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    The year 1763 opened with the signing of the[176] definitive treaty at Paris on the 19th of February, whence it was called the Peace of Paris. Five days later, a peace was signed between Prussia and Austria at Hubertsberg, in Saxony, to which Saxony, as the ally of Austria, was a party. Indeed, when England and France, Russia and Sweden, had withdrawn from the contest, there was little prospect of the continuance of the war. Both parties were exhausted, and yet, of the two, Frederick, in his dogged firmness, and in the almost unparalleled endurance of his people, was more than a match for Austria. If Maria Theresa could not cope with him when she had France, Russia, Saxony, and Poland, all united with her to put him down, the case was now hopeless. The English had stipulated that France should evacuate all the places in Germany and Flanders that belonged to those countries, and Frederick had easily induced the German states, in these circumstances, to a maintenance of neutrality. Austria, therefore, consented to this peace. She stood out the longest for the retention of Glatz, the only place won from Frederick still in her hands, but she was compelled to yield that, too. Both parties returned to the same situations as before the commencement of this fatal Seven Years' War.
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    These debates were immediately followed by the opening of the Budget on the 23rd of Februaryan opening which was enough to have made any men but such as were then at the head of British affairs pause in their ruinous career. There was a call for one hundred thousand seamen, for one hundred and sixty thousand regulars, and fifty-six thousand militiatotal, two hundred and sixteen thousand soldiers, besides volunteers, fencibles, and foreign troops in British pay, amounting, by land and sea, to at least four hundred thousand men! For their support there were demanded sixteen million and twenty-seven thousand pounds, in addition to other taxes to make up deficiencies and interest on the Debt; the whole revenue demanded was twenty-seven million five hundred thousand pounds. Besides this there was an annual subsidy to the King of Sardinia of two hundred thousand pounds, although there was no prospect whatever of saving him. To raise all this, new duties had to be laid on tea, coffee, raisins, foreign groceries and fruits, foreign timber, insurances, writs, affidavits, hair-powder, licences, etc., and the revenue from the Post Office, while the privilege of franking had to be abridged. The only tax that the compliant aristocracy protested against was that on the powdered pates of their menials; but the country cried lustily and in vain against the increase of taxation, which, gross as it was, was but the beginning of their burdens and of the burden of posterity.
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    This Session is memorable for the introduction of the subject of Parliamentary Reform by Lord John Russell. His plan was to add one hundred members to the Housesixty for counties and forty for large towns. He argued that this enlargement of the representation was rendered just and politic by increasing intelligence among the people, especially the middle classes, of whom large numbers were unrepresented in Parliament. His motion was negatived, on the 29th of April, by two hundred and sixty-nine to one hundred and sixty-four, Mr. Canning having led the opposition of the Conservatives, and defended the Constitution as it stood. The motion, in fact, was premature, though in the previous Session he had procured the disfranchisement of the corrupt[224] borough of Grampounda victory which the Lords sought to neutralise by transferring the seat to the county of York, instead of to one of the great unrepresented cities.
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    In fact, the chief scene of the war during this year continued to be south. In September, D'Estaing arrived off Savannah, to co-operate with the American forces in recovering that important place. He brought with him twenty-four ships of the line and fourteen frigates, and was moreover attended by a numerous squadron of French and American privateers, besides carrying a considerable body of troops. On learning D'Estaing's approach, General Lincoln and Governor Rutledge began to march their troops towards Savannah, and sent a number of small vessels to enable the French to carry their troops up the river, and land them near the town. General Prevost, commander of the English garrison, made the most active preparations to receive them. D'Estaing had agreed to wait for the arrival of General Lincoln, with the South Carolina force, but, with the want of faith characteristic of the man, on the 12th of September he landed three thousand men, and summoned General Prevost to surrender in the name of the French king. Prevost claimed twenty-four hours to decide, and this time he employed in strengthening his defences. Before the expiration of this time Colonel Maitland, who was on the march for Beaufort with eight hundred veterans, came in, and Prevost returned for answer that he would defend the place to the utmost. On the 16th, General Lincoln arrived, and was greatly incensed to find that D'Estaing had broken the agreement to wait for him, and still worse, had summoned the place in the name of France instead of the Congress.

