The Whig aristocracy cannot conquer Canada
.— anarchy in the administration.
The rangers at Fort William Henry
The forests, pathless with snows, the frozen lake, the wilderness, which has no shelter against cold and storms, the perilous ambush, where defeat may be followed by the scalping-knife, or tortures, or captivity among the farthest tribes,—all cannot chill their daring.
On skates they glide over the lakes; on snow-shoes they penetrate the woods.
In January, 1757, the gallant Stark
with seventy-four rangers, goes down Lake George
, and turns the strong post of Carillon.
A French party of ten or eleven sledges is driving merrily from Ticonderoga
to Crown Point
sallies forth to attack them; three are taken, with twice as many horses, and seven prisoners. But before he can reach the water's edge, he is intercepted by a party of two hundred and fifty French and Indians.
Sheltered by trees and a rising ground, he renews and sustains the unequal fight till evening.
In the night, the survivors retreat; a sleigh, sent over the lake, brings
home the wounded.
Fourteen rangers had fallen, six
Those who remained alive were applauded, and Stark
are still more adventurous.
A detachment of fifteen hundred men, part regulars, and part Canadians, are to follow the younger Vaudreuil
in a winter's expedition3
against Fort William Henry
They must travel sixty leagues; the snowshoes on their feet, their provisions on sledges, drawn, where the path is smooth, by dogs; for their couch at night, they spread on the snow-bank a bearskin, and break the evening breeze with a simple veil; thus they go over Champlain
, over Lake George
On St. Patrick's night, a man in front tries the strength of the ice with an axe; the ice-spurs ring, as the party advances over the crystal highway, with scaling ladders, to surprise the English
But the garrison was on the watch, and the enemy could only burn the English
batteaux and sloops, the storehouses, and the huts of the rangers within their pickets.
For the campaign of 1757, the northern colonies, still eager to extend the English
limits, at a congress of governors in Boston
, in January, agreed to raise four thousand men.6
The Southern governors of North Carolina
, and Pennsylvania
, meeting at Philadelphia
, settled the quotas for their governments,7
but only as the groundwork for complaints to the Board of Trade; they said plainly,
that nothing effectual would be done by the colo-
Of the central provinces, Pennsylvania
approached most nearly towards establishing independent power.
Its people had never been numbered, yet, with the counties on Delaware
, were believed to be not less than two hundred thousand, of whom thirty thousand were able to bear arms.9
It had no militia established by law; but forts and garrisons protected the frontier, at the annual cost to the province of seventy thousand pounds currency.
To the act of the former year, granting sixty thousand pounds, the Assembly had added a supplement, appropriating one hundred thousand more, and taxing the property of the proprietaries.
But they would contribute nothing to a general fund, and disposed of all money themselves.
The support of the governor was either not paid at all, or not till the close of the year.
When any office was created, the names of those who were to execute it were inserted in the bill, with a clause reserving to the Assembly the right of nomination in case of death.
The sheriffs and coroners, and all persons connected with the treasury, were thus nominated or were chosen by the people, annually, and were responsible only to their constituents.
The Assembly could not be prorogued or dissolved, and adjourned itself at its own pleasure.
It assumed almost all executive power, and scarce a bill came up without an attempt to encroach on the little residue.
“In the Jerseys and in Pennsylvania
,” wrote Loudoun, thinking to influence the mind of Pitt
, ‘the majority
of the Assembly is composed of Quakers; whilst
that is the case, they will always oppose every measure of government, and support that independence which is deep-rooted every where in this country.
The taxes which the people pay are really so trifling, that they do not deserve the name; so that if some method is not found out of laying on a tax for the support of a war in America
by a British Act of Parliament, it appears to me, that you will continue to have no assistance from them in money, and will have very little in men, if they are wanted.’10
While the royal officers, with Loudoun
at their head, were soliciting the arbitrary interposition of parliament, it is most worthy of remark, that the deep-seated, reluctantly abandoned confidence in the justice and love of liberty of the parliament of England, still led the people of Pennsylvania
to look to that body for protection; and in February, 1757, Benjamin Franklin
was chosen agent ‘to represent in England
the unhappy situation of the province, that all occasion of dispute hereafter might be removed by an act of the British
had already given the example of an appeal to the House of Commons in favor of popular power against prerogative; and its complaint had, in 1733, been rebuked ‘as a high insult, tending to shake off the dependency of the colony upon the kingdom.’
had just been renewing the attempt; and, while Franklin
was at New York to take passage, and there was no ministry in England
to restrain the tendencies of the Lords
of Trade, the
House of Commons adopted the memorable resolve,
that ‘the claim of right in a colonial assembly to raise and apply public money, by its own act alone, is derogatory to the crown and to the rights of the people of Great Britain
;’ and this resolve, so pregnant with consequences, asserting for ‘the people of Great Britain
’ a control over American legislation, was authoritatively communicated to every American assembly.
