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      difficult to say. The register of the parish church recordsProvided with these, he set at nought the kings letter, embarked under an assumed name, and sailed to Quebec, where he made his appearance on the 3d of August, 1661, * to the extreme wrath of Laval.

      * Colbert a Duchesneau, 28 Avril, 1677. * Le Mercier tells the same story in the Relation of 1665.

      The Company was then compelled to reduce its dividends to six per cent. and apply to Parliament for a loan of a million and a half to meet its pecuniary difficulties. This, Ministers and Parliament complied with, and proceeding to relieve the Company of its embarrassments, Lord North[208] proposed and carried a measure, by which the Company, which had no less than seventeen million pounds of tea in its warehouses, should, without limit of time, be authorised to export its teas to the British colonies of America duty free. This was thought a great and conciliatory boon to the Americans, but it proved otherwise. The import duty of threepence in the pound was still stubbornly retained, and the Americans, looking at the principle of taxation, and not at a mere temptation of a cheapened article, saw through the snare, and indignantly rejected it. The principal tea merchants declared that this would be the case, and that the whole Government scheme was wild and visionary.

      [290] "Depuis que nous avions quitt cette rivire qu'il croyoit infailliblement estre le fleuve Colbert [Mississippi] nous avions fait environ 45 lieues ou 50 au plus." (Cavelier, Mmoire.) This, taken in connection with the statement of La Salle that this "principale entre de la rivire que nous cherchions" was twenty-five or thirty leagues northeast from the entrance of the Bay of St. Louis (Matagorda Bay), shows that it can have been no other than the entrance of Galveston Bay, mistaken by him for the chief outlet of the Mississippi. It is evident that he imagined Galveston Bay to form a part of the chain of lagoons from which it is in fact separated. He speaks of these lagoons as "une espce de baye fort longue et fort large, dans laquelle le fleuve Colbert se dcharge." He adds that on his descent to the mouth of the river in 1682 he had been deceived in supposing that this expanse of salt water, where no shore was in sight, was the open sea. Lettre de La Salle au Ministre, 4 Mars, 1685. Galveston Bay and the mouth of the Mississippi differ little in latitude, though separated by about five and a half degrees of longitude. Lord Boyle, son of Lord Shannon, father and son received each 15,000 for their boroughs.

      The success of the Scottish courts in sentencing Reformers encouraged the Ministers to try the experiment in England; but there it did not succeed so well. First, one Eaton, a bookseller, of Bishopgate, was indicted for selling a seditious libel, called "Politics for the People; or, Hog's-wash." On the 2nd of April, Thomas Walker, a merchant of Manchesterwas, with six others, indicted at the Lancaster assizes; but Eaton, in London, and these Manchester men, were acquitted. Rather irritated than discouraged by these failures, Pitt and Dundas made a swoop at the leaders of the Corresponding Society, and the Society for Constitutional Information in London; and, in the month of May, Horne Tooke, John Thelwalla celebrated political lecturerThomas Hardy, Daniel Adams, and the Rev. Jeremiah Joyceprivate secretary to the Earl of Stanhope, and tutor to his son, Lord Mahonwere arrested and committed to the Tower on a charge of high treason. No sooner was this done, than, on the 12th of May, Dundas announced to the House of Commons that, in consequence of the Government having been informed of seditious practices being carried on by the above-named societies, they had seized their papers, and he now demanded that a committee of secrecy should be appointed to examine these papers. This was agreed to; and on the 16th Pitt brought up the report of this committee, which was so absurd in its results that nothing but the most blind political desperation could have induced the Government to make it known. The committee found nothing amongst these papers but the reports of the societies since the year 1791, which had been annually published and made known to every one. Yet on this miserable evidence Pitt called for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and it was accordingly granted, Burkewho now seems to have grown quite politically mad by dwelling on the horrors of the French Revolutionbelieving it the only measure to insure the safety of the country. Windham and others asserted that the mere suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act was hardly[430] sufficient: there required yet more stringent measures. Similar language was held in the Lords, but did not pass without some severe comments from the Duke of Bedford, and the Lords Stanhope, Lauderdale, and Albemarle, who declared that Ministers, instead of suppressing, were creating a veritable reign of terror. The Bill was, notwithstanding, readily passed; and on the 13th of June an Address was carried to his Majesty, expressing the determination of their lordships to punish the men who had been concerned in the so-called conspiracy. Fox and Lambton condemned this course energetically in the Commons, declaring that, if there were any conspiracy, the ordinary laws and tribunals were amply sufficient for their punishment. Fox moved that all that part of the Address which expressed a conviction of the existence of a conspiracy should be struck out, but it was carried entire; and such was the alarm of the country at the reverses of the Allies on the Continent and the successes of France, that far more violent measures would have been readily assented to.On the 15th of March he took a more decided position of hostility to the Cabinet, by moving for an inquiry into the state of the navy. The Earl St. Vincent was now First Lord of the Admiralty, and he proved quite incompetent. Many gunboats had been broken up from motives of economy, and naval stores sold, for the most part, to the French. Pitt declared that only twenty-three gunboats had been built since January, 1803, and that the whole management of the navy was inert.

