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general applause. Whigs and Tories vied with each other in extolling the genius and energy of Pitt. His colleagues were never talked of or thought of. The House of Communs, the nation, the colonies, our allies, our enemies, had their eyes fixed on him alone.
Scarcely had Parliament voted a monument to Wolfe when another great event called for fresii rejoicings. The Brest fleet, under the coinmand of Conflans, had put out to sea. It was overtaken by an English squadron under Hawke. Conflans attempted to take shelter close under the French coast. The shore was rocky: the night was black: the wind was furious : the waves of the Bay of Biscay ran high. But Pitt had infused into every branch of the service a spirit which had long been unknown. No British seaman was disposed to err on the same side with Byng. The pilot told Hawke that the attack could not be made without the greatest danger. “ You have done your duty in remonstrating," answered Hawke; “I will answer for every thing. I command you to lay
you to lay me alongside the French admiral.” Two French ships of the line struck. Four were destroyed. The rest hid themselves in the rivers of Britanny.
The year 1760 came ; and still triumph followed triumph. Montreal was taken; the whole province of Canada was subjugated; the French fleets underwent
succession of disasters in the seas of Europe and Adierica.
In the meantime conquests equalling in rapidity, and far surpassing in magnitude, those of Cortes and Pizarro, had been achieved in the East. In the space of three years the English had founded a mighty empire. The French had been defeated in every part of India. Chandernagorc had surrendered to Clive,
Pondicherry to Coote. Throughout Bengal, Bahar, Orissa and the Carnatic, the authority of the East India Company was more absolute than that of Acbar or Aurungzebe had ever been.
On the continent of Europe the odds were against England. We had but one important ally, the King of Prussia ; and he was attacked, not only by France, but also by Russia and Austria. Yet even on the Continent, the energy of Pitt triumphed over all difficulties. Vehemently as he had condemned the practice of subsidising foreign princes, he now carried that practice farther than Carteret himself would have ventured to do. The active and able Sovereign of Prussia received such pecuniary assistance as enabled him to maintain the conflict on equal terms against his powerful enemics. On no subject had Pitt ever spoken with so much cloquence and ardour as on the mischiefs of the Hanoverian connection. He now declared, not without much show of reason, that it would be unworthy of the English people to suffer their King to be deprived of his electoral dominions in an English quarrel. He assured his countrymen that they should be no losers, and that he would conquer America for then in Germany. By taking this line he conciliated the King, and lost no part of his influence with the nation In Parliament, such was the ascendency which his cloquence, his success, his high situation, his pride, and his intrepidlity had obtained for him, that he took liburties with the House of which there had beon no example, and which have never since been imitated. No orator could there venture to reproach him with inconsistency. One unfortunate man made the attempt, and was so much disconcerted by the scornful demeanour of the Minister that he stammered, stopped any
sat down. Even the old Tory country gentlemen, to whom the very name of Hanover had been odious, gave their hearty Ayes to subsidy after subsidy. In a lively contemporary satire, much more lively indeed than delicate, this remarkable conversion is not unl'ap pily described.
“No inore they make a fiddle-faddle
About a Hessian horse or saddle.
The success of Pitt's continental measures was such as might have been expected from their vigour. When he came into power, Hanover was in imminent danger; and before he had been in office three months, the whole electorate was in the hands of France. But the face of affairs was speedily changed. The invaders were driven out. An army, partly English, partly Hanoverian, partly composed of soldiers furnished by the petty princes of Germany, was placed under the command of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. The French were beaten in 1758 at Crevelt. In 1759 they received a still more complete and humiliating defeat at Minden.
In the meantime, the nation exhibited all the signs of wealth and prosperity. The merchants of London had never been more thriving. The importance of several great commercial and manufacturing towns, of Glasgow in particular, dates from this period. The fine inscription on the monument of Lord Chatham in Guildhall records the general opinion of the citizens of London, that under his administration commerce had hecn“ united with and made to flourish by war.”
It must be owned that these signs of prosperity were in some degree delusive. It must be owned that some of our conquests were rather splendid than useful. It must be owned that the expense of the war never entered into Pitt's consideration. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that the cost of his victories increased the pleasure with which he contemplated them. Unlike other men in his situation, he loved to exaggerate tho sums which the nation was laying out under his direction. He was proud of the sacrifices and efforts which his eloquence and his success had induced his countrymen to make. The price at which he purchased faithful service and complete victory, though far smaller than that which his son, the most profuse and incapable of war ministers, paid for treachery, defeat, and shame, was long and severely felt by the nation.
Even as a war minister, Pitt is scarcely entitled to all the praise which his contemporaries lavished on him. We, perhaps from ignorance, cannot discern in his arrangements any appearance of profound or dexterous combination. Several of his expeditions, particularly those which were sent to the coast of France, were at once costly and absurd. Our Indian conquests, thonghi they add to the splendour of the period during which he was at the head of affairs, were not planned by him. He had undoubtedly great energy, great determination, great means at his command. His temper was enterprising ; and, situated as he was, he had only to follow his temper. The wealth of a rich nation, the valour of a brave nation, were ready to support him in every attempt.
In one respect, however, he deserved all the praise that to has ever received. The success of our arms was perhaps owing less to the skill of his disposition
than lo the national resources and the national spirit. But that the national spirit rose to the emergency, that the national resources were contributed with unexampled! cheerfulness, this was undoubtedly his work. The ardour of his son! 1:ad set the whole kingdom on fire. It inflamed every soldier who dragged the canrion up the heights of Quebec, and every sailor who boarded the French ships among the rocks of Britanny. The Minister, before he had been long in office, had imparted to the commanders whom he employed his own impetuous, adventurous, and defying character. They, like him, were disposed to risk every thing; to play double o: quits to the last, to think nothing done while any thing remained undone, to fail rather than not to attempt. For the errors of rashness' there might be indulgence. For, over-caution, for faults like those of Lord George Sackville, there was no mercy. In other times, and against other enemies, this mode of warfare might have failed. But the state of the French governinent and of the French nation gave every advantage to Pitt. The fops and intriguers of Versailles were appalled and bewildered by his vigour. A panic spread through all ranks of society. Our enemies soon considered it as a settled thing that they were always to be beaten. Thus victory begot victory; till, at last, wherever the forces of the two nations met, they met with disdainful confidence on one side, and with a craven fear on the other.
The situation which Pitt occupied at the close of the reign of George the Second was the most enviable ever occupied by any public man in English history. He had conciliated the King; he domineered over the House of Commons ; he was adored by the people ; he was admired by all Europe. He was the first English