In the Macpherson and Lockhart Papers we have now the fullest evidence of what was going on to this end. The agents of both Hanover and St. Germains were active; but those of Hanover were depressed, those of St. Germains never in such hope. The Jesuit Plunkett wrote: "The changes go on by degrees to the king's advantage; none but his friends advanced or employed in order to serve the great project. Bolingbroke and Oxford do not set their horses together, because Oxford is so dilatory, and dozes over things, which is the occasion there are so many Whigs chosen this Parliament. Though there are four Tories to one, they think it little. The ministry must now swim or sink with France." In fact, Oxford's over-caution, and his laziness, at the same time that he was impatient to allow any power out of his own hands, and yet did not exert it when he had it, had disgusted the Tories, and favoured the ambitious views which Bolingbroke was cherishing. The latter had now managed to win the confidence of Lady Masham from the Lord Treasurer to himself; and, aware that he had made a mortal enemy of the Elector of Hanover by his conduct in compelling a peace and deserting the Allies, he determined to make a bold effort to bring in the Pretender on the queen's decease, which every one, from the nature of her complaint, felt could not be far off. To such a pitch of openness did the queen carry her dislike, that she seemed to take a pleasure in speaking in the most derogatory terms of both the old Electress Sophia and her son. Oxford's close and mysterious conduct disgusted the agents of Hanover, without assuring those of the Pretender, and threw the advantage with the latter party more and more into the hands of Bolingbroke. Baron Schutz, the Hanoverian agent, wrote home that he could make nothing of Oxford, but that there was a design against his master; and when Lord Newcastle observed to the agent of the Pretender that, the queen's life being so precarious, it would be good policy in Harley to strike up with the king and make a fair bargain, the agent replied, "If the king were master of his three kingdoms to-morrow, he would not be able to do for Mr. Harley what the Elector of Hanover had done for him already." Thus Oxford's closeness made him suspected of being secured by the Elector at the very moment that the Elector deemed that he was leaning towards the Pretender. Sir John Warren put the two thousand four hundred Chouans on shore near Lorient, and left them to return to their own predatory mode of warfare. He then located himself on two small neighbouring islands, and waited for a fresh squadron carrying four thousand British troops, which arriving in September, he bore away with them for La Vende, and thus terminated the miserable descent on the coast of Brittany. The descent on the coast of La Vende was still more unsatisfactory. On arriving there, it was found that fifteen thousand Republicans were in possession of the Isle Noirmoutier, formerly the stronghold of Charette. The British, therefore, disembarked on the little desolate Isle Dieu, about five leagues from Noirmoutier, and there awaited the arrival of Count d'Artois, who did not come till the 10th of October, and then, alarmed at the fusillading of the officers at Quiberon, declined to land. On hearing this, Charette exclaimed"We are lost! To-day I have fifteen thousand men about me; to-morrow I shall not have five hundred!" And, in fact, chagrined at the pusillanimous conduct of the prince, and the approach of Hoche with his victorious troops from Brittany, his followers rapidly dispersed, and at the end of the year the British armament returned home, having done nothing. From this day may be dated the extinction of the war in La Vende. Stofflet, in January, 1796, was defeated, and in February was betrayed to the enemy, and on the 26th of that month was executed at Angers with four of his companions. Charette was captured a month afterwards, and was shot at Nantes on the 29th of March. With him died the last Vendan general of mark. By this time, the spring of 1796, not a fifth part of the male population of La Vende remained alive; and Hoche himself calculated that the Vendan war had cost France a hundred thousand men. HERRENHAUSEN CASTLE, HANOVER.

Nujeem-ul-Dowlah, their new puppet, proposed to have one Nuncomar as his Prime Minister, but Nuncomar was too great a rogue even for them. He had alternately served and betrayed the English, and his master, Meer Jaffier, and the Council set him aside, and appointed to that office Mohammed Reza Khan, a Mussulman of far better character. Clive confirmed the appointment of Mohammed, but compelled Nujeem-ul-Dowlah to retire from the nominal office of Nabob, on a pension of thirty-two lacs of rupees.

Hastings then mustered fresh regiments of sepoys; demanded and received three battalions from Cheyte Sing, the Rajah of Benares; armed cruisers; laid up stores of ammunition and provisions for three months in Fort William; enrolled a thousand European militia at Calcutta, and stood ready for any French invasion from sea. He then despatched Colonel Leslie with a strong force into the very heart of the Mahratta country. Leslie appeared to have lost his energy, made four months' delay in the plains of Bundelcund, and the next news was that he was dead. Colonel Goddard was sent to take his command, and advanced into Berar; but there hearing that successive revolutions were taking place at Poonah, he waited the result of them. Meanwhile, the presidency of Bombay, desirous of anticipating the expeditions from Calcutta, now undertook to reinstate Ragunath Rao, a deposed peishwa, whom they had lately left to his fate, and taking him along with him, the British commander, Colonel Egerton, marched into the Mahratta country with four thousand men. The army, when it had reached within sixteen miles of Poonah, was surrounded by hosts of Mahratta cavalry, and was compelled to surrender. The Mahrattas, as conditionswhich the British were in no position to declineinsisted on the restoration of all the territory won from them by the British since 1756, and the surrender to them of Ragunath Rao. But Hastings refused to recognise this treaty. He ordered Colonel Goddard to advance. The title of general was conferred on him, and he well justified the promotion. In that and the succeeding campaign he won victory on victory; stormed Ahmedabad; took the city of Bassein; gained a splendid victory over forty thousand of the combined forces of Holkar and Scindia, and, in a great measure, retrieved all the losses, and restored the fame of the British arms. In another quarter the success against the Mahrattas was equally decisive. Captain Popham with a small body of troops stormed and took the city of Lahore, and the huge fortress of[330] Gwalior, which the Mahrattas deemed impregnable.

Philip V. of Spain died on the 9th of July, and his son and successor, Ferdinand VI., showed himself far less anxious for the establishment of Don Philip in Italya circumstance unfavourable to France. On the contrary, he entered into separate negotiations with England. A Congress was opened at Breda, but the backwardness of Prussia to support the views of England, and the successes of the French in the Netherlands, caused the Congress to prove abortive.

The business of the Regency was so important that Parliamentwithout adjourning, as usual, for the Christmas holidaysopened the year 1811, on the very first of January, by proceeding with it. An alteration in the fifth resolution, somewhat reducing the expense of the royal household, and also limiting more strictly the authority of the Queen, was proposed, and carried against Ministers, by two hundred and twenty-six votes against two hundred and thirteen. Perceval in the Commons, and Lord Liverpool in the Lords, moved amendments on this change but without effect. Another alteration was proposed by Lord Grenville, that the Regent should be allowed to elevate lawyers and other civilians to the peerage, as well as military men; and this was readily agreed to. The remaining restrictions were to terminate in February, 1812, if the House had been sitting then six weeks, or otherwise, after the sitting of the House for six weeks after its next assembling. Deputations were appointed by both Houses to announce these resolutions to the Regent and the Queen. The Regent complained of the restrictions, but the Queen expressed herself quite satisfied. The Great Seal was then affixed to a commission for opening Parliament under the Regent, after some opposition by Lord Grey. The House then adjourned till the 15th of January.