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In Canada the management of the war was more successful. To maintain the war in that quarter, Congress had ordered nine regiments to be raised. One of these was to be raised in Canada itself, and for this purpose a commission was given to Moses Hazen, who had formerly been a captain of rangers, under Wolfe. He was not, however, very successful. The Canadians were not to any extent disaffected to the British Government, and by no means well affected to the New Englanders, who were bitterly bigoted against Catholics, which the Canadians chiefly were. When Hazen and Arnold saw that the Canadians would neither enlist nor bring provisions to their camps, without cash payment, they commenced plundering for all that they wanted, and thus confirmed that people in their hatred of the Americans. They, moreover, insulted the Canadians by ridiculing their rites of worship.

The circumstance sank deeply into the mind of the king, and, resenting especially the conduct of Grenville—who had acted as though he held a monopoly of office,—he determined to be rid of him. He therefore consulted with his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. That prince, to whom age and infirmities seemed to have given a degree of wisdom, declared the offer of the Ministry to Pitt to be the necessary step, and willingly undertook to make it. But knowing that Pitt would not even listen to the proposal without Temple, he dispatched a summons to Stowe for that nobleman, and himself, infirm as he was, went to Hayes, to learn the will of the great commoner personally. Pitt showed himself disposed to accept the office, on condition that general warrants should be declared illegal; that the officers dismissed on account of their votes be restored; and that an alliance with Protestant powers, and especially with Prussia, should be formed, to counterbalance the compact between France and Spain. This was asking a great deal; but Pitt demanded more in the particulars of appointments,[187] namely, that Pratt, who had opposed the Court so decidedly as regarded Wilkes and general warrants, should be Lord Chancellor, and he opposed the Court desire that the Duke of Northumberland should be at the head of the Treasury. Pitt, moreover, designed the Treasury for Temple. But, when Temple arrived, he refused to take office at all. The fact was that just now he was making a reconciliation with his brother, Grenville, and was averse from throwing him overboard. So far from joining Pitt, he was on the verge of another breach with him. Pitt, disconcerted by this repulse, with a weakness to be deplored in so great a man, refused to accept the offer to form a ministry at all.Such was the peace abroad and the prosperity of the country at this time, that there occur few events worthy of record. Of those which took place in 1731, the most remarkable was an Act abolishing the use of Latin in all proceedings of the Courts of Justice, and the next the renewal of the charter of the East India Company. If the country was peaceful and prosperous, however, it was neither free from corruption nor from the need of extensive reform. The very system of Walpole which produced such a show of prosperity that an old Scottish Secretary of State asked the Minister what he had done to make the Almighty so much his friend, was built on the most wholesale bribery and corruption. It was, in fact, a purchased domestic peace. In social life the example of the Government produced the like dishonesty. There was a fearful revelation of the proceedings of a charitable corporation for lending small sums of money to the industrious poor at legal interest; and Sir Robert Sutton, the late Ambassador at Paris, was found so deeply implicated in the frauds and extortions practised on those they were employed to benefit, that he was expelled from the House. There was also an inquiry into the state of the public prisons of London, which opened up a most amazing scene of horrors. It was found to be a common practice of the warders to connive at the escape of rich prisoners for a sufficient bribe, and to inflict the most oppressive cruelties on those who were too poor to pay heavy fees.

