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Besides the great seminary where young men were trained for the priesthood, there was the lesser seminary where boys were educated in the hope that they would one day take orders. This school began in 1668, with eight French and six Indian pupils, in the old house of Madame See Discovery of the Great West. La Barre denies the assertion, and says that he merely told the Iroquois that La Salle should be sent home.
Having, for the third time, expelled the French from Portugal, with the exception of the single fortress of Almeida, Wellington proceeded to reconnoitre the situation of affairs in Spain. Whilst on his march after Massena he had sent word to General Menacho to maintain possession of Badajoz, promising him early assistance. Unfortunately, Menacho was killed, and was succeeded in his command by General Imaz, who appears to have been a regular traitor. Wellington, on the 9th of March, had managed to convey to him the intelligence that Massena was in full retreat, and that he should himself very soon be able to send or bring him ample assistance. Imaz had a force of nine thousand Spaniards, and the place was strong. He was besieged by about the same number of French infantry and two thousand cavalry, yet the very next day he informed Soult of Wellington's news, and offered to capitulate. Soult must have been astonished at this proceeding, if he had not himself prepaid it in French moneythe surrender of Badajoz, under the imminent approach of Wellington, being of the very highest importance. On the 11th the Spaniards were allowed to march out with what were called the "honours of war," but which, in this case, were the infamies of treachery, and Soult marched in. He then gave up the command of the garrison to Mortier, and himself marched towards Seville.
In Ireland the bulk of the population had been left to the Catholic pastors, who were maintained by their flocks, the property of the Catholic Church having been long transferred by Act of Parliament to the Church of England, or, as it was called, the sister Church of Ireland. The number of parishes in Ireland had been originally only two thousand four hundred and thirty-six, though the population at that time was half that of England; but in 1807 Mr. Wickham stated that, in 1803, these had been consolidated, and reduced to one thousand one hundred and eighty-three. In some of these parishes in the south of Ireland, Mr. Fitzgerald stated that the incomes amounted to one thousand pounds, to one thousand five hundred pounds, and even to three thousand pounds a year; yet that in a considerable number of these highly endowed parishes there was no church whatever. In others there were churches but no Protestant pastors, because there were no Protestants. The provision for religious instruction went wholly, in these cases, to support non-resident, and often very irreligious, clergymen. In fact, no truly religious clergyman ever could hold such a living. The livings were, in fact, looked upon as sinecures to be conferred by Ministers on their relatives or Parliamentary supporters. It was stated that out of one thousand one hundred and eighty-three benefices in Ireland, two hundred and thirty-three were wholly without churches; and Mr. Fitzgerald said, "that where parishes had been consolidated, the services rendered to the people by their clergyman had been diminished in proportion as his income had been augmented; for no place of religious worship was provided within the reach of the inhabitants; nor could such parishioners obtain baptism for their children, or the other rites of the Church; and the consequence was that the Protestant inhabitants, in such places, had disappeared." 500 francs a year to trade with the Indians, paying them in
But though the abandonment, for the present, of this enterprise, so fondly cherished by France, was calculated to cast a damp on the country, Buonaparte had another project ready which flattered the French pride of conquest. This was to seize on Egypt, as the preliminary to the fall of Britain. He had for some time entertained this idea, and had written from Italy to the Directory on the subject in the previous September. To insure the real destruction of England, he said, they must make themselves masters of Egypt. Malta and Corfu must be seized first, and for this purpose he conceived eight or ten sail of the line and twenty-five thousand men would suffice. The possession of Egypt, he contended, would draw all the commerce of the East thither, instead of taking the circuitous route by the Cape of Good Hope. He had thoroughly inspired Talleyrand with his scheme. Egypt was imagined to be much more wealthy than it was, and there were monuments of ancient art for Buonaparte and his right-hand bandit, Monge, to lay hands on. The Directory, which was extremely unpopular, uneasy at the presence of so popular and daring a person, were glad to be rid of him anywhere, the farther off the better. There were not wanting counsellors who already advised him to perpetrate a coup d'tat, and place himself at the head of affairs; but Buonaparte, not at all averse from the prospect, replied, "The pear is not ripe." He knew that, however popular with his own army, he was looked on with jealousy by the army of the Rhine, which served under, and prided themselves in, Moreau. He knew that the middle classes hated him for sweeping them away with grape-shot in the affair of the Sections. He hoped to make himself yet more popular and more necessary, and that in the meantime the Directory would have completed their full measure of odium. He now therefore plunged into arrangements for this grand conquest of the East.
It was in these grave circumstances that Lord North, on the 5th of March, 1770, brought forward his bill, based on the terms of Lord Hillsborough's letter to the American governors, to repeal all the import duties except that on tea. This was one of those half-and-half measures which never succeed; it abandoned the bulk of the duties, but retained the really obnoxious thingthe principle. Grenville very truly told them that they should retain the whole, or repeal the whole. Lord Barrington and Welbore Ellis, in their dogged Toryism, protested against repealing a single item of them; and the Opposition, Barr, Conway, Meredith, Pownall, etc., as earnestly entreated them to remove the duties altogether, and with them all cause of irritation. The motion for leave to bring in the bill was carried by two hundred and four votes to one hundred and forty-two. During the debates it was shown that, during the financial year, the American tea duties had producednot the calculated ten or twelve thousand, but less than three hundred pounds! For such a sum did our legislators risk a civil war. As a last effort on this question at this time, the Opposition, on the 1st of May, called for the correspondence with America; and, on the 9th, Burke moved nine resolutions on the general topic. They were not only negatived, but a similar motion, introduced into the Peers by the Duke of Richmond, met the same fate. * Ordonnance contre les vices de livrognerie, luxe, et
Ill news flowed in apace from all quarters during the recess. The Marquis de Bouill had surprised and retaken St. Eustatia. The new conquests in Demerara and Essequibo had also been retaken. Bouill having secured St. Eustatia, next turned his arms against the old and valuable island of St. Kitt's. He then landed eight thousand men at Basseterre, the capital, whose movements were protected by the fleet under De Grasse. General Fraser and Governor Shirley took post on the rugged heights of Brimstone Hill, and made a stout defence, whilst Sir Samuel Hood, who had followed De Grasse from the Chesapeake, boldly interposed between the French admiral and the French troops on shore. Hood twice beat off De Grasse; but the British fleet and army were much too inconsiderable to maintain the conquest. The island was finally taken, and after it the smaller ones of Nevis and Montserrat, so that of all the Leeward Islands we had only Barbadoes and Antigua left.