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liament men of a hundred years ago, to whom those he saw around him owed it that they had a House of Commons in which to sit. Some ministerial supporters, making the usual contribution to debate of senators who are eager to express their view, but afraid to take the floor, - greeted the remark with sarcastic laughter; and that laughter brought up Colonel Barré. He had been with Montgomery where French bullets were flying, and still had one of them embedded in his face; and, (on that occasion, as on others,) when Barré took upon himself to rebuke an impertinence, it was not apt to be repeated. A leading journal published its report of the evening's proceeding in a paragraph edged with deep black; and, to judge by the general tone of the press, the same would have been done by other newspapers if the idea had occurred to other editors. Close parallels were drawn, in divers odes and sonnets, between the characters of John Hampden and of Richard Montgomery, and between the causes in defence of which they received their death-wounds. There appeared about this time a political pamphlet, thinly disguised as a Dialogue of the Dead; -a species of composition which had been consummately executed by Lucian sixteen centuries ago, and more or less vapidly ever since; until, for the comfort of humanity, in our own generation it has at length ceased to be written at all. The author of this production, who evidently was a staunch partisan of the colonists, professed to relate the first interview between Montgomery, and his former chief, General Wolfe, when they renewed their friendship in the Elysian Fields. Nor were American sym
1“ It is a happy chance for me, brave Wolfe,” (so Montgomery began,) "to find you alone in this solitary walk; since I may, without being interrupted, expatiate with you on the unjust contempt you have shown me from the day of my arrival in this delightfui place.” That is very well, but not exactly in the style of Lucian. The characters in the discussion, besides the two principals, were George Grenville and Charles Townshend; as well as David Hume, who strolled out of a shady valley to join in the talk, and eventually succeeded in reconciling the whole party. Hume had died in August 1776, just in time to take a share in the conversation.
pathies confined to those who wrote what was intended to be perused in the safe seclusion of the study. A play, dating from the last French war, and containing a graceful and pathetic allusion to the hero who died before Quebec, was just then being given in London. The
passage had been written for Wolfe; but the theatre applied it to Montgomery, “and fairly rocked with applause.”
Washington, from the earliest hour, was handled by the London newspapers, and in the talk of London society, after a fashion which could hardly have been more respectful if his great destinies had already been accomplished. Indeed, his treatment by English writers and speakers during the war with England is in strong contrast to the rough usage which, towards the close of his career and in the heats of the French Revolution, he frequently experienced from that section of his own countrymen who were opposed to his foreign policy. "General Washington," wrote a London journalist in January 1776, "has so much martial dignity in his deportment that you would distinguish him to be a General and a Soldier among ten thousand people. There is not a king in Europe but would look like a valet-de-chambre by his side.” A still more solid compliment was paid to him by Lord Chatham, who knew well how to address a practical-minded Parliament which commences business every day by petitioning that its monarch may be permitted in health and wealth long to live. “Mr. Washington," said Chatham in the House of Lords, “who now commands what is called this night the rebel force, is worth five thousand pounds a year.” 1
The American officer who, at this period of the struggle, had especially caught the fancy of Englishmen, was Benedict Arnold. His dash and fire, his hairbreadth escapes, the stories which were afloat about his rollicking and masterful demeanour, his cheerfulness in defeat, -and, above all, (for so Englishmen are made,) his hard
1 Debate on the Address in the House of Lords ; Thursday, Nov. 20,
won successes, - commended him to a people which, next to a trusty servant, loves a gallant enemy. His picture was in shop-windows, and on the walls of many private rooms. Since it was pretty clear that the wound which would keep him quiet was not known to surgery, men prayed that he might be captured and brought a prisoner to England; but they would have been sincerely sorry if he had been carried off by death. Among the most severe, and, (if such a supremacy were possible,) quite the worst-rhymed, of all the contemporary pasquinades was addressed to "the partial paragraphist of the Gazette who, after being obliged to recount Colonel Arnold's rapid march, and his bravery and conduct, thought fit to obscure his merit by calling him ‘one Arnold.” Resentment against the carping and jealous attitude of his own Government, - which rankled in Arnold's heart, and at last impelled him to his undoing, - was pointed and intensified by a knowledge that his martial qualities were cordially appreciated by that British adversary who had so thoroughly tested them in the field.
