The enemy's fleets being thus destroyed or shut up, Pitt determined on his great enterprise, the conquest of Canada. The idea was worthy of his genius. His feeble predecessors had suffered the French from this neighbouring colony to aspire to the conquest of our North American territory. They had built strong forts on the lakes and down the valley of the Ohio; they intended to connect them with the Mississippi, and then to drive us out of the country. Had not Pitt come into office they might probably have succeeded. But Pitt had already commenced the driving in of the French outposts, and he now planned the complete expulsion of that nation from their advanced posts and from Canada itself. His scheme had three parts, which were all to concentrate themselves into one grand effortthe taking of Quebec, the capital. It was a daring enterprise, for Canada was ably governed and defended by Marshal de Montcalm, a man of great military experience and talent, and highly esteemed for his noble character by the colonists and the Indians, vast tribes of whom he had won over to his interest by his courtesy and conciliatory manner, whilst the English had as much disgusted them by their haughty surliness. But Pitt had picked his men for the occasion, and especially for the grand coup-de-main, the taking of Quebec. He formed his whole plan himself, and though it was not perfect, and was greatly criticised by military men, it succeeded[133] though not in effecting the combination which he contemplated, in all its parts. Instead of Hamilton, the Duke of Shrewsbury was sent to Versailles, where Matthew Prior remained to lend his superior knowledge of French affairs and superior address to the negotiations. The weight of Tory vengeance now fell on the Duke of Marlborough, whom the ministers justly regarded as the most dangerous man amongst the Whigs by his abilities and the splendour of his renown. The Earl of Godolphin died in September of this year. He had always been a staunch friend of the Marlboroughs. His son, Lord Rialton, was married to Marlborough's eldest daughter, and during Godolphin's later years he was nearly a constant resident with the Marlboroughs, and died at their lodge in Windsor Park. Godolphin was one of the best of the Whigs; of a clear, strong judgment, and calm temper. He had rendered the most essential services during the conflict against France, by ably and faithfully conducting affairs at home, whilst Marlborough was winning his victories abroad; and that great general knew that he should be supported against all his enemies and detractors so long as Godolphin remained in power. The highest eulogium on Godolphin's honesty lies in the fact that he died poor. But at Godolphin's death Marlborough stood a more exposed object to the malice of his foes. They did not hesitate to assert that he had had a deep concern in the plot for Hamilton's death. He was also harassed by debt. He therefore resolved to retire to the Continent, where he continued to keep up a correspondence with the Elector of Hanover and the Pretender to the last, so that whichever came in he might stand well with him. He wrote to St. Germains, showing that though he had appeared to fight against the King of England, as he styled the Pretender, it was not so. He had fought to reduce the power of France, which would be as much to the advantage of the king when he came to the throne as it was to the present queen. He gave his advice to the Pretender for his security and success. "The French king and his ministers," he says, "will sacrifice everything to their own views of peace. The Earl of Oxford and his associates in office will[10] probably insist upon the king's retiring to Italy; but he must never consent. He must neither yield to the French king, nor to the fallacious insinuations of the British Ministry, on a point which must inevitably ruin his cause. To retire to Italy, by the living God! is the same thing as to stab himself to the heart. Let him take refuge in Germany, or in some country on this side of the Alps. He wants no security for his person; no one will touch a hair of his head. I perceive such a change in his favour, that I think it is impossible but that he must succeed. But when he shall succeed, let there be no retrospect towards the past. All that has been done since the Revolution must be confirmed." He added that Queen Anne had no real aversion from her brother's interests, but that she must not be alarmed, as she was very timid.

The result produced intense excitement, and led to rioting and outrage in the metropolis, and in some of the provincial towns. In London, the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of Cumberland, and the Marquis of Londonderry, were assaulted in the street, and rescued with difficulty from the fury of the mob. Lord Londonderry, who had signalised himself during the debate by the violence of his opposition, was struck senseless from his horse by a shower of stones at the gate of the palace, amidst cries of "Murder him! Cut his throat!" Persons respectably dressed, and wearing ribbons round their arms, took the lead on these occasions, giving orders, and rushing from the crowd. The houses of the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Bristol, and all other anti-Reform peers, had been visited by the mob, and left without glass in their windows. All the shops in town were shut. "The accounts from Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and other places," wrote Lord Eldon, "are very uncomfortable. I heard last night that the king was frightened by the appearance of the people outside of St. James's."

