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By the firmness of the Allies a peace which continued twelve years was given to Europe, and the storm which Alberoni had so fondly expected out of the North was as completely dissipated. The new Queen of Sweden had consented to yield absolutely to George I., as King of Hanover, the disputed possession of Bremen and Verden. Poland was induced to acknowledge Augustus of Saxony as king, and Prussia to be satisfied with the acquisition of Stettin and some other Swedish territory. But the Czar and the King of Denmark, seeing Sweden deprived of its military monarch, and exhausted by his wild campaigns, contemplated the actual dismemberment of Sweden. The Queen of Sweden threw herself for protection on the good offices of the King of England, and both England and France agreed to compel the Czar and the King of Denmark to desist from their attacks on Sweden if they would not listen to friendly mediation. Lord Carteret, a promising young statesman, was sent as ambassador to Stockholm, and Sir John Norris, with eleven sail of the line, was ordered to the Baltic. Russia and Denmark, however, continued to disregard the pacific overtures of England, trusting to there being no war with that Power. They ravaged the whole coast of Sweden, burning above a thousand villages, and the town of Nyk?ping, the third place in the kingdom. Seeing this, Lord Stanhope, who was still at Hanover with the king, sent orders to Admiral Norris to pay no regard to the fact of there being no declaration of war, but to treat the Russian and Danish fleet as[44] Byng had treated the Spanish one. Norris accordingly joined his squadron to the Swedish fleet at Carlscrona, and went in pursuit of the fleet of the Czar. Peter, seeing that the English were now in earnest, recalled his fleet with precipitation, and thereby, no doubt, saved it from complete destruction; but he still continued to refuse to make peace, and determined on the first opportunity to have a further slice of Swedish territory. Denmark, which was extremely poor, agreed to accept a sum of money in lieu of Marstrand, which it had seized; and thus all Europe, except the Czar, was brought to a condition of peace. But the alterations were fatal to the measure in Ireland. Instead now of being the resolutions passed in the Irish Parliament, they embraced restrictive ones originating in the British Parliamenta point on which the Irish were most jealous, and determined not to give way. No sooner did Mr. Orde, the original introducer of the resolutions to the Irish Parliament, on the 2nd of August, announce his intention to introduce them as they now stood, than Flood, Grattan, and Dennis Browne declared the thing impossible; that Ireland never would surrender her birthright of legislating for herself. Mr. Orde, however, persisted in demanding leave to introduce a Bill founded on these resolutions, and this he did on the 12th of August. Flood attacked the proposal with the utmost vehemence. Grattan, Curran, and others declared that the Irish Parliament could hear no resolutions but those which they themselves had sanctioned. Accordingly, though Mr. Orde carried his permission to introduce his Bill, it was only by a majority of nineteen, and under such opposition that, on the 15th, he moved to have it printed for the information of the country, but announced that he should proceed no further in it at present. This was considered as a total abandonment of the measure, and there was a general rejoicing as for a national deliverance, and Dublin was illuminated. But in the country the spirit of agitation on the subject remained: the non-importation Associations were renewed, in imitation of the proceedings in Boston, and the most dreadful menaces were uttered against all who should dare to import manufactured goods from England. The consequences were the stoppage of tradeespecially in the seaportsthe increase of distress and of riots, and the soldiers were obliged to be kept under arms in Dublin and other towns to prevent outbreaks.