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    Such was the state of things in Ireland when the news of the French Revolution arrived and produced an electric effect throughout the country. The danger of permitting such atrocious incitements to civil war to be circulated among the people was obvious to every one, and yet Lord Clarendon allowed this propagandism of rebellion and revolution to go on with impunity for months.? Mitchel might have been arrested and prosecuted for seditious libels any day; the newsvendors who hawked the United Irishman through the streets might have been taken up by the police, but the Government still remained inactive. Encouraged by this impunity, the revolutionary party had established confederate clubs, by means of which they were rapidly enlisting and organising the artisans of the city, at whose meetings the most treasonable proceedings were adopted. /

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    Sir Henry arrived at Calcutta in September, 1844. He found that tranquillity prevailed throughout the empire, and applied his energies to the formation of railways. But he had soon to encounter the exigencies of war. Notwithstanding the stringent injunctions he had received to cultivate the most amicable spirit with the Sikhs, he was obliged to tax the resources of the empire in maintaining with them one of the most desperate conflicts recorded in Indian history. The Sikhs were a warlike race, distinguished not less by fanaticism than bravery. They were bound together and inspired by the most powerful religious convictionsa tall, muscular, and athletic race of men, full of patriotic ardour, elevated by an ancient faith. They were confederated in various provinces, to the number of about 7,000,000. They were accustomed to ride upon fleet horses, and had organised an effective cavalry, while their infantry had been disciplined by French and Italian officers. They could, if necessary, bring into the field 260,000 fighting men; but their regular army now consisted of 73,000 men with 200 pieces of artillery. Settled chiefly in the Punjab, a country of extraordinary fertility, they also abounded in Mooltan, Afghanistan, and Cashmere, celebrated from the most ancient times as the favoured abode of manufacturing industry, social order, wealth, and happiness. This warlike race had been governed by Runjeet Singh, a chief of extraordinary ability, energy, and determination. He had but one eye; he was deeply marked with the small-pox; his aspect was repulsive, and his manner rude; yet was he looked up to by this great people with respectful homage, and obeyed with implicit trust. While he lived he maintained an alliance with the British Government; but after his death the Sikhs were divided into two factionsone headed by Gholab Singh, and professing to be favourable to the British; the other by the Ranee, who yielded to the clamours of the unpaid soldiers to be led against the English. Accordingly the[597] military forces of the Sikhs were ordered to march down to the Sutlej. But their intended attack was prevented by the astrologers, who declared that the auspicious day for marching had not yet arrived. Sir Henry Hardinge, however, in common with the most experienced officers of the Indian Government, did not think the Sikh army would cross the Sutlej with its infantry and artillery, or that they would have recourse to offensive operations on a large scale. Up to this period it had committed no act of aggression. In 1843 and 1844 it had moved down the river from Lahore, and after remaining there encamped a few weeks, had returned to the capital. These reasons, and, above all, his extreme anxiety to avoid hostilities, induced him not to make any hasty movement with his army, which, when the two armies came into each other's presence, might bring about a collision. This moderation, however, was misconstrued by the Sikhs. They supposed that the British were afraid to encounter them. Accordingly, on the night of the 9th of December, 1845, a portion of the Sikh army appeared within three miles of the Sutlej; and information was received by our garrison at Ferozepore that preparations were making on a large scale for the movement of infantry, artillery, and stores from the Sikh capital, Lahore. On the 12th of December the Sikh army crossed the Sutlej, and concentrated in great force on the British side of the river. The British reserves, meanwhile, were advancing to meet this formidable enemy; but they were still far off, and Ferozepore had but a garrison of 9,500 men to withstand an army of 60,000 with 100 guns! Sir Charles Napier wrote in his "Memoirs" that he did not think history would let off Sir Henry Hardinge for allowing such an army to cross the river unmolested, and entrench itself on the other side. It is quite certain that Sir Charles would not have given them such an advantage. But their generals did not know how to use it. Sir Henry Hardinge had hastened in person to assist General Gough in conducting the operations against the enemy, and both putting themselves at the head of the advanced guard, they were followed by the reserves, marching at the rate of twenty-six miles a day, full of excitement at the prospect of more fighting. /

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