When Washington arrived at Boston, on the 15th of June, he found the English army augmented to ten thousand by fresh forces, under Generals Burgoyne, William Howe, the brother of Lord Howe, and Henry Clinton. The American troops consisted of twenty thousand militia and volunteers, still in a most confused condition, extended over a line of twenty miles in length, that only required an attack of five thousand men, led by a general of courage and ability, to be thoroughly beaten. They were, moreover, greatly deficient in powder and other necessaries. But the English generals lay as if there were no urgent need of action. Had a sudden movement on the Neck been made from Boston, five hundred men could have broken and dispersed the Americans nearest to that position before the other ill-trained troops, some of them at great distances, could have come up; and they might have been easily defeated in detail by the simultaneous efforts of four spirited generals and ten thousand efficient soldiers. But lethargy seemed to have seized on Gage, and to have also infected his coadjutors. Peaceful Accession of George I.His ArrivalTriumph of the WhigsDissolution and General ElectionThe AddressDetermination to Impeach the late MinistersFlight of Bolingbroke and OrmondeImpeachment of OxfordThe Riot ActThe Rebellion of 1715Policy of the Regent OrleansSurrender of the Pretender's ShipsThe Adventures of Ormonde and MarThe Highlands declare for the PretenderMar and ArgyllAdvance of Mackintosh's DetachmentIts Surrender at PrestonBattle of SheriffmuirArrival of the PretenderMutual DisappointmentAdvance of ArgyllFlight of the Pretender to FrancePunishment of the RebelsImpeachment of the Rebel LordsThe Septennial ActThe King goes to HanoverImpossibility of Reconstructing the Grand AllianceNegotiations with FranceDanger of Hanover from Charles XII.And from RussiaAlarm from TownshendTermination of the DisputeFresh Differences between Stanhope and TownshendDismissal of the LatterThe Triple AllianceProject for the Invasion of ScotlandDetection of the PlotDismissal of Townshend and WalpoleThey go into OppositionWalpole's Financial SchemeAttack on CadoganTrial of OxfordCardinal AlberoniOutbreak of Hostilities between Austria and SpainOccupation of SardiniaAlberoni's DiplomacyThe Quadruple AllianceByng in the MediterraneanAlberoni deserted by SavoyDeath of Charles XII.Declaration of War with SpainRepeal of the Schism ActRejection of the Peerage BillAttempted Invasion of BritainDismissal of AlberoniSpain makes PeacePacification of Northern EuropeFinal Rejection of the Peerage BillThe South Sea CompanyThe South Sea BillOpposition of WalpoleRise of South Sea StockRival CompaniesDeath of StanhopePunishment of Ministry and DirectorsSupremacy of WalpoleAtterbury's PlotHis Banishment and the Return of BolingbrokeRejection of Bolingbroke's ServicesA Palace IntrigueFall of CarteretWood's HalfpenceDisturbances in ScotlandPunishment of the Lord Chancellor MacclesfieldThe Patriot PartyComplications AbroadTreaty of ViennaTreaty of HanoverActivity of the JacobitesFalls of Ripperda and of BourbonEnglish PreparationsFolly of the EmperorAttack on GibraltarPreliminaries of PeaceIntrigues against WalpoleDeath of George I.

On the 25th of November Parliament was opened, and the king, in his speech, made a strong appeal to the country for support against the unprovoked war on the part of France and Spain. The Marquis of Rockingham, in proposing an amendment on the Address in the Lords, was extremely severe. He concluded by moving that every part of the Address, except the title, should be expunged, and that, instead of what then stood, a prayer should be inserted that his Majesty would reflect on the extent of territory which marked the opening of his reign, the opulence and power, the reputation abroad, the concord at home, to which he had succeeded, and now on the endangered, impoverished, enfeebled, distracted, and even dismembered, state of the whole, after the enormous grants of his successive Parliaments, and calling on him, as the only[262] remedy of impending ruin, to dismiss his present evil councillors, and summon new and more auspicious ones. The language was crushing, but it derived its force from its undeniable truth. Lord John Cavendish moved a similar amendment in the Commons; and the Opposition declared that it was well that his Majesty's speech expressed trust in Divine Providence, for Providence was the only friend that his Government had now left; and that our arms, both on sea and land, were paralysed by the scandalous practice of putting at the head of the army and navy mere Court favourites, and by the want of all vigour and sagacity of planning and following up our campaigns. Fox went further, and asserted that weakness and stupidity could not effect the wholesale shame and ruin that surrounded us; that there must be treachery somewhere; and that, if this were driven a little further, the people would seize on arms, and chase the miserable Cabinet from its abused seat. Lord North made the best reply that the circumstances admitted; but there were no symptoms of the Ministers resigning, or being removed by the infatuated monarch, and the amendments were rejected in both Houses, as a matter of course.

