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IX.

CHA P.

Proposals for peace. State of the miniftry and parties. Dukes of Bedford and Nivernois employed in the negotiation. Newfoundland taken and retaken. War in Germany. Hereditary prince defeated at Iohannisberg. French repulfed. Caffel invefted. Remarkable cannonade at Bucker Muhl. French take Amoneberg. Caffel furrendered to the allies. War in Weftphalia concluded.

HEN found ex- familiar to and made but little

Wperimentally, that the prefent impreflion. The marks of public

joy on the most confiderable conquefts, were become much flighter and colder than were fhewed at the beginning of the war, upon very trivial advantages. Besides the nation had occafion for peace. Though her trade had been greatly augmented, a circumstance without example favourable, and though many of her conquefts, as we have feen, were very far from unlucrative, her supplies of money, great as they were, did not keep pace with her expences. The fupply of men too, which was neceffary to furnish the waste of fo extenfive a war, became fenfibly diminished, and the troops were not recruited but with fome difficulty, and at a heavy charge. It was time to clofe the war, when every end, we could rationally propofe to ourselves in carrying it on, was anfwered; we had enough in our hands to answer all our demands, and almost all our expectations; and as it is grown into a fort of maxim. that nations greatly victorious, must cede fomething on a peace, the difficulty on our fide was only what and how much we should retain. Not that there was a doubt, but whatever choice of acquifition could be made upon any rational principles, a great deal would still

at least was not the favourable time for drawing from her alliance all thofe advantages with which the flattered herself, fhe inclined in good earnest to peace. The fincerity of her procedure in the former negotiation might be justly queftioned; because she had prepared an after-game in cafe of its breaking off. And the fo much relied on it, that it is very poffible the negotiation itself was but a feint made to cover and to prepare that project. But finding that Great Britain was neither intimidated by the threats of that formidable alliance, nor at all likely to be reduced by the exertion of its forces; fhe came in good earneft into these pacific fentiments, which formerly fhe had only counterfeited. The flow progress of the Bourbon troops in Portugal, the retrogade motion of the French army in Germany, the taking of Martinico and its dependencies, and the imminent danger in which they beheld the Havannah, all confpired to humble the pride, and dafh the hopes of the Bourbon alliance.

On the fide of Great Britain, like wife, the difpofitions to peace became much more cordial. No people were ever lefs intoxicated with their fucceffes. Victories were become

remain to give the fulleft scope to every fentiment of equity and moderation.

All these were fufficient inducements to peace. But other things operated as caufes. An alteration in the fyftem of the British ministry had begun this war ; another alteration put an end to it.

The whole council had been almost unanimous to oppofe Mr. P. in his scheme for precipitating the declaration of war against Spain. They thought his principles too violent, and they did not perfectly like his perfon. When he retired from public bufinefs, it seemed as if they breathed more freely, and had got rid of a burthen that oppreffed them. But he was not long removed, when it appeared that the remaining part of the fyftem, was framed upon principles fo very difcordant in themselves, that it was by no means likely to stand.

The D. of N- first lord of the treasury, by his early zeal in favour of the proteftant fucceffion, by the liberal and politic use he had made of a great fortune, by the obligations which in a courfe of many years, and in a fucceffion of great employments, he was enabled to confer on fome of the moft confiderable people in the kingdom, had attached a great number to his fortanes, and formed an interest in the parliament and the nation, which it was extremely difficult to overturn, or even thake. He came to be confidered as the head of the whigs; and he was in reality well qualified in many refpects for the chief of a party, from his unbounded liberality, from his affability, magnificence, and perfonal difinterestedness. Even the defects and faults, which might have appeared

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in his character, were rather of fervice to him, as they often tended to foften refentments, and helped to give that great power, of which he was poffeffed, an appearance lefs formidable.