‘The people of Pennsylvania
,’ said Thomas Penn
, ‘will soon be convinced by the House of Commons, as well as by the ministers, that they have not a right to the powers of government they claim.’11
The debates between the proprietaries of Pennsylvania
and its people involved every question in dispute between the crown and the provinces, making Pennsylvania
the central figure in the struggle; and Benjamin Franklin
, whom Kant
, in 1755, had heralded to the world of science as the Prometheus of modern times,12
stood forth the foremost champion of the rights and the legislative free will of America
Every day brightened his fame and increased his influence.
‘The House of Commons,’ said Penn
, ‘will end the business entirely to our satisfaction.’
Still the exertion of the extreme authority of parliament was postponed.
The Privy Council was as yet persuaded, that they, with the king, had of themselves plenary power to govern America.
‘Your American Assemblies,’ said Granville
, its President
, to Franklin
, ‘slight the king's instructions.
They are drawn up by grave men, learned in the laws and constitution of the realm; they are brought into Council, thoroughly
weighed, well considered, and amended, if
necessary, by the wisdom of that body; and when received by the Governors
, they are the laws of the land; for the king is the legislator of the colonies.’
This doctrine which Franklin
received soon after his arrival in London
, fell on him as new;13
and was never effaced from his memory.
In its preceding session parliament had done little, except in the hope of distressing Canada
and the French
islands by famine, to lay grievous restrictions on the export of provisions from the British
The act produced a remonstrance.
‘America,’ said Granville
, the Lord President, to the complaint of its agents, ‘America must not do any thing to interfere with Great Britain
in the European markets
‘If we plant and reap, and must not ship,’ retorted Franklin
, ‘your Lordship should apply to parliament for transports to bring us all back again.’
But in America
the summer passed as might have been expected from ‘detachments under commanders whom a child might outwit or terrify with a popgun.’
was assigned the watch on the frontiers of Carolina
, with about two thousand men, had charge of the West
, while Webb
was left highest in command, with nearly six thousand men, to defend the avenue of Lake George
; and on the twentieth day of June, the Earl
, having first incensed all America
by a useless embargo, and having, at New York, at one sweep, impressed four hundred men, weighed anchor for Halifax
British regiments, two battalions of royal Ameri-
cans, and five companies of rangers, accompanied him. ‘His sailing,’ said the Canadians, ‘is a hint for us to project something on this frontier.’15 Loudoun
on the last day of June, and found detachments from England
already there; and on the ninth of July the entire armament was assembled.
At that time, Newcastle
was ‘reading Loudoun
's letters with great attention and satisfaction,’ and praising his ‘great diligence and ability.’
,’ said he, ‘mentions an act of parliament to be passed here; I don't well understand what he means by it.’
Prince George, not surmising defeat, was thoughtful for the orthodoxy of America
A class of bold inquirers, Shaftesbury
, Bolingbroke, Hume
, had attacked the scholastic philosophy and the dogmas of the Middle Ages
, had insinuated a denial of the plenary inspiration of the Bible
and of the credibility of miracles, and had applied the principle of skeptical analysis to supernatural religion, and the institutions and interests connected with the, Established Church.
They were freethinkers, daring to question any thing; they were deists, accepting only the religion of nature and reason.
, where radical abuses in canon law introduced anarchy and skepticism into the heart of faith, these writers assisted to hasten a revolution in the public mind; they pointed the epigrams of Voltaire
, and founded a school of theology in Germany
, while in England
one half the cultivated class received their opinions.
Fearing their influence in
the New World, the amiable young heir to the
throne sent over a hundred pounds' worth of answers to deistical writers.
But in America
, free inquiry, which dwelt with the people, far from being of a destructive tendency, was conducting them towards firm institutions, and religious faith was not a historical tradition, encumbered with the abuses of centuries, but a living principle.
found himself in Halifax
at the head of an admirable army of ten thousand men, with a fleet of sixteen ships of the line, besides frigates.