However large might be the number of our countrymen who could not bring themselves to hate Americans, there was one nation, closer at hand, which the great mass of Englishmen made no pretence whatever of loving. The permanent, no less than the ephemeral, literature produced during the first twenty-five years of George the Third's reign was pervaded, to an extent unpleasant and even scandalous, by the animosity with which his subjects south of Tweed regarded his subjects who had been born, but were not content to live, north of that river. Englishmen had some excuse for their prejudice against Scotchmen, if only they had indulged it in moderation. Twice in human memory our borders had been penetrated, and our capital threatened, by a host of armed mountaineers; and those warriors, whatever romantic attributes they may possess in the imagination of posterity, most certainly did not impress their
contemporaries as the sort of people by whom a highly civilised society would willingly be conquered and overrun. In 1715 a handful of Highlanders, with some Northumberland fox-hunters for cavalry, had advanced half-way through Lancashire before they were surrounded and destroyed; and, thirty years later, several thousand clansmen had marched to Derby, and had given the Londoners a fright from which not a few worthy citizens never entirely recovered.
But the Englishmen of 1776 had no need to sharpen their hatred of the Scotch by repeating to each other old stories which they had heard from their fathers and grandfathers. They themselves had experienced the calamities and humiliations of a third invasion; and this time the army of occupation had arrived to stay. As soon as Lord Bute was Prime Minister, he summoned southward, (beginning, but by no means ending, with his own kinsmen and retainers,) a multitude of compatriots to partake of his good fortune. An assaulting force, which is active and enterprising, is always estimated above its real numerical strength by the party of defence. Pensions, and patent places, and Court offices with quaint titles and easy salaries, — in the view of that English governing class whose perquisite they hitherto had been, — seemed fast becoming the monopoly of North British peers and North British members of Parliament. The sight was all the more vexatious because a Scotchman of family found means to save money, and to buy land, from the proceeds of an office with the aid of which an English nobleman thought himself fortunate if he could keep the bailiffs out of his town-house, without even contemplating the possibility of paying off a farthing of the mortgages on his country estate. Untitled Scotchmen, meanwhile, abounded in the army, in the navy, in the Government departments, and in India and the colonies. Wherever they might be stationed, they did their work admirably, and, (instead of paying a deputy,) made a point of doing it themselves. Idle Englishmen of fashion saw
with dismay that sinecures, the reversion of which they held or hoped for, in the hands of Scotch occupants were sinecures no longer ; but, in despite of their industry and public spirit, their shrewdness and frugality, — and even, it is to be feared, all the more on account of those qualities, — the fellow-countrymen of Lord Bute met with the very reverse of gratitude from the nation which they served.
Although thirteen long and eventful years had elapsed since Bute vacated office in 1763, he was still the fertile theme of gossip and suspicion. He had, indeed, been far from a popular minister when he stood openly at the sovereign's elbow as chief adviser and prime favourite; but he was not less detested, and much more feared, now that he was supposed, most erroneously and absurdly, to be manipulating the wires from behind the curtains of the throne. It may be doubted whether public opinion has ever been more profoundly affected by a more general and persistent illusion than in the case of the belief that Lord Bute was a motive power of George the Third's policy all the while that the American troubles were brewing, and as long as the war lasted. The Princess Dowager had died several years before a shot was fired; and the last remains of her old friend's political influence had died with her. And yet the legend of an Interior Cabinet
1 The prevalence of these unamiable sentiments is amusingly illustrated by a conversation, the printed report of which remains to all time the very model of artistic treatment. When Johnson and Wilkes, approaching each other from the Antipodes of political opinion, met first at Mr. Dilly's table, a topic had to be found about which they were both agreed, and on which they both were known to talk their very best. By common consent, and with all the greater zest because it was a Scotchman who had brought them together, they at once fell to work against the Scotch.
2 In July 1778 George the Third wrote to Lord North about the rumour of a political negotiation between the Earl of Chatham and the Earl of Bute. “I have read the narrative," (His Majesty said,) “ of what passed between Sir James Wright and Dr. Addington, and am fully convinced of what I suspected before, that the two old Earls, like old coachmen, still loved the smack of the whip.” Those were the terms in which the King referred to Lord Bute at a time when, according to Whig newspapers, that nobleman was omnipotent in the secret counsels of the State.