord Dartmouth
had been treated with mildness; when Lord Preston's plot had been
discovered, and Elliot, one of the accomplices, was multiplying
denunciations, the king, who was present, had touched
Caermarthen's shoulder. "There is enough of this, my lord," he
had said; thus imposing silence upon useless revelations about an
impotent discontent against which he did not wish to be severe.
Yet he feared the Earl of Marlborough's perfidy: he knew at once
his rare abilities and his profound baseness, and wished to
secure himself against a treason which threatened his throne and
Through excessive magnanimity or prudence he persistently
concealed the motives of his determination; but Marlborough's
disgrace was to be long-lived. The silence of William left a
formidable foe to France and a superlatively able head to the
coalition against her, who, had the details of his treason been
generally known, would have been irrecoverably ruined in the
public opinion of England.

William was about to leave England to take command of the allied
forces on the continent. At his departure he wished to finish the
pacification of Scotland. His late deputy, Lord Melville, had
allowed the Presbyterians to assume a dominating position which
seriously threatened the liberty of the Episcopalians. He was
replaced by Sir John Dalrymple, known in history as the Master of
Stair. Eloquent and able, he had conceived the idea of detaching
a certain number of Highland chiefs from the Jacobite cause by
bribery. A considerable sum had been effectively spent among men
proud and uncultured, but poor and exhausted by their warlike
efforts and their domestic feuds. Numerous chiefs made their
submission, notwithstanding the repugnance inspired by Lord
Breadalbane, who was employed by the Master of Stair in these
negotiations, and whom his connection with the Campbells rendered
suspected by the mountaineers. On the 31st of December, 1691,
Macdonald of Glencoe, or MacLean, as he was called in the
Highlands, found himself almost the only one to refuse the oath
of allegiance.

He made up his mind, at last, but too late. When he presented
himself at Fort William, the fixed time had expired, and no
magistrate was present. The old chief, alarmed at last, betook
himself to Inverary; they refused for a long time to accept his
submission. McLean returned to his mountains, whither an unjust
and cruel vengeance was about to pursue him.


The Master of Stair had consented to become the instrument of the
hereditary hate of the Campbells; it had been represented to him
that this was the price of the pacification of Scotland. His
orders had been issued in advance for the destruction of all the
clans which should not have made their submission before the 1st
of January, 1692. "Your troops will ravage all the district of
Lochaber, the domains of Lochiel, Keppoch, Glengarry, and
Glencoe. Your powers will be sufficient for the purpose. I hope
your soldiers will not embarrass the government with prisoners."
Lochiel, Keppoch and Glengarry had acted in time. All the hate of
the Campbells and all the administrative zeal of the Master of
Stair were turned upon Glencoe. King William signed his sentence
without reading it, Burnet asserts, and amid the mass of papers
which were presented to him every day. He did not, doubtless,
understand its purport. "It is a charitable duty," wrote the
Master of Stair, "to destroy this nest of robbers."

On the 1st of February, 1692, a detachment of Argyle's regiment
entered the territory of Glencoe, peacefully, and as if animated
by the most friendly intentions. "It would be better to do
nothing in the matter than to do it unsuccessfully," the Master
of Stair had said. "Since the thing is resolved on, it must be
executed secretly and suddenly." The commander of the small body,
Captain Campbell, commonly called Glenlyon from the name of his
estate, had a niece married to the second son of Glencoe. The
soldiers were well received and housed among the cottages.


They passed twelve days there waiting for the time when
Lieutenant-colonel Hamilton should have occupied the defiles of
the mountains. The 13th of February had been fixed on as the
fatal day; the Highlanders had felt some uneasiness, but their
guests had reassured them, "If there was any danger," Glenlyon
had said to the chiefs eldest son, "should I not have warned your
brother and his wife?" At the appointed hour Hamilton had not yet
arrived; nevertheless the massacre began. Under every roof,
beside every hearth, Glenlyon's soldiers shot down their hosts,
men, women and children; the Master of Stair's orders had allowed
them to spare old men above seventy. In their bloody intoxication
the troops gave no quarter; the aged Glencoe perished among the
first. His wife, assassinated beside him, was stripped of her
jewelry, and did not expire till the next day. At every door was
seen a corpse. When Hamilton appeared at the head of his troops,
they plundered all the houses, and long lines of cattle were
driven down the mountain passes by the light of the flames which
were consuming the villages.

God does not suffer crime, though cleverly conceived, to gain a
complete triumph. The passes had not been guarded; the murderers
had not all arrived in time, and a large number of the Macdonalds
of Glencoe succeeded in escaping, at the cost of new
sufferings--exposed to hunger, cold, and unceasing dangers. They
repaired to the midst of their mountains, above their ruined
houses and their blood stained hearths. The cry of their calamity
mounted slowly to Heaven. The Jacobites assisted in spreading it
abroad: they had eagerly seized this weapon against King William.
When the latter, far away and imperfectly informed, wished to
open an inquiry into the authors of the crime, so many and so
important persons were compromised in it, that the Master of
Stair alone was removed for a time from public life. The massacre
of Glencoe has remained a dark stain on the reign of William
III., a sad contrast to the leniency and humanity which usually
characterized his government.


Hardly had the king left England before the nation, as well as
Queen Mary, was a prey to serious uneasiness. Louvois had died
suddenly on the 17th of July, 1691, without Louis XIV., with whom
his influence had been decreasing, appearing particularly
distressed at his loss. "Tell the King of England that I have
lost a good minister," was the answer he had made to King James's
condolences, "but that his affairs and mine will fare none the
worse for it."

Louvois would not have consented to the schemes which James was
urging Louis XIV. to execute. Still convinced of the attachment
of his English subjects, especially of the navy, he was for some
time in correspondence with Admiral Russell, a sincere Whig, and
Protestant, but morose, discontented, unreasonable and easily led
away by his temperament into guilty intrigues. A camp had lately
been formed on the coasts of Normandy; all the Irish regiments
were there, under command of Lord Sarsfield; French forces were
to join them. James called on the English people to pronounce in
his favor by a manifesto so arrogant, so obstinate in the errors
and faults which had caused his downfall, that the ministers of
William III. had it printed and widely circulated in the kingdom.

Some English Jacobites attempted to combat the disastrous effect
of the manifesto by another paper, drawn up with care and with a
full knowledge of the state of feeling in England; but nobody let
himself be taken in by this maneuvre. A popular movement was
displayed in favor of the government; the militia responded
spiritedly to the call; the coasts were covered with troops; the
fleet of the allies entered the Channel. Those of the British
sailors who had given hopes to King James, recovered their
fidelity in presence of the enemy.
"I should like to serve King James," said Admiral Russell to the
Bishop of St. Asaph. "It might be done, if he was willing to let
us alone; but he does not know how to act with us. Let him forget
the whole past, and grant a general amnesty, and I will see what
I can do for him."

The bishop tried some hints about the personal favor reserved for
the admiral. The latter interrupted him: "I am not uneasy about
that, I only think of the public; and don't imagine I should ever
let the French conquer us on our own seas. Be it well known that
I shall fight them if I meet them, were His Majesty himself on

This outburst of patriotism, in a malcontent, who had lately been
on the point of becoming a traitor, did not suffice to open King
James's eyes: at his request the formal orders of Louis XIV.
forced the hand of Admiral de Tourville, who was hesitating, to
fight. He had been instructed to protect the disembarkation of
the invading forces upon the English coasts; but the wind
retarded his sailing from Brest. The Dutch fleet had joined the
English, and Tourville wished to await the squadrons of Estrées
and Rochefort.

Pontchartrain was minister of Marine as well as of Finance since
Seignelay, son of Colbert, had died, in 1690. He sent this answer
from Versailles to the experienced sailor, who was used to
fighting from the age of fourteen: "It is not for you to discuss
the king's orders; it is your business to execute them and enter
the Channel. If you don't wish to do so, the king will appoint in
your place some one more obedient and less cautious than you."
Tourville set out and met the hostile squadrons between the capes
of La Hague and Barfleur. He had forty-four vessels against
ninety-nine which the English and Dutch numbered. Tourville
convened his council of war; all the officers advised him to
retire; but the king's command was peremptory, and the admiral
gave battle.
After three days' desperate resistance, aided by the most skilful
maneuvering, Tourville was forced to retreat under the forts of
La Hogue in the hope of stranding his vessels. King James and
Marshal de Bellefonds were opposed to this. The vessels were
attacked and burned by the English in sight of the French and
Irish camp. The dethroned king was divided between his desire for
victory and his patriotic instincts. Seeing the sailors who
fought against him gallantly scaling the French vessels, he could
not help exclaiming: "Oh, my brave Englishmen!" Previously, on
the occasion of a trifling advantage that Tourville had gained in
the Bay of Bantry, while James II. was in Ireland, when they came
to announce to the latter that the French had beaten the English,
the king had said, not without bitterness: "Then it is the first
time." Tourville had lost a dozen vessels. The conduct of the
English officers and sailors had been heroic; the admiral had
himself inspected all the vessels and addressed the crews. "If
your commanders betray you," he had said, "throw them overboard,
and me the first!" King James counted wrongly on Rear-Admiral
Carter, who had made him promises, while at the same time he
warned Queen Mary of the fact. Severely wounded, Carter, who was
the first to break the French lines, would not let go his sword.
"Fight, fight," he said, dying, "until the ship sinks!"

The news of the victory of La Hogue caused great joy in England:
it calmed the minds of the population, distracted by repeated
rumors of conspiracies. The plot denounced by Fuller in February,
and Young's plot in April, both invented, and the creations of
false witnesses, worthy rivals of Titus Oates and Dangerfield,
had disturbed men's spirits. Lord Huntingdon had been arrested;
the Earl of Marlborough had been sent to the Tower for a short
time: the Bishop of Rochester had been tried. Marlborough was
guilty of intrigues more serious, and unknown to the public.
The Bishop, rich and indolent, had nothing to do with any plot.
He easily proved his innocence; the false witnesses were severely
punished; and Marlborough was set at liberty, with a caution,
after forty-eight hours. His accusers had done him the service of
dispelling the vague suspicions that had brought his disgrace
upon him.

At the close of the same year, the plot of Grandval, aimed at the
King's life, was to wake again the public disquiet that was
destined to be revived more than once in his reign. In Europe, as
well as England, King William's courage and thoughtfulness stood
in the way of many great designs, and disappointed many hopes.
The sentence which condemned the criminal publicly compromised
the Marquis de Barbezieux, son of Louvois, and secretary of state
for war. Louis' ministers kept silence and did not refute the

The fortune of war continued to favor France: Namur had
capitulated on the 20th of June, and its citadel surrendered on
the 30th. "The allies learned it by three salvas from the army of
the Marshal de Luxembourg and that of the Marquis de Boufflers,"
wrote Louis XIV. in his Memoirs. "They fell into a consternation
which rendered them immovable for three days; so much so that the
Marshal de Luxembourg having resolved to repass the Sombre, they
thought neither of annoying him on his march nor of attacking him
in his retreat."


When William III. came up with Luxembourg on the 31st of August,
between Enghien and Steinkerque, a new victory, due to the
brilliant gallantry of the French infantry, completed the
uneasiness of the allies. At the end of the year, William, always
clear-sighted and often a pessimist, in spite of his unbending
determination, wrote to Heinsius "I have to tell you frankly
that, if we could obtain peace just now--which certainly would
not be on favorable terms--we should yet have to accept it; for,
to my grief, I don't see that we have anything better to
expect--far from it, for things go from bad to worse. It will
not, for that reason, be less needful for one to do his best; and
for my part, I will do everything in my power."

The war was to continue several years more, pressing heavily on
England and Holland, which almost alone were in a condition to
furnish pecuniary resources to the allies. The English Houses of
Parliament, sometimes lavish and sometimes penurious, always
extremely touchy about the position of foreigners in the King's
service, often disputed with William the reinforcements of men
and moneys which he demanded for the army; thus arousing the
wrath and distrust with which parliamentary debates and
dissensions inspired him. He had with great difficulty kept in
power Lord Nottingham, who was vigorously attacked by the Whigs,
and in whom he had a just confidence, in spite of the repugnance
which the earl had at first shown to the revolution. On the other
hand, Somers had been entrusted with the seals, and this partial
return of power into the hands of the Whigs had momentarily
calmed the dissensions of the parties. Yet the session had been
much agitated: the land tax and a large loan had been voted on
the motion of Charles Montague. The King was gloomy and
pre-occupied with the campaign which was about to open. "At a
juncture when we ought to be able to make an extraordinary effort
on all sides to resist the enemy," wrote he to Heinsius at the
beginning of 1693, "it tries me not to be able to contribute more
to the general cause. It is distressing to see that this nation
only thinks of indulging its private passions, without reflecting
the least on the general interests.
The funds which Parliament has allowed me will not cover the
necessary expenses I have to incur, so that I find myself in a
very embarrassing condition. I leave you to imagine how much
this, joined to the critical state of our affairs, and my
inability to supply a remedy therefor, must torment me."

France was much more exhausted than England; and the losses which
Tourville, Jean Bart or Duguay-Trouin caused English commerce to
endure, did not prevent money flowing to London for the new loan.
Yet the strong will of Louis XIV. and the effective action of a
central power, had sufficed to continue the war during nearly the
whole winter. On the 25th of July, 1693, the battle of Neerwinden
was lost by King William in person to the Marshal de Luxembourg.
Almost invariably unlucky in war, notwithstanding his conspicuous
bravery, he charged sword in hand at the head of two regiments of
English cavalry, which made the enemy give way, till they came to
the household guard of the king. This select corps had remained
motionless for four hours under the fire of the allies. William
believed at one time that his gunners were aiming badly, and
hastened to the batteries; the French squadrons were moving only
to close their ranks as the files were carried off. The King of
England uttered an exclamation of rage and admiration: "Oh, the
insolent nation!" he cried. The admiration was mutual. "The
Prince of Orange was near being taken after having done wonders,"
wrote Racine to Boileau. "It is painful for me to tell you,"
William informed Heinsius, "that the enemy attacked us yesterday
morning, and that, after an obstinate contest, we have been
defeated. We march to-morrow to encamp between Vilvorde and
Malines, to rally our forces there and impede the plans of the
enemy as far as possible."


Luxembourg was ill and soon afterwards died. The victory of
Neerwinden brought little advantage to France. The same was the
case in Italy with the success of Catinat at Marsala: the Duke of
Schomberg, eldest son of the Marshal, charged there at the head
of the troops paid by England. "Things have come to such a pass
that it is necessary to conquer or to die," he had said, as he
threw himself into the _mêlee_. This was his master's
advice. "The crisis has been terrible," wrote the latter to
Heinsius and to Portland. "God has judged it right to send me
great trials in succession: I try to accept His will without
murmuring and to deserve his anger less. God be praised for the
issue he has granted us, and may we be able by our gratitude
worthily to requite his mercy!" The strife of parties in
Parliament involved, as usual, the grant of the subsidies on
which the military preparations depended. "The increase of the
army meets with violent opposition here," wrote William on the
4th of December; "yet I am led to hope that finally everything
will turn out as I desire. May God will it!"

Power was passing away from the Tories. Lord Sunderland, who had
lately emerged from his retreat, still able and engaging after
his treason and shame, advised William to recall the Whigs. The
king had been wearied by their arrogance and tyranny; yet he
agreed to place Admiral Russell at the head of the Admiralty and
to make Lord Shrewsbury Secretary of State. The latter hesitated
long before accepting. He began to excuse himself before the
king, pleading his ill-health. "That is not your only reason,"
said William; "when have you seen Montgomery?" This clever and
enterprising Scot, formerly leader of the Parliament in
Edinborough, had fallen into disfavor and was serving as agent in
the Jacobite intrigues. Shrewsbury grew pale, and William
repeated to him a part of his conversation with Montgomery.
"Sire," said the earl, "since your Majesty is so well informed,
you ought to know that I have not encouraged the attempts of this
man to detach me from my allegiance."


The king smiled; he knew the strange weakness that weighed like
an enchantment on Lord Shrewsbury's noblest qualities. "The best
way to silence suspicions," he said, "is to take office. That
will put me at my ease: I know that you are a man of honor, and
that if you undertake to serve me, you will do so faithfully."
Shrewsbury was soon made a duke, at the same time with the Earls
of Bedford and Devonshire. Charles Montague, who had lately
conceived the idea of a Bank of England, and helped to establish
it, was named Chancellor of the Exchequer. Measures new, or
renewed with persistency, were violently debated. The bill of
procedure in trials for treason, the bill of disqualifications or
of appointments, which interdicted the House of Commons to
office-holders, and finally the often debated question of the
length of Parliaments, which it was wished to limit to three
years; such were the preliminary movements in parliamentary
reform which delayed William's departure for the Continent. "It
is a dreadful thing to be upon this island, as it were banished
from the world," wrote the King of England. Some days later he
arrived in Holland.

A great naval expedition was being secretly prepared at
Portsmouth, intended to thwart the designs of Louis XIV. on the
Mediterranean. Marlborough, always well informed, had warned King
James of it. "Twelve regiments of infantry and two of marines are
soon to embark, under command of Talmash, to destroy the port of
Brest and the squadron which is collected there. It would be a
great success for England, but nothing shall ever prevent me from
letting you know what may be useful to you. I have been trying
for a long time to learn this from Russell, but he has always
denied it, though he has been informed of it more than six weeks.
This gives me a bad opinion of the man's intentions."


On the 16th of June, 1694, the English fleet was fifteen leagues
west of Cape Finisterre. Talmash proposed to disembark in the Bay
of Cadsant. Lord Caermarthen, eldest son of the statesman lately
made Duke of Leeds, undertook to explore the bay in his yacht. He
found the approaches well defended. Talmash was resolved to
attack. Caermarthen advanced, first signalling to Admiral
Berkeley the difficulties which he met. Batteries were suddenly
unmasked and swept the decks. Talmash was convinced that the
coast was defended by peasants who would fly at the sight of the
English soldiers: a well sustained fire replied to their attempts
to land. The general was severely wounded in the thigh as he was
being carried to his launch; the troops re-entered their boats
pell-mell. The enterprise was a failure; the fleet had to return
to Portsmouth. Talmash died on his arrival, declaring aloud that
he had been drawn into a trap by traitors. The outwork whence the
fatal bullet came is called, to this day, _The Englishman's

The rage and uneasiness in England were great: people said aloud
that English forces ought to be commanded by Englishmen. Talmash
was dead, and Marlborough ought not to remain longer in disgrace
with the king. All the maneuvres and all the treacheries of the
earl aimed at this. He had the audacity to present himself at
Whitehall to offer his services to the queen. Lord Shrewsbury
exerted himself to have the offer accepted; King William
absolutely refused it. The English squadron was ravaging the
coast of Normandy; Admiral Russell was keeping the fleets of
Louis XIV. in check in the Mediterranean.
The campaign in the Netherlands was passed in skilful marches and
counter-marches, accompanied by some trifling advantages for King
William, who captured Huy. When he returned to England, on the
9th of November, the queen was waiting for him at Margate, happy
at meeting the man who was the only joy of her life. "Now that
you have the king, don't let him go away again, madame," cried
the assembled women, as the royal couple passed. She was to be
the first to go away, and death was threatening her already.

Before Queen Mary, Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury, fell sick
and died, towards the middle of November. He had rendered the
Church of England the great service of throwing the weight of his
character and eloquence on the side of submission to the new
power, by frankly and simply accepting the oaths of allegiance.
He had been strongly urged to do so by Lady Russell. "The time
seems to me to have come," she had written to him, in 1691, "to
put in practice anew that principle of submission which you have
formerly asserted so much yourself and recommended so much to
others. You will be a true public benefactor, I am convinced.
Reflect how few capable and upright men the present time
produces, I beg you, and do not turn your resolution over
endlessly in your mind: when one has considered a question in all
its aspects, one only succeeds, by returning incessantly to it,
in throwing oneself into new difficulties without seeing any the
clearer into the matter."

Sancroft having obstinately refused the oath, Tillotson had
become Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1691, to the great disgust of
Compton, Bishop of London, who had hoped for the primate's see.
Henceforward, the nonjuring bishops and clergy loaded Tillotson
with their wrath and contempt.
Gentle, sensitive, used to the admiration aroused by his
eloquence and the esteem for his irreproachable life, the new
archbishop suffered cruelly from the injuries of which he was the
object. When he died there was found among his papers a packet of
pamphlets published against him, with this phrase in his
handwriting: "I pray God to pardon them; I pardon them." "I have
lost the best friend I have ever had, and the best man I have
ever known," wrote William to Heinsius. He loaded the widow with
favors. Such was the popularity of the archbishop as a preacher,
that the publisher of his sermons bought their ownership at the
price of; £2,500, a sum unheard of at that period. Milton had
sold the manuscript of the "Paradise Lost" for five pounds
sterling, and Dryden, at that time the most illustrious of
English poets, had received £1300 for his translation of Virgil's
complete works.

A more poignant grief was about to strike William. He had come to
Whitehall to give his assent to the bill for Triennial
Parliaments, which he had once objected to. The many members of
the two Houses who pressed into the hall of sessions found the
King's face changed and his mood gloomy. He hastened to return to
Kensington. The report spread that the queen was ill, and it was
soon known that she had the small-pox.

As soon as Mary had reason to think herself stricken by the
scourge which desolated households every year, she had ordered
that all persons of her retinue who had not yet had the disease
should leave Kensington; then, shutting herself up in her study,
she had put her papers in order, burning a portion of them
herself. "I have not waited for this day to prepare myself for
death," she said, when the disease left her no more hope. The
grief of her husband exceeded all anticipations, astonishing even
those who had been constant witnesses of the absolute devotion of
the queen.
He did not leave her for a single instant, sleeping beside her
bed and rendering her the tenderest cares. Mary had triumphed
over that stern heart which neither victories nor defeats had
ever been able to disturb. He could not keep in his tears, when
he looked at her. When Tenison, the new Archbishop of Canterbury,
had undertaken to announce her approaching end to the queen,
William drew Burnet into a corner of the room. "There is no more
hope," he said; "I was the happiest of men--I am the most
miserable. She had no faults, not one; you knew her well, but you
do not know, no one can know, her worth." Twice the dying woman
wished to bid good-bye to him whom she had loved alone, and twice
her voice failed her: she now thought only of eternity. Several
times William had been seized with convulsions: when they bore
him from the queen's chamber just before she breathed her last
sigh, he had almost lost consciousness.

Mary died at thirty-two, lamented by all who had known her. "So
charitable," says Evelyn, "that in the midst of the most violent
political strifes, she never inquired into the views of those who
asked her aid;" gentle and kind to all, often attracting censure
through the fullness of her wifely devotion, which seemed to have
absorbed all other affections in her soul--the only sort of
tenderness that could have satisfied the reserved and proud heart
of the prince her husband. She had welcomed, during her illness,
the advances of her sister. When she had shut her eyes, the
Princess Anne sent to ask her brother-in-law permission to see
him. Somers offered to mediate between the princess and the king.
He found William in his study, his head between his hands,
absorbed in grief; he represented to him the necessity of putting
an end to a family quarrel, of which the political consequences
might become grave.
"Do what you wish, my lord," replied the king; "I cannot think
about anything." Yet the interview that was asked for took place.
William assigned the palace of St. James to the princess for her
residence. At the same time he sent her her sister's jewels; but
he kept his resolution about the Earl of Marlborough. The
princess's favorites were not admitted to the presence of the
king, and the general remained excluded from every honorable or
lucrative post. Yet Mary's death had changed all the views of
Marlborough: a single life, precarious by nature, shaken by
fatigues and cares, now stood in the way of the greatness of
Princess Anne, and the supreme exaltation of her all-powerful
adherents. The earl and his wife no longer retained their regard
for the fallen monarch; they no longer admitted the legitimacy of
the Prince of Wales. They patiently awaited the day of triumph;
other more guilty hands were going to undertake to hasten it.

For some days William had seemed incapable of taking part in
public affairs. "I thank you with all my heart for your
kindness," he had replied to the condolences of the houses, "but
still more for your so well appreciating our great loss: it
exceeds everything that I could express, and I am not in a
condition to think of anything else." He had written to Heinsius:
"I tell you in confidence, I feel myself no longer capable of
commanding the troops. Yet I shall try to do my duty, and I hope
God will give me strength for it." The charges of corruption
preferred before the houses against several prominent Tories,
first roused him from his dejection. The great corporations of
the city of London and the East India Company were convicted of
having frequently bought the influence of the ministers. The
Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir John Trevor, was the first
condemned. The charges brought against the Duke of Leeds were
The witnesses had disappeared; the charge fell through; but
public rage and indignation pronounced his sentence. He was
forever lost to political life. When William set out for the
Continent, on the 12th of May, 1695, the name of the Duke of
Leeds had been erased from the roll of the Council entrusted
henceforth with the government in the king's absence. The
intelligent, firm and devoted woman, who formerly governed wisely
in his name, and willingly surrendered the power into his hands,
was no more. William rejected all the hints that were given him
to replace her by the Princess Anne.

The Marshal Luxembourg had died on the 4th of January, 1695, and
Louis XIV. had put at the head of his armies Marshal Villeroi, a
life-long friend of his, a clever courtier, a mediocre officer,
who soon lost the prestige of victory which had been so long and
resolutely maintained for France by so many triumphant hands.

The results of this change was soon apparent. In vain did Marshal
Boufflers shut himself up in Namur and defend it heroically, till
he finally retired into the citadel, were he held out more than a
month longer; the place was not relieved in time by Villeroi, who
was embarrassed in his movements by the presence and the
cowardice of the Duke of Maine. William III. personally conducted
the siege, and was constantly present at the trenches, giving his
commands in a rain of bullets with a coolness which sometimes
made the bystanders underrate the danger in which he was. Mr.
Godfrey, an envoy from the Bank of England, had come to ask him
for certain instructions. He ventured beneath the walls of Namur
during an assault. "What are you doing here, Mr. Godfrey?" said
the king roughly. "You are running great risk, and you cannot be
of any use to us."--"I am not more in danger than your Majesty,"
replied the banker.
"You are mistaken." answered William; "I am where my duty calls
me; I can therefore, without presumption, put my life in the
hands of God; but you"--As he spoke these words, a ball struck
the unfortunate Godfrey, who fell dead at his feet. William never
willingly permitted civilians in his army. The brave Walker,
formerly the defender of Derry, and whom he had raised to the
rank of bishop, was killed not far from him at the battle of the
Boyne: "What took him there?" growled the king, on learning the
news of his death. It was said among his soldiers that he had
been obliged to use the rod to make curious persons withdraw out
of range of the cannons.

At last Namur capitulated, the citadel as well as the town. All
the honors of war were granted to Marshal Boufflers, whom Louis
XIV. loaded with his favors. "I am very unfortunate," said King
William, "to have always to envy the lot of a monarch who rewards
the loss of a place more liberally than I can reward my friends
and followers who have conquered one." On the 10th of October he
set sail for England, determined to dissolve Parliament. The new
houses were convoked for the 22nd of November.

William's return to his kingdom was marked by a genuine triumph:
the elections were favorable to him almost everywhere, and the
difficulties that had been raised by a bill for the reminting of
coins, which were then seriously depreciated, had just been
surmounted. But a disagreement was already springing up between
the king and Parliament in relation to the gifts with which he
had loaded his Dutch friends. Following the example of Charles
II. and James II., William had detached from the possessions of
the crown certain rich domains with which he had recompensed his
faithful servants, notably Bentwick.
He had just assigned to him a considerable estate in Wales, over
which the crown possessed sovereign rights, which were comprised
in the cession made to Portland. The country and the House of
Commons demanded the retrocession of these rights in a petition
bitterly stamped with the jealousy with which the favors enjoyed
by the Dutch inspired the English nation. William was hurt by it;
but with that moderation and justice which counterbalanced the
reserve of his character and his lack of ductility, he replied to
the petitioners: "I have an affection for Lord Portland, which he
has deserved by his long and faithful services. If I had believed
that the house would have to be consulted in this gift, I should
not have made it; I shall recall my letters patent and shall give
him an equivalent elsewhere." The estates conferred upon Bentinck
were scattered in distant parts of the country. "They shall not
say that I want to create a princedom for Lord Portland," said
the king.

Domestic quarrels, as well as the jealousies aroused in England
by the formation of a Scotch commercial company, whose rivalry
the English merchants feared, were soon to be stilled in presence
of a great national commotion. Rumors of invasion began to
circulate anew. With the hopes of foreign aid, the intrigues of
the Jacobites had caught a fresh enthusiasm. The Duke of Berwick
had been commissioned to excite the zeal of King James's friends,
who had secretly arrived in England, and was visited mysteriously
by the leaders of the Jacobite party. The Duke was not ignorant
of the more dangerous and less honorable mission that had been
entrusted to Sir George Barclay. The latter had already united at
London a certain number of partisans, ready for any enterprise;
he was bearer of a commission written entirely in King James's
hand, authorizing him to execute, at a proper time, against the
Prince of Orange and his adherents, all acts of hostility which
might be serviceable to his Majesty.
The act of hostility which Sir George Barclay and his accomplices
were preparing was none other than an attempt to assassinate. The
15th of February, 1696, had been fixed for its execution. Certain
men, ruined by the revolution, recently converted to Catholicism
by personal ambition, Charnock, Porter, Goodman, had long ago
been admitted into the conspiracy; and Sir William Parkyn was not
ignorant of it, though he had taken the oath of allegiance to
William to save the office which he held in the Court of
Chancery. Sir John Fenwick, an insolent Jacobite, who had once
insulted Queen Mary in the park, had, it was said, refused to
take part in the criminal attempt; yet he held the secret of the
conspirators which was soon to cost him his life. A certain
number of King James's guards had arrived successively in London
to reinforce this little band of assassins. The Duke of Berwick
had returned to France, anxious to avoid all appearance of
complicity. The English Jacobites refused to attempt a rising
without the aid of a foreign invasion. King Louis XIV. was
beginning to grow weary of the ineffectual efforts he had so
generously lavished in aid of King James. The latter had met
Berwick at Clermont. "After having learned from him the state of
things in England, and the reasons which had made him return so
hastily, his Majesty sent him to the King of France and continued
his route to Calais. He always hoped that some event would give
him the opportunity of demanding that the troops should be
embarked without further delay, and it was for this reason that
he continued his journey to Calais; but he had no sooner arrived
there than, with his usual luck, he found all his hopes blighted.
He learned that several gentlemen had been arrested for an
attempt against the life of the Prince of Orange, and that this
had raised such an excitement throughout the kingdom that there
was no possibility of the Jacobites thinking of a revolt, still
less of the king's thinking of a landing, even had the French
desired it."


This event, which King James awaited at Calais, and on which he
counted for the success of his projects, had been delayed from
day to day by a series of mischances usual in conspiracies, but
which never opened the eyes of the conspirators. On the 15th, the
king's hunt, during which the forty plotters were to throw
themselves upon him, had been put off, under pretext that the
weather was stormy and cold. On the 21st all the accomplices met
again in a tavern: their posts were assigned, their rôles were
distributed. Eight men were to be armed with fire-arms, the
others had sharpened their swords. "Tomorrow," they cried, "we
shall be masters of the situation." "Don't be afraid to break the
windows of the carriage, Mr. Pendergrass," said King to one of
the other conspirators, to whom a musket had been assigned.
Suddenly a sentinel, who had been sent out to reconnoitre,
appeared at the door, pale and alarmed. "The king does not hunt
to-morrow," he said; "the carriages have been countermanded; the
guards who were sent to Richmond have returned at a gallop--their
horses are covered with foam." The conspirators dispersed, and
the most enthusiastic were already projecting new ambuscades. The
next day before noon almost all of them were arrested; the
population of London, suddenly moved, had lent the police
thousands of eyes and ears, eager to discover the guilty. The
remorse of three conspirators successively had revealed the plot
to the Duke of Portland.


The first of all had been Pendergrass, an honorable and respected
Catholic, but instinctively revolting at the idea of
assassination. "My lord," he had said to Portland, "if you value
the life of King William, don't let him go to the hunt to-morrow.
He is the enemy of my religion, but it is my religion which
obliges me to give you this warning. I am resolved to conceal the
names of the conspirators." The revelations of the others were
more complete. The king was unwilling to put confidence in them;
he had Pendergrass summoned before him. "You are a man of honor,"
he said to him, "and I am grateful to you. But the integrity
which has made you speak ought to oblige you to tell me something
more. Your warning has sufficed to poison my existence by making
me suspect all those who approach me; it will not be enough to
protect me. Give me the names of the conspirators." Pendergrass
yielded, on condition that they would make no use of his
revelations against the persons named without his formal consent.
On Sunday morning the guards and militia were under arms; the
lords-lieutenant of the coast had set out for their respective
districts. Orders were given the Lord Mayor to watch over the
safety of the capital. At Calais King James looked in vain in the
direction of England; the flames that were to announce the
success of the enterprise were not kindled.

The excitement was deep: people realized the danger that had
menaced the state in threatening the life of the prince. The
House suspended the habeas corpus act; they declared that
Parliament would not be dissolved on the death of the king. At
the same time it was proposed to form an association for the
defence of the king and country. The agreement, drawn up by
Montague, was soon laid upon the table of the house; a crowd of
members pressed forward to sign it. A slight modification of the
terms satisfied the scruples of some Tory peers. A great number
of the House of Lords signed it. Throughout the country people
followed their example. William had never been so popular, his
throne had never rested on a more solid basis than on the morrow
of the guilty project formed against his life.
When Charnock, one of the conspirators, offered to reveal the
names of those who had sent him to Saint Germain, "I want to know
none of them," said the king to the overtures of the miserable
man. The latter, with seven of his accomplices, perished by the
hand of the executioner.

King William was soon constrained to receive the denunciations he
had at first rejected. During his absence on the continent, while
military operations remained nearly inactive, while the Duke of
Savoy withdrew from the coalition, and while overtures of peace
were coming to the king, he learned that Sir John Fenwick had
been arrested. Some days later the Duke of Devonshire sent him
the confession of the prisoner. Silent about the Jacobite plots
in which he had taken part, Fenwick accused of treason
Marlborough, Godolphin, Russell and Shrewsbury, all engaged in
the service and interests of King James.

William III. had known this for a long time. Marlborough alone
had gone beyond bounds, and the king had taken away all his
offices, while keeping silent about the causes of his disgrace.
Godolphin, Russell and Shrewsbury were still in power; the last
two counted among the leaders of the Whigs. The stratagem of the
accused was clever: he had purposed to throw confusion into all
camps and suspicion upon all the parties; but the masterly
magnanimity of William upset his projects. William sent Fenwick's
confession to Shrewsbury himself. "I am surprised," he wrote, "at
the wretch's effrontery. You know me too well to suppose that
such stories can affect me. Observe the sincerity of this
honorable man: he has nothing to tell me of the schemes of his
Jacobite friends, he only attacks my own friends."


Fenwick was soon brought before a jury. He was allied to powerful
families: his wife, Lady Mary, was the Earl of Carlisle's sister.
All means were employed to save him: the witnesses who could
testify against him were bought and disappeared. He escaped at
the ordinary trial. The Whigs demanded a bill of attainder
against him. Admiral Russell rose in his place, boldly claiming
justice for Lord Shrewsbury as well as for himself. "If we are
innocent, acquit us; if we are guilty, punish us as we deserve. I
surrender myself to the justice of my country, and am ready to
live or die according to your sentence."

The discussion was long and violent; the terrible weapon of
attainder was repugnant to many honest consciences, and political
and personal passions were enlisted in the struggle. Fenwick's
guilt was patent to all; the right of his judges to condemn him
was more doubtful. Sentence was nevertheless pronounced, and Sir
John was executed at Tower Hill, on the 28th of January, 1697.

Godolphin had sent in his verification as First Lord of the
Treasury; all the kindness and the assurances of William had not
availed to make Shrewsbury reappear at court. Sunderland had
quietly resumed power, more despised by the nation than by the
king. With few exceptions, William was wont to distrust all those
who surrounded him, while acting as if they deserved his
confidence. Clear-sighted and severe in his opinions, he was
indulgent in his conduct; his magnanimity was somewhat mingled
with contempt. Henceforth power was in the hands of the Whigs,
strongly organized as a party and forming a firm and homogeneous
ministry. The financial crisis was passing away; England was
issuing triumphant from revolution, plots, and commercial
embarrassments. She was speedily about to enjoy the benefits of a
transient peace, whose preliminaries were already being discussed
at Ryswick.


France offered the restoration of Strasburg, Luxembourg, Mons,
Charleroi and Dinant, and the re-establishment of the House of
Lorraine, on the conditions proposed at Nimeguen and the
recognition of the King of England. "We have no equivalent to
claim," the French plenipotentiaries said, proudly; "your masters
have never taken anything from ours."

The exhaustion of France drew from Louis XIV. conditions that
were repugnant to his pride; the good sense and great judgment of
William III. had made him desire peace for a long time. Private
conferences took place between Marshal Boufflers and the Duke of
Portland, full of expressions of regard from one plenipotentiary
to the other, and not without mutual good will between the two
sovereigns. The taking of Barcelona by the Duc de Vendôme, led
Spain to think of peace; but the King of France withdrew his
offer of Strasburg, offering in exchange Brisach and Fribourg in
Briesgau. Louis had refused to dismiss King James from France;
the latter was not even named in the treaty. "That would not be
to my honor," the monarch had said; "I will recognize King
William, and engage not to assist his enemies directly or
indirectly." Portland had offered a clause of reciprocity. "All
Europe has confidence enough in the obedience and submission of
my people," proudly replied Louis, "and knows that when it
pleases me to prevent my subjects from aiding King James, there
is no reason to fear that he may find any support in my kingdom.
The reciprocity cannot be; I have to fear neither sedition nor
faction." The peace was signed on the night of the 20th of
September, 1697, between France, England, the States-General, and


The Grand Pensioner at once wrote the news to William, who had
retired to his castle of Loo. "May the Almighty bless the peace,"
answered the king, "and in his mercy permit us long to enjoy it!
I do not deny that the way in which it has been concluded makes
me uneasy for the future. You cannot be sufficiently thanked for
the care and pains you have freely taken in connection with it."
The work was not completed. The emperor aimed at settling in
advance the question of the Spanish succession, ever ready to be
opened by the feeble health of King Charles II., who had no
children. The Protestant princes refused to accept the
maintenance of Catholic worship in all those places where Louis
XIV. had re-established it "Your letter of yesterday has been
sent me to-day," wrote William to Heinsius, on the 31st of
October, "and I am extremely puzzled to give a positive answer to
it in writing. It would certainly be our duty to continue the war
rather than to make any concessions to the prejudice of the
reformed religion; and if these gentlemen of Amsterdam, and
consequently the republic, wish to remain firm, I should gladly
do so likewise, in the hope that Parliament would aid me in
fulfilling so pious a duty. On the other hand, I must admit that
I do not see, humanly speaking, how the Protestant states and
princes could actually oppose the Catholic powers, seeing that we
would be acting without Sweden, Denmark and the Swiss Cantons,
and that we are now deprived of Saxony. I am extremely uneasy at
the idea that the ministers of the Protestant princes should be
the only ones to refuse to sign; for that might seriously injure
them later, considering that we might not be soon enough in a
condition to assist them or to prevent the injury that France
would certainly do them. I send by this courier orders to my
ambassadors to act in entire unison with those of the republic.
So, if you think you can show firmness, they will do so


These same Protestant princes, who did not wish to allow the
practice of Catholic worship in their states, had formerly
inserted in the compacts of the Grand Alliance that peace would
never be concluded with France unless religious liberty should be
restored to French Lutherans. The tolerant wisdom of William III.
and the obstinacy of Louis XIV. finally secured the practice of
their worship to the German Catholics, without assuring the same
tolerance for the persecuted Huguenots. "These are things which
concern me alone, and I cannot discuss them with anybody," said
the absolute monarch. Peace was definitively signed on the 31st
of October, 1697. The King of England had used strong pressure
upon the emperor. "I want to hear," said William, "where any
chance is visible of making France renounce a succession for
which she would sustain, at need, a war of more than twenty
years; and God knows we are not in a position to be able to
pretend to dictate laws to France." William was soon to
experience himself the futility of diplomatic negotiations in
face of a complicated crisis; but he secured some moments' rest
to Europe by using his legitimate influence over the souls of
men, in the interests of peace. "The Prince of Orange is the
arbiter of Europe," Pope Innocent XII. had observed to Lord
Perth, entrusted by King James with a mission to him; "kings and
peoples are his slaves: they will do nothing that may displease
him." And striking with his hand on the table, the Pope
exclaimed: "If God, in His omnipotence, does not come to our aid,
we are lost."


King James considered his cause desperate. "The confederates
remained allied to the usurper they had aided to ascend the
throne," he wrote in his Memoirs, "and his very Christian Majesty
himself so desired peace that he forgot his first resolutions and
recognized him as King of England, like the rest. His Majesty,
then, had no longer aught to do, but to protest publicly and
formally against every compact or agreement made to his
disadvantage or without his participation, in whatever manner it
might be made." James II. had not foreseen into what blunders
royal pride and a mistaken generosity toward his son would lead
King Louis, or what misfortunes this mistake would bring upon

The joy was great in England. When King William made his entry
into London, on the 16th of November, an immense crowd blocked
the streets, making the air resound with its shouts. "I have
never seen so large a concourse of well-dressed people," wrote
William, next day, to his friend Heinsius; "you cannot imagine
the satisfaction which prevails here on account of the
re-establishment of peace."

The public rest and prosperity, founded on the liberties of the
nation, the defeat of domestic enemies and the check at last
imposed upon the continual successes of the great foe of European
peace, plots strangled, religious dissensions pacified, and the
king, who had procured all these benefits for his adopted
country, placed, by general consent, at the head of the great
continental coalition--such were the legitimate causes of the
satisfaction of England. William III. rejoiced with it, but not
without fears and forebodings. "I trust to God," he had said,
some months earlier, "that the news they have told you about the
death of the King of Spain and the proclamation of his heir will
not be confirmed; otherwise everything will relapse into the most
inextricable confusion, and every hope of peace will vanish."
Charles II. was still living, but was on the brink of death, and
the question of the succession remained unsettled.


This was not the first time that the King of England painfully
experienced the inconveniences of a free government: the nation
did not share the uneasiness with which the future inspired him,
and the first care of Parliament was to propose the reduction of
the army. The adroitness of the ministers secured the maintenance
of more considerable forces than had been at first desired; but
this was at the price of Lord Sunderland's resignation, whose
courage did not rise to the height of the tempest excited against

The new elections introduced into Parliament a fluctuating set of
men, numerous, ignorant, free from all party engagements, but
deeply imbued with the popular prejudices against standing armies
and foreigners. Assured of the continuation of peace by the
apportioning treaty which had just been signed at Loo, on the 4th
of September, the Commons replied to the speech from the throne
which recommended the increase of the military forces by a vote
reducing the army to seven thousand men, all of English birth and
race. The motion had been made by Robert Harley, who, though
still young, had already been placed at the head of the
opposition by his Parliamentary talents. "We could have obtained
ten thousand men," the minister had said, "but his Majesty
replied that such a number would amount to disbanding the army."

"I apprehend trouble." William had written to Heinsius on the 4th
of September, 1698, "for I cannot suffer them to disband the
greater part of the army; and the members of Parliament are
imbued with such mistaken opinions that one can hardly form an
idea of them."


The king's anger and indignation were extreme. His foresight as a
politician, his experience as a general, his pride as a Dutchman,
were equally offended. A disarmament was forced upon him in
presence of the European complications which he presaged; he was
being deprived of countrymen whose faith he had tested, and of
the valor of heroic Huguenot refugees to whom he had given a
country. He was tired of struggling against prejudices which he
had succeeded sometimes in lulling to sleep, never in subduing;
he was wounded in his patriotism and in the deep sense of the
services he had rendered to the ungrateful nation which trampled
upon his counsels and desires. He determined to lay down the
burden that he had carried for so many years. A hope of rest
among his devoted friends, in his native country, diminished in
his eyes the charms of the great power and supreme rank which he
had enjoyed. He wrote to Heinsius on the 30th of December: "I am
so grieved at the conduct of the House of Commons in regard to
the troops, that I cannot attend to anything else. I foresee that
I shall have to come to an extreme resolution, and that I shall
see you in Holland sooner than I had thought." And on the 6th of
January, he wrote: "Affairs in Parliament are in a desperate
state; so much so that I foresee that, in a short time, I shall
be forced to a step which will create a great sensation in the
world." When he was speaking thus confidentially to his most
faithful friend, William III. had already written the draught of
a speech which he purposed delivering before the two houses,
announcing to them his intention of retiring to Holland for the

  "My lords and gentlemen, I have come into this kingdom at the
  desire of this nation, to save it from ruin, to preserve your
  religion, your laws and liberties. To this end I have been
  obliged to undergo a war long and very burdensome to this
  kingdom, which war, by the grace of God and the valor of the
  nation, is now terminated by a favorable peace, in which you
  would be able to live in prosperity and rest if you were
  willing to contribute to your own safety, as I had recommended
  you at the opening of this session.
  But I see, on the contrary, that you have so little regard for
  my advice, and take so little care of your safety, and so
  expose yourselves to apparent ruin, depriving yourselves of the
  sole and only means which could serve for your defence, that it
  would not be fair that I should be a witness of your
  destruction, not being able on my part to do aught to avoid it,
  being helpless to defend and protect you, which was the only
  desire I had in coming to this country. Accordingly I have to
  request you to choose and name to me such persons as you may
  judge capable, to whom I can leave the administration of the
  government in my absence, assuring you that, though I am now
  constrained to retire from the kingdom, I shall always retain
  the same desire for its honor and prosperity. That, when I may
  judge my presence here necessary for your defence, and may
  decide that I can undertake it with success, I shall then
  perforce return and risk my life for your safety, as I have
  done in the past, praying God to bless all your deliberations
  and to inspire you with all that is needful for the welfare and
  security of the kingdom."

The king communicated his design to Somers. The abdication,
temporary or permanent, drew from the chancellor a cry of
surprise and anger. "It is folly, sire," he said. "I entreat your
Majesty, for the honor of your name, to repeat to no one what you
have just said to me."

William listened patiently to the representations of his
ministers, but persisted in his design. Somers soon learned that
the speech was known to Marlborough, recently restored to the
king's favor, thanks to the influence of a young Dutch favorite,
Keppel, created Earl of Albemarle. "We shall not come to an
understanding, my lord; my resolution is taken," said William of
Orange. Somers rose. "Excuse me, your Majesty, if I do not
consent to seal the fatal act that you meditate. I have received
the seals from my king, and I beg him to take them back, while he
still is my king."


The representations of Somers had had the effect of staying the
first movement of the king's wrath. He reflected, and reflection
triumphed, not over the discontent, but over the impetuosity of
an obstinate character and over a proud soul justly irritated.
The bill for the reduction of the army had been voted by the
Lords with regret, and with the sole object of avoiding a
conflict between the two Houses. It was presented for the royal
assent. William went to Parliament on the 1st of February, 1699.
"I am come to give my assent to the bill for the disbanding of
the army," said he, and his aspect had never seemed calmer.
"Although it seems to me very perilous, under existing
circumstances, to disband so large a number of troops, and though
I might find myself unfairly treated by the dismissal of the
guards who accompanied me into this country, and have served me
in all the actions in which I have been engaged, yet it is my
fixed opinion that nothing can be so fatal to us as the
disagreement or distrust that might creep in between me and my
people. I should not have expected as much, after what I have
undertaken, ventured, and accomplished to restore and secure your
liberties to you. I have told you distinctly the only motive that
decided me to accept the bill; but I think myself obliged to earn
the confidence you have shown in me, and for my own justification
in the future, to inform you that I regard the protection which
you leave the nation as very inadequate. It is for you to weigh
this question seriously, and to provide effectively for the
forces requisite to the security of the country and the
preservation of the peace which God has granted to us."


William made another effort, more affecting than clever, to keep
his Dutch guards. "I made a last attempt," he wrote to Heinsius,
"in the hope that out of deference for my person they might have
consented to retain my blue companies; but this step produced an
entirely contrary effect, for they resolved to present to me a
very impertinent address. These regiments, then, will embark in
the course of this week." And some time after he wrote to Lord
Galway, formerly Marquis de Ruvigny, chief of the Protestant
refugees, but henceforth without any command: "I have not written
to you this winter on account of the displeasure I experienced at
what passed in Parliament, and at the incertitude in which I was.
It is not possible to be more poignantly touched than I am at not
being able to do more for the poor refugee officers, who have
served me with so much zeal and fidelity. I fear that God may
punish this nation for its ingratitude."

The day was already approaching when England was to regret an
inconsiderate haste. The young son of the Elector of Bavaria,
lately adopted by Charles II., King of Spain, had just died
suddenly at Madrid. This death revived the question of the
Spanish succession, formerly settled by a treaty of division
negotiated at Versailles by the Duke of Portland. Bentinck had
been sent to France at the beginning of 1698: he had entered
Paris on the 27th of February, in the most magnificent style. For
ten years England had not been officially represented at the
court of France, and William was of opinion that he ought to
abandon the simplicity of his habits. "Not being conversant with
ceremony, I have supplemented the deficiency by bluster, which is
not without its use here," wrote Portland to his sovereign. "Is
it not the master of this ambassador that we have burnt on this
same bridge, not long ago?" was said in a Parisian crowd, which
was looking at Portland's cortége crossing the Pont-Neuf.
The shrewd Dutchman, reserved and proud, had made a great success
at the court of Louis XIV. "Portland appeared with a charm of
person, a noble bearing, a politeness, an air of the world and
the court, a gallantry and a grace which were surprising. Add to
that much dignity and even hauteur, but mingled with discernment
and a judgment quick, without being at all rash. The French, who
take to novelty, to a warm welcome, good cheer and magnificence,
were charmed with him. He attracted all, but he selected only the
noble and distinguished as his companions. It became the fashion
to give fêtes in his honor, and to attend his entertainments. The
astonishing fact is that the king, who at heart was more offended
than ever, with William of Orange, treated this ambassador with
more marked distinction than he had ever shown toward any other."

In 1699 Portland was again charged to negotiate a second Treaty
of Partition. He was then profoundly jealous of the favor shown
by William to Keppel, and in this humor had withdrawn from the
court, to the great regret of the king. "I do not wish to enter
into a discussion regarding your retirement," wrote William III.,
"but I cannot refrain from expressing to you my grief. It is
greater than you can possibly imagine. I am sure that if you felt
one half of it you would soon change your resolution. May God in
his mercy inspire for your own good and my tranquillity. I beg to
let me see you as often as possible. That will be a great
mitigation of the distress which you have caused me; for, after
all that has passed, I cannot help loving you tenderly."


Patriotism and loyalty prevailed over rancor and jealousy, and
the king succeeded in obtaining the services of the duke for the
difficult negotiations which were about to be undertaken. "I
ought to say to you that the welfare and repose of Europe depend
upon your negotiations with Tallard," said the king. "You cannot
be ignorant of the fact that there is no one else in England whom
I can employ. Finally, it is impossible and even prejudicial to
my dignity that this negotiation between Tallard and myself
should be delayed. I hope that after reflecting seriously you
will come here prepared to terminate, if possible, this important

On the 13th and 15th of May, 1700, after long hesitation and
obstinate resistance on the part of the city of Amsterdam, the
second Treaty of Partition was signed at London and at the Hague.
Spain angrily protested against the pretensions of the powers to
regulate a succession which was not yet in abeyance; she recalled
her ambassador from England. The emperor expected to obtain a
will in favor of the Archduke Charles, his second son. King
William regarded the maintenance of the equilibrium between the
two houses of France and Austria, as indispensable to the repose
of Europe. "The King of England acts with good faith in
everything," wrote Tallard to Louis XIV.; "his way of dealing is
upright and sincere. He is proud, one could not be more so; but
he is at the same time modest, although no one could be more
jealous of all that pertains to his rank."

The Treaty of Partition assured to the Dauphin all the
possessions of Spain in Italy, save the Milanese territory, which
was to indemnify the Duke of Lorraine, whose duchy passed to
France. Spain, the Indies and the Low Countries were to go to the
Archduke Charles. The anger was great at Vienna when the news
arrived that the Treaty had been signed. "Behold our good
friends," said the Count Harrach to Villars, the French
ambassador; "is that the way they distribute other people's
property? England and Holland think only of their own interests.
What will they do with Flanders, and how will they preserve the
Indies without a navy? The archduke may thank the King for Spain,
but will be dependent upon England and Holland for the
Indies."--"Fortunately," said Kaunitz, "there is one above who
will interfere with these partitions."--"That one," replied
Villars, "will approve of what is just."--"It is something new
for a King of England and Holland to divide the monarchy of
Spain," said the count.--"Permit me, Monsieur le Comte," replied
Villars: "These two powers have recently carried on a war which
has cost them much, but which has cost the emperor nothing; for
in fact you have only borne the expense of the war against the
Turks; you have a few troops in Italy, and in the empire there
are only two regiments of hussars which are not in your service;
England and Holland alone have borne all the burden."

The anger of the emperor subsided, but that of the German
princes, the Elector of Bavaria at their head, was still to give
much trouble to King William. On the 1st of November, 1700, it
was suddenly announced, in Europe, that Charles II., delicate
from his birth, and for many years on the point of death, had
finally expired at Madrid, and that by a will of the 2nd of
October, he had disposed of the crown in favor of the Duke of
Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV.

This will was the work of the Spanish Council, at the head of
which was the Cardinal of Porto-Carrero. "The National party
detested the Austrians because they had been so long in Spain,
and they loved the French because they were not yet there; the
former had had time to weary them by their domination, while the
latter had been served by their very absence." The integrity of
the Spanish monarchy was the great pre-occupation of the dying
king, as well as of his subjects.
"We will go to the Dauphin; we will go to the devil, if
necessary; but we will all go together," said the Spanish
politicians. Pope Innocent XII. favored France. Louis XIV. alone,
appeared able to defend himself against combined Europe. On the
16th of November, 1700, he solemnly accepted the will.

The surprise of William III. was equal to his anger. "I do not
doubt," wrote he to Heinsius, "that this unheard of proceeding on
the part of France, causes you as much surprise as it does
myself. I have never had great confidence in any engagements
contracted with France, but I must confess that I never imagined
that that court would break so solemn a treaty, in the face of
all Europe, even before it was fulfilled. Admit that we have been
duped; but when, in advance, one is resolved not to keep faith,
it is not difficult to deceive the other. I shall probably be
blamed for having trusted France; I, who ought to have known by
the experience of the past, that no treaty is binding upon her.
Please God that I may be acquitted from all blame, but I have too
many reasons for fearing that the fatal consequences will soon be
felt. It grieves me to the heart that almost every one rejoices
that France has preferred the will to the Treaty, and also
because the will is believed to be more advantageous to England
and to Europe. This judgment is founded in part upon the youth of
the Duke of Anjou. He is a child, it is said, and will be
educated in Spain; the principles of that monarchy will be
inculcated in him, and he will be governed by the Council of
Spain; but these are anticipations which it is impossible to
admit, and I fear that soon we will see how erroneous they are.
Does it not seem that the profound indifference with which the
people of this country regard all that which takes place beyond
this island, may be a punishment from heaven? Nevertheless, are
not our interests and our appreciations the same as those of the
people of the continent?"


The Holland merchants, as well as the English statesmen, were
deceived regarding the consequences of the event which had just
been accomplished. "Public credit and stocks have risen in
Amsterdam," wrote Heinsius to the King of England, "and although
there is no valid reason for this, yet your Majesty well knows
the influence of such a fact."

In this critical situation, with Europe on the eve of a new war,
of which his foresight and prudence divined the duration and
violence, William III. found himself, in England, confronted by
an opposition growing each day more bold, and which during two
years past had systematically obstructed his government. The
Whigs were yet in power, but Russell, now become Duke of Orford,
had retired, offended by a parliamentary inquiry; Montague had
abdicated his offices for a rich sinecure. Assured of his fall by
the implacable enmity of the Tories, and by the visible decline
of his influence in the houses, the eloquent and esteemed Somers,
although Lord Chancellor, was fatigued and sick--worn out by the
constant struggle. A grave conflict threatened the union of the
two houses, as well as the good understanding of Parliament with
the monarch. A commission had been appointed by the Commons, to
examine into the distribution of goods confiscated after the war
in Ireland. "This commission will give us trouble next winter,"
said the king. On opening the session of Parliament, his words
were as dignified as conciliatory: "Since, then," said he, "our
aims are only for the general good, let us act with confidence in
one another, which will not fail, by God's blessing, to make me a
happy king, and you a great and flourishing people."


Human passions envenom the best intentions, and corrupt the most
sincere souls. William was accused of feeling intense distrust of
his Parliament; his most intimate counsellors were personally
attacked. Burnet, the preceptor of the little Duke of Gloucester,
only surviving son of the Princess Anne, was insulted, as well as
Somers. When the report concerning the confiscations was finally
presented in Parliament, the gifts accorded to the Dutch
favorites and to the Countess of Orkney (formerly, when Elizabeth
Villiers, devotedly attached to the Prince of Orange), were
violently attacked. "We were sent here to fly in the king's
face," said the partisans of the report. William III. was at the
same time reproached for the indulgence he had shown towards the
Irish. A part of the property confiscated had been restored to
the despoiled families. "All has been given to Dutch favorites,
to French refugees and Irish papists," it was said. Carried away
by leaders as violent as imprudent, the Commons annulled all the
royal grants, and joined to this arbitrary and unjust bill, a law
regulating the land tax for the following year. This move
compelled the House of Lords either to pass both bills or to
reject both, in defiance of the financial needs of the state.
"Affairs are very bad in Parliament," wrote the king to Heinsius;
"I say this to you with a deep feeling of grief, and filled with
apprehension that this will end badly some day. You can have no
idea what these men are; it is necessary to live in the midst of
them and to be acquainted with every circumstance, in order to
judge of them."

The wisdom of the House of Lords, and the prudence of the king,
prevailed against the violence of party struggles in the Commons.
The peers passed the bill, but not without protest and attempted
amendments, which, however, were rejected; the king gave it his
sanction, but the same day that the lower house voted that his
Majesty be supplicated not to admit foreigners into his councils,
Parliament was prorogued to the second of June.
For the first time William did not close Parliament with an
address. "Parliament was finally prorogued, yesterday," wrote he,
to Holland: "I have never seen a session more vexatious. After
having committed many blunders and more extravagances, they
separated amidst great confusion; their intrigues are
incomprehensible to any one who is not in the midst of them; a
description of them is quite impossible." The king had likewise
wisely demanded the seals of Lord Somers. The Tories were
triumphant, but they failed to seriously disturb the equilibrium
of the Constitution; they had struck a blow against justice, as
well as against the royal prerogatives, and the privileges of the
House of Lords. "They have entered a dangerous path," says Mr.
Hallam; "they will be arrested by that force which has always
maintained among us the equilibrium of the powers, the reflective
opinion of a free people opposed to flagrant innovations, and
soon shocked by the violence of party passions."

The death of the little Duke of Gloucester, on the 30th of July,
1700, threw an additional obstacle in the path of King William.
His health was much broken, and for some time past public opinion
in Europe had been seriously concerned regarding him, even
questioning his survival of the King of Spain. The hopes of the
Jacobites began to revive. The question was raised regarding the
advisability of bringing the Prince of Wales to England, in order
to educate him there in the Protestant religion; this sentiment
also weighed upon Parliament, when, at the opening of the session
of 1701, the Houses declared that in order to maintain the
inheritance of the crown of England in a Protestant family, the
throne should descend, in default of issue of William or the
Princess Anne, to the Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover,
granddaughter of King James I., and her Protestant descendants.
The great principle of hereditary monarchy was thus protected,
but it was subordinated to the superior principle of religious
faith; a bond of union necessary between the prince and his
people, and the lack of which rendered the succession of the last
heir of the Stuarts impossible. In the midst of the stormy
session of 1701, while the dissatisfaction of Parliament with the
Treaty of Partition was still intense, and while the trials of
Portland, Orford, Somers, and Halifax (formerly Edward Montague),
were in progress. King William had the consolation of seeing
assured for the future those liberties and that religion which he
had defended at the price of so many efforts, often so poorly
recompensed. The upper house boldly declared the innocence of the
accused nobles William had retained upon the list of Privy
Councillors. He was wearied of party strife, exposed as he was to
the anger and the attacks of all factions. "All the difference
between them," said he, "is, that the Tories will cut my throat
in the morning, while the Whigs will wait until afternoon."

The national sentiment of England, and the fears excited by the
attitude of France, gained for him the strength and the
popularity which the political complications and the unjust
violence of parties had deprived him of.

Louis XIV. took possession in the name of his grandson of the
seven barrier cities of the Spanish Netherlands, that the Holland
troops had occupied in virtue of the peace of Ryswick. "The
instructions that the Elector of Bavaria, governor of the Low
Countries, had given to the different commandants of the places,
were so well executed," says M. de Vault, in his report of the
campaign of Flanders, "that we entered without opposition."
The Dutch troops hastened to depart for their own country, and
official relations between the States-General and France were
broken off at once. King William realized the full importance of
this first blow. "For twenty-eight years I have worked without
relaxation, sparing neither trouble nor perils, in order to
preserve this barrier to the republic," wrote he to Heinsius, on
the 8th of February, 1701, "and behold all is lost in a single
day, and without striking even a blow." And on the 31st of May:
"I see that it is necessary to devote my entire attention to the
war; and although, in the eyes of the entire world, I seem to
desire war, yet there is no one perhaps who is more anxious to
avoid it; but to live without security, and to only exist by the
mercy of France, is the worst evil that could befall us."

The States-General made an appeal to England, and public opinion
communicating its impulse to Parliament, induced the houses to
vote considerable subsidies, increasing the naval forces to
thirty thousand men, and deciding that ten thousand auxiliary
troops should be sent to Holland immediately. William entrusted
the command to the Duke of Marlborough, and he himself went to
the continent in the beginning of July. The Count of Avaux was
recalled from the Hague. "We flattered ourselves," said William
III., "that we should see our States flourishing under the shadow
of a long peace, but the affairs of Europe have changed their
aspect. All nations bordering upon France are menaced: our repose
then would be, at the least, as fatal to our kingdoms as to our

On the 7th of September, 1701, the Grand Alliance between
England, the States-General, and the Empire, as signed, for the
second time, at the Hague. The powers engaged not to lay down
their arms until they had reduced the possessions of King Philip
V. to Spain and the Indies, re-established the barrier of
Holland, assured an indemnity to Austria, and accomplished the
definitive separation of the two crowns of France and Spain.


Prince Eugene of Savoy--Carignan, son of the Count of Soissons
and of Olympia Mancini, began hostilities in Italy at the head of
Austrian troops. Catinat met with grave reverses; Marshal
Villeroi was placed in command of the armies of Louis XIV. The
Duke of Savoy bore the title of his Generalissimo. In less than
one year, he in his turn joined the grand alliance,
notwithstanding the union of his daughters with the Duke of
Bourgoyne and the King of Spain. For the second time William
aroused all Europe against the inordinate ambition of France.

Negotiations were nevertheless being carried on, and the armies
which were silently forming yet awaited the results of diplomatic
efforts. King Louis XIV. destroyed with his own hands the last
hopes of peace. On Good Friday (1701), James II., the deposed
King of England, suffered an attack of paralysis; the waters of
Bourbon, for a time, revived him. On the 13th of September, 1701,
he was attacked for the second time, and immediately demanded the
sacraments. Notwithstanding the irregularities of his private
life, he was sincerely and piously attached to the faith which
had cost him so dear. He exhorted the courtiers who surrounded
his dying bed, and he begged Lord Middleton, the only Protestant
who had remained faithful to him, to become a convert to the
Catholic faith. He bade his son farewell. "I am about to leave
this world, which has been for me a sea of tempests and storms,"
said he; "the Almighty has judged well in visiting me with great
afflictions. Serve him with your whole heart, and never put the
crown of England in the balance with your eternal salvation."
Amidst the errors and criminal faults of his life, the only
redeeming trait of his character was that he himself practised,
during his life, the principles which he bequeathed his son.
Philip II. once said: "I would sacrifice all my kingdoms to the
defence of the Catholic faith": James II., more feeble and less
shrewd, had risked and lost all in the struggle with a free
people and an established religion.

Visit Of Louis XIV. To The Death-bed Of James II.


James II. was dying at Saint Germain. Louis XIV. visited him
twice, surrounding him, even to the last moment, with the most
delicate attentions. On the 20th of September, the king,
accompanied by a splendid retinue, entered the chamber of the
invalid. James opened his eyes, and immediately closed them
again. "Let no one withdraw," said the monarch. "I have something
to say to your Majesty. Whenever it shall please God to take you
from us, I will be to your son what I have been to you; and will
acknowledge him as King of England, Scotland and Ireland."

The English exiles, who were standing around the couch, fell on
their knees. Some burst into tears, some poured forth praises and
blessings. "That evening, at Marley, there was only applause and
praise," says St. Simon: "the act was applauded, but the
reflections of some were not less prompt, although less public.
The king still flattered himself that he could prevent Holland
and England, upon whom the former was so absolutely dependent,
from breaking with him in favor of the House of Austria. He
counted upon an early termination of the Italian war, as well as
the settlement of the Spanish succession, which the Emperor was
unable to dispute with his own forces, or even with those of the
empire. Nothing then could be more contradictory to this
position, and to the recognition, which he had solemnly declared
at the peace of Ryswick, of the Prince of Orange as King of
England. It was to wound the Prince of Orange in the tenderest
point; and all England as well as Holland with him, without this
recognition being of any solid advantage to the Prince of Wales."


William III. was at table in his chateau at Dieren, in Holland,
when he learned the news. Always master of himself, he said not a
word, but his pale cheek flushed, and he pulled his hat over his
eyes to conceal his countenance. Accurately informed of the state
of affairs in France, and of the most secret intrigues of that
court, he had foreseen the resolution of Louis XIV. Some days
before he wrote to Heinsius on the subject of a projected mission
to Versailles: "I find myself greatly inconvenienced since the
news has arrived from France, that it is resolved, in case King
James dies, to recognize his pretended son as King of England.
This obliges me to cut short all correspondence with France, and
even to come to extremities with her." Lord Manchester, the
ambassador of William III. in France, immediately received orders
to depart without taking leave. In vain M. de Torcy, the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, strongly opposed to the position Louis XIV.
had assumed, attempted to offer some explanations. He received
from the ambassador the following note:

  "Monsieur: The king my master being informed that his most
  Christian Majesty has recognized another king of Great Britain,
  does not believe that his glory and service permit him to
  retain any longer an ambassador near the king your master; and
  he has sent me orders to retire immediately, of which I have
  the honor of informing you by this note."

Some days later the States-General sent the same order to their
envoy M. de Heemskirk.


All England was roused; the Whigs and the Tories shared the same
feeling of anger. "All the English," says Torcy, in his Memoirs,
"unanimously regard it as a mortal offence, that France has
pretended to arrogate to herself the right of giving them a king,
to the prejudice of him whom they have themselves called and
recognized these many years." When William arrived in England, on
the 4th of November, 1701, addresses poured in from all parts of
the country; he was too feeble to endure the fatigues of a
reception, and in consequence went direct to Hampton Court,
without stopping at London. Henceforth, well assured of the great
change that had taken place in public opinion, he published, on
the 11th of November, the order for the dissolution of Parliament
"I pray God that he may bless the resolution which your Majesty
has taken of convoking a new Parliament," wrote Heinsius, on the

When the houses re-assembled, on the 30th of December, 1701, the
Tories had lost much ground in the Commons; they succeeded,
however, in electing Robert Harley as speaker. On the 2nd of
January, 1702, the king himself opened the session. The change in
his appearance was very decided; he coughed much: "I have not a
year to live," he said to Portland. The vigor of his mind and of
his soul, however, triumphed over his physical weaknesses. In his
last great speech from the throne, he said that he was assured
that they had assembled there, full of that just sentiment of the
danger which threatened Europe, and of that resentment towards
the King of France for the step that he had taken, which had been
so generally manifested by the loyal addresses of the people. The
recognition of the pretended Prince of Wales as King of England
was not only the highest indignity that could be offered himself
and the nation; but it so nearly concerned every man who had a
regard for the Protestant religion, or the present and future
quiet and happiness of his country, that he earnestly exhorted
them to lay it seriously to heart, and to determine what
effectual means might be employed to assure the Protestant
succession, and to put an end to the hopes of all pretenders, as
well as their secret and declared adherents.
The king then announced that he had concluded several alliances,
to protect the independence of Europe, the conditions of which
had been communicated to them. "It is fit I should tell you,"
continued he, "that the eyes of all Europe are upon this
Parliament; all matters are at a stand till your resolutions are
known, and therefore no time ought to be lost. You have yet an
opportunity, by God's blessing, to secure to you and your
posterity the quiet enjoyment of your religion and liberties, if
you are not wanting to yourselves, but will exert the ancient
vigor of the English nation; but I tell you, plainly, my opinion
is, if you do not lay hold on this occasion, you have no reason
to hope for another." He called upon them to provide a great
strength upon land and sea, that they lend to the allies all the
assistance in their power, and show towards the enemies of
England and the adversaries of her religion, her liberty, her
government, and the king that she had chosen, all the hatred that
they merited.

This speech, principally the work of Somers, more eloquent and
more impassioned than were ordinarily the simple and grave words
of King William, deeply aroused national sympathy. The addresses
of the two houses no longer reflected the clouds which had so
recently darkened the political horizon. The subsidies and army
levies voted were equal to the public needs. "The courier this
evening will inform you of the good resolutions which were taken
yesterday and the day before in the two houses," wrote the king
to Heinsius; "one could not desire a more satisfactory result.
May the Almighty vouchsafe his blessing to all that follows."


The death of William was sudden and premature. William of Orange
was fifty-one years of age: for thirty years he had borne upon
his shoulders the weight of the destinies of his native country,
and for nearly twenty years he had been the only man in Europe,
who had resisted, obstinately and with success, the encroachments
of France. The supreme moment of the great struggle had arrived;
the fruits of so many efforts and of so much perseverance, fell
from the courageous hands which had so long labored for them.
When the King of England felt himself dying, he, disguised as a
priest, had consulted Fagon. When that celebrated physician of
Louis XIV. bluntly replied to him, that the curé had better
prepare for death, William threw aside his disguise; and the
advice that Fagon then gave him, it is said, prolonged his life.
An accident hastened the progress of his malady. On the 20th of
February, 1702, William was riding in the park of Hampden Court,
when his favorite horse Sorrel stumbled and fell. The king was
thrown, and broke his collar-bone. He was carried to the palace;
and now fully realized that his time was short. He sent to
Parliament a message recommending the union of England and
Scotland. He had thought much of it, he said, and he believed
this measure necessary for the happiness and security of the two
kingdoms, for the European equilibrium, and for the liberty of
all Protestant states.

The houses received with uncovered heads the last act which
William signed with his own hand. Many laws awaited his approval,
and it became necessary to engrave a stamp to imitate the royal
signature. After some days of convalescence, fatal symptoms
appeared; the king recognized them, and was not deceived for a
single instant. He had said before to Bentinck: "You know that I
never feared death: there have been times when I should have
wished it: but, now that this great new prospect is opening
before me, I do wish to stay here a little longer."
This indomitable soul had always known how to submit to the hand
of God, and he accepted His will without a murmur. "I know that
you have done all that skill and learning could do for me," said
he to his physicians; "but the case is beyond your art, and I

He had sent his favorite, Albemarle, to Holland, charged to
arrange with Heinsius regarding the preparations for the war; and
as though by a prophetic instinct, he had sent by his messenger a
last token of affection to the friend and faithful servant who
had so ably seconded him in his policy. "I am infinitely
concerned to learn that your health is not yet quite
re-established," wrote he to Heinsius; "May God be pleased to
grant you a speedy recovery. I am unalterably your good friend,

Albemarle returned, bringing from Heinsius the most satisfactory
assurances. When he appeared before his master, who had ordered
him to take some repose after his long and rapid journey, the
king calmly said to him: "I am fast drawing to my end." He
received the exhortations and consolations of the Bishops;
Tennison and Burnet did not leave his pillow; he affirmed his
constant faith in the Christian truths, and demanded the
Communion. After the ceremony was finished, the dying man could
scarcely speak a word. The Duke of Portland, twice summoned by
letters which he had never received, finally entered the chamber.
William took the hand of his friend and pressed it to his heart.
An instant before he had said to his physicians, with a shadow of
impatience: "Can this last long?" They shook their heads. He
closed his eyes and gasped for breath. On the 16th of March,
1702, between the hours of seven and eight in the morning,
William of Orange yielded his soul to God.


When his remains were laid out, it was found that he wore next to
his heart a lock of Queen Mary's hair, and the wedding ring which
he had taken from her dying hand.

Europe lost her great leader, and England her great king. The
supreme impulse had nevertheless been given in Europe as well as
in England; the alliance against Louis XIV. was formed, and
became each day stronger and more united. Amidst the bitterness
of parliamentary struggles, and notwithstanding the culpable
violence of parties, the parliamentary régime, political liberty,
and the Protestant religion, were henceforth secured to England.

William of Orange might rest--his work was accomplished.

                 Chapter XXXIII.

                   Queen Anne
          War Of The Spanish Succession

"The master workman was dead," says Burke, "but his work had been
conceived according to the true principles of art, and it had
been executed in his mind." William of Orange was dead; after a
reign incessantly contested, unpopular and stormy, scarcely had
he breathed his last, when all he had done, and desired, was
attacked, censured and disputed on every side. The edifice,
however, was too firmly constructed, was founded upon moral
principles too true, and based upon political necessities too
serious, for the storms of party passion to overthrow. The
coalition of Europe was to survive the loss of its chief; the
liberties of England were forever delivered from the yoke of the


Queen Anne was proclaimed without opposition, and but few even of
the Jacobites affected any astonishment at seeing her ascend the
unoccupied throne. Their prince was still a child, and the last
act to which William III. had put his hand was a bill of
attainder against the Pretender, as King James III. of the Court
of St. Germain began to be called in England. The queen had
successively lost her seventeen children; the hope of the
Jacobites changed its nature, and henceforth they confidently
awaited the future.

Anne was thirty-seven years old, her health was poor and her
intelligence limited; she was honest, and sincerely attached to
the Church of England. Although naturally good and universally
popular, grand views or great political and moral considerations
were foreign to her; she never comprehended them, and allowed
herself constantly to be controlled by some favorite that she
frequently changed for frivolous reasons or caprices of
management. These favorites were of both parties, but she showed
a marked predilection for the Tories. The Whigs long governed
during her reign, and to them belongs the honor of having
continued the work begun by William III. Queen Anne, however,
always regarded them with aversion and distrust. In the depths of
her soul she had remained attached to the house of her father;
her Protestant faith alone separated her from that brother whose
birth she had stigmatized. She was timid, yet at the same time
obstinate, indolent, and passionately attached to her royal
prerogatives; unable to strike a great blow against public
sentiment, but henceforth the mistress of England by the
preponderant action of the House of Commons. Her favorites, all
powerful while they were around her, had to learn the limit of
their influence; their personal faults, and the grave errors of
their conduct, were not the only reasons that led to the fall of
the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. Soon constrained to rely
upon the Whigs, as they alone seriously desired the war,
Marlborough, but recently Tory and half Jacobite, was to fall
with them.

Queen Anne.


Marlborough was still counted among the Tories, when Anne
ascended the throne; he shared with Lord Godolphin the political
confidence of the queen. The Duchess of Marlborough, haughty,
violent and avaricious, naturally powerful and domineering, as
well over her husband as over the queen, was the intimate friend
of this little council. The influence of the Duke of Marlborough,
as well as public sentiment, induced Anne to favor the war and
fulfil England's engagements. The first speech from the throne
clearly announced her resolution to continue, on this subject,
the policy of King William III. "We cannot encourage our allies
too much in their efforts to destroy the enormous power of
France." Marlborough was sent as envoy extraordinary to the
Hague, to assure the States-General of the intentions of the
queen. As skilful a negotiator as he was great as a general, he
knew from the first how to gain the confidence of Heinsius, and
to give to the European powers a firm assurance of the
maintenance of the Grand Alliance. On the 4th of May, 1702, a
declaration of war was simultaneously promulgated at London,
Vienna, and the Hague. Marlborough was appointed general-in-chief
of the combined English and Dutch forces. After his first
campaign upon the Meuse, although the successes were very
insignificant, Anne raised him to the rank of Duke. She
overwhelmed her favorite with the most lucrative offices.
Finally, to perpetuate the splendor of his house, she demanded
that parliament confer, with the title which she had given to the
illustrious general, a pension of £5,000.
The houses refused. The queen multiplied her personal favors;
accepted with repugnance, or magnanimously refused at first, and
subsequently reclaimed with avidity. When, in 1712, the Duchess
of Marlborough had forever lost the favor of the queen, she
demanded and obtained all the arrears of a pension of £2,000 that
she had refused from the privy purse of the queen in 1702.

I have not endeavored to recount in detail the campaigns of the
Duke of Marlborough, and the continual efforts that he made to
obtain the assistance of the allied powers, as well as to control
and harmonize their diverse and contradictory wills. Under an
amiable and seductive exterior, Marlborough possessed by nature a
character calm and impassive. He had not only to struggle against
the obstinacy and patriotic restlessness of the Dutch, which all
the zeal and authority of Heinsius could not control, but also
against the slowness of the emperor and the intestine quarrels of
the empire. The campaign of 1703 was constantly hindered by these
petty jealousies. At the beginning of the year 1704, the general
wrote to Godolphin: "I augur so ill of this campaign that I am
extremely discouraged. May God's will be done, but I have great
reasons for anxiety. In all the other campaigns I saw something
definite for the common cause; this year all that I am able to
hope is that some fortunate accident may permit me to arrive at a
good result." Nevertheless it was in the same year, 1704, that
Marlborough, in the 54th year of his age, laid the foundations of
his glory.


The French commander, Marshal Villars, a braggart and a boaster,
but bold, ingenious and resolute, had gained some successes in
the preceding campaign. In 1704 he was detained in France by the
Camisard insurrection. Marshals Tallard and Marsin commanded the
French armies in Germany, and these were reinforced by the
Elector of Bavaria. The emperor, threatened by a new
insurrection, recalled Prince Eugene from Italy, where the Duke
of Savoy had abandoned Louis XIV. and joined the Grand Alliance;
and Marlborough united his forces with those of the prince by a
rapid march, that Marshal Villeroi endeavored in vain to

On the 13th of August the hostile armies encountered each other
between Blenheim and Hochstardt, near the Danube. The opposing
forces were nearly equal, but on the part of the French the
command was divided, and the corps acted separately. It was to
the honor of both the Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough,
that during this long war they always combined their operations
without jealousy or personal intrigue. "We, the Prince Eugene and
I, will never quarrel about our share of the laurels." The prince
had with great difficulty succeeded in conducting his troops to
their assigned post. While this movement was in progress, public
prayers were begun in the allied army. "The English chaplains,"
says Lord Macaulay, "read the service at the head of the English
regiments. The Calvinistic chaplains of the Dutch army, with
heads on which hand of Bishop had never been laid, poured forth
their supplications in front of their countrymen. In the mean
time, the Danes might listen to their Lutheran ministers, and
capuchins might encourage the Austrian squadrons, and pray to the
Virgin for a blessing on the arms of the Holy Roman Empire. The
battle commences. These men, of various religions, all act like
members of one body."


Marshal Tallard had sustained alone the attack of the English and
Dutch under Marlborough; he was made prisoner; his son was killed
at his side; the cavalry, deprived of their leader and driven by
the enemy, fled in the direction of the Danube. Many officers and
soldiers perished in the stream; the massacre was frightful.
Marsin and the Elector repulsed five successive charges of Prince
Eugene, and succeeded in securing their retreat; but the
electorates of Bavaria and Cologne were lost. Landau was
recaptured by the allies after a siege of two months. The French
army recrossed the Rhine. Alsace was gained, and Germany was
evacuated. "If the success of Prince Eugene had equalled his
merit," said Marlborough, "we would have ended the war in this

The return of the Duke of Marlborough to England was a veritable
triumph. Parliament and the queen vied with each other in
generosity towards him. He received as a gift the estate of
Woodstock, which took the name of Blenheim. The foundations of a
magnificent palace were laid. In vain did the Tories, already
envious of the duke, seek to rival his victorious campaign, by
the maritime successes of Sir George Rooke; all eyes were fixed
upon the general, all hope centered on him; his influence in
England was equal to his power upon the continent. "If the duke
gains the same successes in 1705 as he has gained in 1704," said
the Tories, "the constitution of England will be lost." The
discontented were reassured.

The brilliant results of the campaign of 1705, in Spain, under
the Earl of Peterborough (formerly Lord Mordaunt), were
counteracted, in Germany, by the internal discords of the Grand
Alliance. Masters of Gibraltar since 1704, the English, in 1705,
seized Barcelona. Bold, enterprising and peculiar, but of
brilliant personal valor, Peterborough had taken possession of
Barcelona in spite of his lieutenants and his soldiers. He
rallied and led back to the assault the flying troops. Galloping
to meet them and flourishing a half broken pike in his hand, he
cried, "Return, and follow me, if you do not want the eternal
infamy of having deserted your post and abandoned your general."


"We have been the object of a miracle," wrote he to the Duchess
of Marlborough. "I know what was the temper of our nation,
especially during the month of November. I believe, however, that
one ought not to complain, but we are as poor as church mice,
without money, and miracles are not sufficient."

In 1706 alternate successes and reverses had successively
delivered Madrid to the princely competitors who disputed the
throne of Spain. Peterborough found at the head of the troops of
King Philip V., his compatriot, the Duke of Berwick. This
nobleman was often engaged, for the service of his party or his
family, in enterprises which did not become his taciturn honesty.
He was faithfully devoted to the service of King Louis XIV.,
although never a favorite with his grandson, and still less
pleasing to the young Queen, Marie Gabrielle, second daughter of
the Duke of Savoy.

