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THE FLIGHT OF LAWLESS. (See p. 283.)

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Levis, who knew that his success depended on forestalling any English arrivals, lost no time in throwing up trenches and preparing batteries. Had the river continued closed, Quebec must soon have reverted to the French; but, on the 11th of May, the English were rejoiced to see a frigate approaching, and this, only four days after, was followed by another frigate and a ship of the line. These, commanded by Lord Colville, immediately attacked and destroyed or drove on shore the French flotilla, and at that sight Levis struck his tents and decamped as rapidly as he came, leaving behind him his baggage and artillery. Nor was the Marquis de Vaudreuil left long undisturbed at Montreal. The three expeditions, which had failed to meet the preceding summer, were now ordered to converge on Montreal—Amherst from Lake Ontario, Haviland from Crown Point, and Murray from Quebec. Amherst had been detained at Oswego by an outbreak of the Cherokees against us. This native tribe had been friendly to us, and we had built a fort in their country, and called it Fort Loudon, after Lord Loudon; but in the autumn of 1759 they had been bought over by the French, and made a terrible raid on our back settlements, murdering and scalping the defenceless inhabitants. Mr. Lyttelton, the Governor of South Carolina, marched against them with a thousand men, and compelled them to submission; but no sooner had he retired than they recommenced their hostilities, and Amherst sent against them Colonel Montgomery, with one thousand two hundred men, who made a merciless retaliation, plundering and burning their villages, so as to impress a sufficient terror upon them.

In the House of Commons, too, the Speaker, Sir John Cust, was removed by death at the same moment, and Sir Fletcher Norton was elected in his place. On the 22nd of January, the same day that Sir Fletcher Norton was made Speaker of the House of Commons, the Marquis of Rockingham moved in the Lords for an inquiry into the state of the nation. The crumbling down of the Cabinet continued. James Grenville resigned; Dunning, the Solicitor-General, and General Conway, followed; and on the very day of Lord Rockingham's motion, the Duke of Grafton himself laid down the Seals. The whole of his administration had thus vanished, like a mere fog ministry, at the first reappearance of the luminary, Chatham.NAPOLEON'S INTERVIEW WITH METTERNICH. (See p. 67.)ARREST OF THE RAJAH OF BENARES. (See p. 334.)Though the genius and services of Pitt to his country have been overrated, he was a man of great and persevering energies, of remarkable talent and conspicuous oratory; but his temperament was cold, proud, self-glorifying, and imperious, without either the deep insight or the comprehensive grasp of genius.Parliament was prorogued on the 31st of May, 1826, and two days afterwards dissolved. It had nearly run its course. It was the sixth Session, which had been abridged with a view of getting through the general election at a convenient season. But though short, the Session had much work to show of one kind or another, including some useful legislation. The Parliamentary papers printed occupied twenty-nine folio volumes, exclusive of the journals and votes. The Parliament whose existence was now terminated had, indeed, effected the most important changes in the policy of Great Britain, foreign and domestic. Mr. Canning had severed the connection, unnatural as it was damaging, between England and the Holy Alliance. The Government of the freest country in the world, presenting almost the only example of a constitution in which the power of the people was represented, was no longer to be associated in the councils of a conclave of despots; and this change of direction in its foreign policy was cordially adopted by the House of Commons and by the nation. Another great and vital change in national policy was the partial admission of the principles of Free Trade, which the Tories regarded, not without reason, as effecting a complete revolution, which extended its influence to the whole legislation and government.Robespierre believed that there was a majority of the Republicans who thought they had gone too far in abolishing the Deity and setting up the Goddess of Reason. He declared that the people needed festivals, and immediately it was decreed that every decade should be celebrated as a festival. A festival in honour of the Supreme Being inaugurated this series of special holidays, and it was to be followed by festivals to the Human Race, the French People, the Love of Country, Agriculture, Necessity, Misfortune, Posterity, and various other qualities and sentiments, each having one decade in the year. The first festival to the Supreme Being was fixed for the 20th of Prairial, or 8th of June. The painter David was commissioned to prepare the scenes and ceremonies of the festival, which was enacted in the gardens of the Tuileries. Robespierre, in his sky-blue coat and most showy waistcoat, and carrying in his hand a grand bouquet of flowers mixed with ears of wheat, led the procession and officiated as high priest. But though Robespierre had proclaimed the reign of the Supreme Being, he had not the least intention that it should on that account be any the more a reign of mercy. In his speech at the festival of the Supreme Being, he declared that the Republic must be still further purged—that they must remain inexorable. On this point he and all his colleagues were agreed, but they were agreed in nothing else. They immediately broke into fresh schisms, as would necessarily be the case with such men, who must go on exterminating one another to the last. Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon still hung together; but Barrère, Collot d'Herbois, Billaud-Varennes, and most of the other members of the Committees of Public Welfare and Public Safety, were in the very act of rushing into opposition, and beginning a struggle with the triumvirate—Robespierre, Couthon, and St. Just—to the death. St. Just advised Robespierre to anticipate them, but he, relying on his authority with the Convention, remained inactive. It was a fatal mistake. Barrère and his faction determined to strike a decisive blow at Robespierre; and Tallien volunteered to commence the attack on Robespierre in the Convention. To Robespierre's utter astonishment, his friends were outnumbered, and decrees were immediately passed for the arrest of Couthon, Lebas, St. Just, Robespierre and his brother. He escaped and fled to the Commune. For a moment it seemed as if a revolution would have restored him to power. But the Parisians were weary of their tyrant, and on the following day Robespierre with twenty members of the Commune perished on the scaffold (July 28th, 1794).


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