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      Douay and the two Caveliers stood in extreme terror, thinking that their turn was to come next. Joutel, no less alarmed, snatched his gun to defend himself; but Hiens called to him to fear nothing, declaring that what he had done was only to avenge the death of La Salle,to which, nevertheless, he had been privy, though not an active sharer in the crime. Liotot lived long enough to make his confession, after which Ruter killed him by exploding a pistol loaded with a blank charge of powder against his head. Duhaut's myrmidon, L'Archevque, was absent, hunting, and Hiens was for killing him on his return; but the two priests and Joutel succeeded in dissuading him.A more considerable but a very uncertain source of income to the seignior were the lods et ventes, or mutation fines. The land of the censitaire passed freely to his heirs; but if he sold it, a twelfth part of the purchase-money must be paid to the seignior. The seignior, on his part, was equally liable to pay a mutation fine to his feudal superior if he sold his seigniory; and for him the amount was larger, being a quint, or a fifth of the price received, of which, however, the greater part was deducted for immediate payment. This heavy charge, constituting, as it did, a tax on all improvements, was a principal cause of the abolition of the feudal tenure in 1854.


      And he makes a variety of proposals, by which he hopes to get rid of a part of his responsibility to his correspondent. He begs him again to send out a confidential agent, saying that for his part he does not want to have any account to render, except that which he owes to the court, of his discoveries. He adds, strangely enough for a man burdened with such liabilities, "I have neither the habit nor the inclination to keep books, nor have I anybody with me who knows how." He says to another correspondent, "I think, like you, that partnerships in business are dangerous, on account of the little practice I have in these matters." It is not surprising that he wanted to leave his associates to manage business for themselves: "You know that this trade is good; and with a trusty agent to conduct it for you, you run no risk. As for me, I will keep the charge of the forts, the command of posts and of men, the management of Indians and Frenchmen, and the establishment of the colony, which will remain my property, leaving your agent and mine to [Pg 332] look after our interests, and drawing my half without having any hand in what belongs to you."


      [10] He was made governor of Cayenne, and went thither with Tracy in 1664. Two years later, he gained several victories over the English, and recaptured Cayenne, which they had taken in his absence. He wrote a book concerning this colony, called Description de la France quinoctiale. Another volume, called Journal du Voyage du Sieur de la Barre en la Terre Ferme et Isle de Cayenne, was printed at Paris in 1671. Casson, in his Histoire du Montral, preserved in manuscript

      Not only in Parliament, but everywhere the cry for Reform rose with the distress. Hampden Clubs were founded in every town and village almost throughout the kingdom, the central one[121] being held at the "Crown and Anchor" in the Strand, London, its president being Sir Francis Burdett, and its leading members being William Cobbett, Major Cartwright, Lord Cochrane, Henry Hunt, and others. The object of these clubs was to prosecute the cause of Parliamentary reform, and to unite the Reformers in one system of action. With the spirit of Reform arose, too, that of cheap publications, which has now acquired such a vast power. William Cobbett's Political Register, on the 18th of November, 1816, was reduced from a shilling and a halfpenny to twopence, and thence-forward became a stupendous engine of Reform, being read everywhere by the Reformers, and especially by the working-classes in town and country, by the artisan in the workshop, and the shepherd on the mountain. The great endeavour of Cobbett was to show the people the folly of breaking machinery, and the wisdom of moral union. governor, Argenson, in a letter written on the fourth of