      Least of all did the ambitious designs of the Czarina Catherine against Turkey seem menacing to us; yet these designs speedily drew into their current the whole power of Austria, endangered our relations with the countries on the Baltic, and attracted the revolutionary torrent over the fertile plains of the Netherlands, opposite to our own shores, menacing the stability of our allies, the Dutch. Catherine had found the Turks not so easily to be overcome as she imagined, feeble and tottering as she considered their empire. The absorption of the Ottoman kingdom and the establishment of the Muscovite throne at Constantinople had been her confident dream. But the Turks, though in a condition of decline and disorganisation which promised an easy subjugation[350] of them, had still their spirit of fanatic fatalism, which could rouse them to deeds of impetuous valour. The whole organisation and regulations of their army were in the worst condition. The janissaries, which had been amongst the finest infantry in the world, were now thoroughly demoralised and in insolent insubordination towards their own government. Their cavalry was numerous, but wretchedly disciplined. The commissariat was in the worst state conceivable, and their artillery, though it had received the energetic attentions of the French Baron De Toff, was contemptible. It might have appeared that nothing was necessary but to enter Turkey and drive the army, as a disorganised rabble, before the foe. But Catherine had not found it so. Her favourite, Potemkin, had been repeatedly defeated in his attempts to advance into Turkey from the Crimea, and Catherine had been glad to engage Joseph II. of Austria in the enterprise by a promise of an ample share of the spoil. In fact, the pair contemplated something like a partition of Europe. In their meeting at Cherson in 1787, Joseph had engaged to send one hundred thousand men to the campaign against Turkey. He had no quarrel with the Sultan, and though a zealous advocate for national reforms, he paid very little regard to national or international justice. In all his reforms, Joseph, with true Austrian spirit, showed the despot still. He did not attempt to carry such reforms as his subjects desired, but such as he thought proper for them; and he was always ready to force what he deemed liberalism and improvement upon them at the point of the bayonet. In attacking Turkey, he did not wait to proclaim war, much less to have a pretence for it, but he suddenly made a rush upon the neighbouring city and frontier fortress of Belgrade. The Turks, though taken by surprise, defended the place victoriously; and Joseph's subsequent assault on the fortress of Gradiska was equally unsuccessful and equally disgraceful.


      But the demands of the hour were imperative. The hapless colony, cast ashore like a wreck on the sands of Matagorda Bay, must gather up its shattered resources and recruit its exhausted strength, before it essayed anew its pilgrimage to the "fatal river." La Salle during his explorations had found a spot which he thought well fitted for a temporary establishment. It was on the river which he named the [Pg 392] La Vache,[301] now the Lavaca, which enters the head of Matagorda Bay; and thither he ordered all the women and children, and most of the men, to remove; while the rest, thirty in number, remained with Joutel at the fort near the mouth of the bay. Here they spent their time in hunting, fishing, and squaring the logs of drift-wood which the sea washed up in abundance, and which La Salle proposed to use in building his new station on the Lavaca. Thus the time passed till midsummer, when Joutel received orders to abandon his post, and rejoin the main body of the colonists. To this end, the little frigate "Belle" was sent down the bay. She was a gift from the King to La Salle, who had brought her safely over the bar, and regarded her as a main-stay of his hopes. She now took on board the stores and some of the men, while Joutel with the rest followed along shore to the post on the Lavaca. Here he found a state of things that was far from cheering. Crops had been sown, but the drought and the cattle had nearly destroyed them. The colonists were lodged under tents and hovels; and the only solid structure was a small square enclosure of pickets, in which the gunpowder and the brandy were stored. The site was good, a rising ground by the river; but there was no wood within the distance of a league, and no horses or oxen to drag it. Their work must be done by men. Some felled and squared the timber; and others dragged it by main force over the [Pg 393] matted grass of the prairie, under the scorching Texan sun. The gun-carriages served to make the task somewhat easier; yet the strongest men soon gave out under it. Joutel went down to the first fort, made a raft and brought up the timber collected there, which proved a most seasonable and useful supply. Palisades and buildings began to rise. The men labored without spirit, yet strenuously; for they labored under the eye of La Salle. The carpenters brought from Rochelle proved worthless; and he himself made the plans of the work, marked out the tenons and mortises, and directed the whole.[302]


      must have been in the kings favor; but profit soon changed


      Fran?ois Le Noir, an inhabitant of La Chine, was summoned[11] There is an engraved portrait of her, taken some years later, of which a photograph is before me. When she was "in the world," her stately proportions are said to have attracted general attention. Her family name was Marie Guyard. She was born on the eighteenth of October, 1599.