During a great part of the late king's reign, his family had directed all things without controul. On the acceffion of his prefent majefty, his fituation feemed more doubtful. But in a little time he appeared outwardly as well established as ever, not only in his former high employments, but in that share of influence which is commonly supposed to attend it. There was, however, very little reality in this fpecious appearance; for he did not possess the F-confidence, upon which all the effential of power depends. Neither his age, nor his fituation in the former reign, had allowed him the opportunity of cultivating an intereft with the prefent K. Another noble perfon had been in an employment near his perfon; and having formed his mind with much attention and fuccess to these virtues which adorn his station, deserved and obtained a very uncommon fhare of his confidence.

This nobleman was firft groom of the ftole: afterwards, taking a more open share of the conduct of affairs, he accepted the feals as fecretary of ftate. On the removal of Mr. P. who preferved a fort of union in the administration by their common dread of him, the only competition was between the D. of N. and L. B. The former could not well endure that decay of influence, which, on a thoufand occafions, he must have fenfibly felt, and which the great rank he held must have rendered only more painful. L. B. on the other hand, could

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not bear to fee the treasury board, which, under whatever limitations, was attended with fo much power, in the hands of his rival. It is indeed a department, the intire conduct of which is abfolutely effential to the person who has any pretenfiors to be at the head of the British administration.

These principles foon produced their natural effect. In a fhort time the D. of N. thought himtelf obliged to refign, and the May 26. L. B. became firft commiffioner of the treafury. This refignation was followed by that of others of greater confideration for their rank and influence. No one was furprised at the ferment which enfued; in which perfonal refentment, party violence, and national, or rather local prejudices, were all united, to throw every thing into confufion.

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from thence to endeavour at the revival of this almost exploded di̟ftinction. There were great heats, which were blown into a combuftion by every art, and every inftrument of party, that had ever proved effectual upon fimilar occafions.

Whilft the nation was thus diftracted, the conduct of a war became difficult; its continuance upfafe; and its fupplies uncertain. If the adminiftraton failed, their failure would be construed into incapacity; if they fucceeded, their fuccefs would be converted into an argument for fuch terms of peace, as it would be impoffible for them to procure. Above all, the ancient and known connection between the chiefs of the moneyed intereft and the principal perfons in the oppofition, muft have been a fubject of great anxiety to the administration.

Thefe caufes co-operated to render the intentions of the British miniftry towards peace altogether cordial and fincere; and they thought themselves abundantly juftified in their wishes for it at this juncture, both from the fucceffes and the burthens of the nation; from the flourifhing ftate of fome of their allies, and the doubtful, state of others; and in general, from thofe arguments of humanity, which made it high time that Europe fhould enjoy fome in. terval of repose.

Both courts thus concurring in the fame point, all difficulties were fpeedily fimoothed. It is faid, that the first overtures were made under the mediation of his Sardinian majefty. As foon as terms were propofed, in order to give a pledge to each other of their mutual fincerity, it was agreed that this treaty fhould not be negotiated, as the former had been, by fubordinate perfons; but

but that the two courts fhould reciprocally fend to London and Verfailles a perfon of the first consequence and diftinction in either kingdom. Accordingly the, duke of Bedford was fent to negotiate on the part of England, and the duke de Nivernois on that of France; the great outlines of the treaty were very foon explained and adjusted. The detail of fome articles took up more time.

During this mixed interval of war and treaty, the French obtained a temporary advantage; but which neither fufpended nor influenced the negotiation. It was the laft of fenfive effort, which they made; and though this enterprize was attended with a temporary fuccefs in the execution, it was in the defign not fuperior to any of thofe that had failed. Monfieur de Ternay, with a fquadron of four men of war and a bomb-ketch, and M. d'Haufonville, with a proportionable number of land forces, arrived the 24th of June at the bay of Bulls in Newfoundland, and finding the island little prepared to refift them, took without difficulty, the forts of St. John, Trinity and Carbonear, deftroyed the two laft, and likewife the ftages and implements of the fishery to a confiderable value. The immenfe extent of our military ope`rations, rendered it little wonderful or blameable, that this particular part was found weak.

