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of Glover, and of Johnson. Walpole tried bravely and ably to moderate it, but his conduct was branded as the grossest pusillanimity. The King fully shared the popular sentiment. Petitions poured into Parliament from every part of the kingdom demanding redress; while Spain, relying on the letter of the treaty and on the support of France, met every overture with suspicion or arrogance. Strong resolutions were carried through both the Commons and Lords. Letters of marque and reprisal were offered to the merchants. Admiral Haddock was despatched with a fleet of ten ships to the Mediterranean, and troops were sent to the infant colony of Georgia to protect it from an apprehended invasion.

These events took place in 1738. It is a remarkable proof of the tact and influence of Walpole that, notwithstanding the fierce and warlike spirit in the country, in the Parliament and in the palace, notwithstanding the fact that in his own Cabinet both Newcastle and Hardwicke were advocates of war, the catastrophe did not take place till the November of the following year. It is clear that in the essential points of difference England was in the wrong. A plain treaty had been grossly and continually violated by English sailors. The right of search by which Spain attempted to enforce it, though often harshly and improperly exercised, was perfectly legal, and before the war was ended some of the noisiest of those who now denounced it were compelled to acknowledge the fact. Walpole himself had no doubt on the subject, but he tried in vain to convince the country. The House of Lords passed a resolution strongly condemning the right of search, and the people, prompted by the leaders of the Opposition and now fully excited, insisted upon its unqualified relinquishment. All that could be done was to negotiate about the many instances of gross and unwarrantable violence of which Spanish

captains had been guilty. The country was full of accounts of English sailors who had been seized by the Spaniards, plundered of all they possessed, laden with chains in a tropical climate, imprisoned for long periods in unhealthy dungeons, tortured or consigned to the tender mercies of the Inquisition. In these accounts there was much exaggeration and not a little deliberate falsehood, but there was also a real basis of fact. After great difficulties, and by a combination of intimidation and address, Spain was induced to sign a convention regulating the outstanding accounts between the two nations and awarding to England as compensation a balance which was ultimately settled at 95,0001. No mention was made in this convention of the right of search, or of the punishment of the offending captains, and Spain was only induced to sign it, by England consenting to acknowledge a doubtful claim of compensation for Spanish ships that had been captured by Byng in 1718. It was soon, however, plain that this convention could not finally settle the differences between the two countries. Walpole succeeded, though with great difficulty, in carrying it through both Houses, and the Opposition, exasperated by his success, for a time seceded. In the country, however, the outcry was fierce and loud, and the Prince of Wales put himself at the head of the malcontents. The divisions of the Cabinet became more and more serious. The attitude of France towards England grew steadily hostile, and the language of Spain proportionately haughty. She threatened immediate reprisals upon the South Sea Company on account of an old debt which was alleged to be unpaid. She remonstrated, with an arrogance an English minister could hardly brook, against the presence of a British fleet in the Mediterranean. She reasserted in the strongest language that right of search which the English nation was resolved at all hazards to resist.

The Opposition had now succeeded in their design. War had become inevitable; and Walpole, instead of retiring, as he should have done, declared it himself. 'They are ringing their bells now,' he exclaimed, as the joy bells pealed at the announcement, they will be wringing their hands soon.' It was in vain, however, that he had yielded to the clamour, for the long agony of his ministry had already begun. Supporter after supporter dropped away. The Duke of Argyle, the most powerful and eloquent of the Scottish chiefs, had gone into open opposition; and his influence, combined with the irritation due to the repressive measures that followed the Porteous riots, produced at the next election, for the first time, a Scotch majority hostile to the minister. The Duke of Newcastle was moody, discontented, and uncertain. The authority of the minister in his Cabinet, and his majority in Parliament, steadily declined. The military organisation having fallen into decay during the long peace, the war was feebly and unsuccessfully conducted, and the commanders by land and sea were jealous and disunited. Anson plundered and burnt Paita, and captured a few Spanish prizes. Admiral Vernon took Porto Bello, but the capture was speedily relinquished; and, Vernon being a personal enemy of Walpole, his triumph rather weakened than strengthened the Government. With these exceptions, the first period of the war presented little more than a monotony of disaster. The repulse of an expedition against Carthagena, the abandonment of an expedition against Cuba, the destruction of many thousands of English soldiers and sailors by tropical fever, the in

In a letter to Swift, 1734-5, Pulteney had noticed the steadiness with which the bishops and Scotch peers supported the mi

nistry, and how formidable a body they were in the House of Lords.-Swift's Correspondence, iii. 120.

activity of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, the rapid decline of British commerce, accompanied by severe distress at home-all contributed to the discontent. In the midst of these calamities, a new series of events began, which soon plunged the greater part of Europe into war. In October 1740 the Emperor Charles VI. died, after a very short illness, at the early age of fifty-five, leaving no son. For many years the great objects of his policy had been to bequeath his whole Austrian dominions to his daughter Maria Theresa, and to obtain for her husband, the Duke of Tuscany, and former ruler of Lorraine, the Imperial crown. The latter object could, of course, only be attained when the vacancy occurred, and by the ordinary process of election; but in order to secure the former, Charles VI. had promulgated the law called the Pragmatic Sanction, regulating the succession, and had obtained a solemn assent to that law from the Germanic body, and from the great hereditary States of Europe. With so distinct and so recent a recognition of her title by all the great Powers of Europe, the young Archduchess, it was hoped, would have no difficulty in assuming the throne as Queen of Hungary and of the other hereditary dominions of her father, and she did so with the warm assent of her subjects. She was, however, a young and inexperienced woman, wholly unversed in public business, and at this time far advanced in pregnancy. Her dominions were threatened by the Turks from without, and corroded by serious dissensions within. Her army, exclusive of the troops in Italy and the Netherlands, amounted to only 30,000 men, and her whole treasure consisted of 100,000 florins, which were claimed by the Empress Dowager. All these circumstances might have moved generous natures in her favour, but they

'See Coxe's House of Austria.

served only to stimulate the rapacity of her neighbours. The Elector of Bavaria had never signed the Pragmatic Sanction, and he laid claim to the Austrian throne on grounds which were demonstrably worthless. France had not only assented to, but even guaranteed, the Pragmatic Sanction; and Cardinal Fleury, who was at the head of affairs, would probably have kept his faith, but he was now a very old and vacillating man, and his hand was forced by Marshal Belleisle, who, at the head of a powerful body of French nobles, saw in the weakness of the young queen an opportunity of aggrandising France, and dismembering an ancient rival. Prussia also was a party to the Pragmatic Sanction; but Frederick II., who had just ascended the throne, was burdened with no scruples; he found himself at the head of an admirable army of 76,000 men, and was impatient to employ it in the plunder of his enfeebled neighbour.

The Elector of Bavaria refused to acknowledge tho title of the Empress, but the first blow was struck by Frederick. That he was moved to this course simply by the consciousness of his own great military strength, and of the weakness and disorganisation of the Empire; that he sought his own aggrandisement with circumstances of peculiar treachery, and with a clear knowledge that he was about to apply the spark to a powder magazine, and to involve the greater part of Europe in the horrors of war, are facts which remain intact after all the elaborate apologies that have been written in his favour. He was a man of singularly clear, vivid, and rapid judgment, admirably courageous in seizing perilous opportunities, and in encountering adversity; admirably energetic and indefatigable in raising to the highest point of efficiency all the details both of civil and military administration. Perfectly free from every tinge of religious bigotry, he was one of the most

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