Imatges de pÓgina

to carry them to the ships above Quebec. Now Wolfe learnt that the very steep cliffs above a cove called Anse de Foulon, about two miles above the town, were very weakly held by a small force under an unreliable officer. He decided to attempt the scaling of these cliffs instead of the distant crossing to the west.

On the night of September 12 the army took to the boats and was carried down by a series of detachments to the point of attack. Silence was enforced as they went on their dangerous mission. The story goes that Wolfe recited Gray's elegy, on the way down. It is highly improbable. If true, it is possible that Saunders on the deck was muttering “fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, nor in the glistering foil set off by the world.” But it is more likely that at such a crucial moment both men were thinking of immediate duty.

The luck continued. Challenged on the way down by a French sentry, who was expecting supplies from higher up the river, a Highland officer who knew French answered in that language that they were the provision boats that were expected. A second challenge given near one of the English ships was countered by the answer in French calling for silence lest the British should hear.

Arrived at the cove, a forlorn hope of a few men went up the steep cliff in single file, in deadly silence, carrying their muskets, pulling themselves up by holding to branches or any handhold that presented itself. Wolfe, with the main body, increasing as further forces were brought over in the boats, waited below. The few first men surprised and overcame the guard ; the signal given, the rest followed, and when some 3,000 or 4,000 men gained the top there followed the battle on the Heights of Abraham and the deaths of the two great men, Montcalm and Wolfe.

The capture of Quebec, September 13, 1759, marks the climax of the war in the West. But the British were not in a safe or happy position. The war with nature took the place of the war with man. Aided by the extreme cold, want of provisions, money and proper clothing, frost bite, dysentery and scurvy thinned the army with terrible insistency. It was impossible to bury the dead or to dig entrenchments on the heights in the frozen ground.

At the end of February, 1760, when Murray had scarce 3,000 efficient men, Levis came from the West with a well-disciplined army of nearly 8,000. Murray did not wait to be attacked. But his guns sank in the snow and were abandoned, the British being defeated with the loss of some 1,100 men. The French ships dropped down to supply their army. The critical situation was saved by the British fleet, which came up and captured the French ships, with food and ammunition ; Levis then retreated to Montreal, where the 2,500 French, opposed to 17,000, surrendered on September 8, 1760, and Canada passed into British hands. The success may be said to be due from first to last to Amherst's dispositions on land, and to the excellent use made by the British sailors of the command of the sea. In the final settlement with the French Amherst, like Lee in 1864, issued a general order to his troops not to disgrace their victory by any unsoldierlike behaviour or appearance of inhumanity, an order which was well obeyed.

v. The Seven Years' War in the East.—The operations in the East were also conducted with final success. In April, 1758, Lally came to India with twelve ships, men and artillery. He attacked Madras and failed. But he took Fort St. David's. The officials at Pondicherry worked against him; he was short of money and supplies ; being forced by want of means and of food to live on the country destroyed the discipline of his men. The British were little better off, but they had command of the sea, and Pocock brought money, men and ammunition to Madras, enabling them to stand out against the siege by Lally, though their losses both by death and desertion were very severe.

Then, towards the end of September, Clive sent from Bengal a force under Colonel Forde, who was responsible for one of the most striking episodes in British Indian warfare. He defeated the French at Condore, capturing guns, baggage and material. Then he attacked under every disadvantage of money, men, food and weather the fortress of Masulipatam. The delays were so great that it took him three months to reach the town. He had to erect works and land siege guns from the ships. At length, just as the monsoon rendered all ground too soft for action, a breach was made. A great force was approaching, under the Subadar of the Deccan, with the French, and his own native allies proved worse than useless. “Before Forde was a fortress with a garrison of greater strength than his own army : behind him was a force which outnumbered his own by more than ten to one ; his communications were cut, and ammunition and funds were exhausted.” Thus situated, he attacked and successfully stormed the fort, the success being greatly due to the efforts of his officers.

Everything told against the French. Eyre Coote came with 1,000 men. Lally's own regiment mutinied, and proposed to join the British. In September Admiral D'Aché came, engaged Pocock after the usual fashion without result, and left for Mauritius.

The Dutch having seized British vessels, Forde was sent to take Chinsura. Three East Indiamen attacked seven Dutch ships and captured six. Then Forde defeated the Dutch on land, and Clive made them accept heavy terms of neutrality. They were put out of action against Britain until they joined the French after Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.

In January, 1760, Eyre Coote, an Irishman, defeated Lally de Tollendal, an Irishman, who was forced by his desperate condition to give battle at Wandewash. Then Coote captured French forts. In September ships brought men and stores; but it was not until January, 1761, that, after a splendid defence, Pondicherry surrendered-and in 1766 the French executed Lally de Tollendal for his want of success.