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. [See larger version]

The state of Ireland continued to excite the greatest alarm from the prorogation of Parliament to the end of the year. The language of the speakers in the Association became more violent, and the harangues of the priests more inflammatory. In the counties of Tipperary and Limerick large bodies of men were accustomed to assemble on Sundays, and to parade in military order, carrying banners. These bands were regularly organised and admirably commanded. The Irish Government, from time to time, reported the progress of this formidable organisation. In one place as many as 700 "cavalry" would assemble, with thousands of infantry, and go through military evolutions. These were surrounded by thousands of the peasantry. Amongst the persons thus paraded were some of the most abandoned characters in the country, men who had notoriously been concerned in the perpetration of murder, and for the apprehension of whom large rewards had been offered in vain by the Government. These demonstrations, as might be expected, excited the greatest alarm among the Protestants of the south, as well as the peaceably disposed Roman Catholics. One ominous circumstance connected with them was the fact that the dissuasions of the priests against the meetings in military array were disregarded. Mr. Lawless, an active member of the Association, marched northward at the head of 10,000 Roman Catholics. In the county of Monaghan, the Orangemen, apprised of their approach, took possession of the town of Ballyhay in large numbers, prepared to encounter the southern invaders of Ulster. As the Orangemen were well armed, and excited to the utmost, a bloody battle would have ensued, had not Lawless beaten a timely retreat. Getting out of his carriage, and mounting a swift horse, he galloped off, amidst the indignant shouts of his followers. On the subject of the Free Trade measures generally, the Speech continued:


This was the fatal year in which Buonaparte, led on by the unsleeping ambition of being the master of all Europe, and so of all the world, made his last great attemptthat of subduing Russia to his yokeand thus wrecked himself for ever. From the very day of the Treaty of Tilsit, neither he nor Alexander of Russia had put faith in each other. Buonaparte felt that the Czar was uneasy under the real dictatorship of France which existed under the name of alliance. He knew that he was most restless under the mischief accruing from the stipulated embargo on British commerce, and which, from the ruin which it must bring on the Russian merchants, and the consequent distress of the whole population, might, in fact, cause him to disappear from the throne and from life as so many of his ancestors had done. Timber, pitch, potash, hemp, tallow, and other articles were the very staple of Russia's trade, and the British were the greatest of all customers for these. The landed proprietors derived a large income from these commodities, and they asked why they were to perish that Buonaparte might destroy Great Britain, whence they drew their principal wealth. He knew that Alexander looked with deep suspicion on his giving the Duchy of Warsaw to the King of Saxony, a descendant of the royal family of Poland. To this act was added the stipulations for a free military road and passage for troops from Saxony to Warsaw; and also that France should retain Dantzic till after a maritime peace. These things seemed to point to the re-establishment of the kingdom of Poland, and the demand, at some future day, for the surrender of the rest of the Polish territory by Russia. So the Poles seemed to interpret these matters, for they had, since these arrangements, flocked to his standard, and were fighting Buonaparte's battles in Spain. To these causes of offence and alarm, which Alexander did not hesitate to express, and which Napoleon refused to dissipate, were added the seizure of the Duchy of Oldenburg, guaranteed to Alexander's near relative, and the marriage alliance with Austria. Alexander, on this last occasion, said"Then my turn comes next;" and in anticipation of it he had been strengthening himself by a secret league with Sweden.

