Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/112

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It was easy to find in the port of London a vessel the owner of which was not scrupulous about the use for which it might be wanted. Ashton and Elliot were introduced to the master of a smack named the James and Elizabeth. The Jacobite agents pretended to be smugglers, and talked of the thousands of pounds which might be got by a single lucky trip to France and back again. A bargain was struck: a sixpence was broken; and all the arrangements were made for the voyage.

Preston was charged by his friends with a packet containing several important papers. Among these was a list of the English fleet furnished by Dartmouth, who was in communication with some of his old companions in arms, a minute of the resolutions which had been adopted at the meeting of the conspirators, and the Heads of a Declaration which it was thought desirable that James should publish at the moment of his landing. There were also six or seven letters from persons of note in the Jacobite party. Most of these letters were parables, but parables which it was not difficult to unriddle. One plotter used the cant of the law. There was hope that Mr. Jackson would soon recover his estate. The new landlord was a hard man, and had set the freeholders against him. A little matter would redeem the whole property. The opinions of the best counsel were in Mr. Jackson's favour. All that was necessary was that he should himself appear in Westminster Hall. The final hearing ought to be before the close of Easter Term. Other writers affected the style of the Royal Exchange. There was a great demand for a cargo of the right sort. There was reason to hope that the old firm would soon form profitable connections with houses with which it had hitherto had no dealings. This was evidently an allusion to the discontented Whigs. But, it was added, the shipments must not be delayed. Nothing was so dangerous as to overstay the market. If the expected goods did not arrive by the tenth of March, the whole profit of the year would be lost. As to details, entire reliance might be placed on the excellent factor who was going over. Clarendon assumed the character of a matchmaker. There was great hope that the business which he had been negotiating would