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      [See larger version] with or without the bishop, could have prevented the


      In the month of April arrived the permission for Sir William Howe to retire, and, although he was one of the five Commissioners named for carrying into effect the proposals in Lord North's Bill, he determined to leave at the earliest day for England. Lord Howe, the Admiral, was equally impatient to return, but Lord Sandwich had informed him that it would be considered a great misfortune for him to quit his command in the present circumstances. This was, in fact, an order for his remaining, which the breaking out of the war with France, and the expected arrival of a French fleet, rendered doubly imperative.[256] Sir Henry Clinton was appointed to succeed Sir William Howe, and, the former having arrived in Philadelphia, Howe departed. Scarcely had Clinton assumed the command, when an order arrived from the Government at home to abandon Philadelphia, and concentrate his forces at New York. The French fleet under D'Estaing was on its way, and it was considered that we had not a fleet of sufficient strength to beat them back from the mouth of the Delaware.This announcement drew from the Opposition a torrent of abuse of Ministers, who, in reality, had only been carrying out the very measure which they had long recommended, and which Fox, in particular, had been seriously endeavouring to accomplish whilst in office. Their censures appeared to arise rather from the fact that the war was ended without their mediation than from anything else. Fox upbraided Lord Shelburne with having once said that, when the independence of America should be admitted, the sun of England would have set. Yet this had been the opinion not of Lord Shelburne merely, but of numbers who now saw reason to doubt that gloomy view of things, and there was the less reason for Fox to throw this in the face of the Prime Minister, as he had been himself, whilst his colleague, earnestly labouring with him for that end. Still he was naturally sore[299] from Shelburne's successful intrigues against his diplomacy. On the 18th of December he moved for copies of such parts of the provisional treaty as related to American independence; but in this he was supported by only forty-six members.


      Dumouriez had no sooner come into office than he laid down a great military plan. He proposed that wherever France extended to what he called her natural limitsthat is, to the Rhine, the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the seathey should act only on the defensive; but in the Netherlands, where the territory did not extend to the Rhine, and in Savoy, where it did not extend to the Alps, there they should act on the offensive, and carry France to what he called its boundaries by the genuine laws of nature. This plan was adopted. The Austrians had only thirty thousand men in Belgium, and Lafayette was to make a dash on that division of the Netherlands. From Namur he was to push on for Lige, which would make him complete master of the country, and was to be strengthened by a reinforcement of thirty thousand infantry, so that he would be seventy-five thousand strong before the Emperor could advance to his attack. Further, while Lafayette was marching from Givet on Namur, a division of his army of ten thousand men, under General Biron, was to march upon Mons, where Beaulieu, the Austrian general, was posted with only two thousand five hundred men. On the same day Major-General Theobald Dillon was to advance with three thousand six hundred men from Lille, in Tournay, and to surprise that place. The French calculated on the support of the Belgians who had been strongly inoculated with the spirit of the Revolution. The two smaller divisions were punctual in their movements; but Lafayette, instead of marching simultaneously, remained strengthening himself in his position at Givet. General Biron set out from Valenciennes, and, on the 29th of April, crossed the Belgian frontiers, and the next day marched towards Mons. But no sooner did the French cavalry come in sight of some light troops, said only to amount to about five hundred men, than they fled, crying that they were betrayed. Beaulieu's horse pursued and captured Biron's baggage and military chest. On the very same day, Dillon's division, on their march from Lille to Tournay, fled with the very same cry from nine hundred Austrians who had issued from Tournay. The French officers in vain endeavoured, in both cases, to rally their forces, and Dillon was murdered by his own men on re-entering Lille with a lieutenant-colonel and an unsworn priest. Lafayette, hearing this strange news, did not venture to quit Givet.

      THE MISSISSIPPI.[75] Ante, p. 17.

      His terms were rejected with disdain. Yet he had a last interview with Metternich, in which he hoped to terrify him by a dread of the future preponderance of Russia; but, seeing that it made no impression, he became incensed, and adopted a very insolent tone towards the Austrian Minister. "Well, Metternich," he demanded, "how much has England given you to induce you to play this part towards me?" Metternich received the insult in haughty silence. Buonaparte, to try how far the diplomatist still would preserve his deference towards him, let his hat fall: Metternich let it lie. This was a sign that the Austrian had taken his part; it was, in fact, the signal of war. Yet, at the last moment, Napoleon suddenly assumed a tone of conciliation, and offered very large concessions. He had heard the news of the defeat of Vittoria. But it was too late. The Congress terminated on the 10th of August, and the Allies refused to re-open it. On the 12th of August, two days after the termination of the armistice, Austria declared herself on the side of the Allies, and brought two hundred thousand men to swell their ranks. This redoubtable force was commanded by her general, Prince von Schwarzenberg.


      who went the rounds with the soldiers and compelled women and girls to shut themselves up in their houses at nine oclock of summer evenings; if he had forbidden the wearing of lace, and made no objection to the refusal of the communion to women of quality because they wore a fontange; if he had not opposed excommunications flung about without sense or reason; if, I say, the count had been of this way of thinking he would have stood as a nonpareil, and have been put very soon on the list of saints, for saint-making is cheap in this country. *

      * Mandement contre le luxe et la vanit des femmes et desTHE "NOTTINGHAM CAPTAIN" AND THE AGITATORS AT THE "WHITE HORSE." (See p. 126.)

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      CHAPTER XXIV.

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      Argenson, on his part, writes to the same brother, at about the same time. The Bishop of Petr?a is so stiff in opinion, and so often transported by his zeal beyond the rights of his position, that he makes no difficulty in encroaching on the functions of others; and this with so much heat that he will listen to nobody. A few days ago he carried off a servant girl of one of the inhabitants here, and placed her by his own authority in the Ursuline convent, on the sole pretext that he wanted to have her instructed, thus depriving her master of her services, though he had been at great expense in bringing her from France. This inhabitant is M. Denis, who, not knowing who had carried her off, came to me with a petition to get her out of the convent. I kept the petition three days without answering it, to prevent the affair from being noised abroad. The Reverend Father Lalemant, with whom I communicated on the subject, and who greatly blamed the Bishop of Petr?a, did all in his power to have the girl given up quietly, butLa Salle returned from his exploration, but his return brought no cheer. He had been forced to renounce the illusion to which he had clung so long, and was convinced at last that he was not at the mouth of the Mississippi. The wreck of the "Aimable" itself was not pregnant with consequences so disastrous.

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      Canada at this time was an object of very considerable attention at court, and especially in what was known as the parti dvot. The Relations of the Jesuits, appealing equally to the spirit of religion and the spirit of romantic adventure, had, for more than a quarter of a century, been the favorite reading of the devout, and the visit of Laval at court had greatly stimulated the interest they had kindled. The letters of Argenson, and especially of Avaugour, had shown the vast political possibilities of the young colony, and opened a vista of future glories alike for church and for king. early history; an ardent and prejudiced Sulpitian, a priest


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