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      Here all further progress became impossible. The Spaniards having reduced their debt to less than one half the original sum, were fighting stoutly to reduce it to nothing. There appeared no chance but for arms to decide it. Cardinal Fleury, with his usual pacific disposition, made an effort to avert the war by guaranteeing to undertake the payment of the ninety-five thousand pounds by Spain, provided that the British fleet was withdrawn from the Mediterranean. But English spirit, even in Walpole, had now reached its limit of patience. The king and the nation were equally in a mood for war. Walpole, therefore, ceased to listen any longer to the Spanish objections, but took his stand on the true British ground of resistance to the right of search, and on that of an acknowledgment of all British rights and claims in North America. Instead of withdrawing the Mediterranean fleet, he ordered its reinforcement, sent Sir Chaloner Ogle with fresh ships to the West Indies, and Sir John Norris was ordered to put to sea with a third squadron. The above demands being peremptorily made from the Court of Madrid, and being rejected, war was proclaimed in London on the 19th of October. Walpole, who had reluctantly resorted to this master evil, as he heard the rejoicings, exclaimed, "They may ring the bells now, but they will soon be wringing their hands!" The first symptoms of the consequences which the war was likely to produce were seen in the new hopes which it awoke in the ranks of the Jacobites. Large numbers of them met at Edinburgh, and drew up a bond of association, pledging one another to take arms and venture life and fortune for the restoration of the Stuart. On the other hand, those nations on which England calculated for aid hung back and remained neutral. The Dutch were bound to furnish certain troops in case of war, and, before the declaration of it, Horace Walpole was despatched by his brother to demand their production; but they pleaded the menaces of France, which threatened them with invasion by fifty thousand men if they assisted the English, and which held out to them the prospect of their obtaining that trade to the Spanish colonies which England had enjoyed. As for France herself, she assumed an air rather ominous of war than of peace, and thus Britain was left alone in the contest.


      At the Congress, which began in June, William Stanhope, Horace Walpole, and Poyntz represented England. At Paris Lord Waldegrave supplied the place of Horace Walpole; and at the Hague the Earl of Chesterfield ably managed the national interests. At the Congress there was a frequent exchange of memorials and counter-memorials, but no real business was done. The only things which grew apparent were that France and Spain were becoming more reconciled, and that the league between Spain and the Emperor was fast dissolving.

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      They clambered up the mountain side, back to the camp, and Cairness escorted her to the tepee in silence. Then he left her. "Don't try to run away again," he advised. "You can't get far." He started off and turned back. "Speaking of running away, where's the Greaser you lit out with?"

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      She reloaded for him, and fired from time to time herself, and he moved from the little round hole in the wall to one in the window blind, in the feeble, the faithless hope that the Indians might perhaps be deceived, might fancy that there was more than the one forsaken man fighting with unavailing courage for the quiet woman who stayed close by his side, and for the two children, huddled whimpering in one corner, their little trembling arms clasped round each other's necks.

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      Commodore Hotham, with only five ships of the line, a bomb-vessel, and some frigates, conveyed Major-General Grant and this force to the West Indies, being nearly the whole way within a short sail of D'Estaing and his much superior fleet, without knowing it. Grant's destination was to protect Dominica; but, before his arrival, Marshal de Bouill, Governor-General of Martinique, had landed with two thousand men, and had compelled Lieutenant-Governor Stewart, who had only about one hundred regular troops and some indifferent militia for its defence, to surrender. Grant being too late to save Dominica, turned his attention to St. Lucia, being conveyed thither by the joint fleet of Hotham and Barrington. They had scarcely made a good footing on the island when D'Estaing's fleet hove in sight. He had twelve sail-of-the-line, numerous frigates and transports, and ten thousand men on board, and the English would have had little chance could he have landed. But the British fleet resolutely attacked him, and, after several days' struggle, prevented his landing more than half his troops. These were so gallantly repulsed by Brigadier Medows, who was at the head of only one thousand five hundred men, that, on the 28th December, D'Estaing again embarked his troops, and quitted the island. The original French force under Chevalier de Michaud then surrendered, and St. Lucia was won, though Dominica was lost.

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      In the Christmas recess Chatham hastened to Bath, to improve his health for the campaign of the ensuing Session; but when Parliament met again, in the middle of January, 1767, Ministers were in consternation at his not reappearing. The Duke of Grafton and Beckford, who were his most devoted adherents, were thunderstruck. They found it impossible to keep in order the heterogeneous elements of the Cabinet. All the hostile qualities, which would have lain still under the hand of the great magician, bristled up, and came boldly out. The spirit of Bedford, of Newcastle, and of Rockingham, was active in their partisans, and gathered courage to do mischief. Lord Shelburne and the Duke of Grafton became estranged; Charles Townshend, who had as much ambition and eccentricity as talent, began to show airs, and aim at supremacy. Grafton implored Chatham to come to town if possible, and when that was declared impracticable, to allow him to go down, and consult with him in his sick chamber. But he was informed that the Minister was equally unable to move or to consult.


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