But the position of Buonaparte was far from being secure or satisfactory. Though the soldiers had come over to him, and endeavoured to rouse the populace of Paris to shout for his return, it was in vain. The Guards, incensed at their silence, struck them with the flat of their swords, and bade them cry, "Napoleon and Liberty!" but, though they saw that Napoleon had returned, they very much doubted whether he had brought liberty with him, and they remained cold and indifferent. They saw the armies of the Allies looming again in the distance, and they gave no credence to Napoleon's ready lies that he was at peace with them. But he omitted no exertions to enter into such a peace. He dispatched messengers to every Court, offering to accept the terms of the Treaty of Paris, though he had repeatedly avowed that this treaty consummated the disgrace of France. To these messages no answers were returned. It was already determined that he should receive no communication from the Allied sovereigns but in the shape of overwhelming armies. They had proclaimed, in their Congress at Vienna, and in their new Treaty of Coalition, that he had forfeited every claim to consideration, and the British House of Commons had fully coincided with them, and already upwards of a million of soldiers were in arms, and in march towards France to finally crush him.

The repulse of the French in their attack on Holland, and their repeated defeats in Belgium, which will be mentioned in the next chapter, induced the French Government to make overtures for peace with Britain, but in a secret and most singular way. Instead of an open proposal through some duly-accredited envoy, the proposals came through a Mr. John Salter, a public notary of Poplar. This notary delivered to Lord Grenville two letters from Lebrun the French Foreign Minister, dated the 2nd of April, stating that France was desirous to accommodate its differences with Britain, and, provided the idea was accepted, M. Marat should be sent over with full powers, on passports being duly forwarded. A Mr. John Matthews, of Biggin House, Surrey, attested that these notes were perfectly genuine, and had been signed in the presence of himself and Mr. John Salter. Lord Grenville, suspecting a correspondence coming through so extraordinary a medium, and believing that the design of the French was only to gain time, in order to recover their losses, took no notice of the letters. Moreover, as the Jacobins were then following up their attacks on the Girondists from day to day, he saw no prospect of any permanence of this party in power. In fact, they were expelled by the 2nd of June, and on the 22nd of that month Lebrun was in flight to avoid arrest. Marat arrived, but held no communications with Grenville, and very shortly returned to France. Soon afterwards came indirect overtures through Dumouriez to our ambassador, Lord Auckland, but they were too late. War had been declared. Still, emissaries continued to pass to and fro, and notwithstanding that the promised armament had failed to reach Ireland, the impatient Irish were determined to rise. In February, 1798, they sent appeals to the French to come over, assuring them that they had three hundred thousand men banded to receive them, who only wanted arms; and Talleyrand sent them word that a fresh armament was preparing. But on the 28th of that month, O'Connor, one O'Coigley, an Irish priest, and Burns, a leading member of the London Corresponding Society, were arrested at Margate as they were about to embark for France. Papers found on O'Coigley, or Quigley, proved his treason. One was a direct invitation to the French to send an army into England, as certain to prevent the sending of British forces into Ireland, and thus to make the descent there sure. He was condemned and executed, but Burns was acquitted, and O'Connor remanded for fresh evidence. That was soon forthcoming; for one Thomas Reynolds, who had been the treasurer for the insurgents in his county, and also a colonel in the intended revolutionary army, being pressed for money, betrayed his associates. In consequence of the information which he gave, a number of the conspirators were arrested at their place of meeting. The four chief leaders, however, were not there, as expected, namely, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Emmet, Sampson, and MacNevin, but they were afterwards secured. Lord Edward Fitzgerald was surprised at one Murphy's, 153, Thomas Street, Dublin, and made a desperate resistance. He attacked Major Swan, who presented the warrant, with a dagger, and, being a powerful man, was very formidable. Major Swan discharged a pistol at him, but missed. Captain Ryan, next entering, was stabbed mortally by Lord Edward, and a bloody struggle ensued, Captain Ryan, who was, practically speaking, unarmed, behaving with great courage and self-sacrificing heroism. Major Sirr, who had surrounded the house with soldiers, then rushed in and fired at Fitzgerald, and wounded him in the shoulder. He was then overpowered and secured by the soldiers, and conveyed first of all to Dublin Castle and then to Newgate. This took place on the 19th of May. Captain Ryan died of his wounds on the 30th. Lord Edward died of fever, the consequence of his wounds, and of mortification at the failure of the enterprise (June 4).

It was in these grave circumstances that Lord North, on the 5th of March, 1770, brought forward his bill, based on the terms of Lord Hillsborough's letter to the American governors, to repeal all the import duties except that on tea. This was one of those half-and-half measures which never succeed; it abandoned the bulk of the duties, but retained the really obnoxious thingthe principle. Grenville very truly told them that they should retain the whole, or repeal the whole. Lord Barrington and Welbore Ellis, in their dogged Toryism, protested against repealing a single item of them; and the Opposition, Barr, Conway, Meredith, Pownall, etc., as earnestly entreated them to remove the duties altogether, and with them all cause of irritation. The motion for leave to bring in the bill was carried by two hundred and four votes to one hundred and forty-two. During the debates it was shown that, during the financial year, the American tea duties had producednot the calculated ten or twelve thousand, but less than three hundred pounds! For such a sum did our legislators risk a civil war. As a last effort on this question at this time, the Opposition, on the 1st of May, called for the correspondence with America; and, on the 9th, Burke moved nine resolutions on the general topic. They were not only negatived, but a similar motion, introduced into the Peers by the Duke of Richmond, met the same fate.

When the insurgents, about 8,000 strong, drew up in front of the Westgate Hotel, the principal point of attack, Frost commanded the special constables to surrender. On their refusal the word was given to fire, and a volley was discharged against the bow window of the room where the military were located, and at the same moment the rioters, with their pikes and other instruments, drove in the door and rushed into the passage. It was a critical moment, but the mayor and the magistrates were equal to the emergency. The Riot Act having been read by the mayor amidst a shower of bullets, the soldiers charged their muskets, the shutters were opened, and the fighting began. A shower of slugs immediately poured in from the street, which wounded Mr. Philips and several other persons. But the soldiers opened a raking discharge upon the crowd without, and after a few rounds, by which a great many persons fell dead on the spot, the assailants broke and fled in all directions. Frost, Williams, and Jones were tried by a special commission at Monmouth, and found guilty of high treason. Sentence of death was pronounced upon them on the 16th of January, 1840, but on the 1st of February the sentence was commuted to transportation for life. A free pardon was granted to them on the 3rd of May, 1856, and they returned to England in the September following. Mayor Philips was knighted for his gallantry. The point, however, which excited the most indignation was that regarding Gibraltar. There was a strong feeling in the public mind that the Government was willing to give up this fortress to Spain. The Spanish Government was extremely urgent on the subject, declaring that there could be no peace, no truce with England, until it was surrendered. It was recollected by the English public that Stanhope had actually offered to give it up, and it was not known whether any equivalent except the signing of the Quadruple Alliance had been demanded. The Opposition in the House of Lords moved, "That effectual care be taken in any treaty that the King of Spain do renounce all claims to Gibraltar and Minorca in plain and strong terms." The Ministers, however, carried a more moderate resolution"That the House relies on his Majesty for preserving his undoubted right to Gibraltar and Minorca." A similar discussion with a similar result took place in the Commons. The Government saw plainly that nothing would induce the British people to relinquish this important station.