Lord Peterborough shared in the same manner the dislike of the
Archduke Charles. "I would not accept my safety from the hands of
my Lord Peterborough," said the Austrian Prince.--"What fools we
are to fight for such imbeciles!" bitterly replied the English

The defeat at Blenheim, in 1704, was a first and terrible blow to
the power of Louis XIV., as well as to the military prestige of
France. The defeat at Ramillies, on the 23rd of May, 1706, was a
second step towards ruin. The personal attachment of the king had
always blinded him regarding the military talents of Villeroi.
Defeated in Italy by Prince Eugene, Villeroi, as presumptuous as
unskilful, hoped to distinguish himself before Marlborough.
"All the army long for battle. I know that it is the wish of your
Majesty," wrote the marshal to Louis XIV., after his check. "How
can I prevent exposing myself to an engagement which I believe
expedient?" His lieutenants differed with him; they conjured him
to change his order of battle. The troops engaged without
confidence. The Bavarians fled within an hour; the French, heroic
as at Blenheim, realizing the blunders of their commander, soon
followed their example. The rout was complete, the disorder
indescribable. Villeroi did not stop until he was under the walls
of Brussels. He was soon obliged to evacuate that place. The Duke
of Marlborough entered it in the middle of October, master of
two-thirds of Belgium. The emperor offered to the victorious
general the government of the Low Countries. Marlborough greatly
desired to accept it, but the visible opposition of the
Hollanders prevented him. "Assure the States that I have no
desire to give them any embarrassment," wrote he to Heinsius;
"since they do not think it expedient, I willingly decline to
accept this commission." Marshal Villeroi was recalled. "No more
happiness at our age," said the king with great kindness. The
Duke de Vendôme was charged with the command of the army in
Flanders, "in the hope that he would infuse that spirit of
strength and audacity natural to the French nation," said Louis
XIV. "All the world here is ready to take off its hat when the
name of the Duke of Marlborough is mentioned," wrote Vendôme; "if
the soldiers and the cavaliers are of the same mind, then one
might as well take leave at once; but I hope to find better


All the efforts of Vendôme were not able to prevent the loss of
Ménin, of Ath, and of Dendermonde. Prince Eugene defeated the
Duke of Orleans before Turin on the 7th of September. Marshal
Marsin was killed. "It is impossible to express the joy that I
feel," said Marlborough, in a letter to his wife, "for I more
than esteem, I love the Prince Eugene. This brilliant action
ought to place France low enough to permit us, if our friends
consent to continue the war for another year, to conclude a peace
which will give us repose to the end of our days. But for the
present I do not comprehend the Dutch."

The States-General had, in fact, received overtures from Louis
XIV., which inclined them towards peace. "It is said publicly at
the Hague," wrote Godolphin, "that France is humbled as much as
is desirable, and that if the war is prolonged, it will end in
making England stronger than she ought to be. All that they have
as yet proposed, is a treaty of partition, dishonorable to the
allies and deplorable for the future." War made the glory, the
fortune and the power of the Duke of Marlborough, as well as of
Prince Eugene; both influenced Heinsius, who had remained
faithful to the policy of William III., but without that grandeur
and breadth of mind which knows how to measure advantages with
justice and moderation. The disputes of the States finally ended
in the republic remaining faithful to the allies, and deciding
not to accept any negotiation without their concurrence. Public
opinion was nevertheless modified in Holland. "The Burgomasters
of Amsterdam have passed two hours at my house this morning,
endeavoring to convince me of the necessity of a prompt peace,"
wrote Marlborough, in 1708; "this, on the part of the most
zealous Hollanders, has greatly disturbed me."


For a time the affairs of France, closely allied to those of
Spain, appeared to improve in that kingdom; the victory at
Almanza, won on the 13th of April, 1707, by Marshal Berwick over
the Anglo-Portuguese army, and the taking of Lerida, which
capitulated on the 11th of November, to the Duke of Orleans,
revived the hopes of the partisans of Philip V., and turned
popular sentiment in his favor. Lord Peterborough, dissatisfied
and irritated, returned to England. Lord Galway, son of the old
Marquis of Ruvigny, and like him a refugee in England, took
command of the English troops. The campaigns of the Duke of
Marlborough and Prince Eugene had not been brilliant. The Prince
and the Duke of Savoy had been repulsed before Toulon, and the
uprising of the peasants compelled them to precipitately evacuate
Provence. Marshal Villars had driven back the Margrave of
Bayreuth from the banks of the Rhine, and had advanced into
Swabia; he also ravaged the Palatinate. All the negotiations of
Marlborough in Sweden, at Vienna and at Berlin, had not been able
to bring about, in time, a combined action of the allied forces;
murmurs of dissatisfaction were heard in England as well as in
Holland. The enemies of Marlborough accused him of designedly
prolonging the war, by his insatiable avariciousness. The
popularity of the duchess with the queen was visibly declining;
all the audacity and cleverness of the great general were
scarcely sufficient to turn aside parliamentary attacks.
Godolphin was threatened in his power. "I am discouraged," wrote
Marlborough to his wife, "and I am astonished at the courage of
the Lord Treasurer. If I was treated as he is--and I probably
will be--and was always upon the point of seeing myself abandoned
by the Whigs, I would not remain at my post for all that the
world might offer; I would not be the first to repent. When I say
this I know well that while the war lasts, I ought to retain my
command; but I do not wish to put my hand to another thing."


The campaign of 1708 opened badly. Ghent and Bruges opened their
gates to the young prince, the Duke of Burgundy. "The States have
used this country so ill," said Marlborough, "that all the towns
are disposed to follow the example of Ghent when the opportunity

Prince Eugene advanced to support Marlborough, but he set out too
late; the Elector of Bavaria obstructed his march. "I do not wish
to speak ill of Prince Eugene," said Marlborough, "but he will
arrive at the rendezvous on the Moselle ten days too late." The
English were unsupported when they encountered the French army in
front of Kidenarde. The battle commenced without the presence of
the Duke of Burgundy, who received the news too late. Vendôme,
the commanding general, was defeated. Marlborough proposed to
carry the war into France. Prince Eugene, and the deputies of the
States-General, did not approve of the boldness of the project.
The allies besieged Lille. Marshal Boufflers held the city until
the 23rd of October, and the citadel until the 9th of December,
without receiving any succor. When he surrendered. Prince Eugene
permitted him to march out, with all the honors of war. Ghent and
Bruges were delivered into the hands of the imperialists. "We
have committed folly upon folly in this campaign," says Marshal
Berwick, in his Memoirs, "but notwithstanding even this, if we
had not abandoned Ghent and Bruges we would have had easy work
the next year." The Low Countries were lost, and the French
frontiers were encroached upon by the loss of Lille. The Duke of
Orleans, weary of his forced inactivity in Spain, and suspected
at the court of Philip V., resigned his command: he returned to
France. The English Admiral Leake, and General Stanhope, took
possession of Sardinia, the island of Minorca, and Port-Mahon.
The archduke was master of the islands and of the Mediterranean
sea. For a year past Philip V. had not possessed an inch of land
in Italy. The exhaustion and misery of France were extreme, and
Louis XIV. finally decided to negotiate for peace.


He first addressed himself to Holland, where there existed a
general desire for peace; the war could bring the Dutch no other
profit than a guarantee of security. The king offered this. "In
the midst of the sufferings that hostilities had inflicted upon
commerce, there was reason to hope," wrote the Marquis of Torcy,
in his Memoirs, "that the grand pensionary, regarding principally
the interests of his country, would desire the end of a war, the
burden of which fell upon his own country. Authorized by the
republic, he had no reason to fear any secret intrigue, nor any
cabal to displace him from a post which he occupied to the
satisfaction of his masters, and in which he conducted himself
with moderation. Although the united provinces bore the principal
weight of the war, the emperor alone gathered the fruits. It is
said that the Dutch guarded the Temple of Peace and held the keys
in their hands."

Torcy had counted too much upon the moderation of Heinsius. In
vain President Rouillé, charged with the secret negotiations,
proposed to abandon Spain, provided Naples, Sardinia and Sicily
were assured to Philip V.: Louis XIV. thereby came back to the
second treaty of partition, but recently concluded with the
United Provinces, as well as with England. Heinsius, faithful to
the Grand Alliance, ardent to avenge the past injuries of the
republic, and justly suspicious regarding France, did not
comprehend that he was destroying the work of William III., and
the European equilibrium, if he assured to the house of Austria
the preponderance of which he deprived the house of Bourbon; the
conditions that he exacted, through his delegates, were such that
Rouillé scarcely dared transmit them to Versailles.
Each of the allies desired a share of the spoils. England claimed
Dunkirk, Germany desired Strasbourg and the re-establishment of
the Peace of Westphalia; Victor Amadeus wanted to recover Nice
and Savoy, and the Dutch demanded that to the barrier stipulated
at Reyswick should be added, Lille, Condé and Tournay. "The king
will break off the negotiations, sooner than accept such
exorbitant conditions," said the deputy of the States-General to
Marlborough.--"So much the worse for France," replied the English
general; "for the campaign once begun, things will go further
than the king thinks. The allies will never relax their first

The Duke was assured of the fidelity of his allies--he had made a
trip to England. When he returned to the Hague, the Marquis of
Torcy himself had arrived to pursue the negotiations, and was the
bearer of new concessions. The king offered to recognize Queen
Anne, to cede Strasbourg and Lille, and to content himself with
Naples for his grandson. Marlborough protested his pacific
intentions: "You also ought to desire peace for France," said he
to the minister of Louis XIV.; "it is necessary to conclude it as
soon as possible. But if you seriously desire it, be assured that
it is necessary to renounce absolutely the Spanish monarchy; on
this point my compatriots are unanimous. The English will never
permit Naples and Sicily, or even one of those two kingdoms, to
remain in the hands of a Bourbon. An English minister would not
dare even to propose it."


The Duke insisted that the Pretender should be compelled to leave
France. An attempted descent upon Scotland, assisted by Louis
XIV., although unsuccessful, owing to the bad weather, had
excited the anger of the Whig ministry, and they demanded, in the
negotiations, that France should cease to give her support to the
young prince. "I would like to serve him," said Marlborough to
Torcy--who had not left him in ignorance of the intrigues that
were taking place at the Court of St. Germain; "he is the son of
a king for whom I would have given my life," and he added: "my
colleague Lord Townshend is a Whig: in his presence I am obliged
to speak as the most of the English; but I would like, with all
my heart, to serve the Prince of Wales. I sincerely believe it
would be to his advantage, at this time, to leave France. Is not
the success of the allies a miracle of Providence? When has it
happened before that eight nations have spoken and acted as one

Torcy had gone to the last limits of concession; he had renounced
Sicily as well as Naples. The allies claimed Alsace, certain
towns in Dauphiné and Provence, and they exacted that the
conditions of the peace were to be executed during the truce of
two months, that they were about to accord; besides Louis XIV.
was to deliver immediately, to Holland, in case Philip V. refused
to abdicate, three fortified cities. To this dishonorable
proposition, the young king replied: "God has given me the crown
of Spain; and while there remains a drop of blood in my veins, I
will defend it."

The demands of the allies passed all reasonable bounds; imprudent
even for the interests of Europe as well as for the maintenance
of a durable peace, their propositions deeply wounded royal honor
and patriotic sentiment in France and Spain. The prudent sagacity
of William III. would have preserved the powers from this grave
error, but the political obstinacy of Heinsius, the decided
hatreds of Prince Eugene, and the avidity of the Duke of
Marlborough for glory and fortune, served the cause that they at
heart desired to ruin forever.
Louis XIV. broke off negotiations and made a final effort. "If I
must continue the war," said he, "I will contend against my
enemies rather than against my own family." He wrote to all the
governors of the provinces and cities:

  "Gentlemen: The hope of an early peace has been so generally
  spread abroad in my kingdom, that I believe it due to the
  fidelity that my people have testified towards me, during the
  entire course of my reign, that I inform them of the reasons
  which still prevent their enjoying that repose which I had
  designed to procure for them. In order to re-establish peace, I
  would have accepted conditions strongly opposed to the safety
  of my frontier provinces; but the more readiness I have shown,
  and the more desire I have manifested to dissipate the fears of
  my power and of my designs that my enemies affect to entertain,
  the more they have multiplied their pretensions, refusing to
  make any other engagement than to discontinue all acts of
  hostility until the first of August, and reserving to
  themselves the liberty of then appealing to arms, if the King
  of Spain, my grandson, persists in his resolution to defend the
  crown which God has given him. Such a resolution is more
  dangerous to my people than war, for it assures to the enemy
  advantages more considerable than they would be able to gain by
  their armies. As I put my confidence in the protection of God,
  and as I hope the purity of my intentions will draw his
  benediction upon my arms, I wish my people to know that they
  would immediately enjoy peace if it depended only upon my will
  to procure for them a blessing that they so reasonably desire;
  but that it is necessary to acquire it by new efforts, since
  the enormous concessions that I would have accorded are useless
  for the re-establishment of the public peace.



France might have reproached Louis XIV. for the arrogance which
had drawn her, with him, to the borders of an abyss. Intoxicated
as well as the monarch by an insensate ardor for glory, the
French people had long served the royal passions. They cruelly
expiated their faults, without however allowing themselves to be
overwhelmed by their misfortunes. In France, as well as in Spain,
the people and the army nobly responded to the appeals of the
sovereigns. "It is a miracle that the firmness and the virtue of
the soldier survives the sufferings of hunger," said Marshal
Villars, who took command of the French army in the Low
Countries. He encountered near Malplaquet, on the 11th of
September, 1709, Prince Eugene and Marlborough, who had just
taken possession of Tournay. In vain did Villars, for many days,
implore the king for permission to give battle. When finally, to
his great joy, the orders were given to engage the enemy, his
troops were so eager for the combat that they threw away the
rations which had just been distributed to them. "Vive le Roi!
Vive le marechal!" cried the soldiers. Villars intrenched himself
outside of a woods. "So we have still to fight against moles,"
angrily said Prince Eugene.

During the action Marshal Villars was seriously wounded. "I had
my wound dressed upon the field, and placed myself upon a chair
to give my orders," wrote he in his Memoirs, "but the pain caused
me a swoon, which lasted so long that I was borne unconsciously
to Quesnoy." Prince Eugene, also wounded, while attacking the
centre of the French army, refused all care. "There will be time
enough for that this evening, if I survive," said he calmly. He
remained on his horse. Marshal Boufflers, who had served thus far
as a volunteer, took the command of the French army. Its defeat
was complete, although glorious. The retreat was conducted like a
parade. The allies lost twenty thousand men. "If God vouchsafe
that we should lose such another battle," wrote Villars to Louis
XIV., "your Majesty could count your enemies destroyed." The king
was not deceived; but he sadly renewed the negotiations by
sending Marshal Uxelles, and the Abbé Polignac to Gertruydenberg.


This new victory elated the allies. Heinsius, charged with the
conduct of the conferences, maintained his propositions. "The
States-General were then the arbitors of Europe," wrote Torcy, in
his Memoirs, "but they were so dazzled by the excess of glory to
which the allies had raised them that they would not suffer it to
be said to them that they were working for the aggrandizement of
Austria and England."--"It is evident that you are not accustomed
to conquer," bitterly remarked the Abbé Polignac to the Holland
delegates. The king consented to give guarantees to engage his
grandson to abdicate; he promised, in case of refusal, not only
to sustain him no longer, but to furnish the allies a monthly
subsidy of a million francs, and to grant a passage over French
territory. He accepted the cession of Alsace and Lorraine, and
the return of the three bishoprics to the empire. The abdication
of Philip V. was to be assured, or else Louis XIV. was to aid, by
force of arms, in dethroning him. The just pride of the king and
of the father, revolted against this impudence, and severe
ultimatum. The King of Spain absolutely refused all concessions.
"Whatever may be the misfortunes which await me," wrote he to his
grandfather, "I prefer to submit myself to whatever God may
decide for me in battle, to deciding for myself by consenting to
an accommodation which would force me to abandon a people upon
whom my reverses, up to this time, have produced no other effect
than to augment their zeal and their affection for me."
Louis XIV. withdrew his propositions; the conferences at
Gertruydenberg were abandoned on the 25th of July, 1710. The king
was no longer able to assist his grandson, but he sent Vendôme.

On the 10th of December, the French general, constantly defeated
during the first part of the campaign, gained over the Austrian
contingent of the archduke, a disputed victory, at Villa Viciosa.
Count Staremberg, who commanded, spiked his cannon, and retired,
while the young king slept upon the field of battle. The allies
now held only Cattalona. In vain had General Stanhope recently
led the archduke to Madrid. "I was ordered to conduct him there,"
said he; "when he is once there, may God, or the devil maintain
him there, or drive him out--that is not my business."

Stanhope had judged well the sentiments of the Spanish people,
more and more attached to Philip V., and faithful to his cause;
neither was he deceived regarding the position that the military
and political successes--that England owed, above all, to the
Duke of Marlborough--had assured to her in Europe. Long charged
with the burden of the war, England had become, by her close
alliance with the Dutch, as well as by her proper predominance,
the veritable mistress of peace or war in Europe. "Our Henry and
our Edward have left behind them an immortal renown," said
Stanhope to the House of Lords, "because they humiliated and
conquered the power of France. It is the glory of Queen Elizabeth
to have humbled the pride of Spain. Turn by turn these two great
monarchies have aspired to an universal domination in Europe;
both have been upon the point of obtaining it, in spite of their
mutual hostility, but no one had foreseen that an effectual
resistance could be opposed to them in Europe, if the two
monarchies were united. We have lived long enough to see these
two formidable powers threatening, at the same time, all the
liberties of Europe. Your Majesty was destined to struggle
against these united forces. They have been attacked and
compelled to ask for peace."


It was in fact from England that this peace, so desired by France
and Spain, and now become indispensable to both powers, was to
emanate. The great Whig ministry had been, for a long time,
losing favor; the Queen was at length weary of the avidity and
hauteur of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. New favorites
cleverly alienated her and led her back to the friends of her
youth. The Tories replaced the Whigs in power. I will soon tell
by what maneuvres this cause was served. I wish here only to
indicate the political modifications which already made peace
foreseen. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Harley, subsequently
Duke of Oxford, recently become a Tory, with no other passion
than personal ambition; and the Secretary of State, St. John,
known in history under the name of Bolingbroke, Jacobite to the
depth of his soul, by restlessness of mind and taste for
intrigue, equally urged England forward in the road to peace. The
Abbé Gautier, but recently chaplain to Marshal Tallard, and now
residing in England, was charged with a mission to Torcy at
Versailles. "Do you wish for peace?" said the abbé to him. "I
come to bring you the means of obtaining it, and of concluding
it, independently of Holland--unworthy of the kindness of the
king, and of the honor he has shown in addressing her regarding
the pacification of Europe." "To ask a minister of his Majesty,
if he desires peace," replied Torcy, "is to ask a dying man
whether he would wish to be cured."

Negotiations were secretly opened with the English cabinet, and
were often more confidential on the part of Harley and
Bolingbroke than seemed compatible with the fidelity due to their
sovereign, or with the engagements of England with her allies.


The end was as reasonable as just; but the means employed to
arrive at it were not indisputable. The Emperor Joseph had just
died, leaving only daughters; the elevation of the Archduke
Charles thenceforth threatened Europe with the preponderance of
the house of Austria. England had the honor of first
comprehending the danger, and of playing that part of moderator,
which Holland had so recently exercised, and which had given her
so much grandeur. The natural taste of Harley for secret
intrigues prolonged the mystery for some time; inferior agents
went back and forth between London and Versailles. The poet
Prior, and a deputy from Rouen, named Mesnager, had the honor of
seeing the queen in person. The fatal effects of the war had
oftened saddened her. "It is a good work," said she, to the
modest French plenipotentiary; "I pray God to give you his
assistance; I hold the shedding of blood in horror."

The war, nevertheless, continued, and Marlborough remained at the
head of the allied forces, notwithstanding the disgrace of his
friends, and the withdrawal of his wife, who had definitively
left the court, not however without efforts, as audacious as
violent, to regain the influence which she so recently exercised
over the queen. The campaign of 1711 had been unimportant;
conferences were opened at Utrecht, and preliminaries were signed
with England: they assured to English commerce immense
advantages, besides the cession of Newfoundland and the remainder
of the French territory in Acadia. When the communication was
made to Holland, the negotiators prudently withheld some
articles. Public feeling at the Hague was nevertheless aroused;
the States-General sent a delegate to officially protest.
"England has borne the brunt of the war," bluntly replied St.
John; "it is but just that she should be at the head of the
parleys for peace." The Count of Gallas, ambassador of the
emperor at London, was so incensed by the tone of the articles
that he had them published immediately, in one of the daily
journals. Queen Anne forbade his appearance at court. The
preliminaries were unpopular, and the guarantees offered by
France did not appear sufficient.

"On Friday the peace will be attacked in Parliament," wrote St.
John, on the eve of the opening of the session. "I am very easy.
I detest the remote dangers which threaten me; we will receive
their fire and put them to rout once for all." The speech from
the throne announced the opening of the conferences, "in spite of
the efforts of those who take pleasure in war."

The queen created twelve new peers, in order to assure, in the
upper house, a pacific majority.

In less than one year, from the 14th of April, 1711, to the 8th
of March, 1712, the royal house of France was overwhelmed by sad
afflictions of Providence. Louis XIV. lost by violent and rapid
sicknesses his son, the Grand Dauphin; and the Duke of Burgundy,
his grandson. Six days later the Duchess of Burgundy, the
charming Marie Adelaide of Savoy; and finally his great grandson,
the Duke of Brittany, four years of age. The little Duke of
Anjou, only an infant in the cradle, and feeble and sickly, now
represented the eldest branch of the House of Bourbon, and was to
become the King, Louis XV. The allies became troubled, and added
to their diplomatic exactions the renunciation by Philip V. of
the crown of France. The good offices of England were not lacking
to the old king, now overwhelmed by the weight of so many
misfortunes, and who attracted the admiration of even his
enemies, by the courageous firmness of his attitude.
Louis XIV. wrote to his grandson: "You will be informed of the
proposals of England, that you renounce the rights of your birth
to preserve the crown of Spain and the Indies, or renounce the
monarchy of Spain to preserve your rights to the succession of
France, and receive in exchange for the kingdom of Spain, the
kingdoms of Sicily and Naples, the states of the Duke of Savoy,
Mont Ferrat and Mantua, permitting the Duke of Savoy to succeed
you in Spain. I avow that notwithstanding the disproportion of
the states, I have been sensibly touched by thinking that you
would continue to reign, and that I might always regard you as my
successor; assured if the Dauphin lives, of a regent accustomed
to command, capable of maintaining order in my kingdom, and of
stifling cabals. If this child should die, as his feeble
appearance gives me but too much reason to believe, you will
receive the succession according to the order of your birth, and
I would have this consolation of leaving to my people a virtuous
king, capable of commanding them, and who, on succeeding me,
would unite to the crown of France, states as considerable as
Naples, Savoy, Piedmont and Mont Ferrat. If gratitude and
tenderness for your subjects are powerful motives inducing you to
remain with them, I can say that you owe me the same sentiments.
You owe them to your house, and to your country, before you owe
them to Spain. All that I am able to do is to leave you the
choice; the necessity of concluding the peace becomes each day
more urgent."


The English negotiators were without doubt assured in advance of
the choice of the King of Spain, when they allowed Louis XIV. to
expect such enormous concessions. Philip V. did not hesitate an
instant. He renounced all his rights to the succession of the
throne of France, and the Cortes solemnly ratified his decision.
"I will live and die a Spaniard," said the young king.

The English required that the Duke of Berry and the Duke of
Orleans abandon their rights to the crown of Spain. The peace was
the object of violent attacks in the English Parliament, above
all in the House of Lords. Marlborough vigorously defended
himself from having been hostile to it. "I can declare with a
safe conscience," said he, "in the presence of her Majesty, of
this illustrious assembly, and of the Supreme Being, who is
infinitely above all the powers upon earth, and before whom,
according to the ordinary course of nature, I must soon appear,
to give an account of my actions, that I was ever desirous of a
safe, honorable and lasting peace; and I was always very far from
any design of prolonging the war for my own private advantage, as
my enemies have most falsely insinuated. But at the same time, I
must take the liberty to declare, that I can by no means give in
to the measures that have lately been taken to enter into a
negotiation of peace with France, upon the foot of the seven
preliminary articles. I am of the same opinion with the rest of
the allies, that the safety and liberties of Europe would be in
imminent danger, if Spain and the West Indies were left to the
House of Bourbon."

The enemies of Marlborough were powerful around the queen, and
also in the House of Commons. His military successes had given
him a strength that it was necessary to take from him, at all
hazards; his pecuniary avidity and the malversations of which he
was suspected furnished a ready arm against him. He was accused
before Parliament, and was at the same time deprived of all his
offices, "in order," said the official note, "that the inquiry
might be impartial and free." The Duke of Ormond, honest but
feeble, and popular but without great military talents, was given
the command of the army.
The commotion was great among the allies. Prince Eugene himself
came to England, eager to assist his companion-in-arms. The queen
received him coldly, would accord him no private interview,
excusing herself on the plea of ill-health, and sent him to her
ministers. When the great Austrian general returned to the
continent, recalled by the necessities of the war, which had
recommenced in the spring of 1712, in spite of the negotiations,
he soon learned that the Duke of Ormond had received orders to
take no part in the military operations. St. John wrote to the
duke, on the 10th of May: "Her Majesty has reason to believe that
we shall come to an agreement upon the great article of the union
of the two monarchies, as soon as a courier, sent from Versailles
to Madrid, can return. It is therefore the queen's positive
command to your grace, that you avoid engaging in any siege, or
hazarding a battle, till you have further orders from her

The duke was informed, at the same time, that these instructions
were to be kept secret from Prince Eugene, but were nevertheless
known to Marshal Villars.

It was virtually an armistice that England accorded to France,
and this could not long be concealed. Prince Eugene began the
siege of Quesnoy, and urged Ormond to take part; the latter
finally consented. "My Lord Ormond was not authorized to risk a
battle," said the Lord Treasurer Harley to the House of Commons,
"but he could not refuse to sustain a siege." Marlborough arose:
"I ask," said he, "how it is possible to reconcile the declaration
of my Lord Treasurer with the laws of war, for it is impossible
to undertake a siege without risking a battle; in case the enemy
sought to succor the place, there would remain no other
alternative than to shamefully raise the siege."


An armistice was signed with France. Orders were given to the
Duke of Ormond to withdraw from the allied army, and to take
possession of Dunkirk--placed as security in the hands of the
English. The auxiliary regiments, recently in the pay of England,
declared their intention of remaining in the service of the
emperor. A certain discontent manifested itself among the English
troops. The queen solemnly communicated to the two houses the
conditions upon which she hoped to conclude peace. "I will
neglect nothing to bring the negotiations to a happy and prompt
issue," said her Majesty, "and I count upon your entire
confidence and loyal co-operation."

The clever maneuvres of Harley and St. John, in Parliament, were
crowned with success. Notwithstanding a protest from Marlborough,
Godolphin, and some other peers, addresses favorable to the
peace, were passed in both houses.

Louis XIV. had confided to Marshal Villars the last army and the
last hopes of the French monarchy. When taking leave at Marley,
the old king said: "You see my state. There are few examples such
as mine, where one has lost in the same week, a grandson, a
grand-daughter, and their child, all of very great promise and
very tenderly loved. God punishes me, and I have well merited it.
But I must suspend my griefs concerning my domestic misfortunes
and see what can be done to prevent those which threaten the
kingdom. If reverses happen to the army which you command, listen
to what I propose; afterwards give me your opinion. I would go to
Peronne or St. Quentin, mass there all my troops, and with you,
make a last effort to save the state, or perish together. I will
never consent to allow the enemy to approach my capital."


Louis XIV. was not deceived regarding the plans of his
adversaries. Although enfeebled by the withdrawal of the English,
Prince Eugene, who had taken Quesnoy on the 3rd of July, proposed
to follow the former plan of the Duke of Marlborough, and to
resolutely advance into the heart of France. Marshal Villars
placed himself before him upon the road from Marchiennes to
Landrecies, "the road to Paris," said the imperialists. He threw
bridges over the Escaut, and on the 23rd of July, 1712, crossed
the stream between Ponchain and Denain. The Duke of Albemarle, at
the head of seventeen battalions of auxiliary troops, commanded
this small town. Prince Eugene advanced by forced marches to
relieve Denain. Villars lost no time in preparation: "We have
only to make fascines," said he; "the first body of our men who
shall fall in the trench, will hold the place for us."

Prince Eugene was unable to cross the Escaut, guarded by the
French. Denain was taken under his very eyes. "I had not taken
twenty steps in the town, when the Duke of Albemarle, and six or
seven lieutenant-generals of the Emperor, halted my horse," says
the Marshal in his Memoirs. The allies retreated. Marchiennes was
invested by De Broglie, and Prince Eugene was unable to save it.
His troops raised the siege of Landrecies. The Marshal seized
Douai and recaptured Quesnoy and Ponchain. The imperialist, who
had been unable to accomplish anything, retired towards Brussels.
The fortune of war had once again inclined victory to the side of
France; she profited by it to obtain an honorable peace. "The
time to flatter the pride of the Dutch is past," wrote Louis XIV.
to his plenipotentiaries at Utrecht; "but it is necessary, in
treating with them, in good faith, that it be with a becoming


The delegates of the States-General themselves comprehended the
necessities of the situation, and henceforth they also desired
peace. "We take the position that the Dutch held at
Gertruydenberg, and they take ours," said Cardinal Polignac: "it
is a complete revenge."--"Gentlemen, we will treat for peace in
your country, for you, and without you," said the French to the
Dutch deputies. Heinsius had not known, in 1709, how to shake off
the influence of Marlborough and of Prince Eugene, in order to
take the initiative in a peace necessary to Europe; and in
consequence of this ignorance he had delivered this power into
the hands of Harley and St. John. Henceforth the history of
Holland, as a great power, was ended. She owed her liberty, her
independence, and her influence in Europe, to the superior men
who had so long directed her destinies. William the Silent, John
De Witt, and William III. were no more; able and faithful as
Heinsius had been, he nevertheless was compelled to arrest the
progress and glory of his country at that threshold of grandeur
which God alone is able to pass. With the development of material
resources, the day of small countries passes forever.

The peace which was signed at Utrecht on the 11th of April, 1713,
and of which St. John--recently made Viscount
Bolingbroke--determined the final conditions, in a journey which
he made to Paris, has been often and bitterly attacked. It was
concluded by France, England, the United Provinces, Portugal, the
King of Prussia, and the Duke of Savoy. Louis XIV. consented to
recognize the Protestant succession in the House of Hanover,
although the Elector still refused to separate himself from the
Emperor, and the Pretender was to leave France. This was a great
bitterness for the king; the difficulty was aggravated by the
obstinacy of the Chevalier St. George, who desired to live at
Fontainebleau. "Let M. de Torcy recall his journey to the Hague,"
said Bolingbroke, "and let him compare the plans of 1709 and


England kept Gibraltar and Minorca; the fortifications of Dunkirk
were to be razed. Sicily was given to the Duke of Savoy. Louis
XIV. regained Lille and some cities in Flanders, by fortifying
the barriers of the Dutch. The King of Spain protested for some
days, but finally signed. The Emperor and the Empire alone
resisted; the taking of Speyer, of Kaiserlautern, of Laudan and
of Friburg--seized one after the other by Villars, triumphed over
the anger and pretensions of the Germans. Villars and Prince
Eugene negotiated together at Radstadt. On the 6th of March,
1714, peace was finally signed. All Europe was once more at
peace. The terms of the treaty were more favorable to France than
had been expected, and were glorious and profitable for England,
notwithstanding the attacks of the Whigs and their violent
protestations against the Treaty of Commerce.

The peace assured for a time the equilibrium and liberties of
Europe, as well as the preponderance of England in the councils
of Europe. It had been concluded by a bold decision on the part
of the English ministry, to the detriment and against the will of
their allies. The dangers which were permitted to still remain,
were more apparent than real, but the Treaty of Commerce was
unmistakably favorable to France. French wines threatened to
replace the Portuguese. The city of London was violently
agitated, and the bill for the execution of the treaty was
rejected, on the 18th of June, 1713, by a majority of nine.

The address of the Queen, on the dissolution of Parliament,
showed great anger. Triumphant in war with the Whigs, and in
politics with the Tories, Queen Anne nevertheless failed on a
commercial question before her Parliament. It was the precursory
symptom of a great disquietude and profound distrust.


The general elections took place in August, 1713. The country
vaguely felt, without fully realizing the serious reasons, the
danger concealed under the indolence of the Earl of Oxford and
the intrigues of Lord Bolingbroke, which threatened one of the
questions which had gravely occupied it for fifteen years.

I have desired to recount without interruption the events of the
continental war, and that series of successes which carried
England to the summit of power and influence in Europe. I have
shown her powerful enough to sustain the struggle against Louis
XIV., and wise enough to put an end, for a time, to the evils
which her people endured, without exacting the ruin of her
enemies. I have not wished to mix in this recital the
complications of her internal policy: active and powerful
regarding the military affairs of Europe, while the Whigs
remained and Marlborough was at the head of the armies, but
without serious effect upon the fate of Europe. The Tories gave
peace to France; this was their supreme effort and triumph. The
two great internal questions which agitated the reign of Queen
Anne: the Protestant succession and the political union of
Scotland with England, were regulated at the foundation, by a
tacit accord between the moderates of both parties.

We have seen King William III., in concert with his Parliament,
in 1701, decide the question of the succession to the throne of
England, by an act of foresight and political sagacity worthy of
the monarch who inspired it, and resolutely maintained by the
nation, in spite of great obstacles, and notwithstanding serious
objections. The intrigues of the Jacobites had never entirely
ceased; they had lessened during the first part of Queen Anne's
reign, while the war absorbed all thoughts, and seemed to widen
the gulf between England and that young prince who aspired to
govern her, even though fighting in the ranks of the enemy at
The gradual enfeeblement of the health of the queen, who had lost
her husband on the 28th of October, 1708, the interest which she
manifested regarding her brother, and the indifference that she
felt towards the House of Hanover, all contributed to revive the
hopes of the Jacobites, as well as the anxieties of those who
remained attached to the great work of William III.

Of the two questions which had occupied the last days of William
of Orange, the one still remaining was noisily disputed, but
without real or serious danger; the other, involving the honor
and happiness of England and Scotland, had been regulated after
long negotiations and alternate difficulties. The union of the
two kingdoms was the object of the last message of the dying king
to parliament, and was the last thought which had pre-occupied
that clear and far-seeing mind, even to the very gates of death.

Party violence in Scotland, the jealousy of the feebler kingdom
against the predominance of her ancient rival, and the religious
questions, always inflammable, had more than once disturbed the
conferences. The order of the succession to the throne, regulated
by the English parliament, had been contested. The Scotch
commissioners had attempted to assimilate the projected measure
to an act of federation and not of union. The firm resolution of
some wise minds, the prudent and moderate management of Lord
Somers, at the head of the English commissioners, finally
triumphed over all obstacles. The financial questions were
difficult to regulate in regard to a poor country whose products
were not over abundant. A uniform system of taxes was established
upon equitable bases; Scotland was at first exempted from certain
taxes, and a considerable sum was fixed upon as an indemnity for
the new charges which were to be levied upon her.
The representation of Scotland in the united parliament of Great
Britain was appropriate to her historic dignity as an independent
kingdom, rather than in proportion to her population: forty-five
commoners and sixteen Scotch peers were to sit in parliament. The
national sentiment exacted an Act of Security for the
Presbyterian Church, everywhere troubled and anxious. The
opposing passions of the Jacobites as well as of the Cameronians,
excited popular movements, and many disturbances took place in
Edinburgh. Even to the last moment, the vote on the Act of Union
remained doubtful in the Scotch Parliament.

On the 16th of January, 1707, its partisans finally triumphed, at
Edinburgh. Early in March the English Parliament, in its turn,
passed the bill. The queen desired to give her assent to this
great measure of national interest in person. She came to

"I consider this union," said she, "as a matter of the greatest
importance to the wealth, strength, and safety of the whole
island; and, at the same time, as a work of so much difficulty
and nicety in its own nature, that till now all attempts which
have been made towards it in the course of above a hundred years
have proved ineffectual. I therefore make no doubt but it will be
remembered and spoken of hereafter, to the honor of those who
have been instrumental in bringing it to such a happy conclusion.
I desire and expect from all my subjects, of both nations, that
from henceforth they act with all possible respect and kindness
to one another, that so it may appear to all the world they have
hearts disposed to become one people. This will be a great
pleasure to me, and will make us all quickly sensible of the good
effects of this union."


On the 23rd of October, 1707, the Parliament of Great Britain met
for the first time. The work was accomplished: there had been
bitter and continued opposition, not without corruption and
rancor, but finally wise and powerful reasons of patriotic policy
and morality triumphed, to the great and increasing advantage of
both countries. Without losing any of their distinctive and
persistent qualities, the English and the Scotch have equally
served, since then, the honor and prosperity of their common
country, without ever becoming either confounded or separated.
The primitive thought of the union was the last title of glory of
King William III. It was to the honor of the councillors of Queen
Anne, Lord Somers in particular, that they accomplished the work,
and affixed the seal to the undertaking, in spite of all violence
and all obstacles.

It was during the reign of Queen Anne, and in the full enjoyment
of free institutions, without despotic or revolutionary
interruptions, that the two great parties were formed, which
have, since then, divided and disputed the government of Great
Britain. The Tories, above all, attached to conservative
principles and to the established Church, and the Whigs, on the
other hand, partisans of progress and constant defenders of
tolerant measures, succeeded each other in power, without violent
shocks, under the authority of a queen personally favorable to
the Tories and sincerely devoted to the Anglican Church. The
intrigues of the court and the influence of the Duchess of
Marlborough--long dominant, but finally supplanted in the favor
of the queen, by Lady Masham, played their parts in the
ministerial revolutions. The state of the parties, in the country
and in Parliament, changed more often and more completely than
was generally conceded or believed. Four ministries succeeded to
power during the twelve years of Anne's reign.
The first cabinet, which remained Whig in principle and in
majority, even when Godolphin became Lord Treasurer, was
overthrown soon after the declaration of war, in 1702. The Duke
of Marlborough, already powerful, inclining sometimes towards the
Tories and sometimes towards the Whigs, and solely occupied with
military interests and his personal grandeur, embarrassed the new
Tory ministry, and the enthusiastic majority that the new
elections had assured it in Parliament, by his demands for the
subsidies necessary for the prolongation of hostilities. The
animosity of the party opposed to the revolution of 1688,
manifested itself in the first address from the House of Commons
to Queen Anne, congratulating her Majesty on having, by the hands
of the Duke of Marlborough, _raised up_ with honor the
ancient reputation and glory of England. At the same time, and in
order to boldly testify their attachment to the Anglican Church,
the Tories presented a bill against _Occasional Conformity_,
ordering prosecutions against all those who habitually frequented
dissenting worship, although _occasionally conforming_ to
the rites of the established Church, as exacted by law from all
public functionaries. The queen was favorable to the bill,
although Prince George of Denmark was among the delinquents.
After having sustained numerous checks, the bill--as dangerous to
the Church as it was unjust--was presented anew by the last Tory
ministry of Queen Anne, and finally passed in 1711. During seven
years it preserved the force of law. The queen, on her part, gave
to the Church a touching testimony of sympathy, by renouncing the
revenues from the "first fruits," recently given to the crown, in
order to donate the same to the poor clergymen. The fund from
which indigent curates are still to-day sustained bears the
significant name of "Queen Anne's Bounty."


The Tories, with Lord Nottingham at their head, returned to their
first principles; they were, in reality, hostile to the war.
Violent and exacting, they wished to exclude from the council the
Dukes of Somerset and Devonshire, the only Whig representatives.
Upon the refusal of the queen, Nottingham retired, and the
influence of Marlborough caused him to be replaced by Harley; the
latter took with him St. John. That moderate ministry soon
underwent a grave transformation by the entrance into power of
Lord Sunderland.

In 1708, the Whigs having a majority in the new house, and always
the true partisans of the war, firmly seized the power. The five
Lords of the Junta, Somers, Oxford, Wharton, Halifax and
Sunderland, found themselves reunited in the same cabinet with
the Duke of Marlborough and Lord Cowper. Robert Walpole, who had
been a member of the house since 1700, but who had as yet
occupied only insignificant positions, replaced St. John as
secretary of state. This was the beginning of a rivalry which was
to last throughout their lives.

During two years the Whig ministry governed with a power which
seconded the victories of the Duke of Marlborough. It was
nevertheless constantly threatened by the want of personal liking
of the queen, as well as by the intrigues of the court, which
secretly undermined the influence of the Duchess of Marlborough.
Handsome, imperious and brilliant, as well as arrogant and
ambitious, Sarah Jennings had for a long time maintained over
Queen Anne an authority which increased as her favors multiplied.
That domination which she exercised to the very last over her
illustrious husband, was slowly declining with the queen.
Marlborough had for some time succeeded in maintaining his power
by changing from the Whigs to the Tories, and from the Tories to
the Whigs. He was sustained at first by the Whigs, formerly his
adversaries; a Tory ministry that was to cause his fall was


Weary of the violences and inequalities of the temper of her
haughty favorite, the queen had found some consolation in the
affection of a young and adroit woman, a relative of the Duchess
of Marlborough. Abigail Hill was simply a waiting-maid to the
queen, who had married her, at the suggestion of her protectress,
to a Mr. Masham, a poor gentleman of the chamber. At first she
was not even admitted to the royal dressing-room. It was little
by little, and through chance indiscretions, that the Duchess of
Marlborough recognized that she was being supplanted in the
confidence of the queen, who was naturally capricious.
Notwithstanding her long fidelity to the duchess, the queen could
not endure restraint. Mrs. Masham secretly introduced Harley; the
anger of the duchess was to serve the ambition of the former
Secretary of State, and the aspirations of the Tories towards

An unfortunate trial, begun against an insolent and declamatory
clergyman. Dr. Sacherevel, embittered religious passions. The
High Church and the fashionable world were ardent and pronounced
in favor of the accused. His sermon upon the "_False
Brethren_," had not formally attacked the revolution of 1688,
but had extolled the absolutism of the prerogative in sustaining
the doctrine of non-resistance. His suspension for three years,
by the House of Lords, was equivalent to an acquittal. "This
fatal trial makes me sick," said Godolphin; "the life of a
galley-slave would be a paradise for me." The Tories triumphed.
"The ministers have a curate to roast," ironically said St. John,
"and they have made so great a fire that they have roasted


On the 8th of August, 1710, after many significant changes in the
cabinet. Lord Godolphin received by a messenger from the royal
stables, a note from the queen, praying him to break the white
rod--his insignia of office. The queen appeared before Parliament
to dissolve it; the Chancellor, Lord Cowper, endeavored to speak,
but Anne silenced him. The power passed from the powerful junta
of the Whigs, and Harley was named Chancellor of the Exchequer;
Lord Rochester became President of the Council, and St. John
Secretary of State.

The Duchess of Marlborough, disgraced without being dismissed, no
longer saw the queen. Anne, overwhelmed by reproaches and
insults, left the chamber where the duchess insisted upon
remaining. Some months later the humility and prayers of the
great general were unavailing to maintain the duchess in her
position at court; he was obliged to pick up from the floor the
golden key--the sign of office of the mistress of the robes--that
his wife had flung away in her anger.

"She has conducted herself strangely," avowed the duke, "but
there is nothing to be done, and it is necessary to endure many
things to obtain peace in the household."

The day of grandeur of the Duke of Marlborough had passed; his
administration of the funds of the army was condemned by
Parliament. He defended himself ably, with that bold moderation
which habitually characterized him. He was accused of having
taken moneys from the contractors of supplies: he replied,
declaring it was the custom in the Low Countries, and that
although it was true, that no English general had ever before
exercised this right, yet it had been for the simple reason, that
no English general had ever before been commander-in-chief in the
Low Countries. Walpole, unjustly included in the same
condemnation, would not defend himself, and in consequence was
confined in the Tower, as a prisoner, until the end of the


The elections of 1713 were not favorable to the ministry; the
country was uneasy and suspicious; the cabinet was divided. The
perfidious ability and moderation of the Earl of Oxford were
opposed to the bold ambition of Bolingbroke, and that marvellous
eloquence, the memory of which remained so powerful among his
contemporaries and successors, that Pitt, when asked what he
would prefer to recover from the shades of the past, replied:
"One of the lost decades of Titus Livius, and a speech of

The secret rivalries suspected by public opinion, and the
violence of party struggles, manifested themselves upon all
sides, through the press, now almost absolutely free from
restraint, and directed during the reign of Anne by men of great
talents, nearly all of whom were engaged in the political
contests. Addison and Steele were members of the House of
Commons, and also at the same time, publishers of _The
Spectator_. Addison had even occupied a place in the Whig
ministry. Swift, the intimate friend of Harley and Bolingbroke,
employed in the defence of their policy all his bitter and
sarcastic wit, without, however, being able to obtain--owing to
the legitimate repugnance of the queen--the ecclesiastical
preferments which he desired.

Defoe arduously defended the principles of the revolution of
1688, in brilliant pamphlets whose renown, for a time, exceeded
the popularity of his Robinson Crusoe. The poet Prior was
actively employed in diplomatic negotiations by Bolingbroke.
Isaac Newton alone withdrew from politics, after having taken an
unimportant part, and thenceforth consecrated his life to the
study of the laws of nature. Pope, however, took no part in the
struggles of the day, but devoted himself purely to literature.


The intrigues increased and multiplied in all directions. The
Earl of Oxford hesitated between the Stuarts and the Protestant
succession, but was disposed to rely upon the Duke of
Marlborough, who courted his favor. Bolingbroke was resolved to
supplant the prime minister, and was at the same time imprudently
engaged in the Jacobite plots. The Queen was ill, and
low-spirited; she may even have felt remorse and doubts. The
ecclesiastical advancements had been of a character favorable to
the fallen house. The Dean of Christ Church, Francis Atterbury,
able, restless, and an enthusiastic Jacobite, was appointed
Bishop of Rochester. It was in accord with him that Bolingbroke,
the notorious sceptic and libertine, presented to Parliament an
act of schism, forbidding the right to teach to all persons who
had not accepted the test and furnished proof that they had
partaken of the communion within a year. "I am agreeably
surprised that some men of pleasure are, on a sudden, become so
religious as to set up for patrons of the Church," said Lord
Wharton. The bill was passed, but was never enforced.

The Church of England had for some time been urging the Pretender
to return to her bosom, and had even flattered herself that she
would succeed in the illustrious conquest. The illusions and
imprudence of the Jacobites were increasing: they began to speak
openly of a restoration. The majority in Parliament, as well as
in the country, remained firmly attached, nevertheless, to the
Protestant succession. The nation was anxious and disturbed. On
the 12th of April, 1714, the Hanoverian minister, Baron Schutz,
who had come to an understanding with the chief of the Whigs,
called upon the Chancellor, Sir Simon, afterwards Lord Harcourt,
and demanded of him, in the name of the Elcctress Sophia, the
summons for her son, the elector, to the House of Lords, in his
quality as Duke of Cambridge.
The queen, being at once consulted, peremptorily and angrily
refused. Schutz was obliged to leave London. Anne wrote
personally to the electress absolutely forbidding the prince, her
son, to set foot on English soil. Some days later, on the 28th of
May, 1714, the prince became the heir presumptive to the crown of
England by the death of his mother. "I would die happy if there
could be written upon my coffin: Here lies Sophia, Queen of
England," said the electress.

Upon the advice of the House of Lords, alarmed at the ardor of
the Jacobites, the queen consented to issue a proclamation
offering a reward of £5,000 to any one who would arrest the
Pretender if he should set foot upon the soil of England. The
peers were preparing to vote an address of thanks, when
Bolingbroke entered the house; he was taken unawares. "The best
measure of defence for the Protestant succession," said he,
"would be to arraign for high treason all who are enrolled in the
service of the Pretender." They took him at his word, and the
house placed him at the head of the committee appointed to draw
up the bill. "Neither the proclamation nor the bill will do us
any harm," said Bolingbroke to the French envoy, D'Iberville. He
had undertaken, with the Duke of Ormond, to reorganize the army
in the interests of Marlborough, with the ultimate view of
delivering it into the hands of the Jacobites. By one of those
deliberate calculations, which often resemble a ruse, the Lord
Treasurer did not furnish the necessary funds in time. Oxford had
lost the confidence of the queen; he had quarrelled with Lady
Masham. "You have never rendered her Majesty a service, and you
are not now in a position to render her one," angrily said the
favorite. Oxford did not reply; he clung tenaciously to the
remnants of his power. "The least indisposition of the queen
causes us great alarm," wrote Swift; "when she recovers, we act
as if she was immortal."


On the 27th of July, after a stormy interview with the queen, and
surrounded by his most desperate enemies, Lord Oxford delivered
the white rod into the hands of her Majesty. It was publicly
rumored, and the Duke of Berwick affirms it in his Memoirs, that
the Court of St. Germain had insisted upon the dismissal of the
minister. "Come and see me," wrote Oxford to Swift, on the day
following; "if I have not, at other times, wearied you, hasten to
one who loves you. I believe that in the mass of souls ours were
made for each other. I send you an imitation of Dryden, which
occurred to me on my way to Kensington: To wear out with love,
and to shed one's blood is approved of on high; but here below
examples prove that to be an honest man, brings misfortune."

From the doubtful political honesty of Harley, Queen Anne passed,
it was believed, to the imprudent and bold intrigues of
Bolingbroke. From France there was suggested a bold and daring
stroke: "The queen," said the Duke of Berwick, "should go to
Westminster with her brother, and present him to the two houses
as her successor." When dying, James II. had pardoned his
daughter, charging Mary of Modena to say to her that he prayed
God to convert her and to confirm her in the resolution to repair
to his son the wrong which had been done to himself. It was upon
this favor of the queen that the Jacobites counted,
notwithstanding a letter of the Pretender declaring himself
irrevocably attached to the Catholic faith. Bolingbroke had
foreseen the value of the death of the queen. Scarcely had the
power fallen into his hands when he assured the Abbé Gautier that
he should hold the same sentiments regarding the prince, provided
he took measures which were agreeable to the honest people of the


The day following the sudden death of Queen Anne, the French
envoy D'Iberville, wrote to Louis XIV.: "My Lord Bolingbroke is
overwhelmed with grief; he has assured me that all his
precautions were so well taken, that in six weeks' time things
would have been in such a state that we would have had nothing to
fear from that which has just happened."

The Whigs, as well as Bolingbroke, had also taken their measures;
they awaited the Duke of Marlborough, still in the Low Countries.
On the 14th of July, Bolingbroke wrote to Lord Strafford: "The
friends of Marlborough announce his arrival; I hold it for
certain, without knowing whether it is owing to the bad figure
which he makes abroad, or in the hope of making a good one among
us. I have reason to believe that certain persons who would move
heaven and earth sooner than renounce their power or make a good
use of it, have recently made overtures to him, and are in some
measure in accord with his creatures." Contrary winds detained
the Duke at Ostend, but General Stanhope disembarked at the Tower
of London.

The queen had been seriously disturbed by the altercation which
had taken place in her presence at the time of the dismissal of
the Earl of Oxford. "I shall never survive it," said she to her
physicians. On the morning of the 30th of July, 1714, she had an
attack of apoplexy. As a strong indication of public opinion,
stocks rose at the news of her illness, and declined when the
physicians announced a gleam of hope. The privy council assembled
at Kensington; the Dukes of Argyle and Somerset had not been
called, but being secretly informed by their friends, they
presented themselves. The Duke of Shrewsbury thanked them for
their readiness and invited them to seats. Prudent, often
hesitating, always reserved, the Duke of Shrewsbury had at last
chosen his side, and had not forgotten the part he took in the
revolution of 1688.
The great Whig lord proposed to fill the office of lord
treasurer, which remained vacant. In the pressing danger of her
Majesty, they suggested the name of Shrewsbury. Bolingbroke,
concealing his spite and anger, found himself constrained to
enter the royal chamber with the two other secretaries of state,
Bromley and Lord Mar, in order to propose to the dying queen the
choice which was to destroy all his ambitious hopes. "Nothing
could be more agreeable to me," murmured the queen; and extending
to him the white rod, she said, "use this for the good of my
people." Lord Shrewsbury wished to resign the important offices
that he already held. "No, no," replied Anne; then she sank into
a lethargy which prevented her from articulating a word.

On the 1st of August, 1714, an embargo was put upon all the
ports; the order of embarkation was given to a fleet, and
considerable forces were called to London. The Elector of Hanover
had been requested to pass into Holland, and the entire privy
council was convoked, when Queen Anne expired, without having
regained her consciousness, and without having been able to
receive the sacraments or to sign her will.

The regency was instantly established, and the fleet put to sea,
to receive the new sovereign. Atterbury alone dared to propose to
Bolingbroke the proclamation of James III. at Charing Cross. He
desired to walk at the head of the heralds in his episcopal
robes. Bolingbroke, as well as all the other ministers, had
signed the measures taken in favor of the Protestant sovereign.
"Behold the best cause in Europe lost for want of boldness,"
cried the Bishop. "The Earl of Oxford was dismissed on Tuesday,"
wrote Bolingbroke to Swift; "the queen died on Sunday. What a
world this is, and how fortune mocks us!"

Shrewsbury Invested With The White Rod.


Other blows were in reserve for this adroit and artful intriguer;
imprudent and chimerical, always ready to attempt new adventures,
and counting upon the resources of his fertile genius. "The
Tories seem resolved not to be crushed," wrote he, on the 3rd of
August, "and this suffices to prevent its being done. I have lost
all by the death of the queen, except my energy of spirit; and I
protest to you that I feel it expanding within me. If you wish,
in a month, all the world shall say that the Whigs are a lot of

                 Chapter XXXIV.

      George I. And The Protestant Succession.

It pleases God to confound the fears as well as the hopes of
mankind. All moderate Englishmen were passionately attached to
the Protestant succession. The great mass of the nation for some
years looked forward to the death of Queen Anne with great
anxiety, while the Jacobites awaited that event with
ill-disguised confidence, believing it the hour of their triumph.
The forebodings of the one, as well as the hopes of the other,
were equally disappointed. King George I., although away from
England, a foreigner, and unknown to all, was proclaimed without
opposition, and his name was received with public acclamations as
enthusiastic as though he was a well beloved son, ascending
peaceably the throne of his father; a powerful and striking
indication of that grave and firm resolution which caused the
English nation to remain attached to its religious faith, as well
as its political liberties; an indication, however, which was
long unrecognized by the partisans of the fallen house of Stuart;
faithful and blind, not only to the temper of the English people,
but also to the disposition and intentions of the princes for
whom they were to sacrifice from generation to generation, their
estates and their lives.


King George I., although proclaimed, was still absent, remaining
in his electorate, which he was loth to leave. He was naturally
slow and deliberate, just and moderate, without any charm of mind
or manner, and surrounded by favorites more foreign and more
dissatisfactory even than himself to the English nation. A
Council of Regency governed during his absence. It contained all
the illustrious names of the Whig party, with the exception of
the Duke of Marlborough, who was soon placed at the head of the
army, and Lord Somers, who was old and an invalid. Louis XIV.
recognized the new sovereign. One of the first measures voted by
Parliament, was the increase of the reward, from five thousand to
one hundred thousand pounds sterling, to any one who should
arrest the Pretender, if he dared to land upon English soil.

The prince protested immediately; he wrote from Plombières, where
he had gone to take the waters, proclaiming his rights to the
crown of England, as well as his grief at the death of the queen,
his sister: "whose good intentions we could not doubt," added he.
"And we have therefore remained inactive, awaiting the happy
issue which has been, unfortunately, prevented by her death."
Exiled princes, banished by revolutions, are sometimes ignorant
even of the language of the people they hope to govern: in the
face of popular indignation, the friends of the Pretender, and
those of the last ministry of Queen Anne, were compelled to
affirm that the proclamation of Plombières was an odious

George I.


The king finally arrived, landing at Greenwich, on the 18th of
September, 1714, accompanied by his son the Prince of Wales. A
ministry was formed immediately, conferring all power upon the
Whig party; Lord Nottingham alone belonged, in principle, to the
Tories, but parliamentary intrigues had for some time past
reconciled him to the triumphant party. William III. had
endeavored to unite, in the same government, the chiefs of the
two great political factions; but however powerful might be his
intelligence and personal action, he was not calculated for
internal struggles and jealousies. George I. delivered himself
without reserve into the hands of the party that he believed the
most faithful to his cause. Even before his arrival in England he
ordered the dismissal of Bolingbroke. The seals were immediately
taken from him. "I have been neither surprised nor grieved at my
fall," wrote he to Atterbury. "The mode that they have used
shocked me only for a moment. I am not in any way alarmed by the
malice or the power of the Whigs, but that which distresses me is
this: I see clearly that the Tory party is destroyed."

The new Parliament was more intensely Whig than the Commons of
1713. Lord Townshend, at the head of the cabinet, was honest and
sincere, but as rude in his temper as in his actions. General
Stanhope, second Secretary of State, shared his sentiments; both
had received from their adversaries an example of violence.
Walpole, although holding no prominent official position, but
having more influence than any other member of the house, had
answered for the Commons, provided the Whigs were allowed full
liberty of action.


The peace of Utrecht was severely censured in the two houses.
Seals had been placed upon the papers of Lord Strafford, the
intimate friend of Bolingbroke, and Prior was recalled from
Paris. The report spread that the poet had promised to reveal the
secrets of the negotiations. The displaced ministers were in
danger of arrest. Bolingbroke appeared at a play at Drury Lane,
on the 25th of March, 1715. He applauded loudly, and, according
to the custom of the time, chose another play for the following
evening. The same night, carefully disguised, he fled to Dover,
and on the evening of the 27th embarked for Calais. Justly
troubled, although his conscience was but rarely scrupulous, he
did not dare to confront either the revelations of his agents, or
the hatred of his enemies. Lord Anglesea, who was not a Whig, but
a Hanoverian Tory, had said to him, the preceding year: "If I
discover that there is perfidy, I will pursue the ministers from
the foot of the throne to the Tower, and from the Tower to the

On the 9th of June, 1715, Walpole's report upon the conduct of
the deposed ministers was laid before the House of Commons.
Bolingbroke was immediately indicted. Lord Coningsby rose: "The
honorable president of your committee attacks the hand," said he,
"but I accuse the head. He has denounced the clerk. I address
myself to the judge; he has accused the servant; I demand that
justice be done the master. I accuse Robert, Duke of Oxford, as
guilty of high treason."

The adroit prudence of the duke served him better than the
alarmed remorse of Bolingbroke; he remained at his house, quietly
attending to his affairs, without seeming to avoid the threatened
prosecution. He was taken to the Tower, where he remained two
years before the passions of his accusers were sufficiently
appeased to allow him an acquittal. The Dutchess of Marlborough
vigorously opposed his release. While in prison, he received a
visit from the Duke of Ormond, who was less compromised by the
peace of Utrecht, as he had obeyed the orders of his superiors,
but was more deeply engaged in the Jacobite intrigues.
Ormond was preparing to fly, although at first he exhibited much
disdain. He urged Oxford to follow his example, but the latter
refused: "Farewell, Oxford without a head," said
Ormond.--"Farewell duke without a duchy," responded Harley. Both
recalled the adieus of the Prince of Orange and Count Egmont. The
Duke of Ormond never saw England again. Like Bolingbroke, he
entered the service of the Stuarts; less fortunate than
Bolingbroke, he was not disgraced by his new master, but followed
him from one attempt to another, and from retreat to retreat,
even to that last gloomy residence at Avignon, where he died in
1745. The storm was preparing; less dangerous than was feared,
but nevertheless severe, and destined to leave deep traces. In
their vengeance, the ministers employed a certain moderation, as
the spirit of their party was more violent than their acts. Young
Lord Stanhope, of Shelford, subsequently Lord Chesterfield, said
in his first speech in the House of Commons: "I have no desire to
shed the blood of my countrymen, still less that of a noble peer;
but I am persuaded that the safety of the country requires that
an example be made of those who have so unworthily betrayed it."

As soon as Bolingbroke reached Paris, he called upon Lord Stair,
the English ambassador. "I promised him not to engage in any
Jacobite undertaking," wrote he, after the interview, to Sir
William Wyndham; "and I have kept my word. I have written a
letter to Lord Stanhope, the Secretary of State, disclaiming all
intention of offending the government, and I will retire into
Dauphiné, in order to remove any objection that might be made
against my residence near the court of France."


Bolingbroke nevertheless saw the Marshal of Berwick before
departing for his retreat. When he learned that a bill of
attainder had been brought in against him, he received at the
same time an invitation from the Pretender to join him at
Commercy. He departed immediately, wearied already of his
inaction, and urged on by his anger and love of intrigue. He had
scarcely reached Lorraine when he accepted the seals of secretary
of state from King James III., although he fully comprehended the
vanity of all the Pretender's expectations. "My first
conversation with the chevalier," wrote he to Wyndham, "does not
respond to my expectations, and I assure you, in all truth, that
I have already begun to repent of my imprudence; at least, I am
convinced of yours and mine. He spoke like a man who only awaited
the moment of departure for some place in England or Scotland,
without well knowing where."

The hesitation of the leaders of the Jacobite party was great.
While the Duke of Ormond remained in England, he strenuously
insisted upon the necessity of co-operation from France,
affirming that they could not trust exclusively to a national
uprising. Having arrived in France, leaving the conspirators at
home without a leader, the duke, when urging the Chevalier St.
George to embark with him for England, repeated his assertions
and demands. "I have seen here," wrote Bolingbroke, "a crowd of
people, each one doing whatever seemed best to him, without
subordination, without order, without concert; they no longer
doubt the success of the enterprise; hope and anticipation are
read in the animated eyes of all the Irish. Those who know how to
read and write, are continually interchanging letters, and those
who have not attained that degree of knowledge, whisper their
secrets in the ear. The ministry is in the hands of both sexes."


Louis XIV. died on the 1st of September, 1715. "He was the best
friend of the Chevalier," said Bolingbroke, "and my hopes sunk as
he declined, and died when he expired." The most blind as well as
the most ardent among the Jacobites could not be seriously
deluded regarding the disposition of the regent; he was
indifferent and careless, and naturally inclined to oppose any
policy that the late king had followed, and was also reasonably
sensible of the dangers of a new war with England. The vessels
which, with the connivance of Louis XIV., had been armed at
Havre, under false names, for the service of the projected
expedition, were demanded by Lord Stair; their cargoes of arms
were at once disembarked. Admiral Sir George Byng appeared in the
channel with a squadron. Orders were sent to Lord Mar, who had
charge of the Pretender's affairs in Scotland, not to give the
signal for the rising, but to wait for new instructions. He had
already left London.

On the 27th of August, a grand re-union of the chief Jacobites
took place at Mar's castle, in the county of Aberdeen. On the 6th
of September, the royal standard of the Stuarts was raised in the
little village of Braemar. Sixty men only then surrounded it, but
soon the contagion spread from village to village, from fortress
to fortress. Some days later the country north of the Tay was
almost entirely in the hands of the insurgents.

The time for hesitation and prudence on the part of the chevalier
had passed; in fact he had already hesitated too long, in the
opinion of those who generously risked, for him, all that they
possessed. The inclemency of the weather, contradictory advice,
snares and enticements held out to him by Lord Stair, the return
of the Duke of Ormond, who had attempted, without success, to
land upon the coast of Devonshire, all these had retarded his
movements. It was not until the middle of December that the
Pretender, accompanied by six gentlemen, finally landed at


The unfortunate fate of his partisans in England had already been
decided. In Scotland it trembled in the balance; and the gloomy
forebodings of the most faithful servants of the house of Stuart
began to be realized. The Earl of Mar, restless and cunning,
clever in court intrigues, but destitute of all military talent,
as of all military knowledge, had lingered in the Highlands,
remaining for some time at Perth, where his forces increased
daily. The Duke of Argyle, placed by the government at the head
of the royal troops, found himself at Stirling menaced on all
sides by the Jacobites, who, however, did not advance. "When at
last Lord Mar drew the sword, he did not know what to do with
it," says the Duke of Berwick; "and thus was lost the most
favorable opportunity which has presented itself since 1688."

The Scotch had their eyes fixed upon England; the general
uprising in the south, anticipated by the Duke of Ormond, had
failed, as the plot was discovered, and the chief Jacobites--the
Duke of Powis, Lord Lansdowne, and Lord Duplin, were arrested.
The ministry demanded of the House of Commons authority to
impeach six of its members, compromised in the conspiracy. Sir
William Wyndham was defended in vain by his father-in-law, the
Duke of Somerset. After being concealed for several days he
delivered himself up to justice. Sir Thomas Foster succeeded in
escaping, and some days later headed an insurrection in
Northumberland. Lord Derwentwater and Lord Widdington joined him,
and "King James III." was proclaimed, at Warkworth, to the sound
of trumpets. Being a Protestant, Sir Thomas was chosen General of
the English insurgents.
He counted upon combining his movements with those of Brigadier
Macintosh, of Bordlase, who had just landed at Aberlady. The
alarm extended to Edinburgh. A movement of the Duke of Argyle
decided the Jacobites to throw themselves into the citadel of
Leith. The Duke arrived under the walls of the fortress. "We do
not know the meaning of the word surrender," replied the
Highlanders to the demands of the detested chief of the
Campbells; "and we have no desire to learn it. We are resolved
neither to give nor to receive any quarter. If his grace is
disposed to attempt the assault, we are determined to repulse

Noble boastings are sometimes the consolation of proud souls when
their cause appears doubtful. The Duke of Argyle did not attempt
the assault, but returned to Edinburgh, from where he soon
advanced to Stirling, now threatened by the Earl of Mar. His
presence destroyed the hope of surprising the capital. Macintosh
marched to the south, and joined the English insurgents at Kelso.
The Northumbrians wished to re-enter England, and endeavored to
compel the Highlanders to follow them; they refused. "If we are
to be sacrificed," said they, "we intend it shall be in our
country." Foster led his troops as far as Preston. A great number
of Catholic gentlemen there joined them, bringing in their train
crowds of peasants without arms and without discipline. Generals
Carpenter and Wills, both experienced officers, who had served
with distinction in Spain, advanced against the rebels from the
north and from the south. When the news of their approach reached
the insurgents, their commander was in bed sleeping off the
effects of a drunken debauch. Lord Kenmure had great difficulty
in arousing him sufficiently to give intelligible orders.


On the 12th of November, 1715, the Jacobites were attacked at
Preston by General Wills. The defence was feeble, although the
insurgents, concealed in the houses, killed many of the soldiers.
The leaders were divided. Foster lost courage and proposed a
capitulation. "If the rebels wish to lay down their arms, and
surrender at discretion," replied the English general, "I will
prevent my soldiers from cutting them in pieces, until I have
received orders from my government."

The Highlanders were furious; they brandished their weapons, and
threatened to cut their way through the royal troops to gain
their own country. But already Lord Derwentwater and Brigadier
Macintosh had surrendered themselves as hostages, and the
soldiers had no other resource than obedience. Prisoners of note
abounded in the camp of General Wills; many were to pay with
their lives for the part they had taken in an insurrection,
inconsiderately undertaken and shamefully and sadly terminated.
Only seventeen men had been killed when the little army of
Jacobites surrendered at Preston. On the same day, the 12th of
November, the Earl of Mar, who had at last shaken off his
lethargy and left Perth, arrived at Ardoch, four leagues from
Stirling: his forces amounted to about ten thousand men. The
Highland chiefs led their clans. A body of gentlemen, well
mounted and well equipped, formed a striking contrast to a crowd
of peasants badly armed and half naked; but nevertheless resolved
to fight.

When Lord Mar learned that Argyle was advancing towards him, and
that he occupied Dumblane, he assembled his principal officers,
and offered them the alternative of battle or retreat. "Fight!
Fight!" cried the Highland chiefs. Soon the same cry spread
throughout the army; hats were waved and swords were brandished.
When the troops of Argyle began the contest in the valley of
Sheriffmuir, the line of battle of the insurgents was imposing.
"I have never seen regular troops form a finer line of battle,"
subsequently said General Wightman, "and their officers conducted
themselves with all the bravery imaginable."


Personal heroism and undisciplined fury were ineffectual when
directed by a chief incapable and devoid of energy. The
Highlanders forced the left wing of Argyle's army, while that
general was pursuing their right, which he had quickly routed.
The divisions of the army thus became separated, and had no
communication with each other: but Argyle, returning from the
pursuit, reformed his regiments upon the field of battle, while
Mar, triumphant, at the head of his Highlanders, but anxious,
uncertain, and fearing an ambuscade, was slowly uniting his
forces. When the enemy appeared, at the foot of the hill, the
Scotch chiefs were impatiently awaiting his orders to charge.
"Oh, for an hour of Dundee," already cried Gorden of Glenbucket.
The bagpipes sounded the retreat, and Mar withdrew, without
attempting a final effort "The battle is won," said he to his
lieutenants, in the hope of calming their irritation. The Duke of
Argyle retired to Dumblane. On the following day he re-appeared
on the field of battle, but the Earl of Mar had not returned.
"Your Grace has not gained a complete victory," said one of his
officers. Argyle responded by singing two lines of an old Scotch

  "If 'tis not weel wound, weel wound, weel wound,
   If 'tis not weel wound, we'll wind it again."

The same ardor also animated some of the Scotch in the rebel
army. "If we have not yet gained the victory," said General
Hamilton, "we must fight every week until we do gain it." But
uneasiness and lassitude already pervaded the army and extended
even to some of the leaders. Lord Sutherland advanced at the head
of the Whig forces. The Highlanders were urged to conceal their
Many detachments had already left the army and returned to Perth,
when the Chevalier St. George finally landed at Peterhead, on the
22nd of December, 1715. The forces of the Duke of Argyle were
increased by the arrival of auxiliary Dutch troops, that had been
demanded from the States-General by the English Government, and
henceforth his army was larger than that of the rebels.

On the 8th of January, 1716, the Pretender established himself,
without opposition, in the royal palace at Scone. The ceremony of
the coronation was announced for the 23rd of the same month.

The joy of the insurgents upon learning of the arrival of "_the
King_," was great. "We are now going to live like soldiers,
and to measure ourselves with our enemies," they said, "in place
of remaining here inactive, waiting the vain resolutions of a
frightened council." On his part, James, upon landing, had
written to Bolingbroke: "Behold me, thanks to God, in my ancient
kingdom. I find things in good shape, and I think that all will
go well if the friends of your side do their duty, as I will do
mine. Show this note to the regent."

The illusions did not last long on either side. The Pretender
found the army of his partisans diminished, disordered, and
divided. He was not personally qualified to act upon such men,
and his virtues were better suited to a monarch peacefully seated
upon his throne than to an exiled prince, obliged to conquer his
crown. "He was tall and thin," wrote one of the adherents, "pale
and grave. He spoke but little; his conversation was vague, and
his manners and character seemed measured. I do not know how he
would have been in his pleasures; it was not the time for such
thoughts. We had no opportunity of gayety, and I never saw him
smile. I will not conceal that at the time when we saw him whom
we called our king, we were not in any way reanimated by his
presence, and that if he was disappointed in us, we were ten
times more so in him.
We saw nothing in him that looked like spirit. He never showed
either animation or courage, in order to cheer us. Our men began
to despise him and to ask if he could talk. His physiognomy was
dull and heavy. He took no pleasure in mingling with the
soldiers, either to see them drill or exercise. It was said that
our condition discouraged him: I say that the figure he made
among us discouraged us also. If he had sent us five thousand
good troops, instead of coming himself, the result would have
been different."

James III. had nevertheless done an act of power. He issued
proclamations to the army, and these were spread throughout the
country. Two Presbyterian ministers only substituted his name for
that of King George in their public prayers; the Episcopalians,
_en masse_, rallied around the new monarch, who nevertheless
refused a promise of tolerance to the Anglican Church of Ireland,
and whose assurances were doubtful even in regard to the church
of England. He affected great devotion to his friends and to his
country. "Whatever happens," said he, in his address to his
council, "I will not leave my faithful subjects any reason to
reproach me for not having done all that they might have expected
of me. Those who neglect their duty and their proper interest,
will be responsible for the evil which may happen. Misfortune
will be nothing new to me. From my cradle, all my life has been a
series of misfortunes, and I am ready, if it pleases God, to
endure the threats of your enemies and mine."


On the 31st of January, on the approach of the Duke of Argyle,
urged and constrained to action by General Cadogan, recently
arrived from London, the insurgent army began its retreat. The
soldiers were discouraged, and the leaders uncertain or
irritated. "What has the king come here for?"' asked the
soldiers: "is it to see his subjects killed by the executioner,
without striking a blow in defence? Let us die like men, not as
dogs."--"If his Majesty is disposed to die as a prince, he will
find ten thousand Scotch gentlemen to die with him," said a rich
country gentleman of Aberdeen. But the forces of the Duke of
Argyle were overwhelming. The councillors of the Pretender,
alarmed and trembling for his safety as well as their own, and
hoping for better conditions in the absence of their prince,
urged him to depart. On the evening of the 4th of February,
secretly, and after having taken every precaution necessary to
deceive the army, the Chevalier left the quarters of the Earl of
Mar, whither he had gone on foot. Accompanied by that leader, he
entered a small boat and was taken on board a French ship which
awaited him. General Gordon was now at the head of an army which
was disbanding, in the midst of a country devastated by fire. The
prince had ordered the burning of all villages as far as
Stirling. He and all his adherents were now exposed to the
vengeance of that government which they had so recently menaced.
On departing, and as a compensation for so many evils, the
Pretender wrote to the Duke of Argyle, sending him all the money
he possessed: "I pray you," said he, "have this sum distributed
among the inhabitants of the villages which have been burned, in
order that I may at least have the satisfaction of not having
caused the ruin of any one; I, who would have died for them all."


The honor of saving a people costs more dearly and necessitates
more sacrifices than the Chevalier St. George was inclined to
believe, in his indolent nature; he had failed personally, as
well as in his political and military enterprises. But the
Jacobite party was not destroyed; it was still to nourish long
its hopes and to shed much blood for his cause. The insurrection
of 1715 was at an end. The Highlanders sought refuge in their
mountains, and the great lords and gentlemen either concealed
themselves, or escaped from Scotland and increased the little
exiled court. James arrived at Gravelines, and from there he went
to St. Germain. Bolingbroke joined him immediately. The prince
desired to remain a few days in France, but the regent would not
permit it, and also refused to see him. He desired to find a
refuge with the Duke of Lorraine, before the English government
could interfere. The chevalier separated from his minister with
feigned protestations of friendship. Three days later the Duke of
Ormond presented himself before Bolingbroke, bearer of a letter
from James, which thanked him for his services, of which he had
no longer need, and ordered him to deliver all the state papers
into the hands of Ormond. "The papers were held without
difficulty in an envelope of ordinary size," ironically remarked
Bolingbroke. "I delivered them solemnly to my Lord Ormond, as
well as the seals. There were some letters of the chevalier which
would have been inconvenient to show to the duke, and which he
had without doubt forgotten. I subsequently sent them to him, by
a sure hand, disdaining to play him false by executing his orders
to the letter. I did not wish to appear annoyed, being far from

Bolingbroke deceived himself: his anger against the Jacobites
constantly displayed itself during the remainder of his agitated
and restless life. With a disdainful thoughtlessness, many times
too familiar to princes, James measured the devotion of his
secretary of state; but he had judged less justly the services
which he had already rendered him, and which he might still


"It would seem that one must have lost his senses," wrote Marsna
Berwick, "in order not to comprehend the arrant folly which
induced King James to deprive himself of the only Englishman able
to govern his affairs. Bolingbroke was endowed with brilliant
talents, which had advanced him, at an early age, to the highest
offices. He exercised a great influence upon the Tory party, of
which he was the soul. Nothing could be more deplorable than to
separate himself from such a man, at a time when he was most
necessary, and when it was important not to make new enemies. I
have been a witness of the conduct of Bolingbroke: he had done
for King James all that he was able to do."

The entreaties of the queen mother were unable to appease
Bolingbroke. "I am free," said he, "and may my hand wither if I
ever take the sword or pen in the service of your son." From that
time all the thoughts of the exile turned towards England, while
the prince whom he had served, and who had not appreciated him,
departed for Avignon, thus virtually abandoning his royal party
by this retreat to a Papal country, the most odious and most
suspected of all, by the English.

Scotland had suffered from the presence of armies, by the
destruction of crops, by the flight or death of a great number of
the gentry, and by the new animosities excited between the clans
engaged on the different sides. The government had taken but few
prisoners, and even those were unimportant. The English
insurrection had delivered to justice, or to the vengeance of the
Whigs, many important hostages. Lord Widdington, Lord Nairn, Lord
Kenmure, the Earls of Nithisdale and of Derwentwater, were
accused of high treason. All were condemned. The entreaties of
their friends obtained the pardon of Lords Nairn, Carnwath and
Widdington. Lord Wintoun, who alone had plead "not guilty," and
in consequence had undergone a trial, succeeded in escaping from
the Tower.
Lady Nithisdale had the happiness of saving her husband, who
escaped disguised in her clothing. Lord Derwentwater and Lord
Kenmure alone remained. Many members of both houses were inclined
towards clemency. "I am indignant," said Walpole, with a severity
foreign to his character, "to see members of this great body so
unfaithful to their duty that they are able to open their mouths
without blushing in favor of rebels and parricides." Lord
Nottingham boldly declared for the condemned; he was dismissed
from the ministry. On the 24th of February, 1716, the two lords
perished upon the scaffold at Tower Hill, proclaiming to the last
moment their faithful allegiance to King James. Condemnations
were less numerous among the rebels of an inferior order. Justice
had been severe, but it had not become vengeance. "The rebel who
declares himself boldly, justly compromises his life," affirms
Gibbon, with positive equity. New measures, purely repressive,
were voted against the Catholics, among whom were naturally
reckoned many Jacobites. Among the constant partisans of the
fallen house, the devotion, the fidelity, the honest and sincere
attachment, merit the respect of men and the sympathetic
indulgence of history. Indignation and contempt belong to those
who had nourished hopes, encouraged intrigues, even furnished
resources secretly and perfidiously, like the Duke of
Marlborough, the General-in-chief of the armies of King George,
without risking a day of their lives nor an atom of their
grandeur. The splendor of genius and the most brilliant successes
can never efface such a stain. Slowly and noiselessly,
Marlborough had lost in public opinion, and he was soon to fall
into an intellectual and physical decadence: worthy chastisement
of a life, a singular mixture of great power of mind and moral
baseness, of cold calculation and violent passions, of glory and
of ignominy.
Attacked by paralysis, in May, 1716, Marlborough expired on the
16th of June, 1722, and was interred, with royal honors in
Westminster Abbey. "I was a man then," said the invalid Duke,
when contemplating his portrait in a picture which represented
the battle of Blenheim. He left an immense fortune, the results
of the great offices which both he and the Duchess had held, as
well as the exactions that his extreme avidity for money had led
him into. "I have heard his widow say," said Voltaire, "that
after the division made to four children, there still remained to
her, without thanks to the court, a revenue of £70,000."

National gratitude had contributed its share to this enormous
accumulation of wealth. It is to the honor of England that she
has always recompensed her great servants magnificently.

Parliament, on its own authority, and by a legitimate exercise of
its power, now took an important step. The experience of the last
twenty years of triennial legislative elections had convinced
many sound thinkers that an agitation so frequently renewed was
dangerous to the electors, as well as to the liberty of action of
those elected. It was remembered that William III. had once
refused his assent to the bill, which was subsequently imposed
upon him. A new law decided that the duration of the parliaments
should henceforth be seven years. Usage has often abridged this
term by a year, but it has remained, notwithstanding frequent
infractions, the regular limit for legislatures. About the same
time, and in spite of serious obstacles, that clause of the act
of Establishment which formerly forbade the sovereigns to leave
the soil of Great Britain, was repealed by the houses. The desire
of George I. to visit his hereditary states became irresistible;
he had long been detained by the jealousy which he felt regarding
his son.
It was with regret and upon the formal advice of his ministers,
that he decided to confide the government to the Prince of Wales
during his absence. "This family has always been quarrelsome,"
said Lord Carteret, one day, to the full Council, "and it will
quarrel always, from generation to generation."

The king left England on the 17th of July, 1716, accompanied by
the Secretary of State, Stanhope. The latter profited by his
presence upon the continent, and formed, with the States-General
and the Emperor, a treaty of defensive alliance: the only
guarantee which he was able to obtain from the jealous
susceptibility of the court of Vienna, and the restless
feebleness of the Dutch negotiators. Heinsius was no longer in
power, and soon afterwards died. "Forced to rely upon many heads,
the government no longer has a head," said Horace Walpole,
brother of the leader of the House of Commons and minister to the
Hague; "there are here as many masters as wills."

An understanding with France, regarding new enterprises of the
Pretender, became necessary to England. The regent was not
personally opposed to it; he was weary of the indolence and
cowardly incapacity of the Chevalier St. George; he was besides
urged by the Abbé Dubois, formerly his tutor, corrupt himself and
a corruptor of others, and already secretly at the head of
foreign affairs, but waiting until he should be officially
appointed, and aspiring to become prime minister.

Without respect for law, destitute of all religious convictions,
and consequently inaccessible to the motive which led many good
Catholics, in Europe, to desire the re-establishment of the
Stuarts, Dubois was able, often far-seeing, and sometimes even
bold; he had a mind active, clear, and moderately practical.
The alliance of England seemed to him useful to his master and to
France. He adroitly availed himself of his former relations with
General Stanhope, when commander of the English troops in Spain,
in order to begin secret negotiations, which soon extended to
Holland. "The character of our regent," wrote Dubois, on the 10th
of March, 1716, "leaves no room to fear that he prides himself
upon perpetuating the prejudices and the policy of our ancient
court; and as you can remark for yourself, he has too much spirit
not to recognize his true interests."

