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duct of wars; but never, until now, had public men claimed the title of patriots for having openly and heartily espoused the cause of an enemy in open hostility; rejoiced in his successes, palliated his defeats, and wept over those who fell fighting in his cause. In the beginning of the conflict, it might be alleged, that this sympathy was called forth in the cause of British subjects, maintaining, at the risk of every thing they possessed, principles which form the foundation of the British constitution. Such ground, at the best, is slippery and unstable ; firm and good while debate and remonstrance may be supposed to govern, but ever dangerous when armed resistance is employed, and military conflict has commenced. They who rejoiced in the disasters of the King's troops at Lexington and Bunker's Hill, naturally and inevitably favoured with their best wishes and highest commendations the invaders of Canada, gloried in the success of those intrigues which worked upon the hatred of our natural enemies, and scarcely wished us a good deliverance, when, either in arms or by injurious compact, all Europe was united against us. The effect of such a principle of opposition could not be confined to the contest in which it was first displayed; its permanence and extension were to be expected in any future conflict.

For the acts which occasioned the American war, no defence in point of policy can be offered; but the temper and spirit which caused and perpetuated resistance, are as little to be justified while the parties maintained the relation of sovereign and subject. But, while it must be acknowledged that the success of the war in America would not have been attended with corresponding advantage to England, yet it is painful to recollect that the partiality to the American cause, which prompted the declamations in Parliament, seem to have extended to quarters where nothing should be considered but immediate duty. In perusing the history of the war, and looking at the political connexion of parties, it is impossible not to feel, that if Elliot had commanded at Long Island and Rodney off Ushant,

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thousands of lives and millions of money would have been saved, and the national honour greatly advanced.

Far from feeling the inclination ascribed to them by Dr. Franklin*, no government that could be established in England would have been inclined to speculate on any discord among the American people as the means of regaining the sovereignty. It had been authentically and formally surrendered, and no minister could have been found sufficiently daring to attempt a resumption. Had it been possible that the British government should have entertained such a desire, there was no want of encouragement and solicitation from the Americans. The discontents of the army, the tyranny of the local governments, the general resistance of taxation, the insecurity of property, want of many necessaries which commerce alone could supply, regrets of the past and insecurity of the future, combined to render many who had been, even from the first, most solicitous for independence and separation, wavering in their opinions, and anxious to discover means of re-union with the parent state, provided that security could be afforded against all attempts at taxation. Proposals to this effect were made to Sir Guy Carleton, and, even after the signature of preliminaries, forwarded to ministers; but they never met with the least countenance or encouragement. To shew that these were not the inventions or exaggerations of disappointed loyalists or delusive speculators, many contemporary documents might be cited; but the state and feelings of the time were forcibly and accurately detailed by a republican author, not publishing in the heat of present impressions, but with the deliberation produced by the lapse of nearly forty years. “ Never “ did peace,” he says, “ come more opportunely for the “ relief of a country, its army, and its commander. The “army had become very unpopular; the people re“ garded them as little else than the last enemy to get

• Ante, p. 6.

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“ rid of: mutual discontents were exacerbated by mu“ tual reproaches. Every article of the produce of agri“ culture now commanded a price, and the people were “ resolved no longer to suffer it to be taken from them “ without compensation. Opposition to the minions of

Congress became popular; it was countenanced by “ men in power. It is not easy to conceive how it “ would have been possible for the southern comman“ der, perhaps for the United States, to have main“tained another campaign. The people were utterly “ worn out, and disgusted with the system of impress“ments and specific contributions; and the refusal, in “some states, to contribute their quotas in cash, or per“ mit the collection of a duty, must have produced (and

finally did produce) a general resolution of the states " to the same effect. The soldiers in the southern

army, who were enlisted for the war, were now re“ duced to a handful; and such was the terror which “ the late ravages of the climate at Ashley-Hill had “ inspired, that no consideration on earth would have “ induced men to enlist again to serve in the low “ country of South Carolina. That state had been

trying, in vain, for a year, to procure men at an enor“mous bounty, with very little success. North Caro“ lina had relinquished the attempt altogether; and