MARSHAL BLUCHER. (From the Portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A.)Strong as was the majority of Ministers, however, the king did not wait for their resigning. The day after this debate (Thursday, December 18th), the king sent, at twelve o'clock at night, to Fox and Lord North an order to surrender their seals of office to their Under-Secretaries, as a personal interview, in the circumstances, would be disagreeable. Fox instantly delivered up his; but Lord North was already in bed, and had entrusted his seal to his son, Colonel North, who could not be found for some time. The Seals were then delivered to Lord Temple, who, on the following day, sent letters of dismissal to all the other members of the coalition Cabinet. Pitt, though in his twenty-fifth year only, was appointed first Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and on him devolved the duty of forming a new Administration. Earl Gower was nominated President of the Council, and Lord Temple one of the Secretaries of State. When the House of Commons met in the afternoon, Fox imagined, from a motion of Dundas to proceed to business without the usual adjournment on Saturday, that it was the object of the new party to pass certain money Bills, and then resort to a dissolution. Fox opposed the motion, declaring that a dissolution at this moment would produce infinite damage to[304] the service of the nation, and that, should it take place in order to suit the convenience of an ambitious young man (meaning Pitt), he would, immediately on the meeting of the new House, move for an inquiry into the authors and advisers of it, in order to bring them to punishment. This caused Lord Temple, who had occasioned the breaking up of the Coalition, to resign again immediately, declaring that he preferred meeting any aspersions upon him in his private and individual capacity. This certainly removed a great danger from his colleagues, although it rendered the task of his friend and relative, Pitt, still more difficult, in having to form an Administration alone. The Ministry was then filled up thus:—Lord Sydney, Secretary of State for the Home Department; the Marquis of Carmarthen for the Foreign; the Duke of Rutland, Lord Privy Seal; Lord Gower became President of the Council; the Duke of Richmond, Master-General of the Ordnance; Lord Thurlow again Chancellor; Lord Howe, First Lord of the Admiralty. With the exception of Pitt, the whole of the Cabinet was drawn from the House of Lords. When the Commons met, on the 22nd, Mr. Bankes said he was authorised by Mr. Pitt, who was not in the House, a new writ for Appleby being moved for on his appointment to office, to say that he had no intention to advise a dissolution. His Majesty, on the 24th of December, having also assured the House that he would not interrupt their meeting after the recess by either prorogation or dissolution, the House adjourned till the 12th of January, 1784.


During this time foreign painters of various degrees of merit flourished in England. Amongst these were John Baptist Vanloo, brother of the celebrated Carl Vanloo, a careful artist; Joseph Vanaken, a native of Antwerp, who did for Hudson what his countrymen did for Kneller—furnished draperies and attitudes. He worked for many others, so that Hogarth painted his funeral as followed by all the painters of the day in despair. The celebrated battle-painter, Peter Vander Meulen, Hemskerk, Godfrey Schalcken, famous for his candle-light effects, John Van Wyck, a famous painter of horses, James Bogdani, a Hungarian flower, bird, and fruit painter, Balthazar Denner, famous for his wonderfully finished heads, especially of old people, and Theodore Netscher, the son of Gaspar Netscher, all painted in England in the earlier part of the eighteenth century. Boit—a painter of French parentage—Liotard, and Zincke, were noted enamel painters. Peter Tillemans, who painted English landscapes, seats, busts, roses, etc., died in 1734; and the celebrated Canaletti came to England in 1746, and stayed about two years, but was not very successful, the English style of architecture, and, still more, the want of the transparent atmosphere of Italy, being unfavourable to his peculiar talent.[See larger version]

CHAPTER XIV. THE REIGN OF VICTORIA (continued).[See larger version]

The Whig party were in consternation at this sudden disruption of the union of the heads of their party. A meeting was held on the night of the 11th of February at Burlington House, which did not separate till three in the morning. The result did not appear to have been very satisfactory, and the fears of the Whigs were greatly augmented by finding Pitt, who had hitherto praised the Revolution, now express the great obligations of the country to Mr. Burke, for the able warning which he had given against revolutionary principles. The king made no secret of his abhorrence of these principles. He considered the French Revolution as the direct result of the American one; and having come to the conclusion that he had himself erred by too much concession, he now censured the concessions of Louis XVI. as fraught with certain calamity. All this boded a decided resistance to the spirit of reform at home. There was a new schism amongst the organs of the press. Many of the newspapers still fostered in their columns the wildest hopes of universal advantage to the cause of liberty from the French Revolution; but others adopted the opinions and views of Burke—and no few of the Whig and Foxite papers were of this class. The effect of the alarm at the wild conduct of the French was speedily seen in the refusal to consider the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act, which was brought forward by Fox, on behalf of the Dissenters, and a motion for parliamentary reform, introduced by Mr. Flood. Both were strongly opposed, on the ground that this was not the time to make any changes whilst so riotous a spirit of change was near us, and was so warmly admired by many of our own people. Both motions were rejected by large majorities.