Dubois carried to the Hague the propositions of the regent. King
George was expected there; the clever diplomat concealed the
object of his journey under the pretext of buying rare books. He
went, he said, to redeem from the hands of the Jews the famous
picture of the Seven Sacraments, by Poussin, recently stolen from
Paris. The order of the succession to the crowns of France and
England, conformably to the peace of Utrecht, was guaranteed in
the treaty. It was the only decided advantage to the regent, who
hoped thereby to confirm the renunciation of Philip V. Dubois had
demanded that all the conditions of the treaty of 1713 should be
recognized. Stanhope formally refused. "It has taken me three
days to get out of this with the Abbé Dubois," wrote he to
England: as to the remainder, all the concessions came from
France; her territory was forbidden to the Jacobites, and the
Pretender, who was established at Avignon, was to be invited to
cross the Alps. The English demanded the abandonment of the works
on the canal at Mardyke, destined to replace the port of Dunkirk.
The Dutch claimed commercial advantages. Dubois yielded upon all
these points, but defended to the last, with a vain tenacity, the
title of King of France, that the English still disputed to our
monarchs. Stanhope was urged to terminate the negotiations.
Diplomatic complications that threatened to lead to war in the
north gravely pre-occupied George I., always absorbed in the
interests of his patrimonial States. "The scope of his mind does
not extend beyond the Electorate." said Lord Chesterfield;
"England is too large a morsel for him."


Unfriendly relations had long existed between King George and the
Czar, Peter the Great, that powerful and erratic genius, who by
his personal merit laid the foundations of a great empire. He had
made advances to France.

The Dutch were slow in deciding, but in October, 1716, the
preliminaries of the treaty were signed by Stanhope and the Abbé
Dubois only. On the 6th of January, 1717, the ratifications were
finally exchanged at the Hague. "I signed at midnight," wrote
Dubois, triumphantly, to the regent; "you are no longer a page,
and I have no more fear." The treaty of the Triple Alliance
gained for Dubois the office of secretary of foreign affairs. It
disturbed the English ministry and disorganized momentarily the
Whig party. Lord Townshend was hostile to the haste shown by
Stanhope in concluding the treaty; his brother-in-law, Horace
Walpole, had refused his signature. Court intrigues aggravated
this discontent; the king, besides, was irritated against Lord
Townshend and Robert Walpole, whom he regarded as favorable to
his son. Always honest, often rude, and with but little tact,
Lord Townshend believed he could obtain from George I.
discretionary powers for the Prince of Wales. This rendered his
fall inevitable. Even before his return to England, the king
dismissed his minister, offering to him in exchange for his
office, the vice-royalty of Ireland; but scarcely had the session
opened, when the animosities became more aggravated, and the
apparent reconciliations were broken off.
Lord Townshend and Robert Walpole withdrew from public affairs.
Lord Sunderland, as able, although not as corrupt as his father,
became secretary of state; Addison, at the same time, was called
to the ministry, and General Stanhope was appointed First Lord of
the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer. In spite of the
ministerial modifications, the power remained in the hands of the
Whigs. "While there remain Whigs disposed to serve him, the king
is decided to be served by the Whigs," wrote Stanhope, while yet
in Hanover, with George I., "and I will not be the one to turn
his Majesty from this good resolution, by refusing to take some
trouble, or to expose myself to whatever peril may arise."

The ministry and England were at this epoch greatly disturbed by
a new intrigue, organized in Europe, in favor of the Pretender.
Spain was governed by Cardinal Alberoni, the crafty, ambitious,
and bold Italian who had placed Elizabeth Farnese upon the throne
with Philip V., and through her exercised the power. He had
regulated the finances and industry, he had prepared a fleet and
an army; "meditating," he said, "the peace of the world;" and he
began this great enterprise, by maneuvres which could lead to
nothing less than setting fire to the four corners of Europe, in
the name of a feeble and dull king, and of a queen ambitious,
artful, and unpopular, "whom he had locked up, carrying the key
in his pocket," says St. Simon. He dreamed of establishing the
empire of Spain in Italy, of disturbing the government of the
regent in France, of overthrowing the Protestant king of England
by re-establishing the Stuarts upon the throne, and of raising
himself to the supreme power in Church and State. Already he had
obtained from Pope Clement XI., the cardinal's hat, by
concealing, under the pretext of war against the Turks, the
preparations which he was making against Italy.
Having remained neutral during the Jacobite insurrection of 1715,
he entered into the projects of Görtz, a passionate intriguer,
animated against King George by an ardent rancor, and using his
influence upon the heroic madman who reigned in Sweden, in order
to engage him also in the Jacobite plots. The alliance with the
Czar, Peter the Great, was to advance the projects of the
Chevalier. A first naval enterprise delivered Sardinia into the
hands of Alberoni. The Spanish troops entered Sicily. The Emperor
and Victor Amadeus were aroused; the Pope, overwhelmed by
reproaches from these two princes, wept, according to his custom,
saying that he had damned himself by raising Alberoni to the
Roman purple. Dubois profited by the agitations created in Europe
by the belligerant attitude of the all-powerful minister, to
finally draw the emperor into the alliance with France and
England. He renounced his pretensions to Spain and the Indies,
and returned Sardinia to Savoy, receiving Sicily in return. The
succession to the Duchies of Parma and of Tuscany was assured to
the children of the Queen of Spain. The Quadruple Alliance seemed
to promise peace to Europe; the Dutch and the Duke of Savoy
reluctantly consented. France and England engaged to gain the
consent of Spain by force of arms, if they were not able to
obtain it peacefully within a certain time.

King George I. demanded from Parliament an increase of naval
subsidies. A considerable fleet, under the orders of Admiral
Bing, soon appeared in Spanish waters. Lord Stanhope departed for
Madrid in order to support by negotiations the salutary effect of
the presence of the English fleet. Neither the persuasions of the
minister, nor the long line of ships presented by the admiral,
acted upon the spirit of Alberoni. He tore up the paper which the
admiral presented.
"Execute the orders of the king your master," said he, angrily.
Upon learning of the departure of Lord Stanhope, he had
immediately written: "If my Lord Stanhope comes as a legislator,
he may dispense with his journey. If he comes as a mediator, I
will receive him; but in any case I inform him that at the first
attack of our vessels by an English squadron, Spain has not an
inch of ground where I would be willing to answer for his

Lord Stanhope had scarcely left Spain, when Admiral Bing, in
conjunction with General Daun, who commanded for the emperor,
attacked the Spanish fleet off Cape Passero. The Spaniards had
recently taken possession of Palermo; Messina opened its gates to
them. The Piedmontese garrison had crowded into the citadel, when
the victory of the English and the destruction of the growing
Spanish fleet suddenly changed the face of affairs. Messina
delivered, and Palermo blockaded, without hope of succor, were to
Cardinal Alberoni a mortal blow. Furious, he seized the persons
and the goods of English residents in Spain, and drove out the
consuls. Trumpeters were sent through the streets of Madrid, with
orders to the people, forbidding any discussion regarding the
affairs of Sicily.

The hope of a diversion in the north, favorable to the projects
of the Jacobites, as well as those of Alberoni, was destroyed by
the death of the King of Sweden, Charles XII., killed on the 12th
of December, 1718, before Frederickshall.

Alberoni summoned the Pretender to Madrid. The conspiracy of
Cellamare, absurd and frivolous, organized in Paris against the
power of the regent, by the Spanish ambassador and the Duchess of
Maine, was discovered by Dubois early in December, 1718.
The declarations of war from France and England succeeded each
other rapidly (Dec. 17, 1718, Jan. 9, 1719). At the same time
King Philip V., by a proclamation, on the 25th of December, 1718,
pronounced all his renunciations null and void, and claimed his
rights to the crown of France upon the death of Louis XV. At the
same time he made an appeal to the States-General against the
tyranny of the Regent, who had allied himself, he said, to the
enemies of both countries.

In England, as in France, Alberoni counted upon internal
divisions and party animosities. The Pretender occupied the royal
palace of Buen Retiro, at Madrid; the King and Queen of Spain
visited him. A small squadron, secretly armed at Cadiz, put to
sea, under the orders of the Duke of Ormond. Public anxiety in
England was so great, that the government of King George accepted
auxiliary forces sent by the emperor and the States-General. The
regent offered troops, and sent to London all the information
which he received. A reward was offered for the capture of the
Duke of Ormond. Once more the sea protected the coast of England,
and the king whom she had chosen. The Spanish flotilla was
dispersed by a tempest; two frigates only, having on board Lord
Keith, known in Europe under his hereditary title of Earl
Marischal, Lord Seaforth, and the Marquis Tullibardine, landed
upon the coast of Scotland, with three hundred Spanish soldiers.
Some gentlemen joined them. The force of the rebels had increased
to about two thousand men, when General Wightman marched against
them. Some unimportant engagements were favorable to the rebels,
but finally they were defeated. The Highlanders disappeared in
the inaccessible recesses of their mountains; the Spaniards were
taken prisoners and conducted to Edinburgh. The three leaders of
the insurrection withdrew to the western isles, from where they
soon embarked; the one to return some years later to Scotland
(Lord Seaforth), another to die of grief in the Tower, after the
insurrection of 1745 (Tullibardine), and the third to enter the
service of the King of Prussia and to add his name to the
diplomatic intrigues of Europe. Voltaire and Rousseau were in
turn associated with Lord Marischal.


As usual, the humble partisans of the fallen house suffered
bitterly for their blind fidelity. "I made a tour through the
difficult passes of the country of Seaforth," wrote General
Wightman, "and we terrified the rebels by burning the houses of
the guilty, while we spared the peaceful subjects."

Alberoni, weary of the ill-fortune of the Stuarts, and of the
useless burden that it imposed upon all those who desired to
serve them, informed the Pretender that he should leave Madrid.
His intended bride, the Princess Clementine Sobieski, recently
arrested by order of the emperor, at the instigation of England,
had escaped from her prison; James joined her at Rome, where
their marriage was solemnized.

The war was brilliant, notwithstanding the deceptions with which
Alberoni incessantly quieted his master. "The regent is able,
whenever he desires, to send a French army," wrote the cardinal,
on the 21st of November, 1718.

"Assure him publicly that he will not have a shot fired against
him here, and that the king our master will have supplies ready
for him." The army in fact entered Spain in March, 1719. The old
Marshal Villars declined the honor of commanding against the
grandson of Louis XIV. The Prince of Conti bore the title of
general-in-chief. The Duke of Berwick, less scrupulous than
Villars, accepted the effective functions; notwithstanding his
former connection with Spain, the presence of his eldest son the
Duke of Leria, in the Spanish ranks, and the services that Philip
V. had just rendered to the head of the house of Stuart.
Alberoni conducted the king, the queen, and the prince of
Asturias to the camp. Philip V. expected the defection of the
French army, en masse. No one moved; some refugees made an
attempt with some officers; their messenger was hung.
Fuenterabra, St. Sebastian, and the castle of Urgel soon fell
into the hands of the French. Another division burned six vessels
which were upon the docks. Everywhere the English brought ruin
upon the Spanish navy. Their fleets, separate or united to the
French, destroyed the Spanish vessels at Santona, at Centera, and
in the port of Vigo; everywhere the magazines were delivered to
the flames. This cruel and disastrous war against an enemy whose
best troops were fighting at a distance, usefully served the
passions as well as the interests of England.

"It is very necessary," wrote Berwick, "that the government be
able to make the next Parliament believe that they have spared
nothing in order to decrease the Spanish navy." During this time
the English fleet, and the troops of the emperor, under the
orders of the Count of Mercy, attacked the Spanish army in
Sicily; it defended itself heroically, but was without resources,
without reinforcements, and diminishing every day. After a
momentary success at Franca Villa, the Marquis of Leyde held only
Palermo and the environs of Etna.

An attempted insurrection, poorly seconded by some Spanish
vessels, failed in Brittany. Three gentlemen and a priest
perished upon the scaffold. "Never have I seen a plot more poorly
organized," says Duclos, in his Memoirs; "many did not know what
they were fighting for." The attempt of Alberoni to excite a
revolt in England and France, did not succeed any better than the
war in Spain or Sicily.
The Spaniards were everywhere defeated, and the cardinal was
vigorously attacked at home. He made overtures of peace at London
and at Paris. Dubois wrote to Stanhope, who responded
immediately: "We would commit a great error if we did not
consolidate the peace by the overthrow of the minister who has
caused the war. His insatiable ambition has been the only cause
of hostilities; if he is compelled to accept the peace, he will
yield momentarily to necessity, but with a confirmed resolution
of seizing the first opportunity for vengeance. Thank God he does
not know either what he can do or what he ought to attempt. He
recognizes no other condition for peace than exhaustion and
weakness; let us not leave him time to recover himself. Demand
from the king that he be sent from Spain. No stipulation could be
more advantageous for his Catholic Majesty and for his people. It
is a good thing thus to give to Europe an example which may
intimidate turbulent ministers, unfaithful to treaties, and who
allow themselves to attack impudently the persons of princes."

Three months later, on the 4th of December, 1718, after a
prolonged audience with Philip V., who had treated him with his
usual kindness, Alberoni suddenly received an order to leave
Madrid within eight days, and Spain within three weeks. No
entreaty would induce the king or queen to see him. The cardinal
retired at first to Genoa, and then to Rome, where he passed the
remainder of his life, in the peaceful enjoyment of an immense
fortune. The country which he had oppressed, but reanimated and
served, soon fell into its former lethargy. "The queen is
possessed with a devil," said he, in his retirement; "if she
finds a soldier who has any resources of mind, and is a good
general, she will cause an uproar in Europe." The queen did not
find a general, and on the 17th of January, 1720, the
preliminaries of peace were signed at the Hague.
The definitive articles were not agreed upon until the 13th of
June, 1721. In the interval, thanks to the union with France,
England was enabled to put an end to the war with Sweden and
Denmark. King George gained the Duchies of Bremen and of Verden,
for which he had long entertained pretensions. Peter the Great
alone remained in arms. Europe had at last gained the repose
which she was to enjoy for many years.

The war had not suspended parliamentary struggles. In 1718, upon
a sincerely liberal proposition of Lord Stanhope, the _Acts of
Schism_ and of _Occasional Conformity_ were repealed by
the Houses. The ministers desired to go further and amend the
_Test Act_, in order to place the Dissenters upon a footing
of legitimate religious equality with the members of the Anglican

The bishops were divided upon the question. "We have already had
much trouble," said Lord Sunderland; "but if we touch the Test,
all will be lost." Lord Stanhope desired to include the
Catholics; the day of liberty and justice for them had not yet

King George had just returned to London, after a recent voyage
into Germany, when a bold proposition was made in the House of
Lords. The peers had not yet forgotten the numerous creations
hazarded by the Earl of Oxford in order to assure a majority to
the court; the character of the Prince of Wales offered few
guarantees, and the foreign favorites were eager for honors and
distinctions. The thought was conceived of limiting the number of
peers by restraining the royal prerogative. The king made no
objection. "His Majesty has so strong a desire to establish the
peerage of the realm upon a basis which will assure forever the
constitutional liberty of Parliament," said Lord Stanhope, "that
he consents not to hinder this great work by the exercise of his


The discussion was long, animated, and many times resumed; the
good judgment of the nation finally prevailed over the rancors of
the past, and over the jealousies of the future. Adopted by the
Lords, the bill was rejected in the House of Commons by a large
majority. "The road to the temple of fame formerly passed through
the temple of virtue," said Walpole; "this bill makes it
necessary to arrive at honor through the winding sheet of an old
decrepid lord, or the grave of an extinct noble family." It is
the sole happiness of England, and one of the sources of her
grandeur, as well as of her security, to have maintained upon the
ancient bases a force in the state constantly renewed and
liberally recruited by personal merit.

This check to the ministry was important; but a greater shock,
which was to overthrow it and overwhelm the country in ruin, was
preparing. At the same time that Paris and France were a prey to
the fever for wild speculations, excited by the system of Law,
England, for other reasons and from other pretexts, suffered an
analogous contagion, accompanied by the same fatal results. The
South Sea Company had been founded in 1711, by Harley. In
guarantee for the payment of the national debt, important
privileges had then been accorded to him. In 1719 the directors
of the company proposed to liquidate the public debt in
twenty-six years, upon condition that the different claims were
to be concentrated in their hands, and that they would be
supplied with new privileges as well as great latitude in their
negotiations. The Bank of England disputed with the South Sea
Company the honor and supposed profit of this enterprise, which
was put up at auction. A bill of Parliament assured the monopoly
to the company, which had engaged to pay seven and a half million
In order to sustain this enormous burden, the directors plunged
into the wildest speculations. Walpole had predicted the fatal
effects, but without measuring the criminal folly of the leaders,
and the stupid avidity of the followers. The shares of the
company increased from one hundred and thirty to a thousand
pounds sterling; while new societies were formed for the working
of the most insane industries. Raising the wrecks upon the coast
of Ireland, the freshening of the waters of the sea, the
fabrication of the oil of turnsole, the importation of donkeys
from Spain, the fattening of pork, formed simultaneously the
objects of fictitious speculations, suddenly arrested at the
instigation of the South Sea Company, jealous and anxious to
concentrate upon their enterprise all the energy of the
stock-jobbers. Exchange Alley became the rival of Quincampoix
street; the greatest lords, the most delicate ladies;
ecclesiastics elbowed merchants and servants, all hurrying to
secure for themselves the new stocks put in circulation, and the
fabulous profits which were expected from them. The Prince of
Wales himself consented to become a director of the company for
the working of copper mines in Wales. The intervention of the
ministry was necessary to threaten the company with prosecution,
before his royal highness would consent to withdraw with a profit
of £40,000.

The edifice of Law, in France, began to totter; the ruin of the
fictitious companies in England soon involved all reasonable and
legitimate speculations. In a few weeks the stock of the South
Sea Company fell below three hundred pounds sterling; the
suddenness of the catastrophe seriously involved the English
speculators. Everywhere families were ruined, fortunes the most
solid were shaken, and character and reputations were lost. "The
very name of the South Sea Company became odious," says a
In vain was Walpole, who had recently retired to his country
house at Houghton, recalled to London to seek a remedy for the
evils which he had foreseen; but the ruin was beyond his efforts
and power. Public anger and indignation knew no bounds. The king,
who was in Hanover, returned precipitately, and Parliament was
convoked for the 8th of December. "I avow," said Lord Molesworth,
to the House of Commons, "that the ordinary laws do not reach the
directors of the South Sea Company, but extraordinary crimes call
aloud for extraordinary remedies. The Roman lawgivers had not
foreseen the possible existence of a parricide; but as soon as
the first monster appeared, he was sewed in a sack and cast
headlong into the Tiber; and I shall be content to inflict the
same treatment on the authors of our present ruin."

The calm good sense of Walpole, as well as his prudent foresight,
powerfully advanced his ascendancy in Parliament. He succeeded in
controlling the unchained passions. "If London was on fire, wise
men would endeavor to extinguish the flames before they sought
the incendiaries. We have a matter of still greater urgency: to
save the public credit." Able and wise measures had been
presented to Parliament, but public vengeance was not satisfied;
a thorough inquiry ended in the discovery of grave evidences of
corruption and bribery. The discussions became so violent that
the doors of the House were closed and the keys placed upon the
table. The German favorites of the king, the Duchess of Kendal
and the Countess of Platen, the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of
Sunderland and Mr. Aislabie the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and
many other inferior officers of the government, were found to be
seriously compromised. A parliamentary quarrel between Lords
Wharton and Stanhope agitated the latter so violently that he had
an apoplectic fit and died the next day, to the great regret of
the public who had never doubted his honesty.


The Secretary of State, Craggs, justly accused of having received
a bribe from the directors of the company, died of the small pox;
his father, the Postmaster-General, took poison. Aislabie was
sent to the Tower, and the greater part of his property was
confiscated. All the property of the directors was seized, and
they were declared forever incapable of holding any public office
or of sitting in Parliament. Lord Sunderland had lost
considerable sums: "He is a dupe, but not an accomplice,"
scornfully said even his enemies. He was acquitted, but
nevertheless could not preserve his power. Walpole succeeded him
as first Lord of the Treasury. Sunderland died on the 17th of
April, 1721, some weeks after the general elections, and two
months before his illustrious father-in-law, the Duke of

Robert Walpole had finally attained the power which he was to
exercise during twenty years, for the repose, if not always for
the honor and moral grandeur of his country. Jealous of his
authority, to the extent of removing from the circle about the
king all those not his friends, and even those of his friends
whom he could not control absolutely, he encountered, at the
outset, the intrigues of the Jacobites, re-awakened by the
general discontent and by the new aspirations which the birth of
a son awakened in the Pretender.

A new expedition was prepared under the orders of the Duke of
Ormond, and matured and directed from England by a council of
five members who conducted the affairs of "King James III." The
soul of this little clique was the Bishop of Rochester, Francis
Atterbury, indefatigable in his zeal as well as inexhaustible in
his resources; sincerely attached to the Protestant faith, but
sacrificing all to his political passions, and more occupied in
preparing for the landing of the invaders and in fomenting an
insurrection during the absence of the king in Hanover, than in
the care of his diocese.
When the plot was discovered, the inferior agents were promptly
arrested, and the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Orrery, and Lord North,
at first imprisoned in the Tower, were soon released: the bishop
remained gravely compromised. Walpole resolved to risk a trial.
Among the accomplices a young barrister named Layer alone
suffered the extreme penalty; the property of some others was
confiscated; but public interest concentrated itself upon the
bishop, who was kept in close confinement in the Tower.

Atterbury was eloquent and convincing; when he appeared before
the House of Lords, all his efforts tended to prove that the
testimony against him was forged. Walpole was compelled to defend
himself: "A finer passage at arms between two such antagonists
was never seen," said Onslow, the speaker of the House of
Commons; "one fighting for his reputation, the other for his
life." The evidence was overwhelming against the bishop; he had
evidently conspired against a sovereign to whom he had sworn
allegiance. His address was as eloquent as able. "I have suffered
so much," said he, "that the little strength which I enjoyed at
the time of my arrest, in the month of August last, has
completely disappeared, and I am not in a state to appear before
your lordships, still less to defend myself in an affair of so
extraordinary a nature. I am accused of having conspired. What
could I gain, my lords, by going thus out of my way? No man in my
order is less urged by ambition for higher dignities of the
Church. I have always scorned money; too much so, perhaps, for I
may now need it. Could I have been drawn by a secret attraction
towards papacy?
My lords, since I have known what papacy is, I have exposed it;
and the better I have known it, the stronger I have opposed it.
For the last thirty-seven years I have written in favor of Martin
Luther. Whatever may happen to me, I am ready to suffer all, and
by the grace of God to perish at the stake sooner than depart
from the Protestant faith as set forth by the Church of England.
I have awaited my sentence these eight months, my lords,
separated from my children, who have not been able to write me or
even send me a message without express authority. When the
illustrious Earl of Clarendon, accused of treason, was compelled
to retire into exile, he had passed the greater part of his life
abroad, and was well known there; he understood the language, and
he enjoyed a large fortune; all these consolations are wanting to
me. I resemble him only in my innocence and my punishment. It is
not in the power of any man to alter the first resemblance, but
it is in the power of your lordships to profoundly modify the
second; I hope for it and I expect it from you." Atterbury was
condemned; a majority of the prelates voted against him.

The English Catholics had ardently espoused the cause of the
house of Stuart, and they were to pay once again for their
illusive imprudence and folly. The attempt which had just cost
the Bishop of Rochester his episcopal see and the freedom of his
country, served as a pretext for Walpole to propose a tax of
£100,000, to be collected from the estates of the Catholics.
"Many of them are guilty," said the minister. This contempt for
justice and liberty, which long pursued the Catholics in England,
weighed upon the French Protestants still longer and more
heavily. The bill which passed the Houses included all the gentry
who had refused to take the oath of allegiance. Many who had
resisted, up to this time, in consequence of a sincere
repugnance, now hastened to take the oath to the established
order of things.


"I have observed well," said the Speaker Onslow, who was opposed
to the measure of Walpole, "and it was a strange and ridiculous
spectacle to see the crowd which gathered at the quarterly
Sessions in order to pledge their allegiance to the government,
while, at the same time, cursing it for the trouble which it was
giving them and for the fear which it inspired. I am convinced
that the attachment for the king and his family has received a
severe shock from all that happened at this time."

As the exiled bishop put his foot upon the soil of France, at
Calais, he learned that Lord Bolingbroke had been pardoned by the
king, and had arrived in that city on his way to England. "I am
exchanged, then," said Atterbury, smiling. "Assuredly," wrote
Pope, the intimate and faithful friend of the bishop, "this
country fears an excess of talent, since it will not regain one
genius without losing another."

It was to the venal protection of the Duchess of Kendal that
Bolingbroke owed the royal pardon. Walpole had not received
favorably the overtures which had been made to him in favor of
the exile. "The attainder ought never to be abolished, and crimes
ought never to be forgotten," said he, in the Council. The
Marquise de Villette, niece of Madame Maintenon, at first the
friend and subsequently the wife of Bolingbroke, had succeeded in
interesting the favorite in his behalf. Eleven thousand pounds
sterling were paid, it was said, for permission to return to
England. He had as yet recovered neither his title, his rights,
nor his fortune. The offer of his services was refused by
Walpole. It was not until 1725, and even then, through the
intervention of Madame Villette and the Duchess of Kendal, that
Bolingbroke, having returned to France, finally obtained
permission to present to Parliament a petition that Walpole
consented to support.
More clear-sighted than he had often been during his public life,
Bolingbroke while in France had served continually and to the
utmost, the interests of the English minister, by sustaining his
brother Horace and his brother-in-law Lord Townshend, in their
rivalry against Lord Carteret, the Secretary of State. The
amnesty voted by Parliament restored to Bolingbroke his personal
fortune, and his rights to the heritage of his father, but
without giving him the right of disposing of it. The king had
promised Walpole, it was said, that Bolingbroke should never
again hold any political position. "I am restored to two-thirds,"
wrote he to Swift, from his country house at Uxbridge. He
received his friends, occupying or at least pretending to occupy
himself exclusively with his estate and in literary pursuits.
Voltaire was one of his visitors, when driven from France by his
quarrel with the Chevalier Rohan, and passed two years in
England. This event had a powerful effect upon Voltaire's mind,
and many traces of the same may be found in his writings. The
relations of the poet with Bolingbroke were of long standing;
they had often met at the Chateau de la Source, near Orleans,
where the exile lived for some time. "One thing which interests
me," wrote Voltaire, "is the recall of milord Bolingbroke to
England. He will be at Paris to-day, and I shall have the grief
of bidding him farewell, perhaps forever." When Voltaire, in his
turn, again reached his own country, he dedicated to Bolingbroke
his tragedy of _Brutus_: "Permit me to present to you
_Brutus_," wrote he, "although written in another language,
_docte sermonis utriusque linguœ_, to you who have given me
lessons in French as well as in English, to you who have taught
me at least to give to my language that force and that energy
which noble liberty of thought inspires: for vigorous sentiments
of the soul always pass into the language, and he who thinks
forcibly speaks likewise." Voltaire, on asking permission to
visit England, had remarked: "it is a country where they think
freely and nobly without being restrained by servile fear."


Troubles in Ireland, caused by the recoinage of money, and in
Scotland, by a tax upon beer, which had been substituted for the
malt tax, had for some time detained King George in England.
Finally, in 1725, he departed for Hanover, accompanied, as usual,
by Lord Townshend and the Duchess of Kendal. The state of affairs
in Europe had become critical. In France the regent had died on
the 2nd of December, 1723; the Duke of Bourbon, who had succeeded
him, governed ostentatiously and violently, but without either
true force or authority, and abandoned to the influence of his
favorite, the corrupt and avaricious Marquise de Prie. Both
desired to assure the duration of their power by giving to the
young King Louis XV. a wife who would owe to them her elevation,
and who would remain submissive to them.

The Infanta of Spain had been educated at the French Court,
treated as queen, and was only waiting until her age would permit
her to wed the young King Louis XV., according to a treaty
solemnly negotiated with Philip V. She was sent back to Madrid,
and Marie Leczinska, daughter of Stanislaus, the dethroned and
ruined King of Poland, was chosen in her place for the sad honor
of sharing the throne of Louis XV. "It is necessary that the
Infanta depart immediately, in order that this may be done
sooner," said the Count of Morvilliers, who was charged with the
marriage negotiations.


The anger and indignation of Spain were extreme. "All the
Bourbons are true demons," said the queen; then turning towards
the king, whose origin she had forgotten, in her fury, she added:
"Save your Majesty." The fragile edifice of the Quadruple
Alliance succumbed beneath the imprudent insolence of the French
government. Philip V. gave his daughter to the Prince of Brazil,
the heir to the throne of Portugal. By this alliance, agreeable
to England, the faithful friend of Portugal, the King of Spain
hoped to gain the support of George I. "We will put confidence
only in your master," said the queen to William Stanhope, the
English minister at Madrid, "and we desire no other mediator but
him in our negotiations." The English government nevertheless
refused to break with France. Philip V. formed an alliance with
the Emperor Charles VI., the most ancient, and even then, the
most implacable of his enemies. The Archduke had no son, and
wished to secure the succession to his eldest daughter, the
Archduchess Maria Theresa. The Pragmatic Sanction which declared
this will, awaited the assent of Europe. That of Spain was of
great value. She offered, besides, to open her ports to the
company of Ostend, recently founded by the Emperor to compete
with the Dutch commerce.

The house of Austria divided the house of Bourbon by opposing to
each other the two branches of France and Spain. The treaty of
Vienna was concluded on the 1st of May, 1725. The two sovereigns
renounced all pretensions to their respective states, and
proclaimed a full amnesty for their partisans. The emperor
recognized the hereditary rights of Don Carlos to the Duchies of
Tuscany, Parma and Plaisance; he promised, at the same time, his
good offices, to obtain from England the restitution of Gibraltar
and Port Mahon. In spite of negotiations already entered into
with the Duke of Lorraine, the hands of the Archduchesses, the
daughters of the emperor, were promised to the two sons of
Elizabeth Farnese, Don Carlos and Don Philip.


King George was in Hanover when the secret articles of the treaty
became known. "On this occasion, it was not the ministers of his
Majesty who instructed him," subsequently said Walpole, "but it
was his Majesty who gave his ministers the information. The
information which the king had received in Hanover was so sure,
that they could not be deceived." The Count de Broglie went to
Germany to join George I. The King of Prussia, Frederick William
I., was called to the conference; the Empress Catherine I., widow
of Peter the Great, made advances to Spain in consequence of her
antipathy towards England. The necessity for strong alliances was
felt; the King of Prussia hesitated, realizing the danger he ran
from his nearness to the emperor; he signed, nevertheless, but
soon afterwards abandoned his allies. The Treaty of Hanover was
concluded on the 8th of September, between England, France,
Prussia, Denmark and Sweden. "Hanover advances itself
triumphantly upon the shoulders of England," said Lord
Chesterfield. George I. was accused of having defended his
electorate at the expense of his kingdom; in Hanover the elector
was reproached for having protected the commercial interests of
England by exposing his native country to great perils. The Count
de Broglie shared the English opinion: "His Majesty regards
England as a temporary possession, by which it is necessary to
profit while at his service, more than as a durable heritage,"
wrote he, on the 20th of January, 1724, to Louis XV. The Duke of
Bourbon had just been replaced at the head of the French
government by Cardinal Fleury, moderate and prudent, favorable to
the English alliance and sincerely desirous of preserving peace
in Europe.
Lord Townshend directed the negotiations of the treaty of
Hanover. Walpole was secretly jealous and censured certain
clauses. The secret articles, concluded at Vienna, greatly
pre-occupied England. "I know, from a source, which cannot be
doubted," said George I., in his address at the opening of
Parliament, in 1727, "that the re-establishment of the Pretender
upon the throne of this kingdom, was one of the secret articles
signed at Vienna. If time proves that by abandoning the commerce
of this nation to one power, and Gibraltar and Port Mahon to
another, a market has been made of this kingdom, in order to
impose upon it a papist Pretender, what will not be the
indignation of all English and Protestant hearts."

The emperor protested boldly against the address from the throne,
and appealed from the king to the nation. The Pretender, recently
filled with hope, by the alliance of the empire and Spain,
alienated these two powers by his cruel conduct towards his wife.
The princess had left him on the 15th of November, 1725, to
retire into the convent of St. Cecilia, at Rome. War,
nevertheless, seemed inevitable; but the emperor realized his
feebleness, and cared but little for the interests of Spain. On
the 31st of May, 1727, the preliminaries of peace were signed at
Paris, between England, France and Holland, on the one part, and
the empire on the other. English commerce was satisfied by the
suspension of the privileges of the company of Ostend for seven
years. Philip V. voluntarily raised the siege of Gibraltar. The
prudent moderation of Walpole and of Cardinal Fleury, once again
succeeded in maintaining the peace of Europe.


Walpole was threatened, nevertheless; he governed with sagacity
the nation so long and so cruelly agitated, and became rich and
prosperous; but he governed without glory. "Little jealous," says
De Rémussat, "of honoring men, provided he rules them." He was
reserved and haughty, carefully withdrawing from even the shadow
of a rivalry. Bolingbroke had never pardoned his hostility; he
attacked him anonymously in a journal directed by Pulteney, who
was detached from the Whigs by an ancient enmity against Walpole.
He undertook to lower him in the estimation of the king. The
Duchess of Kendal, secretly hostile to the minister, placed in
the king's hands a Memorial drawn up by Bolingbroke, in which the
latter pointed out all the dangers to which the state was exposed
in the hands of Walpole, and demanded an audience. George I.
simply turned over the memorial to Walpole, who promptly divined
from whom the blow came. "Join with me. Duchess, in praying the
king to accord Lord Bolingbroke an audience;" boldly said Sir
Robert. The king hesitated, as he did not speak English. "It is a
great proof of the ability of Walpole that he governed the king
in Latin," it was said. Bolingbroke understood French perfectly,
and it was in that language that the interview was held. The
Viscount claimed the restoration of his political privileges. "It
is sufficient that your Majesty exacts it," said he. "Sir Robert
is here, let him be called, and I will convince him before your
Majesty that the thing can be done."--"No, no," replied the king,
"do not call him." Then, as the Chancellor of the Duchy of
Cornwall, Lechmere, who was at this time antagonistic to both
Walpole and Bolingbroke, entered, the king could scarcely refrain
from laughter. When his minister, somewhat disturbed, came to
learn the result of the conversation with Bolingbroke,
"Bagatelle, bagatelle!" repeated George I. Walpole never learned

   [Transcriber's note:
   Bagatelle: Something of little value or significance.]

The Mysterious Letter.


The king prepared for another journey to Hanover. Some months
before, on the 12th of November, 1726, his wife, Sophia Dorothea
of Zell, died. She was beautiful and amiable, but arbitrarily
condemned by her husband during thirty-six years. The Count of
Konigsmark, the man who had, it was said, gained her favors,
disappeared mysteriously at the time when the princess was
imprisoned, by the order of her father-in-law as well as her
husband. The place where the Count was struck down is still
shown. Many years later his bones were found under the marble
slab before the chimney of the castle. The prince obtained a
divorce, but never relaxed his severity towards his wife, who, on
her part, never ceased protesting her innocence.

It is said that at the time when King George I. entered Germany,
in June, 1727, an unknown person threw into his carriage a letter
from the princess, written during her last illness, solemnly
adjuring her husband to repent of the terrible injury which he
had inflicted upon her, and calling upon him to appear within a
year before the tribunal of God.

It was to this summons from the tomb that was attributed that
unexpected blow which so suddenly fell upon King George. On the
10th of June, 1727, he departed from Delden in good health, but
within a few hours was struck by apoplexy. His servants desired
to stop, but the king repeated, in a stifled voice, "Osnabruch!
Osnabruch!" When they gained that palace of the prince Bishop,
his brother, the King of England was dead.


                   Chapter XXXV.

               George II (1727-1760).

It is the honor and the good fortune of free countries to be
often served, and at times gloriously governed, without display
and without the personal grandeur of the sovereign called to the
throne by the law of heredity. Already slowly undermined by the
misdeeds and misfortunes of King Louis XIV.'s last years,
absolute power was enfeebled and dishonored in France, in the
indolent and corrupt hands of Louis XV. In Europe, in Asia, in
America, war was about to deal it a mortal blow, by despoiling
our country of that military glory which had for long been our
appanage, despite the crimes and errors of our home government.
Honest and well disposed toward his counsellors and his people,
without cunning and without breadth of view, constantly
pre-occupied with the German interests of his Electorate, George
II. was about to assure to England a long period of security and
prosperity, sometimes brilliant, always fatal to his enemies at
home and to his rivals abroad, to the house of Stuart as to

It was to the natural development and to the regular play of
parliamentary government that England owed this repose, often
laborious and difficult, solidly founded on the firmest bases
during the long reign of the second Hanoverian monarch. Four
notable ministries were to succeed each other round the throne of
George II., the first and the last in the hands of men eminent in
various ways, Robert Walpole and Lord Chatham:
1727-1741-1756-1760; directed from 1742 till 1744 by Lord
Carteret, soon afterwards Lord Granville, and from 1744 till 1756
by the Duke of Newcastle and his brother Henry Pelham.

George II.


All called to face serious difficulties, great internal and
external shocks, the ministers of George II., eloquent or
commonplace, remained faithful to the king whom they served, and
never afforded that example of treason and deplorable weaknesses
which had shamefully marked the life of so many Statesmen during
the last three reigns. There was conspiracy yet, but the
conspirators no longer hid themselves in the royal palaces, at
the head of armies or of public affairs. It was on the field of
battle that the Stuarts were to play and lose their last game. At
the death of George I. the fate of the new dynasty and of the
protestant succession might, to superficial observation, have
appeared uncertain and precarious. At the death of George II. the
work had been accomplished; thenceforth revolutions were to be
for England only a remembrance at once glorious and sad, without
possible recurrence and without bitter traces. National victories
would efface the last remnant of intestine strifes.

By the side of George II., on the throne still occupied by a
half-foreign monarch, who spoke the language of his people with a
pronounced accent, who was of slender appearance, and more brave
in person than royal in tastes and habits, was seated a clever,
moderate, wise and learned princess, with a semblance of
pedantry, who was skilful, and very soon dominant in the
government, without ever giving evidence of any presumption.
Princess Caroline d'Anspach had often had to lament the
infidelities of her husband; he remained attached to her,
nevertheless, and her influence was constantly first with him.
Robert Walpole had known how to anticipate this influence. He
never omitted, for the benefit of the prince's favorite, the
deference that he had displayed to the Princess of Wales. The
queen did not forget it.


The first moment of the new reign had not been propitious to the
powerful minister of George I. When he presented himself at the
palace, in order to announce to the new monarch the death of the
king his father, George II., scarcely awakened from his customary
siesta, had brusquely replied to the minister's question, "Whom
does your Majesty charge with the communications to the Privy
Council?"--"Compton," said the king. In retiring to convey the
royal command to his rival, thus designated as his successor,
Walpole lost neither his coolness nor his firm resolution to
govern his country for the longest possible period. "I am about
to fall," he had just said to Sir William Young, "but I advise
you not to throw yourself into a violent opposition, for I shall
not be slow to rise again."

As a matter of fact, Walpole was not to fall. It was only the
breath of royal disfavor that was to pass over him. Sir Spencer
Compton, soon afterwards Lord Wilmington, an honest and capable
man, but of dull wit and without facility of speech, as without
ministerial experience, modestly requested Walpole to compose for
him the communication with which the king had charged him.
Walpole did so. The secret leaked out. At the same time the
minister, momentarily superseded, proposed to the queen an
increase of revenue for the king and a dowry for herself, which
he believed himself sure of having voted by Parliament. Already
well-disposed toward Walpole, Caroline knew how to cleverly prove
to her husband the danger that he would find, at the commencement
of his reign, in losing a powerful and popular minister by
throwing him into opposition. Already the courtiers had abandoned
Walpole, and crowded around Sir Spencer Compton.
At the ceremony of hand-kissing, Lady Walpole "could scarcely
force a passage between the disdainful backs and elbows of those
who had flattered her the day before," writes her son Horace, in
his Souvenirs. When the queen, perceiving her in the last ranks,
exclaimed, "Ah! I see a friend down there," the crowd opened
right and left. "In coming back," said Lady Walpole, "I might
have walked over their heads, if I had desired." During thirteen
years more Walpole was to exercise that authority of which he was
secretly so jealous. "Sir Robert was moderate in the exercise of
power," said Hume; "he was not just in seizing the whole of it."
Walpole had already alienated Pulteney and Carteret; he was about
to embroil himself with Townshend. The divisions of the Whig
party were the work of his jealous contrivings. It had for long
been draining its strength; its debility and downfall were one
day to follow.

The attack especially directed against the foreign policy, soon
began, and was hotly sustained in the House of Commons by
Pulteney, for the time being at one with the Tories and with Sir
William Wyndham; in the press and in the depths of parliamentary
intrigues by Lord Bolingbroke, ever the implacable enemy of
Walpole, who was obstinate in refusing him re-entrance into the
House of Lords. The Treaty of Seville had just put an end to the
dissensions with Spain (November, 1729). It was then, on the
accomplishment of the Treaty of Utrecht, that the attacks of the
_patriots_,--a name adopted by the Whigs who had gone into
opposition--were brought to bear. The ministry was reproached
with not having guarded against the demolition of Dunkerque, "I
went the day before yesterday to Parliament," wrote Montesquieu
in his "_Notes on England_," to the lower House.
  "The Dunkerque affair was under discussion there. I have never
  seen such a blaze. The sitting lasting from one o'clock in the
  afternoon till three o'clock after midnight. There, the French
  were well abused. I noticed how far the frightful jealousy goes
  which exists between the two nations. M. Walpole attacked
  Bolingbroke in the most savage manner, and said that he had
  conducted the whole intrigue. Chevalier Wyndham defended him.
  M. Walpole related in reference to Bolingbroke, the story of a
  farmer, who, passing under a tree with his wife, found that a
  man who had been hanged there, still breathed. He cut him down
  and took him to his house and he revived. They discovered that
  this man had on the day before stolen their forks. So they
  said, 'The course of justice must not be opposed; he must be
  carried back whence we have taken him.'"

It was only in 1734, and under the threat which perhaps qualms of
conscience made him fear, that Bolingbroke once again voluntarily
exiled himself. Walpole had conceived a great financial scheme
for the increase of indirect taxation or excise. The opposition
violently pounced upon this unpopular project. The rumor spread
that the excise would be general. "I declare," said Walpole,
"that I never had the thought, and that no man to my knowledge
has ever had the thought of proposing a general application of
the excise. I have never dreamed of any duties except those on
wines and tobacco, and that in consequence of the frequent
complaints I have received from merchants themselves about the
frauds which are daily committed in these two branches of

Public discontent and irritation were too vehement to be calmed
by the moderation of Walpole: the minister prudently let the
discussion drop. The queen had constantly supported Walpole. She
had summoned one of the king's personal friends, Lord
Scarborough, in order to consult him. "I answer for my regiment
against the Pretender," said he, "but not against those who
insist upon the excise." Tears came into the eyes of the
princess. "Then," said she, "it must be renounced."


Emboldened by this negative victory, the chiefs of the opposition
took up the question of septennial Parliaments. The duration of
the legislature was approaching its termination. The attack was
directed by Wyndham, who was covertly backed and instructed by
Bolingbroke. It was against this cloaked and absent foe that
Walpole rose with all the eloquence, temperate in form,
impressive and haughty in effect, with which, on occasion, he so
well knew how to overwhelm his adversaries. "Much has been said
here of ministers arrogantly hurling defiances, of ministers
destitute of all sense of virtue and honor: it appears to me,
gentlemen, that with equal right, and more justly, I think, we
may speak of anti-ministers and mock patriots, who never had
either virtue or honor, and who are actuated only by envy or
resentment. Let me suppose an anti-minister who regards himself
as a man of such consequence, and endowed with such extensive
parts, that he alone in the State is equal to the conduct of
public affairs; and who stigmatizes as blunderers all those who
have the honor to be engaged therein. Suppose that this personage
has been lucky enough to enrol among his party men truly
distinguished, wealthy, and of ancient family, as well as others
of extreme views, arising from disappointed and envenomed hearts.
Suppose all these men to be moved by him solely in respect to
their political behavior, without real attachment for this chief
whom they so blindly follow, and who is detested by the rest of
humanity. We see this anti-minister in a country where he ought
not to be, where he could not be without the exercise of an
excessive clemency, yet employing all his efforts to destroy the
source whence this mercy flowed.
Let us suppose him in that country, continually occupied in
contracting intimacies with the ambassadors of princes who are
most hostile to his own; and if there should be a secret, the
divulgence of which would be prejudicial to his country,
disclosing it without hesitation to the foreign ministers who
have applied to him to discover it. Finally, let us suppose that
this anti-minister has travelled, and that at every court where
he has been placed as minister, he has betrayed every confidence,
as well as all the secrets of the countries through which he has
passed; destitute as he is of faith and honor, and betraying
every master whom he has served."

I have desired to give an idea of the violence of parliamentary
discussion under George II., as well as of the deep-rooted
animosity which existed between Walpole and Bolingbroke. The
latter did not dare to face any revelations or more definite
accusations. He soon quitted England, not to return as long as
Walpole was in power. When he came back, in 1742, at the moment
of his father's death, it was to establish himself in the
country, in the house at Battersea, where he was born, and where
he finally died, on the 17th of December, 1751, after the most
stormy life, sadly devoted to unfortunate or disastrous
enterprises, which were unscrupulously pursued with the resources
of a rare and fruitful genius. "God, who has placed me here
below," said he to Lord Chesterfield, in bidding him farewell,
"will make of me what he will, after this; and he knows what is
the best thing to do." All the irregularities of his life and all
the inveterate doubts of his mind had never availed to snatch
from the depths of the dying Bolingbroke's soul the hereditary
faith in God which he had learned as a child at the knees of his
mother, who had been piously attached to the principles of the
old Dissenters.


The prolonged power of Walpole was menaced, and his authority
seriously shaken. Troubles had broken out in Scotland. The escape
of one smuggler and the punishment of another had aroused the
populace of the capital, and caused that riot against Captain
Porteous which forms one of the principal episodes of the Prison
of Edinburgh.

Discord reigned in the royal family between King George II. and
his eldest son, Frederick, Prince of Wales, as it had previously
reigned between King George I. and his son. The queen shared the
annoyance of her consort, and refused to see the prince, when, in
the month of November, 1737, she was on her death-bed. "I hope
that you will never desert the king," said she to Walpole. "It is
to you that I commend him. Continue to serve with your accustomed
fidelity." Walpole's regrets were bitter and sincere. He was
losing an ally as certain as she was efficacious, at the moment
when the violence of the attacks against him was increasing.

The Convention of Madrid, which ended with the close of the year
1738, had excited great discontent among the English merchants.
The wise endeavors of the minister for the maintenance of peace
with Spain were regarded as cowardice. Sixty members of the
opposition, with Wyndham at their head, had declared their
resolve of no longer taking part in the deliberations of a
corrupt Parliament. The government majority grew smaller daily.
Walpole, always obstinately attached to power, determined to bend
before the storm and to lend his aid to a war which he deplored,
and the result of which he doubted. On the 19th of October, 1739,
as the city bells were sounding with all their peals in honor of
the declaration of war, "Ring the cords of all your bells
to-day," muttered Walpole; "it will not be long before you are
wringing your hands."


The prudent sagacity and experience of Walpole had not deceived
him. England entered upon a restless and stormy period, the
beginnings of which were not happy. The first expeditions had
been directed against the Spanish colonies of South America. By
dint of courage and address, Commodore Anson, who was charged
with the attack on Peru, opposed by wind and tide, succeeded in
saving only one of his ships, with which he accomplished the tour
of the world, whilst Admiral Vernon, at first victorious before
Porto-Bello, and lauded to the skies by the opposition, to which
party he belonged, failed sadly before Cartagena and Santiago.
The patriots attributed the checks suffered by English armies to
Walpole. "For nearly twenty years he has demonstrated that he
possesses neither wisdom nor prudence," exclaimed Lord Carteret;
"there is still left him a little of the cunning common to
Smithfield cattle-dealers or to French valets under indulgent
masters; but his whole conduct proves that he has no true
sagacity. Our allies know and deplore it; our foes know it and
are glad of it." Yet once again, Walpole triumphed in the Houses;
his strength was being spent in repeated struggles.

Parliament had just been dissolved; the electoral prospects were
threatening. Europe was agitated by the gravest anxieties. The
Emperor Charles VI. had just died, on the 20th of October, 1740.
All the powers had agreed to the Pragmatic Sanction, which
assured the rights of the Archduchess Maria-Theresa. Scarcely had
her father been laid in the grave, than the majority of the great
sovereigns were already dividing the spoils. The competitors were
numerous and their titles were various. The young Queen of
Hungary found opposed to her a rival and an enemy.
The elector of Bavaria reclaimed the domains of the House of
Austria by virtue of a will of Ferdinand I., father of Charles V.
He was supported by France, despite the peaceful inclinations of
Cardinal Fleury, grown old, and instigated by the Marshal
Belle-Isle. Spain laid claim to the sovereignty of Hungary and of
Bohemia, which had long been dependants of her crown. She united
her forces with those of France and Bavaria against
Maria-Theresa. The new King of Prussia, Frederick II., on
obsolete or imaginary rights, marched boldly to the conquests of
which he was ambitious. From the time when he came to the throne,
in the month of August, 1740, preceded by the reputation for a
cultivated and liberal mind, and amenable to generous sentiments,
Frederick, who had long been kept away from state affairs by the
brutal jealousy of his father, had been silently preparing his
means of attack. On leaving a masqued ball, he had set out post
haste for the Silesian frontier, where he had collected thirty
thousand troops. Without preliminary notice, without a
declaration of war, he entered the Austrian territory, which was
inadequately or badly defended. Before the end of January, 1741,
he was master of Silesia. At his departure, Frederick had said to
the French ambassador: "I believe I am going to play your game;
if the aces come to me we will divide."

England was excited by the war. King George II. was more excited
than England. Hanover was menaced; he crossed to Germany to raise
troops. A subsidy was voted in favor of the Queen of Hungary;
certain English envoys arrived at the camp of the belligerents.
Lord Hyndford sought to excite some generous scruples in the mind
of Frederick. "Do not speak to me of magnanimity, my lord,"
exclaimed the king; "a prince should consult only his interest. I
have no objection to peace, but I require four duchies, and I
will have them."
The proposals transmitted by Mr. Robinson in the name of the
Queen of Hungary seemed hard to that princess. "I hope, with all
my heart, that he will reject them," she had said, with tears in
her eyes. "Always subterfuges," exclaimed Frederick; "if you have
nothing to say to me in regard to Silesia, negotiations are
useless. My ancestors would rise out of their tombs to reproach
me with the abandonment of their just rights."

France had concluded an alliance with the King of Prussia,
assuring him the possession of lower Silesia. Marshal Maillebois
was closely pressing Hanover; King George II. was alarmed, and
signed a treaty of neutrality for one year, engaging not to
furnish any assistance to the Queen of Hungary and to refrain
from voting as elector for her husband, Francis of Lorraine, who
aspired to the imperial dignity. On the 26th of November, 1741,
the Elector of Bavaria was proclaimed King of Bohemia. On the
14th of February, 1742, he was crowned emperor, under the name of
Charles VII. The allied armies had menaced Vienna, and Queen
Maria-Theresa, flying from town to town before her triumphant
enemies, had only found refuge and support in Hungary, amid the
palatines and magnates assembled at Presbourg. _Moriamur pro
rege nostro, Maria-Theresa!_ they had shouted, with a
unanimous voice, drawing their swords. All the horrors of war
were desolating Germany. Everywhere irregular troops scoured the
country, pillaging, massacring, burning. The hereditary domains
of the new emperor were in turn menaced. "He remains at
Frankfort," wrote the lawyer Barbier, in his journal, "and it
would be difficult for him to go elsewhere safely."


The neutrality of Hanover had been received in England with
anger; public feeling had been against the minister since the
opening of the session, and a contested election brought the fact
to light. The most devoted friends of Walpole pressed him to
resign. He still hesitated, being passionately attached, after
twenty years of its exercise, to that power which he had
obstinately defended against so many enemies. He decided, at
last, renouncing together with authority, the thorough dominance
which he had so long maintained in the House of Commons. He
received from the king every pledge of affection and of the most
sincere regret, and the title of Earl of Orford. Some months
later, Pulteney, in his turn, was elevated to the House of Lords,
under the name of Lord Bath. Walpole, still influential with
George II., had contributed with all his power to this
annihilatory elevation. He approached his ancient antagonist with
a smile. "Well, my lord," said he, "behold us become the two most
insignificant personages in England."

Walpole did not long survive his downfall. In spite of his
withdrawal to Houghton, he never became, because he could not be,
insignificant. He had governed for twenty years with consummate
skill, employing indifferently good and evil means, oratorical
eloquence as well as parliamentary corruption; anxious to serve
his friends rather than to conciliate his enemies, without ever
giving to his country the pleasure of glory or the spectacle of
political and moral greatness; contributing nevertheless to the
happiness and prosperity of England by assuring to her, in the
midst of serious external and internal troubles, long years of
peace. His great rival in the art of governance was already
rising to view; and amid the ranks of the patriot Whigs observing
foresight had distinguished young William Pitt, destined to rule,
as a master, the country and the Parliament that Walpole, like a
skilful pilot, had long guided. "Between Sir Robert Walpole and
Lord Chatham," as Lord Macaulay has wittily remarked, "there was
all the distance between success and glory."


The new cabinet had just been formed, under the direction of Lord
Carteret, soon afterwards, in right of his mother, Lord
Granville. Pulteney had declined all office. "I have too often
protested my disinterestedness to occupy any place," he had said.
When he perceived that influence as well as power had escaped
him, it was too late to retrace his steps. The ministry as formed
was already discussed in Parliament, as well as throughout the
country, and was experiencing an opposition which would ere long
become formidable. Carteret was intelligent, brilliant and
amiable, unequal and uncertain. He allowed himself to be led, at
times, even as far as debauchery: he always remained eloquent and
adroit in diplomatic maneuvres. He had concentrated all his
efforts on the maintenance of the king's favor, often neglecting
his partisans, and relying on corruption to rally his friends.
"What do the judges and bishops matter to me?" said he,
contemptuously; "my concern is to make kings and emperors, and to
preserve the European balance." "Very well," replied the
office-seeker, so cavalierly denied; "those who do care for
judges and bishops will be appealed to."

Thus began already the power of the Pelhams, who were more
careful than Carteret to use such means of influence as the
exercise of high offices placed in the hands of ministers or
their friends.

The war was still being waged in Germany. With the fall of
Walpole, England's neutrality had ended. Already a body of troops
had taken the road for Flanders. Women of distinction, with the
Duchess of Marlborough at their head, had collected by
subscription the sum of one hundred thousand pounds sterling,
which they successfully offered to the haughty Maria-Theresa. The
king had taken into his pay six thousand Hessian soldiers. The
cabinet proposed to raise in Hanover a body of sixteen thousand
at England's expense.
The opposition violently inveighed against this measure. "It is
too evident," said Pitt, "that this great kingdom, which is
powerful and formidable, is regarded as a province of a pitiful
Electorate, and that troops are only raised in pursuance of a
design long matured, in order to swallow up all the resources of
our unhappy country." The proposal passed, however, and the king
put himself at the head of the forces he had collected in
Germany. The States-General of Holland had united their troops
with his. The fortune of war had changed. Charles VII., a
fugitive in his turn, driven from his hereditary States, which
Marshal Broglie had evacuated, had no longer any hope, save in
the aid of France. She alone sustained all the burden of the war,
which she had not yet officially declared. In England they
laughed at the state of matters in Europe. "Our situation is
absurd," said Horace Walpole, the intelligent son of the great
minister, who was constantly dabbling in politics, as in
literature. "We have declared war on Spain without making it, and
we make war on France without having declared it."

King George II., as well as his second son, the Duke of
Cumberland, gave proof of striking bravery on the 17th of July,
1743, at the battle Dettingen, which was disastrous to France,
despite the able preparations of Marshal Noailles. An imprudence
of his nephew, the Duke de Grammont, decided the fate of the day.
But the jealousy which existed between the English and German
generals hindered the course of operations. A treaty concluded at
Worms, on the 13th of September, between England, Austria and
Sardinia, was badly received by Parliament, which, with good
reason, deemed it more favorable to the interests of Hanover than
to those of England.
The name Hanoverian began to be used as an insult, and was
applied at times to the king himself. All the influence that
Walpole had preserved in Parliament, and his speech in the House
of Lords, were necessary to obtain the maintenance of the foreign
troops. Lord Wilmington had just died, and at this time it was by
the advice of Walpole that Henry Pelham was called to fill his
place at the head of the Treasury. One year later, in the month
of November, 1744, a division occurred in the cabinet. In spite
of the personal favor of the king, Carteret, then Lord Granville,
yielded to the influence of Henry Pelham and his brother-in-law,
the Duke of Newcastle. War was at length officially declared
between France and England. The new ministers lately raised to
power in the name of English interests, as against the German
proclivities of the king, continued to hire Hanoverian troops. At
the opening of the campaign of 1745, the Duke of Cumberland found
himself at the head of the allies.

The Emperor Charles VII. had just died, and his son had treated
with the Queen of Hungary. Already for two years Frederick II.,
being master of Silesia, had quitted the field of battle, and
observed with curious and cool interest the struggles which were
drenching Europe in blood, and serving to weaken his rivals.
Uneasy at the progress which Maria Theresa was making, he
re-entered the lists, however. King Louis XV. had taken the lead
of his army. He had just arrived before Tournay, with the
dauphin, who had recently been married to the daughter of the
King of Spain. On the 9th of May, 1745, at the break of day, the
hostile forces met near the little village of Fontenoy. The
relation of this victory belongs to the history of France.
Marshal Saxe, a foreigner, and a Protestant, was henceforth to
maintain alone the glory and the high tradition of Louis
Fourteenth's marshals.
He was sick, and believed to be dying, but he caused himself to
be borne on a litter at the head of the army. "The question is
not to live, but to proceed," he had replied to Voltaire, who was
astonished at sight of his preparations. The Austrians were few
in number. The veteran general Königseck commanded a corps of
eight thousand men. An attack directed by the English on the
forest of Lane, which the French troops occupied, had been
repulsed. General Ingoldsby had fallen back on the main body of
the army, commanded by the Duke of Cumberland. "March straight
before you, your highness," said Königseck to the prince. "The
ravine in front of Fontenoy must be gained." The movements of the
Dutch were slow and undecisive; the English gave way. They formed
a deep and serried column, preceded and flanked by cannons. The
French batteries thundered right and left; entire ranks fell in
their tracks; they were soon replaced; cannons, dragged by hand
opposite Fontenoy, and redoubts answered the French artillery. It
was in vain that the French guards sought to capture the enemy's
cannon. The two armies were at last face to face.

Frequent mention has been made of the interchange of courtesies,
which took place between French and English officers, on both
sides of the ravine. The English officers had saluted; Count
Chabannes and the Duke de Biron, who were in advance, uncovered
in their turn. "Gentlemen of the French guard, withdraw," cried
Lord Charles Hay. "Withdraw yourselves, gentlemen of England,"
retorted Count d'Auteroche; "we are never the first to retreat."
The English fusillade was mortal to the French guard. Their
colonel, the Duke de Grammont, had been slain at the beginning of
the battle. The soldiers yielded. The English crossed the ravine
which protected Fontenoy.
They advanced as though on parade; the majors each having a small
cane in his hand, rested it lightly on the muskets of the
soldiers, in order to regulate their fire. One after another the
French regiments broke against this immovable column. The Duke of
Cumberland had ceased to advance, but, impassive and victorious,
through the calm bravery of his soldiers, he occupied the field
of battle. Königseck sent him his felicitations.

Marshal Saxe had begged Louis XV. to retreat. "I know that he
will do what he ought," replied the monarch, "but I stay where I
am." The marshal had just concentrated his troops, in order to
make a final effort. The Irish brigade in the French service,
which was almost entirely composed of Jacobite exiles, headed the
regiments which charged at once on the English. The Dutch had
effected their retreat. The English column found itself
overwhelmed. It finally gave way without disorder, and preserved
to the end its bold front. The Duke of Cumberland, the last to
retreat, as he had been the first to attack, recalled to his
soldiers the glorious memories of Blenheim and Ramillies; he blew
out the brains of an officer who took to flight. The military
skill of the English generals had not equalled their heroism. The
battle of Fontenoy gave the result of the campaign to France, but
Queen Maria Theresa had just accomplished her great aim. Her
husband had been raised to empire on the 13th of September, 1745.
She had made a treaty with the King of Prussia. Louis XV. stood
alone against Germany, which had become neutral, or which rallied
round the reinstated empire. Great internal struggles henceforth
absorbed the thoughts and efforts of England.


An attractive young man, bold and frivolous, Prince Charles
Edward Stuart, the eldest son of the Chevalier St. George, had
for a long time cherished the hope of recovering the throne of
his fathers. Since the beginning of 1744, he had left Rome, where
he was living with his father, attracted to Paris by the rumor of
an invasion of England, which the ministers of Louis XV. desired
to attempt. He was provided with letters patent, declaring him
regent of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland,
the _alter ego_ of the king, his father, charged, [in] his
absence, with the exercise of royal authority. The projected
attempt did not eventuate: the ships collected at Dunkirk were
dispersed, as Prince Charles Edward had not been able to obtain
an audience with Louis XV. For some time he maintained the
strictest incognito. "I have taken a house a league from Paris,
and I live there like a hermit," he wrote to his father. "This
becomes however, the secret of the comedy." The repulse of the
English at Fontenoy seemed a favorable opportunity to the young
prince. "I have always had at heart," said he, "the
re-establishment of my father's throne, but only with the aid of
his own subjects." He was encouraged in his project by Cardinal
de Tencin, who had lately obtained his hat by the influence of
the dethroned monarch. "Why do you not try to cross in a ship to
the north of Scotland?" he had said to the prince; "your presence
can form a party and an army for you. France will be compelled to
give you aid."

Charles Edward had kept his secret from the ministers of Louis
XV. as he had kept it from King James. It was only on the 12th of
June, 1745, that he wrote to his father, from the Chateau de
Navarre, near Ivry: "Your Majesty would not desire me to have
followed his example. You acted in 1715 as I do to-day, under
very different circumstances; those which now present themselves
are more encouraging. This will only transpire after the
embarkation. The lot is cast. I have determined either to conquer
or die, resolved that I am not to yield a foot so long as I shall
have a man with me."


The young prince's jewels had been pledged; he had purchased arms
and supplies. On the 13th of July he set sail, accompanied by a
freight vessel, the Elizabeth, which was soon followed by a
French vessel. The little brig that carried him touched on the
Scotch coast. A large eagle hovered over the Isle of Erisca, when
the ship touched land. "Behold the king of the air come to salute
your royal highness," exclaimed Lord Tullibardine. Gladdened by
this happy augury, the bold exiles disembarked fearlessly. The
prince was disguised, and the crew did not even yet know his

In Scotland they were better informed. The Jacobites had for some
time been cognizant of the prince's intentions. They were uneasy,
and secretly disturbed. The most eminent had even declared to
Murray, the prince's agent, that it would be impossible for them
to effect a rising without the landing of a body of regular
troops. Charles Edward came alone. When he summoned the
Macdonalds--the chiefs of the small cluster of islands where he
landed--the old Macdonald of Boisdale presented himself in the
name of his absent nephew, and refused to pledge his support to
the undertaking. "A word will be sufficient to bring Sir
Alexander Macdonald and McLeod of McLeod here," exclaimed the
prince. "Your highness is mistaken," replied Boisdale; "I have
seen them both a few days ago, and they have told me of their
determination to risk nothing without external aid." The prince
was silent, being more annoyed than dejected. When he cast his
eyes on a young highlander who had come on board his ship with
Boisdale, and who fixed his gleaming glance on him; "You, at
least, you will come to my assistance," said he, quickly turning
to the young man. "Even to death, if I should be alone to draw
the sword," cried Ranald.
"I did not know him yet, and I felt my heart in my mouth when I
looked at him in his abbe's habit," said another witness of the
first interview. Enthusiasm is a contagious power; the chiefs of
the Macdonalds were conquered. They promised to sacrifice
everything, life and property, in the cause of their legitimate

Eight days had not elapsed before the greater part of the
highland gentlemen had followed their example. Vainly had the
chief of the Camerons, young Lochiel, for a time resisted the
contagion. "Do not go to see the prince," his brother had said to
him; "when you are in his presence he will make you do what he
wishes." Lochiel had followed this course. Charles Edward pressed
him in vain. "I am resolved to run the chance of it," at last
exclaimed the adventurous young man. "In a few days I shall
raise the royal standard and proclaim to the people of Great
Britain that Charles Stuart is come to reclaim the crown of his
ancestors, prepared to perish if he should fail. Lochiel can
remain at home. My father had often instanced him as the
staunchest of our friends. He will learn from the papers the fate
of his prince." It was too much. "No," replied the chief, "I
shall share the fate of your highness, whatever it may be, and I
shall involve in my fortune all those whom birth or chance has
placed under my authority."

The Cameron clan was the first and most numerous at the
rendezvous fixed by Charles Edward at Glennin. About fifteen
hundred men assisted there at the unfurling of the royal banner
of the Stuarts, so often and so cruelly disastrous to Scotland
and the Scotch. Some weeks later, profiting by the uneasiness
which the wild mountain defiles had inspired in Sir John Cope,
who was commanding the troops of King George in Scotland, the
young prince pressed quickly forward.
Received everywhere with acclamations, he entered Perth on the
4th of September, where he organized his army, which was
constantly enlarged by new recruits. He chose Lord George Murray,
brother of the Duke of Athol, who had served with distinction on
the continent, for lieutenant-general. Sterling, Falkirk,
Linlithgow, either opened their gates to him or were obliged to
surrender. On the 17th, Charles Edward, from the heights of
Certesphine, viewed the noble city of Edinburgh seated like a
queen between the mountains and the sea. Already the young prince
had put a price on the capture of "George, elector of Hanover."
"If any harm happen to him," said the proclamation, "the blame
will recoil on those who have first set this infamous example."

After having effected a movement in advance, which had eventuated
in a retreat without fighting, General Cope was drawing near the
rebels by sea. The weather was contrary. The guardianship of the
capital was intrusted to a regiment of militia and a volunteer
corps supported by two regiments. The latter had been charged
with the defence of the heights. The terror was extreme, and the
feeling vainly concealed itself beneath a noisy display of
courage. When they learned of the highlanders' approach, and that
the troops were summoned to arms, a handful of volunteers,
speedily diminished still farther by the entreaties of wives and
mothers, appeared on parade. The militia corps was not any
braver. The dragoons took flight, crossed the town at a gallop,
and only paused at the borders of Berwick. The prince sent
summons after summons to the provost. "My proclamation and the
declarations of the king my father are a sufficient protection
for the security of all the towns of the kingdom," said Charles
Edward. "If I enter peaceably within your walls you will suffer
no harm; if you resist, you will be placed under martial law."

Charles Edward.


The municipal magistrates still hesitated; the prince refused to
receive their deputies, for the second time. As the carriages
were re-entering the town, and as the gate opened to give them
passage, eight hundred Camerons, commanded by Lochiel, flung
themselves on the guards and easily effected an entrance into the
city. In an instant they had command of every gate. At the break
of day, Charles Edward, who had immediately been informed, set
out with his little army. Avoiding the fusillade from the castle,
which was occupied by Lord Guest, he entered the capital at
midday, without striking a blow. The Scotch heralds,
incontinently brought to the Square were forced to proclaim King
James VIII., and to read in a loud voice the proclamations of the
king and his son. The Jacobite ladies crowded to the windows,
saluting the prince with their applause. James Hepburn, of Keith,
carrying his drawn sword before the young regent, introduced him
into the palace of his ancestors. Holyrood resounded with shouts
of joy. A crowd of noble lords pressed round the young prince.
"To-morrow, gentlemen, we will march to meet General Cope," said
he, as he parted from his guests. Acclamations from all sides
answered him. On leaving the town, at daybreak, Charles Edward
drew his sword and brandished it above his head, exclaiming,
"Gentlemen, I have thrown away the scabbard."

General Cope, having landed at Dunbar, had rallied his fugitive
dragoons, and was advancing with all speed on Edinburgh. On the
20th of September, the two armies found themselves face to face
on the plain of Prestonpans. It was late: the prince was urged to
make the attack, but marsh separated him from the foe. A council
was held. Charles Edward lay down on a bundle of straw in the
midst of his soldiers.
In the night he was awakened by one of his aides-de-camp. The
proprietor of the piece of ground occupied by the troops, Mr.
Wilson, of Whitbough, had remembered an indirect passage which
enabled them to avoid the dangerous parts of the marsh. He
communicated his plan to the prince. At sunrise the highlanders
had surmounted the obstacle, and already threatened the royal
troops. A moment of meditation, with uncovered head, on the part
of all the soldiers, preceded the shrill summons of the bagpipes
and the shouts of the mountaineers. Before the English soldiers
could draw, the highlanders had turned aside, with blows of their
daggers, the barrels of the muskets, striking with their
claymores the foremost ranks, who fell back dying. The cannon had
been discarded from the first.

Like the Vendean peasants, the Scotch mountaineers dreaded
artillery, and their impetuous bravery was constantly bent on
hindering its ravages. Like the former, also, they dragged after
them an old field-piece, which they called 'the mother of
muskets,'--a worthy predecessor of the illustrious _Marie
Jeanne_ of the army of Lescure and under Laroche-jacquelin.

The dragoons had, as on the day before, taken flight, in spite of
the efforts of the brave and pious Colonel Gardener, slain soon
afterward himself, as he was encouraging the resistance of a
little platoon of troops. The infantry held its ground well, but
every effort of the highlanders was now concentrated against it.
The axes of Lochabar felled heads and lopped limbs. Before this
savage valor the English soldiers at length gave way. James
MacGregor, son of the celebrated Rob Roy, himself pierced with
five wounds, shouted to his companions, "I am not dead, my men; I
look to you to do your duty." Everywhere the chiefs were in the
fray, at the head of their men.
"Do you think that our men are fit to resist the regular troops?"
the prince had asked of MacDonald of Keppoch, who had served long
in France "I know nothing about it," replied the highlander; "it
is long since our clans have been defeated; but what I know well
is that the chieftains will be in front, and that the soldiers
will not leave them long alone." The attack and the victory only
lasted for some moments. General Cope followed his dragoons and
brought the news of his defeat to Berwick. "You are the first
general who has ever himself announced his own defeat," said Lord
Mark Kerr, ironically to him. The fugitives had not been pursued:
the highlanders were absorbed in the division of spoils. The
prince had carefully protected the wounded. "If I had gained the
victory over foreigners, my joy would be complete," he wrote on
the morrow to the king his father, "but the idea that it is over
the English has mingled in it more bitterness than I thought
possible. I learn that six thousand Dutch troops have arrived,
and that ten battalions of English have been sent. I wish that
they were all Dutch, so that I should not have the sorrow of
shedding English blood. I hope I shall soon oblige the elector to
send the rest, which at all events will be a service done to
England, by making her renounce a foreign war, which is ruinous
to her. Unhappily the victory brings embarrassments. I am charged
with taking care of my friends and of my enemies; those who ought
to bury the dead, as if that did not concern them. My highlanders
consider themselves above doing it, and the peasants have
withdrawn. I am equally much embarrassed on account of my wounded
prisoners. If I make a hospital of a church, people will cry out
against this great profanation, and will repeat what I said in my
proclamation, by which I was pledged not to violate any
propriety. Let come what may, I am resolved not to leave the poor
wounded fellows in the street. If I cannot do better, I shall
convert the palace into a hospital, and give it to them."


King George II. had just returned to England, recalled by the
anxieties of his cabinet. The Marquis of Tweedale, charged with
Scotch affairs, being himself undecided and perplexed, complained
of being neither seconded nor obeyed. The inhabitants of the
Lowlands possessed no arms, the Whig clans of the Highlands
delivered up their muskets after the rebellion of 1715 and 1719.
Public spirit was not yet excited in England. Either the fears
there were shameful, or the indifference excessive. "England will
belong to the one who arrives first," wrote Henry Fox, afterwards
Lord Holland, and himself a member of the government, to one of
his friends. "If you can tell me which will be here most quickly,
the six thousand Dutch and the ten English battalions that we are
receiving from Flanders, or the five thousand French and Spanish
that are announced, you would be made certain of our lot."

Patriotic sentiment, even when it is tardy of awakening, is more
powerful than politicians are sometimes led to believe. The
prudent indifference of Louis the XV.th's ministers was not
deceived. In spite of the ardor of his warlike zeal, Charles
Edward felt how precarious was success, and how necessary was
external aid. He had several times renewed his representations to
the Court of Versailles. Some convoys of arms and money had been
sent him; it was even proposed to place the young Duke of York at
the head of the Irish brigade; but the ordinary slowness of a
weak government interfered with its operations. The assistance so
often promised by Spain, as by France, was, up till then,
confined to the personal expeditions of some brave adventurers.
The Duke of Rochelieu ought to place himself at the head, it was
said. "As for the landing at Dunkirk which was spoken of," wrote
the eminent Barbier, at the end of the year 1745, "there is much
anxiety about it, for we are at the end of December and it is not
yet accomplished, which permits every one to invent news
according to his fancy. This uncertainty discourages the French,
who publish that our expedition will not take place, or at least
that it will not assemble."

The expedition did not sail. The prince was ardently desirous of
marching upon London, being, like his predecessors in the
Scottish insurrection, fatally drawn on to seek, in the very
centre of Great Britain, that support and success which always
failed them. The Scottish chiefs protested, being violently
opposed to the abandonment of Scotland. The prince was
ill-inclined to bear contradiction, and promptly flew into a
passion in the council. "I perceive, gentlemen," he cried, "that
you are determined to remain in Scotland and defend your country.
I am not less determined to try my fortune in England. I will go,
though I should be alone."

The highlanders yielded with reluctance, and without confidence.
"We have undertaken to re-establish the kingdom as well as the
King of Scotland," they had often said, and Charles Edward had
solemnly announced that his father would never ratify the union.
He had even thought of convoking a parliament at Edinburgh. The
practical difficulties of the project had deterred him from it.
Before turning his steps into England, the prince published an
appeal to his subjects of the three kingdoms, as clever as it was
impassioned. "It has been sought to frighten you concerning the
dangers that your religion and liberty might run. You have been
spoken to of arbitrary power; of the tyranny of France and Spain.
Give ear to the simple truth. I have at my own expense hired a
Provided but ill with money, arms, or friends, I have come to
Scotland with seven persons. I have published the declaration of
the king my father, and I have proclaimed his rights, with pardon
in one hand and liberty of conscience in the other. As for the
reproaches lately addressed to the royal family, the wrongs which
might have called them forth have been sufficiently expiated.
During the fifty-seven years that our house has lived in exile,
has the nation been more happy and more prosperous for it? Are
you right, as fathers of Great Britain and Ireland, to love those
who have governed you? Have you found more humanity among those
whom their birth did not call to the throne than among my royal
ancestors? Do you owe them other benefits than the crushing
burden of an enormous debt? If it be not so, whence come so many
complaints and such continual reproaches in your meetings? I have
come here without the aid of France or Spain. But when I see my
enemies rallying against me--Dutch, Danes, Hessians, Swiss--and
that the Elector of Hanover summons his allies to protect him
against the subjects of the king, it seems to me that the king my
father is also, in his turn, warranted in accepting some
assistance. I am ready, however. If my enemies desire to put it
to the proof, let them send back their foreign mercenaries; let
them trust to the lot of battles. I shall run my chance with the
subjects of my father alone."

The prince's army amounted at most to six thousand men. Many of
the great lords and Scotch gentlemen had remained neutral. Some,
like Lord Lovat, the chief of the Fraser clan, being scandalously
perfidious and corrupt, had secretly authorized their sons to
join the prince, reserving to themselves the right of
repudiating, if necessary.
"There is a singular mixture of gray-beards and beardless boys,"
wrote a spy who had been sent from England about the middle of
October. "There are old men ready to descend into their graves,
and youngsters who are not much higher than their swords, and who
have not strength to wield them. There are perhaps a good four or
five thousand courageous and determined men. The remnant are
ill-looking bands, more intent on pillage than on their prince,
on a few shillings than on the crown."

It was with these forces, uncertain and irregular, in despite of
their devotion, that Charles Edward crossed the frontier on the
8th of November, 1745. The soldiers, as well as the highland
chiefs, left their country with regret. A certain number of
desertions had already occurred. At the moment when they put
their foot on English soil, the highlanders, uttering loud cries,
drew their swords. Lochiel wounded himself in the hand with his
weapon, and the sight of blood troubled his followers. It was
under the influence of this vexatious omen that the Scots laid
siege to Carlisle. The direction of operations had been intrusted
to the Duke of Perth. The prince, with Lord George Murray, had
conceived a movement on Kelso which should deceive, and which in
fact did deceive. General Wade, who found himself at Newcastle
with the royal troops. When the English general perceived his
error, Carlisle was in the hands of the Jacobites. Charles Edward
made his entry there solemnly on the 17th of November, being
anxious to appease the germs of discord which the success of the
Duke of Perth had just planted among the chiefs of his little
army. Lord George Murray was maintained in his important
From Carlisle to Preston, from Preston to Wigan and Manchester,
the Scotch advanced without striking a blow, but uneasy, and
suspicious of enemies who did not show themselves or give them
occasion to display their valor on the field of battle, and
discontented with the English Jacobites, who remained inert and
did not in any way second their efforts. A little body of
volunteers was formed at Manchester under the orders of Colonel
Townley, who belonged to an old Catholic Lancashire family. On
the banks of the Mersey, among the gentlemen assembled to receive
him, the prince perceived a very old woman who had formerly
assisted at Dover, in 1660, at the landing of King Charles II.
Since the revolution of 1688, Mrs. Skyring had constantly divided
her income into two parts, sending half of it to the royal
exiles. At the news of Charles Edward's arrival, she had
collected her plate and her jewels, in order to lay everything at
the feet of the young prince. Her prayers were heard, she said,
like Simeon of old: "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in
peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy
salvation." Tradition relates that the old Jacobite did actually
die some days after the departure of the adventurous young man
whose success she so ardently desired.

The prince was advancing towards Derby, that fatal limit of
Scotch expeditions into England. Three armies were formed around
and against him. General Wade was at last moving across the
county of York; the Duke of Cumberland, recalled from Germany,
had gathered at Litchfield a body of from seven to eight thousand
men. Considerable forces were assembled at Finchley for the
defence of London. Charles Edward alone was still joyous. The
road to the capital of Great Britain was open to him; a quick
march had left behind him the Duke of Cumberland as well as
General Wade. When he established himself at Derby, on the 4th of
December, his whole preoccupation was to know whether he should
enter London on foot or on horseback; dressed simply as an
English gentlemen, or in the highland costume which he had worn
since his arrival in Scotland.


The views of his adherents were different and their
preoccupations more serious. Scarcely had they arrived at Derby,
when the chiefs repaired in a body to the prince, representing to
him the extreme danger they ran, surrounded as they were by
hostile armies, in a hostile or indifferent country, without
assistance from the Jacobites, and far distant from the forces
which had remained in Scotland under the command of Lord
Strathallan. A victory at the gates of London, the only chance of
glory and success, would leave them still isolated and exposed to
the vengeance and anger of the Elector. The latter had thirty
thousand men at his disposal; their army did not number more than
five thousand fighting men. All counselled retreat, whilst there
was yet time, while the roads were not cut off, and
reinforcements awaited them in Scotland.

The prince bore himself violently. "I would rather be twenty feet
under the ground than retreat," he exclaimed. He multiplied
reasons, arguments, and hopes, both groundless and chimerical;
promising a landing of French troops in the county of Kent,
expatiating justly on the terror into which their approach had
thrown London, where the day of entrance into Derby long bore the
name of Black Friday. The Scots remained immovable. Their
soldiers were preparing to march into the capital, sharpening
their swords or piously prostrating themselves in the churches;
but the chiefs were resolved not to run any new risk. On the
evening of the 5th of December the prince finally yielded.
"You desire it," he said to the members of his council; "I
consent to the retreat; but henceforth I will consult no one. I
am responsible for my actions only to God and to my father. I
shall no longer ask nor accept your advice."

In spite of the liberal protestations of Charles Edward, he had
sucked in with his milk the maxims and haughtiness of absolute
power; but bad fortune had more than once compelled the Stuarts
to bend before the firm resolution of their faithful friends. The
anger of the soldiers equalled that of the prince. "If we had
been beaten, we would not have been more sad," said one of them.
The discontent of the troops displayed itself by a new growth of
irregularity. A long line of stragglers pillaged the cottages;
some set fire to the villages which resisted them. The prince did
not exercise any oversight. He no longer looked on himself as
chief of the army, and he had abandoned his position in the
advance guard. The Duke of Cumberland had raised his camp and was
following the retreating army. Already at Clifton Moor, an
advance detachment had thought to surprise Lord George Murray's
corps. The lieutenant-general was on his guard. In the shade he
perceived the dragoons who had descended from horseback, and who
were gliding under the shelter of the walls. "Claymore!" cried
the Scottish chief, and his soldiers instantly started in pursuit
of the enemy, and soon put them to rout. Lord George had lost his
cap and fought bareheaded.

The rebel army entered Scotland without another battle. Scarcely
had it left Carlisle when the place was invested by the royal
troops. The Manchester regiment which occupied it for the young
Pretender was forced to capitulate "under the good pleasure of
his Majesty." The good pleasure of George II. was to be, for the
larger part of the officers, condemnation to death.


