Fox, on this occasion, also introduced the subject of the Prince of Wales's allowance, who, he contended, had far less than had been granted to a Prince of Wales since the accession of the House of Hanover, that allowance being one hundred thousand pounds a-year; and the present parsimony towards the prince being grossly aggravated by the royal Civil List having been raised, in this reign, from six hundred thousand pounds to nine hundred thousand pounds, and the Privy Purse from six thousand pounds to sixty thousand pounds. Fox's remarks were rendered all the more telling because, when the House went into committee on the finances, Pitt had made a most flourishing statement of the condition of the Exchequer. He took off the taxes which pressed most on the poorer portion of the population—namely, on servants, the late augmentations on malt, on waggons, on inhabited houses, etc.,—to the amount of two hundred thousand pounds and appropriated four hundred thousand pounds towards the reduction of the National Debt. Still blind to the storm rising across the strait of Dover, he declared that these were mere trifles compared with what he should be able to do shortly, for never was there a time when a more durable peace might be expected!
The American Congress, which had imagined Gates a greater officer even than Washington, because he had captured Burgoyne through the ability of Arnold, though Washington—from envy, as they supposed—had always held a more correct opinion, now saw their error. No sooner was this victory at Camden achieved, than Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton after General Sumter, who was marching on the other side of the Wateree on his way into South Carolina. Tarleton started after him with a couple of hundred of cavalry, and rode so sharply that he had left half his little force behind him, when he came up with him near Catawba Ford, and fell upon his far superior force without a moment's hesitation, killing and wounding one hundred, and taking captive upwards of two hundred, with all Sumter's baggage, artillery, and one thousand stand of arms.
The Council now recalled the English troops from Rohilcund; and Bristow demanded, in the name of the Council, from Asaph-ul-Dowlah, the young Nabob, a full payment of all arrears; and announced that, Sujah Dowlah being dead, the treaty with him was at an end. Under pressure of these demands, Bristow, by instructions from the new regnant members of the Council, compelled the young Nabob to enter into a fresh treaty with them; and in this treaty they introduced a clause to the full as infamous as anything which Hastings had done. In return for renewing the possession of the provinces of Corah and Allahabad, they compelled him to cede to them the territory of Cheyte Sing, the Rajah of Benares, though this did not at all belong to the Nabob of Oude, and was, moreover, guaranteed to Cheyte Sing by Hastings, in solemn treaty. The revenue of Cheyte Sing, thus lawlessly taken possession of, amounted to twenty-two millions of rupees; and the Nabob of Oude was also, on his own account, bound to discharge all his father's debts and engagements to the Company, and to raise greatly the pay to the Company's brigade. Hastings utterly refused to sanction these proceedings; but the Directors at home, who cared not how or whence money came, warmly approved of the transactions.
[See larger version]Sir Cecil Wray. Sam House (Publican on the side of Fox). Charles James Fox.
Unsettled Condition of Europe—Machinations of Russia and Austria against Turkey—Disasters of the Austrians—Capture of Oczakoff—Further Designs of Catherine—Intervention of Pitt—Gustavus of Sweden invades Russia—His Temporary Check—He remodels the Diet and pursues the War—Joseph renews the War—Disaffection in Hungary—Revolution in the Austrian Netherlands—Abolition of the Joyeuse Entrée—The Emperor declared to have forfeited the Crown—The Austrian Troops retired to Luxembourg—Death of Joseph—Outbreak of the French Revolution—Efforts of Turgot and his Successors to introduce Reforms—Loménie de Brienne—Recall of Necker—Assembly of the States General—The Third Estate becomes the National Assembly—The Meeting in the Tennis Court—Contemplated Coup d'état—Project of a City Guard—Dismissal of Necker—Insurrection in Paris—The City Guard—Capture of the Bastille—The Noblesse renounce their Privileges—Bankruptcy and Famine—"O Richard, O Mon Roi!"—The Women and the National Guard march on Versailles—The King brought to Paris—Effect of the Revolution in England—Different Views of Burke and Fox—Rejection of Flood's Reform Bill—The Nootka Sound Affair—Satisfaction obtained from Spain—Motions of Reform in the Irish Parliament—Convention of Reichenbach—Continuance of the War between Sweden and Russia—Renewal of the War with Tippoo Sahib—Debates in Parliament—Discussions on the Eastern Question—The Canada Bill—It is made the occasion of speeches on the French Revolution—Breach between Fox and Burke—Abuse of Burke by the Whigs—Wilberforce's Notice for Immediate Emancipation—Colonisation of Sierra Leone—Bill for the Relief of Roman Catholics—Fox's Libel Bill—Burke's "Reflections on the French Revolution"—Replies of Mackintosh and Paine—Dr. Price—Dr. Priestley—The Anniversary of the taking of the Bastille—The Birmingham Riots—Destruction of Priestley's Library—Suppression of the Riots—Mildness of the Sentences.
