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      THE CAPTURE OF THE "CAROLINE." (See p. 446.)In reading the voluminous correspondence of governors and intendants, the minister and the king, nothing is more apparent than the interest with which, in the early part of his reign, Louis XIV. regarded his colony. One of the faults of his rule is the excess of his benevolence; for not only did he give money to support parish priests, build churches, and aid the seminary, the Ursulines, the missions, and the hospitals; but he established a fund destined, among other objects, to relieve indigent persons, subsidized nearly every branch of trade and industry, and in other instances did for the colonists what they would far better have learned to do for themselves.


      On the 23rd, the day fixed for the rising, the insurgents turned out in many places, notwithstanding the arrest of their leaders. They did not succeed at Carlow, Naas, and Kilcullen. But, on the 25th, fourteen thousand of them, under one Father Murphy, attacked Wexford, defeated the garrison which came out to meet them, took a considerable number of prisoners, whom they put to death, and frightened the town into a surrender on the 30th. They treated such Protestants as remained in the place with the utmost barbarity. They took Enniscorthy and, seizing some cannon, encamped on Vinegar Hill. On the 31st they were attacked by General Lake, who drove them from their camp, made a great slaughter of them, and then retook Wexford and Enniscorthy. General Johnson attacked another party which was plundering the town of New Ross, killing and wounding two thousand six hundred of them. On this news reaching Scullabogue, the insurgents there massacred about one hundred Protestant prisoners in cold blood. These massacres of the Protestants, and the Presbyterians in the north having been too cautious to rise, after the betrayal of the plot, caused the whole to assume the old character of a Popish rebellion. Against this the leading Catholics protested, and promptly offered their aid to Government to suppress it. Of the leaders, MacCann, Byrne, two brothers named Sheares, the sons of a banker at Cork, were executed. The success of the soldiers was marked by worse cruelty than that of the rebels; for instance, at Carlow about 200 persons were hanged or shot. Arthur O'Connor, Emmet, MacNevin, Sampson, and a number of others, were banished. Lord Cornwallis was appointed Lord-Lieutenant in place of Lord Camden, and pardons were assured to those who made their submission. All now seemed over, when in August there appeared at Killala three French frigates, which landed nine hundred men, who were commanded by General Humbert. Why the French should send such a mere handful of men into Ireland, who must inevitably be sacrificed or made prisoners, can perhaps only be accounted for by the assurances of the disaffected Irish, that the whole mass of the people, at least of the Catholics, were ready to rise and join them. But if that were trueif, as Wolfe Tone assured them, there were three hundred thousand men already disciplined, and only in need of arms, it would have been sufficient to have sent them over arms. But then Tone, who had grown as utterly reckless as any sansculotte Frenchman, described the riches of Ireland, which were to repay the invaders, as something prodigious. In his memorial to the Directory he declared that the French were to go shares with[464] the nation whom they went to liberate, in all the church, college, and chapter lands, in the property of the absentee landlords, which he estimated at one million pounds per annum, in that of all Englishmen, and in the income of Government, which he calculated at two millions of pounds per annum. General Humbert, who had been in the late expedition, and nearly lost his life in the Droits de l'Homme, no doubt expected to see all the Catholic population flocking around him, eager to put down their oppressors; but, so far from this, all classes avoided him, except a few of the most wretched Catholic peasants. At Castlebar he was met by General Lake, with a force much superior in numbers, but chiefly yeomanry and militia. Humbert readily dispersed thesethe speed of their flight gaining for the battle the name of the Castlebar Racesand marched on through Connaught, calling on the people to rise, but calling in vain. He had made this fruitless advance for about seventeen days when he was met by Lord Cornwallis with a body of regular troops, and defeated. Finding his retreat cut off, he surrendered on the 8th of September, and he and his followers became prisoners of war. But the madness or delusion of the French Government had not yet reached its height; a month after this surrender Sir John Warren fell in with a French line-of-battle ship and eight frigates, bearing troops and ammunition to Ireland. He captured the ship of the line and three of the frigates, and on board of the man-of-war was discovered the notorious Wolfe Tone, the chief instigator of these insane incursions, and who, before sailing, had recorded in his diary, as a matter of boast, that every day his heart was growing harder, that he would take a most dreadful vengeance on the Irish aristocracy. He was condemned to be hanged, but he managed to cut his throat in prison (November 19, 1798). And thus terminated these worse than foolish attempts of France on Ireland, for they were productive of great miseries, both at sea and on land, and never were conducted on a scale or with a force capable of producing any permanent result.On the 23rd of March the Allied sovereigns, including that of the United Kingdom, signed, by their plenipotentiaries, a new treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, on the same principles as the Treaty of Chaumont, entered into in March, 1814. The Duke of Wellington then hastened away to Belgium to muster his forces therefor Belgium, as it had been so often before, was sure to become the battle-ground on this occasion. So early as the 5th of April he announced that he had placed thirteen thousand four hundred men in the fortresses of Belgium, and had besides twenty-three thousand British and Hanoverian troops, twenty thousand Dutch and Belgian, and sixty pieces of artillery. Unfortunately, the bulk of his victorious army of the Peninsula had been sent to the inglorious contest with America, where a good naval blockade would have been the most effectual kind of warfare. But he observed that Buonaparte would require some time to assemble a strong force, and this time must be employed by Britain to collect a correspondingly powerful army. The Duke, with accustomed energy, not only applied himself with all his strength to this object, but to stimulating, by letters, the Allied sovereigns to hasten up their quotas, some of them notoriously the slowest nations in the world.

