Grey and Fox then made an equally brisk attack on the support of Turkey by Ministers. They greatly applauded the Czarina, and Fox affirmed that so far from Turkey soliciting our interference, it had objected to it. On the same day, in the Lords, Lord Fitzwilliam opened the same question. He contended that we had fitted out an expensive armament to prevent the conquest by Russia of Oczakoff, and yet had not done it, but had ended in accepting the very terms that the Czarina had offered in 1790. Ministers replied that, though we had not saved Oczakoff, we had prevented still more extensive attempts by Russia. Though the Opposition, in both cases, was defeated, the attack was renewed on the 27th of February, when the Earl Stanhopean enthusiastic worshipper of the French Revolutionrecommended, as the best means of preventing aggression by Continental monarchs, a close alliance on our part with France. Two days afterwards Mr. Whitbread introduced a string of resolutions in the Commons, condemning the interference of Ministers between Russia and Turkey, and the needless expenditure thus incurred, in fact, going over[390] much the same ground. A strenuous debate followed, in which Grey, Fox, Windham, Francis, Sheridan, and the whole Whig phalanx, took part. On this occasion, Mr. Jenkinson, afterwards Earl of Liverpool, first appeared, and made his maiden speech in defence of Ministers. He showed that the system of aggression had commenced with Russia, and menaced the profoundest dangers to Europe; that Britain had wisely made alliance with Prussia to stem the evil, and he utterly repudiated all notion of the moderation of the Czarina, whose ambition he asserted to be of the most unscrupulous kind. There arose a second school of mezzotint engravers, the chief of whom were Earlom, Reynolds, Daniell, Sutherland, and Westall. The strange but intellectual Blake was both painter and his own engraver, in a style of his own. Towards the end of the reign flourished, chiefly in architectural illustrations, Le Keux, John and Henry, pupils of Bazire, Roffe, Ransom, and Scott; in landscape, William and George Cooke, William and Edward Finden, Byrne, and Pye; in portrait, Charles and James Heath, John Taylor, Skelton, Burnet, Bromley, Robinson, Warren, and Lewis.

The rapid growth of the commerce of the American colonies excited an intense jealousy[166] in our West Indian Islands, which claimed a monopoly of supply of sugar, rum, molasses, and other articles to all the British possessions. The Americans trading with the French, Dutch, Spaniards, etc., took these articles in return; but the West Indian proprietors prevailed upon the British Government, in 1733, to impose a duty on the import of any produce of foreign plantations into the American colonies, besides granting a drawback on the re-exportation of West Indian sugar from Great Britain. This was one of the first pieces of legislation of which the American colonies had a just right to complain. At this period our West Indies produced about 85,000 hogsheads of sugar, or 1,200,000 cwts. About three hundred sail were employed in the trade with these islands, and some 4,500 sailors; the value of British manufactures exported thither being nearly 240,000 annually, but our imports from Jamaica alone averaged at that time 539,492. Besides rum, sugar, and molasses, we received from the West Indies cotton, indigo, ginger, pimento, cocoa, coffee, etc.

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The triumph of the mob had consummated the triumph of Jacobinism. The Republic was at length established, but not to the benefit of the Girondists. The ruin of royalty, for which they had so zealously laboured, was in reality their own ruin. The Jacobins, and at their head the sanguinary Robespierre, were left without a rival, except in that mob by which they worked, and which was destined to destroy them too. Danton appeared before the Assembly on the morning of the 10th, at the head of a deputation of the Commune, to state what had been done, and said plainly, "The people who send us to you have charged us to declare that they think you worthy of their confidence, but that they recognise no other judge of the extraordinary measures to which necessity has forced them to recur than the French nationour sovereign and yoursconvoked in primary Assemblies." This was announcing without disguise that the Clubs were the supreme authorities. The Assembly felt its weakness and professed to approve of everything. Next, the new Ministers were chosen; Roland, as Minister of the Interior; Servan, as War Minister; and Clavire as Minister of Finance. But to these were added Danton as Minister of Justice, Mong as Minister of the Marine, and Le Brun as Minister of Foreign Affairs. They were to receive instructions, not from Louis, but from the Assembly. And now came into full light the mortal antagonism of the Assembly and the Clubs, and the real ascendency of the latter. The Assembly voted for the education of the Dauphin; the Clubs called for the utter removal of royalty. The Assembly recommended an active campaign against Foreign Powers, but mercy to the vanquished; the Clubs called for instant and universal vengeance on all supporters of royalty, who, they said, had intended to massacre the people and bring in the Prussians. They declared that there was no need of electoral bodies to form a new Assembly, but that every man, and some said every woman, was entitled to vote; and they insisted that the people ought to come in arms to manifest their wishes to the legislative body. This was plainly-avowed mob rule. Marat argued loudly for this and for purging France, as he called it, by cutting off every man, woman, and child that was not for mob rule; and Robespierre demanded the removal of the Assembly as effete and the summoning of a Convention. His advice was adopted, and the National Democratic Convention was convoked for the 21st of September. In the interval the Royalists were murdered in the prisons, and the Revolutionary Commune established at Paris. News of the most alarming character arrived from the frontier, Lafayette had gone over to the enemy, and the Prussians had taken Longwy.