Coote landed at Madras at the beginning of November. A council was immediately called, Whitehill was removed from the government of the Presidency, and the member of Council next in seniority appointed. Coote had brought with him only five hundred British troops and six hundred Lascars. The whole force with which he could encounter Hyder amounted only to one thousand seven hundred Europeans and five thousand native troops. Coote, whose name as the conqueror of the French at Wandewash and Pondicherry struck terror into Hyder, soon resumed his triumphs on his old ground, driving the enemy from[331] Wandewash. Hearing then of the arrival of the French armament off Pondicherry, he marched thither, and posted himself on the Red Hills. The French fleet, consisting of seven ships of the line and four frigates, was anchored off the place. But the French squadron having sailed away for the Isle of France, from apprehension of the approach of a British fleet, Hyder retreated, and, entering the territory of Tanjore, laid it waste, while his son, Tippoo, laid siege again to Wandewash. Hyder was again encouraged to advance, and on the 6th of July, 1781, Coote managed to bring him to action near Porto Novo, and completely routed him and his huge host, though he had himself only about eight thousand men. Hyder retired quite crestfallen to Arcot, and ordered Tippoo to raise the siege of Wandewash. By the terms of the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussian Poland was taken away, but not to be incorporated with a restored Poland, as Buonaparte had delusively allowed the Poles to hope. No; a restored Poland was incompatible with a treaty of peace with Russia, or the continuance of it with Austria. It was handed over to the Duke of Saxony, now elevated to the title of the King of Saxony and Duke of the Grand Duchy of Warsawthe name which Prussian Poland assumed. The duped Polish patriots cursed Buonaparte bitterly in secret. Alexander, with all his assumed sympathy for his fallen cousins of Prussia, came in for a slice of the spoil, nominally to cover the expenses of the war. Dantzic, with a certain surrounding district, was recognised as a free city, under the protection of Prussia and Saxony; but Buonaparte took care to stipulate for the retention of a garrison there till the conclusion of a general peace, so as to stop out any British armament or influence. To oblige the Emperor of Russia, he allowed the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who were the Czar's relations, to retain possession of their territories; but he returned to Prussia only about one-half of the provinces which he had seized, reducing her very much to the limits in which Frederick the Great had found her before his usurpations. She surrendered her provinces between the Rhine and the Elbe, which, together with Hesse, Brunswick, and part of Hanover, were formed into the kingdom of Westphalia and given to Jerome Buonaparte. She was saddled by a crushing war indemnity, and had to leave Berlin and the chief fortresses in the hands of the French until the debt was paid. In the articles of the Treaty which were made public, Alexander paid a nominal courtesy to his ally, Great Britain, by offering to mediate between her and France, if the offer were accepted within a month; but amongst the secret articles of the Treaty was one binding the Czar to shut his ports against all British vessels, if this offer were rejected. This was a sacrifice demanded of Alexander, as Great Britain was Russia's best customer, taking nearly all her raw or exported produce. In return for this, and for Alexander's connivance at, or assistance in, Buonaparte's intention of seizing on Spain and Portugal, for the taking of Malta and Gibraltar, and the expulsion of the British from the Mediterranean, Alexander was to invade and[546] annex Finland, the territory of Sweden, and, giving up his designs on Moldavia and Wallachia, for which he was now waging an unprovoked war, he was to be allowed to conquer the rest of Turkey, the ally of Napoleon, and establish himself in the long-coveted Constantinople. Thus these two august robbers shared kingdoms at their own sweet will and pleasure. Turkey and Finland they regarded as properly Russian provinces, and Spain, Portugal, Malta, Gibraltar, and, eventually, Britain, as provinces of France.

Clive, a young clerk of the Company's, at Madras, had deserted his desk, taken a commission, and, as early as 1748, had distinguished himself by baffling the French commanders Dupleix and Bussy, at Pondicherry. In 1751 he had taken Arcot from Chunda Sahib, the Viceroy of the Carnatic, and, aided by the Mahrattas, defeated Rajah Sahib, the son of Chunda, in a splendid victory at Arnee. In 1752 he raised the siege of Trichinopoly, where the Nabob of Arcot was besieged by the French. In 1755, landing at Bombay from England, he, with Admiral Watson, made an expedition to Gheriah, the stronghold of the celebrated pirate Angria, demolished it, and seized the spoils, valued at one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. In 1757 he took Calcutta from the Nabob Surajah Dowlah, the ally of the French, who had captured it, and shut up the English prisoners in the memorable Black Hole, where, in one night (June 20, 1756), out of one hundred and forty-six persons, one hundred and twenty-three perished. Clive also captured the city of Hooghly, defeated Dowlah, and compelled him to cede the town and vicinity. He then drove the French from their factory of Chandernagore; marched forward on Moorshedabad, defeated Surajah Dowlah in a battle extraordinary for the rout of an immense army by a mere handful of men, at Plassey (1757); deposed him, and seated on his throne Meer Jaffier. From this day dates British supremacy in India.