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The Pitt Ministry figured with less success as regarded the encroachments of Russia on the Turkish empire. The undisguised policy of Catherine was to press on her operations against Turkey till she had planted herself in Constantinople. Pitt continued as inactive as if there were no danger at all, and the same policy actuated Holland and Prussia. The least support given by these Powers to Gustavus of Sweden would have effectually checked the Russian designs in the East, and have raised Sweden into a position capable of acting as a dead weight on Russian aggression. By very little aid Gustavus would have been able to recover all the territories on the eastern side of the Baltic which had been wrested from Sweden by Russia, and would thus have kept a formidable power always, as it were, at the very gates of St. Petersburg. But Gustavus was left, with his brave heart but limited forces, to contend with Russia alone. He kept down his disaffected nobles by cultivating the interests of the people at large, and maintained a determined struggle with Russia. He sent over the Prince of Anhalt with a small army of about three thousand men at so early a season that the ground was covered with ice and snow. The prince pushed on boldly towards St. Petersburg, and made himself master of the strong forts and defences at Karnomkoski, on the Lake Saima, within two days' march of that capital. In April they were encountered by ten thousand Russians under the command of General Ingelstrom, whom they defeated after a desperate battle, leaving two thousand Russians dead on the field. But the Prince of Anhalt was killed, and the Swedes were not able, with a handful of men, to advance on St. Petersburg, which was in fearful panic. Gustavus was more successful at sea. He and his brother, the Duke of Sudermania, fought the Russians with a very inferior force of ships off Revel, and afterwards off Svenskasund. A considerable number of English officers were serving in the Swedish fleet, amongst them one destined to rise to high distinction, Sidney, afterwards Sir Sidney, Smith. After two days' sanguinary fight at the latter place, Gustavus beat the Russian Admiral Chitschakoff so completely that he took four thousand prisoners, destroyed several of the largest Russian ships, and took or sank forty-five galleys. Catherine was now glad to make peace, which was concluded at Warela, near the river Kymen, but with very different results to what would have been obtained had Gustavus found that support which it was the obvious interest of the whole civilised world to afford him. He agreed that each Power should retain what it possessed before the war, thus conferring on Russia the provinces torn from Sweden. Gustavus complained bitterly of his treatment, and with ample cause.In the East Indies we this year sent over from Madras an army and reduced Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East India settlements, and the island of Java, as well as the small island of Madura, so that the last trace of the Dutch power was extinguished in the East, as it was at home by the domination of Buonaparte. In the West Indies we had already made ourselves masters of all the islands of France, Denmark, and Holland; and our troops there had nothing to do but to watch and keep down the attempts at insurrection which French emissaries continued to stir up in the black populations. We had some trouble of this kind in St. Domingo and in Martinique, where the negroes, both free and slaves, united to massacre the whites, and set up a black republic like that of Hayti. But the French settlers united with the English troops in putting them down, and a body of five hundred blacks, in an attempt to burn down the town of St. Pierre, were dispersed with great loss, and many were taken prisoners, and fifteen of them hanged.

