THE war with France, into which Pitt had been driven against his better judgment, had now been going on for seven years, and its popularity had long since waned. In 1797, almost every city, county, and town of note in England and Ireland had petitioned the King for the removal of his Ministers, and " the consequent return of peace." The question was being loudly asked, both within Parliament and outside, whether anything was to be gained by continuing a struggle in which England had no direct interest. Was the government of France really of such a character that it was "not safe to enter into negotiation with it?" Whatever it might have been at the outset, was this any longer a "just and necessary war " --a " war for security " --or was it a war for the restoration of the Bourbons?
State of the war.
Every month seemed adding to the strength of France. Buonaparte, escaping from Egypt in the autumn of 1799, had overthrown the Directory, and become First Consul in 1800 -- already, it was noted, il parle en roi. In May, he crossed the Great St. Bernard, overthrew our allies, the Austrians, at Marengo in July, and became master of Italy. In December, Moreau, co-operating with him, crushed them in South Germany, and forced Austria____________________