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sisted, with the king, that there was nothing alleged against him but conducting the war according to the king's own desire; so that he himself was about to become a victim to his loyalty. But Pitt, who had never before waited upon Lady Yarmouth, counterworked the duke by making a long visit to the king's mistress. The duke attempted to enlist Egremont, offered power to Granville, and at last, having still an undoubted majority in the house of commons, the leader of the whig aristocracy was compelled to recognise the power of opinion in England as greater than his own, and most reluctantly resigned. The exclusive whig party, which had ruled since the accession of the house of Hanover, had yet never possessed the affections of the people of England, and no longer enjoyed its confidence.
In December, William Pitt, the man of the people, 1756. the sincere lover of liberty, having on his side the English nation, of which he was the noblest type, was commissioned to form a ministry. He found the Earl of Bute “ transcendingly obliging ;” and, from the young heir to the throne, “expressions” were repeated “so decisive of determined purposes” of favor, “in the present or any future day,” that “ his own lively imagination could not have suggested a wish beyond them.” For the chief of the treasury board, he selected the Duke of Devonshire, with Legge as chancellor. Temple presided over the admiralty. George Grenville was made treasurer of the navy. To Charles Townshend was offered a useless place, neither ministerial nor active; and his resentment at the disdainful slight was not suppressed, till his elder brother and Bute interceded in " the name of the Prince of Wales.”
But the transition in England from the rule of the aristocracy to a greater degree of popular power could not as yet take place. If there was an end of the old aristocratic rule, it was not clear what should come in its stead. The condition of the new minister was seen to be precarious. On entering office, Pitt's health was so infirm that he took the oath at his own house, though the record bears date at St. James's. The house of commons, which he was to lead, had been chosen under the direction of Newcastle, whom he superseded. His subordinates even ventured to be refractory. The court, too, was his enemy. George II., spiritless and undiscerning, liked subjection to genius still less than to aristocracy. On the other hand, Prince George, in March, sent assurances to Pitt of " the firm support and countenance” of the heir to the throne. “Go on, my dear Pitt,” said Bute; “ make every bad subject your declared enemy, every honest man your real friend. How much we think alike! I, for my part, am unalterably your most affectionate friend.” But even that influence was unavailing. In the conduct of the war, the Duke of Cumberland exercised the chief control ; in the house of commons, the friends of Newcastle were powerful; in the council, the king encouraged opposition.
America was become the great object of European 1757. attention; Pitt, disregarding the churlish cavils of the
lords of trade, pursued towards the colonies the generous policy which afterwards called forth all their strength. He respected their liberties, and relied on their willing co-operation. Halifax was planning taxation by parliament, in which he was aided, among others, by Calvert, the secretary of Maryland, residing in England. In January, 1757, the British press defended the scheme, which had been “often mentioned in private, to introduce a stamp duty on vellum and paper, and to lower the duty upon foreign rum, sugar, and molasses imported into the colonies.” A revenue of more than sixty thousand pounds sterling annually was confidently promised from this source. The project of an American stamp act was pressed upon Pitt himself. “With the enemy at their backs, with English bayonets at their breast, in the day of their distress, perhaps the Americans," thought he, “would submit to the imposition.” But the heroic statesman scorned “to take an unjust and ungenerous advantage” of them. He looked to the mountains of Scotland for defenders of America; and two battalions, each of a thousand Highlanders, were raised for the service.
Still he was thwarted in his policy at every step. The Duke of Cumberland was unwilling to take the command in Germany, without a change in the cabinet. Temple was therefore dismissed; and, as Pitt did not resign, the king, in the first week in April, discarded him, and his chancellor of the exchequer. England was in a state of anarchy, to which the conduct of affairs in America aptly corresponded.
THE WIIG ARISTOCRACY CANNOT CONQUER CANADA.
ANARCHY IN THE ADMINISTRATION.
The rangers at Fort William Henry defy the winter. 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 1757. 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. Stark 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 were missing. Those who remained alive were applauded, and Stark received promotion.
The French 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 expedition against Fort William Henry. They must travel sixty leagues ; the snow-shoes on their feet, their provisions on sledges drawn by dogs; their couch at night, a bearskin ; 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 fort. 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 the 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 1757. thousand men. The governors of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, meeting at Philadelphia, settled the quotas for their governments, but only as the groundwork for compulsory measures.
Of Pennsylvania, the 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. 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 grant in the former year of sixty thousand pounds, the assembly had added a supplement, appropriating one hundred thousand more, taxing the property of the proprietaries in its fair proportion; but it would contribute nothing to a general fund. The salary 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. Sheriffs, coroners, and all persons connected with the treasury, were thus named 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