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The general kept his own counsel then, but afterward, when it was all over, he confessed,not to the rejoicing reporter who was making columns out of him for the papers of this, and even of many another, land,but to the friends who had in some measure understood and believed in him, that the strain and responsibility had all but worn him out. And he was no frail man, this mighty hunter of the plains.The time for the last grand conflict for the recovery of their forfeited throne in Great Britain by the Stuarts was come. The Pretender had grown old and cautious, but the young prince, Charles Edward, who had been permitted by his father, and encouraged by France, to attempt this great object in 1744, had not at all abated his enthusiasm for it, though Providence had appeared to fight against him, and France, after the failure of Dunkirk, had seemed to abandon the design altogether. When he received the news of the battle of Fontenoy he was at the Chateau de Navarre, near Evreux, the seat of his attached friend, the young Duke de Bouillon. He wrote to Murray of Broughton to announce his determination to attempt the enterprise at all hazards. He had been assured by Murray himself that his friends in Scotland discountenanced any rising unless six thousand men and ten thousand stand of arms could be brought over; and that, without these, they would not even engage to join him. The announcement, therefore, that he was coming threw the friends of the old dynasty in Scotland into the greatest alarm. All but the Duke of Perth condemned the enterprise in the strongest terms, and wrote letters to induce him to postpone his voyage. But these remonstrances arrived too late; if, indeed, they would have had any effect had they reached him earlier. Charles Edward had lost no time in making his preparations.
Already Larry had his coat and shoes off. Stripping them off, and with no one to observe, removing all his clothes, he lowered himself onto a pontoon and thence to the water, chilly but not too cold on the hot June afternoon.
The spring of 1720 was a period of remarkable national prosperity. But "the grand money schemes projected of late," which appeared to the Jacobite Atterbury and others calculated to cement the royal peace and strengthen the foundation of the Government and nation, were destined to produce a very different effect. For the South Sea Bubble was about to burst. In 1711, Harley, being at his wits' end to maintain the public credit, established a fund to provide for the National Debt, which amounted to ten millions of pounds. To defray the interest he made permanent the duties on wine, vinegar, and tobacco, etc. To induce the purchase of the Government stock, he gave to the shareholders the exclusive privilege of trading to the Spanish settlements in South America, and procured them an Act of Parliament and a royal charter, under the name of the South Sea Company. The idea, hollow and groundless as it was, seized on the imagination of the most staid and experienced traders. All the dreams of boundless gold which haunted the heads of the followers of Drake and Raleigh were revived. The mania spread through the nation, and was industriously encouraged by the partisans of Harley. But this stupendous dream of wealth was based on the promises of Ministers, who at the Peace of Utrecht were to secure from the Government of Spain this right to trade to its colonies. The right was never granted by that haughty and jealous Power, further than for the settlement of some few factories, and the sending of one small ship annually of less than five hundred tons. This, and the Assiento, or privilege of supplying those colonies with African slaves, were the sole advantages obtained, and these were soon disturbed by the war with Spain, which broke out under Alberoni. The South Sea Company, however, from its general resources, remained a flourishing corporation, and was deemed the rival of the Bank of England.
With Seneca and his contemporaries, Stoicism has shaken itself free from alien ingredients, and has become the accepted creed of the whole republican opposition, being especially pronounced in the writings of the two young poets, Persius and Lucan. But in proportion as naturalistic philosophy assumed the form of a protest against vice, luxury, inhumanity, despotism, and degradation, or of an exhortation to welcome death as a deliverance from those evils, in the same proportion did it tend to fall back into simple Cynicism; and on this side also it found a ready response, not only in the heroic fortitude, but also in the brutal coarseness and scurrility of the Roman character. Hence the Satires of the last great Roman poet, Juvenal, are an even more distinct expression of Cynic than the epic of Virgil had been of Stoic sentiment. Along with whatever was good and wholesome in Cynicism there is the shameless indecency of the Cynics, and their unquestioning acceptance of mendicancy and prostitution as convenient helps to leading a natural and easily contented life. And it may be noticed that the free-thinking tendencies which distinguished the Cynics from the Stoics are also displayed in Juvenals occasional denunciations of superstition.48