There he landed, levelled the uneven ground for a parade, planted a vegetable garden as a precaution against the scurvy, exercised the men in mock battles, and sieges, and stormings of fortresses, and, when August came, and the spirit of the army was broken, and Hay
, a major-general, expressed contempt so loudly as to be arrested, the troops were embarked, as if for Louisburg
But ere the ships sailed, the reconnoitring vessels came with news that the French
at Cape Breton had one ship more than the English
, and the plan of the campaign was changed.
Part of the soldiers landed again at Halifax
, and the Earl
, leaving his garden to weeds, and his place of arms to briers, sailed for New York.
He had been but two days out, when he was met by an express, with such tidings as were to have been expected.
How peacefully rest the waters of Lake George
between their ramparts of highlands!
In their pellucid depths, the cliffs, and the hills, and the trees trace their image, and the beautiful region speaks to
the heart, teaching affection for nature.
As yet, not
a hamlet rose on its margin; not a straggler had thatched a log-hut in its neighborhood; only at its head, near the centre of a wider opening between its mountains, Fort William Henry
stood on its bank, almost on a level with the lake.
Lofty hills overhung and commanded the wild scene, but heavy artillery had not as yet accompanied war-parties into the wilderness.
Some of the Six Nations preserved their neutrality, but the Oneidas danced the war-dance with Vaudreuil
‘We will try the hatchet of our father on the English
, to see if it cuts well,’ said the Senecas of Niagara
; and when Johnson
complained of depredations on his cattle, ‘You begin crying quite early,’ they answered; ‘you will soon see other things.’16
have built a fort on the lands of Onontio,’ spoke Vaudreuil
, governor of New France, to a congress at Montreal
of the warriors of three and-thirty nations, who had come together, some from the rivers of Maine
, some from the wilderness of Lake Huron
and Lake Superior
. ‘I am ordered,’ he continued, ‘to destroy it. Go, witness what I shall do, that, when you return to your mats, you may recount what you have seen.’
They took his belt of wampum, and answered,—‘Father, we are come to do your will.’
Day after day, at Montreal
nursed their enthusiasm by singing the war-song with the several tribes.
They clung to him with affection, and would march to battle only with him. They rallied at Fort St. John
, on the
, their missionaries with them, and hymns were
sung in almost as many dialects as there were nations.
On the sixth day, as they discerned the battlements of Ticonderoga
, the fleet arranged itself in order, and two hundred canoes, filled with braves, each nation with its own pennons, in imposing regularity, swept over the smooth waters of Champlain
, to the landingplace of the fortress.
rung with the voices of thousands; and the martial airs of France
, and shouts in the many tongues of the red men, resounded among the rocks and forests and mountains.
The Christian mass, too, was chanted solemnly; and to the Abenaki converts, seated reverently, in decorous silence, on the ground, the priest urged the duty of honoring Christianity by their example, in the presence of so many infidel braves.
It was a season of scarcity in Canada
None had been left unmolested to plough and plant; the miserable inhabitants had no bread.
But small stores were collected for the army.
They must conquer speedily or disband.
‘On such an expedition,’ said Montcalm
to his officers, ‘a blanket and a bearskin are the warrior's couch.
Do like me, with cheerful goodwill.
The soldier's allowance is enough for us.’17
During the short period of preparation, the partisans were active.
brought back his two hundred men from the skirts of Fort Edward
, with the pomp of a triumphant warrior.
‘He did not amuse himself with making prisoners,’ said Montcalm
, on seeing but one captive;18
and the red men yelled for joy as they counted in the canoes two-and-forty scalps of Englishmen.
resolved to humble the arrogance of
the American boatmen; and they lay hid in ambuscades all the twenty-third of July, and all the following night.
At daybreak of the twenty-fourth, Palmer
was seen on the lake in command of two-and-twenty barges.
rushed on his party suddenly, terrified them by their yells, and, after killing many, took one hundred and sixty prisoners. ‘To-morrow or next day,’ said the captives, ‘General Webb
will be at the fort with fresh troops.’
‘No matter,’ said Montcalm
; ‘in less than twelve days I will have a good story to tell about them.’
From the timid Webb
there was nothing to fear.
He went, it is true, to Fort William Henry
, but took care to leave again with a large escort, just in season to avoid its siege.
It is the custom of the Red Man
, after success, to avoid the further chances of war and hurry home.
‘To remain now,’ said the Ottawas, ‘would be to tempt the Master
, after the boats and canoes had, without oxen or horses, by main strength, been borne up to Lake George
, held on the plain above the portage one general council of union.