When day dawned, Cornwallis saw that the ground he occupied was so favourable that it rendered his inferiority of numbers of little consequence. He therefore drew out his forces for immediate action. Swamps to the right and left narrowed the ground by which the Americans could approach him, and forming his troops into two lines, commanded by Lord Rawdon and General Webster, he attacked the Americans under Gates and quickly put them to the rout. The Virginian militia ran most nimbly, and sought refuge in the woods. Gates himself galloped away believing all was lost, and never halted till he reached Charlotte, about eighty miles off. The only men who fought well were two brigades of regulars under the command of the German, Von Kalb, who kept his ground against the troops of Lord Rawdon for three-quarters of an hour, sustaining repeated charges of the bayonet unmoved; but Von Kalb fell mortally wounded, and the last of the Americans then gave way and fled for their lives in all directions.
The Bastille surrendered almost immediately after the governor had been seized with despair. The French Guard began to cannonade the fortress; the captain of the Swiss, who might undoubtedly have held out much longer, saw that no rescue came, and that prolonged resistance would only lead in the end to sanguinary vengeance, he therefore hoisted a white flag. The captain of the Swiss demanded to be allowed to capitulate, and to march out with the honours of war; but the furious mob cried out, "No capitulation! no quarter! The rascals have fired upon the People!" The Swiss captain then said that they would lay down their arms, on condition that their lives should be spared. Then the gates of the old prison were thrown open, and the furious and triumphant mob burst in. The news of the fall of the Bastille came as a thunder-clap. The king, who had not been so confident, was gone to bed. The Duke de Liancourt, Grand Master of the Wardrobe, by virtue of his office went to his bedside, awoke him, and told him the amazing fact. "What!" exclaimed Louis, "is it, then, really a revolt?" "Say, rather, sire," replied the Duke, "a revolution!"On the opening of the Session, the king called the attention of Parliament to the state of Canada. That colony had flourished since it had come into the possession of Britain, especially since the passing of the Bill of 1774, which had given freedom to the Roman Catholic church there, the church of the French inhabitants. But one part of the colony was still inhabited by the descendants of the French, and another by those of the English and Americans. It was, therefore, found desirable to put an end to the competition which still existed, from differences of faith and of national sentiments and customs, between the two races, by dividing the colony into two provinces, the one inhabited by the French to be called Lower Canada, and the other, inhabited by the British, to be called Upper Canada. On the 25th of February the king sent a message to Parliament, proposing to carry out this division; and on the 4th of March Pitt moved to bring in a Bill for that purpose, and stated the intended plan of arrangement. Besides an elective assembly, each province was to have a Council, the members of which were to be appointed for life, with hereditary succession to the descendants of such as should be honoured with hereditary titles, which titles were to confer on an inhabitant of either province the dignity of a member of the Council. Landed property was to be held according to English law, in soccage tenure; the Habeas Corpus was to be established in both provinces. An allotment of lands was to be made for the Protestant clergy; but, as the majority of the inhabitants in the Lower Province would be Catholic, the Council and Assembly were empowered to allot lands also to their clergy, which allotment, on sanction of the Crown, was to be valid without intervention of Parliament. No taxes were to be imposed by the British Government except such as were necessary for the regulation of commerce, and these were to be levied by the provincial legislature to prevent any heartburnings like those which had occurred in the American States.
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It was not to be wondered at that when, on the 24th of January, the preliminaries of peace were laid on the tables of the two Houses, there should be a violent denunciation of the large concessions made by Ministers. Spain had been granted better terms than in any treaty since that of St. Quentin. She had obtained the most desirable island of Minorca, with the finest port on the Mediterranean. She had got the Floridas, and had given up scarcely anything, whilst, had the British, now freed from the dead weight of America, pursued the war against her, she must soon have lost most of her valuable insular colonies. France had given up more, but she recovered very important territories which she had lost, and especially her settlements of Pondicherry and Chandernagore, in the East Indies; but America had conceded nothing, and yet had been allowed to determine her own frontier, and to share the benefits of the fishing all round our own Transatlantic coasts.