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Chatham had begun to ponder the proceedings of Ministers towards America and towards Wilkes, or rather his constituents, as soon as the returning activity of his mind permitted him. The conduct of the Duke of Grafton, who had taken the lead during his retirement, did not escape his censure. He had too easily fallen into the demand of the Cabinet for severe measures in both those cases. No sooner, therefore, did Chatham appear than he launched the whole thunder of his indignation, and such was still his power that he shattered the Cabinet to atoms. No sooner was the Address to the king moved and seconded, than he rose and passed, with some expressions of contempt, from the mention of the horned cattle to the more important topics. He drew a dismal picture both[198] of the domestic condition and the foreign relations of the country. He glanced at the manner in which the Treaty of Paris had been made, the abandonment of the King of Prussia, and the consequent isolated condition of the kingdom, without a friend or an ally. But bad as the external affairs of the nation were, he described the internal as far worse. There everything was at discount. The people were partly starving and wholly murmuring; the constituencies were alarmed at the invasion of their rights in the case of John Wilkes; and the colonies were on the very edge of rebellion. Such was the condition to which the Government in a short time had reduced the commonweal. More than all did he condemn the policy pursued towards America. He protested against the term "unwarrantable," as applied to the conduct of the colonists; proposed to substitute the word "dangerous." He owned that he was partial towards the Americans, and strongly advocated a system of mildness and indulgence in their case.

Granville being got rid of, and the Opposition bought up with place, the only difference in the policy which had been pursued, and which had been so bitterly denounced by the noblemen and gentlemen now in office, was that it became more unequivocally Hanoverian and more extravagant. "Those abominably Courtly measures" of Granville were now the adopted measures of his denouncers. The king had expressed, just before his fall, a desire to grant a subsidy to Saxony; but Lord Chancellor Hardwicke had most seriously reminded his Majesty of the increased subsidy to the Queen of Hungary, which made it impracticable: now, both the increased subsidy to Maria Theresa and the subsidy to Saxony were passed without an objection. A quadruple alliance was entered into between Britain, Austria, Holland, and Saxony, by which Saxony was to furnish thirty thousand men for the defence of Bohemia, and to receive a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, two-thirds of which were to be paid by England, and one-third by Holland. The Elector of Cologne received twenty-four thousand pounds, the Elector of Mayence eight thousand pounds. Nay, soon discovering that, as there was no opposition, there was no clamour on the subject, Ministers the very next year took the Hanoverians into their direct pay again, and in 1747 increased the number of them from eighteen thousand to twenty thousand. THE TREATY OF TILSIT. (See p. 544.)

Hastings then mustered fresh regiments of sepoys; demanded and received three battalions from Cheyte Sing, the Rajah of Benares; armed cruisers; laid up stores of ammunition and provisions for three months in Fort William; enrolled a thousand European militia at Calcutta, and stood ready for any French invasion from sea. He then despatched Colonel Leslie with a strong force into the very heart of the Mahratta country. Leslie appeared to have lost his energy, made four months' delay in the plains of Bundelcund, and the next news was that he was dead. Colonel Goddard was sent to take his command, and advanced into Berar; but there hearing that successive revolutions were taking place at Poonah, he waited the result of them. Meanwhile, the presidency of Bombay, desirous of anticipating the expeditions from Calcutta, now undertook to reinstate Ragunath Rao, a deposed peishwa, whom they had lately left to his fate, and taking him along with him, the British commander, Colonel Egerton, marched into the Mahratta country with four thousand men. The army, when it had reached within sixteen miles of Poonah, was surrounded by hosts of Mahratta cavalry, and was compelled to surrender. The Mahrattas, as conditionswhich the British were in no position to declineinsisted on the restoration of all the territory won from them by the British since 1756, and the surrender to them of Ragunath Rao. But Hastings refused to recognise this treaty. He ordered Colonel Goddard to advance. The title of general was conferred on him, and he well justified the promotion. In that and the succeeding campaign he won victory on victory; stormed Ahmedabad; took the city of Bassein; gained a splendid victory over forty thousand of the combined forces of Holkar and Scindia, and, in a great measure, retrieved all the losses, and restored the fame of the British arms. In another quarter the success against the Mahrattas was equally decisive. Captain Popham with a small body of troops stormed and took the city of Lahore, and the huge fortress of[330] Gwalior, which the Mahrattas deemed impregnable. MONTGOMERY'S ASSAULT ON THE LOWER TOWN, QUEBEC. (See p. 222.)