All the tribes from the banks of Michigan
and Superior to the borders of Acadia
, were present, seated on the ground according to their rank, and, in the name of Louis the Fifteenth, Montcalm
produced the mighty belt of six thousand shells, which, being solemnly accepted, bound all by the holiest ties to remain together till the end of the expedition.
The belt was given to the Iroquois
, as the most numerous; but they courteously transferred it to the upper nations, who came, though strangers, to
their aid. In the scarcity of boats, the Iroquois
agreed to guide De Levi
, with twenty-five hundred men, by land, through the rugged country which they called their own.
The Christian savages employed their short leisure at the confessional; the tribes from above, restlessly weary, dreamed dreams, consulted the great medicinemen, and, hanging up the complete equipment of a war-chief as an offering to their Manitou, embarked on the last day of July.
The next day, two hours after noon, Montcalm
followed with the main body of the army, in two hundred and fifty boats.
, whom he overtook, preceded him in their decorated canoes.
Rain fell in torrents; yet they rowed nearly all the night, till they came in sight of the three triangular fires, that, from a mountain ridge, pointed to the encampment of De Levi
There, in Ganousky, or, as some call it, Northwest Bay
, they held a council of war, and then, with the artillery, they moved slowly to a bay, of which the point could not be turned without exposure to the enemy.
An hour before midnight, two English boats were descried on the lake, when some of the upper Indians
paddled two canoes to attack them, and with such celerity, that one of the boats was seized and overpowered.
Two prisoners being reserved, the rest were massacred.
lost but one warrior, a great chieftain of the nation of the Nepisings.
On the morning of the second day of August, the savages dashed openly upon the water, and, forming across the lake a chain of their bark canoes, they made the bay resound with their war-cry.
were taken almost by surprise.
Their tents still
covered the plains.
interruption, about a mile and a half below the fort, and advanced in three columns.
hurried to burn the barracks of the English
, to chase their cattle and horses, to scalp their stragglers.
During the day they occupied, with Canadians under La Corne
, the road leading to the Hudson
, and cut off the communication.
At the north was the encampment of De Levi
, with regulars and Canadians; while Montcalm
, with the main body of the army, occupied the skirt of the wood, on the west side of the lake.
His whole force consisted of six thousand French and Canadians, and about seventeen hundred Indians
Fort William Henry
was defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Monro
of the thirty-fifth regiment, a brave officer and a man of strict honor, with less than five hundred men, while seventeen hundred men lay intrenched near his side, on the eminence to the southeast, now marked by the ruins of Fort George
Meantime, the braves of the Nepisings, faithful to the rites of their fathers, celebrated the funereal honors of their departed brother.
The lifeless frame, dressed as became a war-chief, glittered with belts, and ear-rings, and the brilliant vermilion; a riband, fiery red, supported a gorget on his breast; the tomahawk was in his girdle, the pipe at his lips, the lance in his hand, at his side the well-filled bowl; and thus the departed warrior sat upright on the green turf, which was his death-couch.
The speech for the dead was pronounced; the death-dances and chants began; the murmurs of human voices mingled with the sound of drums and the tinkling of little bells.
arrayed, in a sitting posture, he was consigned to the
earth, well provided with food, and surrounded by the splendors which delighted him when alive.21
On the fourth of August, the French
to surrender; but the gallant old soldier sent an answer of defiance.
hastened his works; the troops dragged the artillery over rocks and through the forests, and with alacrity brought fascines and gabions.
The red men, unused to a siege, were eager to hear the big guns.
Soon, the first battery, of nine cannon and two mortars, was finished; and, amidst the loud screams of the savages, it began to play, while a thousand echoes were returned by the mountains.
In two always more, a second was established, and, by means of the zigzags, the Indians could stand within gun-shot of the fortress.
Just then arrived letters from France
conferring on Montcalm
the red riband, with rank as knight commander of the order of St. Louis
‘We are glad,’ said the red men, ‘of the favor done you by the great Onontio
; but we neither love you nor esteem you the more for it; we love the man, and not what hangs on his outside.’
, at Fort Edward
, had an army of four thousand, and might have summoned the militia from all the near villages to the rescue.
He sent nothing but a letter, with an exaggerated account of the French
force, and his advice to capitulate.
intercepted the letter, which he immediately forwarded to Monro
Yet, not till the eve of the festival of St. Lawrence, when half his guns were burst, and his ammunition was almost exhausted, did the dauntless veteran hang out a flag of truce.
