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it manifest that those ends were impossible of attainment. Wars of that class are the despair of historians belonging to the school which would fain account for every great national undertaking by a theory that the people, - instinctively, even if ignorantly and unconsciously, are impelled by an unerring sense of the national interests. Such wars are commenced in anger, and afterwards continued from obstinacy, or, it may be, from the necessities of self-preservation; and the actual explosion generally follows close upon some striking and theatrical occurrence which evokes an eruption of moral indignation and international repugnance. In 1793 the execution of Louis the Sixteenth was a signal for the clash of arms; and the spilling of the tea in Boston Harbour had, not less certainly, been the exciting cause of that protracted struggle which finally resulted in the independence of America. It will always be remembered to the credit of Pitt and Grenville that, under the shock of the French Revolution, they laboured gallantly, honestly, and perseveringly to maintain peace between France and England. All the while that Burke was preaching a crusade against the wicked Republic with a fury of rhetoric which took the conscience of our country by storm, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, insisted that the counsels of moderation should be heard, and kept their followers in hand as long as it was possible to hold them.1 But, throughout our American troubles, the rulers of the British Empire exerted upon public opinion an exasperating, and not a restraining, influence. Even in the business letters which he ad
1 “No hour of Pitt's life,” (wrote Mr. Green in his History of the English People,) " is so great as the hour when he stood, lonely and passionless, before the growth of national passion, and refused to bow to the gathering cry for war.”
“I bless God that we had the wit to keep ourselves out of the glorious enterprise of the combined armies, and that we were not tempted by the hope of sharing the spoils in the division of France, nor by the prospect of crushing all democratical principles all over the world at one blow.” That was said by Lord Grenville as late as November 1792 ; two full years after Burke had thrilled England by his celebrated appeal to Chivalry on behalf of Queen Marie Antoinette.
dressed to Lord North the King could never write about New Englanders with patience. Lord Dartmouth, indeed, treated the colonists with sympathy, and evinced a desire to ascertain and understand their own view of their own case; but in that regard he was almost alone in the Cabinet. After the quarrel had become envenomed, few members of the Government, whose words counted for anything, spoke of Americans in Parliament with respect, or even with common propriety.
The cue was given, and the fashion set, to all partisans of the Court and the Ministry. Their talk, (so much as has reached us,) ran in a channel of considerable violence, but of little depth. How far reconciliation was practicable; by what steps, and through the employment of what agents and intermediaries, it might be achieved ; what was the judgement of contemporary Europe; what were the schemes and inclinations of foreign governments, and what would be their action if the war was indefinitely prolonged; how that war affected the prosperity of our own West Indian islands; whether America could be subdued by force; how long, if reconquered, she could be kept in subjection, and at what cost; those were speculations altogether too abstract and unpractical to engage the attention of Lord North's supporters. The staple of their conversation, even in the case of men who posed as authorities on the colonial question, consisted in wholesale and vehement abuse of the disaffected colonists. James Boswell, though a sound Tory, entertained scruples about the right of Parliament to tax America. Like a good disciple he begged, and again begged, Doctor Johnson to clear up his misgivings; but on each occasion he was handled in such a fashion as to regret, (which was most unusual with him,) that he had not been discreet enough to leave burning topics alone. Once, however, he enjoyed the opportunity of listening to the famous teacher at a moment when his mind had been attuned to milder and holier thoughts. Johnson was maintaining, in opposition to a handsome and eloquent Quakeress, that friendship could not strictly
be called a Christian virtue. He urged that, whereas the ancient philosophers dwelt only on the beauty of private friendship, Christianity recommended universal benevolence, and enjoined us to consider all men as our brothers. "Surely, Madam,” he said, "your sect must approve of this; for you call all men friends." But that weather was too calm to last. “From this pleasing subject," wrote Boswell," he made a sudden transition. am willing,' he cried, 'to love all mankind except an American;' and his inflammable corruption bursting into horrid fire, he breathed out threatenings and slaughter, calling them rascals, robbers, pirates, and exclaiming that he would burn and destroy them.”