The royal authority had been re-established at Edinburgh since
the prince had taken the road to England. General Hawley, who
occupied it for George II., advanced towards Stirling. Charles
Edward had just arrived there. He had blockaded the citadel, but
on learning the movement of the English general he immediately
marched to meet him. The prince had rallied all his forces; his
army amounted to about eight or nine thousand men, a figure
nearly equal to that of the royal troops. The English were
encamped on the plain of Falkirk. On the 17th of January, 1746,
when the rumor spread that the highlanders were approaching, the
general was absent, being detained at Cullender House by the
hospitality of the Countess of Kilmarnock, whose husband had
taken part with the rebel army. The soldiers were preparing their
dinner; confusion reigned among all the regiments. Hawley, who
had come hatless in hot haste at a hard gallop, immediately
hurried his dragoons along with him, ordering the infantry to
follow him, so as to cut off the road to the mountaineers. Rain
was driving in the face of the soldiers. The highlanders already
occupied the acclivity when the royal troops arrived to meet
them. Hardly had they formed their lines when the mountaineers
dashed on them, having dispersed the cavalry, who suffered the
disadvantage of the position. Only three regiments of the right
wing stood the impetuous attack of the highlanders. On this
juncture the Scotch brigade that Sir John Drummond had brought
from France belied the reputation that it had achieved at
Fontenoy. According to custom, the mountaineers, certain of
victory, no longer thought of anything but plunder, and did not
pursue the fugitives.
Hawley and his dragoons, drenched almost to the skin by torrents
of rain, beaten by a furious wind, ashamed and humiliated,
reentered Linlithgow at a gallop, in order to take refuge
immediately after in Edinburgh. The fugitive foot-soldiers joined
them there, and bore all the rage of their terrible chief. The
gibbets that he had prepared for the punishment of the rebels
were loaded with his coward soldiers. The Duke of Cumberland
alone, who was coming by forced marches to measure himself with
the Pretender, put an end to these punishments. On the 30th of
January he slept at Holyrood, in the same room and in the same
bed that his rival had lately occupied. Yet once more the future
of Great Britain seemed destined to be played for on the field of
battle between two princely adversaries, both representing the
most opposite principles, both young and brave, having at command
forces the same to outward view, but in reality very different.
To clear-sighted observers, even though prejudiced, Charles
Edward's cause was lost.

It was the opinion of his most faithful adherents, absolutely
devoted, as before Derby, to a cause the weakness of which they
appreciated, and which they were resolved to defend to the very
end. After his victory at Falkirk, the prince wished to again
undertake the siege of Stirling Castle, without other counsel
than that of a French engineer, M. de Mirabelle, and some
subordinates. The chiefs were gloomy; they presented a
remonstrance to the prince; desertions were becoming every day
more numerous in the face of foes who were each day more
threatening. "We are humbly of opinion," said the highland
chiefs, "that the only means of snatching the army from an
imminent peril is to withdraw to the highlands, and we can easily
occupy the winter in getting possession of the northern
We are thus certain of retaining sufficient men to deter the
enemy from following us into the mountains at this season of the
year. In the spring a new army of ten thousand men will be ready
to accompany your Royal Highness where it may seem good to you."
On this occasion again the determined will of the men who had
risked everything in his cause overcame the young prince's
obstinacy. In his rage he dashed his head against the wall. "Good
God! have I lived long enough to see this?" he cried. But the
siege of Stirling Castle was abandoned, and the retreat toward
the mountains began without any order or method. In his bad humor
Charles Edward had neglected to give his orders. The rebels
without difficulty invested Inverness, the castle of which
yielded at the end of some days. The convoys of arms and supplies
coming from France had almost all been intercepted by English
cruisers. The coffers of the army needed money; the troops were
receiving their pay in flour; dissatisfaction was on the
increase; the French and Spanish adventurers were tired of the
war; they ran no danger, and they reaped neither glory nor
profit. The Duke of Cumberland pursued the retreating army. On
the 2nd of February he had entered Stirling; on the 25th he took
up quarters at Aberdeen, being himself irritated and gloomy. "All
the inhabitants of the country are Jacobites," he wrote;
"gentleness would be quite out of place; there would be no end if
I should enumerate the villains and the villainies which abound
here." The hour of vengeance was approaching, rendered more cruel
by the natural harshness of the conqueror, as well as by the
passionate obstinacy of those of the rebels who should become his
Already the march of the royal army was marked by gibbets. The
duke's advance was for a time hindered by the departure of the
Dutch troops. Scarcely had Lord John Drummond set foot in
Scotland than he had communicated to the troops of the
States-General his commission from Louis XV. As prisoners of war
who had capitulated at Tournay and at Dendermonde, the Dutch
regiments were pledged not to bear arms against France. They had
just been replaced by Hessians, when the Duke of Cumberland,
crossing the Spey in spite of the highlanders' efforts, advanced
as far as Nairn, where he established his camp. About seven
leagues separated the two armies; plenty reigned among the
English. On the 15th of April, the Duke of Cumberland's birthday,
an extraordinary distribution of provisions was made among the
troops. When the highlanders were called to arms in the night
they had scarcely had a biscuit to appease their hunger. The
prince and Lord George Murray had conceived the hope of effecting
a surprise. The body of troops was inconsiderable, but the night
was dark, the road bad, and the English made drowsy by copious
drinking. The mountaineers set out on the march; they were
enfeebled, and they advanced slowly. Day was beginning to break
when they found themselves in sight of the English camp. Charles
Edward was disposed to push forward. "A little light will be
advantageous to us in wielding the two-edged sword," said
Hepburn; but Lord George, ever prudent, and stationed at the head
of the advance guard, had already ordered the retreat. The men,
fatigued and discouraged, resumed their position in the plain of
Culloden, at the foot of the castle which the prince occupied,
and which belonged to the great Judge Duncan Forbes, one of his
most decided as well as most intelligent and reasonable
It was there that the Duke of Cumberland came in his turn to
offer battle to the Pretender. The army of the latter was small
in number; several clans, disaffected on different points, did
not respond to the call. Charles Edward refused to hear the wary
counsels which his friends threw away on him, among others the
Marquis d'Equilles, who had lately come from France with a letter
from King Louis XV., and who pompously assumed the title of
ambassador. The die was cast; the two armies drew up for battle
in the plain. It was about eleven o'clock in the morning. On the
18th of April, 1746, before close of day, the Jacobite army had
ceased to exist.

The courage of Charles Edward and his conduct at the battle of
Culloden have often been questioned. Standing motionless on the
hill at the head of a squadron of cavalry, he took no part in the
action, and when he perceived the disorder of the troops he made
no effort to rally them and to die in their midst. He was
displeased and gloomy, affected perhaps by the fatalistic
superstition that seemed to have impressed several of the clans.
The Macdonalds had been placed at the left wing, whereas they had
occupied the right at Prestonpans and at Falkirk. This change had
seemed to them a bad augury. Lochiel had been severely wounded;
two of his followers had carried him bleeding far from the field
of battle. The courtiers who surrounded the prince took fright
when they saw the fortune of battle declare itself against them,
and withdrew, ignoring the fate reserved for them and what
intellectual and moral degradation should attach to that man who
had started in life by an undertaking so adventurous and
brilliant that it had for a time placed him in the estimation of
Europe among heroes.
The Duke of Cumberland was constantly borne to the front rank. "I
have just given the orders of the day, that fugitives will be
shot," he had said to his troops at the beginning of the battle.
"I tell you this, that those who do not feel their courage very
certain, should retire. I prefer to fight with one thousand
resolute men behind me than to have ten thousand among whom are
cowards." The regiments had responded by the cry of "Flanders!
Flanders!" a just and noble souvenir of their attitude at
Fontenoy. The battle was finished and the victory complete when
the duke wrote to London, "I thank God for having been the
instrument of this success, the glory of which belongs solely to
the English troops, who have cleansed themselves of the little
check at Falkirk without the help of the Hessians. They would
have been well able to spare us the trouble, and have not been
useless in spite of their inaction."

The highlanders had for the most part fought valiantly; their
losses were great, and few of the prisoners were to see their
families again. The rigors of triumphant vengeance already were
commencing to spend themselves on them. The Duke of Cumberland
and General Hawley did not feel the sentiments which had formerly
affected Charles Edward after the battle of Prestonpans. The
prisoners and the wounded suffered hunger and thirst. A certain
number of the fugitives were burned in the cottages where they
had concealed themselves. "It is necessary to draw a little of
this country's blood," said the Duke of Cumberland. "We weaken
this folly, but we do not cure it. Even if we have destroyed
them, the soil is so impregnated by this rebellion that it will
crop out again." Already the prince's agents were scouring the
country seeking fugitives of note, searching houses, and leaving
traces of their passage by fire and sword. "I think it will not
be long before I lay my hand on old Lovat," wrote the duke. "I
have several detachments on the way to search for him, and papers
which suffice to convict him of high treason."


It was at the house of Lord Lovat, the most perfidious of all his
secret adherents, that Charles Edward had sought refuge after
leaving the battle-field of Culloden. The cruel old man, grown
hoary in intrigues, had refused to join him personally, whilst
sending him his son. He was henceforward determined to sacrifice
all his possessions in order to save his life. He coldly received
the unfortunate prince, who would not sleep under his roof, and
who pursued his way as far as the abandoned castle of Invergary.
A fisherman of the neighborhood brought two salmon that he had
just caught in the little river. The prince and his companions
were worn out with fatigue, discouraged, and convinced with
reason that the check was definite and the cause lost. Lord
George Murray had rallied twelve hundred men at Ruthven. Prudent
in the moment of success, dauntless in the hour of reverse, he
advised the prince to maintain the struggle at every risk. "We
can hold out in the mountains so long as there is a cow and a
measure of meal in Scotland," said he. A message from the prince
thanked his faithful adherents for their zeal, asking of them, as
a last favor, to think of their personal safety. All were gravely
compromised; danger was imminent; they scattered, and the
rebellion of 1745-1746 was over.


While the Duke of Cumberland established himself in Fort
Augustus, exercising to the full all those cruelties which made
him deserve the name of butcher, while the most fortunate of his
enemies escaped with great difficulty, Prince Charles Edward, as
his grand-uncle, King Charles II., had formerly done after the
battle of Worcester, wandered from hiding-place to hiding-place,
exhausted, dying of hunger, a hundred times recognized, forced to
trust to the poorest people, to the most powerless of his
friends, yet everywhere served, assisted, defended, with a
devotion which was proof against everything. He had taken refuge
in the little archipelago which bears the name of Long Island.
The English vessels cruised along the coasts; houses were
incessantly searched; peasants were arrested; the danger was
increasing every day. A young girl, Miss Flora Macdonald, who was
on a visit in the Isle of Wight succeeded in procuring herself a
passport for the Isle of Skye. She disguised the prince, and,
taking him in her suite as a lady's maid, went for refuge to the
house of her cousin, Sir Alexander Macdonald, who had been
constantly adverse to Charles Edward's attempt, and had ended by
actively opposing it. His wife, Lady Margaret, seconded Flora's
efforts. The castle was filled with militia officers, but she
succeeded in effecting the prince's escape. Some days later he
crossed to the Isle of Rosay, almost at the moment when his
deliverer, Flora Macdonald, was arrested and conducted to London,
where her detention lasted about a year. Some people found fault
with Lady Margaret's conduct, the Princess of Wales being of the
number. "In such a case would you not have done as much?" said
her husband, turning quickly upon her. "I hope so; I am sure of
it." The persevering fidelity of the Jacobites endowed Flora
Macdonald. After five months of perils and sufferings
courageously endured, the fugitive prince at last set foot in
France. He embarked on the 20th of September at Lochmanagh,
almost at the same place where he had formerly landed full of the
most joyous and brilliant hopes.
"Nothing troubled him, neither fatigues nor privations," said one
of the temporary companions of his flight. "He alone should
suffer," he said; but when he thought of all those who were in
peril for his sake, his heart was strained and on the verge of
losing courage. His name long dwelt in the popular songs of the
highlands, which remained persistently faithful to the
remembrance of common efforts and dangers.

"I have had sons; I no longer have any. I have brought them up
with difficulty, but I would be willing to bear them all again
and to lose them for love of Charles."

Whilst the prince, the object of a devotion so passionately
disinterested, was receiving at the court of Louis XV. a welcome
as impressive as it was vain, his illustrious partisans thronged
the prisons and scaffolds, while their lands were laid waste by
the English soldiers. In vain did Duncan Forbes claim the
application of laws. "Laws!" replied the conqueror; "I will make
laws with a brigade." Colonel Townley and his companions had
already endured their horrible sentence at Kennington Common in
sight of an eager and terrified crowd. Lord Cromarty, Lord
Kilmarnock, and Lord Balmerino were confined in the Tower. When
they were brought before the Court of Peers the first two pleaded
guilty. Lord Cromarty implored the compassion of his judges for
his wife and eight children. Lord Balmerino pleaded not guilty.
"I wish to be judged by God and my peers," said he proudly. All
three were condemned to the punishment of traitors; Lord Cromarty
alone obtained pardon. "I do not consider him worthy of life who
is not ready to die," said Lord Balmerino when his sentence was
As the sheriff pronounced the customary formula, "God save King
George," Kilmarnock uttered an "Amen." Balmerino raised his head.
"So God save King James," exclaimed he; "if I had a thousand
lives I would give them all for this cause." He knelt down on the
scaffold. "My God, reward my friends, forgive my enemies, bless
King James, and receive my soul," he uttered in a loud voice. The
agitated executioner had scarcely strength to cut his head off.

Last of all, Lord Lovat had suffered the punishment merited by
his entire life rather than by his part in the Jacobite
rebellion. A coward and a suppliant as long as he believed pardon
possible, he recovered on the day before his death the theatrical
pride of his best days, and even on the scaffold he murmured the
line of Horace: "_Dulce et decorum est pro patriâ mori._"
Legal measures had followed these bloody executions; the
highlanders were disarmed; hereditary jurisdictions were
abolished; their national costume was forbidden to the
mountaineers. Along with the power of the Jacobites the feudal
spirit was slowly extinguished in Scotland. Keppoch had
sorrowfully said on the battle-field of Culloden, when he saw the
Macdonalds quietly retire without fighting, "Have I lived long
enough to see myself deserted by the children of my people?"
Death had seconded fatigue and private grudges. "It is to the
Duke of Cumberland that we owe this peace," was what was written
on the monument of Culloden battle-field.


The anger and harshness of the English government in regard to
the Jacobites multiplied the checks that the coalition had
encountered everywhere on the continent, with the exception of
Italy. At the moment when the Duke of Cumberland was defeating
Charles Edward at Culloden, Antwerp surrendered to Louis XV. in
person. Mons, Namur, and Charleroi were not long in yielding. The
victory of Raucoux in 1746, and that of Lawfelt in 1747, had
carried the glory of Marshal Saxe to its height. Originally a
foreigner like him, like him serving France gloriously, the Count
Lowendall hard pressed the Dutch, who were against their
inclination engaged in the struggle. He had already taken Ecluse
and Sas de Gand; Berg-op-Zoom was besieged. As in 1672, the
French invasion had given rise to a political revolution in
Holland. The aristocratic _bourgeoisie_, which had regained
power, yielded to the efforts of the popular party, directed by
the House of Nassau and sustained by England. "The republic needs
a chief to oppose an ambitious and perfidious neighbor who makes
game of the faith of treaties," said a deputy of the
States-General on the day when the stadtholdership was
proclaimed, which was re-established in favor of William IV.,
grand-nephew of the great William III. and son-in-law of George
II. King of England. The young prince immediately took command of
the Dutch troops, but a good understanding did not long exist
between him and the Duke of Cumberland. "Our two young heroes
scarcely understand one another," wrote Mr. Pelham on the 14th of
August, 1747. "Ours is open, frank, resolute, and a little
hot-headed; the other is presumptuous, pedantic, argumentative,
and obstinate; in what a situation do we find ourselves? We must
ask God to come to our aid, for we can direct nothing. There is
nothing to be done but appease quarrels and obtain time to
breathe. Perhaps somebody will recover common sense."


Marshal Saxe had said to Louis XV., "Sire, peace is in
Mæstricht." The place was invested on the 9th of April, 1748,
before the thirty-five thousand Russians promised to England by
the Czarina Elizabeth had time to arrive. The Dutch were alarmed,
and vigorously insisted on peace. Philip V. was dead. His
successor, Ferdinand VI., who was less faithful to the House of
Bourbon, made overtures to England. For a long time the prime
minister, Henry Pelham, was disposed to peace. His brother, the
Duke of Newcastle, opposed it out of servile deference to the
king. Lord Chesterfield, lately become a member of the cabinet,
and who was intelligent and sagacious in spite of his worldly
unconcern, being dissatisfied with the conduct of the court
towards him, had just given in his resignation. Notwithstanding
her successes, France was, like her adversaries, weary. Marshal
Saxe himself made pacific proposals. The preliminaries of the
peace were signed on the 30th of April. Austria and Spain were
not slow in giving their adhesion to it. On the 18th of October
the final treaty was concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle. After so much
blood spilt and treasure squandered, France gained from the war
no other advantage than the guarantee of the duchies of Parma and
Plaisance to the infant Don Philip, son-in-law of Louis XV.
England yielded to France Cape Breton and the colony of
Louisburg, the only territory that she had preserved after her
numerous expeditions against our colonies, and the immense injury
she had done our commerce. This clause excited much ill-feeling
among the English people. Hostages had been promised. Prince
Charles Edward was in Paris when they arrived. He was seized with
an access of patriotic anger. "If ever I remount the throne of my
fathers," he exclaimed, "Europe will witness my constant
endeavors to oblige France in turn to send hostages to England."


Prince Charles Edward was himself an inconvenient and
compromising hostage whom France engaged in expelling from her
territory. Vainly, since his return from Scotland, the young
Pretender had obstinately sought to rekindle a flame which was
forever extinguished. "If I had received only half of the money
that your Majesty sent me," he wrote to Louis XV. on the 10th of
November, 1746, "I would have fought the Duke of Cumberland with
equal numbers, and I would have certainly defeated him, since
with four thousand men against twelve thousand I held victory in
the balance for a long time. These disasters can yet be repaired
if your Majesty is willing to intrust me with a body of from
eighteen to twenty thousand men. The number of warlike subjects
has never failed me in Scotland. I have needed at once money,
provisions, and a handful of regular troops. With one of these
three aids alone I would still be to-day master of Scotland, and
probably of all England." Louis XV. had remained deaf to this
appeal, which no longer found an echo in Spain. The Duke of York,
second son of the Chevalier de St. George, had just taken orders.
The Court of Rome had forthwith made him a cardinal, to the
violent indignation of his brother. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
removed from the unfortunate Stuarts that asylum which France had
with so much pomp lately offered them. Charles Edward refused to
understand the notice which the ministers of Louis XV. had
conveyed to him. "The king is bound to my cause by his honor,
which is worth all treaties," said he. In vain had his father
counselled him to yield to necessity and not to provoke a monarch
who could be useful to him. The prince was determined to remain
in France, and at Paris.
On the 11th of December, as he arrived at the opera, his carriage
was surrounded by police agents. M. de Vaudreuil, major in the
guards, presented himself before the prince. "I arrest you in the
name of the king, my master," said he. "The manner is a little
cavalier," coolly replied the young man. When the major asked for
his arms, "Let them take them," said he, freeing himself from the
hands of the police officers. They bound his hands with silken
cords, the last sign of respect accorded to the heir of a house
forever fallen, and he was conducted from stage to stage as far
as the frontier. He would never see France again. Twice he
reappeared secretly in England: in 1753, on the occasion of a
projected surprise on the person of George II., which he himself
deemed impossible; and in 1761, amid the festivities at the
coronation of George III. Twice the kings of the House of Hanover
were not ignorant of the presence of their enemy in the capital;
they made no effort to seize him, and wisely allowed him to set
out again for an exile, the long weariness of which had mortally
affected his mind as well as his heart. Deprived by his faults of
the pure joys of family life, he had lowered himself so far as to
seek forgetfulness in drunkenness. He was old and almost
forgotten when he died at Rome in 1788. Only the inscription on a
tomb recalls the name of the last three Stuarts, and it was King
George IV. who caused it to be engraved as a souvenir of extinct
passions: "To James III., son of James II., King of England; to
Charles Edward, and to Henry, Cardinal of York, last scion of the
House of Stuart, 1819."

Arrest Of Charles Edward.


The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle had, with good reason, excited more
discontent in France than in England. We alone had gained
brilliant victories and made great conquests. We alone preserved
no increase of territory. The great Frederick kept Silesia, and
the King of Sardinia the domains already ceded by Austria.
Humorous lampoons were sung in the streets of Paris, and "_Bête
comme le paix_," was a customary expression.

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle had a graver defect than that of
barrenness; it was not and could not be lasting. England had
proved her power on the sea. She had battled against our ruined
navy, and against enfeebled Spain. Holland, her ally after having
been her rival, could no longer dispute the sovereign empire with
her. She became daily more eager for the conquest of the distant
colonies that we did not know how to defend. The peace had left
in suspense disputed points which would soon serve as a pretext
for new aggressions. In proportion as the ancient influence of
Richelieu and Louis XIV. on European politics grew weaker,
English influence, based on the growing power of a free country
and government, was strengthening. Without any other allies than
Spain, who was herself shaken in her fidelity, we stood exposed
to the enterprises of England, henceforth freed from the phantom
of the Stuarts. "The peace concluded between England and France
in 1748 was only a truce," said Lord Macaulay; "it was not even a
truce on other parts of the globe." It was there that the two
nations were about to measure themselves, and that the burden of
its government's shortcomings would cause France to lose that
empire of the Indies and those Canadian colonies which had been
founded and so long sustained by eminent men, one after another,
victims to their patriotic devotion which was as hopeless as it
was without results.


Frederick, Prince of Wales, died on the 20th of March, 1751.
Having caught a slight cold, without being alarmed at his
illness, he soon felt seriously affected. "I feel death," he had
said. The dispute which reigned in the royal family did not cease
at the grave; the project of the Regency law had occasioned some
bitter passages between the dowager princess, mother of the new
Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cumberland. The prince was not
popular. "I do not know why," said King George II. "This nation
is capricious. The Scotch and the Jacobites think ill of him; and
the English do not like discipline." On the 6th of March, 1754,
Henry Pelham unexpectedly died. His administration had been just
and intelligent, without vigor, but without disturbance. "I shall
have no more peace," exclaimed the old king when he learned of
his minister's death. As clever in court finesse as he was
incapable of directing with grandeur general policy, the Duke of
Newcastle knew how to seize the high rank that escaped the dying
hands of his brother. William Pitt bided his time.

It was in the midst of this administrative weakness and
intellectual stagnation that a religious movement had begun, and
was spreading, which was destined to reanimate moral life in
England, to purify manners, and to give it strength to resist the
fatal impulse of the French Revolution. Under the influence of
examples which originated in the court of Charles II., and which
since then had been fostered by numerous scandals, English
society was gradually corrupted in high places, and the contagion
of moral evil was beginning to make itself felt even in the most
remote provinces. Religious faith, enfeebled by the indifference
of the clergy as well as by the theories of philosophers, was
struggling faintly against the depravity of manners. The Anglican
Church had fallen into a respectable languor; the old dissenting
sects, having escaped from the tight bonds of persecution, had
lost their ancient fervor.

William Pitt--Lord Chatham.


The religious sentiment yet existed in a latent condition among
the lower and middle classes. Here it was that it awakened with
an unexpected ardor at the eloquent voice of John Wesley and
George Whitefield. Both students of Oxford, both destined to
embrace the holy ministry, both consecrated in the Anglican
Church, they undertook with enthusiasm a sacred crusade for the
salvation of souls and the destruction of moral evil. Whitefield,
who was more ardently eloquent, less contained, and of a less
tolerant spirit than Wesley, now travelled over the country,
preaching to the miners, who came out of their gloomy retreats in
thousands in order to hear his fervent exhortations, and now
assembled at the house of the Countess of Huntington the
_élite_ of the worldly society of London. Strong workingmen
sobbed and groaned under his pathetic appeals; peasants fell to
the earth as though stricken with inward convulsions;
philosophers tranquilly admired an eloquence of which they
recognized the power as well as the sincerity. "All appeared
moved to some extent," said Whitefield in writing of a piously
worldly assembly. "Lord Chesterfield thanked me, saying, 'Sir, I
will not say to you, what I say of you to others, how much I
commend you.' Lord Bolingbroke assisted at the meeting. He was
seated like an archbishop, and did me the honor to say that in my
discourse I had done justice to the divine attributes." Some
years later the eloquence of Whitefield was to draw from the
economical hands of Franklin the whole contents of his purse. But
already the ardor of his zeal had closed to him the pulpits of
the Anglican Church. He had sought sympathy for his cause even in
On his return to England some difference of opinion had separated
him from Wesley. Henceforth each worked for his reward in the
vast field of unbelief, indifference, and moral corruption. Both,
however, pursued the same work, following the bent of natural
disposition, which was more ardent and dissenting with Whitefield
and the Methodist sects born under his inspiration, more moderate
and conservative with Wesley as with the innumerable adherents
who yet do themselves the honor of bearing his name.

Never was the author of a great and lasting popular movement
further removed than Wesley from all revolutionary tendency. The
spirit of government and organization, attachment to ancient and
venerated forms, a lofty and calm judgment united to an ascetic
nature, a slight leaning towards mysticism--such were the
characteristic and necessary traits of a reformer and religious
founder in the eighteenth century. Wesley was tenderly attached
to the Anglican Church; he only separated himself from it with
regret, constrained by the ecclesiastical dislike which closed
the pulpits to him, and compelled, little by little, and against
his inclination, to accept the vault of heaven for his temple,
and the laity for his fellow laborers, as Whitefield had done
since the beginning. During his long apostolate, which lasted
from 1729 to 1791, from the prayer-meetings in his room at Oxford
to the complete and strong organization of the sect he had
founded, Wesley exercised an absolute authority over his numerous
subjects. "If you mean by an arbitrary power, a power which I
alone exercise," he said, with a tranquil simplicity, "it is
certainly true; but I see no harm in it." However, in
courageously accomplishing his work, Wesley did more than he
intended; he had founded a religious society; he had not had the
intention of founding a sect.
A minister of the Anglican Church, and a witness of its
shortcomings, he had felt that in order to awaken the parish
clergy it was necessary to create a kind of regular clergy; that
in order to announce the Gospel to those who did not go to
church, or who only heard these cold exhortations, it was
necessary to organize an army of ardent missionaries; that in
order to touch the heart of the masses it was necessary to seek
them in the fields, the markets, and the byways, and to address
them in their own common language. Wesley was forced to separate
himself from the Anglican Church, but his disciples have
constantly remained respectful to her, and as an intermediate
body between her and dissenters, they have, from without,
rendered her most important services. Wesley and Whitefield have
reawakened religious life in England, and no religious society
has profited by it so much as the Anglican Church herself.
Movements of various kinds, all serious and sincere, have
manifested themselves in her wide bosom. She has sufficed to
foster much warmth, to satisfy minds and hearts widely
dissimilar, but all beset by veritable religious needs; she has
united herself to the most noble attempts of modern philanthropy,
the worthy fruits of awakened and revived Christian faith. It is
to the great religious movement created in the eighteenth century
by Wesley and Whitefield that England has owed the glorious
efforts of Clarkson and Wilberforce for the emancipation of
slaves, and the prison reform of John Howard.


England had need of all her forces, ancient and new, moral,
religious, and patriotic, for she was approaching an era of
blended glory and danger, agitated and tempestuous even in
victory. The war with France, long sustained on distant seas
without preliminary declaration, and with enormous detriment to
French commerce, which was everywhere interrupted and ruined,
became at last patent and officially inevitable. In the Indies as
well as in Canada, it had not ceased for a single day. In the
month of March, 1755, the ministers asked Parliament for an
increase of forces for the defence of the American possessions
threatened by the French. The governor of Canada, the Marquis
Duquesne, had erected a series of forts in the valley of the
Ohio. M. de Contrecœur, who commanded in that region, learned
that a body of English troops was marching upon him under the
orders of young Colonel Washington. He immediately detailed M. de
Jumonville along with thirty men, to call upon the English to
retire and evacuate the French territory. At break of day on the
18th of May, 1754, Washington's corps surprised De Jumonville's
little encampment. The attack was unforeseen; the French envoy
was killed along with nine of his troop. The irritation caused by
this event precipitated the commencement of hostilities. A band
of Canadians, reinforced by some savages, marched against
Washington, who had intrenched himself in the plain. It was
necessary to attack him with cannon shot. In spite of his
bravery, the future conqueror of American independence was forced
to capitulate. The colonies were keenly excited; they formed a
sort of confederation against the French power in America. They
especially raised militia. In January, 1755, General Braddock was
already in Virginia with regular troops. In the early part of
May, Admiral Boscawen, after a desperate combat, captured several
vessels which had been separated by bad weather from the squadron
of Admiral Dubois de la Motte. Three hundred merchant vessels
fell into the hands of the English navy.
War was finally declared, to the secret uneasiness of the two
governments as well as of the two nations. "What is the use of
having plenty of troops and money," wrote the lawyer Barbier, "if
we only wage war with the English by sea? They will one after
another take all our vessels, get hold of all our American
settlements, and manage all the commerce. Some division in the
English nation itself must be hoped for, because the king
personally does not desire war."

King George II. was uneasy on account of Hanover--a point of
attack naturally pointed out to the armies of King Louis XV. The
English nation dreaded the landing so often and so vainly
announced. "What I wish," exclaimed Pitt, "is to snatch this
country from a state of enervation which makes it tremble before
twenty thousand Frenchmen." Being a member of the administration,
as well as paymaster-general of the forces, he violently attacked
the treaties of subsidies and alliance, which the king had just
concluded with Prussia and Hesse. For the first time, his
eloquence swayed the House. "He has surpassed himself," wrote
Horace Walpole. "Do I need to tell you that he has surpassed
Demosthenes and Cicero? What figure would their solemn,
elaborate, studied harangues have cut beside this manly vivacity
and this impetuous eloquence which, all at once, at one o'clock
in the morning, after eleven hours' session, pierced the stifling
atmosphere." Legge, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, had, like
Pitt, refused his assent to the treaties. Both were replaced, and
Pitt was thrown into the opposition, which rallied round the
princess dowager and the young Prince of Wales. "This day will, I
hope, give the key-note to my life," he had rightly said in his
great speech.


The weakness of the English government became more apparent every
day. "I say it with regret on account of my friend Fox," wrote
Horace Walpole, "but the year 1756 was, perhaps, that of the
worst government I have ever seen in England: the incapacity of
Newcastle had fair play." In spite of their inadequate resources
the Canadians defended themselves heroically and not
unsuccessfully against the efforts of the American colonies
backed by the mother-country. Acadia, a strip of neutral country
between the English and French territories, the inhabitants of
which had constantly refused to take the oath of allegiance to
England, was invaded by the American troops, the population swept
off, and the houses pillaged. General Braddock encountered more
resistance in the valley of the Ohio. He proposed to surprise
Fort Duquesne, and forced the march of his little corps. "I never
saw a finer sight than that of the English troops on the 9th of
July, 1755," wrote Colonel Washington, who was commanding under
the orders of Braddock. But soon the English advance-guard was
stopped by a heavy discharge of artillery; the enemy did not
appear; the foremost ranks were disordered and recoiled on the
body of the army. The confusion became extreme; the regular
troops, little used to this sort of fighting, refused to rally
round the general, who would have wished them to manœuvre as on
the plains of Flanders. The Virginia militia alone, being
scattered in the woods, answered the fire of the French or Indian
sharpshooters without showing themselves. General Braddock soon
received a mortal wound; Colonel Washington, reserved by God for
other destinies, sought in vain to rally the soldiers.
"I have been protected by the all-powerful intervention of
Providence," he wrote to his brother after the action; "I
received four bullets in my coat, and I have had two horses
killed under me; however, I have got out of it safe and sound,
while death swept off all our comrades around me. We have been
beaten, shamefully beaten, by a handful of Frenchmen, who only
anticipated hindering our march. A few moments before action we
believed our forces almost equal to all those of Canada, and now,
contrary to all probability, we have been completely defeated,
and have lost everything." The little French corps, sent out from
Fort Duquesne under the command of M. de Beaujeu, numbered but
two hundred Canadians and six hundred Indians. It was only three
years later, when Canada, exhausted and dying, succumbed beneath
the burden of a war which it had sustained almost without aid,
that Fort Duquesne, destroyed by its defenders themselves, fell
into the hands of the English. They gave it the name of
Pittsburg, in honor of the great minister who was in power--a
name which a prosperous city bears even to-day.

While the Marquis de Montcalm was successfully sustaining the war
against the English in America, Marshal Richelieu, a clever,
prodigal, and corrupt courtier, had the good luck to achieve the
only happy stroke of the Seven Years' War, the remembrance of
which should remain firm in the mind of posterity. On the 17th of
April, 1756; a French squadron under the command of M. de la
Galissonière attacked the Island of Minorca, an important
military point in the Mediterranean to which the English attached
a high Value. Chased from Ciudadela and Port Mahon, the garrisons
had taken refuge in Fort St. Philip. They relied on the help of
the English fleet. The Admiral who commanded it attacked M. de la
Galissonière on the 10th of May.
The English were repulsed and could not effect a landing. The
ships had suffered a good deal, and the English forces were
inferior to those of France. Byng feared defeat; he consulted his
council of war and fell back on Gibraltar. General Blakeney, shut
up in the fortress, sick, and without hope of aid, defended
himself weakly against the impetuous assault of the French. Fort
St. Philip was taken, and the Duke de Fronsac, eldest son of the
Duke de Richelieu, hastened to Paris to convey the news to King
Louis XV.

The rage and humiliation, like the joy and pride of France,
exceeded the extent and importance of the success. Admiral Byng,
peremptorily recalled, was with great difficulty brought safe and
sound to London, so strong was the anger of the mob. The
government made no effort to protect him. On the first
representations being made to him against the admiral, who was
honest and brave, but a blind slave of rule and badly provided
alike with ships and sailors, the Duke of Newcastle hastily
replied, "Oh! certainly, certainly; he will be judged
immediately; he will be hanged immediately." In spite of the
efforts made in his favor in the Houses, as well as by Marshal
Richelieu and Voltaire, Byng expiated with his life the check he
had sustained and the wounded pride of his country. The Duke of
Newcastle was at last overcome by his notorious incapacity.
William Pitt seized the reins of power for a short time, of which
the aversion of the king was not long in depriving him. The great
orator had refused to come to an understanding with Mr. Fox, who
bitterly reproached him with afterwards sustaining the treaties
of subsidies and alliances which he had lately attacked so
France had just entered into an alliance with Maria Theresa; the
houses of Bourbon and Austria were making common cause; all the
available forces of England were engaged in the struggle, and
Pitt did not hesitate to recruit in the highlands. "Men are never
wanting to a good cause," he said afterwards. "I have lately
employed the very rebels in the service and defence of the
country. Being thus brought back to us, they have fought for us,
and have gladly shed their blood to protect those liberties which
in the past they wished to destroy."

It was in vain that George II. still strove against the minister,
who imposed the national will on him as the favor of heaven. In
vain, making use of the royal prerogative against him, did he
force him to yield up the seals of office from the beginning of
April, and involve in his disgrace Lord Temple, his
brother-in-law. In vain did he seek to form a new cabinet, with
the insatiable thirst of the Duke of Newcastle for the nominal
side of power, and the desire which Fox felt to actually govern.
Parliament as well as the people demanded the powerful hand which
could guide them through the bursting storm. On the 29th of June,
1757, Pitt was named secretary of state, and rallied around him
some illustrious names, but he was the sole efficient master of
the government, and was resolved to bear alone the whole burden
of it. The most sagacious observers interchanged gloomy
forebodings. "England has no longer any course but to cut her
cables and set sail towards an unknown ocean," wrote Horace
Walpole. "It matters little who may be in power," said Lord
Chesterfield; "we are lost at home and abroad--at home by our
debts and our growing expenses; abroad by our incapacity and bad
luck. ... We are no longer even a nation."


It is sometimes the good fortune and glory of great men, under
the hand of God, to baffle the doleful prognostications of their
contemporaries. As a constitutional minister, the first William
Pitt should occupy a lower position than the noble career of his
son. He was overbearing, whimsical, personal, and theatrical.
Abroad he could push national pride as far as the most impolitic
insolence. He sacrificed his country's interests for the sake of
humiliating her enemies. He made England feared, but he isolated
her in Europe and in the world by a proud and obdurate policy,
for which he was to pay cruelly later. At home he was unbalanced
and violent, carried away by opposing and always extreme
passions, without limit and without foresight. The greatness of
his mind, ability, and character, however, overcame all his
defects. He governed his country through a long and difficult war
in stormy times which demanded painful sacrifices, making
constant appeals to the most noble passions of the human soul by
the prestige of eloquence, rectitude, patriotism, and glory. It
is his honor to have re-established the fortune of England in the
war; it is no less a service to have lifted hearts to the level
of fortune in order to sustain a great cause.

Pitt's first warlike efforts were not happy. An expedition
attempted against Rochefort was unsuccessful. The King of
Prussia, lately victorious in Saxony, whence he had driven the
elector, the King of Poland, found himself in turn closely
pressed by the Austrian Marshal Daun, who had conquered him at
Cologne. Marshal d'Estrèes, slowly occupying Westphalia, had
entrapped the Duke of Cumberland on the Weser. On the morning of
the 23d of July, 1757, the marshal summoned his lieutenant-generals.
"Gentlemen," said he, "I do not assemble you to-day to
ask you whether we must fight M. de Cumberland and invest Hameln.
The honor of the king's arms, his wish, his express orders, the
interest of a common cause, bind us to take the firmest
resolutions. I only seek, therefore, to profit by your light, and
to concoct with you the best means of successful attack." The
Duke of Cumberland's troops were of various races. He had not
under his command any English regiment. His warlike spirit was
not sufficient to compensate for the defects of his military
organization. On the 26th of July Marshal d'Estrèes forced him
into the intrenchment at Hastenbeck. He retreated, without being
pursued, to the marshes at the mouth of the Elbe, under the
protection of English vessels. Marshal d'Estrèes was recalled by
a court intrigue. Marshal Richelieu and the Duke de Soubise
divided the command. Richelieu systematically pillaged Hanover,
Hesse-Cassel, and Brunswick. He threatened the position of the
Duke of Cumberland, and the latter asked to capitulate. On the
8th of September, by the intervention of the Count de Lynar, the
minister of the King of Denmark, who remained neutral between the
belligerents, the Duke of Cumberland and Marshal Richelieu
signed, at the advance posts of the French army, the famous
capitulation of Closter-Severn. The troops of King Louis XV.
occupied all the conquered country; those of Hesse, Brunswick,
and Saxe-Gotha were to return to their quarters. The great
Frederick had already recalled the Prussians; the Hanoverians
were to remain fortified in the neighborhood of Stade. In his
presumptuous levity the marshal had not even thought of exacting
their disarming.


However incomplete as was this convention, which was severely
judged by the Emperor Napoleon I. in his memoirs, it excited
great anger in England as well as in Prussia. When the Duke of
Cumberland presented himself before his father, the old king
greeted him with this startling sentence: "There is my son who
has dishonored himself whilst ruining me." Wounded and
discouraged, the duke officially renounced his command and handed
in his resignation of all his offices, to linger yet some years
in obscurity, and finally die in 1765, at the age of forty-six
years. Pitt alone of the ministers had defended him. When the
king repeated that he had never authorized his son's conduct, the
prince's constant antagonist replied in an honest spirit of
justice: "It is true, Sire; but his powers were extensive, very

The King of Prussia remained alone opposing the allies. Every day
his force diminished, affected by desertion as much as by death.
The Russian army had invaded the Prussian provinces and beaten
General Schouvaloff near Memel; twenty-five thousand Swedes had
just landed in Pomerania. For a moment Frederick II. thought of
killing himself, but the indomitable strength of his soul, a
strange mingling of corruption and heroism, constantly drew him
back to battle with fresh efforts of ability and resolve. The
favor of Madame de Pompadour had reserved for the Prince Soubise
the honor of crushing the King of Prussia. The two armies met on
the 5th of November, 1757, on the banks of the Saale, near
Rosbach. That evening the French army, utterly defeated, fled to
Erfurt. It left on the field of battle eight thousand prisoners
and three thousand dead. A month later the Austrians were in turn
vanquished at Lissa. The glory of the great Frederick, obscure
for a time, shone forth anew in all its splendor; he became the
national hero of Germany. The Protestant powers, lately engaged
against him, made approaches to the conqueror.
In England enthusiasm was at its height; Pitt concluded a new
agreement with Prussia. Parliament, without difficulty, voted a
subsidy of sixty-seven thousand pounds sterling. King George II.,
as Elector of Hanover, had refused to ratify the capitulation of
Cloister-Severn, and his troops were already renewing the
campaign under the command of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick.
Being clever and honest, he had soon gained possession of the
country of Luneberg, of Zell, of a part of Brunswick and of
Bremen. In order to maintain the struggle in Germany, King Louis
XV. and Madame de Pompadour had just put the Count de Clermont at
the head of the French troops.

The Zaporogue Cossacks inundated Prussia, and Frederick II. had
scarcely beaten the Russians on the bloody day of Zorndorff when
he was himself conquered at Hochkirch by Marshal Daun and forced
to evacuate Saxony. Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick had just won
the important victory of Crevelt over the new French general. The
Count de Clermont had given evidence of the most distressing
incapacity; his army escaped every day more and more from under
the yoke of discipline. It was discontented, humiliated, and
without confidence in the chiefs who successively headed it,
being exalted to the command by court intrigues or manœuvres. The
Marquis de Contades had succeeded M. de Clermont. At Versailles
the Count de Stainville, created Duke de Choiseul, had become
Minister of Foreign Affairs in place of Cardinal de Bernis, who
was always inclined to pacific counsels. The second treaty of
Versailles had united France to Maria Theresa more firmly than
ever. The English had on two occasions unsuccessfully attempted
an attack on the coasts of Normandy and Brittany.
The Duke d'Aiguillon, governor of that province, had taken to
himself the honor of having repulsed the invasion; a single
unimportant battle had taken place, and this formed the pretext
for a grand project of descent on the English coasts. The Prince
de Soubise was recalled from Germany in order to direct the
invading army. The expedition was ready, and only awaited the
signal to issue from the port, but Admiral Hawke was cruising in
front of Brest, Admiral Rodney had just bombarded Havre, and it
was only in the month of November, 1759, that the Marquis de
Conflaus, who commanded the fleet, was able to put to sea with
twenty-one vessels of the line and four frigates. The English
forces were superior to his, and immediately set out in pursuit.
M. de Conflaus thought he would find refuge in the tortuous
passages at the mouth of the Vilaine.

The English penetrated there after him. Sir Edward Hawke engaged
the _Soleil Royal_, which was commanded by the French
admiral. His pilot represented to him the danger of navigating.
The brave seaman let him talk. "Very well," he answered; "you
have done your duty, now you have only to obey me; manage so as
to place me alongside the _Soleil Royal_." The battle thus
waged in the various narrow passages became disastrous to the
French vessels. The commander of the rear guard, M. Saint-André
du Verger, let it be raked by the enemy's cannon in order to
cover the retreat. The admiral ran aground in the Bay of Croisic,
and himself burned his vessel. Seven French and two English ships
remained engaged in the Vilaine. M. de Conflaus' day, as the
sailors named the episode, dealt a fatal blow to the unfortunate
remnant of the French navy. The English triumphed everywhere on
the sea, and even in our own waters.


They also triumphed at a distance in our colonies, entirely
abandoned to their forces, which prolonged in a heroic struggle
the throes of their agony. Pitt had determined to achieve the
conquest of Canada. Already the outposts of Louisburg and Cape
Breton had succumbed beneath the attacks of the English. The
Anglo-American forces were increased during the campaign of 1758
to sixty thousand men. The entire population of Canada was not
more numerous. In 1759, three armies invaded the French territory
at once. On the 29th of June, a considerable fleet carried to the
Island of Orleans, fronting Quebec, General Wolfe, a young
officer of great promise who had distinguished himself at the
siege of Louisburg. Pitt believed that he discerned in him the
elements of superior merit. In spite of the blundering--
sometimes presuming, and again depressed--of Wolfe, he had
resolved to confide to him the direction of the great expedition
he contemplated. "If the Marquis de Montcalm succeeds again this
year in deceiving our hopes," said the new general, "he can pass
for a clever man: either the colony has resources that are
unknown, or our generals are worse than ordinary."

Quebec occupied an advantageous position, but the fortifications
were bad; the loss of the place involved that of Canada. "If the
Marquis were shut up there," said Wolfe, "we should soon have
triumphed; our artillery would have made short work of the
walls." An intrenched camp stretched before Quebec. The Indian
tribes, hitherto ardently attached to France by the habitual
kindness of its commerce, were decimated by the war, or had
silently withdrawn, gained over by the money as well as the
success of England. The two great European nations did not
hesitate to wage war by means of the cruel or perfidious
proceedings of their Indian allies.


For more than a month the town had borne the enemy's fire. The
churches and convents were in ruins, and the French had not
stirred from their camp of _l'Ange-Gardien._ Skirmishes were
frequent. "Old men of seventy and children of fifteen years fire
on our detachments," wrote Wolfe. "Our men are wounded at every
border of the forest." The anger of the English soldiers had
little by little reduced to a desert both banks of the St.
Lawrence. In every direction villages and scattered dwellings
were given to the flames.

Generals Amherst and Johnson, who had been charged with distant
expeditions against Niagara and Ticonderoga, had succeeded in
their enterprises, but had not rejoined Wolfe according to Pitt's
plan. The latter bore on his shoulders all the responsibility of
final success. Being repulsed before the French camp on the 31st
of July, Wolfe fell sick from vexation and spite. "There only
remains to me the choice of difficulties," he wrote to the
English cabinet. "I have regained sufficient health to do my
work, but my constitution is destroyed without my having the
consolation of having rendered, or being able to render,
considerable service to the state." Three days after the date of
this letter. General Wolfe suddenly advanced on the banks of the
St. Lawrence. On the night of the 12th of September he landed on
the creek of the Foulon. The officers had responded in French to
the "_Qui vive?_" of the sentinels, who believed that they
beheld a long expected convoy of provisions passing. Twice did
the boats, which were insufficient in number, silently cross the
stream. Wolfe alone repeated in an undertone the poet Gray's
"Elegy in a Country Churchyard." He was touching land, when he
turned to say to his lieutenants, "I would prefer to be the
author of that poem than to take Quebec."


Day was scarcely breaking when the English army occupied the
Heights of Abraham. A skirmish had sufficed to put to flight the
French detachment charged with guarding them. The Marquis de
Montcalm viewed his enemies from afar. "I see them plainly where
they ought not to be," said he, "but if we fight with them I
shall crush them." The English were already on the march; before
the break of day the French were routed, Montcalm was dying, and
Quebec was lost.

General Wolfe had murmured the last of Gray's lines--"The path
of glory leads but to the grave." He had received three mortal
wounds as he was encouraging his grenadiers to charge. Already
his eyes were veiled by the eternal shadows, when an officer who
was attending him exclaimed, "See, they fly!" "Who?" asked Wolfe,
raising himself up painfully. "The enemy; they yield at all
points." The hero let himself fall back on his couch. "God be
praised," said he; "I die content." He was not yet thirty-four
years of age.

Montcalm died also, eager even to the last moment to give his
orders and arouse the courage of his soldiers. "All is not lost,"
he repeated. When the surgeons announced to him that he had only
some hours to live, "So much the better," said he; "I shall not
see the surrender of Quebec." He was buried in the hole scooped
by a ball in the middle of the Ursuline church. It is there he
still sleeps. On one of the squares of the town, which became
English without the effacement of the tender memory of France,
Lord Dalhousie had a marble obelisk erected bearing the names of
Wolfe and Montcalm, with this inscription: "_Mortem virtus
communem, famam historia, momumentum posteritas dedit_." Their
courage has given them a common death; history, renown;
posterity, a monument.


Parliament decreed a magnificent tomb in Westminster Abbey to the
great conqueror of Quebec. The whole of England wore mourning.
With Quebec France had lost Canada. The impotent despair of M. de
Vaudreuil and the Duke de Levis, who were incapable of defending
Montreal, led them vainly to attempt to again seize the capital.
For a second time the Heights of Abraham were witnesses of a
bloody combat. The French troops blockaded the place. On both
sides, the arrival of reinforcements asked from Europe was being
awaited. The invincible hopefulness of our nation deluded the
Canadians. The English vessels entered the river. On the night of
the 16th to the 17th of May, the little French army raised the
siege; on the 8th of September, Montreal, in its turn, fell into
the hands of the conquerors.

At the same period, after long alternations of success and
reverse, England achieved a conquest in India which assured to
her forever the European empire of the East. An entire people,
passionately attached to the mother-country, had struggled in
Canada. In India, some eminent men had dreamed of establishing
the French power on the most solid foundations. They had
prosecuted their aims at the cost of all sacrifices, and one
after another they had fallen victim to their devotion as well as
to their reciprocal jealousy. Mahé de la Bourdonnais, governor of
the Isle of France, a clever, enterprising, honest man, and the
conqueror of Madras in 1746, had unfortunately engaged in a
rivalry with Dupleix, then governor-general of Pondicherry, which
had led both into grave errors.

Death Of Wolfe.


The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle gave Madras to the English, but La
Bourdonnais, destitute, suspected, and consigned to the Bastile,
finally died of vexation, having used the last remnants of his
energy to disseminate suspicions against Dupleix, which were soon
to bear fruits fatal to that French greatness in India to which
M. de la Bourdonnais had formerly consecrated his life.

Joseph Dupleix, born of a Gascon family, the son of the
controller-general of Hainant, had settled in India from his
youth. He had married there, and had learned to know all the
tortuous policy of the Indian princes, whose language his wife,
the princess Jeanne, as she was called, knew, and whose secrets
she divined. Not over-scrupulous, ambitious and daring for his
country's sake even more than his own, he had foreseen and
prosecuted this European empire of India which was soon to fall
into more fortunate if not more clever hands. In 1748 he had
defended Pondicherry against Admiral Boscawen. The peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, while changing the name of the belligerents, had
not put an end to hostilities. The two commercial companies, the
French and the English, had continued the war hitherto sustained
in the name of their sovereigns. Dupleix entered more and more
into the internal intrigues of India. In the Dekhan he had
supported Murzapha Jung against Nazir Jung, and in the Carnatic,
Tchunda Sahib against Anaverdy Khan. His adroit patronage had
brought good fortune to his proteges. In their solicitous
gratitude they had conceded vast territories to France. A third
of India was already obedient to Dupleix, and the Great Mogul,
the invisible sovereign who silently granted degrees of
investiture, had just recognized his supremacy. Dupleix thought
that he had arrived at the goal of all his dreams. He had taken
no account of the improvident weakness of the French government.


Already Dupleix's success had alarmed King Louis XV. and his
ministers, who were more uneasy in respect of new embarrassments
which might be created for them than solicitous for the greatness
of France in India. England was irritated and perturbed. Her
affairs had been for a long time badly managed in India, but she
remained there vital, active, and sustained by the indomitable
ardor of a free people. At Versailles Dupleix was refused the
help he asked; the confirmation of his conquests was delayed. The
man who was to establish for England the empire of India over the
ruins of Dupleix's work, had just arisen. Robert Clive, born in
1725, of a family of small Shropshire landholders, had been
placed while very young in the offices of the India Company. His
nature was turbulent. The assiduous work of a copying clerk did
not admit of any title for him: he was a born general, and
already his counsels were listened to by the chiefs of the
company. In the peril which menaced it in consequence of
Dupleix's triumphs, young Clive was placed at the head of an
expedition which he had planned against Arcatan, the capital of
the Carnatic. Having become master of the place by a bold stroke
in the month of September, 1751, he was soon attacked there by
Tchunda Sahib. During fifty days he withstood in the fortress the
efforts of the Indians and the French. Provisions gave out, the
rations became more insufficient every day; but Clive knew how to
inspire in those who surrounded him the heroic resolution which
animated himself. "Give the rice to the English," the sepoys came
and said to him; "we will content ourselves with the water in
which it has been boiled."
A body of Mahrattas, allies of the English, caused the siege to
be raised. Clive pursued the French in their retreat; he twice
defeated Tchunda Sahib and razed the town and the monument that
Dupleix had erected in remembrance of his victories. When he had
effected his junction with Governor-General Lawrence he broke the
blockades of Trichinapolis and delivered Mahomet Ali, the son and
successor of Anaverdy Khan. Tchunda Sahib, for his part, being
confined at Tcheringham, was given up to his rival by a chief of
Tanjore to whom he had trusted himself His throat was cut. The
French commandant, a nephew of Law, gave himself up to the
English. Clive had destroyed two French corps and was pressing
the third army hard. Bussy-Castelnau, the faithful lieutenant of
Dupleix, was fighting on the Dekhan and could not come to its
aid. In vain did the indomitable energy of the governor-general
triumph over all obstacles. Dupleix had found troops and money,
and was resisting Clive, whose health was shaken when the news of
his dismissal arrived from Europe. His temporary reverses of
fortune had achieved the work begun by the suspicions which M. de
la Bourdonnais had sown; the ministers of Louis XV. had taken
fright. M. Godehen, one of the directors of the company, had been
accused of treating with the English. Dupleix re-entered France,
sad and irritated, but filled even yet with dreams and hopes.
Since the time of his landing from the East he was hailed by the
acclamations of the crowd, but the government was opposed to him.
He had embarked his entire personal fortune in the service of his
great patriotic designs; his claims were not listened to; his
wife died of vexation, and he finally, in poverty and despair,
succumbed in 1763.
"I have sacrificed my youth, my fortune, my life," he exclaimed,
with just bitterness; "I have wished to load my nation with
honors and riches in Asia. Unfortunate friends, too confiding
relatives, virtuous citizens, have consecrated their wealth to
make my projects succeed; they are now in misery. ... I demand
what is due me as the last of the creditors. My services are
fables; my demands are ridiculous; I am treated as the vilest of
men. The little property that remains to me is seized. I have
been obliged to apply for writs of suspension, so as not to be
dragged to prison." History has avenged Dupleix by doing justice
to his services. He was the most illustrious victim of those
mighty French ambitions in India, without being the last or the
most tragical of them.

After being detained some time in England by the care of his
health. Clive returned to India in 1755, strong in his past glory
and freed henceforth from the indomitable energy and clever
intrigues of Dupleix. He cast his glances at Bengal, the
sovereign of which, Surajah Dowlah, was hostile to the English
rule. The Indian prince had just taken the initiative in
hostilities by attacking Fort William, which formed the defence
of the rising town of Calcutta. The governor took fright, and the
place fell into the hands of Surajah Dowlah, who shut up the
English prisoners in the dungeon of the garrison;--a terrible
"black hole," scarcely sufficient to contain two or three
delinquents. One hundred and forty-six unfortunates were crammed
there in a stifling heat. In the morning when the door was
opened, the cries of suffering, the rending appeals, had ceased.
Twenty-three survivors, panting and dying, had scarcely strength
to drag themselves out of the horrible place, the witness of
their punishment.
The nabob, indifferent and triumphant, gave Calcutta the name of
Alinagore, or Port of God. He returned to his capital of
Moorshedabad, occupied in torturing men, as in his childhood he
had taken pleasure in torturing birds.

The anger of the English had placed Clive at the head of a little
army. Surajah Dowlah called to his aid the French established at
Chaudernagore. Dupleix was no longer there, busy to profit by all
military or political complications. The French merchants refused
to take part in the hostilities, although the Seven Years' War
had just broken out in Europe. Everywhere the arms of France were
opposed to those of England. Chaudernagore did not escape the
common lot. The English seized it after Clive had repaired
Calcutta and Fort William. The decadence of France in India was
marching with rapid steps; the treaty concluded by Godehen had
dealt a death-blow to its empire, and all the conquests of
Dupleix had been abandoned.

Upright and sincere in his relations with Europeans, Clive had
contracted the fatal habit of different morality in regard to the
Hindoos. Treaties concluded and violated, conspiracies encouraged
in all directions, shameful and flagrant perfidies, mark with a
black stain, in the life of the great general, his relations with
the cruel nabob of Bengal. The victory of Plassey, which he
finally gained on the 23d of June, 1757, terminated brilliantly a
campaign of mingled heroism and crimes. Henceforth Bengal
belonged to England. Bussy, summoned too late by Surajah Dowlah,
had not been able to arrest Clive's success. He revenged himself
for it by sweeping off all the English factories on the coast of
Orissa, and closing to them the road between the coast of
Coromandel and Bengal.


On the day after Clive's triumph in India, a bold and improvident
soldier, of indomitable courage and will, passionately attached
to France, which had received him and his cause--M.
Lally-Tollendal, of Irish origin, and already known by his
conduct, first in England and then in Scotland, during the
expedition of Prince Charles Edward--proposed to the ministers of
Louis XV. a new attempt to re-establish France's situation in the
East. The directors of the India Company sustained his proposal.
The king had promised troops. M. d'Argenson knew Lally's
character, and hesitated. The representations of the company won
him. When M. de Lally landed at Pondicherry in 1757, the treasury
was empty, the arsenals unprovided with arms and munitions, and
the English were pressing on the French possessions at all
points. The ardor of the general sufficed to remove all
obstacles. Lally marched on Gondalem, which he razed on the
sixteenth day. Shortly afterward he invested Fort St. David, the
most notable of the English fortresses in India. The first
assault was repulsed. The count had neither cannons nor beasts of
burden to bring them. He hastened to Pondicherry and attached the
Hindoos to the trains of artillery, taking indiscriminately the
men who came to hand, without troubling himself as to rank or
caste, thus imprudently wounding the dearest prejudices of the
country that he came to govern. Fort St. David was taken and
razed. Devicotch, hardly besieged, opened its gates. Lally had
been scarcely a month in India, and already he had chased the
English from the south coast of Coromandel. "My whole policy is
contained in these five words, but they are sacramental: 'No
English in the peninsula,'" wrote the general. He had sent orders
to Bussy to rejoin him at Madras.


The ardent heroism of M. de Lally had for a time troubled the
English by restoring courage to the remnants of the French
colony. The grave defects of his character soon seconded the
efforts of his adversaries by surrounding him with enemies,
secret or declared, among his compatriots themselves. Being badly
backed by M. d'Aché, who was in command of the French fleet, and
who was twice beaten by the English, he attacked Madras in the
month of September, 1758, with an undisciplined army, addicted to
the most frightful debauchery, and commanded by chiefs who were
either angry or discontented. Bussy could not console himself for
having been obliged to abandon the Dekhan to the feeble hands of
the Marquis de Conflaus. The black town had been stormed; the
white town resisted valiantly. On the 18th of February, 1759,
Lally was obliged to raise the siege; Colonel Coote had just
taken possession of the fortress of Wandewash. The general wished
to regain it. The battle which was fought on the 22d of January,
1760, was fatal to the French; M. de Bussy was made prisoner and
immediately sent to Europe. "To him alone did the capacity belong
to have continued the war for ten years," said the Hindoos.
Karikal was in the hands of the English. They were marching on

M. de Lally was shut up there, resolved to hold out to the last
in a place which was badly defended, and where he was generally
hated. The siege commenced in the month of March, 1760; on the
27th of November it was changed to a blockade. It was only on the
16th of January, 1761, that the directors of the French Company
at last forced the hand of the general, indomitable in the midst
of ruins.
"No person can have a higher opinion of General Lally than I,"
wrote Colonel Coote, who had just razed the ramparts and
magazines of Pondicherry. "He has striven against obstacles that
I believed insurmountable, and he has triumphed over them. There
is not in India another man who could have kept on foot so long
an army without pay and without resources on any hand." No aid
had come from France to the last general who still defended her
power and glory in the Indies; the cause was forever lost, and no
one would ever more attempt to revive it. The fate of M. de la
Bourdonnais and that of Dupleix remained as a gloomy proof of the
ingratitude of corrupt and feeble governments; that of M. de
Lally frightened the most courageous hearts and disgusted the
most far-sighted spirits. Shut up in the Bastile of his own will
at the end of the year 1763, he remained there nineteen months
without being examined. When his trial finally began, the
animosities which he had imprudently engendered in India rose up
against him with an irresistible violence. Accused of treason in
regard to the interest of the king and the company, he was
condemned to death on the 6th of May, 1766. Three days later he
expired on the scaffold in the _Placede Greve_, being gagged
like the worst of criminals. At the same moment. Lord Clive,
rich, powerful, and a brilliant member of Parliament, was
returning to the Indies as Governor-General of Bengal, charged
with reforming its entire administration. The contrast is
sorrowful, and explains the frequent checks received by France in
distant enterprises, which, grandly conceived and courageously
pursued by the patriotic devotion of citizens, were yet through
laxity and cowardice abandoned by the government.


Success so great and so sustained beyond the bounds of Europe
lent new force and zeal to the struggles of England on the
continent. In Germany, the Duke de Broglie had successfully
repulsed the attacks of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick on his
intrenchments at Bergher, on the 13th of April, 1759. The united
armies under M. de Coutades had invaded Hesse and advanced on the
Weser. They were occupying Minden when Prince Ferdinand attacked
them on the 1st of August. The action of the two French generals
was badly concerted, and the rout was complete. The English
infantry played a glorious part in the victory. The cavalry was
commanded by Lord George Sackville, son of the Duke, of Dorset.
Prince Ferdinand gave him orders to advance. Some contradiction
in the terms produced a momentary hesitation on the part of the
English commander, and he resisted the representations of his
aides-de-camp. "The orders are positive," said young Fitzroy;
"the French are flying, and the opportunity is glorious." Lord
Granby put himself in motion; the voice of his superior officer
compelled him to stop. When the scruples of Lord George were
finally satisfied, the battle was won, the enemy in retreat, and
the reputation of the English commander so seriously compromised
that he was obliged to resign from his rank and ask to undergo a
court-martial. The sentence was, like public opinion, severe.
Lord George Sackville was declared unworthy to serve in his
Majesty's armies. He already belonged to the court opposition
which was thronging around the heir to the throne, the princess
dowager, and the Marquis of Bute, the acknowledged favorite of
mother and son. King George II. intimated to his grandson that he
had prohibited Lord George from presenting himself before him.
The day was not far from dawning in which the memories of Minden,
despite their abiding bitterness, could not impede the proud
career of Lord George Sackville.


Mr. Pitt was triumphant at home as abroad. In spite of the king's
small predilection for his minister, the latter had obtained the
garter for his brother-in-law, Lord Temple. Enormous subsidies
were voted by the House without demur. "It is the wisest economy
to spare nothing in the expenses of war," he had said, without
circumlocution, when he was presenting the budget to Parliament.
His animosity against France was on the increase. "Formerly I
would have been content to see her on her knees," he said, in
privacy; "to-day I wish to see her overturned in the dust."
Notwithstanding the persistent bravery of the French nobles, who
are always ready to die on the battle-field, the disorder of the
troops and the inferiority of the generals who commanded in
opposition to Frederick II. and Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick,
sadly subserved the hatred of the great English minister.

The victories of England in both worlds and the triumphant
supremacy of Pitt in the Houses were not sufficient to assure the
success of their allies on the continent. At one time the great
Frederick thought he saw all Germany rallied round him. Now,
defeated and fortified in Saxony during the winter of 1760, he
sought alliances everywhere, and everywhere saw himself repelled.
"There remain to me but two allies," said he; "valor and
perseverance." Repeated victories, earned at the sword's point by
dint of boldness and at extreme danger, could not even protect
Berlin. The capital of Prussia saw itself compelled to open its
gates to the foe, on the sole condition that the Cossacks should
not go beyond its precincts.
When the regular troops withdrew, the generals had not been able
to prevent the pillage of the town. The heroic efforts of the
King of Prussia only ended in his keeping one foot still in
Saxony. On the 10th of March he wrote to Count Algarotti, "It is
certain that we have only experienced disasters during the last
campaign, and that we have found ourselves nearly in the same
situation as the Romans after Cannes. Unfortunately, toward the
end I had an attack of gout. My left hand and my feet were
disabled, and I could only let myself be carried from place to
place, a witness to my own reverses. Happily, the speech of Barca
to Hannibal can be applied to our enemies, 'You know how to
conquer, but you do not know how to profit by victory.'" The
cruel bombardment of Dresden in the month of August, 1760, was
like an overflowing of the long pent-up rage of Frederick II. He
had lately said, "Miserable fools that we are, we have only an
instant to live, and we make that instant as sorrowful as we can.
We take pleasure in destroying the masterpieces of art that time
has spared us; we seemed resolved to leave behind us the odious
memories of our ravages and of the calamities we have caused."
The monuments and the palaces of Dresden fell beneath the fire of
the Prussian cannon in the face of the flames which devoured the

It is a relief in the midst of the horrors of war and the
ferocious courage there displayed, to recall an act of
disinterested bravery and a devotion which has no other
recompense than glory. Marshall de Broglie, who had become
general-in-chief of the French armies, had detailed M. de
Castries to succor Wesel, which was besieged by the hereditary
Prince of Brunswick. The French corps had just arrived, and was
still in bivouac.
On the night between the 15th and 16th of October, the Chevalier
d'Assas, captain in the regiment of Auvergne, was sent to
reconnoitre. He was marching in front of his men when he just
fell into the midst of a body of the enemy. The Prince of
Brunswick was preparing to attack. All the guns were levelled on
the young captain. "If you stir, you are a dead man," muttered
threatening voices. Without answering, M. d'Assas collected all
his energies. "_A moi Auvergne; voila les ennemis,_" he
cried. He fell immediately, pierced by twenty bullets; but the
action of Klostercamp, thus begun, was glorious for France. The
hereditary prince was obliged to abandon the siege of Wesel and
to recross the Rhine. The French corps maintained their

The war still continued, bloody, monotonous, and fruitless; but a
great event had just taken place, which was speedily to change
the face of Europe. On the morning of the 25th of October, King
George II. had risen as usual, being as regular and methodical at
seventy-six as he had been in his youth. He asked for the foreign
dispatches, when his servants heard the noise of a fall. They
rushed in. The king was on the ground, and already breathing his
last. When his daughter, the Princess Amelia, was summoned, she
being deaf and very near-sighted bent towards her father in order
to catch his last words. In alarm she started back. King George
II. was dead.

George III.


                   Chapter XXXVI.

                    George III.
                  The American War

The House of Hanover reigned without further contest. The Stuarts
had disappeared, borne forever by their misdeeds and misfortunes
far from the throne of their ancestors, and the young King George
III. peaceably succeeded his grandfather. Europe now, as well as
England, understood the importance of the change which had just
been accomplished. William III., called to the throne by the
English nation, had delivered it from an odious yoke and had
assured to it its religious and political liberties. He had
constantly remained a foreigner in the England which he served
gloriously and effectively without loving it. George I. and
George II. were Germans, elevated to the throne by the national
will, which was strong and wise, without sympathy and without
pleasure. They had remained Germans in manners and in speech.
England had grown under their rule; her institutions were
strengthened and developed. At the death of George II., thanks to
the illustrious man who, as an absolute master, had governed her
in freedom, she had become the arbiter of Europe, predominant in
America as well as in Asia. However, the English people's loyalty
of feeling had never been satisfied since the downfall of the
Stuarts, and the most obstinate of the Whigs, although
passionately opposed to all the attempts of the Jacobite
restoration, yet excused, in the depths of their heart, those who
had sacrificed all to their attachment towards the hereditary
George III. was at last reigning, loved and respected beforehand,
and the painful trials of his life and his long reign never
caused him to lose the confidence and sympathy of his people. It
was the feeling of the whole nation as well as his own that the
young monarch expressed when he spontaneously said, in his first
speech from the throne: "Born and brought up in this country, I
glory in the name of Englishman, and it will be the pleasure of
my life to give happiness to a people whose fidelity and
attachment to myself I regard as the security and lasting honor
of my throne."

New counsels already began to spread, less violent against France
than those of Mr. Pitt. The young king had cordially received his
grandfather's ministers, asking them to continue in their duties
under him; but he had also admitted Lord Bute to the Privy
Council, and the favorite's intrigues already came in contact
with those of the Duke of Newcastle. Some weeks later, at the
moment of the dissolution of Parliament, Bute succeeded Lord
Holderness as secretary of state. Pitt, it is said, was not

The haughty displeasure of the great minister had its influence
upon the tone of the negotiations then begun with France. The
Duke de Choiseul, burning to serve his country, although active,
restless, and courageous, still felt the necessity of peace. He
had proposed a congress. While Pitt delayed his answer, an
English squadron had blockaded Bellisle. A first assault, made on
the 8th of April by General Hodgson, was repulsed. The governor,
M. de St. Croix, had received no assistance, and, despite an
heroic resistance, he was forced to capitulate on June 7th, 1761.
It was almost at the same time that news was received of the
check of De Broglie and De Soubise at Minden, and of the
disastrous surrender of Pondicherry.
England's answer to the proposals of peace at last arrived. The
Duke de Choiseul had proposed to evacuate Hesse and Hanover,
demanding the restoration of Guadaloupe and Marie Galante, and of
Bellisle in exchange for Minorca. He accepted the conquest of
Canada and of Cape Breton, but in return he laid claim to all the
captures made at sea of the French merchant ships before the
declaration of war, and required an engagement that the English
troops, under the orders of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, should
not proceed to reinforce the Prussian army. The ultimatum was
modest, and was a bitter trial to the patriotic pride of M. de
Choiseul. Pitt's answer left no hope of peace. All the conquests,
all the captures, full liberty to aid the King of Prussia--such
was the language of the English minister. Dunkerque must be
razed, as a lasting monument of the yoke imposed on France. "So
long as I hold the reins of government," said Pitt, "another
Peace of Utrecht shall never sully the annals of England."

Pitt had well estimated the exhaustion and the fatigue of France.
He had not foreseen the influence which the accession of a new
monarch to the throne of Spain would exert upon her alliances.
Ferdinand VI. had died childless. His brother, Charles III. King
of Naples, had succeeded him. He brought to his hereditary
kingdom a quicker intelligence than that of the dead king, a
great aversion to England (of which he had lately reason to
complain), and the traditional attachment of his race for the
interests and glory of France. The Duke de Choiseul was adroit
enough to avail himself of these tendencies. In the distress in
which the war had thrown King Louis XV., at the moment when Pitt
rejected his ultimatum, insulting him by inacceptable proposals,
Spain generously entered the list.
The treaty, known under the name of the Family Compact, was
signed at Paris on the 15th of April, 1761. Pitt immediately
proposed to George III. to make sure of the Isthmus of Panama,
and to attack immediately the Philippine Islands.

It was the last straw for the tottering empire of the minister
who had been so long absolute in the council as well as in the
Houses. The cabinet had hardly accepted the harshness of the
conditions which he exacted from France. A declaration of war
with Spain was rejected by a large majority. Pitt arose. "I thank
you, gentlemen," said he, "for the support which you have often
given me, but it is the voice of the people which has called me
to public affairs. I have always considered myself as accountable
to it for my conduct. I cannot then remain in a position where I
shall be responsible for measures of which I have no longer the
direction." Several days later Pitt placed in the king's hands
the seals of office. George III. received him kindly. "Sad," he
said, "to part from so illustrious a servant." The haughty
minister burst into tears. "I confess, your Majesty," he said,
"that I expected the signs of your displeasure. Your Majesty's
kindness confounds and overwhelms me." Against the advice of his
friends, Pitt accepted a pension of three thousand pounds
sterling and a peerage for his wife, who became Lady Chatham. His
popularity in consequence suffered a slight blow, yet it remained
so great that at the annual lord mayor's dinner on the 9th of
November, all looks were turned toward the fallen minister, all
the applause was reserved for him, at the expense of the king and
of his young wife, Charlotte de Mecklenberg-Streglitz. This
popular triumph became insulting to the royal personages. "At
each step," said an eye-witness, "the crowd pressed around the
simple carriage where were to be found Pitt and Lord Temple. They
laid hold of the wheels; they embraced the servants, and even the


"Mr. Pitt will not make peace because he cannot make that which
he has given the nation reason to hope for," an acute observer of
the court, Bubb Doddington, had already said. On succeeding to
power, Lord Bute and the tories found themselves still driven by
public opinion to measures more violent than their tastes or
their intentions. France had made a supreme effort to reorganize
its army. In the month of January, 1762, the English government
declared war on Spain, striking from the first the most
disastrous blows at our faithful ally. The year had not gone by
before Cuba was already in the hands of the English, the
Philippine Islands ravaged, and galleons laden with Spanish gold
captured by British vessels. The campaign undertaken against
Portugal, always friendly to England, was productive of no
result. Martinique had followed the lot of Guadaloupe, which had
already been conquered by the English after an heroic resistance.
The war dragged on slowly in Germany. The death of the Czarina
Elizabeth and the brief occupation of the throne by the young
Czar Peter III., a passionate admirer of Frederick the Great, had
freed the King of Prussia from a dangerous enemy, and promised
him an ally faithful as well as powerful. The hope that the
Family Compact had for a time given to France was deceived. The
negotiations began again. On the 3d of November, 1762, the
preliminaries of peace were signed at Fontainebleau. France
abandoned all her possessions in America. Louisiana, which had
taken no part in the war, was ceded to Spain in exchange for
Florida, which was given over to the English.
Only the small islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon were reserved
for the French fisheries. A special stipulation guaranteed to the
Canadians freedom in Catholic worship. In exchange for engaging
not to introduce troops into Bengal, France recovered
Chaudernagore and the ruins of Pondicherry. Guadaloupe and
Martinique became again French. The English kept Tobago,
Dominique, St. Vincent, and Grenada. In Germany the places and
country occupied by France were to be evacuated. Like his
illustrious rival. Lord Bute insisted upon the demolition of

England's success had been great, and France's humiliation
profound, and yet it was not enough for the persistent hatred of
Pitt, now freed from the shackles of power, and at liberty to
allow full reign to his rancor against Lord Bute as well as to
his animosity toward our nation. He was disabled by gout, the
persistent scourge of his life; he had himself carried, wrapped
in flannel, to the House of Commons. Two of his friends led him
to his seat, and supported him during the first part of his
speech. Exhausted, he ended by sitting down, contrary to all
parliamentary usage. "I have come here at the risk of my life,"
he exclaimed, "to raise my voice, my hand, my arm against the
preliminary articles of a peace which tarnishes the glory of the
war, which betrays the dearest interests of the nation, and which
sacrifices public faith while deserting our allies. France is
chiefly, if not entirely, formidable to us as a maritime and
commercial power. What we gain in this respect is doubly precious
from the loss which results to her. America, gentlemen, has been
conquered in Germany; to-day you leave to France the possibility
of re-establishing her navy."


Peace was voted notwithstanding. Lord Bute had felt the need of
support in the House of Commons against the thundering eloquence
of Pitt. He had called Henry Fox, who lacked neither adroit
eloquence nor insidious manipulations. His personal experience
had taught him to judge men severely. The aged Lord Grey was
asked in our time who was the last English minister susceptible
of being corrupted. He unhesitatingly answered, "Lord Holland."

England had achieved a glorious peace. She was fatigued from her
long efforts, and resolved henceforward to leave to the
continental powers the care of settling their own quarrels.
Austria and Prussia alone were left, the first to enter the
lists, the only nations which retained a serious interest in the
questions in dispute. Frederick the Great had based new hopes on
the young czar, and a caprice of fortune had robbed him of his
support. Catherine II., Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, was on bad
terms with her husband. She took advantage of the indiscretions
of Peter III. to excite a military insurrection against him. He
was deposed, and shortly after died in his prison. Catherine was
proclaimed sovereign in his place. The new sovereign was bold,
ambitious, and as unscrupulous in her greed for power as in her
private life. She remained neutral between Prussia and Austria.
The states were at the end of their resources, the population
decimated. In ten years Berlin had lost a tenth of her
population, and thirty thousand of her inhabitants owed their
subsistence to public charity. The two sovereigns agreed to an
interchange of conquests.
All this disturbance and all this suffering ended for Germany in
the maintenance of the _statu quo_. France was exhausted,
deprived of her most flourishing colonies, degraded in her own
eyes as well as in those of Europe. She had dragged Spain along
in her misfortune. England alone emerged triumphant and
aggrandized with booty. She had gained forever the Empire of
India, and for some years at least almost the whole of civilized
America obeyed her laws. She had gained what we had lost, not by
the superiority of her arms, nor even of her generals, but by the
natural and innate force of a free people skillfully and nobly

The peace had been accepted by the nation as well as by the
Houses, but ill-will existed against Lord Bute, a Scotchman and
favorite, who was attacked on all sides, both in pamphlets and in
Parliament. More jealous of his influence with the royal family
than he was of power, Lord Bute resolved to resign. He had
written to one of his friends: "Isolated in a cabinet which I
have formed, having no one to support me in the House of Lords
but two peers, who are friends of mine, with my two secretaries
of state maintaining silence, and the Lord Chancellor, whom I
placed in his position, voting and speaking against me, I find
myself upon ground which is undermined beneath me, and which
makes me dread not only to fall myself, but to drag my royal
master with me in my fall. It is time that I should retire."
George Grenville succeeded him in power, and Fox passed to the
House of Lords with the title of Lord Holland.


A brother-in-law of Pitt, who had never submitted to his
domination, George Grenville was bold, presumptuous, and
short-sighted, violent in his methods and methodical in his
administration. The defects of his temper and character caused
serious embarrassments to the government which he directed, and
drew down great mishaps upon England. He pursued with obstinacy
John Wilkes, the pamphleteer, and proposed to apply the stamp tax
to the American colonies.

John Wilkes, born in London in 1727, Member of Parliament for
Aylesbury, blustering, ruined, corrupt, hideous in personal
appearance, and given over to the most unbridled licentiousness
of life, had sought a means of re-establishing his fortunes by
founding a skillfully and audaciously edited journal, which he
called _The North Briton_. Lord Bute had already been
violently attacked by Wilkes, who was secretly encouraged, it is
said, by Lord Temple; but no prosecution had been directed
against him. In proroguing Parliament at the end of April, 1763,
the king congratulated himself on the happy termination of the
war; "so honorable," he said, "for my crown, and so happy for my
people." Wilkes' journal attacked the speech in his forty-fifth
number, dated April 23d. Eight days after, in spite of his
parliamentary privilege, Wilkes was arrested at his own house and
conducted to the Tower, where he remained some days in secret. In
passing under the gloomy gate, Wilkes ironically asked to be
lodged in the room which had formerly been occupied by the father
of Lord Egremont, one of the ministers who had signed the order
for his arrest. As soon as his friends received permission to
visit him, Lord Temple and the Duke of Grafton hastened to see
him. The public feeling overcame the dislike which the character
of the accused generally inspired, and transports of joy broke
out in the crowd when the Chief Justice, Sir Charles Pratt,
firmly pronounced his acquittal. "We are all of the opinion," he
said, "that a libel does not amount to a breach of the public
peace. The most that can be said is that it tends to it, without
being in consequence subject to the penalties of the law. I order
that Mr. Wilkes be released."


For seven years to come, under different phases--sometimes in
France, under pretext of obtaining cure for a wound received in a
duel; sometimes in London as candidate for the House of Commons;
outlawed by the Middlesex magistrates for his indecent pamphlets;
chosen by the city as one of its representatives--John Wilkes was
almost constantly before the public, sustained by the most
diverse partisans, honest or corrupt; absorbed in those public
liberties which they considered outraged in his person, or
sympathetically interested in the audacious impiety which bore
without blushing the banner of moral or political license. It was
the error and the fault of the government to have alienated
public opinion by imprudent prosecutions, thus assuring to Wilkes
a popularity in no way deserved. When at last he died, in 1797,
the venal and debauched pamphleteer had for a long time fallen
into the obscurity and contempt from which he should never have

The Stamp Act has left its date and its ineradicable trace on the
history of England, and of the world. Already for a long time
under the influence of the rapid development of their prosperity
and resources, the American colonies proudly defended their
privileges, resenting the offensive investigations of the revenue
officers, while admitting the right of the mother-country to that
monopoly of commerce which they succeeded in violating by an
active contraband trade. Submitting without trouble to the
external taxes intended to regulate the commerce, the Americans
claimed entire independence as regarded other duties.
In 1692 the General Court of Massachusetts resolved that no tax
could be imposed upon his Majesty's colonial subjects without the
consent of the governor, the council, and the representatives
assembled in General Court. It was this fundamental principle of
the liberties of Great Britain, as well as of her colonies--that
an English subject could not be taxed without his consent--that
was openly violated in 1765 by the proposition of Mr. George
Grenville. This financial expedient had been previously suggested
to Sir Robert Walpole, but he answered with his usual good sense,
"I have Old England already on my hands; do you suppose I wish to
encumber myself in addition with New England? He will be a bolder
minister than I who will assume that."

Grenville was naturally bold, as Cardinal de Retz said of Anne of
Austria, because he was neither prudent nor far-sighted. He was
at once absolute and without tact. The extension to the colonies
of the stamp tax had been voted almost without opposition. Mr.
Pitt himself had not protested. Thoughtlessly, and in consequence
of the financial embarrassment brought on by the war, the English
government, without systematic scheme, and without _arrière
pensée_, had committed itself to a fatal line of policy in
which the national pride was to sustain it too long. The taxes
were light and could not entail any suffering on the colonists.
They were the first to recognize this themselves. "What is the
matter, and what are we disputing about?" said Washington in
1766. "Is it about the payment of a tax of threepence a pound on
tea being too burdensome? No, it is the principle alone which we


A general and speedily riotous protestation was made in 1765, in
New England, in the name of the rights of the colonies, unjustly
violated by the pretensions of the metropolis. At Boston the
people arose and broke into the house of the distributors of
stamped paper. The ships which happened to be in port lowered
their flags to half-mast, in token of mourning, and the church
bells sounded the funeral toll. At Philadelphia the inhabitants
spiked the cannons on the ramparts. At Williamsburg the House of
Burgesses of Virginia resounded with the most violent menaces,
and in the midst of the discussion of the Stamp Act, Patrick
Henry, who was still very young, uttered these words: "Caesar
found his Brutus, Charles I. his Cromwell, and George III. ... !"
"Treason! treason!" cried the royalists. "And George III. will
doubtless profit from their example," retorted the young orator.
The remonstrance which he had proposed was voted.

