Imatges de pÓgina
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the garrison marched out with all the honours of war: and a cessation of arms immediately ensued. By this time the Russian auxiliaries, to the number of thirty-seven thousand, commanded by prince Repnin, had arrived in Moravia, where they were reviewed by their Imperial majesties : then they proceeded to the confines of Franconia, where they were ordered to halt, after they had marched seven hundred miles since the beginning of the year. The French king declared, that should they advance hither, he would demolish the fortifications of Maestricht and Bergen-op-Zoom. This dispute was referred to the plenipotentiaries, who, in the beginning of August, concluded a convention, importing, that the Russian troops should return to their own country; and that the French king should disband an equal number of his forces. The season being far advanced, the Russians were provided with winter quarters in Bohemia and Moravia, where they continued till the spring, when they marched back to Livonia. In the mean time sevenand-thirty thousand French troops were withdrawn from Flanders into Picardy, and the two armies remained quiet till the conclusion of the definitive treaty.

The suspension of arms was proclaimed at London, and in all the capitals of the contracting powers : orders were sent to the respective admirals in different parts of the world, to refrain from hostilities; and a communication of trade and intelligence was again opened between the nations which had been at variance. No material transaction distinguished the campaign in Italy. The French and Spanish troops who had joined the Genoese in the territories of the republic, amounted to thirty thousand men, under the direction of the duke de Richelieu, who was sent from France to assume that command, on the death of the duke de Boufflers; while mareschal de Belleisle, at the head of fifty thousand men, covered the western Riviera, which was threatened with an invasion by forty thousand Austrians and Piedmontese, under general Leutruin. At the same time general Brown, with a more numerous army, prepared to reenter the eastern Riviera, and recommence the siege of Genoa. But these intended operations were prevented by an armistice, which took place as soon as the belligerent powers had acceded to the preliminaries.

♡ XXXII. In the East Indies, rear-admiral Boscawen undertook the siege of Pondicherry, which, in the month of August, he blocked up by sea with his squadron, and invested by land with a small army of four thousand Europeans, and about two thousand natives of that country. He pro-secuted the enterprise with great spirit, and took the fort of Area Coupan, at the distance of three miles from the town: then he made his approaches to the place, against which he opened batteries, while it was bombarded and cannonaded by the shipping. But the fortifications were so strong, the garrison so numerous, and the engineers of the enemy so expert in their profession, that he made very little progress, and sustained considerable damage. At length, his army being diminished by sickness, and the rainy season approaching, he ordered the artillery and stores to be reembarked; and 'raising the siege on the sixth day of October, returned to fort St. David, after having lost about a thousand men in this expedition. In the sequel, several ships of his squadron, and above twelve hundred sailors, perished in a hurricane. The naval force of Great Britain was more successful in the West Indies. Rear-admiral Knowles, with a squadron of eight ships, attacked fort Lewis, on the south side of Hispaniola, which after a warm action of three hours was surrendered on capitulation, and dismantled. Then he made an abortive attempt upon St. Jago de Cuba, and returned to Jamaica, extremely chagrined at his disappointment, which he imputed to the misconduct of captain Dent, who was tried in England by a court martial, and honourably acquitted. On the first day of October, the same admiral cruising in the neighbourhood of the Havannah, with eight ships of the line, encountered a Spanish squadron of nearly the same strength, under the command of the admirals Reggio and Spinola. The engagement began between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, and continued with intervals till eight in the evening, when the enemy retired to the Havannah, with the loss of two ships ; one of which struck to the British admiral, and the other was, two days after, set on fire by her own commander, that she might not fall into the hands of the English. Mr. Knowles taxed some of his captains with misbehaviour, and they recriminated on his conduct. On their return to Eng

land, a court martial was the consequence of the mutual accusations. Those who adhered to the commander, and the others whom he impeached, were inflamed against each other with the most rancorous resentment. The admiral himself did not escape uncensured: two of his captains were reprimanded : but captain Holmes, who had displayed uncommon courage, was honourably acquitted. Their animosities did not end with the court martial. A bloodless encounter happened between the admiral and captain Powlett : but captain Innes and captain Clark, meeting by appointment in Hyde Park with pistols, the former was mortally wounded, and died next morning; the latter was tried, and condemned for murder, but indulged with his majesty's pardon. No naval transaction of any consequence happened in the European seas, during the course of this summer. In January, indeed, the Magnanime, a French ship of the line, was taken in the channel by two English cruisers, after an obstinate engagement: and the privateers took a considerable number of merchant ships from the enemy.