      After the lapse of a week the House of Commons met again on the 13th of May, when Lord John Russell immediately rose and stated that since he had last addressed them Sir Robert Peel had received authority from her Majesty to form a new Administration; and the right hon. baronet having failed, her Majesty had been graciously pleased to permit that gentleman to state the circumstances which led to the failure. Sir Robert Peel then proceeded to detail all the facts necessary for the explanation of his position to the country. He had waited upon the Queen according to her desire, conveyed at the suggestion of the Duke of Wellington, who had been sent for by her Majesty in the first instance. The Queen candidly avowed to him that she had parted with her late Administration with great regret, as they had given her entire satisfaction. No one, he said, could have expressed feelings more natural and more becoming than her Majesty did on this[462] occasion, and at the same time principles more strictly constitutional with respect to the formation of a new Government. He stated his sense of the difficulties a new Government would have to encounter; but having been a party to the vote that led to those difficulties, nothing should prevent him from tendering to her Majesty every assistance in his power. He accordingly, the next day, submitted the following list for her approval in the formation of a new Ministry:The Duke of Wellington, Lord Lyndhurst, Earl of Aberdeen, Lord Ellenborough, Lord Stanley, Sir James Graham, Sir Henry Hardinge, and Mr. Goulburn. It was not until Thursday that any difficulty or misconception arose to lead to his relinquishing his attempt to form an Administration. His difficulty related to the Ladies of the Household. With reference to all the subordinate appointments below the rank of a Lady of the Bedchamber he proposed no change; and he had hoped that all above that rank would have relieved him of any difficulty by at once relinquishing their offices. This not having been done, he had a verbal communication with her Majesty on the subject, to which he received next day a written answer as follows:

      On the 31st of March Dundas introduced the Indian Budget, and soon afterwards Pitt congratulated the country on the fact that, so far from the American war having injured the trade or the power of Britain, the fact was that our shipping had increased considerably more than one-third since 1773, and we had been continually gaining strength even during the American war, and had relieved ourselves of a load of expense always incurred by the government of the States. This was an admirable argument for declaring all our colonies independent, if it meant anything; but Pitt went on seconding, and even surpassing Dundas in the prognostications of a long peace. What such ministerial speeches were worth was shown on the 5th of May, only a month and five days since the prophecy of Dundas, and not three weeks since his own prophecy, by Pitt announcing that the peace was already disturbed with Spain. It appeared that the high prices obtained by the crews of Captain Cook's ships, the Discovery and Resolution, at Canton, on his exploring voyages in the South Seas, for the ill-selected, half-worn furs brought from the north-west coast of America, had attracted the attention of adventurers under the direct protection of the East India Company. Mr. Mears, who had been a lieutenant in the royal navy, and a Mr. Tippin, were sent out in command each of a vessel. Tippin was wrecked on the coast of Kamtschatka; but Mears reached Prince William's Sound and wintered there, opening a good trade with the natives. In the spring of 1788 he discovered Nootka Sound, a fine bay on the west side of a small island on the west coast of Vancouver's Island. There he formed a settlement, making a bargain with the chief for it. He went to Canton with furs and was opening a fine trade, when the Spaniards came down on the settlement, seized four British vessels, but permitted two United States' vessels to remain unmolested. Part of the English crew were shipped in one of the American vessels to China, and the rest suffered to depart in one of their own ships after it had been plundered. The Spanish commander then settled himself in the new colony, and Spain set up a[372] general claim to all coasts and islands, and the whole Pacific as far as China.