With a view to make the capitulation inviolably
binding on the Indians, Montcalm
summoned their warchiefs to council.
were to depart with the honors of war, on a pledge not to serve against the French
for eighteen months; they were to abandon all but their private effects; an escort was to attend them on their departure; every Canadian
or French Indian made captive during the war was to be liberated.
applauded; the capitulation was signed.
Late on the ninth of August, the French
entered the fort, and the English
retired to their intrenched camp.
had kept from the savages all intoxicating drinks, but they solicited and obtained them of the English
, and all night long they were wild with dances and songs and revelry.
excited the angry passions of other tribes, by recalling the sorrows they had suffered from English perfidy and English power.
At daybreak, they gathered round the intrenchments, and, as the terrified English soldiers filed off, began to plunder them, and incited one another to swing the tomahawk recklessly.
Twenty, perhaps even thirty, persons were massacred, while very many were made prisoners.
Officers and soldiers, stripped of every thing, fled to the woods, to the fort, to the tents of the French
To arrest the disorder, De Levi
plunged into the tumult, daring death a thousand times.
French officers received wounds in rescuing the captives, and stood at their tents as sentries over those they had recovered.
‘Kill me,’ cried Montcalm
, using prayers, and menaces, and promises; ‘but spare the English
, who are under my protection;’22
and he urged the troops to defend
The march to Fort Edward
was a fight;
not more than six hundred reached there in a body.
From the French
camp Montcalm collected together more than four hundred, who were dismissed with a great escort, and he sent De Vaudreuil
to ransom those whom the Indians had carried away.23
After the surrender of Fort William Henry
, the savages retired.
Twelve hundred men were employed to demolish the fort, and nearly a thousand to lade the vast stores that had been given up. As Montcalm
withdrew, he praised his happy fortune, that his victory was, on his own side, almost bloodless, his loss in killed and wounded being but fifty-three.
peasants returned to gather their harvests, and the Lake
resumed its solitude.
Nothing told that civilized man had reposed upon its margin, but the charred rafters of ruins, and here and there, on the side hill, a crucifix among the pines to mark a grave.24
Pusillanimity pervaded the English
Webb at Fort Edward
, with six thousand men, was expecting to be attacked every minute.
He sent his own baggage to a place which he deemed secure; and wished to retreat to the highlands on the Hudson
‘For God's sake,’ wrote the officer in command at Albany
, to the governor of Massachusetts
, ‘exert yourselves to save a province; New York itself may fall;25
save a country; prevent the downfall of the 26
British government upon this continent.’27 Pownall
ordered the inhabitants west of Connecticut River
to destroy their wheel-carriages and drive in their cattle.
proposed to encamp on Long Island
, for the defence of the continent.
Every day it was said, ‘My Lord Loudoun goes soon to Albany
,’ and still each day found him at New York.
‘We have a great number of troops,’ said even royalists, ‘but the inhabitants on the frontier will not be one jot the safer for them.’
had been driven from every cabin in the basin of the Ohio
had destroyed every vestige of their power within that of the St. Lawrence
had her posts on each side of the Lakes
, and at Detroit
, at Mackinaw
, at Kaskaskia
, and at New Orleans.
The two great valleys of the Mississippi
and the St. Lawrence
were connected chiefly by three well known routes,—by way of Waterford
to Fort Duquesne
, by way of the Maumee
to the Wabash
, and by way of Chicago
to the Illinois
Of the North American
continent, the French
claimed, and seemed to possess, twenty parts in twenty-five, leaving four only to Spain
, and but one to Britain.
Their territory exceeded that of the English
As the men composing the garrison at Fort Loudoun, in Tennessee
, were but so many hostages in the hands of the Cherokees, the claim of France
to the valleys of the Mississippi
and the St. Lawrence
seemed established by possession.
America and England
They longed to avenge themselves; yet, Sharpe
, of Maryland
, made the apology of the ‘viceroy,’ approved
his system, and again and again urged taxation by
From every royal province complaints having the same tendency were renewed.
From New Hampshire
wrote that ‘the prerogative of the crown was treated with contempt; the royal commission and instructions were rendered useless;’ ‘the members of both houses were all become Commonwealth's men.’28
There were not royalists enough in New Hampshire
to form a council.
‘I cannot prevail with this republican assembly,’ said Dobbs
, of North Carolina
, ‘to submit to instructions.
If they raise the money, they name the persons for public service.29
’ William Smith
, the semi-republican historian of New York, insisted that ‘the Board of Trade did not know the state of America
,’ and he urged a law for an American union with an American parliament.