      But though the abandonment, for the present, of this enterprise, so fondly cherished by France, was calculated to cast a damp on the country, Buonaparte had another project ready which flattered the French pride of conquest. This was to seize on Egypt, as the preliminary to the fall of Britain. He had for some time entertained this idea, and had written from Italy to the Directory on the subject in the previous September. To insure the real destruction of England, he said, they must make themselves masters of Egypt. Malta and Corfu must be seized first, and for this purpose he conceived eight or ten sail of the line and twenty-five thousand men would suffice. The possession of Egypt, he contended, would draw all the commerce of the East thither, instead of taking the circuitous route by the Cape of Good Hope. He had thoroughly inspired Talleyrand with his scheme. Egypt was imagined to be much more wealthy than it was, and there were monuments of ancient art for Buonaparte and his right-hand bandit, Monge, to lay hands on. The Directory, which was extremely unpopular, uneasy at the presence of so popular and daring a person, were glad to be rid of him anywhere, the farther off the better. There were not wanting counsellors who already advised him to perpetrate a coup d'tat, and place himself at the head of affairs; but Buonaparte, not at all averse from the prospect, replied, "The pear is not ripe." He knew that, however popular with his own army, he was looked on with jealousy by the army of the Rhine, which served under, and prided themselves in, Moreau. He knew that the middle classes hated him for sweeping them away with grape-shot in the affair of the Sections. He hoped to make[465] himself yet more popular and more necessary, and that in the meantime the Directory would have completed their full measure of odium. He now therefore plunged into arrangements for this grand conquest of the East.


      Note.The conduct of Beaujeu, hitherto judged chiefly by the printed narrative of Joutel, is set in a new and more favorable light by his correspondence with La Salle. Whatever may have been their mutual irritation, it is clear that the naval commander was anxious to discharge his duty in a manner to satisfy Seignelay, and that he may be wholly acquitted of any sinister design. When he left La Salle on the twelfth of March, he meant to sail in search of the Bay of Mobile (Baye du St. Esprit),partly because he hoped to find it a safe harbor, where he could get La Salle's cannon out of the hold and find ballast to take their place; and partly to get a supply of wood and water, of which he was in extreme need. He told La Salle that he would wait there till the middle of April, in order that he (La Salle) might send the "Belle" to receive the cannon; but on this point there was no definite agreement between them. Beaujeu was ignorant of the position of the bay, which he thought much nearer than it actually was. After trying two days to reach it, the strong head-winds and the discontent of his crew induced him to bear away for Cuba; and after an encounter with pirates and various adventures, he reached France about the first of July. He was coldly received by Seignelay, who wrote to the [Pg 390] intendant at Rochelle: "His Majesty has seen what you wrote about the idea of the Sieur de Beaujeu, that the Sieur de la Salle is not at the mouth of the Mississippi. He seems to found this belief on such weak conjectures that no great attention need be given to his account, especially as this man has been prejudiced from the first against La Salle's enterprise." (Lettre de Seignelay Arnoul, 22 Juillet, 1685. Margry, ii. 604.) The minister at the same time warns Beaujeu to say nothing in disparagement of the enterprise, under pain of the King's displeasure. The narrative of the engineer, Minet, sufficiently explains a curious map, made by him, as he says, not on the spot, but on the voyage homeward, and still preserved in the Archives Scientifiques de la Marine. This map includes two distinct sketches of the mouth of the Mississippi. The first, which corresponds to that made by Franquelin in 1684, is entitled "Embouchure de la Rivire comme M. de la Salle la marque dans sa Carte." The second bears the words, "Costes et Lacs par la Hauteur de sa Rivire, comme nous les avons trouvs." These "Costes et Lacs" are a rude representation of the lagoons of Matagorda Bay and its neighborhood, into which the Mississippi is made to discharge, in accordance with the belief of La Salle. A portion of the coast-line is drawn from actual, though superficial observation. The rest is merely conjectural.