The French prefumed by far too much on the fupineness of the nation, when they hoped fuch an advantage could have any great effect on the negotiation. In fact, as foon as the news arrived in England, a force was fitted out to retake those places. But fuch was the vigilance and readinefs of general Amherst, our commander in America, that it fuper

feded the neceffity of this armament. He detached colonel Amherst with a body of forces, and lord Colville with a fmall, but fufficient fquadron, to recover this valuable ifland. The land forces attacked fome detachments of the French, advantageously pofted in the neighbour. hood of St. John's, and prepared to attack St. John's itself, with so much vigour and activity, that M. d' Haufonville, who had remained there as governor, thought proper to deliver up that place, and furrender himself and gar- Sept. 18. rifon prifoners of war, before lord Colville could arrive from the place where the troops had been landed to co-operate with them. M. de Ternay escaped with the fleet, partly by having gained a confiderable diftance, before they were discovered, by means of a thick fog; and partly because lord Colville, after their having been discovered, did not apprehend that they really were the enemy's fhips.

It was in Germany that the greateft efforts were made. Even after the negotiations had been confiderably advanced, the military operations were in that country no way flackened. The body under the marshals d'Eftrees and Soubife, being ftreightened, in the manner we have feen, by the incomparable judgment of prince Ferdinand's measures, had been obliged to call that under the prince of Condé from the Lower Rhine to their af fiftance. In order to complete their junction with this corps, the grand army uncovered Caffel, quitted the banks of the Fulda, and fell back to a confiderable diftance. The hereditary prince of Brunswick, who had attended this corps all along, thought at length a fair opportunity had

When the prince had adjusted his army to cover the fiege, the French took advantage of his movement for that purpofe, to repafs the Lahne near Gieffen, and advanced towards Marpurg. But as they advanced, the prince drew his army from the fiege, and made fuch difpofitions as enabled him to fall at once upon their flank and rear, drove

them from all their pofls, Sept. 26.

and obliged them once more to fly with precipitation behind the Lahne.

had occurred of striking a decifive immediate and vigorous preparablow against it. With this tions to befiege it. Aug. 30. aid he attacked, with his usual vivacity, that part of the French army, which was pofted at a place called the heights of Johannifberg, near the banks of the Wetter. At firft his success was answerable to his own expectations, and the courage of his troops. He drove the enemy intirely from the high grounds into the plain; but whilft he pursued his advantage, the body he attacked was reinforced by the main army. The action, which began fo favourably for the allies, ended in a defeat. They loft above three thoufand men in killed, wounded, and prifoners. The hereditary prince, who had, through the whole action, made the most powerful efforts, and exposed himself to the greatest dangers, received a wound from a musket-ball in his hip-bone, from which his life was a long time doubtful, and his recovery linger ing and tedious. Whilft his life continued in danger, the concern was unusual, and common to both armies; both taking an interest in the prefervation of a prince, as much endeared by his humanity, as admired by his valour and military genius.

After this fuccessful affair, the body of the army resumed their preparations for the fiege of Caffel, which was now become the grand object of the campaign; and the great purpose of the endeavours of both armies was, of the one to open the communication, with Caffel, of the other to cut it off.

A number of fkirmishes happened in these movements. The moft remarkable among them was the affair of Bucker Muhl. Sept. 30. not fo much for the confequences, which were not extraordinary, but for the uncommon steadiness of the two parties engaged. It was a poft of fome moment, the forcing of which would facilitate to the French the reduction of Amonebourg, a fmall fortrefs, but of importance, as it commanded a pafs which led into the country which they propofed to enter. This poft was nothing more than a bridge over the Ohme, defended by a flight redoubt on one fide, and by a mill on the other. The allies had no cover, except the redoubt; nor the Fren b. except the mill. The engagement began at firft between two fall bodies, and an artillery proportio ably fmall; but as the action warmed,

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A victory of the greatest importance could not have more fully difplayed the fuperiority of prince Ferdinand's capacity in the conduct of a war, than his measures after this defeat. The French were not fuffered to derive the fmalleft advantage from this victory; nor did the allies lofe a foot of ground. The communication with Caffel was ftill at the mercy of the allies. The French, in their retreat, had thrown a garrison of ten thousand men into that place; and the prince made VOL. V.

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