Virginia had literally been lying on her oars, until a “ flood of cash should flow in upon her from some “ quarter, God knows where. When money was fur“nished to her officers to recruit upon, it was found “ that the dreadful accounts propagated of the last “campaigns, particularly the nakedness and privations “ of the soldiers, and the sickliness of the climate, had “ almost banished every hope of obtaining men. Hap

pily for the people of the United States, Great Bri. “ tain desisted from the contest exactly at that point of “ time when she ought most to have pressed it. She “ had gained the mastery of the ocean; Charleston lay " exposed, without a piece of cannon to defend it; a “ few frigates could, at any time, have repossessed it; " and three thousand men had only to move forwards

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to regain also the mastery in the three southern states."

In whatever form, or under whatever sanction, advantages might be tendered, the national honour, and Interview of the personal character of the sovereign, whose love of with the King. peace could be suspended only by the pursuit of honour and of justice, afforded a full security against their reception. When

When the King had reluctantly adopted the resolution which proved the means of ending the war, it became a part of his system; and the same upright firmness of mind which made him unwilling to receive terms of peace, attended with a dismemberment of his dominions, rendered him strenuous in adhering to them, when imposed by necessity and the voice of his people. His Majesty's views on this subject were clearly and nobly explained, when Mr. Adams, as envoy from the United States of America, obtained his first audience. The King declared, he anticipated the interview as the most critical moment of his life, but he received the new minister with gracious affability. “I was the last man in the king“ dom, Sir,” he said, " to consent to the independence “ of America; but now it is granted, I shall be the “ last man in the world to sanction a violation of it.” This noble and dignified sentiment, joined with the general deportment of the King, formed such a refutation of the calumnies against him, by which revolt had been rendered popular, that Mr. Adams retired agitated and affected in the highest degree; he expressed, before he quitted the palace, his sense of the King's gracious demeanour, and always retained a strong attachment to his person and charactert.

Johnson's Life of General Greene, published at Charleston, 1822, vol. ii.

p. 391.

† From private information.

CHAPTER THE FIFTY-FIFTH.

1783.

State of the Ministry.-Retrospect. Public opinion.-Rod

ney.-Messrs. Powell and Bembridge.--Opposition.—Mr. Pitt.-Notice in Parliament of transactions in India.-On Lord Pigot.-Petition on the India Judicature.-Secret Committee-and Select Committee.-Their reports.-Mr. Francis much consulted. —Proceedings against Sir Thomas Rumbold, Mr. Perring, and Sir Elijah Impey.- Mr. Dundas obtains leave to bring in an India Bill.-Debate.- Observations on it.-Meeting of Parliament. The Prince of Wales takes his seat.- The King's speech.-Address in the Lords - in the Commons.-Observations of Sir Joseph Mawbey—Mr. Pitt-Mr. Fox.-Address carried unanimously.-Mr. Fox moves to bring in Bills for the government of India.—Mr. Pitt.-- Motion for the second reading. Substance of the first Bill.-Petitions.-Second Bill.- Petition from the City-Counsel heard. - Debate on the motion to commit the Bill.-Debate on the Speaker leaving the chair. Celebrated Speech of Mr. Burke-Division-Committee.Third Reading—Bill passes the lower House-Read in the Lords.-Earl Temple-Earl of Abingdon.-Petition-Counsel heard-Motion to commit the Bill— Bill rejected.-Observations.--Interference of the King-mentioned in the House of Lords --Motion in the House of Commons- Mr. Erskine's motion--the Ministers do not resign-they are dismissed. —New Ministry, headed by Earl Temple-his resignation.--- Final formation of Ministry.-Conduct of opposition.-Motion to sit on Saturday-opposed by Mr. Fox.-Apprehension of a dissolution - Committee on the state of the nation.-Mr. Erskine's motion-Mr. BankesLord North-Address voted.- The King's answer.-Mr. Fox's observations. -- Lord Beauchamp's motion. — Lord Surrey's motion.-Adjournment.

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