Considering that he was a professed master in the science of ethics, Dr. Johnson's estimate of the American character was not very judicial or discriminating ; and still less could it be expected that people, who had never claimed to be philosophers, should mince their words when they were engaged in denouncing the iniquities of the colonists. That mattered little in a discussion with English Whigs, who gave as good as they got, and who were much more concerned to speak their mind against the Cabinet than to defend the Americans. But there was a class of men whose feelings were cruelly wounded by the tone of conversation which largely prevailed in London society; men whom it is impossible to name without a tribute of respectful compassion. The town was full of refugees from every colony in America, who had sacrificed all that they possessed to their love for Britain, and their veneration for Britain's King. Their condition, sad in itself, was melancholy indeed by contrast to that which they had known at home. Some of them had been proprietors of vast districts, with powers and prerogatives far exceeding those of an English landowner. Others had held office as LieutenantGovernors of Provinces, Judges, Councillors, and Commissioners of Revenue. Others, again, had been Presidents of Colleges, or clergymen in charge of rich, 1 The Life of Samuel Johnson, Sept. 23, 1777; April 15, and 18, 1778.
and once admiring and affectionate, congregations. Among the five occupants of the Bench in the superior Court of Massachusetts all save one were Loyalists; and three of them were driven into banishment. The political faith for which these gentlemen suffered is finely summarised in the epitaph on Chief Justice Oliver, the president of their tribunal, which may be seen in St. Philip's, Birmingham; - a church standing in the very centre of the city, with an ample space about it, and its doors hospitably open to the passing stranger. One of Oliver's colleagues died in Nova Scotia, and another in England; and at least five members of his family, who were living in Massachusetts as grown men before the Revolution broke out, are buried in different corners of our island. When General De Lancey of New York was laid in his grave a fellow-refugee said, truly enough, that there would be scarcely a village in England without some American dust in it by the time they were all at rest. And not in England only; for, in the course of our wars against the French Republic and the French Empire, many American Loyalists, both of the first and second generation, breathed their last on the field of honour in one or another of our country's battles.?
1 The monument is erected to the Honourable Peter Oliver, formerly His Majesty's Chief Justice of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England; and the inscription runs: "In the year 1776, on a Dissolution of Government, He left his Native Country ; but in all the consequent calamities his Magnanimity remained unshaken, and, (though the source of his misfortunes,) nothing could dissolve his Attachment to the British Government, nor lessen his love and loyalty to his Sovereign."
2 “Mr. Flucker died suddenly in his bed yesterday morning, and it is the forty-fifth of the refugees from Massachusetts, within my knowledge, that have died in England. He was Secretary of State for Massachusetts." Curwen's diary; Feb. 17, 1783.
Wellington's Quartermaster General, who was killed at Waterloo, was a De Lancey of New York. Colonel James De Peyster, of the same province, had, as a youth, distinguished himself on the British side during the war of the American Revolution. In 1793 he led an assault on an almost impregnable French position at Lincelles in West Flanders, and was shot dead in the moment of victory. Those were two out of many; for Loyalists of the upper class were a fighting race throughout all the colonies. Tory farmers and shopkeepers, and Tory mechanics, in the Northern and Central provinces, showed much less inclination to take up arms for their opinions.
When Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts was superseded in June 1774, many leading merchants, and most of the officials, united to present him with an Address approving his political conduct, and wishing him a prosperous future. Among the names attached to the paper was that of Samuel Curwen of Salem, Judge of the Admiralty for the province. Popular pressure was brought upon the subscribers for the purpose of inducing them to withdraw their signatures, and to insert in the newspapers an apology for the action which they had taken. Many yielded; but Curwen thought it best to go elsewhere in search of that security, and those personal rights, which, (to use his own words,) by the laws of God he ought to have enjoyed undisturbed in his native town. His wife, not a little to his surprise, disliked a sea voyage more than she feared the Sons of Liberty; and, in his sixtieth year, he sailed alone for England. He solaced his leisure in that country by the composition of a journal which presents, in subdued but distinct colours, a very cheerless picture of the exile's existence.
The misery of such an existence has been sung and spoken in many languages, by famous people of many nations; but it has never been more irksome than to men of our own busy and energetic race. Among those men, the New England refugees belonged precisely to the class upon whom the trials and discomforts of banishment pressed the heaviest. In America they had been important personages, successful already, or on a sure and easy road to success; wealthy according to the standard of the community in which they resided; and with every day of their life filled and dignified by serious occupations. But in England they were nobodies, with nothing in the world to do. It is true that the sights of London were there to be admired, if only they had the heart to relish them. They attended as spectators at numerous processions characteristic of the period and the country. They saw their Majesties returning from a Drawing-room in sedan-chairs; the