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      [180] Two of the messengers, Laurent and Messier, arrived safely. The others seem to have deserted.


      century, is a little less gloomy in his coloring, but says

      * Faillon, Colonie Fran?aise, II. 244.

      trading companies. Within ten years it lost 3,523,000The foreign expeditions planned by the Grenville Ministry were, this year, attended by disgraceful results, and the news of their failure arrived in time to enable the new Ministry to throw additional odium upon their foes. The news of the seizure of Buenos Ayres by Sir Home Popham and General Beresford had induced the late Cabinet to overlook the irregular manner in which their enterprise had been undertaken. They sent out Admiral Sir C. Stirling to supersede Sir Home Popham, who was to be brought before a court-martial, but he took out with him a fresh body of troops, under General Auchmuty. These troops landed at Monte Video on the 18th of January, and, after a sharp contest against six thousand Spaniards, and the loss of five hundred and sixty British killed and wounded, the place was taken on the 2nd of February. Soon afterwards General Whitelocke arrived with orders to assume supreme command and to recapture Buenos Ayres, which the inhabitants had succeeded in recovering. Whitelocke reached Monte Video towards the end of May, and found the British army, with what he brought, amounting to nearly twelve thousand men, in fine condition. With such a force Buenos Ayres would have soon been reduced by a man of tolerable military ability. But Whitelocke seems to have taken no measures to enable his troops to carry the place by a sudden and brilliant assault. It was not till the 3rd of July that he managed to join Major-General Gore, who had taken possession of a commanding elevation[536] overlooking the city. The hope of success lay in the rapidity with which the assault was made: all this was now lost. The rain poured in torrents, and the men had no shelter, and were half starved. All this time the Spaniards had been putting the city into a state of defence. Still, on the morning of the 5th of July the order was issued to storm. The troops advanced in three columns from different sides of the town, headed severally by Generals Auchmuty, Lumley, and Craufurd. Whitelocke said that it could be of no use to delay the advance towards the centre of the town by attacking the enemy under cover of their houses; it could only occasion the greater slaughter. The command, therefore, was to dash forward with unloaded muskets, trusting alone to the bayonet. Much blame was cast on Whitelocke for this order, but there seems strong reason in it, considering the wholly uncovered condition of the troops against a covered enemy, and that the only chance was for each division to force its way as rapidly as possible to certain buildings where they could ensconce themselves, and from whence they could direct an attack of shot and shells on the Spaniards. General Auchmuty, accordingly, rushed on against every obstacle to the great squarePlaza de Toros, or Square of Bullstook thirty-two cannon, a large quantity of ammunition, and six hundred prisoners. Other regiments of his division succeeded in getting possession of the church and convent of Santa Catalina, and of the residencia, a commanding post; Lumley and Craufurd were not so fortunate. The 88th was compelled to yield; and the 36th, greatly reduced, and joined by the 5thwhich had taken the convent of Santa Catalinamade their way to Sir Samuel Auchmuty's position in the Plaza de Toros, dispersing a body of eight hundred Spaniards on their way and taking two guns. Craufurd's division capitulated at four o'clock in the afternoon. In the evening Whitelocke resolved to come to terms. The conditions of the treaty werethat General Whitelocke's army, with its arms, equipage, and stores, was to be conveyed across the La Plata to Monte Video; his troops were to be supplied with food; and that at the end of two months the British were to surrender Monte Video, and retire from the country. Such was the humiliating result of the attempt on Buenos Ayres. Nothing could exceed the fury of all classes at home against Whitelocke on the arrival of the news of this disgraceful defeat. It was reported that he had made the men take their flints out of their guns before sending them into the murderous streets of Buenos Ayres; and had he arrived with his despatches, his life would not have been safe for an hour. There was a general belief that the Court was protecting him from punishment; and, in truth, the delays interposed between him and a court-martial appeared to warrant this. It was not till the 28th of January, 1808, that he was brought before such a court at Chelsea Hospital, when he was condemned to be cashiered, as wholly unfit and unworthy to serve his Majesty in any military capacity whatever.


      3,000 francs for the governor-general was meant only to

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      It was Richelieu who first planted feudalism in Canada. * The king would preserve it there, because with its teeth drawn he was fond of it, and because, as the feudal tenure prevailed in Old France, it was natural that it should prevail also in the New. But he continued as Richelieu had begun, and moulded it to the form that pleased him. Nothing was left which could threaten his absolute and undivided authority over the colony. In France, a multitude of privileges and prescriptions still clung, despite its fall, about the ancient ruling class. Few of these were allowed to cross the Atlantic, while the old, lingering abuses, which had made the system odious, were at the same time lopped away. Thus retrenched, Canadian feudalism was made to serve a double end; to produce a faint and harmless reflection of French aristocracy, and simply and practically to supply agencies for distributing land among the settlers.

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      came into possession of persons on very humble degrees of the social scale. A seigniory could be bought and sold, and a trader or a thrifty habitant might, and often did become the buyer. * If the Canadian noble was always a seignior, it is far from being true that the Canadian seignior was always a noble.

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      Before Buonaparte quitted Erfurt he learned that his late allies, the Bavarians, with a body of Austrians under General Wrede, were marching to cut off his line of retreat to the Rhine, and that another body of Austrians and Prussians were marching from near Weimar, on the same point, with the same object. He left Erfurt on the 25th of October, amid the most tempestuous weather, and his rear incessantly harassed by the Cossacks. He met Wrede posted at Hanau, but with only forty-five thousand men, so that he was able to force his way, but with a loss of six thousand, inflicting a still greater loss on the Austro-Bavarians, of nearly ten thousand. On the 30th of October Napoleon reached Frankfort, and was at Mainz the next day, where he saw his army cross, and on the 7th of November he left for Paris, where he arrived on the 9th. His reception there was by no means encouraging. In addition to the enormous destruction of life in the Russian campaign, the French public nowinstead of the reality of those victories which his lying bulletins had announcedsaw him once more arrive alone.


      alllittle