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Immediately after the termination of the armistice the Russians and Prussians joined the great army of the Austrians, which had been concentrated at Prague. Their plan was to fall upon Buonaparte's rear. Full of activity, that unresting man had been busy, during the whole armistice, in defending his headquarters at Dresden by fortifications. He had cut down all the trees which adorned the public gardens and walks, and used them in a chain of redoubts and field-works, secured by fosses and palisades. He was in possession of the strong mountain fortresses of the vicinity, as well as those of Torgau, Wittenberg, Magdeburg, and others, so that the valley of the Elbe was in his hands; and he had a bridge of boats at K?nigstein, extending his communications to Stolpe: thus guarding against an attack on the side of Bohemia. In the beginning of August he assembled two hundred and fifty thousand men in Saxony and Silesia. Of these, sixty thousand lay at Leipsic under Oudinot, and one hundred thousand in different towns on the borders of Silesia, under Macdonald; he himself lay at Dresden with his Imperial Guard. Eugene Beauharnais he had dispatched to Italy, where he had forty thousand men. Besides these, he had a reserve of Bavarians, under General Wrede, of twenty-five thousand men.

Fielding (b. 1707; d. 1754) began his career by an attempt, in "Joseph Andrews," to caricature the "Pamela" of Richardson. He represented Joseph as Pamela's brother; but he had not proceeded far when he became too much interested in his own creation to make a mere parody of him. This novel he produced in 1742, the year after the completion of "Pamela." The following year he gave to the world "Jonathan Wild;" in 1749, "Tom Jones;" and in 1751, but three years before his death, at the age of only forty-seven, "Amelia." But, besides a novelist, Fielding was a dramatic writer, a political writer, and the editor of four successive periodicalsThe Champion, The True Patriot, The Jacobite Journal, and The Covent Garden Journal. Fielding, unlike Richardson, was educated at Eton, and afterwards at Leyden. He had fortune, but he dissipated it; and had the opportunity of seeing both high and low life, by his rank as a gentleman and his office as a police-magistrate. His novels are masterly productions. His squire Western and parson Adams, and his other characters are genuine originals; and they are made to act and talk with a raciness of humour and a flow of wit that might even yet render them popular, if their occasional grossness did not repel the reader of this age. It is, indeed, the misfortune of Fielding, Sterne, and Smollett, that they lived in so coarse and debauched an epoch; their very fidelity now renders them repulsive. Richardson and Fielding were the Dickens and Thackeray of their day. In Fielding, the colder nature and the more satiric tone make the resemblance to Thackeray the more striking.

On the 18th of February, however, Fox moved a string of resolutions condemnatory of war with France. They declared that that country was only doing what every country had a right to doreorganise its internal Constitution; that, as we had allowed Russia, Prussia, and Austria to dismember Poland, we had no right to check the aggressions of France on these countries; as we had remained quiescent in the one case, we were bound to do so in the other, and not to make ourselves confederates of the invasion of Poland; and his final resolution went to entreat his Majesty not to enter into any engagements with other Powers which should prevent us from making a separate peace with France. Burke did not lose the opportunity of rebuking Fox for his long advocacy of the Empress Catherine, whose unprincipled share in the partition of Poland he was now compelled to reprobate. The resolutions of Fox were negatived by two hundred and seventy votes against forty-four. Not daunted by this overwhelming majority, Fox again, on the 21st of February, brought forward his resolution in another form, declaring that there were no sufficient causes for war. The motion was negatived without a division.

He had been able to borrow a hundred and eighty thousand livres from two of his adherents, had made serious exertions to raise arms, and though he had kept his project profoundly secret from the French King and Ministry, lest they might forcibly detain him, he had managed to engage a French man-of-war called the Elizabeth, carrying sixty-seven guns, and a brig of eighteen guns called the Doutelle, an excellent sailer. On the 2nd of July the Doutelle left St. Nazaire, at the mouth of the Loire, and waited at Belleisle for the Elizabeth, when they put forward to sea in good earnest. Unfortunately, only four days after leaving Belleisle, they fell in with the British man-of-war the Lion, of fifty-eight guns, commanded by the brave Captain Butt, who in Anson's expedition had stormed Paita. There was no avoiding an engagement, which continued warmly for five or six hours, when both vessels were so disabled that they were compelled to put back respectively to England and France.