After the peace of Paris in 1763 the French East India Company was reorganized as a commercial Company without any political rôle. It continued to do a large trade in the East, its fleets sailing from Lorient. But the great totals of the Company's business only conceal the fact that the Seven Years' War dealt a deadly blow at French commerce. The French did a good trade in Surat, Mahé, Pondicherry, Masulipatam and Chandernagore. They did an excellent trade at Canton in silk, tea, muslin and porcelain. But the British were supreme in Bengal, and traded with success over all the Continent. The French Company was suppressed in 1798.

vi. George III. Pitt and the End of the War.-In 1759 France admitted bankruptcy. On October 26th, 1760, George II. died, and was succeeded by his grandson, George III.

Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of George II., was born in 1707. In 1786 he married Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. Frederick appears to have been a very good type of the prince of those times, though he has since been viciously written down by the opponents of his son, George III. There is grave difficulty in dealing with such political abuse from the want of reality in all such estimates. Frederick would appear to have had some literary tastes, as he had collected round him some of the best of the literary politicians, such as Chesterfield, St. John, Pitt and Lyttelton. He appears to have had an artistic turn which was quite inexcusable in a Hanoverian prince of that date. His father had refused to pay his debts in Hanover, and pursued him with a relentless hatred, as he had been pursued by his own father, preferring his second son, the butcher Duke of Cumberland, born in 1721. Prince Frederick died suddenly in 1751, leaving his son, George III., heir to the throne. Of the Princess, his wife, Walpole, writing in 1751, notes : “The quiet inoffensive good sense of the Princess, who had never said a foolish thing or done a disobliging one since her arrival, although in very difficult situations, young, uninstructed, and besieged by the Queen, Princess Emily, and Lady Archibald's creatures, and very jarring interests.” He sings quite another song later on, when it suits to couple her name with Bute.

There had grown up a very strong peace party, who were satisfied with the successes and earnestly wished to end the war. The movement received strong support from the hatred felt to the fearful waste of life and great amount of money spent in Germany for the benefit of Frederick and Hanover. Mauduit in his notable pamphlet on the war in Germany, giving the argument of the war-makers that Frederick was a very clever man, agrees, for, says he, he is so clever that he has got £760,000 a year out of us for nothing. Mauduit's argument was, shortly : Our conquests, if we make any in Germany, cannot be kept ; it is a defensive war for Hanover and an offensive on behalf of Frederick, while by seizing the colonial possessions of the enemy we could secure Hanover and enrich ourselves. Frederick could barely stand himself, so he was of no use to us as an ally.

In addition to the loss in men, the pressure on the finances and the difficulty of recruiting out of the small population of the British Islands (probably in 1763 about six millions) had laid a great strain on the country. At the end of 1758 Newcastle was writing that the enormous strain on our finances called for a peace at the first reasonable opportunity. Of Ferdinand's campaign in Hesse in 1761 the military historian says : “The waste of the army was in fact appalling, amounting to no fewer than 25,000 out of 95,000 men. Of these some few had been killed in action; considerably more had deserted; still more had been invalided ; and fully one half had died of hardship and disease.” In 1762 the country was so much exhausted that the standard of height was reduced to five feet two inches, and Irish Catholics were recruited in America.

But Pitt, the War Minister with the one idea—the absolute destruction of the enemy, took no account of the means in view of the end. Ignorant,” says Walpole, “ of the whole circle of finance, and consequently averse from corresponding with financiers, a plain set of men, who are never to be paid with words instead of figures, he kept aloof from all details, drew magnificent plans, and left others to find magnificent means

who cared not what he lavished on whoever would carry on his glorious sketches or rather adventurous darings—a prodigality unhappily copied in the next reign throughout the American War by men who imitated Mr. Pitt in nothing else, and who had none of his genius, ambition, patriotism, nor even his lofty ideas." There was fearful waste and corruption everywhere, especially in Fox's office of Paymaster, resulting in an immense increase of debt. At the end of the war of the Austrian Succession the national debt was 76 millions—60 millions had been added by the Seven Years' War. War had to be paid for. That is the outstanding fact of history of the next 25 years.

The subsequent operations of the war continued to be in favour of the British, though the generalship shown was poor. In April, 1761, Belle Isle was taken by storm, after months of stormy weather and a very difficult landing. In January, 1762, Pitt disturbed the negotiations for peace with France by clamouring for war with Spain. He had seen intercepted letters, from which he inferred, rightly as it turned out, that as soon as the Plate fleet from the West was safe in Spanish waters, Spain, who had not forgotten the destruction of her fleets in time of peace by Byng, Lord Torrington, would join

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