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      Ellton went on, lapsing into the judicial. "In the meantime, anyway, a man's innocent until he's proven guilty. I say, do go round and see him. The others will follow your lead. He's awfully cut up and worried, and he's sick, you know."On the Rhine, the war was carried on quite into the winter. The King of Prussia did not stay longer than to witness the surrender of Mayence; he then hurried away to look after his new Polish territory, and left the army under the command of the Duke of Brunswick. Brunswick, in concert with Wurmser and his Austrians, attacked and drove the French from their lines at Weissenburg, took from them Lauter, and laid siege to Landau. Wurmser then advanced into Alsace, which the Germans claimed as their old rightful territory, and invested Strasburg. But the Convention Commissioners, St. Just and Lebas, defended the place vigorously. They called forces from all quarters; they terrified the people into obedience by the guillotine, Lebas saying that with a little guillotine and plenty of terror he could do anything. But he did not neglect to send for the gallant young Hoche, and put him at the head of the army. Wurmser was compelled to fall back; Hoche marched through the defiles of the Vosges, and, taking Wurmser by surprise, defeated him, made many prisoners, and captured a great part of Wurmser's cannon. In conjunction with Pichegru, Dessaix, and Michaud, he made a desperate attack, on the 26th of December, on the Austrians in the fortified lines of Weissenburg, whence they had so lately driven the French; but the Duke of Brunswick came to their aid, and enabled the Austrians to retire in order. Hoche again took possession of Weissenburg; the Austrians retreated across the Rhine, and the Duke of Brunswick and his Prussians fell back on Mayence. Once there, dissatisfied with the Prussian officers, he resigned his command, he and Wurmser parting with much mutual recrimination. Wurmser was not able long to retain Mayence; and the French not only regained all their old positions, before they retired to winter quarters, but Hoche crossed the lines and wintered in the Palatinate, the scene of so many French devastations in past wars. The French also repulsed the enemy on the Spanish and Sardinian frontiers.


      In the midst of these secret correspondences the queen was seized at Windsor with a serious illness, and, considering the general state of her health, it was most threatening. The hopes of the Jacobites rose wonderfully; the Funds went rapidly down; there was a great run upon the Bank, and the Directors were filled with consternation by a report of an armament being ready in the ports of France to bring over the Pretender at the first news of Anne's decease.[15] They sent to the Lord Treasurer to inform him of the danger which menaced the public credit. The whole of London was in excitement, from a report that the queen was actually dead. The Whigs did not conceal their joy, but were hurrying to and fro, and meeting in large numbers at the Earl of Wharton's. The Lord Treasurer, to keep down the public alarm, remained in town, and contented himself with sending expresses to obtain constant news of the queen's state, for his hurrying to Windsor would have had an inconceivable effect. He, therefore, let himself be seen publicly where he could be questioned regarding the condition of the queen, and gave assurances that she was better. To allay the panic, Anne was induced to sign a letter prepared for her, announcing to Sir Samuel Stancer, the Lord Mayor, that she was now recovering, and would be in town and open Parliament on the 16th of February. This news being confirmed, those who had been too hasty in pulling off their masks found some awkwardness in fitting them on again. The Press was active. Steele published a pamphlet called "The Crisis," in advocacy of the Revolution, and on the danger of a Popish succession; whilst on the other hand came out a reply, supposed to be written by Swift, not without a few touches from Bolingbroke; it was styled "The Public Spirit of the Whigs," and was distinguished by all the sarcasm of the authors. The queen's recovery, and the fact that the French armament was a fiction, quieted the storm and again restored the Funds.


      When he looked up again to Brewster's house, there was a chink of faint light showing through a curtain. He got up then and went down to Ellton's quarters.The circumstance sank deeply into the mind of the king, and, resenting especially the conduct of Grenvillewho had acted as though he held a monopoly of office,he determined to be rid of him. He therefore consulted with his uncle, the Duke of Cumberland. That prince, to whom age and infirmities seemed to have given a degree of wisdom, declared the offer of the Ministry to Pitt to be the necessary step, and willingly undertook to make it. But knowing that Pitt would not even listen to the proposal without Temple, he dispatched a summons to Stowe for that nobleman, and himself, infirm as he was, went to Hayes, to learn the will of the great commoner personally. Pitt showed himself disposed to accept the office, on condition that general warrants should be declared illegal; that the officers dismissed on account of their votes be restored; and that an alliance with Protestant powers, and especially with Prussia, should be formed, to counterbalance the compact between France and Spain. This was asking a great deal; but Pitt demanded more in the particulars of appointments,[187] namely, that Pratt, who had opposed the Court so decidedly as regarded Wilkes and general warrants, should be Lord Chancellor, and he opposed the Court desire that the Duke of Northumberland should be at the head of the Treasury. Pitt, moreover, designed the Treasury for Temple. But, when Temple arrived, he refused to take office at all. The fact was that just now he was making a reconciliation with his brother, Grenville, and was averse from throwing him overboard. So far from joining Pitt, he was on the verge of another breach with him. Pitt, disconcerted by this repulse, with a weakness to be deplored in so great a man, refused to accept the offer to form a ministry at all.

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      Dick agreed, declared that with Larry and Mr. Whiteside within call he dared to wait in the hangar alone, and Sandy, going out through the secret way, encountered Larry and the detective, consulted them, had their sanction for his idea and hurried off toward the next estate.

      Two days later Stone left the town. He took the train for California, and his wife and children went with him. He was a rich man by many an evil means, and it was no real hardship that had been worked him, as Cairness well knew.Oh!

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      He did not answer at once, but sat watching the trumpeter come out of the adjutant's office to sound recall. "Yes, she will marry," he agreed; "if no one else marries her, I will. I am as old as her father would have been but it would save telling some fellow about her birth."Then he began to come to himself and to listen to all that Felipa had to tell him of the many things she had not put in her short and labored letters. He saw[Pg 140] that she looked more beautiful and less well than when he had left her. There was a shadow of weariness on her face that gave it a soft wistfulness which was altogether becoming. He supposed it was because she had nursed him untiringly, as she had; but it did not occur to him to thank her, because she had done only what was a wife's duty, only what he would have done for her if the case had been reversed. Toward the end of the day he began to wonder that no one had been to see him, and he spoke of it.


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