Soon after the close of the Session in June, the king proceeded to Hanover, accompanied, as usual, by Townshend and the Duchess of Kendal. The state of his foreign relations demanded the utmost attention, and very soon underwent the most extraordinary changes. These were precipitated by the Duke of Bourbon, and were caused by the state of the French succession. The young king might have children, and the only reason why he might not have legitimate issue soon was that he was affianced to the Infanta, Mary Ann, Philip's daughter, then a mere child. Should he not have children, the young Duke of Orleans, the son of the late Regent, would succeed him. To prevent this contingency, the Duke of Bourbon, who had a violent hatred of Orleans, prevailed on Louis to dismiss the Infanta, and choose as queen some princess of mature age. He turned his eye for this purpose on the Princess Anne of England, but George declined the alliance, because the Queen of France was bound to become Catholic. The Princess Mary Leczinska was next fixed upon, daughter of the exiled Stanislaus of Poland, and the Duke of Bourbon then sent the Infanta back to Spain. The changes in the manners and morals of the age since the reign of George III. have been sufficiently indicated in the preceding pages. Corresponding changes were gradually introduced in the world of fashion, though the conservative instinct of the aristocracy and the spirit of exclusiveness resisted innovation as long as possible. What was called "good society" was wonderfully select. The temple of fashion at the beginning of the reign of George IV. was Almack's; and the divinities that under the name of lady patronesses presided there were the Ladies Castlereagh, Jersey, Cowper, and Sefton, the Princess Esterhazy and the Countess Lieven. These and their associates gave the tone to the beau monde. We can scarcely now conceive the importance that was then attached to the privilege of getting admission to Almack's. Of the 300 officers of the Foot Guards, not more than half a dozen were honoured with vouchers. The most popular and influential amongst the grandes dames was Lady Cowper, afterwards Lady Palmerston. Lady Jersey was not popular, being inconceivably rude and insolent[440] in her manner. Many diplomatic arts, much finesse, and a host of intrigues were set in motion to get an invitation to Almack's. Very often persons whose rank and fortune entitled them to the entre anywhere were excluded by the cliquism of the lady patronesses. Trousers had come into general use. They had been first worn by children, then adopted in the army, and from the army they came into fashion with civilians. But they were rigidly excluded from Almack's, as well as the black tie, which also came into use about this time. The female oligarchy who ruled the world of fashion, or tried to do so, issued a solemn proclamation that no gentleman should appear at the assemblies without being dressed in knee-breeches, white cravat, and chapeau bras. On one occasion, we are told, the Duke of Wellington was about to ascend the staircase of the ball-room, dressed in black trousers, when the vigilant Mr. Willis, the guardian of the establishment, stepped forward, and said, "Your Grace cannot be admitted in trousers." Whereupon the great captain quietly retreated, without daring to storm the citadel of fashion. The principal dances at Almack's had been Scottish reels, and the old English country dance. In 1815 Lady Jersey introduced from Paris the quadrille which has so long remained popular. The mazy waltz was also imported about the same time. Among the first who ventured to whirl round the salons of Almack's was Lord Palmerston, his favourite partner being Madame Lieven. This new dance was so diligently cultivated in the houses of the nobility and gentry that the upper classes were affected with a waltzing mania. Whilst Burgoyne had been looking in vain for aid from New York, Sir Henry Clinton, at length daring the responsibility of a necessary deed, had set out with three thousand men, in vessels of different kinds, up the Hudson. On the 6th of Octobereleven days before Burgoyne signed the capitulationClinton set out. Leaving one thousand men at Verplank's Point, he crossed to the other bank with his remaining two thousand, and landed them at Stony Point, only twelve miles from Fort Montgomery. He advanced with one-half of his force to storm Fort Clinton, and dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell to attack Fort Montgomery. Both forts were to be[245] attacked, if possible, at the same instant, to prevent the one from aiding the other. The simultaneous assaults took place about sunset. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell was killed leading his column against Fort Montgomery, but his brave troops entered and drove the garrison of eight hundred men from the place. Clinton found the approach to the fort of his own name much more arduous. But on went our brave fellows till they reached the foot of the works, where, having no ladders, they hoisted one another on their shoulders to the embrasures, through which they pushed past the cannon, and drove the Americans from their guns, and across the rampart, at the points of their bayonets. It was dark by the time the forts were taken, but the Americans soon threw light enough on the scene by setting fire to several vessels which were moored close under the guns of the forts. Had the English been disposed to risk the attempt to save them, they were prevented by several strong booms and chains thrown across the river. These they afterwards broke through, and, on the 13th of October, at the very moment that Burgoyne was making his first overtures for surrender, the English troops under General Vaughan ascended, in small frigates, as far as Esopus Creek, only thirty miles overland to Saratoga. But Burgoyne having now surrendered, and Gates being at liberty to send down strong reinforcements to co-operate with Putnam, the English vessels and troops were recalled, and returned to New York. Such was the campaign of 1777; equally remarkable for the valour of the British troops, and for their misfortunes; for the imbecility of their Government, and the incapacity or rashness of their commanders.