It was during the year 1838 that the Chartists became an organised body. The working classes had strenuously supported the middle classes in obtaining their political rights during the agitation for the Reform Bill, and they expected to receive help in their turn to obtain political franchises for themselves, but they found Parliament indifferent or hostile to any further changes in the representation, while the middle class, satisfied with their own acquisitions, were not inclined to exert themselves much for the extension of political rights among the masses. The discontent and disappointment of the latter were aggravated by a succession of bad harvests, setting in about 1835. The hardships of their condition, with scanty employment and dear provisions, the people ascribed to their want of direct influence upon the[456] Government. This gave rise to a vigorous agitation for the extension of the franchise, which was carried on for ten years. In 1838 a committee of six members of Parliament and six working men prepared a Bill embodying their demands. This was called the "People's Charter." Its points were six in number:First, the extension of the right of voting to every male native of the United Kingdom, and every naturalised foreigner resident in the kingdom for more than two years, who should be twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and unconvicted of crime; second, equal electoral districts; third, vote by ballot; fourth, annual Parliaments; fifth, no property qualification for members; sixth, payment of members of Parliament for their services.

Canning, now rising into note, and Windham, declared that there were no motives for peace, but everything to necessitate the active prosecution of the war; and Windham could not help severely condemning the acquittal of Horne Tooke, Hardy, Thelwall, and the rest of the accused Reformers. He was called to order for thus impugning the conduct of independent juries, and reminded that no legal proofs of the guilt of the prisoners had been producedon which he replied that they ought to have been condemned, then, on moral proofs. Cope had landed his force at Dunbar on the very day that the prince entered Edinburgh. His disembarkation was not completed till the 18th. Lord Loudon had joined him at Inverness with two hundred men, and now he met the runaway dragoons, six hundred in number, so that his whole force amounted to two thousand two hundred mensome few hundreds less than the Highlanders. Sir John took the level road towards Edinburgh, marching out of Dunbar on the 19th of September. Next day Lord Loudon, who acted as adjutant-general, rode forward with a reconnoitring party, and soon came back at a smart trot to announce that the rebels were not approaching by the road and the open country to the west, but along the heights to the south. Sir John, therefore, altered his route, and pushed on to Prestonpans, where he formed his army in battle array. He placed his foot in the centre, with a regiment of dragoons and three pieces of artillery on each wing. His right was covered by Colonel Gardiner's park wall and the village of Preston; his left extended towards Seaton House, and in his rear lay the sea, with the villages of Prestonpans and Cockenzie. Between him and the Highlanders was a deep morass.

The very name of Clive brought the war with Oude to a close. Sujah Dowlah was encamped on the borders of Bahar, strongly reinforced by bands of Mahrattas and Afghans, and anxious for another battle. But no sooner did he learn that Clive was returned, than he informed Cossim and Sombre that as he could no longer protect them, they had better shift for themselves. He then dismissed his followers, rode to the English camp, and announced that he was ready to accept such terms of peace as they thought reasonable. Clive proceeded to Benares to settle these terms. The council of Calcutta had determined to strip Sujah Dowlah of all his possessions, but Clive knew that it was far more politic to make friends of powerful princes. He therefore allowed Sujah Dowlah to retain the rank and title of vizier, and gave him back all the rest of Oude, except the districts of Allahabad and Corah, which had been promised to Shah Allum as an imperial domain. On Shah Allum, as Great Mogul, he also settled, on behalf of the Company, an annual payment of twenty-six lacs of rupees. Thus the heir of the great Aurungzebe became the tributary of the East India Company. On the 13th of February the Opposition in the Commons brought on the question of the validity of general warrants. The debate continued all that day and the next night till seven o'clock in the morning. The motion was thrown out; but Sir William Meredith immediately made another, that a general warrant for apprehending the authors, printers, and publishers of a seditious libel is not warranted by law. The combat was renewed, and Pitt made a tremendous speech, declaring that if the House resisted Sir William Meredith's motion, they would be the disgrace of the present age, and the reproach of posterity. He upbraided Ministers with taking mean and petty vengeance on those who did not agree with them, by dismissing them from office. This charge Grenville had the effrontery to deny, though it was a notorious fact. As the debate approached its close, the Ministers called in every possible vote; "the sick, the lame were hurried into the House, so that," says Horace Walpole, "you would have thought they had sent a search warrant into every hospital for Members of Parliament." When the division came, which was only for the adjournment of Meredith's motion for a month, they only carried it by fourteen votes. In the City there was a confident anticipation of the defeat of Ministers, and materials had been got together for bonfires all over London, and for illuminating the Monument. Temple was said to have faggots ready for bonfires of his own.

