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      Exhortation and warning were vain alike. The first ships which returned that year from Canada brought a series of despatches from the intendant, renewing all his charges more bitterly than before. The minister, out of patience, replied by berating him without mercy. "You may rest assured," he concludes, "that, did it not appear by your later despatches that the letters you have received have begun to make you understand that you have forgotten yourself, it would not have been possible to prevent the king from recalling you." [18]

      Disappointed in their hopes from England, educated Roman Catholic opinion in Ireland began to drift towards the United Irishmen, in spite of the[462] peasants' war that was rife in various parts of the country between the members of the two religions. Suddenly their expectations received an unlooked-for impulse. During the spring of 1794 Pitt determined to send over Lord Fitzwilliam, who was heir to the Marquis of Rockingham and a prominent member of the Portland Whigs, as Lord-Lieutenant. It was clearly understood that Fitzwilliam should be allowed to inaugurate a policy of reform, but Pitt wished that reform to be gradual and cautious. It is plain that he gave Grattan intimation to that effect, and that Grattan thought the stipulation a reasonable one, but it is equally clear that he somehow or other failed to make much impression upon Fitzwilliam. No sooner had the new Lord-Lieutenant arrived in Ireland than he proceeded to dismiss Castle officials before he could possibly have had time to inquire into the rights and wrongs of their cases, and with equal abruptness turned out the Attorney, and Solicitor-General, and Mr. Beresford, the Commissioner of Revenue, the head of the most powerful of the Protestant families. The result was a violent outcry, which was increased when he proceeded, in conjunction with Grattan, to draw up a Bill for the immediate granting of the Catholic claims. The Ascendency party clamoured for his recall, and the Lord Chancellor Fitzgibbon represented to the king that to admit Roman Catholics to Parliament would be to violate his Coronation Oath. Pitt was obliged to give way, and on March 25th, 1794, Fitzwilliam left Ireland, amidst every sign of national mourning. The incident is a melancholy one, but a calm review of the circumstances produces the conclusion that the indiscretion of Lord Fitzwilliam was very much the cause of it.Their position was cheerless enough; for the vast beds of snow around them were soaking slowly under a sullen rain, and there was danger

      He got leave from his superiors to go to Canada, the most adventurous of all the missions, and accordingly sailed in 1675, in the ship which carried La Salle, who had just obtained the grant of Fort Frontenac. In the course of the voyage, he took it upon him to reprove a party of girls who were amusing themselves and a circle of officers and other passengers by dancing on deck. La Salle, who was among the spectators, was annoyed at Hennepin's interference, and told him that he was behaving like a pedagogue. The friar retorted, by alluding unconsciously, as he saysto the circumstance that La Salle was once a pedagogue himself, having, according to Hennepin, been for ten or twelve years teacher of a class in a Jesuit school. La Salle, he adds, turned pale with rage, and never forgave him [Pg 135] to his dying day, but always maligned and persecuted him.[110]

      J. Galbraith, a baronetage.In the Peninsula, altogether, the French had upwards of two hundred thousand men, but the force which Massena led against Wellington did not amount to more than sixty thousand, Drouet remaining, for the present, in Spain with eighteen thousand men, and Regnier lying in Estremadura[603] with ten or twelve thousand more. To contend against Massena's sixty thousand veterans, Lord Wellington had only twenty-four thousand British on whom he could rely. He had thirty thousand Portuguese regulars, who had been drilled by General Beresford, and had received many British officers. Wellington had great expectation that these troops, mixed judiciously with the British ones, would turn out well; but that had yet to be tried. Besides these, there were numerous bodies of Portuguese militia, who were employed in defending the fortresses in Alemtejo and Algarve, thus protecting the flanks of Wellington's army.


      Though war had long been foreseen with France, when it took place we had no fleet in a proper condition to put to sea. It was not till the 14th of July that Lord Howe, who had taken the command of the Channel fleet, sailed from Spithead with fifteen ships of the line, three of which were first-rates, but none of them of that speed and equipment which they ought to have been. He soon obtained intelligence of a French fleet of seventeen sail of the line, seen westward of Belleisle. He sent into Plymouth, and had two third-rate vessels added to his squadron. On the 31st of July he caught sight of the French fleet, but never came up with them, the French ships being better sailers. After beating about in vain, he returned to port, anchoring in Torbay on the 4th of September. At the end of October Howe put to sea again with twenty-four sail of the line and several frigates, and several times came near the French fleet, but could never get to engage. He, however, protected our merchant vessels and disciplined his sailors. One French ship was taken off Barfleur by Captain Saumarez of the Crescent, and that was all.

      [See larger version]LORD CASTLEREAGH.




      During the recess considerable changes took place in the Cabinet. Lord Halifax died on the 8th of June; the Earl of Suffolk succeeded him as Secretary of State, and the remainder of the Grenville party thereupon supported the Ministry. Suffolk introduced his friend, Lord Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with an augmented salary. The administration of Lord North was considerably strengthened, too, by the abilities of Thurlow, as Attorney-General, and of Wedderburn, as Solicitor-General. But the addition to the Cabinet of Lord North which occasioned the greatest surprise, was that of the Duke of Grafton. He received the Privy Seal.