‘The defects of the first plan,’ said he, ‘will be supplied by experience.
The British constitution ought to be the model; and, from our knowledge of its faults, the American
one may rise with more health and soundness in its first contexture than Great Britain
will ever enjoy.’
But Loudoun still adhered to the plan of overawing colonial assemblies by a concentrated military power.
Recruiting officers from Nova Scotia
, asking the justices of peace at Boston
to quarter and billet them, as provided by the British
mutiny act, were refused; for the act, it was held, did not extend to America
; and the general, in November, demanded immediate submission.
‘He would prevent the whole continent from being thrown into confusion.’
‘I have ordered,’ these were the words of his message, ‘I
have ordered the messenger to wait but forty-eight
hours in Boston
; and if, on his return, I find things not settled, I will instantly order into Boston
the three regiments from New York, Long Island
, and Connecticut
; and if more are wanted, I have two in the Jerseys at hand, besides three in Pennsylvania
Yet Loudoun yielded to the view of Massachusetts
; and the Assembly and Council, won by the condescension, allowed Thomas Hutchinson
, then of the Council, to draft for them a memorable message, in which he recommended himself by introducing the doctrines of the Board of Trade. ‘Our dependence on the parliament of Great Britain,’ thus ran the state paper, ‘we never had a desire or thought of lessening.’
‘The authority of all acts of parliament, which extend to the colonies, is ever acknowledged in all the courts of law, and made the rule of all judicial proceedings in the province.
There is not a member of the General Court, and we know no inhabitant within the bounds of the government, that ever questioned this authority.’
And the principles of independence imputed to them by Loudoun they utterly disavowed.
Yet the opinion in the provinces was very general, that the war was conducted by a mixture of ignorance and cowardice.
They believed that they were able to defend themselves against the French
without any assistance or embarrassments from England
‘Oh that we had nothing to do with Great Britain
forever,’ was then the wish of John Adams
in his heart.30
Everywhere the royal officers actively asserted the authority of the king and the British
Did the increase of population lead the
legislatures to enlarge the representative body?
The right to do so was denied, and representation was held to be a privilege conceded by the king as a boon, and limited by his will.
Did the British
commander believe that the French
colonies through the neutral islands derived provisions from the continent?
By his own authority he proclaimed an embargo in every American port.
Did South Carolina
, by its Assembly, institute an artillery company?
interposed his veto, for there should be no company formed but by the regal commission.
By another act, the same Assembly made provision for quartering soldiers, introducing into the law the declaratory clause, that ‘no soldier should ever be billeted among them.’
This, also, Lyttleton
negatived; and but for the conciliatory good temper of Bouquet
, who commanded at Charleston
, the province would have been inflamed by the peremptory order which came from Loudoun
to grant billets under the act of parliament.
Thus did the government of the English
aristocracy paralyze the immense energies of the British
In the North
had been evoked from the steppes of Asia
to be the arbiter of Germany
In the Mediterranean Sea
, Minorca was lost; for Hanover
had acceded to a shameful treaty of neutrality; in America
had been driven from the valley of the Mississippi
and the whole basin of the St. Lawrence
with its tributary lakes and rivers.
And yet sentence had been passed upon the monarchy of feudalism.
The enthusiast Swedenborg
had announced that its day of judgment was come.
The English aristocracy, being defeated, summoned to
their aid, not, indeed, the power of the people, but, at
least, influence with the people, in the person of William Pitt
A private man in England
, in middle life, with no fortune, with no party, with no strong family connections, having few votes under his sway in the House of Commons, and perhaps not one in the House of Lords,—a feeble valetudinarian, shunning pleasure and society, haughty and retired, and half his time disabled by the agonies of hereditary gout, was now the hope of the English
Assuming power, as with the voice of an archangel, he roused the states of Protestantism to wage a war for mastery against the despotic monarchy and the institutions of the Middle Ages
, and to secure to humanity its futurity of freedom.
Protestantism is not humanity; its name implies a party struggling to throw off some burdens of the past, and ceasing to be a renovating principle when its protest shall have succeeded.
It was now for the last time, as a political element, summoned to appear upon the theatre of the nations, to control their alliances, and to perfect its triumph by leaving no occasion for its reappearance in arms.
Its final victorious struggle preceded the reddening in the sky of the morning of a new civilization.
Its last war was first in the series of the great wars of revolution that founded for the world of mankind the power of the people.