♡ XXXIII. The plenipotentiaries still continued at Aix-la-Chapelle, discussing all the articles of the definitive treaty, which was at length concluded and signed on the seventh day of October. It was founded on former treaties, which were now expressly confirmed, from that of Westphalia to the last concluded at London and Vienna. The contracting parties agreed, That all prisoners on each side should be mutually released, without ransom and all conquests restored : that the dutchies of Parma, Placentia and Quastalla, should be ceded as a settlement to the infant Don Philip, and the heirs male of his body; but in case of his ascending the throne of Spain, or of the Two Sicilies, or his dying without male issue, that they should revert to the house of Austria ; that the king of Great Britain should immediately after the ratification of this treaty, send two persons of rank and distinction, to reside in France, as hostages, until restitution should be made of Cape Breton, and all the other conquests which his Britannic majesty should have achieved in the East or West Indies, before or after the prelimiņaries were signed: that the assiento contract, with the article of the annual ship, should be confirmed for four years, during which the enjoyment of that privilege was suspended since the commencement of the present war, that Dunkirk should remain fortified on the land side, and towards the sea continuing on the footing of former treaties. All the contracting powers became guarantees to the king of Prussia for the dutchy of Silesia and the county of Glatz, as he at present possessed them; and they likewise engaged to secure the empress queen of Hungary and Bohemia in possession of her hereditary dominions, according to the pragmatic sanction. The other articles regulated the forms and times fixed for his mutual restitution, as well as for the termination of hostilities in different parts of the world. But the right of English subjects to navigate in the American seas, without being subject to search, was not once mentioned, though this claim was the original source of the differences between Great Britain and Spain : 'nor were the limits of Acadia ascertained. This and all other disputes were left to the discussion of commissaries. We have already observed, that after the troubles of the empire began, the war was no longer maintained on British principles. It became a continental contest, and was prosecuted on the side of the allies without conduct, spirit, or unanimity. In the Netherlands they were outnumbered and outwitted by the enemy. They never hazarded a baitle without sustaining a defeat. Their vast armies, paid by Great Britain, lay inactive, and beheld one fortress reduced after another, until the whole country was subdued ; and as their generals fought, their plenipotentiaries negotiated. At a time when their affairs began to wear the most promising aspect, when the arrival of the Russian auxiliaries would have secured an undoubted superiority in the field; when the British fleets had trampled on the naval power of France and Spain, intercepted their supplies of treasure, and cut off all their resources of commerce; the British ministers seemed to treat, without the least regard to the honour and advantage of their country. They left her most valuable and necessary rights of trade unowned and undecided : they subscribed to the insolent demand of sending the nobles of the realm to grace the court, and adorn the triumphs of her enemy; and they tamely gave up her conquests in North America, of more consequence to her

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traffic than all the other dominions for which the powers at war contended : they gave up the important isle of Cape Breton, in exchange for a petty factory in the East Indies, belonging to a private company, whose existence had been deemed prejudicial to the commonwealth. What then were the fruits which Britain reaped from this long and desperate war? A dreadful expense of blood and treasure, disgrace upon disgrace, an additional load of grievous impositions, and the national debt accumulated to the enormous sum of eighty millions sterling.

t Such an expensive war could not be maintained without a very extraor. dinary exertion of a commercial spirit: accordingly we find that Great Britain, since the death of king William, has risen under her pressures with increased viga our and perseverance. Whether it be owing to the natural progression of trade extending itself from its origin to its acme or ne plus ultra, or to the encouragement given by the administration to moneyed men of all denominations; or to necessity, impelling those who can no longer live on small incomes to risk their capitals in traffic, that they may have a chance for bettering their fortunes; or, lastly, to a concurrence of all these causes; certain it is, the national exports and imports have been sensibly increasing for these forty years : the yearly medium of woollen exports, from the year 1738 to 1743 inclusive, amounted to about three millions and a half, which was a yearly increase on the medium, of five hundred thousand pounds above the medium from 1718 to 1724. From this article the reader will conceive the prodigious extent and importance of the British commerce.

VOL. III.

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