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“Who run”? “The enemy"; was
the reply. " Thank God," answered Wolfe ; "then I die content ;” and almost instantly he expired. Victory was secure; and the English at home hailed the news with joy; but that joy was embittered, and mingled with mourning, when it was found that their brave general had perished in the struggle.
And now, as I have nothing more of particular interest to relate in the reign of George 11., we will pass on to that of his grandson and successor George III., son of the late Prince of Wales. The name of George III. still sounds dear to English ears, even to those of the young of the present generation who have not lived
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign; but who have, nevertheless, learnt to revere and to love his memory. His reign was longer than that of any preceding English sovereign, and extended to a period of nearly sixty years. A most important period of our history this was, and filled with interesting events. We shall not be able to speak of all, nor of nearly all of them ;-we must therefore endeavour to select a few of the most memorable.
The first event that I will mention, is the American war, which occupied so much time, occasioned so much discussion, and produced
so much bloodshed too, during the early years of George III's reign. I told you, that the United States were not then, as now, under an independent government of their own ; but that they formed a portion of the British possessions. Some years before, when Sir Robert
. Walpole was prime minister, a plan had been proposed for taxing the colonists of America. It was considered then too hazardous to be at. tempted, and so the scheme was abandoned ; but at this time, under Mr. Grenville's administration, it was revived again, and brought before Parliament.
Now though this scheme for raising money from America for the support of the English government, might be very agreeable to the House of Commons, and to people at home, yet it was by no means so well liked abroad, in the United States. The Americans considered it to be an act of oppression, to require them to pay taxes, without their consent, when they had no members to represent them in the British Parliament; and so, when the colonists beard of the new law, the heads of the people met in their assembly, or congress, and declared that no intercourse could be carried on with England while such an act was in force. When the first cargoes subject to the payment of duty were landed in America, a number of young men of Boston, disguised as Indians, boarded the English ships, broke open the holds, and notwithstanding all the resistance made by the crews, seized the tea, with which the vessels were laden, and threw it into the sea.
Of course this bold act caused great sensation both in America and in England. The Americans in general favoured it; but the British government determined to resist it; and to force the colonists to submission. The Americans then took up arms, and prepared to assert their independence, and so war commenced ;-a sad war indeed, and more particularly so, because, as you remember, the Americans and the English were actually of the same nation,-originally fellow-countrymen, who ought to have been acting together as friends and brothers, instead of thus fighting, and seeking one another's subjugation and destruction. Such were the unhappy effects of oppression on the one side, and of resistance and opposition on the other.
The war continued for about seven years, and in general the English were the losers. The Americans fought desperately for their rights ; the advantages which the English now and then gained, seemed to be of no real benefit, and when terms of peace and pardon were offered to the colonists, they treated them with scorn and contempt. At last, thirteen
of the colonies separated from England, and formed themselves into an independent territory, which they called the United States. The names of two celebrated men are connected with the American history at this time;-that of Franklin who acted as ambassador, and was employed in the affairs of state, and who is well known as a philosopher, as well as a statesman ;-and that of General Washington, who commanded the army. The English commanders were Lord Cornwallis and General Howe.
But you must not suppose that all the people in England were in favour of this disastrous
There were many men who were strongly opposed to it, and who used their utmost endeavours in Parliament to prevent its commencement at first, and its continuance afterwards. Among them was the celebrated Lord Chatham. He foresaw that the Americans would never be conquered by our English arms; he objected to the war itself, both as to its cause and object; and his very last powers of eloquence were employed in delivering an address to the House of Lords, in the hope of procuring a termination of hostilities on amicable terms, by the redress of those grievances of which the Americans had to complain. You will, I think, read with interest a part of one of the earnest appeals
mode by this aged statesman, in the House of Peers, on this painful subject.
“ I cannot, my lords," said Lord Chatham, “I will not join in congratulation on misfortune and disgrace. This is a perilous and tremendous moment. It is not a time for adulation : the smoothness of flattery cannot save us in this rugged and awful crisis. It is now necessary to instruct the throne in the language of truth. We must, if possible, dispel the delusion and darkness which envelop it, and display in its full danger and genuine colours, the ruin which is brought to our doors.
“The desperate state of our army abroad is in part known. No man more highly esteems and honours the British troops than I do; I know their virtues and their valour; I know they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of British America is an impossibility. You cannot, my lords, you cannot conquer America. What is your present situation there?
We do not know the worst ; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing, and suffered much. You may
every expense, accumulate every assistance ; your attempts will be for ever vain and impotent, -doubly so, indeed, from the mercenary aid on which you rely ; for it irritates to an incurable resent