      ** Most of the seigniories of Canada were simple fiefs; but

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      MARIE ANTOINETTE (1783.)On the morning of the 14th the transports, to their great relief, hove in sight, and Sir John hastened to get on board the sick, the horses, and the dismounted cavalry, and to prepare for a fight, for Soult was now close upon the town; the hills were crowded with his troops, and they were already skirmishing with his outposts. In these skirmishes Colonel Mackenzie was killed in endeavouring to seize some of the French cannon, planted on the same spot where the powder had just been blown up. The morning of the 16th passed without any attack from Soult, and Sir John proceeded with his arrangements for embarkation; but about noon the battle began. Soult had erected a powerful battery on some rocks at the extremity of his left, and commanding the village of Elvina, occupied by our troops. Sir David Baird was posted on the British right, opposite to the battery, and at no great distance from the village. The French made a dash at the village, under cover of the battery, and drove our men from it. The fight then became general. Soult had twenty thousand men, Sir John about fourteen thousand five hundred; but Soult had far more and heavier cannon, for Sir John had shipped all his artillery except twelve light guns. It was soon seen that the French cannon did vastly more execution than ours; and as the whole line was engaged, Sir John sent Sir E. Paget, with the whole of his reserve, to turn the left of a column that was outflanking Baird on the right, and to silence the battery, if possible. Another division, under General Frazer, was sent to support Paget, and the battle now raged furiously on the right, and about the village of Elvina, which was lost and taken once or twice. In this conflict Sir David Baird had his arm shattered by a cannon-ball, and was taken off the field. Major Stanhope was killed, and Major, afterwards General Sir Charles, Napier was wounded. But Paget drew back on the British right, and Sir John, seeing the 42nd Highlanders engaged, rode up to them and shouted, "Highlanders! remember Egypt!" and they rushed forward, driving all before them, till they were stopped by a stone wall. The battle, however, still raging, and the French bringing up reserves, the furious contest was renewed around the village of Elvina. Sir John then dispatched Captain, afterwards Lord, Hardinge, to bring up the Guards to support the 42nd Highlanders. Whilst awaiting their arrival, a cannon-ball, which had struck the ground, glanced forward again, and wounded Sir John on the right shoulder and breast. He was dashed from his horse, and was supposed to be killed; but the force of the ball having been partly spent, before Captain Hardinge could reach him he had raised himself, and was gazing earnestly after the 42nd and the other troops engaged. When he had seen his soldiers driving the French before them, he consented to be borne to the rear. He was carried away by a Highland sergeant and three soldiers, in a blanket, his wound bleeding very much, and himself satisfied that his hurt was mortal. As he went, however, he repeatedly made the soldiers halt, that he might have another view of the battle. By night the French were beaten back in every direction; but the British general was dead, having lived only to receive the tidings of victory. During the night the troops were, most of them, got on board, and at midnight Sir John's remains were committed to the groundas he had always wished them to be, should he be killed in battleon the ramparts in the old citadel of Corunna. No coffin was to be procured, for coffins were not a Spanish fashion; but he was buried dressed as he was, and wrapt in his military cloak, literally as described in Wolfe's popular poem on his death. The chaplain read the burial service, and there his officers "left him alone with his glory," to make their own embarkation.

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      The reading of this French note aroused at once the old feeling of enmity between France and England. If there was a strong resentment against the Americans before, it now grew tenfold. The war became popular with all, except the extreme Opposition. Lord North moved an appropriate address to the king; the Opposition moved as an amendment to it that his Majesty should dismiss the Ministers. Loyal addresses from both Houses were, however, carried by large majorities. In consequence of the French note,[251] the king ordered Lord Stormont to quit Paris, and the Marquis de Noailles took his departure from London, where, in spite of his official character, he was no longer safe from popular insult. Orders were also sent to the Lord-Lieutenants of the several counties to call out the militia.But these were by no means the total of the royal troubles at this period. The youngest and most beloved of George III.'s sisters, Caroline Matilda, had been married to Christian VII. of Denmark. This young man was little better than an idiot, and the poor princess was married to him at the age of sixteen. The marriage of this young couple, and their ascent to the throne, were nearly simultaneous; and, contrary to the usual custom of a monarch, it was deemed advisable that he should travel. In his tour he fell in with the celebrated Struensee, a young physician of Altona. Christian VII., like all weak monarchs, must have favourites. Struensee speedily became the perfect master of Christian's mind and actions, and on their return to Copenhagen he was raised to the rank of count, and soon after was made Prime Minister. His enemies were of course numerous, and scandal soon connected his name with that of the queen. All this especially favoured the plans of the base queen dowager, who, in league with the hostile nobles, feigned a plot against the king; obtained from him, in his bed at midnight, an order for the arrest of the queen, Struensee, and others. The queen was seized half dressed. Struensee was executed with especial barbarities; but the King of England interfered to save his sister, and to procure the succession to her son. The unhappy young queen, however, was separated for ever from her two children, and conveyed to Zell, in Hanoverthe same castle or prison where the unhappy wife of George I. had pined away her life. There she died after a few years, protesting her innocence, though Struensee had confessed his guilt.


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