The attitude of the American people and the numerous petitions
which revealed it had warned Pitt of the danger. He openly
attacked the cabinet and called for the repeal of the Stamp Act.
"The colonists," said he, "are subjects of this kingdom, entitled
equally with yourselves to the special privileges of Englishmen.
They are bound by English laws, and to the same extent as we.
They have a right to the liberties of this country. The Americans
are the sons, and not the bastards, of England. When we agree in
this House to the subsidies to his Majesty, we dispose of that
which belongs to ourselves; but when we impose a tax on the
Americans, what are we doing? We, the Commons of England, give
what to his Majesty? Our personal property? No. We give the
property of the Commons of America. It is a contradiction of
terms. I demand that the Stamp Act be repealed, absolutely,
completely, immediately; that the reason of the repeal shall be
The principle on which the act was based was false. At the same
time let the supreme authority of this country over her colonies
be clearly affirmed in the most decided terms that can be
imagined. We can bind their commerce, restrain their
manufactures, and exercise our power under every form. We cannot,
we should not, take the money in their pockets without their

The honor of obtaining from the English Parliament the repeal of
an unjust measure was reserved for a new and more moderate
minister. George Grenville, beaten and overthrown, remained
obstinately attached to the cause on which he had entered. "If
the tax were still to impose, I should impose it," said he; "the
enormous expenses that were caused by the German war have made it
necessary. The eloquence which the author of this proposal brings
to bear to-day against the constitutional authority of Parliament
renders it indispensable. I do not envy him his applause. I take
pride in your hisses. If the thing were still to do, I should
begin again."

Twice already since George Grenville had taken the reins of
power, the king, soon wearied of his arrogant rule, had asked
Pitt to free him from it. The new reason for disagreement had
just increased the bitterness between George III. and his
minister. The monarch, suffering and ill, had felt the first
attacks of that malady which was at recurrent intervals to cloud
his faculties, and which at last plunged him into an insanity
that only ended with his life. Barely recovered, the young king,
with touching firmness and resignation, himself proposed to his
ministers the question of a regency. The Prince of Wales was not
yet three years old. The act prepared by George Grenville and his
colleagues excluded the princess dowager from the regency on the
ground that she was not of the royal family.
The hatred and jealousy inspired by Lord Bute, which always
operated strongly upon both mother and son, had suggested the
singular interpretation of the legal text. For a moment the king
agreed with a melancholy sweetness; but the insult offered his
mother soon wounded him, and he resolved to escape at last from
the tyranny which weighed upon him. Formerly he feared the junta
of the great Whig lords. It appeared to him less formidable than
George Grenville and the Duke of Bedford. The Duke of Cumberland,
in the king's name, visited Mr. Pitt, who was sick and detained
in the country. Pitt refused to assume the direction of affairs
without the assistance of Lord Temple. The latter was
particularly hostile to Lord Bute, and personally compromised in
relation to the king. George III. would not submit. Negotiations
resulted finally in the formation of a Whig cabinet, which was
really honest and dull. The Marquis of Rockingham was its chief.
It was in his service and as his private secretary that Edmund
Burke for the first time took part in public affairs and entered

The only important act of Lord Rockingham's ministry was the
repeal of the Stamp Act, accompanied by a contradictory
declarative clause which proclaimed the right of Parliament to
bind by its decrees the colonies under any circumstances
whatever. This fruitful seed of new dissensions passed
unperceived in the first outburst of American joy and of the
triumph of the friends of liberty in England. Mr. Pitt was
already on the threshold of power. Lord Rockingham, involved with
a new party, which was known under the name of the king's
friends, saw his authority rendered powerless and his honest
intentions feebly fulfilled.
The king desired to get rid of the Whigs at any price, without
being obliged to submit again to George Grenville. Pitt once more
agreed to become prime minister, but to the great astonishment
and universal regret of his friends he abandoned at the same time
the supreme empire which he had exercised in the House of Commons
and entered the House of Lords with the title of Lord Chatham.

The cabinet which the new earl had formed was composed of diverse
and contradictory elements. His powerful hand alone could
preserve unity. "Lord Chatham," said Burke, "has composed a
ministry so odd and hybrid, he has put together a checker-board
so curiously divided and combined, he has constructed so strange
a mosaic of patriots and conservatives, of the king's friends and
of republicans, of Whigs and Tories, of perfidious friends and
avowed enemies, that, strange as the sight may be, he is not sure
of where he can put down his foot, and is unable to keep it

Lord Chatham found this out himself. In spite of the haughtiness
of his character, he felt that the wind of popularity did not
bear him as in the past upon its powerful wings. He was sick,
defiant, and jealous of his colleagues, and ill at ease at the
bottom of his heart in the new atmosphere of the House of Lords.
He had conceived large projects for the reform of the
administration in India. He caused an investigation to be
proposed in the House of Commons, and the proposition came from
Alderman Beckford, who did not form part of the administration.
Soon after he withdrew to the country. Strange rumors spread
abroad as to his state of mind. Lady Chatham refused absolutely
to allow any of his colleagues to have access to him.
The discords within the cabinet increased, and the feebleness and
the hitches of the government became more striking. Charles
Townshend, a brilliant orator, witty and clever, had just died at
the age of forty-three. Intrigues multiplied in the Houses and at
court. The king renewed his entreaties to Lord Chatham. "I am
ready," said he, "to go find you, if it is impossible for you to
come to see me." Gout had again attacked the prime minister,
replacing, we are assured, a more cruel malady. Lord Chatham
finally consented to receive the Duke of Grafton. "I expected to
find him very sick," writes the duke in his memoirs, "but his
condition exceeded all that I had imagined. The sight of this
great intellect, overwhelmed and weakened by suffering, would
have profoundly affected me, even if I had not been for a long
time sincerely attached to his person and his character." As a
matter of fact and practically, the Duke of Grafton had become
prime minister many months before Lord Chatham finally resolved,
in October, 1768, to send in his resignation. Sir Charles Pratt,
now Lord Camden, and the honor of the bench as well from the
purity of his character as from his oratorical talent, still held
up the tottering ministry. The importance of Lord North, then
Chancellor of the Exchequer, continued to increase from day to

Melancholy is the spectacle of a great light which is going out,
and of a power once supreme losing its influence over men. Lord
Chatham had the good fortune to cast a final gleam before falling
forever. After two years of a mysterious retreat, he reappeared
in public life in 1769, and the Duke of Grafton's ministry could
not withstand his attacks. Lord North, still young, and without
high political ambition, of an amiable character, and personally
agreeable to the king, had just accepted the heavy burden of
power (January, 1770).
Lord Chatham pretended to see in this new combination that
persistent influence of Lord Bute which was a favorite theme for
the attacks of the pamphleteers, whether it was a question of
John Wilkes, or of that mysterious writer, still hidden after
more than a hundred years, under the name of Junius. "Who does
not know," he cried, "that Mazarin, though absent from France,
was always there; and do we not know an analogous case? When I
was recently called to public service, I hastened upon the wings
of my zeal. I agreed to preserve a peace which I detested--a
peace which I should not have made, but which I was resolved to
maintain because it had been made. I was credulous, I admit, but
I was taken in; I was deceived; the same mysterious influence
still existed. My cruel experience has at length painfully
convinced me that behind the throne there is hidden something
greater than the throne itself."

The situation of affairs in America became each day more serious.
On his accession to office. Lord Chatham had consented to extract
a revenue from the colonies. A customs law had established taxes
upon tea, glass, and paper, creating a permanent administration
for collecting external imposts. The distinction which the
colonists had previously established was thus turned against
them, and they abandoned it forever. The time for legal fictions
was past. [Footnote 1]

    [Footnote 1: Cornelis de Witt's History of Washington.]


In truth there was already between the government of George III.
and the colonies something besides a constitutional and financial
question. The Americans were no longer simple subjects of the
metropolis, merely struggling against such an abuse of power or
such a violation of right. It was one people aroused against the
oppression of another people, whatever might be the form or the
name of that oppression. Still attached to the mother country by
the ties of a secular fidelity, and ardently refraining from all
aspirations towards independence, they were still dominated by a
supreme sentiment--love for the American country, for its
grandeur, its liberty, its force. "You are taught to believe that
the people of Massachusetts is a rebel people, uprisen for
independence," wrote Washington as late as the 9th of October,
1774. "Permit me to tell you, my good friend, that you are
deceived, grossly deceived. I can assure you, as a matter of
fact, that independence is neither the desire nor the interest of
that colony, nor of any other on the continent, separately or
collectively. But at the same time you may be sure that not one
of them will ever submit to the loss of those privileges, of
those precious rights which are essential to every free state,
and without which liberty, property, and life are deprived of all

America did not fall below her destiny. "From 1767 to 1774," says
Cornelis de Witt, in his history of Washington, "there were
formed everywhere patriotic leagues against the consumption of
English merchandise and the exportation of American products. All
exchange between the metropolis and the colonies ceased. In order
to drain the sources of England's riches in America, and to
constrain it to open its eyes to its folly, the colonists
recoiled before no privation and no sacrifice. Luxury had
disappeared. Rich and poor accepted ruin rather than abandon
their political rights." "I expect nothing more from the petitions
to the king," said Washington, already one of the firmest
champions of American liberties, "and I should oppose them if
they were to suspend the non-importation agreement.
As sure as I live, there is no alleviation to be expected for us
except from the distress of Great Britain. I think, or at least I
hope, that we retain sufficient public virtue to refuse
everything except the necessities of life in order to obtain
justice. That we have the right to do, and no power on earth can
force us to alter our conduct before it has reduced us to the
most abject slavery." ... And he added, with a stern sense of
justice, "As to the non-importation agreement, that is another
thing. I admit that I have my doubts as to its legitimacy. We owe
considerable sums to Great Britain. We can only pay them with our
products. In order to have the right to accuse others of
injustice we must be just ourselves; and how could we be so while
refusing Great Britain to pay our debts? That is beyond my

All minds were not so firm, nor all souls so just as
Washington's. Resistance still continued legal, and the national
effort was still retained within the limits of respect. The
excitement became more lively every day, irritation more profound
and more passionate. Order still reigned in almost all the
colonies. Only at some principal places, and especially at
Boston, the popular enthusiasm offered a pretext to the violence
of George III. and his ministers. Jefferson himself, upon the eve
of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, wrote to Mr.
Randolph, "Believe me, my dear sir, there is not a man in the
whole British Empire who cherishes the union with Great Britain
more heartily than I; but, by the God that made me, I should
cease to exist sooner than accept that union on the terms which
Parliament proposes. We lack neither motives nor power to declare
and sustain our separation. 'Tis the will alone that fails us,
and that increases little by little under the hand of our king."


When he was still Sir Charles Pratt, Lord Camden had once said,
in 1759, to Franklin, who was charged with the management of the
colonies' affairs in London, "In spite of all that you say of
your loyalty, you Americans, I know that one day you will sever
the bonds which unite you to us, and that you will raise the flag
of independence." "No such idea exists, and it will never enter
into the head of Americans," answered Franklin, "unless you
maltreat them very scandalously." "That is true, and it is
precisely one of the causes which I foresee, and which will bring
about the consummation."

Lord Camden's prediction was sorrowfully fulfilled in England.
Faults succeeded faults. The measures of the metropolitan
government, whether indecisive or violent, increased the
excitement of the colonies. All the new imposts had been
abolished with the exception of the tax on tea, maintained from
pride and for the purpose of sustaining a principle without hope
of receiving from it a serious revenue. American resistance was
immediately concentrated on the importation of tea. At the end of
November, 1773, two vessels arrived from England and appeared
before Boston. They were laden with tea. Their captains received
orders to leave the harbor. They waited for a permit from the
governor. The populace boarded them, pillaged the ships, and
threw the chests of tea into the sea. George III. and his
ministers had not understood the nature of the movement which was
agitating America. They thought that they could chastise a riot
by new rigors.
The rights of the port of Boston were withdrawn, and the ancient
charter of Massachusetts was rescinded. "I will tell you what the
Americans have done," said Lord North; "they have maltreated the
officers and subjects of Great Britain; they have despoiled our
merchants, burnt our ships, refused all obedience to our laws and
our authority. We have used a long patience in respect to them.
It is time to adopt another line of conduct. Whatever may be the
consequences, we must resign ourselves to running some risks,
without which all is lost."

It was in the name of the eternal principles of justice and of
liberty that Lord Chatham and his friends of the opposition
protested against the measures adopted with reference to the
colonies. "Liberty," said the great orator, passionately,
employing in the struggle the remnant of his failing strength;
"liberty is arrayed against liberty. They are indissolubly united
in this great cause. It is the alliance of God and nature,
immutable and eternal as the light in the firmament of heaven!
Beware! Foreign war hangs over your heads by a light and fragile
thread. Spain and France are watching your conduct, waiting the
result of your errors. Their eyes are turned upon America, and
they are more occupied with the disposal of your colonies than
with their own affairs, whatever they may be. I repeat to you, my
lords, if his Majesty's ministers persevere in their fatal
designs, I do not say that they can alienate from him the
affections of his subjects, but I affirm that they are destroying
the greatness of the crown. I do not say that the king is
betrayed; I say that the country is lost."


Young Charles Fox, second son of Lord Holland, who held an
inferior office in the administration, had embraced the cause of
the American colonies. Lord North wrote to him, on the 22d of
February, "Sir--His Majesty has judged it wise to revise the
Treasury Commission. I do not see your name there. [Signed]
NORTH." The opposition received him into its ranks with joy. He
had already given proof of the faults of his character and of the
licentiousness of his life, yet at the same time he had secured
the attachment of numerous and faithful friends, by his frank and
open good-nature and by the generosity and sweetness of his soul.
He had inspired in his adversaries a great admiration for his
oratorical ability and the inexhaustible fertility of his wit.
The young rival who was soon to dispute the pre-eminence with him
and to vanquish him had not yet appeared on the horizon, except
to sustain the feeble footsteps of his infirm father. The last
time that Lord Chatham appeared in Parliament he was supported on
the arm of the second William Pitt. Debates followed one another
in the English Houses of Parliament. The opposition and the
government exchanged proposals, which were conciliatory or
perfidious, liberal or arbitrary, sustained in turn by the most
eloquent voices. No measure, no speech, availed or could
henceforth avail, to calm the growing irritation of the colonies.
New England and Virginia, the sons of the Puritans and the
descendants of the Cavaliers, marched at the head of the national
movement, animated by the same spirit, however different were its
manifestations. It was from Virginia that the call to arms came.
Washington had said, with his usual moderation, "I do not pretend
to indicate exactly what line it will be necessary to draw
between Great Britain and the colonies, but I am decidedly of
opinion that it will be necessary to draw one and to secure our
rights definitively." Patrick Henry, less scrupulous and more
ardent, uttered the war-cry. "We must fight," said he loudly, at
the opening of the year 1775, at the session of the Virginia
Convention; "an appeal to the sword and the God of armies is all
that is left us." Already, in 1774, a general congress of all the
provinces had met at Philadelphia, announcing a new session for
the following year. Political resistance had henceforth found its
centre. The day of armed resistance had come.


It was time for action. On the 18th of April, 1775, in the night,
the choicest corps of the garrison of Boston went out of the
town, by order of General Gage, governor of Massachusetts. The
soldiers were as yet ignorant of their destination, but the "Sons
of Liberty" had divined it. The governor had caused the gates of
Boston to be shut. Some of the inhabitants, however, had found
means of escape. They had spread the alarm in the country, and
already the men were repairing to the posts designated
beforehand. As the royal troops, approaching from Lexington, were
confident of laying hands on two of the principal agitators,
Samuel Adams and John Hancock, they stumbled in the night against
a body of militia who guarded the way. The Americans remaining
immovable before the command to withdraw, the English soldiers,
led by their officers, fired. Some men fell. The war between
England and America was entered on. The same evening Colonel
Smith, in seeking to take possession of the supply depot formed
at Concord, saw himself successively attacked by detachments
hastily raised in all the villages. He retired in disorder, even
as far as the shelter of the cannon of Boston. Some days later
the town was besieged by an American army, and Congress,
assembled at Philadelphia, appointed Washington general-in-chief
of all the forces of the united colonies--"of all those which
have been or which shall be raised there, and of all others which
shall volunteer their services or shall join the army in order to
defend American liberty and repulse every attack directed against


"There is a spectacle as fine as, and not less salutary than,
that of a virtuous man struggling with adversity: it is the
spectacle of a virtuous man at the head of a good cause and
assuring its triumph. God reserved this good fortune for George
Washington." [Footnote 2]

    [Footnote 2: M. Guizot, _Etude sur Washington_.]

    [Essay on the Character and Influence of Washington in the
    Revolution of the United States of America; page 13;

Born on the 22nd of February, on the banks of the Potomac, at
Bridge's Creek in Virginia, the new general belonged to a good
family of Virginia planters, descended from those country
gentlemen who had formerly caused the English revolution. He lost
his father at an early age, and was brought up by his mother, a
distinguished woman, for whom he always preserved as much
tenderness as respect. He had undergone in his youth a free and
rough life as a land-surveyor. At the age of nineteen, during
the war in Canada, he had taken his place in the militia of his
country, and we have seen him fighting brilliantly by the side of
General Braddock. When the war ended, his haughty discontent
concerning a question of military rank brought him home again.
His eldest brother was dead, and had left him the Mount Vernon
estate. He settled there, became a great agriculturist and
sportsman, was loved and esteemed of everybody, and was already
the object of the confidence as well as the hopes of his


"Capable of raising himself to the highest destinies, he had been
able to ignore himself without suffering from it, and to find in
the cultivation of his land the satisfaction of those powerful
faculties which were sufficient for the command of armies and the
founding of a government. But when the occasion offered, when the
necessity arrived, without effort on his part, without surprise
on the part of others, the wise planter was a great man. He had
in a high degree the two qualities which, in active life, render
a man capable of great things. He knew how to believe firmly in
his own idea, and to act resolutely
according to what he thought, without fearing the
responsibility of his action." [Footnote 3]

    [Footnote 3: M Guizot, _Etude sur Washington_.]

    [Essay on the Character and Influence of Washington in the
    Revolution of the United States of America; page 60;

He was moved and disquieted, however, at the beginning of the
struggle, the burden of which was going to weigh on his
shoulders. He did not unhesitatingly accept the choice of
Congress. He did not delude himself either in his own regard, or
in relation to his country, and the resources which were at his
disposal. "I know my unfortunate position," wrote he to one of
his friends. "I know that much is expected of me; I know that,
without troops, without arms, without supplies, without anything
that a soldier needs, almost nothing can be done; and what is
very mortifying, I know that I can only justify myself in the
eyes of the world by declaring my needs, by disclosing my
weakness, and by doing wrong to the cause which we serve. I am
determined not to do it!" Washington had resolutely accepted the
bitterness of power in the heart of a revolution. "Among great
men, if there have been those who have shone with more dazzling
splendor," said M. Guizot, "no one has been put to a more
complete proof--that of resisting in war and in government, in
the name of liberty and in the name of authority, king and
people, of commencing a revolution and of finishing it."


When the new general arrived before Boston in order to take
command of the confused and undisciplined masses which crowded
into the American camp, he learned that an engagement had taken
place on the 16th of June, on the height of Bunker's Hill, which
overlooked the town. The Americans had seized the positions, and
had so bravely defended themselves there that the English had
lost more than a thousand men before removing their batteries.
Some months later, Washington was master of all the surroundings,
and General Howe, who had replaced General Gage, was obliged to
evacuate Boston (17th of March, 1776).

On the day after the battle of Bunker's Hill, and as a last
effort of fidelity towards the metropolis. Congress had voted
(July 1, 1775) a second petition to the king, which was called
the Olive Branch, and which Richard Penn was charged with
conveying to England. A numerous and considerable faction in the
American assemblies were strongly in favor of loyal union with
the mother-country. "Gentlemen," Mr. Dickinson, deputy from
Pennsylvania, had recently said, "in the reading of the project
of a solemn declaration, justifying the taking up of arms, there
is only a single word of which I disapprove, and it is that of
_Congress_." "And for my part, Mr. President," said Mr.
Harrison, rising, "there is in this paper only a single word of
which I approve, and it is the word _Congress_."


The petition of the thirteen united colonies received no answer.
At the opening of the session on the 25th of October, 1775, the
king's speech was clearly menacing. The Duke of Grafton had
tendered his resignation as keeper of the privy seal. "I ventured
to communicate our apprehensions to the king," wrote he in his
_Memoirs_. "I added that the ministers, themselves in error,
were drawing his Majesty into it. The king deigned to expatiate
on his projects, and informed me that a numerous body of German
troops was going to be united to our forces. He appeared
astonished when I replied that his Majesty would perceive too
late that the doubling of these troops would only increase the
humiliation without attaining the proposed end." Lord George
Sackville, who had become Lord George Germaine, had been charged
with the direction of American affairs. He was haughty and
violent. Public sentiment, strongly excited by the taking up of
arms by the Americans, began to express itself in addresses and
loyal declarations. George III., his ministers and his people
marched together against the rebellion of the colonies. Alone and
for various reasons the Whig opposition in Parliament struggled
against the rising tide of national irritation. The Prohibition
bill had just been voted, interdicting all commerce with the
thirteen revolted colonies, and authorizing the capture of
vessels or merchandise which belonged to Americans, and should
become the property of the conquerors. The arguments were as
violent as the measures. The chancellor, Lord Mansfield,
distinguished among all the judges, recalled the sentence of the
great Gustavus to his troops during the German campaign: "My
boys, you see those men down there: if you do not kill them, they
will kill you."

The resolution was taken in America as well as in England. "If
every one was of my opinion," wrote Washington in the month of
February, 1775, "the English ministers would learn in a few words
to what we wish to come. I would proclaim simply and without
circumlocution our grievances and our resolve to obtain their
I would tell them that we have long and ardently desired an
honorable reconciliation, and that it has been refused us. I
would add that we have comported ourselves as faithful subjects,
that the spirit of liberty is too powerful in our hearts to
permit us ever to submit to slavery, and that we are firmly
decided to break every bond with an unjust and unnatural
government, if our serfdom alone can satisfy a tyrant and his
devilish ministry; and I would say all that to them in no covert
terms, but with expressions as clear as the sun's light at full

The hour of independence was at last come. Already as a
termination of their proclamations, instead of "God save the
King!" the Virginians had adopted this proudly significant
phrase, "God save the liberties of America!" Congress resolved to
give its true name to the war against the metropolis, sustained
for three years by the colonies. After a discussion which lasted
for three days, the proposition drawn up by Jefferson for the
Declaration of Independence was adopted with
unanimity--"unanimity unfortunately slightly factitious."
[Footnote 4]

    [Footnote 4: Cornelis de Witt, History of Washington.]

To the solemn preamble affirming the eternal rights of peoples to
liberty as well as justice, followed an enumeration of the
grievances which had forever alienated from the sovereign of
Great Britain the obedience of his American subjects. "We,
therefore, the representatives of the United States of America
assembled in general congress, invoking the Supreme Judge to
witness the rectitude of our intentions, do solemnly publish and
declare in the name of the good people of these colonies that the
united colonies are and have a right to be free and independent
states, that they are disburdened of all allegiance to the crown
of Great Britain, and that every political bond between them and
Great Britain is and ought to be entirely dissolved. ... Full of
a firm confidence in the protection of Divine Providence, we
mutually devote to the maintenance of this Declaration our lives,
our fortunes, and our most sacred possession, our honor."


In America the solemn Declaration of Independence did not cause a
lively emotion; the lot had been cast for the Americans since the
day when they had taken up arms. At the opening of Parliament on
the 31st of October, King George III., while deploring the
decisive act by which the rebels had broken all the bonds which
attached them to the mother-country, and rejected attempts at
conciliation, ended his appeal to the fidelity of the nation with
these words: "A single and great advantage will flow from the
frank declaration of their intentions by the rebels; we shall be
henceforth united at home, and all will understand the justice
and necessity of our measure. I have not, and I cannot have, in
this cruel struggle, any other desire than the true interest of
all my subjects. Never has a people enjoyed a good fortune more
complete or a government more lenient than have the revolted
provinces. Their progress in all the arts of which they are
proud, give them sufficient proof of it; their number, their
wealth, their strength on land and sea, which they deem
sufficient to resist all the power of the mother-country, are the
unexceptionable proof of it. I have no other object than to deal
them the benefits of the law in the liberty which all English
subjects equally enjoy, and which they have fatally exchanged for
the calamities of war and the arbitrary tyranny of their chiefs."


The calamities of war indeed were weighing on the United States
of America. The attempt against Canada directed by Arnold had
completely failed; oftentimes during the rough campaign of 1776
Washington had believed the cause lost. He had seen himself under
the necessity of abandoning positions of which he was master, in
order to fall back on Philadelphia. "What would you do if
Philadelphia were taken?" he was asked. "We should retreat beyond
the Susquehanna River; then, if necessary, beyond the Alleghany
Mountains," replied the general, without hesitation. By an
unhoped-for good luck for the future destinies of America,
General Howe, in spite of the reinforcements constantly arriving
from Europe, allowed the war to spin out, relying on time and the
rigors of the season to weary the courage of the rebel troops. He
had deceived himself as to the efficacy of the national feeling,
still more as to the hardihood and indomitable perseverance of
the general. At the end of the campaign, Washington, suddenly
assuming the offensive, had in succession beaten the royal troops
at Trenton and at Princeton. This brilliant action had reinstated
the affairs of Americans, and prepared the formation of a new
army. On the 30th of December, 1776, Washington was invested by
Congress with the full powers of a dictator. He had claimed them
for a long time, with that modest and proud authority which
looked simply to the patriotic end without heed of popular
clamors. "If the short time left us in which to prepare and
execute important measures," he had written to the President of
Congress, "is employed in consulting Congress about their
opportunity, so evident to all; if we wait until it has caused
its decisions to reach us at a distance of a hundred and forty
miles, we will lose precious time and we will fail of our end. It
may be objected that I claim powers which it is dangerous to
confer; but for desperate evils extreme remedies are necessary.
No one, I am convinced, has ever encountered so many obstacles in
his way as I."


America began to feel the need of external support in the
terrible struggle she had just engaged in. Already agents had
been sent to France to sound the intentions of the government in
relation to the revolted colonies. M. de Vergennes leaned toward
secret aid. M. Turgot advised the most strict neutrality. "Leave
to the insurgents," said he, "full liberty to make their
purchases in our ports, and to procure by means of commerce the
supplies, even the money of which they have need. To furnish them
secretly with these would be difficult of concealment, and this
step would excite just complaint on the part of the English." The
Minister of Foreign Affairs, under the influence of the Duke de
Choiseul, had for a long time founded great hopes on the
dissensions which should burst forth between England and her
colonies. Faithful to tradition, the first clerk, M. de Ragneval,
presented a remarkable memorandum which precluded hesitation. One
million, speedily followed by other aid, was poured for the
Americans into the hands of Beaumarchais, who was ardently
engaged in the cause of American independence, in the service of
which he had then put forth all the resources of the most fertile
and busy mind. "I would never have been able to fulfill my
mission here without the indefatigable, intelligent, and generous
efforts of M. de Beaumarchais," wrote Silas Deane to the secret
committee, whose agent he was. "The United States are more
indebted to him in every respect than to any other person on this
side of the ocean."


Franklin had come to join Silas Deane. Already well known in
Europe, where he had fulfilled several missions, his great
scientific reputation and his clever and wise devotion to his
country's cause had prepared the way to a worldly success which
the skillful negotiator was well able to make subserve the
success of his enterprise. Soon the French government began to
remit money directly to the agents of the United States.
Everything tended to a recognition of their independence. In
spite of the king's formal prohibition, numerous French
volunteers set out to serve the cause of liberty in America. The
most distinguished of all, M. de la Fayette, arrested by order of
the court, had evaded the surveillance of his guards, leaving his
young wife, who was on the point of her confinement, in order to
embark on a ship which he had secretly purchased. He landed in
America in the month of July, 1777.

England was irritated and uneasy. Lord Chatham, quite recently
sick and almost dying, more implacable than ever in pursuing
everywhere the influence and intervention of France, exclaimed,
with the customary exaggeration of his powerful and passionate
talent, "Yesterday England could yet resist the world; to-day no
one is insignificant enough to show his respect for her. I borrow
the words of the poet, my lords, but what his lines express is no
fiction. France has insulted you: she has encouraged and
sustained America; and whether America be in the right or not,
the dignity of this nation demands that we repulse with disdain
the officious intervention of France. The ministers and
ambassadors of those whom we call rebels and enemies are received
at Paris; they treat there of the reciprocal interests of France
and America. Their natives are sustained there, and supplied with
military resources, and our ministers allow it and do not
protest. Is this sustaining the honor of a great kingdom, which
formerly imposed law on the House of Bourbon?"



The manifest favor of France had forever enrolled Lord Chatham
among the opponents of the recognition of American independence.
He carried to the House a proposal to cease hostilities and enter
upon a negotiation with the revolted colonies, under one sole
condition, that of submission to the mother-country. In the
violent discussion raised on this subject, Lord Suffolk desired
to defend the cruel practices of the Indian savages who were
tolerated in the service of Great Britain. Lord Chatham rose in
his place, forgetting that he had lately accepted the same
auxiliaries during the war against the French in Canada. "My
lords," he exclaimed, "have we heard aright? Men, Christians,
profane the royal majesty at the very side of the throne. God and
nature have placed these arms in our hands, you are told. I do
not know what ideas may be conceived of God and of nature, but I
know that these abominable principles are equally contrary to
religion and to humanity. What! shall the sanction of God and of
nature be attributed to the cruelties of the Indian
scalping-knife, to cannibal savages who torture, massacre,
devour--yes, my lords, who devour the mutilated victims of their
barbarous combats? And on whom have you let loose these infidel
savages? On your brothers in faith, in order to devastate their
country, in order to desolate their dwellings, in order to
extirpate their race and their name!"


The proposals of Lord Chatham were rejected, but the situation
had already changed. Shortly after the arrival of M. de la
Fayette in America, the battle of Brandywine, in which he had
taken part as major-general, had been disastrous to the
Americans; the young volunteer had been wounded. At Germantown
fate had been equally against the colonists, and they had been
forced to evacuate Philadelphia, the aim of General Howe's
operations. They had fallen back on Valley Forge. General
Washington had cleverly established his camp there for the
winter. Nevertheless, successes at other points counterbalanced
and even outweighed the reverses. On the frontiers of Canada the
English general Burgoyne, obstinate and presumptuous, had been
defeated by General Gates. Being deceived in his hope of being
succored by Howe or by Clinton, who was commanding at New York,
he was left to be surrounded by the English troops. Deprived of
provisions and supplies, without resources and without means of
communication, Burgoyne, at the end of his strength, was, after
an heroic resistance, forced to lay down arms and capitulate at
Saratoga, on the 17th of October, 1777. He obtained honorable
conditions, but the soldiers, while free to return to Europe,
were bound not to serve any more against America. Gates was an
Englishman; he did not wish to witness the humiliation of his
countrymen, and he did not assist at the defile of General
Burgoyne's troops. For the first time on American territory,
European arms were given up. The echo was immense in Europe, and
seconded Franklin's efforts at Paris. On the 6th of February,
1778, France officially recognized the independence of the United
States; a treaty of alliance was concluded with the new power,
which thus took rank among nations. Two months later, on the 13th
of April, a French squadron, under the command of Count
d'Estaing, set sail towards America, and soon hostilities were
being carried on in the British Channel between the French and
English ships, without declaration of war, owing to the natural
pressure of circumstances and the state of feeling in the two


At the very moment when France was according to the American
revolt that support which she had secretly afforded it for more
than two years, Lord North, forcing the hand of King George III.,
proposed two bills to Parliament, by which England renounced the
right to levy taxes in the American colonies and recognized the
legal existence of Congress. Three commissioners were to be sent
to the United States to treat concerning the conditions of peace.
"The humiliation and sorrow were great and were legible on all
countenances," said an ocular witness; "no one gave any sign of
approbation, and silence succeeded the minister's speech." The
propositions were, however, voted without serious opposition.
Necessity pressed upon all spirits with sad bitterness.

Public sentiment in England, as well as in Parliament, blamed the
weakness of the government. Lord North felt it, and on the 14th
of March, 1778, on the receipt of the French letter ironically
assuring King George III. of the continuation of Louis XVI.'s
peaceful intentions, the minister had advised the king to recall
his ambassador from Paris and to form a new cabinet at home. It
was with profound repugnance that the monarch consented to make
advances to Lord Chatham; the demands of the great orator were so
haughty that the negotiations remained suspended. The king made a
last appeal to Lord North. "Will you abandon me in the moment of
danger, like the Duke of Grafton?" he asked. The Duke of Richmond
had just made a proposition for the recall of the troops fighting
on land and sea in America (7th April, 1778).
He relied on the support of Lord Chatham, but anti-French passion
in this unbalanced and proud soul surmounted all abstract
considerations of right and justice. He had formerly said, "You
will never conquer America. Your efforts will continue vain and
powerless. If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, so long
as foreign forces marched against my country, I would never lay
down my arms--never! never!" The intervention of France in the
struggle had modified the views of the great minister who had so
long followed her with his hatred. He desired her, above all
things, to be humiliated and conquered. The recognition of
American independence became impossible, encouraged as it was by
the House of Bourbon. The Earl had himself carried to
Westminster, supported on one side by his son William, on the
other by his son-in-law, Lord Mahon. He was nothing more than the
shadow of himself--pale, emaciated, and with difficulty drawn
from his bed of suffering. He rose slowly, supported by his
crutch and leaning heavily on his son's shoulder. His voice was
hollow and failing, his words broken. The transient gleams of his
genius alone animated the supreme effort. "I thank God," said he,
"that I have been enabled to come here to-day to accomplish a
duty and to say what has heavily weighed upon my heart. I have
already one foot in the grave: I am going there soon. I have left
my bed to sustain in this House the cause of my country, perhaps
for the last time. I congratulate myself, my lords, that the
grave has not yet closed over me, and that I yet live to raise my
voice against the dismemberment of this ancient and noble
monarchy. My lords, his Majesty has succeeded to an empire as
vast in its extent as it is illustrious in its reputation. Shall
we tarnish its lustre by the shameful abandonment of its rights
and of its finest possessions? Shall the great kingdom which has
survived in its entirety the descents by the Danes, the
incursions of the Scots, the conquest of the Normans, which has
stood firm before the threatened invasion of the Spanish army,
fall to-day before the House of Bourbon? Truly, my lords, we are
greater than we were. If it be absolutely necessary to choose
between peace and war, if peace cannot be preserved with honor,
why not declare war without hesitation? My lords, everything is
better than despair; let us at least make an effort. If we are to
yield, let us yield like men."

The Last Speech Of The Earl Of Chatham.


He let himself fall back on his seat exhausted and fainting. Soon
he tried to rise in order to answer the Duke of Richmond; his
strength failed him; for the last time the wavering flame of this
great torch had flung out its brilliancy. A weakness seized him.
The House, silent and anxious, surrounded him. They carried out
the great orator, the illustrious adversary of France who had
lately conquered her, and who was about to succumb while yet
following her "with his sad and inflexible looks." [Footnote 5]

    [Footnote 5: Bossuet, _Sur le Cardinal de Retz_.]

Some days later he breathed his last in his country house at
Hayes, encompassed by national regret and respect, and soon
afterwards was buried at the expense of the state in Westminster
Abbey. He was to await his son there only twenty-seven
years--that son who was the enthusiastic witness of his glory,
the emulator of his eloquence and political virtues; who was
greater than he in the governance of his country, and who sleeps
at his feet without other monument than a simple name, "William
Pitt," without other epitaph than the funeral oration which his
father, with outstretched arm, seems constantly to pronounce over
his tomb.


The proposals of the Duke of Richmond had been rejected, but Lord
North's bills had excited great uneasiness in Washington's mind.
He knew better than any one else at what price the war had been
hitherto sustained; he dreaded for his country those concessions
which had no effect upon his own soul. He wrote immediately to
his friends, "Accept nothing that is not independence. We can
never forget the outrages which Great Britain has made us suffer;
a peace on other conditions would be a source of perpetual
broils. If Great Britain, impelled by her love of tyranny, sought
anew to bend our foreheads beneath the yoke of iron--and she
would do it, be certain, for her pride and ambition are
indomitable--what nation would hereafter believe in our
professions of faith and lend us her aid? It is now to be feared
that the proposals of England may have great effect in this
country. Men are naturally friendly to peace; and more than one
symptom leads me to believe that the American people are
generally tired of war. If it is so, nothing is more politic than
to inspire confidence in the country by putting the army on an
imposing footing, and giving a greater activity to our
negotiations with the European powers. I believe that at the
present hour France ought to have recognized our independence,
and that she is going to declare war immediately on Great

From natural taste and from English instinct, Washington did not
care for France and had no confidence in her. M. de la Fayette
alone had been able to make conquest of his affection and esteem.
He raised himself, however, above his peculiar inclinations, and
felt the need of an efficient alliance with the great continental
powers which were enemies or rivals of England.
Congress had just declined all negotiation with Great Britain as
long as an English soldier remained on American soil. On all seas
the English and French fleets obstinately engaged each other. In
the naval combat in sight of Ouessant, on the 27th of July, 1778,
success remained doubtful. The English were accustomed to be the
conquerors, and Admiral Keppel was put on trial. The merchant
shipping of France, however, suffered great loss. On all sides
English vessels covered the sea.

Franklin had recently said, with penetrating foresight, "It is
not General Howe who has taken Philadelphia; it is Philadelphia
which has taken General Howe." The necessity of guarding this
important place had obstructed the operations of the English.
Upon the news of the alliance of France with the United States
and of the departure of Count d'Estaing's squadron, orders had
been given to evacuate the place and to fall back on New York.
Howe had been actively pursued by Washington, who had gained a
serious advantage over him at Monmouth. The victory would have
been decisive but for a jealous disobedience on the part of
General Lee. Sir Henry Clinton had taken the chief command of the
English army, being more active than his predecessor, while
himself insufficient to struggle against Washington. "I do not
know whether they cause fear to the enemy," said Lord North,
ironically; "what I do know is that they make me tremble whenever
I think of them." Washington established his camp thirty miles
from New York. "After two years of marches and countermarches,"
he exclaimed; "after vicissitudes so strange that no war,
perhaps, has ever presented their like since the commencement of
the world, what a subject of satisfaction and astonishment it is
for us to see the two armies returned to their starting-point and
the assailants reduced, in order to their defence, to recur to
shovel and pickaxe."


An expedition contrived by General Sullivan against Rhode Island,
which was still occupied by an English corps, had just failed, by
reason of a clever manœuvre of Admiral Howe. The weather was bad,
and the French admiral put into Boston to repair his damages. The
cry of treason was forthwith raised; a riot greeted the Count
d'Estaing: all the violence of the democratic and revolutionary
spirit seemed let loose against the allies, who had lately been
hailed with such warmth. The efforts of Washington, seconded by
the Marquis de la Fayette, were employed to re-establish harmony.
Borne away by an ill-considered reaction, Congress conceived the
idea of attempting, in conjunction with France, a great
expedition on Canada. Washington, being tardily consulted,
refused his assent; he preserved, in respect of French policy, a
prudent mistrust. "Shall we allow," wrote he to the president of
Congress, "shall we allow a considerable body of French troops to
enter Canada and to take possession of the capital of a province
which is attached to France by all the ties of blood, manners,
and religion? I fear that this would be to expose that power to a
temptation too strong for every government directed by ordinary
political maxims. ... I believe I can read on the faces of some
persons something besides the disinterested zeal of simple
allies: I am willfully deceiving myself; perhaps I am too much
given over to the fear of some misfortune; but above everything,
sir, and putting aside every other consideration, I am averse to
increasing the number of our national obligations."


The project against Canada was tacitly abandoned. The Marquis de
la Fayette set out for France, ever ardently attached to the
American cause, which he was soon to serve efficaciously in
Paris, with the government of Louis XVI.

The English had just made a descent on Georgia, had taken
possession of Savannah, and were threatening the Carolinas as
well as Virginia. The Count d'Estaing was fighting in the
Antilles, and had seized St. Vincent and Grenada. The Marquis de
Bouillé, Governor of the Windward Islands, had taken Dominique.
The English had deprived us of St. Pierre and Miquelon. The
French admiral, who had just been recalled, wished to venture a
final effort in favor of the Americans. He laid siege to
Savannah, and was repulsed after a desperate struggle. The only
advantage of the expedition was the deliverance of Rhode Island.
Sir Henry Clinton, fearing a surprise on New York, had called
back the garrison. Washington had just gained Stony Point, which
secured the navigation of the Hudson to the Americans. Spain had
at last consented to take part in the war by virtue of the Family
Compact, and in order to lend aid to France. Faithful to the
monarchical traditions of his house and of his nation, Charles
III. had refused to recognize the independence of the United
States, or to ally himself with them.

England's situation was becoming grave, and she was inwardly and
profoundly uneasy concerning it. The government was weak and
unequal to the burden of a struggle which became each day more
obstinate; formidable petitions, sustained by the most eloquent
voices--by Fox as well as by Burke--demanded an economic reform,
necessitated by the ever-increasing expenses of the war. Sudden
riots excited in the name of the Protestant religion, which was
said to be menaced all at once, stained England and Scotland with
In the preceding year a law intended to free the Catholics from
some legal disabilities was passed in the Houses almost without
opposition. That just measure had excited a certain feeling among
the masses. Lord George Gordon, a sincere fanatic whose religious
passions disturbed his judgment, had headed a network of
Protestants which signed petitions against the modifications
effected in the penal laws against Catholics. On the 2d of June,
1780, an immense crowd, assembled at St George's Fields for the
presentation of the petition, was moved to the most violent
outrages against the peers suspected of being favorable to the
Papists. Lord Mansfield entered the House of Lords with his coat
torn and his wig in disorder; the Bishop of Lincoln with
difficulty saved his life. Soon the tumult spread over the entire
town: particular houses were attacked and pillaged; the bank was
assailed; moral terror reigned throughout all England, menaced
from within and from without, trembling at the idea of a French
and Spanish invasion, and incessantly agitated by the howls of a
furious populace--"No Popery!" It was a sad and ominous
spectacle. "Sixty-six allied ships of line plowed the British
Channel; fifty thousand men, assembled in Normandy, were
preparing to pounce upon the midland counties. A simple American
corsair, Paul Jones, was ravaging the Scotch coasts with
impunity. The northern powers, united in Russia and Holland,
threatened, arms in hand, to sustain the rights of the neutrals
disregarded by the English admiralty courts. Ireland was only
waiting a signal to rise; religious strife tore England and
Scotland. The authority of Lord North's cabinet was shaken in
Parliament as well as in the country. Popular passions carried
the day in London, and this great city could be seen for nearly
eight days given over to the populace, whose excesses nothing but
its own weakness and shame was able to oppose." [Footnote 6]

    [Footnote 6: Cornelis de Witt, History of Washington.]


The firmness of the king at length suppressed the riot:
twenty-three culprits expiated their crimes with their lives.
After long delays, the fruit of legal chicanery, Lord George
Gordon was finally acquitted as not having been previously
informed of the seditious projects. He pursued unshackled the
course of his follies, and towards the end of his life embraced
Judaism. The English Parliament had, however, the courage and
honor to proudly maintain the principles of religious toleration,
so brutally assailed by popular violence. Burke as well as Lord
North had defended the bill of 1778. "I am the partisan of
universal toleration," exclaimed Fox, "and the foe of that
narrow-sightedness which brings so many people to Parliament, not
that they may be freed from a burden which overwhelms them, but
to entreat the Houses to chain and throttle their

The imposing preparations of the allied powers against England
had not effected other results than the Protestant riots fomented
by Lord George Gordon. The two French and Spanish fleets had,
from the month of August, 1779, effected a junction off the
_Corogne;_ they slowly re-entered the channel on the 31st of
August. When near the Sorlingue Islands the English fleet, only
thirty-seven strong, was caught sight of. The Count de Guichen,
who commanded the advance guard, was already manœuvreing with the
intention of cutting off the enemy's retreat. Admiral Hardy was
too quick for him, and took refuge in the port of Plymouth. Some
partial engagements took place; that of the _Surveillante_
with the _Quebec_ was glorious for the Chevalier du Couëdic,
who commanded her, but without other result than this honor for
the Breton sailor of having alone signalized his name in the
great array of the maritime forces of France and Spain.
After a hundred and four days of useless traversing of the
British Channel, the immense fleet sadly returned to Brest and
speedily dispersed. Admiral d'Orvilliers, who had lost his son in
a skirmish, took to a religious life. The Count de Guichen upheld
the honor of the French flag in a frequently successful series of
battles against Admiral Rodney. The latter, crippled with debts,
was detained at Paris, without being able to go back to England.
"If I was free," said he one day before Marshal Biron, "I would
soon have destroyed all the French and Spanish fleets." The
marshal immediately paid his debts: "Go, sir," said he, with a
boastful generosity to which the eighteenth century was a little
subject; "the French wish to gain advantage over their enemies
only by their bravery!" The first exploit of Rodney was to beat
Admiral Zangara, near Cape St. Vincent, and to revictual
Gibraltar, which the allied forces blockaded by land and sea.

However, the campaign of 1779 had been insignificant in America.
The state of feeling there was humiliating and sad; Congress had
lost its authority while decreasing in public esteem; moral
strength appeared weakened; the great springs of national action
were slackened in the heart of a war always hanging and dubious;
a violent reaction led people's minds to indifference and their
hearts towards light pleasures. Washington himself felt his
influence growing less along with with the heroic resolution of
his fellow-citizens.
"God alone can know what will result to us from the extravagance
of parties and the general laxity of public virtue," wrote he.
"If I were to paint the time and men from what I see and what I
know, I would say that they are invaded by sloth, dissipation,
and debauchery; that speculation, peculation, and an insatiable
thirst for wealth rule all the thoughts of all classes; that
party disputes and private quarrels are the great matter of the
day, while the interests of an empire, a heavy and ever
increasing debt, the ruin of our finances, the depreciation of
our paper-money, the lack of credit, all vital questions in fine,
scarcely attract attention, and are set aside from day to day as
if our affairs were in the most prosperous condition."

In a military sense as well as in a political, the affairs of
America were drooping in sorrowful alternations. Sir Henry
Clinton had known how to profit by the internal dissensions of
the Union; he had rallied round him the royalists in Georgia and
the Carolinas; the civil war reigned there in all its horrors,
precursors and pledges of more cruel rancors yet which our days
were to witness. General Lincoln had just been forced to
capitulate at Charleston. Washington, all the time encamped
before New York, beheld his army decimated by hunger and cold,
without pay, without provisions, without shoes, obliged to live
by despoiling the surrounding population. Discouragement was
overtaking the firmest hearts, when, in the month of April, 1780,
the Marquis de la Fayette landed anew in America. He brought the
news that a French army corps was preparing to embark in order to
sustain the failing strength of the Americans. By a prudent
prevision of the disputes which might arise from questions of
rank or nationality, the Count dc Rochambeau, who commanded the
French, was to be placed under the orders of General Washington,
and the auxiliary corps entirely put at his disposal.
The enthusiasm of M. de la Fayette for the cause of American
liberty had gained over the French court and people. He had borne
upon the government of King Louis XVI., which was as yet
uncertain and naturally preoccupied with the difficulties and
growing expenses which the war was imposing on France. The
national ardor and the rash generosity common to our character
had prevailed. The campaign of 1780 was tardy and without great
results, but the year 1781 was going to be decisive in the annals
of the War of Independence. France was to take a glorious part in
it. Washington had just suffered a serious vexation and a sad
disappointment. In spite of the glaring vices of General Arnold,
and of the faults which were repugnant to the austerity of
character of the general-in-chief, his signal bravery and
military talents had maintained him in the foremost rank among
Washington's lieutenants. Accused of malversations, and lately
condemned by a council of war to suffer a severe reprimand,
Arnold was yet in command of the fort at West Point, the key to
the upper part of the State of New York. He had taken possession
of it in the month of August, 1780, under the pretext of the rest
which his wounds entailed; but he had already made overtures to
Sir Henry Clinton. "I am quite ready to yield myself," he had
said, "in the way which can be most useful to the arms of his
Majesty." The English general charged a young officer of staff to
carry the acceptance of his final instructions to the perfidious
general of the Union. Major André was arrested as a spy. Arnold
learned of it and had time to escape, leaving behind him his
young wife and his new-born infant. Washington was returning from
an interview with Count de Rochambeau and had given a
_rendezvous_ to Arnold.
The latter was not at the appointed place. He had been, it was
said, called back to West Point. The general repaired thither.
While he was crossing the river, contemplating the majesty of
nature which surrounded him, he turned towards his officers. "At
bottom," he said, "I am not vexed that Arnold should have
preceded us; he will salute me, and the boom of the cannon will
have a fine effect in the mountains." They landed, but the fort
remained silent. Arnold had not appeared there for several days.
Displeased but unsuspicious, Washington was beginning an
inspection of the place when Colonel Hamilton brought him some
important dispatches which had followed him. It was the news of
the arrest of Major André and of the perfidy of Arnold. Always
master of himself, the general did not betray his emotion by a
change of countenance; only, turning to the Marquis de la
Fayette, who was informed of the facts by Hamilton, "On whom can
we depend now?" said he sadly.

The culprit was beyond reach; his ignorant and innocent wife had
been seized by a despair which resembled madness. Major André was
tried as a spy and condemned to suffer the fate of one. He was
young, honest, and brave, brought up to another career, and
driven into the army by a love disappointment. His tastes were
elegant, his mind cultivated; he had not foreseen to what dangers
his mission and the disguise that he had assumed, against the
advice of Sir Henry Clinton, exposed him. "My mind is perfectly
tranquil," he however wrote to his general when he was arrested,
"and I am ready to suffer all that my faithful devotion to the
king's cause can draw down on my head."


One thing alone troubled Major André's peace of mind. He dreaded
the ignominy of the gibbet, and wished to die as a soldier.
"Sir," wrote he to Washington, "sustained against the fear of
death by the feeling that no unworthy action has sullied a life
consecrated to honor, I am confident that in this supreme hour
your Excellency will not refuse a prayer the granting of which
can sweeten my last moments. In sympathy for a soldier, your
Excellency will consent, I am sure, to adapt the form of my
punishment to the feelings of a man of honor. Permit me to hope,
that if my character has inspired you with some esteem, and if I
am in your eyes the victim of policy and not of vengeance, I
shall prove the empire of those feelings over your heart by
learning that I am not to die on a gibbet."

With a harshness unexampled in his life, and of which he seemed
always to preserve the silent and painful remembrance, Washington
remained deaf to the noble appeal of his prisoner. He did not
even do Major André the honor of answering him. "Am I then to die
thus?" said the unfortunate man when he perceived the gibbet.
Then immediately recovering himself, "I pray you to bear witness
that I die as a man of honor," said he to the American officer
charged with seeing to his punishment. Washington himself paid
homage to him. "André has suffered his penalty with that strength
of mind which might be expected from a man of that merit and from
so brave an officer," wrote he. "As for Arnold, he lacks pluck.
The world will be surprised if it do not yet see him hanged on a


A monument was erected in Westminster Abbey to the memory of
Major André, "the victim of his devotion to his king and
country." His remains repose there since the year 1821. The
vengeance and anger of the Americans vainly pursued General
Arnold, who was henceforth occupied in the war at the head of the
English troops, with all the passion of a restless hatred. Spite
and wounded vanity, linked with the shameful necessities of an
irregular life, had drawn him into treason. He lived twenty years
after, enriched and despised by the enemies of his country. "What
would you have done to me if you had succeeded in taking me?" he
asked one day of an American prisoner. "We would have separated
from your body that one of your limbs which had been wounded in
the service of the country," answered the militia-man calmly,
"and we would have hanged the rest on a gibbet."

Fresh perplexities were assailing General Washington, scarcely
recovered from the sad surprise which Arnold's treason had caused
him. He had pursued for almost a year the reorganization of his
army, when the successive mutinies among the Pennsylvania troops
threatened to reach those of New Jersey, and to extend by degrees
into all the corps secretly tampered with by Sir Henry Clinton.
Mr. Laurens, formerly president of Congress, and charged with
negotiating a treaty of alliance and of loan with Holland, had
been captured by an English ship. He was imprisoned in the Tower,
when his son, an aide-de-camp of Washington, set out for France.
"The country's own strength is exhausted," wrote the
general-in-chief. "Alone we cannot raise the public credit and
furnish the funds necessary to continue the war. The patience of
the army is at an end. Without money we can make but a feeble
effort, probably the last one."


As well as money, Colonel Laurens was charged to ask for a
reinforcement of troops. France furnished all that her allies
asked. M. Necker, clever and bold, was equal, by means of
successive loans, to all the charges of the war. In a few months
King Louis XVI. had lent or guaranteed more than sixteen million
pounds for the United States. A French fleet, under the orders of
the Count de Grasse, set out on the 21st of March, 1781. Arrived
at Martinique on the 28th of April, the Count de Grasse, despite
the efforts of Admiral Hood to block his passage, took the island
of Tobago from the English. On the 3rd of September he brought
Washington a reinforcement of three thousand five hundred men and
twelve hundred thousand pounds in specie. The soldiers as well as
the subsidies were intrusted to Washington personally. No
dissension had ever arisen between the general and his foreign
auxiliaries. By that natural authority which God had bestowed on
him, Washington was always and naturally the superior and chief
of all those who came near him.

After so many and so painful efforts the day of victory at last
arrived for General Washington and for his country. Alternations
of success and reverse had marked the commencement of the
campaign of 1781. Lord Cornwallis, who commanded the English
armies in the South, was occupying Virginia with considerable
forces, when Washington, who had been able to conceal his designs
from Sir Henry Clinton, while deceiving even his own lieutenants,
passed through Philadelphia on the 4th of September, and advanced
against the enemy by forced marches. The latter had been for a
long time harassed by the little army of M. de la Fayette. Lord
Cornwallis hastened to Yorktown. On the 30th of September the
place was invested.


It was insufficiently or badly fortified, and the English troops
were fatigued by a rough campaign. "This place is not in a
condition to defend itself," Lord Cornwallis had said to Sir
Henry Clinton, before the blockade was complete; "if you cannot
come to my aid soon, you must expect the worst news." The
besiegers, on the contrary, were animated by a zeal which even
increased to emulation. The French and the Americans rivaled each
other in ardor; the soldiers refused to take any rest; the trench
was open since the 6th of October. On the 10th the town was
cannonaded; on the 14th an American column, commanded by M. de la
Fayette and Colonel Hamilton, attacked one of the forts which
protected the approaches. It was some time since Hamilton had
ceased to form part of Washington's staff, in consequence of a
momentary ill-temper of the general's which was keenly resented
by his sensitive and fiery lieutenant. The reciprocal attachment
which even to their last day united these two illustrious men had
suffered nothing from their separation. The French attacked the
second fort under the command of Baron de Viomesnil, the Viscount
de Noailles, and the Marquis de St. Simon, who, being sick, was
carried at the head of his regiment. The resistance of the
English was heroic, but almost at the same instant the flag of
the Union floated over the two outposts. When the attacking
columns joined each other beyond the walls, the French had made
five hundred prisoners. All defence became impossible. Lord
Cornwallis vainly attempted to escape; he was reduced, on the
17th of October, to sign a capitulation more humiliating than
that of Burgoyne at Saratoga. Eight thousand men laid down their
arms, and the English vessels which were at Yorktown and
Gloucester were given up to the conquerors. Lord Cornwallis was
ill with regret and fatigue.
General O'Hara, who took his place, tendered his sword to the
Count de Rochambeau. The latter took a step back. "I am only an
auxiliary," he said, in a loud voice. The hatred which sundered
the ancient compatriots, now become enemies, was profound and
bitter. "I remarked," said M. de Rochambeau's chaplain, "that the
English officers in laying down their arms and in passing by our
lines courteously saluted the lowest French officer, while they
refused that mark of politeness to American officers of the
highest rank."

"In receiving the sword of the English general, Washington had
secured the pledge of his country's independence. England felt
it. 'Lord North received the news of the capitulation like a
bullet full in the chest,' related Lord George Germaine, colonial
secretary of state. He stretched out his arms without being able
to say anything but 'My God, all is lost!' and he repeated this
several times while striding up and down the room."

At a quite recent date, and on receipt of a private letter from
M. Necker, who proposed a truce which should leave the two
belligerents on American soil in possession of the territories
which they occupied, King George III. had exclaimed: "The
independence of the colonies is inadmissible, under its true name
or disguised under the appearance of a truce." The catastrophe
which consternated his ministers and his people did not, however,
shake the obstinate constancy and sincere resolve of the king.
"None of the members of the cabinet," he immediately wrote, "will
suppose, I take it for granted, that this event can modify in
anything the principles which have hitherto guided me, and which
shall continue to inspire my conduct in the struggle." Only one
slight indication betrayed the monarch's agitation. Contrary to
his habit, he had omitted to date his letter.


Repeated checks had overtaken the English arms at other points.
Embroiled with Holland, where the Republican party had got the
better of the stadtholder, who was devoted to them, the English
had carried war into the Dutch colonies. Admiral Rodney had taken
St. Eustache, the centre of an immense commerce; he had pillaged
the warehouses and loaded his vessels with an enormous mass of
merchandise. The convoy which was carrying a part of the spoils
to England was captured by Admiral de la Motte-Piquet; M. de
Bouillé surprised the English garrison left at St. Eustache and
restored the island into the hands of the Dutch. The latter had
just sustained, with brilliancy, near Dogger Bank, their ancient
maritime reputation. "Officers and men all have fought like
lions," said Admiral Zouthemann. The firing had not commenced
until the moment that the two fleets found themselves within
gunshot. "It is evident after this," said a contemporary, "that
the nations which fight with the most ardor are those who have an
interest in not fighting at all." The vessels on both sides had
suffered severe damages; they were scarcely in a seaworthy state.
The glory and the losses were equal, but the English Admiral,
Hyde Parker, was annoyed and discontented. King George III. came
to visit on board his ship. "I wish your Majesty had younger
sailors and younger ships," he said; "as for me, I am too old for
the service," and he persisted in giving in his resignation. This
was the only action of the Dutch during the war. [Having] Become
insolent in their prosperity and riches, they justified the
judgment passed on them some years later: "Holland could pay all
the armies of Europe; she could not face any of them."
They left to Admiral de Kersaint the care of recovering from the
English their colonies of Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice, on
the coast of Guiana, as to the Bailiff de Suffren the duty of
protecting the Cape of Good Hope. A little Franco-Spanish army at
the same time besieged Minorca. The fleet was considerable. The
English had neglected their preparations, and Colonel Murray was
obliged to shut himself up in Fort St. Philip. In the mean time
operations had miscarried, and the Duke de Crillon, who was in
command of the besieging troops, wearied of the blockade and
proposed to the commandant to deliver the place to him. The
offers were magnificent; the Scotch officer answered indignantly,
"M. le Duc, when the king his master ordered your brave ancestor
to assassinate the Duke de Guise, he replied to Henry III.,
'Honor forbids me.' You should have made the same reply to the
King of Spain when he charged you to assassinate the honor of a
man as well-born as the Duke de Guise or as yourself. I do not
wish to have other relations with you than those of arms."
Crillon understood the reproach. "Your letter," wrote he to the
proud Scotchman, "has placed us both in the situation that suits
us; it has increased my esteem for you. I accept your last
proposition with pleasure." He himself directed the assaults,
mounting the breach first. When Murray capitulated, on the 4th of
February, 1782, the fortress contained only a handful of
soldiers, so wasted by fatigues and privations that "the
Spaniards and French shed tears on seeing them file between their


This was the last blow to the ministry of Lord North, which had
long been tottering on its base. It had been sought to
consolidate it by adding to it, as chancellor, Lord Thurlow,
distinguished by his eloquence even at this era of great judges;
already, however, less esteemed than several of his illustrious
rivals. So many efforts and sacrifices eventuating in so many
disasters wearied and irritated the nation. "Great God!"
exclaimed Burke, "is it still a time to speak to us of the rights
that we sustain in this war? O excellent rights! Precious they
should be, for they have cost us dear! O precious rights! which
have cost Great Britain thirteen provinces, four islands, a
hundred thousand men, and more than ten millions sterling! O
admirable rights! which have cost Great Britain her empire on the
ocean, and that superiority so vaunted which made all nations bow
before her! O inestimable rights! which have taken away our rank
in the world, our importance abroad, and our happiness at home;
which have destroyed our commerce and our manufactures, which
have reduced us from the most flourishing empire in the world to
a state curtailed and without greatness! Precious rights! which
will doubtless cost us what remains to us!" The discussion became
more and more bitter. Sincerely concerned for the public weal.
Lord North vainly sought to influence the king to change his
ministry. George III., as sincere as his minister, and of a
narrow and obstinate mind, was meditating withdrawing to Hanover
if the concessions which Lord Rockingham exacted were repugnant
to his conscience. Already the negotiation had several times been
broken off. The chancellor poured forth a torrent of curses.
"Lord Rockingham," said he, "carries things to that point that it
would be necessary for the king's head or his own to remain there
in order to decide which of the two shall govern the country."


The majority in the House of Commons had escaped the government.
Nine voices only had rejected a vote of want of confidence. On
the 20th of March, 1782, a new proposal of Fox excited a violent
storm. Lord North entered the hall, and a great tumult arose;
Lord Surrey disputed speech with the minister. "I propose," cried
Fox, "that Surrey should speak first." "I demand to speak on this
motion," said Lord North, eagerly, and as he arose, "I would have
been able to spare the House much agitation and time, if it had
been willing to grant me a moment's hearing. The object of the
present discussion was the overturning of the actual ministry.
This ministry no longer exists; the king has accepted the
resignation of his cabinet." The surprise was extreme. A lengthy
sitting had been expected; the greater part of the members had
sent away their carriages. That of Lord North was waiting at the
door: the fallen minister mounted it, always imperturbable in his
witty good humor. "I assure you, gentlemen," said he, smiling,
"that it is the first time I have taken part in a secret." The
great Whig coalition came into power. Lord Shelburne had refused
to charge himself with it; he consented, however, to become
secretary of state. The Marquis of Rockingham, the Duke of
Richmond, and Mr. Fox occupied the most important posts. Like
William Pitt and Henry Fox previously, Burke had been named
paymaster-general of the forces by land and sea. In spite of
political principles utterly opposed to those of his colleagues,
Lord Thurlow remained chancellor.

The era of concessions was approaching. The first were granted to
Ireland, which had violently risen up against the restriction
placed upon its commerce, and against the act of George II.,
which attributed to the English Parliament, in conjunction with
the king, the right of legislating on the condition of Ireland
without the participation of the Irish Houses.
The eloquence of Henry Grattan potently served the national
cause; oppressive or arbitrary laws were abrogated. The king at
the same time announced his intention of entering on the path of
economic reforms. Already young and ardent spirits foresaw other
reforms, but Burke, who was a passionate friend of the
retrenchment of expenses and pensions, was beside himself with
anger when parliamentary privileges appeared in question. Fox had
with difficulty restrained him on the subject of a motion of
young Pitt, who had recently entered the House, noticed and
esteemed by all. He soon blazed forth with all the customary
transport of his character and talent. "Burke has at last
unburdened his heart with the most magnificent improvidence,"
wrote Sheridan to Fitzpatrick. "He attacked William Pitt with
cries of rage, and swore that Parliament was and had always been
what it ought to be, and that whoever thought to reform it wished
to overturn the constitution."

In the midst of parliamentary discords and shocks of power, other
preoccupations continued to weigh upon the nation, saddened and
humiliated by the state of affairs in America, and daily more
convinced that peace, however sorrowful, was indispensable. A
brilliant success of Admirals Rodney and Hood against the Count
de Grasse had for an instant reanimated the pride and the hopes
of the English. Although a good sailor, and for a long time
fortunate in war, the French admiral had at various times shown
himself short-sighted and credulous. He let himself be driven
away from St. Christopher, which he was besieging, and of which
the Marquis de Bouillé took possession some days later. He was
embarrassed by his ships, which had suffered heavy damages.
The two fleets met between St. Lucia and Jamaica; the combat
lasted ten hours without stoppage of cannonading; the French
squadron was cut up; one after another the captains were killed.
"We passed near the _Glorieux_," wrote an eye-witness; "it
was almost completely dismasted; but the white flag was nailed to
one of the shattered masts, and seemed in its ruin to defy us
still. Henceforth incapable of action, the enormous mass
presented a spectacle which struck the imagination of our
admiral. As he spends his life reading Homer, he exclaimed that
he was now working to raise the body of Patrocles." The vessel of
the French Admiral, the _Ville de Paris_, was attacked at
once by seven hostile ships; his own could not succeed in
approaching him. The Count de Grasse, full of sorrow and anger,
still fought when all hope was long since lost. "The admiral is
six feet every day," said the sailors, "but on days of battle he
is six feet one inch." When the admiral's ship at last hauled
down its flag, it had suffered such damage that it sank before
arriving in England. Since Marshal de Taillard, the Count de
Grasse was the first French commander-in-chief made prisoner
during the combat. "In two years," wrote Rodney to his wife, "I
have taken two Spanish admirals, one French, and one Dutch. It is
Providence who has done all; without it would I have been able to
escape the discharges of thirty-three ships of line, who were all
set upon near me? But the _Formidable_ has shown herself
worthy of her name."

The Bailiff de Suffren was at the same time sustaining in the
Indian seas that honor of the French navy so often heroically
defended against the most formidable obstacles. He succeeded in
landing at the Cape of Good Hope the French garrison promised to
the Dutch, when he received command of the fleet from the dying
hands of Admiral d'Orves.
A clever and bold adventurer who had become a great prince, the
Mussulman Hyder-Ali, was obstinately combating English power in
the Carnatic. He had rallied around him the remnant of the French
colonists, almost without asylum since the ruined Pondicherry had
been retaken by the English in 1778. A treaty of alliance united
the nabob to the French. On the 4th of July a serious battle was
fought before Negapatam between the French and English fleets.
The victory remained dubious, but Sir Edward Hughes withdrew
under Negapatam without renewing hostilities. The Bailiff had
taken possession of Trincomalee. As had already happened several
times, whether it were cowardice or treason, a part of the French
forces yielded in the middle of the action. A combination was
formed against the admiral; he fought alone against five or six
assailants; the mainmast of the _Heros_, which he commanded,
fell under the enemy's balls. Suffren, standing on the bridge,
shouted, being beside himself, "The flags, let the white flags be
put all round the _Heros_." The vessel, bristling with the
glorious signs of its resistance, responded so valiantly to the
attacks of the English that the squadron had time to form around
it again. The English went to anchor before Madras. M. de Suffren
freed Bussy-Castelnau, who had just arrived in India and who had
let himself be closed up by the English in Gondelore. Hyder-Ali
died on the 7th of December, 1782, leaving to his son, Tippoo
Saib, a confused state of affairs, which was soon to become
tragic. M. de Suffren alone defended the remnants of French power
in India.


England had just gained in Europe a success most important for
her policy as well as for her national pride. Twice revictualled,
by Rodney and by Admiral Darby, Gibraltar had resisted for two or
three years the united efforts of the French and Spaniards. Each
morning, on awaking, King Charles III. asked his servants, "Have
we Gibraltar?" And, at the negative answer, "We shall soon have
it," the monarch would assure them. It was finally resolved to
have satisfaction of the obstinate defenders of the place: the
Duke de Crillon brought on a body of French troops. He was
accompanied by the Count d'Artois, brother of the king, and by
the Duke de Bourbon. Their first care, on arriving, was to send
to General Eliot the letters addressed to him which had been
delayed for some time at Madrid. The Duke de Crillon had added to
the correspondence a present of game, fruit, and vegetables,
asking at the same time the hostile general's permission to renew
this gift. The distress in the besieged town was terrible, but
General Eliot responded to the duke with thanks and a refusal. "I
have made it a point of honor," said he, "in the matter of plenty
and of dearth to make common cause with the last of my brave
soldiers: this will be my excuse for begging your Excellency not
to overwhelm me with favors in the future."

Some floating batteries, cleverly constructed by a French
engineer, the Chevalier d'Arcon, threatened the ramparts of the
place. On the 13th of September, at nine o'clock in the morning,
the Spaniards opened fire; all the artillery of the fort replied:
the surrounding mountains echoed the cannonade. The entire army,
which covered the coast, anxiously awaited the result of the
enterprise. The fortifications were already beginning to give
way, and the batteries had been firing for five hours. All at
once, the Prince of Nassau, who commanded a detachment, thought
he perceived that the flames were reaching his heavy ship.
The fire spread rapidly, and one after another the floating
batteries were dismantled. "At seven o'clock we had lost all
hope," said an Italian officer who had taken part in the assault;
"we no longer fired, and our signals of distress remained without
effect. The red balls of the besieged rained on us. The crews
were threatened on all sides. Timidly and in weak detachments,
the boats of the two fleets glided into the shadow of the
batteries, in the hope of saving some of the unfortunates who
were perishing. The flames which blazed over the ships doomed to
perish served to direct the fire of the English as surely as if
it were full day. Captain Curtis, at the head of a little
flotilla of gunboats, barred the passage of the rescuers up to
the moment when, suddenly changing his character, he consecrated
all his strength and the courage of his brave sailors to contend
with the flames and waves for the life of the unfortunate
Spaniards who were on the point of perishing. Four hundred men
owed their existence to his generous efforts. One month after
that day so disastrous for the allies, Lord Howe, favored by
chance winds, revictualled, for the third time and almost without
a fight, the fortress and the town, under the very eyes of the
enemy. Gibraltar remained impregnable. The siege no longer
continued except in form."

Negotiations were being carried on in Paris, secretly and in
private between America and England by Messrs. Oswald and
Franklin, and officially between Mr. Grenville and M. de
Vergennes. Lord Rockingham had just died, at the age of
fifty-two, and the cabinet was re-formed under the leadership of
Lord Shelburne, deprived of the brilliancy which Charles Fox had
brought to it. The latter seized a pretext to withdraw.
He had demanded that the independence of the American colonies
should be recognized at once and without relation to a treaty of
peace. Lord Shelburne, while admitting the same basis, wished to
pursue a more complete negotiation. Fox gave in his resignation,
and William Pitt took his place in the cabinet. The first care of
Lord Shelburne was to recall Sir Henry Clinton, who was too much
compromised in the heat of the American war to be in a position
to shape the peace. Party and territorial feuds were grafted on
the fertile trunk of national enmities. Everywhere in Georgia and
Carolina the ambuscades and reprisals of loyalists and patriots
fostered a state of irritation and cruel disorder to which
Washington was resolved to put an end. The loyalists of
Middletown captured a captain in the service of Congress, and he
was hanged. The general-in-chief demanded that the English
officer who commanded the detachment should be given up to him.
On the refusal of Sir Henry Clinton, who had himself caused the
delinquent to be arrested, Washington decided to employ the
system of reprisals. Up till then he had studiously avoided it.
"I know better than to think of the system of reprisals," he
wrote to General Greene; "I am, however, perfectly convinced of
this: when one has not the criminal himself at hand, it is the
most difficult of all laws to execute. It is impossible that
humanity should not intervene in favor of the innocent condemned
for the fault of others." The council of war and Congress had,
however, adopted the principle and condemned to death Captain
Asgill, son of Sir Charles Asgill, an amiable young man of
nineteen. Washington seemed to have made up his mind and to have
hardened his heart against the appeals of pity. "My resolve,"
said he, "is based on so long reflection that it will remain
Whatever my feelings of sympathy for the unhappy victim may be,
the satisfactory conduct of the enemy can alone cause a ray of
hope to arise for him." He delayed, nevertheless, to have the
sentence executed. Lady Asgill, in her maternal despair,
addressed herself to Marie Antoinette. The latter charged M. de
Vergennes to transmit to Congress and to Washington her pressing
entreaties in favor of the unfortunate young man. "If I were
called to give my opinion," said the general, "I would be of
opinion that he should be released." On the 7th of November a
vote of Congress pronounced the pardon of Captain Asgill. M. de
Vergennes had provided against fresh acts of vengeance. "In
seeking to deliver the unfortunate young man from the fate which
threatens him," he wrote, "I am far from pledging you to choose
another victim; for the pardon to be satisfactory, it is of
importance that it should be complete."

Washington did not manifest any confidence in the pacific
advances of Great Britain. In taking command of the English
troops, Sir Guy Carleton had been charged with the most
conciliatory proposals. He had tried to open negotiations with
Congress. The latter voted a new resolution, confirming its first
declarations of never treating without the concurrence of France.
Washington wrote, in the month of May, 1782, "The new
administration has caused overtures of peace to be made to the
various belligerent nations, probably with the design of
detaching some one from the coalition. The old infatuation, the
duplicity, and the perfidious policy of England render me, I
avow, quite suspicious, quite doubtful. Her disposition seems to
me to be perfectly summed up in the laconic saying of Dr.
Franklin--'They are said to be incapable of making war, and too
proud to make peace.'
Besides, whatever may be the intention of the enemy, our
watchfulness and our efforts, far from languishing, should be
more than ever on the alert. Defiance and prudence cannot harm
us. Too much confidence and yielding will lose everything." He
said at the same time, with a bitter feeling of his impotence in
view of the sufferings of his troops, "You can rely on it, the
patriotism and courage of the army are at their limit; never has
discontent been greater than at this moment; it is time to make

Peace was on the point of being concluded at Paris, and without
the French, between England and the United States. By a
diplomatic calculation, or by the insinuations of the English
agents, the American negotiators--Franklin, Jay, John Adams, and
Laurens--pretended to have conceived some suspicions as to the
disinterestedness of France. "Are you afraid of serving as tools
to the European powers?" asked Mr. Oswald of John Adams. "Yes,
truly." "And what powers?" "All." The suspicion, it is true, was
unjust, and Washington felt so without ever expressing it
frankly. The preliminary articles of the treaty, which formally
reserved the rights of France in a general peace, were secretly
signed on the 30th of November, 1782.

The independence of the United States was fully recognized, and
conditions as equitable as liberal were granted to the subjects
of the two nations. France remained exposed to the dangers of
isolation, whether in negotiation or battle. "I altogether share
your Excellency's feelings," wrote Washington to the French
minister at Philadelphia, the Chevalier de la Luzerne.
"The articles of treaty between Great Britain and America are so
inconclusive in regard to what touches a general peace that it
behooves us to preserve a hostile attitude, and to remain ready
in any event for peace or for war." M. de Vergennes wrote to the
same diplomatist: "You will assuredly be as satisfied as I am as
to the advantages which our allies the Americans will derive from
peace, but you will not be less astonished than I have been at
the conduct of the commissioners. They have carefully avoided me,
answering me evasively on every occasion when I have inquired as
to the progress of the negotiations, in such a way as to make me
believe that they were not advancing, and that they had no
confidence in the sincerity of the English minister. Judge of my
surprise when, on the 30th of November, Dr. Franklin apprised me
that everything was signed! ... Things are not yet as far
advanced with us as with the United States; however, if the king
had employed as little delicacy as the commissioners, we would
have been able to sign the peace with England a long time before
they did." It was only when the cessation of hostilities and the
preliminaries of a general peace were signed at Paris, on the
20th of January, 1783, that Washington allowed his joy at peace
to break forth freely. He had eagerly desired it. More than any
other, and to a degree rarely granted by God to the personal
action of one man, he had contributed to render it glorious and
happy for his country. "I am greatly rejoiced," wrote he to
Colonel Hamilton, "to see an end put to our state of war, and to
see a career open before us, which, if we follow it wisely, will
lead us to become a great people, equally happy and respectable;
but we must have, in order to advance in this path, other means
than a narrow political place; than jealousies or unreasoning
prejudices. Otherwise one need not be a prophet to foresee that
in the hands of our enemies, and of European powers jealous of
our greatness in union, we will only be the instruments of
dissolving the confederation."


Through many faults, through serious and dangerous errors, and in
spite of shocks, the last and most cruel of which has failed to
dissolve that union so dear to the patriotic thoughts of
Washington, the American people has remained a great people, and
its place among nations has in a century become more considerable
than its founders had foreseen. Washington had not yet ended his
work; he was to guide in the paths of government that generation
of his compatriots which he had so painfully accustomed to the
art of war. Scarcely was peace signed when Congress was disputing
with the army as to the recompense for its sufferings and
efforts. The newborn United States were threatened with a
military insurrection. The influence of the general-in-chief
preserved them from it, while sparing his country the shame of a
cowardly ingratitude. "If this country denies the prayer of the
troops," he exclaimed, at the end of one of his official letters
to the president of Congress, "then I shall have learned what
ingratitude is; I shall have assisted at a spectacle which for
the remainder of my days will fill my soul with bitterness."

The wishes of the American army were heard, and peace obtained in
America as well as in Europe, although precarious and doubtful in
many respects, and threatened by inward fermentation or by
outside dangers, which were but ill warded off by negotiations
and treaties.


To the exchange of conquests between France and England was added
the cession to France of the Island of Tobago, and of the Senegal
River with its dependencies. The territory of Pondicherry and of
Karikal received some increase. For the first time for more than
a hundred years the English renounced the humiliating
stipulations so often exacted on the subject of the port of
Dunkerque. Spain saw how to confirm her conquest of Florida and
the Island of Minorca. The Dutch recovered all their possessions
with the exception of Negapatam.

At the opening of Parliament, on the 5th of December, 1782, King
George III. announced in the speech from the throne that he had
at last recognized the independence of the American colonies. The
nation was not unaware of how he had long resisted this cruel
necessity. "In thus accepting their separation from the crown of
these kingdoms," said the monarch, "I have sacrificed all my
personal wishes to the desires and opinions of my people. I
humbly and earnestly ask the All-powerful God that Great Britain
may not experience the evils which may result from so great a
dismemberment of the empire, and that America may be preserved
from the calamities which have lately proved in the
mother-country that monarchy is necessary to the maintenance of
constitutional liberties. Religion, language, interests,
reciprocal affection, will serve, I hope, as a bond of union
between the two countries: I shall spare neither my cares nor my
attention in that direction." "I have been the last in England to
consent to the independence of America," said George III. to John
Adams, the first man charged with representing his country at the
court of London; "I shall, however, be the last to sanction its
violation." In the hot debates against the peace which speedily
arose in Parliament, the king earnestly sustained his ministers.
Lord North and Mr. Fox, of late so violently opposed, had united
to attack the treaties. "It is not in my nature," said Fox, "to
preserve my rancors long, nor to live on bad terms with any one;
my friendships are eternal, my enmities will never be so.
_Amicitiæ sempiternæ, inimicitiæ placabiles._" Lord
Shelburne was defeated, and retired. During five weeks the young
chancellor of the exchequer, William Pitt, who had borne the
burden of the discussion with Fox in debate, remained charged
with the administration. Then the king asked him to form a
cabinet. Pitt declined, with that mixture of boldness and
sensible moderation which constantly distinguished his political
life; the coalition ministry of North and Fox came to power on
the 2nd of April, 1783. The first act of the new cabinet was to
present an important bill in regard to the government of India.
The affairs of that distant empire, where Great Britain was
slowly coming to establish her power, engrossed all minds,
excited many ambitions, and served to nourish numerous intrigues.
Since the year 1765, after a violent struggle in the India
Company's council, Lord Clive had been charged with remodeling
the internal administration of Bengal. The prince whom he had
placed on the throne was dead. To Meer Jaffier had succeeded a
child, raised to the supreme dignity by the agents of the
company, who had put the throne to auction. Corruption and
violence obtained in all branches of the government. Clive's
feelings had not been delicate, nor his conscience
over-scrupulous. He was humiliated and shocked at the spectacle
which met his eyes. "Alas!" wrote he to one of his friends, "how
low the English name has fallen! I could not help paying the
tribute of a few tears to the glory of the English nation, which
is so irretrievably lost, I fear. However, I swear by the Great
Being who sounds hearts and to whom we are all responsible, if
there is anything after this life, I have come here, with a soul
above all corruptions, determined to exterminate these terrible
and ever-growing evils or to die hard."


It was with a resolute sincerity that Clive undertook and
accomplished the difficult task with which he had been charged.
In eighteen months he reformed all abuses and constructed a new
administration on intelligent and sensible bases. Private
commerce was denied to the agents of the company, whose salaries
were at the same time increased. It was absolutely forbidden to
receive any presents from natives. When the resistance of the
Calcutta employés threatened for a time to nullify his plans, the
inflexible governor announced that he would procure agents
elsewhere, and he brought from Madras those whom he wanted. The
most obstinate were left destitute; the others yielded. A
military plot was discovered and baffled; the ringleaders were
arrested, judged, and cashiered. Clive exhibited in regard to
them a mingled kindness and severity. He was threatened with an
attempt at assassination: he smiled disdainfully. "These
officers," he said, "are Englishmen, not murderers." The sepoys
remained faithful to him. The Hindoo princes who had recently
sought to revolt asked for peace. The English power and the
company's authority in Bengal were forever established when Lord
Clive, exhausted by fatigue and sickness, departed for England in
1767. He had refused all the presents which had been offered to
him, making a gift to the company, in favor of the invalid
officers and soldiers of the army, of a considerable legacy which
Meer Jaffier had left him.


Lord Clive had laid his hand on bleeding wounds; he had dried up
in them the source of much abuse; he had effectually hindered
ambitious and evil projects. His enemies were numerous and
determined, and they pursued him to England with their jealous
hatred. The most honorable part of his life was calumniated. Past
acts were recalled which did honor neither to his heart nor his
conscience. By a very natural mistake of public opinion, Clive
became to the mass of the nation the type of those functionaries
enriched in India who were then called _nabobs_, a great
number of whom had seen their malversations stopped by his firm
government. A horrible famine which desolated Bengal in 1770, the
origin of which was falsely attributed to his measures, cast
trouble into the soul as well as confusion into the affairs of
the company. Many of its agents were fiercely accused. Lord Clive
was involved in their unpopularity. His adversaries presented a
bill on the affairs of India to Parliament. Clive did not want to
be personally attacked. He defended himself in a long and
carefully prepared speech, which had a great and legitimate
success. His enemies then directed their accusations against the
first part of his life, which were more difficult to defend.
Irritated, but not uneasy, Clive boldly maintained the necessity
of the manœuvres he had employed, asserting that he would not
hesitate to have recourse to the same means again, and when the
gifts that he had received from Meer Jaffier were harped upon,
"By God, Mr. President," exclaimed Clive, "when I think of the
offers which have been made to me, of the caves full of ingots
and precious stones which have been opened to me, what astonishes
me at this moment is my moderation."