The place had been fortified so well as to be able to defy any attack that could be made upon it without artillery. Colonel Broadfoot had insisted on bringing an ample supply of working tools, which were found to be of the greatest advantage. In the official report of General Sale, written by Havelock, there is a description of the works that had been executed, and the immense[499] labour that had been undertaken to clear away everything that could serve as a cover for the enemy. They demolished forts and old walls, filled up ravines, destroyed gardens, and cut down groves; they raised the parapets six or seven feet high, repaired and widened the ramparts, extended the bastions, re-trenched three of the gates, covered the fortress with an outwork, and excavated a ditch, ten feet deep and twelve wide, round the whole of the walls. The enemy soon approached, under the command of Akbar Khan; the white tents, which the British were obliged to abandon, appearing in the distance. But the garrison were full of confidence, proudly rejoicing in the work of their hands, and feeling that they were perfectly safe behind the defences which they had raised with so much labour. In a short time, however, they had an astounding illustration of the vanity of all confidence in human strength, showing that, in a moment, it can be turned into weakness.Meanwhile, Buonaparte was preparing to descend like an avalanche on this absurdly inflated nation. To set himself at ease with the North, whilst thus engaged in the Peninsula, he deemed it first necessary, however, to have an interview with the Emperor of Russia in Germany. The spirit of the Germans was again rising; and notwithstanding the spies and troops of Buonaparte, his paid literati—like Johannes Müller,—and his paid princes—like those of the Rhenish Confederation, Bavaria, Baden, and Würtemberg,—the Germans were beginning to blush at their humiliation, and to lament the causes of it, their effeminacy, and their division into so many States, with all the consequent prejudices and intestine feuds. Prussia, which had suffered so severely for its selfish policy, and had been so cut down in territory and insulted in its honour by Napoleon, began to cherish the hope of yet redeeming itself, by a more manly spirit and a more cordial co-operation with the rest of Germany. In this work of regeneration—which is sure to take place sooner or later, when nations have been well beaten and humiliated, and which then, in their renewed manhood, require no foreign aid for the accomplishment of their freedom—all classes laboured. The king, under the inspiration of his patriotic Minister, Von Stein, began most essential reforms. He abolished the feudal servitude and forced labour under which the peasantry groaned; he made a thorough moral re-organisation of the army, admitting of promotion from the ranks; he allowed any man that had the money to purchase baronial estates; and he deprived the higher nobility of the exclusive right of possessing landed property, and of appointment to the higher civil and military posts. Von Stein, too, commenced the work of inspiring the mass of the people with a new soul of patriotism. He established a secret society, called the Tugend Bund, or union of Virtue, which was to unite nobles, statesmen, officers, and literati in one common confederation for the rescue of the country. Amongst those who entered the most enthusiastically were Colonel Schill, who had headed with great effect his troop of volunteer cavalry, Jahn, a professor at Berlin, and Moritz Arndt, a professor of Bonn, the author of the famous national song, "Was ist der Deutschen Vaterland?" in which he maintained that it was not Prussia, nor Austria, nor any other particular State, but all Germany, so far as the language extended. Scharnhorst, the commander of the Prussian army, though restricted to the prescribed number of troops, created a new army by continually exchanging trained soldiers for raw recruits, and secretly purchased an immense quantity of arms, so that, on emergency, a large body of men could be speedily assembled. He had also all the brass battery guns converted into field-pieces, and replaced by iron guns. But Napoleon's spies were everywhere. They discovered the existence of the Tugend Bund, and of the secret societies of the students, which they carried on under the old name of the Burschenschaft, or association of the students. Though Napoleon pretended to ridicule these movements, calling it mere ideology, he took every means to suppress them. The Minister, Von Stein, in consequence[566] of the contents of an intercepted letter, was outlawed; Scharnhorst, and Grüner, the head of the police, were dismissed from their offices; but it was all in vain—the tide of public feeling had now set in the right way. The same spirit was alive in Austria. Abuses were reformed; a more perfect discipline was introduced. John Philip von Stadion, the head of the Ministry, encouraged these measures; the views of the Archduke Charles were carried out on a far wider basis. A completely new institution, that of the Landwehr, or armed citizens, was set on foot. The Austrian armies were increased greatly. In 1807 the Hungarian Diet voted twelve thousand recruits; in 1808, eighty thousand; while eighty thousand organised soldiers, of whom thirty thousand were cavalry, constituted the armed reserve of this warlike nation. Napoleon remonstrated, and received very pacific answers, but the movement went on. Von Stein, now a refugee in Austria, fanned the flame there, and he and Count Münster, first Hanoverian Ambassador, and afterwards British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, were in constant correspondence with each other and with the Government of Great Britain.


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