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When peace was made in Europe, the United States became anxious for peace too. Madison had begun the war in the ungenerous hope of wresting Canada from Great Britain, because he thought her too deeply engaged in the gigantic war against Napoleon to be able to defend that colony. He believed that it would fall an easy prey; that the Canadians must so greatly admire the model republic that they would abandon monarchy at the first call, and that he should thus have the glory of absorbing that great world of the north into the American Republic. In all this, he and those who thought with him found themselves egregiously deceived. The Canadians showed they were staunchly attached to Great Britain, and the attempts at invasion were beaten back by the native militia and by our handful of troops with the greatest ease. Meanwhile, the blockade of the east, and the seizure of the merchant shipping, drove the New England and other eastern States to desperation. Throughout this war Great Britain made a uniform declaration of a preference for peace, but her offers were regularly rejected so long as Napoleon was triumphant. The United States, professing the utmost love of freedom, were the blind and enthusiastic worshippers of the man who was trampling the liberties of all Europe under his feet. It was not till the last momentnot till he had been defeated in Russia, driven by Britain out of Spain, routed and pursued out of Germany, and compelled to renounce the Imperial Crown of Francethat the American Government began to understand the formidable character of the Power which it had so long and so insolently provoked, and to fear the whole weight of its resentment directed against its shores. It is certain that, had Britain been animated by a spirit of vengeance, it had now the opportunity, by sending strong fleets and a powerful army to the coast of America, to ravage her seaboard towns, and so utterly annihilate her trade as to reduce her to the utmost misery, and to precipitate a most disastrous system of internal disintegration. The New England States, in 1814, not only threatened to secede, but stoutly declared that they would not furnish another shilling towards paying the expenses of the war. They even intimated an idea of making a separate peace with Britain. In Massachusetts especially these[114] menaces were vehement. Governor Strong spoke out plainly in the Legislative Chamber of that State. Madison endeavoured to mollify this spirit by abandoning his Embargo and Emancipation Acts, but this was now too late, for the strict blockade of the British, in 1814, rendered these Acts perfectly dead.

Mlas, who had been besieging Genoa, had left part of his army to reduce that city, defended by a strong French division under Massena and Soult, and advanced to Nice, which he had entered, and was contemplating his descent on Provence, when the news of Buonaparte's entrance of Piedmont reached him. He directed his march now to meet him. In the meantime, Massena and Soult, worn out by famine, the fort being blockaded by Admiral Lord Keith, had surrendered Genoa to General Otto, whom Mlas had ordered to raise the siege and join him. Mlas summoned his scattered forces to make head against Buonaparte, and was himself pursued from the neighbourhood of Nice by Suchet. Buonaparte deceived Mlas by false movements, making him imagine that his object was Turin, and so entered Milan in triumph on the 2nd of June. After various encounters and man?uvres between Buonaparte and Mlas, the First Consul crossed the Po at Piacenza, drove back the advanced guard of the Austrians, and took up a position on the plains of Marengo, on the right bank of the little stream, the Bormida, and opposite to Alessandria, where Mlas was lying. The next daythe 14th of JuneMlas drew out his forces, and attacked the French with great spirit. The Austrians amounted to about forty thousand, including a fine body of cavalry, for which the ground was highly[477] favourable; the French were not more than thirty thousand, posted strongly in and around the village of Marengo, in three divisions, each stationed about a quarter of a mile behind the other. After two or three attempts the Austrians drove the French out of the village of Marengo, threw the second division, commanded by Lannes, into confusion, and put to rout the left wing of Buonaparte's own division, threw his centre into disorder, and compelled him to retreat as far as St. Juliano. The whole tide of battle was running against Buonaparte, and a short time must have completed his rout, when the strength of the old general, Mlasmore than eighty years of agegave way, for he had been many hours on horseback. He retired from the field quite secure of the victory, and left General Zach to finish it. But, at this moment, General Desaix, who had lately arrived from Egypt, and had been sent by Buonaparte to make a diversion at Rivolta, came back with his detachment of twenty thousand men. Kellermann, also, who was posted in the rear with a body of reserve, marched up at the same time. A new and desperate charge was made on the fatigued Austrians, and they were broken and put to the rout. They retreated across the Bormida, towards Alessandria, in a panic, the horse galloping over the infantry. Mlas, dispirited by his defeat, but more by his age, gave up the struggle and on the 16th of June concluded an armistice, resigning not only Alessandria, where he might have stood a longer siege, but Genoa, which had just surrendered to the Austrians, and all the Genoese territory, agreeing to retire behind the line of Mantua and the Mincio, and leaving to the French all Lombardy as far as the Oglio. The French themselves could scarcely believe the reality of such a surrender.