With wise justice the House of Commons had blamed, in regard to
certain points, Clive's conduct while establishing legitimate
principles of government; it had at the same time the justice to
recognize the great services which the general had rendered his
country. Clive was acquitted by the House and justified in the
eyes of public opinion. He was rich and powerful. The American
war, then commencing, was about to open a new field for his
military genius, and the ministry had already made proposals to
him. On the 22d of November, 1774, Clive died by his own hand in
the magnificent castle which he had built at Claremont. He was
about to enter on his forty-ninth year. On several occasions ere
this, in all the vigor of his youth, he had been attacked by that
gloomy melancholy which was at last to cost him his life. Being
sick and unemployed, he had recourse to the fatal solace of
opium. An energetic spirit of most powerful faculties had
foundered in shipwreck. England had lost the only general capable
of struggling against Washington.

When Clive died thus sadly and gloomily, wearied of fortune and
of glory, his successor in the Indian Empire, as potent in
administration and policy as the general had been in war,
Governor Warren Hastings was sustaining against his foes and his
rivals that desperate struggle which the maintenance of his
method was to render celebrated in England and in Europe. Born on
the 6th of September, 1732, of an ancient but impoverished
family, and sent to India, while very young in the civil service,
Warren Hastings had already distinguished himself by intelligent
services when he was appointed agent at the court of Meer
Jaffier, at the moment when Clive, during his stay in India, was
establishing the empire of England over Bengal.
He afterwards became a member of the council at Calcutta, at the
era when disorder and corruption reigned there unchecked, before
the powerful hand of Clive had introduced into administration the
first elements of order and probity. In 1764 he returned to
England. His fortune was modest; he made liberal use of it
towards his family, and heavy losses swallowed what remained.
Hastings returned to India in 1769 as member of the council of

Being capable and sagacious, he was occupied in seeking
advantageous investments for the funds of the company, the
affairs of which prospered in his hands. The directors had at the
same time got sight of the rare political faculties of their
clever agent. They resolved to nominate him as governor of
Bengal. The double government which Clive had founded still
existed. It left the appearance of power to the nabob, but
confided the reality to the hands of the English. The native
ministry Clive had elevated still guided the affairs of the
Hindoo prince. He was a Mussulman, and was called Mohammed Reza
Khan. For ten years a clever and unscrupulous Hindoo rival, the
Brahmin Nuncomar, had pursued him with his jealous animosity.
Shortly after the arrival of Hastings, and contrary to his
advice, on orders come from London, the new governor was obliged
to depose Mohammed Reza Khan. He knew Nuncomar, however, and was
resolved not to satisfy his greedy ambition. When the Mussulman
minister, a prisoner, but kindly treated, had set out for Madras
under a strong guard, Hastings took from the infant _nabob_
the remnants of his authority. The post of native minister was
abolished. The administration of Bengal passed entirely into the
hands of the English. The little prince, still surrounded by a
court and provided with an ample revenue, was confided to the
care of a woman who had formed part of his father's harem. The
hatred of Nuncomar was transferred from Mohammed Reza Khan to the
governor of Bengal, Warren Hastings.


Having become all-powerful, and being constantly pressed by the
company to send it money, Hastings had used violent and irregular
means to procure the sums demanded of him. He had reduced the
pensions which the English had agreed to pay to the deposed
princes; he had sold towns or territories to native sovereigns;
he had, last of all, engaged the company's troops in a private
war of the nabob vizier of Oude against the Rohillas, and he had
for a sum of money enslaved on the prince's behalf a proud and
independent population, henceforth given over to the most cruel
oppression. The distant rumor of this iniquity reached as far as
England. In 1773, under Lord North's ministry, a new law had
seriously modified the government of India. Henceforth the
presidency of Bengal was to exercise control over the other
possessions of the company: a council composed of four members
was charged with assisting the governor-general; a supreme court
of justice, established at Calcutta, was to be independent of the
governor and of the council. Among the members of this new
administration was Sir Philip Francis, probably the author of the
celebrated letters of Junius, who was endowed with a persistent,
violent, and bitter spirit, and who was soon engaged against
Hastings in a struggle which was to last as long as their lives.


Francis swayed the majority in the council. He took away the
government from Hastings and put his hand on all branches of the
administration. Disorder became extreme. The hate of Nuncomar led
him to believe that he had found a chance of destroying his enemy
forever. He formulated the gravest charges against the
governor-general, and Francis undertook to transmit his
deposition to the council. Hastings treated Francis and Nuncomar
with haughtiness. Public opinion in India was favorable to him,
and he did not at that time consider himself seriously menaced.
In appealing to the higher authority at London, he addressed his
resignation to Colonel Maclean, his agent in England, instructing
him only to hand it in in case the council of the company should
show itself hostile to his interests.

His precaution being taken so far as England was concerned,
Warren Hastings, bold as he was clever and calm, resolved to
attempt a great stroke. He was master of the supreme court,
which was absolutely independent in its scarcely limited
jurisdiction. The president, Sir E. Impey, had been his
schoolfellow, and willingly became his docile tool. Nuncomar was
accused of forgery in a business letter--the most common and most
venial of crimes in the Hindoo practice and morality. He was
arrested and cast into prison. After a trial in which all the
resources and intrigues of the council failed before the firm
resolve of the judges, Nuncomar was declared guilty and condemned
to death.

The entire population of Calcutta was in consternation. The
members of the council, being furious, swore that they would save
their _protegé_, were it at the foot of the gallows. Sir E.
Impey refused the reprieve that Nuncomar's friends demanded in
order that they might have time to appeal to justice or the royal
clemency. The Brahmin suffered his fate with the cool courage
peculiar to that Oriental race, so often weak and cowardly in
battle, but impassive in the face of torture and death. The
affrighted crowd which was present at his punishment fled,
covering their faces; a multitude of Hindoos threw themselves
into the sacred waters of the Hooghly, as if to purify themselves
from the crime of which they had been the powerless spectators.


Hastings was triumphant at Calcutta. At London, in spite of the
enmity of Lord North, who was closely leagued with that majority
of the council in conflict with the governor-general, the
shareholders summoned to vote at a general meeting inclined to
the support of Warren Hastings. The finances had never been more
prosperous. If he had committed faults it was in the service of
the company and to its profit. The governor-general's partisans
upheld him with a hundred voices.

The discontent of the ministry was so great that Colonel Maclean
dreaded a premature convocation of Parliament and the accusation
of his employer. He remitted to the director of the company the
resignation which had been intrusted to him. Delighted to get out
of the embarrassment thus, the London council addressed to
General Clavering, the senior of the Calcutta council, orders to
exercise power until the arrival of Mr. Wheeler, who was charged
with replacing Warren Hastings.

When the company's decisions reached their distant empire, the
aspect of affairs was changed. The death of one of the members of
the council had overthrown the majority, and the
governor-general's voice prevailed. He had resumed all his legal
authority, annulled the measures of his adversaries, and deposed
their creatures. He boldly denied the instructions transmitted to
Colonel Maclean, and declared his resignation invalid. After a
conflict of some days between General Clavering and the
governor-general, both put it to the decision of the court.
It was favorable to Hastings. Public opinion sustained him in the
colony; he became again the undisputed master of power, and his
title was confirmed by the company. The English government,
struggling with the American rebellion, and threatened by a
European coalition, felt the need of maintaining in India a
clever, experienced, and resolute governor.

Without scruples of conscience to hamper him in a policy which
was as far-seeing as it was adroit, Hastings had disarmed the
supreme court. The latter had shamefully abused its power;
judicial extortions and violence had spread terror in Bengal. The
governor-general did not hesitate to audaciously purchase the
assistance of Sir E. Impey. Thanks to new charges added to his
enormous appointments, the chief judge allowed those dangerous
weapons which he had used towards a defenceless population to
fall into the shade. Francis, who detested Impey, rose up, not
without cause, against the means which Hastings had employed to
deliver the country from legal abuses. Recriminations and
quarrels began again between the two adversaries. "I cannot rely
on Mr. Francis's promises of good faith," wrote Hastings to
London. "I am convinced that he will not hold to them. I judge of
his public conduct by his private conduct, which I have always
found destitute of honor and veracity." A duel took place.
Hastings seriously wounded Francis. Scarcely recovered of his
wound, the latter set out for England without his rancor and
hatred of his fortunate rival having lost any of their
bitterness. He bided his day of vengeance.


Meanwhile, Warren Hastings had attempted a futile enterprise
against the Mahrattas. He was threatened in the Carnatic by the
growing power of Hyder-Ali, the founder of the Mohammedan kingdom
of Mysore, imprudently provoked by the English authorities of
Madras, who found themselves defenceless against the most
formidable enemy.

The regiments of Munro and Baillie had already been destroyed;
the approach of De Suffren was announced; some fortified places
alone were left to the English in the Carnatic. Madras, in
terror, contemplating the flames which were devouring the
villages of the plain, asked aid of the governor-general. Some
weeks later Hastings dispatched Sir Eyre Coote, formerly
conqueror of M. de Lally-Tollendal at Wandewash, against
Hyder-Ali. Using without reserve the full extent of his
authority, he raised troops, collected money, and energetically
sustained the movements of his little army. The progress of
Hyder-Ali was arrested. On the 1st of July, 1781, the victory of
Porto Novo gave splendor and prestige to the English power, soon
triumphant by reason of the death of its clever and intrepid

The internal embarrassments of a disputed government had
disappeared as far as Hastings was concerned. He had triumphed in
military attacks, but financial difficulties, aggravated by the
war which was just ended, remained heavy. It is a great proof of
moral worth to resist the pressing need of money when the means
of acquiring it for one's self, or for those whom one wishes to
serve, present themselves at our door on every hand. Formerly,
Warren Hastings had satisfied the needs of the company by
despoiling the Great Mogul and reducing the Rohillas to slavery.
Now he pillaged the rajah of Benares, Chey-ta-Sing, not without
difficulty and at the risk of his life, which he was accustomed
to expose with calm temerity.
Ruined and conquered, the Hindoo prince fled from his country, of
which the governor-general forthwith took possession; his nephew,
become rajah, was nothing more than a dependent of the India
Company, which assured him an ample pension. More odious
proceedings extorted from the princesses of Oude the immense
fortune which their nabob husbands had left them. Banished to
their palace and deprived of the necessaries of life, the begums
knew that their most trusted servants were abandoned at Lucknow
to the vengeance and cool animosity of the English. In order to
deliver these servants from the hands of their persecutors, they
at last gave up their treasures. Sir E. Impey covered all these
indignities with the cloak of legal justice. An inquiry which had
just taken place in the House of Commons, under the direction of
Dundas and Burke, disclosed some of these culpable actions. Sir
E. Impey was immediately recalled. The shareholders of the India
Company absolutely refused to depose Warren Hastings. It was only
two years later that the governor-general himself resigned his
functions. His wife, whom he had married under circumstances more
romantic than honorable, and to whom he was passionately
attached, had been obliged to return to England on account of her
health. Warren Hastings joined her there in the month of June,

India was pacified. Tippoo-Saib had made a treaty with England,
and his troops had evacuated the Carnatic. Alone among English
possessions, the vast Oriental territories had not suffered any
diminution during the war engendered by the American rebellion.
The Hindoo princes had seen their power vanishing; they had
become magnificent subjects while still enjoying the sovereign
The supreme authority of the English was everywhere established;
a regular administration, however imperfect and rude as yet, had
on all hands succeeded anarchy. Incessantly fettered by
unintelligent or contradictory orders coming to him from Europe,
the governor-general had found in the resources of his fertile
genius the means of government and control which his rivals and
chiefs disputed with him. He had known how to attach the army to
him, and the natives themselves, accustomed to the capricious
exactions of their princes, blessed the prosperity and order
which marked his government. He had unrestrictedly used his power
with an ill-ordered zeal for the public weal. "The rules of
justice, the sentiments of humanity, the sworn faith of treaties,
were nothing in his eyes when they were opposed to the actual
interests of the state." He had enriched himself, and his wife
even more, but he had above all, enriched and served the company
and England without scruple and without remorse.

It was this delicate scruple and this honest remorse that the
most ardent of Warren Hastings' adversaries, virtuous,
passionate, and embittered by vexatious and severe
disappointments, felt. Among the accusers of Warren Hastings many
were animated by hatred or personal views. Edmund Burke solely
stood up for the cause of the justice and right offended by the
governor-general. His name has remained connected with the trial
of Hastings as that of an avenger of public virtue, disinterested
and sincere even in the violence of his patriotic transport.

The greeting that awaited Warren Hastings in London did not
prepare him for the fate which threatened him. Treated by the
king with a marked distinction, he was solemnly thanked by the
India Company. "I see myself treated on all sides," wrote he
three months after his arrival in England, "in a way that proves
to me that I possess the good opinion of my country."


The attack was being prepared, however, and Burke had already
announced it. The coalition ministry had fallen, precisely on the
India bill. It had presented a violent address against Hastings;
a vote of the House of Commons had condemned it.

What would be the attitude of the new cabinet, at the head of
which William Pitt reigned as master, of which Dundas formed
part, he who had lately proclaimed the faults of the
governor-general, no one knew. The entire opposition was in arms
against Warren Hastings. Francis had entered the House of Commons
and pursued his enemy with his persistent hate. The accusation
brought by Burke on the subject of the war against the Rohillas
was rejected by a great majority. When Fox attacked the
governor-general's conduct in the affair of Benares, Mr. Pitt,
who had been deemed favorable to Warren Hastings, declared that
the governor had had a right to impose a fine on the fugitive
prince, but that the penalty had not been proportioned to the
offense. To the general stupefaction he then supported Mr. Fox's
proposition. "The affair is too bad; I cannot sustain him," he
said to his intimate friend Wilberforce. An eloquent speech of
Sheridan ended in deciding the House. The Commons voted twenty
heads of accusation, and the trial was carried before the House
of Lords.

It began on the 13th of February, 1788, with extreme brilliancy.
The reputation of the accused and that of the lawyers was effaced
by that of his accusers, the most eloquent of their eloquent
epoch. Pitt alone took no part in the discussion.
Fox, Sheridan, Wyndham, and young Lord Grey had left to Burke the
honor of making the first speech. He spoke at length. Chancellor
Thurlow himself, although favorable to Warren Hastings, could not
withhold a murmur of satisfaction. The impassioned tones of the
great orator stirred all consciences, moved all hearts, when he
cried at last, in a voice of thunder, "This is why the House of
Commons of Great Britain has ordered me, in all assurance, to
impeach Warren Hastings of crimes and grave offenses. I impeach
him in the name of the House of Commons, whose confidence he has
deceived; I impeach him in the name of the English nation, whose
ancient honor he has soiled; I impeach him in the name of the
Hindoo people, whose rights he has trodden under foot and whose
country he has made a desert; finally, in the name of nature
herself, in the name of men and women, in the name of all times,
in the name of all ranks, I impeach the common enemy and
oppressor of all."

It was with the same violence, excessive and unjust in the
passion of its justice, that Burke pursued the public prosecution
against Warren Hastings. The trial lasted ten years. Proclaimed
from 1785 in the House of Commons, sometimes ardently, sometimes
languidly, sustained before the House of Lords since 1788, it was
only in 1795, and when national attention was directed elsewhere
upon the actual and neighboring dramas of the French revolution,
that Warren Hastings, old and almost ruined, was finally
acquitted by the House of Lords, the greater portion of whose
members had not assisted at the beginning of the trial. "The
impeachment has taken place before one generation," said Hastings
himself, "the sentence has been pronounced by its children." The
accusers, like the judges, were scattered, drawn into various
paths by political passion.
Burke no longer fought with Fox, nor Wyndham with Lord Grey and
Sheridan. Public opinion, formerly severe on the accused, had
softened. The length of the trial had placed the crimes of
Hastings among the facts belonging to history; it had brought to
light the eminent services which he had rendered to the country.
When he entered the retreat from which he was only to emerge at
rare intervals, Hastings was accompanied there by public favor.
It remained faithful to him even to the end of his long life.
After having struggled, governed and suffered with the same
calmness and the same evenness of mind which he brought towards
the end of his career to the peaceful study of literature, Warren
Hastings died at Daylesford, the ancient manor of his fathers,
which he had formerly bought and embellished, on the 22nd of
August [1818], at the age of eighty-five years.

Warren Hastings was yet alive, and America had long become an
independent and free nation. India was conquered and henceforth
submissive to English law. Hereafter it was on the European scene
exclusively that great dramas and great actors were to appear.


                Chapter XXXVII.

                  George III.
        Pitt And The French Revolution.

I have endeavored to analyze the far distant questions, which for
a long time agitated the English nation, and I now return to the
events more directly bearing on its internal life and policy. I
encounter at the outset, with profound satisfaction, that wise,
able, and powerful minister, who has ever remained the type of a
great statesman in a free country. His history is that of his
country, of her glory as well as of her misfortunes; he lived for
her, and died when he believed her vanquished, without carrying
into the tomb any presentiment of final victory and noble reward
of his indefatigable efforts.

William Pitt was scarcely twenty-four years of age, when he
refused to accept the power offered him by George III. He
determined, upon the formation of the coalition ministry of North
and Fox, that he would not ally himself with either party, but
would hold himself in reserve and act with that party which
appeared to him to be in the right. Before the end of the
session, Pitt found himself at the head of the opposition by his
own judgment, as well as by the spontaneous movement of public
opinion, openly and justly adverse to the alliance of the Whigs
and Tories,--the partisans and the adversaries of American


The affairs of India were upon a hazardous and uncertain footing;
the ministers of the coalition had nevertheless resolved to
radically change the administration of that country, by the
formation of a Council of seven persons, having authority to
appoint and to dismiss all agents, and to administer the
government at their will, regardless of the charters of the East
India Company and its established rights. It was in consequence
of a necessity that each day became more and more urgent, that
Mr. Fox employed his powerful arguments against the disorders and
abuses which reigned in the administration of India. "What is a
charter?" impudently asked Attorney-General Lee; "it is only a
piece of parchment, with a seal of wax hanging from one of the
corners." All English regard for acquired rights and precedents,
revolted at this cynical remark. "Necessity is the argument of
tyrants, and the law of slaves," said Pitt.

The members of the new Indian council were all intimate friends
of the coalition. "The bill upon the Indian question which Fox
has presented, will be decisive, one way or the other, for or
against the ministry," wrote Pitt to his friend the Duke of
Rutland. "I thoroughly believe that the measure is the boldest
and most unconstitutional that has ever been attempted; since it
throws, by a single blow, in spite of all charters and contracts,
an immense influence and patronage in the East into the hands of
Charles Fox,--in power or out of power. I believe that this bill
will meet with much opposition. The ministry have risked all on a
venture upon which they will probably be defeated."

All the efforts of the opposition in the House of Commons failed.
The Indian bill passed by a large majority. Burke, eager already
to pursue those crimes and abuses which he was one day to
overwhelm with the thunders of his eloquence, gave his support to
the bill. He delivered in the house a noble eulogy on that
friend, from whom he was one day to separate himself with so much
applause. Said he, "Fox is traduced and abused for his supposed
He will remember that obloquy is a necessary ingredient in the
composition of all true glory: he will remember that it was not
only in the Roman customs, but it is in the nature and
constitution of things, that calumny and abuse are essential
parts of triumph. He is now on a great eminence, where the eyes
of mankind are turned to him. He may live long, he may do much;
but here is the summit: he never can exceed what he does this
day. He has faults, but they are faults that, though they may in
a small degree tarnish the lustre, and sometimes impede the march
of his abilities, have nothing in them to extinguish the fire of
great virtues. In those faults there is no mixture of deceit, of
hypocrisy, of pride, of ferocity, of complexional despotism, or
want of feeling for the distresses of mankind. His are faults,
which might exist in a descendant of Henry IV. of France, as they
did exist, in that Father of his country."

The House of Lords was less inclined to reject the bill than Pitt
had believed. "As much as I abhor tyranny under any form," said
Lord Thurlow, "I oppose energetically this strange attempt to
destroy the equilibrium of our Constitution. I desire to see the
crown respected and powerful; but if the present bill should
pass, it will be no longer worthy of the support of a man of
honor." The ex-chancellor, boldly facing the Prince of Wales, who
at this time was Mr. Fox's personal friend and admirer, added:
"In fact, the king will take the crown from his own head, and
place it upon that of Mr. Fox."

George III. was more courageous than prudent, and more occupied
with the rights of the crown than with parliamentary privileges.
He charged Lord Temple to make it known in the house, that he
"regarded all those who voted for the Indian bill, not only as
unfriendly, but also as enemies." The mission had its effect; the
adjournment of the measure was voted.
The Commons, in their turn, offended by the royal intervention,
censured openly those who had provoked it. The struggle between
the two houses increased. On the night of the 18th of December,
1783, Mr. Fox and Lord North received orders to surrender their
seals of office. The following day, as Parliament sat agitated
and expectant, there entered the House of Commons a young member,
Mr. Pepper Arden, who at once offered a resolution proposing to
convoke the electors of the borough of Appleby, in order to elect
a new representative in place of the very Hon. William Pitt, who
had just accepted the post of First Lord of the Treasury and
Chancellor of the Exchequer. The move was so bold that at first
it excited only incredulity and pleasantry. The opposition
supposed that the young minister, finding himself in a minority
in the House of Commons, would call for a dissolution. "No one
will admit," said Fox, "that such a prerogative ought to be used,
solely to serve the purposes of an ambitious young man. As for
me, I declare in the face of this house, if the dissolution takes
place, and they do not give good and solid reasons for it, I will
pledge myself, if I have the honor to sit in the new Parliament,
to propose a serious inquiry into this affair, and to compel
those who have proposed it to render an account."

Pitt, however, was wiser and bolder than his adversaries
anticipated; he resolved to allow the country time to gain
confidence in his abilities; to the passions excited by the
contest, time to betray their motives and their consequences. He
had great difficulty in forming his cabinet. Lord Temple, who
accepted the office of Secretary of State, soon resigned, through
spite and personal caprice. The Dukes of Rutland and Richmond,
Lord Gower, Lord Thurlow and Dundas had nevertheless consented to
join the ministry.
The young chief resolutely faced the struggle. The houses were to
reassemble on the 12th of January, 1784. "Do not quit your house
nor dismiss a single servant before you see the result of the
12th," wrote Fox to Lord Northington. "Mr. Pitt is able to do
whatever he wishes during the recess," said the friends of Fox.

On the 30th of December, the new Premier wrote to his mother,
that he trusted she believed that it was not from choice that he
had so long kept silence; in general, he said, things were more
satisfactory than they appeared; and when one was uncertain
regarding a result, the conviction that one was not wrong, was
sometimes sufficient, especially when there was nothing better;
there was besides a certain satisfaction in hoping for something

The first effort of the opposition tended to prevent the
dissolution. Fox boldly contested the right to dissolve, in the
midst of a session. Pitt sustained the attack, with a lofty and
courageous boldness; he had no intention, he said, to counsel the
king to dissolve, but he was not able to pledge himself never to
give an advice that might become necessary. Accused of having
used secret influences, he responded with disdain, that he had
not come there through back-stairs influences, but when sent for
by the king, had simply obeyed orders; he had used no secret
influences, and he trusted that his integrity would be sufficient
to preserve him from this danger: "I have neither meanness
enough," said he, fixing his eyes on the opposition, "to act
under the concealed influence of others, nor hypocrisy to
pretend, where the measures of an administration, in which I had
share, were blamed, that they were measures not of my advising;
and this is the only answer I shall ever deign to make on the


Pitt was beaten at the outset upon a parliamentary question, and
again when he presented the bill which he had substituted, for
the project planned by his adversaries for the government of
India. The council which he proposed was to have no share of the
patronage. "My intention is," said he, "to institute a council of
political control, in place of a council of political influence."
General Conway accused the cabinet of corrupt practices in the
country. Pitt interrupted him: "I have the right," said he, "to
summon the very honorable General to specify a case where the
agents of the ministers have overrun the country, practising
corruption. These are assertions that ought not to be made unless
one is able to prove them. As for my honor, I intend to remain
the only judge of that; I have at least the same advantage over
the honorable general that the young Scipio had over the veteran
Fabius: _Si mulla allia re, modestia certe et temperando
linguæ adolescens senem vicero._"

A certain dissatisfaction began already to manifest itself among
the opposing majority. The violence of Fox had surpassed all
bounds; in the opinion of the country, it counterbalanced the
recent violence of the king. The young minister gained ground; a
proof of his rare disinterestedness had impressed the minds of
the people most favorably. Sir Edward Walpole, youngest son of
the great minister, had just died. He held the clerkship of
Pells, a life sinecure, which was worth £3000 per year. Pitt had
no fortune; his friends urged him to appropriate this revenue.
The minister refused, and profited by this conjuncture to provide
for Col. Barré, who previously had from the Rockingham Ministry a
pension of ^3,200. Barré renounced his pension and became clerk
of the Pells. "I avow," said Lord Thurlow, some weeks later, in
the House of Lords, "I had the baseness to counsel Mr. Pitt to
appropriate this office, which had so honorably fallen to him,
and I believe that it will not be to my discredit, since so many
high in authority have done likewise."
Some independent members made advances to Pitt; they had
conceived vain projects of conciliation: they failed. A struggle
to the death had begun. "The question was," said Dr. Johnson,
"who should govern England: the sceptre of George III. or the
tongue of Charles Fox?" Two addresses, begging him to dismiss his
ministers, were successively sent to the king.

Fox was vanquished in advance, and by his own fault; he had
attacked that equilibrium of the Constitution, dear to all good
citizens, and to honest men who are not irrevocably bound in the
dangerous bonds of party spirit. He threatened to suspend the
supplies, and proposed to limit to two months the duration of the
mutiny act, usually voted for a year. In vain did he employ, in
order to defend his conduct, all the marvellous resources of his
eloquence. A great remonstrance to the king, that he had prepared
with care, passed by the majority of a single voice. The supply
and the mutiny bills were passed without difficulty. "The enemy
seems to be upon its back," wrote Pitt to the Duke of Rutland, on
the 10th of March, 1784; and to his mother on the 16th, he wrote,
"I regard our actual situation as a triumph in comparison with
what it was. My joy is doubled by the thought that it extends
even to you, and gives you satisfaction."

The moment to make an appeal to the country had finally come.
After three months of courageous and bold patience, Pitt
counselled the king to dissolve parliament. When the writs of
convocation were about to be issued, the great seal had
disappeared; it has never been known by whom or for what purpose
the theft was committed In twenty-four hours the loss was
repaired, as it had been after the flight of King James II., who
had thrown his great seal into the Thames.
On the 24th of March, 1784, the king presented himself at the
House of Lords, and said: "After having well considered the
present situation of affairs and the extraordinary circumstances
which have produced it, I have decided to put an end to this
session of Parliament. I feel that it is my duty towards the
Constitution and the country, to make an appeal to the good sense
of my people, as soon as possible, by convoking a new

Never were elections more enthusiastic, never was success more
complete than that of the cabinet. One hundred and sixty friends
of Fox lost their seats. His own election at Westminster was for
a long time uncertain. Neither his resolution nor his presence of
mind deserted him. "The bad news spreads on all sides," wrote he
to one of his friends; "but it seems to me that misfortunes, when
they crowd in upon us, should have the effect of increasing our
courage instead of intimidating it."

The electoral contest was prolonged at Westminster for forty
days. The Prince of Wales appeared on the hustings as a partisan
of Fox, and the first ladies of the Whig party, the beautiful
Duchess of Devonshire at their head, lavished their smiles upon
the electors, for their votes. The majority for the great orator
was left a matter of doubt; fraudulent practises had, it was
charged, been employed, and the High Sheriff Corbet refused to
make an official proclamation of the result, without a
Parliamentary investigation. Fox was nevertheless assured of a
seat. Sir Thomas Dundas had already named him for the borough of
Kirkwell, of which he had the disposal.

Before the dissolution, the king had strengthened in the House of
Lords the number of the partisans of Mr. Pitt, by three
elevations to the peerage; following the elections, he manifested
anew his firm resolution to support his minister by creating
seven new peers. Henceforth the sovereign and the country were in
accord; the opening of the session proved clearly the ascendancy
of the minister.


The great financial measures which Pitt had prepared were voted
by large majorities: they were new as well as daring. The imposts
upon tea and alcohol were lowered, in the hope of destroying
contraband trade. New imposts and a new loan, largely offered to
the public, re-established the equilibrium of the budget.
"However painful may be my task to-day," said the minister, "the
necessity of the country forbidding all hesitation, I confide in
the good sense and patriotism of the English people. As minister
of the finances, I have adopted this motto: To conceal nothing
from the public." The bill upon the administration in India
passed without great effort, as well as the measure of Dundas for
the restitution to the legitimate owners, of all the property
confiscated during the rebellion of 1745. The proposition of
Alderman Sawbridge for parliamentary reform was rejected. Pitt
remained faithful to his convictions: he voted on that occasion
with the minority, promising to renew the question himself during
the next session.

Parliament met on the 25th of January, 1785. Its first business
was to consider the alleged frauds in the election of Fox at
Westminster. The constitutional authority was insufficient, and
the two parties employed every resource of chicanery. The
illustrious adversaries freely made use of reproaches and
insults. Fox at this time was large and robust; his black hair
always in disorder, yet profusely powdered; cordial and frank
with his friends, greatly enjoying life, ever ready for all
material or intellectual pleasures, brilliantly and powerfully
eloquent, without care or preparation; attacking each adversary
in his turn, and solely occupying himself in demolishing him.
Pitt's health was delicate; he was tall and slim, a little lofty
in his manners as well as in his mind; confiding with his
intimate friends, but reserved and cold with most of his
partisans. He had from infancy studied the art of eloquence; not
that sweeping and impassioned eloquence that distinguished Lord
Chatham, and that the illustrious father sought to impart to his
young son, as when placing him before him on a table, he cried:
"Do you see the scoundrels who are there before you, and who wish
to hang you? Defend thyself, William, defend thyself!" The
eloquence of Pitt was naturally powerful. Lucid, forcible,
convincing, perfect in expression as well as in arrangement, it
left in the minds of his contemporaries the impression of an
incontestable superiority over the most brilliant orators of his
time, over Burke himself as well as over Sheridan.

Pitt was beaten upon the question of the election at Westminster.
Lord North and his friends gained an equal victory on the
question of parliamentary reform. Moderate and restrained in its
application, it attacked nevertheless the principle of close
boroughs, and intended to increase the representation of the
cities. Fox voted for the measure, although it did not meet his
entire approval. The day had not yet arrived when the force of
public opinion would compel the members of the House of Commons
to vote against their own rights and titles. Pitt felt this, and
did not pursue his project. After a brilliant and obstinate
discussion, and in consequence of the national and parliamentary
jealousies of Ireland, he was also compelled to withdraw the bill
regarding commercial intercourse between the two countries.

Fox declared himself the irreconcilable enemy of free exchange.
The Irish Parliament was unnecessarily alarmed regarding its
legislative independence. "I do not wish to barter English
commerce against the slavery of Ireland," said Mr. Grattan, "that
is not the price I wish to pay; that is not the merchandise I
wish to buy."


The defeat of his liberal measures in favor of Ireland, was a
great disappointment to Mr. Pitt: he had just carried, with great
success, his bill for the establishment of a sinking fund placed
under control of Parliament. At the end of the session of 1786,
which is memorable for the opening of the great and celebrated
trial of Warren Hastings, the minister was engaged in negotiating
a commercial treaty with France. Scarcely had Parliament
re-assembled, when the measure was violently attacked. "I do not
contend," said Fox, "that France is, and ought to remain, the
irreconcilable enemy of England, and that it is impossible to
experience a secret desire of living amicably with that kingdom.
It is possible, but scarcely probable. I not only doubt her good
intentions toward us, at this time, but I do not believe in them.
France is naturally the political enemy of Great Britain; in
concluding with us a commercial treaty, she wishes to tie our
hands, and so prevent us from forming an alliance with any other

Pitt judged better and more accurately those international
questions which were destined so soon to disturb the peace of the
world. In advance, and protesting in the name of eternal justice
against the violent struggle that the unloosing of human passions
would compel him to sustain against revolutionary France, whether
anarchical or absolute, he declared, with indignation, that his
mind revolted against the idea that any nation could be the
unalterable foe of another; it had no foundation in experience or
history; it was a libel on the constitution of political society;
and situated as England was, opposite France, it was highly
important for the good of the two countries to put an end to that
constant enmity that has falsely been said to be the foundation
of the true sentiments of the two nations.
The treaty, he insisted, tended to improve the facilities for
prosecuting war and at the same time also retarded its approach.
The treaty was signed, notwithstanding the bitter reproaches of
Sir Philip Francis, who accused Pitt of destroying with his hands
the work of his illustrious father. "The glory of Lord Chatham is
founded on the resistance he made to the united power of the
House of Bourbon. The present minister has taken the opposite
road to fame, and France, the object of every hostile principle
in the policy Lord Chatham's, is the _gens amicissima_ of
his son."

To the difficulties which Mr. Pitt's financial measures
encountered, were added the internal embarrassments of the
country. The prince was passionately attached to the opposition.
He had sustained Fox in his contest against the royal
prerogative; with much more reason all his influence had been
exerted against the cabinet of Mr. Pitt. The prince,
nevertheless, needed the co-operation of the king as well as of
the minister. Besides the serious annoyances which his debts cost
him, he had aggravated his situation by his secret marriage
(December 21st, 1783), with Mrs. Fitzherbert, a young Catholic
widow, contrary to the law, which interdicted to princes any
union not having the royal assent. The religion of Mrs.
Fitzherbert added another difficulty to the situation.

Fox had sincerely and honestly disapproved of the conduct of the
prince, and had also warned him that it would be impossible to
keep the secret. When his apprehensions were realized, and when
pamphlets as well parliamentary allusions, compelled the friends
of the prince to speak out. Fox accepted the disagreeable duty of
denying a fact of which he had grave doubts.
"I deny absolutely that there is any truth in this marriage,"
said he. "It not only would be illegal, but it has never taken
place. It is a monstrous calumny, a miserable calumny, a low,
malicious falsehood." Do you speak with authority, [he] was
asked? "Yes," responded Fox, "with direct authority." The
pecuniary affairs of the prince were regulated by the House of
Commons; his debts were paid, without discussion. Pitt had
obtained, with great difficulty, a message from the king,
recommending to the house the request of his son.

Everywhere the same firm and elevated principles, governmental as
well as liberal, inspired the conduct of Mr. Pitt. He had voted
against the abolition of the test act, demanded by the
Dissenters, because he believed the time was not propitious;
asserting, however, that he was favorable to the principles of
the measure. Pre-occupied by the disgraceful state of the English
prisons, he sent to New South Wales an expedition which laid the
foundation of the penal colony of Botany Bay. Finally, and above
all, he joined his friend, Wilberforce, in his noble efforts for
the abolition of the slave trade. Upon this question of humanity
and justice, Burke and Fox joined with their illustrious
adversary. "I have no scruple in declaring that the slave trade
ought to be, not regulated, but abolished," said Mr. Fox. "I have
thoroughly studied the question, and I had the intention of
presenting some remarks thereupon, but I rejoice to see the
matter in the hands of the honorable representative from the
county of York, rather than in my own. I sincerely believe it
will there have more weight, authority, and, chances of success."
Mr. Fox was right in rendering this homage to the pure and
disinterested virtue of Wilberforce. In the midst of the
brilliant excitements of his life, Fox had neither the leisure
nor the ardor of conviction, necessary to undertake and
accomplish the charitable and holy work to which Wilberforce and
his Christian friends had consecrated their lives.


External troubles for a moment threatened the uncertain peace;
the grave dissatisfaction existing between the stadtholder
William V., cousin of King George III., and the Dutch patricians,
had come to an open rupture, and the Princess of Orange was
publicly insulted. Her brother Frederick William II. of Prussia,
marched troops upon the territory of the republic. The feeble
government of Louis XVI. limited itself to a manifesto in favor
of the States-General. England prepared to sustain the
stadtholder, but the Prussian soldiers proved sufficient to
intimidate the patriots in Holland. The Prince of Orange made a
triumphant entry to the Hague; an offensive and defensive
alliance was concluded by England with Holland and Prussia. The
Czar and the Sultan had taken up arms. The King of Sweden,
Gustavus III., invaded Russia. The internal embarrassments and
troubles of France prevented her from interfering in any
quarrels. England was strong and powerful; she had firmly
established her alliances in Europe, and at home the power of
Pitt seemed founded upon the strongest basis. Mr. Fox,
discouraged, and awaiting better chances of success, departed for
Italy. A sad and unexpected event suddenly overturned all hopes
and all expectations. After a brief but severe illness, King
George III. totally lost his reason.

Already, in his youth, a feeble attack of mental trouble had
excited grave fears, and necessitated a project of a regency; the
king himself comprehended the import of the symptoms that he
felt. On the 3d of November, 1788, during a ride on horseback, he
encountered his son the Duke of York, and said to him, sadly:
"Would to God that I might die, for I am going to be mad!"


Physicians attributed the malady of the king to an excess of work
and royal pre-occupations; his habits had always been regular,
his life had been almost patriarchial in its simplicity; his
health, nevertheless, was profoundly shattered. Consternation
reigned at Windsor. "That which is most to be feared," wrote Pitt
to Dr. Tomline, his intimate friend, the Bishop of Lincoln, "is
the effect upon his reason. If this lasts long it will lead to a
crisis the most difficult and delicate that one can imagine, when
it shall be necessary to provide for continuing the government.
Some weeks will pass, nevertheless, before it becomes necessary
to come to a decision, but the interval will be full of
uneasiness." The direction of the royal house had already fallen
into the hands of the Prince of Wales. The physicians could give
no opinion upon the duration of the king's malady.

Parliament assembled on the 20th of November. Pitt, solely
occupied with the interests of the country, desired to restrain
the regency by legislative authority. Chancellor Thurlow,
however, was intriguing secretly with the Prince of Wales and the
opposition, to retain his position, recently promised by Fox to
Lord Loughborough, who had suggested to the Prince the bold
project of seizing the regency. Fox's return from Italy was
anxiously awaited. When he arrived at London, on the 24th of
November, the houses were prorogued to the 14th of December.
Proudly silent upon the perfidious maneuvres of his colleague,
Pitt addressed no reproaches to Lord Thurlow, but he confided the
direction of the House of Lords to the venerable Lord Camden. Fox
energetically opposed the suggestions of Lord Loughborough,
regretting that he was constrained to break his word. "I have
swallowed the pill," wrote he to Sheridan; "it was very bitter,
and I have written to Lord Loughborough, who will not naturally
respond by consenting. What remains to be done? Is it the prince
in person, or you, or I, who shall speak to the chancellor? I do
not remember ever in all my life of having felt so ill at ease
regarding a political affair."


The king had been taken to Kew, very much against his will. The
chancellor and Mr. Pitt went there to see him. Miss Burney, the
author, and one of the ladies of honor of the queen, reports
that: "the chancellor came into the king's presence, with the
same trepidation that he inspired in others; and when he quitted
the king he was so overcome by the state of his royal master and
patron, that tears ran down his cheeks, and he had great
difficulty in supporting himself. Mr. Pitt was more calm, but
expressed his grief with so much respect and affection that the
universal admiration here felt towards him was increased."

When the houses re-assembled, Mr. Pitt presented the report of
the physicians; a new doctor, Mr. Willis, gave more hope of a
speedy cure than his associates; parliamentary maneuvres extended
even to the faculty, and the parties disputed with the doctors.
Mr. Fox proposed, from the first, to place the reins of power,
without contest, in the hands of the Prince of Wales. Without
regard to the supreme authority of parliament in such a matter,
he sustained the theory of hereditary right, with an energy so
far removed from his ordinary habit, that Mr. Pitt jocosely
remarked: "Now I'll _unwhig_ this gentleman for the rest of
his days."

"Imagine the lack of judgment Fox has shown by putting himself
and his friends in such an embarrassing position," wrote
Wilberforce; "he perceived that what he had said had offended so
many people that he was obliged to seize the first favorable
occasion to explain and extenuate his words.
After this retraction, Sheriden terminated the day by a worse
blunder than I have ever seen committed by a man of any
intelligence. Since I have been in Parliament the battles have
been warm enough, but I do not remember of ever having heard such
a tumult as he raised by threatening us with the danger of
exciting the Prince of Wales, and urging him to vindicate his
rights: these are exactly the expressions used. You comprehend
what an advantage all this gives us; above all, when there is
joined thereto our great hope of the king's recovery."

The favorable progress in the malady of the King, decided the
chancellor to renounce his treachery. When the Duke of York
declared in the House of Lords that his eldest brother claimed no
rights, but desired to place his authority entirely in the hands
of Parliament, Lord Thurlow, quitting the wool-sack, followed
him, protesting his inviolable attachment and fidelity to the
sovereign who had governed England for twenty-seven years with
the most religious respect for its Constitution. He was moved by
his own words, troubled perhaps, by the recollection of his
secret perfidy, and finally concluded: "If ever I forget my king,
may God forget me!" A murmur of disgust followed: the intrigues
of the chancellor were well known. Pitt rushed precipitately from
the hall, his heart bursting with contempt. "Oh the wretch! the
wretch!" repeated he loudly.

The resolutions proposed by Pitt recognized the exclusive right
of Parliament to confer the regency. In an ardent and eloquent
address, Fox sustained the pretensions of the Prince of Wales,
declaring that Pitt would never have thought of limiting his
power if he had not felt that he did not merit the prince's
confidence, and that he would never be minister.
"With regard to my feeling myself unworthy of the confidence of
the Prince," said Pitt, "all that I am able to say is that there
is only one way for me, or any other, to merit it; that is to do
what I have done by seeking constantly in the public service to
do my duty towards the king, his father, and towards the entire
country. If by seeking to merit thus the confidence of the
prince, he finds that I have lost it, in fact; however painful
and disagreeable this circumstance may be for me, I should regret
it; but I say boldly that it would be impossible to repent of

The Regency Bill contained grave restrictions to the power of the
Prince of Wales. The queen had charge of the person of the king,
and the prince had no authority to dispose of the royal property.
He was not permitted to grant the reversion of any office, nor
any pension or place without the consent of his majesty. The
prince was passionately irritated, and responded to the
communication of the minister, by a letter, that Burke had
dictated, as firm and clever as it was eloquent. Mr. Pitt
remained firm. The public were aware of the animosity that
existed between the minister, still powerful, the foolish king,
and that parliamentary and princely opposition which appeared
upon the point of seizing the power. The friends of Pitt,
realizing the sad condition of his financial affairs, preoccupied
themselves to relieve the same. A meeting of bankers and
merchants offered to Mr. Pitt a gift of £100,000, raised by
subscription, in the city London, within twenty-four hours. He
refused, without hesitation. The situation was prolonged. The
minister sought occasion for delay; for each day the king's
health improved. The five propositions of the Regency Bill had
been voted by the House of Commons, and the third reading was
announced in the House of Lords. Dr. Willis informed Mr. Pitt and
the chancellor that the convalescence of the king might be
On the 17th of February 1789, the minister wrote to his mother:
"You have seen that for several days the news from Kew improves;
the public bulletin this morning says the king continues to
improve in his convalescence. The particular news is that
according to all appearances he looks perfectly well, and that if
he continues to act sanely, they will at once declare him cured.
It remains for us to wait and see how he will support the state
in which he will find public affairs. But considering these
circumstances, the Bill will probably be adjourned, in the House
of Commons, until Monday; and if our hopes are then realized, the
project of the regency will probably be modified so as to apply
to an extremely short interval, or perhaps be entirely set aside.
This news will afford you sufficient pleasure to pardon the
brevity of my letter."

Four days later, the king renewed with Mr. Pitt that
correspondence, somewhat formal, but nevertheless, cordial and
kindly, which reflects so much honor on both the sovereign and
the minister.

On the 23rd of February, 1789, George III. wrote to Mr. Pitt:

  "It is with infinite satisfaction that I renew my
  correspondence with Mr. Pitt, by acquainting him with my having
  seen the Prince of Wales and my second son. Care was taken that
  the conversation should be general and cordial. They seemed
  perfectly satisfied. I chose the meeting should be in the
  queen's apartment, that all parties might have that caution,
  which, at the present hour, could but be judicious. I desire
  Mr. Pitt will confer with the Lord Chancellor, that any steps
  which may be necessary for raising the annual supplies, or any
  measures that the interests of the nation may require, should
  not be unnecessarily delayed; for I feel the warmest gratitude
  for the support and anxiety shown by the nation at large during
  my tedious illness, which I should ill requite if I did not
  wish to prevent any further delay in those public measures
  which it may be necessary to bring forward this year; though I
  must decline entering into a pressure of business, and, indeed,
  for the rest of my life, shall expect others to fulfil the
  duties of their employments, and only keep that superintending
  eye which can be effected without labor or fatigue.
  "I am anxious to see Mr. Pitt any hour that may suit him
  to-morrow morning, as his constant attachment to my interest
  and that of the public, which are inseparable, must ever place
  him in the most advantageous light.

       G. R."

The power now fell into the eager hands of the Prince of Wales
and his friends. The people were as demonstrative in their joy as
they had been in their anxiety for the king. The popularity and
authority of Pitt were at their height: he was master of the
entire country, as well as of the House of Commons; the elections
of 1790 clearly proved this.

Only prudent and far-seeing statesmen turned their attention to
the internal state of France. The mass of the English nation had
not, as yet, felt that electric influence that our country has
always exercised over her neighbors, for the happiness or
misfortune of Europe. Already the diverging tendencies manifested
themselves among minds which had up to this time felt powerfully
the same impressions and followed the same direction. After the
taking of the Bastile, Fox wrote with transport: "How much the
greatest event it is that ever happened in the world, and how
much the best!" Burke, on the contrary, wrote to one of his
friends: "You hope that I hold the French worthy of liberty;
assuredly, I believe that all men who desire it, merit it. It is
not the recompense of our virtues nor the result of our labor. It
is our heritage. We have a right to it from our birth; but when
liberty is separated from justice, neither one nor the other
appear to be safe."


Some weeks later, at the opening of Parliament, Burke allowed
himself to be carried away by his prejudices to a gloomy and
severe review of the beginning of the French Revolution. "Since
the house has been prorogued," said he, "there has been much work
done in France. The French have shown themselves the ablest
architects of ruin that have appeared in the world: in one short
summer they have completely pulled down their monarchy, their
church, their nobility, their law, their army and their revenue.
They have done their business for us as rivals in a way in which
twenty Ramillies and Blenheims could never have done. Were we
absolute conquerors, with France prostrate at our feet, we should
blush to impose on them terms so destructive to their national
consequence as the durance they have imposed on themselves."

Pitt did not join in the joyous enthusiasm of Fox, regarding the
first and tumultuous efforts of the National Assembly and the
French people; still less did he abandon himself to the gloomy
forebodings of Burke. "The convulsions which now agitate France,"
said he, "will lead one day or another to general harmony and
regular order; and although this situation will render France
more formidable, it will perhaps render her less dangerous as a
neighbor. I desire the re-establishment of tranquillity in that
country, although it seems to me as yet far removed. When her
system shall be re-established, and that system proclaims
liberty, well defined, the liberty proceeding from order and good
government, France will become one of the most brilliant powers
of the world. I am unable to regard with distrust, those
tendencies in neighboring states that so closely resemble the
sentiments which characterize the English people."


The excesses and disorders of revolutionary passions, which were
soon to threaten Europe with a vast conflagration, turned Mr.
Pitt from his benevolent views. He was reproached, when
subsequently he was compelled to struggle against the revolution,
both at home and abroad, for not being inclined to the violences
of Burke. It was his glory always to choose that difficult path,
alone worthy of men called by God to govern their fellow
creatures, that path which remains equally distant from either
extreme, and which resists the excesses of liberty as well as the
arbitrary tendencies of absolutism. In England, Mr. Pitt
repressed both the revolutionary passions and the tendencies to
despotism; upon the Continent, in his efforts against the
contagious violence of France, he branded as infamous the frenzy
of the Reign of Terror, and he protected the threatened European
governments, as he subsequently defended the national liberties,
against the encroachments and ambitions of absolute power.

The disagreement existing between the two chiefs of the
opposition first publicly manifested itself upon the
presentation, by Mr. Pitt, of a bill regarding the internal
administration of Canada. The state of France occupied all minds;
allusions to France entered into all discussions. Some
expressions used by Fox had wounded Burke: he resolved to
publicly define his position. Fox was informed of this intention;
he went to the house of Burke, praying him to delay, at least,
before commencing hostilities. Burke, for the last time, entered
the House of Commons arm in arm with Fox. The entire opposition
were uneasy and excited; they attempted to prevent the discussion
by recalling the orators to the affairs of Canada.
Burke would not permit himself to be turned aside: he immediately
attacked Mr. Fox for the fatal counsels he had given to England;
and suppressing the title of friend that he was accustomed to
give "that very honorable member," he said: "Certainly, it is
indiscreet at any period, but especially at my time of life, to
provoke enemies or give my friends occasion to desert me; yet if
my firm and steady adherence to the British Constitution place me
in such a dilemma, I am ready to risk all, and with my last words
to exclaim--'Fly from the French Constitution!'" Fox here
whispered that there was "no loss of friendship." "Yes," solemnly
exclaimed Burke, "I regret to say there is. I know the value of
my line of conduct. I have indeed made a great sacrifice. I have
done my duty, though I have lost my friend. There is something in
the accursed French Revolution, which envenoms everything it

Burke seated himself. When Fox rose to respond, he remained, for
some moments, standing, unable to speak. The tears ran down his
cheeks. The whole house was moved like himself. When he found
words to reply, it was with touching tenderness, that he spoke of
"the very honorable member, but lately his most intimate friend."
He declared that he had ever felt the highest veneration for the
judgment of his honorable friend, by whom he had been instructed
more than by all other men and books together; by whom he had
been taught to love our Constitution; from whom he had acquired
nearly all his political knowledge, certainly all that he most
valued; and that the separation would be most grievous to him to
the end of his life. He was nevertheless firm in his belief that
"the new Constitution of France, considered altogether, was the
most stupendous and glorious edifice of liberty which had been
erected on the foundation of human integrity in any time or
country." The ancient despotism had disappeared, and the new
system had for its object the happiness of the people. Upon this
ground he would continue to stand.


Some hasty words of Burke confirmed the rupture. Fox did not
continue the discussion; but a friendship of twenty-five years,
cemented by their united efforts in behalf of American liberty,
sank beneath the waves of the French Revolution, to the grief and
amazement of the representatives of the English nation. Separated
from his former friends, Burke formed no new ties: sometimes
passionate and exalted, always loyal and sincere, he had
sacrificed all to his conscience. With the progress of events in
France, a certain number of Whigs embraced the opinions that
Burke had proclaimed at the outset; when the phalanx formed
behind him, he continued to march with a firm step at the head of
the resistance. "We have made many enemies here, and no friends,
by the part we have taken," wrote Burke, regarding himself and
his son, to the agent of the French emigrants; "in order to serve
you we have associated with those with whom we have no natural
affiliations. We have left our business, we have broken our
engagements. For one mortification that you have suffered, we
have endured twenty. But the cause of humanity demands it."

The disturbances in Europe began to have some effect in England,
and even in Parliament; a momentary disagreement with Spain was
terminated in a satisfactory manner, but the persistent
hostilities between Russia and the Porte appeared to necessitate
an increase of the naval forces. Mr. Pitt presented a bill to
this effect, which was coldly received by the house. He withdrew
it in time to avoid a defeat, not however without a decrease of
his renown at home and abroad.
Notwithstanding the growing apprehensions of the friends of
France, and the anxiety that the situation of King Louis XVI.
inspired, Pitt resolutely maintained the neutrality of England.
When the declaration of Pilnitz, signed by the Emperor of Austria
and the King of Prussia, appealed to all the sovereigns of Europe
to aid the King of France, by arms, if necessary, England
remained deaf to the appeal. Pitt refused to lend to the emigre
princes the funds necessary for their military operations.

In the address from the throne, on the 31st of January, 1792,
George III. expressed the firm hope of seeing peace maintained;
he even counselled a diminution of the land and naval forces.
With an assurance more bold than prudent, Pitt announced in his
Budget, a progressive reduction of the taxes. He said, that
though he was aware of the many contingencies which, by
disturbing the public tranquillity, might prevent such a design,
yet there never was a time, in the history of this country, when,
from the situation of Europe, fifteen years of peace might more
reasonably be expected, than at the present moment. Still
occupied exclusively with internal questions, Pitt sustained,
energetically, the bill for the abolition of the slave trade,
proposed anew by Wilberforce and his friends; he regulated the
legislation regarding the press, henceforth relegated to the
jurisdiction of a jury; finally, he presented a bill regarding

Since the illness of the king, and the treachery he had
meditated, Lord Thurlow had remained secretly hostile to Pitt. On
the 15th of May, 1792, he vehemently and unexpectedly attacked
the financial bill, declaring that it was absurd to pretend to
dictate to future parliaments and to proscribe to future
ministers a line of action.


"None," said his lordship, "but a novice, a sycophant, a mere
reptile of a minister, would allow this act to prevent him doing
what, in his own judgment, circumstances might require at the
time; and a change in the situation of the country might render
that which is proper at one time, inapplicable at another: in
short, the scheme is nugatory and impracticable; the inaptness of
the project is only equalled by the vanity of the attempt." Pitt
finally lost all patience: he declared to the king that it was
impossible for him to continue to sit in the same cabinet with
Lord Thurlow. George III. did not hesitate; the chancellor was
ordered to deliver up the great seal to his majesty. Some months
later Lord Loughborough, who had become ardently favorable to the
minister, since the fall of Thurlow, was made chancellor
(January, 1793).

Mr. Pitt was appointed Warden of the Cinque Ports, a rich
sinecure long held by Lord North, and now, upon the death of that
nobleman, conferred upon the minister by the king. "I will not
receive any recommendations for this office," wrote the king,
"having resolved to confer it only upon Mr. Pitt;" and when he
sent his letter to Mr. Dundas, charged to forward it to Pitt,
then absent, George III. added: "Mr. Dundas is to forward my
letter to the West, and to accompany it with a few lines,
expressing that I will not admit of this favor being denied. I
desire Lord Chatham may also write, and that Mr. Dundas will take
the first opportunity of acquainting Lord Grenville of the step I
have taken." The office was worth £3,000 per year. For the first
time Pitt consented to accept the favor which was thus imposed
upon him by his sovereign.

Pitt was now seriously occupied with the state of Europe. The
King of Sweden, Gustavus III., had been assassinated at a masked
ball; the Emperor Leopold was dead; his son, the Emperor Francis,
in concert with the King of Prussia, declared war against France.
The position of Louis XVI. became each day more precarious.
Tossed about without hope, at one time contemplating impossible
resistance, at another, useless concessions, he had, on the 20th
of June, 1792, endured the insults and outrages of the Parisian
populace. The allied troops, under the Duke of Brunswick, had
already entered French territory. The princes of the House of
Bourbon, at the head of the emigré's, prepared themselves to
sustain the operations of the foreigners; an ill-timed manifesto
excited still further the passions of the French. On the 10th of
August, 1792, the palace of the Tuilleries was attacked, and the
Swiss guards massacred. The king, suspended from his royal
functions, was confined in the Temple, with his family; the
convention was convoked, and the prisoners in the dungeons of
Paris were murdered.

Amidst the chaos which reigned in Paris, La Fayette, who
commanded a French army upon the frontier, could not resolve to
defend a state of things each day more contrary to his
presumptuous expectations; he secretly quitted his command,
intending to fly to America. He was arrested by the allies and
put in prison at Olmutz. General Dumouriez fought the allied army
at Jemappes, on the 6th of November, 1792. Kellerman had defeated
them at Valmy on the 20th of September; the allied troops
evacuated French territory, and the French army entered Belgium.
Savoy was already in the hands of the French troops, and General
Custine advanced into Germany. By its decree of the 19th of
November, the Convention declared, in the name of the French
nation, that they would grant succor and fraternity to every
people who desire to obtain liberty.


Before this supreme disregard of ancient rights and international
conventions, Mr. Pitt, still favorable to preserving neutrality,
was nevertheless alarmed at the threatened fate of Holland. He
wrote to his colleague, the Marquis of Stafford, that the strange
and unfortunate events which have succeeded each other so rapidly
upon the continent, give us ample material for serious
reflection. That which is most urgent is the situation of
Holland. However painful it may be to see this country engaged,
it seemed impossible to him, to hesitate upon the question of
sustaining our ally in case of necessity; and the explicit
declaration of our sentiments is the best way to avoid this
situation at present. Perhaps some opening would present itself
which would allow us to contribute to the termination of the war
between the different powers of Europe, by leaving France to
arrange her internal affairs as well as she could; which was, he
thought, the best plan. The trial of Louis XVI. had already

Pitt yet clung to the hope of an impossible peace; already Lord
Gower, the English Ambassador at Paris, had been recalled;
Chauvelin and his clever secretary Talleyrand, were in London,
but not as yet in any official capacity. Chauvelin was about to
present his credentials in the name of the French Republic, when
the condemnation and death of Louis XVI. abruptly terminated the
relations which still existed between revolutionary France and
monarchical countries.

On the day following (January 21st, 1793), almost all England
went into mourning, and Chauvelin received his passports. An
order of recall had already been sent him from Paris. On the 1st
of February the Convention declared war against Holland. The
terrible burden of the defence of Europe against the advance of
the arms and doctrines of the French Revolution was to fall
principally upon England, and the sagacious minister who directed
her policy. The reverses which his country was to experience, and
the obstacles which she was to overcome, saddened the latter part
of the life of Mr. Pitt, and partly obscured his glory.
The principles which he advocated were nevertheless true and
eternal, and the services that he rendered to preserve the peace
and equilibrium of Europe were incomparable. He succumbed beneath
the weight of a struggle, the obstinacy of which was not foreseen
by Lord Chatham during his triumphs in 1760; by his courageous
persistence he prepared the way for the victories of Wellington.
His name, but recently reviled by so many tongues upon the
continent, and even in his own country, has remained the foremost
among those who have sustained the cause of independence and of
the liberty of nations in Europe. He has alone had the signal
honor to maintain England within the bounds of constitutional
order during the midst of revolutionary tempests, and the still
greater glory of leaving her free.

It was not without much effort and severe internal struggles,
that the English government succeeded in preserving order and
repressing the dangerous tendencies which manifested themselves
upon divers occasions. During many years past, societies
favorable to the principles of the French revolution, destined to
spread its doctrines and create sympathies for its enthusiasts,
had been formed. Two foreigners. Dr. Joseph Priestley, the chief
of the English Unitarians, and Thomas Paine, the celebrated
author of "The Rights of Man," had been elected members of the
National Convention. The latter had taken his seat there. The
license of the revolutionary press surpassed all bounds; the
declarations and anarchical appeals engendered conspiracies as
culpable as powerless. Mr. Pitt used severe measures to repress
these. He was urged on by the chancellor, Lord Loughborough,
himself a recent and zealous convert. The charges and trials
against the press were numerous, and were more violent in
Scotland than in England, where the revolutionary maneuvres were
less bold.
The trials of Muir, and of Palmer, in 1793, and that of Hamilton
Rowan in Ireland, in 1794, preceded that of Walker at Manchester,
in April, 1794, and of Thomas Hardy, of Daniel Adams, and of John
Horne-Tooke at London, in the month of May of the same year. The
accused were at the head of the two principal revolutionary
societies: "The Society for Constitutional Information" and "The
London Corresponding Society." Mr. Pitt proposed to Parliament
the suspension of the habeas corpus; in spite of the vigorous
opposition of Fox and Sheridan, the bill was passed by a large
majority. Public opinion was powerfully aroused against the
excesses and crimes which deluged France with blood. The
exaggerated fright which the intrigues of the English
revolutionists caused, increased the agitation, and in
consequence the rigors of the government were approved by public
opinion. In Parliament the Whigs were divided. The Duke of
Portland and his friends openly sustained the minister.

General Dumouriez had vainly endeavored to resist the power of
the Convention. He had formed culpable relations with the enemies
of France. Obliged to quit his army, he had taken refuge in
England at the moment when his friends the Girondins were
overthrown and destroyed by the Jacobins, in Paris. The Committee
of Public Safety reigned in France, and the Reign of Terror
extended its sombre veil throughout that unhappy country. The
allied forces took possession of Belgium; the French garrison at
Mayence had just surrendered, after a brave resistance; the
Austrians had seized Valenciennes and Condé, not in the name of
the young captive king, but as personal conquests of the Emperor
Francis. The national enthusiasm of France, violently excited by
these reverses, sent to the frontiers troops barely disciplined,
generals of various origin, servants of the ancient régime or new
geniuses which rose suddenly from the ranks, but all equally
animated by an ardent patriotism.
The Duke of York was repulsed before Dunkirk by General Hoche, as
the Prince of Orange at Hondschoote. The Prince of Coburg, whose
name is always found united with that of Pitt, in revolutionary
execrations, found himself constrained to raise the siege of
Maubeuge, and to recross the Sambre. In the interior, civil war
desolated Vendée; it ravished the city of Lyons. Toulon, held in
the name of Louis XVII., had called to its aid the English fleet
under Admiral Howe. The siege was eagerly pushed by the
republican troops. The artillery was commanded by a young
Corsican officer, who was soon to become General Bonaparte, and
ten years later the Emperor Napoleon. On the 18th of December,
1793, the redoubts were taken, and the allied forces were
compelled to put to sea. The English and Spanish vessels were
crowded with provincial royalists who fled the vengeance of their
compatriots. Toulon was delivered to fire and sword.

The National Convention voted, at the instigation of Barère, a
decree ordaining that henceforth no quarter should be given to
either English or Hanoverian soldiers. The Duke of York
immediately published an order of the day--dignified and noble:
"His Royal Highness foresees the indignation which will naturally
be aroused in the minds of the brave troops whom he addresses. He
desires to remind them that mercy to the vanquished is the
brightest gem in the soldier's character; and to exhort them not
to suffer their resentment to lead them to any precipitate act of
cruelty, which may sully the reputation they have acquired in the
world. The English and Hanoverian armies are not willing to
believe that the French nation, even in its present blindness,
can so far forget its military instincts as to pay the least
attention to a decree as injurious to the troops, as disgraceful
to those who voted it."
The French army justified this noble confidence. "Kill our
prisoners!" said a sergeant, "no, no, not that! Send them all to
the Convention, that the representatives may shoot them if they
wish; the savages might also eat them, if they chose." Everywhere
in Flanders the success of the French arms was brilliant;
Brussels was retaken. Nevertheless Corsica revolted and was
annexed to Great Britain.

Admiral Howe, on the 1st of June, 1794, gained a great victory
over the French fleet off the harbor of Brest. The bloody fall of
Robespierre and his friends, raised, for a moment, pacific hopes
in Europe; but the "war spirit" of France was not yet appeased.
General Jourdan drove back the Austrians beyond the Rhine.
Pichegru threatened Holland. Mr. Pitt advised placing the entire
military force of that country under a single commander; this
position was offered to the Duke of Brunswick, who refused it.
Upon the entreaties of Mr. Pitt, and much to his regret, George
III. recalled the young and inexperienced Duke of York. Before
the end of January, 1795, Holland was entirely in the hands of
the French, who proclaimed the Republic. The stadtholder had fled
to England.

The disquietude and agitation were great. Upon the question of
war, Wilberforce and his friends had separated themselves from
the Cabinet. The general distress in Europe was extreme. The
public cry in London, as in Paris, was for Bread, Bread, Bread!
Riots took place in many localities; the windows of Mr. Pitt, in
Downing street, were broken, and the revolutionary intrigues
redoubled their ardor. The Society for Constitutional Information
raised its head, and claimed universal suffrage and annual
parliaments. Mr. Pitt was troubled; his gloomy forebodings, at
times, knew no bounds. "If I resign," said he, one day to Lord
Mornington, "in less than six months I will not have a head upon
my shoulders."


A congress assembled at Basle; the French Republic treated there
with Tuscany, Prussia, and Sweden. England secretly prepared a
descent upon the coast of Brittany, to second the royalist
uprisings of the French noblemen and peasants designated by the
name of _Chouans_. M. de Puisaye, who had negotiated this
measure with Mr. Pitt, had charge of the Emigré's. The English
fleet was successful at first. Lord Bridport captured two vessels
from Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse. The French refugees disembarked in
the Bay of Quiberon; but the command was divided, and the orders
contradictory. Disorder caused inaction. The arrival of the Count
d'Artois was anxiously awaited, but he did not appear. General
Hoche successfully attacked the little body of Emigré's. The
roughness of the sea rendered the succor of the English
ineffectual. The massacre was horrible. A certain number of
noblemen capitulated; the conditions of the surrender were not
respected; the prisoners were executed. The last military hope of
the royalists disappeared in this bloody and unfortunate
enterprise. The war of the Vendéeans and that of the Choans
terminated at the same time.

The Constitution of the third year of the republic had just been
proclaimed in France, and the Directory had been constituted. An
attempt of the ancient Jacobins had been crushed, on the 13th
Vendémaire (October 5th, 1795), by the prompt and energetic
intervention of General Bonaparte.


Mr. Pitt now began to show a desire for peace. The opening of
Parliament (October 29th, 1795), was signalized by unusual
violence. Seditious cries were heard in the streets during the
passage of the king; a window of the royal carriage was broken by
a stone. Severe measures, like the Treason and Sedition Bills,
were soon presented to the houses: all insults to the royal
person, and all seditious assemblages, became liable to the
gravest penalties. Notwithstanding the eloquent and persistent
opposition of Mr. Fox and his friends in the House of Commons,
and of Lord Lansdowne in the House of Lords, the two bills passed
by a large majority. In the presence of the national and popular
dangers, the minister remained master of parliament: his measures
for the relief of public misery were received with the same
eagerness, as his bold and courageous efforts for the protection
of the public morals and the public peace.

While these great and important events were transpiring, at home
and abroad, the Prince of Wales broke with Mrs. Fitzherbert, to
the great joy of the king and queen, who had always refused to
admit the legitimacy of the marriage. On the 8th of April, 1795,
he espoused the Princess Caroline of Brunswick; a sad and
dolorous union, the fatal consequences of which were not slow in
developing themselves. On the 7th of January, 1796, the Princess
Charlotte was born; some weeks later the prince left his wife,
who then established herself, with her child, in a house at
Blackheath. George III., justly wounded at the conduct of his
son, promptly sustained the cause of the princess. The
misunderstanding which had so long existed in the royal family
was still further increased by this unfortunate incident.

Some indirect overtures for peace were made by Mr. Wickham, the
English minister in Switzerland, to M. Barthélemy, who
represented France at Basle. The disposition which had dictated
them, excited the anger as well as the fears of the avowed
enemies of the French Revolution. Burke, old and disheartened,
published his last work: "Letters on a Regicide Peace." "The
simple desire to treat," said he, "displays an internal weakness.
For a people who have been great and proud, such a change of
national sentiment is more terrible than any revolution."


Burke directed his last philippic against the powerful and
pacific Pitt, as well as against Fox and the friends of the
French Revolution. He had, nevertheless, conceived for Mr. Pitt a
sincere admiration and a just gratitude. Since 1794, a pension of
£1200 had been assigned upon the Civil List for the use of Mr.
Burke and his family. In 1795, after his irremedial misfortune in
the loss of his son, the solicitude of the king and his minister
added a new pension of £2500 to the just tribute of the national
estimate of a worthy man and great orator. Burke then wrote to
Mr. Pitt that he had provided for the repose of a life that was
now nearly extinguished. He (Burke) had only to wish him all the
blessings that he might expect at the flower of his age, and in
the great position that he occupied, a position full of severe
labor, but having great glory as the reward of his efforts; he
had the prospect of a long and laborious career; all was
difficult and formidable, but he was called to this position, and
his talents would render him successful. He (Burke) hoped that by
the grace of God he would never doubt those talents, nor his
cause, nor his country. There was one thing that he prayed for,
that the minister--England's last hope--would not fall into that
great error from which there was no relief. He hoped that the
Divine Mercy would convince both him and the nation that this
war, in principle, and in all its bearings, was unlike any other
war; and he also hoped that Pitt would not believe that what was
called peace with these brigands of France, would be able, in the
name of any policy whatever, to reconcile itself with the
internal repose, the external peace, the power or the influence
of this kingdom; this, to him, was as evident as the sun at
mid-day; and this conviction had cost him, during the last five
years, in the midst of many other profound griefs, many hours of
anxiety, both night and day.


Influenced by the events which had taken place upon the
continent, Mr. Pitt had gradually been led to the adoption of
those very ideas, and that line of policy that Mr. Burke so much
deprecated. The confederation of the great powers was broken up
in 1795, by the Congress of Basle. On the 9th of February, 1795,
the grand Duke of Tuscany signed articles of peace at Paris.
Prussia consented to leave the French in undisturbed possession
of their conquest upon the left bank of the Rhine. Sweden and
Northern Germany acceded to the same conditions; the treaty of
peace, concluded at Basle, with Spain (July 22nd, 1795), became,
on the 19th of August, 1796, a compact of alliance. The King
Charles III., exclusively controlled by the Queen, Louisa of
Parma, and her favorite Manuel Godoy, Prince de la Paix, declared
war with England on the 6th of October. The Bourbons of Naples
joined Spain. The maritime attempts of England against distant
French colonies were successful. The Antilles fell into the hands
of Sir Ralph Abercromby and Col. John Moore. These victories gave
a new life to the hopes of a happy issue to the pacific
negotiations which Lord Malmsbury was about to undertake. At the
opening of Parliament, on the 6th of October, 1796, the address
from the throne announced the departure of the ambassador to


Negotiations were begun. At the same time, the Directory made
great preparations for an invasion of England. Twenty times like
enterprises had been projected and attempted; twenty times they
miscarried or failed. Nevertheless, they still had the power of
arousing and alarming the English people. When Pitt proposed his
plans of defence, Fox had, as usual, recourse to an insulting
incredulity. "I do not believe," said he, "that the French have
the least intention of making a descent upon us. Their government
is too much under the control of the people, and the situation of
the country, to hope for any success from such an enterprise.
Supposing they make this desperate attempt, I have no fears for
the result; but, in the interval, what are we to do? What is for
the moment the duty of this house? To cultivate among the people
the spirit of liberty, to render to them that which their fathers
have acquired at the price of their blood; to render the
ministers seriously responsible; not to intrust ourselves to the
servants of the crown, but to maintain a vigilant jealousy over
the exercise of their power. Then you will have no need to
increase your military forces at home, for in that case, even an
invasion would not be formidable."

To these persistent hatreds and partisan animosities, public
opinion proclaimed a determined and serious opposition. "I do not
wish to accuse these gentlemen of desiring an invasion," said Mr.
Wilberforce, "but I cannot help believing that they would rejoice
to see their country suffer just enough to lead them into power."

When Pitt opened his great loan to public subscription, the sum
required, amounting to £18,000,000, was taken within fifteen
hours. When that figure was reached, the list was closed. Before
it was opened to the general public, the Dukes of Bedford and
Bridgewater subscribed, at sight, for £100,100. The method of
subscription was new, and the conditions of the loan were not
especially advantageous. The patriotic zeal of the nation
responded to the confident appeal of the government. We have
since seen a still greater example. The minister, Mr. Pitt, had
the courage to attempt it; he had at the same time the courage to
propose new taxes.


The devotion of Parliament was equal to any sacrifice.
Considerable subsidies were also voted for the Emperor of
Austria, notwithstanding the dissatisfaction that Mr. Pitt had
caused, by giving assistance to that monarch, in the interval of
the session, without the authority of the houses. Lord Malmesbury
was dissatisfied and uneasy; the Directory insisted upon the
annexation of the Low Countries to France; the refusal of England
was peremptory. On the 19th of December, 1796, Delacroix, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, requested the English Ambassador to
quit Paris within forty-eight hours, with all his suite. The
French government admitted of no proposition which tended to
modify the limits of her territory, as they had been fixed by the
decrees of the Convention. "If the English minister truly desires
peace," added Delacroix, "France is ready to conclude it upon
this basis: an exchange of couriers is all that is necessary."

It was impossible for the king and his government to hesitate:
the documents relative to the negotiations were immediately
communicated to Parliament. "In fact," said Mr. Pitt to the House
of Commons, "the question is, not how much you will give for
peace, but how much disgrace you will suffer at the outset; how
much degradation you will submit to as a preliminary. Shall we
then persevere in a war, with a spirit and energy worthy of the
British name and character; or shall we, by sending couriers to
Paris, prostrate ourselves at the feet of a stubborn,
supercilious government?"

Surrender To Nelson At Cape St. Vincent.


The war, more than ever burdensome and perilous, continued. The
Empress Catherine II. had just died of an attack of apoplexy; her
son, the Emperor Paul, feeble and impetuous, with a mind
uneven--tending to insanity, was ill disposed towards England.
The brilliant successes of General Bonaparte in Italy, had worn
out the energy of the Austrians; the French had invaded the
hereditary states of the Emperor, heroically defended by the
Archduke Charles. The preliminaries of peace, signed at Leoben,
on the 18th of April, 1797, were ratified at Campo Formio on the
17th of October, 1797. Henceforth, in this great struggle,
England found herself alone; she was confronted by the passionate
ardor and success of the young French Republic, as well as the
incomparable genius of her military chief.

The attempt of General Hoche upon Ireland, was a complete
failure; a severe storm scattered the fleet, destroyed some of
the vessels, and prevented any landing. On the 14th of February,
1797, near Cape St. Vincent, Sir John Jervis gained a signal
victory over the Spanish squadron, commanded by Don Joseph de
Cordova. Commodore Nelson and Captain Collingwood bore the brunt
of the conflict. "_Westminster Abbey or Victory_," cried
Nelson, as he boarded a Spanish ship of twenty-four guns. "He was
standing upon the bridge," wrote Collingwood, "receiving the
submission and the swords of the officers of the two ships that
he had captured. One of his sailors, named William Fearney, tied
the swords together as tranquilly as if they had been fagots, in
spite of the fact that they were within the range of the cannon
of the enemy's twenty-four ships of the line."

For a moment the maritime power of England seemed threatened by a
greater danger, from the failure of supplies, owing to financial
crises at home, than from any attacks of the enemy. The state of
the finances became each day more grave; orders were given to the
Bank of England to make no payment of more than twenty shillings,
in cash.
The substitution of paper money, for a limited time, was voted by
Parliament. Merchants and men of business courageously faced the
necessity; others, ordinarily accustomed to brave all dangers,
but for some time discontented and irritated, threatened the
country, at this time, with a fatal blow. In the middle of April,
1797, a military insurrection broke out on board the ships of
Lord Bridport, who commanded the channel fleet. The precautions
of the conspirators were so well taken, that the officers were
deposed, sent on shore, or guarded as hostages, without a drop of
blood being spilled. The sailors demanded an increase of pay,
equivalent to that which the army and militia had received. They
complained of the unjust distribution of prizes, and of the
harshness of certain officers.

The first demand had exaggerated nothing; it was not insolent,
either in fact or in form. Admirals Gardner, Colpoys and Pole,
were appointed to confer with delegates from the mutineers. They
refused to act without the sanction of Parliament. Admiral
Gardner, giving way to passion, seized, by the collar one of the
negotiators, and swore that he would hang them all.

Some days later the fire which was smouldering under the ashes,
broke forth anew; the officers were again deposed. As Admiral
Colpoys, who had remained with two ships at Portsmouth, had
refused to receive the delegates, the mutiny became more violent;
The _Marlborough_ and The _London_ got under way for
St. Helena, without orders. The intervention of the aged Lord
Howe, always popular among the sailors, was necessary to finally
suppress the revolt; and even then it was at the price of
concessions so important that the contagion soon spread to other
squadrons. A proclamation of the king, yielding in substance to
the demands of the sailors, was read on board of all the ships.
They returned to their duty, and the fleet at once set sail for
St. Helena.


At Sheerness, under the inspiration of Richard Parker, an
enlisted volunteer, intelligent, educated, ambitious, and
corrupt, the insurgent sailors concentrated their forces and
withdrew prudently from the coast; they sailed for the Nore. They
soon attacked the vessels which had remained faithful to the
king, among others the _San Fiorenzo_, a noble frigate,
which was intended to take the Princess Royal and her husband the
Duke of Wurtemburg to Germany.

A greater part of the fleet of Lord Duncan joined the mutiny,
thus abandoning the blockade of Holland. Two ships only remained
faithful to the admiral. He continued his signals, as if the main
part of his fleet was still in view; but his patriotism was
profoundly wounded. "It has often been my pride to look with you
into the Texel, and see a foe which dreaded coming out to meet
us; my pride is now humbled indeed," said he.

The government also trembled for the army, now a prey to a
fermentation that was augmented by seditious placards.
Indications of a revolt manifested themselves at Woolwich.

The mutinous ships raised the red flag--that terrible pirates'
signal; they blockaded the mouth of the Thames. The first Lord of
the Admiralty, Lord Spencer, failed in his attempts at
conciliation. Parliament passed two bills, inflicting the most
severe penalties against any attempt to excite a mutiny, and
interdicting all communication with the rebellious fleet.
England, in fact, exiled the sailors who had revolted against
her. This was a most serious blow to the mutineers. The sailors,
still faithful to their duty, made an appeal to their comrades.
The delegates, however, were hard and tyrannical.
On the 4th of June, the king's birthday, all but one of the
revolted ships hoisted the royal flag, and that one was the
_Sandwich_, on board of which was Richard Parker; he himself
sent to London new propositions. Lord Northesk, one of the
imprisoned captains, charged with this message, was received by
the king in person. Henceforward the monarch refused all
negotiations with his rebellious subjects, and exacted from them
submission without conditions. One by one, the crews cut their
cables, and took refuge under the batteries of Sheerness; the
ships of Lord Duncan sailed out to join them; only the delegates,
who held the _Sandwich_, still resisted. Their crew deserted
them, and Admiral Buchner sent a detachment to arrest Parker and
his accomplices. Some weeks later Parker was hung at the yard arm
of the Admiral's vessel, while the English sailors, repentant and
confused, swore they would make their faults forgotten by new
efforts of valor.

During this serious crisis, Mr. Fox and Lord Grey declared their
intention of taking no further part in parliamentary discussions,
as they could neither influence nor approve the policy of the
government. Burke had died on the 9th of July, 1797. As the
illustrious rivals of Pitt were withdrawn from the field, the
leadership of the opposition fell into younger hands; Sir Francis
Burdett and Mr. Tierney were among the first. Mr. Erskine, more
celebrated at the bar than in the house, also became prominent.
New negotiations with France were begun: "I believe it is my
duty," said Mr. Pitt, "both as English Minister and as a
Christian, to do all that I can to put an end to this bloody and
ruinous war." Lord Malmesbury was sent to Lisle to treat with the
French plenipotentiaries. The _coup d'état_ of the 18th
Fructidor (September 4th, 1799), placed all power in the hands of
Barras and the Jacobins, who were hostile to all pacific
Lord Malmesbury was dismissed. Some secret and venal propositions
of Barras miscarried. The war continued, but England was
uniformly successful at sea. On the 11th of October, a battle
took place at Camperdown, in view of the Texel, between Admiral
Duncan and the Dutch Admiral De Winter. The action was desperate,
but a brilliant victory remained to the English. The Dutch
Admiral was made prisoner. The evening after the battle he played
whist in the cabin of Admiral Duncan: he lost. "It is too much,"
said Winter, throwing down his cards, "to be beaten twice the
same day, and by the same adversary."

On his return from St. Paul's, where a service of public
thanksgiving had been held, Mr. Pitt was hooted at by the
populace; and on his return to his home in the evening, he was
escorted by a squadron of the Horse Guards.

The affairs of Ireland had for a long time been the subject of
serious consideration on the part of Mr. Pitt. He had used every
possible means of conciliation; seeking to satisfy the Catholics
by the founding of the College of Maynooth, for the education of
the clergy, and at the same time loyally faithful to the liberal
principles which had constantly inspired his conduct, in regard
to that portion of the United Kingdom; but Ireland was the point
of attack of all the French and revolutionary invasions. The
Irish and democratic sentiments prevailed over their religious
principles. Secret societies, everywhere existing, only awaited
orders and assistance from France. The struggles which took place
in the Irish Parliament were transformed into conspiracies. Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, fifth son of the Duke of Leinster, put himself
at the head of the United Irishmen. Acts of violence broke out in
all sections. The Orangemen, as the Irish Protestants were
called, were animated by passions no less violent. The habeas
corpus was suspended.


Lord Camden, the Lord Lieutenant, ordered that all arms in the
hands of private persons should be immediately delivered up. In
reply to an address of Lord Moira, in the English Parliament,
Lord Clare, the Irish Chancellor, said that a revolutionary
government was completely organized, in opposition to the legal
power. "What," said he, "has been the result of all our
concessions during the past twenty years? The formation of
seditious associations, a system of violence, and midnight
robbery. Orders given by the Jacobin clubs of Dublin and Belfast
to raise regiments of national guards with French uniforms and
French tactics; the league of the United Irishmen; the
resolution, frankly avowed, of accepting no overtures from
Parliament; and the desire, scarcely dissimulated, of separation
from England."

A dangerous outbreak was imminent; many of the leaders were
arrested. Arthur O'Connor, with the Irish priest Coigley, on
their way to Paris to hasten the promised supplies, were of the
number. Lord Edward Fitzgerald was captured. He resisted, and was
so seriously wounded that he died shortly afterwards.