      the blue-jay screams from the woods; the wild duck splashes along the lake; and the echoes of distant mountains prolong the quavering cry of the loon; when weather-stained rocks are plumed with the fiery crimson of the sumac, the claret hues of young oaks, the amber and scarlet of the maple, and the sober purple of the ash; or when gleams of sunlight, shot aslant through the rents of cool autumnal clouds, chase fitfully along the glowing sides of painted mountains. Amid this gorgeous euthanasia of the dying season, the three hundred boats and canoes trailed in long procession up the lake, threaded the labyrinth of the Narrows, that sylvan fairy-land of tufted islets and quiet waters, and landed at length where Fort William Henry was afterwards built. *


      commissions to be filled with the names of the new functionaries, Laval and his governor sailed for Quebec, where they landed on the fifteenth of September. With them came one Gaudais-Dupont, a royal commissioner instructed to inquire into the state of the colony.That these causes do to a great extent defeat the preventive effect of our penal laws, is proved by the tale of our criminal statistics, which reveal the fact that most of our crime is committed by those who[100] have once been punished, and that of general crime about 77 per cent. is committed with impunity. But if so large a proportion of crimes pass unpunished altogether, it is evident that society depends much less for its general security upon its punishments than is commonly supposed. Might it not, therefore, still further relax such punishments, which are really a severe tax on the great majority of honest people for the repression of the very small proportion who constitute the dishonest part of the community?[58]


      The next step in the increase of means of traffic was the construction of canals. The rivers had previously been rendered more navigable by removing obstructions, deepening channels, and making good towing-paths along their banks; but now it was projected to make artificial rivers. In this scheme, Richard Brindley, under the patronage of the Duke of Bridgewater, was the great engineer; and his intrepid genius dictated to him to carry these canals over hills by locks, over rivers by aqueducts, and through the heart of hills by tunnels. These enterprises at that moment appeared, to the ordinary run of civil engineers, as rash experiments, which were sure to prove abortive. As all new ideas are, these ideas, now so commonplace, were ridiculed by the wise ones as little short of madness. Mr. Brindley's first great work was the formation of the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, from Worsley to Manchester. In this he at once proved all his plans of locks, tunnels, and aqueducts. He conducted his canal by an aqueduct over the river Irwell, at an elevation of thirty-nine feet; and those learned engineers who had laughed at the scheme as "a castle in the air," might now see boats passing over the river at that height with the greatest ease, while other boats were being drawn up the Irwell against the stream and under the aqueduct with five times the labour. At Worsley the canal was conducted into the very heart of the coal-mine by a tunnel, with branches, which conducted the boats up to the different parts of the[191] mine, so that the coal could be loaded on the spot where it was dug. The immediate effect of this canal was to reduce coals in Manchester to half the former price; and the canal being extended so as to connect it with the Mersey, at Runcorn, it reduced the freight of goods from Manchester to Liverpool to the same extent, from twelve shillings to six shillings per ton, the land carriage having been forty shillings. Brindley was next engaged to execute the Grand Trunk Canal, which united the Trent and Mersey, carrying it through Birmingham, Chesterfield, and to Nottingham. This was commenced in 1766, and exhibited further examples of his undaunted skill, and, as he had been laughed at by the pedants of the profession, he now in his turn laughed at their puny mediocrity. One of his tunnels, at Harecastle Hill, in Staffordshire, was two thousand eight hundred and eighty yards long, twelve feet wide, nine high, and in some parts seventy yards below the surface of the ground. This tunnel, after half a century's use, was found too confined for the traffic, and a new one, much wider, was made by Telford. By this time the art of tunnelling had made great progress, and whilst Brindley required eleven years to complete his tunnel, Telford made his much larger one in three. Many causes intervened to check for a time the progress of canals, so that from 1760 to 1774 only nineteen Acts were passed for them; but in the two years of 1793 and 1794 no fewer than thirty-six new Bills were introduced to Parliament, with others for extending and amending rivers, making altogether forty-seven Acts, the expenditure on the canals of these two years' projection amounting to five million three hundred thousand pounds. The work now went on rapidly, and investments in canal shares exhibited at that day, in miniature, the great fever of railway speculation at a later period. Lines of canals were made to connect the Thames, the Tweed, the Severn, and the Mersey; so that the great ports of London, Liverpool, Hull, and Bristol were connected by them, and put into communication with nearly all the great inland manufacturing towns. In 1779 a ship-canal was completed from the Forth to the Clydea work proposed as early as the reign of Charles II. This canal, thirty-five miles in length, had thirty-nine locks, which carried the canal to a height of one hundred and fifty-six feet above the sea, and it crossed the river Kelvin by an aqueduct eighty-three feet from the bed of the river to the top of the masonry. A few years later a much larger ship-canal united Gloucester to the Severn, and wonderfully increased the trade and growth of that city.