Mr. Manners Sutton was again chosen Speaker of the House of Commons, having already presided over four successive Parliaments, occupying a period of fourteen years, during which he performed the onerous duties of his high position to the satisfaction of all parties. A week was occupied in the swearing-in of members. All the preliminary formalities having been gone through, the Parliament was opened by the king in person on the 2nd of November. The Royal Speech, which was of unusual length, excited the deepest interest, and was listened to with breathless attention and intense anxiety. The concluding paragraph of the Speech, while expressing the strongest confidence in the loyalty of the people, intimated the determination of the Government to resist Parliamentary Reform. This attitude was regarded as a defiance to the Opposition; and it roused into excitement the spirit of hostility, which might have been disarmed by a tone of conciliation, and by a disposition to make moderate concessions. Nothing, therefore, could have been more favourable to the aims of the Whig leaders than the course taken by the Administration; and if they wanted an excuse for breaking forth into open war, it was supplied by the imprudent speech of the Duke of Wellington. The Royal Speech, indeed, suggested revolutionary topics to the Reformers, by its allusion to Continental politics. The king observed that the elder branch of the House of Bourbon no longer reigned in France, and that the Duke of Orleans had been called to the throne. The state of affairs in the Low Countriesnamely, the separation of Belgium from Hollandwas viewed with deep regret; and "his Majesty lamented that the enlightened administration of the King of the Netherlands" should not have preserved his dominions from revolt; stating that he was endeavouring, in concert with his allies, to devise such means of restoring tranquillity as might be compatible with the welfare and good government of the Netherlands, and with the future security of other States.

The news of the invasion brought George from Hanover. He arrived in London on the last day of August, by which time the Young Pretender had already been entertained by Lord Tullibardine at Blair Castle; but he seemed to feel no great alarm. He thought the forces of Cope were sufficient to compete with the insurgents, and Lord Granville and his party did their best to confirm him in this opinion. On the 20th of September three battalions of the expected Dutch forces landed, and received orders to march north. But what contributed more than anything to the security of the kingdom was the activity of the fleet. The seamen all round the coasts showed as much spirit and life as the soldiers had shown cowardice. Privateers as well as men-of-war vied with one another in performing feats of bravery. A small ship off Bristol took a large Spanish ship, bound for Scotland, with arms and money. Another small ship took the Soleil, from Dunkirk, carrying twenty French officers and sixty men, to Montrose; and a small squadron of privateers, which volunteered to serve under a brave naval captain, took a vast number of French vessels, and drove still more upon their own shores. Charles's younger brother, Henry, was waiting to bring over the Irish regiments to his aid, but Louis would not hazard their appearance at sea in the face of such a dangerous fleet. Charles made an attempt to corrupt Captain Beavor, of the Fox man-of-war, by offering him splendid rewards in case of his success, but the gallant officer sent him word that he only treated with principals, and that, if he would come on board, he would talk with him.

WEDDING IN THE FLEET. (From a Print of the Eighteenth Century.)


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In the East Indies France agreed to keep no troops, and raise no fortifications in Bengal, and on these conditions their settlements were restored, but merely as places of trade. Goree, on the coast of Africa, was restored, but Senegal was surrendered.