The most severe measures against the conspirators followed the
arrest of their chiefs. Stores of arms were found in many places,
and it was necessary to take them by force; this naturally led to
cruel reprisals. With the exception of Connaught, all Ireland was
roused, and shortly became the theatre of the most frightful
scenes of disorder, cruelty and desolation. The county of
Wexford, above all, was delivered over to pillage and flames.
Lord Cornwallis was appointed Lord Lieutenant, much against his
will. "It is my idea of torture," wrote he to one of his friends.
He nevertheless accepted the position.
Sagacious to employ, in turn, severity and clemency, he was
actively seconded by the Chancellor, Lord Clare, and young Lord
Castlereagh. The rebellion was crushed. A French invasion, under
the order of General Humbert, gained a momentary success, in
consequence of the weakness, or treachery, of the Irish militia;
it was soon repulsed, and the ships of the Republic were captured
by Commodore Warren. The famous Irish leader, Wolfe Tone, the
instigator of all the intrigues in France, was taken with arms in
his hands; and while in prison, committed suicide. Byrne,
Coigley, and many others were tried, convicted, and sentenced to
capital punishment; a certain number, however, were subsequently
pardoned. The alien bill, authorizing the government to interdict
English soil to foreigners, and the suspension of the habeas
corpus act, were accorded by Parliament without difficulty.

Pitt now prepared an important measure, that he had been
considering for many years. The growing disorders in Ireland
convinced him of the necessity of a legislative and parliamentary
union between the two countries. On the 31st of January, 1799, he
proposed his bill; already badly received by the Irish
Parliament. The royal prerogative for the creation of Irish peers
was not limited, as it became in the definitive bill.

By a clever rotation of elections in the boroughs, none of them
completely lost their franchise. The number of the Irish
representatives in the House of Commons was fixed at one hundred.
The speech of the prime minister was one of the most eloquent
ever made. Three times only, in the course of his life, did he
consent to revise his addresses; the speech on the union with
Ireland, was one that had that honor. In it he declared that
England was engaged in a struggle the most important and solemn
that had ever been seen in the history of the world; in a
struggle where Great Britain alone ought to resist resolutely and
with success, the common enemy of civilized society.
They saw, he said, the point upon which the enemy believed them
assailable; and should not prudence compel them to fortify that
vulnerable point, engaged, as they were, in the struggle of
liberty against despotism, of property against rapine and
pillage, of religion and order against impiety and anarchy? And,
on the other hand, if a country should be unable to defend itself
against the greatest of all dangers which might threaten its
peace and security, without the assistance of another nation, and
that nation should be a neighbor and an ally, if she spoke the
same language, if her laws, her customs, and her habits were the
same in principle; if the commerce of that nation was more
extended, and its means of acquiring and spreading abroad riches
were more numerous; if that nation possessed a government, whose
stability and admirable constitution excited more than ever the
admiration of Europe, while the country in question possessed
only an incomplete and imperfect imitation of that constitution;
what, in such a case, would be the conduct demanded by all
motives of equity, interest, and honor? "I ask you," said he, in
conclusion, "if this is not a faithful exposition of the motives
which ought to lead Ireland to desire union? I ask you, if Great
Britain is not precisely the nation to which a country in the
situation of Ireland, ought to desire to unite itself? Could a
union contracted under such circumstances, with a free consent,
and under equitable conditions, merit to be stigmatized as the
submission of Ireland to a foreign yoke?"

The Battle Of Aboukir.


The bill passed in the English Parliament by a large majority;
but all the eloquence of its defenders, together with the clever
maneuvres of Lords Cornwallis and Castlereagh, were not able to
induce the Irish Parliament to pass similar resolutions, before
the opening of the year 1800. Henry Grattan, long absent from the
house, returned in order to oppose the union: "In all that he
advances, the minister does not discuss--he predicts," said the
Irish orator; "one cannot answer a prophet; all that one can do
is not to believe. That which he wishes to buy of you, cannot be
sold: it is liberty; in exchange he has nothing to offer you. All
that possesses any value you have obtained under a free
constitution; if you renounce it you are not only slaves, but

On the 10th of February, 1800, the bill presented by Lord
Castlereagh and discussed with the most extreme violence, was
finally passed by both houses of the Irish Parliament. On the 2nd
of July it received the royal signature. Henceforth the union of
Ireland and England was definitive, and useful and efficacious
for both countries, notwithstanding the difficulties that it was
still to encounter, and the bitterness that it left behind. This
union was of the highest importance to the repose of Great
Britain. Foreign invasions now ceased.

The expedition of General Bonaparte into Egypt diverted his
attention from the projected invasion of England. It had led to
the great naval battle of _Aboukir_ (August 1st, 1799),
where the French Admiral Brueys was killed and the English
Admiral Nelson was severely wounded. The French fleet, after a
heroic resistance, was conquered, and almost entirely destroyed.
Bonaparte found himself shut up in Egypt, while war became again
general in Europe. The Congress of Radstadt, intended to regulate
the relations of France with the Germanic States, had not been
successful, and was officially dissolved in August, 1799: a new
coalition against the French Republic was formed, and henceforth
England was supported by Austria, Russia, Naples, Portugal and
Turkey. Hostilities broke out simultaneously in Switzerland,
Italy, and Germany.


In this great struggle, sustained by France alone, against the
European world, England took, from the commencement, an active
and glorious part. An attempt upon Holland, under the direction
of the Duke of York and Sir Ralph Abercromby, was unsuccessful.
The finances and determined public opinion of Great Britain
everywhere sustained the courage of her allies.

Bonaparte landed at Fréjus, leaving in Egypt his army under the
command of General Kleber. Some days later he accomplished at
Paris the Revolution of the 18th Brumaire (November 9th, 1799);
the feeble government of the Directory was overturned, and
General Bonaparte seized the power in his triumphant hands,
inspiring in those rivals who were soon to become his
lieutenants, the same ardor which animated himself. Before the
end of the year the victories of Marengo (June 14th, 1800), of
Hochstett (June 19th), and Hohenlinden (Dec. 3), changed the
aspect of affairs. Conferences were opened at Luneville, between
France, the Empire of Austria and the Germanic Confederation. On
the 9th of February, 1801, peace was signed. The Rhine became the
frontier of republican France, and the Adige that of the
Cisalpine republic. At the same time the Emperor Paul I. was won
over by the French, and at his instigation the armed neutrality
against Great Britain was renewed by Russia, Sweden and Denmark.
Once again England found herself alone against France, now
governed by Bonaparte.

Almost immediately master of the situation in Paris, Bonaparte,
at the beginning of his power, personally made overtures of peace
to England, by a letter addressed directly to King George III.
The ministry would not recognize this unusual proceeding, and
Lord Grenville, the minister of Foreign Affairs, replied in the
name of the king, refusing to treat alone without the
co-operation of their allies.


When the question was brought before parliament, Mr. Pitt rose.
"I am," said he, "too sincere a friend of peace, to content
myself with possessing it only in name; I desire to follow that
course that promises to assure definitively to this country and
to Europe all its benefits. I am too sincere a friend of peace to
lose it by seizing the shadow when the substance is really within
my grasp: 'Cur igitur pacem nolo? quia infida est, quia
periculosa, quia esse non potest.'" The minister was all powerful
upon foreign questions in both houses. Notwithstanding the
weariness of the nation, national pride and the confidence in Mr.
Pitt inspired yet greater efforts. Never were the friends of the
ministry more encouraged. In vain did Mr. Fox re-appear in the
house, ardently and cleverly sustained by Lord Grey. "The proud
and monumental architecture" of his eloquence crushed by its
weight the powerful charm of his adversaries. In his hands
England resisted, with an audacious calmness, coalesced Europe.
So much power and so many victorious efforts were to fall before
a double question of conscience. Sincerely and honestly liberal,
Mr. Pitt was favorable to the political emancipation of the
Catholics, and he also held himself pledged to further their
cause, in consequence of the assistance they had given to his
measures for the union with Ireland. Perhaps he mistook the
resolution of the king regarding this question, and judged
incorrectly of the effect that a great moral agony would be able
to exercise over an intelligence as limited, and a soul as
sincerely conscientious as that of George III.


The project for the emancipation of the Catholics had during
several months been discussed, in the Council, without the
knowledge of the king; but political treachery or honest scruples
finally made it known to his Majesty. When Lord Castlereagh came
to London, in the month of January, 1801, desirous of assuring
himself that the intentions of Mr. Pitt remained the same, George
III. suddenly addressed Mr. Dundas, an intimate friend of Pitt's,
and who shared his opinions on this subject: "What!" he
exclaimed, in a loud voice, "what is _this_, that this young
lord has brought over which they are going to throw at my head? I
shall reckon any man my personal enemy who proposes any such
measure--the most Jacobinical thing I ever heard of!"

"You'll find," replied Dundas, "among those who are friendly to
that measure, some you never supposed your enemies."

The king was greatly troubled. He wrote to the speaker, Mr.
Addington, a friend of Pitt's, but still more a personal friend
of the sovereign: "I know we think alike on this great subject. I
wish that he would, front himself, open Mr. Pitt's eyes on the
danger arising from the agitating this improper question, which
may prevent his ever speaking to me on a subject on which I can
scarcely keep my temper."

George III. believed himself solemnly bound by his coronation
oath to refuse all liberal alterations of the Constitution, in
favor of the Dissenters as well as of the Catholics. When he was
questioned in regard to the abolition of the Test Act, he
consulted Lord Kenyon and Sir John Scott upon that subject. Both
were favorable to the maintenance of the measure; they
nevertheless replied that it might be abrogated or modified,
without violating his coronation oath or the act of union with
Scotland. Less sincere, and less convinced, Lord Loughborough,
with the complaisance of a courtier, and influenced by political
ambition, had given his opinion to the contrary.
His arguments strengthened the scruples of the king, who remained
obstinately faithful. To the objections, addressed to him, in
writing, by Mr. Pitt, he replied that he hoped the sentiment of
duty would prevent Mr. Pitt from quitting, while he lived, the
position which he occupied; he pledged himself to keep henceforth
an absolute silence upon the great question on which they
differed, on the condition that Mr. Pitt would absolutely refrain
from presenting it--he could do no more.

The conscience of the minister was more enlightened and more firm
than that of the monarch, and he also considered it engaged in
the question. Political promises and parliamentary embarrassments
prevailed in the mind of Pitt, over the grave danger of a
ministerial crisis in the midst of a terrible war, and in the
presence of financial difficulties, steadily increasing: he
persisted in his resolution to retire. On the 5th of February,
1801. King George III. accepted sadly the resignation of his
great minister. "I do not know how I could have acted otherwise,"
said Mr. Pitt to his friend Rose. "I have nothing to reproach
myself for, unless it is not having sought sooner to reconcile
the king with the idea of the measure in favor of the Catholics,
or at least to persuade his Majesty not to take an active part in
the question." "He was evidently painfully affected," added Rose;
"tears were in his eyes, and he appeared much agitated."

In the presence of the pious and worthy scruples that troubled
the conscience of his sovereign, it was without doubt a noble
error on the part of Mr. Pitt to throw into the balance his own
scruples and praiseworthy engagements; a grave error, moreover,
and which was to greatly imperil England, to disturb anew a
tottering reason, and to retard, more than it served, the cause
of religious and political liberty for which Mr. Pitt had
sacrificed all.


                   Chapter XXXVIII.

                     George III.
                  Addington And Pitt.

Mr. Pitt, on retiring, urged Mr. Addington to accept the control
of the government. "Addington," said he, "I see nothing but ruin,
if you hesitate." He at the same time urged his friends to retain
their places; he even consented to present the Budget which had
been prepared, and which was unanimously passed. His support of
the new cabinet was assured; nevertheless, Dundas, who had
followed his friend into retirement, wrote to him from Wimbledon,
on the 7th of February, at the time when Mr. Addington was still
endeavoring to form his ministry, that he did not know what the
speaker would attempt, but he was convinced that any
administration of which Addington was chief, could not fail to
break, up almost as soon as formed. The devoted friends of Mr.
Pitt, who had remained in office at his solicitation, saw this
with regret and chagrin; and among their mortifications was the
feeling that they had joined a ministry under a chief absolutely
incapable of directing them. This was the general sentiment.
Discouraged and sad, even before the cabinet was formed, the king
remained pre-occupied and deeply agitated. He read over his
coronation oath, and exclaimed: "Where is that power on earth to
absolve me from the due observance of every sentence of that
oath, particularly the one requiring me to maintain the
Protestant reformed religion? Was not my family seated on the
throne for that express purpose, and shall I be the first to
suffer it to be undermined, perhaps overturned? No! I had rather
beg my bread from door to door throughout Europe, than consent to
any such measure. If I violate it, I am no longer legal sovereign
of this country, but it falls to the House of Savoy."


So much emotion and foreboding anxiety, shattered the tottering
reason of the monarch; he had lost that faithful support, that
sure guide on whom he had relied for more than seventeen years
past. The conscience of the king was agitated and troubled. Upon
recovering from a swoon, the old king repeated this verse from
the Psalms: "Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,
and said, it is a people that do err in their hearts, for they
have not known my ways." He murmured afterwards, "I am better, I
am better now, but I will remain true to the Church."

The malady had declared itself, and public prayers were ordered.
The Prince of Wales sent for Mr. Pitt--still minister, in fact.
"I will not hesitate," said Mr. Pitt, "to give to your Highness
the best counsel that I am able; but with all the respect that I
owe you, there is one thing that I demand of you permission to
establish. It is this condition: that your Highness will
interdict yourself from deliberating with those who have agitated
so long in direct opposition to the government of his Majesty."
The prince consented; not, however, without some show of temper.

Fox had quitted his pleasant retreat at St. Ann's Hill. He
counselled the prince to accept the limited regency, that Mr.
Pitt intended to propose. Already steps had been taken to form a
Whig cabinet, when the rapid improvement of the king's health
gave the hope of avoiding yet, for a time, that dreaded regency.
On Friday, the 6th of March, George III. passed the day in the
apartments of the Queen. He charged his physician to inform Mr.
Pitt of it. "Tell him that I am now quite well, quite recovered
from my illness; but what has he not to answer for, who is the
cause of my having been ill at all."


The sentiments of loyalty and personal attachment for the old
king were profound in the reserved and proud soul of Mr. Pitt.
The reproach of the sovereign deeply affected him. "Say to his
Majesty," replied he to Dr. Willis, "that I have authorized you
to assure him, that during his reign, whether _in_ or
_out_ of office, I will never again agitate the question of
Catholic Emancipation." The king drew a deep sigh. "Now my mind
will be at ease," he exclaimed; and upon the queen's coming in,
he repeated the message, and made the same observation upon it.

A moment after the question of conscience was decided, Mr. Pitt
had some desire of yielding to the wishes of the king, and
returning to power. Mr. Addington turned a deaf ear to the
insinuations which were made to him upon the subject. Mr. Pitt
did not insist; he had seen the king and reconciled him to his
resignation. The Catholics, fully informed regarding all affairs,
rendered their homage to Mr. Pitt for his fidelity to his
engagements with them; they awaited their day. Pitt had just
established himself in a small furnished house in Park Place.
Poor, and without leisure to look after household matters, he was
overwhelmed with debts. He had refused the patriotic gifts, as
well as the liberalities of the king. He was now, however,
compelled to accept, with great regret, the offers of his
friends, and he borrowed from them the money necessary to pay his
creditors. He sold his small estate at Holwood, and now lived
very modestly. "Each day," writes Lord Stanhope, "when he came to
the House of Commons, he took his place at the right of the
speaker's chair, in the third row of benches, near one of the
iron columns.
Many years later I saw old members point out that place, in the
old house, with a sentiment of veneration." His friends remained
steadily faithful to him. They either followed him into
retirement, as Dundas and the young Canning--perhaps his favorite
disciple, assuredly the most celebrated; or they occupied, at his
request, posts of confidence. "I have taken the great seal, only
upon the advice and pressing solicitation of Mr. Pitt," said Lord
Eldon, "and I will only keep it as long as I shall be able to
live in perfect concord with him."

Wellington, at this time the Marquis of Wellesly and
Governor-General of India, wrote to the fallen minister, that he
counted sufficiently upon the testimony of his own heart, not to
doubt that Mr. Pitt had full confidence in his fidelity to his
cause, whatever the circumstances might be; when that cause
should cease to prevail in the councils of the nation, he would
hasten to free himself from the disgrace of office, in order to
join Mr. Pitt in the fortress which it should please him to
defend, wherever it might be. His political relations with Mr.
Pitt, confirmed by so many ties of friendship, and by intimate
testimonies of affection and private consideration, were not only
the pride, but also the joy of his life; and that he could not
support the idea of seeing Mr. Pitt other than the guide of his
political conduct, the guardian of all that is dear and precious
in the constitution and in the country; and the first object of
his esteem, respect, and personal attachment.

That noble statesman, who had inspired such emotional and
faithful respect in so many eminent men, was not insensible to
the evidences of esteem and attachment lavished upon him; and,
upon the other hand, the failure of many expectations, the forced
abandonment of many cherished projects, caused him heartfelt
regrets which he did not endeavor to conceal.
The cabinet of Mr. Addington was being made up. Lord Grey
attacked the conduct of the last government. Mr. Pitt arose, and
avowed frankly the regret that he felt in quitting the power
before concluding peace. He did not pretend, he said, to that
indifference to the opinions of others, that certain persons
affect; he was not indifferent to the situation of his country.
He was not indifferent to the opinion that the public might have
concerning the part, the too great part, that he had taken in it.
He avowed, on the contrary, that those questions occupied him
much. Events had happened which had deceived his most cherished
desires, and baffled the favorite expectations of his heart. He
would have desired to pursue, even to the end of the struggle,
the object of these expectations and desires for the success of
which he had labored with so much care and anxiety. He had not
recoiled before obstacles. He had lived during the past seventeen
years with very little effect, if it was necessary now to explain
that he had not quitted his post because he feared the
difficulties; he had always acted--good or evil; it did not
pertain to him to decide which, but assuredly as a man who had
not the air of fearing difficulties. He was able to say at least
this: if he could efface from the record these seventeen years,
and speak only of that which has taken place during the past two
months, he would dare to affirm, that enough facts have been
presented, in that interval, to efface the idea that he was
disposed to recoil before any difficulty whatsoever, or that he
desired to clear himself from any responsibility. That which had
happened since that epoch, had given him the opportunity to
prove, very positively, that he was ready to accept all the
responsibility that the situation might be able to thrust upon


Even in his retirement, Pitt never avoided a responsibility, but
was always ready to accept the weight of his past acts, and of
his present counsels. An expedition, that he had planned, had
just entered the Baltic. Sir Hyde Parker, who commanded it, had
been appointed commander-in-chief. He was old and feeble; the
dangers of the expedition affected his courage; the weather was
bad. "We must brace up," said Nelson, second in command, to
Parker; "these are no times for nervous systems."

On the 2nd of April, 1801, a decisive naval battle was fought.
Nelson attacked the batteries and the enemy's squadron before
Copenhagen. The old admiral, who had not taken an active part in
the battle, seeing Nelson in danger, ordered signal No. 39--the
signal for discontinuing the action, to be hoisted. The signal
lieutenant asked if he should repeat it. "No," replied Nelson,
"acknowledge it." He then continued walking about in great
emotion, and meeting Captain Foley, said: "What think you, Foley,
the admiral has hung out No. 39. You know I have only one eye; I
have a right to be blind sometimes." And then putting the glass
to his blind eye, he exclaimed, "I really don't see the signal.
Keep mine for closer battle still flying. That's the way I answer
such signals. _Nail mine to the mast._"

The victory was glorious. On landing, three days later, Nelson
concluded an armistice with the crown Prince, by which Denmark
abandoned the alliance of armed neutrality and the confederation
against Great Britain. Some weeks later the Emperor Paul was
assassinated, and the coalition of the powers of the north
vanished. The first care of the new Russian Emperor was to
restore liberty to English sailors.


To the joy which the success before Copenhagen aroused, was added
the satisfaction inspired by the news from Egypt. Kleber was
assassinated, by a fanatic; on the 14th of June, 1800, General
Menou, who succeeded him, preserved the positions gained by the
victory of Heliopolis. At the beginning of the year 1801, and
during the ministerial crisis, a body of English troops landed in
Egypt; a desperate engagement took place near Aboukir. Sir Ralph
Abercromby was seriously wounded, and died some days later. The
French were hemmed in near Alexandria: Cairo was invested, and
General Belliard, who defended it, was obliged to surrender
before the end of June. The English received reinforcements from
India, and General Menou was obliged to capitulate on the 27th of
August. The French obtained all the honors of war, and were
permitted to withdraw, with their arms and baggage,
unconditionally, and were to be transported free, to their own

At London, negotiations were in progress. Mr. Pitt took an active
part in them. Lord Hawksbury, who had charge of them, was one of
his most intimate friends. On the 1st of October, 1801, Mr. Pitt
personally announced the signature of preliminaries to Mr. Long,
but recently a member of his cabinet: "I have only a moment to
say to you, that the die is cast, and that the preliminaries have
been signed. The conditions, without being precisely and in all
respects, as one might desire, are certainly very honorable; and
taken all in all, very advantageous. I do not expect that our
friends will be entirely satisfied, but the great mass of the
public will be, I believe, extremely satisfied, and I regard the
event as very fortunate for the government and the country."


On the 25th of March, 1802, peace was signed at Amiens, between
France, England and Spain. All the colonial conquests were
restored to France and Holland, with the exception of the Island
of Trinidad and the Dutch possessions in Ceylon. Malta was given
back to its Knight Templars, and Egypt to the Sublime Porte. The
French evacuated the kingdom of Naples and the States of the
Church. "It is a peace," said Sir Philip Francis, "which
everybody is glad of, though nobody is proud of." The outbursts
of popular enthusiasm forced the opposition to accept the peace
without a contest. Fox alone was partisan enough to boldly
rejoice over the brilliant successes of France. "Some persons
complain that we have not attained the end of the war," said he;
"assuredly we have not attained it, but this fact only pleases me
better than the peace itself." In a letter to Lord Grey, who had
reproached him for his imprudence, he wrote: "For the truth is, I
am gone something further in hate to the English government than
perhaps you and the rest of my friends are, and certainly further
than can with prudence be avowed. For the triumph of the French
government over the English, does, in fact, afford me a degree of
pleasure which it is very difficult to disguise."

The peace which had but just been concluded was already
tottering. Bonaparte's ambition for conquest, encouraged by the
weariness of Europe, increased each day the pretensions of the
French government. English travellers crowded to the continent,
curious to visit that new France, so long closed to them. Fox was
in Paris, and often saw the First Consul, for whom he had
conceived the liveliest admiration. Bonaparte one day conducted
his illustrious visitor to the Louvre; both stopped in front of a
large globe. The General, putting his finger upon the spot
occupied by England, sneeringly remarked: "See what a little
place you occupy in the world."--Fox's English pride was
awakened: "Yes," said he, approaching the globe and attempting to
encircle it in his extended arms: "England is a small island, but
with her power she girdles the world." The First Consul did not
continue the conversation.


Some dissatisfaction had arisen between Pitt and Addington: the
protégé had many times failed to defend his protector when
violently attacked in the Houses; the counsels asked and given,
were not always followed. Efforts had been made, more than once,
to restore Pitt to power, but he felt that he could neither
direct nor overthrow the cabinet that he had so long sustained,
and for some time past he had absented himself from the House of
Commons. "I am more and more persuaded," wrote he to his friend
Mr. Rose, "after all that I see of affairs and of parties, that
the role that I would play at present, if I were in town, would
do more harm than good; it is therefore better, upon all
accounts, that I remain, for the present, in the country." Pitt
prolonged his stay at Walmer Castle some three months
(February-May, 1803).

The general state of affairs was in fact disquieting and serious,
and the execution of the treaty of Amiens seemed doubtful. New
revolutionary movements agitated Holland; the Cis-alpine republic
was recognized, under French influence. The mediation of
Bonaparte in the affairs of Switzerland, assured to him a weighty
and firm ascendancy. Piedmont was annexed to the French republic.
An expedition of Col. Sebastiani into Egypt disturbed the
English. The cabinets in London and in Paris exchanged complaints
and recriminations regarding the delays in consummating the
treaty. "We claim the treaty of Amiens, all of the treaty of
Amiens, and nothing but the treaty of Amiens," said the French.
England still retained Malta, under the pretext that the Knights
had not yet re-established themselves there, and that Malta was
for them the only guarantee of good faith on the part of the
General Bonaparte made complaints regarding this subject, to Lord
Whitworth, the English Ambassador at Paris. "I would rather see
you in possession of the Heights of Montmartre, than of Malta,"
said the First Consul. He subsequently complained of the libels
which were circulated against him in England, and of the delays
in the trial of Peltin, the French pamphleteer and refugee. At
the same time the consul himself wounded the legitimate pride of
England by the arrogant language of his message to the Corps
Legislatif. "The government declares with just pride that Great
Britain cannot contend alone against France."

Considerable armaments were in progress at various points on the
French coast, provoking similar measures on the part of the
British government. A message from the king to Parliament
announced the same.

The anger of the First Consul regarding these events was natural
and insolent, as well as premeditated. Lord Whitworth assisted at
a court reception at the Tuilleries. Bonaparte advanced quickly
towards him. "So you are determined to go to war," said he,
roughly. "No," calmly replied the noble ambassador, "we are too
sensible of the advantages of peace--we have already fought for
fifteen years." After waiting a moment for a reply he continued,
"And that is quite enough."--"But you will have to fight for
fifteen years longer," replied Bonaparte; "you force me to it."
He insisted upon the infractions of the treaty of which he had
accused England. Turning abruptly, and intimidating, by his angry
frown, the members of the diplomatic corps, already disquieted
and troubled, he exclaimed: "Woe to those who do not respect


In the presence of this menacing attitude of France, and the
alarmed state of Europe, England regarded with regret the loss of
Pitt, and felt an ardent desire for his return to power. "It is a
strange and sad fact," said Sir Philip Francis, in Parliament,
"that at such a moment as this, all the eminent men of England
are excluded from the councils and from the government of the
country. When the sky is clear, an ordinary amount of ability is
sufficient; but for the storm which is arising we need other
pilots. If the vessel founders we shall all perish with her."

Addington felt this as well as the public. He made propositions
to Pitt, through Mr. Dundas, recently become Lord Melville. This
gentleman at first believed that he could induce Mr. Pitt to
consent to a division of the power, but he was soon convinced of
his mistake. "Really," said Pitt, with ironical disdain, "I had
not the curiosity to ask what I was to be." Addington was both
sincere and disquieted. He went further, and proposed to renounce
his functions as Prime Minister. Some of the friends of Pitt
urged him to accept, but the haughtiness of Lord Grenville, which
had more than once badly served the minister when in power, now
interfered with the negotiations.

Pitt refused the concessions that Addington demanded, and on the
other hand, Addington would not consent to the admission of Lord
Grenville and Mr. Wyndham to the new cabinet. The negotiations
were broken off, to the grave displeasure of the king, who had
been but imperfectly and tardily informed of the situation. "It
is a foolish business, from one end to the other," said George
III. to Lord Pelham; "it was begun ill, conducted ill, and
terminated ill."--"Both parties were in the wrong," said the Duke
of York to Lord Malmesbury; "so ill managed has been the recent
negotiation, as to put Mr. Pitt's return to office, though more
necessary than ever, at a greater distance than ever."

"See What A Little Place You Occupy In The World."


The renewal of hostilities became imminent. The First Consul
rejected the ultimatum of England; the declaration of war could
not be deferred. The English ministers had committed some faults
of detail in the negotiations, but already the dangers of a proud
and insatiable ambition began to dawn. The repose and
independence of Europe would be compromised if Bonaparte became,
without resistance, master of the military and political
situation. On the 18th of May, 1803, war was officially declared.
Some days later, all English subjects travelling in France were
violently seized and thrown into prisons, and were retained there
until peace was declared.

Mr. Pitt left Walmer Castle, and re-appeared in the House of
Commons. Although sad and melancholy at the recent loss of his
mother, who died on the 3rd of April, 1803, he was, nevertheless,
animated by an ardent patriotism, and decided to defend the
declaration of war. When he arose to speak, the whole House
cried--"Mr. Pitt! Mr. Pitt!" and the applause drowned the first
accents of his voice. Fox himself was loud in praise of the
brilliant success of his great rival, who had just re-appeared
upon the scene. "It was a speech," he told the House, "which, if
Demosthenes had been present, he must have admired, and might
have envied."

Pitt ardently approved of the war measures. He sustained,
nevertheless, against the advice of the government, a proposition
from Fox, tending to accept the mediation of Russia. "Whether we
are in peace or in war," said he, "whether we desire to give
force to our arms or security to our repose, whether we wish to
prevent war by negotiations, or to re-establish peace after the
war shall have broken out, it is the duty of the ministers of
this country to profit by the good offices of the powers with
whom it is to our interest to become allied."


War became inevitable. The mediation of Russia was useless and
ineffectual; no one abroad realized the energy or sagacity of the
English cabinet. "If that ministry lasts, Great Britain will not
last," said Count Woronzow, the Russian Ambassador in England.
Parliament rejected the resolutions of censure, indirectly
sustained by Mr. Pitt; nevertheless the support of the great
orator was necessary to the cabinet in order to carry its
financial measures, and Mr. Addington accepted without resistance
the modifications demanded by Mr. Pitt.

The First Consul had eagerly renewed his former project of a
descent upon England. He established at Boulogne a camp and
workshops for naval service; he personally superintended the
same, inspecting the works and animating the men by his
inexhaustible ardor. Thousands of flat-bottomed boats were to
transport to England a hundred thousand soldiers, veterans of the
great revolutionary struggles.

Bonaparte exacted from Spain a monthly tribute; he disposed of
the resources of the Cisalpine Republic as well as those of
Holland and Belgium. "By the end of autumn," he said, "I will
march upon London."

Patriotic enthusiasm in England responded to the gravity of the
peril. Thiers writes that "a shudder of terror ran through all
classes of English society." The alarm, however, did not arrest
the zeal. Three hundred thousand volunteers enrolled themselves
at once. As lord warden of the Cinque Ports, Mr. Pitt powerfully
contributed to the activity of preparation. He personally took
command of a brigade, which occupied the most exposed position
upon the coast. His health, always tottering, was at this time
seriously influenced by so much fatigue. His niece, Lady Hester
Stanhope, had charge of his house; she was young and beautiful,
but capricious; without family or fortune. She was received by
her uncle, towards whom she always manifested a sincere devotion.
After his death, she was unable to content herself in England.
She established herself in the East, where she long led the life
of a queen of the desert. Strange destiny, and very contrary to
the regular habits of the mind and life of Mr. Pitt. With the
exception of a single journey to France, he had never quitted


At the opening of Parliament, on the 22nd of November, Pitt
censured some of the measures adopted by the government for the
national defence, but he refused to join in the systematic attack
that Lord Grenville had prepared, and for which he had allied
himself with Mr. Fox. "In all simple and clear questions," said
he, "I have decided to sustain the government; if it should omit
anything that I believed the state of the country required, or
when it shall show feebleness or want of efficiency, I will
boldly announce my views; but even then not in a spirit of
opposition, for I will only speak after being assured that the
government persists in what I disapprove, and does not consent to
what I believe necessary."

The king at this time passed through another crisis of his
malady. Successive checks had disturbed the ministry decidedly,
by the consent of all, unequal to the task before it. Mr.
Addington resolved to send in his resignation. The king accepted
it with regret; he felt himself, to a certain point, master of
the situation, while the power was in the hands of Mr. Addington,
and he often spoke of him as: "My Chancellor of the Exchequer."
He was nevertheless compelled to consult Mr. Pitt immediately,
concerning the formation of a cabinet. The sovereign was
convalescent. Mr. Pitt, who had for some time been in
correspondence with the Chancellor, Lord Eldon, proposed at once
an alliance with Fox. "My opinion is founded," wrote he, "upon
the profound conviction that the critical state of our country,
at this moment, joined to that of Europe in general, and of
political parties abroad, render it more essential, than at any
other epoch, to give to the government of his Majesty the
greatest possible energy and force, by seeking to unite in his
service the talents and influences accounted eminent, without
exception, from parties of all names, without care for divisions
or past differences."
The refusal of the king was peremptory. He sent for Mr. Pitt.
"Your Majesty is looking much better than after your former
illness," said he, upon entering.--"It is not to be wondered at,"
cordially replied George III. "I was then on the point of
_parting_ with an old friend, and I am now about to
_regain_ one."

Fox manifested neither astonishment nor anger upon learning of
his exclusion by the king. "I am too old to care for office,"
said he to Lord Grenville Leveson; "but I have many friends who
have been my followers for years. I shall counsel them to unite
themselves to the government, and I hope that Mr. Pitt will be
able to find places for them." Obstinately faithful to their
chief, the friends of Fox refused all proposals of the minister.
Lord Grenville, piqued at not having succeeded in his efforts at
coalition, declared that he would take no part in the cabinet.
The long friendship which had united him to Mr. Pitt, and their
family ties, rendered this refusal doubly painful, and deeply
wounded the minister. "I will teach that proud man," said Pitt,
"that in the service of, and with the confidence of the
sovereign, I can do without him;" but he added, with a sad
presentiment, "even though the effort may cost me my life."

Lord Harrowby replaced Lord Grenville as Minister of Foreign
Affairs. The new cabinet was strengthened by the admission of Mr.
Canning and Lord Castlereagh. The opposition was stronger than
ever, but the state of affairs on the continent had changed. The
execution of the Duke d'Enghien had irritated and exasperated the
most decided partisans of the First Consul. He had also taken
from his admirers all right of regarding him as the protector of
liberty in Europe. On the 16th of May, 1804, General Bonaparte
was proclaimed Emperor of the French, under the title of Napoleon


The secret discontent of the sovereigns of Europe lent some moral
support to the resistance of England. Mr. Pitt did not, however,
trust himself to this movement of public opinion. Notwithstanding
the opposition of his adversaries, among whom Mr. Addington had
ranged himself, he demanded an increase of the regular forces.
The Emperor Napoleon was now ready to consummate his great
project of landing in England. He had confided its direction to
Admiral La Touche-Treville. "If we are masters of the Channel for
six hours," said he, in a secret letter, "we will be masters of
the world." Some days later. La Touche-Treville died, and the
great plan of Napoleon, thus baffled by a hand more powerful than
his own, terminated in a few insignificant combats between
English and French sailors. The Emperor had departed for Paris,
where he was crowned on the 2nd of December, 1804. Pope Pius VII.
had come from Rome for the purpose of crowning the new
Charlemagne. In the notes of Mr. Pitt, upon the means of defence
and attack that England then had at her disposal, we find this
passage regarding the Emperor Napoleon, inspired by patriotic
bitterness, natural and pardonable, but which alters, in some
measure, that equity of judgment which the great minister always
preserved at home, even regarding his most violent adversaries:


  "Napoleon.--I see various and contrary qualities, all the great
  and little passions fatal to public tranquillity, united in the
  bosom of a single man, and unfortunately of a man whose
  personal caprice is unable to change for a single hour without
  influencing the destinies of Europe. I see internal indications
  of fear struggling against pride in a mind, ardent, bold, and
  tumultuous. I see all the gloomy mistrust of a consecrated
  usurpation which is feared, detested and obeyed; the madness
  and intoxication of a marvellous but unmerited success;
  arrogance, presumption, the obstinacy of an unlimited and
  idolatrous power; and that which is more to be feared in the
  plenitude of authority, the incessant and indefatigable
  activity of a culpable but unsatiated ambition."

The Emperor Napoleon judged more liberally of his implacable
adversary. When, during the Hundred Days, he accorded to France a
parliamentary constitution, he said to his ministers: "We do not
know how Parliaments are conducted. M. Fouché believes that by
bribing some old corrupt members, and by flattering a few young
enthusiasts, assemblies are ruled. He is mistaken; that is
intrigue, and intrigue does not lead far. In England, without
absolutely neglecting these means, they have others greater and
more serious. Recall Mr. Pitt, and behold to-day Lord
Castlereagh! By the same means Pitt directed the House of
Commons, and Lord Castlereagh controls it still to-day. Ah! if I
had such instruments, I would not fear; but have I anything like

The ministry lost the support of Lord Harrowby, who was ill from
a fall, and obliged to resign; but a reconciliation between Pitt
and Addington was brought about. The anger of certain of Pitt's
friends was very great. Canning spoke of quitting his office: "It
is a little hard upon us in finding fault with our making it up
again," said Mr. Pitt, "when we have been friends from our
childhood, and our fathers were so before us; while they say
nothing to Grenville for uniting with Fox, though they have been
fighting all their lives."


Addington passed into the House of Lords with the title of Lord
Sidmouth, and was sworn in as President of the Council. The Duke
of Portland, who exercised that function, remained in the cabinet
as minister, but without the portfolio. The new alliance, as well
as the growing sentiment of public confidence, had increased the
majority for the ministry. After a most animated debate between
Pitt, Fox and Sheridan, upon the subject of the war recently
declared by Spain, the conduct of the government was approved by
a majority of one hundred and forty. Mr. Pitt, however, did not
think it prudent to risk at the same time the question of the
abolition of the slave trade, to which he had constantly remained
faithful. Wilberforce persisted in presenting his motion. Pitt
and Fox gave him their support, but a majority of their adherents
abstained from voting. "I have never attempted anything during my
whole parliamentary career which has cost me so much trouble,"
wrote Wilberforce, in his journal.

A bitter mortification awaited Mr. Pitt. As faithful in his
friendships as in his political engagements, he had remained
sincerely attached to Lord Melville, notwithstanding the coldness
which had arisen between them during the Addington ministry. Upon
returning to power, he had called his friend to the Ministry of
the Marine, of which he had recently been treasurer. Naval
construction had been much neglected by Lord St. Vincent.
Melville pushed it forward with much zeal. The order and
superintendence, however, were not equal to the activity. A
paymaster appointed by Lord Melville was convicted of having
appropriated public funds. Soon after his patron was accused of
being implicated in these malversations. It was impossible, he
said, to render an account of the sums which had passed through
his hands, and of which a part had been used for secret service.


Justly convinced of the honesty of Lord Melville, but equally
disturbed by his mismanagement and the bad intentions of the
opposition towards him, Pitt resolved to defend his colleague at
all hazards. Among his partisans, and even in the cabinet, the
dissatisfaction was profound, and opinions were much divided.
When it came to a vote, the independent members awaited the
decision of Mr. Wilberforce; he rose slowly, avoiding the glance
of Mr. Pitt, which still entreated him. "I am forced," said he,
"to vote for Mr. Whitbread's resolution of censure. I am
profoundly shocked at the guilty conduct of Lord Melville, and I
am unable to refuse to satisfy the moral sense of England." The
house was equally divided, and the speaker cast the deciding

Abbott, the speaker, much troubled, voted for the resolution. "I
sat wedged close to Pitt himself, the night we were left 216 to
216," writes Lord Fitzharris, son of Lord Malmesbury, "and the
speaker, Abbot, after looking as white as a sheet, and pausing
for ten minutes, gave the casting vote _against_ us. Pitt
immediately put on the little cocked hat that he was in the habit
of wearing when dressed for the evening, and jammed it deeply
over his forehead; and _I distinctly saw the tears trickling
down his cheeks_. We had overheard one or two, such as Colonel
Wardle (of notorious memory), say, they would see how Billy
looked after it. A few young ardent followers of Pitt, with
myself, locked their arms together, and formed a circle, in which
he moved, I believe, unconsciously, out of the House; and neither
the Colonel nor his friends could approach him."


Lord Melville had tendered his resignation as First Lord of the
Admiralty. His enemies, however, were not satisfied, but demanded
the erasure of his name from the list of privy councillors. The
first impulse of Pitt was to haughtily refuse. Melville, as
generous and disinterested toward others as he was imprudent and
negligent in the administration of public affairs, as well as
with his personal fortune, interposed. The majority was
threatening. Melville prayed Pitt to yield to the storm. A sad
allusion to the grief of his family alone betrayed the bitterness
of his soul. "I will not conceal from you," wrote he, "that my
opinion in this matter is not entirely free from all personal
consideration. I hope that I have firmness enough to support all
the trouble that they may cause me; but you know me well enough
to comprehend how my domestic affections suffer from the grief
and constant agitation that these debates, mingled with so much
personal bitterness, naturally cause to those who are nearest to

When Pitt announced to the House that he had already requested
the king to erase the name of Lord Melville from the list of
privy councillors; he added, with great emotion, "I confess, and
I am not ashamed to confess it, that whatever may be my deference
to the House of Commons, and however anxious I may be to accede
to their wishes, I certainly felt a deep and bitter _pang_
in being compelled to be the instrument of rendering still more
severe the punishment of the noble lord."--"As he uttered the
word _pang,_" says Lord Macaulay, "his lip quivered, his
voice shook, he paused, and his hearers thought that he was about
to burst into tears. He suppressed his emotion, however, and
proceeded with his usual majestic self-possession."


When Lord Melville appeared before the House of Lords, at that
bar of the illustrious accused, that the friendship of Pitt had
provided--in place of a criminal prosecution demanded by the
opposition--the great minister was no longer there to sustain him
by his faithful attachment and generous confidence. At the time
of the acquittal of Lord Melville, Mr. Pitt was dead (1806).

In the cabinet Lord Sidmouth showed much animosity towards
Melville. His enmity was increased by the nomination of his
successor, Sir Charles Middleton. For a moment the
dissatisfaction was calmed by the intervention of some mutual
friends; but finally terminated in the withdrawal of Lord
Sidmouth, and his faithful partisan Lord Buckinghamshire, from
the cabinet. The king had frankly declared to Mr. Pitt that "he
was much hurt by the virulence against Lord Melville, which is
unbecoming the character of Englishmen, who naturally, when a man
is fallen, are too noble to pursue their blows; besides," he
added, "if any disunion should manifest itself, he would
decidedly take the part of Mr. Pitt, having every reason to be
satisfied with his conduct since the first hour of his entrance
into his service."

When the old king, but lately insane, wrote these lines, he was
on the point of becoming blind. At the end of the session of
Parliament, July 12th, 1805, one of his eyes was already entirely
useless, and the other was growing weaker and weaker. At the same
time, to the profound grief of his friends and family, the health
of Mr. Pitt was visibly declining; and notwithstanding the
wonderful energy of his mind, it was no longer possible--
according to the striking expression of Lord Harrowby--to appear
before his adversaries "as a giant in repose."


The giant who governed France, and terrified Europe, however,
seemed to have no need of repose. Crowned at Milan on the 26th of
May, 1805, he had assumed there the title of King of Italy. This
name grated harshly on Austrian ears. The new sovereign had
annexed to France the republic of Genoa, and now began that
system of aggrandizement of his own family by ceding the
territory of Eliza Lucca, as an independent principality, to his
eldest sister. These acts of insolent domination served the
designs of Mr. Pitt, then ardently occupied in forming a new
coalition against absolute and revolutionary France. Russia,
Austria and Sweden, acceded to his propositions. Scarcely was the
European alliance concluded against him, when Napoleon arrived at
Boulogne, resolved to strike the coalition to the heart, by
attacking England. He was confident of the success of his
expedition. "The English do not know what is impending. Let
France be mistress of the passage for twelve hours, and England
has lived," said he. The plan of the emperor was to distract the
attention of the British government and scatter its fleets by
dispatching his own squadrons, some to the West Indies and others
to Spanish ports, then suddenly to return, and with all his
forces occupy the channel. Admiral Villeneuve, charged with the
supreme command, was sagacious and brave; nevertheless, sad and
discouraged in advance, by the weight of the responsibility. He
had cleared the Straits of Gibraltar when Nelson followed him.
From Spain to the Antilles, and from the Antilles to the Channel,
the two squadrons followed.

Villeneuve was ordered to break the blockade at Brest, to rally
the fleet of Admiral Gantheaume, and to open a passage towards
England. He hesitated, doubted, and disobeyed; and returned
towards Cadiz, where he expected to find the allies. Nelson,
apprised of this plan, started in pursuit. When Napoleon heard of
the disobedience of Villeneuve, he flew into a terrible passion.
He was at Boulogne, watching the horizon at all hours, for a
glimpse of the sails of his coming fleet.
Daru entered his cabinet one morning, and found Napoleon
intensely agitated, talking to himself, and unconscious of his
approach. Daru stood before him, silently awaiting orders. The
emperor, on recognizing him, addressed him as if he knew all. "Do
you know where Villeneuve is now?" cried he, vehemently. "He is
at Cadiz,--at Cadiz!" His fury burst forth, and he declared
himself betrayed. Some hours later, he conceived the plan of his
German campaign. At the end of September, he was upon the Rhine,
at the head of his troops, repulsing and driving back General
Mack and the Austrian army at Ulm. That place was strongly
fortified, and commanded the Danube; but the approaches were cut
off. Communication was impossible, and Mack, abandoned by certain
divisions of his army, was compelled to surrender
unconditionally. On the 20th of October, 1805, he evacuated the
city, and 30,000 men laid down their arms.

When this news reached London, carried by one of those vague
rumors which precede all couriers, Pitt refused to believe it. He
was ill and suffering, and the weight of public perils
overwhelmed, for the first time, that gigantic brain. He had made
new attempts to enlarge the basis of his ministry. The king was
at Weymouth; his minister went there to see him, and urge him to
consent to the admission of Mr. Fox into the cabinet. George III.
remained inflexible. The depression, which had seized Mr. Pitt,
insensibly communicated itself to his friends. "He came to me,
begging me to translate a Dutch newspaper which contained in
full, the capitulation of Ulm," writes Lord Malmesbury in his
Diaries. "I observed, but too clearly, the effect it had on him,
though he did his utmost to conceal it. This was the last time I
saw him. This visit left an indelible impression on my mind, as
his manner and look were not his own, and gave me, in spite of
myself, a foreboding of the loss with which we were threatened."

Death of Nelson.


The light of a great joy was once more to cross the obscure
heaven of the last days of Mr. Pitt. The day following the
surrender at Ulm, the 21st of October, 1805, the English and
French fleets encountered each other before Trafalgar. Nelson and
Collingwood commanded the two lines of English vessels.
Villeneuve and Admiral Gravine had reunited thirty-three ships of
the line and seven frigates. After prodigies of valor on the part
of the French, the victory remained with the English. Standing
upon the deck of the Victory,--his flagship, Nelson signalled to
the entire fleet, those noble words, emblematic of austere
Brittanic virtue:

  "England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty."

Nelson wore all his decorations. "In honor I gained them, and in
honor I will die with them," said he. He was shot and fatally
wounded. He was carried below, where he died some three hours
later. A moment before breathing his last, he murmured: "Thank
God, I have done my duty."

The sublimest eulogy for such heroes is the public consternation
caused by their death. The victory of Trafalgar was hailed in
England with cries of joy and with tears. "Mr. Pitt observed to
me," writes Lord Fitzharris, "that he had been called up at
various hours in his eventful life by the arrival of news of
various hues; but that, whether good or bad, he could always lay
his head on his pillow, and sink into sound sleep. On this
occasion, however, the great event announced, brought with it so
much to weep over, as well as to rejoice at, that he could not
calm his thoughts, but at length got up, though it was three
o'clock in the morning."


England overwhelmed with honors and gifts the family of her hero.
She gave him the most magnificent obsequies, and placed in one of
the halls of the palace at Windsor, the mast against which he had
leaned and the ball which had struck him. National gratitude did
not stop at the illustrious hero fallen in the very summit of his
glory; it extended with the same generous ardor to the great
minister who alone opposed the irresistible invader of empires
and destroyer of European rights.

At the annual banquet of the city of London, on the 9th of March,
1805, after the crowd had detached the horses, in order to draw
his carriage, the Lord Mayor proposed the health of Mr. Pitt, as
already the savior of England, and soon to be the savior of
Europe. Sir Arthur Wellesley, already celebrated by his victories
in India, was present. Subsequently, under the title of the Duke
of Wellington, he was placed at the head of the armed European
coalition, and carried on the interrupted but henceforth
victorious work of Mr. Pitt. "The minister arose," related the
Duke in his old age, and waived the compliment, remarking:
"England is saved by her own efforts, and the rest of Europe will
be saved by her example."

The safety of Europe seemed more than ever distant and doubtful.
On the 2nd of December, 1805, the battle of Austerlitz struck the
last blow to the hopes of the allies in Germany. The peace of
Presburg, signed by Austria, on the 26th of December, abandoned
the Tyrol to the Elector of Bavaria, and Venice to the kingdom of
Italy. Russia soon gave up the struggle. The third European
coalition was destroyed.


Mr. Pitt was at Bath, seriously ill with an attack of gout, but
full of hope, in consequence of false news of a victory in
Moravia. When he learned of the battle at Austerlitz, the
bitterness of the contrast surpassed the measure of his physical
strength. He called for a map, and desired to be left alone. He
weighed sadly the future chances of his country. The malady
slowly exhausted his enfeebled body. He was taken back to his
country house at Putney, emaciated and exhausted; grown old in a
few days. A map of Europe hung upon the wall: pointing his finger
towards it, he said to his niece, Lady Hester Stanhope: "Roll up
that map--it will not be wanted these ten years."

For some time past, the native vigor of his mind had struggled
against feeble bodily health, as well as excessive fatigues; and
finally patriotic grief broke down the last rampart of his
declining strength. Each day he became feebler. His countenance
betrayed the intensity of his mental sufferings. "He has his
Austerlitz look," said Wilberforce.

In defeating the Austrians on the 2nd of December, Napoleon had
conquered a more formidable enemy than the Empire. Mr. Pitt had
only a few days to live. He preserved to the last moment, his
affectionate interest for his friends, and a serene pleasure in
their society. The Marquis of Wellesley had just returned from
India; he hastened to Putney. "I found him in his usual good
spirits," writes he, "and his understanding appeared to be as
vigorous and clear as ever. Amongst other topics, he told me,
with great kindness and feeling, that since he had seen me he had
been happy to become acquainted with my brother Arthur, of whom
he spoke in the warmest terms of commendation. He said,--'I never
met any military officer with whom it was so satisfactory to
converse. He states every difficulty before he undertakes any
service; but none after he has undertaken it.' Notwithstanding
Mr. Pitt's kindness and cheerfulness, I saw that the hand of
death was fixed upon him. This melancholy truth was not known nor
believed by either his friends or opponents. I informed Lord
Grenville that the death of Mr. Pitt was near, and he received
this sad intelligence with the greatest emotion and an agony of
tears; and he resolved immediately to suspend all hostilities in


Mr. Pitt fainted away before Lord Wellesley left the room. After
this he saw his friends only at rare intervals, and contrary to
the advice of his physicians. The Bishop of Lincoln, his former
preceptor, apprised him of his danger. "How long do you think I
have to live?" asked Pitt, turning toward his friend and
physician, Sir Walter Farquhar. Sir Walter answered that he was
unable to say; that possibly he might yet recover. An incredulous
smile passed over the face of the dying man. Then turning to the
Bishop, he said, "I fear, I have, like too many other men,
neglected prayer too much to allow me to hope that it can be very
efficacious now; but," rising in his bed as he spoke, and
clasping his hands with the utmost fervor and devotion, he added,
emphatically: "I throw myself _entirely_ upon the mercy of
God, through the merits of Christ!" Some hours later he breathed
his last.

Pitt lived and died poor. Parliament paid his debts, which
amounted to £40,000; it provided for the support of his three
nieces and defrayed the expenses of his funeral. Great
consternation seized the entire nation upon hearing of his death.
Within three months England had lost both Nelson and Pitt, the
hero of heroes, and the great pilot of her political government.
In the presence of a growing peril and of an implacable enemy, by
the premature death of two men, England found herself weakened
and disarmed: she was not, however, to abandon all hope. Mr. Pitt
had said, with great modesty, that it did not appertain to any
single man to save Europe. Between the day of the death of the
great minister and the definitive conclusion of peace, there were
yet to be long years of resistance, as persevering and as
desperate as the aggression.


                  Chapter XXXIX.

         George III. And The Emperor Napoleon.

Lord Grenville succeeded Pitt, as Prime Minister. His alliance
with Fox had brought forth fruits; the Cabinet now had the good
fortune to contain only eminent men: Fox, Grey, Windham, Lord
Sidmouth, Lord Henry Petty, second son of Lord Landsdowne, whose
title he was one day to wear, and whose renown he was to sustain.
Canning alone was excluded.

Fox had charge of foreign affairs. His physical strength already
failing, had nevertheless triumphed over the health of his great
rival. Years before, Lady Holland, in comparing the two in their
early youth, had said to her husband that she had seen at the
house of Lady Hester Pitt, the little William who was only eight
years old, but was the most extraordinary child that she had ever
seen: "he is so well educated," said she, "and has such good
manners, that he will be all his life a thorn in the flesh, for
Charles. Remember well what I say to you."


The thorn had fallen: after seventeen years of exclusion from
power, amidst the alternatives of passionate struggles and of
midly indolent discouragements, Fox seized the rudder in an hour
of dolorous and patriotic agony. His admiration for the Emperor
Napoleon, and the sympathy which he had constantly shown for
France, inclined him naturally towards peace. He immediately made
overtures; his envoys were moderate in their demands as in their
tendencies. A happy chance furnished the minister with the
opportunity of rendering a signal service to the emperor. An
adventurer had offered to assassinate the enemy of England. Mr.
Fox at once notified Talleyrand. However they might differ in
their methods, the emperor and his minister were equal adepts at
flattery. "Thank Mr. Fox," replied Napoleon, "and say to him,
whether the policy of his sovereign causes us to continue much
longer at war, or whether as speedy an end as the two nations can
desire, is put to a quarrel useless for humanity, I rejoice at
the new character which, from this proceeding, the war has
already taken, and which is an omen of what may be expected from
a cabinet, of the principles of which I am delighted to judge
from those of Mr. Fox, who is one of the men most fitted to feel,
in everything, what is excellent, what is truly great."

The conditions of peace proposed by England were moderate; for
the first time, those of France indicated seriously the desire
for peace. Only one stumbling-block hindered the success of the
negotiations: England would not treat without Russia. Napoleon
refused absolutely to admit Russia among the number of the
contracting powers. "The obstacle is for us, insurmountable,"
wrote Fox to Talleyrand; "if the emperor could see, with the same
eye that I behold it, the true glory which he would have a right
to acquire, by a just and moderate peace, what happiness would
not result from it for France and for all Europe!"


Nevertheless, negotiations continued. The emperor proposed to
George III. to restore Hanover, but recently assigned to Prussia,
and to cede to him, at the same time, the Hanseatic cities. He
had just taken possession of the kingdom of Naples, and placed
his brother Joseph upon the throne. He intended to join to it,
Sicily, still in the hands of the Bourbons, and under the
protection of the English. The Russian envoy, M. d'Oubril, who
had arrived at Paris, complicated the negotiations. The long
deferred hope of Fox began to fail. "The first wish of my heart,"
said he to the House of Commons, "is peace; but such a peace only
as shall preserve our connections and influence on the continent,
and not abate one jot of the national honor. That peace only, and
no other." The pretensions of Napoleon were of a contrary nature.
The treaty concluded by M. d'Oubril, at Paris, was not confirmed
by the Emperor Alexander. Almost at the same moment, Prussia,
offended by the arrogance and premeditated insults of Napoleon,
officially declared war; too late, however, to be of any
effectual service to England. On the 13th of October, 1806, the
battle of Jena delivered that kingdom into the hands of the
Conqueror, who devastated it. Napoleon entered Berlin in triumph.
It was there that he signed his decree of a continental blockade,
interdicting throughout the whole extent of his dominions the
importation of English merchandise.

The French armies were everywhere charged to enforce this decree.
They began by the seizure of all English commodities in the port
of Hamburg. Some months before, the invaders had arbitrarily
arrested, at Nuremburg, a bookseller named Palm, accused of
having written a libel against the emperor and king. Judged and
condemned by a court-martial, the unfortunate man was shot on the
26th of August, 1806.


This flagrant violation of the rights of nations, as well as of
common justice, powerfully contributed to convince Mr. Fox of the
futility of his efforts to obtain for England and Europe a
durable peace. He rendered his name honorable, however, by
accomplishing finally the work which he had so long pursued in
concert with Mr. Pitt, and at the instigation of Wilberforce and
his Christian friends. A bill passed by the two Houses
interdicted the slave trade to English vessels from the 1st of
January, 1807. One of the bas-reliefs on the tomb of Fox, recalls
this noble remembrance of his life. "If God spares the health of
Fox, and his union with Grenville is preserved," said
Wilberforce, "the next year we may end our labors." The health of
Fox was failing. Before the battle of Jena came to break down the
last rampart which opposed the irresistible waves of French
conquest in Germany, Fox had died at Chiswick, September 13th,
1806. He had never admired the philosophy of the eighteenth
century, and the disorders of his life had not destroyed in his
soul certain noble aspirations towards a higher life. "Since God
exists, the spirit exists," said he; "why should not the soul
live in another life?" "I am happy;" said he to his wife, as
death approached. "I am full of confidence, I might say of
certainty." Born ten years earlier than his illustrious rival, he
had survived him only eight months. Pitt died at the age of
forty-seven, Fox was scarcely fifty-seven.


Exceedingly popular during the greater part of his life, and
admired even by those who did not share his opinions, Mr. Fox's
reputation has nevertheless declined, as the magic of his words
and the supreme influence of his eloquence have ceased to act
upon succeeding generations. History has judged him eminent in
parliament and master of political eloquence. An ardent and
sincere patriot when not blinded by the hatreds or the
enthusiasms of party, generous and charming in his private
relations and personal intercourse, mediocre in his views of
government; in turn feeble and violent, and imperfect as a
writer, notwithstanding his pronounced taste for letters and the
favor he showed toward literary men. His death deprived the
ministry of great prestige; it enfeebled it in Parliament, and
even in the eyes of Europe, long dazzled by the parliamentary
glory of the great orator. It modified neither the direction nor
the attitude of the government, already weak, in hands that were
incapable of struggling against the overwhelming success of the
Emperor Napoleon abroad, as well as against the attacks of its
adversaries, and the growing difficulties of the situation at

Negotiations with France were broken off. Russia came to the
assistance of Prussia. Both reckoned upon subsidies from England.
The finances of that country were gravely embarrassed, and the
courageous expedients of Mr. Pitt, to fill the treasury, were
wanting. Canning forcibly attacked in parliament both the
parsimonious subsidies accorded to the allies, and the feeble
position assumed by the government, even after important
victories. Sir John Stuart had defeated at Maida, in Calabria, a
superior force of the enemy. Admiral Popham had retaken the Cape
of Good Hope. "He who adds to the glory of his country," said the
eloquent orator, "renders her a greater service than if he gained
for her vast possessions. Time and subsequent events do not alter
glory. The territory that England acquired in the glorious days
of Crecy and Poictiers has long since passed from us, but the
renown they added to the English name lives, and will ever remain
immortal." A fatal torpor had affected all military operations
since the death of Mr. Pitt.


"All the talents," united, were not sufficient to replace a chief
naturally called to govern men, either in Parliament, or at the
head of armies, in peace or in war. The cabinet tottered to its
very foundation; the question of Catholic emancipation struck the
final blow. The increase of the allowance accorded to the college
at Maynooth, had already excited great resistance. Lord Howick
proposed to substitute for the Test Act, an oath which would
permit Irish Catholics to enter the service either in the army or
navy. The opinions of the king had not changed. In the House of
Commons a considerable majority held the views of the king.

After the dissolution in the preceding year, the ministry made an
appeal to the electors, and were beaten. They were dismissed and
replaced by the Tories, who in their turn again appealed to the
country. The new Parliament, ardently conservative, united itself
with the friends and disciples of Mr. Pitt. Mr. Canning was
placed at the head of Foreign Affairs, Lord Castlereagh became
Minister of War, and the Duke of Portland First Lord of the
Treasury. Lord Eldon was Chancellor, and Lord Hawkesbury was made
Minister of the Interior.

Moderate in its political principles, and more pronounced in its
ecclesiastical and protestant convictions, the new cabinet was in
sympathy with the sovereign, and from the first Lord Harrowby
indicated to Parliament the confidence the king felt in the
counsellors that he had chosen. The maritime expeditions planned
by the Grenville ministry had not succeeded either in South
America or against Turkey. The victories of Eylan, of Dantzic,
and of Friedland, had just terminated in the peace of Tilsit,
concluded on the 7th and 9th of July, 1807, between France,
Russia and Prussia. England remained alone, delivered from the
prospect of invasion, but virtually isolated in consequence of
the continental blockade, confirmed by the articles sighed at
Tilset. The Emperor Alexander, young, ardent, and credulous,
allowed himself to be seduced by the flattering advances and
apparent generosity of Napoleon.
He engaged to serve as mediator between France and England, and
in case the latter refused to accept the conditions offered by
the French Emperor, Russia was to join her forces to those of
France, and immediately declare war against Great Britain. Louis
Bonaparte was recognized as king of Holland. The kingdom of
Westphalia, detached from the Prussian provinces, became the
appenage of Prince Jerome.

England meanwhile did not remain idle, but prepared herself to
strike an effective blow. Denmark had remained neutral, but was
believed, in London, to be hostile to British interests; her
feebleness, likewise, placed her at the mercy of her powerful
neighbors, Holland, France or Russia. Lord Cathcart and Sir
Arthur Wellesley were charged to prepare an expedition against
Copenhagen. Some negotiations preceded the armed demonstration.
The Crown Prince smiled bitterly at the offers of assistance from
Mr. Jackson, the English envoy: "You offer us your alliance,"
said he; "we know what it is worth. A year ago, when your allies
waited in vain for your assistance, we learned to estimate at its
just value the friendship of England."

The British fleet appeared before Copenhagen on the 17th of
August, 1807. A proclamation invited the Danes to place
themselves under the protection of England. Neutrality was no
longer possible, and their arms were in danger of being turned
against their natural allies. The Danish government responded by
seizing the merchant vessels belonging to the English.


The bombardment of the capital began on the 2nd of September,
1807. All the advanced positions were occupied by the English
troops, and on the 7th a capitulation was signed. The entire
Danish navy fell into the hands of the English. It was the
purpose of one of the secret articles of the treaty of Tilsit to
place it at the service of Napoleon. The anger of the French was
great, and the news of commercial reprisals, decreed at London,
by order of the Council (November 11th, 1807), increased it.
France, and the countries subject to her, were declared in a
state of blockade, and all ships engaged in commerce with them,
were subject to the right of seizure. A new decree of Napoleon,
dated at Milan, the 17th of December, 1807, extended this
imprudent and violent measure to all the English possessions upon
the surface of the globe. The United States of America, the only
maritime power remaining neutral, had the embargo also laid on
her, and henceforward the commerce of the world was suddenly
destroyed or condemned to the perilous condition of piracy. All
rights and all interests were for a time disregarded.

It is sometimes the glory of a feeble and courageous people, to
accept tyranny for a time. Charles IV., King of Spain, had bowed
to the yoke of revolutionary and absolute France. The Spanish
nation, however, was weary of bearing the burdens and fighting
the battles of a foreign master, under the name of its legitimate
sovereign. On the 17th of March, 1808, a popular insurrection
dethroned the feeble monarch and his servile favorite, Godoy, as
they were preparing to flee to America. Prince Ferdinand, drawn
to the opposition by his hatred of the Prince of Peace (Godoy),
was proclaimed king, after the abdication of his father. The army
of General Junot already occupied Portugal, and Murat had
established himself at Burgos, as lieutenant of the emperor; he
marched upon Madrid, of which he soon became master, deceiving
and abusing, in turn, both the father and the son, the dethroned
sovereign and the new monarch.
General Savary came to second Murat in his diplomatic mission.
His address and his promises drew Ferdinand to Bayonne. The
emperor was already there. The Prince expected to be recognized
as King of Spain, but instead found himself a prisoner, carefully
guarded. The demands of Napoleon were peremptory: it was
necessary, he said, to be assured of the co-operation of Spain,
and in consequence he had decided to place upon the throne a
prince of his own blood. Ferdinand's renunciation of the throne
was the price of his liberty. He resisted. The intrigues of the
Prince of Peace, who had been delivered from prison by order of
Napoleon, brought to Bayonne the old King Charles IV. who
protested against his own abdication and the coronation of his
son; at the same time he ceded the crown of Spain and the Indies
to his faithful ally, the emperor of the French, to be disposed
of at his convenience, with the only conditions, that the same
monarch should not reign at one time at both Paris and Madrid,
and also that the Catholic religion should remain sovereign and
supreme in Spain. The compensations offered by Napoleon to the
princes that he had betrayed, were: the estates of Navarre and
Chambord, the use of the palace at Compiègne, a civil list, the
preservation of their personal treasures, and the society of the
Prince Talleyrand at Valencay. "That which I have done here, is
not politic from a certain point of view," said Napoleon himself,
"but necessity demands that I do not leave in my rear, so near
Paris, a dynasty hostile to me."

Riots and bloodshed took place at Madrid. A Spanish insurrection
resisted the authority of Murat, whom Charles IV. had designated
as his lieutenant. The Council of Spain hesitated, troubled by
the prospect of war, and ashamed to proclaim the overthrow of the
House of Bourbon. On the 6th of June, nevertheless, Joseph
Bonaparte was declared King of Spain, to the great discontent of
Murat, who had counted upon receiving the kingdom which he had
secured for Napoleon. The crown of Naples was soon to soften his
regrets, without, however, removing all bitterness. On the 20th
of July, the new sovereign entered Madrid.


A national Junta organized itself at Seville, renewing the oath
of allegiance to Ferdinand VII. General Castanos, who commanded
an army of 20,000 men in Andalusia, announced his resolution of
remaining faithful to the exiled dynasty. He entered into
negotiations with Sir Hugh Dalrymple, the English Governor of
Gibraltar, and a subscription from English merchants furnished
the first funds necessary. A tardy dispatch from Lord Castlereagh
announced a succor of ten thousand English troops. Lord
Collingwood took the command of the fleet that was to proceed to
Cadiz. Some days after the proclamation of Joseph Bonaparte, even
before he had placed a foot upon Spanish soil, the peninsula
became the theatre of a war which was to become as sanguinary as
desperate. Ninety-two thousand Spaniards, of whom one-third were
militia, sustained the rights of the House of Bourbon, and the
national independence. A French army of eighty thousand soldiers
overran the kingdom. Junot occupied Portugal with thirty thousand
men. At Bayonne, Druot, with a reserve of twenty thousand troops,
was ready to march. On the 14th of June, 1808, the first serious
engagement took place near Valladolid, between Marshal Bessières
and the old General Cuesta. The Spaniards were defeated. The same
day they avenged themselves at Cadiz, by seizing the French fleet
in that port.


On the 19th of July, General Dumont, blockaded in Andalusia by
the Spanish forces, was defeated at Baylen. On the 22nd he signed
a disastrous capitulation, in the hope of saving his troops, who
were to be sent back to France. The Spaniards, however,
unscrupulously violated the conditions and retained the army as
prisoners. The universal joy and the national hopes were excited,
and alarmed Joseph Bonaparte, who hastened to leave Madrid. The
siege of Saragossa was raised.

Notwithstanding the presence of Junot, a movement hostile to
France manifested itself in Portugal. Sir Arthur Wellesley landed
at Oporto, with ten thousand men. Junot advanced to meet him, but
his forces were insufficient, and he was defeated at Vimeiro. The
Convention of Cintra, on the 30th of August, 1808, decided the
evacuation of Portugal by the French.

The unjust invasion of the peninsula already brought forth its
fruits. King Joseph, in desperation, wrote to his brother, on the
9th of August: "I have an entire nation against me. The nobility
themselves, at first uncertain, have ended by following the
movement of the lower classes. I have not a single Spaniard left
who is attached to my cause. As general, my part would be
endurable, nay easy, for with a detachment of your veteran
troops, I would conquer the Spaniards; but as king my part is
insupportable, since I must slaughter one part of my subjects to
make the other submit. I decline therefore to reign over a people
who will not have me. If you wish it, I will restore Ferdinand
VII. to them, in your name. I shall demand back from you the
throne of Naples."


The will of Napoleon was more tenacious and his passions stronger
than those of his brother. Joseph was obliged to remain King of
Spain. The Convention of Cintra, definitively adjourned, after
the surrender of Torres Vedras to the English, was not approved
either by Sir Arthur Wellesley nor by the English Cabinet. The
French armies had obtained in Spain numerous partial successes.
Saragossa was again besieged. After a long campaign Sir John
Moore was defeated and killed, at the battle of Corunna. His
troops hastened to embark for England. They scarcely took time to
bury him. "We left him alone with his glory," says Wolfe the
poet. Marshal Soult took possession of the city. The negotiations
between France and England, through the intervention of Russia,
had failed. An interview between the two emperors, at Erfurt, had
strengthened their alliance. Napoleon evacuated Prussia, and
concentrated his efforts upon Spain. He reached there on the 29th
of October, 1808. On the 4th of December he was at Madrid,
ordering upon every side and in all directions, the movements of
his lieutenants. When he returned to Paris, January 22nd, 1809,
King Joseph was firmly established in his capital. Napoleon
accorded to his troops a month of repose before completing the
conquest of Spain. The threatening attitude of Europe, encouraged
by the resistance of the Spaniards, compelled the emperor to
leave to others the task of conquering enemies constantly
defeated, but never subdued.

The heroic defence of Saragossa was the type and example of the
war in Spain. General Palafox commanded there. To the demand to
surrender, he replied with this laconic message: "War to the
knife:" and this finally became the watchword. The ramparts were
taken only after a desperate resistance, in which even the women
took part. Then began, perhaps, the most heroic contest the world
ever saw. Street by street was obstinately defended; every house
became a fortress, and every church and convent a citadel.
"Never," wrote Marshal Lannes to the emperor, "have I seen so
much desperation as our enemies have shown in the defence of this
I have seen women bravely confronting death in the breach. This
siege resembles nothing that we have had in war heretofore. It is
a position where great prudence and great vigor is necessary. We
are obliged to take with the mine or by assault, every house.
Finally, sire, it is a horrible war." After twenty-nine days of
siege and twenty-one days passed in conquering the streets, one
by one, Saragossa finally capitulated, on the 21st of February,
1809. Of the one hundred thousand inhabitants enclosed in the
city, fifty-four thousand had perished. Henceforth the name of
Saragossa is added on the roll of those cities which have been
made forever famous and glorious by their heroic defences, to
that of Numantia and Jerusalem, of Leyden and Londonderry.

Parliament opened on the 19th of January, 1809. The Whigs at once
attacked the ministry on the conduct of the war and predicted its
fatal termination. The campaign had added nothing to the glory of
the arms of the great belligerant powers; only the patriotic
perseverance of the Spaniards encouraged their defenders. Mr.
Canning concluded with the Junta of Seville a close treaty of
alliance. The military and financial preparations necessitated
great efforts. The command of the troops was given to Sir Arthur
Wellesley. Marshal Soult again invaded Portugal. It was against
this country that the English General at first directed attacks.
Landing at Lisbon, on the 22nd of April, 1809, he left the
capital on the 28th, to proceed to Coimbra. All his forces
concentrated there, and on the 11th of May, he found himself on
the banks of the rapid Douro. The river was crossed at midday, in
the face of the French army. On the 12th, Oporto was taken. While
Marshal Soult was retreating towards Spain, the English general
published a proclamation in favor of the French wounded and
prisoners left in the city. The Spaniards had often treated their
conquered enemies with great barbarity. "I appeal to the mercy of
the people of Oporto, in regard to the wounded and prisoners,"
said Sir Arthur Wellesley. "By the laws of war they are under my
protection, and I am resolved to give it to them."


On the 2nd of July the English entered Spain, at Placencia. On
the 27th the victory of Talavera delivered to Wellesley a strong
military position, but without the provisions or munitions of war
that he much needed. "They have no magazines," wrote Sir Arthur.
"We have none, and are unable to form any. It is a positive fact
that during the last eight days the English troops have not
received a third of their rations, although they fought during
forty-eight hours, and defeated an army twice their number. There
are at this moment in the hospitals of this city nearly four
thousand wounded soldiers, who are dying for the want of the
commonest necessaries of life, that any other European nation
would provide for its enemies. Here I can obtain nothing, they
will not even bury my dead." Without aid from the Spaniards, who
were in fact secretly hostile to the English, the latter were
compelled to fall back upon Portugal.

After the victory of Talavera, Sir Arthur was raised to the
peerage, under the title of Baron Duro of Wellesley, and Viscount
Wellington of Talavera. "We have at this time the entire cohort
of French marshals in Estramadura," wrote Wellington: "Soult,
Ney, Mortier, Kellerman, Victor and Sebastiani, without counting
King Joseph and the five thousand men of Suchet." Wellington
fixed his headquarters at Badajoz. Everywhere the Spanish
generals were defeated by the French. "It is deplorable," said
Wellington, "that affairs which were in such good condition a few
weeks ago, have been ruined by the ignorance and presumption of
those who have the charge of directing them.
I declare that if they had preserved their two armies, or even
one of them, the cause was safe. The French could have no
reinforcements which could have been of any use; time would have
been gained; the state of affairs would have improved daily: all
the chances were in our favor. The French armies must have been
driven out of Spain. But no, they must fight great battles on the
plains, where the defeat of the Spanish troops was assured from
the first. They have never been willing to believe what I have
told them regarding the French forces. Up to the present time,
when upon the field of battle, they have found them superior to
themselves under all circumstances."

Austria re-opened hostilities. A great English expedition was
directed, against the naval preparations of Napoleon in the
Scheldt. The fleet invested and took Flushing. The troops
occupied the Isle of Walcheren, the possession of which, however,
was of no practical utility, and led to no important results, but
was attended with great suffering and frightful mortality.
Another English expedition, directed against the south of Italy,
was equally unsuccessful, although Sir John Stuart took
possession of the Ionian Islands.

Napoleon pursued his triumphant way in Germany, but his victories
were more severely contested and more dearly bought. At Paris
Prince Talleyrand had been disgraced, and the most violent
councils prevailed. "It appears," said Napoleon to Prince
Metternich, the Austrian ambassador, "that the waters of Lethe,
and not those of the Danube flow by Vienna. New lessons are
necessary, and they will be terrible, I promise you. Austria
saved the English in 1805, when I was about to cross the Straits
of Calais, and has just saved them once more, by hindering me
from pursuing them at Corunna: she will pay dear for this new
diversion. I have no desire to draw the sword except against
Spain and England, but if Austria persists, the struggle will be
immediate and decisive, and will be such, that in the future,
England will find no allies upon the continent."


In this great struggle for the independence of European nations,
against an insatiable conqueror, and a heroic people which he had
intoxicated by his glory, the successive reverses of the
Austrians finally delivered Vienna to the Emperor Napoleon. The
battle of Essling lasted two days, and was more desperate and
more bloody than all the battles which had preceded it. Fortified
on the Island of Loban, in the middle of the Danube, General
Mouton, with an army of forty thousand men, firmly withstood for
six hours, the fire of the batteries of the Archduke Charles;
always on horseback among the guns and the troops, with no other
word of command as the files of soldiers fell under the fire,
than these sinister words: "Close the ranks."

When Napoleon demanded of Massena if he was able to defend the
heights of Aspern: "Say to the Emperor," replied he, "that I will
hold it two--six--twenty-four hours, if he wishes; as many as may
be necessary for the safety of the army." In the council of war
held on the evening of the first day at Loban, when Napoleon, now
upon the borders of an abyss, developed the plan which was to
lead to the victory of Wagram, the same Massena, often jealous,
and always morose, exclaimed, with a passionate admiration for
that superior genius that he recognized in spite of his envy:
"Sire, you are a great man, and worthy to command such as me."
The battle of Wagram led to the peace of Vienna, signed on the
14th of October, 1809.


When Pope Pius VII. protested against the occupation of his
states by French troops, he was shut up in the Quirinal. The
Emperor decided the question, in his usual manner, by uniting the
Roman States to the Empire. The successor of Charlemagne withdrew
the gift which that great conqueror had bestowed upon the Holy
See. This violence was followed by the papal excommunication. The
Pope was rudely taken from Rome and transported to Savona. The
superior judgment of Napoleon was not long deceived regarding the
fatal effects of this insult to the religious sentiments of
Catholic Europe. He wrote from Schonbrunn on July 18th, 1809,
that he regretted that the Pope had been arrested; that the
arrest was a great piece of folly; that although it was necessary
to arrest Cardinal Pacca, the Pope should have been left in peace
at Rome; but nevertheless there was now no remedy for what was
done. He did not, however, want the Pope in France, and if he
would cease his mad opposition, his return to Rome would not be

Some days later new projects developed themselves in that brain
constantly excited by the intoxication of absolute power. The
Pope, who had been taken to Grenoble, was carried back to Savona
by orders from the Emperor himself. Indomitable and patient, he
was detained there for three years. "You have not grasped my
intentions," wrote Napoleon, on the 15th of September, to the
Minister of Police; "the movement from Grenoble to Savona, like
all retrograde steps, has been fatal; it is that which has given
hopes to this fanatic. You see that he wishes to make us reform
the Napoleonic Code; to deprive us of our liberties, etc. Could
anything be more insane? I have already given orders that all the
Generals of the Order, and the Cardinals who have no Episcopal
see, or do not reside at one, whether Italians, Tuscans, or
Piedmontese, should report at Paris; and probably I will end by
summoning the Pope himself, whom I will place in the suburbs. It
is just that he should be at the head of Christianity. This of
course will create a sensation the first months, but will soon


Napoleon desired to have heirs to the throne. He dissolved his
marriage with the Empress Josephine by a decree of divorce. After
an abortive negotiation with the Emperor Alexander on the subject
of a union with the grand Duchess Anne, the peace of Vienna was
confirmed by a contract of marriage, signed on the 7th of
February, 1810, between the Emperor Napoleon and the Archduchess
Marie Louise of Austria. The triumphant conqueror took by assault
the sovereign families as well as their states; but he was not
able to subdue either the conscience of the Pope nor the
passionate resistance of the Spaniards, sustained by the policy
and determined resolution of England.

Important changes took place in the government of Great Britain;
a disagreement upon the subject of the conduct of the war, led to
a duel between Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning. The latter was
wounded, and immediately retired from the Cabinet, taking Mr.
Huskisson with him. Mr. Perceval and Lord Liverpool, but lately
Lord Hawkesbury, called to their aid the Marquis of Wellesley.
Lord Palmerston took part, for the first time, in public affairs,
as Under Secretary of War. The Spanish possession of San Domingo
was delivered to the English, who also seized the French
settlements in Senegal and Guadaloupe. Overwhelmed by his
fatigues and patriotic efforts. Admiral Collingwood died at sea,
on the 7th of March, 1810. He had asked to be retired: "I have
deferred making this request until I am entirely unfitted for
service," said he. "As long as I am good for anything, my life
belongs to my country."


Some weeks after the dispersal of the French fleet at Toulon,
Collingwood was lying very ill on board his flagship, the City of
Paris, when the signal officer expressed fears of a coming
tempest, which would be exhausting to the invalid: "Nothing in
this world will now trouble me," said the veteran; "I am dying."
He was not yet sixty years of age, but since his childhood he had
constantly given to the English navy the noblest example of
courage and virtue.

In England all eyes and all thoughts were directed towards Spain.
The old king, George III., had finally become hopelessly insane.
The grief caused by the death of his daughter, the Princess
Amelia, had brought about that final relapse that the physicians
declared incurable. The Prince of Wales accepted the Regency,
with the conditions prescribed in 1788 by Mr. Pitt.
Notwithstanding the constant opposition of Mr. Perceval and his
friends, the Regent decided to retain the Tory Cabinet, without
providing any places for his friends or Whig partisans. The
haughty tone of Lord Grenville and of Lord Grey towards him, had,
it was said, decided the Prince to this generally popular
measure. Resolved, in common with the rest of the royal family,
to obstinately pursue the war, but without military ardor or
personal incentive, the Regent gave no direction to the national
movement which sustained in England the terrible burden of that
great European struggle, which became each day more violent
against England. A decree of the Emperor, on the 27th of August,
1810, ordered that all English merchandise in any port, wherever
smuggled since the declaration of the continental blockade,
should be burned. Sweden, the last maritime power in Europe
remaining neutral, after a revolution which had dethroned the
foolish and incompetent King Gustavus IV., had formed an alliance
with France and Russia. Swedish ports were henceforth closed to
the English.


The King of Holland, Louis Bonaparte, soon wearied of that throne
which he had accepted with regret, abdicated without consulting
the Emperor, and immediately took refuge in Germany. Napoleon
responded by a decree uniting the Low Countries to France. The
Hanseatic cities had met the same fate. The Emperor confided to
Massena the command of the French armies in Spain. The old
Marshal accepted the task with dissatisfaction, and his
lieutenants were still more displeased. Wellington had chosen for
his base in Portugal, the fortified lines of Torres Védras,
without allowing himself to be turned from his plan by the
insults of the enemy or the inconsiderate ardor of his officers,
who wished to march at once against the French. The first
encounter took place at Alcola, on the 27th of September, 1810,
but without brilliant results to either army. Massena saw the
impossibility of forcing the English entrenchments, and demanded
reinforcements. Napoleon was preparing for the fatal Russian
campaign: he was unable to detach even a single army corps; his
forces were recruiting, but with difficulty and slowly. Soult
refused to aid Massena, who was now reduced to the most extreme
distress. "They have but few resources other than pillage," wrote
Wellington; "they receive scarcely any money from France, and
very few contributions are raised in Spain."

On the 4th of March, 1811, Massena began slowly to retreat. On
the 10th of May the French had once again evacuated Portugal, and
Marmont was ordered to replace Massena at the head of the armies
in Spain. The campaigns of 1810 and 1811 had this sad result for
the French: their victories were scarcely sufficient to preserve
past conquests, while the national resistance lost none of its
desperation; and at the same time Wellington had not been
compelled to yield a single foot of ground in the Peninsula. In
the West Indies the Isle of France had fallen into the hands of
the English.