At the ensuing assizes in August, those rioters who had been apprehended were tried; some at Worcester for participating in the outrages, but there only one prisoner was committed. Of those tried at Warwick, on the 25th of the month, four received sentence of death. Of these five rioters condemned, only three actually suffered, while two received his Majesty's gracious pardon. The victims of this riot thought the penalty much too trivial! Such, indeed, was the perverted state of public feeling in and around Birmingham, that[386] the sufferers were regarded as men seeking the lives of innocent men who had only shown their loyalty to Church and King. They were declared to be no better than selfish murderers. Whilst they attended at the assizes, their lives scarcely seemed safe. They were publicly abused in the streets, or menaced and cursed wherever they appeared. In the very assize-hall there were persons who, on seeing Priestley, cried, "Damn him! there is the cause of all the mischief!" He was followed in the streets, especially by an attorney, who cursed him furiously, and wished he had been burned with his house and books. The favourite toast of the Church-and-King party was, "May every Revolutionary dinner be followed by a hot supper!" The damages awarded to the sufferers were, in most cases, ludicrously inadequate. Hutton was a heavy loser; Priestley received three thousand and ninety-eight pounds, but he complained that this was two thousand pounds short of the extent of his loss. But this deficiency was made up by sympathising friends. But if Great Britain was prosperous, the affairs of Canada got into a very disturbed state, and became a source of trouble for some time to the Government in the mother country. To the conflicting elements of race and religion were added the discontents arising from misgovernment by a distant Power not always sufficiently mindful of the interests of the colony. For many years after Lower Canada, a French province, had come into the possession of Britain, a large portion of the country westwardlying along the great lakesnow known as Upper Canada, nearly double the extent of England, was one vast forest, constituting the Indian hunting-ground. In 1791, when by an Act of the Imperial Parliament the colony received a constitution, and was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, with separate legislatures, the amount of the white population in Upper Canada was estimated at 50,000. Twenty years later it had increased to 77,000, and in 1825 emigration had swelled its numbers to 158,000, which in 1830 was increased to 210,000, and in 1834 the population exceeded 320,000, the emigration for the last five years having proceeded at the rate of 12,000 a year. The disturbances which arose in 1834 caused a check to emigration; but when tranquillity was restored it went on rapidly increasing, till, in 1852, it was nearly a million. The increase[397] of wealth was not less remarkable. The total amount of assessable property, in 1830, was 1,854,965; 1835, 3,407,618; 1840, 4,608,843; 1845, 6,393,630.

The Crown had resolved to proceed against the queen by a Bill of Pains and Penalties, the introduction of which was preceded by the appointment of a secret committee, to perform functions somewhat analogous to those of a grand jury in finding bills against accused parties. Mr. Brougham earnestly protested against the appointment of a secret committee, which was opposed by Lords Lansdowne and Holland. The course was explained and defended by the Lord Chancellor, who said that the object of Ministers in proposing a secret committee was to prevent injustice towards the accused; that committee would not be permitted to pronounce a decision; it would merely find, like a grand jury, that matter of accusation did or did not exist; such matter, even if found to have existence, could not be the subject of judicial proceeding, strictly so called. The offence of a queen consort, or a Princess Consort of Wales, committing adultery with a person owing allegiance to the British Crown would be that of a principal in high treason, because by statute it was high treason in him; and as accessories in high treason are principals, she would thus be guilty of high treason as a principal; but as the act of a person owing no allegiance to the British Crown could not be high treason in him, so neither could a princess be guilty of that crime merely by being an accessory to such a person's act. Yet although, for this reason, there could be no judicial proceeding in such a case, there might be a legislative one; and the existence or non-existence of grounds for such legislative proceeding was a matter into which it would be fit that a secret committee should inquire. In no case could injustice be done, because that committee's decision would not be final. There might be differences of opinion about the best mode of proceeding, but, for God's sake, said the Lord Chancellor, let it be understood that they all had the same object in view, and that their difference was only about the best mode of procedure.