The campaign of 1812 was to be still more active and more fatal
to France. Before Napoleon entered Russia, during the month of
January, Wellington quitted his intrenchments and boldly took the
offensive. On the 19th he recaptured Ciudad-Rodrigo, but recently
taken under his very eyes, by the troops of Massena. On the 7th
of April, he wrested from Marshal Soult his conquest of Badajoz,
and on the 22nd of July, he defeated Marmont at the battle of
Arapiles before Salamanca, where the Marshal was so grievously
wounded that he was believed to be dying. On the 14th of August
the English entered Madrid, without, however being able to remain
there long. After having failed before Burgos, the English forces
concentrated themselves near Salamanca. When the three French
armies united themselves to pursue and crush him, Wellington was
out of reach, and secured his retreat upon Ciudad-Rodrigo without

While the prudent and sagacious English general slowly continued
his work in Spain, the Emperor Napoleon had ventured, played, and
lost his great stake against Russia. Moscow was set on fire
through individual resolution, as patriotic as cruel. From
victory to victory, the French army, destroyed by the climate, by
the distances, by fatigue, and sufferings of all kinds,
disappeared, little by little, in the snows; abandoned by the
Emperor, who had secretly taken his departure for Paris on the
5th of December. Some lines inserted in the Moniteur had alone
preceded him. These announced that he had assembled his generals
at Smorgoni, transmitted the command to King Murat for the time
being, as the cold paralyzed military operations, and that he was
coming to Paris to personally direct the affairs of the empire.
Some months later he entered Germany, where a national movement,
encouraged by the disasters of the Russian campaign, was becoming
each day more determined against him. The King of Prussia finally
took up arms. Everywhere the Emperor Alexander was hailed as the
liberator of Germany. Only the terrible battles of Lützen and
Bantzen slackened the zeal of the allies. The mediation of
Austria obtained an armistice; more useful, however, to the
allies than to Napoleon. He rejected all the conditions proposed
by the Emperor Joseph. The terrible battles of Dresden and of
Leipsic were the final struggles of the dying lion.

Mr. Perceval, the Prime Minister of England, a prudent, moderate,
and determined statesman, was assassinated by a personal enemy,
in the vestibule of the House of Commons. Lord Liverpool at once
assumed the entire responsibility of affairs, recently
complicated by a declaration of war from the United States. The
English government had not revoked, in time, those decrees of the
Council which were opposed to, and abused, the rights of nations,
and which were particularly unfortunate in the present instance,
as Napoleon had raised the continental blockade in their favor.
When the English finally withdrew their prohibitions, it was too
late, as hostilities had already begun on sea and land. An
American army invaded Canada, and the English and American fleets
fought with desperation. There, however, England did not expend
her warlike efforts; for in 1813 the progress of Wellington in
Spain absorbed all her thoughts and all her hopes.


For a time Marshal Jourdan took command of the French army that
supported King Joseph, in Spain. On the 21st of June he was
defeated by the English at Vittoria. Joseph narrowly escaped
being captured. Marshal Soult succeeded Jourdan. In a
proclamation to his army, he attributed the defeats to the
cowardice and incapacity of those who had preceded him in the
command: a sad presumption which was soon to receive its
chastisement. The conflicts of Roncesvalles, on the 28th and 31st
of July, 1813, forced the Marshal to fall back upon the Bidassoa,
without being able to make even an effort for the relief of the
besieged city of San Sebastian, which fell into the hands of the
English, on the 8th of September. On the 7th of October
Wellington, in his turn, crossed the Bidassoa, and while
Pampeluna surrendered to the Anglo-Spanish forces, on the 31st of
October, Marshal Soult was forced within his lines at St. Jean de
Luz. French territory was invaded. Delivered in advance to the
anger of its enemies, it was to suffer cruel reprisals of which
France has not even yet ceased to bear the weight or pay the

Napoleon defended Champagne and Lorraine; calling to his aid the
troops from Spain, as well as the remnants of the German army,
and blaming Marshal Augereau, who was slow in joining him. More
than ever master, and more than ever imperious, he continued
indomitable and inexhaustible in the fecundity of his genius.
"The Minister of War has shown me your letter of the 16th," wrote
Napoleon to Augereau, his old comrade of the revolution: "that
letter has grieved me deeply. What! six hours after receiving the
first troops from Spain, and you are not already on the march!
Were six hours of repose necessary? I gained the battle of Nangis
with a brigade of dragoons from Spain, who had not been off their
horses since they left Bayonne. The six battalions of Nîmes lack,
you say, clothing and equipments, and are inexperienced. What an
excuse to make me, Augereau! I have destroyed 80,000 of the
enemy, with battalions composed of conscripts, having no
cartridge boxes, and but half clothed.
There is no money, you say; and where do you expect to find
money? We will have that, only when we have torn our receipts
from the hands of the enemy. You lack horses? Take them
everywhere. You have no magazines? That is too ridiculous! I
order you to take up your line of march within twelve hours,
after you receive this letter. If you are still the Augereau of
Castiglione, obey this order; but if your sixty years weigh too
heavily upon you, turn over your command to the oldest of your
general officers. The country is threatened, and in danger. It
can only be saved by audacity and good-will, and not by vain
temporizations. You ought to have a nucleus of more than six
thousand veteran troops; I have not as many, and I have moreover
destroyed three armies, made 40,000 prisoners, taken two hundred
cannons, and three times saved the capital. The enemy fly in all
directions toward Troyes; be the first at the ball. It is no
longer a question of acting, as in the last days, but it is
necessary to act with the spirit and resolution of '93. When the
French soldiers see your plume in the advance, and when they see
you the first to expose yourself to the fire of the enemy, you
will be able to do with them whatever you wish."

The blows of despair, although heroic, were not sufficient to
destroy the consequences of a long series of faults and fatal
errors. The empire succumbed beneath the efforts of combined
Europe, driven to extremities, and finally resolved to shake off
a yoke which England alone had never submitted to. During the
month of February, 1814, the forces of Marshal Soult and those of
Wellington were nearly equal. A series of minor conflicts
compelled the marshal to leave his intrenched camp, under the
walls of Bayonne. On the 27th of February, the battle of Orthez
was lost by the French army, and General Foy was wounded. Soult
was obliged to fight while retreating.



Bordeaux already proclaimed the Bourbons. The army of Soult
covered Toulouse, and there was fought, on the 10th of April, the
last battle of that war, which had already lasted more than
twenty years. The glory of the marshal was increased, although
the disaster which menaced France was not lessened. Before the
army of Wellington had again met their old adversaries of Spain
before Toulouse, the Emperor Napoleon had abdicated at
Fontainbleau (April 11th, 1814).

The Duke of Wellington returned to Spain, to bid adieu to his
faithful army. He returned to France in the month of August, as
the English ambassador to King Louis XVIII. Some months passed,
and the throne of the Bourbons, scarcely raised again, was once
more overthrown.

All Europe arose, for Napoleon had secretly quitted the Island of
Elba, and had reappeared in France. At sight of him, the army
forgot its oath. A breath of delirium passed over their souls.
Napoleon himself was not deceived regarding the serious and
definitive results of his enterprise. In descending from his
carriage at the door of the Tuilleries, he said to the young
Count Molé, but recently strong in his good graces: "Ah, well!
This is a fine prank!"

Meanwhile the allies united their forces; all nations marched
together against the insatiable ambition of that conqueror, who
placed for a second time the fate of the world at the hazard of
his destiny. Wellington was at Brussels, collecting his forces
and awaiting those of the allies. Placed by public consent at the
head of all the allied armies, he was prudent and moderate;
careful to avoid violent sentiments and exaggerated resolutions;
friendly to the Bourbons, but without ill-will either towards
France or the Emperor Napoleon. The wise attitude which he
imposed upon the English, by the ascendancy of his authority and
character, was not imitated by all the powers, Prussia,
especially, having grievous injuries to avenge, acted with
intense bitterness.


Napoleon entered Belgium. On the night of the 15th of June, 1814,
the English officers were at a ball at the house of the Duchess
of Richmond in Brussels. During the festivities they were
informed, one after the other, of the approach of the French
army; they quietly withdrew, and at once placed themselves at the
head of their troops. On the 16th the two battles of Ligny and
Quatre Bras were fought by the Prussian General Blücher and the
Duke of Wellington, and cost the allies more than 15,000 men. On
the 18th, at Waterloo, the English army alone left 15,000 dead
upon the field of battle. The Emperor Napoleon there lost his
crown, and France lost all the conquests she had so unjustly and
imprudently acquired, and which had caused her so many tears and
so much blood.

Yet once more, after a hundred days of agitation and of anguish,
the French people, tossed from one master to the other,
vacillating and thoughtless, wounded nevertheless by their
reverses, to the depths of their souls, and sad notwithstanding
their deliverance, saw returning to his palace their fugitive
king; while Napoleon rendered to England, his persevering enemy,
the involuntary homage of demanding an asylum upon her territory.
Accompanied by General Becker to Rochefort, he entered into
negotiations with Captain Maitland, commander of the Bellerophon.
Maitland received him on board, refusing to make any engagement
in the name of the English government, but resolved not to allow
his illustrious guest to escape. That government promptly decided
that the Emperor Napoleon, who was so dangerous to the repose of
Europe, should be detained during the remainder of his life on
the island of St. Helena.


He departed, while England, through the intervention of the Duke
of Wellington, lent to the monarchical restoration, as well as to
the French nation, the support of her wise counsels and prudent
moderation, without any one, at that time, being able to divine
the role that his name and the prestige of his glory was yet to
play in the history of the French nation and in the history of


                  Chapter XL.

                  George IV.
               Regent And King.

Peace was established in Europe. It had cost France great anguish
and great grief. The Duke Richelieu, who had concluded it, and
whose personal influence over the Emperor Alexander had
powerfully contributed to soften its conditions, expressed the
sentiment of all France when he wrote to his sister, Madame
Montcalm, "All is consummated. More dead than alive, I have
affixed my name to that fatal treaty. I had sworn not to do it,
and I had said it to the king. The unhappy prince conjured me,
breaking into tears, not to abandon him. I no longer hesitated. I
have the confidence to believe that no one else could have
obtained as much. France, expiring under the weight of the
calamities which overwhelm her, claims imperiously a prompt

England again breathed: triumphant, but weighed down by her long
efforts. The state of the public finances and the monetary
situation occupied all minds, and served as a theme for the
attacks of the opposition against Lord Liverpool and Lord
Castlereagh. A certain inquietude manifested itself also upon the
subject of the secret conditions of the peace. Henry Brougham, a
young advocate of great talent, in a speech upon this question,
demanded the publication of the Treaty, half mystical, half
absolute, known under the name of the Holy Alliance, and signed
at Paris on the 20th of November, 1815, by the Emperors of Russia
and Austria, as well as by the King of Prussia.


"In his capacity as constitutional sovereign, the Prince Regent
was not competent to affix his signature to this treaty,
concluded by the sovereigns themselves," said Lord Castlereagh;
"England has therefore no right to call for its publication." The
Houses gave themselves the noble pleasure of rewarding the valor
of their generals and their armies. Monuments were erected to the
memory of those who had fallen in the war. The pensions formerly
accorded to the Duke of Wellington were doubled; he received from
the just gratitude of his country five hundred thousand pounds
sterling. It is to the honor of the English nation that no
absolute monarch was ever more liberal toward his favorites than
it has shown itself in regard to its great servants.

England, as well as all Europe, had founded great expectations
upon the re-establishment of peace. She had assured security to
the commerce of the Mediterranean, by an expedition against the
Dey of Algiers, nominal sovereign of the hordes of pirates
constantly infesting that sea, to the great peril of merchant
vessels. Lord Exmouth had bombarded Algiers, destroyed the
vessels of the pirates, and obtained the liberation of all the
Christian slaves. But this new achievement was not sufficient to
re-awaken commerce, overwhelmed by numerous and repeated losses.
The harvest had been bad; to the actual and pressing evils was
added the bitterness of ignorant hopes cruelly deceived. Popular
movements manifested themselves in many places; the Regent was
insulted as he came from Westminster, after having opened
Parliament (January 28th, 1817). The government was informed of a
vast conspiracy that threatened "to fire the four corners," of
Great Britain. Energetic measures were adopted; the suspension of
the habeas corpus act was prolonged; a new law imposed the most
severe penalties upon seditious re-unions. The forces intended
for the maintenance of order in the interior, were increased to
ten thousand men. The nation was still agitated and suffering,
after the long trial of a war energetically carried on during
twenty years, and was weary and overburdened, in spite of the


Before the delights of peace had calmed the spirits and
re-assured all minds, before all hearts had lost the habit of
suffering and resisting suffering, it required an effort on the
part of the nation, as of the individual, to enjoy the charms of

An unforseen event deeply moved public feeling. Princess
Charlotte, heiress to the throne, loved and esteemed by all, and
upon whom reposed those loyal sympathies (of which her father was
justly deprived), had just died at Claremont, on the 6th of
November, 1816, in giving birth to her first child.

All England shared in the grief of her young husband, Prince
Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg. He was destined subsequently to be the
first to ascend the throne of Belgium, assisted thereto by new
family ties that he contracted in France, as well as by the
affection still cherished for him in England. He was sagacious
enough to make use of both these influences for the good of his
adopted country, as well as a beneficial influence in the
counsels of European politics. On the 29th of May, 1819, less
than two years after the death of Princess Charlotte, the
Princess Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent, was born at
London. Some months later the old King George III. died (January
28th 1820); blind and insane during the last ten years of his
life. Patient and quiet in his madness, he preserved in the
hearts of his people a respectful and melancholy popularity which
showed itself at the time of his death. Honest and obstinate,
seriously and sincerely religious, observant of his duties both
as man and as king, as he understood them, he had often served
and often hindered the policy and the government of his country;
he had always loved it, and had always believed himself obligated
to consecrate to it his life and his strength, to the prejudice
of his tastes or personal desires. During these ten years, in the
long silence of his sad isolation, he had exhausted all anger and
extinguished all hatred. The nation remembered only his simple
and honest virtues, his immovable courage and his patriotic
disinterestedness. No illusion regarding the abilities and faults
of his successor was possible.

George IV.


For ten years already George IV. had satisfactorily occupied the
throne, when he was officially proclaimed king on the 31st of
January, 1820.

The fruits of evil are bitter even for those who plant them.
Unhappily married, as he deserved to be, after the disorderly
life he had led, the new monarch had for a long time cherished
towards his wife an aversion amounting to hatred. He addressed to
her the gravest reproaches. Upon his accession to the throne, the
princess was upon the continent. Orders were given to erase her
name from the liturgy of the established church, and to omit the
public prayers for the Queen, as her husband had decided never to
recognize her. The natural courage of the princess and the
indignation of the woman, wounded in her honor, brought Queen
Caroline immediately back to England, proudly resolved to submit
her cause to public opinion.

"I wrote to Lord Liverpool and Lord Castlereagh, to demand the
insertion of my name in the liturgy of the Church of England,"
declared the queen, "at the same time that the order was given to
all the ambassadors, ministers and English consuls to recognize
me and to treat me as Queen of England. After the address of Lord
Castlereagh in reply to that of Mr. Brougham, I have no other
insult to fear. I demand that a palace be prepared for my
reception. I fly toward England, which is my true country."


All the generous sentiments of the English nation, as well as its
contempt for the character and habits of its sovereign, were
shown in the ardent and sympathetic reception which greeted the
arrival of Queen Caroline on the sixth of June, 1820.

"They have erased her name from the liturgy," said her faithful
and honest counsellor, Mr. Denham, "but all England prays for her
in praying for those who are desolate and oppressed."

In the midst of her popular triumph, all attempts at compromise
were rejected by the queen, notwithstanding the advice of her
eminent advisors, Brougham and Denham. The king demanded a
divorce, which his ministers refused to second; public excitement
was increasing; for a moment some regiments of infantry seemed to
waver in their fidelity. Political maneuvres increased the
agitation; the leaders of the radical opposition espoused the
cause of the queen; she addressed a petition to the House of
Lords, demanding the authority to defend herself. The government
finally took the initiative, with regret, and constrained by the
violence of royal and popular passions, Lord Liverpool presented
to Parliament his Bill of Pains and Penalties, formally accusing
Queen Caroline of conjugal infidelity, and demanding a divorce,
in the name of King George IV.

The venerable Lord Eldon remarked with judicious sagacity, before
the arrival of Caroline: "Our queen threatens to come to England;
if she ventures here, she is the most courageous woman I have
ever heard of. The evil she will do by coming will be
incalculable. At the outset she will be immensely popular with
the multitude; I give her only a few weeks, or at the most, a few
months, to lose the opinion of the entire world."


It was a sad and unheard of spectacle to see a sovereign publicly
arraigning his wife before the supreme tribunal. A great
multitude besieged the environs of Westminster, insulting those
ministers and peers that they knew were opposed to the accused
queen, and saluting her defenders with acclamations. Popular
passion had judged well the doubts and uncertainties which
enveloped the principal facts and the formal accusations; it
closed its eyes, however, to the license of life and language
which the corrupt and contradictory testimony of foreigners
reluctantly revealed.

The burning eloquence and the wonderful management of Brougham
carried the enthusiasm of the multitude to the highest pitch. In
summing up the evidence, he said: "Such, my Lords, is the case
now before you, and such is the evidence by which it is attempted
to be upheld. It is evidence--inadequate, to prove any
proposition; impotent, to deprive the lowest subject of any civil
right; ridiculous, to establish the least offence; scandalous, to
support a charge of the highest nature; monstrous, to ruin the
honor of the Queen of England. My Lords, I call upon you to
pause. You stand on the brink of a precipice. If your judgment
shall go out against your queen, it will be the only act that
ever went out without effecting its purpose; it will return to
you upon your own heads. Save the country--save yourselves.
Rescue the country; save the people of whom you are the
ornaments; but severed from whom, you can no more live than the
blossom that is severed from the root and tree on which it grows.
Save the country, therefore, that you may continue to adorn
it--save the crown, which is threatened with irreparable
injury--save the aristocracy, which is surrounded with
danger--save the altar, which is no longer safe when its kindred
throne is shaken.
You see that when the Church and the throne would allow of no
church solemnity in behalf of the queen, the heartfelt prayers of
the people rose to Heaven for her protection. I pray Heaven for
her; and I here pour forth my fervent supplications to the throne
of mercy, that mercies may descend on the people of this country,
richer than their rulers have deserved, and that your hearts may
be turned to justice."

So much eloquence and oratorical passion, together with the
intense earnestness of public opinion, had, as might be expected,
a great effect upon the House of Lords. The majority in favor of
the bill, which at first was quite considerable, diminished day
by day. On the third reading, it was but nine. Lord Liverpool
rose and said, that, in the presence of a majority so small, he
did not think it advisable to continue the discussion. On the
10th of November, 1820, the bill was withdrawn, to the intense
delight of the people. Catherine of Brunswick had gained her
cause; she remained the wife of George IV. and Queen of England.

It was one of those triumphs, which cost so dear to the victors,
and which accelerates their fall. In passing through the crowded
streets about Westminster, Lord Mulgrave was threatened by the
multitude, who demanded that he should join in the cry: "Long
live the queen!" He turned towards the populace and said, "Very
well, long live the queen, and all you women that resemble her."
Something of this bitter sarcasm began to penetrate slowly into
the minds of the people, but lately carried away, without
reflection, in the defence of a wife outraged by him who had set
her so fatal an example. The resolution shown by the ministers in
the conduct of their painful task, and the perils they had
braved, led to a sincere reaction in their favor.
A diabolical plot that has been called "the Cato street
conspiracy"--after the name of the street where its principal
author, Arthur Thistlewood, resided, had threatened the lives of
all the members of the cabinet; they were to be assassinated
_en masse_, in the dining-room of Lord Harrowby, in
Grosvenor Square. The plot was discovered, and the conspirators
suffered the penalty of their crime on the 1st of May, 1820.

Almost at the same moment grave disorders broke out in Scotland
and the north of England. The energy of their repression equalled
the violence of the attempts. The honest mass of the nation rose
as one man against those misguided wretches that threatened to
annihilate social order. "Among those who are here," said Sir
Walter Scott, in a public meeting at Edinburgh, "there are
persons who are able, by uniting their forces, to raise an army
of fifty thousand men."

Notwithstanding that the government of George IV. had shared in
the great unpopularity of the sovereign, it finally regained the
favor of the nation. The majority which sustained it in
Parliament became each day more decided and more united. "In six
months the king will be the most popular man in the realm," said
Lord Castlereagh, with a just and disdainful appreciation of the
violence of popular reaction.

When on the 19th of July, 1821, Queen Caroline appeared at the
doors of Westminster Abbey, in an open carriage drawn by six
horses, claiming her right to witness the coronation of the king,
admission into the church was peremptorily refused. Fearing an
outbreak of the passions so recently excited in her favor, the
display of military force was great; but few of the populace
saluted her. She withdrew, wounded to the death in her pride and
in her resentment.
Fifteen days later she expired. She had directed that her body
should be taken back to her native country and deposited in the
tomb of her ancestors, with this inscription: "Here lies Caroline
of Brunswick, the injured Queen of England." For a moment only
public sentiment was re-awakened in favor of the queen. The
funeral escort, which accompanied the remains to the port of
embarkation, had been ordered to avoid the streets of London; a
mob, however, compelled the procession to proceed through the
city. Two men were killed. A distinguished officer, Sir Robert
Wilson, severely reprimanded the soldiers for having fired upon
the people. He was cashiered, and the magistrate who had yielded
to the demands of the mob, in changing the route, was dismissed.

Queen Caroline was forgotten, and her royal spouse was in Ireland
receiving the enthusiastic homage of a people who had not for
long years enjoyed the honor of a royal visit. "My heart has
always been Irish," said George IV., addressing the multitude
which crowded around the Viceroy's palace; "from the day it first
beat, I have loved Ireland. Rank, station, honors are nothing;
but to feel that I live in the hearts of my Irish subjects is to
me the most exalted happiness." A similar reception awaited
George IV. in his Electorate of Hanover.

In the midst of this triumph of their party, the ministers, more
sincerely and more rigidly Tory than Pitt had ever been, yet
realized the need of energetic and effectual support. Since his
accession to office. Lord Sidmouth had cleverly and sagaciously
directed internal affairs, but he now was old and worn out. Mr.
Peel, Secretary for Ireland since 1812, brilliantly replaced him.
A certain number of moderate Whigs allied themselves to the
government, without however changing either its attitude or its
Superficial minds are astonished at this long continued power of
the Tories. Peace and pacific governments were established in
Europe; the perils within and without which had threatened
England no longer existed. The causes which had permitted them to
hold the reins of power so firmly, were removed or greatly
diminished: it seemed that that power ought to be relaxed; but
the effects long survived the causes; if the Tory government was
not indispensable at this time, the Tory party at least was the
victorious and dominant party, everywhere possessing the
preponderance, and powerfully organized to preserve it. The
relations of England with the absolute monarchies of the
continent, were of the most cordial character. Her counsellors
had contracted during the severe trials of the coalition those
lines of thought, of interest, and of habit which create common
interests and common success; her external policy weighed upon
her internal policy; and Lord Castlereagh was more inclined to
assimilate with the Prince Metternich than to distinguish
himself. Unhappily for the new-born spirit of liberty, the
revolutionary spirit also reappeared, spreading its virus in
public institutions as well as in individual hearts, alarming
everywhere the governments. During the first twelve years of the
peace, England found her government more alarmed, more immovable,
more inaccessible to all reform and all liberal innovation, than
it had been in the midst of the war, during her greatest
struggles and greatest dangers.

The contest between the government and the opposition had begun.
The Whigs were ardent partisans of reform, in principle as well
as from political ambition, always shrewd and sagacious to
advance or to serve popular needs and desires. A famine in
Ireland and the deplorable scenes which accompanied the
sufferings of the people, drew universal attention to the violent
relations which existed between the Catholics and the
Protestants. In vain had the Marquis of Wellesly as Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland, exercised a prudent and energetic
impartiality; he only succeeded in alienating the Orangemen
without conciliating the Patriots.


Mr. Canning presented to the House a proposition for the
admission of the Catholic Peers to Parliament; "but yesterday,"
said he, "at the august ceremony of the coronation, after being
exhibited to the peers and people of England, to the
representatives of princes and nations of the world, the Duke of
Norfolk, highest in rank among the peers--the Lord Clifford, and
others like him, representing a long line of illustrious and
heroic ancestors,--appeared as if they had been called forth and
furnished for the occasion, like the lustres and banners that
flamed and glittered in the scene; and were to be, like them,
thrown by as useless and temporary formalities; they might indeed
bend the knee, and kiss the hand; they might bear the train, or
rear the canopy; they might perform the offices assigned by Roman
pride to their barbarian forefathers,--_Purpurea tollant aulœa
Brittanni_: but with the pageantry of the hour their
importance faded away: as their distinction vanished, their
humiliation returned; and he who headed the procession of peers
to-day, could not sit among them, as their equal, on the morrow."

For some time past Mr. Peel had assumed the leadership of the
opposition on the question of Catholic emancipation; he had
conducted the same with a moderation for which Mr. Plunkett, one
of the most eloquent and ardent partisans of the measure, thanked
him in flattering terms: "I know no man in the state that will
probably have more influence upon this question; and there is no
man whose adhesion to what I would call prejudices without
foundation, would be able to do more evil to my country," said


Notwithstanding the lively opposition of Peel, the proposition of
Mr. Canning was adopted by the House of Commons. The cabinet was
divided. Lord Castlereagh, become Marquis of Londonderry since
the death of his father, remained favorable to the liberal
measures in favor of the Catholics; the House of Lords rejected
the motion, not however without leaving to its partisans the
legitimate hope of the approaching success of their just cause.

A first effort of Lord John Russell, in favor of Parliamentary
reform, vigorously opposed by Mr. Canning, was rejected by the
House of Commons, but by a smaller majority; and after a
discussion more favorable than the ardent promoters of the
measure had perhaps expected. The last words of the address of
Mr. Canning already predicted that success that he so greatly
feared. "I conjure the noble Lord," he said, "to pause, before he
again presses his plan on the country: if, however, he shall
persevere, and if his perseverance shall be successful, and if
the results of that success be such as I cannot help
apprehending;--his be the triumph to have precipitated those
results; mine be the consolation that to the utmost and to the
latest of my power, I have opposed them."

King George IV. returned to Edinburgh; he had journeyed through
Scotland from castle to castle, charming all he met, by the grace
of his manner and the agreeableness of his conversation, even
those who had not attributed to him either political courage or
private virtue. He was suddenly recalled to London by a tragic
event; as Sir Samuel Romilly and Mr. Whitbread, some years
before. Lord Londonderry had just succumbed under the weight of a
burden too heavy for the equilibrium of his mind; he had cut his
throat on the 12th of August, coldly resolved, even to the last
day, as firmly to sustain peace as he had been to sustain war;
too feeble nevertheless to resist the new embarrassments that he
apprehended from the state of agitation in Europe, and
precipitated by his patriotic agonies into a fit of insanity.


The battle of Austerlitz broke the heart of Mr. Pitt. After
having victoriously concluded peace, and maintained order in
England while all the thrones of the continent were shaken. Lord
Londonderry had become a madman.

Mr. Canning replaced him in power, not without intrigue nor
without internal difficulty. He associated with himself Mr.
Huskinson, an able and honest minister of the finances, liberal
like himself, and disposed likewise to favor the popular
movement, that they had neither the power nor the desire to
repress. The first intimation of this new attitude of the
government, was the recognition by England of the South American
republics: ancient Spanish colonies revolted against the yoke of
the mother country. Successive shocks had agitated Spain; the
Bourbons had been overthrown and replaced by a provisory
government. Recalled to the throne by a royalist insurrection,
Ferdinand VII. had been seconded by France; the Duke of
Angoulême, eldest son of King Louis XVIII., at the head of an
army had re-established the monarchy in Spain, while Austria, in
her turn, interfered in the affairs of the kingdom of Naples, as
confused and troubled as those of Spain. Under Mr. Canning,
England remained faithful to the principle of non-intervention;
nevertheless without sympathy for the sovereigns attacked,
without good will to their defenders. "We have exerted all our
efforts to prevent the French from entering Spain," said Mr.
Canning. "We have exhausted every means but war. I admit that the
entrance of a French army into Spain was a measure of
disparagement to Great Britain.
Do you think that for this disparagement we have not been
compensated? Do you think that for the blockade of Cadiz, England
has not received a full recompense? I looked at Spain by another
name than Spain; I looked on that power as Spain and the Indies;
and so looking at the Indies, I have there called a new world
into existence and regulated the balance of power."

While Mr. Canning pursued a foreign policy, boldly independent in
regard to the powers and common interests of Europe, he remained
preoccupied and sad. He had reached the summit of grandeur;
admired and respected by all, still young and powerful, by reason
of his personal merit, he nevertheless stood alone, having parted
from all the friends who had fought at his side at the outset of
his career, separated from them by the attitude he had taken at
the head of the liberals; and also separated from the liberals,
that he commanded by the resistance that he opposed to
parliamentary reform. His health was good, but the nervous state
into which the trials and vexations of political life had thrown
him, slowly undermined the forces that he sought in vain to
repair by the pleasures and charms of society. He died on the 8th
of August, 1827, at Chiswick, in the beautiful villa of the Duke
of Devonshire, and in the same chamber where Mr. Fox breathed his

One after the other, young and old, death gathered the great
actors of the long struggle sustained by England against the
anarchical passions and absolute ambition from without and the
contagion of fatal evils within. But few months after the death
of Mr. Canning, Lord Liverpool, in his turn, old and worn out,
already withdrawn from the world by an attack of paralysis, also
died. It was necessary to provide for the needs of government. A
cabinet of coalition slipped through the hands of Lord Goderich.
The Duke of Wellington had directed victoriously the affairs of
England in war, and the king now demanded of the great general
that he should take charge of the political affairs of the
government. The Duke, accustomed to obey the call of duty
wherever it led, did not hesitate, confiding simply in the power
of good sense and honest authority. The Whigs retired; the
liberal Tories, Mr. Peel at their head, closed their ranks around
the new chief whom fortune had sent them.

The young Lord Aberdeen, already distinguished, with Lord
Castlereagh, in the most important diplomatic negotiations, now,
for the first time, took part in the internal government of his
country. He had the good fortune to be loved and honored by all,
both at home and abroad, during his entire career. The ministry
had, from the beginning, to confront a difficult and long
contested question. It found itself constrained to support and
defend a measure that it had previously ardently combatted. The
situation in Ireland occupied all minds; the emancipation of the
Catholics became, more than ever, in the eyes of some, the
evident remedy for all evils; but to others, the object of lively
inquietude and profound repugnance.

Commerce had developed in Ireland; industry had increased her
exportations; the ministers hostile to the measures that were
demanded to relieve the miseries of a neighboring and dependent
kingdom, cited with pride the figures of the statistics: but the
wealth was concentrated in a small number of hands; the
proprietors of the soil were, for the most part, strangers to
Ireland; absent or indifferent to her sufferings. The common
people were engaged in agricultural pursuits of the most
primitive character, without other care than to draw from the
earth, with the least possible effort, the subsistence necessary
from day to day.
The introduction of the potato, by giving the peasants a food
more economical than wheat, had increased their idleness, their
improvidence, and their misery. Without money, without resources,
without education, habitually separated from the higher classes,
the Irish peasantry lived in a state bordering on barbarism. "The
last of the animals, does not support its kind," said, in 1822,
the most illustrious of their advocates, Daniel O'Connell, often
most useful but many times dangerous to their cause: "Their homes
should not be called houses--they have no right to that title:
they are huts, built in the earth, partly thatched over, partly
exposed to the elements. No furniture garnishes the interior; it
is a luxury to possess a trunk; and a table is rarely to be
found. All the family live in one room; they have no beds, and
sleep upon straw; in the mountainous districts they scarcely have
sufficient covering. Their wages are not above eight cents per
day, and even at that rate, farm hands cannot find work. Their
land, therefore, is their only means of support, and this land is
leased to them at a price far above its real value, owing to the
numerous middlemen who come between the proprietors and the

So much suffering, so long endured without effectual relief, in a
situation seemingly without issue, at last brought about a
violent agitation, which was used to foment religious and
political passions. The Test Act was repealed, and a simple oath
of allegiance was substituted for the compulsory communion with
the established Church. This was the first step leading to the
emancipation of the Catholics; all felt it, even the protestant
dissenters, who supported the measure, although it was of more
benefit to their traditional enemies, the Catholics, than to


Public opinion was at the time violent but brilliantly directed.
Under Mr. Canning the Irish Catholics were careful not to obtrude
their claims, as they feared to embarrass, by public alarm, the
good will of the government. When they saw the power fall into
the hands of the Tories, they at once engaged passionately in the
contest: the Catholic associations commenced their popular
assemblies, their harangues, their addresses, their pamphlets,
their subscriptions, all their ardent and adroit work, as much to
excite and to discipline the people in England as to encourage
and recruit their partisans in Ireland. O'Connell and Moore, two
men of very unequal powers, but both powerful at this time, by
diverse means, marched at the head of this crusade for the
emancipation of their faith and race. O'Connell, that robust and
audacious wrestler, that inventive and strategic legislator,
indefatigable in his eloquence, brilliant or vulgar, captivating
or diverting, devoted with unscrupulous passion to the cause
which made at the same time his glory and his fortune; Moore,
patriotic and worldly poet, pathetic and satirical, as popular in
the salons of London as O'Connell in the meetings of Ireland;
singing his melodies while O'Connell breathed forth his
invectives, both constant in their efforts, rallying to the
service of the same cause the mass of the people and the elegant
world, the impetuous passions and the elevated thoughts, the
ambition of men, and the sympathy of women, the Celtic peasants
and the Saxon nobles, the Catholic priests and the philosophic

The grandeur of the purpose responded to the ardor of the effort.
O'Connell was elected from the county of Clare, to that House of
Commons from which he was excluded by law. Ireland was completely
under his control; sometimes precipitating itself to the last
limits of legal order, then again docile and prudent. In England,
among the different classes of the laity, as well as in the bosom
of the Anglican Church, public sentiment favorable to the
Catholic Church gained ground day by day.


As obstinate in its alarms, as sincere in its faith, Protestant
Toryism struggled against the tide, but that struggle became more
and more feeble; the Orange societies of Ireland weakly opposed
the meetings of the Catholic associations, and in the House of
Lords, Lord Eldon himself lost confidence: "We will combat," said
he, "but we will be in a miserable minority. That which is most
disastrous is that many bishops will be against us."

Without being more sincere than Lord Eldon, the bishops favorable
to the emancipation of the Catholics had judged better than he of
their duty as Christian prelates, and the true interests of their
religious faith; the government also realized that the measure
had become necessary. The Duke of Wellington, always ready to
confront the truth, however disagreeable it might be, now became
convinced that the present state of affairs in Ireland ought not
to be prolonged, and that it was necessary to remove all cause
and all legitimate pretext for the intrigues and maneuvres of the
agitators. Religious liberty was not in question; thanks to the
progress of public opinion in the midst of Christian
civilization, the practical freedom of religious beliefs, and
different worship, either Protestant or Catholic, was not
affected: it was the equality of political rights, the separation
of civil from religious society that they demanded; and it was
from a government whose entire political establishment, royalty,
parliament and legislation, was exclusively protestant, that this
declaration was to emanate and become law. It was in consequence
of the pressing necessity, and not from any general principles of
truth and justice, that the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel
decided to present to Parliament, a measure that they were unable
any longer to resist, and for which they had with great
difficulty obtained the consent of the king.


It was not from principle that George IV. resisted the demands of
his ministers. Protestantism was a tradition of his house; he
regarded it as the foundation of his throne; he wished besides to
shows his authority. He feigned an endeavor to form a new cabinet
but did not succeed. "What am I to do?" said he to Lord Eldon,
"my situation is miserable. If I give my consent I shall go to
Hanover. I shall return no more to England." In order to guard
against treachery or weakness, the ministers exacted a written
authorization from him. On the 5th of March, 1829, Mr. Peel
proposed to the House of Commons the abolition of the civil and
political disabilities which weighed upon the Catholics.
Violently attacked, and censured for his cowardice in renouncing
his life-long opinion before servile terrors, the great minister
replied: "I know of no motive of conduct more ignominious than
fear; but there is a disposition more dangerous perhaps yet,
although less base; it is the fear of being suspected of having
feared. However vile a coward may be, the man who abandons
himself to the fear of being treated as a coward, shows but
little more courage. The ministers of his majesty have not been
alarmed by the Catholic associations; they had stifled all
attempts at intimidation; but there are fears which are not
repugnant to the character of the firmest man, _constantis
viri_. There are things which cannot be seen without fear. One
_ought_ not to see without fear the disorganization and the
disaffection which exists in Ireland, and that one that affects
not to fear them, would show himself insensible to the happiness
or misfortune of his country."

Windsor Castle.


It was in the same spirit of patriotic uneasiness that the Duke
of Wellington said to the House of Lords: "It has been my fortune
to have seen much of war, more than most men; I have been
constantly engaged in the active duties of the military
profession. From boyhood until I have grown gray my life has been
passed in familiarity with scenes of death and human suffering.
Circumstances have placed me in countries where the war was
internal, between parties of the same nation; and rather than a
country I loved should be visited with the calamities which I
have seen, with the unutterable horrors of a civil war, I would
run any risk; I would make any sacrifice; I would freely lay down
my life."

The emancipation of the Catholics had not borne all the fruits of
pacification and of conciliation that was expected; it left alive
many germs of bitterness, destined more than once to produce
cruel agitations. It was nevertheless legitimate, necessary and
honorable to the government which proposed it, and the Parliament
which passed it. Truth and justice are powerful in the souls of
men, whatever be the passions which animate them or the
prejudices which blind them. It was with the serene sentiment of
a great task nobly accomplished that Mr. Peel said to the House
of Commons, some months later, "I say without any feeling of
hostility or bitterness, I fully knew, from the first day, the
dolorous results that the emancipation of the Catholics would
have for me, both personally and in my public character; but if
the same circumstances should occur again, if I had to take my
resolution anew on this subject, and with still more knowledge of
the sacrifice, I would announce this evening to the House, a
motion to propose that measure."


Some months after the ratification of the emancipation bill. King
George IV. died at Windsor (June 26th, 1830). Great events, both
at home and abroad took place under his regency or during his
reign. Peace was concluded in Europe after the last efforts of a
supreme struggle; the great injustice so long endured by the
English Catholics, was removed by the free action of the
Protestants. This glory belonged to others rather than to him: he
left the Duke of Wellington to conquer at Waterloo--he had so
many times recounted the part he had taken in the combat that he
finally forgot that he had not left England during that epoch. He
left the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel to bear alone the burden
of a measure to which he was opposed from habit of mind, as well
as from personal repugnance, without any conscientious scruples.
Brilliant, highly educated and refined, he spread about him, in
the intimacy of his court, a baneful influence; corrupt himself
and a corrupter of others. The burdens of the foreign wars and
the great Parliamentary struggles, left only as their results,
demoralization and lasting evil to the country.

                  Chapter. XLI.

                    William IV.
               Parliamentary Reform.

A grand and consoling spectacle to contemplate, is that
throughout the whole course of English history, the great lords
and the landed gentry, the masters of the soil and of the
national wealth, are always to be found in the front rank in
political contests as well as in the army; in Parliament as well
as on the field of battle. The English barons had wrested Magna
Charta from John Lackland; in the government which was to
accomplish a parliamentary reform, useful and legitimate in some
respects, doubtful and bold in others, thirteen members of the
House of Lords headed the popular movement, resolved to raise
high the standard of a reform fatal to their influence and their
natural domination.
Courageously faithful in its task of moderating the outbursts of
the inconsiderate passions of the nation, the English aristocracy
has never yielded its right to be the first to brave all dangers,
and the first to advance all progress: it has lessened the
encroachments of the rising wave of democracy; it has opened its
ranks to all signal merit; it has given up its children to common
life and common labor, prompt to bear the burden of the national
destiny, in all its directions, and ardent to maintain England in
that glorious position in the vanguard of liberty, that she has
occupied with honor in Europe for many centuries.

Following the emancipation of the Catholics, the parliamentary
reform proposed and sustained by Lord John Russell and Lord Grey,
was a new and shining example. Confusedly, and without fully
comprehending the import of their acts and of their hopes, the
Whigs began to see that a new spirit was now animating the world,
and that the breath of the French Revolution had not passed in
vain over a generation that was slowly disappearing, leaving to
its success, a work begun. It was again that the agitation and
excitement of the popular passions came from France. The
revolution of July, 1830, had substituted upon the throne the
younger branch of the House of Bourbon, in place of the elder,
which had been induced by fatal counsels to violate its
engagements with the nation.


At the first report of the cannon of King Charles X., some one
asked the Duke of Wellington what he thought of the result? "It
is a new dynasty," answered the Duke. "And what course shall you
take?" "First, a long silence, and then we will concert with our
allies what we shall say." The national sympathy of England did
not permit so much prudence and reserve. From the month of August
it solemnly recognized Louis Philippe--"in the name of the new
King of England." William IV. but recently Duke of Clarence, had
succeeded his brother George IV. Educated for the navy, he had
never shown much talent in his profession: he was an honest
prince, of moderate intelligence, without any children living.
His wife Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, was a virtuous and agreeable
person, who exercised over the king her husband an influence,
often exaggerated by public rumor.

The new Parliament which assembled on the 2nd of November, 1830,
had been elected amidst extreme agitation. Disturbances and riots
had succeeded the electoral ferment, at many places; the ministry
were disturbed during the first day of the session. The day
following the address from the throne, the Reformers threw the
gauntlet to the cabinet. Lord Grey solemnly announced his views
and the end he desired; clever and sensible even in his boldness,
and placing in advance the limits which he had resolved not to
pass. "That which takes place under our own eyes ought to teach
us sagacity; when the spirit of liberty shines around us, it is
our first duty to guarantee our institutions by introducing
moderate reforms. I have been all my life favorable to reform,
but never have I been disposed to go further than to-day, if the
occasion should present itself. But I do not rest upon abstract
right, my reasons for claiming them. Some say that all men who
pay taxes, that all men who have attained their majority, have
the right to the electoral suffrage. I deny absolutely this
right. The right of the people is to be well governed, in a way
to assure its repose and its privileges; if this is incompatible
with universal suffrage, or even with an extension of the
suffrage, then the restriction, and not the extension of the
suffrage becomes the true duty of the people."


Wise maxims, ignored or unrecognized by the popular passions and
the absolute egotism of France, too often forgotten even in
England, by reformers more adventurous and less enlightened than
Lord Grey. The door that he wished to open, the way that he
traced for the future destinies of his country, excited
immediately a lively opposition on the part of the Duke of
Wellington. He responded without hesitation to Lord Grey: "As for
me, I recognize no system of representation to be better and more
satisfactory than that which England enjoys; this system
possesses and merits the full confidence of the country. I will
go further: if, at this moment, the duty were imposed upon me to
form a legislature for any country whatever, above all for a
country like ours, with great interests of all kinds, I do not
think that I would ever be able to form a legislature comparable
to this; for human sagacity does not attain at once so excellent
an institution. I am not prepared to propose the measure alluded
to by the noble lord. Not only am I not prepared to bring forward
any measure of this nature, but I will at once declare, that as
far as I am concerned, as long as I hold any station in the
government of the country, I shall always feel it my duty to
resist such measures when proposed by others."

The refusal was more peremptory than the public and even members
of the cabinet themselves expected; the external agitation became
so great that the king declined to visit London to attend the
Lord Mayor's banquet. Seditious movements were feared. On the
15th of November, a motion by the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
regarding the Civil List, was voted down; on the 16th the Cabinet
resigned: Sir Robert Peel as well as the Duke of Wellington. Lord
Grey and his friends, Lord John Russell, Lord Brougham, Lord
Palmerston, Lord Melbourne and Lord Althorpe, arrived at power.
From the first day they boldly raised the flag of Reform. "That
which I proposed when against the government, I have now the
power to accomplish," said Lord Grey; "and I engage myself to
present immediately to Parliament, a proposition for the reform
of our system of representation." Popular agitation was extreme;
the counties surrounding London were in a state of open
insurrection. After the declaration of Lord Grey, the situation
in Ireland became more alarming; the crops had failed, and the
sufferings of the people were excessive. O'Connell and his
friends, deprived of their weapons by the emancipation of the
Catholics, raised anew the question of the union of the two
kingdoms: they boldly demanded its repeal. O'Connell overran the
counties, haranguing the people and exciting their religious and
political passions; careful, however, to recommend that order
which he was constantly seeking to disturb, and violating
frequently the laws, feeling safe from all prosecution, inasmuch
as the government needed his support for the success of its great
enterprise. One measure alone occupied the thoughts of the
ministers: defeated in Parliament on the Budget, they called to
their aid all shades of liberals, modifying the first tenor of
their intentions, in order to assure themselves of victory. "My
first intention," said Lord Grey to the House of Lords, on the
28th of March, 1831, "was to reduce the reform to limits much
more circumscribed. After mature reflection, I am nevertheless
convinced that the measure, as actually presented, would alone be
able to satisfy the views of all classes, and assure to the
government security and respect."


Two questions occupied the reformers: the suppression of existing
abuses and the lawful extension of the political suffrage. I
borrow from May's Constitutional History the resumé of the bold
measures proposed by Lord John Russell in order to reach this
double result:

  "The main evil had been the number of nominations, or rotten
  boroughs enjoying the franchise. Fifty-six of these, having
  less than two thousand inhabitants, and returning one hundred
  and eleven members, were swept away. Thirty boroughs, having
  less than four thousand inhabitants, lost each a member.
  Weymouth and Welcome Regis lost two. This disfranchisement
  extended to one hundred and forty-three members. The next evil
  had been, that large populations were unrepresented; and this
  was now redressed. Twenty-two large towns, including
  metropolitan districts, received the privilege of returning two
  members; and twenty more of returning one. The large county
  populations were also regarded in the distribution of seats,
  the number of county members being increased from ninety-four
  to one hundred and fifty-nine. The larger counties were
  divided; and the number of members adjusted with reference to
  the importance of the constituencies. By this distribution of
  the franchise, the House of Commons was reduced in number from
  six hundred and fifty-eight to five hundred and ninety-six, or
  by sixty-two members. The number of electors was more than
  doubled: it attained in the united kingdom to the number of
  nine hundred thousand. All narrow rights of election were set
  aside in boroughs, and a ten pound household franchise was

The secret resolutions of the government had been strictly kept;
the joyous astonishment of the Reformers equalled the anger of
the Conservatives, a new name which the Tories had adopted, in
consequence of the attacks of their adversaries upon the


Astonishment and anger were followed by anxiety. Determined
resolution on the part of the Conservatives would be able, at the
outset, to defeat the bill and overthrow the cabinet. The
ministers were not ignorant of this fact. "We often sought to
divine the probable conduct of the opposition," subsequently
remarked Lord Brougham, then chancellor; "I said; If I was in
Peel's place I would not attempt to discuss the question; as soon
as Lord John Russell should sit down, I would declare that I was
decided not to discuss a measure so revolutionary, so insane, and
I would demand an immediate vote. If he does that we are lost."
The members of the cabinet who were not in the House of Commons
were at table at the house of the chancellor, anxiously waiting
for news of the discussion, when the last bulletin finally
arrived: "Peel has been speaking for twenty minutes," Lord
Brougham shouted for joy. "Hurrah!" cried he, "they discuss--we
are saved."

The shrewd instinct of the Reformers had not been deceived; no
matter however powerful and reasonable was the discussion,
however forcible the arguments against a reform more radical in
principle than in its practical application, time and debate were
necessarily favorable to a cause growing more and more popular,
notwithstanding the commotion and uneasiness of a great part of
the nation. Sir Robert Peel had not correctly judged the passions
which secretly agitated the masses. "Our judgment is troubled,"
said he, "by what has just taken place in France. I admit that
the resistance of our neighbors to an illegal exercise of
authority has been legitimate; but consider what effects popular
resistance, even when legitimate, have upon national property,
upon industry, and upon the happiness of families. All that I ask
of you is that you take time to deliberate upon so grave a
question. When the people of England shall recover their strong
good sense, they will reproach you for having sacrificed the
Constitution of the country in your desire to take advantage of
an outburst of popular sentiment."


"I shall combat this bill to the end, because I believe it fatal
to our favored form of mixed government, fatal to the authority
of the House of Lords, fatal to that spirit of rest and prudence
which has gained for England the confidence of the world, fatal
to those habits and to those practices of government which, in
protecting efficaciously the property and the liberty of the
individual, have given to the executive power of this state, a
vigor unknown in any other time and in any other country. If the
bill proposed by the ministry is passed, it will introduce
amongst us the worst, and the vilest sort of despotism, the
despotism of demagogues, the despotism of the press; that
despotism which has driven neighboring countries, but recently
happy and flourishing, to the very borders of the abyss."

The good sense of the English nation, its wise respect for its
traditions, and that political instinct which has always warned
it on the eve of extreme peril, protected England again in this
instance from those grievous and terrible consequences, predicted
in 1831 by Sir Robert Peel, as the inevitable result of the
Reform bill. He had, nevertheless, put his finger upon the wound,
and justly indicated its effect: the equilibrium of the powers
was altered, and henceforth the will of the House of Commons
weighed in the balance to regulate the affairs and dispose of the
destinies of England, both at home and abroad.

At the second reading of the bill, it passed by a single vote. An
amendment by General Gascoigne against the reduction of the total
number of the House of Commons passed by a majority of eight. The
cabinet felt its measure threatened, and resolved to dissolve
Parliament and appeal to the electors. The chancellor undertook
to obtain the consent of the king.
He went with Lord Grey to the palace. William IV. resisted. "How
can I," said he, "after such a fashion, repay the kindness of
Parliament; in granting me a most liberal civil list, and giving
to the queen a splendid annuity in case she survives me?" And as
Lord Brougham explained the political reasons for an immediate
dissolution, the King objected: "The great officers of State are
not summoned."--"Pardon me, sire," and the Chancellor bowed
humbly: "we have taken the great liberty of informing them that
your Majesty would have need of their services."--"But the crown,
and the royal robes, and the other insignia of ceremony are not
prepared."--"I beg your Majesty to pardon my audacity--all is
ready."--"But, my Lords, it is impossible; my guards--the troops
have not received their orders; they cannot be ready
to-day."--"Pardon me, sir; I know how great my presumption has
been, but we have counted upon the goodness of your Majesty, upon
your desire to save the kingdom and to assure the happiness of
your people. I have given the orders--the troops are under
arms."--The King, flushed with anger, demanded, "How dare you go
so far, my Lord; you know well it is an act of treason--high
treason!"--"Yes sir, I know it," replied the chancellor, humbly,
though firmly looking the monarch in the face. "I am ready to
submit personally to all the punishments that it may please your
Majesty to inflict upon me, but I conjure your Majesty anew to
hear us and to follow our counsel."

Some hours later, after a violent agitation in the two Houses,
that preceded his coming, William IV. read to the assembled
Parliament the address which Lord Brougham had previously
prepared. The murmurs of surprise and disaffection rendered the
voice of the king scarcely audible; they listened only to the
first words: "My Lords and Gentlemen, I have come to meet you for
the purpose of proroguing this Parliament, with a view to its
immediate dissolution."


Thus prepared and ordered, the elections led, as might have been
expected, to scenes of sad disorder. The Reformers, intoxicated
with triumph and expectation, indulged in excesses that their
more prudent friends were not able to repress. The city of London
was illuminated on the night following the dissolution of
Parliament. At Edinburgh, the windows not illuminated were
broken. The Tory candidates were injured, at many places, and
sometimes were in great danger. The populace of Jedburgh insulted
the dying Sir Walter Scott. "_Troja fuit,_" wrote he, the
same day, in his journal. The popular illusions and ignorances
alarmed the more enlightened supporters of the measure.

"In the months of March and April," writes the celebrated Miss
Harriet Martineau, passionately engaged all her life in the
radical cause, "the great middle class, upon the intelligence of
which they counted to pass the bill, expected to see the time
come, when it would be necessary to refuse to pay their taxes,
and to march upon London to sustain the king, the ministry and
the mass of the nation, against a little group of selfish and
obstinate demagogues."

The political associations took an account of the number of their
disposable adherents; the president of the "Union of Birmingham"
declared that he would be able to furnish two armies each of
which was as good as the victors of Waterloo. Upon the coast of
Sussex ten thousand men declared themselves ready to march at the
first signal. Northumberland was ready, Yorkshire was aroused; it
might be said that the nation believed itself called upon to
march upon London. The opponents of reform trembled at the
thought that the cities would be at the mercy of the multitude.
"This measure," they said, "will owe its success only to


The Reformers, as well as their opponents, were anxious; after
the opening of the new Parliament on the 21st of June, 1831, the
king called the attention of the Houses to the disorders which
had taken place, as well as to the distress which existed in
Ireland, and begged of the legislature energetic remedies for
these evils.

On the 21st of September the reform bill passed the House of
Commons, by one hundred and nine majority. It was immediately
carried by Lord Grey to the House of Lords.

The debate lasted twenty-five days, and was powerful and grave;
sustained by men who knew their influence in the state was
menaced. They were, nevertheless, more occupied with the safety
of the country than with their personal authority. "I know the
courage of your Lordships," said Lord Grey, "and your proud
susceptibility to anything that looks like a menace; and I
repudiate all thought of intimidation, but I conjure you, if you
attach any value to your rights and privileges, if you hope to
transmit them intact to your posterity, to lend an ear to the
wishes of the people. Do not assume an attitude which would show
you deaf to the voice of nine-tenths of the nation, which appeals
to your wisdom in an accent too clear not to be heard, too
decisive not to be comprehended. I do not say, as was said on a
previous occasion by a noble Duke (Wellington), that the
rejection of this measure would lead to civil war: I have
confidence that such would not be the effect; but I foresee
consequences which cause me to tremble for the security of this
House, and for this nation. It is in the name of the tranquillity
and prosperity of your country that I conjure your Lordships to
reflect well, before rejecting this measure."


For a moment events seemed to justify the dolorous predictions of
the Duke of Wellington. During the discussion upon Catholic
emancipation and after the rejection of the reform bill in the
House of Lords (by forty-five majority), civil war seemed
imminent. At Derby, at Nottingham, and above all at Bristol,
violent disturbances took place, but were immediately repressed,
without great effort on the part of the government. Riots and
tumults were constantly fomented by political associations; these
however were definitely suppressed by that reaction which always
follows great disorders, as well as by the severe chastisement of
the leaders, three of whom suffered capital punishment during the
month of December, 1831.

A new reform bill was now presented to the House of Commons, by
Lord John Russell. Some reasonable modifications had been
introduced. One important change was to leave intact the total
number of members of the House.

This bill, like the first, passed the House by a large majority,
notwithstanding the efforts of Sir Robert Peel. Lord John Russell
indicated the importance of the measure, with the same anxious
solicitude which had recently characterized the efforts of Lord
Grey in the House of Lords. He claimed that the government had
weighty and serious reasons for proposing this measure. It had
been convinced, for some time past, that a law was necessary to
obviate abuses that it desires to correct, and to escape
convulsions that it wishes to avoid. If Parliament refused to
sanction this measure, it would lead to an inevitable collision
between that party which opposes all parliamentary reform, and
that other party which is only satisfied with universal suffrage.
"In consequence, torrents of blood would flow," said he, "and I
am perfectly convinced that the English Constitution would perish
in the conflict."


Secret negotiations were carried on in the House of Lords. The
ministry demanded the creation of new peers, destined to modify
the majority; the king hesitated for a long time, convinced of
the necessity of reform, but seriously opposed to the means
suggested. When he finally consented to make use of his
prerogative, the cabinet had resolved to attempt one more
venture. The second reading was voted by a majority of nine. Some
hostile peers were absent; most of the bishops voted for the
bill. But an amendment by Lord Lyndhurst made trouble for the
Reformers. He proposed, and the House of Lords voted by a
majority of thirty-five, that the new privileges accorded to the
towns and counties should be put in force before the abrogation
of the old rights of the boroughs. Upon this decision, which
gravely modified the law, and upon the refusal of the king to
create immediately sixty new peers, the whole ministry resigned.

It is in vain that timid prudence and sagacity attempt to stem
the irresistible tide of popular passions; those who have excited
them invariably fail to restrain them. The king called upon the
Duke of Wellington--always ready to brave danger. "I would not
dare to show myself in the street," said he, "if I refused to aid
my sovereign in the difficult position in which he is now
placed." All the efforts of the illustrious hero failed,
nevertheless, before the impossibility of forming a cabinet. Sir
Robert Peel refused a place in it. William IV. demanded that his
new councillors should themselves present a bill, more in
conformity with the desires and opinions of a great number of
conservatives, than that of Lord John Russell.

Wellington In The Mob.


"I have obstinately opposed the bill on principle," said Peel,
"and I do not know how I could rise and recommend, as minister,
the adoption of a similar measure. No authority, the example of
no man, nor any union of men, would tempt me to accept power
under such circumstances and with such conditions."

An address of the House of Commons called the attention of the
king to the critical state of affairs. William IV., wounded and
irritated, yielded with bitter regret. He recalled the Whig
cabinet and authorized it, in writing, to create the number of
peers necessary to assure the triumph of the reform bill. It was
unnecessary to have recourse to this extreme measure. The Duke of
Wellington, as well as the king, comprehended that the time had
come for the House of Lords to yield to the external pressure.
William IV. wrote to his friends to absent themselves. Upon the
renewal of the discussion, the duke arose, and followed by one
hundred peers, left the House and did not return until after the
passage of the reform bill. "If the lords of the opposition had
remained firm," subsequently said Lord Grey, as well as Lord
Brougham, "we would probably have been beaten, and the bill would
have failed, for we would not have exacted the fullfilment of the
kings promise." When William IV. and his intimate advisers bowed
their heads before the violence of public opinion, they judged
more accurately the irresistible force of the current let loose
by the Reformers; the time for resistance, as well as the time
for moderation, was past.

The new elections soon demonstrated this, as everywhere
throughout the country, the populace manifested great violence
toward the adversaries of the triumphant Reform. In London, on
the 18th of June, 1832, the anniversary of the battle of
Waterloo, while riding through the streets, the Duke of
Wellington was assailed by an indignant mob that literally
covered him with dirt and insults.
He pursued tranquilly his route, walking his horse. A furious
rioter seized the bridle and attempted to drag him from his
saddle; he was obliged to take refuge in the house of a friend,
protected by a number of young lawyers of Lincoln's Inn, who came
to his assistance. The next day the king, while in attendance at
the races at Ascot, was grievously wounded by a stone. His
self-possession and courage equalled the composure of the
duke--as imperturbable among the rioters, as indifferent to the
applause of the populace. All the windows of Apsley House were
broken in a moment of public frenzy. Wellington forbade the
replacing of those of the second story. At the return of popular
favor, as the people followed the duke with acclamations, he
advanced without turning his head, without giving a sign, to the
very door of his house; there dismounting from his horse, he
pointed with his hand toward the broken windows, shrugged his
shoulders and entered the house without uttering a single word.

The condition of the finances was serious; the monetary crises
had long weighed upon commerce, and political agitation had
alarmed and diminished the same. In order to meet the deficit in
the public revenue, the ministry proposed important retrenchments
in the war and navy departments--measures always favorably
received by the people, who see in them a guarantee of peace,
without realizing that they may become fatal to peace, as well as
to the national power. Ireland was aroused more violently than
ever; the Catholics, re-established in their political and civil
rights, demanded, by the voice of their agitators, the abolition
of the tithes with which they were burdened for the benefit of
the Church of England.


The first care of the Irish leaders, was to counsel the peasants
to refuse to pay these tithes. Scenes of disorder recommenced;
everywhere crimes against individuals increased tenfold. Scarcely
had the Reform Parliament reassembled, when it was called upon to
consider a bill of repression, energetically practical, which
would moderate for a time at least these outrages. At the same
time, and in order to appease the Catholic Irish party, who were
everywhere allied to the radicals, Lord Althorpe presented a bill
for the reduction of the Protestant ecclesiastical establishment
in Ireland: feeble precursor of the work that we have seen
accomplished in our day, and already at that time so vigorously
attacked by the conservatives, that the ministry was obliged to
mitigate its tenor before obtaining a majority in the House of

Parliament, at this time, was also obliged to sanction an issue
of bills of exchequer in favor of the clergy in Ireland,
impoverished by the loss of the tithes. The tithes were imposed
upon the protestant landholders, who, however, added them to
their rents.

The excitement and irritation in Ireland appeared for a moment
subdued; but already, from all parts of the kingdom, arose a cry
of anger and of disappointment: reform ought to have a remedy for
all evils; parliamentary reform ought to relieve all misery.

"Of what use is the new parliament," asked Ashwood, on the 21st
of March, 1833, "if actual distress is not relieved? What will
the people say of a reform parliament which has already sat so
many weeks without having undertaken a single measure in favor of
those who are suffering? A general, an extreme, an extraordinary
distress weighs upon the whole country. Large numbers of the
agricultural laborers are worn out by excessive toil; many others
have nothing to do and die of hunger; labor is poorly
remunerated; manufacturers realize scarcely any profit; many work
at a loss; commerce declines in the same proportion, and a
hundred thousand men wander about the streets of London, seeking
work but finding none."


At this time, and in this agitated and difficult situation, it is
to the credit of the Whig cabinet that it did not allow itself to
be carried away by the uneasiness and discontent of its
partisans, nor by the ardor that animated its own members; it was
also to the credit of the Tories, a small number of whom were
returned to the new House, that they maintained a firm attitude,
resolved and candid, never descending to a fatal alliance with
the radicals.

Sir Robert Peel, at the opening of the session, said, with honest
pride: "As long as I shall see the government disposed to defend,
against all rash innovation, the rights of property, the
authority of law, the order of things established and regular, I
shall believe it my duty, without taking account of the
sentiments of party, to range myself on its side. I avow frankly
that my fears regarding this House are not that it will be too
ready to believe that all is evil which is established and old; I
do not doubt the good intentions of the majority, but I fear that
the greater part of its members have come here with the
impression that the institutions under which they live are full
of abuses that should be reformed, and that they have too great
confidence in our means of providing a remedy. Three months will
not have passed, I am convinced, before they will find themselves
disappointed in their expectations; it is absolutely impossible
that they should be satisfied. I have learned with satisfaction
that the ministers of his Majesty, although disposed to reform
all real abuses, are at the same time resolved to stand by the
Constitution as it now is, and to reject all experiments that
might cause anxiety in the public mind; I am decided to sustain
them in that resolution."


It was not only questions actual and pressing that the Reform
Parliament had to deal with, such as the financial measures, the
re-chartering of the Bank of England, and the modification of the
system of government in both the East and West Indies, but also
greater questions of humanity and policy; the abolition of
slavery, and the repeal of the Union with Ireland, equally
importunate and urgent, and ardently sustained or opposed by
their respective partisans.

The resistance of the colonies to the projected measures in favor
of the blacks, had become violent; a natural alarm had taken
possession of the slaveholders, disgusted by the disposition to
revolt that they saw day by day developing itself among the
negroes, and threatened by a ruin that they feared would be
complete. Already the local legislatures had refused to accede to
the orders of the Council, relative to the treatment of the
slaves; but Parliamentary reform had given a new impetus to the
generous zeal of the abolitionists. The government took the
question boldly in hand, justly weighing in the balance the
interests of the colonists, and the legitimate impatience of the
faithful partisans of the blacks. It was an effort requiring
courage and equity, at a time of such great financial
embarrassment, to present to a Parliament ardently favorable to
the abolition of slavery, a measure tending to the purchase of
the blacks, and requiring an indemnity to the planters of twenty
million pounds sterling.


The commerce of the West Indies had suffered severely; the value
of property had diminished, and the colonists accepted this new
and considerable reduction of their fortunes, not without
profound sadness, but without violence and without revolt. The
abolitionists protested against the liberality of the government;
national equity, however, recognized the good will and sagacity
which had inspired the report presented by Mr. Stanley; the bill
was finally passed by a large majority. Slavery was thus
abolished practically, as well as in principle; and England
obtained the honor of having first, without political obligation,
without revolutionary shock, in the name of the most elevated
sentiments of Christian philanthropy, given liberty to eight
hundred thousand slaves, thereby affording a noble example of
justice and virtue to all Christian nations.

The struggle for the abolition of slavery had been long and
difficult; persistently sustained in the face of frequent
disappointments and serious obstacles, it was finally brought to
a successful termination, to the great joy of its promoters. The
sincere and prudent friends of Ireland, were met by a problem
more grave still; a problem which seemed insoluble; that of the
repose and prosperity of that unhappy country, rent asunder anew
by insane agitators. The first motion for the "Repeal of the
Union" was presented to Parliament on the 22nd of April, 1834, by
the celebrated Daniel O'Connell. It was seriously opposed by Mr.
Spring Rice, and when put to vote, was defeated by a majority of
five hundred and twenty-three against thirty-eight in the House
of Commons, and unanimously by the Lords. But immediately the
ecclesiastical question was raised. Mr. Ward proposed another
reduction in the legal establishment of the Anglican Church in
Ireland. The Cabinet was divided upon the question; the most
conservative members of the ministry, "the leaven" of Mr.
Canning, Mr. Stanley, Sir John Graham, and the Duke of Richmond,
gave in their resignations. The Bishops of Ireland addressed an
appeal to the king: they were ready, they said, to co-operate for
the redress of all serious abuses, but they begged that the
government would not imprudently disturb the discipline and the
services of the Church.
The response of William was thoroughly Protestant and English; it
betrayed the widening of the breach that already existed between
the monarch and his Cabinet. The ministry had lost much ground in
public confidence; a difference which arose between Lords Grey
and Althorp, upon the subject of the renewal of the Irish
coercion bill, soon deprived the Cabinet of its chief. Lord Grey
tendered his resignation, and announced it himself in the House
of Lords with an emotion that twice overpowered him. Finally, for
the third time, he began: "My lords, I feel quite ashamed of the
sort of weakness I show on this occasion, a weakness which arises
from my deep sense of the personal kindness which, during my
having been in his service, I have received from my sovereign.
However, my lords, I have a duty to perform, which, painful as it
may be, I must discharge: I no longer address you as a minister
of the crown, but as an individual member of Parliament. In
retiring during the course of the administration of which I was
chief, I feel confident of having acted in the spirit of the
time, without having ever preceded or retarded its march."

The efforts of the ministry thus mutilated and lessened, to
govern powerfully were vain. The bill regarding the Irish Church,
proposed by Lord Melbourne, was rejected by the House of Lords.
The violence of the attacks of the press redoubled; disorder in
Ireland increased: the king declared frankly to Lord Melbourne
that he had no confidence in his cabinet, and that he intended to
recall the Duke of Wellington (November, 1834).


It was under the weight of its own efforts, and of the movement
that it had itself inaugurated, that the great Whig ministry, so
wisely and ably directed by Lord Grey, succumbed. It had opened
the way to wild hopes and infinite illusions, without the power
to satisfy the one, or moderate the other; it was swept away by a
rising wave which it vainly endeavored to resist. It is to its
honor and lasting glory, that it used prudently and courageously
the immense power, still new and confused, that parliamentary
reform had placed in its hand, without exceeding the limits which
it had itself imposed. Its measures were moderate and wise, its
resistance to the desires and insensate passions of the masses
were honest and firm. Lord Grey remained popular, even after the
fall of his ministry. The internal affairs of the nation had been
so important, and the interests involved so pressing, that the
foreign policy of the cabinet had received but little attention
in either house, and was almost lost sight of by the general
public. It had nevertheless touched upon weighty matters,
essential to the repose of Europe; the relations of England with
the French government after the revolution of 1830, the formation
of the kingdom of Belgium, and the Spanish question. These last
two European complications had put to the test the good feeling
which existed between the French and English governments: they
had definitively served to confirm and strengthen the alliance of
the two nations. The recognition of Louis Philippe by England had
been cordial and prompt; very different from the ill-humor and
repugnance manifested by Prussia and Russia. It had its origin in
a spontaneous and sincere national sentiment, the adhesion of the
country to the liberal and conservative policy which had
succeeded the revolutionary movement in France. The new union and
the good understanding which naturally resulted from this
attitude of England, contributed powerfully to the happy issue of
the Belgium question.
The smouldering dissatisfaction which had existed throughout
several centuries, between the Flemish Low Countries and Holland,
had finally burst forth; the union was abruptly broken.
Immediately following the separation, the new state demanded of
the King Louis Philippe, one of his sons for the throne of
Belgium. He refused. "The Low Countries have always been a
stumbling block to the peace of Europe," said he to Guizot. "None
of the great powers can see them in the hands of another, without
great inquietude and jealousy. Let them become by general consent
an independent and neutral state, and that state will become the
keystone of the arch of European order." These wise and prudent
views were approved by both the English and French cabinets. The
King Louis Philippe had sent Talleyrand to London, and Lord
Granville was the English ambassador at Paris. Both were well
qualified for the work they had undertaken; the efficacious union
of France and England for the maintenance of the peace of Europe.

The first result of their efforts was the accession of the Prince
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg to the throne of Belgium. But lately the
adored husband of the Princess Charlotte of England, and still
popular in his adopted country, the new sovereign bound himself
to France by espousing the Princess Louise, eldest daughter of
Louis Philippe.

The two powers testified their satisfaction and good-will by
delivering his country from the presence of the Holland forces.
After an agreement signed at London on the 22nd of October, 1832,
not without a certain distrust on the part of Lord Palmerston,
charged with the administration of foreign affairs in the cabinet
of Lord Grey, the Belgian fortresses still occupied by the
Holland troops were evacuated. A French army under Marshal
Gérard, accompanied by the young Duke of Orleans, laid siege to
Anvers. This place, already the scene of so many bloody
conflicts, and so many diplomatic negotiations, during centuries
past, was obliged to capitulate, on the 23rd of December, 1832.
The kingdom of Belgium was now definitively constituted, and
destined to prosper rapidly under its wise and prudent sovereign,
who constantly endeavored to maintain around him that equilibrium
so essential to the preservation of peace in Europe, and so
indispensable to the development as well as the security of his
little state.

Spain had been for a long time the object of profound anxiety to
the astute statesmen of Europe. King Ferdinand VII. had just died
(September, 1833), leaving the succession to the throne
contested, notwithstanding the definitive act, sanctioned by the
Cortes, which had assured the crown to his eldest daughter
Isabella. Hesitating for a long time between family affection and
those absolute tendencies which had exiled into France all the
intelligent liberals of Spain, the monarch who had just breathed
his last, had scattered the seeds of the Carlist insurrection,
which broke out immediately after his death. A numerous and
obstinate party sustained the right of the infant Don Carlos to
the throne, in the name of the Salic law established in Spain by
the pragmatic sanction of Philip V., and recognized for some time
by Ferdinand VII. himself. The English and French cabinets did
not hesitate; by common consent they recognized the titles of the
young Queen Isabella II., as conformable to the ancient Spanish
law accepted by the nation. Civil war broke out in Spain. It had
already begun in Portugal, where the usurper Don Miguel,
contended in the name of the same principles for the exclusion of
the young Queen Donna Maria. Already the new governments of the
two kingdoms were compelled to ask assistance of the great
constitutional and liberal powers.


On the 15th of April, 1834, the triple alliance was concluded at
London between England, Spain and Portugal. A month later, and
upon the objection of the French government to the presumptions,
exclusively English, of Lord Palmerston, France in her turn
joined the alliance already known and powerful in Europe,
although no armed intervention had seconded the popular movement.
Civil war did not cease in Spain; it lasted for a long time,
breaking out anew at irregular intervals, yet always ardent and
obstinate. Meanwhile Don Carlos had embarked for England, and Don
Miguel had finally quitted Portugal, and retired into Italy.
Everywhere French and English diplomacy had been moderately but
firmly exerted in the service of the public welfare, and had
everywhere brought forth good fruit.

Wearied by the yoke that the Whigs had imposed upon him, and by
the violence he had done to his own views and inclinations, the
king called upon the Duke of Wellington. For the first time that
noble hero refused to serve his sovereign. "No sir," said he, "in
the new order of things the difficulties lie in the House of
Commons; and as that House now has the preponderance, its chief
ought to direct the government. Address yourself to Sir Robert
Peel; I will serve under him in any position that it shall please
your majesty to place me." Sir Robert Peel was in Italy--so also
was Fox, when called upon to succeed Pitt. While awaiting his
return, the Duke of Wellington, in concert with Lord Lyndhurst,
appointed chancellor, conducted alone the affairs of the
government, and taking charge of three ministerial departments,
without other solicitude than the prompt expedition of the work,
he cared but little for the objections which were raised against
this irregular administration. Sir Robert Peel accepted the
burden which was imposed upon him and upon his friends, without
either co-operation or support from without. Lord Stanley and Sir
James Graham refused to enter the cabinet. The Tories found
themselves alone in the face of a House of Commons profoundly
hostile. Parliament was immediately dissolved.


Sir Robert Peel, in expounding his principles in a long address
to his constituents at Tamworth, said: "I will repeat the
declaration which I made when I entered the House of Commons as a
member of the Reformed Parliament;--I consider the reform bill
as a final and irrevocable settlement of a great constitutional
question--a settlement which no friend to the peace and welfare
of his country would attempt to disturb, either by direct or
indirect means. If by the adoption of the spirit of the reform
bill, it becomes necessary to live in a perpetual vortex of
agitation, that public men can only sustain themselves in public
opinion by yielding to popular demands of each day, by promising
to redress immediately all abuses that may be pointed out, by
abandoning that great support of the government, more efficacious
than law or reason itself--the respect for ancient rights and
authorities consecrated by time; if that is the spirit of the
reform bill, I will not support it. If the spirit of the bill
implies merely a careful review of institutions, civil and
ecclesiastical, undertaken in a friendly temper; combining, with
the firm maintenance of established rights, the correction of
proved abuses and the redress of real grievances;--in that case I
can for myself and my colleagues undertake to act with such a
spirit and with such intentions."

And some weeks later, after his first check in the new
Parliament, upon the election of speaker, he continued: "I make
you great offers, which ought not to be inconsiderately rejected.
I offer you the prospect of a durable peace, the return of the
confidence of powerful states who are disposed to seize this
occasion to reduce their armies and remove the danger of hostile
I offer you reduced estimates, improvements in civil
jurisprudence, reform of ecclesiastical laws, the settlement of
the tithe question in Ireland, the commutation of tithes in
England, the removal of any real abuse in the Church, and the
redress of those grievances of which the dissenters have any just
ground to complain. I offer also the best chance that these
things can be effected, in willing concert with the other
authorities of the state--thus restoring harmony, insuring the
maintenance, but not excluding the reform, where reform is really
requisite, of ancient institutions. You may reject my offers, you
may refuse to hear them, but if you do so, the time is
approaching when you will perceive that the popular sentiment
upon which you have relied has abandoned you."

Party passion was at this time too violent and party animosity
too intense, for the newly elected house to lend an ear to this
wise and patriotic language. O'Connell had sold the support of
the Irish Catholics to the Whigs, and his price was the "Repeal
of the Union." "I belong to the Repeal," said he to the electors,
"dead or alive, saved or lost, I belong to the Repeal; and I make
a solemn engagement with those who are the most opposed to me, to
serve them in all things, in a way to render the transition not
only without danger, but perfectly easy."

The deputies of the counties were for the most part
Conservatives, but the towns and boroughs gave a majority for the
Whigs. Sir Robert Peel accepted many checks without recoiling
before the danger, presenting day after day to Parliament the
measures which he believed to be useful to the public service;
determined to defy the opposition as long as it did not touch
upon points that he regarded as vital questions. Lord John
Russell was not tardy in responding to this defiance.
On the 30th of March, 1835, he renewed the attack but lately
directed against the Irish Church: "Missionary Church," he said,
"instituted with a view of leading the Irish population to the
Protestant faith, adapted to future wants that had been foreseen
but had never yet manifested themselves." He proposed then to
revise the ecclesiastical establishment by applying to public
instruction the sums and endowments which were now found
necessary for the religious maintenance of the curates and their
flocks. With Sir Robert Peel it was now a question of conscience
as well as of absolute conviction. Seconded by Lord Stanley, he
maintained that the ecclesiastical property proceeded from
endowments made to the Church, and properly belonged to it, and
that no one had the right to divert the same from its primitive
and religious destination. The motion of Lord John Russell was
carried, however, by a vote of three hundred and twenty-two
against two hundred and eighty-nine. The majority was in the
hands of the Irish Catholics.

Sir Robert Peel and his friends resolved to retire. They had
risen in the contest which they had so courageously sustained for
four months; their adversaries, as well as the entire country,
felt this, and they hastened to seize again the reins of power.

"No indifference for public life, no distaste for the fatigues
and weariness that it imposes, no consideration of personal
comfort, no grief of private life, would authorize a public man,
in my estimation, to desert without imperative reason the post to
which his sovereign has called him," said Sir Robert Peel, in the
House of Commons, on the 8th of April, 1835. "But at the same
time, it is a great misfortune to present to the country the
spectacle of a government which does not find in the House of
Commons the support necessary to safely conduct the affairs of
the country, nor exercise upon the acts of that House an
influence which confidence alone can give; to such a spectacle of
feebleness there are limits, which one ought not to pass."


During six years of alternate languor and energy, the cabinet of
Lord Melbourne governed England; master of the House of Commons,
and for a long time powerful in the country, losing however
little by little its popularity as well as its resources, and
slowly conquered by that adversary which had but recently
predicted its fall. "You will have no other alternative than to
invoke our aid and replace the government in the hands from which
you wish to wrest it to-day," said Sir Robert Peel, in the month
of December, 1834, "or have recourse to that pressure from
without, to those methods of compulsion and of violence which
will render your reforms vain, and will seal the death warrant of
the British Constitution."

Lord Grey had never renounced power; "susceptible and proud, with
a mind more elevated than discerning, he was unskilful in
defending himself from small intrigues that he was incapable of
plotting." Worn out by a long life devoted to politics, he was
sad in his noble retirement, notwithstanding the affection of his
wife and numerous children, and the profound respect always shown
him by those who had served under his banners. Lord Althorpe, now
become Earl Spencer, as well as Lord Brougham, took no part in
the new cabinet. Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell and Lord
Palmerston, sagacious in different degrees, undertook to continue
the work of reform, but lately victoriously begun, and more
difficult to accomplish, with prudent moderation, than its ardent
defenders had at first foreseen. Many changes, but recently
loudly demanded, were silently abandoned; they compromised upon
the Irish Church question, agreeing to the conditions proposed by
Sir Robert Peel; only the reform of the municipal corporations
was accomplished slowly and with difficulty in Ireland, useful
nevertheless and everywhere accepted.
The struggle was severe, and bold hands were raised against the
foundations of the English Constitution, and against the
hereditary rights of the House of Lords. But at the same time
that the audacity of the Reformers increased and developed a
spirit of resistance, a reaction, sober and moderate, firmly
resolved to defend those ancient institutions which have been the
grandeur as well as the security of England. It was in support of
these principles that Sir Robert Peel, on the 11th of January,
1836, addressed his friends and adherents assembled at Glasgow to
elect a rector for the university. A great number of the persons
present had but recently been warm supporters of the reform
movement. "If you adhere to the principles which you professed in
1830, it is here you ought to come," said Sir Robert Peel. "You
consented to a reform, invited by a speech from the throne,
expressly on the condition that it should be according to the
acknowledged principles of the Constitution. I see the necessity
of widening the foundations on which the defence of our
Constitution and religious establishment must rest, but I do not
wish to conciliate your confidence by hoisting false colors. My
object is to support our national establishments which connect
Protestantism with the State, in the three realms. I avow to you
that I mean to support in its full integrity the House of Lords,
as an essential, indispensable condition for maintaining the
Constitution under which we live. If you assent to this opinion,
the hour is arrived when we must all be prepared to act on the
declaration of it. The disturbing force of foreign example has
diminished; the dazzling illusions of the glorious days have
passed away, and the affections of the people are visibly
gravitating again to their old centre, full of a respect for
property, a love for national freedom, and an attachment to long
established institutions."


"From these walls I trust a spirit will go forth to animate the
desponding and encourage the timid. I look to the moral influence
of that opinion, which constitutes the chief defence of nations.
I look to it for the maintenance of that system of government
which protects the rich from spoliation, and the poor from
oppression. I look to that spirit which will range itself under
no tawdry banner of revolution, but will unfurl and rally round
the flag which has braved for a thousand years the battle and the
breeze. I do not doubt that it will continue to float
triumphantly, and that our Constitution, tried as it has been in
the storms of adversity, will come forth purified and fortified
in the rooted convictions, feelings and affections of a
religious, moral and patriotic people."

It was against his personal inclinations, but in conformity to
constitutional principles sincerely accepted and practised, that
King William IV. had successively sanctioned the important
reforms which were accomplished under his reign. His royal task
was soon to terminate; from day to day his health became more
feeble, and on the 20th of June, 1837, he expired at Windsor. The
supreme power fell into the hands of his young niece, the
Princess Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent, who, on the same
day, was proclaimed Queen, at Kensington. The new sovereign of
the three kingdoms, England, Scotland, and Ireland, whose laws
extend over so many distant colonies and diverse peoples, was
only eighteen years of age.

We have momentarily closed the History of France with the death
of the ancient Régime, at the confused and menacing beginning of
a terrible revolution, continued through many years, the memory
of which still profoundly agitates that country; we will close
the History of England at the death of King William IV., at the
beginning of a new reign, tenderly greeted by the nation,
destined to a long prosperity, rarely interrupted by wars--always
gloriously terminated.


Reforms have continued: bold and moderate, wise and prudent,
without ever altering the fundamental character of the
Constitution, yet profound enough to maintain England in the
first rank among liberal and free countries. The first to march
to battle for the great political rights of humanity; she has
gained them not without errors, not without crimes; she has
preserved and protected them after having definitively closed the
fatal era of revolutions. A noble spectacle and fortifying
example, which fills us with admiration and with a generous envy,
without however discouraging us, nor disturbing us in our fond
hope for our well beloved country; she has long sought repose in
order, and security in liberty; she has often caught sight of
these, and she will assuredly find them one day.

While awaiting that supreme hour, the constant aim of our
efforts, it is our duty and our honor to seek everywhere in the
experience of history, as in the lessons of the present, the
power of sustaining without wavering the flag of noble hopes,
that flag which has  been bequeathed to us by dying hands, with
the watchword of the old Roman Emperor: "Laboremus--Laboremus."

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Popular History Of England From the Earliest Times To The Reign Of Queen Victoria - Vol. IV" ***

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